Every month the Sinfully team brings you our Hotpicks. Check out our favourites for February and don’t forget five lucky readers get the chance to win a Kindle eBook from our list of February’s Hotpicks. Just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win. Keep up with all our 2017 Hotpicks –> HERE.
Until You (At First Sight #3) by TJ Klune
Sequel to The Queen & the Homo Jock King
Together with their families and friends Paul Auster
and Vincent Taylor request the honor of your company at the celebration of their marriage.
Debra: Once again TJ Klune brought me laughter and tears and even some feels I’m not sure I can actually articulate (Sexy Paul is horrifyingly awesome – you just have to read it). As Vince and Paul count down the days to their wedding, everyone from Paul’s family to their best friends and acquaintances have a part to play. Bachelor parties, Paul still wondering if it’s real, Vince being extra swoon-worthy, competitive vow writing and trying not to piss off Helena as she orchestrates the wedding of her dreams, all lead up to a ceremony that will have you laughing then crying and hoping nobody got hurt.
The characters in the series have created a family that accepts and loves and supports each other unconditionally. Sure they’re over the top, but the love that shines through is beautiful. If you love TJ Klune’s comedies you’re not going to want to miss this one.
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Single Malt (Agents Irish & Whiskey #1)
by Layla Reyne
Eight months after the car crash that changed everything, FBI agent Aidan Talley is back at work. New department, new case and a new partner. Smart, athletic and handsome, Jameson Walker is twelve years his junior. Even if Aidan was ready to move on—and he's not—Jamie is off-limits.
Jamie's lusted after Aidan for three years, and the chance to work with San Francisco's top agent directly is too good to pass up. Aidan is prickly—to put it mildly—but a growing cyber threat soon proves Jamie's skills invaluable.
Jamie's talents paint a target on his back, and Aidan is determined to protect him. But with hack after hack threatening a high-security biocontainment facility, time is running out to thwart a deadly terrorist attack. They'll have to filter out distractions, on the case and in their partnership, to identify the real enemy, solve the case and save thousands of lives, including their own.
Freya: Aiden Talley’s life was changed when a car crash robbed him of his husband, Gabe, his FBI partner, Tom, and almost his own life. Eight months later he returns to work, able, but not necessarily ready to move on. Jameson Walker is Aiden’s new partner - his much younger, sports champion and computer genius, partner. Walker has been attracted to Aiden since he left the academy.
What I loved about this story is that it’s not only about the high-octane parts of the FBI. All those aspects are in this story, but the investigation process too, is captivating. This is a multi-layered story. There is the main arc, plus a not overdone family side, and other investigations, all cleverly woven together in a well-rounded tale.
The characters are inviting, with enough backstory to be interesting, yet not overwhelming. No one is a wilting flower. What I was treated to was a range of flirting jealousy, action, heat, drama, angst, OMG times as well as the heartbreaking and aww moments. There are, will they won’t they elements all the way through, to which departmental barriers, add to the hesitation. You’ll have to read it to find the outcome.
Reading this book, my inner adrenaline junkie was satisfied, so way my inner Sherlock.
The novel can be read on its own, with none of those angst-ridden cliffhangers – emphasis on the angst elements. However, it does leave enough hooks for me to look forward to the next book in the sequence, which comes out in the May – yayyyyyyyyy.
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An Unseen Attraction (Sins of the Cities #1)
by K J Charles
A slow-burning romance and a chilling mystery bind two singular men in the suspenseful first book of a new Victorian series from K. J. Charles.
Lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer prefers a quiet life. He’s happy with his hobbies, his work—and especially with his lodger Rowley Green, who becomes a friend over their long fireside evenings together. If only neat, precise, irresistible Mr. Green were interested in more than friendship...
Rowley just wants to be left alone—at least until he meets Clem, with his odd, charming ways and his glorious eyes. Two quiet men, lodging in the same house, coming to an understanding... it could be perfect. Then the brutally murdered corpse of another lodger is dumped on their doorstep and their peaceful life is shattered.
Now Clem and Rowley find themselves caught up in a mystery, threatened on all sides by violent men, with a deadly London fog closing in on them. If they’re to see their way through, the pair must learn to share their secrets—and their hearts.
Sally: When you see Ms Charles name on a book you know you’re going to get something a bit special, a bit different, and very very good. This first book in her new Victorian series delivers more than I could have dreamed of.
Firstly the characters - Clem so earnestly proud of having been entrusted with a small business by a relative, and Rowley plying his trade as a ‘preserver’, the early name for taxidermist. Two gentle souls, thrown together by proximity, enjoying each other’s company and slowly edging towards a greater intimacy. Then there's a mystery to solve, truths to be shared, a stonking cast of secondary characters, and the usual “meticulously constructed but described with economy” historical world. Finally, there's the great pleasure of picking the plot threads out of the book and wondering which ones are important to the current story arc, which are going to be important in later books and which are just put in there for the heck of it. Ms Charles is a lavish and generous writer and always manages to surprise.
So highly enjoyable, thought provoking, attractively produced - my goodness what a lovely cover - and a thoroughly satisfying read.
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Jane’s Hot Pick
Imago by N.R.Walker
Nerdy, introverted genius lepidopterist, Lawson Gale, is an expert on butterflies. He finds himself in a small town in Tasmania on a quest from an old professor to find an elusive species that may or may not even exist.
Local Parks and Wildlife officer, Jack Brighton, is an ordinary guy who loves his life in the sleepy town of Scottsdale. Along with his Border collie dog, Rosemary, his job, and good friends, he has enough to keep from being lonely.
But then he meets Lawson, and he knows he’s met someone special. There’s more to catching butterflies, Jack realises. Sometimes the most elusive creatures wear bowties, and sometimes they can’t be caught at all.
Lawson soon learns there are butterflies he can’t learn about it in books. They exist only in a touch, in a kiss, in a smile. He just has to let go first, so these butterflies can fly.
Imago is the story of finding love, bowties, and butterflies.
Jane: It's no surprise that this is my hot pick for February as I adored this book, however it faced stiff competition from Ringo and the Sunshine Police by Nick Wilgus, which I also rated 5* and loved.
Jack Brighton a regional manager for the Parks and Wildlife Services and a mountain of a man, meets Lawson Gale, nerdy, bow tie wearing lepidopterist on a flight to Tasmania. Lawson is there on a quest to find a certain species of butterfly. Jack is immediately drawn to Lawson and due to a rental car mix up offers Lawson a lift from the airport. From then on they pretty much end up spending the week together, working and having the most perfect dates ever. Their relationship is the sweetest, most endearing thing I’ve read in a long time. I fell hook, line and sinker for both men. This book is like a butterfly, soft and gentle, quiet and peaceful and breathtakingly beautiful. I don't think I've read a book where I sighed so dreamily over and over, catching my breath and clasping my heart over the utter perfection of it all. I can't wait for the sequel.
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Cheryl’s Hot Pick
Blossom of the Samurai (Sword and Silk #3)
by Sedonia Guillone
The samurai’s only true master is his heart….
For seven years while training for his life as a samurai, Toho Morimasa has been away from Aoki, the beautiful actor who helped him to heal from the trauma of his parents’ brutal murders. Now, nightmares that Aoki is in trouble plague Toho’s sleep, and he makes the journey back from Edo to Kai, no longer wanting to be away from Aoki’s side. Once there, Toho meets the very real source of his nightmares and vows to honor and protect Aoki. When his beloved Aoki is brutally assaulted, will Aoki survive long enough to understand that the love Toho has for him is the love he too has been craving his whole life but doesn’t feel he deserves?
A Timeless Dreams title: While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma.
Cheryl: I chose this one for a number of reasons. It came up against Jerricho’s Freedom by Jake C Wallace and it was a very hard decision. I chose because Jerricho’s Freedom needs a lot of thought while Blossom of the Samurai is a much easier, gentler read. Although it’s book 3 in a series it was very much readable as a standalone and my only complaint was the use of Japanes words and customs without any explanation. No doubt this has been taken care of in previous books but as I was reading as a standalone I had to take it into consideration.
Toho and Aoki are a beautiful couple. Both deeply damaged yet hopeful. Aoki the delicate, genderfluid actor, and Toho the brave young Samuri. For much of the book they perform a beautiful dance around each other until when they eventually come together it’s with a contented sigh of completion. Although there’s plenty of action and its share of darkness, the book is beautiful and the writing as delicate as the Blossom in its name.
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Fish Out of Water (Audiobook) by Amy Lane
Narration by Greg Tremblay
PI Jackson Rivers grew up on the mean streets of Del Paso Heights—and he doesn’t trust cops, even though he was one. When the man he thinks of as his brother is accused of killing a police officer in an obviously doctored crime, Jackson will move heaven and earth to keep Kaden and his family safe.
Defense attorney Ellery Cramer grew up with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, but that hasn’t stopped him from crushing on street-smart, swaggering Jackson Rivers for the past six years. But when Jackson asks for his help defending Kaden Cameron, Ellery is out of his depth—and not just with guarded, prickly Jackson. Kaden wasn’t just framed, he was framed by crooked cops, and the conspiracy goes higher than Ellery dares reach—and deep into Jackson’s troubled past.
Both men are soon enmeshed in the mystery of who killed the cop in the minimart, and engaged in a race against time to clear Kaden’s name. But when the mystery is solved and the bullets stop flying, they’ll have to deal with their personal complications… and an attraction that’s spiraled out of control.
Sue: I usually associate Amy Lane with angst-filled and romance driven plots. Fish Out of Water was more mystery based and had a slightly different feel than her other stories. It’s somehow rougher and grittier both in terms of plot and characters. Kudos to Amy for tackling a story that centres around police/political corruption, racial prejudice, and the apparent inequality of the US justice system.
The writing is still superb, detailed and exciting, with intriguing and well-developed main characters. I listened to this complex story twice because after the first time I thought I’d missed some of the intricacies of the story. The more I listen to stories narrated by Greg the more I like his style and approach to gay romance. His pace is steady and his voice is generally soft and engaging, although he ups the ante during exciting and passionate scenes.
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