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review 2018-08-15 18:28
Well this was one short but sweet story...
Last Chance - RJ Scott

'Last Chance' was originally released in the 'Love for All Seasons' charity anthology...which I have to admit I missed out on and if this story is any indication of what it contained I definitely missed out on something good.

 

It's Luke and Justin's last year of college and granted they're not besties or anything of the sort but they shared a scorching hot kiss during their freshman year that Luke's never forgotten and if you ask Luke...Justin can't seem to remember, however, that's where Luke is about to find out that he's wrong.

 

'Last Chance' is just that as we quickly discover it's the story of the lengths that Justin is willing to go to in an effort not to loose what he feels is his last chance to have something with Luke...the boy who's never left his mind or his heart.

 

First off I'm just going to get this off of my chest right from the start...my only real problem here is that this story has the potential to be so freakin' much more. I loved Luke...he's an adorable geekie, ginger and Justin's equally adorable but even more than that I just kept wondering how on earth the captain of the hockey team...the head jock and yes this would be Justin, ended up with a group of the dorkiest, most incredibly goofy and sweet hockey player jocks for his friends. These guys were hilarious and I loved them and seriously dear author...there's a series here. Every one of them needs a story all their own...opportunity's knocking....please answer the door!!! and while your there maybe Luke and Justin's story could be expanded to start with that first kiss rather than just have it be a memory...just a thought :)

 

Ok, in spite of my greedy little grabby hands need for more overall even though this one has little to no actual on page sex and moderate steam...come on it's only 20ish pages it's still a lot of fun to read... it's a short, sweet, fun, essentially angst free story with a lovely HEA that'll leave you smiling and like me probably wanting more...but in the best possible way.

 

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

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review 2018-08-15 02:11
Turns out that things went a little better this time around...
Sun and Shadow - Dirk Greyson,Andrew McFerrin

Ok, here we are at the end of book #2 and somethings worked better for me so let's take a look at them...

 

First off there's the overall story...the mystery/thriller/action all that stuff and this time around this part of the story was on the plus side of things for me. I liked the story premise...a lot! I'm a bit of an art geek so when story is based artworks like this one was it gets brownie points with me from the get go and then there was the whole issue of the race between Knight and Day vs the Russians which definitely had some good moments even...dare I say humorous ones...

like when Day told Knight they couldn't go around messing with the cars of every Russian they meet...ok, if you say so Day but personally I'm cool with it, especially when it seems like every Russian you meet is trying to kill you. I say go for it.

 

and then we have Knight. I'm still not sure that I can say I like him but I was happy to see a bit of growth with him and I liked the whole side story of him and the kid that he caught robbing his garage...it was sweet, but not overly and that's all I'm saying on that subject. Well that and the fact that this was a nice little side step from everything else that was happening and I liked getting to see Knight interact with someone other than Day or the 'bad guys'. While he still maintained his gruff demeanor, we also got to see a kinder more caring Knight than I had believed was there...I have hope!

 

As for Knight and Day's relationship well there was a bit of growth there as well. While Knight's still got a long way to go at least this time around we got to see a bit of introspection on his part...although the visit from the dead wife was something I so could have done without...but maybe that's just me.

 

Day has thankfully stood up for himself form the word go with Knight and I like that this continued in spite of the fact that he's willing to take care of Knight when he's needed, it didn't mean that he wouldn't stand up for himself whenever Knight decided to be a jerk! Day would call him on his douchy behavior, something that Knight desperately needed. But on the other side of this coin I have to admit that I found it hard to buy the attraction between these two because of how often they were at odds with each other...maybe, if this aspect of things could shift a bit so that the conflict between these two eases up a bit I'll find them to be more believable as a couple and maybe that's just me and I'm cool with that too. We all have our own personal preferences as to what does or doesn't work in a relationship and I can honestly think of more than one couple that have had pretty high levels of antagonism going on between them and still as a couple it's worked for me. This is such a subjective aspect and while Knight and Day aren't quite there for me as a couple at least this time around I started to feel like I could see the possibility.

 

Once again I was treated to the opportunity to enjoy the narrations of Andrew McFerrin and he did not disappoint in any way especially since having the same narrator in the second story as there was in the first one made it that much easier to become invested in the story.

 

Even more important than whether or not a narrator sounds how I think a character should sound is having the consistency of that character sounding the same from story to story. Something that adds believability and realism to the story for me as a listener.

 

So far there's one more book listed for this series, 'Dawn and Dusk' and I have to admit while I doubt I'll read the e-book if it gets released on audio and  Andrew McFerrin's the narrator I may just give it a try. 

 

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An audio book of 'Sun and Shadow' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

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review 2018-08-14 03:03
It's Austen's story and I couldn't be happier!!!
Love and Payne - Charlie Cochet

I've been wanting and waiting for Austen's story since he first graced the pages of the  THIRDS series. 

 

Austen was that dark mysterious character who shows up when you least expect him and is enigmatic and somewhere along the line you discover that they play a much bigger role in things than it seems and yet somehow they seem to be a bit of an underdog...and you want them to get some of the happiness.

 

Austen's been keeping an eye on THIRDS Defense agent Osmond Zachary ('Zach') and his family for a while now.  He doesn't feel like he deserves to be happy but that's not how he feels about Zach. In Austen's opinion Zach is everything he wants but doesn't deserve but if nothing else he can keep Zach safe and if that allows him to be near the man well who is he to complain.

 

Zach doesn't share Austen's feelings. He's sure that he could make Austen happy and they could be good together if only Austen would give them a chance.

 

As the youngest in large....I mean large as in 10 children, Therian bear shifters, so we're talking large in more ways than one, Zach has never had to question whether or not he's loved because if anything he's more than likely to end up being loved to death by his overly protective family.  Austen's totally the opposite. He's an only child and his parents were...well, let's not waste a lot of time on what's really a waste of oxygen and space to begin with. Austen unfortunately wasn't blessed with either decent parents or any siblings to be loving and supportive. 

 

As much as Austen's determined to keep his distance from the man he wants more than anything when he gets a call telling him that Zach was hurt when foiling an assassination attempt, Austen doesn't hesitate to go to him determined to make sure that the man who owns his heart is ok. It doesn't take long for it to become obvious that somehow events have put Zach on the assassin's radar and the threat to both Zach and his family is both real and growing. 

 

I loved that the action part of this story took a very definite backseat to the relationship development between Zach and Austen. Getting to see Zach as he patiently showed Austen the patience and love that he had for him. Never pushing and always putting his care and concern for Austen out there for him to see and feel. I think one of my favorite parts in this story was when Zach and Austen were playing in the snow in their shifted forms it was so sweet and such a nice fun moment for them as a couple. 

 

I loved Zach's family and how they were with both Zach and Austen. This is a family that's filled with love and they have so much to share, that it overflowed to Austen so easily and naturally just seemed inevitable.

 

The closest thing that Austen has to family other than Sloane and Dex is his fellow SSA agent/TIN agent Brayden who happens to be a Snow Leopard...ok, folks I have a soft spot for Snow Leopards so you can assume right from the start that I like Brayden already and yes, oh please yes can we have a story for Brayden because he just sounds adorable!!! And if it involves more Austen and Zach...well, who am I to complain or maybe well get a story about Sloane and Dex and their new handler...oh, I bet that'd be an entertaining adventure.

 

THIRDS is a series that for me is a must have and sure I've enjoyed some stories more than others but still I've happily read them all and I have every intention of continuing this practice. So for all of you THIRDS nerds out there waiting for this one, it's coming soon and I hope it's as worth the wait for you as it was for me. Enjoy!

 

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An ARC of 'Love and Payne' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-08-14 01:59
All I need to make this truly perfect is the next episode...
Junk Shop Blues - Cole McCade

There was a lot about this story that set it apart from the first story but what didn't change was how much I enjoyed the interactions between Malcolm Khalaji and Seong-Jae Yoon.  Both their personal and professional interactions. While there's a definitely relationship developing between these two men it's slow...I mean seriously slow. Two books in and there's only been one kiss between them and that happened in the first book and according to both men...they felt nothing...that and a quarter will almost get them a phone call...just sayin'.  I have to admit I'd usually be a bit impatient with this but somehow with these two men it's working and I'm not having a problem with how things are progressing on a personal level.

 

Neither of these men are simple or uncomplicated...not in their personality or in their personal history and as we follow the story and Malcolm and Seong-Jae work together to solve their latest case we see things from both perspectives and are shown the frustration each man feels as they are subjected to actions that they don't always understand and that they often don't get an explanation for.

 

I'm just going to mention that while the relationship between these two men is a slow...seriously...ultra-slow burn that doesn't mean that there's not sexy times in this story...just that it's not necessarily between the MCs. So be warned if this is a deal breaker for you, it's here and each person needs to make their own decision  as to how they feel about it.  I know for some people sex other than between the MCs isn't something that they want in their stories so without going into details be warned it happens and it's in this story and that's all the detail that I'm giving about this.

 

So far this series dark and there are so many questions surrounding both Malcolm but Seong-Jae's past things that seem to be a part of a bigger overlying story line that is being revealed slowly and seems to be tied to Seong-Jae's past for sure and time will tell if there's a connection to Malcolm or not.

 

As much as I've been enjoying Malcolm and Seong-Jae there's so much more to this series and in this installment we were given more about Sade who offers cyber support to the team among other skills. I was curious about them in the first book when we saw enough of Sade to have our interest piqued along with Malcolm and Seong-Jae's Captain Anjulie Zarate y Salazar, whom we got a bit of an interesting peek at on a personal level as well this time around.

 

Cole McCade has a writing style that for me is unique to that of so many other authors that I read and the ease with which this author draws me into the story and weaves events together has kept me reading late into the night with both of these stories and I have to admit even though it's only been a couple of days since I finished the second story I am so looking forward to the next episode.  I've always loved crime dramas both as television shows and in my reading selections so I guess it's really kind of inevitable that I would be drawn to as series like this one. 

 

Anyone who's a fan of crime dramas, police procedurals or mysteries and doesn't mind a touch of sexual tension between their MCs should check this one out. I can't imagine that you'll be disappointed.

 

According to the Q & A at the end of this book the author has rough plans for 5, 13 episode seasons for this series...think of it as a television series in book format and just sign me up because if 'The Cardigans' and 'Junk Shop Blues' are any indication of what's to come this one's an Emmy winner and I am so there for each and every episode.

 

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A copy of 'Junk Shop Blues' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-08-13 23:55
Full disclosure here ladies and gents...this is not really a review...
A Few Good Fish - Amy Lane

This is me gushing and squeeing about one of my absolute favorite series...'Fish Out of Water' by Amy Lane.

 

Ok, I'll start with a bit of restraint here...I LOVE THIS SERIES!!!!!!!!!! I mean seriously LOVE. THIS. SERIES. For me it's the BOMB!!!!!!!!!!!! I adore Jackson and Ellery especially 'Jackson AND Ellery'...together these two men are total perfection for me. They work so well...like like Adrian & Jake, Lucky & Bo, Ty & Zane...am I saying they're "like" these other awesome couples...no, just that for me they are every bit as awesome.

 

First off while this one had all the action, adventure danger and ohmygod!!! They blew sh*t up...Karen was drooling...what can I say, I'm just a blow sh*t up kinda' girl and there was more LUCY SATAN!!!!!!!!!!! When I grow up I wanna' be just like her, she's my hero. Actually it's possible that Jackson and Ellery may have even broke her...but you'll have to read the story to find out...because I'm not gonna' tell.

 

We also got more of Jackson's family Jade and her brother are still around and oh joy, oh bliss!!! we may have gotten to spend a little time with Ace and Sonny from 'Racing for the Sun'  and maybe there was a new couple that I totally want to know more about, although we did meet one half of this couple previously in...'Racing for the Sun' and according to the blurb for the next book my wish will be answered.

 

Along with Ellery's mom the incomparable Lucy Satan (or Tyler Cramer to the rest of the world) we finally got to spend time with Ellery's father...and sweet baby jebus that mans an adorable teddy bear.

 

Now on top of all this Jackson and Ellery once again have landed in  harms way but with a little help from their friends they'll manage to save a few lives and keep themselves alive all while taking down the bad guys, but none of this happens without repercussions for them and as a result choices need to be made that neither man had anticipated and ones that will have a huge impact on their future.

 

One of the things about this story that I really loved was the relationship interactions between Ellery and Jackson and how much Jackson is growing...his life has sucked...I mean seriously with a mother like his...yeah, she was a piece of work but he's trying I mean damn Jackson is seriously trying to open up to Ellery and just be honest with himself about his feelings and at times it was dark and heartbreaking to be in Jackson's mind and so many times I just wanted to hug him and tell him that he just needs to trust Ellery and let him love him because together they'll be ok...I admit it I'm a sap and #teamJackson&Ellery4evah!

 

The ending of this book was by no means the end of things for Jackson and Ellery.  I know that the blurb for the next book tells us there will be a different pair of MCs, but I have faith that we haven't seen the last of Jackson and Ellery or my hero, Lucy Satan and I'm looking forward to finding out what the future holds for them all, but I'm also more than a little curious to find out where Ms Lane is going to take us in book #4 'Hiding the Moon'...detours can bring some of the best adventures on any journey.

 

Needless to say no story is perfect so while there may have been some quirks and quibbles in this one. None of them were enough to spoil things for me...well other than the fact that I want more and I want it now, but in the meantime there's always the audio book to look forward to, right?

 

So this is how it all starts...

A tomcat, a psychopath, and a psychic walk into the desert to rescue the men they love….  

and to say the least things really amped up in this story...the action was fast paced, the heat between Ellery & Jackson was scorching hot, but what remains to be seen is...how will it all end?

 

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An ARC of 'A Few Good Fish' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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