An Ali Review : The Other Book by Roe Horvat

Rating:4 out of 5 stars

It was supposed to be just sex… Famous last words.

Tyler doesn’t overthink pleasure and avoids complications. He knows it might be stupid to get involved with his closeted boss, but the temptation is too great. At first, the cold and beautiful Joel Sandstrom seems to loathe Tyler’s guts.

Except one late night at the office, his reasons become clear…and his control breaks.

Every time they touch, Joel’s stony face comes alive, harsh lines smooth out, and for a minute, he looks serene. Happy, even. Just sex – dirty, intense, spectacular sex.

During their covert encounters, Tyler discovers the power he has over the lonesome man, and it’s a heady feeling. What if he could set Joel free and give him peace of mind? When Tyler realizes how much Joel needs him, he doesn’t regret breaking his own rules.

Holy cold showers Batman, this book was scorching hot!!
This was a seriously hot, erotic story about two guys who work together and can’t stand each other.  They also can’t stop having kinky sex with each other.  As the story goes on they admit their feelings and they decide to try a relationship that includes more than sex.
There is a story about Joel’s controlling and abusive father as well as Tyler helping Joel experience parts of his sexuality he has not been open to in the past because he’s closeted (daddy issues).  The plot was pretty good and held its own with the sex scenes.  There were a lot of sex scenes though.  Way more than half the book.  Which is not a complaint, just the reason I would categorize this as erotica. Really well written erotica.
I haven’t read this author yet so I had no idea what the writing would be like.  I picked up from other reviewers that this is outside the other’s norm but I am intrigued enough to try some of his other stuff.
Cover:  The cover is just average in my opinion.  It is not bad but it does not stand out from many other books.
Buy Links: Amazon USAmazon UK Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
Book Details:
Published January 30th 2019 by Beaten Track Publishing
Original TitleThe Other Book
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Ali Release Day Review: The Englor Affair (The Sci-Regency Series #2) by J.L. Langley

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Anxious to escape the confines of Regelence society, if only for a little while, Prince Payton Townsend poses as an admiral’s aide to further investigate a dangerous conspiracy. Payton plans only to use his computer skills to help navigate the tangled web of mystery and deceit on planet Englor, then return home, but he finds himself drawn to the charismatic Colonel Simon Hollister.

Simon, however, is no mere soldier—he is heir to the throne of Englor, and his life is meticulously planned to include a bride and heir. Unlike Regelence, the Regency society on Englor disapproves of same-sex relationships, and Payton and Simon’s attraction plays out in a daring secret affair, one Simon never expected would grow into love.

Risking scandal and certain ruin if they are discovered, Payton and Simon uncover more about a common enemy and a deadly plot that imperils both their worlds. But in this game of interplanetary intrigue, love might be the ultimate casualty….

I really love this series.  I had read them years ago when they first came out but jumped at the chance to re-read the new releases.  I always worry about in doing re-reads that the book may not stand the test of time.  That maybe my tastes have changed too much.  I’m happy to report this book was just as good the second time around.
I love the world this author has created.  It’s still one of the most unique I’ve read.  This takes place on Englor rather than Regelence as book one did.  The author does very good world building without overwhelming the reader with data dumps.  I could picture it all clearly in my mind and it felt very much like historical London.
These two are my favorite couple in the series.  They are a great mix and they compliment each other.  Simon and Payton have some really tender and sweet scenes with each other.  I was rooting for them the entire time.  I especially loved how things ended with them.
I’m hoping these new releases and new covers mean that the author is going to write more in this series and we can see what happens to the other Townsend boys.
This cover was done by Tiferet Design and I love it.  I think it is gorgeous and it perfectly fits the main character’s descriptions.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 2nd edition, 254 pages
Expected publication: August 28th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published November 2008)
Original TitleThe Englor Affair
ISBN 1640806881 (ISBN13: 9781640806887)
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Sci-Regency #2
Characters Simon Hollister, Payton Townsend settingEnglor, 4830

An Ali Review: ​​​​Oskar Blows a Gasket​ by Al Stewart​

 Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Oskar Braithwaite is bold, brash and gorgeous. Just ask him.

Armed with designer backpack full of make-up and retro music galore, Oskar sets off for college. And, with attitude even spikier than his heels, nothing is going to hold him back. Except maybe one thing…his past is shouting louder than the 80s songs he adores and it won’t be ignored. Behind the effervescence are secrets, lies and sadness. Try as he might, not even Oskar can hide forever, and one day it isn’t only pop icon Simon Le Bon who’s going to catch up.

Who is writing letters? And why is a spy secretly following?

Enter Bear, with dancing eyes and secrets of his own. Bear’s kindness sparkles brighter than Lycra leggings, and everyone knows Oskar loves shiny things. Like every prophecy, their fates seem inevitably linked. As the walls of Oskar’s defence crumble, Bear shows his hidden strength, but will it be enough to save them?

Find out in this far-out, zany tale of fame, first love and retro DJs.

This story  is about two very different young men who meet on a train. Oskar is brash and attention seeking.  Bear is quiet and wants people to like him.
Oskar is a handful and Bear is not really sure how to deal with him at first. It seems that Oskar has everything under control until Bear comes across an incident that makes him realize Oskar is trying to hide major parts of himself.  Over the course of the story the two young men get to know each other and know each other’s secrets.
This story is part coming of age, part love story and all unique.  I always enjoy this author duo’s work and this story was no exception.  It was entertaining from beginning to end. You never know what you’re going to get when you try one of their books and I love that so much.
I thought this was an excellent read and I highly recommend it.
Cover:  I think the cover is alright.  I don’t dislike it but it doesn’t stand out to me either.
Book Details:
Expected publication: March 30th 2018 by Beaten Track Publishing
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Ali Review: Closer by F.E. Feeley Jr.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Maplewood, Vermont is a picturesque town filled with unique shops, unique homes, and a quaint familiarity all centered around a lake with an unusual history.

Legends, old as well as Urban, float around like the mist that hovers above the lake at break of dawn.

But they’re just stories, right?

Hayden Moore’s life was destroyed when his husband, Malcolm, was murdered. Giving up his job as an assistant district attorney in Boston, Hayden moved to the little burg of Maplewood to recover.

A new life.

A fresh start.

However, something underneath the water is stirring. Something rotten. A deadly secret wakes underneath the black waters of Lake Veronica so disturbing it haunts the nightmares of the local residents.

It’s coming closer…
I recently toured The Stanley hotel (from Stephen King’s the Shining) and it was so creepy and filled with awesome ghost stories.  So I came home just itching to read spooky, scary tales and I’m happy to say this one fit the bill.  I was just a few pages into it before I was pondering whether I should be reading with the lights off or not.
Hayden is looking for a fresh start after the death of his husband.  He’s hoping for a quiet and peaceful life.  Unfortunately for him the idyllic town is far from peaceful.  Hayden meets Tommy and the two of them, as well as a small band of characters, begin trying to figure what is going on in their town and around the lake.
It’s a bit hard to talk about this book without spoilers.  This is a paranormal mystery and I think it could be considered a horror story as well.  It also focuses on the characters relationships with each other, both as friendships and as romances.
The author has a unique writing style and it fits well with the overall plot.  I’ve read other books by this author and this one seemed to be written a bit differently.  Maybe that was due to how the point of view was handled.  (or it could be because I’m remembering wrong).
I really enjoyed this and I thought it was super unique.  I’m always looking for stuff that’s different and I thought this fit the bill well.  It was a story I would definitely recommend.
Cover:  I absolutely love the cover.  I think it does a fantastic job setting the mood and overall feel for this book.
Book Details:
ebook, 380 pages
Published March 1st 2018 by Beaten Track Publishing
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Ali Advent Release Day Review: An Unexpected Sanctuary (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by Cassie Decker

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
An aggressive super-flu pandemic wipes out a majority of the population over the course of one Christmas holiday—and brings Tobin and Kyle together. For almost a year, they’ve been trekking across the country from Colorado toward a sanctuary in upstate New York. Kyle’s survival skills have kept them alive, and Tobin wants to repay the man he loves with a very special gift of his own making. He sneaks off in search of the last few pieces… only to get himself and Kyle kidnapped by a desperate stranger. With their journey to New York on hold—possibly indefinitely—they’ll need to accept that home isn’t always defined by a place as much as the person you’re with. 
This was one of my favorite stories in the Dreamspinner Advent anthology this year.  It was my first time reading this author so I had no idea what to expect.  The story starts with Tobin and Kyle coming into a small town as they try to find some shelter from the cold weather.  Kyle is focused on finding them a safe house and Tobin is distracted by his desire to finish a gift for Kyle.  Neither realize that while they’re focused on these things, someone is watching them.  
There was just the right amount of tension at the beginning.  It’s an apocalypse story so I definitely want to be a bit on the edge of my seat whether it’s Christmas time or not.  The author provided that as well as a story that also ends up having a touching and sweet aspect to the romance.  I liked both of the MC’s and the world the author created.  I actually would have happily read a story about these two’s relationship prior to this story.
There is nothing scary or gory in this so it’s fine for those of you who don’t do typically do apocalypse type books.  The main focus is the romance and the holiday.  
Cover by Paul Richmond:  The cover to this was the standard one of the Advent book and it was done by Paul Richmond.  I thought it was well done and fits the holiday spirit.  Since it is the generic one for the entire anthology it did not fit this story specifically
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 33 pages
Published December 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Ali Review: Merry & Bright by Joanna Chambers

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Three seasonal love stories from Joanna Chambers


Quin Flint is unimpressed when his gorgeous colleague, Rob Paget, asks for extra time off at Christmas. As far as Quin is concerned, Christmas is a giant waste of time. Quin’s on the fast track to partnership, and the season of goodwill is just getting in the way of his next big project. But when Quin’s boss, Marley, confiscates his phone and makes him take an unscheduled day off, Quin finds himself being forced to confront his regrets, past and present, and think about the sort of future he really wants…and who he wants it with.
Mr Perfect’s Christmas

Sam Warren’s new job hasn’t been going so well so the last thing he’s in the mood for is the obligatory office Christmas party, particularly since Nick Foster’s going to be there. Nick–the guy whose shoes Sam has been trying to fill–seems to take very opportunity to point out where Sam’s going wrong. But when Sam receives an unexpected Secret Santa gift at the party, he’s forced to question his assumptions about his rival. Could it be that he’s been misinterpreting Nick’s actions all along? And is it possible that his reluctant attraction to Nick is reciprocated?

Rest and Be Thankful 

Things haven’t been going well for Cam McMorrow since he moved to Inverbechie. His business is failing, his cottage is falling apart and following his very public argument with café owner Rob Armstrong, he’s become a social outcast. Cam needs to get away from his troubles and when his sister buys him a ticket to the biggest Hogmanay party in Glasgow, he can’t leave Inverbechie quick enough. But when events conspire to strand him in the middle of nowhere in a snowstorm, not only is he liable to miss the party, he’ll also have to ask his nemesis, Rob, for help.
I really enjoyed this trio of holiday stories.  They were all very different and all of the characters were unique and they stood out from each other.  
Humbug is a modern take on the Scrooge story but uses modern elements rather than magic.  I thought the author did this very creatively.  The author may have made Quin a little too Ebenezer Scrooge for me liking through because I really struggled to like Quin.  I realize I wasn’t supposed to like him at the beginning but I had a hard time accepting that he had changed.  I enjoyed Rob though and the while this was my least favorite of the three stories in this book, I did still enjoy it.
Mr. Perfect was a sweet story about starting over and trying to be thankful for what you have in your life.  I felt bad for Sam and I think we’ve all had at least one time in our lives where weren’t in the holiday spirit and had to be brought in to it kicking and screaming.  I didn’t actually blame Sam for not wanting to go to that work party.  His co-workers were the worst and as someone who isn’t a fan of work parties anyways I cringed in a couple of places and silently encouraged Sam to make a run for it.  It all works out for him in the end and he and Sam were lovely together.
Rest and Be Thankful was a bit more serious of a story.  Things are going really poorly for Cam and he’s lonely and isolated in the small town he’s moved to.  His new business isn’t taking off and he’s financially struggling.  In addition, the rest of the small town treats him as an outsider and Cam is particularly worried about Rob after they get off to an especially poor start.  Through the course of the story both men realize neither are the person they thought they were and they begin to open up to each other.  This was a quite, almost melancholy story, but it ended up being my favorite in the book.  
As usual this author provides well written and entertaining stories.  Since there are three stories that are all unique I think this book will have something for everyone’s taste and I highly recommend this book if you’re in the mood for Christmas stories.
Cover art by Natasha Snow:  I think this is a great cover and it fits the stories well.  

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

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 203 pages
Published November 23rd 2017 by Joanna Chambers Books

An Ali Review: Psycho Romeo (Ward Security #1) by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Geoffrey Ralse is known for being the life of the party. He loves the club scene, hanging with his friends, and flirting with whomever catches his eye. He certainly isn’t going to stop living his life just because some would-be stalker starts sending him threats. 

But it all changes when Geoffrey is drugged and wakes up half naked in his own home with a new message from his stalker. 

He needs help and there’s only one person he trusts… 

Protective Agent Sven Larsen has been fighting Geoffrey’s flirtatious advances for months, even though he’s impossibly drawn to the man. There’s no way he can be around him twenty-four/seven and not finally crack. But one look at Geoffrey’s haunted eyes, and he knows there’s no way he’s letting Geoffrey walk out of Ward Security without him. 

Even if it means breaking his own rules, he will keep Geoffrey safe.
This is the first book in the new Ward Security series which is a branch off of these author’s Unbreakable Bonds series.  I was especially excited to see this series start because Rowe (who owns Ward Security) was my favorite character from Unbreakable Bonds.  I was excited to find out I was going to get more of him.
This book stars Sven and Geoffrey who we have met multiple times before in the other series.  You do not have to have read those books though to be able to understand and enjoy this plot.  Geoffrey has had his eye on Sven for awhile and it’s been a bunch of fun and games for him to tease and flirt with Sven.  A very serious situation though changes everything.  Geoffrey is scared and finds he has no one he can count on other than the guys he’s met through Ward Security and Sven is the only person who can make him feel safe again.  Against his better judgment Sven agrees to be a bodyguard for Geoffrey and immediately the chemistry between the two men comes to light.
The story is fast paced and exciting in regards to the mystery part of it and the romance is both sweet and romantic in places and smoking hot in others.  The two guys are combustible when they are together.  They get together quickly but it feels realistic as they have been building up to this for a long time.  We get to know both of them much better and I liked them both a lot.  They were both shown in a more detailed and complex way than we’ve seen of them in the past.
If you have read the Unbreakable Bonds series you will recognize a lot of the characters from that.  Rowe, Noah and Andrei have big roles in this and we see some of the Ward Security characters in more detail.  The authors set the stage for which other characters we will see in future books.
This was a really enjoyable read for me.  It was action packed and yet romantic and emotional in places.  I enjoyed it a lot and am really looking forward to the next books in the series.
Cover:  I think this cover is well done and it fits the story plot perfectly.
Sales Link:  Amazon
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 232 pages
Published October 27th 2017
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Ward Security #1

An Ali Review: The Family Eternal (Deputy Joe #5) by James Buchanan

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
When the body of a young woman is found in a burning rental cabin, Deputy Joe Peterson and newly minted Fire Inspector Kabe Varghese must learn to work together to find out who she is and why she died.

Folks will tell you that family is second only to God in Utah. But what brings strength to some can sow sorrow with others.

On a bleak winter morning, a young woman’s corpse smolders in the remains of a burned rental cabin. Clues to her identity are rarer than frozen choke-cherries in the Utah backcountry. Deputy Joe Peterson, assisted by Kabe Varghese in his first case as a fire inspector trainee, doggedly hunts for who she is and why she died. As they sink deeper into the investigation, Joe struggles with how his life is now personally and professionally intertwined with Kabe’s.

Outed, excommunicated and disciplined because of the man he found love with; the last year of Joe’s life has careened like an avalanche toward an abyss. Is doom inevitable? Or is the best chance to live surrendering to the fall?
This is a series I wish more people read.  Joe is one of the most complex and well written characters in this genre in my opinion.  This installment was another really good one.  We start it by seeing the two men working a case together.  It was great to see Kabe now in a career and doing really well for himself.  The course of this series has shown Kabe grow and come into himself and I was proud of Kabe (like he’s a real person). 
There are two aspects to the book.  There is the murder case which was super interesting.  We learned a lot about the difference between the mainstream Mormon church and the polygamist offshoots.  On a personal note, I did a lot of traveling in Utah last year and I went through the area that this series is set in.  It’s a beautiful area with really interesting people.  It made the setting of this book so much more real to me.  I could picture it all perfectly.  I felt this aspect of the book was well developed and it kept me interested from beginning till end.
The other aspect of the story is the growth of Joe and Kabe’s relationship.  I marvel at how far they’ve come over the years.  There are two aspects that I’d like to note.  One being the bdsm part.  There aren’t a lot of sex scenes but the ones that are there are intense.  I love that the author clearly shows that Kabe is a sub by choice and only in the bedroom.  In the earlier books he wasn’t submissive out of the bedroom per se but his overall life situation made for a power imbalance.  Over time and life changes the men are  now equal in power in their day to day.  I love how the author has shown the reader the development of this dynamic from book to book.
The other aspect I find interesting is Joe’s faith and how he has come to be able to have both it and his relationship with Kabe.  I’m personally not a big fan of organized religion and I don’t often read books with religious characters because in inevitably goes wrong for me.  This series is a major exception.  Joe lives by his faith and he’s a believer.  He lives it by example.  As readers we’ve watched Joe struggle with being gay in a religion that tells him it’s a sin.  He’s struggled hard over the years but it’s just lovely to watch him now.  He’s solid in not only his faith but his love for Kabe.  He sees their relationship as a the beautiful gift it is. It’s also been touching to watch Kabe, who is also against organized religion, learn to respect it’s importance to Joe.  Some of my favorite romantic scenes in the entire series happen in this book.
This book could be read as a standalone but I don’t recommend it.  The mystery works fine and you could follow the romance parts too without reading the previous books.  You would miss out on a lot of the emotion though.  If you’re already a fan of this series I think you’ll really like this one.  If you’re not, I recommend going back and starting with book one.
Cover art by
Sales Links:   MLR Books | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 262 pages
Published August 18th 2017 by MLRPress (first published August 15th 2017)
Original Title The Family Eternal
Edition Language English
Series Deputy Joe #5

An Ali Review: We Met In Death by KA Merikan

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
“This is not the night you die.”

After years of working for a loan shark, Robert is done with blood and violence. All he has to show for it is a bag of money and a lifetime of regrets. There’s no other way out of his line of work than in a body bag.

So Robert decides to die.

But on the night he chooses to seal his own fate, destiny offers him a chance at redemption. When Robert saves a handsome young escort from a terrible death, he has no idea he is setting in motion much more than one last attempt at proving that inside the hardened shell, he is a decent human being. 

Charming, quick-witted, and full of smiles, Nathan is all Robert could dream of. He’s also ready to fall into the arms of his gruff protector. Robert, on the other hand, has never been with a man and will first need to fight his own demons if he is to accept that his whole being wants to make Nathan his.

With his former boss hunting them both, time is ticking, and Robert might just not get the chance to decide before it’s too late. More importantly though, Robert will stop at nothing to protect the man who’s made him feel alive again, the man who is the only thing between him and the abyss.
“I never had to think much about death before, but I did yesterday. I thought I would die. In a hole. Covered with dirt. Suffocate underground. 
But then you saved me.”

This book was a wild ride from the very first page till the end.  I love that I never know what I’m going to get with these authors but I always know that it’s going to be unique and outside the box.  I was really looking forward to this one and it did not disappoint.

Both Robert and Nathan are a bit lax when it comes to morals (especially Robert) but that didn’t effect my enjoyment of the story or them as main characters.  Robert was a bit difficult to like at the beginning and he doesn’t treat Nathan well overall. He was harsh and mean at times.  He has the glimpses of sweetness though that keep both the reader and Nathan interested in more. It was worth the initial struggle because when Robert finally opens up and falls, he falls hard.  I liked Nathan from the start.  He was spunky and funny and he rolled with both the metaphorical and literal punches.  These two had great chemistry and the sex scenes were scorching hot. 
Since the two men are part of the criminal world parts of the story are pretty gritty.  There’s some death and some destruction along the way but I was rooting for them the entire way.  I didn’t think it was very dark but I can’t always be trusted with that because my tolerance is pretty high.  If you are on the more sensitive side you should note the tags for the book. 
I really liked this and thought it was well done.  I enjoyed both the overall plot and the romance.  I thought the entire thing was wildly entertaining and I had a hard time putting it down once I had started it.
Cover Design: Natasha Snow:  I think the cover is perfect for the book.  It has the same dark, gritty vibe the books does.  I like it a lot.

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 274 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Acerbi & Villani ltd
Edition LanguageEnglish
CharactersRobert Zidane (We Met In Death), Nathan Edwards (We Met In Death)

An Ali Review: A Matter of Courage (Hong Kong Nights Book 2) by J.C. Long

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Winston Chang has spent much of his young life admiring the Dragons who have kept his area safe and fought off the gangs that would bring violence to their area. Now that he’s an adult, he wants nothing more than to join the Dragons and live up to those standards.

The opportunity presents itself when his passion and knowledge of cars is just what the Dragons need. One of their own has been killed and his death seems linked to his involvement with the illegal racing scene known as the Dark Streets. Winston is needed to infiltrate the scene and find out who is responsible and why.

Steel has always been Winston’s best friend, and Winston has always been there to get him out of trouble. Just as the stress in Winston’s life reaches its peak, the relationship between Winston and Steel begins to change in ways neither of them expected.

Will Winston and Steel be able to find the courage to face not only the unknown killer stalking the Dark Streets racers but also their growing feelings?
I always get excited when I find a new author and/or a new series and the first book in this series was both for me.  I really enjoyed book one, A Matter of Duty, and was eagerly awaiting this book.  I’m quite glad to say that this book was also really good.  The couple here was set up in book one and they were important side characters there.  
This book starts a few months down the road from the end of the first book.  As the blurb states, Winston ends up going undercover in an effort to gather information and to prove that he’s mature enough to finally become a member of the Dragons.  The stress of this situation also ups the tension between Winston and Steel.  Steel’s worried sick about Winston and has to finally start forcing himself to acknowledge that he’s in love with his best friend.  
I love a good friends to lovers story and this one was well done.  There’s just enough tension between the two guys to keep you interested but not so much that it seems over the top or unrealistic.  These two were sweet together and you could really feel the emotion between them.  I had been rooting for them since the last book so I was really happy to see them get their hea.  
There are a lot of scenes with the Dragons as a whole so we get to see a lot of Noah and Wei, as well as a bunch of side characters. These side characters are not only important to this plot but will be important to future books.  I had to do a bit of author stalking but I found out who the next couple will be and I’m over the top excited.  Nothing beats a good enemies to lovers story so I have high hopes for it.  
If you’re looking for a new series with good writing and a plot that is a bit outside the norm then I highly recommend this series.  This one could be read as a standalone but I think you would enjoy it a lot more if you read book one first.  
This cover was done by Natasha Snow and I like it a lot.  If you look closely at it you will see how well it highlights the plot.  It’s also attractive and eye catching and it ties in nicely to the cover of the first book.
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 300 pages
Published September 4th 2017 by NineStar Press