A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Terms of Service (The Heretic Doms Club #2) by Marie Sexton and John Solo (Narrator)

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

I highly doubt I can do justice to this story in a simple review. In one word: phenomenal. I listened to the audio version narrated by John Solo so much of my praise is due directly and indirectly to his outstanding narration.

On the surface, this is the story of River, an ER physician who’s just lost his husband to a fellow doctor and is struggling to come to terms with his own identity. Among his issues, besides being devastated by his husband’s infidelity, is his failure to be able to have penetrative sex and, in fact, his frequent failure to achieve an erection. Add to that the stresses of taking graveyard shift in the ER, which he’s chosen to do to avoid his ex who has day shift, and he’s just a powder keg waiting to go off. The unlucky victim of his latest blowup is the hospital pharmacist, Phil. But Phil doesn’t just stand still and take verbal abuse. He shows River his own errors, and ultimately not only does River back down, but he later seeks Phil out to apologize, something unheard of among that hospital’s physicians.

What he learns is that Phil is interested in him, but Phil doesn’t do regular relationships. He only does domestic servitude, and he never reacts emotionally—neither to sex nor to situations where others might expect some reciprocation.

Below the surface story lies the true depth found in this book (pun intended). It depicts an emotional, often painful journey to discovery for both River and Phil. This journey encompasses River’s acceptance of Phil’s domination, Phil’s own struggles with deeply buried emotions, the turmoil and upheaval of having River’s estranged husband hound him constantly to sign the divorce papers, and River’s deep-seated issues surrounding his twin’s death and his subsequent emotional separation from his family. Over and above all that, Phil’s grandfather, Pops, is in an extended care facility on the other side of the Denver metro area and suffers from dementia. Phil visits him weekly and loves him a great deal though he finds it difficult to express how deeply he cares for the man. Pops inadvertently plays a role in helping River discover some of the joy he felt in his childhood, when camping and fishing with his family, and that joy splashes over into a ripple effect that encompasses Phil.

There are appearances by Warren and Taylor, from Trailer Trash, and other members of the Heretic Dom’s Club, primarily Gray and Charlie. Each of these men is developing as a strong, supportive character in these stories, and I hope each gets his own love someday. For River and Phil, the struggle is long and real and fraught with undermining from coworkers, a theft from the hospital pharmacy, and an ultimatum by River’s ex who throws a major monkey wrench into River’s new developing relationship. The audio is over fourteen wonderful hours of pure entertainment. Compelling, riveting, dramatic, completely engrossing, I was literally unable to stop listening except for time out to recharge my cordless headphones and to sleep (but only one night because this book deserved my devotion for two solid days.)

I highly recommend this to anyone remotely interested in D/s relationships, with a focus on domestic servitude, and those who enjoy a long, slow journey to a highly rewarding destination. And most definitely, get the audio. It’s pure listening pleasure.

Cover art is dramatic and pulls your eye towards the book. Works.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Audible

Audio Details:

14 hrs 20 mins

Audible Audio, 15 pages
Published August 13th 2018 by Marie Sexton (first published June 25th 2018)
Original TitleTerms of Service
ASINB07G9LRXMX
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Heretic Doms Club #2
settingColorado (United States)

A Lucy Review: Invisible by Iyana Jenna

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5
Daniel Matthews lost someone dear in the past. When he sees a young man lose his fast food dinner to a couple of bullies, he ends up buying both of them a meal. To his surprise, Liam reminds Daniel a lot of his brother, gone too soon. But the feelings Liam rouses in Daniel are definitely not the same.
Daniel offers to take him home, but Liam lies about which house is his has no home. He has nothing. Or had … until Daniel.
This is a super short (14 pages) glimpse into the beginning of Daniel and Liam.  Liam is homeless and suffers the loss of a meal through bullies. Daniel feels pain at this and takes Liam to dinner.  There was definitely not enough of this to flesh out a full story.  In fact, we get only teasers about everything.  Why is Liam homeless? What happened to Ben, Daniel’s brother?  What happened to cause bruises? How did Liam find Daniel’s house? (Yes, Liam says he followed Daniel bit he’s on foot, Daniel’s in a car and Daniel himself says it’s quite far.)
There just wasn’t enough here for me to consider it a story.  It seemed like the outline for a story that was never finished.  This could have been great with a longer, more detailed version.
The cover is the generic JMS one for all the hot flash stories and so doesn’t have anything to do with this one in particular.
Book Details:
Kindle Edition
Published June 8th 2019 by JMS Books LLC
ASINB07RRLYG57

An Alisa Review :A Series of Fates Anthology 1-3 by C.C. Dado

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Denying Fate (#1) – 3 out of 5 stars

Fate is a funny thing. Some try to cut its threads, while others wrap themselves in it like a blanket.

Young wolf shifter Max is cocky and crass. Unlike others his age, he has yet to discover a talent that will serve his pack. Since childhood, he’s been convinced the pack alpha is his mate, but Alpha Christian cannot envision unfiltered and directionless Max taking the place of his elegant mother at the head of the pack. As Max begins to build a life with his best friend, he also begins to see that maybe what he thought was inevitable was all in his head, and it’s time to move on.

Or are they both denying fate?

Oh man is Christian stubborn and at times deliberately hurtful but he does make it up a bit by the end.  I struggled to like Max throughout this whole book, I know he knew the Christian was his mate but he also didn’t treat him with respect back and felt he acted childish.  I also didn’t get why it they took years to actually get to the claiming part.

I guess those were my gripes (a bit of a holdover from the last few not so good books I read) but I did enjoy the book and felt I got to know these characters better in the other books.

The cover art by Brooke Albrecht is nice, I like the visual of Max.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 83 pages

Published: August 31, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781640807297

Edition Language: English

Embracing Fate (#2) – 4 out of 5 stars

Sometimes you just have to embrace your fate.

Seth has a secret: he has a crush on the human next door. His brilliant plan to meet Jack, the man of his dreams who happens to be an animal trainer? Take wolf form and ask his best friend, Max, to take him next door for training. Seth is the only one surprised when things go horribly awry.

Still, can this shy wolf and a human meet their fate as mates?

Seth so adorable and shy, he comes up with a crazy plan to actually meet and send time with his mate but it allows him the opportunity to find the ability to relax around Jack.  I really liked Jack for who he is and how open he was to this new community he lived in, though I felt his initial reaction to shifters was strange he did come through in the end.

I liked Max much more in the story and found him hilarious at times, he was the perfect complement to Seth’s shyness.  I loved that Jack felt such a connection to Seth’s wolf even before he knew the truth about everything,

The cover art by Brooke Albrecht is once again nice, it follows the same style as before but gives us a visual of Seth.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 91 pages

Published: October 26, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781640807303

Edition Language: English

Fearing Fate (#3) – 3.5 stars out of 5

He is a fearless protector by nature and in his heart. But nothing’s ever simple with love… or fate.

At nearly seven feet tall, Zeus’s role had always been to protect the pack—but his newest charges need him more than most. Kimber and Kron are transplants from another pack, and they have a dangerous stranger on their tails. Zeus is determined to do his duty and drive the human out of town. But when he confronts Toren, his wolf has other ideas….

Something isn’t right, but should a huge, tattooed wolf with a secret soft heart fear his fate—to love a man with secrets of his own?

I was glad that Zeus finally go to show his soft side, he always has to be intimidating and protective but here he was able to let his guard down to take care of Toren.  Toren is so sweet and confused, he doesn’t know why he was sent but doesn’t want the kids to get hurt and then to find that his mother had been poisoning him his whole life did nothing to help his feelings of insecurity.  I didn’t quite like that Toren was never flat out told what was going on with him until he was in pain from his wolf coming forward, I think some sort of conversation should have happened,

I love that the guys from all these stories have built a family together and while some of them do have family still around this group has become their primary family, even sitting together during the pack meals.  They went through quite a bit in a short period of time but it all turned out well in the end.

The cover art by Brooke Albrecht is nice and I like the visual of Zeus and the town he has sworn to protect.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 71 pages

Published: December 14, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781640807310

Edition Language: English

Release Blitz and Giveaway for Cold Pressed (A Seacroft Novel) by Allison Temple

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 80,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Cate Ashwood Designs
 
Seacroft Series
 
Book 1 – Top Shelf – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb


No strings attached is all Oliver can offer. He’s hiding a broken heart that holds him back from diving into a new relationship, but he’ll go on a blind date to make his family happy. Just one date, though; he doesn’t have time for love to derail his plans.

Divorced and demoted to the night shift, Nick has his own problems. He’s got an ex-wife who needs him and a kid with one foot in juvie. The last thing Nick needs is to butt heads—or other body parts—with a tempting hipster who wears a sad smile on their blind date.

Their chemistry can’t be denied, though, in an argument or in bed. No strings sex is uncomplicated and that’s what Nick and Oliver need. But getting into bed together is one thing. Staying out of each other’s hearts soon becomes so much more complicated than either one imagined.

Cold Pressed is an 80k contemporary MM romance. It features a smoldering bisexual single dad, a broken-hearted hipster with a thing for beet juice, and a friends-with-benefits arrangement that blooms into the HEA you’ve been looking for.

Allison Temple has been a writer since the second grade, when she wrote a short story about a girl and her horse. Her grandmother typed it out for her and said she’s never seen so many quotation marks from a seven-year-old before. Allison took that as a challenge and has gone on to try to break her previous record in all her subsequent works.


Allison lives in Toronto with her very patient husband and the world’s neediest cat. She splits her free time between writing, community theater stage management, and traveling anywhere that has good wine. Tragically, this leaves no time to clean her house.


Newsletter (get two free shorts right now): https://allisontemplebooks.com/newsletter
Facebook Reader group: https://facebook.com/groups/allisonsalist
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07B7P5591
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/allison-temple
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17490635.Allison_Temple
Twitter: https://twitter.com/allitemplebooks
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/allisontemplebooks/

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Love A Shifter Romance? Don’t Miss the Series Tour for The Series of Fates by C.C. Dado (excerpt and giveaway)

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SERIES REVIEW TOUR

A Series of Fates Series and Anthology

Easter Valley is a place for shifters to thrive, protect each other, and be themselves. It’s also a place for friendships, laughs… and love. From the Alpha, to the shyest of pack members, these mates find their way into each other’s arms in this trio of romantic comedy tales, and while the path to love can be bumpy when fate is involved, the endings are always happy.

The stories should preferably read in order but can be read individually as they have their own main characters and HEA.

Author: C.C. Dado

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Genre/s: Paranormal Comedy,  M/M Romance

Trope/s: Fated Mates

Themes: Shifters

Overall Heat Rating: 2 flames (my stories are intended to be more comedy romance, bordering on young adult)

Add on Goodreads

 

BOOK 1

Book Title:  Denying Fate

Length: 23 500 words/ 83 pages

Release Date: August 31, 2018

 

Blurb

A Series of Fates: Book One

Fate is a funny thing. Some try to cut its threads, while others wrap themselves in it like a blanket.

Young wolf shifter Max is cocky and crass. Unlike others his age, he has yet to discover a talent that will serve his pack. Since childhood, he’s been convinced the pack alpha is his mate, but Alpha Christian cannot envision unfiltered and directionless Max taking the place of his elegant mother at the head of the pack. As Max begins to build a life with his best friend, he also begins to see that maybe what he thought was inevitable was all in his head, and it’s time to move on.

Or are they both denying fate?

 

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press  |  Amazon US  | Amazon UK

 

BOOK 2

Book Title: Embracing Fate

Length: 27 222 words/ 91 pages

Release Date: October 26,  2018

 

Blurb

A Series of Fates: Book Two

Sometimes you just have to embrace your fate.

Seth has a secret: he has a crush on the human next door. His brilliant plan to meet Jack, the man of his dreams who happens to be an animal trainer? Take wolf form and ask his best friend, Max, to take him next door for training. Seth is the only one surprised when things go horribly awry.

Still, can this shy wolf and a human meet their fate as mates?

 

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press  |  Amazon US  | Amazon UK

 

BOOK 3

Book Title: Fearing Fates

Length: 21 250 words/ 71 pages

Release Date: December 14, 2018

 

Blurb

He is a fearless protector by nature and in his heart. But nothing’s ever simple with love… or fate.

At nearly seven feet tall, Zeus’s role had always been to protect the pack—but his newest charges need him more than most. Kimber and Kron are transplants from another pack, and they have a dangerous stranger on their tails. Zeus is determined to do his duty and drive the human out of town. But when he confronts Toren, his wolf has other ideas….

Something isn’t right, but should a huge, tattooed wolf with a secret soft heart fear his fate—to love a man with secrets of his own?

 

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press  |  Amazon US  | Amazon UK

 

 

Excerpt from Embracing Fate

Seth walked down to the bakery to get the ovens warming and opened the window behind the sink so it didn’t get too hot. It was still early morning, but it was already at least seventy degrees out. He could smell the morning dew burning off under the sun. He spent the next few hours preparing the backup set of baked goods for the display cases. Max had come in a little while ago to get the front ready for another busy Saturday. Seth was really glad they had high school kids helping out in the afternoons now, so they didn’t have to put in such a long day. Seth was on his last batch of cupcakes. He’d grabbed the muffin tin off the cooling rack and started filling the paper cups with batter when he heard a commanding voice pierce through the window.

“Sit.”

Seth was unable to control his response as he dropped his spatula and sat his butt hard onto the floor. What the hell was that? Not even his alpha had that type of control over him. His premonition of undecidedly awful things coming ran through his mind—this is it. He barely registered the squeak of the swinging half doors as Max walked into the kitchen from the front.

“Whatcha doing there?” Max asked, leaning across the kitchen island.

Seth stared up at Max, his eyes blown wide. “I have no idea,” he said, the cupcake tin he had somehow managed not to drop still held awkwardly in the air.

“Lie down.” The voice came through the window again.

Max looked at Seth questioningly as Seth instantly fell onto his back.

“Okay…,” Max said, obviously trying to stay calm. “That was weird, right? Did you just lie down because someone outside said to?”

Seth whined, lying on the floor of the bakery in shock, scared eyes staring toward the ceiling.

Max came around the island, rushing to help Seth up.

“Okay, I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m calling Christian.” Max pulled his phone out of his pocket.

“Wait,” Seth said, needing a moment to process.

“Umm, no. We should call Christian.” Max leaned over the sink to see out the window into the backyard. “There’s a guy out back at the house next door. I think it’s the new neighbor. Maybe he’s an evil wizard or something. Is that a real thing? Oh….” He paused. “He’s pretty hot, but like not really my type. I like them with a little more muscle, to the point where their shirts stretch just a bit across their chest and shoulders, like Christian’s do. But he’s not bad, lanky, brunet too,” he said, sounding disappointed. “I prefer blonds, and he has on glasses. Can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of a man in glasses, but they fit on him.”

“Are you seriously checking out my neighbor right now?” Seth demanded, his anxiety starting to lower from DEFCON 3 as he took calming breaths.

“No, I mean yes, but not for me. Sorry, okay. Focus. Let’s get you up off the floor. We’ll call Christian and Zeus.”

Seth let Max help him up off the ground, and he peeked out the window. “Wait,” he said again, stopping Max’s hand as he reached for the phone in his pocket. “I’m not scared anymore.”

“What do you mean, you’re not scared anymore? You just laid down on the ground because someone told you to.”

“I know. And it scared me at first too. Normally I’d still be having a full-blown panic attack in the corner, probably crying a little, but I’m not.”

“Okay, so, you don’t want me to call Christian because you’re not freaking out anymore that someone is controlling your mind?” Max sarcastically summarized.

Seth shook his head at his friend. “I meant, I’m not panicking. The voice, it makes me feel different, like in a good way, peaceful almost.”

“I don’t know what’s going on, but you’re obviously not thinking clearly. You’ve lost the ability to make your own choices. I’ll have Christian’s lawyer draw up papers. I’ll be your legal guardian from now on.”

“If you’re ever the rational one out of the two of us, we’re both screwed, and I’m not insane, just curious, I guess. I don’t want to tell them yet.” Seth looked out at the stranger again. He was tall, his dark brown, wavy hair fell just past his shoulders, his nose was a little too big for his face, and Seth thought it was perfect. “Handsome but not too perfect.” His earlier words to Max about his preferences played back through his mind, making him take a deep breath.

Max leaned in next to him a bit to get a better look. “What is he doing out there?” Max attempted to whisper, watching intently out of the window.

“Zeus said he was a trainer.”

“Oh, Seth,” Max said, pausing to choke back a laugh with his fist. “He’s a dog trainer.” He snorted, apparently unable to hold it in any longer, “And you’re… you’re obeying his commands.”

Seth could barely make out what Max was saying past his laughter.

“Shit, I think I may die,” Max said, bent over the counter, holding his side. “This might be the best thing that has ever happened in my life.”

“I hate you,” Seth said, focusing his attention back out the window. Recalling his conversation with Zeus, the new neighbor was a dog trainer. Seth watched as the man knelt down in the grass and patted his leg for the dog to come. The chocolate lab bounced his way across the yard, ramming into the man.

“That’s a good boy.” The man’s purr sent chills over Seth’s body. His wolf was definitely awake, pulling at him to get closer.

 

About the Author

I write about painfully awkward, usually embarrassing, romance because long confident gazes followed by sexy dancing NEVER happens to me. I am a native of the Pacific Northwest, and will probably never leave. I’m like a hypochondriac sundae, with claustrophobic sprinkles, and a big cherry of anxiety on top, so I don’t travel much. I read to relax my mind, so I love getting lost in someone else’s story, even if it is only for a little while.

 

Author Links

Twitter: @C_C_Dado

 

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win your choice of ebook from the A Series of Fates trilogy.

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REVIEW TOUR and Giveaway for Chef On Top (Sizzling In The Kitchen #3) by MJ O’Shea

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Buy Links:

Universal LInk:  https://books2read.com/ChefOnTop

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2JqUfcv

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2S5S3Kb

 
Cover Design: LC Chase
 
Sizzling In The Kitchen Series
 

Book #1 – Chef In The Wild – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link
Book #2 – Chef Vs Chef – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

 
Blurb
 

Chef Jake Casey has never been what you’d call… liked. By anyone. He was the odd outcast son of the town drunk, and he’s spent his adult life doing everything he can to be nothing like his father. If that meant stomping on a few dozen toes, so be it. But contrary to popular belief, he is human. It gets a little old being alone all the time. When he lands a new job on the other side of the country, Jake decides he’s going to change. New city, new restaurant, new Jake.


It’s going pretty well until his first and only friend’s ex shows up with a fiancé in tow. Ty is horrified. Jake might not have much practice with the friend thing, but he decides he’ll do what everyone in the movies always does – he offers to be Ty’s fake boyfriend. It can’t go wrong. Right?


Ty Caldecott knows better. His life isn’t a teen rom-com and situations like these always end up in humiliation. But the prospect of seeing Taran every day with that ring shining on his finger makes Ty want to vomit. Ty doesn’t want to look like a pining loser, so he tells Jake he’s in.


It can’t go wrong.

Right?

 

MJ O’Shea has never met a music festival, paintbrush, or flower crown she can stay away from. She loves rainstorms and a perfect cup of tea, beach days, music, bright colors, and more than anything a cozy evening with a really great book.


She is from the Pacific Northwest. While she still lives there and loves it, MJ has the heart of a wanderer. So she puts all her dreams of far off places and extraordinary people in her books.


Except for every once in a while when she does what all travelers have to do on occasion… come home.

Giveaway

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