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review 2017-05-23 01:58
Book Review: Lace by K.C. Wells
Lace - K.C. Wells,Meredith Russell

I'm of two minds about this book.

On one hand, this was perfect, kinky erotica, and I love how much emotion this author always puts into the sexy times. Also, manties. Yum!!

On the other hand, Dave is a jerk for outing Shawn's personal kink to someone else, and both of them suffer from "can't-talk-about-shit-itis". So frustrating.

Why four stars, then, you ask? Because it's K.C. Wells and I just adore her particular brand of magic. There's definitely a connection between the two men - best mates for ages - that turns to more when one of them finds out the other is not so straight after all, and the other finds some lacy knickers in a dresser drawer that prompts a WTF and a BJ.

Except, they just. Can't. Seem. To. TALK to each other. One makes a bloody stupid assumption, and the other makes a bloody stupid assumption, and they get all tangled into knots about each other and what the other might be feeling.

Jeez, guys, communicate, eh? It's not that difficult, right? OMG, they frustrated me to no end. I'm sure the author intended that, so - success!!

I liked both of them, except for that shit Dave pulls when he tells another guy about Shawn's proclivity for silky/lacy drawers, which is so uncool. Super uncool. I'm shocked that Shawn didn't seem to care all that much about Dave outing his little secret, especially considering that Shawn goes to the same gym, and seriously? *snarls*

But, my God, when they burn up the sheets, and then when they finally get it together? Yeah - that's where this book shines, and I was feeling all happy and gooey inside after the ending.

So, I'm of two minds, but the enjoyment side won out. It's a quick read, though I wouldn't recommend reading it during lunch time unless you work from home, and in that case, what are you waiting for? Read it!!



** I received a free copy of this book from Signal Boost Promotions. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2017-05-11 02:59
ARC Review: To Touch You (Mates #4) by Cardeno C.
To Touch You: A Vampire Shifter Gay Romance (Mates Collection Book 4) - Cardeno C.

Dear Salvatore Rossi - you're a jerk. A stubborn, selfish, snobbish jerk.

Having said that, you redeemed yourself in the end but only by a hair.

Not much love,

Me

****

This is the fourth, and probably last book, in the Mates series, which I loved. LOVED.

Here we have Yoram Smith, great-nephew of Ethan Abbatt (of Until Forever Comes), who at 7 years old gets a whiff of one Salvatore Rossi, abovementioned jerk, and knows, just knows, he's found his one true mate.

Salvatore, or Sal as Yoram calls him, is a business man, visiting the town near the Miancarem pack to entice Miguel Rodriguez, mate of Ethan, to sell him some land. Miguel has no interest in doing so, and if it weren't for Yoram proclaiming Sal his friend, Miguel might have simply chased him out of town. Except Sal is sick, sicker than he knows, and when his illness becomes terminal, and Yoram finds out, he implores Miguel to save his friend Sal.

So Sal becomes a vampire, and promptly returns to his business, caring not one iota about Yoram.

At 14, Yoram visits Sal in Las Vegas and is told to go home. Go home. By his mate!!

Yeah... I didn't like Sal at all, though I could appreciate that a 30-odd year old man/vampire would be slightly freaked out that a 14 year old boy tells him he's his mate.

So Yoram goes home, suffers alone, but he doesn't give up. He experiences similar symptoms as Ethan had before meeting Miguel, and some pointed questions later, Sal begins to get blood deliveries. Because Yoram is a saint, and just because Sal is a jerkface doesn't mean that Yoram needs to let his mate suffer.

There's some crossover here with book three, In Your Eyes. If you've read that book, you'll remember Korban Keller, who's the Alpha's son, and heir apparent, but whose mate Samuel is the Alpha of the Yafenack pack, and you'll remember what happened there, and what leads to Miancarem needing a new Alpha.

Yoram again steps up to the plate, because he's a fucking saint! He loves his pack, he loves the other wolves, and he wants to do what's best for them. Except that doesn't leave him any time for traveling to Vegas every month to deliver blood.

And then Salvatore Rossi wonders for possibly the first time who might have been bringing him blood, and what might have caused the deliveries to stop, and he travels to Miancarem to investigate. Still super selfish, amirite?

Character flaws of a particular vampire notwithstanding, I loved this book just as much as I loved the other three, though In Your Eyes will likely always be my favorite of the four. A lot of my enjoyment was because of Yoram, who is a FUCKING saint, and also because of Toby, a wolf from Yoram's pack and his brother-in-law, who provides the snark and attitude and humor in this book. He took no crap at all from Sal, he wasn't afraid of the big, bad vampire, and he took zero prisoners when it came to telling Sal what a jerk he'd been all these many years. He had some fantastic zingers, and I giggled a lot when he was on page.

This being a book by Cardeno C., there are also some super hot sexy times (when they then finally happen, OMG), and knotting. Knotting, people, which just gives the sexy times that extra oomph. Mating bites. Bloodsucking while making love. Gah. There is always such emotion within the sexy times, and I think that's one of the author's special gifts.

I was a little bit bothered by the rather abrupt transition from "where's the blood, dammit" to "OMG, I Love You, You're my everything" that Sal goes through, considering that his character was a stupid, selfish, snobbish jerk for most of the book, but I chalked that off to the mating pull doing its thing, and him finally being near Yoram for long enough to actually allow himself to feel it. The jerk.

This is definitely a fitting end to the series, and I loved that the couples from the previous book made an appearance. Well, all but Samuel. It can be read as a standalone, but why would you? Why would you not read all the books in this fantastic series? Exactly.

I will read any shifter book this author writes, ever, and I can hardly wait to get my grabby hands on the next one, even if it'll be a different series. Maybe we'll get another Syphon book next? Sign me right up.

I'm a CC addict, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Just keep feeding my addiction, would ya, CC?


** I received a free copy of this book from its author. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2017-03-14 22:31
Release Day ARC Review: Two Cowboys And A Baby by B.A. Tortuga
Two Cowboys and a Baby (Dreamspun Desires Book 30) - BA Tortuga

On the surface, there's a cute story here. You got cowboys, small town antics, and even an abandoned baby on your doorstep that holds the twisted answer to a long-kept secret. So, I was ready for cute and sweet and lots of cowboys. And I got that, to some extent.

What didn't work for me as well were some parts of the relationship bromance between Hoss (the supposed baby-daddy) and Bradley, two men who've been friends forever and a day, but who had a falling out when Hoss came out to Bradley way back when in high school. I totally believed that Hoss was in love with Bradley, and that Bradley was in love with Hoss - no issues there - and when Bradley confessed to Hoss that maybe back then he was an idiot, and he's regretted that ever since, their bromance became much more and their romantic relationship really took off.

The parts that were harder to swallow had to do with the revelations about the little innocent baby Hoss finds on his doorstep one morning, and how she looks a little too much like Hoss, and how the DNA test shows that .... well, I'll let y'all read this yourself. The drama that unfolds between Bradley and Hoss was, while understandable, a little out of left field. Up until that point, I thought that the back and forth banter between them showcased their relationship, and they truly felt like they'd been friends for a very long time. So it was a bit of a shock for me to see Bradley react the way he did when that twist came about, and while the lack of real communication between them was indicative of their relationship, I would have thought that Bradley wouldn't be such a dumbass and trusted Hoss a bit more than what he did. Yeah, yeah, surely the "surprise" was a shock to them all, but when your man tells you "no, I didn't", then maybe you ought to stop and listen instead of being all Judgy McJudgerson, eh?

I also thought that the twist was a bit over the top, but then I've come to expect that sort of over the top kind of thing from this series, so I wasn't put off by it. I adored Hoss being all awkward with the baby, without a clue what to do, so that part rang true for me. Even if his mama came to help out a bit.

The author really captured the small town Texas feel, and made me feel like I was right there at the rodeo with Hoss and Bradley - well done, that.

Also, if your sheriff's name is Pooter - 'nuff said. I giggled a lot whenever he was on page. Stereotypical small town characters all around, and that part was a lot of fun.

This was an enjoyable read, even if I didn't like some parts. The book works well within the Dreamspun Desires series, and should be read the way it was intended - as a bit of fluff, a bit over the top, and a "love will save the day" kind of romance.


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2016-10-30 23:54
ARC Review: You Belong With Me by J.R. Loveless
You Belong With Me - J.R. Loveless

I'm going to review this while it's still fresh in my mind. The blurb covers most of what happens in this book.

This was a disappointing read, for the most part. Craig is awful and oblivious, and I have serious doubts about his sudden change of heart. Scott is a better character, but he sounds younger than I would like, even though his character is much more steadfast. I liked Karen, Scott's twin sister, too, especially how fiercely protective she was of her brother.

The writing is much tell, little show, and we're spending time in Scott's, Craig's, and Karen's head, which I assume was done to give the reader a full understanding, but which ended up being too much crammed into a short novella.

Craig does some truly awful things, especially that one during Scott and Karen's birthday party, and while Scott may have forgiven him for it, I have not. While the long separation was necessary, the MCs didn't really have much time to talk things out, before jumping right into the conclusion of this book, i.e. the sex.

I didn't buy Craig's change of heart, and that's probably the biggest thing that didn't work for me here.



** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2016-10-16 20:26
Release Day ARC Review: Suddenly Yours by Jacob Z. Flores
Suddenly Yours (Dreamspun Desires Book 20) - Jacob Z. Flores

I had high expectations for this book, because of its author, and while he didn't let me down, I did end up disliking Julian to the point of it costing this book that extra half star.

This book is at its core about two men whose expectations of love and relationships have been set by the examples they had in their parents. They don't believe in love. Overrated. Love is a useless emotion. Right.

Fundamentally, Cody and Julian are rather well-suited to each other, their personalities meshing nicely, but because of their belief systems, their oopsie-on-a-dare marriage appears to be doomed from the start.

Julian is adamant that he's not going to fall in love. While he's openly gay and won his senate seat while openly gay, and while he supports same-sex marriage and equality, he has no intention of ever getting married or being in love. His parents' marriage is Exhibit A, and no, sirree, it's not for him. Besides, he almost got married once, but that didn't work out, so here's Exhibit B. No love for Julian, thanks.

Cody too has a lot of reservations about love and marriage. He's in Vegas for a bachelor party weekend, seeing one of his frat brothers tying the knot. He feels the pressure of taking the next step in adulthood, meaning finding The One and getting hitched, but his mother's bad luck in love has warned him off that path. He's perfectly happy not being in love and finding his meat-du-jour.

Except, they are both looking for the same thing - companionship, friendship, having someone to come home to. Sex. Someone who supports you. More sex. Everything a relationship offers, except the love part. Because, you know, love is overrated. And love can hurt you.

So their agreement after their hasty Vegas marriage is a six-month trial period of living together and seeing whether this works for them both. Sex is off the table, because neither wants the holy hot boysecks they had the night before to distract them from making the right decision. And they agree that they will not fall in love.

Famous last words.

Jacob easy writing style always draws me right in, and this book is no exception. What carried it for me, and what kept me glued to the pages, is Cody. He was adorable and sweet and kind, even if he's a bit of a rake early on, but he seemed committed to making things work and help Julian retain his senate seat. He works within Julian's rigid rules (borne out of a need to control all things), but also tries to pull him out of his head and enjoy life.

Love always finds a way, though, no matter how oblivious or dead-set against it the characters may be. When things come to a head, because love does happen as it's wont to do, and Julian does a stupid thing that hurts Cody, I was so upset that I nearly didn't finish the book. He really ticked me off, and I think because I so adored Cody, it made me even more angry how Julian treated him.

The book has plenty of humorous moments though, and I did enjoy reading it. I especially liked Cody's Days Of Our Lives soap opera obsession, and thought that the author cleverly used that theme with tongue-in-cheek. And while we get a tentative HEA, as expected because this is a romance after all, I would have liked to see an epilogue to really cement it. I wasn't quite as ready to forgive Julian as Cody was, and would have preferred a bit more begging.

By design, this book is low on steam on-page, but high on UST, which was highly entertaining.

While is is a Dreamspun Desires title and certainly has a Harlequin-type feeling to it, it's also the 2nd book in the One Fine Day series. In that it too fits well within the overall theme.

Nicely done, Jacob, even if Julian made me mad.


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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