A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Ledgers and Rent Boys (Ore 5 #2) by Meraki P. Lyhne

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 Rating: 4 stars out of 5 

This is book two in a series and they would be best read in order as this starts the day after the last book ends and has an overarching plotline. The bump in their relationship has passed with Ethan deciding to stay instead of returning to Earth. Although Ethan and Ryder are now a couple, with Ethan’s insecurities, he convinces Ryder not to let people know he’s off the market, saying it would hurt his business. They are now working together, neighbors, and lovers. The inventory issues, theft, and prostitution issues have gotten even more involved than they thought. It will take Ryder’s connections and Ethan’s accounting skills to save them from a hostile takeover by the Eastern European mob back on Terra.

For an erotic romance, I actually like the plot. I’d like to see more of it. I rarely say this, but I’d like less hot sex and sweet romance, and more of the politics and alien life featured. With the addition of some new characters, like the rentboy Hayden and Ryder’s friends from outside the club, this is starting to round out nicely. Hayden is integral to the story moving forward; I’m glad he’ll be in the next book as I became attached to him. Brutus, the bouncer, is more than he seemed, so I expect his character to continue to be expanded, but this was an unseen plot twist. I am left wondering if I missed some foreshadowing from the first book.

My favorite parts about this book are the same as in the first book: Ryder dancing, the discussions of the rule of law on Ore 5, the likeable secondary characters, and Ethan and Ryder together. My criticisms are the same also. What is with the Scyphoes–poisonous sea-life-like creatures? It is obvious Ethan is going to get stung at some point. This isn’t even a spoiler, just a foregone conclusion. But, is that the only reason for this alien lifeform to exist on this planet in this story? Because that is such a missed opportunity. The first book seemed like more of a complete story, while this is a go between…with a huge cliffhanger. That made me want to stab things. The author keeps throwing in plot twists and my concern is that this will turn into a longer soap opera than I personally have patience for. I’ll give book three a try because I want to see the conclusion of this story arc.

This cover art is by Angela Waters. I love all three of the covers (so far) in this series. They match, show key characters how I pictured them, and show a science fiction background. The colors remind me of cities at night or Las Vegas–places you expect neon signs to flash, which is very fitting for the setting.

Sales Links: eXtasy Books Inc  | Barnes & Noble  |  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 242 pages
Published June 22nd 2018 by eXtasy Books Inc (first published June 15th 2018)
ASINB07DTBHCYL
Edition Language English
SeriesOre 5 #2

A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Hitting the Mark by Aidan Wayne

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The story starts with Marcus going back to where he’s from to film a movie. He has the chance to visit the taekwondo academy where he spent five formative years, from age 10 to 15. Back then, his crush was the son of the owner, Taemin, who became an instructor, training to take over the family business. Meeting Taemin again and getting to know him as an adult and equal, shows Marcus everything he wants in a partner. Taemin takes a bit longer to realize what he is feeling, that it’s ok to feel this way, and that Marcus is someone he wants in his life as more than a friend.

There is smart writing on the author’s part in the use of all the side characters. Preeti, a former student and now instructor, gives them a buffer and shows that they are adults now–that Preeti and Taemin are friends and colleagues, especially with Preeti being younger than Marcus. Mr. Avi is the father figure, even though he is Taemin’s employee. Marcus’s assistant, Billy, is not just an employee, but also a supportive friend. When you spend as much time at work as these two do, their whole world is really their colleagues and people they meet through work. A huge amount of this book is the day to day details about Marcus and Taemin while they are at work, doing what they love.

With Taemin’s work ethic, his schedule is grueling. He teaches almost every day and is training for the Olympic qualification tournament on top of his charitable work. This is a habit, but may also be a way to stave off the loneliness of down time. Marcus’s life as an actor, doing most of his own stunts, is also full of training, publicity, and requires travel. There are no surprises about the travails this couple will face. There is no manufactured angst–just the real work of making it through their first disagreement. This is a realistic view of two men falling in love who must work out a way to integrate their lives together. It is a solid, well crafted romance about strong, masculine men who are confident about who they are. The love scenes are beautiful without being salacious. That the author captures that feeling of butterflies in your stomach, of wonder that the person you want, wants you back, is satisfying. It is the length, that the reader really gets to know who these men are, that elevates this above most romances.

The cover art is by Kanaxa and shows both characters as I pictured them.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 193 pages
Expected publication: May 28th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN1 39781644051436
Edition Language English

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Fracture (Unbreakable Bonds #6) by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

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  Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

This is the sixth book in the series. If you don’t read these in order, you will miss some inside couple things, references to their friends and background for Jude’s family. Still, this plot is not connected to the other books, so you could jump in with this one and follow the story, it will just have less emotional impact. There is enough recapping to get by for new people, and annoy those already following the series.

Someone hurt Jude’s 21 year old brother, Jordan, who works construction for their uncle. When Jude starts looking into what might have happened to his brother, he realizes something has been wrong for awhile. What did Jordan get into and how does Jude really know him anymore? Has Jordan changed so much while his brothers Jude and Carrick got busy in their own lives; there is a thirteen and twelve year age difference respectively. Jordan isn’t a child anymore and he is making his own way in life. As Jordan lies in the hospital in a coma, Jude struggles with his emotions and trying to find out who did this and why. It’s his boyfriend’s turn to be the rock this time.

It’s nice to see the other side to both of them as the normal roles are reversed with Jude being the one who is a mess and Snow having to be the strong, rational one.

In this book, Snow’s past is both a curse and a blessing. This sort of plot makes more sense in the Ward Securities spin off series than these things continually happening to medical professionals, a businessman, and a chef. I understand Rowe, Andrei, and Noah getting involved in these sorts of plots, but how many times in real life is this going to realistically keep happening to normal people? In trying to make the book accessible to those who haven’t read the other five books, or remind people of past events if they haven’t read them in awhile, the recapping throughout the book highlights all the implausibilities in the previous plots. I think this is why even though the book is well written, it seems to plod along. Also, the scenes that have other popular characters in them are more like walk-on parts without adding anything to their characters.

I like these characters. I like their loyalty and the family they’ve built. The love scenes are erotic and passionate. The connection and love that Snow and Jude have is well written. I think this is their HEA, even filled with shame, guilt, and nightmares. Everyone is coupled up and starting families, so I’m not sure where else this series can go, but it is enjoyable and it’s difficult to say goodbye to characters you like.

The cover art is by Stephen Drake of Design by Drake. I admit I have no idea who is on the cover or what it has to do with anything. Since this is supposed to be about Jordan, my guess would be he is whose life has been fractured by the events in this book.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 249 pages
Published March 29th 2019 by Drake & Elliott Publishing LLC
ASINB 07P51MQNH
Edition Language English
Series Unbreakable Bonds #6

A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Inked Music by Sean Michael

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Rene Conette is a bored businessman looking for…something. The first impression is of complete privilege so I wasn’t sure if I liked him, but I found myself warming to him more and more as he is patient and kind, if used to getting his way. Gavin Turner is a musician with a haunting past: an obsessed fan kidnapped and tortured him. Once his interest in BDSM became public, people judged that he either enjoyed it or got what he deserved. The cast is completed by twin brothers Silas and Dev, former police who helped rescue Gavin and now work as his private security.

Gavin’s history sets up a way for Rene and Gavin to take time to establish trust before adding mild BDSM elements into their relationship. The sexual aspect does start surprisingly fast. The book is definitely erotic romance going from one hot sex scene to another, which is what the author does well. It’s the the dialogue in the getting to know each other scenes and the scenes between sex scenes that don’t seem to flow as easily. After setting up Silas and Dev as Gavin’s protectors and family, they are largely ignored for the rest of the book. There is more than one conversation about Gavin’s relationship with them not being sexual, which is a little repetitive. If they are supposed to be Gavin’s family and closest friends, it seems strange that Rene ignores them. I know they are supposed to be on duty, especially when outside, but in Rene’s home in a secure building where you have to be buzzed up, the fact that they are on high alert is a little odd to me. Really though it’s the smallest part of the book. The majority of the book is the sex scenes. While hot, they are pretty tame so this may be a good book for people who don’t like anything hardcore.

They are both wealthy, so they do live in their own little bubble on their own schedule. Work is only mentioned briefly. At the beginning, it did seem as though Rene was in the closet, or just very discreet, taking a female friend to all of his work or social functions. Given the issues Gavin’s last Dom had with his fame after what happened, it did make me wonder if that would also be addressed with Rene, but it’s never mentioned again. This book does end on a HFN/HEA. If the author does write another book with these characters, maybe focusing on the twins, I would like to see what would happen if Gaven was recognized and no longer able to be incognito and how that would affect their relationship. In the end, even for an erotic romance, I guess I wanted a bit more plot and a few more details. The book is surprisingly low angst for the subject matter, has steamy scenes, and a sweet, quick romance.

The cover art is by L.C. Chase. It shows Gaven, insular and alone, focused on what matters most to him. He’s described as being thin with dark hair, dark eyes, and tattoos so this isn’t quite how I pictured him.

Buy links: Dreamspinner Press |   AmazonKobo |  Barnes and Noble 

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 193 pages
Expected publication: April 9th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781644051092
Edition Language English

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Abundance by Emmalynn Spark

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

This story throws the reader right into the action with an emergency in space, in the first person POV of crewman Alex Harris. He’s part of the bio-tech staff on board the spaceship. Earth was dying so they sent people into space to reach a new planet, New Earth, for a chance to save the human race from extinction. On the way to the planet, something goes horribly wrong, killing almost everyone on board. The only other survivor is Commander Luke Belka.

This is an ARC so these things might not be in the final version, but there were a few inconsistencies that took me out of the story. At one point Alex thinks about waking up from stasis after a hundred years, but later, when he thinks about his mom being dead, the time period seems to be hundreds of years ago. The reader is told Alex hid that he was gay so he could be picked to go on this ship, even using his best friend Eileen as a beard. Yet, he also flirted with Commander Belka previously on Earth. They know nothing about this planet, not even if the air is breathable, yet they didn’t check before they disembarked. They never seem to be worried about any predators or if the plants are poisonous to the touch, only if they are poisonous to eat. Since there were other ships–ten altogether–Alex thinks maybe there will be people there already growing food, but then he is worried about planting anything from Earth that might be an invasive species and hurt the local flora and fauna.

This is really a wish fulfillment story with forced proximity. At one point I wondered if Alex was dreaming in stasis. I wanted more than just an excuse for two men to have a lot of sex, hot though it was, after all the world building and tragedy that I had to wade through. It seems terrible to have had so many people die just to set them up. The book is at its best as a crisis leads them to set out to see if there is a settlement on the other side of the mountain. The reader finally gets to see Luke’s POV as he tells Alex what he’s been thinking. All the psychological issues come to a head during an argument and there is finally the real emotional connection that I wanted all along.

I liked the book, I just wanted a bit more emotion all the way through instead of mostly in the last twenty percent. I liked that at a certain point they switched roles. Although Alex was not great in an emergency, he recovered from his overwhelming grief and resignation to find joy in his environment. Luke, who was great in an emergency, couldn’t adapt to the fact they were alone. He ignored anything that meant they might be there a long time right up until he could no longer do it. The book ends with hope, but I can’t help wondering if any of the other nine ships made it or are still coming. Despite their being in love, I can’t help wondering what would have happened to their relationship had they been found.

The cover art is by Natasha Snow and matches the title to show the hopeful, positive side of the story.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 202 pages
Published March 4th 2019 by NineStar Press
ISBN13 9781950412136
Edition Language English

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Lord Seabolt (Four Families #2) by Megan Derr

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 Rating: 4 stars out of 5

I think this could be read on its own without missing anything, but the emotional impact would be greater if Finder Tolan was read first. This takes place eighteen years later. Goss is now twenty. His father Tolan is now Master Mage for the Crown. His other father Shaw has retired and teaches basic magic classes. Lords Sealore and Moonrise now have a son named Kerra, whom Goss has an ill advised crush on. Some traumatic event happened three years ago that derailed Goss’ future. His master dismissed him after the incident, so he is no longer an apprentice Binder. He is widely disliked and bullied. Tae Min is a foreign Prince visiting the kingdom for three months for academic lectures, to secure trade, and to arrange marriage contracts for his relatives. The best thing that could happen to Goss, with his infamous origins, powerful noble guardians, and this past event hanging over his head, is for an outsider to see the real him. This is told from Goss’s POV, so the reader’s sympathies will lie with him.

This is a fun short story with a fast romance where everyone gets what’s coming to them. It doesn’t have the detail of the author’s longer works, so I feel like many things could have been added to make this utterly amazing. I felt that way about Finder Tolan as well. But, that’s not fair because that’s not what this is; this is a fairytale you read on a rainy day to cheer you up when you don’t have time to read a novel. It has angst, love, sex, and the villains get their comeuppance. I still want to know what the motto of Seabolt is, so I can only hope there will be another story.

I can’t see where it says who did the cover art. It looks a little modern to me, but shows Goss likely at the Seabolt Palace.

 

Sales Links:  Less Than Three Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 65 pages
Published January 23rd 2019 by Less Than Three Press, LLC
ASIN B07L7J1SVZ
Edition Language English
Series Four Families #2

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: No Fae is an Island (Endangered Fae #4) by Angel Martinez

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

This is book four and you need to read these in order as it starts three years after the previous book. It took me a while to warm up to this series, but by book three I was completely sucked in. As Diego and Finn return to the world after Diego’s exile, everyone is still dealing with the aftermath of what he did. Zack is acting Consul and will have to remain so as having Diego return to the job might not be in their best interests. Magic legislation is still very much as issue. Neither Diego nor Theo have forgiven themselves. It has become unsafe in certain parts of the world to be magical. Trying to be useful and help rescue three Canadian students arrested in a country that is anti-magic, Diego and Finn find themselves also taken prisoner. The social commentary is about bigotry and the corruption of power. How are we still here fighting issues we thought had been addressed and dealt with?

While Diego was in exile, he learned as much as he could from the dragons and studied the wild fae. A young selkie, Limpet, follows Diego across the veil when he comes home. His POV keeps this fresh as he is innocent, curious, and naive about the human world. The pairing of Limpet with Theo is unlikely, but seems to be because Theo needs that kind of outlook to help him move forward and enjoy life again. I have to admit I didn’t like that Theo tends to tune Limpet out and not really listen to what he is saying, or worse tells him to not talk. That’s fine when they are in danger or hiding and Limpet doesn’t know any better, not so fine the rest of the time. Being excited, talking a lot, and being curious (which means asking a lot of questions) is part of who Limpet is. While the sexual compatibility isn’t in question, for me, the communication left something to be desired.

While Diego and Finn are in captivity, Diego gets everyone to band together, reminding them that they are stronger as a community rather than individuals living in fear. Finn, who is not my favorite character, spends much of this book subdued by steel. He does get to be a hero here, and there is none of the melodrama of previous books. Maybe being with Diego during his banishment in the Otherworld calmed him a bit. The author establishes a djinn character called Nusair, and a half human/fae named Asif, both of whom I expect to see in the future. Nusair is by far the more intriguing of the two. It’s a shame that the The Silver Adepts coven is left simmering in the background, but this book is about Diego finding his footing again. It’s a necessary step to make the whole series more cohesive. I’m hoping now that Diego and Theo are sorted, the next book will go back to some of the previous characters on new adventures.

The cover art is by Emmy @studioenp. It features Diego, the desert, and Finn as the bird. It’s in keeping with the rest of the series and I really like the golden color.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 281 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by Pride Publishing (first published September 5th 2014)
ISBN 139781786517029
Edition Language English
Series Endangered Fae #4

A Chaos Moondrawn Advent Calendar Review: Make a Circle by Elliot Joyce

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Oliver surprises Lucas by asking him to come home for the holidays to meet his folks. It’s nice to see an established couple. The author makes it easy to feel Lucas’s nerves at meeting the Han family during an important holiday. Oliver seems just as nervous. Since a lot of them don’t speak English and Lucas doesn’t speak Mandarin, what could possibly go wrong? Apparently, quite a bit. The author is great at capturing the bittersweet torture of a large family gathering. I don’t want to spoil the plot, but not everyone acts respectfully, so it’s quite emotional, but heartwarming too. I really enjoyed this chaste short story.

The cover art is by Brooke Albrecht. I assume it shows Oliver and hints at Chinese culture.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 33 pages
Published December 1st 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781644050538
Edition Language English

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Semper Fae (Endangered Fae #3) by Angel Martinez

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The is book three in the Endangered Fae series. While you could probably read this alone, it would be best if you started from book one. Having said that, this is the best book so far and shows what could have been possible in the first two books. This is just more fun and action packed, with layers. It also introduces many new characters. All of the sudden weird paranormal phenomena is happening all over. Human magic is different from fae magic, but they are connected. Just as the shifter fae start to get a magical illness, humans start turning into vampires and werewolves, or developing new powers. I love the idea that all of the legends and lore are real, and are now alive because the Veil is open again.

While this book still has a lot of Finn and Diego, Finn is sidelined a bit with an illness and Diego has bigger problems. The main romance is between Zach, the marine medic from book two, and Lugh. Zach is working as the head of Lugh’s security detail. Lugh is, of course, a shifter fae and part bull. This book is more explicitly bestial than the previous books. There is also an element of dubcon. They seem to find their footing at the end and know what works for them. There were two times in the book when something is a huge emotional deal, and all is quickly forgiven when someone is injured, once with Zach and his parents and once with Lugh and Zach. There could be a better way of working out these conflicts.

As mentioned there are several new characters but the main five are The Silver Adepts, a human coven: Kara, Nate, Brandon, Will, and Minky. Will has awful premonitions, so Minky tries writing to Diego for help, but he isn’t taking them seriously. They have a plan to kidnap him and things go horribly wrong. There was a hint of dragons in book two, so I was waiting for the dragons! Diego and Zach go to find them for help with knowledge about human magic. The dragon lord eventually comes to help train the coven in how to better access their magic. The final showdown and rescue mission, in fact much of the book, reminds me of a comic book. This is no bad thing.

Zach becomes the human Consul for the fae now that Diego is ill. The book leaves some of our characters in the Otherworld making it possible for future books to take place on either side of the Veil. There is now so much magic in the world, these stories could go anywhere or even have spin-offs, so I’ll have to wait and see where the series goes.

The cover art is by Emmy @ studioenp. All the covers in the series are eye catching and fit together.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by Pride Publishing (first published January 13th 2013)
ASINB07HQ4DXQQ
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesEndangered Fae #3

A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Bad Habit (Bad in Baltimore #6) by K.A. Mitchell

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Scott and Liam have a history. It’s hard not to love them both right away and want to protect them as children in foster care. The author only spends enough time here to establish the relationship and how heartbreaking it is when they’re separated. When they find each other again as adults, they are together two years until it all falls apart. Six years later, they are throw together at work. The love is still there, but not the trust. In the end, the only thing that fixes that is time. It works a heck of a lot better as a hurdle than most of the manufactured crises a lot of authors seem to throw into a story as a plot device. This series does specialize in dysfunctional men meeting their match.

All ten characters from previous books show up, but this can be read as a standalone with no problem if you want to dive in. I know a lot of books say that, but honestly it’s been such a long time since I read the first four that I don’t remember the characters and I skipped the fifth one (I bought it, I just haven’t had time to read it before this review was due.) Jamie, is the only one that is pertinent. On the one hand, that made reading it really easy. On the other hand, it would have had a bit more depth if they were all more integral to the story than just being the gay adopted insta-family they become. I feel like fans of the series will just be excited to see their favorites included, even if for a few brief scenes. It turns out Jamie busted Scott when he was 17, but they eventually bonded over cars and have been friends for years. It seems strange then that Scott’s never met Jamie’s boyfriend or other friends until now.

Besides being a medic, Liam is in a band that plays at the bar Scott ends up working at. Liam has a boyfriend, Dion, who is steady, supportive, and understanding–the death knell for sure. Guess what happens. As time goes on in the story, the truth of why Liam left Scott and joined the military is obvious. Some of Liam’s time in the military: his guilt, loss, and nightmares are touched on. Although we get Liam’s POV a few times, it’s Scott’s POV for the most part, so it’s easy to empathize with him, but Liam really comes off as having handled everything quite badly. In fact, Scott is a better person than me because no way would I forgive so quickly, if at all. The hot sex happens quickly and continues throughout the story. The real plot actually comes from them learning to be with each other as adults, not just immature kids, whilst still navigating old patterns of behavior. Liam is living with his mother and her new family after his injury in the Army. He is still learning to deal with his relationship with her after his childhood. Scott still has anger and self esteem issues. There isn’t really a lot of angst, it’s more: fear of rejection, fear of hope. Sometimes you have to decide what you want, go after it even if it makes you vulnerable, and fight for it without letting others interfere. They worked out what they wanted for their future as children. Now, it’s time to work out what their new future as adults will look like. The author made me want them to be together and work things out.

The cover artist is Kanaxa and matches the rest of the covers in this series. It shows the cityscape (Baltimore) and an eye catching Scott.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 1st edition, 230 pages
Expected publication: November 6th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635337471
Edition Language English
Series Bad in Baltimore #6
Bad Attitude