An Ashlez Review: Dedicated (Rhythm Of Love #1) by Neve Wilder

Standard
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

“Our greatest hit is a love song I wrote for my bandmate. And he has no idea.”

Messy-haired, soulful-eyed, off-kilter lyricist Les Graves holds tight to the hedonist’s credo of consumption in every avenue of life. He has trouble staying still, trouble staying sober, trouble turning down a good time—but put a pen in his hand, and he’ll set a page on fire.

Music was Evan Porter’s ticket out of the backwater mud puddle he was born in, the passion keeping him warm as he busked on street corners, fueling him through a dead-end bartending job. Every chord, every song, every ounce of sweat has been devoted to making Porter & Graves a success. He’s the level-head, the quiet maestro, the seatbelt that keeps Les from flying too far out of control. And he’s getting pretty tired of playing savior.

Their chemistry onstage is electric, but offstage it’s another story.

Angst, snark, and nuclear levels of unresolved sexual tension combust in this tale of two rockers, a handful of secrets, a bombed album, and a publicity nightmare thrown in a remote cabin with one shot at redemption. Can Evan and Les find harmony or will they—and their music career—go down in flames?

Dedicated is a 92k standalone bisexual friends-to-lovers romance that also plays on the fake relationship trope, contains a cockblocking greenhouse, really poor decisions involving social media, and a borderline over-the-top HEA.

I loved Les – he was such a spunky personality to read – his troubles were relatable (have a brother that had the same issues) and holy man it was accurate (mostly, I think reality is a lot more rough) but damn what a good book to read.
Evan was a bit on the reserved and slightly too cautious side, I think he was a sweetheart in his own way but his emotions were just sometimes a bit weird to read.
The progression of the band, life on the road, being in the public eye, has to be hard for anyone – this shows just how hard it can sometimes be.
Steamy but not over the top – was so good to read.  Definite recommend.
Cover Art:  delicious – and 100% relevant and shows what the book is about
Sales Links:  Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 340 pages
Published December 11th 2018 by Wilder Press, LLC/ Neve Wilder (first published December 9th 2018)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesRhythm of Love #1

 

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: The Holiday Home Hotel (An Escape from the Holidays Story) by Lou Sylvre

Standard

Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

This is part of the Escape from the Holidays series, but each book is a standalone. The overarching theme for the series is about escaping what is expected and taking a chance on something new. Dee is lonely so his dog Lelia, who is really a minor Slavic goddess wants to bring him love. She cons Leshy, a forest spirit, to help her play matchmaker. As it happens, Gunny is walking in the forest and gets caught in a snowstorm. He stumbles across the Holiday Home Hotel where Lelia’s “owner” lives. As Gunny thinks on his past and the regret he has about his college roommate Darin, Dee is thinking about his bitterness over a man named Gunny…

This is just a fun holiday second chance romance full of magic gifts and paranormal interference. If you would actually like to see them work out their old hurt and build something new in a realistic way, forget that. This is about a magical night of makeup sex in a faerie glade. It’s about a hotel that makes enough money opening for a month in December and a week at Valentine’s day to be able to run camps for the rest of the year to help young people. All winter holidays are celebrated in an inclusive environment with diversity. Darin/Dee/Dare sings in drag and spreads holiday cheer. If this sounds like something that will get you in a festive holiday mood, try it.

The cover artist is Catherine Dair. This shows Darin in front of the hotel with Lelia. The impression is one of fantasy and alludes to Darin love of Kwanzaa and having his hotel be a light in the darkness to welcome people.

Sales Links:

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Book Details:

ebook, 101 pages
Expected publication: December 15th 2018 by Mischief Corner Books
ASINB07KKBFC1H
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Advent Calendar Review: Too Hot for Santa by Helena Stone

Standard

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Jonah Walsh, as Irish as the day he was born, lands in Sydney to take an acting job offer that came in the nick of time. He was caught on camera getting a blowjob and the clip went viral so fast his agent dropped him and he lost his acting job.  Fortunately, this offer to spend the summer months in Sydney came in just as he was despairing over his life choices.  Now all he has to do is get used to the unbearably hot summer temps in Australia and to ignore the equally hot Nick Claseman. 

Nick is technically Jonah’s boss, though his sister is the one who hired him for the play they are both producing.  And Nick’s not too happy that she offered Jonah the granny flat at his house.  But when he meets Jonah and the two get to know one another, he’s more than happy to spend time with him—in and out of bed. 

This is a pretty lighthearted tale of a grumpy Aussie who is positively affected by a happy-go-lucky Irishman. By the time they get to opening night, the two have become inseparable and the possibility of Jonah staying in Australia is something they both want.

I liked the characters and the tour of Australia readers get to see along with Jonah, but what bothered me is that Nick never seemed to work.  Though stated early on that he and his sister were producing the play, any mention of production and scheduling always revolved around her.  Though it may be a minor point, it took away plot substance for me. Nick’s role in the book was more of a roommate lover and less of a boss or authority figure. Others may not be bugged by this detail and it is, overall, a sweet holiday story.

The cover by Paul Richmond features a redheaded young man in dark T-shirt and jacket superimposed over what may be the Sydney Opera House.  There’s nothing remarkable about the cover, other than the star that indicates this is one of the Advent Anthology stories. 

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 59 pages
Published November 30th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB07L21Q433

A MelanieM Review: Lessons in Cracking the Deadly Code (Cambridge Fellows #12.7) by Charlie Cochrane

Standard

 

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

St Bride’s College is buzzing with excitement at the prospect of reviving the traditional celebration of the saint’s day. When events get marred by murder it’s natural that Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith will get called in to help the police with their inside knowledge. But why has somebody been crawling about on the chapel roof and who’s obsessed with searching in the library out of hours?

Yes! The mystery is afoot to borrow another sleuth’s phrase in the latest Cambridge Fellows mystery by Charlie Cochrane.  The author is not following along a specific timeline for her stories, happily for us who follow this series, so here some of our favorite characters like Jonty’s parents can still be seen taking part in solving this  quite puzzling affair. What a joy as I love them so.

In Lessons in Cracking the Deadly Code, St. Bride’s is looking to reestablish many of its older traditions for Saint’s Day, and it has called upon it faculty and staff for assistance.  That includes the mystery of who killed one of its students, and cause behind his death.  Once again it’s Jonty and  Orlando on the job. Orlando especially who was feeling maybe out of sorts, and needing a mystery to solve, got several handed to him.

Because as we all know, nothing is simple in a Cambridge Fellows mystery.  There are layers, and   complications, and a knotted path to follow to the end. A marvelous journey done in companable conversation, affectionate glances, witty phrases (with the  occasional snark thrown in), hewn through years of partnership and love that the author has crafted so carefully and genuinely.  I know these men because I have been through so much with them with this series that coming into this stories feel like visiting with old friends.

Charlie Cochrane is a master at placing her characters and story into a historic setting with accurate touch that’s so subtle that she makes it look easy.  It’s not.  The time period comes alive in her hands just as Jonty and Orlando do, as they have gone through the years in this series, emerging on the  other end of the war, back in England.  All the changes reflected in each story as it is here.  Along with that you get the deepening romance and love over the years of these two remarkable men and often some very gnarly murders as is the case here.

I adore the mysteries Cochrane concocted for this one, all for a story in 110 pages.  Amazing.

I had a great visit and can’t wait to see where the next mystery takes us.  I’m thrilled that the author is happy to go willy nilly all over this couple’s timeline.  I want their journey never to be over and this is a great way to do it.

I highly recommend this and all the Cambridge Fellow Mysteries, but especially 1 through 10 should be read in the order they were written.

Cover art by Alex Beecroft: I love the soft tone of this illustration.  Great for the era and story.  Love the author’s novels too.

Buy Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 110 pages
Published November 26th 2018 by The Right Chair Press
ASIN B07JM5Q3J6
Series Cambridge Fellows #12.7

An Alisa Review: Meik&Sebastian – Obsessed #4 by Quin Perin

Standard

Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

After ruining his chances with Sebastian, Meik is plagued by the past and haunted by the present. His escape: booze and sex. But the memories of Gabe continuously well up and never ebb. They become an ever-present companion he cannot escape.

Will he hoist himself out of depression to seal the past and face the present or will he lose himself in the bottom of the bottle?

This is the fourth and FINAL book of the Gay Erotic Romance “Obsessed”. It features explicit adult m/m content as well as romantic elements. Warning: mentions of illness and death.

Man, Meik is in quite the hole when this book starts up, Sebastian is gone and he can’t get away from his memories of Gabe.  Oddly enough it seems that him being completely unable to work is what finally kicks him into gear.

This book at least has a decent ending.  I have got to say it was very satisfying for Meik to admit that he was wrong but as his reunion with Sebastian was a bit glossed over I don’t know if he accepted his apology right away.  I did like to see hat Sebastian seemed to be standing up for what he wanted a little more and they seem to be actually having a real relationship.

The cover art by Vanessa Rödiger is nice and typical of serials matches the other stories.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 77 pages

Expected Publication: December 13, 2018

Edition Language: English

Series: Obsessed #4

New Release Tour for Meik&Sebastian (Obsessed #4) by Quin Perin (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Meik&Sebastian – Obsessed #4

Author: Quin Perin

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

Genre/s: Gay Erotic Romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length:  18 000 words/ 75 pages

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Amazon Link

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Blurb

After ruining his chances with Sebastian, Meik is plagued by the past and haunted by the present. His escape: booze and sex. But the memories of Gabe continuously well up and never ebb. They become an ever-present companion he cannot escape.

Will he hoist himself out of depression to seal the past and face the present or will he lose himself in the bottom of the bottle?

This is the fourth and FINAL book of the Gay Erotic Romance “Obsessed”. It features explicit adult m/m content as well as romantic elements. Warning: mentions of illness and death.

Excerpt

Meik checked his hair in the rearview mirror. One more time before slipping out of his father’s car. He’d pulled it up to the curb in front of Gabe’s house about ten minutes ago; he’d spent all of those ten minutes fixing his hair. Again and again. It was obsessive, and he knew it, but he wanted to look his best for Gabe.

Smoothing down his shirt, he headed to the front door and rang the doorbell. He waited for a beat before pushing the door open. Gabe’s mother paused in the doorway, eyeing Meik. “Oh, it’s you,” she said, not remotely surprised to see him.

“Well, nice to see you too.” Meik snorted.

She waved her hand, looking up at the stairs. “Gabe! Meik’s here!” she called before facing Meik again. “Where are you two going?”

Meik stuck his hands in the pockets of his jeans. “There’s a new movie, and we might go get something to eat after.” He left out that they’d probably end up making out in the car at some point. They’d agreed to keep the date thing a secret, and they were definitely keeping the making out and heavy petting to themselves as well.

Nodding, she headed back to the kitchen. “Don’t stay out too late and let me know if you’ll spend the night.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He grinned.

“Don’t call me ma’am!”

Meik’s comeback died on his tongue when he heard footsteps on the stairs. His eyes fixed on Gabe, heart throbbing madly in his chest. Neither of them had dressed out of the ordinary. They didn’t want to raise suspicion, but Meik still thought Gabe looked breathtaking. His dark eyes glittered, and a rose petal pink blush adorned his cheeks. The clothes he wore were a bit tighter than normal, jeans clung to slender thighs, and a fitted t-shirt emphasized his thin, narrow chest. Meik’s palms itched with the desire to touch, to grope. He wanted to see what that ass looked like without those pants on.

Swallowing, Meik turned towards the door. “Ready to go?” He was surprised at how calm he sounded. His mouth felt dry, tongue heavy.

“Yeah,” Gabe replied, a thud signifying that he’d jumped down the last two steps. He always did that, and his mother always said he was going to break an ankle one day. “Bye, mom!”

“Bye, honey, be careful!” She didn’t even peek out again.

Meik almost felt bad. They weren’t lying. Not really. They were going to hang out, just as more than friends. It had been Gabe’s idea not to tell his parents and telling Meik’s had never been an option. Gabe thought if his parents—especially his mother—found out, Meik wouldn’t be allowed to come over and stay the night anymore. It made a lot of sense, and if things progressed with them, the cover of being friends would make it so much easier to get Gabe into bed.

Not that Meik had spent way too much time fantasizing about that lately.

About the Authors

This is Quin&Perin. We are a team of Sultry Gay Romance writers who focus on detailed, toe-curling, and realistic smut scenes with a fair share of dirty talking (Oh, boy). Unlike other authors, we write without the goal of publishing anything. Publishing is just the cherry on top of a cream-covered bubble butt.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

QuinPerinprofile

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win the complete final series (part 1-4) in one book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Book Blast for Blessed (The Matawapit Family #1) by Maggie Blackbird (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

BOOK BLAST

Book Title:  Blessed

Author:  Maggie Blackbird

Publisher:  eXasty Books

Cover Artist:  Martine Jardin

Genre/s:  M/M, Contemporary, Spiritual, Religious, Multi-Cultural, Romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 92,784 words/330 pages

Add on Goodreads

Tagline  

A mixed-blood Catholic seminarian struggles to discern his true calling: the priesthood or his ex-lover, a proud but damaged Ojibway man.

Blurb

It’s been ten years since Emery Matawapit sinned, having succumbed to temptation for the one thing in his life that felt right, another man. In six months he’ll make a life-changing decision that will bar him from sexual relationships for the rest of his life.

Darryl Keejik has a decade-long chip on his shoulder, and he holds Emery’s father, the church deacon, responsible for what he’s suffered: the loss of his family and a chance at true love with Emery. No longer a powerless kid, Darryl has influence within the community—maybe more than the deacon. Darryl intends on using his power to destroy Deacon Matawapit and his church.

Hoping to save the church, Emery races home. But stopping Darryl is harder than expected when their sizzling chemistry threatens to consume Emery. Now he is faced with the toughest decision of his life: please his devout parents and fulfill his call to the priesthood, or remain true to his heart and marry the man created for him.

An erotic spiritual journey…

Buy Links

 eXasty Books  |  Amazon US    |  Amazon Canada   |  Amazon UK    |  Amazon AU  

Kobo    |  Nook    |  Google   |  Smashwords

Excerpt

The putter of a diesel engine carried to where they stood at the side of the house.

“Sounds like the priest’s clunker.” Clayton puffed on the cigarette.

Knots formed in Darryl’s stomach. Did Emery accompany Father Bennie? What the heck was the priest doing up at Long River? Darryl lived at the reserve’s most northern district, far from Grassy, where the Matawapits resided.

Don’t watch them go by.

The car slowed and then turned into the driveway. Black, wavy hair appeared in the windshield. Hot tingles shot through Darryl’s arms and legs. He’d better get himself under control. Running into the coward was expected. It was the reason why he’d raced around the reserve like a fool earlier, trying to figure out what to say when they eventually crossed paths.

Had Emery come to apologize? Maybe reconnect? Wait a second. Someone had probably sent him. In the past, he hadn’t possessed the testicular fortitude to initiate anything. Father Bennie and Deacon Matawapit were up to something.

“Is that Emery?” Clayton frowned.

“Yeah. Gimme a second.” Darryl marched around the side of the house. When the car door opened, he froze.

Emery’s long legs appeared. He straightened to a towering six-foot-something. His red lips, smooth, pale skin, and high cheekbones melted Darryl’s insides. Tight muscles filled out Emery’s blue polo shirt and white dress pants. His hair curled around his square shoulders. This wasn’t a skinny seventeen-year-old kid who’d favored worn jeans, hiking boots, and t-shirts, but a twenty-seven-year-old elegant man.

“Hello. I was hoping to catch you at home.” Emery doffed his sunglasses, exposing his thick black lashes and bright green eyes. He tapped his shades against firm thighs Darryl had caressed during the best time of his life.

Although Emery’s voice was deeper, the feathery tone still stroked Darryl deep inside his jeans. Quivering, he spat out a, “Hel—hi…” He cleared his throat of the damned frog making him sound like an idiot. “Hello.”

“I-I planned on stopping by sooner.” Emery’s gaze roamed in every direction. “I was busy… unpacking”

Darryl motioned to the side of the house. “I was heading out for a drive once I finish talking to someone.”

“Oh…” Emery’s gaze settled on Clayton, who appeared around the corner. “I’ll come back another day when you’re not busy.” Disappointment lined his voice. “Have a good night.”

When Emery turned for the car, Darryl’s frozen heart churned into overdrive. The question jumped from his mouth. “Where’re you going?”

Emery pivoted. “Back to the rectory. It’s where I’m staying during my visit.”

Darryl stifled his groan. Call him a sucker for asking. “You came here for a reason. Why?”

“Uh… I—” Emery held a fist to his mouth and coughed. “Do you have time for a walk?”

A shiver careened along Darryl’s spine. Instead of being prodded, Emery, of all people, had initiated something.

Clayton’s slim brows twisted downwards. “I guess we’re done?”

Everyone knew how tight Emery and Darryl had once been. The cunning coyote had better not think of Darryl as a traitor who’d lose focus on the Traditionalists Society’s mandate now that Emery was back. “We can finish our convo tomorrow. Stop by my office in the morning.”

“Never mind. I’m outta here.” Clayton stamped to his pick-up parked on the side of the road. He glowered at Emery, who returned the frown with a nod.

Fire crackled through Darryl’s veins. Hostility and rudeness to another wasn’t the purpose of the Traditionalists Society.

“We can meet at the Treaty Grounds.” Darryl used an even tone, though his pulse points raced faster than a bear chasing down dinner. “Right now my road’s pretty much the Trans Canada.”

A truck pulling a skiff rambled by.

“Everyone’s heading out for the evening fish.”

“Okay.” Emery’s mouth remained closed while his full lips moved upward. He had the same shy smile capable of melting Darryl’s limbs. “I’ll meet you there.”

“Sure.” Darryl slid on the four-wheeler.

Emery opened the car door and got in. He drove off and left a trail of dust in his wake.

Darryl turned the key. The machine’s engine roared to life. This couldn’t be happening. Someone must have plopped him in the middle of a dream. Who was the courageous man who’d come of his own accord?

He steered the four-wheeler down the driveway. People changed. Before entering St. Michael’s Seminary, Emery had lived in Thunder Bay to attend university. Being out from under his father’s thumb had probably given his confidence a much-needed boost.

His dad’s here and he sought me out.

Had Emery told Father Bennie his intentions for the evening? Where would their talk lead to? There was only one way to find out—drive faster to the Treaty Grounds.

About the Author

An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie resides in the country with her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes.  When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking the Mals deep in the bush, teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye, or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful memories with the people she loves most.

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

BookBub

Linked In

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

a $15.00 eXasty Books/Devine Destinies gift card and one e-copy of Blessed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BOOK BLAST SCHEDULE

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Love Rockers in Love Stories? Check out the Review Tour and Giveaway for Dedicated (Rhythm Of Love #1) by Neve Wilder

Standard

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 92,000 words approx.
 
 
Blurb
 

“Our greatest hit is a love song I wrote for my bandmate. And he has no idea.”


Messy-haired, soulful-eyed, off-kilter lyricist Les Graves holds tight to the hedonist’s credo of consumption in every avenue of life. He has trouble staying still, trouble staying sober, trouble turning down a good time—but put a pen in his hand, and he’ll set a page on fire.


Music was Evan Porter’s ticket out of the backwater mud puddle he was born in, the passion keeping him warm as he busked on street corners, fueling him through a dead-end bartending job. Every chord, every song, every ounce of sweat has been devoted to making Porter & Graves a success. He’s the level-head, the quiet maestro, the seatbelt that keeps Les from flying too far out of control. And he’s getting pretty tired of playing savior.


Their chemistry onstage is electric, but offstage it’s another story.


Angst, snark, and nuclear levels of unresolved sexual tension combust in this tale of two rockers, a handful of secrets, a bombed album, and a publicity nightmare thrown in a remote cabin with one shot at redemption. Can Evan and Les find harmony or will they—and their music career—go down in flames?


Dedicated is a 92k standalone bisexual friends-to-lovers romance that also plays on the fake relationship trope, contains a cockblocking greenhouse, really poor decisions involving social media, and a borderline over-the-top HEA.


*Please note: This book contains reference to and depiction of a MMF scene*



Dec 11OMG Reads, Dec 13Amy’s MM Romance Reviews, Dec 15Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Dec 17Book Corner Reviews, Wicked Reads, Dec 19Valerie Ullmer, Lillian Francis

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here.  We highly recommend it!

Neve Wilder lives in the dirty South, where the summers are hot and the winters are…sometimes cold. She is a mom to three rambunctious weebeasts who have joined forces in a mission to carpet the family home with toys and small items that really suck to step on at six in the morning.


She reads promiscuously, across multiple genres, but her favorite stories always contain an element of romance. Incidentally, this is also what she likes to write. Slow-burners with delicious tension? Yes. Whiplash-inducing page-turners, also yes. Down and dirty scorchers? Yes. And every flavor in between.


She believes David Bowie was the sexiest musician to ever live, and she’s always game to nerd out on anything from music to writing.


And finally, she believes that love conquers all. Except the heat index in July. Nothing can conquer that bastard.


Website
Facebook
Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

A Free Dreamer Review: Rebellion by Naomi Aoki

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out 5

1899, political tensions are rising with the emergence of the Boxer Movement in Northern China, straining ties between the Chinese Imperial Government and the Eight Nations with stakes in the country. As a Captain in the Royal Marines, Alfred Cartwright is deployed to Shanghai, where he discovers more than he’d dared to dream of – Love. Not even the struggles with language or the fear of reprisals if their relationship is found out, can stop Alfred from falling for the Chinese man he encounters. But as the ant-foreigner sentiment of the Boxer Movement grows in strength, their relationship will be put to the test.

Where do Alfred’s loyalties lie? With the man he loves or his country, as they stand opposite each other on a battlefield neither can escape.

I’ve found Asian history in general, and Chinese and Japanese history in particular, fascinating for a long time. So when the review request for “Rebellion” popped up in my inbox, I just couldn’t say no.

First of all, you definitely don’t need to be an expert on China, Chinese history or the Boxer Uprising to understand and enjoy this book. All I knew about the Boxer Uprising before I started this book was that it happened it in China a longish time ago and a vague recollection that it wasn’t actually about boxers. After finishing “Rebellion” I can’t say I know too much more, to be honest. And that’s a shame, because when I read a historical novel, I expect to learn more about the period it is set in. But this book mainly focused on Alfred’s feelings and the time he spent with Zhang, rather than what was going on around them.

The few things I did learn about the time period were truly fascinating, however. I had no idea homosexuality wasn’t a big deal, for example. And we did get some details on how the British Empire and other nations behaved in China and how the average foreigner saw the Chinese. I just wish there had been more scenes that didn’t focus solely on Alfred’s feelings for Zhang.

The love story of these two men was deliciously forbidden and horribly dangerous, because while homosexuality might not have been a big deal for the Chinese, it certainly was for the Brits and neither of the nations approved of relationships between a British Marine Captain and a Chinese man. I think the author did a brilliant job of describing Alfred’s conflicting loyalties and I came to really feel for him and his struggles.

Their relationship was made even more complicated by the language barrier. Personally, I loved that the author chose to transliterate whole passages of Mandarin. I’ve always found foreign languages fascinating and I like to try to figure out how a language works. But I can see how other readers might get bored by it after a while. Most of the time, it’s just a couple of short sentences but there are a few longer passages. On a purely superficial note I also liked that the author only put the translation in italics, not the Mandarin.

There were several semi explicit sex scenes that I found really hot, but that’s really not an important part of the story. It just showed the developing bond between the two men.

We don’t learn too much about Zhang. He doesn’t get his own POV and we only learn some minor details about his past. He remained ever mysterious. A little more background info would have been nice.

Another minor niggle was the editing. There were a few minor grammar mistakes that kept coming up. It’s nothing too distracting but I always feel a bit cheated when such simple mistakes aren’t fixed.

My final niggle would be a spoiler, so I’m not going to go into too much detail. Let’s just say that there was a conflict between the two that I didn’t feel was ever really properly resolved. It’s brushed off with a couple of sentences, so the two of them can have their happy end without any distractions.

I did like the ending and thought it was at least somewhat realistic. Though a follow-up on how they’re going to survive would be very interesting.

Overall, “Rebellion” was a good book. I did have a few minor niggles and the book felt a bit short but all in all it was definitely an enjoyable read. A solid four star read and I’m interested to find out what else the author has written. And I also want to read more about the Boxer Uprising in general, so Naomi Aoki did a great job in making me curious.

I quite like the cover. It looks a bit mysterious and I think it works well for the story.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book details: Kindle Edition,172 pages

Published November 24th 2018 by Naomi Aoki

A Barb the Zany Old Lady: Christmas Homecoming (The Christmas Angel #4) by L.A. Witt

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

I read this story with a sense of nostalgia as both my father and mother and my father-in-law served in World War II and I could imagine clearly what the times they lived in were like, having been raised on stories of wartime and having lived in neighborhoods where elderly bachelors lived together. We were never to go near their house, though, because God knows why two men would choose to live without wives. I include that here to give a sense of the times. And LA Witt captured it beautifully.

This story was simple and sweet—the story of two young men who parted as teens in 1939 and met again as adults in 1945. But now they were war veterans, marked by the emotional toll the war took on soldiers and sailors, having suffered loss and lived in fear.  And they struggle to find a way to tell each other that they never forgot that kiss goodbye when they parted at their favorite swimming hole.

Roger has a gift for Jack—an angel he picked up in his travels and carried with him throughout the war. She brought him peace as he thought of Jack on those lonely and fearful nights away in a foreign country and she brings them together now.

I can’t describe how good I feel after having lived this story with these men. It wasn’t long, and to be honest, I wish it was longer. It did have some drama, angst, heartache, but mostly it had hope and love and left me feeling warm and fuzzy inside—the hallmark of a sweet romance. I highly recommend it and, in fact, I highly recommend all the books in this series of stories surrounding the Christmas angel.

The cover by Meredith Russell features a 1940’s soldier in uniform standing against a snowy background. A very attractive cover, this represents Roger, home on leave after WWII.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

ebook
Published December 2nd 2018
ISBN 139781642300352
Edition Language English
Series The Christmas Angel #4

The Christmas Angel Series

Christmas Angel – Eli Easton – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Summerfield’s Angel – Kim Fielding – Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Magician’s Angel – Jordan L. Hawk – Amazon US | Amazon UK
A Soldier’s Wish – N.R. Walker – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Shrewd Angel – Anyta Sunday – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Prince – RJ Scott- Amazon US | Amazon UK