A Mika Review: Fish Stick Fridays (Half Moon Bay #1) by Rhys Ford

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars            ★★★★★

Fish Stick FridaysDeacon Reid was born bad to the bone with no intention of changing. A lifetime of law-bending and living on the edge suited him just fine—until his baby sister died and he found himself raising her little girl.

Staring down a family history of bad decisions and reaped consequences, Deacon cashes in everything he owns, purchases an auto shop in Half Moon Bay, and takes his niece, Zig, far away from the drug dens and murderous streets they grew up on. Zig deserves a better life than what he had, and Deacon is determined to give it to her.

Lang Harris is stunned when Zig, a little girl in combat boots and a purple tutu blows into his bookstore, and then he’s left speechless when her uncle, Deacon Reid walks in, hot on her heels. Lang always played it safe but Deacon tempts him to step over the line… just a little bit.

More than a little bit. And Lang is willing to be tempted.

Unfortunately, Zig isn’t the only bit of chaos dropped into Half Moon Bay. Violence and death strikes leaving Deacon scrambling to fight off a killer before he loses not only Zig but Lang too.

I wonder if Rhys Ford has a magic chair that she sits in at home to churn out these 5-star books and characters. I mean I expected nothing less, but a couple of months ago when she announced that she had a new series starting I was elated. I mean, c’mon. everyone knows how I feel about Cole and Jae; they are my heart. She announced a new series, and a freaking kid was a main character. I was down for it. I love children in my stories. Their age adds an extra layer of vulnerability to the characters.

This book was everything and more that I could ever ask for. I am swooning for Deke! He’s amazing. He hasn’t had an easy life, and anybody’s that went through what he did would understand if he decided to be selfish and only look out for himself. His lack of parents, the fast life he grew up in couldn’t prepare him for caring for his 8 year old niece Bobo Zigfried! She’s a tornado wrapped in a hurricane. Full of life, love, adoration and kind of a cynic to be so young. Right from the beginning its full of action! I love the dynamics between Deke and Zig they are the coolest people that I like I’ve read from the author to date.

Lang is a freaking sweetheart in his own way! I think Rhys Ford did a good job with combining the two mc’s past histories together. This wasn’t her usual buildup of love between two guys. Dare to say it, but I totally got the insta-love feeling without the cheesiness that goes with it. I kind of see them as a love as first sight kind of thing. I mean the descriptions about one another were so endearing, and sweet. This is definitely a favorite of mine, and I cannot wait until the next in the series. This is the perfect family that Rhys Ford throws together!

Cover Art by Reece Notley:This might be my favorite cover from this artist. They are teasing us by not showing Deacon’s entire face, but everything else that is important to his person is there. Loved the color schemes for the cover. The motorcycle definitely rocks.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 204 pages
Published November 30th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
original title Fish Stick Fridays
ISBN 1623809487 (ISBN13: 9781623809485)
edition language English

A Mika Review: Breakaway (Scoring Chances #1) by Avon Gale

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Breakaway coverDrafted to play for the Jacksonville Sea Storm, an NHL affiliate, twenty-year-old Lane Courtnall’s future looks bright, apart from the awkwardness he feels as a gay man playing on a minor league hockey team. He’s put his foot in his mouth a few times and alienated his teammates. Then, during a rivalry game, Lane throws off his gloves against Jared Shore, enforcer for the Savannah Renegades. It’s a strange way to begin a relationship.

Jared’s been playing minor league hockey for most of his career. He’s bisexual and doesn’t care if anyone knows. But he’s determined to avoid another love affair after the last one left him devastated. Out of nowhere a one-nighter with rookie Lane Courtnall gives him second thoughts. Lane reminds Jared why he loves the game and why love might be worth the risk. In turn, Jared hopes to show Lane how to be comfortable with himself on and off the ice. But they’re at different points in their careers, and both men will have to decide what they value most.

 

Clueless, sincere, and adorable. Those are the three words I would use to describe Lane Courtnall!!! I have a semi crush on him. Gawd he’s perfect, his naivety is so freaking adorable. I liked him a lot from the very beginning. I liked Jared as well, and I was happy how his character and Lane’s were able to mesh perfectly together. I really liked the story, the pacing as well as the writing. This is my first book by Avon Gale, and it will never be my last. I requested this book on the whim of all the great things that I’ve heard about her books. I’ve yet to read Let the Wrong Light In. I am going to wait as long as I can to. I’ve had it since it was released and it’s going on my holiday break to read.

If I can have one book wish, I would wish for Avon Gale’s Lane and T.J. Klune’s Gus to be in a book together!!! Total awesomeness is what that would be. I’m not a hockey fan at all. Sure I live in a hockey city, but it’s something I don’t understand. I really liked that she was true to her subject. I wasn’t as lost as I would have thought I would be. Avon did a really good job between the love of the mc’s and the game that they both love.

I completely read this book in one sitting. I liked the Teen Wolf reference; I loved Zoe as a character. She is a strong female secondary character. Both guys dealt with problems from their childhoods, and they kind of bonded over being solidarity creatures in their adult life. They thrive on being apart of a team. Together is better for these two, and I really appreciated how they were able to fall in love. I like grand gestures, and of course the support of being in a relationship; so I was really happy that Jared was able to find his happiness. I’m super excited for book two because Riley interests me a ton, and Ethan just seems like this great protector. I’m already gushing for book two.

Cover Art by Aaron Anderson: I think this cover is fantastic for sports fans; it’s nice to see to opposing teams fall in love. Definitely liked the lighting.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 240 pages
Published November 27th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781634764865
edition languageEnglish
seriesScoring Chances #1

A Mika Review: Exchange of Hearts by N.R. Walker

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars   ★★★★★

Piano classical music musician player. Pianist with musical instrument grand piano

Piano classical music musician player. Pianist with musical instrument grand piano

Eighteen-year-old Harrison Haddon has grown up alone. Surrounded by wealth, nannies, and material things, all he craves is the approval of his father. Sent away to the boarding school his father and grandfather attended, it’s assumed he will follow in their footsteps from Sydney’s prestigious Ivy League school straight into medical school.

But Harrison doesn’t want to be a doctor.

He dreams of music and classical piano. His only true happiness, his escape from the world expected of him, is dismissed by his intolerant and emotionally detached parents.

Levi Aston arrives from London for a three-month student exchange program. Free-spirited and confident in who he is and what he wants to do with his life, Levi convinces Harrison not give up on his dreams.

But convincing Harrison not to give up on his family might not be so easy.

This is going down as one of my favorite Y.A/N.A books ever. N.R. Walker has gold on her hand. No angst!!!! I deserve some of that. From beginning to end I was sucked into this story. I really love Levi & Harrison. Goodness, why does she do this to us? Did you really have to make it a novella? I kept looking at the page percentage, like please, don’t reach 100%, pretty please ,with a cherry on top.

Harrison is a brilliant, 18 year-old living in Sydney Australia,. He is picked to room with a student on the study abroad program and in walks the most loving guy ever!! Levi is everything I wish I had at 18. He is definitely up there with Charlie & Travis, and Thomas & Cooper. I didn’t want these two to end at all.

I really love the devotion that these young guys seemed to have towards one another. I like that Harrison stands up for himself, he knows what it’s like to fall in love, and be in love at a young age. Levi’s family is how a family is supposed to be towards their kin.

N.R. Walker has managed to pack some powerful love story in this small amount of pages. I hope that she decides to revisit these two soon, and maybe we can get a full length novel! I want it please.

Cover Art by Sara York, I think Sara did a good job with the cover. It’s not quite how I imagined Harrison in my head, but this model is cute. I love how each guy home is presented on the cover. The piano is a major plus as well.

Sales Link:   Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 133 pages
Published November 11th 2015 by BlueHeart Press
ASINB017WROVI0
edition languageEnglish

A Mika Review: How to Walk Like a Man (Howl at the Moon #2) by Eli Easton

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Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars 

How To Walk Like A Man coverDeputy Roman Charsguard survived Afghanistan where he lost his best friend—his K-9 handler James. Roman was a military dog until two years ago when he developed the ability to shift into a human. It’s not easy to learn how to be a man. He found a place to live in Mad Creek, a haven for the secret world of dog shifters. Finding a reason to live has been harder. That is, until a certain human walks into the Mad Creek Sheriff’s office and starts making trouble.

Matt Barclay has the worst luck. First he was shot in a SWAT drug raid, and then he was sent as DEA investigator to Mad Creek, a little town in the California Mountains. Matt’s job is to keep a lookout for illegal drug farms, but nobody in the town wants him there. And then there’s Roman, Matt’s erstwhile baby-sitter. He’s the hottest guy Matt’s ever seen, even if he is a bit peculiar. If the town doesn’t kill him, sexual frustration just might.

The town is counting on Roman to prevent Matt from learning about dog shifters, Matt’s counting on Roman to be his work partner and tell him the truth, and Roman’s trying to navigate love, sex, and a whole lot of messy human emotions. Who knew it was so complicated to walk like a man?

When I found out that we were getting another book in this series, I was so happy. Then this wonderfulness happened. I loved that Roman talked in exclamation points! He was such a happy character; it was a breath of fresh air from all the darkness that I’ve been reading. If I was Matt I would have been freaked out about certain things happening in this town.

As usual the writing is definitely at its’ best. I was happy with Matt & Roman’s relationship from start to finish. Roman is the type of character that says with you forever. He was happy, innocent, sweet, and protective. Matt was very steadfast in his beliefs. I enjoyed his relationship with Luci. I like how both of them treated each other. I’m glad to read about Mad Creek residents again. They are happy people who enjoyed putting smiles on people faces.

Everything that I love in my guys, I laughed so much throughout this book and I didn’t want it to end. Matt and Roman coming together were very sweet and innocent in the story. I feel like we really got to watch them couple as two different people. I truly liked the flashback scenes with Roman. This could have been a 5 star book for me, but I didn’t like that we got the bad person pov in the story. I would have preferred more screen time with the guys. When they are finally together the next chapter goes into the epilogue. I wanted more of Matt & Roman. It could have been everyday nuisances for me, but I wanted more them. I do hope Eli continues writing this series. I can’t wait for more.   

Cover Art by: Reese Dante, I love this cover so much. The colors are correct, the models are important. I love the depiction of Matt & Roman in the cover; it’s what drew me to the book before I noticed the name & author. One of my favorite covers this year.

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

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 241 pages
Published November 13th 2015 by Pinkerton Road
ASINB0176KQPH8
edition languageEnglish
seriesHowl at the Moon #2

A Mika Review: Will & Patrick Meet the Family (Wake Up Married #2) by Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths

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Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00075]Meeting the family is challenging for every new couple. But for Will and Patrick, the awkward family moments only grow more hilarious—and painful—when they must hide the truth of their predicament from the people they care about most.

Throw in the sexual tension flaring between them, uncomfortable run ins with Will’s all-too-recent ex-boyfriend, an overprotective mobster father, and a mafia spy tailing them around Healing, South Dakota, and you’ve got a recipe for madcap laughs and surprisingly heartwarming feels.

I enjoyed this installment a lot. Patrick is hilarious. I loved that both guys are opening up more. We get to see a different side to each one of them. We also got to see Will’s mom. Ha, I loved the initial meeting at the house. Of course all Patrick cared about was his stomach? This man eats a lot. I like that he cares about Will and make sure his sugar never drops. For a person who was against this from the beginning he sure is doing a good job.  Patrick’s snarky comments about the residents of Healing are wonderful as well as the fact that that everywhere he went the man made a enemy out of himself.

This was a funny book. I definitely could see them growing together; they were very complimentary of each other. Outside of the whole mob situation, I like how the authors have this authenticity about Will & Patrick. Neither is perfect, they both have huge issues with their childhood. I was happy to see them open up to each other. I can’t wait for the next installment.

Cover Art by Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Designs. I liked this cover, the horses were consistent with Will’s childhood. I really like the graphics of this series.

Sales Links:   Goodreads | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook
Published November 10th 2015 by Leta Blake Books
ISBN139781626227460
edition languageEnglish
seriesWake Up Married #2

Wake Up Married Series:

A Mika Review: Definitely, Maybe, Yours by Lissa Reed

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Rating:  5 out of 5 stars  ★★★★★

Definitely Maybe Yours coverSeattle-based baker Craig Oliver leads a life that is happily routine: baking cupcakes for an enormous family reunion, managing Sucre Coeur for its frequently absent owner, and closing out his day with a pint at the local pub. He has a kind heart, a knack for pastry, and a weakness for damaged people.

Habitual playboy Alex Scheff is looking to drown his sorrows, but instead discovers that he may have a weakness for Englishmen who carry cookies in their pockets. Can a seemingly incompatible pair find the recipe for love in a relationship they claim is casual?

*Le Sigh*

Craig Oliver is amazing. Everything about him is amazing, from his English mannerisms, to his simplistic views, even his ability to bake with alcohol when his heart gets shattered is amazing. I really love this character.

I’ve never read anything by this author before, and it was the black guy on the cover which sold me. It was also the character of Craig. I love that he was an English born and bred and living in the States. I didn’t know what to expect from this. I admit, while reading this, there were some cringe worthy moments on how things were written, point of view changes, and the general tone in the first 40%. Certain things bothered me, I got disappointed. I didn’t like the secondary characters having a point of view in the story. I strictly wanted Craig and Alex. Plus it felt a bit disjointed, and sort of choppy when switching point of views as well. All of those were big no no’s in my book.

But nothing could deter me from the story itself. It’s two guys who did not want to date, just be casual who instead realizes that they are in love but it’s not easy. While Craig is open, honest, and free; Alex is the complete opposite. It’s like pulling teeth with him. The first morning after was difficult.

I loved the meeting of them. I mean who brings out a baked good at a bar? It was completely innocent, original and real sweet moment. I like that my heart fell for Craig at that moment. Being in both of these guys heads was an amazing  experience. Craig was just being with Alex and it was sweet. I can’t get over how good of a character Lissa Reed was able to write, Alex was angsty. He had his reservations but with good cause. Throughout most of the book he did not want to talk of his ex. I kept thinking what happened? Unfortunately he never got to explain to Craig one on one before it blew up in his face. Here’s where I really fell in love. Their breakup. Yes I know it sounds callous, but they each had to realize what happened, how it happened, and what the other means to each other. Jeez that moment where strong Craig finally cracks in front of his friends had me in tears, and then closed off Alex breaks down to a 9 month old Kira and I couldn’t stop crying. It was sweet. Dude, then Craig brought this cute Yorkie name Fitz, by that point I was a total goober, because Craig gave the most beautiful reasons why he loves Alex. I’m giving this 5 stars because I loved Craig and Alex relationship, it wasn’t easy and it’s definitely how a relationship goes. I’m not doing it for the writing, or choppy sentences, or the instant point of view changes. I’m doing it for the romantic in me.  I want to see more of them. Maybe a year down the line, when Alex is Alex again, and is learning to love himself.

 Cover Art by Buckeyegrrl Design. The cover is the reason why I wanted to read it. I think he’s gorgeous, he looks exactly like Craig is described. Maybe a little younger than he’s supposed to be, but I still like it.

Sales Links:  Interlude Press | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Paperback, 296 pages
Expected publication: August 11th 2015 by Interlude Press
ISBN13 9781941530405
edition language English

A Mika Review: Kick At the Darkness by Keira Andrews

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Rating: 5 star out of 5 stars

 

To live through the zombie apocalypse they have to survive each other first.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00067]College freshman Parker Osborne is having the worst day ever. He humiliated himself trying to pick up a cute guy, he hasn’t made any friends at school, and his stupidly hot jerk of a TA gave him a crappy grade on his paper. He’s going to drop Adam Hawkins’ film class and start fresh tomorrow after he’s had a good sulk.

But Parker’s about to find out what a bad day really looks like—if he can survive the night.

A virus is unleashed, transforming infected people into zombie-like killers. After these quick and deadly creepers swarm campus, Parker only escapes thanks to Adam swooping him onto the back of his trusty motorcycle. Now they’re on the run—and stuck with each other.

When they’re not bickering, they’re fighting off the infected in a bloody battle for survival. Their only hope is to head east to Parker’s family, but orphaned Adam has a secret he’s not sure Parker will accept: he’s a werewolf. Can they trust each other enough to find some light in these dark days?

Kick At the Darkness by Keira Andrews surpassed all my expectations. It was really good from beginning to end. No, let me say Parker surpassed all my expectations. Here I thought he was going to be this pretentious idiot but he was not. He was a fighter, and sure, I would have freaked out as well in his shoes. I thought the writing was very good. Loved Parker snarkiness. Can I just give K.Andrews a big ass high 5^ for naming him Parker Osborne, seriously You Rock!!!

Dude, this book helped me if there was ever a zombie apocalypse in the future. Now I know what to do and what not to do. I thought they were fortunate about the things that they were able to do and say. Also great? The pacing of the story. In situations like these, it always seems to me like Marshal law is the first thing that happens so I don’t know if I would be brave enough to leave my house in a situation like this. Unlike Parker.

For me the best part of the book was the FREAKIN DIRTY TALK. Parker, who is 18, is one of the dirtiest boys ever! I enjoyed every second of all the words that came out his mouth. The story was at 85% when Kiera Andrews wrote this scene and I damn near fainted because I can picture that in my mind! I re-read it 3 more times to make sure it said what it said. It wouldn’t be a zombie apocalypse book without some crazy people. Yeah that whole entire Pine resort thing was nice, but I seen crazy coming from a mile away.

I do wish I could have gotten a better ending. I understand it was 10% of Parker finding what he was looking for, but that’s it? We just are going to coast along. Hmmm that was a little disheartening. Overall I really enjoyed this book.

Cover Art by Dar Albert. I thought the cover was fitting considering the situation. I liked just seeing Adam & Parker plus Mariah the faithful motorcycle.

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

Book Details:

265 pages
Published May 28th 2015 by KA Books (first published May 26th 2015)
ISBN139780994092410
edition languageEnglish