Tag Archives: humor

The Secrets In My Scowl by A.E. Via

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: The Secrets in My Scowl

SERIES:

AUTHOR: A.E. Via

PUBLISHER: Via Star Wings Books

RELEASE DATE: October 28 , 2016

BLURB: Sparks ignite and tempers flare when a sexy, optimistic wedding planner, moves his business in across the hall from a jilted, divorce lawyer’s practice.

Look smart ass. This is the last time I’m going to remind you about breaking sections of the lease. If there’s a next time, I won’t stop until you and your frilly, white wedding shit is thrown out of here. Do you got it?!”

Wylde looked in Jacob’s pained eyes and answered in his deep voice. “Yeah, counselor. I got it.”

From high school, up until he became a successful attorney Jacob Snowden was convinced that love had it out for him. “Everyone left,” were the words he lived by. His mother, his high school sweetheart, his father, and his fiancé, all left Jacob just when he felt it was safe to let down his guard. Not any longer. Jacob was a determined man, set at keeping people at a distance. If his six foot one, military-made body didn’t scare people off, his permanent scowl surely did. At almost forty, Jacob’s social life was non-existent, but he told himself his work fulfilled him. He helped people get out of their loveless marriages. Jacob Snowden was one of the best divorce lawyers on the east coast and was damn proud of it. So, imagine his disdain when a wedding planner moves into the suite directly adjacent to his… an insanely masculine, male wedding planner.

Wylde Sterling had made quite a name for himself in his hometown of Roanoke, Virginia, working for a wedding planner that catered to the elite. He was known for his charm and impeccable taste. Yep, he was incredible at giving couples the wedding of their dreams. But he wanted nothing more than to plan his own. After striking out in love more times than he cared to admit, Wylde decided to start his own business in a new city, hoping Richmond would give him a fresh start. Things started out wonderfully – until he started to piss off the angry divorce attorney next door.

Wylde could see past Jacob’s mean scowl, knowing there was a reason for it. It was the man’s defense mechanism, his means of keeping people away. Everything in Wylde told him to stay away, but he believed Jacob just needed to meet a man who had been hurt as badly as he had.

Standalone gay romance that ends in an HEA and no cliffhanger.

img_1447

REVIEW: I loved everything about this book and these characters. As usual, this author manages to tell an amazing story that captures and captivates you cover to cover, from the first word written to the last.

Jacob’s character was interesting. I was fascinated to read how good his childhood and family life was up until the point where his mother abandoned the family. There is this drastic shift for the worse in his life for both him and his father. Theirs was a story that made me the saddest.

The events of his childhood shaped every decision he’s made in his adult life. It’s made him harden his shell but underneath that shell was a man who had been deeply hurt and betrayed in life. All anyone ever saw was the shell he presented; many not interested in or afraid to see past his angry shell.

Wylde’s character was quite interesting: here you have this beautifully masculine man in a career where many would expect the stereotypical flamboyant gay man to have. In this book, as in all of her others, she flips the script and made it completely the opposite. That’s what I like about this author. She has this wonderful talent for writing her gay male characters as just regular guys which is exactly what they are; her characters are relatable. I know that when I pick up her work it will be sans the troubling stereotypes that seems to be the trend in many of the books in this genre. And as always, her characters are mature men, men in their mid to late 30s and older so the reader can further relate to the characters.

This book, like her others, was extremely written. This is an author that has really mastered her craft; her work is of the highest quality.

The only holes that I found in the book was the fact that Jacob was referred at one point in the book as a soldier instead of sailor. Another small issue was the timeline. I don’t know about the timeline but I am going to assume that it was a bit before the repeal of DADT so it wasn’t really made clear how Jacob was able to propose or how he was going to pull off and get away with marrying another man. Another issue I had is the circumstances behind the mother’s abandonment of her family. The only thing that made the reasoning not feel real was the length of time. The time threw it all off for me. That situation should’ve been, I felt, resolved within five years or less. Realistically it probably would’ve been because here it is almost two decades later that she still in the picture which begs the question as to why she left in the first place if it took almost two decades to resolve itself. Either that or there could’ve been another reason as to why she left. The reason for her leaving and the time it took for the situation to progress to the stage that it did didn’t make sense.  It just would’ve been more believable had things progressed much faster for her than it did and he found out on the back end.

Although noticeable, the above stated did in no way deflect from the overall enjoyment I experienced reading this story.

This heartbreak written within this book will have you on the edge of tears and just when you think you’re going to cry your eyes over how much hurt Jacob is experiencing, a scene is written in that will have you laughing yourself into stitches.

I absolutely adore this book and I highly recommend it.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️Amazing⭐️⭐️⭐️

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Giveaway

 

Author A.E. Via
“Only Thing Sexier than One Man, Is Two of Them Together”
Author Official Website:

http://authoraevia.com/
Via Star Wings Books Publishing: http://authoraevia.com/starwing.html

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/A.-E.-Via/e/B00GMNMS4U
A.E. Blog: http://authoraevia.com/blogfann.html

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoraevia

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorAEVia

http://kimichanexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/image2.jpg

Written in the Stars Audiobook by Alix Bekins Narrated by Peter B Brooke

Dreampsinner Presents  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6200

written in the starsBlurb

Bailey McMillan’s life is a mess. The general public blames him for his former employer’s nuclear pollution, resulting in professional disgrace. Humiliated, he takes a job as an editor at a science magazine run by his best friend, John.

That part isn’t so bad; Bailey is fond of John, who seems to find Bailey’s abrasive nature amusing. Unfortunately, working for John also leads to writing an astrology column in exchange for getting free rein in some op-ed articles, and then being sued over one. The (totally coincidental) accuracy of the column offers opportunity for further professional disgrace if anyone discovers its author. And then Bailey digs himself a little deeper.

In an attempt to prove astrology is bogus, he agrees to an experiment to date someone from each star sign. As if that weren’t bad enough, Bailey’s got a stupid crush on John, who stubbornly insists on a detailed breakdown of every date, bad and otherwise. Bailey’s luck has to improve sometime, right?

Review

Bailey is a pompous ass who is forced to write horoscopes by the scientific journal he works for.  It’s totally beneath him and he hates it.

John is the editor of the journal and also Bailey’s best friend.

As an experiment Bailey agrees to date a variety of men from the different astrological signs and this is the story of all those horrible dates.

In the end John sets up himself as the final “date” because he’s always had an attraction for Bailey and wanted to prove to him just how good they’d be together.

**

There is a lot of really funny stuff.  Alix Bekins clearly has a sharp mind and writes very witty dialog.  I thought John was a dear and way too good for Bailey and I never, never, never liked Bailey.  At.  All.

So… it was hard for me to get behind his success in the dating department.  Especially when he ends up having sex with some of his dates.

Call me old fashioned, but that just ruined this for me as a romance.

I wanted it to be all about Bailey and John and developing their relationship.  But beyond showing us how un-suited all the other men were (and what a prick Bailey can be) I was never really convinced John deserved to be saddled with Bailey for all time.

Audio

Peter B Brooke did a nice job with the narration.  He definitely added to my enjoyment and I probably enjoyed this more as an audiobook than if I’d been simply reading it.

Overall I give it 2.5 stars for humor, good writing and a nice narration, but can’t recommend it as a romance because it just wasn’t that believable or engaging on that front.

2.5

10805469_1500047746947637_197599976_n

Shawn’s Law by Renae Kaye

Dreamspinner Presents:
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6126

Blurb

Shawn is a frequent victim of Murphy’s Law. Can he and Harley stumble toward love despite insecurity and epic bad luck? Shawn is single, twenty-nine, the full-time carer of his Alzheimer’sstricken mother, and a frequent victim of Murphy’s Law—although his family calls it Shawn’s Law. Other than caring for mum, his day consists of painting nude men and spying on the guy who walks his dogs along the street every day at four o’clock. When Shawn takes a spectacular fall on his front steps, who is there to witness it other than the man of his dreams? Harley doesn’t believe in Shawn’s Law—but he soon changes his mind. The two men make it through a memorable first date and Shawn’s sexual insecurities to begin a relationship stumbling toward love. But when Shawn’s Law causes Harley to be injured, Shawn is determined to save Harley’s life the only way he knows how—by breaking up with him. Not once, but twice. Throw in a serial killer ex-boyfriend, several deadly Australian animals, two dogs called Bennie, a mother who forgets to wear clothes, an unforgiving Town Council, and a strawberry-flavored condom dolly, and Shawn’s Law is one for the books.

Review

Shawn is a HOT MESS. If you can think of someone who’s a klutz, that’s Shawn… times a thousand. He’s so accident prone the ER staff knows him by name. He’s got the auto club on speed dial and the Ambulance driver’s are his friends.

But he’s also super adorable with a giant heart. He loves his mother and cares for her as she suffers the last stages of Alzheimer’s. He helps his sister with her budding family and he thinks nobody could want to (or should want to) be involved with him in a boyfriend-type-way.

Harley, aka “Hippy Hotpants” is Shawn’s new “neighbor”. He’s actually going out of his way when he takes his daily walks to be seen by and to see Shawn working in the garden and when yet another accident throws Shawn literally at Harley’s feet, it’s the start of a wonderful, if rocky, relationship.

Between Shawn’s own insecurities, his numerous accidents, his family and his need to “protect” Harley from Shawn’s law they don’t exactly have smooth sailing … but when they do connect it’s mind blowing.

Finally, after what seems like the true and final last straw, they do manage to come together at last for a very, very HEA – well a well-bandaged HEA.

**

As you know I’m a huge Renae Kaye fan. Her writing keeps improving with each book she puts out. This story is definitely a bit different from her others in that it relies far more heavily on humor than her other books, but it still provides us with the tenderness and a loving relationship that we have come to expect.

As usual, she also gives us a host of amazing secondary characters, fully developed, who are rich additions to the story – Shawn’s mother with the Alzheimer’s, his sister- with no verbal filter, Harley’s dad- a true ex-hippy, and Shawn’s best friend- who talks to Shawn in verbal short hand as though they share a brain. To name a few.

I devoured this in one afternoon, I couldn’t put it down. The humor was contagious and Shawn and Harley just had me wrapped around their proverbial little fingers right from the start.

If you’re looking for a book with almost no angst, but plenty of substance, this is the book for you. It’ll brighten your day and lighten your heart.

5 of 5 hearts

5

10805469_1500047746947637_197599976_n

Shy Audiobook by John Inman

Dreamspinner presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5960

shyBlurb

Dating is hard enough. Throw in an incontinent Chihuahua, an unrequited love affair, a severe case of social anxiety disorder, a dying father, and a man-eating hog and it becomes darned near impossible. Still, it takes two to tango—and when Tom Morgan, a mild-mannered assistant bank manager with a debilitating case of shyness, meets Frank Wells, who is straight off the farm and even shyer than he is, sparks start flying.

Just when Tom and Frank’s burgeoning love affair is rolling along nicely, Frank must return to Indiana to oversee the farm while his father battles cancer. Tom tags along to help Frank out and finds himself slopping hogs and milking cows and wondering what the hell happened to his orderly citified existence. And what’s with all the chickens? Tom hates chickens!

With Frank’s help, Tom grits his teeth and muddles through. Funny what a couple of guys can accomplish when they’re crazy about each other. Not even nine hundred chickens can stand in the way of true love.

Review

I have some mixed feelings about this story. First, I love John Inman’s writing style. He makes it so easy to just jump right in and feel like you are part of the scene. Second, I thought the two MCs were hilarious and sweet and so cute together it almost gave me a cavity! Third, I didn’t mind their insta-love one bit. I thought it suited their characters and fit with their own desperate need to find someone to be an anchor in their lives. But…

I really, really, really didn’t like the way Stanley was handled. First, the fact that Jerry was with him and he was such an obvious dick made me question Tom’s judgment- especially since apparently their “marriage” was dismissed so easily and casually by Jerry. Why, why, why would Tom still be Jerry’s friend??? It sounds like he was an idiot who dumped a wonderful guy (Tom) for a psychopath!   Second, Stanley went from your basic home-wrecker to deranged, druggy, greedy psycho pretty quickly. Even his own father thought he was a dick. I would have appreciated just a little bit of explanation as to how Joe (super awesome dad) and Frank (the nicest guy in the world) could be related to such a psycho. Finally, the pig eating the brother. ICK! I did not like that part at all. I was sad for his death and even sadder that no one else was sad. Sure, he was a dick, but really – he’s dead! And he’s Frank’s brother and Frank is a sweetie. I think Frank would be torn up more.

So… most of me simply loved this and found the quirkiness of the characters (especially the judgmental Pedro) to be hilarious, but I was a bit shocked by how Stanley was portrayed and a little put off by his demise.

I thought the narrator, Tommy O’Brien, did a nice job. Nothing too crazy or over the top, good at the pacing and mostly letting the story tell itself.

So for both the story and the narration 4 of 5 hearts.

4

10805469_1500047746947637_197599976_n