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review 2018-11-25 01:12
I think the sun's might be setting on this one for me...
Dawn and Dusk - Dirk Greyson,Andrew McFerrin

'Dawn and Dusk' is the 3rd installment in Dirk Greyson's (read Andrew Grey's) 'Day and Knight' series and while the story was ok and had a fairly solid plot carrying it. I just wasn't enamored of the characters. 

 

I've given this one a solid try and truthfully it's just not getting better. I did enjoy the mystery that was happening in this one. Day and Knight are back from their latest adventure and Day's feeling like they've stalled...it would seem that what happened on the assignment...stays on the assignment and while Day would prefer something that was moving forward more than anything he just wants to know where things are at. He's not ready to be anyone's 'dirty little secret' but if that's all Knight wants than they need to work that out. 

 

When Day's brother turns up missing though he realizes he's got more important things to deal with like getting to where his brother is and finding out what's happened to him. Knight wants to help him but not at the risk of Day rushing in with no plan and no back up when he's got no idea what's happening...there's just too many 'no's' in that equation for his liking.

 

As Knight steps up to support day and  help him look for answers to find out what's happened to his brother both men are also forced to examine their relationship...where it's at and where they want it to go.

 

Once again Andrew McFerrin is the narrator for this story and he's definitely on the plus side of things for me with this one. One of if not the biggest pet peeve I have with an audio book series that has the same MCs throughout is when the narrator changes from book to book. It's not a matter of good or bad but I just find that no two narrators interpret the characters the same way and as a result how a character sounds changes from narrator to narrator and I just can't get into the story. But Andrew McFerrin has narrated all 3 of these books and even though this may not be my favorite series it's one that I've enjoyed because of this and truly chances are at some point in the future when I want to hear something different but I don't feel like scrolling through screen after screen of book titles I'll take another shot at this and who knows I may feel the same...I may enjoy it just a little bit more...only time will tell.

 

This is another series that's left me torn as to whether or not I'll continue listening to it. I think it's going to depend on where things are going for this pair and how strongly the next book catches my attention. I know there are a lot of reviews/ratings out there for people who have really liked this one so it's definitely a case of to each their own but be fair check them all out because what works for one person doesn't always work for every one and vice versa!

 

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

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review 2018-11-24 22:26
These vampires are pretty freakin' epic...
His Consort - Mary Calmes

First off let me just say 'I make no apologies. I love Mary Calmes' I have a small group of authors that I'll just read whatever they write and the reasons may vary but mostly it's the entertainment factor and just the fact that for whatever reason I can easily escape into the story and enjoy it without a lot of deep thoughts or intellectual rhetoric involved...sometimes a girl just wants to read a story that's entertaining and with Mary Calmes that's what I get entertainment...pure and simple.

 

Now, I'll be the first to admit I don't particularly care for vampires...in the world of the supernatural they're near the bottom of my 'want to read' list but it's Mary Calmes so I'll try anything once and in this case 'love it'. I can't say that there's just one reason that I had so much fun with this one, it's more like there were a number of different things that came together at the right time for me. 

 

I liked both of the MC's Jason Thorpe was the expected 'eveyone loves him' MC and I liked wandering through the first part of the book as his history and character were layered onto him and we got to see how he came to be in New Orleans and the events that slowly converged to bring him together with Varic Maedoc, Prince of the Vampires. As well as getting to know Jason the author had a vampire world to create since her vampires have a bit of a different origin than other vampire stories have given us. Plus we were given a few secondary characters that I really enjoyed Jason's friend bampyr friend Cooke, Leni and Ode, but most of all I would love a book for Tiago and Hadrian...those two were probably in fact my favorite pair in this story more so than even Jason and Varic. 

 

There was a definite Vampyr Politics theme running through the story that drove not only the romance but the mystery/action part of things as well. There was a part of this that was a huge undertaking in its own right and that was setting up the social structure of the vampyr's and their language and then putting it into a book in such a way that it didn't totally drown everything else and for me being able to wander through things with Jason. Learning as he learned kept things from becoming overwhelming and boring. I was delighted by how fact that vampyr's weren't portrayed as a society that lived under a rock and that they not only knew about technology they used it...this to make far more sense than having modern day vampires who are still residing in the dark ages as is sometimes the case. While may of the vampyr stereotypes were tossed out there were also some that were kept...not many but one or two.

 

I can't say with a certainty that whether this is a standalone or the beginning of a series. There are no indications of future books being planned but the story certainly presents the opportunity for them...so I guess time will tell, won't it.

 

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A copy of 'His Consort' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-10-18 00:20
ARC Review: Lincoln's Park by Parker Williams
Lincoln's Park - Parker Williams

I read this book, finished it, and then immediately read it again. That basically NEVER happens, but with this book, I couldn't help myself.

Noel is a young man who was kicked out of his home by his ever so loving parents when he told them he was gay. He was lucky in that he found a place at a local shelter, where he's been living and helping out for the past three years. In need of a job, any job, he stops in Lincoln's diner.

Lincoln is quite a bit older than Noel, with a very different backstory, which we find out as the book progresses. He loves cooking and taking care of people, and he treats his employees like family. One look at the forlorn young man asking for a job, and Lincoln can't help himself - the need to pull the young man into the folds is immediate. 

Noel has no idea what hit him - surely nobody can be that decent and kind to someone they don't know at all, right?

I liked both characters immensely, and also the supporting cast - the other employees at the diner, especially Katy, and Robert who runs the shelter where Noel has been staying. However, Lincoln's brother and father - I wanted them to hurt, and badly, but obviously I wasn't supposed to like them. 

Noel is still young, and despite the last three years being really rough, he hasn't lost his sweet kindness, his youthful innocence, his positive outlook. He's fascinated by the older Lincoln, but also has no intention of falling for his boss and being out of a job. Except he doesn't realize that Lincoln feels the same, and that they are well matched despite the age difference and the difference in their life experiences. Lincoln's history plays a huge role in who he became, and he's reluctant to reach for Noel, scared to some extent that he's no good for the younger man. Thank goodness for Katy who gives them the push they both need. 

What struck me most here is that the author created complex and fully developed characters - Lincoln had some layers that ran much deeper than I initially expected, and Noel has an inner strength I didn't expect from someone so young. 

There's a moment toward the end of the book that may be confusing for some - without giving away the plot, I can't really say much about it, but suffice it to say that if you pay attention to what comes before, you will not be confused at all, or even wonder what just happened. 

The BDSM-Lite aspect of the relationship was well done and rang true, and I liked that the author utilized it as a source of some conflict that the two men have to work out, which actually strengthened the relationship.

What is emphasized time and again is family - the one you're born to and the one you choose and make for yourself. Family, even if not by blood, is what binds Lincoln and Noel and Katy and Jesse and Robert and all the others. Even Lincoln's brother, who by book's end seemingly has second thoughts about how he's been acting. I have it on good authority that his story will be told in a future book. I cannot wait! 

But what really permeates this book is love. There is so much tangible, obvious love in every word on every page, and you are cocooned by it, warmed by it, embraced by it. 

I think it's that feeling of love that prompted me to read the book twice in a row, and I highly recommend that you get yourself a copy as soon as you can.

It's available now.


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher in exchange for an honest review. **

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review 2018-10-05 00:23
ARC Review: The Nerd And The Prince by B.G. Thomas
The Nerd And The Prince - B.G. Thomas

It's a very romantic notion, isn't it - you're a small-town nerdy bookstore/cafe owner, and a prince-in-hiding comes to town and sweeps you off your feet, whisking you away from your mundane life into a world of castles and royalty and legends, to live happily ever after. 

Adam/Amadeo Montefalcone, Prince of Monterosia (a tiny fictional kingdom somewhere bordering Italy), has come to the small town of Buckman, MO, where Jason, nerdy bookworm, lives. Adam is running from his responsibilities as the Crown Prince, and from being married off to some poor unsuspecting woman for whom he would hold no love or desire. Because Amadeo is gay, and after being almost caught in flagrante on his knees in a dark alley, he feels that he just needs to get away.

His younger brother has helped him escape to the US, obtaining a small house that just happens to be next to Jason's bookstore/cafe/apartment. Jason Evander Brewster has no illusions of grandeur, and while he's not exactly flaunting his sexuality, he's not exactly hiding it either. He had a clandestine thing with Timothy who's deep in the closet, but that's long over, and Jason is still nursing a bit of a broken heart. His dreams are traveling the world, finding adventure and a love like a fairy tale.

This is a sweet, almost too sweet romance. Jason's personality is a bit underdeveloped, especially when viewed against Adam's larger than life joviality and worldliness. The romance is obviously rapid and swept-off-your-feet, and the emotions just drip off the pages. Adam is a perfect human specimen, with a god-like physique and model looks, and Jason is your stereotypical small-town nerd with expressive eyes, who doesn't believe he even has a chance at such a perfect creature. It's just enough over the top to not veer into ridiculous territory, and none of it feels realistic - but then most of the books in this Harlequin-esque series aren't to be taken super seriously. They're grand romance fairy tales, fantasies, and should be read as such - a way to spend a few joyful hours, forgetting about reality. 

The book also contains a plethora of information about Greek mythology, which was delightful, and a bunch of Italian phrases that I mostly understood, which was not so delightful. For most of them, a translation is readily provided as part of the narrative or dialogue, and I suppose it fit Amadeo, as that is his primary language, but it became slightly too much after a while. It's never easy to include a foreign language; surely appropriate when one of your MCs is a native to that foreign country, but it can also be tedious for the reader. 

While there is a wee bit of drama/angst, it's minor, and only really happens toward the end - the romance between Jason and Adam is completely angst-free - the two spot each other, fall in lust and then in love. I did appreciate that the author did allow them to get to know each other, instead of simply jumping into bed for a romp in the sheets. 

The finale and the subsequent HEA (obligatory in this series) in the epilogue were both well done. The solution to Adam's dilemma was rather obvious, so I wasn't surprised at all when that came to pass. The way of getting there however was interesting.

I enjoyed reading this book. It's a sweet, easy romance, with two likable MCs, a good supporting cast, and a lovely way to spend a few hours of your time. 


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher in exchange for an honest review. **

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review 2018-10-01 01:39
ARC Review: Raising The Bar by Leigh Dillon
Raising The Bar - Leigh Dillon

I liked this a lot. It's a quick read, at under 100 pages, and it has one fabulous horse inside.

There are actually three MCs in this book - Destin, the horse farm's owner, Tonio, the horse rider who comes to the farm to help Destin, and Black Sambuca, the horse that everyone thinks is uncontrollable.

The romance is swift and the sex is hot, but the scenes in the barn with Tonio and Black Sambuca were my favorite. I have ridden horse for a very long time, and I know exactly what it's like when you have a difficult horse that can make or break a rider. You always, always, always want to figure out what makes a horse tick, and Tonio does a fabulous job with that here.

So if you love horses, and you like M/M romance, even if the falling in love doesn't take very long at all, give this book a try. I enjoyed it and I think you will too. 


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher in exchange for an honest review. **

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