A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Outside the Lines (Bluewater Bay #22) by Anna Zabo

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

I’m a huge fan of the Bluewater Bay MM romance series so I was surprised to see a female on the cover of this one.  I love MM and I’m not a fan of adding in an F to that mix, but as it turned out, I need not have worried, since this is principally about Simon and Ian, and Lydia only plays a minor role in one sexual situation.    

Secondary characters, including recurring Bluewater Bay characters like Carter and Levi and Hunter and Kevyan and the new characters who helped in Simon’s store, Dexy and Jesse, were all amazing and well-developed. I particularly enjoyed the visit by previous characters! Most of all, I loved the storyline and the brilliant execution of a polyamory relationship involving a woman and two men, with the romance and love between the two men taking the forefront, while keeping both men’s love and friendship for the woman realistic and not detracting at all from the love between the men.

Before I read this I would have said it couldn’t be done, but I was so wrong. Simon and Ian took one look at each other and they were lost in lust.  Ian was psyched because he’d found an off-site location where he could rebuild the miniature set he was working on for Wolf’s Landing—and not only a perfect location but a perfect (and perfectly stunning!) man to help with the project. Simon, the owner of End o’ Earth, sells and paints models and miniatures. Watching him do the superlative work on a model when they first meet and seeing that gorgeous face and stunning body—what more could Ian ask for in the perfect specimen of manhood?  Well, being unmarried would have been ideal, but Simon is not. 

Finding out Simon and Lydia have a polyamory marriage is shocking but it allows the men to be together guilt-free and once Ian gets past the novelty of a lovely, friendly woman not only allowing her husband to have sex with him, but encouraging it?  It seems too good to be true. 

As time goes by and they learn more each other, Ian and Lydia become friends, and their mutual respect and admiration transcends the romantic relationship developing between Ian and Simon, allowing Ian and Lydia to grow to love one another as well—in a completely different way, of course.  But nevertheless, they do eventually find that love is the only word they can use to describe the unique relationship they foster. 

I really appreciated the way the author took the time to build this story. The dynamic between the men together, and between each of them individually with Lydia, and then the full threesome together was fantastic.  The story was sizzling hot, but it was also tender and loving and compassionate, showing the love of a man and woman, a man and man, and one friend for another.  It was just superbly done.  I’m totally impressed, and I highly recommend it to lovers of MM romance. 

For those who don’t like F in their MM, don’t worry—lady parts aren’t included.  At it’s core, the story really is a beautiful romance between Ian and Simon and told in alternating POVs so we get to experience all the emotion—from angst to love.

One more thing: I picked this up because I’ve read all the books in the Bluewater Bay series and I didn’t want to miss one, even though I was worried it was MMF.  As I state in my review, that’s really not a concern here.  And it most certainly can be read as a standalone despite the fact that a few characters from previous books are included in this one.  Not knowing them should not detract from one’s enjoyment of this story so please don’t miss a chance to read this gem.      

The colorful cover features all three characters, beautifully drawn by gifted artist L.C. Chase.  Lydia stands facing her husband, Simon, and his boyfriend, Ian.  It nicely represents the trio who make up this interesting story.

Sales Links Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 260 pages
Published December 18th 2017 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN139781626496521
Series Bluewater Bay #22

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Reckless Behavior (Bad Behavior #3) by L.A. Witt and Cari Z.

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

This series is smokin’!  Action-packed, nail-biting, heartbreaking—this book has it all.  Though there’s not a lot of overt romance to this one, and no sex scenes, there is love—a deep and lasting love that’s developing between Andreas and Darren as well as the love of family.  In this one, Andreas’s children are kidnapped so the love of a father for his children is a primary focus of the book, but there’s also the familial love of a brother for another as Darren’s brother, Asher, falls deeper into his disease and the situation becomes critical.  As an aside, and without spoilers, we finally find out if Darren has the gene that has caused Asher’s mind to fail at such an early age. 

Andreas is still struggling with his healing ankle from the injury in the last book.  He’s screwed it up and needed a second surgery—but hang on folks—he’s about to make it worse when his kids are kidnapped virtually right from under his nose.  He and his work and life partner, Darren,  along with their highly personable and dynamic friend Paula, a detective we met in the last book, explore any and all possible leads to get the kids back.  Though their theories are sketchy at first, eventually, with the help of Andreas’s daughter Erin, who manages to get free of the kidnapers, the team is on the right track.  A tragic event in Darren’s life sidetracks him temporarily but he’s right back on the job as well.  He loves Andreas and his kids and will stop at nothing to help his lover get them back. 

This story is very fast-paced, filled with plot twists and turns, excitement, and hair-raising scenarios.  I loved every moment and literally couldn’t put it down.  I highly recommend this series to all those who enjoy law enforcement drama and romance, especially those, like me, who appreciate a writing team who can build excitement to fever pitch and yet give us a firm foundation to a wonderful pair of men whose love grows stronger with each story.  I can’t wait to get my hands on book four! 

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh.  Love the  gritty black and white nature of the cover.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 264 pages
Published January 1st 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published December 30th 2017)
Original TitleReckless Behavior
ISBN139781626496316
SeriesBad Behavior #3

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: The King’s Courage (North Pole City Tales #6) by Charlie Cochet

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

A sweet, exciting, and endearing conclusion to a beautiful holiday series, Charlie Cochet brings it in with a homerun with this tale of Eirik, the King of Frost, and Dasher, a, uh, dashing member of Rudy’s Rein Deer squad. 

Dasher’s friend Rudy Rein Deer is finally marrying Jack Frost.  The wedding of the year will take place at Jack’s palace in Svalbard, Norway, but Dasher isn’t looking forward to the wedding as much as he’s looking forward to the opportunity to get closer to Eirik, Jack’s father.  Dasher sees beyond the royal persona to the man beneath and he’s hoping to convince the king of his feelings and longing to someday having those feelings returned.

When the king lost his queen long ago, he locked away his frozen heart, but when he and Dasher have a chance to really talk and Dasher relates his own story of a lost love, that heart begins to thaw.

Of course, evil forces try to draw them apart and put Dasher in mortal danger. Can Eirik, Kringle, Jack, and Rudy find a way to save the day? 

This isn’t intended as a standalone as most of the characters from the previous series are present for this wedding and play a role in the story.  If you haven’t ever read these books, by all means, go get them!  It’s a wonderful series and this story provides the perfect ending to a set of stories that will warm your heart on a cold winter’s day. 

~~~

Cover by Paul Richmond depicts a young man dressed formally and holding a glass heart in his hands. Behind him stands a larger man in royal robes, representing the King of Frost.  Bright and colorful, the cover conveys a part of the story beautifully.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 77 pages
Expected publication: December 20th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640800328
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesNorth Pole City Tales #6

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Silk (A Material World #3) by K.C. Wells

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

My favorite of the series so far, in this story—which can easily be read as a standalone, by the way—a young male escort and his older client discover much more than a surface attraction when they first down and dirty between the blue silk sheets. 

Matt Dorning is twenty-seven and works as a waiter at his parents’ restaurant. He’s also an underwear model and an escort.  Does he have to do the escort work? Well, the extra income goes a long way toward his independence in living on his own in New York City, plus he loves sex so it’s win-win in his book.  The personable biracial man has plenty of friends, a hot body, and a keen intellect.  He’s on track to take over his father’s restaurant business—something he’s looking forward to in the future when his dad is ready to step down.  But for now, he’s livin’ life and enjoying every moment, and every repeat client, and every new opportunity.

Lucas Sawyer is forty-six, a highly successful entrepreneur, and unknown to most people, suffers from social anxiety.  It’s much easier for him to hire an escort than it would be to cruise a bar for a date, and he always keeps it simple by never hiring his escort for more than one night. No strings. No regrets.  His Park Avenue apartment is secure, convenient, and comfortable and the boys he hires seem so to enjoy their time with him between his silk sheets in his oversized king bed. And then he meets Matt and all bets are off.  Matt loves his job and he’s not afraid to ask for what he wants and to be a bit bossy in the bedroom—all things that Lucas hasn’t really experienced before.  Lucas is usually the dominant in the bedroom, telling the escorts what to do and when to do it, but Matt just goes for what he wants and that includes telling Lucas what to do and when to do it.  Matt has heard of Lucas from fellow escorts and knows he’s only going to have one night so he figures why not do what he wants? As it turns out, this approach really piques Lucas’s interest and he thinks of Matt long after he’s gone. 

As they see each other again, their dynamic begins to change and they share more than sex. Matt suddenly decides to help Lucas with his anxiety by inviting him to Matt’s brother’s wedding—something Lucas normally wouldn’t enjoy but does—and the bonus is the night they get to spend sleeping together before a nice round of wakeup sex the next day.  Over time, both men acknowledge that they aren’t really escort and client any longer, but Matt faces some huge personal challenges, and without any commitment from Lucas, he’s not sure what to do.  How will Lucas feel when Matt continues to have sex with his other clients?  Is there room for each man in each other’s lives?

This was a terrific story, very different from others I’ve read that featured escorts, and I enjoyed both the writing style and the cast of characters—all well-developed and interesting characters.  My favorite was Diane, Lucas’s grandmother.  I can’t tell you how happy I was to see that she was not portrayed as a faded lily—a little old lady who was on her last leg.  I bowl every week with women in their nineties and I aspire to be like them when I grow up.  Diane can go on that list—I loved her!

I also enjoyed the dynamic between Matt and Lucas and the development of each individual character and the couple as a whole.  They took their time and it wasn’t all about sex, though I must admit there were some smokin’ hot scenes! Whew! Get the personal fans out for this one. 

In all seriousness, however, I must say that I can very easily highly recommend this MM romance to all—and especially to those who enjoy age-gap.  Twenty years here with unforgettable characters.  Don’t miss out on this one. 

“““““`

The cover by Meredith Russell features two men reclining in a bed covered with dark blue silk sheets. The older man has silver hair and the shoulder tats described in the story and he’s staring at the camera, while the younger man is obviously biracial and sound asleep.  It’s hot and delicious and perfect for this story.  Very attention-getting!

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published September 29th 2017 by Island Tales Press (first published September 2017)
ASINB0762Y7Y1J
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesA Material World #3

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 Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Suspicious Behavior (Bad Behavior #2) by LA Witt and Cari Z

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

This story picks up where Risky Behavior left off and Detectives Darren Corliss and his older partner, Andreas Ruffner are persona non grata in their precinct. Actually, they’re not really popular anywhere in the police department because it was their investigation that sent the mayor, the former commissioner, and multiple crooked detectives to prison.  At the very least, the fallout caused many to resign and family members left to suffer from the consequences of the crooked cops’ actions.  On the surface, one would wonder why they wouldn’t be popular after having busted such a large crime ring, but as the story goes on, many of the repercussions are shown and the behaviors directed at them by other officers was damn depressing.

On the bright side, these men are dynamite together—both as detective partners and as boyfriends/life partners.  In fact, by the end of the story, the L word was said.  Not sayin’ who said it, just be aware that it’s a fun side benefit of reading this story.  And for those looking for man on man loving, I need to say there was very little sex in this one.  How could there be?  As the story opens, Darren is still recovering from the shoulder wound he suffered in the last book, Andreas’s children are visiting, Darren’s brother is being committed to a home for his early onset Alzheimer’s Disease, and again, not sayin’ who, but another injury strikes the pair later in the book. But it really didn’t matter because the love shone through, and the caring and concern each shows the other, the strength of their partnership, and their attitude as they worked together as a team were all stronger than ever. 

Not knowing quite what to do with them, especially while the departments are being reorganized due to the loss of so many officers, their captain assigns Darren and Andreas a cold case file with several unsolved serial killer murders.  When they study the notes in-depth, they realize that this is one serial killer who changed his motives, victims, and methods after several killings each time.  And that leads them back to the officer who was investigating, who just happens to be Trent, the IA detective who’s now in prison for his role with the mayor in masterminding the previous corruption.  Complex? Yes.  Interesting? No doubt.  Compelling? Intriguing? Frightening? Suspenseful?  Yes, yes, yes, and yes!  This is a fantastic murder mystery/action drama by two very talented authors. 

The series does not end on a cliffhanger, but does leave plenty of room for personal growth and new situations to develop.  We still don’t know if Darren has the same gene as his brother, Andreas’s oldest daughter has a date with the ER doc they met in the last chapter (and Daddy’s not pleased!), and none of the cops who ignored their pleas for help as this latest mystery came to a head are happy with them as the repercussions for their failure to act add up. 

I’m definitely looking forward to more from this dynamic duo—both the characters and the authors!

~~~

Cover art by G.D. Leigh is similar to the artwork used in book one and features a professional-looking man in a dark trench coat against a dark background and city skyline—possibly Darren.  In combination with the cover for book one, which featured a different character but similar cover, this sets the mood perfectly for the story.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon link to follow

Book Details:

ebook, 283 pages
Expected publication: August 21st 2017 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN139781626496293
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBad Behavior #2

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Gabriel (Legacy Ranch #2) by R.J. Scott

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Author’s Note:
Be aware: emotional and physical abuse are depicted on the page in this book.

Reviewer’s Note:

Be warned—this one is heavy—emotionally heavy—with topics of abuse, past and present, physical and emotional.  Gabriel is one very damaged man. 

When Gabriel escaped from Hank Castille’s ranch years ago, he made his way to Dallas where he was “rescued” by a man named Stefan.  At first, Gabriel was so grateful to have someone who cared about him, he thought he was in love with the man. But Stefan set him straight on that—though Stefan cared about him, he also cared how Gabriel could benefit him and though Gabriel never seems to see the truth in the relationship, it’s evident to readers that Stefan is his pimp and is an emotional and physical abuser. But Stefan wraps his abuse in pretty words and gives Gabriel a place to stay, clothes, and a paycheck. It’s earning this paycheck that brings him into the Stafford Hotel where the owner, Cameron Stafford, needs an escort for a family event.

Cameron is blind, well, almost blind, but his eyesight is deteriorating rapidly and he’s fighting a power struggle with his hotel magnate father and his sister’s husband, both of whom want a part of the successful Dallas hotel.  Cameron owns it outright, however, thanks to the savvy of his deceased grandfather who made sure no one could absorb it back into the rest of the company.  Cameron is gay, single, and blind—three strikes against him per his father and brother-in-law. The single is because his last douchebag boyfriend took advantage of his blindness and stole from him, so he hires an escort to accompany him to his other sister’s engagement party.  To do this, he relies heavily on his bodyguard, known only as Six, and against Six’s judgment, he moves forward with his plan. 

The story encompasses a year in their lives, a year in which the two men come to mean something to each other and Gabriel starts to see some of Stefan’s actions as less than humane. (Getting choked until one blacks out will do that to a person.)  The kindness he thought he felt from Stefan is tarnished by the reality, especially when he starts to pay attention to calls from one of the other young men who was abused at Hank Castille’s hands—a young man named Kyle who now manages the Legacy Ranch for Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes.  The ranch is intended as a safe place for the men who were abused by Hank and others like him, and for horses who are rescued from abusive situations.  Each client of the ranch is assigned a horse and together the therapeutic environment serves as a positive in their recovery.  They have a place for Gabriel whenever he’s ready for it—no strings attached.

Gabriel almost waits too long to seek help, but when he does, it’s Cam and Six who help get him to the ranch, where over time, the much-needed healing begins to take place. 

This is a love story, but it’s somewhat a secondary plotline.  The focus is more on the abusive situations, the reality faced by so many young men, the difficulty of asking for help, and the very real need for trust to begin to lay any foundation for a long-term commitment. 

I am enjoying this series, and though this was a difficult story to read in places, it was very necessary to take each step along the way.  As the story ends, there’s been no quick fix, however, there is a very strong hope for the future for the two men others might consider damaged or disabled but they know are stronger than ever with each other. 

I highly recommend this one, especially for readers who like hurt-comfort stories, but pay attention to the author’s warnings.  She’s very clear on the graphic scenes included, but my favorite sentence in the forward is where she very eloquently states: “I have a spectrum of readers and I know that some may consider this to be an on-page trigger, and it was important to me that I let you know.” 

~~~~

Cover art by Meredith Russell features a very handsome man set against the background of a big city skyline—both perfectly representing Gabriel and the city of Dallas.    

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

Book Details:

ebook, 126 pages
Published August 2nd 2017 by Love Lane Books Limited
Edition LanguageEnglish
URL http://rjscottauthor.blogspot.com/2016/03/the-legacy-series.html
SeriesLegacy Ranch #2

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Red Fish, Dead Fish (Fish Out of Water#2) by Amy Lane

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Amy Lane exceeded all my expectations with this series. She’s known for sweet romance and is also the queen of angst. Her humor is fantastic and she’s one of the best storytellers ever. But until this series, she’s not done the action, suspense, and chilling drama that she’s done here. This story, like the first one in the series, was highly complex, horror-filled at times, riveting, emotional (of course!), painfully difficult to read at times, and provided readers with a highly driven team of MCs who literally race against the clock to find and stop a crazed serial killer who happens to be a former cop and has gotten his hands on a fellow female officer.

The main characters are interesting and perfect for each other—the slender-built, introverted attorney (Ellery) who might appear stand-offish or snobby at first meeting to those who don’t know him. But he has a reputation for being highly skilled at defending the underdog, and that was proven in the first book when he successfully helped the firm’s sexy, bad-boy investigator (Jackson) get his brother-of-the-heart out of a murder conviction by finding not only the real criminal but uncovering a ring of murders who rape and torture their victims before killing them. And the worst? They’re cops.  That Ellery and Jackson found each other and love each other—though that’s yet to be expressed as of the end of book one—is only icing on the cake.


As with book one, I was totally absorbed in the mystery within the first chapters and completely on board for the romance between Ellery and Jackson.  Jackson is as prickly as his mean, snarling cat, Billy-Bob, but Ellery manages to tame them both.  In the course of continually pulling Jackson out of scrapes with death and in between trips to the hospital for various injuries he suffers in the line of duty, Ellery learns that the latest victim is Jackson’s mother—the woman who gave birth to him, though she never nurtured him enough for him to consider her his beloved mom.  That honor goes to his best friend’s mother who literally pulled him from the hell that was his childhood and saved his life. 

Nevertheless, the action is intense and each time there’s a lull or a new lead comes up, a new facet to the mystery appears, and the guys are off and running again. Well, Jackson is off and running and Ellery is attempting to get him back—all in one piece, please. 

The fast-paced final chapters and the heartbreaking and heartwarming events and character interactions, including dialogue between Jackson and Ellery’s mom who Jackson refers to as Lucy-Satan, are priceless.  Add to that the intrigue that Owens didn’t just pop out as a manic serial killer—he had to have been groomed to the role—and who better to look at than Captain Karl Lacey, the military man who came all the way from Nevada to interview with Ellery, only to turn around and go back without imparting any news.  It seems it was more of an exploratory mission of What do you know? than anything else and sets the scene for book three, which will hopefully come out within the next year.  Oh and by the way, I finally realized why the names Ace Atchinson and Sonny Daye seemed familiar.  Ms. Lane threw these two characters from Race for the Sun out early in this story as either red herrings or key characters in the mystery that will continue to unfold in book three. Can’t wait.

The author also provided four short stories – vignettes of action that takes place between books one and two; stories that originally appeared on her blog.  This is a nice bonus read for those who love her work and this series specifically. 

If you like action-packed, suspense-filled dramas from a master storyteller, don’t hesitate to pick up this book.  It’s much better to read book one first, however, so put the series on your TBR.  It’s definitely one of my top picks of 2017.

~~~~~~~~~~~

The attention-getting cover art by Reese Dante features a gold fish in a glass and a knife dripping with blood, both appropriate to the story. It’s also bright and colorful and similar to the cover of  book one.  Tagline: There’s blood in the water and death in the air.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 330 pages
Expected publication: August 4th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleRed Fish, Dead Fish
ISBN139781635337648
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesFish Out of Water #2

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Draakenwood (Whyborne & Griffin #9) by Jordan L. Hawk

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

It’s difficult to imagine that a person can have such a fertile imagination that she can create characters and situations, not only set historically in the turn of the twentieth century, but also consisting of unfailingly original paranormal beings and activity, but Jordan Hawk pulls it off every single time. This is no exception. To top it off, running through these stories is a love that grows stronger with each installment—Griffin Flaherty and Percival Whyborne—two men who hold a very special place in my heart.

In this installment, someone is killing off members of the founding families of Widdershins, sucking the blood from their bodies until only the husk is left, and it looks like Whyborne is the murderer. Now, he’s going to have to get involved in finding the culprit before the monster gets to his father. Griffin, of course, is by his side and they’re joined in the adventure by two new members of the Endicott family—Whyborne’s distant, and estranged, relatives.

Whyborne’s twin sister, Persiphone, and their mother, Heliabel, both of whom are now ketoids who live in the sea also join in. And one of the funniest, laugh-out-loud moments of the story occurs when Percival comes upon Persiphone and her lover—his secretary, Miss Parkhurst—engaged in a sexual act on his desk in his office. The scene is priceless and I’m laughing even now as I write this review. Poor, unsuspecting, naïve Whyborne had no idea up to the moment he opened his office door. Hilarious!

In the usual way the author builds these stories, there’s plenty of background information and the suspense continues to build as the story unfolds—to the point where I was madly and avidly reading every word as quickly as I could devour them. This was quite an adventure as the maelstrom fought to take care of those whom it had collected for Widdershins, including Griffin, whose life is in deadly peril when he’s taken by the monster into the Draakenwood. The only available person to lead the battle to save his family and friends is Percival and he rises to the task, most ably assisted by both the police force and the gang of librarians who’d helped him in the past.

Honestly, there are barely words to describe how ably the author weaves the tale and instills it with both humor and terror alike. There are definitely more adventures awaiting our guys in the future, however, as the setup toward the end of this one indicates. Have no fear—Whyborne and Griffin are together again at the end of this book—along with a new piece of office furniture for Whyborne. (That original desk had to go!)

I highly recommend this book and this whole series to all lovers of MM romance and paranormal adventure. It’s simply wonderful.

~~~~

This cover by Lou Harper, though done in a similar style to the others in the series, is much more colorfully attractive than the ones previously done and features two characters from the story. To be honest, though I know one is Whyborne, I’m not sure who the other is since the features don’t look the same as past covers featuring Griffin. So overall, it’s attractive, but leaves me wondering who it represents.

Sales Links

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

Book Details:

ebook, 246 pages
Published June 2nd 2017 by Widdershins Press
ISBN139781941230251
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesWhyborne & Griffin #9

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Just Add Argyle (Fabric Hearts #3) by K.C. Burn

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This installment of the series started out slow as the author built the background of Tate Buchanan, a guy who’s always been called stupid—by friends, bosses, coworkers—and by his mother. He’s dirt poor, a high school dropout, and always getting into fights. Usually the fights are to defend some other guy, and frequently it’s to stop a gay bashing, but he always ends up in trouble. He’s also been known to mouth-off to his bosses or to others when he loses his temper so it’s no wonder he’s well-known by cops.

We first met Jaime Escobar in Plaid Versus Paisley when Caleb was trying to hookup Dallas with his cousin Jaime. Known as a player, Jaime keeps a low profile because unlike what his family believes, he’s not interested in any hookups—he wants a man to love him for who he is and to plan for a future together. In other words, he’s looking for a certain spark and for someone who wants commitment.

An EMT, when he’s called out with his partner to treat an abuser and the guy who saved another young man from being raped, Jaime meets Tate—the guy who stopped the attack. And though it seems the two would have nothing in common, Jaime feels that spark he’s been searching for.

This story is not one of insta-love. We get to know Tate and his life circumstances—a verbally abusive alcohol- and drug-addicted mother who would like to pimp him out for money to feed her habit and a learning disability in which he confuses numbers so spectacularly he dropped out of high school and accepted his label as stupid.

Jaime, on the other hand, can’t seem to forget Tate and goes to great lengths to find out who he is and to meet him again. He’s Tate’s first date when he gets the man to finally agree to see him, and from that point on, we get to see a new world unfurl for Tate—a world he richly deserves. But again—it’s not speedy. It takes quite a while for the changes to occur and for both men to come to terms with the feelings they have for one another.

There’s more action, disappointment, surprises, and romance in store for the two and it made the story so much better than I initially thought it was going to be. I’m hooked on these two guys, but especially Tate. What a hard-to-get-to-know but a man-I-want-to-adopt sweetheart he turned out to be!

I definitely recommend this story to those who love MM contemporary romance, age-gap, disabilities, and, of course, with Raven in this story as Tate’s new friend, there’s kilts! Lots of sexy guys in kilts! Highly recommend.

~~~

The cover art by LC Chase depicts a single male wearing an argyle vest and jeans set against a yellow plaid background—the perfect representation for the story as Tate favors argyle, considering it his good luck charm, and Raven convinces him to wear that plaid to model a kilt for a Tartan Candy calendar. 

Sales Links

 Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

ebook, 204 pages
Expected publication: April 21st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published April 17th 2017)
ISBN139781635335682
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Fabric Hearts: