An Ali Review: A Frost of Cares by Amy Rae Durreson

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars                 ★★★★★
A Frost of CaresMilitary historian Luke Alcott leaps at the chance to live in the seventeenth-century country mansion of Eelmoor Hall, home of the Royal Military School of Medicine, after being offered a job cataloging the school’s archives. Luke believes he chose the perfect place to start a new life and put his broken past behind him. But soon after settling into the old house, he hears strange noises—like footsteps—and he begins to suffer from terrible nightmares.

The only person Luke can turn to for help is the taciturn caretaker, Jay, a veteran of the Afghanistan war who carries an old battle wound. Together they try to understand Eelmoor Hall’s history and decipher what could be causing the haunting. As the weather grows colder and snow dusts the countryside, a child goes missing. Luke needs to deal with his own demons and learn to trust in love again if he hopes to face down the angry spirit and find the missing girl.
  
 
I loved this.  This was a surprising hit out of the ballpark for me.  I had never read this author before.  In fact I had never heard of her before.  The blurb sounded interesting so off I went.  This book surpassed all my expectations.  I love a good gothic romance but I don’t come across them all that often in the m/m genre.  This one though was perfect.  The haunted manor, the ghost stories, the footsteps in the hallway, the cold spots, the breath on the back of your neck, the bad dreams, the paralyzing fear.  It was all here and was creepy as can be.  It was turn the lights on and look over your shoulder creepy.  In addition to this there was a beautiful love story.  It’s a story about forgiveness and letting go of the past and going on with the future.  
 
The story is told in first person pov as Luke tells us, the readers, a story about how he and Jay met.  He’s immediately personable and you felt drawn in right away.  It was like sitting down with a good friend while they tell you a story.  He tells you Jay’s comments and one liners and he’s goes along so you get a feel for Jay quickly also.  A part of the story is how Luke came to let go of  Danny, a love from his past.  This is an important part of the story and was both touching and heartbreaking.  Jay and Luke are great characters and I liked them both a lot.  They had good chemistry and you can feel what makes them good together right away.  
 
I think first person pov narration is hard to do well but again, I thought this was excellent.  In the course of this story this author had me laughing, had me scared to death and had my eyes filling with tears of emotion.  I felt so much for Luke and every event, every emotion, he went through.  This is a must read in my opinion.
 
Cover art by Garrett LeighI liked the cover.  I think it conveys the haunted, almost gloomy period Luke is going through in the story.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press  |  ARe | Amazon
Book Details:
 Kindle Edition, 153 pages
Published January 27th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB01AFW3XJM
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Ali Review: Happy Birthday by B.D. Roca‏

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5     ★★★★★

HappyBirthdayLGJake Rushman is on the run, but it’s too late. He’s being tracked by an expert.

Motorcycle Club Enforcer Nick is tough, but even he has a conscience. It’s slowly destroying him, together with memories of his parents’ ugly deaths. Nick eliminates the guilty, but Jake Rushman is the innocent witness to a murder. It will be one kill too many.

Determined to find redemption, Nick plans to trade his life for Jake’s. Neither man counts on the fierce, powerful bond that the collision of their opposing worlds brings, and Jake refuses to let Nick sacrifice himself. He offers Nick the one thing he’s never had: hope.

But with a violent past tracking them, Nick might be forced to do the one thing he promised himself he never would—kill again.

This was super good! I admit I’m totally surprised. I had never heard of this author before and honestly all my attempts at reading biker books previously have gone horribly awry. But…..I’m no quitter so I decided to give this a try. It was nothing like I thought it would be. Despite it’s short length there is a lot of story here and there is great character development. I loved both of these guys and I was rooting for them all the way. The dialogue between them felt so real and there were some very emotionally touching scenes. There was no insta-love which I was glad about. It’s something I worry about in short stories but this author managed to make the relationship that unfolds between them seem totally believable.

The plot was fast paced and interesting and I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see how things were going to work out for them. The sex scenes were hot but they did not overshadow the story or make this an erotica piece. There is nothing else by this author on Goodreads (I immediately ran to check that out). If this is her first attempt at writing I’m even more impressed. Can’t wait to see what she does next.

Cover art by Reese Dante: I like the cover. It’s a great cover that fits the plot and the narrator Nick really well.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 62 pages
Expected publication: January 13th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781634767576
Edition LanguageEnglish