A MelanieM Review: Lyle’s Story (Landlocked Heart #2) by Kay Berrisford

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Lyle, a merman, and Ben, his human, work together in a seaside ice-cream parlour and their life together is bliss. Or would be, if not for Ben’s constant worries about career and money, and Lyle’s dark past—a myriad of secrets, lies, wild magic, and foul deeds, which now threaten to catch up with him.

When Lyle’s merfolk family accuse him of murder, Ben and Lyle’s bond is stretched to the limit. Not only does Lyle seem unsuited to Ben’s dreams of domestic happiness, hismagical powers are spinning dangerously out of control. Even Lyle isn’t entirely sure he’s innocent.

With Ben dragged deep into the enchanted processes of merfolk justice, escaping with his life—and getting home to an important job interview—is just the start of the challenge. Uncovering Lyle’s inner truths without destroying their love could be a step too far…

Lyle’s Story is the second in Kay Berrisford’s Landlocked Heart series and I think it succeeds far better than the original story.  I liked so much about Lyle’s Story, especially in comparison to The Lonely Merman (Landlocked Heart, #1) which I liked but had issues with the format and ending.

Lyle’s Story is straightford lovely storytelling.  All the gaps and narrative whopping holes from the first story are filled in beautifully here, the characters and their relationship show real growth, and I just loved some of the elements (mysteries) that the author added into the overall series arc.

Ben and Lyle’s relationship is still in its formative stage and they are adjusting to each other and their hopes for the future.  It’s charming and oddly realistic considering one is a merman.  Lyle’s nature is not that of a human, Ben is human…there’s fins, magic, and much more to deal with, including Lyle’s past that he hasn’t been entirely truthful to Ben about.

I loved how Berrisford folds practicality and magic, myth and the mundane all together and it works.  This new addition to the series has me totally charmed and now I can’t wait to read the next installment.  The Landlocked Heart has captured mine.  If you are a lover of merman, romance and HEA, perhaps this is just the series and stories for you.

Cover art by J. Ang is simple and brands the series.

Sales Links:  Less Than Three Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published September 27th 2017 by Less Than Three Press
Original TitleLyle’s Story
ISBN139781684310401
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLandlocked Heart #2

A MelanieM Review: Berzerker (Twirled World Ink #1) by J.M. Dabney

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Welcome to Twirled World Ink where the crazies run the asylum.

The hum of a tattoo machine was Brian “Berzerker” Anderson’s favorite sound in the world. He’d won a coveted spot at Twirled World Ink with a legend in the business, Gib Phelps. Creating beauty with his large, scarred hands was his happy place—the place where he fit in the world. Although, nothing could remain perfect forever, his boyfriend of over a year decided to move on and up without him in tow. He had two choices, return to living with his friends and co-workers or take an offer too tempting to pass up.

Landon Phelps grew up in an unconventional home as the only child to Legendary Tattoo Artist Gib Phelps and mother, Peaches. He always felt a bit out of place when he became a boring accountant instead of following in his parents’ footsteps. Boundaries were in place early on; he didn’t date the employees of Twirled World Ink. Sometimes rules were meant to be broken. Bezerker was his idea of perfection, large, husky and tattooed; the thick, grab-worthy beard was a bonus. So when the boyfriend became the ex, Landon decided it was time to get his man.

With the help of the matchmaking Twirled Crew, can Landon finally get Berzerker to see him as more than a friend and the employer’s son?

Here we are at the beginning!  The Twirled World Ink series launches the first of three interconnected series and an ever enlarging cast of addictive characters, all of whom live in the town of Powers, Georgia.  And it all starts here.  I’ve been working my way backwards from that last series, Executioners (a band) to arrive at this  point.  Now I get to meet the original characters and see how they find their HEA.

First it’s Brian “Berzerker” Anderson, the large, intimidating inked tattooer at Twirled World Ink.  Tossed aside by someone ashamed of him,  it frees him up for the man who’s been waiting for just this opportunity. Landon, the young son of the owners of the tattoo shop who’s crushed on Berzerker for ages and now intends to go after the man he wants.

This story by J.M. Dabney has enough elements to appeal to everyone.  It has an age different in couple, humor, friends to lovers, and yes, simply hot sex scenes.  I don’t really regard what happens with Brian and Landon as instant love as they have known each other for a while, but more as a recognition of what’s really been there all along.  And I love stories like that.

It’s hard for me to be impartial about this story because in a way I’ve been living with this couple for nine books now and feel like I know them intimately.  I’ve seen them grow and I know where they are going.  So for me, this is a lovely trip back in time to see where it began for them and I love it.  And yes, I’m so fond of them.

All that couldn’t happen without  J.M. Dabney’s wonderful way with characterization and decisions about location and things like a tattoo shop called Twirled World Ink.  Because as Berzerker demonstrates its never just about the couple, its also about the supporting cast of characters that you will come to love and need to see as much of as anyone else.  That includes Peaches and Gib, and the rest of the Brawler crew and everyone else from Twirled World Ink and more.   In this series (all three of them)  it takes a town, and that town is Powers, Georgia.  It too will undergo transformation along with the men who live there.

And it starts here.

I gave you all the old cover because that came with the version I read.  The new cover states that it has been reedited so I will put that one  in a smaller version below.  I hate to admit it but I really prefer the older version.  Tell me what you think.

Cover art by Winterheart Designs (old).  I really love this older cover.  It seems grittier, more perfect for the characters than the new lighter version.  Tell me what you think.

 

 

 

 

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Author’s Note: Although this is the first book in a series each book is a standalone and every book deals with a separate couple.

Kindle Edition, 138 pages
Published November 27th 2016 by Hostile Whispers Press, LLC (first published November 2016)
ASINB01N0KDB60
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesTwirled World Ink #1
Characters Brian “Berzerker” Anderson, Landon Phelps settingPowers, Georgia (United States)