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review 2017-10-16 01:23
And this...this is how you do dragons!
Burn the Sky - Jaye McKenna

Now if it's not already clear let me start by saying..."I LOVE DRAGONS!!! Unashamedly, unapologetically love them." to me they are the most fierce, majestic, powerful and yes scary because...hey, big fire breathing creatures here, in all of mythology. 

 

I've had this series on my wishlist for ages and was fortunate enough to have been gifted with the first three books in this series as part of a gift exchange last Christmas and while it's taken me until now to find the time to start reading this series...all I can say to that is good things come to he, or she as the case may be, who waits.

 

Gerrick is the heir presumptive to the throne of Altan (next in line for the throne)...except there's one teensy little problem in order to become the Wytch King he needs to come into his wytch power...he's 20 it should have happened by now and Altan has never had a king who didn't possess a wytch power...ask his Uncle. He's only to happy to explain this  to anyone who will listen...bitter much? Oh yeah. 

 

For Gerrick this isn't about being king though it's about keeping a promise. A promise to protect his younger brother, Jaire from the pressures of ruling a kingdom. Something that even Jaire willing admits he has absolutely no desire or ability to do. Regardless of everything else Jaire, Gerrick and their father are all of a like mind on this issue...neither the kingdom nor Jaire would survive should he be made king as the Wytch Council would have happen.

 

It's in a last ditch effort to have Gerrick declared his rightful heir by the council that the king demands that Gerrick's wytch powers be forced to awaken defying the councils decree that forcing wytch powers or even attempting to do so is a punishable offense. Desperate to protect his brother Gerrick agrees to allow this. 

 

Some wytch powers are not meant to be awakened and when Gerrick's awakened powers end in disaster. Kian, Gerrick's friend, lover and an apprentice healer flees to the Wytch's College in search of the Wytch Master Ilya in a last ditch effort to save not just Gerrick, but his brother Jaire and ultimately the kingdom of Altan. 

 

Ilya's tasked with teaching Gerrick to control his powers but things get complicated when Ilya and Gerrick are drawn to each other and time starts to run out when the machinations of others put both the king and Jaire at risk. 

 

'Burn the Sky' is definitely one of the most enjoyable dragon stories I've read in a very long time. I loved the characters of Gerrick and Ilya. Their relationship started out with definite touch of antagonism as both men came into the relationship with some pre-conceived ideas about the other, but with Gerrick needing Ilya's help to learn how to control his powers and Ilya determined to avoid being the one to deliver the deathblow that will be Gerrick's fate should he fail they find themselves forced to find a way to work together for their own good and the good of a kingdom. 

 

Along with Gerrick and Ilya we are given some secondary characters who beg for their own story and fortunately the author has seen this. In 'Blackfrost' the second book in this series we are given the story of Kian and what becomes of him after he leave the college, in the third book 'Shadowspire' we find out more about Jaire, the sweet and sensitive brother of Garrick whom we met in this story and who proved that while he may not have what it takes to rule a kingdom he had the courage he needed to help save it.  Dragonwatch is the fourth book currently released in this series and while we haven't met either of the MCs in it I'm so looking forward to what comes next in this series. 

 

For me the 'Wytch King' series is everything that I want in a fantasy series...there are dragons, magic, adventure, romance, characters that are both intriguing and compelling and a story that while it feels complete leaves me both wanting and knowing that there is yet more to come.

 

 

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review 2017-10-09 23:13
This one was delightful...
His Convenient Husband (Love and Sports) - Robin Covington

 

'His Convenient Husband' is about what could happen when a man who has everything loses the love of his life...his forever after meets a man who's still looking for his.

 

Raising his son and playing professional football in the NFL has probably been what's gotten Isaiah Blackwell through the past three years since his beloved husband Stephen was taken from them.  What Isaiah's not ready for is the attraction that he feels towards the sensual, gender fluid, outspoken and confident ballet dancer Victor Aleksandrov whose stance on Russia's treatment of gays has put his life in jeopardy if his request for asylum in the United States is denied and he is forced to return to his homeland.

 

Isaiah may not be out and proud but he's not hiding in any closets either. He really just wants to play football and raise the son that he and Stephen adopted. While someone like Victor may not be his type, he can't deny the pull of attraction that he feels and after spending a passionate night with Victor, Isaiah learns that Victor has been denied asylum he does what any decent man would do...he proposes...a marriage of convenience.

 

I really enjoyed this one it ticked more than a few boxes for me. I loved Victor, he was simply a wonderful character that worked beautifully in my mind. I can't say that I thought he was perfect but he was wonderful. To me he was neither brash nor loud. He was confident and outspoken, he believed in his cause, having gotten outside the borders of Russia he felt that he had a duty to speak out about the treatment of the LGBTQ community in Russia but he truly did this with style and finesse. Sadly at the end of it all though Victor was outspoken about what he believed in and Isaiah played for the NFL and was a man who like to keep a low profile on his private life and his priority was to give his son as normal of a life as possible out of the limelight.

 

While Isaiah's intentions were admirable what he failed to factor in was how amazing his son was. Evan was definitely a favorite in this story. He was an amazing human being and if the author ever decides to give us Evan's story...maybe a few years down the road in his life...sign me up and consider me there.

 

Along with Evan the other secondary character in this book whose story I would totally be on board for was Isaiah's best friend and agent Ian Carmichael...this man is begging to be struck by lightening. His idea of a long-term relationship means he paid for the hotel for a long weekend. He's British, he's snarky and calls a spade a spade but at the heart of it all he wants the best for the people he cares about. 

 

What starts as a marriage of convenience to keep Victor from being deported quickly becomes a quagmire of emotional landmines for both of these men as their attraction grows and real life intrudes bringing with it some much unwanted attention that leads to misunderstandings and leaves both men frustrated and hurt.

 

I really enjoyed this and the only little niggle that I had was the ending. It was good I just needed it to go a little further...I wanted a little more of this sexy as hell couple but as I said it's only a little niggle because we were definitely left with these men in a good place...this one was a HEA to be sure but still, I'm greedy I want more.

 

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An ARC of 'A Marriage of Convenience' was graciously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-10-03 17:39
A little extra something from the author...
Momento Amare: All About the Memories - D. G. Cox

'Memento Amare: All About the Memories' is a short, sweet angst free and just generally free story that the author has made available and while I can be read at any time I strongly recommend reading it after reading Momento Amare as it will put a smile on your face and be far more enjoyable with the background of the original story to support it.

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review 2017-10-03 17:00
So if reading the book was hard...
Memento Amare - D. G. Cox

Writing the review may be damned near impossible.  I could probably give you a laundry list of why this book shouldn't have worked because there is a bit of just about everything in this book that has at times driven me crazy while reading other books and yet somehow this time they either didn't bother me or they just made the story work and I mean work. 

 

While the storyline in 'Memento Amare' may not seem that unusual it's a mystery/romance/spy/thriller type book what sets it apart for me is how the author has brought this story to life. First off this story covers a really long time period we first meet Phalen Cole when he's a very young child and by the end of this story both men are well in to their 50s/60s and what a life they've had. But I'm not even going to start with that because this would easily go from a review to a very lengthy essay because at 130,000+ words be prepared for a lengthy read but trust me it's so worth it.

 

So why shouldn't this story have worked well it's insta-love...sort of but not really. I'd probably call it more of an insta-attraction and when all was said and done it worked for me because while the attraction was instant acting on it wasn't.  While insta-love's not really my thing this isn't the first book that I've read where the author made it work...so really, all in all this was a small niggle and like I said it worked because while it may seemed like insta-love these guys didn't automatically fall into bed and live happily ever.

 

The bigger issue and the one that really should have had me doing a DNF was how the story played out. We get alternating POVs from the MCs which this part I like. I often don't do well spending too much time in one MCs head but the part that surprised me was that when it comes to the time line it's not linear folks we're all over the map and I think this is probably the first story I've ever read where I can honestly say that at the end of it all this was in a lot of ways what probably made this story work so well. As we're taken through Phalen's life and his relationship with Clyde we are given this story both as it happens and through memories and flashbacks by both MCs. Sometimes these memories are revisited more than once but from a different perspective, but I have to admit It took me a bit of contemplation to figure out why I was ok with this and what I realized was that often times when a person reflects on their life or even recounts it to others memories aren't always given in a linear order but often tend to be related in relevance of what has happened in the present to make that memory become relevant or important to events or the person recalling it. So as I was reading this I realized that this ironically was also one of the reasons that I was becoming so engaged in the story because more important than a chronological time line I was getting things that as they became relevant to the story. 

 

Most of this story actually takes place during the time that Cole and Clyde are members of the 'Global Anti Terrorist Force' or 'GATF' both Cole and Clyde's lives are woven in and what starts as a spy type story turns into an incredible love story filled with action and suspense that grabs the reader and wrenches on the heart. This is by no means the first book that's made me cry but it definitely is one of a select few that I can honestly say probably got as much teary time from me as not...seriously more than once I had to set this one aside because...too many tears to keep reading. 

 

In spite of the fact that Cole and Clyde are agents for the GATF the most important mission that these two men have is the one to save their life together as partners and as the story unfolds what we see is that the strongest weapon in either man's arsenal are words...words offering love, promise, hope, trust, faith, salvation and in the end redemption...

"What does it say about this world that men are rewarded for killing another man, and punished for loving another?"

 

'Momento Amare' is the first book that I've read by G. D. Cox. But I have to say given how much I enjoyed the interesting and unique journey that this author took us on I can't imagine that it will be the only one.

 

On a separate but connected note the author has generously added a short story entitled...'Memento Amare: All About the Memories' that at 22 pages is short but sweet and fun to read after the emotional ride you take reading the book...oh, it's also free!

 

This one's definitely recommended and best read with tissues and teddies on standby.

 

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A copy of 'Momento Amare' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-09-26 04:33
Sometimes we just can't like everyone...
All In (Dreamspun Desires Book 38) - Ava Drake

'All In' is the third book in Ava Drake's 'Wild Card's' series and the 38th book in Dreamspinner's 'Dreamspun Desires' and I have to admit I wasn't exactly 'all in' on this one.

 

I liked the story line well enough. Zane Stryker is a fashion model who's career is on the downslide now that he's fast approaching 30 and with his return to New York he's hoping to score some runway jobs that will fund his retirement. What he's not hoping for is what happens and that's getting detained at customs with a suitcase devoid of his clothes and containing contraband of unknown origins and  a handsome but strange man demanding that he trust him if Zane wants to get out of the mess he's suddenly found himself in.

 

Sebastian Gigoni is retired British Special Forces and when he's asked to retrieve Zane and the contraband suitcase from the airport what he doesn't count on is the complications that are involved...things like trying to figure out where Zane's loyalties lie and what to do with the attraction that seems to be developing between the two men. 

 

At just over 6 hours of listening time this story moved right along and as I said I liked the story. I actually really liked Sebastian too. He was a bit of a mystery man and much to Zane's disappointment not the gullible fool that Zane needed him to be and for some reason that I couldn't fathom he seemed to be attracted to Zane and there you have it...the fly in my ointment...Zane. 

 

In a nutshell I did not like Zane. I found him to be shallow, self absorbed and just generally full of himself. I honestly had no clue what Sebastian saw in him and try as I might I never really felt the connection between these two men. So while the story worked for me and I enjoyed  it the relationship between these two pretty much tanked.

 

While 'All In' was my first book by this author when it comes to the narrator this is not our first dance at the rodeo...John Solo was the narrator for this one and from the audio side of things it was solid. I liked his voices for the characters, they were solid and I got the clarity and emotional expression that I enjoy in an audio book. But still even this just did not help me to like Zane. 

 

I admit it maybe I was just being a cranky pants when I listened to this one and another time I might like Zane, but in all honestly I doubt it. Zane's just not my cuppa' and I don't honestly see that changing any time soon.

 

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An audio book of 'All In' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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