A MelanieM Review: The Cattle Baron’s Bogus Boyfriend by Nicki Bennett

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The Cattle Baron's Bogus BoyfriendIt might be a sham to his boss, but it’s all too real to him.

Administrative assistant Jonah Hollis has nurtured a hopeless crush on his boss, millionaire cattle rancher Lincoln Courtwright, ever since he started working for him. But hope is kindled when Linc and beautiful rodeo star Melissa Cutler break up just weeks before the biggest event of the Dallas social season, the Cattle Baron’s Ball, and Linc asks Jonah to accompany him in her place.

Is it all a ploy to make Melissa jealous? Can Jonah fit into Linc’s world? It takes some encouragement from his roommates and his best friend, Caylee, for Jonah to agree. Before long, Jonah dares to believe Linc might just feel something for him… until interfering family and a series of misunderstandings threaten his fragile dream of happiness.

The Cattle Baron’s Bogus Boyfriend by Nicki Bennett is another adorable romance from Dreamspinner Press’ Dreamspun Desires series.  With a plot that’s a throwback to those sixties romance movies and novels, assistance Jonah has fallen in love with his handsome, supposedly ‘straight’ cowboy CEO boss, Lincoln ” Linc “Courtwright.  Jonah has made himself indispensable to his boss, working long hours and even buying the gifts for his girlfriend, Melissa.

Yes, the story is running true to form and I am loving every word of it.  Why?  Because of the characters.  Jonah is a gem of the character.  From the description above, some of you might be thinking doormat but that’s hardly the case.  Jonah, as written by Nicki Bennett, is intelligent, wry, funny and very self aware of the situation he’s in.  Not a typical 60’s romance character.  I adore him.  Plus the author has surrounded Jonah with a group of friends/housemates that are as lively and wonderful a support family as you could ask for.  Honestly, I want Wes’  story next, along with the rest.

But the character of Linc is no slouch.  He’s the tall, dark, handsome love interest.  A cowboy who is rich, owns a large Texas ranch, oil…yes, I know, heard it all before.  Yet, I loved Linc too.  Once the author started the conversations going between Linc and Jonah, Linc became more of a believable person and less a Ken doll, which may have been the author’s goal for us and Jonah all along.  To show us the real person behind the facade she originally presents us with.

There are some other plot lines with Jonah’s parents, small town homophobia and a long time best friend.  They were nicely handled but some of it felt almost too “pushed” into the story to feel part of the natural flow of the narrative. Drama needed?  Boom, there it was.  Doesn’t mean I didn’t like the epilogue because I really did.

The only thing too contrived for me?  The part of the story used as the major drama point in the plot.  I thought the character of Jonah would have been too smart for the actions that followed, but perhaps that was just me.

That aside, I adored this story, the characters and yes, the HEA.  The Cattle Baron’s Bogus Boyfriend by Nicki Bennett is just the story for you if you love a sweet romance, terrific characters and a wonderful surrounding cast.  I would love for Nicki Bennett to give Wes his story too.  Perhaps more.  This is a universe that cries out for a series.  I hope the author is listening.

Cover art by Paul Richmond.  I love this series and its covers.  They are perfect in tone, design and grab my heart as well as my attention.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, Dreamspun Desires #10, 216 pages
Published May 15th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleThe Cattle Baron’s Bogus Boyfriend
ISBN139781634770194
Edition LanguageEnglish

 

A Paul B Review: First Omega (River Wolf Pack #1) by Rebecca James

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

First OmegaJosiah Kimbrel has always been fascinated with the werewolf tales that the uncle that raise him told as Josiah was growing up.  Uncle Horace had always promised Josiah a visit to werewolf territory when he was older but had died before he got the chance.  Now, as the first ambassador from the Human Werewolf Congress, Josiah is finally getting his chance.

River is the pack alpha of the River wolf pack.  While not totally trusting humans, he believes that communication with them is necessary in order to prevent a war among the species.  Somewhat reluctantly, River agrees to accept a human into his territory in order to foster this communication.

As Josiah is beginning to gather information he feels he needs to take back to the Congress, he notices a secretion that is coming out of his ass.  Annoyed that it has dampened his underwear, he goes out for a walk.  All of a sudden, River is on him and asks Josiah why he never told River that he was an omega wolf.  This surprises Josiah as his parents have long been dead and his uncle never mentioned to him about being a werewolf.  River claims that not only is Josiah an omega, but HIS omega.

Josiah must now deal with the implications of this new information.  Already looked down upon by some members of the wolf pack because he is human, Josiah now must face the fact that he will be looked down upon by the human world for being half werewolf.  There are also implications of his being River’s mate and assuming the role of First Omega within the pack.  There are also forces both from the pack and the human world that seem to want to do Josiah harm.  This mating is off to a rocky start to say the least.

Author Rebecca James has created a fascinating new werewolf world in the first book in her new River Wolf Pack series.  The houses that the werewolves have built blend into the landscape of the forest that they inhabit.  While they shun most technology as they do not want to deal with human interaction for the most part, they do have running water.  The idea of more than one alpha in a pack was also surprising.  The fact that neither the humans nor weres trust each other sets the stage for plot lines in further books.  It looks like the Human-Werewolf Congress might a good idea that those behind the scenes are using for their own purposes.  I am looking forward to following books in the series.

Sales Links:  JMS Books | ARe | Amazon

Book Details

EBook, 151 pages
Published:  January 10, 2016 by JMS Books
ISBN:  9781634860215
Edition Language:  English

Series:  River Wolf Pack

  • First Omega (River Wolf Pack #1)
  • Second Alpha (River Wolf Pack #2)

A Stella Review: Risk Aware by Amelia C Gormley

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RATING:  4,25 out of 5 stars

RiskAware_600x900Tattoo artist Geoff Gilchrest is convinced his life is some sort of cosmic joke. Why else would a hemophiliac also be a masochist? He’s given himself more than one elbow bleed since puberty just doing what guys do when alone and bored, so forget about whips and chains. How many partners would contemplate playing with someone even a mild flogging could kill?

Gallery owner Robin Brady knows he can deliver what Geoff needs: to be taken to the edge of danger but never beyond. But Robin came to Saugatuck to get away from the leather scene and heal from a betrayal by his former sub, so he’s not sure he should get involved with Geoff. His ambivalence isn’t helped by the fact that Geoff’s unwillingness to communicate about his well-being hits Robin in some very raw places.

Geoff’s hemophilia isn’t the obstacle he thinks it is. Instead, a lack of trust—on both their parts—is what could end them before they have a chance to begin.

Risk Aware was the first book I read by Amelia C Gormley and from the beginning, it revealed as a lovely surprise. I found it to be easy to read, especially for the great writing style, but it hides a lot.

Geoff and his sister have just lost their mum, he decides to move to Chicago and leave L.A. and its bad experiences behind.  He is ready to start a new life but first a little holiday in Saugatuck with his bestfriend is required. Here at the Mr Michigan Leather event, he meets Robin and a new unthinkable world opens before Geoff and his hemophilia.

Robin spent 5 years in NY. He now lives in Saugatuck where he is working on opening his own gallery. He is looking for a new life too and  his Dom side is soon attracted to Geoff. But when the connection between them will become to hard to ignore they need to try and give it a chance after the holiday ends. And then the struggles with Geoff’s hemophilia and Robin’s trust issue will play a huge rolein the story.

I have to admit, although I already knew what hemophilia is, I never met anyone who has it and seeing and reading all the little and meaningless (to us) things Geoff needed to be careful with, like a simple blowjob for example, was hard and tiring. It gave me some anxiety too, because each time Robin and Geoff played together I was very concerned about his health. But Robin is always caring and mindful of each limit in their BDSM scenes.

I liked them together, I enjoyed how the plot developed almost exclusively around the MCs’ relationship, I like how they act,  sure of themselves and the desire and love they have discovered for ech other. IMO the story was well thought out and researched, but the writing was so much better. I want to highly recommend Risk Aware, it definitely was worth my time and if you’re a BDSM or Amelia fan, you can’t miss it.

The cover art by LC Chase caught my attention at first sight, well done and colorful and fitting. It’s a winner.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 323 pages
Published May 7th 2016 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleRisk Aware
ISBN 1626494126 (ISBN13: 9781626494121)
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttp://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/risk-awar

A Lila Review: Werewolves of Chernobyl by K.A. Merikan and L.A. Witt

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Werewolves of ChernobylQuinn is a travel blogger in search of the next great story. He specializes in finding the big shot and news no other blogger would post. During his trip to Chernobyl, he enters the exclusion zone he had been ordered to stay away by the armed tour guides. As he explores, he found one of the animals he had been warned about, but he realizes there’s more behind his findings.

Dima is the werewolf Quinn meets. During their brief encounter, Dima gets mesmerized by Quinn and wants to make him his. Unfortunately, they don’t have an effective way to communicate even when Dima understands Quinn. After the guides come to Quinn’s rescue, Dima runs home to find his best friend, Nazar.

Nazar has been Dima’s protector since they were pups. He would do anything to make him happy, including rescuing Dima’s new craving. Nazar and Dima have a deep connection that gets tested by Quinn’s arrival and pack dynamics. It would be up to the three of them to find their place in each other’s life.

Werewolves of Chernobyl isn’t your typical werewolves’ story, nor, the story I expected. There’s no fated mate, fairytale-like forests, or ruling alpha male claiming the main character. Instead, we get a human MC, a werewolf soldier, and the lowest werewolf in the hierarchy. And all these made for a refreshing take on a well-known troupe.

It’s amazing to see how three authors can work in one single story without making it obvious. The pacing, flow, and characterizations were executed flawlessly. Each main character has a solid backstory, and their personalities are unique. Together, they balanced their relationship and their future.

The story incorporates historical events to a paranormal world without resting importance to them. The authors were versed on the facts surrounding the Chernobyl disaster and the previous and current state of the surrounding areas and countries. It’s easy to see the story from the characters perspective and to understand the settings.

Even when the story was well-crafted, smexy, and interesting enough to keep reading, it lacks complexity. Everything that happens to the characters is simply a background. It doesn’t interfere directly with their daily events or the final outcome. More than a story about the possibility of werewolves in Chernobyl, it’s a story about how to adjust to the ins and outs of a polyamorous relationship.

It’s not about romance or a thriller. Overall, this story is about three “men” figuring out a long term relationship.

The cover by Natasha Snow portraits Quinn in the dark woods of the Chernobyl exclusion zone. But doesn’t provide any more details.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 214 pages
Published: May 5, 2016, by Wing & Fang Press
ASIN: B01EZAWJ6S
Edition Language: English