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review 2017-05-25 15:47
Second chance story, good read
Georgia On My Mind - Amanda McIntyre

A second chance/reunion story. I enjoyed the story as Georgia and Justin found their way back to each other. Georgia is a determined woman willing to do what it takes to make her son happy and healthy. Justin is understanding and can admit to his mistakes. I smiled through the story, and there were tears. I recommend this story.

I received a copy of this story through Candid Book Reviews, and this is my unsolicited review.

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review 2017-05-24 21:13
Review of "Closer to the Chest" (Herald Spy, #3) Mercedes Lackey
Closer to the Chest - Mercedes Lackey

Start to finish, this one stayed true to protagonist Mags and the Valdemar universe.

 

A solid storyline -- unlike parts of previous books that had a kajillion raised and dropped plot points, deluge of new characters taking away from our main ones, main characters acting out of character, ...

 

Another page-turner read for me.  The villainy that reared up in this one hardly as world-ending dire -- new sect encouraging misogyny and one misigynistic criminal -- and not that believable for Valdemar lost it a bit for me (I'm on the fence if "well done, hear, hear, pass the ammunition" or cheap plot point given the makeup of author's fanbase — possibly even response to objections by fans on how out-of-characteristically some women were treated/used in last volumes).

 

Not sure if this completes Mag's books or not.

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review 2017-05-24 19:30
Just another day in the city of Nis...
Fraud Twice Felt - J.T. Hall

'Fraud Twice Felt' is the second installment in J.T. Hall's 'Oddities' series and basically picks up where 'Murder Once Seen' leaves off. Derwin and Elliot are living together as a new couple and working on making their lives mesh.

 

They're happy and for the most part things are good...or as good as they can be with two men who both have oddities they're trying to keep secret from the rest of the world, are rebuilding their home after having it blown to bits by a killer as well as rebuilding Elliot's life so he can leave his rentboy days behind which would be easier said than done if he didn't have to avoid a former client who nearly killed him and still wants to 'own' him and just happens to be the leader of one of the most dangerous gangs in the city...but hey, let's not stop there why not have a friends son and his girlfriend go missing only to find out that not only are they missing but they've placed everyone in the middle of a power struggle between two of the most powerful gangs in the city.

 

Like the first book 'Fraud Twice Felt' is a bit stronger on the mystery/thriller part than the romance but for me that works. I cut my reading teeth on authors like Mary Higgins Clark and Phillip Margolin so mysteries are part of my staple reading diet add in that this one also has a touch of urban fantasy to it...Jim Butcher and Rachel Caine anyone? Needless to say this is all golden for me...mystery/thriller/urban fantasy with a touch of a m/m romance blended in and I'm happy, happy girl.

 

I really enjoyed the mystery here, it was solid and held a couple of surprises that added a nice little twist to events. What I really enjoyed was the growth that we saw in Elliot as he regained some of his confidence and stepped up to show his man that he's not going to stay anyone's damsel in distress, he wants to be self sufficient and able to protect himself and have Derwin's back when he needs to but more than that he wants to take his life in a different direction from his rentboy days...one that will clearly establish him as Derwin's partner and an equal in the relationship.

 

Watching Elliot struggle to regain the confidence that he lost as a result of the events that transpired in 'Murder Once Seen' is hard for Derwin. He's a good partner loving and supportive but he's already lost one man that he loved and he knows that losing Elliot to the dangers they face would be more than he could handle but he's smart enough to know that for both their sakes Elliot needs to be able to protect himself so he's determined to help make this happen. I really loved this about Derwin because as a  wife and a parent I understand that feeling that need to protect those we love. I also understand that whether it's a child or a partner the best thing we can do for them if we truly love them is to give then the tools to be able to protect themselves.  Sometimes doing what's best for those we love is the hardest thing we have to do, but it's also the most important. 

 

While this story doesn't end on a cliffhanger we are given a hint of what's coming next and I'm definitely looking forward to the next installment in this series and the chance to see how Derwin and Elliot grow as a couple and as individuals. J. T. Hall has definitely found a fan in me with this series and I'm looking forward to my next visit to the city of Nis.

 

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An ARC of 'Fraud Twice Felt' was graciously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-05-24 19:18
The Boyfriend Makeover by River Jaymes (audio version)
The Boyfriend Makeover - River Jaymes

The Boyfriend Makeover is a sexed up book. If you’re listening on audio you might want to make sure you’re wearing headphones or at least close your car windows otherwise you risk scandalizing yourself to the nosy Parker’s at the stop light. There’s one section that is 30 minutes or so of straight up sexy time. I listened on the drive home from an appointment (with my windows closed and the volume turned waaay down just in case someone thought me a perv), when I got home I put in my headphones, cleaned the kitchen mess everyone had left for me (yes, I know you all want my glamorous life) and played with the dogs ‘til they were huffing and puffing and the couple were still going at it.

But it is about other things too . . .

Noah donates his time to charity events and lives off of a trust fund. He’s a charmer and a smart dresser and gets talked into making over a doctor for the “Bachelor Bid” at his upcoming event. Ky is a workaholic who prefers his cowboy boots, flannel and giant belt buckle to most anything else but he also loves his sisters and agrees to auction himself off after they talk him into it. He thinks the whole thing ridiculous and he’s very uncomfortable but he’s also a very good big brother. Awwww, Ky.

Noah, naturally flamboyant and a shameless flirt can barely contain himself when gorgeous Ky is around. Is he gay? Noah is determined to find out and find out he does . . .

This is a fun book. Noah’s dialogue is ridiculously funny and Ky balances him out. And their chemistry is something else! There’s some angst and some drama as Ky keeps his sexuality to himself for reasons. Reasons that I am not going to spill. Noah drinks too much and his humor masks some deep pain. He has some serious work to do on himself before the two will ever live out a HEA and I like that this book addresses it and doesn’t gloss over it. And then there’s sex. Whew, if you want a steamy read this one’s calling your name!

This is book #3 in a series and I’m sure I would’ve gotten more out of the appearance of the myriad number of friends who pop in and out of the story had I read their stories. It stood alone pretty good though so you’ll get none of my typical mid-series complaints here. Now I want to read the other books just to see what I’m missing.

Narration Notes: I have to say, as much as I loved the story and the characters and all their angst and sexy ways, I wasn’t too crazy about the narrator, Marc Bachmann. He sounded like a newscaster when not doing a character voice and something about his voice just didn’t seem to fit any of the characters. He’s professional and polished but maybe a wee bit too dramatic for this story, eh I don’t know. Instead of falling into the story his voice kept pulling me out.

I received a copy of this book directly from Tantor. Thanks Tantor!

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review 2017-05-24 18:24
Another L. A. Witt success...
The Master Will Appear - L.A. Witt

‘The Master Will Appear’ is L.A. Witt’s newest release. It’s BDSM with an age gap and a sub who has no idea what he wants or who he really is and some scorching hot sex.

 

Ryan appears in Mikhail’s life as an arrogant young fencer who in Mikhail’s eyes needs to be taught a lesson in humility. It’s only after delivering that humility in the form of a sparring match that Ryan approaches Mikhail and with his new-found humility ask the older, more experienced fencer to mentor him that Mikhail truly looks at him and sees his potential surprising himself as much as Ryan with his agreement.

 

As Ryan’s lessons in fencing proceed the attraction between the two men grows. Initially Mikhail is somewhat resistant feeling that the age gap between them is too much. But as Ryan’s need to submit becomes apparent the two strike another bargain and Mikhail agrees to teach Ryan what it means to be a submissive.

 

The relationship between these two men was more than a little complicated by several factors and I loved that this was not a case of insta-love. Sure, they were attracted to each other it was a physical attraction but that’s a real life thing that happens all the time. I think most of us have at one time or another have seen someone who at first glance catches our attention and makes our blood race a little and maybe even leaves us a little breathless.

 

It’s only as they spend time together and actually get to know each other that both of these men begin to feel like there could be more and it’s definitely up to Mikhail to take that first step given how cynical and relationship phobic Ryan is especially for someone his age…he’s young to be so cynical and sadly it’s thanks to a family that’s definitely the poster image for dysfunctional.

 

It’s this emotional connection that develops between Ryan and Mikhail that added so much intensity to their relationship for me. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book where I actually felt the connection between the MCs the way that I did here. For me it was strong…intense if you will. That first time that Mikhail told Ryan to kneel I didn’t wonder if he would, if this was the point at which their relationship would shift to another level. In my mind the instant Mikhail said ‘kneel’ Ryan was kneeling. It was a done deal.

 

As strongly as I felt Ryan’s desire to please Mikhail as his sub, I also felt Mikhail’s desire to care for Ryan to give and be what he needed to keep himself balanced and safe.

‘The Master Will Appear’ worked as a story for me because I need to believe in the unwavering level of trust that is needed to make a relationship work between a Dom and their sub, as well as feeling that being a Dom or a sub is a part of the character’s nature and I may be wrong here but I’ve always felt that being a Dom or a sub is a part of a persons nature the same as being gay, lesbian, bi or straight…it’s just something that’s there and part of that persons nature. It’s not about deciding or not deciding…it just is. The choice isn’t about whether you are or aren’t. It’s whether you act on it or not, whether your true to yourself or not. With this story I got those feelings…the unwavering trust and the feeling that Mikhail was what Ryan needed in order to finally be true to who he was to explore that hidden part of himself and feel safe.

 

Now comes the tricky part there was one particular scene in this book and if you’ve read the book…you know what I’m talking about and if not, I apologize for how vague I’m about to be but giving details would be way more spoilerish than I want to be. I’m just going to say that I’m a bit torn on this scene because honestly while it’s not something I would chose to have in a story I think in this case because of why it happened and everything that resulted afterwards it was relevant and necessary. Also, surprisingly I have to say it was well done and *fans self* definitely hot! So not my choice to have happen in a story but I tip my hat to Ms. Witt…she nailed it…I might have done a re-read on this part…but just once…honest.

 

At the end of it all no matter how it starts or what kind of a relationship it becomes I need to feel that it’s healthy and good for all parties involved and with Ryan and Mikhail it worked. These two men complimented each other beautifully not that they were perfect…just that they were perfect for each other and I was left feeling that what they had together as a couple made each of them better as individuals…for me that’s how a relationship should work.

 

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An ARC of ‘The Master Will Appear’ was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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