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review 2017-04-14 01:20
I loved it! I loved it! I loved it!!!
Home Fires - Kate Sherwood

This was it, the final book in Kate Sherwood's series 'Common Law' and it was perfect. Did I finally get my sexy times...yeah, there wasn't a lot of them but what there was I loved. But more importantly than that these guys got their HEA! and so did I.

 

Like the previous books in this series there was action...seriously Wade went to the toy store and came back with 'blow shit-up' toys...how sexy is that. Sorry, I have a weak spot for men who can blow shit up...I'm a 'Die Hard' fan...so sue me ;)

 

Each of these books has contained a different story and I loved that because it kept things from getting too drawn out and reaching that point...you know the one...come on I can't be the only one that sat in theater yelling..."Throw the damned ring Frodo, just throw the ring." So while we had the same MCs in each book we had a whole new series of events and weren't kept waiting for answers, so in fact no cliffhangers. Each book was a self contained story. But this one...this one was definitely my favorite. There was drama and action...and did I mention shit got blown up...mmm...I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

 

Definitely one of my favorite things about this series was the relationship between Wade and Jericho. It was neither easy nor perfect and there were times that things were definitely one step forward and 3 steps back which only seemed right given that these men stand on opposite sides of the law. I loved the banter between Wade and Jericho and needless to say with each subsequent it just got better and better.  I have to admit I'm sorry to see this come to an end. 

 

While the series stands complete as it is the epilogue does leave room for the author to revisit the lives of Wade and Jericho something that I would love to see happen. While I wouldn't list any one book as an all time favorite for this year I can easily see that the series in it's entirety will remain a favorite for me.

 

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An ARC of "Home Fires" was graciously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-03-02 20:48
It's time for the baby bird to leave the nest...
Lovers, Losers, and You - Skylar M. Cates

It's been just over 2 years since I read the first book in this series and I remember seriously loving it. I stayed up half the night to read it. I can't say I feel the same about this one. It was an okay read. 

 

This book is Andrew and Owen's story. Andrew is one of the guys who lives in the house with Cole (who moved out at the end of book #1), River, Tomas, Marc, Brendan, who was in the first book but has now been replaced by Sandy and if you want to know why read the book of course;)

 

Owen is Brendan's brother and he's come to Ocean Vista to escape his own problems as we as find out more about the brother he'll never know. To me this all had the potential to add up to a really good story. Sadly it didn't.

 

I enjoyed the part about Andrew entering the reality TV cooking show. But once that was over things began to seriously drag for me and it was due mostly to the parent factor.

 

I get that for very different reasons both Andrew and Owen have really strong family ties...I really, really got that way before the end of the book, I felt like this point had been well and truly pounded into my brain. In fact I did an count and there were in fact '69' references to just Owen's 'mama' in this book...this does not include anything to do with his biological mother, Andrew's mother or any other mother who may have wandered through and '68' references to his 'daddy'. I'm glad Owen had loving and supportive family truly I am but I honestly did not need them to be front and center in this story for me to get the point...and can I just say this is the first and hopefully the only time that I will ever complain about awesome parents. But it was just too much.

 

Sadly Andrew's family didn't feel like they were far behind when it came to page time and that was...depressing to say the least because his 'mama' seriously needs some counselling. Ok, I think I've belabored that point sufficiently...my point is simply that too much page time for the parents spoiled the story for me...well, that and I just didn't really feel the love between Owen and Andrew and even this was due largely because of the parent factor. 

 

I felt an occasional spark...maybe saw a little glimmer from time to time but just about the time it started to really gel for me...the parents got dragged back out. So, while I did enjoy the first part of the book and Owen and Andrew, a bit. I just didn't fully get into the story and while I don't really feel like I needed to read this one in order to get into the next one, I'm still glad that I took the time to read Andrew and Owen's story. It was nice just not awesome for me.

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review 2017-02-09 21:18
Can a divorce lawyer and a wedding planner find love...
The Secrets in My Scowl - A.E. Via

This was another awesome buddy read with my beautiful besties Josy and Christelle. I really enjoyed this one, but I'm a sap for that story where the embittered, heartless soul gets blindsided by love...yeah, I'm a hopeless romantic at the end of the day.

 

Jacob's a divorce lawyer and he's no fan of love. Unfortunately his life's been filled with heartbreak and disappointments so he's made the decision to keep the world at arms length while standing behind a brick wall and he thinks that he's doing just fine with this until he gets a new business neighbor...a wedding planner...seriously? Could there be a better match...I think not. This is not just any wedding planner either this is Wylde, who has a sister named Star and a brother named Warrus...it's a hippie thing, ok? 

 

Wylde is...well...he's...Wylde. He's almost perfect...I mean seriously almost Mary Calmes...Jory perfect, so if this is something that bothers you...you've been warned, personally if it's done right I can totally get behind the idea. I did actually have one little issue with Wylde and that was this...

The biggest problem was Ken was bisexual. Wylde preferred to be with a gay man. Last thing he needed was his man to suddenly request a woman to join them in bed.

Seriously, Wylde. I expected better than this from you. Being committed to your relationship is not a gay, straight or bi issue, it's a personal issue...so for this I say shame on you.

 

Moving right along, as I was saying, Wylde is almost perfect...he's gorgeous, has a deep sexy voice that'll melt your insides (and let me just say I hope I get the chance to check this one out on audio) anyways, back to Wylde...as I was saying he's perfect and he wants someone to love but not just anyone. Nope, our Wylde is looking for Mr. Right, not Mr. Right-Now but one look at Jacob tells  him that in spite of his growly, scowly self Jacob may very well be that Mr. Right that he's looking for and Wylde just needs to hang in there and be patiently persistent.

 

Admittedly there were a couple of other things that niggled at my brain but whether it was my mood, the fact that this was a buddy read and so just a hella' lot of fun, or a little of both, they really didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the story. The first thing being that there was a stretch in the middle of the book that left me tinsy weensy bit bored and that was Jacob and Wylde's dating/getting to know you phase, it just seemed a little blasé. Fortunately right about the time I was feeling a little wft? about it the story started to pick up and I happily moved on.  My other little niggle was the whole issue around Jacob's mother's disappearance and why she left...sorry, nope I just couldn't buy that.  She disappeared from Jacob's life when he was a teenager and now we're 20+ years later and she reappears and the reason we're given was just a big old 'nope' for me, I just couldn't buy it. Fortunately the story didn't really dwell on it for too long and once again I happily moved on with the story.

 

So overall it was 4 stars for the book and once again a big thanks to Josy and Christelle for sharing this adventure in reading with me. It was awesome as always ladies and I'll see you on the 18th at my place when we start our next adventure.

 

By the way  I found a song for Wylde and Jocob...

One Call Away by Charlie Puth (It played while I was doing this review and my brain and heart said this is one belongs to them).

 

 

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review 2016-11-21 21:41
It's a matter of personal taste...
Santa Baby (Minnesota Christmas Book 4) - Heidi Cullinan

If you're a fan of Heidi Cullinan than I'm sure you're probably already aware of much of the controversy surrounding this book. So let's start with the elephant in the room. A large portion of this story is focused on the change that happens in Arthur and Gabriel's relationship when Arthur realizing that Dale Davidson, Marcus's friend and the developer from the twin cities who's going to help Logan's economy by making it into a vacation destination is interested in his fiance Gabriel. 

 

What was suppose to be one time night of kinky sex and fun for the threesome ends abruptly leaving Arthur and Gabe to deal with a surprising realization and Dale making a hasty retreat to the city feeling alone and rejected. It's Arthur who finally takes matters in hand and plots to draw Dale back to Logan to try and put all their lives back onto a happier path only to discover that Dale needs more than love he needs help. Years of being in an abusive relationship have done a real number on him and his abuser is trying  to insinuate himself back into Dale's life. 

 

This was one hella' complex story in a lot of ways. So I'm going to try and share my thoughts on this without being spoilerish or confusing...good luck to me. I finished this book yesterday and to be honest I'm still trying to work through a lot of it but the one thing I did realize is I honestly have to give props to the author because what she's tackled here is a pretty complex issue in what's probably a not so popular way.

 

A lot of readers don't want to see the dynamics changed in established couples (and I'll include myself in this group) but Ms. Cullinan's vision of Arthur and Gabe's future did just that and while a part of me maybe frowned a little over this, all things considered it was not my biggest dilemma with this story. Maybe if Arthur and Gabe had been more than a one book couple I would have struggled with it even more. If it had been a couple from a long standing series like Ty and Zane from the Cut & Run series I probably would have just thrown my hands up and said "Oh hell NO!" and taken a total pass on the book. But it wasn't so I was willing to read and see where this would go.

 

What I found when all was said and done was that this was a huge emotional roller coaster ride that left me feeling a bit conflicted and confused. One of the issues that this story deals with is Polyamory and I know some of the reviews that I peeked at said the story at times felt like a 'Poly 101' course and maybe it did but for me this was good. I knew the word and what it meant, but beyond that I needed more information to be able to process how it would impact the MCs in this book so I was honestly relieved that it was information that was filtered into the story for me.

 

What I quickly realized is that from my perspective 'it's not cheating'. When a third party enters into a relationship with the knowledge and consent of both partners and everyone has been honest with each other in regards to expectations and feelings and there's no dishonesty involved then there is no cheating. Had Gabe and Dale or Arthur and Dale initiated a relationship without the others knowledge then yes, cheating has entered the equation. But this did not happen and another one of the things I liked about this story, the communication between Gabe and Arthur was good it was open and I think this was due in a big way to Arthur's determination to make things work and to make sure Gabe, whom he so obviously loved was happy.

 

Arthur ended up becoming one of my favorite characters. He truly embodied what it means to love someone. You put their happiness before your own. His objective from start to finish of this book was to see Gabriel happy. To give him what Arthur quickly recognized as being what Gabriel needed to feel happy and complete, but it didn't stop there because it also felt like doing this made Arthur feel happy and complete.

 

What was missing from this for me was that I didn't feel like Gabriel had that same imperative feeling about Arthur. I needed to feel like that Arthur's happiness and well being was of equal importance to Gabriel.  I know there were a couple of times that he spoke the words but the words just didn't seem to contain the emotion. I never got the sense that Arthur's happiness came before all else for Gabriel. In fact there was more than one instance where I was left feeling like Arthur's love for Gabriel was stronger and because of how their relationship changed I needed for this not to be the case. That Gabriel opened up his heart and made room for someone else along with Arthur wasn't my issue that I felt like he gave some of what had been Arthur's place in his heart to that person was.

 

I think what it comes down to is that at the end of it all I really needed to feel a sense of balance had been achieved between the three. Not that they loved each other the same because they were three different men filling different needs within each others lives but I needed to feel that the core relationship between Arthur and Gabe had not been diminished, changed yes, all relationships grow and change it's part of what keeps them healthy and good, but growth and change shouldn't diminish what they had and yet to me it felt like that was exactly what had happened. In particular the event that happened immediately prior to the actual wedding of the 3 couples (Marcus & Frankie, Paul & Kyle and Arthur & Gabriel) was not something I was happy with and only reinforced my feelings that what was between Arthur and Gabriel had diminished and not remained as strong or stronger than it was originally.

 

My last big stumbling block with this story was in regards to the resolution of Dale's abuser. I loved that this man was brought to justice. That Dale who he obviously had a long history of abusing was totally removed from the case and not a part of it left me with two really big issues...

1. it just didn't seem realistic and even more importantly

2. there were other victims involved and it made me feel like they got tossed under the bus to spare Dale. Why was their suffering any less painful than Dale's. Did they all get the option to be removed from the case to spare themselves further hurt and torment? Sorry this part really bothered me.

 

For the most part these are my main thoughts in regards to 'Santa Baby' and here I sit at the end of it all still wondering how to rate this book. I like Heidi Cullinan's writing style and in this case it worked well for me and helped to give me some insight to a subject that I really knew little about. There were parts of the story that I really liked, parts that bothered me and things that yes, I just plain didn't like. But at the end of it was a story that has left me with a lot to think about and that's something that I really respect when it happens. So for that reason I'm going with 3.5 stars and a strong recommendation that anyone who is interested in this story check out all the reviews there's a wide range of diverse opinions out there about it and it's worth at least checking them out and making your own informed decision before you decide yea or nay as to whether or not you're actually going to read it.

 

******************

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

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review 2016-11-18 16:13
Zac's Mulligan (Guarding The Gods Book 1) - Ann Lister

Ann Lister is one of my favorite authors and I loved her The Rock Gods serise and when I saw this book I knew that I had to read it.

 

This book doesn't feel like a spin-off as much as continuation of the Rock Gods serise since you could see all the characters from the series and they still play some how a major role in the book and as much as it was good to see the guys from Black Ice & Ivory Tower I wasn't that much fond of Zac & Ben, they were annoying and ridiculous and sometimes they acted childishly, also I didn't feel any romance between them, the twist with their family felt a little bit dramatic and I kinda sensed it from the start.

 

Overall this was not as good as the pervious books and it was an okay read because I got see all my favorite guys from the other books, still I am not giving up on this serise and hope the next book is better because I am definitely looking forward to Fizzbo story.

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