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review 2017-09-18 18:12
This may have gotten off to a bit of a shaky start but...
Manic Pixie Dream Boy (gay rockstar romance) (The Underdogs Book 1) - K.A. Merikan

at the end of it all things worked out quite nicely.

 

When I first started reading this book I also started to worry...I like K. A. Merikan and am a total fan of their series 'Guns & Boys', I found 'Hipster Brothel' to be an adorable story and their 'Sex & Mayhem' series isn't on my TBR list it's on  my 'why haven't I read this yet' list, so I admit when I first started this I also started to worry because a small voice in my brain quickly began to whisper..."Stop, right now...stop reading and step away from the e-reader...even you cannot handle this much fluff." but there was another voice whispering and it was saying "No, you need to keep reading...have faith, things aren't always as they seem." so after a bit of internal debate during which no other voices decided to take part...thankfully, because it definitely would have been therapy time at that point, I came to the conclusion that I needed to keep reading.

 

Sometimes it pays not to follow your first instinct because if I had I would have missed out on a story that it turns out I really, really enjoyed. The first part of this book on it's own just didn't work for me and had things continued in that vein I probably would have either done a dnf or this would be a '2 what the hell did I just read' stars review, but that's not what happened and things clicked and connections got made for me and at the end of it all it's 4 'WOW' I really liked that stars. I'm quite comfortable saying that if the first part of the book had worked for me as well as the last this would easily have been a 5 star review.

 

I'm not often a fan of rock star stories and this one started out as 'rock star meets boy, rock star screws boy' fluff, fluff, fluff...until somewhere along the way boy started to challenge rock star, display a bit of himself and rock star started to realize the world didn't revolve around him...that maybe he head to do more than just be, if he really wanted this person to stay a part of his life. 

 

For me this wasn't a case of miscommunication it felt more like 'finally communicating' and when that happened I started to become invested and I became a fan. I absolutely loved the ending of this one it made me happy and was well done and I'm very much a fan of the fact that this is the first book in a series because there's more we need from this group...I want to know what's up with Mage and Dawn? Where will things end up with Sid and Stan? Also could we please see a bit more of the fanboy 'Baby Blue' I thought he was sweet and I'd love to see him get a story...see more! We definitely need more and I'm sure that I'm not the only one who wouldn't be opposed to more Dusk and Lolly/Abe.

 

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An ARC of 'Manic Pixie Dream Boy' was graciously provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-09-17 00:13
Do you remember when you were young...
The Dragon's Devotion - Antonia Aquilante

and you'd get ready for bed and there you'd be curled up under the covers all snuggly warm with your favorite toy waiting for a bedtime story...maybe, it's a story about kings and queens, fairies, dwarves, elves, a circus filled with lions, tigers and elephants or maybe it's a story with mystical creatures unicorns, griffins, a phoenix...dragons?

 

Whatever, the story as children it was a special time...a time filled with the magic of going to a far away land...a different place and time, filled with magic and adventure shared with just one other person...that person reading the story to us...maybe, it was mom, or dad, a brother or sister or even a grandparent.

 

Whoever it was. It was in those moments that many of us first discovered the magic of books and the wondrous things they have to share with us...the people, places, adventure, mysteries and magic...all of it is magic. Magic that transports us to places and on adventures all without ever having to leave the safety of our cozy, comfortable beds. It's a magic that we get to keep with us our entire lives every time we open a book it's there waiting for us. 

 

Ok...so now you're probably kind of wondering what this actually has to do with a specific book...one called 'The Dragon's Devotion'...well, you see this story took me back to my childhood to the magic of fairytales and happily ever after...there was a dragon and yes, we all know I'm a total pushover for dragons but this one...well, I have to say I think Corentin is going to be one of my favorite dragon's ever. He's large and majestic and his scales are such a deep purple that they're almost black, he has beautiful violet eyes. He's fierce and brave and at the heart of him is a man...a man who is intelligent, kind, loyal, handsome and knows how to love. Yeah...I sorta...kinda have a crush on Corentin.

 

But as wonderful as dragon's are they weren't the only thing in this story to hold my interest. There was also Bastian or more accurately there was the mystery that Bastian brought with him...you see for me Bastian was ok, I didn't dislike him. I just wasn't enamored of him. To be honest at times he annoyed me, but I also felt badly for him he lost his parents at an early age and being the oldest child of an Earl, he suddenly had a huge amount of responsibility thrust upon him. Not only was he suddenly the Earl but he has 3 younger siblings that he is also responsible for...two brothers and a sister and it's responsibility that he takes very seriously...read...micro-manage and too serious. But it's done out of a sense of love, responsibility and family obligation...so maybe his course of action wasn't always the best but his intentions were and that definitely counts for a lot.

 

And on a sidebar...can I just say that I was far more interested in Bastian's brothers, Griffen and Mathis...especially Griffen, I think there's definitely a story to be told about that young man and I for one would be so willing to read it...just sayin'.

 

Now about that mystery that Bastian brings...you see years earlier Bastian's parents and Prince Philip's parents were killed in an accident...or was it? This is the question that plagues Bastian when he receives a mysterious note telling him that what they had assumed was an accident wasn't. Leaving Bastian wondering 'what to do?' and 'who to trust?' *no spoiler here folks, it's in the blurb.*

 

'The Dragon's Devotion' was a wonderful blend of romance and mystery with a subtle touch of fairy tale for some added magic. The romance was a sweet slow burn...but there was definitely a romance, one involving sweet kisses in the rain, dinner's out with a side of attempted murder...opps, maybe not such a romantic thing...but did I mention...dragon to the rescue? See...what i did there, how romantic is that?

 

Now, just one more thing before I leave on another adventure. 'The Dragon's Devotion' is the fifth book in Antonia Aquilante's 'Chronicles of Tournai' series and as it says in the blurb this one can be read as a stand alone. I haven't read the first 4 books and while I very much enjoyed this one I have to admit I do wonder if I had read the previous books if this might not have turned out to be a 5 star read for me? I honestly can't say for sure, but what I can say is that at no point did I feel lost or confused about this story.  I think readers who have read the previous books will probably enjoy it all the more for having the background of some of the secondary characters and while I loved that there were characters from the previous stories in this one, I truly didn't feel like I was missing anything that was relevant to this story so much as that I think when I have a chance I'd like to go back to Tournai and catch up on what I missed by not having read the first 4 books.

 

'The Dragon's Devotion' is a wonderful story reminiscent of childhood but  wrapped in magic for adults. 

 

 

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An ARC of 'The Dragon's Devotion' was graciously provided by IndiGo Marketing & Design in exchange for an honest review. 

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review 2017-09-11 17:28
This one slipped at little towards the end...
Never Let You Go - Andrew Grey

Ashton and Brighton have been friends for most of their lives...falling in love just seemed like a natural progression in their relationship. Ashton protected Brighton and along with his Aunt Petey gave Brighton a place to feel safe and loved when he first came out to his parents. When Ashton enlisted in the military Brighton was always there waiting for him to come home on leave...waiting for him to come home after his final mission and the end of his tour of duty...only things went wrong and Ashton never came home.  Brighton was left believing that the man he loved was dead and Brighton was left trying to put himself back together with only half his heart.

 

It's nearly two years later when Ashton and Brighton see each other again. Neither man is the same. Brighton has a niece to raise following the death of his sister. Ashton's still recovering both physically and mentally from the mission that nearly ended it all for him.

 

This one started out good for me and I liked the initial reunion between Ashton and Brighton. While the men were separated in part because of a misunderstanding when they finally talked it wasn't an over the top dramatic event and while the forgiveness came fairly easily it wasn't done in an unrealistic way things didn't instantly fall into place. It felt more like an acknowledgment of mistakes made and a willingness to try again.

 

Unfortunately it's not enough that Ashton and Brighton have to work through their own circumstances and get to know each other again...to learn the changes. They also find themselves having to possibly face Ashton's reaction to the news that his nightmares may be looking for him. 

 

There were things that for me just detracted from the story and niggled at me. Things like the fact that the reason Ashton had originally stayed away quite honestly made sense to me and Ashton's actions were done purely out of his love for Brighton and because he thought Ashton was happy and he didn't want to risk spoiling that for him. The fact that Brighton seemed to understand where Ashton was at one minute and then the next he acted like Ashton now should be the same Ashton who enlisted in the military years earlier and hadn't endured what he had...in other words at times Brighton just seemed a little wishy, washy in his responses and how he felt about things emotionally.  He loved Ashton enough to always be waiting for him, to understand when they put their plans for the future on hold while Ashton served in the military. He loved him enough to want to try again when they were reunited and suddenly when Ashton's behavior isn't what Brighton thinks it should be, even knowing what Ashton suffered Brighton's giving ultimatums and saying that he can't do it anymore and they're through? WTF? For me it felt like this was when Ashton needed someone the most. His behavior was like a neon sign screaming that Ashton needed help and Brighton walked away.

 

As much as I was enjoying the beginning of this book for me the last part of the story just wasn't working and then we got what was almost a magical HEA and things just ended up being ok and not as awesome as they'd started out being.

 

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An ARC of 'Never Let You Go' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-09-07 01:09
I'm totally a softy where Virgo's are concerned...
Scorpio Hates Virgo - Anyta Sunday

I really, really loved 'Leo Loves Aries' and enjoyed the hell out of that book and while I'm not sure that I'd say I loved this one more I definitely loved it every bit as much as 'Leo Loves Aries'. 

 

Percy's returned home to the cul-de-sac after the funeral of his beloved Aunt and he's determined that he needs to sell the house that was left to him in order to move on with his life. What he hasn't counted on is that maybe the people in this close knit little community...his aunt's neighbors and one neighbor in particular would do their subtle and not so subtle best to make him see that sometimes moving on has more to do with where your heart is than your body.

 

Within minutes of his return to his aunt's home Percy's confronted by Callaghan Glover his nemisis and verbal sparring partner. 

 

Percy's got his hands full in this one. He's determined to sell his Aunt's house and move on from the grief that it holds for him. But first he's got to deal with a cousin whose grief is expressed through anger, a neighborhood that's convinced he needs to spruce up his aunt's home and make it his own, his nemesis who seems determined to change the dynamics of their relationship and whose family is starting to feel suspiciously like they need him as much as he needs them. Then there's the neighborhood game of 'Sherlock Gnomes' that's just too tempting to resist add in some eggnog and a few carrot cake muffins with cream cheese frosting and you've got the makings of some fun and yummy times.

 

I loved how sweet this story was and for as much as I enjoyed seeing Percy and Cal interact and watching their relationship develop and change I also loved all the neighbors and Cal's family...well, except for his dad...sorry, him I just did not understand and I really don't care to try. And I totally want to join in with the Sherlock Gnomes and play Zombie Apocalypse, this just sounds like to much fun to miss out on and hey, Leone, Theo and Jamie were on board for this too.

 

Percy's so busy with trying to move on that what he almost does't see is that he's building memories and re-starting his life right there in the place he wants to leave...

"...But you brought more inside, Cal. You brought kindness and affection. You brought friendship." Heat pooled behind his eyes and he blinked hard, voice catching. "You brought me family."

'Scorpio Hates Virgo' is a sweet, low angst, fun, enemies to lovers story and I loved the added touch of the compatibility of the different signs of the zodiac. While I'm not someone who checks their horoscope on a daily or even a weekly basis, I can't deny that in general the subject of astrology holds a certain fascination for me and in the case of this book it was just too tempting for me to resist since my son's a Virgo and I was curious to see if I would find any similarities between him and the character of Cal and I did...so needless to say I adored Cal. But, I also loved Percy too for all that he'd been through I found him to be feisty and caring and I loved that in spite of how much he claimed to want to sell the house and move away his heart was never truly into the idea.

 

I'm curious to see what signs Anyta Sunday has planned next for this series...maybe Gemini, Sagittarius, Pisces? There are so many possibilities, I'm definitely looking forward to finding out.

 

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An ARC of 'Scorpio Hates Virgo' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-09-04 20:31
If you’ve ever wanted to read a book that makes you feel good...
How to Save a Life (Howl at the Moon Book 4) - Eli Easton

...leaves you smiling and wanting more and makes you laugh every time you talk to your own fur baby and he tilts his head at you like every word out of your mouth is vitally important and he knows exactly what you’re saying and you’ve been left wondering “How much do you truly understand?”…you need to stop right now and check out Eli Easton’s ‘Howl at the Moon’ series because it will do all that and more.

 

I love this series…from ‘How to Howl at the Moon’ to ‘How to Save a Life’ we are introduced to some of the most adorable and loving characters a reader could hope to meet. ‘How to Save a Life’ simply continues this tradition as we watch Rav and Sammy meet and fall in love.

 

Rav was first introduced to us in book #3 ‘How to Wish Upon a Star’. He runs a rescue shelter in Arizona that cares for older and hard to place dogs frequently saving them from surrounding shelters known to have a high kill and this is how Rav and Sammy first come to encounter each other. It’s when Rav looks into Sammy’s eyes after rescuing him from a shelter where his time was running out because dogs are euthanized after 90 days that Rav’s reminded of the dogs he’d met from Mad Creek.

 

Sammy’s life as a dog hasn’t been good. After losing his first person and then being cared for by her sister who loves him but has an abusive partner, Sammy ends up being taken to a local shelter knowing that her partner will only continue to hurt Sammy and she’d sworn to her sister that she’d care for him.

 

Ironically, it’s Sammy’s escape from Rav’s shelter that brings both Sammy and Rav to Mad Creek. While Rav’s drawn to Sammy, it’s actually Mad Creek that calls to him and makes him want to settle there. Rav’s never been a big fan of people but his love of dogs is strong and what motivated him to start a rescue shelter. It’s not until Rav arrives in Mad Creek that he actually meets Sammy in his human form.

 

While Rav is a confident dog loving, bad boy, biker dude who spends his days rescuing dogs. Sammy is a sweet, earnest, naïve and eager to please newly quickened Chocolate Lab.

 

When Rav sees Sammy for the first time he’s definitely attracted to him but he also realizes that if he’s going to get close to Sammy it’s going to take time and patience and since staying in Mad Creek is Rav’s end game giving Sammy some space is something he can do.

 

This one’s a slow burn and probably one of the sweetest building romances I’ve read in a long time…possibly ever. Sammy’s incredible sweetness and innocence combined with his wonky sense of humor and enthusiasm for his new human form and just life in general was for me irresistible, especially when combined with Rav’s patience and the pleasure that he got from just being with Sammy to make this story a total treat to read from start to finish.

 

Along with Rav and Sammy’s story we get to enjoy catching up with the other couples from Mad Creek that we were introduced to in previous stories as the town of Mad Creek pulls together to not only save their town but ensure its future.

 

I’m not sure if Ms Easton has more planned for this series but if she does then just sign me up because I’m there and if this is the end of the journey than I can’t really complain because the trips been a whole lot of fun and puppy love and everyone knows you can never go wrong if there are fur babies involved.

 

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An ARC of ‘How to Save a Life’ as graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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