A Stella Release Day Review: Unbreak My Heart (Unbreak My Heart #1) by K-lee Klein

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RATING 5 out of 5 stars

Unbreak My Heart DreamspinnerBrett Taylor’s world collapsed three years ago when he lost the love of his life. Almost as bad as the grief is the advice he’s starting to get from everyone and their brother, telling him it’s time to move on. They’re flat-out wrong. He left his career as a musician and escaped to his ranch because he needs the peace and quiet, and he’s doing just fine. He doesn’t want anyone invading his memory-filled, booze-fueled solitude.

JT Campbell’s world has been defined by his parents’ money, status, and his own empty relationships, until he’s desperately sick of it. A quest to find something meaningful leads him to Brett’s failing ranch. It’s supposed to be a brief stay. JT never wanted to be anyone’s savior or compete with the ghosts of lovers past. Still, he can’t help wanting this gruff and grieving man.

JT’s mind knows it’s a bad idea, but his heart keeps pushing him to find out what lies beneath Brett’s rough and broken exterior. Brett’s not going to make it easy. JT can only be patient, keep his sense of humor, and hope for the day he may be allowed far enough into Brett’s world to unbreak his heart.

I read Unbreak My Heart when it was released the first time in the 2013 and I was soon conquered by K-lee Klein, in these years she easily became one of my favorite. This second edition has been  re-edited. I can honestly say I didn’t note a difference, to me it was great as it was three years ago.

The book is an amazing read, sweet romantic just how I like it. It’s pure romance. But never too much sweet, never shallow, always full of emotions, some to overcome, other to discover, none of them to forget. What caught my heart from the start were the characters, main and second ones. Although I have to say even the second characters wore important roles, Walt too. The author greatly portrayed them and made me love them at first sight. I love Brett and JT, with all their flaws. Brett brought tears to my eyes with every single letter he wrote to Walt, with every sip he took from his friend Jack Daniel’s. I adored how they were attracted to each other, how they waited to be right for each other. The chemistry, the friendship, all perfect.

The author spared nothing, she gave me backgrounds on every character, I learn their pasts and loved them more cause I know what they went through and how strong they became.

I want to highly recommend Unbreak My Heart to all of you. If you like very emotional stories and slow burn this is for you.

The cover art by Reese Dante is of course well done, I like the author style in general so I’m not disappointed. That said, I’m probably in the minority here I know, but I still prefer the cover of the old edition, maybe cause I’m used to it or maybe cause I just liked the colors more.

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Book Details:

ebook, 2nd Edition, 296 pages
Expected publication: August 5th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
(first published August 25th 2013)
ISBN 1634775953 (ISBN13: 9781634775953)
Edition Language English
Series Unbreak My Heart #1

A MelanieM Review: Diary Dates by T.J. Masters

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Rating: 2.75 stars out of 5

Diary DatesPostgraduate student Andrew Chin arrives in London not only to study, but to explore life away from his traditional family in Singapore. His adventure begins at the airport, where he finds the diary of a wealthy British businessman and endeavors to return it.

James Howard is twice Andrew’s age, and he’s not used to selfless youngsters. Despite a rocky first meeting, the two develop an unlikely friendship as James introduces Andrew to the city. James is looking forward to the festivities leading up to Christmas in London and maybe a celebration with Andrew. But will a nasty bout of the flu ruin their romantic holiday?

Not if Andrew has anything to say about it.

Diary Dates by T.J. Masters was a short story that was a swift romance read that had promise of a much better tale then the one that was delivered.  I liked the premise and the beginning that had Andrew Chin arriving and finding the diary of James Howard was intriguing and held my interest.  But once the main characters met, the story started dissolving amidst a lack of chemistry and characterization.

I liked the awkwardness displayed by Andrew Chin as a student out of his element in London.  First time in away from his family, first time in that foreign city, so many firsts…the cultural misunderstandings.  He was charming and I adored him. In fact I wanted more of his background.  James Howard on the other hand always came across as a bit of an enigma.  Even though the author kept telling us Andrew was attracted to him, I never got it, I never “felt” the attraction.  It was just words.  So their romance, when it happened, was every bit as awkward or ok, sort of creepy in my opinion because I felt the author never laid down any solid foundation for their attraction or relationship.  It was more telling, less letting the readers feel it.  At least that’s how it came across to me.

You may feel completely different.

Its a short story.  Just 52 pages that fly by.  So check it out for yourself.  You may think it works and like the May/December romance.  For me,  I remain disappointed in a story I was really looking forward to.

Cover art by Bree Archer is quite wonderful, for the story and characters.

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Book Details:

ebook, 52 pages
Published July 23rd 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634770617 (ISBN13: 9781634770613)
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Ali Audiobook Review: Tigers on the Run by Sean Kennedy and Narrator Dave Gillies

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
tigers-on-the-run audiobookYoung Australian Micah Johnson is the first AFL player to be out at the beginning of his career. Retired professional football player Declan Tyler mentors Micah, but he finds it difficult, as Micah is prone to making poor life choices that land him in trouble. Nothing Dec can’t handle. He’s been there, done that, more times than he’d like to admit. Being Simon Murray’s partner all these years has Dec quite experienced in long-suffering and mishaps.
As usual, Simon thinks everything is going along just fine until his assistant, Coby, tells him a secret involving an old nemesis. Simon and Dec’s problems mash together, and to solve them, they must undertake a thousand-kilometer round trip in which issues will have to be sorted out, apologies are finally given, and a runaway kid is retrieved and returned to his worried parents.
I was kind of worried from the blurb that this was going to be more about Micah with only bits of Simon and Declan but thankfully I was wrong. This story picks up a bit later, the guys have been together 8 years now. The are stable and strong and as great together as always. This book is again told by Simon in his snarky way:

“……and those people will always be bitter fucking arseholes.”

“Have you ever thought of becoming a life coach?”

“No, but maybe I could write kid’s books.”

“Yeah, Life Sucks, and Then it Sucks Some More by Simon Murray.”

“It’ll prepare them early.”

Not a lot of angst here like in the first two books but that is good in my opinion. I was glad to see a continued story that lets us revisit a couple we love without drama. The story moved along quickly, the gang was all there, there were some laugh out loud moments and some beautifully sweet moments between Simon and Declan. These two remain a favorite m/m couple for me. And yay for the ending. Looks like we’re going to get more stories.

I’ve done this entire series on audio and have loved all of them.  The narrator is the same for all three books and I think he does a good job.  There’s something about doing a series on audio.  I think it makes the characters come alive more.  It’s almost like listening to a story by a friend.
Cover art by Catt Ford:  I like the cover by Catt Ford.  It fits the others in the series in the trademark style they all have.
 Audiobook Sales Links
Audiobook Details:
Release Date Jun 21, 2016
Type  Contemporary Novels, Series
Length 7:35

A Jeri Review: Fight the Tide (Kick at the Darkness #2) by Keira Andrews

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Fight the TideYou really, really must read Kick at the Darkness first as this is the follow up book. And I am guessing (hoping?) that there will be a book three.

Fight the Tide picks up right where Kick at the Darkness leaves off. Adam and Parker are aboard a sailboat trying to survive. They have no idea where they are really going or what to do. But they want to survive. One day while Adam is on shore getting supplies, Parker is victimized by modern day pirates. Feeling like less of a man, a broken person, he puts on a brave face for Adam. When they hear a distress call, Parker absolutely does not want to help, fearing the worst. But Adam can’t leave these people with 2 children when they are sinking. And so we meet Craig, his daughter Lilly, and Abby and her so Jacob.

This installment is no longer a romantic love story, but one of survival and making your way in an unknown world. In book 1 it was Adam who was untrusting of the world. In book 2, it is Parker. That flip kept this book very interesting. Adam has a whole new “coming out” when he admits to the others that he is a werewolf.

While I really enjoyed this book, it was a bit of a hybrid of The Walking Dead and Waterworld.  There were tears, gasps, sighs and oh my gods. At times I was a bit lost in the sailing jargon, but then on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. We still get moments of romance between Adam and Parker, but this is far from a love story.

I admit I like book 1 more, but book 2 was a necessary bridge to the story coming for us in book 3. A story I cannot wait for.

The cover is gorgeous and a perfect representation of Parker and Adam and their sailboat, seemingly alone on the open seas.

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Book Details:

ebook, 250 pages
Published July 26th 2016 by KA Books
ISBN139781988260068
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series: Kick at the Darkness – add it to your Goodreads here

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Fallow (Whyborne & Griffin #8) by Jordan L. Hawk

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

FallowFans of the Whyborne & Griffin series will love the fact that this story is principally about Griffin and his relationships in his hometown of Fallow, Kansas, especially his relationship with his mother, Nella.

As the story opens, Whyborne is still struggling with what he learned about himself a few months before when he touched the Maelstrom and realized he is an otherworldly being, and he’s worried about Griff’s reaction as much as he’s worried about not being human. Refusing to tell Griff, he becomes cool and aloof and actually causes Griffin more worry than if he had simply told him the truth.

When a visitor from Griff’s hometown arrives and seeks out Whyborne at the museum, they never get to find out the real reason behind the visit as the man is slain before he can even speak. And he’s slain by a man Griffin recognizes from his hometown. The mystery gets stronger when they discover the man’s roommate, also from Fallow, seems to be afflicted by the same malady as the other man. It’s quickly evident that the couple has to travel to Fallow to find out what’s really going on, and there’s no way Christine and Iskander will allow them to go alone.

In Fallow, they discover a plot to pave the way for the return of the Masters. There’s a mysterious disorder that seems to be spread by the well someone drilled on the land for which the town was named. Due to his gift of second-sight, Griff is the only one who can see the people affected by this malady, and he’s shocked to discover that the woman who married the man he once had sex with is now married to his cousin and is very definitely infected. And—she lives in his mother’s home. The mystery is even deeper than the foursome at first fear, but it appears Whyborne’s usual talents are not able to be used to rid Fallow of the menace. What happens to the foursome, as a group and individually, kept this reader riveted to the book to the end.

A nail-biter like others in the series, this story is highly intriguing, and at the same time, it’s very revealing of Griff’s past relationships and the reasoning behind his eviction from the town. How the author manages to weave such interesting, interwoven, and twisted mysteries always astounds me. In this case, I can only say that I am once again in awe.

Cover art is by Lou Harper who just took over the cover art and is redoing the series. I like it in that it’s colorful, and I like the depiction of Whyborne, though I always liked the previous images which seemed to suit his tall, gangly, awkward personality better. But I don’t like the look of Griffin at all. He seems too slight and too homely to be the man I’ve been reading about for years.

The eighth book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, I very highly recommend Fallow as I have others in the series. Those who haven’t started should pick up Widdershins and catch up to this fascinating series—as soon as possible!

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Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 210 pages
Expected publication: August 5th 2016
Original TitleFallow
ASINB01I2DQORO
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesWhyborne & Griffin #8