A Free Dreamer Review:Time Taken (Out of Time #3) by C.B. Lewis

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Time travel is a precarious business at the best of times, but when Qasim El-Fahkri’s mission to the past ends in violence, it has a ripple effect through every level of the Temporal Research Institute.

Rhys Griffiths finds himself caught in the wake of the disastrous jump, his own career uncertain. With the Supervisory Board breathing down his neck, operatives demanding answers to baffling questions, and life outside of work bearing down on him, his only respite comes from Qasim’s company. As the professional slowly becomes the personal, they must confront the echoes of their own pasts to try and move forward in the future.

But another past is waiting for Qasim, and there may be no coming back from this one…

For full enjoyment, it is recommended to first read books 1, Time Waits, and 2, Time Lost.

If I only had one word to describe “Time Taken”, it would have to be “surprising”. I really didn’t expect the story to go the way it did.

First of all, the blurb implies this doesn’t work as a stand-alone. I have to disagree. I didn’t read the previous two books and didn’t really feel like I missed something. Other than some background of the MCs and a bit of world-building.

While I read a lot of SciFi and Fantasy, time-travel isn’t normally one of my go-to sub-genres. It’s more something I only read every now and again, so I can’t really judge how unique this book actually was. However, it certainly felt unusual. Historical Istanbul and Uzbekistan aren’t exactly the first places I’d expect people to travel to. I really enjoyed finding out a little more about those places. It feels like Europe is the go-to setting for any historical fiction, so this was a nice change.

Qasim is a practicing Muslim and yet the book isn’t about Islam or any other religion. It’s not about a young Muslim struggling with his faith and his sexuality. It’s not about a homophobic family. In fact, Rhys, the Christian MC, is the one with a difficult family background. Qasim’s family is extremely supportive, loving and tolerant. They don’t care that Rhys is a man and a Christian. Qasim is a very religious man, he prays five times a day, fasts during Ramadan and doesn’t eat pork or drink alcohol, but he never tries to shove his believes in anybody’s face. I really liked him and I think this is the first ever practicing Muslim MC I’ve come across in M/M fiction.

Rhys is an interesting character as well. I think he might just be the first-ever Welsh I’ve read about. Plenty of English, Scottish and Irish, but nobody from Wales. And I actually learned a few words of Welsh thanks to him! I think a lot of his background story was talked about in the previous two books, so I felt like I kind of missed some info to really understand him, especially in the beginning.

The romance is quite slow. It takes Rhys and Qasim quite a while to admit their attraction to each other and act on it. I think it worked perfectly for the story and they were really sweet together. So very different, but neither tried to change the other one. They were so accepting and loving, it was really wonderful.

The whole first half of the story is rather slow. The book starts off with a bang in historical Istanbul and then I was kind of lulled into a quiet sense of peace. It was a nice story, nothing mind-blowing, but definitely enjoyable.

And then the second half started and suddenly there was so much drama it gave me whiplash. Suddenly I couldn’t put the book down and was biting my nails in anticipation and dread of what was going to happen to next. At times, I was actually a little bit teary-eyed and struggled not to start crying on the subway. I’m not going to give away too much, but let’s just say I really didn’t expect this kind of drama in a book about time-travel.

I felt like the whole story was very realistic. Qasim got injured right at the beginning of the book and came close to getting killed. And he’s actually traumatized by that and struggles to find his way back into his normal life. Often, characters in similar situation just shrug it off and bounce back to normal with no trouble whatsoever.

The ending was a little much for me, though it does make sense for Rhys and Qasim. Still, it was a little too cute for me.

Overall, I really, really liked “Time Taken” and I definitely want to read the previous and the following books of the series. My rating for the first half would have been 4 stars, the second half would have been 5, so I went with the average of 4.5 stars.

The cover by Natasha Snow is alright, if a bit generic. Nothing about it really says “time-travel” or hints at the places in the past that Qasim visits.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book details: ebook, 450 pages

Published March 18th 2019 by NineStar Press

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: A Chip and a Chair (Seven of Spades #5) by Cordelia Kingsbridge

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Cordelia Kingsbridge rocketed to the top of my “must buy” author list when she released Kill Game and hooked me on the lives of Detective Levi Abrams and PI Dominic Russo. Adding in the serial killer, the Seven of Spades, just made my addiction to this series that much stronger.

That being said, this finale was outstanding, but it was not my favorite of the series. Why? Because in this book, the MCs are not only still trying to find and stop the Seven of Spades, they’re tied up in trying to stop Utopia, a Neo-Nazi militia group—terrorists who plan to knock “Sin City” to the ground. Rather than the conflict between the couple, and the conflict within the department and Levi’s coworkers, and the search for the killer, this installment focused more on the terrorist acts and the MCs efforts to stop them from destroying Las Vegas. And I didn’t realize how much I missed the heartbreak of seeing Dominic and Levi break up, or the horror of the deaths caused by the Seven of Spades, or even the rollercoaster ride of emotions as more and more kills stacked up and the killer taunted Levi, until Dominic and Levi worked together as a solid couple and the focus wasn’t all on the serial killer.

The conflict with the Seven of Spades was not as sharp in this one. And though we don’t learn who it is until the latter part of the story, we finally get the big reveal—and then we get the serial killer helping Levi and Dominic in their race against time to stop a supreme act of terrorism. It’s nail-biting, heartbreaking, frightening, and amazing! The author is truly gifted in plot macramé as each of the clues and threads in the previous books come together. And, of course, once the killer is revealed, it all makes sense. [head-desk slam] Why didn’t I think of that? Honestly, I was so far off base I was in a different ball park with my guesses. 

If you love action, adventure, suspense, intrigue, and a very cleverly told tale, by all means, read this series. As I noted in one of my previous reviews, if I could give this series ten stars, I would. I very highly recommend this book and this series to anyone looking for an action-packed, law enforcement adventure in combination with MM romance. 

The cover by Garrett Leigh features a straight back chair in an apparently deserted room, while blood drips from the words of the title onto the chair. It keeps to the theme of the previous stories and is perfect for this finale.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 382 pages
Published March 11th 2019 by Riptide Publishing
Original Title A Chip and a Chair
ISBN 139781626496415
Edition Language  English
Series Seven of Spades :

Kill Game

Trick Roller

Cash Plays

One-Eyed Royals

A Chip and a Chair series finale

 

An Alisa Review An Extra Alpha (Pine Wood Falls #2) by Sarah Havan

Standard

Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Thomas escaped his ex and has settled in at Pine Wood Falls. He found himself a nice job, has a cute little house, and his twins are now four months old. The last thing he wants or expects is to go into heat again so soon. He tries to fight the urge but can’t hold off any longer.

Campbell catches the scent of his fated omega. He finally found the one and can’t wait to start a family. So he goes to one of Pine Wood Falls get togethers to do what nature wants of him, what he wants to mate with his fated one, but the situation gets turned on its head when there’s another alpha there that wants his omega.

All Griffin wants is a good time. He doesn’t believe he’s fated for anyone, that’s all in the past. He just wants his needs met, but another alpha stands in his way. Luckily, they all come to an agreement. The three of them together.

They don’t think they can both get the young omega pregnant. Thomas doesn’t think he’s fated for either of them, but when he ends up pregnant with quads, they all have some things to work out.

This was another great story by this author.  I had wanted to see Thomas find his happiness after everything he went through in the first book.

Thomas just wants to be happy and live a nice quiet life with his babies but his heat throws a wrench is his current plans.  Campbell won’t let anything get in his way of living his life with his mate, even the reality of another alpha in the mix doesn’t even seem to faze him.  Though Griffin tries to stay away, he quickly accepts those who fate gives him.

I liked that I got to see the points of view for all of these guys, it went a long way towards keeping track of what was going on and what they were thinking.  Thomas doesn’t really take as much convincing as he tries to make it seem, but there aren’t many reasons to since the alphas are so wonderful.  I had trouble with Griffin saying he has been fated before, when he described the “relationship” it didn’t really sound much more than him finding an omega in heat.  I felt for Campbell and how lonely his life had been, though he did have someone who loved him, but he is getting way more very quickly.

My only gripe with the story was that the issue of Thomas’s former “pack” wanting to force him back.  It was only brought up like three times and quickly resolved without any real problems.  It just felt like it was added to bring some angst to the story but I didn’t feel that is succeeded.

This is another great cover art by Melissa Liban, it’s adorable and gives some great little visuals.

Sales LInks Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 365 pages

Publication: February 25, 2019

Edition Language: English

Series: Pine Wood Falls #2

Love Complicated Men? Don’t Miss Out On the Uncomplicated (An Inked Novel) by KM Neuhold Blog Tour and Giveaway (Excerpt)

Standard

Uncomplicated Tour Banner

Uncomplicated

An INKED Novel

K.M. Neuhold

Gay Romance

Release Date: 03.11.19

Uncomplicated Cover

Blurb

Two men with a rocky history, and one with an all-consuming love for both of them.

Sometimes I’m so lonely I swear I can’t breathe. I bring men and women into my bed to chase away the ache, but it never seems to help. I want something real, something lasting, but I’ve never been more afraid of anything in my life. If I have nothing else in my life I can count on, at least I have my best friend, Cas. If I have nothing else in my life that feels solid, at least I have Cas.

Until one sad smile from a beautiful man tilts my world on its axis.

But Finn is Cas’ ex, and that means he’s off limits, right? What if I could have something permanent, if I’m willing to put my heart on the line? Finn and Cas may have a history, but something tells me the three of us could have a future, if we’re willing to let things get a little complicated.

mybook.to/uncomplicated

Uncomplicated teaser 1

Uncomplicated teaser 2

Excerpt

I swear I could nearly cry as we slip under the covers, and he plasters himself against me without waiting for approval. And then he presses his nose against my throat and drapes a leg over mine, and tears do start to prickle at my eyes. You can’t cry over a little bit of post-sex cuddling, you can’t, I chant in my mind even as I feel one escape and roll down my cheek.

My sniffle alerts Beau to my emotional state, tilting his head back to stare at me with concern.

“Finn?”

“Sorry. God, I’m pathetic,” I apologize with a watery laugh, using the arm that isn’t trapped beneath Beau to wipe my cheeks. “It’s been so long; I didn’t realize how much I missed just touching.”

Understanding flashes through his eyes, and he leans forward to kiss away the remaining stray tears, the tenderness of the gesture causing even more to fall. Fuck, this is embarrassing.

“It’s okay,” Beau whispers. “It’s okay. I’m lonely too, but tonight we don’t have to feel so alone.”
KM Neuhold Logo 2

Author K.M.Neuhold is a complete romance junkie, a total sap in every way. She started her journey as an author in new adult, MF romance, but after a chance reading of an MM book she was completely hooked on everything about lovely- and sometimes damaged- men finding their Happily Ever After together. She has a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well. And she fully admits that her OCD tendencies of making sure every side character has a full backstory will likely always lead to every book having a spin-off or series. When she’s not writing she’s a lion tamer, an astronaut, and a superhero…just kidding, she’s likely watching Netflix and snuggling with her husky while her amazing husband brings her coffee.

SOCIAL MEDIA

FACEBOOK

NEUHOLD’S NERDS (FAN GROUP)

TWITTER

WEBSITE

NEWSLETTER

GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Vibrant Promotions Logo

Blog Tour for The Demon Lord of California (Infinity 8 #1) by Jeanne Marcella

Standard

 

 
Length: 77,500 words 
 
Blurb



Earth, 1900.


Calico Winghorse has no choice but to flee to the plane of existence called Earth. His great grandfather, suffering from a terrible curse, strips him of his psychic abilities and nearly murders him.


As a mixed-blood phoenix concealing himself in human form, Calico first settles in England, then in the San Francisco Bay Area. In order to make a living, he opens a small bakery and quietly licks his wounds.


But just how Calico escaped his childhood home—via interdimensional portal—is the very reason why he’s drawn the unwanted attention of Infinity Corporation.


Representing this angelic-run company is Agustín Chávez de la Cruz, the Demon Lord of California. Even though Agustín is IC’s heir, he finds himself demoted from his daily duties for a new assignment: take absolute control of Calico’s portal.


Calico and Agustín’s first brief encounter ignites sparks of attraction. Their second is highly explosive, bogging down initial communication with innocent mistruths and a healthy dose of fear.


As Agustín struggles to restore trust, Harper, the demanding head of IC interferes, further complicating matters. With negotiations slowed, Calico and Agustín realize they both wish to establish more than just a business deal.


However, until the extensive and brutal psychic injuries Calico received from his great grandfather are healed, the portal remains vulnerable to the darker forces that want it at any cost. Agustín will have to push both his angelic heritage, and his psychic powers to the very limits to mend someone who bears more than celestial blood, but who is also the god of space and time.


And the clock’s ticking.

 
About The Author
 

Jeanne Marcella was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Granted unlimited access to books at a very early age via the library, she quickly acquired a fondness for creating her own stories through word and drawing.


She writes queer dark fantasy not for the faint of heart, and fun (but sometimes gritty) urban fantasy soaps, all with romantic elements.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions