A Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Alpha Delta by RJ Scott (part of the Alpha collection from ARe)


Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Alpha Delta coverFinn Hallan is a member of the elite Norwegian Emergency Response Unit, code name Delta. As part of his mandatory training, he needs to sit through a series of lectures on decommissioning oil platforms, a time when the platforms have only a skeleton crew and are in greater danger of terrorist activity. Scottish engineer Niall Faulkner is one of the guest lecturers and it’s his slim, sexy physique, rather than the topic of the lecture, that immediately captures Finn’s attention.

Over the next few months, the two become lovers, though with both their jobs demanding so much travel, they don’t get to see each other often. And, though Niall now knows that he loves Finn, Finn has been focusing on keeping their relationship casual.

But when Niall is sent out to the Forseti platform to begin the decommissioning process, something goes terribly wrong, and he finds himself running for his life. Apparently the security team who accompanied him to the platform is not security at all, but a team of terrorists. When Delta team is sent to respond to the situation, and Finn realizes that his man is onboard, he has to face the fact that he may lose him, just when he was ready to finally declare his love.

The story is fast-paced, complex, and full of nail-biting tension. Can Finn rescue Niall? And will Niall and Finn finally have a chance to declare their love before it’s too late? Readers will enjoy this M/M romance adventure.

The only thing that caused me to downgrade my rating from 4 stars to 3 stars is the very sloppy (if any) editing. There were several instances of character confusion, and they weren’t minor. It’s almost as if the publishers took the first draft and printed it without an editor or proofreader review. These errors were so obvious that I can’t possibly overlook them, and though I hate to downgrade an author’s work, in this case, the errors affected my enjoyment of the story so strongly that I feel I have no choice.

So, if you are looking for a quick read that’s full of adventure, with a gorgeous alpha MC, and editorial errors don’t bug you, you should enjoy this one.

Cover artist:

Available only at  All Romance (ARe)

Book Details:

Published By: OmniLit / All Romance eBooks, LLC
Published: Feb 02, 2015
ISBN # 9781936387793
Word Count: 20,500

Alpha the Series






The Alpha Series includes M/F as well as M/M Stories.
STRW will be reading and reviewing only the LGBTQ novels, including:

  • Two Howls by Sean Michael
  • Midnight Run by Bailey Bradford
  • Jumping In by C Cardeno
  • Seducing Rain by Amber Kell
  • Alpha, Delta by RJ Scott

A Mika Review: A Restored Man (The Men of Halfway House #3) by Jaime Reese


Rating: 2 stars out of 5

4abc2-a2brestored2bman-426Cole Renzo thinks his greatest challenge is to behave for the remainder of his term at Halfway House. Until he meets his new boss, Ty Calloway, a man who ticks off every box on Cole’s list of interests.

 A sought-after restorer and customizer of exotic and collectible cars, Ty had enough confidence to command what he wanted in life, until one fateful night changed everything. Almost two years later, he’s slowly rebuilding his life with great control. He’s defied the odds and works tirelessly to be the man he once was—but he still feels broken.

Cole’s candor and unfiltered personality awaken Ty’s barely-remembered desire to greet each new day with a smile, while Ty’s unwavering acceptance of Cole’s quirks and brash humor makes Cole feel as if he fits in for the first time in far too long.

When a nemesis threatens Ty’s personal restoration and the things he holds dear, Cole is determined to protect their relationship, even if that means sacrificing everything he’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ty will have to let his guard down, surrender control, and admit he needs Cole first, even if that puts himself at risk of breaking beyond repair.

It took me 8 days to read this book. It’s under 500 pages and it’s something I’ll usually get through in 2 days max. I was super excited when I found out the author was releasing a third in the series and it was Cole’s book. He was so funny, and good spirited in book 2. He literally grew on me. Well after reading this I’m surely disappointed. The two mc’s in the book didn’t connect for me. I felt no passion, no love, no connection or anything.

Another issue for me was the writing it seemed so choppy and different from books 1 & 2. I don’t need the emotional connection from the previous two, but I do need the style and efficiency from the other to be involved in the third. I was bored reading this it, I found myself wanting to DNF at 38%. It took a lot for me to finish. I liked reading about Matt & Julian more than Cole & Ty. Cole had this whole split personality thing going on and I just couldn’t connect with at all. Ty was a whole entire story by himself. It was guilt, on top of guilt on top of self disinclination that I despise in my characters. I like Cole’s parents, I loved seeing Julian & Cole’s moment of bonding, but it wasn’t enough for me to fall in love with.
Cover Art by Reese Dante. The cover model is an exact replica of Cole for me. I do like it, and the car in the backroom is all him.

Sales Links:            Amazon          Buy It Here

Book Details:

Published February 17th 2015 by Romandeavor (first published February 15th 2015)
edition languageEnglish
url http://jaimereese.com/a-restored-man/
seriesThe Men of Halfway House #3

The Men of Halfway House series:

  • A Better Man (The Men of Halfway House, #1)
  • A Hunted Man (The Men of Halfway House, #2)
  • A Restored Man (The Men of Halfway House #3)


A Stella Review: The Pride of Amsterdam (Lionhearts #1) by Elizabeth Coldwell


Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

The Pride of Amsterdam coverLionhearts series: 

For centuries, lion shifters have lived among men, their prides scattered around the world. Fear and superstition has led man to fear them, and to seek to bring about their destruction.

When fate draws a shifter to a human mate, two very different worlds are brought together, for good or ill. But nothing can stand in the way of passion, and whatever it takes these lovers will fight tooth and claw to be together.

The Pride of Amsterdam by Elizabeth Coldwell

,  Book One in the Lionhearts series. 

When an ancient enemy is summoned to destroy his pride, a lion shifter must fight to protect the man he loves.

Kees van der Veer has never forgotten the mysterious stranger who seduced him on Millennium Eve and who promised that when the time was right, they would be together again. Returning to Amsterdam after fifteen years away, he is reunited with that stranger, entering into a world of love and danger he could never have imagined.

Arjan is a lion shifter, part of a pride who has lived in Amsterdam since its Golden Age. He has spent fifteen years regretting the need to drive his destined mate away after one night of blissful passion. But only once they meet again can he reveal to Kees the truth of his heritage.

When an old enemy is summoned to destroy the pride, Arjan must act to protect not only his family but also the man he loves.

The Pride of Amsterdam is the first book in the Lion Hearts series by Elizabeth Coldwell, a new and really interesting series. I think it has great potential but in my opinion it wasn’t well developed in this book. This is one of the reasons I gave it only 3.5 stars but I’m waiting (not so) patiently for the next one.

This is a “second chance at love” story featuring destined mates, two of my absolute favourite themes to read about.

At the Millenium Eve night party Kees meets a stranger with blond hair and amber eyes. Kees is a shy eighteen years old, he’s soon attracted to the guy who will be his first. But the guy with no name takes his virginity and leaves him five seconds after the sex with a promise.

“I need to know— Will I see you again?”
“When the time is right. You are meant to be mine, but only when you are ready to learn what I really am.”

Kees comes back home to Amsterdam, his home, after fifteen years of being away, for the biggest job in his carrier. What he doesn’t know is that the azienda he will have to help is Arjan’s.

Arjan de Wit is a lion shifter. He waited for his mate to come back to him since the first time he lost his heart to that all too young man he met at a party. Now it’s time for them to start their life together but De Jager (the Hunter) is back in town to track the shifters down and to kill every member of the pride.

I liked a lot of things in this book. First of all the sex was really hot, maybe a little too much sometimes, but I found it well written and in the right places in the story so I didn’t care if I read one scene too much. There were some very light BDSM elements that will not bother you if you’re not a BDSM stories fan. I liked the character of Arjan, he isn’t the usual alpha shifter I’m used to read about, he is insecure and rightly so, cause even if he knew Kees was his destined mate since the first time they met, the young man is still hurt from the way Arjan left him and he is scared of the man who already left him one time. He needs to win Kees’ trust and they still need to know each other.

One thing “ruined” me the ending, the fact that I realized pretty soon who the hunter was, so I was a little disappointed to know I was right. I’d have preferred to be surprise.

If you like a book well written and well paced, with some suspense and a lot of passion, this book is what you’re looking for. I can’t wait for the next one to come out and hopefully know more about Arjan’s pride.

Cover Art by Posh Gosh. Love this cover, especially the choice of the colors. It catched my eyes, really well done.

Sales Links:  Totally Bound     All Romance (ARe)       Amazon      Buy It Here

Book Details:

Published January 16th 2015 by Totally Bound
ebook, 142 pages
ISBN 1784303682
Edition language English



A MelanieM Review: Kimo & Mike (Storming Love: Blizzard #2) by Neil S. Plakcy


Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Storming Love- Kimo and MikeFormer competitive surfer and Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka is in his element in his home state of Hawaii. However, his partner, fire investigator Mike Riccardi, wants to head to the mainland for a ski trip and reunion with some old buddies of his. As a bitter storm rages outside the condo where they’re staying, one of Mike’s college buddies is feuding with his wife and the other is making sexy overtures to Kimo. Will these tensions ruin the vacation and perhaps even drive a wedge between Kimo and Mike?

Just those words Kimo and Mike, ok just Kimo, can make my heart flutter!  I have been in love with Kimo Kanapa’aka when I first met him in Neil S. Plakcy’s Natural Predators (Mahu #7) and started working my way back to the beginning of the series.  And with each story I fell deeper and deeper in love with this complicated, nuanced man.  Kimo is Hawaiian not just by blood but in the depth of his feelings and emotions. He has a large, extended family he interacts with daily, sometimes hourly depending upon the situation at hand.   Hawaii is at his center, it’s his heart and in a sense his stability.  Kimo heads into the surf when things get too painful or complicated, needing that to bring him peace and refocus him once more.

But here, Neil S. Plakcy removes Kimo from his safety zone and support system and takes him into the cold mountains in the mainland. In  Kimo and Mike,  the plot isolates Kimo and Mike from all but their vacation companions due to blizzard conditions.  Between the cold, Kimo’s inability to ski (which also removes him from the group), and the stressful couples they are with, things start to get shaky immediately.

I am such a Kimo fan that nothing can detract from any story he is a part of. But for readers new to Kimo and Mike, this short story conveys none of the enormous hurdles and obstacles (many of their own making) they had to overcome to become the couple they are when this story opens.  It happened over a number of books, not scenes and their relationship was borne out of enormous pain and anguish each caused the other.  Each man is gorgeous in his own multiracial way and people are always hitting on them but never with the history (ok almost never) of one of the  couples here.  Plus the stress is pushed to overload when the couples disagreements turn physical and Mike and Kimo must balance their professions with their partner’s needs.

This story ended too quickly for me.  Of course, I feel that way about all Kimo Kanapa’aka and his Mahu stories (Mahu is Hawaiian for homosexual).  This will give you just enough of a taste of this tantalizing couple to want more and send you to the first story Mahu (Mahu #1).  It’s a swift read yet it is sturdy in plot and strong in characterizations.  Add it to your TBR list today along with the other Storming Love: Blizzard stories.  If I was the type to say I ♥heart this book, well, then this is where it would happen. I ♥ this book!  Normally I wouldn’t do that. See what Neil S. Plakcy and Kimo make me do?


Cover artist: Kris Jacen does a nice job of branding the series although I could wish for a little more individualization as far as the couples go.

Sales Links:  MLR Books          All Romance (ARe)         Amazon         Buy It here

Book Details:

ebook, 35 pages
Published January 30th 2015 by MLR Press
seriesStorming Love: Blizzard #2

Books in the Storming Love: Blizzard series are:

  • Jens & Elliot (Storming Love: Blizzard #1)
    Kimo & Mike (Storming Love: Blizzard #2)
    Seth and Casey (Storming Love, Blizzard #3)
    Layne, River & Damion (Storming Love: Blizzard #4) by Vicktor Alexander (release date: 2/13/15)
    Gavin & Morgan (Storming Love: Blizzard #5) by Nicole Dennis (release date: 2/20/15)
    Stokes & Ford (Storming Love: Blizzard #6) by Jackie Nacht (release date: 2/27/15)