A VVivacious Review: Lion’s Mate (Hell’s Creek #1) by Shannon West & T.S. McKinney

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Rating: 3 Stars out of 5
 
Julian finds himself right up Hell’s Creek, literally, when a wrong turn ends up with him right in the middle of Crazytown, USA. He finds himself immediately assaulted by a group of people who keep calling him kitty and keep telling him that the consequences of him ignoring the treaty will be grave indeed. As a last ditch effort Julian runs and finds himself across an imaginary border, only to faint at the sight of a lion headed his way.
 
He wakes up to find himself tied to a bed with a person who calls himself Leo and claims that they are mates. Can Julian escape Hell’s Creek before the craziness catches up to him or will this venture not only lead him on the path to love but also to answers about himself?
 
I am kind of on the fence with this book. I really enjoyed reading the book, but there was always this nagging thought at the back of my mind that I should be enjoying this book more, which I think was because I had really high expectations with this book. I love shifter romances and I love how Shannon West writes shifter romance and though I have never read T.S. McKinney before, I was really excited to read this.
 
The first thing that I found a little unbelievable was how clueless Julian is prior to Leo’s reveal. Up till that point he meets up with a ton of people who call him kitty and have weird ass notions of mates and scents and, treaties and borders. Not only that his first introduction to this oddity is violent enough to leave an impact so how is that not even once does Julian have a what if moment, I mean I would have enjoyed one and it would have made the whole thing a little more natural even if the moment were to be followed up by a vigorous refute of the notion.
 
In the first chapter of this book I stopped reading the book twice but when I did pick it up for the third time I read it till the very end. I don’t exactly know why I would stop reading but I’m pretty sure it was because of the fact that I didn’t particularly like that chapter. I mean the fact that Julian doesn’t understand what the Canis are saying and the Canis don’t believe what Julian is saying, kind of grates on the nerves. Also there is a whole lot of posturing and promises of an ill fate like every TV villain ever but when things actually boil down to action it is over very fast. Also can I just confess here that Canis is a very awkward name, what happened to the good old canine shifters?
 
Also what is up with Chloe, I so don’t believe her explanation that nothing would have happened to Leo, the Canis seemed dead set on raping Julian, and I for one don’t believe that they wouldn’t have gone through with it because then why did he have to run for his life if it was all just for fun. Moreover she knew that Julian was a feline shifter then why didn’t she try to rescue him or help him before he had to run for his life. Because after this incident she was all sugary nice and that left a very venomous after taste in my mouth. Yuck!
 
Apart from these three things the rest of the book is exactly what I like in a shifter romance. There is an amazing romance between Leo and Julian and I loved how it develops. I loved how the authors showed us a little bit of how Julian’s psyche affected their relationship and how he doesn’t believe he can be loved and how Leo has to slowly break down his walls. These two were incredibly hot together.
 
I also liked the plot of this book though everything did feel a little last minute but I am definitely intrigued as to the future of this series.
 
Cover art by E. Keith. I liked the cover. It fit the book and the genre.

Sales Links:  Painted Hearts Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:
ebook
Published May 9th 2017 by Painted Hearts Publishing
Edition Language English

A VVivacious Review: Reckless Seduction (Reckless #1) & Reckless Behavior by Amanda Young

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Rating: 2.5 Stars out of 5
 
Armed with an invite to the hottest party of the year and one hell of a sexy Zorro costume Cody is out to get his cherry popped. What he doesn’t expect is that Dante Santiago of all people would show an interest in him.
 
Cody has a massive crush on Dante, his uncle’s friend, one which he is never been able to get over. Now that Dante is showing an interest in him, Cody can’t help but want more, more than just one night and more than a casual meaningless encounter and more than that, this time Cody is going to make sure Dante knows it.
 
The first thing I want to get out of the way is that this is the second edition of Reckless Seduction and this book also included the bonus follow-up novella to Reckless Seduction that is Reckless Behaviour. So the following review is effectively a review for both Reckless Seduction and Reckless Behaviour.
 
This book made for an okay read for me, primarily because this book is spattered very judiciously with sex scenes and I just wasn’t able to get into those scenes. There were very few scenes that started out hot but most of them lost their flare in the long drawn out description that followed. All the sex scenes in this book are very long and very detailed and in the second part of this book “Reckless Behaviour” they don’t even add much to the story. This is also the reason I found the first novella a bit better than its follow up because the first book has two sex scenes, though I am sure they take up half the length of the novella, but at least they added something to the story. The second part is just three consecutive sex scenes till we finally get to the meat of the issue.
 
I really liked Dante’s character, I loved his integrity. I really liked how at the end of the first novella he tells Beau everything exactly as it is. I for one could really appreciate the courage it took to do what he did. Even in the second novella I couldn’t find fault with Dante’s character I really felt that his actions and feelings were all very human. Dante’s character is an amazing one and to some extent I think the story isn’t able to do him justice.
 
Cody was an okay character. I didn’t think one way or the other about him until that very stupid thing he does in the second novella. He jumps to a conclusion on the drop of an hat, in an instant he is ready to believe everything everybody else says about Dante and what was actually worse was the fact that he didn’t even have the decency to give Dante a chance to explain. This fact really irked me about Cody’s character.
 
I liked the story as it was though if some of the sex scenes could be deleted it would be a bonus or at least trimmed, as it stands now even if the scene is interesting in the beginning by the time it ends you’re just exhausted with having read every minute detail till the activity is only pleasurable for the characters and excruciatingly boring for you, especially in the second novella.
 
The second novella has a blurb that tells you everything you need to know about Cody in the first half of the book and then the moment you read the first page of the novella you know everything there is to know about Dante in the first half and then it is just a sequence of one mind numbing sex scene after the other till finally at about the halfway point the story finally progresses to a point beyond that mentioned in the blurb.
 
Overall it was an okay read but this book does have a big plus point in Dante.
 
Cover Art by Kaylea Ehm. I liked the cover for the book.
Sales Link:  Amazon
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 132 pages
Published May 3rd 2017 (first published October 28th 2008)
Original TitleReckless Seduction
ASINB072DVN24Y
SeriesReckless #1
CharactersCody Bradbury, Dante Santiago settingVirginia (United States)

A VVivacious Release Day Review: Trust Trade (Gem City Grit #1) by Ki Brightly

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Rating: 2 Stars out of 5
 
trust-tradeJeb Birchman has been a kept man for Nolan Whitmoore for almost four years. He has gotten used to Nolan and cherishes the time he gets to spend with Nolan’s son Max. But after four years Jeb has become a bit too old for Nolan’s tastes and for the first time in a long time Jeb doesn’t need to sell his body to live.
 
Freddy Williams is a guy who is basically a gym freak, he is very into fitness and health. One day at a bookstore he comes across a beautiful guy who he can’t keep his eyes off. That man is Jeb Birchman and Freddy has no idea what he is getting into.
 
Once Jeb’s sordid past is out on the table will these two make it is a couple or buckle under the pressure.
 
I read the first 20% or so and I didn’t find the book interesting at all. In fact truthfully if this wasn’t a review copy I would have just not finished this book but I had to and I basically waited till the very last moment to read it too. Having said that the book does become better but don’t take the book’s blurb at face value. This book starts off as a college romance and it goes places I never expected it to go, for one I had no idea that this story was inclined to go in such a direction and the fact it did should have surprised me but by the point I understood where this book was going I was just not that invested in the storyline.
 
I feel that when an author starts writing a book they make so many decisions about how exactly to write that particular book but if the book is well-written their decisions never trouble the reader but in this particular book I’m having a hard time reconciling the need for dual POVs (that of Freddy and Jeb). Firstly, because in the beginning of this book these two people are living in two different worlds, Freddy is looking for a relationship and all he can think about is well, sex and getting to know Jeb, meanwhile Jeb is a mess who keeps debating with himself when he should tell Freddy the truth about his life and what will happen them. These two people are definitely not on the same page and personally it’s distressing as a reader to reconcile these two POVs which are normal in their own rights but together make me wonder how these two can work things out. Even later on in the story there are instances that make me feel that these two guys are just so off balance in regards with each other. Secondly the fact is that the author doesn’t do much with Freddy’s storyline. His life is moulded to fit around the main storyline which is Jeb’s story. I never got the feeling that Freddy was living his life or was important in his own right. He just felt like a puppet in Jeb’s story. Thirdly because no matter how you slice it this is Jeb’s story the last chapter which is Chapter 32 has a scene where Freddy goes to reconcile with his Dad that was the only scene I actually wanted to be from Freddy’s perspective but it isn’t which highlights the fact that even the author chose to give a greater importance to Jeb’s side of the story. And that’s why for the love of God I can’t figure out why this book wasn’t just from Jeb’s POV alone.
 
There is a fourth reason but it isn’t as logical as the ones above and more on emotional and personal lines and that is the fact that I just didn’t like Freddy’s character. I got the impression from the blurb that Freddy was going to be a good guy but that wasn’t the case he was a regular guy but the fact that I was expecting him to be great means he started off with a disadvantage and then just kept adding negatives to it. Freddy’s anger issues came across as pathological. He accidentally hits a guy because he thinks he is someone else but instead the guy he hits is the guy he loves but instead of apologizing on the spot, he kind of made it sound like it was the other guy’s fault. On top of that he is forgiven way too easily which might be in character for Jeb but the fact that he forgave himself so easily to actually argue about it with Max just didn’t sit right. Also what do you do when you have a bad guy unconscious on the floor and your lover is bleeding, call 911 I hope, but not if you are Freddy Williams and what made it worse was that it was a teenager who had to keep himself together to call for help. Lastly the fact that almost any small touch or look from Jeb would have his cock stand up and take notice was very annoying and believe me this fact is repeated a lot of times in this book (my guess is at least 50).
 
And the unofficial fifth reason is that this book is way too long and without Freddy’s perspective it would be half its length which was an estimated 372 pages as per my reader. This book didn’t need to be so long it really didn’t, this story would have been much, much more better if it was 250 or so pages or maybe even lesser and if nothing this story would have been infinitely more interesting if it was faster paced these leaps of time between chapters just about killed the book for me.
 
The most descriptive scenes are the sex scenes and the scene at the end of this book. I wished other things were as detailed especially with regards to Freddy’s life. Freddy and Jeb have great chemistry so the sex was hot but after a while it got repetitive because you definitely need something to fill up 372 pages.
 
Also two things I would have liked elaboration on were Jeb’s deafness and his aversion to blood both of which seem to be mentioned only when it seemed convenient.
 
Besides all of the above the rest of the story makes for an okay read. I liked the emphasis on sign language and the fact that it isn’t English.
 
Cover Art by Bree Archer. I liked the cover for this book.
Sales Links
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Book Details:
ebook, 340 pages
Published January 27th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1635332427 (ISBN13: 9781635332421)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesGem City Grit #1

A VVivacious Release Day Review: Spell Fall (The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge #4) by Jacob Z. Flores

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Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
 
spell-fall-by-jacob-z-floresAs the protector covens gear up to fight the latest threat to the Gate, the Blackmoors are receiving the silent treatment from the Conclave. In a bid to find answers they devise a strategy that completely backfires.
 
Meanwhile Drake is having nightmares where the villain is none other than Mason. As Drake works to find out the meaning behind his dreams, he is confronted with an age old truth about himself, his family and the spell bond he shares with Mason.
 
My Thoughts on Spell Fall
 
What I am coming to love about this series is the action scenes, the scenes where we get answers to a few questions only to be riddled with many new ones.
 
I love it when something is happening in this book, because it is awesome to see everyone work together to figure out how to defeat the big bad.
 
This book has a lot of my old favourites. This book is told from Drake’s perspective and it was so awesome being back in his and Mason’s life as they navigate the perils of their magical life. Especially Drake as he is faced with some pretty impossible situations in this book but it was also really nice to finally have some background on Drake and his life. Also, we finally find out about his immunity to magic.
 
My one problem with this book was that Drake’s immunity to magic isn’t consistent throughout the book while in the previous books Drake has been singularly immune to all types of magic, in this book we see him get transported by the Conclave, and his dreams infiltrated not only when he is sleeping but even when he is wide awake. This leaves me a little confused as to if magic can affect Drake in some small way if he is unaware or not expecting it or maybe not actively fighting and if yes then what are the limits to that influence. Also the amount of power needed to cast a spell on him isn’t consistent initially the Conclave can transport him and then Icarian can work dream magic on him and then he needs two crests to wrest control over Drake. It would be nice if we could for once and for all quantify Drake’s immunity in some relatable terms instead of having it vary constantly across the board.
 
I have always loved Mason and Drake, and it was nice getting another story focused on them but I, also kind of, missed being in Mason’s head. I really wish that in the subsequent books we can get at least one book told from his perspective and see his powers grow. Another thing I really want the answer to is – Who is the strongest Blackmoor brother? Just tell us already because I’m infinitely curious.
 
Also as usual I love the entire dysfunctional extended family. The scenes which have all the Proctors, the Stonewalls and the Blackmoors together are some of the most important scenes in this series and they are always so special. Personally when all the three families are fighting together, it is beyond epic. I also love their interactions with each other and how they help each other, especially the kids.
 
This book raises a lot more questions and I’m excited to see what happens in the next book and to know if any of my speculations come true.
 
Cover Art by Paul Richmond. I loved the cover. The guy on the cover is a take on Drake Carpenter and he shares a startling resemblance with the Drake in my head, so that was an added bonus.
Sales Links
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Book Details:
ebook, 200 pages
Expected publication: January 27th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1635332168 (ISBN13: 9781635332162)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge #4

A VVivacious Review: Delayed Gratification (Daniel and Ryan #1) by Tamryn Eradani

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Rating – 5 Stars out of 5
 
delayed-gratificationDaniel Brown is being tempted every day with a glazed donut on his desk. When he realises that the new Director of Marketing, the one with the two first names, Ryan Cole is the guy putting the donuts on his desk, he realises what the donuts actually stand for. The only question remaining is if, Daniel is ready to take Ryan up on his not so innocent offer?
 
Daniel Brown is a man of routine. Indeed. Daniel is incredibly prim and proper, his body is in shape; he eats super healthy and denies himself all temptations all week long only to reward himself at the end of the week. He is quirky, borderline-OCD but Oh My God! He was just so prim and proper, I wanted to mess him up! But some of his quirks had me empathizing so much, like the fact that he only went around the left side of his secretary’s desk because that way it was two seconds faster and the way he liked being the first one in his office so that he could soak up the quiet. I mean I was in the story the moment we got to meet Daniel.
 
This book is very well written, like amazingly so. I loved the precise sentences that just cut away all the frills and get to the point. This book is all from Daniel’s point of view but I loved how the author despite being limited by Daniel’s worldview still manages to give us a such a holistic view of Ryan because Oh My God! Ryan.
 
I was amazed my Ryan he is like so relaxed and calm and not exactly laid-back but kind of like at peace with himself and personally I was wondering how that would translate to his Dominant side but my! Oh My! I was not at all disappointed. It was the most amazing transformation because it wasn’t one means I was finding it hard to reconcile these two aspects of Ryan’s character but the author had it spot on. He was not only a relaxed, calm, at peace with himself kind of guy he was also a Dom, it was just that simple.
 
The actual scene actually took my breath away because it was so simple and in a way it was all in Daniel’s head. But somehow that entire scene just put everything into perspective.
 
I honest to God screamed when this book ended because it is really short, like a short-story short but despite being so short it has this wealth of words that impart so much meaning and I am going to ignore the fact that this got over so soon because I know there is a sequel and I just can’t wait to get my greedy hands on it.
 
Cover Art by Natasha Snow. It is an amazing cover! I loved the dark colours and their dark overtones, it looks amazing and perfectly fits the story.
Sales Links
c60a7-waxcreative-amazon-kindle
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 43 pages
Expected publication: January 16th 2017 by NineStar Press
ASINB01MS1XD9D
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesDaniel and Ryan #1

A VVivacious 2 Review in 1: Dare To (Dare #1) by A.K.M. Miles +Dare’s Christmas Gift (Dare #2) by A.K.M. Miles – Bonus short story

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dare-to-dare-1-by-a-k-m-milesDare To by A.K.M. Miles
Rating – 3.5 Stars out of 5
 
Dare works as a youth counsellor, a vocation he is very passionate about. He and Ryan meet at a time of loss for both of them but they are unable to deny their intense chemistry. But just as Dare is finding his footing in his life with Ryan and Ryan’s nephew JC, he ends up as front page news for a heroic act of his which also ends up outing him as gay. What follows is an upheaval in his professional life that tests the bonds between Ryan and Dare.
 
I believe this story would have been so much better if just a few details were tinkered with till they were perfect.
 
It is a slice-of-life fiction, so basically a lot of things happen but the events don’t culminate into a climax, it’s just life as usual. At a few, very few, times I was hesitant at believing that such calamities would befall one person in such a short span of time but I have made peace with that aspect of this story. Overall the plot and the story make for a fairly interesting read.
 
There are a lot of side characters in this one but having read the story in its entirety I don’t feel like I know these characters well enough like Melanie, Jackie, Brandon, Linc and JC. I particularly felt this lack of development for JC’s character because no matter how you slice it he was always going to be a big part of Ryan and Dare’s life together and I would have loved more scenes with the trio of Ryan, Dare and JC. While we are on the topic of side characters, I would like to mention Ben Tyler who had just such an amazing personality.
 
This book is entirely from Dare’s perspective which kind of made the story very one-sided almost everything that happens, happens in Dare’s life it’s about his problems, his troubles and in the bargain we miss out on a lot of backstory on Ryan and his life and his friends.
 
The single most amazing thing about this book that pretty much carried this book for me was Ryan and Dare and their chemistry. It was sizzling hot. It really has me believing that if Ryan and Dare were real people they would be perfect for each other because oh my God! It was actually unbelievable how well these two characters played off of each other.
 
Personally this book is an interesting read with an awesome couple and it holds a lot of potential to be better.
Dare’s Christmas Gift by A.K.M. Miles
Rating – 3.75 to 4 Stars out of 5
 
Dare and Ryan are ready to celebrate their first Christmas together. But things get complicated when both JC and Brandon report spotting the mean guy. Now Christmas feels like a minefield for Dare, Ryan and Jackie to traverse, keeping the boys safety and happiness in mind at all times.
 
First of all I must confess that this story would have read much better if I wasn’t reading it right at the end of “Dare To” and that is reason for my variable rating. I feel like I didn’t enjoy it as much because I had just met these characters and I already knew their story and in some ways this felt like a rehash of “Dare To” but I’m pretty sure I would have liked it much better had there been a gap.
 
Okay so the ‘mean guy’ turns out to be Mitch not Phil and don’t worry this isn’t much of a spoiler because apparently all the characters knew who ‘mean guy’ referred to. I don’t know why I was expecting Phil, maybe because Dare To was very Dare-centric and I kind of thought this story would be too but in hindsight how would the kids know about Phil, that truly doesn’t seem like information to share with kids.
 
Okay yeah so the whole Mitch – thing felt like a rehash, I kept getting the ‘been there, done that’ feeling all throughout that story-line playing out and I was kind of expecting a sweet-Christmas story not a catch-the-bad-guy story. So yeah that was a bit repetitive.
 
But there are a lot of things to like about “Dare’s Christmas Gift” with the first thing being Dare’s Christmas Gift. It was truly inspired and I loved the gift so much and it just proved to me that Dare and Ryan were going to go long-term. I mean seriously I couldn’t wait for Ryan to see it.
 
Also this story has Ryan’s and JC’s perspectives the lack of which I felt very acutely in “Dare To”, so I loved their POVs and I loved that we got to spend time in their heads. Ditto scenes between Ryan, Dare and JC, we got a nice sweet helping of those too.
 
It was a great short story, I loved how we got to meet everyone and I am positive I would have enjoyed this story a lot more had I been reading it after a little break between reading “Dare To” and reading this. So everyone who loved the book be sure to pick up this short because “Dare’s Christmas Gift” is truly inspired, literally.
 
Cover Art by Kris Jacen. I love the cover with its background of blue at the top and the snowflakes at the bottom and how they transform from one into the other. Also I loved Dare’s expression on the cover; it feels very Dare-ish and like something he would actually do.
Sales Links
Book Details:
Kindle Edition
Published December 16th 2016 by MLR Press (first published July 1st 2008)
Original TitleDare To
ASINB01N9IS02Z
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesDare #1
CharactersDare Wilson, Ryan Spencer
Bonus story included 

 

 

A VVivacious Review: Serendipity Box Set by Liam Livings-Serendipity Series by Liam Livings

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Rating – 2 Stars out of 5

 

serendity-box-setThese three stories follow David and Christian’s relationship over the course of one year, from their serendipitous meeting to the challenges they face while getting to know each other.

As David and Christian grow closer, they have to work together to change Christian’s parents’ views on their relationship. As things get worse, it seems like Christian is making up his own fake version of their relationship in order to please his parents and when David breaks his ankle, things come to a head as Christian’s brand of love gets to be too oppressive. In the face of such overwhelming problems will these two make it?

 

Christmas Serendipity – 1.5 Stars

This story is haunted by the ghost of exes past. This story is divided into five chapters and in all of them our narrator “David” manages to squeeze in references of him. Now him has no name as far as this story goes, maybe he will actually be mentioned by name in the next two stories, a fact of truly questionable importance but in this story he managed quite successfully to subvert the romance. Personally I question the author’s intentions of creating this unknown big bad ex, the fact that we don’t know his name has created an unwanted mystery around this character and frankly having his pronoun dragged through every aspect of this story truly spoiled the story for me.

 

Leaving the ex aside (God knows why because the story never managed too), I didn’t quite like David’s character. He seemed very uncertain and came across as calculating, even though it felt unintentional. This may have been the result of the leftover trauma from his douche of an ex but there is only a point till you can justify a person’s behaviour as being a result of circumstances and for me David crossed that point.

 

The things I liked in this story would have to include Christian. He was such a sweetheart and I really felt bad for him being at outs with his parents regarding his coming-out and I actually sympathized with his feelings of being left out.

 

Christian & David have potential. They can be an amazing couple however this particular story just teased at that potential. The weird part is that instead of having a continuous development the author kind of first went hot and heavy and then slow and steady, something which was confusing to me because when they went from hot to slow, it felt like things became less intense and emotional.

 

Serendipity Develops – 2.5 Stars

This one is definitely more interesting than Christmas Serendipity. But I doubt anybody could have foreseen this series of events. This story has a decidedly darker tone than the previous ones because as it turns out Christian has some pretty serious psychological problems and he almost ends up smothering David with his love.

 

Serendipity Develops deals with Christian’s attempts for reconciliation with his parents and how his attempts to make David and him appear like a straight couple take a turn for the worse and Christian kind of suffers from a mental breakdown.

 

This story is very invested in its plot line because as stated above a lot is happening. Christian tries to bend over backwards trying to accommodate his parents while David’s reluctance seems to hinder his relationship with Christian’s parents. Personally I wouldn’t have minded David’s reluctance as much as I did because Christian’s parents were definitely not very welcoming themselves but David’s reluctance seemed to carry within itself a grain of indifference, like he couldn’t understand why Christian wanted his parents to be a part of his life. This would have been a perfect time to get a look at David’s own family situation to maybe make us better understand David as a character and his response to this particular situation but there was nothing of that sort done here.

 

I liked David better he seemed less unsure and more assured despite circumstances. I feel for Christian and I wish we could get his perspective especially regarding his parents and his illness. As a couple Christian and David seem to have survived the storm that I don’t think many new relationships could have survived but I can’t quite decipher what their relationship is made of.

 

Also, I loved Tony in this book. He was a much needed breath of fresh air.

 

This story is better than the first but personally I think that there were a lot of things that were started in this book that could do with more exploration and explanation and I am hoping the last one can bring that closure.

 

The Next Christmas – 3 Stars

This story tells the story of the Christmas that David and Christian spend at Christian’s parents’ house. This story is the best of the three probably because Christian and David are more settled in this story, more sure of themselves and each other.

 

I liked David’s journey throughout this story, of how he is reluctant to go to Christian’s parents’ house because he fears a hard time, how he convinces himself that not going will be better and how he eventually catapults and decides to go. Also this was kind of symbolic of how far David and Christian’s relationship had come.

 

I liked how the book dealt with the issue of Christian’s dad, Peter, not being accepting of their relationship and how he doesn’t understand it. I liked how he eventually does come around and how David, Christian and Gloria (Christian’s mother) work together to bring Peter around. On the other hand it felt too easy and it wasn’t very satisfying. I thought with the way things were progressing it would take more time.

 

Also there was no mention of Christian’s mental breakdown in the previous book and what I didn’t like was that there was no discussion about how it could possibly affect their relationship.

 

Overall these three stories make for an okay read.

 

Cover Art by Written Ink Designs. I liked the cover.

Sales Links

Serendipity Box Set: Amazon US | Amazon UK | AllRomance

Box Set Details:

Kindle Edition, 161 pages
Published May 25th 2016 by JMS Books LLC
ASINB01G7TAN54
Edition LanguageEnglish

A VVivacious Review: Before Lovers by Wayne Mansfield

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Rating: 3.75 Stars out of 5
 

before-loversCalvin is convinced that he has met Paul before and for the first time in his life he seems to be attracted to a man. As Paul and Calvin start to explore this rather unusual occurrence they discover a genuine love for each other. 

 
But everything isn’t right, because every time Paul and Calvin have sex Paul seems to get flashbacks that feel vividly like memories.
 
This story is a paranormal romance. I liked the story’s plot and it was a quick and interesting read.
 
The best part of this book was its plot, how Calvin and Paul meet and how their relationship develops, and gets complicated by these flashbacks that Paul has, and how they resolve the issue is very interesting. The plot of this book while simple was also very intriguing and it made for a good read.
 
I liked the characters in this book especially Linda and Rick. Linda is a hopelessly pessimistic person but her dry take on the world was actually quite amusing and entertaining meanwhile Rick is a big brawny man who loves to cross dress. In fact Linda and Rick while not the focus of this story left quite an impression with their unique personalities. Paradoxically at the end of this story I feel that I had a better grasp on Linda and Rick then Calvin and Paul, even though Paul is the narrator of this story.
 
In regards to Calvin I think that there were a lot of things that we could have explored about his character that we didn’t probably because the book was from Paul’s POV and there were way weirder things happening to Paul. But I would have loved to know his opinion on this newly discovered aspect of his sexuality and how it was affected by the revelations in the end.
 
What I didn’t like about this book was its lack of detail to the extent that I was actually making up my own sentences in between transitions. This is especially true in the beginning of the book. Towards the end this is less obvious but this lack of detail made for some stilted transitions.
 
Also the scene which settles the conflict of this book could have done with better descriptions. I feel like the scene is good as it is but could have been better and more impactful if it was written from another perspective because right now even though it is written from Paul’s perspective it seems to be written solely for the benefit of a third party and is narrated completely devoid of any emotions on Paul’s part. On the whole if the author still wanted to keep the tone of the scene as it is it would have been better if a third person like Calvin was describing it so that we could better understand the implications of this scene.
 
Overall this book is a light, quirky and quick read that is very enjoyable and interesting.
 
Cover Art by Written Ink Designs. I like the cover with its bright and vibrant colours.
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Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 66 pages
Published October 15th 2016
ASINB01LYNEO21
Edition LanguageEnglish

A VVivacious Review: My Bare Naked Heart by David Avery

Standard
Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
 
my-bare-naked-heartThe year is 1957 and John Branson has entered a whole new world as he gets admitted to Inverness College in Vermont. His first year at Inverness is a roller-coaster ride that brings with it friendship, first love, sexual exploration, betrayal, heart break and lots more.  In a time when being homosexual was illegal, he struggles with his feelings towards men. Despite his apprehension he ends up making life-long friendships and ushering in an era of his life where all his hidden desires are for once and for all confronted.
 
This book is written in an autobiographical style and chronicles the first year in college of our MC, John Branson. What I liked about this autobiographical style was that when John talked about a particular person, he gave his entire perspective on that person that he had formed over the course of his life instead of being limited to the present, so it was like you had a little glimpse into the future and a more solid grasp of the person’s character. What kind of freaked me out was that sometimes in his glimpses of the future he sounded like an old man and I realized that John, if alive today would have been my grandfather’s age and that kind of freaked me out a little and also in a roundabout way put into perspective the time period we were dealing with.
 
This book is a literal cock-fest, John has six friends, Anthony, Howell (aka Howl), Ted (aka Sasquatch), Daniel (aka Wonder Bread), Freddy and Eddie (aka Shorty), and all of them are introduced with descriptions of their cocks. I have never in my life read such detailed descriptions of cocks and I actually studied Anatomy, so yeah that helped get me into John’s frame of mind of a horny teenager fascinated by cocks.
 
It takes time for the book to get interesting but once it managed to capture my imagination, I really liked it. This book at its heart is about John’s experience with his sexuality, his journey as he comes to terms with himself and kind of assimilates what he feels with how everybody else feels about it.
 
This book has a richness of characters. There is Anthony and his unfailing loyalty and his monster cock. There is Daniel who is a little uptight but he really comes through when John needs him to and Shorty who was this amazing person. I really liked him. I had the same revelation about him as John does and I kind of hate the fact that we know exactly how his future turns out to be. Then there was Dusty, Dusty was so amazing but in a way I kind of regretted the fact that we never got to see him in the same light as John views his friends, because John puts Dusty on a pedestal, his descriptions of him appear tinted.
 
My only issue with this book is a (spoiler, so read ahead at your own peril or just skip this paragraph) the infidelity. The fact that it happens on two separate occasions doesn’t help matters. What my major issue with it was not that it would happen, but that I personally didn’t get how he could think about Dusty as he did and still manage to hurt him twice. I mean once I can attribute to his ineptitude in relationships but the second time just felt wrong. Also I couldn’t reconcile John’s personality with this little titbit.
 
I liked how this story evolves and I loved the ending, even though I am half crazed trying to figure out what all, that last sentence could have possibly meant.
 
Cover Art. I really liked the cover especially the likeness of Inverness College.
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Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 326 pages
Published October 14th 2016 by Walt Whitman Press
ASINB01L2Q0S1G
Edition LanguageEnglish

A VVivacious Review: The Alpha’s Revenge by Shane Keleher

Standard
 
Rating: 2.5 Stars out of 5

the-alphas-revengeJustin meets Parker one night in a bar and is instantly intrigued. Little does Justin know that that night marks the end of normalcy for him, for come tomorrow he will faced by the fact that werewolves are real and he is one of them.
 
Parker’s family is a family of hunters so he knows that the thing that attacked Justin is actually a werewolf but he finds it hard to tell Justin the truth because Justin is turning out to be more than a one night stand for him.
 
This is the first romance book I have ever read that would have been much better for me had it had less romance and more focus on the story. In hindsight this story would have worked out better if it didn’t have the romance tag attached to it because I personally could not get behind Justin and Parker. They seemed forced, it was almost as if you could feel the presence of a third entity directing the events in this story.
 
This story has two journeys one is the journey of Parker and Justin and the other is Justin’s journey as a werewolf.
 
I loved Justin’s character and I really liked how he handles the rapidly changing status quo of his life, as much of the story is from Justin’s point of view you really get to dig deep into his character. Also since you are mostly in Justin’s head it makes the werewolf aspects of this story much more interesting. The story of Justin being turned into a werewolf and how he comes to terms with his new identity is the best part of this book and I loved it.
 
In most werewolf romances that I have read werewolves are not the traditional monsters they are considered to be. So for me reading a story in which werewolves are monsters was a change and I liked how the author handled that facet of this book. Also I loved werewolf Branson, I was really impressed with his character and he was one character I wanted to know more about, also I loved the interactions between Justin and Branson. They shared an interesting dynamic that I would have loved to see explored more.
 
I didn’t really like the couple of Justin and Parker as it never made much sense to me. Their initial attraction seemed forced and the fact that I found the sex scenes in this book extremely boring didn’t help matters afterwards. I don’t know what it was about the sex scenes in this book but they just seemed so dry, they read like a laundry list of steps to be followed during the course of sex. So yeah for me this couple just didn’t work.
 
Also the fact that we only get Parker’s POV a few times in the beginning made me feel a little distanced from his character. Since the story actually involves both of Parker’s older brothers’, Colin and Max, as well the fact that we don’t get to see their relationship from Parker’s POV kind of hinders the story. I for one really wanted to understand his relationship with his brothers better because that particular aspect of this story is like a bag of worms just threatening the well-being of this story.
 
Overall I feel this book would have worked out better as an adventure-verging-on-a-thriller story then it did as the romance it was forced to be.
 
Cover Art by Ginny Glass. I liked the cover, it sets the tone for the book quite well.
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Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 181 pages
Published September 8th 2016 by Loose Id LLC (first published February 2nd 2014)
ASINB01LVZXHB8
Edition LanguageEnglish