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review 2017-04-25 01:36
A new series from L. A. Witt...
Back Piece (Skin Deep Inc.) - L.A. Witt

'Back Piece' is the first book in L.A. Witt’s latest series Skin Deep Inc. This is the story of two men damaged and hiding from the world. Colin is a tattoo artist and the owner of Skin Deep Inc. His past has left him damaged in so many ways but he’s a fighter and with determination and a solid support system he takes one day at a time and struggles to keep himself together. Commitment’s not on the table for him because he’s not ready to share his past with anyone else.


Daniel Moore is 26 and joined the Navy to get away from his ultra conservative and controlling parents. Daniel’s been hiding who he is and what he wants his whole life. Raised by parents who loved Daniel not for who he was but who they believed him to be Daniel’s kept himself firmly ensconced in the closet, but one look at Collin when he sees him for the first time at the gym with his ripped body covered in tattoos gives Daniel the courage to finally start going after what he wants some tattoos of his own and a man to go with them.


I loved how the relationship between these two men developed. It wasn’t love at first sight, there was a definite attraction but neither of these men were looking for the ‘L’ word. 


Colin likes big, strong military men like Daniel…and Daniel…well, Daniel likes muscles and tats. What starts as a business relationship when Daniel approaches him about his tattoos easily turns into more as Colin puts ink to skin. It’s during this first tattoo session that they begin to realize they also enjoy each others company and once again their relationship shifts to something more and they become friends and then friends with benefits when attraction becomes too strong to deny.


It’s during this time that Colin begins to open up and share his demons with Daniel. Colin’s issues aren’t the type that got away and he realizes that he needs…even wants to share this part of himself with Daniel. Neither man is willing to label their relationship but each acknowledges it’s importance in their own way.


I loved that Colin is both supportive and non-judgemental of Daniel’s reluctance to come out to his family, never pushing him to do what he is so obviously not ready for. He even spends a day with them as Daniel’s friend…his strictly platonic friend, and that Daniel shows him the same non-judgemental support when Colin opens up to him about his issues. The relationship between these two is so warm and positive and the author reflects this beautifully in how they share their passion for one another…it’s just hella’ hot…as in ‘turn on the cold shower’ hot.


For me one of the best parts of this book was when Daniel’s parents visited. As much as I wanted them to be…these people weren’t evil monsters or even abusive. They were just normal, average people who loved their kids and believed they were doing right by them. Sadly, they were also misguided and their idea of what the words ‘unconditional love’ meant had to many conditions tied to it. As a parent this of course was the part of the book that made my heart ache because there are too many Daniels out there in the world. Good kids who just want their parents to love and accept them for who they are rather than who their parents believe them to be or want them to be.


Ironically though it was Colin who really tugged at my heart. Colin had a good and loving family and they loved him for himself. For Colin it was the outside world that left him feeling broken and damaged, keeping him from seeing that he was a beautiful person inside and out. It’s not until Daniel that Colin feels like he’s found someone who sees him…not who they think him to be or want him to be but him…the Colin that is and likes what he sees…in fact loves what he sees.


As much as I loved the ending of this book it was part of the reason that this was a 4 star read for me and not 5. The ending in a lot of ways was so good, it was happy with a tiny expected touch of sad but unfortunately it was a little too abrupt as well. For me this would probably have easily been a 5 star read if the first part had been a tiny bit shorter and the ending had been a tiny bit longer, but, be that as it may at the end of it all ‘Back Piece’ was still an enjoyable story worth reading.



An ARC of ‘Back Piece’ was graciously provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-04-25 00:53
Attention: THIRDS Nerds it's time to get your Hudson & Seb fix...
Darkest Hour Before Dawn - Charlie Cochet

I was so excited to finally get to this one. Seb and Hudson have been floating around in the background since the very beginning of THIRDS and it's not secret that they have a history...a very strong history. So finally here we are at their story and in general I loved it.


I loved seeing more of Seb and...oops, here's where I ran into a surprise...I can't really say this was a problem because that would imply that it affected how much I enjoyed the story and ironically this didn't but I was surprised to find that part way through this I was a little less than enchanted with Hudson. Up until now I'd liked him but in 'Darkest Hour Before the Dawn' I felt like Hudson was being shown to us at times in a bit of a different light...he's got flaws. I mean really? Who knew? Hudson's not perfect and I have to say I was ok with this mostly because he did begin to see that the things that other people were telling him weren't meant to be cruel or mean but they were things that he needed to see about himself because like anyone he wasn't perfect and he wasn't always right. Seb had his flaws as well but thankfully when it came to Hudson patience wasn't one of them. I liked that by the end of it all both of these men were just like so many people. Not perfect just two men trying to do their best and be the best person they could for themselves and for each other. 


There were so many questions answered in this story and of course some new ones arose as well. Once again along with giving us another couples story Ms Cochet has added on to the bridge that's taking us from what was and what is to what's will be. I'm honestly not sure how things are going to play out but with the addition of TIN and the things that have been revealed in this book I'm pretty sure it's going to be one hella' good ride. 


As always the world of THIRDS is laced with humor and thank goodness for that. These guys deal with some seriously scary and messed up stuff in their day to day lives and if you can't find a reason to smile and laugh from time to time...well then, really what's the point? Life's too short to always look on the gloomy side you have to take your happiness where and when you find it.


I'm definitely anticipating all the things that are coming next for this amazing group. For me one of the best parts of any book in this series along with getting a new story that often involves a new couple is simply the fact that we get to see a bit of all the THIRDS family members and occasionally a new member or two gets added. I loved seeing more of Seb's parents and Rafe, Austen...one can never have too much Austen. I was intrigued by Austen from the word go and I admit every book since I look for whatever little glimpse of him that I can get...his stories coming but we've got a ways to go before we get to it, so in the meantime I live for whatever Austen moments I can find and Wolf. Yes, we did find out stuff about Wolf this time around and I have to admit it was some pretty important stuff but there's more I'm sure of it and last but not least Dom. I definitely want more Dom. Ok, all kidding aside I just want more THIRDS. 



An ARC of 'Darkest Before the Dawn' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-04-24 21:59
This is not a romance...
Sparkwood - Daria Defore

But it does have a touch of romance in it. 'Sparkwood' is more of a murder mystery/thriller with a very subtle romance developing in the background and I do mean subtle about halfway through this book I was questioning whether or not things couple possibly ever work out between the MCs. Their relationship seemed firmly ensconced in the love to hate category...as in they loved to hate each other but there was also a definite pull of attraction between them, so of course I had to keep reading because one...I needed to know who did it and two...I needed to find out if these two were going to get together or walk away when all was said and done. 


There were a couple of definite issues between them one being that Finn is a closeted bisexual and the only person he's willing to admit this to is himself and he has no use for the fae...doesn't trust them.


Robin is fae and takes an instant dislike to Finn. He's come to Sparkwood to invite Finn to attend his twin brother's funeral in Sparkwood...the other Sparkwood...the fae version of Sparkwood.  The only thing that Finn wants more than to not go is to know what happened to his twin brother Luke.  Someone killed Luke and Finn means to make sure they pay for their crime.


What Finn doesn't realize is that things aren't what they seem to be and the rules in the Fae Sparkwood are very different making it so much easier for a mere mortal to find themselves in over their head. Suddenly what's suppose to be a few days for a funeral and a bit of subtle sleuthing turns into an extended stay with a member of the fae who's even more irritating than Robin. Leaving Finn with only one option of who to turn to for help.


Daria Dafore is a new to me author and I have to admit this made me a bit nervous. Often times new to me authors are a bit of a toss up for me. It's either going to be incredibly good or horribly wrong. I can deal with incredibly good because really saying nice things it's fun. I mean who doesn't want to be able to tell someone things like "Wow! That was amazing, I loved it, etc. etc." hopefully maybe putting a smile on that person's face and brightening their day it's the other part that I hate doing so needless to say I'm happy that I get to have fun here. I enjoyed 'Sparkwood' the writing was good, the characters were interesting and likable and the story was easy to follow but not easy in the way that allows you to have it all figured out by the end of chapter one. 


I was intrigued by the premise of this book and in spite of the fact that it had fae characters, which not a deal breaker for me but once again it was either going to be epically bad or incredibly good...so again I found myself a bit nervous and I'm happy to say my nervousness in regards to this book was totally misplaced.


I liked the author's version of the fae and find myself more than a little hopeful that there will be more from this author about the residents of Sparkwood...especially if there's more Robin and Finn. I can't help but imagine that life with these two now that they're getting along would be anything but boring.


'Sparkwood' was an interesting and entertaining murder mystery/thriller with a nice dash of romance on the side from a new to me author that definitely had me intrigued and looking forward to finding out what comes next?



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

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review 2017-04-20 21:36
We all need love...even gangsters...
A Day Makes - Mary Calmes

I should probably start with what was wrong and what didn't work...but....Hello? 5 stars...so safe to assume nothing was wrong and everything worked in my world.


From the first page...no scratch that...from the cover because have you looked at it? Seriously if that's Ceaton Mercer and I suspect it is. I'm with Brinley on this one. I'd jump him as soon as he was in the same room with me too...I mean really...damn that's nice...vary, vary nice...ok, back to the story.


'A Day Makes' is the story of Ceaton Mercer from the day that changed his life...the day he first met Grigor Jankovic to the day that his life took another drastic change...the day he met Brinley Todd and so much more.


I smiled with pure delight from start to finish with this story. I am totally and unrepentantly addicted to this author's books. Whatever is right or wrong about them I care not. I'm all about stories that I just fall into and enjoy and as always Mary Calmes has delivered in spades.


I admit it all that I care about is that I am entertained, I thoroughly enjoyed this story from start to finish, I love the characters and the banter that flows between them and the way this author can make me melt into a puddle of goo with just a couple of lines...

"you saved me, right?"
"I did, but--"
"I think I'm supposed to save you right back."

On a bit of a separate sidebar there was a reference to a character from another series that I love by another author that I also love and it's not the first time this has happened so I just thought I'd put it out there that if Ms. Calmes and Ms. Ford are even remotely considering a collaboration for a book or maybe even a series...well, can I just say I whole heartedly endorse this consideration.


I think I've always been a fan of over the top stories even when I was a child...I mean really...Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs? Cinderella? Sleeping Beauty? Tell me those stories are over the top and beyond. When was the last time anyone saw a pumpkin turn into a coach? or mice become footmen? glass slippers? See what I mean OTT it's a staple of the classics. 



An ARC of 'A Day Makes' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-04-18 20:33
Some secrets shouldn't be kept...
Poppy's Secret (Dreamspun Desires) - Andrew Grey

'Poppy's Secret' was my third try at an audio book narrated by John Solo involving children and definitely my last. Unfortunately, while I do like John Solo as a narrator for me his children's voices are the one area that falls short. For me, Emma's voice was at time's whiny...I'm talking nails on chalkboard here and her moments of cute and precocious became mouthy and rude add to this that her voice sounded very reminiscent of the children in the two previous books...reminiscent as in just like the little boys who were in 'Commitment Ranch' and 'The Virgin Manny'.


Children aside I enjoyed Mr. Solo' narration on this audiobook...especially his voice for Edgerton 'Edge' Winters and this was the other distraction for me in this book not Edgerton's voice but his nickname because and this is definitely a personal and ok...slightly entertaining issue. Simply put in my world 'Edge' is a wrestler...tall, blonde and well built so not really a bad distraction but still hard to stay focused when I should be thinking artist at this name and my brain's conjuring images of a wrestling match...specifically ladder matches...Edge liked to have ladder matches...ok, back to the book.


Poppy is Emma's name for her father, Pat the man who is raising her. Edge is Pat's ex. The man who left right when they were about to start a family. He wasn't ready for it then but 8 years later things have changed...well some things but not his feelings for Pat and if he can just get Pat to give him a second chance maybe they could have that family Pat's always wanted.


'Poppy's Secret' was a warm and sweet story of second chances and forgiveness. It was two men both realizing that they'd made mistakes and they still loved each other enough to want a dream that they'd given up years ago.


Pat and Edge's efforts to find their way back to each other were sweet and while the path wasn't smooth it wasn't filled with a lot of unnecessary drama either and I loved that we were given each man's perspective and not left feeling like it was one person's fault. Both men made mistakes and both needed to own up to their part in why things ended so many years ago.


Children's voices aside 'Poppy's Secret' was a very enjoyable listening experience about second chances at love, getting and giving forgiveness in order to have the life you thought you'd lost.



An audiobook of 'Poppy's Secret' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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