An Alisa Review: The Acrobat (Blood Ties Book 1) by Agnes Moon and Kevan Houser (Translator)

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

The Acrobat is a professional thief with dozens of burglaries to his credit, but when he finds himself trapped in the enormous abode of a mysterious man, as seductive as he is lethal, he realizes that the police might not be the worst of evils. Vincent de Saint-Bonnet is incredibly rich, with many hidden secrets, and little will to live. A foul-mouthed little thief with magnificent blue eyes is just what he needs to bring some light back to his gray, long-drawn-out existence.

 

A thief looking for a valuable dagger, an antique dealer with hundreds of years under his belt, for whom the weapon represents an object of . . . inestimable value. Each man has a precise goal and nothing will stop him from reaching it. Not even the incredible attraction that grips them, pulling them into a duel, one fought with lies and seduction.

 

This is a wonderful story.  The Acrobat has been taking care of himself and a friend for years but when Vincent wants to keep him he doesn’t know if he should stay because of how he feels or run.  Vincent has been looking for his soul mate for a long time and is amazed when the foul-mouthed little thief throws his carefully balanced world off kilter.

 

Liam and Vincent can’t deny their attraction for each other but continue to keep secrets that hurt their relationship.  Vincent isn’t sure that he can ever forgive Liam for his betrayal but he can’t stop caring for him.

 

This book was originally written in Italian but translated by Kevin Houser and he did a great job.  The book flowed well without the choppy feeling or odd words that I have often seen in other translations.

 

This story was told from both characters’ points of view which allowed the reader to know what they were both thinking and the kinds of things they were scared to share.  Liam doesn’t know how to really trust someone and despite his instincts towards Vincent he easily assumes the worst and runs all while his heart is breaking.  Vincent is overjoyed to have Liam in his life but past mistakes and assumptions make it hard for him to forgive and see what is really going on.  I hope the series continues as indicated and I can’t wait to read about Boris and Mal.

 

The cover art is nice and gives good visuals of the main characters.

 

Sales Link: Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 209 pages

Published: February 19, 2017

Edition Language: English

Series: Blood Ties #1

An Ali Audiobook Review: Never Lose Your Flames (New Canadiana #1) by Francis Gideon and Kevin Chandler (Narrator)

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Cop-turned-bounty-hunter Gabe Dominguez is hired to capture firestarter Nat Wyatt. For a dragon-shifter like Gabe, apprehending Nat is easy, but transporting him involves more time, energy, and blood loss than he envisioned. An attack from a band of fairies, an out-of-control forest fire, and a showdown at an auction don’t faze Gabe, but Nat’s innocence might stop him entirely.

Since discovering his abilities, Nat’s lost a best friend, a boyfriend, and trust in his brother. Only his love of concerts and card games get him through life without a home. Rumors of the Judge, a giant dragon who once destroyed half of Canada avenging those he loved, provide Nat with hope of vindication. When Nat discovers his captor is the Judge, he thinks he’s finally caught a break. Through late-night conversations and a shared love of music, Nat tries to convince Gabe he’s not guilty.

Can Gabe continue his cutthroat lifestyle, or will he run away with his dragon hoard like he’s always longed to do? Can Nat escape his legacy, or will his be another spark snuffed out by people who don’t understand? The Oracle, the most powerful wizard in Canada, might be the only one who can provide answers.
 
I thought this was a nice start to a new urban fantasy/paranormal romance series.  I liked the plot and the world that the author created.  It was interestingly done and I found it unique.  I was especially excited to see a dragon shifter.  I would love to see more of those.  There were some really great parts and some really cool characters.  (I especially liked the part with the little elemental children.)  Unfortunately there was too much detail and too many unnecessary scenes.  It felt like the author had a lot of great ideas and tried to put a bit of all of them in this story.  I think this would have been better to be a shorter book and different characters/plotlines to be added in future books of the series.  World building in an urban fantasy story is super complicated in my opinion, and can easily become too confusing to the reader if it’s not done just right.  This was close, but not quite there.
I liked both of the main characters for the most part but Nat was a little too nice in my opinion.  I struggled to understand how he could be so calm and sweet when he’s being taken against his will to some place really bad.  I understood his reasoning I guess but it still didn’t ring super realistic to me.  I had a very difficult time relating to anything he did.  There were some super interesting side characters that I’d like to learn more about in future books.
The romance is a very slow burn but that was a nice change.  I was good with that but these two were an odd mix for me and I didn’t really feel the connection until the very end of the book.
This story is narrated by Kevin Chandler and this was my first time listening to him.  Unfortunately the narration did not work for me at all.  His voice was very nice but it was like he was just reading the story in a monotone voice.  I repeatedly didn’t know who was talking because he did the same voice for everyone.  I could have gotten past that but his the lack of emotions in the character’s voices bothered me.  They both sounded so bored through throughout the story.  I was only able to make it about halfway through on audio.  I was interested in the plot so I ended up switching to the ebook and finished the story that way.
 
I felt this was an unique story that had a lot of potential.  I liked it enough to read the next book in the series and I’m hoping some of my complaints are resolved in that.  I recommend you try a sample of the audio to see if it works for you since it did not for me.
 
The cover is done by AngstyG and I thought it was pretty good.  It had a lot of brown did not stand out or catch my eye because of the monotone colors.  It was an accurate representation of the MC’s though.
Sales Links
Audiobook Details:
11 hrs 9 mins
Audible Audio, 12 pages
Published March 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB06XC4JLF3
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesNew Canadiana #1

A Jeri Release Day Review: Tied to You (Wild Side #2) by Riley Hart

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

I really loved this book. It isn’t some great piece of literature. It didn’t even vary much from other gay romance books. But what it did have was heart. A realness to it. It was genuine to me. And that made all the difference.

Miles is, for lack of a better term, the asshole of the group. He, Ollie and Chance have been best friends since they were in diapers. With Ollie’s boyfriend, Matt, they are a group of four that come hell or high water meet every Friday night. Just because they meet to hang out there every Friday night doesn’t mean that they have to go home alone.

Quinn takes Miles home on Friday night. And while it was supposed to be a one night thing, they spend the whole weekend together. Neither really wants a relationship- they just want to have a little fun. But of course they can’t stop thinking about each other.

Miles and Quinn both have some issues. BIG issues. But together they have some crazy chemistry that cannot be denied. Like, you had better have a fan handy when you are reading this book! Both could have very easily put up those stereotypical walls to keep others out. And they both do, sort of. But the walls seems to crumble easily with them. Neither has to fight the other to let them in.

One of my favorite things about this book was the playfulness between Miles and Quinn. They make each other laugh and smile. And the best part- is the playfulness before, during and after the super sexy times in the book. Someone told me once that if you can’t laugh with your partner while having sex- you’re with the wrong person. That has stuck with me for a long time and it was so evident with their relationship.

I also adored the relationship that Miles had, not only with his friends, but his parents. I loved seeing his friends give him a hard time about having a boyfriend, but also not holding back when he was being stupid. Because that is what real friends do!

Honestly, the only thing that left me wanting in the story was how Quinn flipped his attitude around. He is quite vocal about what an angry kid he was. And how that really prevented him from being adopted. And as an adult he is the guy who always looks for the bright side. A little delving into that would have been great.

This is book 2 in the Wild Side series and while I somehow missed book 1, I am going back to read it and I cannot wait for book 3.

COVER DESIGN: X-Potion Designs,COVER PHOTO: John Karrer,ARTWORK: Sarah Jo Chreene.  Sensual and eye-catching.

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Book Details:

ebook, 239 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by Riley Hart
ISBN139781386488583
SeriesWild Side #2

Lindsey Black on Inspiration, Humor, and her release ‘Fishy Riot’ (guest post)

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Fishy Riot by Lindsey Black
D
reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG

Order at Dreamspinner Press / Amazon / B&N

🐟

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Lindsey Black here today. Lindsey is the author of one of my new recommended story’s Fishy Riot.  Welcome, Lindsey!

🐠

Thanks for having me today!

I thought I would talk briefly about inspiration. Writers will tell you all sorts of things about inspiration, and where it comes from. A lot of writers will admit to finding inspiration in day to day life, or from their acquaintances. For example, Taylor is a Riot Squad officer because my brother in law is in the squad and I think it’s a pretty cool job, not that I would ever tell him that, his ego’s big enough as is. If it’s true that we draw inspiration from day to day life and acquaintances then it should come as absolutely no surprise that Fishy Riot is a tad on the crazier side of things.

I’m a singing teacher (as in I teach singing, not I sing while teaching because that would be weird), and I work with individuals from 8 years of age to 80 on a weekly basis. Nothing can ever prepare you for the weird things people feel inclined to tell you when you’re their teacher. My students wish they had a twitter account of all the weird things that get said, and I’d have to agree it would be the weirdest daily read in history. So I thought I would share ten of my favourite personal gems from the last few weeks.

  1. Oh, that’s my tyrannosaurus-rex muscle. (Better known as thyro-arytenoid, but ok close enough). It’s in my larynx. I call him Fred, coz he looks like a lil’ Dinosaur, see? (He held up a diagram, complete with arrow and the name Fred. At least he knew what the larynx was.)
  2. When improvising to Summertime one of my students decided to ad-lib between the lines and came up with this gem, which now all of my students insist on singing as if it’s the real words: Oh you’re daddy’s rich, and your ma is good lookin, like a fish…(lalala)…and take to the sky, like an angel who died. (Yes, I told their mother…)
  3. Can I just write the letter ‘b’? It takes too long to write the word. (Be…)
  4. (What does mf mean?) Well, you have to work harder than at mp right, so might fart sounds about right.
  5. When you say black trousers, do you mean I can wear leggings? (No, trousers.) Jeans? (Trousers). What about a skirt with leggings under? (Trousers…please.) Can they be grey? (Black. Trousers.) But I don’t like black or trousers. (And yet, trousers.)
  6. Miss, how come you make singing fun? (Err…would you prefer it was boring?) Nah, then I would quit. (So…) I was just wonderin, geez! Carry on! Can you do something stupid again, it’s awesome when you look stupid!
  7. Student 1: How come you don’t have a stick like the band dude?

Student 2: Don’t give her ideas! She’s clumsy as. It would just fly across the room and hit someone in the eye and you know she sucks at first aid, and I’m not gettin’ you a band-aid. (I confess to breaking the CPR dummy at three separate first aid classes. Student number 2 has a point.)

  1. So, this song, the Mermaid’s Lament. It’s written by a guy, right? But it says he dedicated it to his wife, the mermaid. I’m thinkin’ she’s not really a mermaid, because I don’t think he’s delusional, right? So it’s a metaphorical mermaid? Whatever that means. But his wife… Is she dead? No, wait…is he dead? Is he dying, was he dying when he wrote it? How did he die? Why would he do that? Oh my God, has he no heart? What’s she gonna think every time she hears this song now? (Uh…guys…pretty sure he’s not dead…). Well, I guess not many people are gonna rock up at her house and sing it anyway, that would be way too much excursion paperwork. (They share my hatred of risk assessment, apparently).
  2. What the hell do you think you’re wearing? (Um…clothes? What?) That is hideous. Never wear it again, you’ll make us look bad. (Um…) Wear your Nike’s next time, at least those are cool. Man, we have to help you with everything. ( Those were ten year olds. Savages!)
  3. (I had a message on my phone, it went like this…) MISS! You’re gonna be so proud of me! I remembered to get on the bus to come to choir. That’s right, I’m here on the back seat, the air con is on and I’m sitting peachy and I am gonna be at rehearsal. Hell, I’m gonna be early! Are we going to do that song I like today? You know, the one you haven’t picked a soloist for? I’d really like that solo, I think I’ve asked like a million times noooooow…OMG I missed my stop! Miss! I missed it! What should I do? Ahhh! Sir, Mr bus driver Sir! Yeah, you, can you turn the bus around? I needed to get off back there? No? Why not? How far? Yeah I could get off at the next one. No, there’s no one to pick me up there, what do you mean it’s another ten k’s away? I can’t walk that far, I’ll be late for choir! Oh my god! This is a disaster! Miss! Miss, I missed my stop and the bus driver can’t turn around, I don’t know why I think he’s just a sucky driver or something, and if I get off at the next stop I’m going to have to walk like a million k’s to get to school and choir will be over by then! Oh wait, hey the next after the next stop is my grandma’s…I’m gonna go eat cake. I deserve cake, because this whole thing has been a disaster! I’ll see ya next week, okay? Bye!

It should come as absolutely no surprise that the characters in Fishy Riot are crazy. They probably seem over the top, a tad mentally deranged even, but they’re actually mild compared to reality. I hope you enjoy their shenanigans. Happy reading!

P.S If you’re reading on the bus, please don’t miss your stop. And if you do happen to miss your stop, please don’t call me.

Release date for Fishy Riot: April 24th

 

About Fishy Riots

Most people think riot squad officer Taylor Jameson is an asshole. Little do they know his apparent indifference stems from having a meddlesome family always butting into his business. And little does Taylor know he’s about to stumble into a situation that’ll make indifference impossible.

When everything goes horribly wrong at a political rally on a harbour ferry, Taylor encounters Sietta Salisbury. The son of a wealthy politician, Sietta is a revered—but presumed dead—musician, and an enigma who is so strange, Taylor is compelled to look into his background. What he discovers draws him into a bizarre mess of prisoners, politics, and attempted murder that makes him realise what he’s been missing.

Falling in love isn’t hard. Trying to convince someone else you’re worth loving despite your crazy family and the people trying to kill you? That’s a whole other can of worms.

About Lindsey Black:

Lindsey Black lives in Darwin, Australia, where the weather report permanently reads ‘humidity at 100%, only going to get worse’ for ten months of the year and ‘monsoon at 4:00 p.m. for exactly fifteen minutes’ for the remaining two. Between teaching and studying full-time, she escapes this oppressive environment to bushwalk for weeks on end wherever the mobile phone reception has zero bars for as long as possible and the weather report reads something along the lines of ‘blizzard likely.’ She enjoys martial arts, music, and mayhem, which explains the untidy state of her home where she attempts to write while splitting her minimal amounts of spare time between her incredulous husband, lazy Chinchilla cat, and crazed Siberian husky. If you expect her to sit and have a chat, it’s best to have a matcha green tea latte with almond milk on hand and your hiking boots within reach. Oh, and be sure to bring a guitar for impromptu jam sessions.

You can find Lindsey on facebook / twitter / www

Release Blitz : Silvia Violet’s Well-Tailored (giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | KOBO


Cover Design: LC Chase


Length: 62,000 words


Thorne and Dash Series


Professional Distance (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Personal Entanglement (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Perfect Alignment (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK


Blurb

Marc longs for a grand romance, but he doubts he’ll ever be that lucky. Then he meets Darius, an arrogant tailor who pushes all his buttons. When Darius offers him a job, Marc hesitates—he needs a direction for the future, not another man who doesn’t believe in relationships.

Darius lives by a few unbreakable rules: never sleep with employees, fashion should be simple, and romance is for fools. Marc, with his shimmery-sweaters collection, makes him want to break every single one.

They quickly give in to desire, but Darius wants to protect himself and Marc refuses to repeat past mistakes. It’s only when they let go of assumptions, that love has a chance to take hold.

Well-Tailored is a companion novel to the Thorne and Dash series. It can be read as a standalone. 

Author Bio

Silvia Violet writes fun, sexy stories that will leave you smiling and satisfied. She has a thing for characters who are in need of comfort and enjoys helping them surrender to love even when they doubt it exists. Silvia’s stories include sizzling contemporaries, paranormals, and historicals. When she needs a break from listening to the voices in her head, she spends time baking, taking long walks, curling up with her favorite books, and spending time with her family.

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Release Day Blitz: Tied to You by Riley Hart (excerpt and giveaway)

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Tied To You RDB Banner

TIED TO YOU

WILD SIDE BOOK 2

RILEY HART

M/M ROMANCE

Tied To You Cover

COVER DESIGN: X-Potion Designs

COVER PHOTO: John Karrer

ARTWORK:  Sarah Jo Chreene

BLURB

Miles Sorenson prides himself on his brutal honesty. Facts and logic are a hell of a lot easier to deal with than emotions. He’s got his career and a small, close-knit group of friends, and he doesn’t need nor want anything else. The total opposite of Quinn Barker, who doesn’t take life too seriously and thinks a good laugh can cure anything.

When Quinn takes Miles home, it’s supposed to be a one-time deal. Except they really click in the sack and end up spending the weekend together, enjoying each other’s bodies as much as their company…to Miles’s dismay. Matters get even more muddled when, months later, they run into each other at the popular West Hollywood bar, Wild Side, and pick up right where they left off.

On the surface, Quinn and Miles are like oil and water, but the draw between them is undeniable. As their lives further entwine, they realize there’s more to their connection than the way they singe the sheets together.

But demons from the past have a way of catching up, and no matter how strong the link is tying Miles and Quinn together, the pressure may be enough to make it snap.

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34739893-tied-to-you

 

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Red rope with a knot isolated on white Background .

3 tied teaser 3

EXCERPT

Miles still held him by the back of the head. Their lips were inches apart now, breaths heavy, Miles panting as he looked at Quinn.

He breathed in, Miles out, Miles in, Quinn out.

“You gonna fuck me or what, Counselor?” he finally asked, and then they were stumbling out of the shower—teeth clanking, tongues slashing, lips searching.

He felt like Miles was going to devour him, take him whole, and in this moment, he would welcome it.

Miles kissed him until they got to the sink. “Bend over it,” he said, and goose bumps shot across Quinn’s skin at the command.

He did as Miles said. Miles’s hand brushed down his back, his finger tracing each rise and fall of Quinn’s spine. “Perfect arch.”

Quinn looked up, met Miles’s eyes in the mirror and replied, “I know.” Because he did. He was fucking good at this.

“Mouthy little bottom, aren’t you?” Miles teased.

“Realistically confident.”

“You’re killing me.” Miles looked away, and Quinn knew it was because this was a lot. Because just fucking before he’d admitted that Quinn intrigued him was one thing, but now they both knew this was about more than just a piece of ass. What? They hadn’t gotten that far yet and didn’t know each other well enough to figure it out either, but it was a truth between them that hadn’t been there the first weekend they’d shared.

Or maybe they had known it but hadn’t been able to admit it.

“Get in me,” Quinn told him.

“Mouthy,” Miles said again. “Going to have to do something about that.”

Riley Hart Logo

Riley Hart is the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s a hopeless romantic, a lover of sexy stories, passionate men, and writing about all the trouble they can get into together.

She loves reading, flawed characters, and hanging out with her husband and children, who she adores. She and her family live in Southern California, soaking up the sunshine while also missing seasons. Not a day goes by that she isn’t thankful she gets to wake up and do what she loves.

Life is good. Riley also writes young adult and new adult under the name Nyrae Dawn.

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A Julia Review: Thaw (Seasons of Love #2) by Elyse Springer

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Abigail is content with her quiet life as a librarian. But when she’s invited to a high-profile charity auction, she finds herself dancing with one of the most beautiful women she’s ever met. Abby’s sure she’ll never see her again, but then Gabrielle calls and asks her on a date. And soon after, another.

Supermodel Gabrielle Levesque has a reputation as the Ice Queen—cold and untouchable—except she warms up whenever she’s with Abby. Only Abby isn’t interested in the heat between them; she’s asexual, and she’s worried that admitting as much to Gabrielle might spell the end of their blooming romance.

They’re two different women from two very different worlds, but Abby knows she can love Gabrielle. Her passion for books, travel, and theater prove there’s more to the Ice Queen than meets the eye.  But they’ll have to overcome Abby’s fears—and Gabrielle’s own threatening secrets—in order to find their way to love.

Despite Thaw by Elyse Springer being the second volume in the “Seasons of Love” series, it is still a complete standalone novel. Characters from the first volume “Whiteout” appear or are mentioned but it is not at all necessary to have read it to understand this entry. Although after getting to read this one, I am very tempted to pick up more from this series. The other two volumes are scheduled for release later this year with each one getting published in the respective season they represent.

The first thing that grabbed my attention was the main protagonist, Abigail, and how endearing and relatable I found her to be. The story is told in third-person from her point of view and I could not help but smile at the way she interacted with the world and people around her. Despite being rather introverted sometimes, she watches the people around her with care and interest as she strives to uncover the unique story behind each person. I could immediately relate to her love for books and stories and it made my heart warm to read how she slowly came out of her shell of insecurity (which she hid herself in partly out of worry that people would react badly to her sexual orientations) also thanks to the support of her friends.

Gabrielle was also a very captivating character right from the beginning. Just like Abigail you wish to know what secret or truth lies behind the rumours of the cruel “Ice Queen” who seems perfectly amiable for the most part. I very much enjoyed the fact that I found myself rooting for their relationship for the sake of both women: I wanted Abigail to find the kind of connection with another person she was hoping for and I was convinced that Abigail would be a positive influence and just what Gabrielle needed to turn her current way of life (with which seemed rather unfulfilling to her) around.

The narrative was well-paced and there was never a moment that felt superfluous. The environment was also described in just the right amount of detail to get a feeling for the atmosphere without becoming tedious. A minor point of critique was that a couple of times the characters reacted a bit too “oblivious” to situations that seemed quite predictable to me (like Abigail being surprised when she learned that she got photographed on her date with a famous model).

Nevertheless, I found myself being genuinely drawn in the by the characters and the development of their relationship. I will certainly be looking forward to reading more from this author.

The cover design by Natasha Snow is quite lovely and very fitting for the story from the open book to the contrasting types of landscape. What I also appreciated were the painted spring flowers decorating the chapter headings within the book itself, a very nice touch.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 222 pages

Published April 24, 2017

by Riptide Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-62649-513-5

Edition Language: English

A Stella Release Day Review: Olive Juice by TJ Klune

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RATING 3 unsure stars out of 5

It begins with a message that David cannot ignore:

I want to see you.

He agrees, and on a cold winter’s night, David and Phillip will come together to sift through the wreckage of the memory of a life no longer lived.

David is burdened, carrying with him the heavy guilt of the past six years upon his shoulders.

Phillip offers redemption.

I really have no idea what to say in this review, I can’t talk about the plot, cause the blurb tells you pretty much nothing and the story really needs to surprise the reader. As it surprised me, in a good or bad way? I picked Olive Juice and I didn’t even read the blurb, it’s a TJ Klune story, one of my favorite author so I couldn’t miss his new release, no matter what the story was about. Now that I just finished reading this novella, I honestly can’t say if it was a good surprise. I don’t even know how to rate it. I simply don’t know.

Olive Juice left me with a sour taste in my mouth as every story like this one would have done. I actually wanted to DFN it because I understood what was happening and I couldn’t stand that kind of feeling, the book deeply hurt me and not even the ending, not a HEA because the impossible would have need to happen to have a HEA, satisfied me. It couldn’t satisfy me. I can’t even say I’m happy for David and Phillip to be together again.

And now that I read the whole story, I’m a little dubious about the initial part, I feel cheated by the author for introduce me to Matteo and let me like him a lot and then nothing more. I don’t want to ask for his own book because I don’t want it to be related in any way with Olive Juice. This is surely and probably the only book by this author I will never reread in the future, I can’t take it.

I think I will settle on three stars simply cause, although it’s not the kind of book I love to read and I would never have picked it if the blurb was more explicit, Olive Juice is well done, too emotional and powerful, beautifully written. The author was great at putting me on the edge from the beginning and it was brave for choosing this theme.

The cover art by Reese Dante is lovely, I like it a lot.

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BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 121 pages

Publication date: April 26th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN 1635335027 (ISBN13: 9781635335026)

Edition Language English

A Kai Release Day Review: Kissing Lessons (Before… and After #2) by Susan Laine

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Merry and Boone have been best friends since kindergarten. Even though they were always together, they have differents personality. Boone was the experienced one and Merry was the socially awkward and inexperienced.In the end of the high school senior year, Merry had never been kissed and since he was going to the prom, he intended to kiss his prom date. The problem was: he didn’t know how to kiss and didn’t want to make a fool of himself. So it was better training it first, right? And who better than Boone to teach him how to kiss?
Although being surprised at first, Boone agreed to show Merry how to be a good kisser. They explored many styles of kisses and things became a little too good for them. What should be just a make-out lesson turned into something more intense and they just couldn’t forget about. A week later they decided to confront it and both admitted to wanting one more kissing lesson to see where it would take them. It turned out that how more they kissed more they realized what were there all along: They had feelings for each other.

Well, guys, I’m always up for a good and adorable male-male-young-adult, but this one was a disappointed to me. I couldn’t connect with the story. It was so limited and not developed. The main characters were the only character in the book. No one else really appeared and it bothered me that I couldn’t see them interacting with other people in other situations. We are talking about teenagers here; we should at least see a parent or a school interaction with friends, teachers or whatever.  The events in the entire book were almost the same and there was not a development at all.

Despite the sweetness, I had problems with the kissing lessons too. Actually, it was a bittersweet feeling. I mean, the beginner was really cute and adorable and I loved it, but then Boone needed to classify everything. Even when they were so carried away in the kiss, he would stop to classify it. I was bored after a while with this.

The only occasion they went out of Boone’s room, seems like they were alone even if they were at a prom. And even at the event, no one asked them anything. I mean, in a perfect place it wouldn’t be a surprise to see two guys together, but it was high school. It wouldn’t be strange to have, at least, a curious teenager asking about them or even just looking. After all, they were there as an out couple for the first time. Boone asked one little thing to one random girl and it was it: all the interaction with other people. And after that, it was like they were alone in the world. Felt so unrealistic.

Although I liked what I could see about the character’s personality, it wasn’t sufficiently developed to really connect and like them. There was no time or events in the story for it, unluckily.

The cover art by AngstyG is something I approved about this book. It’s a romantic and pretty cover with the two character represented in such a sweet moment. I really like it.

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Book Details:

Kindle edition, 81 pages
Publication: April 26th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Series: Before… and After: Book Two

Characters
Merry, Boone

A Stella Release Day Review: Vodka & Handcuffs (Mary’s Boys #2) by Brandon Witt

Standard

RATING 3,5 out of 5 stars

Vahin Arora, Hamburger Mary’s sexy bartender, plays the flirtatious role so well even his closest friends—his chosen family at Mary’s—don’t realize Vahin hasn’t had a hookup in months. Then Tall, Dark, and Handsome steps through the door, and Vahin’s libido races back to life.

Being a black cop on the Denver police force is no easy job—Marlon Barton can’t imagine adding being gay to the equation. And while Marlon loves his work as an officer, his life has taken a turn for the hellish because of his new partner, the nephew of a senator.

Fleeing his partner’s company one night, Marlon stumbles into Mary’s for the first time… and wakes up with a hangover in the bartender’s bed. The one-night stand heats up into a budding romance, but not without stress as Marlon’s partner’s actions threaten Vahin’s livelihood and Marlon’s future on the force. Can Vahin and Marlon face the challenges and hold on to the love, friendship, and family they’ve found?

I was so happy to have Vodka & Handcuffs in my hands, the previous book in the Mary’s Boy series, Nachos & Hash conquered me and I was so curious to see what I will get next. I’m sorry to say this new release was just an okay read and nothing more to me. And I am so used to have so much more from Brandon Witt books, that I’m disappointed.

It feels to me that everything I know about Vahin and Marlon I got it from the blurb, the story actually told me nothing else. And that’s the problem. It should have been more focused on the MCs together, how much they wanted each other, but I actually saw no connection between them, I wanted to know more about their past and the present they are living. Instead the story is focused on some nasty things that are happening with Marlon police partner, and even if this gave the story reality, it was at the expense of the main couple’s romance which was almost non-existent. And even the ending was just meh

As I said Vodka & Handcuffs was an okay reading, the book is well written like everything Brandon writes, there are some secondary characters I was so hoping to meet again, I saw Cody and was happy to know he was doing great. I saw ManDonna being fabulous as always. That’s why I gave the story 3,5 stars. Now, if I could have Zachary story right this second, I would be so happy.

The cover art by AngstyG follows the style of the cover of the previous book, it’s well done and fitting the story, I can easily picture Marlon and Vahin in the models on it, I like it.

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BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 112 pages

Expected publication: April 26th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN 1635334330 (ISBN13: 9781635334333)

Edition Language English

Series Mary’s Boy #2