A Ali Review: Eagle’s Blood (Mountain Spirit Mysteries #1) by A.J. Marcus

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
 
Eagles BloodBrock Summers is a Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officer with a heart of gold. When he discovers a video of golden eagles being shot and learns of a nest in trouble, not even a blizzard can stop him from trekking up the mountain in an attempt to rescue them.

When Brock returns with the one eaglet he manages to save, Landon Weir, the local wildlife rehabilitator, patches up the bird and the injury Brock suffered during the rescue. Though they have been friends and colleagues for years, their shared passion for protecting wildlife and the feeling of Brock’s body under his hands makes Landon see Brock differently. For the first time, Landon wonders if they can be more than friends.

To Landon’s surprise, Brock asks him out to dinner to thank him for his aid, but before they manage their first date, another video of eagles being killed surfaces. Neither man will let inclement weather, a dangerous mountain, or armed poachers stop them from rescuing the eagles—or each other.
 
 
This is a story about a wildlife rehabber and a Parks/Wildlife officer. The story is mostly about poacher who are killing eagle’s for illegal sales. I found this all really interesting and the author seems to have a good knowledge of all things related to wildlife, care and laws. (Some I know from a rehabber friend and some I Googled). If you find this kind of stuff interesting you will probably enjoy this book. If not…I don’t know.
There is romance in this but it’s not the main focus and it’s not as well done as the mystery part of the plot. There is a lot of telling about the guy’s feelings and very little showing. I didn’t really feel their connection at all. I will keep reading these though cuz I loved all the animal stuff.
 
Cover art.I liked the cover a lot.  It’s artfully done and is a good representation of the story.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press |  Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 200 pages
Published April 14th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press (first published April 13th 2014)
ISBN 1627986286 (ISBN13: 9781627986281)
Edition LanguageEnglish
URL
SeriesMountain Spirit Mysteries #1

A Jeri Review: Him (Him #1) by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

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Rating: 4  Stars out of 5

HimThey don’t play for the same team. Or do they?

Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.

Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.

Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions—can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend…and a big one to learn about himself.

I love to watch love and romance grow and bloom. Especially when they start as friends as kids. Developing that bond that can seemingly get them through anything- as long as they are together.

Him is such a story but with a slight twist. Jamie and Wes were friends, but only saw each other during hockey camp in the summer. In between camp they lived on different coasts and communicated with a box that they would fill with something related to them and mail and it back and forth.

As they grew, Wes not only realizes that he is gay, but goads Jamie into experimenting with him on the last night of cap. That was the beginning of the end of their friendship. Wes thinks he ruined it all and Jamie is just completely confused. When their college hockey teams are playing in the same tournament 5 years later, they both blame themselves and begin a tenuous relationship again.

I found this story to be emotionally gripping, tender and heartfelt. The heart break Wes feels because Jamie is “straight”. The confusion Jamie feels because he doesn’t understand his feelings for Wes and wants his best friend back. Coming to grips with themselves and their maturing relationship.

Deeper than the confusion and muddling through a potential romantic relationship was the true friendship of men who were best friends and so desperately wanted that again.

Being together means a lot of different things to both of them. They have to reevaluate and look at their lives. Trying to decide if being together is worth the potential consequences.

Sweet, hot, tender and romantic. With humor and lots of hockey on the side. A must read.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 276 pages
Published July 28th 2015 by Rennie Road Books
Original TitleHim
ISBN139781942444077
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHim #1
CharactersJamie Canning, Ryan Wesley
Literary AwardsGoodreads Choice Award Nominee for Romance (2015)

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Lay It down by Mary Calmes

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Lay It DownHudson Barber loves his twin brother, Dalvon, but as the story opens, he’d like to kill him too. Dalvon, a high-paid model, has left his billionaire boyfriend’s estate on the island of Ibiza, and all the responsibilities related to running it, and headed to the US using Hudson’s passport. He didn’t even have the balls to tell his boyfriend, Miguel Garcia Arquero, that he was going, nor did he take care of the businesses he was supposed to be running. In short, he left Hudson holding the bag for managing the businesses, straightening out the estate, and telling Miguel that his boyfriend has taken off. Add to that the fact that Dal has settled in with Will, Hudson’s ex-boyfriend, and Hudson is not a happy man.

Dal has always been the pretty one—beautiful, lighthearted, and empty-headed—unlike his fraternal twin who takes responsibility seriously and is pursuing his MBA diligently. Left with no choice, Hudson uses the time while Miguel is away to streamline functions in the household, turn part of the villa into a luxury getaway for the wealthy, revamp the nightclub and make the restaurant more efficient. Within three months, he’s taken the businesses Dal was supposed to manage and made them profitable. He’s also gotten permission from his academic advisor to use this experience as independent study for this semester so he has until the end of the semester, around the time that Miguel is due home, to make everything perfect.

And he’s hit with a few surprises. The first is that Miguel comes home early, and Hudson loses all hold on his emotions and his intellect. He’s gob smacked by Miguel, and the feeling is reciprocated. Never having been in love, and as the product of the foster care system and protector of his brother, Hudson has never been number one in anyone’s life, so when Miguel treats him as if he is precious and necessary to Miguel’s life, he flounders helplessly in a sea of confusion. And then there’s the gun running. One little detail Dal forgot to tell Hudson—Dal took possession of a million dollar shipment of arms from a gunrunner and now it’s time to pay up. Oh, oh.

This story follows the pattern of many of Mary Calmes’s stories in that one MC is beloved by friends or family or both and the other is tall, dark, alpha, and powerful and becomes the love of the other’s life and vice versa. Personally, I love the formula, and in this case, I loved these characters. Hudson had personality, wit and intelligence. He also had a need to be needed and to be loved, and when Miguel came along and swept him up in both need and love, it was a match made in heaven.

There’s a whole host of secondary characters, many of whom are strong women. (Thank you, Mary Calmes!) The setting, the story, the characters, and especially Hudson and his soulmate Miguel make this one of my favorites. The only thing I’d change is to make the story longer. It gave me a pick-me-up just when I needed it most. I recommend this story to those who enjoy MM romance with a strong, masculine and wealthy hero and a sweet, intelligent and needy nerd. It’s fairly short so would make the perfect treat when you are heading to the beach, an airplane ride, or just want to devour something fantastic real quick.

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Cover Art by Reese Dante depicts a young man lying on his back with his arm raised above his head as if he’s sleeping.  The white background and bright red title letters make the cover unassuming but smart— just like Hudson.   

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 126 pages
Expected publication: March 16th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781634771313
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Lila Review: Balls Up (Blowing It #2) by Kate Aaron

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5        ★★★★★
Handsome man holding a briefcase in a vintage interior

Handsome man holding a briefcase in a vintage interior

Owen Barnes’s life is finally going the way he wants. He’s making a living as an author, and his relationship with building surveyor Magnus Cassidy is going from strength to strength.

When Owen finds a lump, he buries his head in the sand. He’s too busy for doctor appointments and besides, it’s probably nothing. He pushes concern away and is soon swept up in a whirlwind of distractions. His best friend’s husband is falling apart and Owen needs to be strong for them, not burdening them with his fears.

He says he’ll deal with it when the new book is released, when Ryan and Sameer are more stable, when he’s done writing. Owen has a hundred excuses to hide one simple fact: he’s scared.

Eventually, Magnus drags him to the doctor, and the news isn’t good. Can Owen cope with the unexpected turn events have taken, or is his perfect life about to go balls up?

Eventually, Magnus drags him to the doctor, and the news isn’t good. Can Owen cope with the unexpected turn events have taken, or is his perfect life about to go balls up?

Balls Up is more than a romance, it’s the diary of a cancer patient and his caretaker. Yes, they are a couple, but as the disease progresses, we get to understand the challenges their love faced and how they managed to make it flourish during their darkest time together.

I read this story as a stand-alone but in reality, it is book #2 in the Bring It series. This is not the type of story I usually read, but I’m glad I did. Unless you want to know how Owen and Magnus got together and read more about the secondary characters, there’s no need to read the previous book to enjoy this installment.

Owen’s cancer is the central plot of the story, everything else is secondary. It is a hard book to read. It feels real, and it takes the reader, step by step, through the complete process– from diagnosis to resolution. We live the ups and downs with Owen and take part of his fears, hopes, and treatment.

There are happy moments mixed within the story. Great secondary characters, and perfect scenarios for the events to take place. The pacing flows well, getting us through the hard moments with a little hope to look forward. Owen’s and Magnus’s relationship is the perfect example of a caring love.

The author not only wrote a beautiful story about a real couple with believable problems, but she also gave us a story that everyone can relate to. Like the characters in the story, we all know someone with cancer or had experienced it. Writing about a topic many men are not comfortable to talk about, open the door for their partners to reach to them. It gives us an opening to get more information about a serious issue. And we get to see how the complete medical process works.

Another thing I enjoyed was the characterization. We get outstanding characters, settings, and events from a British perspective. What I liked the most it’s that the author didn’t feel the need to Americanized the story as other do even when they take place outside the United States. The terms, the experiences, and everything surrounding the characters and their stories was believable and perfectly crafted.

The title and the cover go hand in hand with the topics and several scenes in the story. Plus, it matches the cover of the previous book in the series.

Sale Links: Croft House | Amazon | ARe

Book Details:

ebook, 310 pages
Published: June 6, 2016, by Croft House
ISBN: 9781310202261
Edition Language: English

Series:  Blowing It
Book #1: Blowing It
Book #2: Balls Up
Book #3: Dom on the Side