An Ashez Review: Doctor’s Orders (Paint #3.5) by Emma Jaye

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Rating : 4.5 stars out of 5

Cutting, coke, calling Nate.

All three would help the clawing anxiety caused by the upcoming trial of Alex’s father. All three would cause Dr. Cooper to rush home from his life-saving job to deal with his neurotic boyfriend.

Adding watching kink to his list of coping techniques, particularly his secret medical fetish, helps until a little voice in his head persuades Alex to try one of his fantasies.

Who knew that adult stars lie about their innocence and that acting out scenes can have horribly awkward painful consequences?
It can also lead to your dreams coming true.

Short but sweet, I had not read any of the other books I’m the series and I didn’t feel lost but it made me super curious about a few characters so I will definitely read the series.  Very steamy the entire book was a set up for a super sexy final scene.  It did have a trigger warning, I don’t think it needed one but the first line was inte

Cover – not my favourite the the paint looks pretty sweet

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 48 pages
Published September 28th 2019
ASINB07XD6KKT4
Edition Language English
Series Paint #3.5

A Lucy Review: Clueless Cabot by André D. Michaels

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Young gay professional Cabot MacCrae has been in love with his sexy best friend, Lloyd, since high school. They’re in perfect sync on almost everything. The only problem is that Lloyd is straight.

Cabot resigned himself long ago to pining hopelessly. Then Lloyd, a roofer, takes a bad fall and injures his collarbone. When he needs some TLC, there’s no question that Cabot will be the one to nurse his friend back to health. But Lloyd’s scantily clad presence in Cabot’s house brings out Cabot’s old longings.

But when Lloyd’s well-meaning mother and aunt fix Cabot up with a blind date, Lloyd reacts like a jealous boyfriend. Lloyd’s reaction makes Cabot wonder if those longings are as unrequited as he’s always assumed. What if Lloyd has been pining for him all these years? Has Cabot just been clueless all along?

Cabot and Lloyd are as close as two people who are not a couple can be.  They have been besties since they were preteens and have only grown closer as the years pass.  Cabot is another son to Lloyd’s family and the two grew up spending the nights at one house or the other.  Now 28, Lloyd has fallen out of a window and broken some bones.  He needs someone to take care of him and who else but Cabot?

Cabot has been unlucky in lust, let alone love.  He’s tried but no one really hits his buttons and those who he is even slightly interested in don’t seem interested in him.  Lloyd, however, is a chick magnet and is always showing Cabot who he’s been seeing.

The forced proximity causes Cabot some discomfort – he’s so attracted to Lloyd and can’t do anything about it.  Lloyd is straight and the last thing Cabot wants is to put their friendship in jeopardy.  Lloyd often jokes about being with men or being with Cabot, but that’s just joking.  Herein lies the reason for 3.5 stars instead of 4.  The whole thing is based on Cabot being so oblivious and clueless, but it didn’t read that way.  Maybe he was a little bit but he was also blinded by the straight man actions of Lloyd.

It is a surprise when Lloyd’s mother sets Cabot up on a blind date, because she usually doesn’t meddle.  What a date.  OMG, could Malcom be more obnoxious? I get being super into sex but do you go off with someone while your date is sitting at the table?  The initial phone call should have been enough to make Cabot go running.  And if someone left me outside the house with the door locked while they got ready, I’d have walked off.  The date only goes downhill from there and Lloyd is there to save the day.

This is a really cute friends-to-lovers story, although I wish the Vic aspect had come out in the open before it ended.  I will definitely read something else by this author, who is new to me.

The cover, a lone man with rhubarb pie, fit the story well.  Rhubarb pie is important!

Sales Links:  Amazon | Kobo | NineStar Press

Book Details:

ebook, 65 pages
Published September 16th 2019 by NineStar Press
ISBN1 39781951057381
Edition Language English

A Lila Audio Review: One-Eyed Royals (Seven of Spades #4) by Cordelia Kingsbridge and Wyatt Baker (Narrator)

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

Shattered by their devastating breakup, Detective Levi Abrams and PI Dominic Russo find themselves at war right when they need each other most. While Dominic is trapped in a vicious cycle of addiction, Levi despairs of ever catching the Seven of Spades. The ruthless vigilante’s body count continues to climb, and it’s all Levi can do to keep up with the carnage.When Levi’s and Dominic’s paths keep crossing in the investigation of a kidnapping ring with a taste for mutilation, it feels like history repeating itself. Thrown together by fate once again, they reluctantly join forces in their hunt for the mastermind behind the abductions.

But the Seven of Spades hates sharing the spotlight, and they have an ace in the hole: a new batch of victims with a special connection to Levi. Their murders send shockwaves through Las Vegas and change the rules of the game forever.

The Seven of Spades has upped the ante. If Levi and Dominic don’t play their cards right, they’ll end up losing everything.

One-Eyed Royals is a darker view of the Seven of Spades’ psyche. It mirrors Levi’s volatility and Dominic’s addiction. They’re a disfuncional triad held together by a sense of right and wrong.

It’s hard to see Levi and Dominic struggling to be what the other wants and needs. I think they’re toxic to each other but that has been the root of their relationship since book one.

They spent a lot of time apart but relatively closed. Which gave the author the opportunity to add a couple of funny moments, bringing the tension down.

The cases were intrinsically related and unique to the story. I enjoyed the way they worked different angles to arrive at the same conclusions. They showed once again that they work best together.

As always, the secondary characters and small plot points created an interesting book full of drama and heartache. All I’m going to say about Staton is that he needs his own man.

This is definitely a great mystery. I’m still not able to figure out who the Seven of Spades is but I’m looking forward to its reveal.

The narration by Wyatt Baker takes of from the previous installment, easing the reader into the action, the series, and great characters.

The cover by Garrett Leigh is perfection, as always. She has a way to create cohesive covers for series without losing the individuality of each book and the author’s character.

Sales Links: Riptide | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Wyatt Baker
Length: 10 hours and 25 minutes

Published: September 25, 2019 (Audio Edition) by Riptide Publishing
ASIN: B07YBH6RZ1
Edition Language: English

Series: Seven of Spades
Book #1: Kill Game
Book #2: Trick Roller
Book #3: Cash Plays
Book #4: One-Eyed Royals

Join Us for the Book Blast for Memoirs of the Human Wraiths Box Set and Omnibus by F.E. Feeley Jr (excerpt)

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BOOK BLAST

Book Title:  Memoirs of the Human Wraiths Box Set and Omnibus

Author: F.E. Feeley Jr.

Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing

Cover Artist: Debbie McGowan/ Roe Horvat

Genre/s:  Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Forbidden love or friends to lovers

Themes: Forgiveness

Heat Rating:  3 flames

Length: 3 books/ 698 pages

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Blurb 

Around a campfire late at night, someone begins to tell a ghost story. Flashlights clutched in hands, we huddle close and listen with intensity, startling at the slightest sound, but we try to be brave.

This is no different.

Memoirs of the Human Wraiths, a book passed down from generation to generation, details the lives of those living on the edges of society, stalked by the darkness that awaits us all. Come see what walks the halls of Timber Manor. Step inside Jonathan’s inescapable mirror. Venture to the island where promises made are enforced by a powerful curse.

Try to be brave.

 

Book Trailer

 

 

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US – Kindle  |  Amazon US Paperback  |   Amazon UK   |  Publisher

 

Excerpt from The Haunting of Timber Manor 

Another flash and my eyes locked on a pair of yellow eyes staring at me from the place where I saw them before. Not a ghost or a killer—a wolf. Standing about twenty feet away, a huge, magnificent wolf was watching me with an oddly disconcerting amount of intelligence in its eyes, head hung low. Its gray-and-white fur was gorgeous and oddly dry-looking. I couldn’t take my eyes off it. Instead of fading into the darkness, it began to walk forward into the headlights of my car. The beast never took its eyes off mine. Like it was staring into my soul. My heart began to hammer and my breathing quickly picked up. My hands went back to the steering wheel and clamped down again, as white-knuckled as before. A chill passed through me, and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up straight. As if the wolf could sense my distress, it stopped and gave me a wicked grin. “You know I can see you, don’t you?” I whispered aloud. “You know I am afraid.” The wolf, in response, tilted its giant head up toward the rain and gave out a chilling howl as if to confirm that. “Why, yes, I do know, dear boy. What do you think I’m doing here? You wanted to die? Step out of the truck, and I’ll gladly make your dreams come true.”

 

About the Author 

F.E.Feeley Jr is a poet and the author of six published works – four full-length novels, two short stories featured in anthologies, and a poetry book.

Married to the love of his life, John, he came to the writing world about four years ago where he fell in love, again, with the written word.

 

 

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook Reader’s Group  |

Twitter:  @fefeeleyjr  |  Newsletter Sign-up:  Sign up Via Website

 

 

 

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Don’t Miss Out on the Blog Tour with Excerpt for That Time I… Survived My Teens by Craig Barker

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That Time I… Survived My Teens by Craig Barker

Craig Barker

LGBTQ Non-fiction/Memoir

Release Date: 10.13.19

That Time I Survived Cover

Blurb

The Saturday prior to starting this memoir, my ex-fiancé and I had two of his work friends over for an old-fashioned games night. And when I say “old-fashioned,” I’m talking about dice, cards, racking up your points on an abacus, etc. You know, the things people entertained themselves with before politicians blamed every violent fart that wafted their way on video games.

Stop doing that.

Anyway, seeing as I didn’t know who these people were and would’ve much rather spent the evening on the sofa with our dog, I was less than optimistic. If anything, the whole ordeal was going to be like sitting through a Christopher Nolan movie. Sure, I’d say I was having a great time to fit in, but in all honesty, I wouldn’t have a clue what was happening and I’d probably need to take a nap midway through.

Hours before they arrived, just as I’d started to have those “what if I accidentally say something so obscenely offensive or mind-numbingly stupid, I’ll be haunted by the memory of it for years to come” thoughts, my ex ran down into the basement in which I dwell, his eyes frantic, and begged—

“Please don’t talk about choking on dicks when they get here.”

Come again?

“Please, Craig. That kind of talk makes them uncomfortable. Don’t do it.”

I felt a flurry of emotions in the picosecond it took for his words to register: amused, bemused, offended. It sounded like a joke, but his face was full of fear—a fear that I would be unequivocally crude to these complete strangers, and that my behavior would burn bridges he obviously wanted to keep erect (more on erections later).

That was when it hit me like a pair of loose-hanging nuts to the taint; a realization that I, Craig Thomas Barker, had a pattern of behavior that stretched across my life since adolescence—

I’m the person you get warned about before meeting. I’m the person that gets warned before going anywhere.

Like Carrie Bradshaw, “I couldn’t help but wonder” why that was. So, in order to understand who I am today, I decided to take a look at the years that shaped me. I spread my life out on the table, lubed it with the flare of artistic exaggeration, and went at it until I found my answer.

This isn’t so much a memoir as it is a gay’s journey to discover himself; don’t expect structure, coherency, or a thoroughly thought out narrative with a climactic closing paragraph that gives any of this dribble closure. I’m no one special, I’m not famous, and I don’t have much to say that hasn’t been said before, but I have lived a life, and all twenty-six years of that life has culminated in a single sentence—

“Please don’t talk about choking on dicks when they get here.”

This memoir explains why…

And it was cheaper than therapy.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Z2J1L7L

That Time I Survived Teaser 1

Excerpt

I’m a child of the nineties and a teen of the noughties. I grew up with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sex and the City, Power Rangers, and Batman: The Animated Series, and I think these four shows perfectly encapsulate everything I am, from my hobbies—comics, video games, writing, wishing I was a Slayer—to the boy beneath the layers of sarcasm, anxiety, and a thirst for men in spandex.

I am what my time made me.

I remember dial-up internet, talking on the landline with the cord wrapped around my finger after school, and the irrational fear of strangers in anonymous chat rooms. I remember opening up my Christmas presents and going crazy for the latest Megazords, and I remember how unhappy my parents were before their divorce…though, maybe that’s only something I can see in hindsight.

My point is, I remember my childhood with as much accuracy as one can when looking through rose-colored glasses of a simpler time. Only it wasn’t simple. In fact, from as young as the age of four or five, I was already struggling internally with something I wouldn’t understand for many years.

Rocky DeSantos is the name of the second Mighty Morphin’ Red Ranger, later to be the Blue Zeo Ranger before getting replaced by that brat Justin in Power Rangers Turbo, (I’m still bitter about it), and he was, without a doubt, my sexual awakening. He was a 90’s dreamboat who looked as if he’d been pried from a boyband, wearing a sleeveless red shirt and a glistening smile, and whenever he was on screen, I was captivated.

Of course, I didn’t know what it was I was feeling. I just knew I was feeling something.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Writing a biography has always baffled me. I mean, I’m writing my own but I’m supposed to do it in third person, right? I’m supposed to tell you I attended some top-notch school, help people cross the street, have a “relatable” passion for something and spend my weekends frolicking in a field of flowers…

I can’t do that.

My name is Craig. I like fried food. I write because I enjoy it. Please don’t make me do this anymore.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/craigbarkerbooks/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorcraigbarker

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Looking For a Paranormal Love Story? Check Out the New Release Blitz for Claiming Marcus (Lords of Discord #1) by Jocelynn Drake (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Claiming Marcus

Series: Lords of Discord #1

Author: Jocelynn Drake

Publisher: Indie

Release Date: 10/31/2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 100,000

Genre: Romance, paranormal romance

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Vampires slaughtered my family.

No one believed me until I met some new friends, who promised to help me get justice.

But nothing prepared me for Marcus Varik.

Tall, dark, and mind-numbingly sexy.

But he’s also shy, protective, and adorably eccentric.

Oh God, I should have never agreed to betray him.

Hopefully, it’s not too late to fix my mistake before I lose more people I love.

Claiming Marcus is the first book in an MM paranormal romance series that has vampires, betrayal, annoying brothers, music, heartbreak, hope, sexy times, and a raven named Ozzie.

Excerpt

Ethan wanted to feel panic and fear when he stared at Marcus. There really was no doubt in his mind that Marcus and his brothers were vampires. A sane person would have taken his brother to a hospital. Ethan hadn’t seen the actual wounds, but just the amount of blood he cleaned up meant that Bel had been seriously injured. No one could heal from that without medical assistance.

And yet, just an hour later, Bel’s color was starting to improve. He was resting on the couch, his breathing falling in a steady rhythm.

Looking at the aristocratic creature seated on the piano bench, streaked with his brother’s blood, Ethan couldn’t see anything but a man exhausted and hurting in ways that he couldn’t fully understand. He trusted Marcus to not harm him. He’d already gone out of his way to protect him from Meryl and Cain.

Ethan wanted to take care of Marcus. It was clear that he was the family protector. He was the one who made the hard decisions and directed the others in order to get things done and keep them safe. But who was there to take care of Marcus?

Taking Marcus’s bloody hand in his, Ethan pulled him to his feet and led him out of the music room. He paused in the hallway. The third floor held four rooms with locked doors. One of them was Marcus’s private bedroom, but he didn’t know which one.

“Here,” Marcus said, pointing to a pair of double doors farther down the hall.

Ethan nodded and led the way, pulling the keys Marcus had given him out of his pocket. He unlocked the doors and pushed them open. There was only one small lamp on the nightstand burning, but it was enough to illuminate the large room with an enormous four-poster bed and a long bureau made of a dark wood. The walls were a dark blue with white trim. The carpet under their feet was so thick it was almost like walking on a cloud.

“Thank you, Ethan,” Marcus murmured. He squeezed Ethan’s hand before releasing it. “You can sleep in the green room if you’re too tired to return home. And you don’t have to come in to work tomorrow…or rather today. You need your rest.”

Ethan turned and smirked up at Marcus. “Work, huh? I thought I was fired.”

Marcus gave him a tired little smile. “I don’t think I technically fired you. Just threatened to do it.”

Taking a step closer, Ethan slowly reached up and touch the top button on his stained shirt. “Well, I think I’m technically here as a friend, because if your employee did this…” Ethan paused and slipped the first button through the hole. “We’d have to deal with a whole lot of HR shit, and we don’t want to do that.”

Marcus swallowed hard, staring at Ethan. He licked his lips as his breathing picked up, but he didn’t say anything to stop Ethan. Yeah, Marcus was attracted to him. Ethan thought he’d picked up a few little tells over the past couple of weeks, but Marcus was overall very careful. The guy was stuck so far in the closet, there was little hope of him ever seeing daylight.

But this wasn’t about Marcus exploring his sexuality. There was still the issue of him being a vampire and holding knowledge of his mother’s killer. This was about Ethan seeing that Marcus got some well-deserved rest.

Still moving slowly, Ethan lowered his hands and unbuttoned the next three buttons before Marcus finally moved, capturing both of his hands in his.

“Ethan?”

“It’s okay,” he said, giving him a reassuring smile. “I’m just helping you. I’m going to turn on the shower and get the water to warm up. Do you want me to help you finish getting undressed?”

Marcus’s mouth dropped open and sort of soundlessly bobbed for a second like he couldn’t get the words out.

Ethan chuckled. He was so damn attracted to this man, to this vulnerable side that he was sure his brothers didn’t get to see. Ethan pulled his hands free and resumed unbuttoning his shirt. He pulled the shirt free of Marcus’s pants to get the last couple of buttons. Hours ago, Marcus had rolled his sleeves up his forearms so that all Ethan had to do was run his palms up Marcus’s strong chest, reveling in the feel of hard muscle. A low groan rumbled in Marcus’s throat and that sound sent blood rushing to Ethan’s cock. Fuck, that was an amazing sound. He smoothed his hands across Marcus’s shoulders, pushing the shirt down his arms and to the floor.

“Ethan…I…”

“Shhh,” Ethan murmured. “Nothing is going to happen. You’re safe.” He leaned up on the tips of his toes and pressed a light kiss to Marcus’s throat. Strong hands immediately clamped down on his hips, holding him in place. Fingers dug into his ass and Ethan nearly moaned. He’d die to feel those hands all over his body. Just the thought had his cock stiffening.

“Not sure if the promise of nothing has me relieved or disappointed,” Marcus admitted in a shaky voice. He looked down and Ethan could feel the slight tremor creeping through Marcus’s muscles. “I’ve…I’ve never—”

“I know,” Ethan interrupted. “That’s why nothing is going to happen.” Well, one of the reasons, at least. “You need someone to take care of you tonight. Shower and then bed. Once you’re tucked in, I’m going to head home, but I’ll return later today.”

Sadness crept into Marcus’s blue eyes, but there was also relief there. He nodded and released Ethan.

“Finish getting undressed, my sexy friend,” Ethan said and sauntered toward the open door across from the bed. He was guessing it was a private bathroom.

He flicked a switch and sucked in a harsh breath as buttery light cascaded over warm marbled and gold fixtures. The bathroom was almost as big as his old apartment. There was a large garden tub that could easily fit three full-grown men, a double sink vanity with a long mirror, and a shower stall that had enough space and heads to cover the same three men who just climbed out of the tub.

There was muffled thump on the floor and Ethan guessed that Marcus had dropped a shoe. “Are you so touchy-feely with all your friends?”

Ethan laughed as he walked over to the shower. “Would you be jealous if I was?”

“Yes,” Marcus hissed, and that single word wrapped in a possessive tone warmed Ethan like nothing else could. He’d had more than a few sexual partners in his life, but no one he’d call a boyfriend and no one who ever felt possessive. He was just a warm body, a tight hole, a great mouth to fuck.

But with Marcus, he felt like more.

Opening the door, Ethan turned the handle, starting the shower. He stuck his hand in the spray, checking the temperature. Still cold. He started to turn to make sure that Marcus had a clean towel, but he jumped when he found Marcus standing directly behind him. The man had moved so silently and so fucking quickly. How had he not noticed him?

Because he’s a vampire.

Oh, yeah. Ethan’s brain kept conveniently forgetting that little fact.

It was even easier to forget when Marcus was standing just a couple of inches away, wearing only a pair of black boxer briefs. He was pale, but it didn’t detract from his beautiful body. Every inch of him was hard. Every. Fucking. Inch.

Purchase at Amazon

Meet the Author

It started with a battered notebook. Jocelynn Drake wrote her first story when she was 12 years old. It was a retelling of Robin Hood that now included a kick-ass female who could keep up with all the boys and be more than just a sad little love interest. From there, she explored space, talked to dragons, and fell in love again and again and again.

This former Kentucky girl has moved up, down, and across the U.S. with her patient husband. They’ve settled near the Rockies…for now. She spends the majority of her time lost in the strong embrace of a good book.

When she’s not hammering away at her keyboard or curled up with a book, she can usually be found cuddling with her cat Demona, walking her dog Ace, or flinging curses at the TV while playing a video game. Outside of books, furry babies, and video games, she is completely enamored of Bruce Wayne, Ezio Auditore, travel, tattoos, explosions, and fast cars.

She is the New York Times Bestselling author of the urban fantasy series: The Dark Days series and the Asylum Tales. She has just completed a gay romantic suspense series called The Exit Strategy about two assassins falling in love and trying to create a life together. Her newest project returns to her vampire roots with a new MM paranormal romance series. She is also the co-author of the Unbreakable Bonds, Ward Security, and Pineapple Grove series with Rinda Elliott.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail | Instagram

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A MelanieM Review:33 Degrees of Separation (Legacy Book 3) by Rain Carrington

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Rating: 2.25 stars out of 5

​I’m Ian, and this is my story. Like the others, I have a legacy. I was raised with the best of everything, one of the riches kids I knew. That isn’t the legacy, however. That is to be a part of something I didn’t want, and never asked for it’s tearing me apart, but I can fight it. With some help, I can fight it.
Meeting Pat Castaldo, the hot, muscled FBI agent was the beginning of a life I thought was ending. I am terrified I’ll get him killed, and others, if I can’t stand up to my father and the other men that make up the terrible secret society. My family has been members for hundreds of years, and it was supposed to be passed to me. I don’t want it, but I took it, and I took it to end them once and for all.

In the middle of all this, I am falling in love. That was a surprise, and one that possibly terrifies me more than the Gilded Grail. This could hurt, and I could get this beautiful man killed, along with a lot of others if I fail. My money may be able to solve some of my troubles, but there is much more that it can’t.
I’ve never had to be brave or fight for anything. This is my fight, though, and I will win. I’ll win it for my friends, for humanity and, maybe most of all, I’ll win it for Pat.

Raised in wealth most could only dream of, Ian Andrews III didn’t know another way of life existed until he went to college and learned about the world. There he met friends and came down from his palace to try to be like everyone else, but he had too much money to achieve that.

When he was set to finish graduate school, his father took him on a trip to learn the destiny that had been chosen for him. He would become a member of the Gilded Grail, a secret society that had members whose families had been a part of it for hundreds of years.

He was a legacy, and there was no choice for him. He would become a member, or he’d die.

Learning about this secret society, hearing their ways and goals, then going through the initiation, he was terrified and ran off to hide away from them and everyone.
His best friend worried when he’d been gone for days, his phone left in his room, not a word from him. Calling in help, it came in the form of an FBI agent in town on business. He was doing a favor, checking up on the missing college student, and right away smelled trouble. When he saw Ian’s computer history and the name Gilded Grail, he knew he had to find Ian.
Once he did, he learned the secrets that no one outside the order knew. Together, they decided to try to stop them from a horrible goal they’d set, one that threatened every man, woman and child in the world.

Falling in love with one another was easy but keeping that attraction at bay to try to save everyone a horrible fate, Ian and Pat struggled. Pat called for more help, and Javier Duran came, an old lover of Pat’s, and one of the world best mercenaries.

Sparks fly and jealousies ignite. Saving the world and falling in love at the same time wasn’t easy on any man. It could tear them apart or make them more determined to have the other in their lives forever. That was considering if they could stop the Grail and there was a forever…

When it comes to deciding on ratings and writing a review, often it is harder to do so for a story that falls short of what you expect a good or terrific story to be rather than a story that meets or exceeds those standards.  Praise comes easily.  But putting into words why a story falls flat?  That should actually be more precise and perhaps well thought out.

Reviews, while a subjective animal, should be as objective still as possible, as weird as that may be. And that has to do with the fact that for the most part we are talking about books that authors have put their heart into (excluding the new book mills out there).

All this is leading up to the fact that when giving out low ratings we should be as objective and specific and perhaps thoughtful as possible.

Yes,33 Degrees of Separation (Legacy Book 3) by Rain Carrington  was a story that I had some issues with.

It does have some promising elements here.   There was some really nice twists to the plot I enjoyed, hence the .5 in the rating.  But there were also quite a few elements that had me reevaluating the characters, their professionalism, and the entire plot structure. That doesn’t even address the problems I had with the main characters relationships and the BDSM aspect.

Characterization and their Professions:  I will use this as just one of the examples of the issues I have here.  One of the main characters, Pat Castaldo, is a FBI agent, who specializes in cults etc.  Without putting anything into context, he makes a move on a traumatized young man (who has no idea who this FBI guy is btw) hiding out in a cabin, sends the young man’s black roommate out into the night to a small , nearby white homogeneous small town to get supplies for all three of them while they figure out what their next plans are.  Smh!  Anyone who watches TV cop shows would be groaning here.  So yes.  This is a small white town where most grocery stores never stay open late.  Usually it’s the quikmart as the gas stations where there are cameras and people plenty suspicious of strangers.  So why not let the roommate stay and comfort his best friend, and the big bad FBI white agent leaves  with all training, and obtains the supplies while checking out to see if anyone followed them? Nope, that doesn’t happen.

It’s not logical, it’s not great procedure, and tbh, it’s one of the many issues you have with the lack of professionalism here that it takes you out of the story and disconnects the reader from the characters and plot.  It will get worse.  So I will leave it at one example. They felt extremely under researched and lacking in details.  Just not believable in any way.

Romance, Relationships and BDSM:  I am unfamiliar with this author’s previous stories or this series so I don’t know if BDSM figures prominently in Carrington’s other novels.  From the author’s note, the main couple’s relationship was to contain a small amount of BDSM (D/s).  I am not sure how much research or where this author conducted that research, but what happens here between Pat and Ian in no way reads like any “in the lifestyle” D/s relationship I have read or met.  In fact it borders on abusive and ignorant, labeling the use of force as BDSM and being the aggressor as Dom without having the necessary structure or understanding in place.  In one scene, Ian is actually beaten into agreeing to a course of action and that’s labeling BDSM.  If you are not familiar with BDSM, perhaps as a reader, you might think ok, that’s what a D/s relationship is all about.  But even if you are a pain slut, there are discussions and agreements to be held, none of which happens here.  This is a total mess IMO.  And I haven’t even gone into the instalove aspect.

I think that’s plenty.  Won’t even go into that ending.  Apparently there is more to come in this series.  I won’t be venturing further.

Poor characterization,  unrealistic backgrounds and professions, plotting I didn’t believe in, and  labeled sexualities that don’t follow the basic tenets for safety all conspire to do this story in.

That’s my recommendation.  Do with it what you will.

Cover art is interesting but doesn’t tell you much about the story.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 353 pages
Published October 22nd 2019 by AAS Publishing
ASINB07ZGMFN3W

A MelanieM Review: The Dragon CEO’s Assistant (Golden Kingdom) by Jenn Burke

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

A Golden Kingdom Novel

The heart remembers.

When Aidan Bishop staggers out of the woods, naked and suffering from amnesia, he needs to relearn who he is and where he fits in the world.

His boss, nearly five-hundred-year-old dragon Nassim, head of a successful tech company, hurries to claim his wayward assistant and guide him back into the life he disappeared from. As they get to know each other again, Aidan wonders if their relationship went deeper than employer and employee. But Nassim isn’t telling, and Aidan has a secret of his own… even if he doesn’t know it yet.

I am always up for a dragon book.  Can’t help myself.  So The Dragon CEO’s Assistant by Jenn Burke felt like it was in my wheelhouse.  Fantasy, a mit of a mystery, romance, and yes, a dragon!  Yippee!

Turns out I enjoyed Jenn Burke’s tale of dragon romance and mystery, although I hadn’t realized it was part of a series, one I wasn’t familiar with.  Not that it made a difference here as this story works very well as a standalone.

We are dumped immediately into the mystery as Aiden appears naked and without memory coming out of the woods within distance of a building.  One that happens to be one where he used to work.  From there we meet several co-workers, and of course,, his boss, the gorgeous and impressive dragon,Nassim.  The story is told from Aiden’s perspective so we get his total puzzlement, his lack of foundation for everything around him, and his awareness of Nassim on many levels.

The story progresses as Aiden tries  to figure out who he is and where he figures out his place in the world, getting hints that all isn’t well from things happening around him.

Burke gives us different fantasy beings, elements of mystery and suspense while not forgetting the romance and love.  I wish I could say that the aspect of romance and love felt substantial here but that didn’t feel like it to me.  That was the only element that I thought needed strengthening.  The mystery, the suspense?  All good but the relationship?  The love and background between Aiden and Nassim?  That was missing and the story felt the lack

The Dragon CEO’s Assistant by Jenn Burke was a sweet fantasy romance with a touch of mystery and suspense.  I enjoyed it as I do most of this author’s writings. If you like dragon’s, lovers reunited, and second chance stories, I am sure this is one you will enjoy too.

Cover art: really works for the character and story.  Nice!

Sales Links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X3T8JYJ

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-dragon-ceo-s-assistant

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-dragon-ceos-assistant-jenn-burke/1132374115?ean=9781644055175

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/ca/book/the-dragon-ceos-assistant/id1471192566

Book Details:

ebook, 211 pages
Expected publication: October 29th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
Original Title The Dragon CEO’s Assistant
ISBN 139781644055175
Edition Language English
Series Golden Kingdom

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Natural Disaster (Storm Chasers #1) by Erin McLellan

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

This story had so much energy! There’s a constant underlying tension in the KTTY newsroom as storm chasers tackle coverage of tornadoes across the Oklahoma countryside. The tension spreads to readers as we get to know the storm chaser characters, their hopes, dreams, and their fears. 

It’s the fear that grabbed me in this story. Guthrie Gale, the well-known human interest reporter who’s the son of infamous storm chaser Slim Bridges wants no part of chasing tornadoes, but with budget cuts at the station, he’s strong-armed into taking on a rookie for the season. What no one knows however is that Guthrie had a close experience with a tornado when he was a child on a chase with his father that’s left him with high anxiety and the fear that he won’t survive the season.

Rookie chaser Luke Masters is a great guy. Young, sweet, good-looking, intelligent, interested, and with nerves of steel, Luke also shows compassion and a strong focus when they are in the field that helps calm Guthrie’s nerves, at least a little.

After one close storm, their attraction explodes into a close encounter of the sexual kind and the two realize they need to face the fact their attraction might lead to problems. So they make a pact to remain friends only, until the end of the season when they can explore whether they want to remain friends or start a relationship. For different reasons, both men are done playing the field and each would like a lasting relationship so they know there’s a chance for more after the season. But during the story, as the season progresses, so much happens to bring them closer and learn more about each other that it’s readily apparent they’d be good for each other.

The tornado season doesn’t pass quietly, though, and when they’re caught in the field with no backup and a twister heading their way, the real nail-biting begins.

I loved the slow burn, the banter, the camaraderie, and the way Guthrie’s anxiety is expressed, discussed, and shown throughout the book. Luke’s fear of abandonment is also addressed and explored. The story’s conclusion isn’t a quick resolution to everyone’s issues but does provide a satisfying hope for a happy future.

I definitely recommend this story to all lovers of MM romance, hashtags—friends to lovers, coworkers, dangerous professions, storm chasers, reporters, PTSD, anxiety disorder, and age gap. What a great book!

The cover by Brooke Albrecht features a man with a hand on a steering wheel against a dark background with a tornado in the lower panel. The scene eerily represents the tension of the storm chasers in the story. Very well done. 

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 201 pages
Published October 11th 2019 by Erin McLellan
ASINB07YPLRVK1
Edition Language English
Series Storm Chasers #1

An Alisa Review: The Boyfriend Trap by J.B. Buell

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Male stripper Jamie has been seeing his boss, club owner Luke, for a while now. Jamie wants a more committed relationship, but Luke is dragging his heels about getting more serious with Jamie or introducing Jamie to his daughter, Sofia.

But Sofia has had enough waiting around to meet her dad’s not-so-secret boyfriend, and devises a plan to get them together.

In this sweet rom-com, two grown men find themselves outwitted by a precocious eight-year-old.

This was a cute story and with some creativity from his daughter Luke is able to admit what he really wants in his relationship with Jamie.  I didn’t like that Luke was all about just going on as they had been when Jamie was continually trying to hint or get him to further their relationship, though we had a big gap from when they first had sex till a year later so we don’t really know how it had been going.  I thought it was cute how Sofia tricked them both a bit, though it was the kind of thing my own kids would have gotten in trouble for.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is nice and a cute picture of Luke and Jamie.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 23,965 words

Published: September 28, 2019 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781646560837

Edition Language: English