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review 2020-09-18 10:48
Ryder (Merrick Brothers, #2) by Prescott Lane
Ryder (A Merrick Brothers #2) - Prescott Lane

 

 

 

 

Ryder by Prescott Lane

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Merrick brothers are at their best when they're putting the moves on a heart. Bad boys with a sensitive side have tremendous swoon appeal. Knox got his second chance, now it's Ryder's turn. Ryder is larger than life, but it's in the vulnerable moments that he finds the man he was meant to be. When his world takes a detour onto shaky ground, love steps in to stabilize his fall. Lane has a way of knocking you off your feet. She puts her best heart forward and captures yours in the process.



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review 2020-08-30 13:46
'Champion' Heroes
This Paper World - Jeff Lane

In his thrilling fantasy novel, indie author Jeff Lane introduces two strains of superhumans, in effect the Yin and Yang of seemingly contrary forces, locked in a perpetual existential struggle for survival. That the conflict between the ‘champions’ and the ‘spoilers’ rages alongside the humdrum existence of the vast majority of the human population is interesting. That such extraordinary beings are hidden in plain sight among the general population and their activities go largely unnoticed is also slightly unnerving! Both groups are relatively small in number and co-opt lesser mortals to their respective causes, however, the enmity between the two factions is palpable. For the champions it is driven by the predation of the spoilers, whose hunting style resembles that of hyenas. The spoilers seek to harvest power from their superior opponents in a gruesome and tortuous process, draining the very life force from a lone champion, most often isolated and overwhelmed by numbers. Still, for the reader, this insatiable appetite for the ‘consumption’ of champions’ energy, in what is essentially a parasitic existence, readily casts the ‘spoilers’ as villains and the battlelines drawn between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are clearly marked throughout this opening book in the series.

In an act of self preservation, some champions are loosely connected through a national network and this story follows the transition of eighteen year-old, Jim Hunt, from college student to elite champion-in-the-making. Jim is the prodigy of his neighbour, the enigmatic Nathaniel Parker, who had identified the boy’s potential at a young age (and the need to protect it), but until now never disclosed why he was so special. However, the importance of the young man does not go unnoticed and when spoilers audaciously organise to trap Nathaniel and use him as bait to feast on two of the most powerful champion ‘batteries’, Jim has a life-changing decision to make. 

This, will he, won’t he, journey to potential ‘champion’ undertaken by Jim is exciting and at times comical, as the hero is supported by his college roommate, Eric Warner, who exhibits all the more familiar traits of a hapless mortal teenager. In fact, at times, Eric reminded me of Sancho Panza, with his squirely regard and selfless support for his friend, though he is also weighed down by a substantial secret, his ‘sanchismos’ provide a useful lighter tone amid the surrounding tension.

In the broader arc of this compelling story, can the champions survive this coordinated attack on their existence? Maybe even counter attack the unusually organized incursion into their established, but intentionally nondescript lives? No doubt which side the reader is on, but the grandstand finish raises plenty of new questions, which will have me reaching for Book 2 (“This Burning World”). The author has also confirmed that Book 3 (“This Champion’s World’) is currently being edited, so more to look forward to. For fans of thrilling fantasy tales, this is a very welcome addition to the bookshelf and I am obliged to Jeff Lane for a welcome diversion in this time of COVID-19. 

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review 2020-07-12 08:10
New Release Blitz - Out On The Serve

 

Title: Out on the Serve

Series: Out in College, Book 7

Author: Lane Hayes

Publisher: Lane Hayes

Release Date: July 10

Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 55K

Genre: Romance, New Adult, Bisexual, Friends to Lovers, College romance, Athletes, Volleyball, Humor

Add to Goodreads

 

Synopsis

 

Roommates to friends to lovers…

 

Elliot-

I need a roommate fast. Even a temporary one. Beggars can’t be choosers. Going pro after graduation has been intense, and time is precious. Thankfully, Braden seems cool. He’s a little quirky…and very sexy. Of course, I would never get involved with a roommate. That’s a bad idea. Isn’t it?

 

Braden-

Moving to Long Beach seems like a no brainer. It’ll be a perfect chance to wind down before grad school and a nice respite from my folks. Plus, my new roommate is a great guy. A little messy, but sweet. Gotta admit, I like him more than I should. And we’re off to a strange start when a mutual friend hooks me up with his ex. Elliot’s the one I want, but going from friends to lovers is a risk. We could end up out on the serve…or we could win it all.

 

Excerpt

 

Ten minutes later, I tied a towel around my waist and opened the bathroom door to release some steam just as Braden opened his bedroom door. It might have been my imagination or wishful thinking, but I could have sworn he eye-fucked me before he met my gaze.

 

“Mornin’,” I said in a raspy voice.

 

“Good morning.”

 

“How’d you sleep?”

 

“Pretty good. Are you going to the beach today?” he asked awkwardly.

 

“Yeah. I’m leaving soon.”

 

“Hmm. I heard the swell is huge,” he said in a fast, clipped tone.

 

I crossed my arms and leaned against the doorjamb. “Yeah, I heard that too. There’s some big storm off the coast of Mexico.”

 

“Right.”

 

“Want to come with me?”

 

“To Mexico?”

 

I barked a laugh. “No, dork. To the beach.”

 

Braden chuckled. “Believe it or not, I’m going to the theater. Sophie talked me into trying out the assistant gig. Hopefully, it’ll keep me out of trouble.”

 

And there was the opening I needed. I wasn’t sure how to word it, though. The hint of unease between us told me that I should proceed with caution. We had to be on the same page and willing to try something new and—fuck. My window of opportunity was closing. Braden’s cheeks reddened as he mumbled a good-bye. I grabbed his wrist before he closed his door, ignoring the spark and sizzle that zipped along my spine.

 

“Hang on…thank you.”

 

“For what?”

 

“The cereal.”

 

“Oh.” He let out a half laugh and yes…his face went a shade pinker. Fuck, that was both cute and hot at the same time. “It was silly.”

 

“I love silly. I’m a huge fan of all things ridiculous. Ask anyone.”

 

“I believe you.”

 

“Good. So…let’s agree that this doesn’t have to be weird. We’re grown adults. Well, you are anyway. We can call it a celebratory kiss if you want and move on. What d’ya say?”

 

“Yes, okay. I’m—I’m sorry about”—he circled his wrist meaningfully—“everything. I overreacted.”

 

“You mean the part when you yelled at me for getting sand on the floor? I forgive you.”

 

“No, I was serious about that part.”

 

“I know. But don’t worry about the other thing. Boners happen.”

 

Braden sputtered. “I did not have a boner.”

 

“Liar. We both did. Might have been your mom’s fudge,” I teased.

 

“You think my mother’s homemade fudge gave you a hard-on,” he repeated incredulously.

 

“Dude, chocolate totally gives me wood. Or maybe she added a chemical substance that made us too relaxed.”

 

“Like what?” “I don’t know…weed?” Braden snickered. “Unlikely. My mom is very proper. I don’t think she even knows what weed looks like.”

 

“Hmm. You seem kind of proper too. Do you take after her?”

 

“Maybe, but I know what weed looks like,” he assured me. “My roommate in the dorms my freshman year was very fond of the stuff. We didn’t get along at all. He was a total—”

 

“Slob?” I supplied, quirking my brows.

 

“Yeah.” He shrugged carelessly. “I was probably overbearing, but in my defense, I come from a super rigid household. I’m an only child, and I was sick a lot when I was little. I had colic and sensitivity issues. I’d break out in rashes if I was in the sun for five minutes or if I ate citrus. My asthma was off the charts. I had a nebulizer at home, and I carried inhalers everywhere I went.”

 

“That’s a lot of information,” I said with a laugh.

 

He winced, then sucked in a deep breath. “Sorry. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. My geek is showing.”

 

“Ha. Nothing wrong with that. You like me, eh?”

 

Braden chuckled. Like I’d hoped he would. “What makes you think that?”

 

“You kissed me. Twice. We might as well get married and pick out His and His towels. Thoughts?”

 

“Great idea. Just don’t tell my mom. She’d have a heart attack. She was already worried I’d moved in with you because you were my…”

 

“Boyfriend,” I supplied.

 

“Yeah, except she has a hard time saying that word, so it comes out in a strained whisper like…boyfriend.” Braden modulated his voice to sound like a scared woman. He grinned when I busted up laughing, and I could have sworn a ray of sunshine burst through the wall of our apartment.

 

Purchase at Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

Out on the Serve (Out in College, #7)Out on the Serve by Lane Hayes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Elliott needs a roommate in a hurry. His old roommate is leaving and he needs someone to take her place quickly. With Braden, he finds more in common than at first sight.

Braden and Elliott have more than just friends alike. They both love volleyball and sports. When they become roomies, there is so much more between them than meets the eye.

This story was a fun read. This series always has such varied and interesting characters. I found this couple very easy to relate to. Their story was compelling and the humor on point.


***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

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Meet the Author

 

Lane Hayes loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016, 2017, and 2018-2019 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Bookbub

 

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review 2020-07-11 05:40
Steady
Out on the Serve - Lane Hayes

Elliott needs a roommate in a hurry.  His old roommate is leaving and he needs someone to take her place quickly.  With Braden, he finds more in common than at first sight.

 

Braden and Elliott have more than just friends alike.  They both love volleyball and sports.  When they become roomies, there is so much more between them than meets the eye.

 

This story was a fun read.  This series always has such varied and interesting characters.  I found this couple very easy to relate to.  Their story was compelling and the humor on point. I give this a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

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review 2020-06-26 03:31
The Ocean at the End of the Lane - audiobook
The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman

Audience: Adult

Format: Audiobook/Owned

 

 

It was only a duck pond, out at the back of the farm.

- first sentence

 

Neil Gaiman's voice is amazing. I loved listening to him narrate this story. Basically this story is about growing up and how at seven years old, adults seem so big and important, yet disconnected from childhood. The narrator of the book is an adult who is remembering an event that occurred in his childhood (when it is so much easier to believe in magic and monsters).

 

I enjoyed the story and especially the narrator's childhood friend, Lettie Hempstock. It was a quick listen and had some creepy parts. It is interesting how much differently we see things as adults compared to how it seems to children. 

 

I read this for Booklikes-opoly Pandemic Edition, space #19 as a book whose cover is more than 50% blue.

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