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

An Ali Advent Story Review: Loving and Loathing Vegas (Sleigh Ride – 2015 Advent Calendar) by Lex Chase

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
 
Loving and Loathing VegasJackson has loved Vegas since God created Man—literally. As a demonic incubi hailing from the Seventh Circle of Hell, Jackson and Vegas have never been anything more than roommates. Now living among humans, they run Eaven, a TripAdvisor-recommended detour-worthy diner famous for its devilishly decadent pies. Business is dead on the holidays, and Jackson will gleefully stab himself with a spatula if he has to clean spotless pots and pans one more time.

For fun—or torture—Vegas makes him a bet that should Jackson win, they take a much-needed vacation. Should he lose, he’s doomed to clean out grease traps for all eternity. When the challenge is to fall in love with other people by Christmas, it proves Vegas isn’t the least bit interested. But when they find an abandoned baby in the trash, she could be the Christmas miracle to warm Jackson’s cynical heart.
 
I thought this was a really enjoyable holiday story.  It was creative and outside of the box.  Jackson loves Vegas but has never had the courage to tell him.  The two men make a bet on Thanksgiving as to who can fall in love by Christmas.  Jackson’s heart’s not really in to it but he decides to play along hoping maybe he can finally get over his feelings for the other man. Things get even more complicated when they find a baby girl in the trash outside their restaurant.  There were a few little things that didn’t make sense to me (ie a side story about another couple) but they were not big enough to effect my overall enjoyment of the story.  If you like stories with a paranormal twist you should definitely give this story a try.
 
Cover art by L.C. Chase. I thought this cover was really well done.  It perfectly captures both the holiday and the paranormal aspect of the story.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon | Buy It Here
Book Details:
ebook, 62 pages
Published December 1st 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781634769440
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSleigh Ride – 2015 Advent Calendar

A Ali Review: The Werewolf of Grey Lake Inn (Paranormal Days) by Megan Derr

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Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Vector illustration of wolf howling at moon in night forest in green tone.

Astor is tired—tired of his family and the way they never listen to his advice, and tired of being in love with his agent, Tennyson, who after a one night stand made it clear he preferred to keep things professional. The only thing Astor’s not tired of is his job researching haunted inns and hotels to prove just how haunted they’re not.

His latest book is about a notorious inn in the middle of nowhere, and a haunting he suspects has more to do with real werewolves than fake ghosts. It will provide fodder for an excellent non-fiction book, the novel he’s secretly writing, and be so distracting he’ll finally be able to get over Tennyson.

Except when he arrives it’s to find that Tennyson is already there, with every intention of keeping Astor company through the holidays.

This was an enjoyable story that follows Astor as he tries to debunk the myth of the ghost at Grey Lake Inn. Unfortunately what he finds are werewolves. He also finds that his agent Tennyson has followed him to the inn and this is a problem because Astor has strong feelings for the man. Feelings he doesn’t think are reciprocated. As it turns out they are and the two men end up having not only a dangerous encounter with a werewolf, but a sexy and romantic weekend.

The writing style in consistent with this author’s other works so if you’re a fan you should definitely check this out. It is also a good starting point for people who have not read this author before. The story is pretty short and just shows us a snapshot of the two men’s time together over the course of a few days. I would have liked for it to have been a bit longer so I could have gotten to know them better but that aside I did enjoy the book.

Cover art is perfect for the story.

Sales links:  Pre-order Link at Less Than Three (save 15%)| All Romance (ARe) | Amazon| coming soon

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: December 23rd 2015 by Less Than Three Press
original titleThe Werewolf of Grey Lake Inn
ISBN139781620046883
edition languageEnglish
seriesParanormal Days

Note: This was originally published in the Bad Moon Rising anthology. It hasn’t changed significantly for the solo release

 

An Ali Review: Dangerous Territory by Cari Z‏

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Dangerous Territory coverWith his father barely in the ground and his sister married to a scheming bastard, Carter is on the verge of losing the family ranch. His only chance at holding onto his inheritance is to get his cattle to market before his brother-in-law. That means braving Mason Canyon, which on top of being snake-infested and easily flooded, is also shifter territory. Most clans would just as soon shoot humans as look at them.

His only hope of making it is to trust the shifter who’s agreed to help him, and pray that Rani won’t double-cross him. If Carter doesn’t go he loses everything, and if he doesn’t make it there his family is as good as dead.

I really enjoyed this creative take on a traditional cowboy story. The setting is AU and seems very much like the Old West of the US. The exception being that instead of Native American tribes there are shifter tribes. This was a novella but it packs a lot of story in it. I thought the author did a very good job of setting the atmosphere of the story and I felt like I was right there with Carter and Rani as they tried to get the cattle through the canyon. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see if they made it and what obstacles would be thrown at them along the way. In addition to the action packed story of moving the cattle there was also a touching romance between the two men. The bulk of the story is the two men alone together and their characterization drives the story. Everything about this book worked for me and I’m finding that I’m becoming a big fan of this author’s work.

Cover art by Natasha Snow: I loved this cover. I thought it was beautiful and it does a great job of showcasing the feel of the book.

Pre-order Sales Links:  Less Than Three Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | coming soon Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: January 13th 2016 by Less Than Three Press
ISBN139781620046937
edition languageEnglish

An Ali Review: Owner of a Lonely Heart by Mel Bossa

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Owner of a Lonely Heart coverDeclan spends most of his life trying to forget his violent past, but now that his brother Valens is out of jail his efforts at a quiet existence are about to be turned upside down. On top of that, his best friend Rhys is leaving for Poland—right as Declan was ready to confess his feelings.

Overwhelmed, he turns to his friend Felix for support, only to find himself falling for Felix while still being in love with Rhys—who also happens to have feelings for Felix, leaving Declan with a present at least as complicated as his past, and a highly uncertain future.

There was a lot going on in this story. Too much in my opinion. Declan is the main focus of the book but his brother Valens, his best friend and love Rhys, and their friend Felix all have major parts. In addition they all have major issues going on in their lives. There is domestic violence, allegations of misconduct at work, babies and bad guys trying to catch up to them to name a few.

While I could have juggled those things in my mind what I struggled with was that all these things took the focus off of the relationships. Declan ends up in a polyamorous relationship with Rhys and Felix but I don’t really know how it happened. We don’t see any of their relationship talks on page and when you take such a serious topic I’m not going to buy it. There was literally almost no discussion about the complexities of the relationship. We never even know Felix and Rhys are friends or talk to each other and then all of a sudden they’re in love. I kept feeling like I had missed a scene and would find myself skipping back to see if I had. The techincal aspect of the writing was fine but the plot and the way it was told just really didn’t work for me at all.

Cover: I liked this cover a lot. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a primarily black and white cover before and I thought it was really eye catching.

Sales Links:   Less Than Three Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook
Published November 11th 2015 by Less Than Three Press
original titleOwner of a Lonely Heart
ISBN139781620046326
edition languageEnglish