A Lila Release Day Review: Normal Enough (Wrench Wars #2) by Marie Sexton

Standard

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Normal EnoughWhat is “normal”?

When Brandon Kenner shows up at Kasey Ralston’s garage with a 1970 Chevelle SS 454, Kasey is smitten by both the man and his car. But Kasey is hiding an embarrassing secret: his love for old muscles goes beyond what most would consider normal. His unusual fetish has kept Kasey isolated—estranged from his family and even distant from his coworkers.

But when Brandon figures out the hot mechanic’s secret, he’s not repulsed. In fact, he finds Kasey intriguing, and he’s determined to have him for himself.

Everything about Brandon revs Kasey’s engine, and he’s more than willing to get down and dirty with the charming man. What worries Kasey is what will happen after. Is there any chance of a future for them? In the past, expecting anything long-term has only led to heartbreak. But Kasey can’t help hoping that, despite Kasey’s fetish, Brandon will be the exception.

Normal Enough is a steamy novella with potential for more. The setup between Brandon and Kasey is cute, but I think Brandon realizes Kasey’s kink too quickly; setting a series of scenes that felt rushed and disconnected. We barely had time to get to know the main characters before we were halfway through the story. A fast pace is to be expected from a novella, but on this occasion, it was two times faster than necessary.

The characters are perfect for each other. I like the playfulness of their encounters and how much they connected in such a short amount of time. They’re sweet and hot, creating a couple of intense meetings worth writing home about. Add the cars to the picture and you will have the bones for a great story.

I like the way Kasey moves out of his shell with every contact he has with Brandon. Not only being more confident but by taking a chance to make friends and reach to his family.  This story fits the series well; it just lacks another twenty pages.

And one pet peeve of mine, the e-book ends at 84%. I don’t mind the extra content, but in a novella, it seems excessive.

Another nice cover by Garrett Leigh. Still generic, but it matches the others in the series.

Sale Links

        

Book Details:

ebook, 82 pages
Published: August 3, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 1634773837 (ISBN13: 9781634773836)
Edition Language: English

Series: Wrench Wars
Book #1: Last Mechanic Standing
Book #2: Normal Enough

A Jeri Review: Jersey Heat by DC Williams

Standard

Rating: 3 Stars out of 5

Jersey HeatI have to admit that I requested to read and review this book because it was set in NJ. And I am born and bred Jersey girl. So while it didn’t have a lot to do with Jersey- unnamed city they live in, unnamed beach town they visit (although I could guess), it was still a decent steamy read. I just have to put my Jersey bias aside.

Austin and Carter are roommates in a one bedroom apartment with very little air conditioning in the middle of a heatwave. In an effort to keep cool, they decide to leave super early to hit the beach. There is a lot of flirting and rubbing, but even though Austin is gay and out, Carter is presumably straight, and nursing a cracked- not slight broken- heart after his girlfriend dumped him.

*Cue porn music*  This was definitely not a thinker type book, but definitely more a porn screenplay in book form. There was a bit of story there, squeezed in so it isn’t all sex. It’s a fun, hot short story with zero angst. Which is sometimes exactly what you need.

The cover alludes to the heat, the coupling and the beach. What more could you want?

*

*

Sales Links

      MLR Press Books  

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 61 pages
Published July 2nd 2016 by MLR Press
ASINB01HOW0QJG
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Paul B Review: The Werewolf Tutor (Shreds #1) by Jade Astor

Standard

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The Werewolf TutorGarth Merrick and his two brothers are opening a new shifter friendly bar in Maine.  To say that Garth is not made to be a bartender is an understatement.  The number of broken glasses is a testament to that.  One day their family attorney shows up with a proposition.  One of his friends, a wolf shifter, has a son who is having a difficult time shifting.  Would one of the brothers be willing to tutor the young shifter the proper techniques to shifting?  Garth sees this as an opportunity to avoid broken glass and spend some time in rural Maine where his cougar can roam the country estate.

Braiden Hemmings is a young werewolf shifter who is used to getting his own way.  His father does not like the fact that he is hanging out with members of the other pack that lives in town, as the two packs have had bad blood for years.  Having to go away for business, Braiden’s father decides to hire someone to supposedly help him learn to shift.  Braiden knows the real reason is that his father just wants someone to keep an eye on him with he’s out of town.  Braiden decides to act like the brat that his father thinks he is and seduce the babysitter and run him out of town.  When he catches sight of the gorgeous man brought in, Braiden decides that maybe he shouldn’t run him off so fast.

While the attraction between the two is obvious, Garth resists temptation because he Is being paid to teach this young man.  However, the young men of the rival pack decide to make Braden do their bidding, ordering him to meet them.  Garth warns Braiden about possible trouble.  When Braiden does not show, the pack comes searching for them.  The tutor and student must defend themselves against the invaders if they want to continue their new romance.

This is the first book in the new Shreds series.  I wanted to like the book more but something seemed to fall short for me.  I am not sure if it is the fact that Garth up and leaves his brothers behind as they start a new business or the romance between the two main characters did not click as I thought it should have.  Despite this, I do look forward to the stories of Garth’s brothers.  The idea of a shifter bar provides a good setting for future stories.

The cover by E Connors has our two men in front of a forest setting.  One is shirtless while the other has a zipper cropped sweatshirt on.  It is a decent if generic cover for the book.

Sales Links

        

Book Details

EBook, 66 pages
Edition Language:  English
Published:  April 26, 2016 by Dark Hallows Press
ISBN:  978-1530302451

Series:  Shreds

The Werewolf Tutor (Shreds #1)

An Ali Audiobook Review: For Real (Spires Universe) by Alexis Hall and John Hartley (Narrator), Paul Berton (Narrator)

Standard

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

For Real AudiobookLaurence Dalziel is worn down and washed up, and for him, the BDSM scene is all played out. Six years on from his last relationship, he’s pushing forty and tired of going through the motions of submission.

Then he meets Toby Finch. Nineteen years old. Fearless, fierce, and vulnerable. Everything Laurie can’t remember being.

Toby doesn’t know who he wants to be or what he wants to do. But he knows, with all the certainty of youth, that he wants Laurie. He wants him on his knees. He wants to make him hurt, he wants to make him beg, he wants to make him fall in love.

The problem is, while Laurie will surrender his body, he won’t surrender his heart. Because Toby is too young, too intense, too easy to hurt. And what they have—no matter how right it feels—can’t last. It can’t mean anything.

It can’t be real.

My heart is so zing I can’t even….. Seriously. Not enough words to express how much I loved this story. I had a bunch of friends who had read this and loved it but although I like this author’s work I was still a little dubious about the age gap. It wasn’t the amount of years as much as the fact that Toby was only 19. I went into this feeling a lot like Laurie did. I thought Toby was too young for this story to feel real to me.

This story looks at two very different men at two very different stages of their lives. Toby is working and still living at home with his mother. He knows he has dominate tendencies but really all he has are fantasies. He’s not had any real experience or opportunity to learn how to be a Dom. Laurie is on the opposite spectrum. He’s in his late 30’s and is a doctor. He has an established career and is financially stable. He’s had both short and long term sexual and bdsm relationships. While Laurie should be the one with the most self-confidence he really isn’t. He’s jaded and a tad bitter and he really doesn’t believe love will happen for him again. Toby also has a lack of self-confidence in some ways but his is more an age thing. He’s not sure what he has to offer Laurie. Watching these two try to work through their respective issues was just beautiful. While Toby struggles with not knowing what he wants to do with his future and how to have the sexual relationship he wants, he’s filled with enthusiasm and maybe most importantly, hope. And after awhile with him, those thing start to spread to Laurie.

I felt the author did a great job with both characters. The magic in the storytelling for me was that we got the story told from each characters point of view. I felt like this really helped me to understand what each of them were going through. I found myself identifying with both of them at one point or the other. I understood the doubts Laurie had in regards to Toby’s age. I’m not sure I could date someone that much younger than me. On the other hand I’ve been 19 and I though Toby was a great representation of what it’s like to be at that stage of life.

I also really enjoyed the kink aspect of the story. So often in BDSM books there is a type of formula that seems to be used. This book contained none of that. Toby has the desire to dominate but no real idea how to do it and it stands to reason a young Dom would need to be taught by someone. I loved how Laurie does that in this story and how he gently helps Toby to figure out who he is and what he wants in that regard.

An added bonus to this story was listening to it on audio. I highly recommend you give the audiobook a try. There are two narrators and they both do an excellent job. I think a great narrator can add to and enhance a story and in this case I feel like these narrators did just that.

I read a lot, like 300+ books a year, and there are usually only a handful that really stand out as something unique. Something that makes me think about it for days after I’m done. This book is one of those stand outs and I really can’t recommend this book highly enough.

Cover art by Simoné. I liked the cover and I feel like it does a good job representing the characters and the plot.

Sales Links: Riptide PublishingAudible | Amazon | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio, 13 pages
Published November 30th 2015 by Audible Studios (first published June 1st 2015)
Original TitleFor Real
ASINB018IJCQWY
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSpires Universe
Literary AwardsRITA Award by Romance Writers of America for Best Erotic Romance (2016)

Paul’s Paranormal Portfolio – Online Stories

Standard

Pauls Paranormal Portfolio Header

Paul’s Paranormal Portfolio – Online Stories

Welcome back to another edition of the portfolio.  It’s been a while since we chatted but as they say, life gets in the way.  In this edition of the portfolio, I would like to highlight three online stories that I have been reading.  These stories are considered to be in progress and are updated according to the author.  All these stories can be found on the Castle Roland (castleroland.net) web site.

The first story is a fantasy story by AB called The Chronicles of Valana:  Shadowlands.  Marco and Lucas are ten year olds living in Manhattan.  Near their home is a demolition site for the Artifacts Museum.  One day while playing in the rubble, they find an ancient medallion.  They are transported away from New York and land in the middle of a forest where a knight approaches them.  The pair escapes the knight but use of magic.  Clearly not in their own world, the pair set off to find out where they have landed and if there is any way for them to return home.  On their journey, they discover that one is an elven prince and the other a “talker” who can act as a translator not only of humans but animals and nature as well.  The pair must now travel to the elven lands to fulfill their destiny of saving this strange world in which they have entered.

The second story is The Prince of House Vladd by Arthur.  Peter is celebrating his fifteen birthday.  His father takes him to a birthday party in his honor.  When he arrives to the mansion where the party is being held, he finds out there is more to this world than just humans.  Peter is actually Prince Piotr, heir to the vampire House of Vladd the Impaler.  Peter is a daywalker, a vampire who can go out in sun.  His father tells Peter that he will be the next leader of the Vampire council with the princes of the other vampire houses as his guardians.  Peter sets about learning his way but there are those who believe Peter is an easy mark.  Peter and his guardians must defend against this threat.  In book two, a religious demagogue has been elected president and is starting a crusade against all non-conforming people.  Peter, his mate and their son must escape before forces reach them and bide their time in Latin America. 

The third book is not a paranormal book but deals with the apocalypse.  The Day of N by Kyle Aarons tells the story of seven scouts ages eleven to twelve who are out at a camp out with their scout master Scott Korbal.  They are biking near where they are camping when there is a flash in the distant sky.  Scott’s bike blows a tire and he takes a tumble, breaking his arm and several ribs.  The boys notice several mushroom clouds in all directions along with missiles flying upward as an apparent counterstrike gets on the way.  Scott knows that he must get the boys to safety as quickly as possible.  He also realizes that without medical help, he is more than likely going to die soon due to his injuries.  As a former special forces ranger, he is determined to impart his knowledge to these young men about the new world that they live in before his time is up. 

I hope you find these stories as engaging as I have.  If you have your favorite online paranormal stories please share them in the comments section.  I would like to keep this limited to story sites and not author blogs where story previews are often shared and later published.  Until next time…

Paul