A BJ Audio Review: Long Time Gone (Hell and High Water #2) by S.E. Jakes, Adam North (Narrator)

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Rating:  4.25 stars out of 5

Long Time Gone audiobookWhen a tornado meets a volcano, nothing is safe.

Soldier of fortune Prophet Drews always worked alone—until Tom Boudreaux became his partner. But when Tom walked away three months ago, ostensibly to keep Prophet safe, Prophet learned the true meaning of being alone. Everyone knows that Prophet, a Navy SEAL turned CIA spook turned mercenary, can look after himself. Which means he must’ve driven his lover away.

Even with half a world between them, Prophet can’t get the man out of his head. Maybe that’s why he’s in New Orleans in the middle of a hurricane, protecting Tom’s aunt. But the only looter around is Tom, bursting back into Prophet’s life. It turns out that Prophet’s been stuck in Tom’s head—and heart—too.

Their explosive reunion gets even hotter when Tom is arrested for murder. As they fight to clear his name, they delve deep into his past, finding enemies among everyone they meet. Staying alive in such a dangerous world is hard enough, but they soon discover that fighting to stay together is the most difficult thing they’ve ever done.

Once again, I enjoyed the narrator’s performance and felt he added extra dimension to the story with the accents and drama he brought. The voices for each character were clearly discernable and well in character with the guys as  I’d envisioned from having previously read this book. His pacing was never rushed and kept me eager to listen.

From the beginning, this story is a roller coaster ride of nature’s fury, sex, intrigue, secrets revealed, action, and more sex. My favorite scene in this book by far is the hurricane sex scene in New Orleans. In fact, it’s right up there as one of the most memorable sex scene’s I’ve read in a m/m story. Oh my, that is definitely a one-handed read or listen, in this case. Tom and Prophet were already combustible together, but put them in the midst of a raging storm and the hurricane around them pales into perfect background music. Damn, that was hot as heck. Aside from that scene, there are numerous other heated interludes. IMHO, just enough to keep that fire burning without being too much.

Here we delve very strongly into Tom’s past in the bayou; allowing us to get a much better picture of the man as we see it all unfold. I won’t reveal too much more than the blurb has already shared as don’t want to spoil it. But we meet some characters in this story that I found very interesting. And the settling! New Orleans and the bayou country has always been a place I’d like to spend a longer time visiting (been there only briefly), and this book did an excellent job of making me feel the heat, humidity, social climate and wildlife. Excellent sense of place.

I felt the deepening of the connection between Tom and Prophet, and it seemed to build very naturally as both men begin to let down their guards and allow each other further in. The ending didn’t tie things up with a bow, but thankfully it was a bit more of a HFN than we got in book one at least. It seems as much as we learn about these two, the more there is we don’t yet know.

Cover art by LC Chase: The displays the tattoos on Tom’s back this time, not quite as detailed as the dreamcatcher on book one’s cover, but still hot and fitting to the story.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Audible | Amazon


Book Details:  

December 16th 2015 by Audible Studios, 7 hrs 52 mins
Audible Audio, 8 pages
Published December 16th 2015 by Audible Studios (first published October 28th 2013)
Original TitleLong Time Gone
ASINB016OXU8WQ
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHell or High Water #2, Extreme Escapes, Ltd. setting

A Paul B Review: Passion’s Storm (Elemental Passions #1) by A.J. Marcus

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

5067passionsstorm510web-500x750Dan, also known as the superhero Torrent, is shaken when his boyfriend for the last five years decides he has had enough. Having been kidnapped several times by both Dan’s arch nemeses and want to be criminal, Burt decides that the last time was once too much. The heartache is so much that he creates a major storm that engulfs Bay City. He responds to a call from his team The Elite to help take down the latest threat to the city. When he meets his arch nemesis the Blaze in battle, he thinks of his ex being tortured by the Blaze. Dan nearly beats the Blaze to death. He is suspended for a month for his actions.

When Dan returns to the team, Dan learns that he must mentor one of the new recruits to The Elite. Corann, also known as Redwood, can manipulate plant life like he does the weather. Dan is instantly taken by the young protégé. Thoughts of Burt grow more distant as he realizes the man is not coming back. Corann sympathizes with Dan as they begin to explore the attraction they both feel for each other. However, being heroes means that they must put themselves in danger. What neither man knows is that the greatest threat to the two of them might just come from within.

This first book in the Heroic Passion series by AJ Marcus struck the right balance between romance and super hero action. The action scenes felt like I could see either the comic book panels or the scenes playing out on your favorite hero TV series or movie. While the heroes’ and villians’ powers feel familiar, the author puts enough of a twist on them to make them seem new. The romance between the two characters did not seem as rushed as one might think. And the author makes the heroes have human characteristic and flaws just like their mortal counterparts.
It will be interesting to see where the author takes this series in future books.

The cover art by Latrisha Waters has our two heroes kissing with their backs to us. Instead of clothing or skin, we see a turbulent storm brewing across their backsides. It’s an inventive cover for the book.

Sales Links:   eXtasy Press |  Amazon

Book Details

EBook, 80 pages
Published: January 15, 2016 by eXtasy Books
Edition Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4874-0608-0
Series: Heroic Passions

A Stella Review: Of Gods and Monsters: Hades (Of Gods and Monsters #2) by Wulf Francu Godgluck

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RATING 5 out of 5 stars          ★★★★★

******WARNING*******
Hades of Gods and Monsters
This is not a story about a hero, or some bad boy-badass-antihero.
This is a love story between two monstrous villains and one valiant kid, held together by their entwined heartstrings.
It won’t be pretty.
It won’t be pleasant.
There’s no fluffy good feelings about it.
It will rip out your heart and never give it back.

Breno Hades el Oscuro took no bullshit from anyone. He ruled the crime world of the United States. When the King fell, what was left in the ashes was not the small boy that grew up without his father, not the same kid that chose a life of crime at seventeen, nor was it the King who had killed and clawed through a river of blood to stand at the top.

The King was dragged from his throne of bones into a deep dark pit, leaving only the raw flesh of a savage monster to crawl out of Hell.
One that knew love, but didn’t want it again.

Kemono Orochi was destined to inherit the legacy of his father, known as The Dragon’s Tongue. It was an inheritance he never wanted it, never desiring the power that came with the title of Dragon. Kemono ended it all by tearing off the Dragon’s head, watching the serpent’s remains be consumed in hellfire. Now tormented by the scars of his past inflicted by his father, he is struggling to come to terms with the Akuma he has become.

One that wants to devour everyone in his path to protect the only one that matters to him.

The only person that had ever made his icy heart beat.

His heart. His love. His beautiful pride.

Rex Hunter dreams of becoming a principal ballerino…all fierce, like a Phoenix. But this Phoenix has lost his wings and fallen prey, straight into the clutched claws and callus hands of two vicious beasts. Each bore the blackest of hearts, each desiring to keep him safe, cherished and loved unconditionally. Or was Rex just destined to be the goo that would stick two shattered souls together and prevent them from forever falling to pieces?

There will be blood, gore and nasty shit.

There will be watersports, crude, angry, sometimes sensual and other times just downright dirty and dysfunctional sex.

BUT…

There will always be LOVE…

Because even villains understand the tortured scars love leaves in its wake.

Let’s start this review saying I loved the book a lot and when I finished reading it, I hated the author a lot. As an after thought I should have seen it coming but in my defence I was so enrolled in the story, I was blind to little details I should have been more careful with. Nonetheless in the following days when I was finally able to let the anger go, I realized that maybe it was the right choice and it is one of my favorite books I’ve read lately.

I’m honestly not sure what to write in this review because I don’t want to spoil the story. If you’re a fan of Wulf’s work, you know he is very good at surprising us with unexpected characters and developments, so just two words, be ready. I wasn’t.

Of Gods and Monsters: Hades is a story about betrayal, about second chances at love, enemies to lovers, about a monster with a cold heart that can maybe still beat for someone. It’s about a beautiful young man and the need to be human again. It’s the story of three lives, interwoven in times and fate.

The story of Hades takes place four years after Menoetius. In these four years, Hades has found and let go of who could have been the love of his life, he was betrayed by a brother and forced to live in a prison fighting ring.

Four years has passed from the day Rex has left Japan and the place that was his home and life for twelve years, where he kissed Kemono, the young man he watched become a cold hearted killer. The day he was escorted to the airport and put on a plane to the States. With his cat, Bacon, he’s now living under the Dragon’s Tongue “care”, a powerful criminal organization.

And four years ago, Kemono has killed the one who kept him away from Rex and turned him into a monster, the new dragon.

After four year spent in hell, Hades comes back to his apartment and find it occupied by a little ginger, Rex. And of course he needs to scare the young man to death. First impressions matter.

There is a lot going on this book, there are quite some second characters to keep track of, but it’s never chaotic because every new event, every new person is welcomed and fully explained.

The characters in this story are not easy, all of them have really heavy baggages on their shoulders (no one excluded), all of them are fucked up in different ways. I love knowing there are more books planned and that I’m going to meet them again and follow them in their journey to the love land. Cause they are all getting their HEA.

The story is a continuous story of messy, hard scenes. Not for everyone. It’s on the line of Menoetius but different and in my opinion so much better.

There are some things I’m very strict about in my MM books and they are often have been a deal breaker to me, this second installment has a couple of them, but I didn’t care. As I already said, the story took me completely, I couldn’t put it down for a moment. My opinion on the author is the same, he’s amazingly talented.

I can’t wait for the next one. I want to know more about Richard (and James I hope), but it seems that Monroe, a NYPD chief, has just fallen in love with someone.

Cover Art by Wulf Francú Godgluck. It’s well done and fitting, I can totally see Hades in it. And I like the black and the red together.

Sales Links:   All Romance (ARe) | Amazon

Book Details:

Published January 22nd 2016 by Wulf Francu Godgluck
Kindle Edition, 319 pages
ASIN B018WUWI18
Edition Language English

Of Gods and Monsters series

An Ali Review: Inner Sanctum (The Stonebridge Mysteries #2) by Maggie Kavanagh

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
 
Inner SanctumSix months into a relationship, things have heated up between political blogger Sam Flynn and FBI Special Agent Nathan Walker. Though Sam is happy with Nathan and proud of his own sobriety, he’s anxious about what their future holds. Things are heating up in Stonebridge, Connecticut, as a series of deadly fires puts the community on edge and eventually threatens Sam’s comatose brother. As Halloween approaches, fears rise that the arsonist will strike again.

When Sam encounters the main suspect, seventeen-year-old orphan Damon Blake, he’s not sure what to do. Obstruction might land him in jail, but he is increasingly skeptical of Damon’s guilt. He takes matters into his own hands and investigates, but doing so means keeping Damon’s whereabouts a secret from Nathan and the police. Meanwhile, Nathan wonders what Sam is hiding and grapples with insecurities of his own. Sam wants to confide in Nathan, and Nathan wants to trust Sam, but they discover that negotiating new love can be as dangerous as solving crime.
 
 
I really enjoyed this second book in the Stonebridge Mystery trilogy.  This story was equal parts romance and equal parts mystery.  Sam gets himself involved in another case and this time he puts Nathan in to a tough spot with his job.  I think these two are a great couple and I like how they communicate and work with each other.  They’re not perfect but they’re also not full of angst and made up drama.  The characters come across as everyday guys who love each other and are doing the best they can.  I thought the mystery in this one was good.  I also really liked the side characters and their roles in the story.  I can’t wait to read the last book and see how things end up for Sam and Nathan.
 
Cover by Maria Fanning.  I liked this cover and feel it is a good representation of the story.
 
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 204 pages
Published September 14th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
Original Title Inner Sanctum (The Stonebridge Mysteries, #2)
ISBN 1634764056 (ISBN13: 9781634764056)
Edition Language English