Saturday, April 29, 2017

Midnight Marked by Chloe Neill (audiobook)

Title:  Midnight Marked
Author: Chloe Neill
My Rating: B+
Narrator: Sophie Eastlake

Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #12
Main Characters: Merit and Ethan
Release Date: March 2016 (audiobook)
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
As the Chicagoland Vampires series continues, Merit and Ethan find themselves in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse, where winning may require the ultimate sacrifice...

A vampire’s grudges don’t stay dead long...

Merit is one of Chicago's most skilled vampire warriors; these days, she doesn't scare easily. But she and Master vampire Ethan have made a new and powerful enemy, and he won't give up until he owns the Windy City.

With his last plan thwarted, he's more determined than ever to watch Cadogan burn. Ethan has put the House's vampires on high alert, but their enemy will stop at nothing, including pitting vampire against vampire...

In this deadly game of cat-and-mouse, the stakes are life or death—and winning might mean sacrificing everything...
My Quickie Review:
Overall: 4.0
Performance: 4.5
Story: 3.75

I listen to this series on audiobook and sometimes that makes it difficult to distinguish just how a book would normally read because the narrator enhances the story a lot. BUT with that being said, this book seemed to move a lot slower than the last few installments have. I think I would have had a harder time finishing it if I'd been reading it rather than listening to it. 

But I do love where this story went in the end. I can't wait for the final book in the series. While I'm sad to see this fantastic series ending, I'm dying to see exactly how the author ties it all up. 

I adore this series and Sophie Eastlake has done a fantastic job with narration.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Unsteady by Melissa Collins

Title: Unsteady
Author: Melissa Collins
My Rating: B

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: On Solid Ground #3
Main Characters: Micah and Jude
Release Date: April 2017
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Micah Hudson and Jude MacMillian were both lonely teenagers. One the new kid and one the target of relentless bullying, they quickly became friends. But when friendship grew into more, the relationship was too much for either to handle. As their tenuous bond was tested, everything tumbled down, leaving them lonely once again.

A decade later, Micah is on the brink of losing his will to live. Beyond exhausted from lying to everyone, including himself, Micah thinks of the one person who knows his deepest secret. Desperate and alone, Micah makes the only decision he feels he has: he must leave. But his need for closure depends on one thing.

Can Jude make room in his Unsteady life for Micah once again?
My Review:
I adore second chance at love stories and I'll say this first...this story was riveting. I didn't want to set it down because I loved the two guys and their love story. BUT what I didn't love were the things happening in the background with Micah. His secret is not something I like in my romance. I get it. I understand why, but it just makes me incredibly uncomfortable...not only that it was even there, but the fact that he hid it for so long, making Jude complicit. I just don't like that...and I'll be honest...that's usually a hard NO for me in my romance, so you can understand why I'm having a few issues with this book. 

The hard thing is...I get it. I understand how Micah ended up in this place, BUT he owes it to the people in his life...both Jude and his family to be honest about where he's at. The subterfuge throughout most this book just was not right.

sigh. there were some other places that this story shone...
**OMG, the history between Jude and much love for this. I loved getting to see the past unfold and just how things went so bad for them ten years before. 
**Micah's place mentally is just heartbreaking. Reading so much of his internal dialogue is shattering. He's so broken...and has been for a long time. Going to war definitely didn't help that. It was ironic that the story starts with him saving Jude, but it was Jude who really broke Micah...and then eventually helps to put him back together. That adds so much depth to their story.

Problems beyond the one I already mentioned...
**There were a couple of scenes that should have been huge in the book for emotional impact that seemed to get swept aside in favor of the dialogue happening around them. That made me sad because I wanted those moments to hold the importance they should have.
**I read an ARC and there were a few timeline problems...I hope those get fixed for the final release. analysis...although it sounds like this was a negative review, the problems would normally be enough for me to DNF a book. That was NEVER even close to the case with this book because it truly was a riveting story that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. The story flowed and I couldn't turn the pages in my kindle fast enough. Despite everything, I flat out liked reading it. So, a mixed review, but in the end, I'm so glad that I read this book. I feel like it was time well spent. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Happy Release Day!
Unsteady by Melissa Collins A stand alone, M/M romance IS NOW LIVE! Free to read with Kindle Unlimited
Grab your copy here --> AMAZON
Cover design: Sommer Stein at Perfect Pair Creative Covers
Photography: Wander Aguiar at WANDER AGUIAR :: PHOTOGRAPHY
Models: Jacob Cooley and Ryan Dick
Micah Hudson and Jude MacMillian were both lonely teenagers. One the new kid and one the target of relentless bullying, they quickly became friends. But when friendship grew into more, the relationship was too much for either to handle. As their tenuous bond was tested, everything tumbled down, leaving them lonely once again.
A decade later, Micah is on the brink of losing his will to live. Beyond exhausted from lying to everyone, including himself, Micah thinks of the one person who knows his deepest secret. Desperate and alone, Micah makes the only decision he feels he has: he must leave. But his need for closure depends on one thing.
Can Jude make room in his Unsteady life for Micah once again?
Join me on Facebook where you will find a $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway! Melissa Collins Author Page
Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream. Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.

Cover Reveal: All the Way by M. Mabie


ALL THE WAY by M. Mabie 
Stand-alone, Contemporary Romance


I’m a man’s man. A bro. A pal. A dude. And I love women. 
Am I a saint? Far from it. 
Do I go out with a lot of women? You’re damn right. 
I date them all. Shy. Loud. Too busy. Lonely. High maintenance. No confidence. No filter. Bad habits. Naive. Beautiful ones. Pretty ones—and believe me there is a difference, but that’s another soap box. 
Point is, I don’t discriminate. 
What do I get out of it? Knowledge. I want to be prepared, adept, and ready.
I might find the perfect woman for me today or a few years from now, but I won’t stop until I do. Then when The One comes along, I’ll be ready to go the distance. Ready to go all the way.
I’m Cord Taylor, and, lady of my dreams, I’m coming for you. 

Add ALL THE WAY to your Goodreads TBR

Thursday, April 27, 2017

In the Wreckage by Hailey Turner

Title: In the Wreckage
Author: Hailey Turner
My Rating: A

Genre: Sci Fi Romance (m/m)
Series: Metahuman Files #1
Main Characters: Jamie and Kyle
Release Date: February 2017
Publisher:  -
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
A Marine with honor. 

After surviving a horrific chemical attack that turned him into a metahuman, Captain Jamie Callahan got a second lease on life. For three years he’s been working for the Metahuman Defense Force and leading Alpha Team—all against the wishes of his family. The job requires his full dedication, so it’s no surprise Jamie doesn’t have time for a relationship. An enticing one-night stand with a gorgeous stranger is all it takes to show Jamie exactly what he’s been missing. When a mission to take down a terrorist cell brings that same stranger back into his world, Jamie’s life gets complicated. 

A soldier with secrets. 

Staff Sergeant Kyle Brannigan was only looking to relieve some stress after a long mission. He didn’t know the hot guy he picked up at a bar was the leader of the MDF’s top field team. When Kyle and his partner get seconded to Alpha Team to help fight a terrorist threat, he has to balance his desire for Jamie against his duty to keep his secrets safe. That gets harder and harder to do amidst regulations both are tempted to break.

Two men trying to survive.

Giving into passion could cost both their careers. Abiding by the rules will only result in heartache. An attack on MDF headquarters brings with it a choice Jamie and Kyle can’t escape—duty, or love?

In the Wreckage is a 100k word steamy m/m sci-fi military romance with a HFN ending. There is military violence within the story that may not be suitable for everyone, as well as explicit intimate scenes not suitable for readers under 18.

My Review:

This book was recommended to me by one of my m/m reading buds...and I'm so glad she told me about it, because I loved it so much. 

This is a sci fi military romance set a few hundred years into the future, but the world is enough like ours that it never got confusing or to be too futuristic. 

Jamie is the captain of his metahuman team. Three years before they were out on a mission and were exposed to Splice...a drug that kills most people exposed to it. Those that it doesn't kill, they turn into metahumans with superhuman skills...skills that are different from person to person. Jamie now has superhuman strength. His team is made up of five others who were changed with him. The team issue...they can't find a sniper to fit in with this really tight team. 

After a particularly bad day, Jamie goes out looking to lose his stress. He meets up with Kyle and they have an explosive one night that works for both of them, but neither one of them is in a place that they can seek out anything more, regardless of how compatible they are. So, it's particularly surprising when Kyle shows up the next day as Jamie's new sniper. 

I loved this story so, so much. The twist took me TOTALLY by surprise. I had no idea that was coming. I loved the whole story line about Kyle and his adoptive brother and how close they are. On the flip side of that is Jamie and his team who are also incredibly close. Somehow the two have to mix. I loved it all. 

I also really liked how much the two guys respected one another and their ability to do their job. They are in high stress, high danger jobs and with that goes a lot of trauma...both mentally and physically. There is a tie that binds them together through that shared stress that they don't normally have in any other relationship. Every part of this story was so, so good.

This book was wonderful and it's set up an incredible series. I cannot wait for more. I love m/m books that are law enforcement/military based. This was an incredible example and I'm excited to add this series to my auto-read list.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Back Piece by L.A. Witt

Title: Back Piece
Author: L.A. Witt
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Skin Deep Ink #1
Main Characters: Colin and Daniel
Release Date: April 2017
Publisher:  Swerve
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Colin Spencer is a tattoo artist with a past he’d prefer to keep a secret. Actually, he has a few secrets that he’d rather people didn’t know about, which is why Colin doesn’t do commitment. But when a shy sailor approaches him at the gym, Colin finds this guy pushing all his buttons.
Growing up in a conservative family, then escaping with the Navy, Daniel Moore is an unsure virgin who feels like he can’t share his true self with anyone. Seeing Colin—and his tattoos—at the gym are the sign Daniel needs to finally get those tattoos he’s always wanted, and maybe try his hand at flirting.
As Colin and Daniel spend more time together, their awkward hesitations turn into a deep passion neither expected. But with both men harboring secrets, will their relationship be able to survive their insecurities and become something beautiful?

Back Piece is a sexy, emotional journey of two people learning to love and finding acceptance for who they really are.
My Review:

Ooh, this is going to be a new series to stalk. I loved this first book. What you need to know...Daniel is a sexy 26 year old virgin (strict upbringing combined with Naval military life means he's had little opportunity). Colin is a tattoo artist with demons that he has to battle every day. And they are PERFECT for one another. 

There is a ton to this story. Both of them have very complex histories for how they got to this place. Neither has great self-confidence, especially Colin. He's very aware of his issues and doesn't feel it's fair to saddle someone else with those issues. 

The book starts out with a gaze caught across the gym with a spark of attraction. I loved how natural those first few interactions felt...and not natural for the characters, but natural in the way that the story felt VERY realistic. I loved how awkward Daniel was and how Colin  was great about making sure Daniel knew anything was on the table. Midway through the book there is a revelation about Colin's work history. I saw that coming, but loved the twist...I adore that particular trope in books especially when combined with Daniel's inexperience. It was so hot. (and not trying to be really vague here, but don't want to give away spoilers)

There are a lot of roadblocks for these guys, but I really enjoyed reading along with their story and seeing how the author resolved it all. I thought it was a fantastic book with incredibly engaging characters and story. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of reading it and definitely recommend it! Bring on book #2!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Sin with Me by J.T. Geissinger

Title: Sin with Me
Author: J.T. Geissinger
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Bad Habit #3
Main Characters: Brody and Grace
Release Date: April 2017
Publisher:  Montlake
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
The past she can’t remember. The secret he hides. And a love that’s worth risking it all.

After a devastating car crash stole both her family and her memory, Grace Stanton was left with no past and an uncertain future. Now Grace likes to keep things simple. No sleepovers, never date a guy more than a month, and never, ever fall in love. Which is exactly why Grace avoids Bad Habit’s lead guitarist, Brody Scott, at all costs. The green-eyed, sexy-as-hell musician has “trouble” tattooed all over him, and Grace isn’t taking any chances with her heart.

Brody knows he doesn’t deserve an amazing woman like Grace—her creamy skin, red hair, or that smart mouth that fuels his every fantasy—but there’s something between them that’s more than chemistry. Something real. He’ll just have to convince Grace that he’s worth the risk—and hide the secret that haunts his worst dreams. But when fate plays a cruel hand, Brody’s darkest sin suddenly threatens his last chance at redemption…and the life of the woman he loves.

My Review:
This book had ups and downs for me...the end was fabulous, the beginning was sexy, hot, and the middle fell a tiny bit flat for me (it may have had just a tiny bit too much sex for me in the middle without enough meat...for me anyway). My favorite parts...besides that heart stopping ending...were the scenes with Marcus and Barney...and neither were the hero of the book...but I felt so badly for them because they were great hero material and were so into Grace. I truly loved both of them and their depths with seeing when Grace was putting up her walls. 

I loved Brody, too...don't get me wrong. I love how he sees this relationship as it really is and immediately recognizes how deep his emotions are. He comes across as this cocky, ego-driven rock star, but he's so much more and hiding depths. There was a tiny detail that was at the very end about his talent with music (in a memory where it was recognized what talent he had when trying out for UCLA)...I really wish more of that had come through the story. I like those little details, and despite this being a rock star romance, the music didn't play into the story at all and I missed that.

Grace is a little harder to love. She has big, huge walls blocking off her heart...with good reason. I can't imagine living through what she did and losing all that she did. I thought her choice in careers was very fitting...but her actions didn't necessarily fit that a lot of the time. It's hard to see her as a materialistic, one night stand kind of girl on one hand, and then a serious therapist on the other. Those two sides just didn't seem to fit.

So, a bit of a mixed review, but I'll say...the end of this book was so made up for a few mixed feelings earlier in the story. I may not have loved this one quite as much as I've loved the other two books in the series, but in the end I was so glad that I read it. It made for a great escape...and it was a really sexy, hot read, too. There is no doubt that Grace and Brody have sizzling chemistry...that first really in depth sexy it so much. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Too Hard to Forget by Tessa Bailey

Title: Too Hard to Forget
Author: Tessa Bailey
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Romancing the Clarksons #3
Main Characters: Peggy and Elliott
Release Date: April 2017
Publisher:  Forever
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
This time, she's calling the shots.

Peggy Clarkson is returning to her alma mater with one goal in mind: confront Elliott Brooks, the man who ruined her for all others, and remind him of what he's been missing. Even after three years, seeing him again is like a punch in the gut, but Peggy's determined to stick to her plan. Maybe then, once she has the upper hand, she'll finally be able to move on.

In the years since Peggy left Cincinnati, Elliott has kept his focus on football. No distractions and no complications. But when Peggy walks back onto his practice field and into his life, he knows she could unravel everything in his carefully controlled world. Because the girl who was hard to forget is now a woman impossible to resist.

My Review:
When this book began, I was not a fan. Elliott is NOT a likable character. In fact, he's pretty awful. He's super religious and strict with himself and the structure in his life. I never understood exactly why he was like that...if it was something he developed in the aftermath of Peggy or if he was always like that before (from the unhappiness in his marriage, it seemed like that may be the case). Regardless, he does not like who he is when Peggy is around. He blames her for his lack of control, because he really does lose it around her, and he doesn't even try to hide that from her. 

Poor Peggy. I think part of the reason I have such a hard time with this relationship at first is because it did do real damage to her mentality. If I were her friend, I would totally tell her to stay away from this toxic relationship. Elliott is so uptight about their chemistry, it's literally damaging to her and her self-confidence, despite the brave and forthright facade she presents. This man has torn her down...and gah, that makes this book so difficult. 

I know, I're sitting there looking at that A- rating and then raising your eyebrows at me in question. Why the high rating with how I feel about the two of their toxicity? Because there is an incredible character arc for both characters in this book that totally redeems the story. But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

This is an incredible book when it comes to sexual chemistry. Hands down...Elliott thinks this relationship is wrong and that adds a heat to the story that I don't think would be there otherwise. It's like this forbidden sexual relationship and yes, I'll admit, that makes it even hotter...even as a reader. Elliott isn't an easy character to get to know, but once he fully realizes what he's doing to Peggy, he became hero material in my eyes. 

Peggy is also a hard one to read, although the book definitely benefits from being able to see inside her thoughts. She is friendly and outgoing...the ultimate cheerleader, but there is so much more going on with her. She has so much emotional depth that she doesn't let anyone see. Watching her with Belmont hurts my heart. This entire family of siblings are so repressed, but I think these two are the hardest hit by how they grew. (Belmont and Sage...I have a feeling that book is going to kill me, but I can't wait to read it.)

By the end of the book I was in love with this story. So if you're like me and really turned off by the conflict and Elliott at first, stick with it. It does turn into a beautiful love story by the end. 

I've thoroughly enjoyed this series. I'm anxious to see how Tessa Bailey finishes this family's journey to self-discovery and love...both for their romantic relationships, but also for themselves and their siblings. It's been a true journey of discovery.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.