A BJ Review: Winter Knight by L. Valko

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Rating:  4.75 stars out of 5

Winter KnightAfter three years living as a rich man’s toy, Micah Zaine is on his own again and struggling to salvage both his career and a shattered sense of self-worth. Accepting a position as a substitute kindergarten teacher seems like an excellent start, until he develops a crush on a student’s father.

Two years after the death of his beloved wife, Jacob Lournigran’s life revolves around work and raising his young son—a social life is nowhere in the picture. Until his meddling sister extends a holiday dinner invitation to his son’s handsome kindergarten teacher.

Spending time with Micah makes Jacob wonder if a friend could be just what he needs to start rebuilding his broken heart. And when financial difficulties and an angry ex put Micah in distress, Jacob has all the makings of a knight in shining armor.

Except Jacob is straight, and Micah is no damsel.

An absolutely adorable contemporary that spans both the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons. While there is sweetness, this one also has the angst, since both of the main characters are struggling to deal with loss. Jacob has a support system in his sister and son, while Micah is having to deal all on his own.

Jacob is an absolute sweetheart all the way through this story, definitely a catch or, as the blurb says, a knight in shining armor. I want a Jacob in my life! Wealthy and secure, but so down to earth that it never went to his head. In fact, he seemed to give much of the credit for this financial status to his late wife. But Jacob wasn’t perfect, and I adored that, too. His bouts of social awkwardness were endearing, as was the way he got flustered sometimes.

Micah was a nice match for Jacob; he was the one who kept making me laugh and smile with his attitude and inner dialogue, plus his wit and flirting. Initially, I had some issues with him based on choices he’d made in the past, but I quickly came to root and cheer for him. Which did not mean that I still didn’t want to reach over and smack him upside the head a few times.

Lucky for me, the author provided someone capable of giving said smacks in a much more appropriate way. That would be Jacob’s kick-ass sister, Justine. I loved Justine; loved how she stepped in as the voice of wisdom at just the right times, and loved that she was an artist, cuz well, I always love to see fellow artists in stories. And Jacob’s kindergarten age son, Cole, was a wonderful addition to the story… not just a prop as kids can be in some books, but a character with a voice that moved the story forward and felt real and vital.

There are emotional teary moments along with some hot and sexy bits, including a sensual first time m/m experience. I’ve only read a couple other books with a demi-sexual character, and this one will join that particular shelf as one of them that handled it well. Being pansexual myself, I struggle with m/m books that portray bi/pan characters negatively… and sadly I’ve run into quite a few of them that do. In this book, we do get a touch of that in Micah’s cheating ex, Alan, but Jacob more than makes up for him. I adored his reactions when he noticed his attractions to Micah, the way they progressed, and a scene later in the story where he talks to a friend/co-worker was so cute (and a bit funny).

A first book by Valko, and one I’m glad I decided to read. Pick this one up soon  as it’s on Kindle Unlimited right now. I especially recommend it to those who enjoy GFY, slightly broken boys, bi and demi characters, and stories about family/kids.

Sales Link:  Amazon Kindle  | Buy It Here


Book Details:  143 pages

Published December 31, 2015

A Stella Review: Vampire Prince (Paranormal Nobles #1) by S.J. Frost

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Vampire PrinceThree years ago, Sebastian Beaumont, was starving and struggling on the streets. An offer for safety and shelter was nothing but the lies of a vampire. Since then, he’s been trapped, surrendering his blood and body as a blood slave to vampires, all for the hope of gaining one more day of life and maybe, someday, his freedom.

Having crossed more than three hundred years of life, Valentin Wyndham, is a prince among vampires. Memories of betrayal still haunt him and love isn’t something he seeks. When his need for blood becomes too strong, he breaks his usual habits and visits a blood house. Though he tries to resist, he can’t help but be captivated by the beautiful Sebastian.

Unable to deny the intensity between them, Valentin frees Sebastian from the blood house, but danger follows them both from those who don’t want to let Sebastian go.

Vampire Prince is the story of Sebastian, a young man taken from the streets three years ago by Wesley with promises of a better life (or at least some food) and brought in his blood house as a blood slave, where people like him, runaways and people no one is going to miss, are used and abused by vampires. This mansion is become his prison, but he has no choice, he needs to stay safe and play the good boy, pretending to enjoy the entertainment he provides vampires. But Sebastian is really tired, three year in this life are really too much and he knows the time for his death is near.

Prince Valentine has just moved to Savannah from England. He doesn’t like the kind of blood house he’s going to, but it’s his only choice at the moment to not become a danger with his thirst. There he meets Sebastian and the insta-attraction will bring them to a sweet and steamy relationship.

I enjoyed this story a lot, I haven’t read the previous edition so I’m not sure about differences or changes SJ Frost made in the plot/writing. I found the writing good and I was surprised by the plot, I was waiting for the usual “vampire story”, instead I got an interesting and original book, light and funny. I felt soon a connection with Valentine and Sebastian, both well developed and likeable.

I can say I am particularly curious to read the next books in this series. Sal and Basil, Valentine’s friends, were both so well done, sometimes took away attention from the MCs.

The reason why I can’t give Vampire Prince an higher rating is that I often found myself bored by too many sex scenes and sugary sentences  (a little too much even for me). Still I can’t wait for the next one.

Cover art by Scarlet Tie designs. I really like this cover, it’s mysterious and dark, and it soon caught my attention.

Sales Links:  MLR Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon |

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 236 pages
Published November 28th 2015 by MLR Press (first published March 7th 2014)
Original TitleVampire Prince
ASINB018GKSB74
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesParanormal Nobles #1
CharactersSebastian Beaumont, Valentin Wyndham settingSavannah, Georgia (United States)

A MelanieM Review: Dragon Consultant (Supernatural Consultant #1) by Mell Eight

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Dragon ConsultantThe FAA has been struggling with dragons attacking their planes, and hire Dane, a supernatural consultant, to look into the matter. What Dane finds in the woods is not quite the problem he expected: a group of dragon kits and their sick father.

When he learns the real reason the family was in the woods, his case only grows more dangerous, and while Dane is plenty experienced at watching his own back, taking care of baby dragons and their handsome, distracting father almost makes danger look easy.

I love Mell Eight.  This author’s imagination never fails to take me places guaranteed to hold my attention and make me wonder about the boundless possibilities that could exist if magic were let loose.  And of course, there would be dragons.  All sorts of dragons and in this case dragon kits.

Dragon Consultant is really one set of mysteries after another.  A mystery of identities, a mystery of espionage and government coverup plus so much more.  Unbelievably so, it all takes place in 101 pages.  This story is crammed full of things that cry out of fuller explanations and more details.  But what the author delivers is so wonderful, so compelling, that all I can do is beg for a prequel to go along with the sequel that I know is coming.

Most of that has to do with the character of Dane, the supernatural consultant hired to deal with the dragons attacking the planes at the airport.  Of course, he is much more than that, as are the dragons attacking the airport and the situation they are in.  Nothing is as it seems, including Dane.  It takes a while for some of who he is to come out and then it only makes him more intriguing because of the gaps its leaves. Oh, the layers Mell Eight has in store for the readers here.  Peal one back, and there are five more waiting to be discovered.

I think I feel that way about the characters.  There is a mystery about them that we are still waiting to uncover, their backstories are missing  and I think the author has done that purposely so. The father?  His background still spotty. The kits?  They too have histories waiting to be filled in and I am hoping that means that this will be a long and satisfying series.  I am so eager to settle in for the long haul to find out what each kit and/or new egg will mean to the story and universe the author is building.

There is action, suspense, and plenty of drama.  Some of those scenes towards the end?  White knuckle indeed.  But I can’t give out  details because its such a short book it will go into spoiler territory.  The tale moves so quickly, you will fall in love with the individual dragon kits with a swiftness that will make you blink,  and then the you are moving towards an alarming conclusion, then its over…for now.

That one of those layers I was talking about.  You see from the cover, its seem like this might be a goofy, sort of humorous tale of dragon children and their foster father.  Not really.  That aspect is there, of course.  But things are chillingly scary,  there are evil loose ends flapping about at the end of the story (why else would you need sequels), so remember those layers when opening these pages and be prepared for a darned wonderful story!

Its one I definitely recommend, along with its author.  Now I just have to wait for the next book to arrive.  Grab this one up, catch up with me and lets see what the next one has in store for us, the dragon kits and…oh that would be telling.

Cover art by Aisha Akeju is unexpected.  Cute, whimsical but lacking just that touch of dragon magic I have come to expect from this artist.

Sales Links:  Less Than Three Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 101 pages
Published December 9th 2015 by Less Than Three Press
ISBN139781620046777
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series: Supernatural Consultant 

An Ali Audiobook Review: Touch & Geaux (Cut & Run #7) by Abigail Roux , J.F. Harding (Narrator)

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars                    ★★★★★
Touch & Geaux audiobookAfter having their faces plastered across the news during a high-profile case, FBI Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett have become more useful to the Bureau posing for photo ops than working undercover. Just as Zane is beginning to consider retirement a viable option, Ty receives a distress call from a friend, leading them to a city rife with echoes from the past.

New Orleans wears its history on its streets, and it’s the one place Ty’s face could get him killed. Surrounded by trouble as soon as they land, Ty and Zane are swiftly confronted with a past from which Ty can’t hide—one with a surprising connection to Zane’s.

As threats close in from all directions, both men must come to terms with the lives they’ve led and the lies they’ve told. They soon discover that not all their secrets are out yet, and nothing lasts forever.
 
 
This was a re-read for me but the first time I have listened to it on audio.  This is another of my favorite books in this series.  This is probably the most emotional of all the books.  Ty and Zane head to New Orleans with the Sidewinder guys for a weekend of fun and end up in a complicated case involving both of their pasts.  In some ways I think this part of the plot is over the top but really the most important part of the story is Ty and Zane’s relationship.  Both of the them have issues which we’ve known from the start of the series.  In this book though, the tentative hold they’ve had comes crashing down on them.  And when it comes crashing down it comes down hard.  Not only does it come crashing down hard on them, it comes crashing down hard on the reader.  There are some emotionally charged scenes in this book and I remember how devastated I was at parts of this the first time I read it.  Even on re-read it was very hard to go through with them.  It’s our first detailed look at the Sidewinder guys and that part is a great set up for the branch off series with Nick and Kelly.  
 
Audio:
 
I really love this narrator and I felt like he did an excellent job.  As stated above this is an emotional read anyways but hearing this on audio was very difficult.  The narrator captures all the emotions, both good and bad, that the guys are going through in this.  There were a lot of scenes that just broke my heart.  It was brutal hearing the things they were saying to each other. There’s one scene where one of them starts to cry and the narrator just nailed the scene perfectly.   In addition there are a lot of side characters in this story and I felt the narrator did a great job on all of their voices.  Extra enjoyable were Digger’s Cajun and Liam’s British accents.  If you are a fan of audio books I highly recommend listening to this book.
 
Cover art by L.C. Chase. This is one of my favorite covers in this series.  It captures an important part of the story.  These covers are simple but are classics and I would hate to see them  change.  
Audiobook Details:
Touch & Geaux: Cut & Run Series, Book 7
By Abigail Roux
Narrated By J. F. Harding
Series: Cut and Run, Book 7
Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
Release Date: 12-15-15