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review 2017-11-22 00:18
Book Review: Blood From A Stoner by L.A. Witt
Blood from a Stoner: A paranormal gay romance with vampires & weed. In Seattle. Obviously. - L.A. Witt

I first heard of this book when the author talked about it on Facebook - about this romance between a vampire and a stoner. Giggling, I made a note to snatch this up when it became available. 

It's a quick read, and just based on the title, you'd think it'd be all fun and sexy times, and you'd be half-right.

Greg is the aforementioned vampire, forever frozen at 24, needing blood, having to stay out of the sunlight, and somewhat regretting his decision to become one of the undead, even if it will allow him to eventually pay off his student loans. He works as a software engineer for an IT company, and since in this particular universe, people (mortals) know about vampires, the company accommodates them by having the vamps work overnight, and provide sleeping quarters in the windowless basement in case of unpaid overtime so they don't have to drive home in the daylight. 

Zane is a mortal/human, similar in age to Greg, and works at the same company as a programmer. On whom Greg has a secret crush. Zane also indulges in weed which is legal in Seattle, where they both live and work.

Speaking of work, the company has been putting Greg under a lot of pressure to get the new product ready for release, which means overtime and no days off, and Greg is hangry. Which, being a vampire, is never a good thing.

Then Greg happens upon Zane outside, while taking a minute to breathe, and hangry Greg takes up Zane on his offer of taking a sip or five from Zane's neck. Which is super frowned upon at the company, but hey - whatever. Except Zane has partaken of some pot, unbeknownst to Greg. And now Greg is also a bit high.

I laughed and laughed and laughed at this point, because high vamp was hilarious. 

This being an L.A. Witt book, the sexy times are right around the corner, and boy, do they ever burn up the sheets. With or without weed, with or without getting high. The author has a real knack of writing those scenes, and they never felt gratuitous or repetitive. 

Obviously, as feelings develop, as they usually do in romance books, Greg now has a problem on his hands - he's immortal. Zane, not so much. And considering how much Greg regrets having chosen this life, he sure as hell won't convert Zane. But thinking of Zane growing older and eventually dying also makes Greg's unbeating heart hurt. What's a vamp to do?

I'll leave you to read this for yourself...

It's not easy fleshing out your characters to make them realistic in a novella, especially since one of them is supernatural, and you also have that whole world-building thing needing to happen, but the author does a fantastic job sprinkling the info into the narrative without ever making it feel like info-dump. Greg bitches about higher insurance rates, and extra tinting on the car windows, and being taxed higher than mortals, and generally having to pay more for stuff, because of that whole undead thing, which is plenty to make this world feel real enough. 

There's more to the book than just the sexy times, even if those are plenty. There's also doubt and confusion and fear, and the author did a great job exploring those feelings. As the story is told entirely from Greg's POV, we don't get a whole lot of insight into Zane, but what we get is enough to paint a picture of the guy - laid-back, a bit of a free spirit, definitely into weed and sex with Greg, but also insightful enough to realize that Greg needs to come to terms with what's bothering him, and then giving him the space and time to figure things out. Well done, that.

Recommended for all L.A. Witt fans, and those who love romance books that are sexy, light, and fluffy, but also have some serious undertones.

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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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text 2017-01-06 02:55
ARC Review: More Things In Heaven And Earth by Paul Comeau
More Things in Heaven and Earth - Paul Comeau

No rating. This book didn't work for me on a variety of levels.

 

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

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review 2016-09-19 01:28
ARC Review: It Takes Two To Tango by M.A. Church
It Takes Two to Tango (Fur, Fangs, and Felines Book 3) - M.A. Church

This is the 3rd book in the Fur, Fangs, and Felines series by this author, and we get to explore the new mating between Remi, our kitty-cat, and Marshell, a Vetala.

Vetalas are sort of snake-like non-shifting creatures that share some traits with vampires, primarily the one about living off blood.

I liked Remi a lot, including the hilariously snarky shirts he so adores and wears as often as possible. He's pretty straight-forward, and likes to snark just as much as his shirts. Marshell is a very likable guy too, but if you've read the last book, you already know that. Scary, sure, but definitely likable. He's got a lot of power but he uses it wisely. For the most part.

The characters from the previous books all make an appearance as well, including Marshell's sister Janelle who's mated to one of the male weres from Remi's clowder.

Marshell has a bit of a problem. Hunters are on his tail, and he's also dealing with a stalking werewolf. Add to that his recent meeting of his mate, Remi, who's just as dominant and toppy as Marshell, as well as some pushback against him joining the clowder from some of the elders, and it's a bit of a fuster cluck all around.

The only thing going well for Marshell is the actual mating. He and Remi set the sheets on fire, with lots and lots of dirty, dirty talk, and finish the mating. Learning about each other has never been so much fun or so very hawt!

I really enjoyed reading this. Remi and Marshell fit really well together, and there's little drama between the two men - no, the drama is all about outside forces trying to tear them apart. And at the very end, the author rather enticingly sets up the next book in this series, I believe, what with the deluded hunter and the werewolf... and the werewolf's Alpha, one Carter Lovelock, and Adraic, one of Dolf's betas... well, I'll let you read this for yourself. I'll foresee some fur flying in the next one, hahaha.

A nicely done and solid addition to the series. This shouldn't be read as a standalone, as each subsequent book builds on the previous ones, and you'd miss out on a lot of good stuff if you ignore books one and two.

As a side note, there was a mathematical error in my ARC regarding the age of the hunter and his age when the alleged murder occurred. 35 - 16 does not 21 make. I assume this is fixed in the published version. I also noticed after some googling that the Vetala mythology in this series appears to closely follow that of the Supernatural TV series.



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

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review 2016-06-21 08:00
ARC Review: That's One Cross Vamp (The Vamp For Me #6) by Bailey Bradford
That's One Cross Vamp (The Vamp for Me Book 6) - Bailey Bradford

First up, a little warning... while the books in this series somewhat work as standalones, I do not recommend reading them out of order.

Secondly, there's a massive time jump between book 5 and this one, something I didn't quite expect, but which made sense overall. I also have a sneaking suspicion that this might be the last book in this series. And that's a bummer.

We first met Erin in book 2. He's the twin brother of Andrew - he who mated with Radney, the vampire who didn't like human blood, but was dashing in a kilt.

Erin is basically an aging manwhore. Slutty as can be, never doing a guy more than once, and certainly not interested in joining the vampire family as a human mate. Nope, no thanks, not for Erin. And no sex with vamps, either. Ever.

Erin has commitment issues, obviously, and while he is part of the vampire family at the fringes (heck, his entire house is light-proof because, ya know, vampy friends), he's perfectly happy hooking up with new guys wherever and whenever he can, because mated bliss is overrated.

Except, deep down inside, maybe that's not entirely true. Also, the twinks at the local bar start referring to him as 'Daddy', and Erin realizes he's tired of chasing away his demons with sex.

And he may be sick. Because he's tired all the time.

It's somewhat fortuitous, I guess, that Erin runs across Jude, one of the unmated vampires in Claude's coven, and decides, for once, to break his rule. Because he and Jude have a chemistry he didn't expect, and man, do they burn up the sheets. Repeatedly.

Astonished at himself, Erin finds he likes Jude in his bed. Likes to hang out with him even when there's no sex involved.

I really liked that the author didn't make a huge fuss and created unnecessary drama. Yes, there's a bit of angst, because OMG, Erin does NOT want to be a vampire, and he feels he's too far past his prime for Jude anyway, and what vamp in his right mind would want an old(er) mate, but Jude just calms him. And Erin is willing to take what's being offered, as he is fearfully awaiting the results from his medical tests.

Erin is still stubborn, of course, but Jude even more so, in such a calm and appeasing way that I couldn't help but root for him to get what's he's apparently wanted for years. YEARS. Patient vamp!! Turns out that Erin's issues with commitment and relationships are deeply rooted. And I had to cheer him on for standing by his convictions. Yeah, I know this is vague - just read the book!

I'm glad the author chose to include the other vampires and their mates from the previous books - it was nice to revisit them. Snarky Augustin, his long-suffering but happy vampire Tony, Andrew and Radney, Claude and Abby - I love them all and was happy they got screen time.

Of course, we get a happily-ever-after, as I expected - this shouldn't come as a surprise, and certainly isn't a spoiler, amirite? After all, isn't that why we read romance novels?

I adore this series, and while I'm a bit bummed that it's seemingly over (is it?), I would recommend this to anyone who likes sweet yet snarky characters, well-suited mates, and hot boy-on-boy bedroom times. It's definitely one I'll re-read again!


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

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