A MelanieM Review: Last Marine Standing (Heroes #2) by R.J. Scott

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Former Marine Recon, Mackenzie ‘Mac’ Jackson has secrets. The things he did for his country, the things he saw, must never be spoken about. Until, that is, his team is targeted.

A shift in political alliances means one particular mission undertaken by Mac and his Fire Team needs to be wiped from the history books. Starting with the team itself.

Forest Ranger Samuel Larson wants to find the Marines who saved his life. He just wants to say thank you. What he can’t know is that he’s walking into a firestorm of betrayal and murder.

When Samuel arrives at Mac’s place he throws Mac’s plans for hiding out of the window. Abruptly Mac has to protect a man who threatens his heart, only this time he can’t be sure he will succeed in keeping Sam alive.

When the people you trusted turn on you, when you are the last one standing, should you take your secrets to the grave? Or make the murderers pay?

Heroes is turning out to be an incredible series.  A spinoff from the amazing Sanctuary stories,A Reason To Stay hooked me in with RJ Scott delivering romance, murder mystery along with  her hardened SEAL on leave and his second chance at love police officer.  Last Maine Standing though kicks it all into high gear.  There’s an absolutely horrific mission in the past that starts the story.    I’ll say no more about that.

But these two men haunt each other and the reader with their combined pasts.

On top of that, RJ Scott has thrown a conspiracy of deceit and murder against our heroes.  It’s heinous, it’s murky, and the suspicions and suspense of everyone drives this story, sometimes pushing the romance aspect to a secondary element.   Still, RJ Scott is so great with it comes to interpersonal dynamics that even when suspense and espionage is driving a certain portion of the story, she gets to work in the magnetic attraction and heat that brings these two men together and makes their relationship work.   You certainly understand by Sam needs to find Mac after all these years and you can see Mac’s need as well.  The balance works.

Really, I thought this story had it all.  Action, drama, hot men, sex and yes, romance.  I loved this story.  Heroes is a wonderful series and Last Marine Standing is the prime example why.  I highly recommend both.

Cover art by Meredith Russell is terrific.

Sales Links:  RJ Scott Books | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 211 pages
Published October 8th 2014 by Love Lane Books (first published October 6th 2014)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHeroes #2

 

Review Tour for Bitten by Desire (Regent’s Park Pack #3) by Annabelle Jacobs

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 78,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Regent’s Park Pack Series
 
Bitten By Mistake (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Bitten By Design (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Two lovers from rival packs. Have they come together only to be forced apart?


Alec Knight, a beta in the Regent’s Park pack, guards his heart carefully. Ghosts from his past keep him alone and angry, any hope of a relationship impossible while guilt from the pack wars still haunts him. With the anniversary drawing near, Alec needs a distraction.


As a lowly member of the Primrose Hill pack, Mark Appleton isn’t used to having his alpha’s attention. Lately he’s had more than his fair share, and not for the right reasons. Despite growing suspicions that all is not well, Mark tries hard to do better, but constant criticism leaves him desperate for a stress outlet.


Sex is a good way for shifters to let off steam, and while their packs attack each other with accusations and lies, Alec and Mark work out their frustrations in bed. Pillow talk and shared secrets lead to a closeness neither was expecting, but when pack relations reach an all-time low, any future for them seems out of the question.


If they want to be together, they’ll have to go against their alphas’ wishes—except Alec won’t and Mark can’t.

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Highly Recommended Review Here.


October 12 – Gay Book Reviews, Mikku-chan, Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings
October 14 – My Fiction Nook
October 16 – Nerdy Dirty & Flirty
October 20 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
October 23 – Jim’s Reading Room
October 25 – Making It Happen, Diverse Reader, Gay Media Reviews, Lelyana’s Book Blog
October 27 – The Way She Reads, Bayou Book Junkie, Book Lovers 4Ever, Love Bites & Silk Ties, Sexy Erotic Xciting

Author Bio

Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.

 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AJacobs_fiction
Website – www.annabellejacobs.com
Email – ajacobsfiction@gmail.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ajacobsfiction

 

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A MelanieM Release Day Review: Dream (Aisling #2) by Carole Cummings

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

To reveal the intricate machinations threatening them, two men must learn to trust each other. But how can they, when their hearts and minds—their realities—are subject to manipulation?

When he set out to escort the prisoner Wilfred Calder back to Putnam, Constable Dallin Brayden didn’t anticipate the political betrayal and malicious magic threatening their lives at every turn. To his surprise, he slips into the role of protector—and it’s more than duty compelling him to ensure Wil’s safety as they’re haunted by strange dreams.  But does Wil dare put himself in the hands of a man he believes wants him dead?

Wil’s past weighs heavily on him, tainting his perceptions as he struggles his way through a tangle of lies. With both will and magic as his weapons, he fights desperately for survival—and his soul. For the Aisling is coveted by more than the Guild and the Brethren; ancient gods and soul-eating spirits also want what lives within him. His only chance might be Dallin and his goddess, the Mother, who Wil has been taught to despise above all others.

It’s hard to describe just how exquisite this book and saga actually is.  Dream, the second story in the Aisling Trilogy, picks up exactly where the first left off, with Dallin accepting that Wil is the Aisling, the one he is meant to protect above all else.  Why?  Because Dallin is the Guardian.  What that means, how they are to fulfill those roles start to be revealed here.

That revelation and the impact upon their relationship starts immediately.  One of the biggest issues here is trust and what each man has seen/been told will happen to them.  Do they learn to trust each other and that they can make the future their own?  Or is the future already written and are they simply trodding a path they are meant to go down?  What do the gods have planned for them if anything?

The world building Cummings starting in Guardian (Aisling, #1)  becomes even more complex and wide ranging, crossing lands and picking up cultures and peoples we had only heard about in the first novel.  Mirroring the complexity of the world building is the relationship and personal dynamics between Wil and Dallin.  From enemies to friends and now the slow move into a romantic relationship, Cummings has been careful to establish the necessary trust and communication that let’s this happen between them.  I love the slow courtship between the men.  Considering all Wil has been through, the slow emotional involvement that the physical one also implies makes perfect sense.

Even as we enjoy the small touches that illuminate the growth of intimacy between the men, Cummings is busy ramping up the suspense of the chase as well.  For the evil is never far behind them, the good men chasing them for the wrong reasons as well…even their destination is fraught is peril.  The author makes us  fear the smallest of breaks in the woods,  the turn of every corner in a village is reason for the reader to hold our breath.

There is no one element or section here I can highlight.  It’s all equally fantastic.  Characters are beautifully created.  I believe in them and their relationships.  Fear for their futures.  The evil here is horrific and about to deepen with the last story.  The gods and aspects of religion the author has devised is stunning in its originality.  How this will play out for Wil and Dallin in book three, Beloved Son, is something I can’t wait to read when it’s released in December.

As with the first story, Dream ends somewhat abruptly, most likely where the final installment will pick up.  Oddly, I’m alright with that.  After the ending in Guardian, I almost expected it. At the end here Wil and Dallin are poised on the precipice of knowledge.   That next and final story tips them and us over the edge.

If you love fantasy and are new to this trilogy, you have until December to get caught up.  I highly recommend this story (not a stand alone) and the first, Guardian.  Then join me in December for the release of Beloved Son.

Cover art by Anne Cain is perfect for the character and for branding the series.

Sales Links: DSP Publications | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 2nd Edition, 336 pages
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by DSP Publications (first published June 15th 2011)
Original Title Dream
ISBN13 9781635336740
Edition Language English
Series Aisling #2
Beloved Son (Aisling Trilogy, #3)  coming Dec 13th 2017 and I can’t wait
Everything (Aisling #3.5)

A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Played! (The Shamwell Tales #2) by J.L. Merrow and Mark Steadman (Narrator)

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

All the world’s a stage…but real-life lessons are hidden in the heart.

Tristan’s in Shamwell for one last summer of freedom before he joins the family firm in New York—no more farting around on stage, as his father puts it. But the classically trained actor can’t resist when members of the local amateur dramatics society beg him to take a role in their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Especially as he’ll also be giving private acting lessons to gorgeous local handyman, Con, who’s been curiously resistant to Tristan’s advances. Tristan’s determined to get Con in his bed—not only is the man delicious, there’s fifty pounds riding on Tristan’s success after a bet made with his drama school chum Amanda.

Con’s never dared to act before. A late-diagnosed dyslexic who had a hard time at school, he’s always been convinced he’d never be able to learn his lines—but with Tristan helping him, he might just be in with a chance. Trouble is, the last time Con fell for a guy, he ended up getting his heart broken, and with Tristan due to leave the country in a matter of months, Con’s determined not to give in and start anything that’s bound to finish badly.

Just as Tristan thinks he’s finally won Con’s heart—and given his own in return—disaster strikes. And the curtain may have fallen forever on their chance of happiness.

Warning: contains a surfeit of Bottoms and asses, together with enough mangled quotations to have the Bard of Avon gyrating in his grave.

I’m a fan of both JL Merrow and her Shamwell Tales, the series that follows the lives and romances of this small English village and it’s little group of thespians.  Not familiar you say?  Well, Played! in audiobook format is a splendid way to make its acquaintance because a terrific story is further enhanced by the outstanding narration by Mark Steadman.

I easily sunk into the drama and every day lives of Tristan and Con with Mark Steadman’s voice casting a spell over the tale.  The narrator rose quickly to being the “voice’ of  everyone in the large cast of players as well as acting the various roles the characters/actors were playing (play inside a play) from Bottom to Puck, and giving them life as well.  I never had a difficulty distinguishing between characters, and indeed, often forgot I was listening to only one person narrating the story, Mark Steadman is that good.

And with Mark Steadman narrating, you can concentrate on the story of Tris and Con and their rocky path towards romance and love. Ah, Tris with his rich imperious father and full load of familial expectations, none of which seem particularly desirable to Tristan.  The death of his Gram, a house, and a cat lead Tris to Shamwell, the Shamwell Players and Con.  All of which starts to erode the strict goals his family has laid out for him,. Under the influence of Con and the people he’s meeting,  Tristan becomes the person he’s meant to be.

Con, a handyman, ends up with a remarkable amount of revelations for himself as well.  A learning disability has Con convinced he could never act until Tristan starts coaching him. The why’s behind that action I’ll leave up to the story.  There’s is mystery in Con’s background and an investigation to launch in the village.  Really, Played! has a cornucopia of elements and it makes for a lively, hopping plot!

Merrow’s characters have depth and a believability about them that makes it a delight to care for them and the outcome of their romance. Especially, when you want to give them a shake or two as you will Tristan!  The story just flows and the listening goes quickly.  You’ll find the book is over and your visit in Shamwell done before you are ready to leave.  At least I felt that way.  Luckily there are more Shamwell tales out there.  I hope they all end up as audiobooks with Mark Steadman as the narrator.  I can’t wait to listen.

I highly recommend this audiobook and all the Shamwell stories, ebook and otherwise.

Cover by: Natasha Snow is  perfect for Tristan.  Love the cover.

Sales Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon |  Audible |  iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Listening Time: 6 hrs., 58 min.

Audiobook
Published September 15th 2017 by Riptide Publishing (first published June 30th 2015)
Original TitlePlayed!
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series The Shamwell Tales #2
setting England (United Kingdom

 

 

 

A Melanie Release Day Review: Building Forever (The Rebuilding Year #2.5) by Kaje Harper

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Four years ago, Ryan and John decided they’d wait to get married until it came with full legal equality. Now, thanks to the Supreme Court, that historic moment has finally arrived. But two hundred miles separate Ryan’s hectic residency from John’s busy campus job. With a son in college, a daughter choosing her future, and a rambunctious Irish Setter needing attention, planning a wedding isn’t simple.

Of course, even the most perfect ceremony can’t solve all their problems. What does it take to build forever?

If you like me, fell in love with Ryan and John from The Rebuilding Years, then this is the story you’ve been waiting for.  Be prepared to laugh until your stomach hurts, cry more than a little, hold your breath through some white knuckle maneuvers and delays until we get to the culmination of their love story….their long awaited marriage.

It all happens in the heartwarming, joyous Building Forever (The Rebuilding Year #2.5) by Kaje Harper.  Much like John and Ryan, their inability to get legally married has left their readers frustrated as well as themselves.   So here we see the SCOTUS ruling having it’s effect all over again with the result that Ryan and John now finally get to get married.

Oh, if it was only that easy!

They are now living apart, divided by Ryan’s residency and John’s job.  Mark is in college and Rory is making her own plans, only their Irish Setter is still at home causing problems.  Getting everything into place for a wedding turns into an almost insurmountable feat, with obstacles piling up by the minute.  But (with Harper’s deft comedic touch and easily flowing plot) the narrative’s lively pace makes you howl and cry as the men scramble forward with love towards the one goal they’ve wanted…rings and HEA.

Harper brings in many of the secondary characters for the wedding, Tory and Mark their children, even the Irish Setter and of course the college as a setting.  All the elements are right, the dialog is perfect, and I just loved the ceremony.  Really, I couldn’t have asked for more.  For this couple or for us as readers.  It’s simply everything I wanted and didn’t know to ask for.

No, this is not a stand alone story.  Read all the others, starting with The Rebuilding Years and end here with Building Forever.  Better yet, read all three at once!  I highly recommend them all.

Cover by Karrie Jax.  I love the cover. It works for both men and setting.

Sales Links:

Book Details:

ebook, 80 pages
Expected publication: October 15th 2017
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series The Rebuilding Year #2.5

 

A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Tender with a Twist (Rainbow Cove #2) by Annabeth Albert

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

One kinky wood carver. One younger chef looking to try new things. A series of lessons that bring both men more than they bargained for…

Curtis Hunt has made a name for himself as a chainsaw wood carver, winning national competitions and operating a small business in Rainbow Cove, Oregon. As winter whittles away his tourist traffic, his goal is just to survive the season and try to not get lost in grief for his dead lover. It’s been two years, but he’s sure he’ll never be over the love of a lifetime. However, his body has a certain restlessness that he doesn’t quite know how to calm.

Logan Rosner knows a thing or two about restlessness. It’s what drove him to Rainbow Cove to be a chef at a bar and grill run by his friends. And it’s what drives him to a single sizzling encounter with the local legendary lumberjack. Both men get far more than they expected and learn that first impressions aren’t always accurate…

But when Logan proposes a series of sexy lessons, Curtis must decide how much he’s willing to risk. He knows he can’t afford to get attached to Logan’s good cooking, his easy smiles, or his caretaking, but he keeps going back for more, even as deeper emotions become involved. Soon, Curtis must decide whether to risk his heart again or risk losing Logan for good.

Tender with a Twist is a 75,000 word stand-alone gay romance with a May/December theme, featuring a second chance at love, opposites attract, loads of sexy times with mild BDSM elements, and one emotionally-charged, guaranteed happy ending with no cliffhangers.

With the release of Tender with a Twist by Annabeth Albert cements Rainbow Cove as one of my favorite destinations for love and romance.  Of course it started with Trust with a Chaser (Rainbow Cove, #1) where Mason Hanks with his friends Adam and Logan Rosner open a bar and grill in an Oregon seaside town desperately in need of revival.  Mason finds love with the town’s Sheriff Nash Flint while they struggle to keep their new restaurant alive.

In Tender with a Twist,  we find both the town and the restaurant all still trying to survive.  The restaurant is trying to make it through the off-season until the tourists return and the town is trying to adapt and understand what it would mean to be an LGBT destination point if the new resort opens up and the influx of new  businesses arrive.  Not all the townspeople are happy with the new developements.  In every way change appears as a force to be faced here in this story.

For both Curtis and Logan, the need for change is at the heart of the issues both men are facing.  With Annabeth Albert, there’s never any “telling” in her stories.  The author’s ability to telegraph the deep confusion, grief, frustration, and pain these men are going through to the reader is real and amazingly vivid.

For Curtis, he’s caught in place by the loss of his husband, held in stasis by his mother-in law’s grief as well as his own,  plus her guilt that refuses the let them both move forward towards anything like a life without her son. That’s she is also his last remaining tie to the man he loved? Just another knot on the ropes holding him in place…the fear that if he moves forward he will lose her too. He’s let everything go, abandoned their old friends, their pleasures, even houses.  Only one thing he has left personally…his need to be a sub.  And that has just been pulled away from him when the Dom he’s been using has said they can’t continue.  Plus his best friend, Nash, has just found a partner.  So now Curtis truly feels alone and isolated.  Albert makes us feel every bit of the pain and heartache emanating from Curtis Hunt.

Then there’s the surprising bundle of character traits that is Logan Rosner.  He is one of the most amazing characters and one I absolutely adored.  Logan too is bound by a past that won’t let go.  This time it’s his parents who refuse to see him as an adult, keeping him firmly planted in his painful past, binding him in their fears and in their image of him.  But Logan has strengths he has kept hidden, including the fact that he’s a Dom. An untried one, basically, but still a Dom and Curtis fits everything he wants in a sub.  And more…Curtis fits everything Logan wants in his life.

How Annabeth Albert works these two complicated men past the age barrier, the grief, their backgrounds, their families that are holding them back, all the realistic elements and then moves them forward into a relationship that the readers see lasting for the rest of their lives?  Well, it’s one of the most heart warming stories that I’ve read in awhile and one that’s made me love the Rainbow Cove series even more (if that’s possible).

The D/s element is so well done here, especially as it can’t be part of the romance, at least not at first.  Curtis can’t handle that.  So it’s woven into a different part of their lives as they discover more about that aspect of each other.  That level of trust then allows an openness for other revelations to follow.  And yes, it’s sexy and very, very hot!

But for me it’s the healing of two hearts and the love that these two men find together that even now starts to send me back to the beginning of their story to start to read it all over again.  Rainbow Cove is a very special place and as much as I love all of Annabeth Albert’s series, I suspect that this one has found it’s way to the top of the list.   It’s certainly my top destination location.   Make it yours!  You don’t have to have read the first in the series to read Tender with a Twist but it helps to give you that additional background knowledge on the place and characters you will meet here.   Plus it’s another fantastic story.  I highly recommend this one and the series.

Cover design: Sloan J Designs.  I love this design.  It’s perfect for the character and I love the tone that comes across.

Purchase at Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published October 2nd 2017 by Annabeth Albert
SeriesRainbow Cove #2 settingOregon (United States)

A Stella Review: The Shipwreck (Lavender Shores #4) by Rosalind Abel

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Lamont Price’s romance novels have been a hit for the past few years. With his gorgeous looks, kind heart, and tender disposition, Lamont is the darling of Lavender Shores. He’s the guy everyone wants to be their best friend, the guy everyone wants to protect. But even with his success and the love of his family, Lamont feels hidden from those around him. Maybe the first step is attending a writing conference and revealing the man behind his pen name….

Tyler Dixon survives off his beauty and charm. From cover model to runway fashion to weekend arm candy, Tyler’s prices aren’t cheap. While his appearance is taking him places, his life as an artist has little more than flatlined. When an author hires him to appear as the face of her brand, Tyler thinks it’s just one more job. Little does he know another writer is going to steal all of his attention.

Escaping the conference to find some breathing room, Lamont runs into Tyler at a bar. Casual conversation leads to Lamont revealing his family’s obsession with helping him find love. It’s not a big deal to Tyler, who has played the role of boyfriend for other people in the past. Before either of them can rethink the situation, Tyler is in Lavender Shores meeting Lamont’s family. Though they’re only pretending to be in a relationship, the chemistry that ignites between them is anything but imaginary…

Shipwreck is the fourth book in the Lavender Shores series. As the previous ones, this is a very sweet and lovely story. It was so easy to fall in love with the main characters and meet all the amazing people I already liked.
It was a pleasure read about Lamont and Tyler stories. Both of them so strong in some traits and so weak in others. And as always happens only in books, this two souls find each other in a bizarre meeting and with the HEA will come success and happiness too. Some misunderstandings, or better some unsaid things, will be in their way but both characters were smart and tried to fix the issue and start to work on their future.
The author delivered another well done installment, well written especially in the dialogues, he gave the characters some time (and words) to discover each other before fall in bed and in love.
The only reason I’m not giving The Shipwreck a higher rating is due to the ending. Sure, it’s an HEA, maybe perfectly done, but it felt to me a little shallow and it didn’t fully satisfied me.
The cover art is not a favourite of mine, simply because I can’t see Tyler and Lamont in the models on the cover.
Sales Link:  Amazon
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 311 pages
Published September 29th 2017
ASINB0762V1J2P
SeriesLavender Shores #4

A MelanieM Review: Bull (Brawlers #3) by J.M. Dabney

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Welcome to Brawlers Bar…

They said men only get better with age, distinguished and all that BS, but Archer “Bulletproof” Woods hadn’t gotten better. At fifty-six he was still as much an asshole as he’d been in his twenties and thirties, hell, maybe he was worse. Being a bouncer at a bar called Brawlers suited him just fine and he even tolerated the rest of the crew who’d taken up residence in his house when they’d had nowhere else to go. He was big, growly and homely that kept the parade of men passing through Brawlers at arm’s length for the past decade. One night changed all that.

What he’d thought was happily ever after turned into a nearly five year nightmare. Gregory Charles appeared to have it all, a successful business, sophistication, and a perfect marriage. His friend and best employee, Landon, begged him to come out to a friend’s bar to celebrate Landon’s anniversary. What could it hurt? A night without contemplating the hell that would come down on him the moment he served his husband with divorce papers would do him good. That is until he met the brooding older man staring into a whiskey straight ignoring everyone around him.

Watching for trouble was his job and Gregory screamed mistake as soon as the long, lean and handsome man sat down beside him. But he also knew when someone was in over their head and Gregory needed someone to watch his back. That someone was Bull, only time would tell if he’d have to fight Gregory as much as the man after him.

Bull‘s story is the one I’ve been waiting for.  I’ve love the huge, hulking father figure ever since I became aware of the Brawlers and their extended family.  It’s Bull and his house whose been the home and focal point of so many of these stories.  And it’s been Bull who’s been such a steadying influence on those around him when everything felt like it was being destroyed for them.  Yet Bull was ever lonely, alpha among alphas, and you wanted to get the know the person called Bull.  In Bull (Brawlers #3) by J.M. Dabney I finally got that story.

The solitary man isn’t the one I was prepared to find.  He’s hardly anywhere close to the men he houses, although he  clearly understands them and the violence that drives them.  Instead Dabney gives us a man full of pain and loneliness, hating it, yet perhaps thinking that his time for something more has passed him by because of his age.  The sadness is overwhelming.  Then Gregory appears at Brawlers, helping to  celebrate Landon’s anniversary and a connection is made that changes everything.

Gregory is a complicated character (they all are here).  Explaining more about Gregory actually gives away too much of the the plot for my comfort, however, let’s just say trying to serve divorce papers to a husband isn’t always the easiest thing when the husband refuses to accept them.  This is a hurt/comfort story and deals with issues of domestic violence and control.

Bull’s situation (he’s divorced with a grown child he hasn’t seen in awhile) plus his age all determines the manner in which he views his actions towards Gregory and any possibility of a relationship.  Gregory’s own demons also need to be dealt with by Gregory himself and others.  Broken, bruised men are the heart of most of Dabney’s stories.  For most, life has made them hard and violent, but for some, it’s left it’s marks in other ways.

The relationship dynamics here make any romance unsure and slow as it should be.  I loved the struggle and the carefulness taken to ensure more pain wasn’t inflicted.   I like that there is an awareness of the age issue, it’s addressed, and they move forward. Was it a little rushed towards the end?  Perhaps, but the whole is darn near perfect.

I think Bull is one of my favorite Brawler books of the series.  Of course, I do love the whole series and the one that follows it.  I have them all listed below.  Check them all out and check them off as I review them.  I highly recommend them all.

Cover design by Winterheart Designs is perfect for Bull, how I love these covers.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 199 pages
Published May 16th 2017 by Hostile Whispers Press, LLC (first published 2017)
ASINB06Y2GHQPH
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBrawlers #3

  • Executioners – third series

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Hexslayer (Hexworld #3) by Jordan L. Hawk

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

As exceptional as others in this series, Hexslayer is the tale of Nick, a horse familiar who has no love lost for any witch and snubs his nose at the MWP—Ministry of Witch Police—even though one of the familiars who found his witch and works there is his brother, Rook (The 13th Hex).

For years, Nick has housed feral familiars in the tenement apartments above his bar, Caballus.  He’s made it his personal business to assist any and all familiars who do not want to be tied down to a witch and has even been operating an underground escape route for those who need to get out of the city.  No one knows of that except his employee Kyle, however.  He’d certainly never let on to Rook, who is now a “goody two shoes” in Nick’s book.

But when Nick meets Jamie MacDougal, MWP witch and former war hero, something clicks and he’s shocked to realize he may be looking at his own witch.  Refusing to believe it, and definitely not willing to act on it, he’s surprised to find that Jamie came back from the war with an artificial leg and that Jamie is not typical of any witch he’s ever met before.  In fact, the man is so sexy and so sweet that Nick decides to propose that he and Jamie form a temporary bond, to be separated by a hexbreaker after one month.  They will work together to solve the mystery of who is killing feral familiars in a ritualistic way and leaving the bodies surrounded by blood and symbols for all to see. 

What he doesn’t count on is falling in love.  And what Jamie doesn’t count on is finding out that someone close to him is involved in the nefarious plot to do away with familiars altogether. 

There’s mystery and intrigue, action and adventure, fighting and loving, and very definitely a happily ever after in store for these two men who seemed to be mismatched from the start, but in reality, they form the other half of each other’s soul. 

I highly recommend this story, and in fact this entire series, to lovers of mystery and romance.  If you love the author’s Whyborne & Griffin series, you are sure to love this one too.  This can be read as a standalone; however, there are repeating characters from previous books so reading the first ones in the series is recommended.   In any event, don’t hesitate to pick this story up. 

~~~~~

Cover art by Jordan L. Hawk features two men in the upper frame of the cover, the smaller one representing Jamie in the background, the larger, darker-skinned man in the forefront representing Nick, Jamie’s familiar and horse shifter.  The lower frame shows the shadow of a horse superimposed on a Hexworld map and linking this cover to others in the series.  Though somewhat dark, it is very attention-getting and perfectly portrays the theme of the story.

Sales Links:

Amazon | Amazon UK | Kobo | Smashwords|Nook | iBooks

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 344 pages
Published October 6th 2017 by Jordan L. Hawk
ASINB075J6XQXR
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHexworld #3

A Kai Audiobook Review: One Call Away by Felice Stevens and Seth Clayton (Narrator)

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

 
When a brutal attack from a jealous competitor leaves Noah Strauss, darling of the modeling world, physically scarred and emotionally damaged, he quits the runway to become a psychologist. Using his contacts from his time in the spotlight, he creates One Call Away, a radio show dedicated to gay men looking for love, advice or someone to talk to. But with secrets of his own and a mother who refuses to understand the career path he’s chosen, the one person Noah can’t seem to help is himself.

On a drunken dare from the senior partner’s grandson, Oren Leavitt calls Noah’s radio show, pretending to be gay. Only Oren isn’t certain if he’s pretending. He’s left his strict Orthodox Jewish upbringing behind, but the guilt remains. Guilt that his actions have prevented his sister from finding a husband and guilt that he’s failed his parents. Talking to “Dr. Noah” helps, and as he finds himself calling the man again and again, he knows he must be honest. But Oren is unsure if he’s lying to Noah or himself.

For Noah, trust is paramount; he’s been deceived in his personal and professional life and while he desperately wants to help Oren, he also finds himself falling for the sweet and tortured man. Oren is trapped: he risks losing his job and more importantly the love and security of his family but knows he can’t hide if he wants to be with Noah. When unresolved heartaches from the past rise up to control the present, Noah and Oren discover that love often comes from the most unexpected places, and sometimes a call for help not only saves a life, it can be a new and beautiful beginning.
 
 

OMG! this is such an emotional and amazing story!

Say that I loved this novel is an understatement. Really, guys, I can’t recommend this audiobook enough. So go there and listen to it. Like now!

 

The story wasn’t only about two men falling in love. No, it was so much more. It was also about struggle and fear of coming out. About acceptance. About being real and true to himself. About take help and help others. About family. And yes, about love.

Felice Stevens did an exceptional work in this book. And here’s a revelation: I had never read or listened to anything by this author before. Can you imagine how I am mad at myself now? I can’t believe I waited so long to get to know the work of this amazing author. Of course, now my TBR is even more crowded. Lol

In one call away we are introduced to Noah and Oren. Two great and well-developed characters. They both have been struggling with life. Noah was deeply emotionally affected by the brutal attack he suffered in the past. Oren lives a life where he doesn’t know who he is and when he finally face some trues, his love for his family and fear about their reaction hold him back. Together, the two men will help each other to overcome their fears and stand up for themselves.

 

 Noah and Oren’s journey is touching and gave me a lot of feels. I loved the friendship they developed along the story. The attraction they had was palpable and I was so cheering for them. They felt real and their story was so interesting that I couldn’t stop. Really couldn’t.

The narration by Seth Clayton was incredibly well done. He actually brought life to each character and made the story even more exciting. I loved especially his interpretation of Noah. The deep and sexy tone was just perfect for the character. I actually could identify each one of the characters by the voice, so you see how incredible Seth was in this narrative.

And look how sexy and emotional is the cover art by Reese Dante. I really liked it. And it fits the story perfectly.

Guys, I couldn’t love this story more. I highly recommend it!

 
Sales Links

Audible

Audiobook Details:

  • Written by: Felice Stevens
  • Narrated by: Seth Clayton
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins 
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release Date:08-31-17