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review 2018-03-24 19:11
What can I say...when it works, it works...
Red Fish, Dead Fish (Fish Out of Water Book 2) - Amy Lane,Greg Tremblay

I considered trying to write a whole new review for this book but honestly I couldn't think of anything to say that was truly different or better than my original review for 'Red Fish, Dead Fish' other than to say that once again Greg Tremblay did a totally fabulous job of narrating this book giving Jackson and Ellery even more depth and character and making me love this couple even more. 


'Red Fish, Dead Fish' is the second book in Amy Lane's 'Fish Out of Water' series and like the first one I was gobsmacked. I loved this book. It was more complex, grittier and the sexy times...well they were sexy and sadly Jackson did not come out of things unscathed.

There's a serial killer on the loose and he's got a specific target in mind...and it's Jackson. He's going after anyone he can who's connected to him, but Jackson's surrounded by a strong group of people who care...people like Jade. She's more than his best friend's sister, she's his friend and she loves him like family, his neighbor and friend, Mike. Lucy Satan or more affectionately known as Ellery's mother and my idol...when I grow up I wanna' be just like her. But most importantly he's got Ellery and Ellery's a shark in the courtroom but out of it he's a man in love willing to use every trick he has at his disposal to save Jackson not just from Owen but from himself...

"That's sweet you think your cat loves anybody as much as he loves you. No. Because once you're out of my life, he's coming after me. Think about it, Jackson. Me, all alone in the house, you not there to protect me--I'd be naked."

Transparent. And effective.

Ellery is awesome. He's got his priorities and he understands that this is not just war...against Owen but it a battle for love...his love for Jackson and in his eyes all's fair in both.

And Jackson...Jackson is about as cuddly as a brillo pad and yet he's the one who breaks my heart over and over again...

"Because the duplex isn't mine anymore," Jackson said softly. "And...and if this place isn't home, I don't have anywhere to go."

and then you put these two together and the romance is off the charts, I mean seriously these two take sweet talk to a whole new level...

"Are we going to live?" Ellery asked, acid in his voice.

"Probably not--but I may like you more than anyone else I've ever killed."

Now tell me that just doesn't just melt you into a puddle of goo on the floor. Ok, seriously there are actual words of love spoken between these two and yeah, at times it's different and maybe not quite what you'd expect but it's also sweet and heartbreaking. As determined as Ellery is to make things work between him and Jackson and to make Jackson see how good they are together, Jackson's equally determined that he just doesn't deserve this and that he's not good enough for Ellery...he's just an alley cat that no one's ever really going to want to keep.

Like the first book we're given a story in it's entirety with possible links to what's going to come next but definitely not a cliffhanger. You could easily read this one and stop there if you wanted to but I would however strongly recommend reading the first book to give yourself a better understanding of the connections between a lot of the secondary characters and the MCs. Again not a necessity but potentially the difference between 'it was ok' and 'I loved it'.

I tend to be more a fan of series that have a different couple in every book but when it works and it's done well like it was in Abigail Roux's series 'Cut & Run' or Josh Lanyon's 'Adrien English' and more recently Eden Winters' 'Diversion' or Kate Sherwood's 'Common Law' series, I will happily jump on board for a series with storylines as strong as the men who carry them and while this is only the second book in Amy Lane's 'Fish Out of Water' series it's shaping up to be excellent and for me the only thing that's missing right now is the next book and maybe more Lucy Satan because...damn that woman rocks.  I truly hope that Ms Lane isn't going to keep me  waiting too long before I get to share a new adventure with Jackson and Ellery.



An audio book of 'Red Fish, Dead Fish' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-03-24 18:33
This one may not be my favorite but it's definitely one of the better stories...
Room for Recovery (Hearts and Health #4) - D.J. Jamison

'Room For Recovery' is the fourth book in D.J . Jamison's series 'Hearts and Health' and we've actually met both of the characters in this pairing previously.


Beau James is the nephew of Xavier James from book 2, Bedside Manner and book 3 Urgent Care and  we were introduced briefly to Wade Ritter in book 3 as well. Wade was the troubled young son of Trent's friend and part of the family that Trent helped move to Ashe at the end of 'Urgent Care' and for more on that...you guessed it read the book...hey, it's a good one. It's my favorite.


I have to admit at the time that I requested this one for review I hadn't read the first 3 books yet and in a way I'm glad because I would have definitely had a much stronger sense of who these two characters were and I probably wouldn't have requested this book...why? you might wonder well, it's simple...they're young adults...not my cuppa'. But since I hadn't read those books I didn't realize how young Beau and Wade were...high school, folks...senior year but still not an age group that I tend to read about much. Surprisingly though I really enjoyed this one.


Was there drama and angst? Well, hell yeah!!! It's high school and really you show me a teenager who isn't a walking definition of drama and angst? It's how they survive and when you have a large group of them...well, let the games begin.


Beau's got his life together...mostly and he's tried since he first met Wade to be friends with him but Wade's not having any of it. He's a young man who's been off the rails for a while now and he's so deep in the closet that if he can find a door I'm pretty sure it's the one to Narnia.


However, Wade's attraction to Beau seems to be getting stronger than the reasons that he's kept himself buried in the closet for so long and with Wade's surrogate uncle, Trent living with Xavier who happens to be Beau's uncle. Wade can only avoid coming into contact with Beau for so long and when he sees Beau getting bullied his protective instincts kick into high gear and he becomes determined to keep Beau safe even if it means that he has to crack the closet door open and take a peek to see what's out there.


I enjoyed this story a whole lot more than I expected to once I realized the age of these two, but I decided that in all fairness I needed to read the story and base my rating on everything and not just the age of two characters even if they were the MCs and I'm definitely glad that I did.


While there was a lot of angst and drama as I said before this is an age where that's more the norm than the exception. As well though there were things going on that definitely added authenticity to this story and made for an even more enjoyable reading experience in my opinion. 


As has been the case all along with this series we're also introduced to the characters for the next story in the series...or at least one of them because we met the other one earlier in the series. So I'm definitely looking forward to what's next in D.J. Jamison's Hearts and Health series and while this book was more of a YA or NA story it fit in beautifully with the series and I'm really glad that I didn't miss out on the reading experience.



An ARC of 'Surprise Delivery' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-03-24 17:34
This one's a 3 for 1 deal...
Heart and Health Volume 1 - D.J. Jamison

"Hearts and Health" Vol. 1 is a compilation of the first 3 books in this series. So I'm going to basically break this review down into 4 parts first I'm going to talk about the series in general and then I'll do a brief review of each of the books.


The series...overall I've enjoyed this series and while I think you could probably read the stories as standalones and not become lost, I would definitely recommend reading the stories from the beginning and in order. Each book has a different couple as the MCs and in subsequent stories they become secondary characters which for me makes the overall reading experience more enjoyable as the reader is given the connections between the characters as and when they are made helping to create an overall more complete picture.


The stories in 'Heart and Health' are each set within the medical community of the fictional town of Ashe, Kansas and this series appears to be a spin-off from the author's original series 'Ashe Sentinel Connections' since 'Heart Trouble' is the first book for this series and the 6th book of 'Ashe Sentinel Connections' I'm going to guess that I've made a safe assumption with this. Now that I've given you a little bit of background about the series from a very general perspective...let's move on the the individual stories.


Book 1 - Heart Trouble

Karen's rating:  3.5 stars

ER nurse Ben Griggs has basically sworn off of men. He's had his heart broken one time too many. But when Gage Evans enters the emergency room where he works after a motorcycle accident Ben's life is thrown into chaos when Gage sets his sights on the sexy, sweet nurse and try and he might Ben can't seem to fully deny that he's attracted to the man that he believes to be an adrenaline junkie.


I liked Gage and Ben as a couple they were cute together and as individual's they seemed like genuinely nice people. While their relationship seemed to be more tangled up by assumptions and miscommunications than anything else getting to know this pair as their lives collided and they went on a series of unusual dates was sweet and enjoyable. For me the connection between Ben and Gage was there but not as strong as I would have liked it to be.  Ben and Gage's relationship was a bit of one step forward and two steps back because of misunderstandings and miscommunications and the individual insecurities and self-doubt that both men had but while it might have been a bit much for some I found that this all stopped short of that over the top mark for me and I enjoyed this first book a little more than average as well we get to meet a number of secondary characters who show up in subsequent books like Zane and Paul who are the central figures in...


Book #2 - Bedside Manner

Karen's rating:  3 stars

We were introduced to both of these characters in book #1. Zane is a student of Gage's and ends up in the ER as a patient where he meets Ben and Dr. Paul Johnston. But it's Ben and Gage who help Zane and take care of him once he leaves the hospital until he can get  back on his feet...taking him in and looking after him until he's well enough to be on his own moves in with his friend, Xavier.  However, Ben and Gage remain Zane's surrogate parental units much to Zane's annoyance at times. 


Zane meets Dr. Paul Johnston for the first time when he's to say the least 'not at his best' and while the good doctor notices that Zane's an attractive young man in spite of his injuries even he's not pervy enough to be comfortable with any kind of attraction given Zane's state when they first meet.


This one's definitely a slow burn as both men have other issues that they're dealing with.


This was definitely my least favorite of the stories in this volume. I wasn't a fan of Paul in the first story and that didn't really change much here. The age gap between these two was a bit more than I'm comfortable with and not just because Paul was literally old enough to be Zane's father but because of the actual age of each man. Paul's just this side of 40 and when they initially meet Zane's not even 21. One man's established in his life and career and the other's just starting to stretch his wings and become independent ...for me there's a power dynamic here that just doesn't work and while the story was ok, I struggled with that age difference enough that it definitely put a damper on things and kept the story from being one that I could truly enjoy...so let's just say this one's on me and call it a day. I know a lot of people out there wouldn't have an issue with this so it's very much about personal preference in my eyes.


Book #3 - Urgent Care

Karen's rating:  4 stars

We were first introduced to Xavier back in book #2 as Zane's roommate. Xav's a nursing student and he's what most would call a mature student. It seems that when Xav graduated high school he had family who needed him so it took him a bit of time to get back to school to complete his education and become a nurse. 


Trent's a part of Xav's past...a part that Xav thought was done and over with until the day that he approached Xav in a local gay bar. It's been 12 years since these men have seen each other. A lot has happened...a lot has changed except for the fact that Trent still loves Xavier and wants him back. Xavier's still got feelings for Trent...strong feelings but he's not sure that he's willing to trust Trent with his heart again. 


This was absolutely my favorite story from this group. I loved this one. Trent and Xavier worked for me. I'm a total sucker for second chance stories and this one was heart meltingly sweet...not sugary over the top sweet though. There were issues that both of these men had to work through before they could fully commit to making things work. There was steam and heat and a very palpable sexual tension between these two men.


So at the end of it all while I could have done a pick and choose thing with the stories in here I can honestly say that I enjoyed and appreciated each story more for having read the one before it.



An advance copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.


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review 2018-03-24 15:30
Good-bye Sam and Jory. Hello Aaron and Duncan...
Parting Shot - Tristan James,Mary Calmes

'Parting Shot' is the final book in Mary Calmes's series 'A Matter of Time' and while the previous books have all focused on the relationship between Sam and Jory in this one we are given a closer look at Duncan Stiel and Aaron Sutter...one of Jory's ex's. 


We've met both of these characters in previous books in this series and I have to admit when I first read this book I wasn't sure how well this was going to work out for me. While Duncan was a little bit intriguing and I was ok with finding out more about  him, I was in all honesty not a fan of Aaron Sutter. This was not a character that I wanted to be bothered with but as always Ms Calmes knew better and she drew me into a story about that got me involved and showed me a different side of Mr Sutter and gave him the perfect match in Duncan Stiel. Someone who could go toe to toe with him and not be intimidated by his wealth and for Duncan Aaron was bold enough to step into his world and face danger with him and have his back...these two men worked much better as a pairing than I had anticipated wrapping up this series with a story that was every bit as interesting and enjoyable as anything that has gone before in the series.


So when I decided to revisit 'A Matter of Time' on audio and saw that Tristan James was the narrator well you can be sure that I was more looking forward to getting to this book. While I enjoyed my adventures with Sam and Jory I have to say this was my favorites...


Tristan James + Mary Calmes = one of my best happy places and I will be going back.

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review 2018-03-24 04:24
The Long-Lost Secret Diary of the World's Worst Dinosaur Hunter by Tim Collins & Sarah Horne (Illustrator)

This was over all a fun read, though at times felt a little slow.




In my opinion, it felt like it was missing a lot of details and actions. I could not get a clear picture of the surroundings or characters. However the descriptions of the bones and dinosaurs was handled really well.

I liked the main character. She was spunky, spoke up for herself and knew what she wanted to be and didn't let stuffy scientist guys stop her.

This is a fictional take on what if a little girl discovered some of the most known dinosaurs. The story was cute, there was segments that told the true facts of the dinosaurs she discovered, which I found really neat.

Any dino loving kid sound read this and hopefully it turns into a series of kids doing great things.

But, let's forget about age; anyone who enjoys middle grade may like this book. It is well written and if you like diary format, that is a plus. I also want to point out that I loved the artwork by Sarah Horne.


*Provided by Netgally*

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