Sunday, November 20, 2016

Weekly Roundup

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Our regular weekend recap of all our review posts from last week in one easy go. If you missed any of our reviews then here’s your chance to browse over all of them quickly again in one easy, convenient post. Take a look and see what you may have missed.

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Daring Fate (Silver Tip Pack #1) by Megan Erickson

51rLs2IZEPL[3]Rating ~ 4.5 Stars

Buy on Amazon

Synopsis

We all have tragic backstories in today's world.

I wake up chained to the wall of a dark cell aware of two things: I failed my sister, and I smell my enemy.
When I’m taken to meet Dare, the alpha of the Silver Tip pack, I’m sure I’m about to lose my throat. The last thing I expect is for the Alpha to recognize me as his fated mate. No way is he going to let me go now, and I still have to find a way to rescue my sister.

As I plot my escape to save her, I find that if I leave, Dare could be killed by power-hungry members of his pack. And now he’s more to me than my fated mate—my heart is involved. With time ticking by on my sister’s life, I have to make a choice I never thought I’d face—my sister’s life or my mate’s? That’s if I can survive the undead shifters intent on killing me first...

LISA

:: > FULL REVIEW POST < ::

"An excellent start to what I think will be a pretty fantastic paranormal series. I am very excited for more and am certainly looking forward to the next book! Highly recommended."

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Heart & Soul by Shae Connor

heartandsould[3]Rating ~ 3.5 Stars

Buy on Amazon

Synopsis

Love can sneak up on you in the last place you’d expect.
Kellen Grady has known he’s gay since he was a teenager, but he’s never been that interested in dating. A professional pianist, he’s happy spending his days teaching students of all ages and his nights working and playing at an Atlanta bar and concert venue. When former pro football player Terrence Harvey and his brother buy the bar, Kellen’s thrown by the change to his routine, but he develops a quick friendship with Terrence, drawn to his sunny nature and sharp mind. Then their relationship takes a turn when Terrence surprises Kellen with a kiss. The unexpected action, though not unwelcome, leaves Kellen faced with reevaluating everything he thought he knew—about Terrence, and about himself.

SUE

:: > FULL REVIEW POST < ::

"Recommended reading if you enjoy low-angst, close-knit family stories with romance rather than heat."

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Out-Foxed (Skyler Foxe Mysteries, #3)

by Haley Walsh. ~ Audiobook

61MvIuioqaL._AA300_Rating ~ 5 Stars

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Synopsis

While chaperoning a high school dance, English teacher Skyler Foxe has just been dragged out of the closet by the hunky assistant football coach - a man he thought he knew. But when Sky discovers Keith has been keeping a big secret, he breaks it off, leaving both of them lonely and confused. With troubles mounting from the press, angry parents, confused students, Skyler's own mom, and a murdered teacher, what's a boy to do but discover - once and for all - who's behind all the dirty doings at James Polk High?

©2012 Haley Walsh (P)2015 Haley Walsh

MARK 

:: > FULL REVIEW POST < ::

"I still love all the characters and their antics, they have now become like old friends. It’s as though I know how they’ll react and what they’ll say before they do. But then that’s good and shows just how much this series has grown on me."

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A Pirate’s Honor by Tricia Owens

pirateshonor3Rating ~ 3 Stars

Buy on Amazon

Synopsis

When Jaime takes to the sea, it's not for money or for pleasure: it's for revenge. Leaving his peaceful life on land behind is the only step he can take when his future is brutally destroyed and his heart is shattered.

Captain Gareth West is a feared pirate with a reputation for kidnapping and ransoming men and women. He's also known for bedding them so well that no one has a reason to complain. However, a terrible incident has left him scarred and reluctant to become involved with anyone ever again...until one day he comes upon a shipwreck.

When Jaime's ship is attacked by pirates and he is left for dead, Gareth sees an opportunity to banish the ghosts from his head. He decides to take the young man on board and use him as the prostitute that Jaime pretends to be. But Gareth quickly determines that his attractive captive is not a whore despite his apparent eagerness. Though he responds to Gareth as no lover ever has, there's a fire in him that worries Gareth. Jaime is a dangerous mystery, and Gareth knows it's essential that he learn his secret.

But he's caught off guard when Jaime's secret turns out to be the very nightmare that Gareth is running from.
This is a standalone m/m historical romance featuring gorgeous pirates and graphic sex scenes.

SALLY

:: > FULL REVIEW POST < ::

"I think for readers who enjoy the angsty, “booty plundering “ type of pirate this is probably about as good as it gets."

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Bare by Lynn Kelling

Bare4Rating ~ 5 Stars

Buy on Amazon

Synopsis

Ev Myers is a former high school football star and Republican State Senator's son, raised in a strict Southern Baptist household where his only option was to be silent, behave and, no matter how he might be feeling, to put on a happy smile. Desperate to escape the pressure to be the man his family insists he become, Ev has fled Kansas to attend college and is working to find out who he really is beneath the lies and carefully composed public image. But when he applies for a job as a nude model for a life drawing class out of a desire to be seen in a way that shatters all of his family's taboos, it's just the first step on a path that leads him away from everything he's ever known. Handsome and headstrong adjunct arts professor, Adam Buchanan, is the first person to recognize Ev's potential, and his determination to have Ev realize the importance of truth and stark honesty, as well as the beauty of flawed vulnerability provides the hope Ev needs to escape a world rife with kidnapping, brainwashing and deadly determination cure homosexuality, using whatever means necessary.

DEBRA

:: > FULL REVIEW POST < ::

"There is such beauty in this story and in Lynn Kelling’s words... If you were ever curious about this author I would have no reservations in recommending you start with this story."

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Ricky by Ashley John

RickyAshleyJohn724Rating ~ 3.5 Stars

Buy on Amazon

Synopsis

On the surface, Ricky Thompson’s life is one long party. His razor sharp wit and unwavering sexual confidence masks his true pain and suffering, and that’s how he wants to keep things. Ten years after the death of his fiancé, Ricky has completely given up on the illusion of love. Wild nights in the bar and even wilder casual sex have become his coping mechanism, and he wants to keep the party going at whatever cost. When he is attacked in a dark alley and left for dead, Ricky’s life takes an unexpected turn and the party suddenly comes to an end.

Chase Brody doesn’t know where life is taking him. Between running his gym and raising his son, Dylan, the only time he puts himself first is his once a week trip to the gay bars. His family has convinced him he needs to find a mother for Dylan, so he keeps his sexual desires secret. He always believed women were for love and men were for sex, but he is forced to reevaluate everything he thought he knew when he stumbles across a helpless man in need of his help.

After Chase takes Ricky to the hospital, he offers him free self-defense classes, but it soon grows into something more complicated and both men are forced to listen to their hearts once again. Chase doesn’t know how Ricky will fit into his difficult life, and Ricky can’t seem to let go of his past heartache. With so much at stake, will these men admit they were wrong about love and surrender their hearts to each other, or is the risk too great?

DEBRA

:: > FULL REVIEW POST < ::

" If hurt-comfort is your thing and you don’t mind occasionally wanting to knock some sense into your MCs as they really fight against getting to their HEA Ricky will probably work well for you."

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Luchador by Erin Finnegan

luchador[3]Rating ~ 4.5 Stars

Buy on Amazon

Synopsis

Each week, Gabriel Romero’s drive to Sunday mass takes him past “El Ángel,” the golden statue at the heart of Mexico City that haunts his memories and inspires his future. Spurred by the memory of his parents, Gabriel is drawn to the secretive world of lucha libre, where wrestling, performance art and big business collide.

Under the conflicting mentorships of one of lucha libre’s famed gay exótico wrestlers and an ambitious young luchador whose star is on the rise, Gabriel must choose between traditions which ground him but may limit his future, and the lure of sex and success that may compromise his independence. Surrounded by a makeshift family of wrestlers, Gabriel charts a course to balance ambition, sexuality and faith to find the future that may have been destined for him since childhood.

From the award-winning author of Sotto Voce, Luchador is a story about finding your identity from behind a mask.

CHERYL

:: > FULL REVIEW POST < ::

"The book was very easy to read and although I had a slight hesitation about reading it after a quick flick through and seeing how much match description there was, once I dived in I couldn’t put it down."

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Verismo by E.M. Lindsey

514UrpQrTgL3Rating ~ 4.5 Stars

Buy on Amazon

Synopsis

Two men, shaped by the demons of their past, find their lives inexplicably intertwined.

Nicolas Michaud, the prodigy composer and pianist, grew up apart from the world. A mother who neglected him, and a father who never met him. But when he's suddenly orphaned, Nicolas is taken from his comfortable home and thrown into a life where no one understands him. Consumed by his desire to find the perfect musician for his Magnum Opus, he turns away from human relationships, and it turns him cold. Taking a job at the University in the United States, Nicolas is met with disappointment and regret.

Until he meets Cedric Blum, a young chemical engineering student with a secret talent for music like Nicolas has never seen. But Cedric has his own past to overcome. With the help of an old friend, and new relationships, the pair begin their journey toward love, life, and the Magnum Opus.
In the end, will Cedric's happy nature thaw Nicolas' icy exterior, or will Nicolas find himself consumed by his fear of love?

MARK 

:: > FULL REVIEW POST < ::

"This book is a wonderful character study on how two people develop over time, how the people around them affect their lives and in the end how they both affect each other."

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Guyliner by J. Leigh Bailey

guyliner[3]Rating ~ 4 Stars

Buy on Amazon

Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Connor works his butt off to maintain the golden-boy persona he’s created. He has the grades, the extracurriculars, the athletics, and a part-time job at his dad’s shop… every detail specifically chosen to ensure the college scholarships he needs to get the hell out of the Podunk town where he lives. The last thing he needs is an unexpected attraction to Graham, an eyeliner-wearing soccer phenom from St. Louis, who makes him question his goals and his sexuality. Sure, he’s noticed good-looking boys before—that doesn’t have to mean anything, right?—but he’s got a girlfriend. There’s no room on the agenda for hooking up with Graham, but the heart doesn’t always follow the rules.

As he and Graham grow close, other aspects of Connor’s life fall apart. Family pressure, bad luck, and rumors threaten to derail his carefully laid plans. Suddenly the future he’s fighting for doesn’t seem quite as alluring, especially if he has to deny who he really is to achieve it.

JANE

:: > FULL REVIEW POST < ::

"This book was sweet and touching and I really enjoyed how long it took them to get together and the journey of self discovery, especially Connors’. It was thought provoking reading through a lot of issues that will affect young adults today."

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A Family for Christmas by Jay Northcote

51BhFWL69wL[3]Rating ~ 4 Stars

Buy on Amazon

Synopsis

Zac never had a family of his own, but Rudy has enough to share.

Shy, inexperienced Rudy has a crush on Zac from the moment his new colleague walks through the door. On an office night out before Christmas, Rudy finds the courage to make a move, and they form a tentative bond. When he discovers Zac will be alone at Christmas, he invites Zac to come home with him.

Zac prefers to keep people at arm’s length. Yet when Rudy offers him a family Christmas it’s impossible to resist. With no parents of his own, Zac is pleasantly surprised to be welcomed by Rudy’s. The only drawback is that everyone assumes they’re a couple. Unwilling to disappoint Rudy’s mum and make Christmas awkward, they decide not to deny it.

It’s not a chore for Zac to pose as Rudy’s boyfriend, but the pretence makes him want things that scare him—things like a real relationship with Rudy. Zac’s suffered enough rejection in his life already and is afraid to risk his heart. If he can get over his past rejection and let Rudy inside his armour, he might get more for Christmas than he ever imagined.

LISA

:: > FULL REVIEW POST < ::

"A wonderfully executed holiday romance by Ms. Northcote. What you get is a sweet, fun and light-hearted love story that will leave you happily sighing and clutching your heart. Recommended read!"

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The Left Hand of Calvus by Ann Gallagher

left hand calvus[3]Rating ~ 4.5 Stars

Buy on Amazon

Synopsis

Former gladiator Saevius is certain Fortune’s smiling on him when a Pompeiian politician buys him to be his bodyguard. That is until his new master, Laurea Calvus, orders Saevius to discover the gladiator with whom his wife is having a sordid affair. In order to do that, Saevius must return to the arena, training alongside the very men on whom he’s spying. Worse, he’s now under the command of Drusus, a notoriously cruel—and yet strangely intriguing—lanista.

But Saevius’s ruse is the least of his worries. There’s more to the affair than a wife humiliating her prominent husband, and now Saevius is part of a dangerous game between dangerous men. He isn’t the only gladiator out to expose the Lady Verina’s transgressions, and her husband wants more than just the guilty man’s name.

When Saevius learns the truth about the affair, he’s left with no choice but to betray a master: one he’s come to fear, one he’s come to respect, and either of whom could have him killed without repercussion.

For the first time in his life, the most dangerous place for this gladiator isn’t the arena.

This 52,500 word novel was previously published under the pseudonym L.A. Witt, and has been lightly revised.

SALLY 

:: > FULL REVIEW POST < ::

"There’s everything one might expect in a novel about gladiators plus some twists that give the story a lot of extra pizazz. This is a terrific historical novel, depicting in full colour smellovision a way of that is mercifully over. Highly recommended."

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A Christmas Kiss by Annabelle Jacobs

christmas kiss[3]Rating ~ 4 Stars

Buy on Amazon

Synopsis

Keeping secrets from your best friend isn’t right, but it’s easier than admitting you’ve fallen in love with him.

Sharing a late-night kiss with his best friend, Alex, is Riley’s dream come true. Waking up to discover Alex was too drunk to remember anything is more like a nightmare. Scared the truth could destroy their friendship, Riley keeps quiet and pretends nothing happened.

Alex can’t shake the feeling that he said or did something stupid on their group’s drunken weekend away—why else would Riley be avoiding him? Although the explanation he finally gets sounds plausible, Riley’s still acting strange, and trying to figure out why that is unearths emotions Alex has worked hard to bury.
Riley knows not telling Alex how he feels is probably selfish, but he wants one last normal Christmas before he has to come clean and face the potential fallout.

LISA

:: > FULL REVIEW POST < ::

"A great friends-to-lovers holiday read perfect for when you are in the mood for a quick and cozy tale that will put you in the Christmas spirit."

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