Debra E's Never-Ending TBR

I read what I like and then review it in a completely subjective manner. 


I also review at Sinfully ... Addicted. Please give us a visit!

63 Days Later: A Holiday Tail

63 Days Later: A Holiday Tail - Adrienne Wilder Reviewed for Sinfully.

This is a sweet and sexy novella that catches us up with August, Keegan and Daisy “roughly eighteen months and 63 days” after the events in [b:WILD|36102973|WILD|Adrienne Wilder||56999998]. The blurb says it could work as a standalone, and it could, there’s a full story here, but I would absolutely recommend reading WILD first, not just because it’s fantastic, but you would have a better understanding of just how far Keegan has come and just how much this little family has been through.

The men are living on their property in Virginia and are as in love as ever. Daisy is still with them and still surprising them and keeping them on their toes. Although August seems to have mostly put what happened in Alaska behind him, he has incorporated some of the way they lived in Alaska into their new life. Keegan has settled comfortably into their home for the most part, but he is still struggling to acclimate to certain aspects of being back in civilization. Being out around other people is still difficult and can result in a panic attack and some guilt and nightmares still persist. One thing that he is sure of is his love for August and the lengths he would go to in order to keep him happy.

The story, told in alternating points of view, begins in the days leading up to Christmas when an unexpected gift arrives under the tree. Keegan and August have differing opinions on how to handle things, with Keegan’s views shaped by all the time he spent in the Alaskan wilderness and August’s by his overall loving nature. When it all boils down, Keegan would do anything to keep August happy. The two bicker and have make-up sex and do what’s necessary to keep their family together even when things get overwhelming and yes, there are a few tense moments here.

If you fell in love with Keegan, August and Daisy in WILD you will adore this story and the peek at how the men are doing. It’s a delightful read that is funny, touching and hot, and just made me like these characters even more.


Wake Up Married serial, Episodes 1 - 3: Wake Up Married, Meet the Family, Do the Holidays

Wake Up Married serial, Episodes 1 - 3: Wake Up Married, Meet the Family, Do the Holidays - Alice  Griffiths, Leta Blake ** Episodes 1-3 in the series are free on Amazon for 5 days! Go grab them Amazon Global Link**

Will & Patrick's Endless Honeymoon

Will & Patrick's Endless Honeymoon - Leta Blake Reviewed for Sinfully Sinfully.

** Episodes 1-3 in the series are free on Amazon for 5 days! Go grab them Amazon Global Link.**

I was thrilled when I heard there would be more to come in the Wake Up Married series. I enjoyed Will and Patrick so much that I even named them my Favorite Character Couple of 2016 and I’m glad to say that everything I loved about them is back in this surprise installment.

Two years has passed in the timeline and Will and Patrick are about to take their long-delayed honeymoon. Patrick has taken care of all the planning and hasn’t told Will where they are going. In fact, in an effort to make sure Will’s family doesn’t ruin their trip, he’s only told one person where they will be in case of emergency. Regardless of Will’s mom Kimberly trying to guilt him out of going, regardless of Patrick’s stress brought on by his intense need to control his workload, it’s going to be a no phones, no internet, and no Hurting Times gossip site trip. Just Dr. HottieMcBrainSurgeon and his Puddin’-Pop alone together for ten days – no patients, no family, no drama. Suuurrre.

Patrick is still baffled at how much he loves Will and wondering if there isn’t anything he wouldn’t do to keep him safe and happy. He may have trouble with certain social cues, but the acts of generosity and kindness he does in the name of Will’s happiness are all above and beyond. Things haven’t changed much for Will either. Kimberly (who is still self-absorbed and horrible) is still able to guilt him into taking care of her children because her life is oh so hard, but Will is able to temper his reactions and stand up for himself a bit more. Patrick still doesn’t hold back as far as his feelings for her and Will’s father Tony are concerned.

The story travels from Healing to their honeymoon paradise and along the way we are treated to appearances by and mentions of the many people in their family and their town that have become a part of their daily lives. Not a lot has changed there either, but it was fun to catch up.

One thing I adore about these stories is despite all the shenanigans and some over the top characters, there are always those moments that give you a gut punch. Here, there is a bombshell dropped about Ryan that also has Will fighting the urge to drink again. For all the abuse he took from Ryan in the past, he still can’t help caring about him and wanting to help Hartley. I really hope that any future installment gives us an update that shows Hartley on the road to happiness.

I don’t know what I can really say about this installment that I haven’t already said in my prior reviews of this series. Will and Patrick are a unique couple and Leta Blake writes them in such a way that I never know what they are going to say or do, but I know I’ll enjoy it. Their sex life is still adventurous (captured superhero role play anyone?) and no matter how rough it gets Patrick is always right back in his caretaker role afterward making sure Will’s sugar levels are good. They have great banter, ooey-gooey feelings for each other and can’t seem to escape the Molinaro family watchdogs (which includes Will’s hot mobster father).

No cliffhanger here, but I’m hoping for at least one more story. We leave Will and Patrick back in Healing, planning for their future together and I really want to see them with kids. It’s a fun, sexy and touching series that I would recommend to anyone, but If you haven’t tried this series yet you need to start from the beginning. If you’re already a fan you will definitely enjoy this fun return to Healing, South Dakota.


A Christmas Promise

A Christmas Promise - K.C. Wells 4.5 stars

When Micah finds a badly beaten man on the side of the road his first thought is to help. As Greg is recovering in the hospital, with Micah by his side, a strange coincidence is discovered. By this twist of fate, Greg finds himself taken in by Micah and his father, Joshua, as he recovers from his injuries.

Something in Joshua’s past is the reason Greg was travelling when Micah found him. Joshua’s story is a bit heartbreaking, but also plays a big part in building Greg’s resolve to finally be true to himself. It takes a while but Greg eventually realizes he is attracted to Micah, who feels the same way, but as often happens, someone needs a bit of a push to make his move. As Thanksgiving passes to Christmas and everyone gets to know each other, Micah and Greg move from strangers to friends and their building mutual attraction ultimately results in them falling in love.

This story captures many moods of the holiday season, including celebrating with family, remembering loved ones no longer with us and a bit of the holiday magic that just might be helping nudge fate along. Add in some holiday lights, and what you have is a touching, sweet slow build romance with a fitting happy ending for two young men ready to start the rest of their lives together.

In Case of Emergency: Gay Christmas Romance

In Case of Emergency: Gay Christmas Romance - Keira Andrews Reviewed for Sinfully.

3.5 stars

Daniel Diaz is an uptight HR director at an app company who is trying to change things up and move out of his comfort zone a bit. This leads him to try a relationship with a co-worker including a week away at a chalet for Christmas. Daniel has a feeling things could be a disaster since Justin isn’t the type he usually goes for, and boy was he right. Before he even starts his vacation though, he gets a call that his former step-brother, who he hasn’t seen in 10 years, is in the hospital and Daniel is his emergency contact.

Cole remembers his step-brother Daniel just fine.Their parents weren’t married long but when Daniel came to live with them (Cole was 13 and Daniel 18) he was Cole’s fantasy man. Cole’s crush hasn’t waned even though they haven’t had any contact in years and Daniel never seemed to care for him when they were younger. Having Daniel turn up at the ER and agree to take care of him while he has a mild concussion and broken hand is a dream come true, though he feels bad about crashing Daniel’s romantic getaway with his maybe soon to be boyfriend. Turns out that won’t be much of an issue.

Justin is pretty horrible and things don’t go as planned from the start as Justin has turned the vacation into an office party. Until Daniel can get rid of Justin and crew, he holes up with Cole as much as possible. He feels protective of Cole and it turns out Cole is a good listener and likes Star Wars as much as he does. Daniel is surprised at the connection he feels with Cole, but Cole is thrilled to have a chance to spend time with the man and basically fall even more in love with him. Once they get rid of the other people in the house the bond gets even stronger as they are free to enjoy their time decorating for Christmas, seeing the sights and just hanging around. I loved the snowy small village and mountain chalet setting which definitely gave off that holiday feel as Cole finds the perfect topper for their Christmas tree.

I had a few small issues while reading the first part of the story. Even though the storyline with the unwanted houseguests was a good way to get Cole and Daniel some alone time to learn about and start to trust each other, it did take over quite a bit of the story, leaving the rest of Cole and Daniel’s time together rushed. Also, even though Justin was not in his department, I find it a bit hard to believe that Daniel had no idea what the guy was like before this considering how open and laid back their office is.

This is a sweet tale of reconnecting at Christmas and taking a chance. Daniel is pretty uptight and not fun at all to start, but it’s clear that as far as Cole is concerned his feelings start to change pretty quickly from annoyed to protective to caring. It takes a while, but we are finally told why Daniel is a bit standoffish and the more time he spends with Cole the happier he becomes. Cole is a sweetheart from the start, if a bit awkward, but his desire for any kind of a relationship with Daniel is quite endearing. I enjoyed their bonding time and there was plenty of it as they hid away from Justin and company. What started off uncomfortable almost strangers, builds nicely to friends and when they finally do give in, the two have some sizzling hot times together.

The Epilogue set in the next year was super sweet and brought the story full-circle. Pick this one up if you’re in the mood for some angst-free holiday romance, with a bit of heat in a snowy winter setting.



Heard - A.M. Arthur Reviewed for Sinfully.

4.5 stars

Each book I read in the series brings me a new favorite couple, so basically it means I love all the couples whose stories we’ve gotten so far and Constable Karter Jenks and Jax Orris are no exception. This story moves on from brothers Braun and Kell, but they are still here with their mates and friends, helping out and moving forward.

When Alpha Karter finds Omega Jax in an abandoned house with his baby, he also finds his mate. He is supposed to be arresting Jax for a couple of break-ins, but finds that there is more to the story than meets the eye. Jax has escaped a horrific situation. Having his voice taken is just one of the atrocities that he survived. I was both amazed and horrified at what Jax had been forced to do (I seriously don’t know how A.M. Arthur came up with that but wow!).

Karter Jenks has been around in the background from the first book. Being raised by a strict, conservative Alpha has shaped his views on omega’s rights, but seeing the abuse suffered by Braun and Kell opened his eyes and we have seen him softening his positions. Finding his bondmate has been abused as well, quickly has him doing his best to mute his “alphahole” tendencies. He’s not perfect and often falls back on old behaviors, but he tries his hardest to be everything Jax needs. Even knowing his father will disapprove of him taking on an Omega who had previously mated and had a child, doesn’t stop him from committing to care for Jax from the start.

Jax is unlike any other omega we have met in this universe for a number of reasons. He has been in survival mode for some time now and his priority has been keeping his baby safe. When Jax agrees to go with Karter he finds not only a mate, but a whole support system in Braun and Tarek, Kell and Ronin and Serge and Dex. He bonds with Kell especially, as they have much in common, but it takes him a while to really trust any of them. Just because Jax can’t verbalize, doesn’t mean he can’t get his point across. He isn’t going to be made to do anything he doesn’t want or agree with, and he isn’t going to let his mate be an alphahole either. I loved Jax’s spirit and his fight.

While both acknowledge they are bondmates and want each other, they both have a lot to work at. Karter has been changing his outlook, but still has to fight some of his tendencies to act before he thinks when it comes to gender roles. Jax has to work on trusting people again, especially when it comes to his son, and he even questions his own motives for bonding with Karter. While their bonding is driven by the mating call, they still take time to get to know each other sharing some very sweet moments together as both a couple and a family.

A.M. Arthur packs a lot into those stories. From the horrible treatment of omegas, to the loving and supportive family unit the couples and their friends have formed, we see people at their worst and their best. Jax learning to accept the love and support of this group was as good as Karter finally being tamed by his omega.

Jax’s story ties into the previous books so you definitely would benefit from having read them first. Karter has gone through a lot of changes from his appearances in earlier books and I loved this new, protective, respectful Alpha he becomes. Jax and his son completely melt the man. Jax and Karter have good chemistry and I loved the turn things took after they mated. Jax was forced to become tough and forceful, looking out for and protecting himself and his son at all costs in captivity and on the street and that strength comes through even once he is safe with Karter and his friends.

I won’t say what Jax went through before Karter found him but the investigation of it results in some tense moments towards the end of the book. There are also plenty of things going on with all the men we’ve met and much to look forward to in coming books. This was another emotional story in this series and if you ever wondered about trying an omegaverse or mpreg story I recommend this series.


Tried & True

Tried & True - Charlie Cochet Originally reviewed at Sinfully.

4.5 stars

Not much can be said about the story without spoiling it. Tried & True is the last official novel in the THIRDS series and paves the way for the new TIN books. It felt more like a transition than an ending, which is a good thing. With just days before Dex and Sloane are going to tie the knot, there is plenty that can go wrong, and go wrong it does. Come on, Dex is a trouble magnet so it should be no surprise to anyone that the wedding and everyone’s lives are threatened.

It’s been four years since Dex and Sloane first met and they’ve been through a lot of changes. They’ve also solidified their relationship and built a family out of the members of Destructive Delta and others they’ve worked with. Now that everything is about to change again, a wedding is the perfect way to bring everyone together for one last party. A wedding is also a perfect time for emotions to run high and there are some lovely and tear-jerking moments as Dex remembers the parents he lost and the man who saved him and became a father to him.

Just as I was getting lulled into a happy, fun, pre-wedding haze, Charlie Cochet shattered it with some action that came out of nowhere and had me shouting expletives at my Kindle. This is where the story ramped up and didn’t let go, leading to some long-building storylines to reach their climax. There is a betrayal revealed that hits all the members of Destructive Delta as the mole is finally ferreted out and long-held secrets come out that explain some characters’ prior actions and change some relationships. Kidnappings, explosions, car crashes and torture – not the sort of pre-wedding excitement any of the team wanted, but THIRDS pulls together to support Destructive Delta.

I loved how all of the team had their moments here. As much as it’s all about Dex and Sloane, there is no Dex and Sloane, without the rest of the characters we have come to know and love and yes, I’m even including Wolf in that group (I can’t be the only one who loves the guy!). In keeping with the rest of the series there is plenty of humor, shenanigans, Dex and Sloane sexy and tender times and fun with the guys in their Therian forms. And yes, there is even a wedding that somehow manages to merge tradition and Dex.

I’m thrilled that this world will continue on with Dex and Sloane’s adventures with TIN and look forward to having some new characters’ stories told and keeping up with the old. I don’t think I need to convince any THIRDS fan that this is a book you need to read now. Yes, it’s an ending, but more so a beginning as the team moves on to their new positions with TIN. There is no cliffhanger here, but there is a direction set for future books and I’m all in for the rest of the ride.


No Regrets

No Regrets - Nicky James Free on Kindle November 24 & 25, 2017

A Bolt of Blue

A Bolt of Blue - Nicky Spencer Reviewed for Sinfully.

3.5 stars

Mitch loves Dusty and Dusty loves Mitch. They’ve been together about two months and Mitch has hidden the relationship from his best friend Ian. Ian is in love with his best-friend Mitch, but hasn’t said anything in the seven years they’ve known each other. On the night he finally is ready to say it, Ian is introduced to Dusty. Mitch knew Ian wouldn’t be happy at the lie but can’t understand just how much Ian seems to hate Dusty. Meanwhile, Dusty wonders if Ian and Mitch don’t love each other more than friends. As Ian spends more time with Dusty, feelings start to arise between them just as Mitch starts to have “more than just friends” feelings for Ian. It all sounds complicated, but it really worked for me.

One night, after too many drinks, something happens that breaks the trust between Mitch and Ian and Dusty and Mitch. As the men break apart, Ian starts to wonder what if they could all have everything they want? Can the three men work their way through their feelings of betrayal and fear and see their way back to each other?

The story is told in alternating points of view so we get into the heads of all three men. Dusty is 29 compared to Mitch and Ian’s 21, and he has a bit more maturity. Ian is a sweetheart and completely at a loss as to how to deal with Mitch being in a serious relationship. Mitch is a bit more stubborn and wants things a certain way. I had a good feel for each character, who were distinct in their voices and personalities.

For the majority of the story the men are working through their own feelings and their own individual relationships with each other. Even though Mitch and Dusty have declared their love and are contemplating moving in together, there are still a lot of secrets. It seems they don’t really talk about the important things. But, as Ian and Dusty are hanging out, Dusty opens up and tells him things he hasn’t even shared with Mitch. This dynamic really affected the way I viewed the relationships. I found that Dusty and Ian had much more chemistry together than Mitch and either one of them. Mitch and Ian worked as best-friends but I didn’t have a very good feel for what Dusty and Mitch had together other than hot sex and some fun times. It’s Ian who pushes them to open up about their families and it was he who pushed them to talk to each other.

I like angst in my books and this story has quite a bit of it, as all of the men struggle with their feelings. There’s a period of separation where none of the men are speaking to each other before Ian finally voices the possibility that they can all have what they want. Mitch is the one that really needs convincing.

When they finally become a threesome, it’s pretty late in the story and I felt like there wasn’t enough time devoted to that change. There are “rules” they talk about in general but we only get a small peek at how things actual work out. I also had a bit of an issue with Mitch and Ian’s transition from friends to lovers. I needed to see some intimacy between just the two of them to really cement that change, but while there’s a sex scene between Ian and Dusty, there wasn’t any one-on-one between Mitch and Ian and that was something I really missed. The three of them all together though, definitely worked for me.

The story is really character driven, but there are some secondary storylines involving Mitch’s sister April, Dusty possibly buying the bar he works at and Ian making some bad dating decisions. The story about Mitch’s sister April was something that didn’t completely work for me. With everything else that was going on it felt like more of a distraction that didn’t really do anything to further the story. I did enjoy some of the secondary characters including Ian’s mother, Dusty’s friends and Mitch’s teammates.

This was a very good debut story from Nicky Spencer. The writing was good and rooting for these three men to figure out how they can all find a place in each other’s lives kept me entertained throughout. Seeing as this is a first in the series I’m hoping to see more of these three and how they are working things out. Overall this was a worthwhile read from a new author and I’ll be looking for more from her.


Take a Chance on Me

Take a Chance on Me - Alexa Land Reviewed for Sinfully.

Starting a new Alexa Land book is like meeting up with old friends. Never fear, this one can be read as a standalone, though characters from prior books make plenty of appearances.

Both men need someone to take a chance on them. Duke, the uptight cop and Quinn the lovable mess. They couldn’t be more opposite on the outside, but beneath the surface they have more in common than you would think.

If you adored Quinn as much as I did when he was introduced as River’s outrageous and lovable roommate in the last book, [b:All I Ever Wanted|35422788|All I Ever Wanted (The Firsts and Forever, #14)|Alexa Land||56798015], you will love him here because that’s just who he is. He works as a go-go boy at night, but he’s a classically trained ballet dancer and is the lead in Dare’s new dance troupe. He is a sweetheart and just wants to be happy, living each day to its fullest. He also wants everyone around him to be happy. Of course Quinn being happy often results in a mess of epic proportions, but everything he does is done with all his heart.

The Duke we’ve met before as Cole’s roommate and Finn’s partner on the job is pretty much the anti-Quinn. He is big and quiet and a bit of stick in the mud. Even Quinn can’t understand what would possess Duke to allow him to move into his pristine home. It turns out Duke is also pretty insecure and worries about everything. He didn’t grow up in a warm happy household and his dating life has been nothing but a disaster, something he blames himself for.

I truly loved these two together and the way they progressed from strangers to friends to lovers. As much of a handful as Quinn is, he brings out something in Duke that no one has before. Duke’s emotional walls are pretty high but Quinn’s light is infectious and Duke soon succumbs. Seriously, who could resist a guy who has a moving box labeled “happy stuff”. Their romance is slow and sweet. Duke gives Quinn the most perfect, swoon-worthy first date imaginable and they were destined to fall in love from that moment on.

Since the two are roommates, they bond over everyday things. Baking cookies, watching TV, talking about work. Soon they are sharing their families and their pasts, both of which have some horrible moments that left them a bit scarred. Just as the two men are different, so are their families. I guarantee you’ll love one and hate the other. Duke becomes an unconditional support for Quinn while Quinn helps Duke see that he needs to let go of some things and start living the life he wants for himself, not what others have thrust upon him. Both men experience plenty of firsts here and I was happy to be along for the ride.

This wouldn’t be a Firsts and Forever book without appearances from Nana and the gang. Nana is gearing up for a fundraiser for her LGBTQ shelter and concocts the perfect way to make money and the perfect way to get attention for both that and Dare’s troupe’s first performance. That can only be topped by a Halloween weekend in Las Vegas, sexy costumes included. There is also time spent with the younger men in the series, especially Darwin and Elijah, who quickly works his way into Quinn’s heart (I cannot wait for an Elijah story – that boy deserves a lot of happy).

As usual you’ll run through a gamut of emotions with tears (both happy and sad) and uncontrollable bursts of laughter. The ending provides the guys with a Christmas miracle and drops a surprise about the next couple up for their HEA. If you’re looking for a light-hearted romance that will leave you with a huge smile, I highly recommend this one.


Psycho Romeo

Psycho Romeo - Jocelynn Drake, Rinda Elliott Reviewed for Sinfully.

3.5 stars

This was my first book by these authors and it was an entertaining opposites attract romance between intense bodyguard Sven and his outgoing client Geoffrey.

I did like both main characters, especially Geoffrey. A self-made millionaire at a very young age, he has cultivated an online persona that doesn’t fully represent him and has garnered him a group of hangers-on, none of whom he is sure are really friends or people he can count on. This comes even further to light after a video surfaces of the night he was drugged at a club and then sexually assaulted. He had been receiving threatening text messages previously, but since the police aren’t taking him seriously he enlists the help of his friend’s company and hires a bodyguard.

Sven is a big, giant of a man. The perfect bodyguard type, he is tall, quiet and intimidating, but really he’s a big softie, especially when it comes to Geoffrey. Geoffrey is a non-stop flirt and rather than being put off by it, Sven has been fighting his attraction for months. Now that he is Geoffrey’s bodyguard he has another reason to put off the client who never misses an opportunity to touch him. But being near Geoffrey 24/7, it doesn’t take too long for Sven’s good intentions to crumble. The question is then, can he continue to assure Geoffrey’s safety once the two of them are involved?

I had trouble buying Sven’s fear of being with a smaller man. Sven is all control and holding back, but an incident when he was a child has him swearing off ever being with a smaller man as an adult, which is just the type of man he is attracted to. It was a bit of a stretch for me, but he did seem to get over it rather quickly. The not sleeping with a client was the issue that made more sense.

Once they break that final rule and start a personal relationship there were definitely some very hot moments. The two men have great chemistry and I enjoyed Geoffrey’s snark and the fact that Sven is thoroughly entertained by it. I thought Geoffrey’s character was better developed than Sven, and I really got a sense of the person under the outward good–time party boy.

The mystery also worked for me as I had no idea who in the small group of possible suspects the stalker was until the reveal. I have to admit I was expecting a darker story based on the title, cover and blurb, and what Geoffrey goes through is very serious and disturbing. There were plenty of joking and light moments between the two main characters though and the story was definitely more relationship focused much of the time. There was also a good bit of action as Geoffrey’s stalker gets bolder.

When I first picked up the book, I hadn’t any indication it was a spin-off of the authors’ popular Unbreakable Bonds series, which I haven’t read. I think if I had previously read those books, I would have enjoyed this one even more. Every character has appeared in those books and while I had no trouble following the plot, the two men have a history that started in those stories and there are a number of other characters and events referenced from that series that, if I had read it, probably would have meant something to me. Instead there were times where it felt like I was being given a lot of background information about past events and characters who playing a very small part in this story. It really felt like a continuation of a series for me rather than a distinct spin-off.

Based on this reading experience though, I will be giving the previous series a go. The story flowed well and kept me entertained throughout. It will probably work best for fans of the authors’ prior work, but can be read as a standalone, especially if you’re a bodyguard-client romance fan.


At Sixes and Sevens (Fur, Fangs, and Felines Book 4)

At Sixes and Sevens (Fur, Fangs, and Felines Book 4) - M.A. Church Reviewed for Sinfully.

4.5 stars

Four books in and this series is still going strong. If you want to jump in here, it can be read as a standalone as any history needed is recapped. Aidric has been around in the background as one of the clowder’s betas, but not much else is known about him. Carter is also new to the series, having come to deal with some trouble his nephew caused for the clowder at the end of [b:It Takes Two to Tango|31687504|It Takes Two to Tango (Fur, Fangs, and Felines, #3)|M.A. Church||52361862]. When Aidric and Carter met and realized they were mates, both their worlds were rocked. This book picks up from there.

The storyline differs a bit from the others, which all centered on new mates being brought into the clowder. Here, Aidric has found his mate in Alpha Carter Lovelock of the Dark Lake werewolf pack. Carter’s position in his pack means if the mating goes forward Aidric will have to leave the clowder and his position as beta to live with Carter’s pack. Both trust in the mating call and Aidric agrees to visit Carter and his pack and see what happens before anything final is decided. The two couldn’t be more different from each other and Aidric has his doubts about the mating of a cat and dog (not that the wolves like being called that), but he trusts his goddess has her reasons. Carter, on the other hand, seems to accept Aidric from the start and is determined to do everything he can to make life with his pack comfortable and appealing to Aidric so he will agree to the mating.

It turns out that the outwardly quiet Aidric is pretty feisty and doesn’t take crap from anyone, which is great for trying to find his footing in the werewolf pack. This also makes the sexual dynamics between him and Carter interesting as Aidric is not willing to be completely submissive regardless of Carter’s position and strength. He wants to make sure that Carter understands just what he needs if he’s going to uproot his life and live among the wolves. These two are seriously hot and a lot of fun together, dirty talk and exhibitionist tendencies included.

While Aidric is adjusting to his new place, Carter is not only trying to ensure that Aidric is safe, but is dealing with both family and pack problems. Suffice to say not everyone in the pack is happy with their Alpha’s mate and some are vocal while others are a lot more devious in getting their views across. Carter also gets some devastating family news that results in another big change in his life.

The story had a great pace and I love how it could easily go from sweet and adorable to heartbreaking to action-packed. There is a lot going on and the alternating points of view worked great for getting to know both Aidric and Carter, both separately and as a united force. The two communicate well both as humans and in their shifted forms and I was happy to spend plenty of time with them as cat and wolf. The emotions ran stronger here as well and there were a couple of scenes that had me pretty choked up.

Even though most of it takes place in the pack’s territory, there is time spent with the clowder, and Alpha Dolf’s desire to take them forward from the old ways results in one very interesting issue arising when Aidric’s beta position needs filling. I’m very glad that M.A. Church is still building on this world and that it wasn’t forgotten here.

This was my favorite book of the series so far and I’m thrilled that it seems there will be more books to come. Each book brings a little something new to this paranormal world while building on the ones before. If you’re a fan of shifter stories I would recommend you jump into this series for something fun and a bit different.


Soul Searching

Soul Searching - A.J.  Rose Reviewed for Sinfully.

Trevor, along with his best-friend and roommate Merrick, find odd things happening in the apartment they’ve shared for two months. Whether it’s a feeling of being watched, items moved around or unexplained noises, Trevor has the feeling that something is amiss. Trevor is also pining for his longtime friend Merrick, but has never found the right time to express his feelings. Now Merrick is involved with Will, who isn’t a nice guy. Put their friend Tempest “Pest” in the middle of all of it and what you get is a fast-paced story with plenty of chills that will have you on the edge of your seat and rooting for our two MCs to open their eyes and their mouths and get their act together before it’s too late.

I really enjoyed this book. This story is more paranormal thriller with a romantic secondary storyline, though they both tie together quite nicely. There’s already tension in the house as Trevor has to suffer through Will’s presence in their lives. It’s bad enough that Trevor wants to be with Merrick, but Will treats Merrick poorly and is spending more and more time in their home. As this is happening, the strange goings on in the house are becoming more intense. Pest has an interest in magic, spirituality and “the other side” and pushes Trevor and Merrick to try a séance and contact a psychic to find out what is going on, while at the same time pushing Trevor to tell Merrick how he feels. Neither Trevor nor Merrick are very good at reading the other’s signs or talking things over.

The story is told only from Trevor’s point of view, but Pest is able to fill in some of what Merrick is feeling as well since she talks to both of them and isn’t afraid to express her opinion. Her character definitely walked that line of being completely annoying and intrusive in the name of friendship and I did find myself annoyed with her at times, as did the MCs, although she proves herself in the end.

It takes quite a bit of time, but eventually Trevor and Merrick are forced to face their feelings for each other, and of course they are perfectly suited for each other, but it seems their finding happiness together just enrages the spirit in the house even more. I have to say that these friends definitely had more than a few too stupid to live moments as they lasted a lot longer in that living space than any rational human being should have. It did make for a good, climactic encounter with the malevolent spirit though. AJ Rose builds the eerie feelings and suspense into some true horror moments when the friends’ showdowns with the spirit get more dangerous and terrifying.

I’d definitely recommend this story for anyone who likes a spooky, haunted house story with plenty of tense moments and a friends to lovers romance woven in.


The Hideaway

The Hideaway (Lavender Shores Book 5) - Rosalind Abel Reviewed for Sinfully.

4.5 stars

One of the things I really love about the Lavender Shores series is that every book has a different feel. This one ratcheted up the angst and heartache, but once again gave me a beautiful love story. If you haven’t read any of the prior books, this one would work very well as a standalone.

For Micah Bryant and Connor Clark, their clandestine love affair has been going on for years. Connor was brought into the Bryant family at thirteen and raised as their own, escaping an abusive, religiously fanatical family. What started out as hero-worship for nine year old Micah, grew to full on love over the years and once he was old enough, Micah knew that Connor was his soul-mate. After his first advances toward Connor were thwarted as a teenager, things slowly started to change and soon the two men started a roller-coaster relationship that has been on and off for close to a decade. As much as Connor has fallen in love with Micah, he continuously hurts him by getting together and then pushing Micah away. Connor struggles with fear and shame, worrying about losing his family, what people will think about them considering they were raised as brothers and fearing he’d be holding Micah back from the life he deserves to live as a musician in New York. Connor still feels like he doesn’t fully fit into the Bryant family, through no fault of theirs. This is something within Connor that he needs to work through.

Micah has spent time chasing his dream as a musician living in New York City, but has since returned to Lavender Shores and gone into business with a local farmer. Nobody can understand why Micah left NYC to come back, especially his mother. Micah, however, is finally living the life he wants, indulging all of his passions. Working the land in Lavender Shores, travelling to NYC for jobs as a musician and being close to Connor in the hopes that Connor will come to his senses one day. They are at two ends of the spectrum with Micah never losing hope and Connor angsting and throwing up walls whenever things get too intense.

Just when things were finally looking like they would work out, Connor took in his teenage nephew, Moses who was in the same situation as Connor found himself in when he was taken in by the Bryants. Connor has vowed to protect Moses from his abusive, religious fanatic of a father (Connor’s brother Russell). Moses living with Connor is one more reason for Micah and Connor to be apart, but they never stay apart for long and secrets always have a way of coming out in a small town. Even in a place as accepting as Lavender Shores, Connor realizes that a relationship between “brothers” is going to push those boundaries.

The emotional ante and heartache were definitely upped with this story. There were so many ups and downs as Connor takes one step forward and two steps back for much of the book. I just wanted to shake Connor for what he was doing to Micah. Even when Micah tries to see other men he knows deep down that it will always, only be Connor for him. No one else can ever measure up, but Micah finally does reach a breaking point and Connor is finally forced to realize that of all his fears, losing Micah is the one that would hurt the most. As the story unfolds the reader begins to understand how much of Connor’s fears are tied up in the pain inflicted by his biological family so long ago, a pain which is brought back to the surface by what his nephew is suffering through.

It’s not all heartache. There are the shenanigans readers have come to expect from the founding families of the town and a couple of side characters who are crying out for a story. There is also plenty of sex in the book. When Micah and Connor are together, they are rather daring and smoking hot. You really get the feel that they physically can’t resist being together when and where the moment strikes and that man of those times they fear it may be their last time. There is also time spent at the gorgeous hideaway of the title, which can be calming but also bittersweet.

But of course, in Lavender Shores, the reader is guaranteed a happy ending for our couples and I’ll admit to sobbing through most of the Epilogue. It was as beautiful as the oceanside hideaway that was so well described throughout the story. I’m not sure if this is the last in the series, but if it is. it definitely went out on a high note. If not, I think Seth, the feisty bartender we first met in The Palisade is deserving of some happiness, especially after his part in this story.


Lace-Covered Compromise

Lace-Covered Compromise - Silvia Violet Review originally posted at Sinfully.

Adam Kingston is rich and privileged and very full of himself. He has always gotten everything he wants, except for his father’s respect and love. When his father dies and leaves half the company to the man he’d taken under his wing, Nate Thomas, Adam vows to do everything he can to get back the company that should be his alone. Unfortunately for him, it’s not going to be easy. With the company financially unstable and a board of directors demanding that Adam and Nate get their act together and work out a plan to save the company, Adam is less willing to compromise than ever. Nate is more of a fighter than Adam thought and it doesn’t help that he is hot as hell.

Adam’s glimpse of Nate’s lace panties in his gym bag and a hate kiss in the office starts off their sexual relationship. Both men have had a bit of lust for the other for years and they couldn’t be more perfect for each other in bed, even if they can still barely be civil to each other at the office. Adam can finally give over control and Nate is happy to be the dominant partner despite his outward charm, easy-going “hippie” nature and the lipstick and lace he wears. There are plenty of sex scenes, plenty of dirty talk and each one is very hot. Most of them also end with Adam’s fears of discovery of his bisexuality and fears of opening up to someone causing a hasty and rude exit.

Told from Adam’s POV, the story really consists of three characters, Nate, Adam and Adam’s best-friend Valerie, but Adam’s late father plays a big role as well. His actions before his death and a surprising letter received after it, really set the whole story in motion. Valerie is a fantastic secondary character. She’s a staunch ally and the only person who sees through Adam’s façade. She’s also the only person who tells him exactly the way things are, whether he likes it or not.

Aside from the smoking hot and sometimes kinky sex, I liked how Nate was able to wear Adam down and get him to start opening up, but also how he was not going to stand for Adam’s poor treatment of him. Nate may be easy going, but he was far from a pushover and that’s just what Adam needed in his life to realize what a complete ass he could be.

I did have a few issues with the story. We get the whole thing from only Adam’s POV which was fine since Nate is very open and straightforward about his feelings while Adam is very closed off. That being said, I would have liked a bit more background on the previous working relationship between the two MCs. They’ve worked in the same company and building for years, were in board meetings together, held high positions and each found the other to be hot. I get that the “knew” each other but didn’t really “know” each other, but I wanted more about their prior interactions considering how quickly they fell into a sort of relationship together.

Also, although Adam had been dealing with anxiety for years and mentions therapy, since his father’s illness he’s been having what he calls panic attacks. He talks about his fight or flight instinct kicking in and not wanting Nate to see him as weak. These episodes didn’t always come across as true panic attacks to me and he’s often able to completely stave them off or, more importantly, a simple word or touch from Nate can calm him. It sometimes felt like he was just having a freak out moment because he thought he did something stupid. I’m not an expert on anxiety, but it was sometimes a bit confusing and I just wish the situation was better explained or that there was some indication that he was still in therapy and doing something about them.

This is a very enjoyable, smoking hot, war of wills, enemies to lovers story with some light Dominant/submissive play. The story moved along quickly and I enjoyed the struggle between the two men both as far as saving the company went and in dealing with their growing feelings for each other. I think it will be a winning read for enemies to lovers fans.


Kidnapped by the Pirate: Gay Romance

Kidnapped by the Pirate: Gay Romance - Keira Andrews Review originally posted at Sinfully.

4.5 stars

Although I’ve been reading romance since I was a teenager, the pirates never called to me (maybe because I lumped them in with historical, which I rarely read). What better way to lose my pirate romance virginity than a new Keira Andrews book. Speaking of virginity….

We first meet Nathaniel Bainbridge in 1710 as he is sailing with his pregnant sister from England to a new colony at the demand of his father where he will be put to work and married to a woman that will strengthen their family finances, all of which he is dreading. He considers himself sinful and wrong for wanting men and not women, as well as “feeble minded” and just wants to be outdoors on dry land, running, swimming and climbing even though he knows that wouldn’t be allowed any more by his demanding father who seeks nothing but power and riches and will do whatever he must to get them. He wishes the storied pirates would get on with it and board their ship already to save him from his boredom.

That wish is soon realized when the legendary Sea Hawk and his ship of pirates The Damned Manta kidnap him. Hawk is ready to exact revenge on Nathaniel’s father and he believes ransoming the man’s only son is guaranteed to bring him the riches and satisfaction he seeks. He doesn’t believe the poor little lord, “Plum” as Hawk names him, will be much trouble. Boy is that an underestimation, but it’s not the kind of trouble Hawk ever expected from his prisoner.

To say I had fun reading this story would be an understatement. Tropes abound as we have the young virgin, a 20+ year age gap, a possessive alpha who won’t admit to his feelings, captor and prisoner, and enemies to lovers. Add in plenty of action, a lot of hot and dirty sex and a slow-burn love story and I was hooked.

As “Plum” falls in major lust with Hawk, Hawk finds himself enchanted with the younger man who, it turns out, is nothing like his scheming father. Nathaniel decides that if he’s going to die when his father fails to pay-up he’s not going to die a virgin. Held prisoner in the pirate’s cabin he has plenty opportunity to observe the man and decides that Hawk is just the one to give him what he wants. What Hawk thinks of as an opportunity to get a little and exact further revenge by defiling his enemy’s son, soon turns into a passion that has him feeling out of control. Nathaniel is a willing and passionate lover, a strong and smart man and a sweet and vulnerable one as well. All Hawk’s promises not to let another man get close are soon being tested like never before. Hawk really struggles with his feelings for Nathaniel and the effect they could have on the promises he made to his crew – they will get a ransom or Nathaniel will be killed. When the crew notices the Captain’s lack of focus, those grumblings could spell even further danger for the pair.

I loved how not only did Nathaniel and Hawk see through the other to find the man under the public expectations, but that they also made the other look inside themselves and embrace who they are and what they want. Hawk seeks to put an end to Nathaniel belittling himself and believing his father’s claims of him being a disappointment. In kind, Nathaniel wants Hawk to see that his still the good man that he was before circumstances caused him to choose a life of piracy. What starts as sex, definitely becomes love and when “Plum” becomes Nathaniel in Hawk’s eyes and when the two FINALLY share that first kiss, I might have swooned a bit.

While the dialogue isn’t “olde tyme”, the setting of the story definitely gave me a feel for the atmosphere of the time and life on the ship. Again, I rarely read historical romance, but I did feel immersed in the setting around the pirates’ lives and the lives of Nathaniel and his family.

I’d recommend this to anyone who likes a story with complex characters, a fun and exciting plot, high-seas danger, lots of dirty sex and a sweet as a plum HEA.


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