SheReadsALot...seriously.

she's just a girl who loves books.

Is that a bunch of tropes in your pocket or are you happy to see me?

Unshakeable Faith - Lisa Worrall
FOUR HEARTS--Come along with me won't you? Join me in the tropey goodness of Unshakable Faith.

Because I'm still huffing the fumes of this OTT treat. If I had to quickly describe this book (or should say experience), it's like a sexier Dreamspun Desires title on meth.


*stares at the fumes*

This was an experience of tomfoolery, unrealistic actions, hot sex, door slamming, jealousy, pounding, almost cheating, shattered hearts, a punch that saves all ills and the sweet cracky fluff.
And did I mention the sex?



Because the trip to Poundtown was so fruitful, it cured all woes.




Not mad at it all.

If you're looking for escapism, look no further. Not my first Lisa Worrall, so I knew ahead of time to expect some over the top-ness. Not disappointed.

It all starts on a fateful day in a San Antonio bar owned by secret rich boy (and humble) Brody Tyler. He's a gentle giant, 6'4" with a soft heart for those in need. Enter the most beautiful man with green eyes, Nash. Nash doesn't remember who he is, only knows he was attacked three months ago and his body is riddled with scars and a nurse named him Paul. But it doesn't feel right. What should the sweet bartender do? Why offer him a job and a room in his home, of course.


I see the eye rolls from here. ;P

Not Paul renames himself Nash. Amnesia Nash is so sweet. He is grateful for the help and befriends the bar workers including Wyatt, Brody's best friend and the best goddamned secondary character in this novel. (I'll get to Wyatt's awesomeness later). Brody is obviously attracted to Nash but tries to be a friend. It's Nash who makes a move after a few weeks in a hot possessive glory.

I was getting Calmesian feels at that point, all systems are a go.

What more could happen to mess with that fluff bubble?

A killer plot! Someone knows who Nash really is and wants him dead!



And the killer is sloppy (obviously since the first go round didn't work) and sloppily attempts to get Nash again.

So now Nash is in the hospital for a second time and now he remembers everything before the first incident but not the last six months.

And the real Nash? He's an asshole. I cursed not having the ability to reach through the book (I read along and listened to the audiobook) and smack the ever living shit out of Nash. Nash is a wealthy businessman with a heart made of coal. And he enjoyed himself.



I wondered how the author was going to pull these two men together with Nash not having any memory of being booed up and now having the jerk quality about him. Enter tropey plot device a la: bodyguard/ward twist. Brody haphazardly ends up being Nash's bodyguard (yes without having any experience or training) You just have to leave reality with me for this one.

Here, have a hot dog.


Have a few.

Asshole Nash + Fake Bodyguard Brody + Sloppy As Hell Murder Plot + Secrets = DRAMA!

There was enough drama for me, you and the entire world. Between the narrator's over-acting and this crazy ass plot, I was HIGHLY entertained!



I'm going to have to disagree, Tim Gunn. Yes, do that! Do that please!

It was like reading about teens at times. What with the emotions, tears, door slamming (seriously what was up with all the slamming of the doors?), brushes with death (so many...) and the weaksauce reason behind all the attempted murder, this book could go either way.

But it worked? Well for me anyway.

This was my first time listening to Sean Lenhart. The story is set in Texas and the narrator is clearly not from the South. I heard all East Coast even though he tried. It got to be distracting at first, then after reading the story while listening, I noticed there was an OTT-ness to it all. And Lenhart definitely did the thing with that. His crying, dramatic gasping and high emotion scenes sounded the same like the sex scenes. I laughed for all the wrong reasons. His Brody was great. His Nash? LOL wow. No, that accent was so bad it was good in a way. Overall, it fit the theme in a weird way. I rate the narration 3.75 Hearts. I'd give another book narrated by Lenhart a try.

Unshakeable Faith with all the crazy and cracky fluff, it got the job done. I looked forward to listening to the story. It was like a soap opera with all that it had going on. Is the story perfect? Far from it. There are plot holes scattered throughout, reality just doesn't exist here.

And then I reflect on the great moments: the mens' first time, the moment one of their heart shattered, the best punch scene that could've never happened... but I didn't know I needed until it happened.

Wyatt, Brody's BFF, does what I'm sure many readers of this book wanted to do. He's what a BFF stands for. He was Brody's conscience, always had his back and told it like it needed to be told.

I was here for Wyatt.

I am here for Brody and Nash. If this six year old book was a soap opera, I'd still be watching it to this minute.




Recommended if you don't mind fluff, cracky plots, sweetness, fluff and crazy.
Leave reality at the door.



A copy provided for an honest review.

1 1/2 out of 3 ain't bad?

Primal Need: A Sexy Male/Male Shifter Anthology: Wolf in King's ClothingThe Alpha's ClaimDark Water - Holley Trent, Parker Foye
THREE HEARTS--For a shifter anthology, this didn't deliver as expected. (avg. doesn't include the 2nd story)

Wolf in King's Clothing by Parker Foye - 3.5-3.75 Hearts

They call him "Prince".

A half breed, small assassin that has had the worst life ended up being my favorite of the anthology, go figure?



The unlikely hero who has been shat on, exiled and doesn't speak due to lacking social manners? My toes couldn't stop curling. Set in alternate Victorian period where werewolves are known, "Prince" aka Kent doesn't really know his true name. He's been collared and kept as a witch's assassin as an adult. He's been bartered over and kept like trash, exiled from wolf packs, he has no kind to call his own. His owner tasks him to do one more retrieval and he will have his freedom, Kent agreed before she even finished her sentence. Kent goes to the highlands to rescue an alpha who isn't like any alpha Kent's met.

But he doesn't care for the alpha, Hadrian's peculiar nature, he just needs to make sure he brings Hadrian back in one piece to his master. The road trip back to York is eventful, as the rival pack that kept Hadrian wants him back. The reasons why Hadrian needed to be retrieved are a little murky.

However personable Hadrian who has his own magical secret was a good choice as a foil to Kent's surly silence. The chip is mega wide on Kent's shoulder and Hadrian's steady persistence to at first befriend Kent was fun to read. The camaraderie, bodyguard/ward relationship takes a romantic turn. And it's subtle, which worked one hand and didn't on the other. The romance is pretty subtle, too subtle in the primal need department. Hadrian is alpha? He read like a beta which I can be down with. But when push comes to shove, he didn't claim his mate.

Kent still has to go through trials during this novella. And it endeared me to him. The story has a nice action/suspense twist and the reader gets to slowly learn about Kent's past and why he's so special.

I thought the reason why Kent is badass was cool. I haven't read about his type much in urban fantasy I've read.

The sex? One scene and no penetration for the smutsters keeping score. The story is interesting and evenly paced. I enjoyed the world building, pretty close to Victorian period with magical/paranormal exceptions.

Out of all the stories, this was the one that showed the most promise. If it's ever re-edited and lengthened, I'm there. Definitely would read more from this author!

The Alpha's Claim by Holley Trent - DNF Delight

A lot of anthologies have a stink bomb or two in their arsenal... this is Primal Need's



The writing style leaves a lot to be desired. Telling, shallow and none of the characters have substance. Then the setting bungle. It's supposed to be set in New York but the setting seemed like it was an internet search and find deal.

If a customer stiffs you repeatedly from tips for weeks... you end up in his bed to get the money you earned?

For what I've read, it's definitely stink face inducing.



Shifter fail. Plot fail.

NOPE.

Save yourself the time.

Dark Water by K.L. White - 2.5 Hearts

If you read the anthology, after the reading the previous stink bomb, Dark Water might read as manna from heaven.

Kelpie shifter lead is definitely on the unusual side of go to shifters.




Being as I didn't suffer through that, I read this without fume-weary eyes. This story is from a debut author... and it reads like it's from a new author. Not a bad thing, I love newbie authors. But the story, while more unusual due to the kelpie shifter mythology brought to the table, the execution has some hits and misses.

Benjamin is on the brink. He's a former naval officer in Maryland who leaves the hospital to kill himself. Trigger warning: attempted suicide. He's blind, has no friends or family other than a racist dementia diagnosed father who wouldn't recognize Benjamin on a good day. He best friend Rez was killed in front of him while trying to save his fellow officers. It's one of the last images in Benjamin's mind. He goes to the beloved beach to die.

At that beach, a kelpie marks him for sacrifice. The kelpie turns out to be Rez, Benjamin's best friend thought to have died on that deadly mission. The mark means Benjamin must die but Rez can't do it. And tries to save his friend. This mission of saving Benjamin gets buried under repetition, different threads to a plot that would've be best kept simple and an underwhelming chemistry.

The length could have been longer to tackle the heavy topics such as a veteran battling depression suicidal thoughts, a new permanent disability, PTSD. The items are touched on, but those are weighty topics that deserved more meat.

And to add more issues: sexuality. Benajimn identifies as heterosexual and never had any sexual feelings toward his friend. Being savd, learning his friend is actually alive and hearing his friend kiss another man helps him discover a part of sexuality he's never questioned?




Benjamin loved Rez as a friend, and while they'd kissed and touched, he didn't know if he was seeking comfort in blindness.


I'm leaning toward that camp of questioning Benjamin's motives as Rez seemed like he wasn't attracted then he was, then he kissed another man even tough he shot the persistent guy down. And now he wants to mate for life to Benjamin.

The kelpie population is dying and the men are charged to mate and make new kelpie foals with female kelpies. Another factor that makes me question the entire relationship factor as Rez wants to do his duty but needs to save his friend more.

And when they have sex, it was "I'm not attracted to males" vs. "but I have to sleep with you to save your life". I'm not liking the way the chips are stacked. It read forced and not sexy. Rough sex for an anal virgin? The possessive streak is usually my go to hot factor but I wasn't feeling it in this context. And the suicidal thoughts were still there close to the end.  I get why the need to mate was needed to keep Benjamin alive but I'm not liking the reasons.

And then way everything is neatly tied up? Uh-uh. Right. Sure.

The ideas are good. The execution is questionable. The story would have been better for me both men had an inkling of shared passion prior to meeting, the suicide and killing didn't happen and the plot remained simple.

My rating is for the kelpie folklore mostly and the premise.

The title of this anthology is Primal Need and not one story addressed that factor. So if you're a reader looking for primal shifters, look somewhere else. The good thing about this anthology is the stories are also sold separately. I'd read samples before getting any of the titles.

So, 1 1/2 out of 3?



A copy provided via Netgalley for an honest review.

Snoozefest delight

Two for Trust (Dreamspun Desires Book 34) - Elle Brownlee
A Tag Team Review with Sara!

BROKEN HEART
--How to sum up Two for Trust?



I've been wanting to read something from this author for a while. And once I read the blurb and saw the cover... I rushed to read it.

After reading, it was not a great first impression of this author's work.

The elements are there for a winning story:

Finch - down and out dorky ginger ex-nurse who struck out on life in the work and love department
Benedict - a very stiff upper lip Brit with a mysterious air
A British countryside vacation filled with historical talking points

The air for romance while on vacation was there.

The thing is, neither main characters were interesting or charismatic enough to have a believable romance. I hesitate to call this a romance. There is a HEA and the right words showed up at times. But the delivery is so wooden, so stiff, so dry, so crusty.

My favorite part is stolen instant oatmeal. I think it was the highlight.

The book spends so much time on the English historical artifacts and research that the non existent romance and chemistry suffers from the boring and dry characters. Finch was pathetic and too similar in disposition to make any impact. Benedict... he was too "reserved". He just manipulated Finch and didn't share anything until it was too late.

And that ending? Please. *side eyes*

If you're new to the Dreamspun line, do not try this. I can't recommend. I do enjoy a quiet romance but this was too staid, too reserved and too boring.

So in closing, if you're having difficulties going to sleep or need something to start a nap, I'd give this book a try.




It worked wonders for me.



A copy provided for an honest review.

This is how I like my pirates!!!!!!

The Puritan Pirate - Jules Radcliffe
FIVE HEARTS-- It's like it was written for me...
"Will you punish me?"
"Do you need to be punished?"
"I have such... wicked thoughts of you."
"Dear God, I hope you do."




Pirate fans? This is the book for you. I can't believe how wonderful this book was. And as I look through my pages upon pages of quotes, I can't help but gush from this novel. (Seriously, I probably highlighted a third of this book)

New-to-me author Jules Radcliffe delivered historical kinky pirates with action and adventure. "Perry" aka Lieutenant Thomas Peregrine is an uptight Puritan British naval soldier ordered to be on buccaneer (pirate) ship, Audacious. Pirates and the British are working together, pirates no longer are considered against the King's army with proper documents. But on Audacious, led by the famous captain Black Wolf, no one trusts Perry.

And Perry doesn't make it easy to be liked. He is quiet, judgmental and with the former quartermaster, Irish Gabriel Quinn, he can't seem to hold his tongue. There's been animosity between the two from the moment Perry stepped on the ship. Enemies that are filled with passion can make the best lovers when they put their mind to it.

Quinn saves Perry one night and the passion takes a sharp turn into more. The thing is the story is not linear and the sexy times happen fairly early. It felt like the culmination already happened in the beginning. I warn of this because the story isn't written linearly. And if you need the story to be straight, you'll be disappointed. The story uses flashbacks to help flesh out the plot. The characters come in their own as the story moves along.

How so? The gift that is Perry's submission and his acceptance of his needs, Gabriel's mastery of Perry is showed a thousand times fold.


"Gabriel, what I give to you cannot be taken; 'tis a thing you've earned. To submit is my gift to you, and pleasure is your gift."


At only 22 years old, Perry has had a hard life. He's been used and abused (trigger warning: off page abuse, torture) and he carries the scars, figuratively and literally. Gabriel knows his man and follows Perry's cues.

The flashbacks show when the men originally met, Perry's start in the navy. Also, how Quinn left the Audacious to be another master on the female led pirate ship! I wondered how could the men have so much chemistry if they weren't on the same ship. But their chemistry is just that palpable.



The novel isn't just sex. There are pirate ship fights, double crossing, some suspense and cool adventurous rescue! The author interjected wit within historically accurate dialogue. I'll admit the dictionary function on my Kindle became my BFF while reading this book. But I wasn't lost.

The enemies are the Spanish navy. And they show themselves while the pirate crew are on the open seas. And the novel got a little dark which enhanced the entire experience. While the action and adventure satisfied the pirate lover in me. It's the romantic side that gutted me.


"God, but I love being inside you," he whispered in his own tongue. "So perfect, your body iron hard and petal soft. So beautiful, your satin mouth, your starlight eyes, your silken skin. My heart beats for you, sings for you."


Gabriel, the rough and tough Dom with a heart of gold, was possessively smitten by his needy kitten, Perry. Perry knew his was submissive, but Gabriel nurtured that side. Gave his boy just what he needed. And it was kinkly delightful: CBT! Bondage! Spanking!

I haven't been this pirate satisfied since Caged.

The writing is very strong, the tale entertaining. I didn't want it to end.


"They'll know I tamed you, and it's no secret I've a liking for rough play. But exactly what goes on betwixt us?" [...] "Your submission belongs to me alone. But everyone is to know you're mine, and no one else is to lay a hand on you. No one."


And that ending? Fitting for the time and just swoon-worthy. Matelot squee!

If I had to nitpick, it got a tad schmoopy in the last bit. But overall, this novel is stellar. It's on my 2017 favorites list. The author took time to detail without making it drag, the research is very evident. And a lot of showing how the characters choose the paths they follow.

And this pirate will battle ye if ye say nay!




Arr! Just kidding, mateys. I'll love this book even ye'll not love it.

Highly recommended for readers who enjoy pirates, historically accurate writings that doesn't give contemporary feels and a yummy kinky love story!




A copy provided for an honest review.

The premise was promising, the execution...

Louder Than Words - Siryn Sueng
2.5 HEARTS--This is a fence book.

You know those middle of the road books where the blurb has the potential, then you read it. Now you're left in the middle of escaped potential and okay?



That's me after reading Louder than Words by Siryn Sueng.

Nice premise that I was very interested in reading, a main character with a disability. Set in present day Florida, a shy physics teacher named Derrek has been visiting the Starbucks by his school just to get a glance of the hot barista with dreamy green eyes, black hair and multiple ear piercings named Alex. It been months and he was too anxious to make his move... until now.

The meet-cute is adorably hilarious and sweet. Derrek stumbles, Alex stares but doesn't speak. Assumptions are made but a boost from both men's friends help get the pair on the right track. Alex has vocal cord paresis. A vocal cord in paralyzed, his voice isn't strong enough. So his primary form of communication is sign language.

Derrek needs to learn because he wants his guy. So why not ask Alex to teach him? Who better?

The novella had pangs of first-book-itis: it ended at an odd spot and there was no conflict to carry it to the end.

How could this have been better? The author wrote in 1st POV from Derrek's POV only. He's not interesting enough to carry the story. The writing had a tendency to get passive. Or it would re-describe the original point made paragraphs ago... muddled the book.

If the story ever gets re-edited and lengthened - adding Alex's POV would add to the plot. The reader is relying on Derrek conveying Alex's actions and perceptions and even Derrek comments that he can't get a full read on Alex at times. Dual POV would make the internal angst of falling Derrek and vice versa would be the only conflict needed. The story got dull once they fell in love and it dragged. Then a late minute secondary character is added - Kevin. He served no purpose and if you take him away, the story is stronger. The second half was weak. I was swimming in the 3 Hearts range until Kevin and that wreck of a plot twist was added.

The writing needs work. An example being the sign language sessions. The story time jumps a month and half in the future with both men meeting consistently each weekend. After a month a half, they should have moved passed the introductory phase but the dialogue suggests they're initially meeting. These inconsistencies are peppered throughout.

The cute parts are the strongest: the original meeting, the sign language sessions. Also, a strong part: not cheapening Alex's disability.

Overall, a cute story with lost potential. I liked the main characters. I just wished they were fully developed.


A copy provided for an honest review.

Not all rent boy romances are the same...

Camouflage - Jon Keys

A Hearts On Fire Review

TWO HEARTS--All that glitters is not gold. And in the case of Camouflage by Jon Keys, not all rent boy romances will be a good one. Will I ever learn? Doubt it.

Two twenty-somethings befriend each other online (where and why is never given - a bigger issue with this story) Nash, a pierced and tatted rent boy from Atlanta is beaten up by a john prior to flying out to finally meet the guy he's been talking to online, Luke, a Oklahoman farmer. Nash, who is broke and miraculously makes a recovery from black eyes and bruising that needed to be covered up with makeup, seems to forget his predicament to fly to Oklahoma.

Luke and his best friend Chris are excited that Nash is visiting their small hometown for the week. Luke hasn't had a chance to be in love since he's deeply in the closet and screwing around with an even more closeted prick. They only got around to maybe 2nd or 3rd base, so consider Luke a virgin to backdoor pleasures.

The bruises are forgotten to continue into a very dull tale of two men who meet online maybe? They don't seem to share any interests. Add that with their personalities that are as boring as watching paint dry and the reading experience was close to painful.

Ever wanted to know how fast food tastes? You can find that in Camouflage. A page dedicated to eating everyday junk food. There were too many every day actions that was given too much page time that it weakens the already weak writing.

If you ignore the mundane events, you get a basic story that moved nowhere. The plot is supposed to be out of town rent boy finds love with closeted cowboy with some sexual discovery added in. The big secret of Nash being a rent boy was supposed to be a big thing, but the way it was presented... not really.

The sex was okay. If you're into pit licking, potential readers will rejoice. (Not knocking that kink) The lack of chemistry and the odd 0 to 180 mph direction to the feels dept. just added to the overall lackluster vibe.

Too many missed opportunities to make a tried and true trope interesting to read. And that added bit of drama in the 20% was the final nail in the coffin for me.

This was my first time reading the author and I'm pretty sure it will be final call for me. Potential readers, try a sample first.

Who knows, detailed minutiae and 2-D characters could be your thing.

Even with romance thrown in, fishing just doesn't do it for me...

Breaking the Ice (States of Love) - Tali Spencer
Tag Team Review with Sara!

3.5 HEARTS
--Ice Fishing.



I knew of it, but this book is definitely an ode to the sport.

Let me tell you something. I'm the least sports appreciating person you might meet. And sadly, I'm surrounded by the sports people. My BFF is a fisherwoman. Like she takes joy in sitting around with live bait and catching fish any free time she can. Do I join her? Fuck no! I tune out the moment she mentions bait. So I took my fishing non-love to this book, it seems.

This book is a lot about the appreciation and dedication of the sport in a icy tundra of a Wisconsin town. That's the major selling point of this book.

Matt Wasko is small, college educated, out and proud, grandson of a revered family in his small town and works an office job in a factory. His co-workers and Matt bowl together and against each other on two teams. And other the other team is Matt's love interest, John Lutz. Lutz's team has a bunch of homophobic jerks and Lutz does nothing to shut those guys up. He joins in the lame jokes or laughs.

Matt can't stand them especially that good looking Lutz. Thankfully, he had a two week vacation away from the job and with his beloved frozen lake Winnebago. When Lutz shows up to his icy piece of heaven, it seems like Matt can't catch a break.

At the core of things, Matt is a good guy. And he can't be an asshole to anyone... even his nemesis. The thing is John isn't a bad guy, he makes poor choices and follows the crowd, so no one knows how deep he's in the closet.

The two make nice on the ice and discover shared geeky interests. But they also are attracted to each other. The romance part was cute. I thought the epilogue was a bit soon just because we don't get to spend as much time with the couple as we did with Matt. There is some hotness dropped in there. *coughs*intercrural *coughs*rimming *coughs*

The guys were cute. Lutz pulls his head out of his ass. Wasko was adorably snarky. I liked them (okay, I liked Wasko a little more) But the klutzy wooing was cute. Thank goodness, we get dual POV.

Overall, the love story is the love of Wisconsin. Never been to the state, but it read authentic.

And who doesn't love unicorn name dropping?



Recommended to readers who enjoy the ice fishing sport (or want to learn as this is chock full of info).



A copy provided for an honest review.

Fluffy crack + amnesia trope = I'm reading!

Forgotten Paradise (Dreamspun Desires Book 32) - Shira Anthony

3.75 Stars-- Amnesia trope, vacay in the DR and cracky fluff? I'm all over it!



Shira Anthony's Forgotten Paradise is all about twenty-something ginger businessman Adam and thirty-something scuba instructor Jonah. Set in the Dominican Republic (for the first half), they meet while Jonah is working and Adam is lost at the resort on a forced vacation. Adam's family business which he was instrumental in saving, is being hounded by a Silicon Valley giant. He needed to destress.

And why not with the hunky diva instructor, Jonah? Jonah and Adam circle around their obvious attraction for a week. But Jonah has a past he can't remember due to having amnesia for 10 years! Something about Adam triggers his memories and then there are twists and turns!

The story was kind of staid until 40%. A lot of diving descriptions, some Dominican food descriptions (the food is amazing I can attest) and the men aren't heating it up, though it's obvious they get one another.

Once Jonah's identity was revealed, I was invested and breezed through the 50-ish%.

Amnesia tropes are my fave of mine. I liked the author's take on it. Jonah not only learned about his past self, he also grew as a person. There is a little mystery and a second plot twist I was surprised about (view spoiler)

This story has the max Dreamspun Desires sex scenes and it was nice, passionate.

I'm happy with the fluffy HEA and the epilogue was fitting for the fluffy feels the story gave. (It read like a Lifetime movie - comfort type of fluffy read)



Overall, a good addition to the house line.

P.S. (Anthony's first Dreamspun is in my top faves of the line: First Comes Marriage - features a GINGER billionaire!)

Gave good enemies to lovers vibes!

Rough Edges - Cardeno C.
3.75 HEARTS--Another Cardeno C winner for me! Short and contemporary from this author seems to work for me.

I love a lot of tropes, but enemies to lovers is near and dear. In Rough Edges, the enemies are within a group of friends.




Can we say awkward especially when they all hangout?

Thirty-something year old Kyle is determined. He's come a long way from that trailer park in Alabama. He fought and studied hard to be a professional at a prestigious firm in LA. He's got the right clothes, the perfect job, and soon to be the perfect condo. And others think he's a pretentious snob, so what? He's earned it. What he can't stand are people who are "lazy" and live off their trust funds without working and making something of themselves.

Unfortunately, the guy he started to crush on when he first moved to LA, Brent, falls under that category. And Kyle's been prejudiced ever since. Two years has passed from that initial magic meeting. The vitriol that Kyle spews is still iron strong. He digs at the happy go lucky Brent any chance he gets.

One day Kyle loses it all. (Cardeno is good at that, giving a character maximum crap day dealings by the boatload) And you know who helps the pissy guy out? You guessed it, Brent. They become roommates.

In this book the enmity read more one sided but Brent had the mouth and backbone to give as good as he got. But damn is Kyle a prick to Brent. I get Kyle's mindset: when you come from nothing and have to fight for any semblance normal you can get, you could resent others who have it easier aka born with a silver spoon in their mouths.

But Brent's not that guy. He's so likeable. He gets under Kyle's skin. And best part is he gets why Kyle is the way he is toward him.

Kyle is angry and pretentious and that stick in his ass is rooted deep. (The thing is I expected Kyle to be appreciative and humble. But he's not that guy.)




Thankfully, the chemistry is there. And we got dual POV because if it was one sided, I might not have bought it.

I both read and listened to new to me narrator, Kevin Chandler. I think he did a pretty good job. And I would listen to him again. Chandler didn't make all the voices distinct.  But I loved what he does for Kyle's voice. I knew exactly where he was from (the South). And when Kyle gets upset, the Southern intensifies. That was the best part of the audiobook, his take on Kyle.

The roommates learn about each other. That years long lust that was shelved for Kyle's ridiculousness? It comes off the shelf...


"When you want more, I'll give you my dick and then we can see which of us is begging to finish first."



Yes!

The sex is hot, nothing extreme. But the author sets up the characters to share just enough of themselves for the moment to feel intimate. Having Chandler narrate those bits didn't hurt.

Someone's monogamous and definitely a relationship guy. (Cardeno C staple!) Once bedroom action happens, he wants his man. The relationship is not one sided. And the guys seemed to be a great fit, in and out of the bedroom.

Kyle's the type of character who needs to learn as a person to grow. I think he's still a work in progress. He shares his inner demons with Brent. And Brent brings out the best in him.

Overall, a pretty great story with good narration. I'd recommend either version: ebook or audio.



A copy provided for an honest review.

Consider me impressed... again!

The Poison Within: An Order Universe Short Story (Inspector Skaer Book 1) - Kasia Bacon
FOUR HEARTS--And once again, I'm impressed with this author's writes.



Two for two, both short stories that left me wanting more but enjoyed the hell at what was given.

Set in the Order universe, a fantasy based world with supernatural beings and humans coincide, The Poison Withinis another creation from the author where the characters took a mind of their own.

And I'm not mad at it.

In fact, I need to send a bottle of bubbly to those blokes for getting their stories, or should say, start of their stories out for public consumption.

Clandestine human lovers of two years, low born Inspector Käyru Skaer has been meeting whenever he can with his lover, Count Ellydhar Finn-Jánn. Käyru worries that his lower class status will call an end to this love affair with his "Elly". He knows one of these days Elly will wise up and leave him, even if it would crush his heart. He'd let his lover go. He tries to hide his feelings and takes all that he can get. Did I mention there is a noted size difference? And D/s undertones? Someone has a penchant for writing hints of D/s.

*stares*

The world they live in is xenophobic, some humans regard non-humans are lesser. Political warfare and unjust treatment runs rampant. Case in fact, nymphs are living on Elly's land due to being ousted by a power hungry, racist power that fuels on scaring the masses (sounds familiar?) Käyru is called on duty from his lover's thighs to a solve a multiple murder. And it gets a little graphic when described which I liked.

The suspense is very quick. Justice is met swiftly--hooray! And we're introduced to a new being, cousin to the vampire, the Furia. What they can do is cool! (And if this character shows up in future works, I'll have excite)

I can go either way with established couples. This couple wasn't boring in the least. The story is told from the Inspector's POV, so the reader has to rely on his feelings for Elly to get a sense of their relationship.


I craved his proximity to a degree that would've been mortifying if I hadn't long stopped caring about hiding my want for him.


I thought the author succeeded on that front. There was even snatches of snark. I don't want to include my fave snippet as it'd give away a key part to the action/suspense bit.

Now my nitpick: despite the story being short, there were two instances where the scene ended weird. Like there was either something more to be said or done or shown. Both instances are when Inspector Skaer leaves Elly. The last time, after such a pivotal moment, seemed off. The love of his life just survived, and he leaves quietly? It's a minor nitpick and most likely a me thing. The inspector has a bit of an issue with his self confidence with his lover... so it could just be his way,

This is the start of a serial, by the way. The story ends with: to be continued . After 'the end', has there ever been more cursed words?

The writing is sharp. The sense of setting is just right. The story has a way of pulling the reader in. This story has a little bit of a lot of things I enjoy reading: hint of kink, strong main characters, interesting worldbuilding, cool concepts and a hint of dark. (I wonder how dark this author could get, hm?)

A suggestion as this world and the beings seem to be intricate; a glossary of the types of beings wouldn't hurt. Especially if there are going to be more detours from the main event.

I've fold my napkin.

I'm holding my utensils.

I'm waiting super patiently.



So patiently.

Consider me there once the novel drops, which I hope is soon. Or maybe I'll need to chat with the characters a bit, ask them to plague the author.

The Order universe has facets. I'm curious to read them all. And looks like I'm victim of another serial. ;D

Recommended.

Age gap yum yum!

At Attention - Annabeth Albert
  • A Group Unicorn Review with Adam and Cupcake



    FOUR HEARTS--I've seen this author's work, perused the blurbs and I didn't bite.

    But this blurb was the prettiest show pony with SRAL approved buzz words and themes:


    widower still grieving after partner's passing (bring on the pain)
    widower has kidlets AND needs a manny
    manny is the widower's best friend's little brother
    best friend's brother has had a crush on widower since his teens
    AGE GAP
    NAVY SEAL


    RING A DING DING!!! GUESS WHO IS COMING HOME WITH ME?



    Of course, I lassoed the hell out of this book and gobbled all the words.

    Being as it's my first Annabeth Albert read, I'm not sure how it rates on the Annabeth Albert scale. If this was very on her A-game or there's better? *shrugs*

    I was entertained and had a great time reading At Attention.

    23 year-old Dylan gets a chance of his lifetime when his unrequited crush hires and moves him in his San Diego home for the summer. Dylan's crush, 34 year old Apollo needs a nanny to take care of his adorable 4 year old twins whole Apollo works on a naval base. This book can be read as a standalone, I wasn't lost. And I'm curious about the previous and future pairings.

    Dylan tries to tamp down his lusty feelings as Apollo works through his grief. Two years has passed but there is no time limit on grieving. And Apollo is a grumpy, more reserved bundle of emotions. He would take time to start to contemplate having feelings for another man. Luckily, Apollo's libido isn't broken. And try as he might, he can't deny the easiness he has with Dylan. The camaraderie and sharing his daily worries of being a single parent added more base to their friendship foundation formed with Dylan was just a teen.

    The story is a good mix of nerdy, adorable, (lightly) angsty, sexy and sweet. Dylan can't stop his feelings from blooming once again. Apollo sees his friend's kid brother in a new light, an adult. They try going the friendship route on equal terms, but their bodies won't be denied.

    The sex in this book?




    The sex was...hot. If I had to give it a flavor, it's hot vanilla custard. Sweet, varied and with a hint of spice. (highlights: intercrural (yay!), frottage, light domination/ control a smidge of exhibition) There is mirror sex but, it could've been hotter in my opinion. I might have been spoiled by a hotter mirror scene in another NA series I've read.

    The grieving and the time given for Apollo to work through his process was more important factor for me. Apollo plays hot and cold. The ghost of his lover is one he surrounds himself with daily and it's hard to break through. Dylan makes him crack through the shell. Plus, he's possessive and doesn't want any other guy getting Dylan's time. He wants it all to his self. That was bonus characteristics that I enjoy. The possessiveness and the control in the bedroom (of course).

    The best bonus of all? Dylan wasn't a pushover. And he spoke his mind even if might hurt, be it himself or Apollo. I'm #teamDylan all day!

    This story was really good. Not Earth shattering, or extremely memorable. For all themes it had going on, it worked. The writing is easy to read, all of the characters are likeable. All of them from kids to grandmas. I really liked how it ended, well maybe before the fluffed ending. It was added sugar I could have done without. But HEA lovers will totes lurve it.

    This couple totally worked for me and I see them having a long loving future ahead of them.

    Recommended for readers who enjoy contemporary, like the tropes I listed and wallow in second chance romance.

    Come join me as I ride my pretty pony into the sunset.



    #NoRegrets #teamDylan

    A copy provided via Netgalley for an honest review.

Gimme gimme that cracky fluff... aaahh!

Tall, Dark, and Deported (Dreamspun Desires) - Bru Baker

A tag team review with Sara

4.5 HEARTS--
And now I have another book to add to my top favorites Dreamspun Desires list!

I've been fluffed. Pour it all over my face, baby. Just watch me melt.



Mateus is a Portuguese botanist who is staying with his brother and pregnant sister-in-law on their orchard in Washington state. Mateus is helping with his family's failing orchard and wants to stay in America. Unfortunately, he has an expiring tourist visa and searched online for a scheme to stay in the country: go to Canada, get his visa stamped and reset and return to America for another 3 months. Sounds too good to be true?

It's because it is.

Luckily, older stoic boutique hotel auditor/ businessman Crawford is being forced to Canada for work. His boss is sending him to the chain's failing Vancouver hotel for the next two weeks... along with Crawford's ex-husband. The bitter divorce happened three years ago and he's still jaded from his cheating ex. He doesn't believe love exists.

Thanks to a plane delay in Seattle, love weary Crawford meets Mateus and the connection is imminent. They strike up a conversation and are just vibing off each other over Auntie Anne's pretzel nuggets out of all things. The delay becomes a cancelled flight and the new acquaintances are thrown together through a series of events. And events get crazier as an impromptu drive to the Canadian border becomes Mateus not being able to cross either side of the border.

Ring a ling ling, did someone call a knight in shining armor?

Crawford obviously heard the call and he rescues Mateus.

Older, jaded hero meets younger loyal family man who just wants to stay and help the orchard...

And then a fake marriage trope is added to help save the day.

Those tropes were a cracky fluff jackpot and I... ate... it... up!



Bru Baker wrote fleshed out main characters in Crawford and Mateus. She built a solid foundation by showcasing a glimpse of their daily lives. Crawford is a point where he's not exactly happy, his only family connection a brother and nephew he helped raise are going to move away. So there is nothing really holding him in Los Angeles. And Mateus wants to leave Portugal to help out with his only sibling's growing family. All the characters read like real people.

The cracky fluff button was engaged once the fake marriage to get a visa to stay in the USA came up. But reading how Crawford is, it worked. The two get married and thankfully the author showed the real side of marrying an immigrant...it's not as easy as they originally thought. The couple stays in Canada for two weeks due to Crawford's job. And we even get to experience his ex-husband, a good antagonist that didn't overtake the plot with obscene dramatics.

The bread and butter of the story is the undeniable, easy connection Crawford and Mateus have. The attraction is there and it's a slow burn. Crawford being a knight in shining armor tries to be noble and a gentleman. His heart is iced in the middle... good thing Mateus knows to make him melt.

There is only one sexy moment throughout the entire story. But the sexual tension was written strongly and was well paced. I lived for each kiss. Were there times that I wanted to knock Crawford in the back of the head? Yep... he's a stubborn one. And has bad Tim Hortons judgement. (I'm still trying not to hold it against him) Other than that, he's a dream guy, as is Mateus.

The story is split between Vancouver and Washington. And even when apart, they're still connected. And when the sexual tension finally comes to a melting point. Let's just say it was a swoon worthy moment.

And the last 5% of the story?

So damn romantic, I want to get drunk off the cracky fluff. *swoons* *gulps*




Recommended for fans of the Dreamspun Desires line, this is definitely not one to skip. Crawford and Mateus as a couple left a lasting impression from the Dreamspun Desires leading men I've read so far.

Not my first time reading this author, but I enjoy the way she writes her characters a lot. And if you're a fan of any of the tropes I mentioned, get ready for quality cracky fluff.

What a sweet treat!



A copy provided for an honest review.

Stalkery alpha-type... why, yes, I do enjoy reading about those types.

Jumping In - Cardeno C.

3.5 HEARTS--Officer Clint Rivera is having a very, very bad day.




So bad it feels like the universe is against him. Why?

He's being kicked out his apartment, his closeted ex-lover--who he wasted many months on--is suddenly getting married after two weeks of leaving Clint. And this cheating douchcanoe had the audacity to send Clint an invitation to his engagement. After internally raging, he returns to his soon-to-be ex-home to find it destroyed by his lovely dogs.  This would drive a man to drink an ice cold stiff one, but he's out of that too after a clumsy catastrophe that caused all his bottles of beers to break.

He'd had enough. Life keeps taking the piss, so he figures his ex owes him all the alcohol after the last couple of shitty hours he's had.





Enter hunky deputy mayor of Clint's small New Mexico town, Hawk. The 6' 6" blue eyed man seems to always be underfoot whenever Clint least expects it. If only he could get over his crush on the hunky, boner inducing man. The best he can manage around Hawk is be adorably tongued tied. Besides, Clint's pretty sure Hawk's straight. Especially with his luck, the best he could do is keep Hawk in his spank bank.

Enter a boozy night where he's rescued by a patient, possessive stalker of a knight in shining armor: Hawk!

Hawk has changed his entire life waiting for his man to be free of that douchecanoe. And he swoops in just like a Cardeno C. possessive hero can do.

We're talking hot dirty talking, sweet courting and possessive insta-love.

And hot sex all over the place once Hawk gets his hands on his man. *coughs* *hint* An appliance might need to take a pregnancy test after a really rocking time.

I'm still fairly new to this author. Cardeno's contemporary seems to do it for me. I wanted possessive alpha that is intense in getting their man. It's exactly what was delivered. It's short enough not to bore and read in between novels.

Some of it was super quick. I mean the coupling lasted for a weekend before we're plopped into a HEA. Something tells me they're going to stick together forever and ever.

And if Clint ever gets second thoughts... well Hawk is just going to have to show him what his amazing tongue and "eight and half inches" can really do.

Newsflash: A fucking lot.





And I'm not mad at it.

Recommended for smutsters who want to read something possessive, hot and sweet all at the same time. 

You know, when you're in a mood. ;D



A copy provided for an honest review.

NSFW-ish review of a funny erotica...menage?

From Top to Bottom - Kevin Klehr

THREE HEARTS--

Before Reading:

 

 

 

1 room, 3 tops and someone will be ENTERED

 

 

After Reading: It's all about the C's. Cum , Cocks and...Cakes?!

 

"You brought cake," I said. I tried not to let the look of horror show on my face.

"For afterward," Butch replied. "I baked it myself. Is there room in the fridge?"

Hadn't this guy heard of the definition of "eternity"? The time between you cum and they leave. Who ever heard of cake after sex?

 

Actual cakes.

 

 

 

Not an ass euphemism. Don't look at me like that, we both know you went there. ;) It's an erotica short, it's to be expected.

 

"But you're not thinking of topping him--you want him in your secret chamber."

"Secret chamber?"

"Man cave. Boy pussy. Man-gina. Lurve canal."

 

From Top to Bottom by Kevin Klehr was not what I expected it to be based on the blurb. I thought it was just going to be 3 cherries served on a platter. However it happened in this PWP, it was just going to happen.

 

 

Not so, totally not so.

 

Told from 1st POV in a British setting possibly(?), Tony is thirty, very close to his father (like they discuss their sex lives--his dad was actually my fave character--get to that later). Tony loves sex and isn't very discriminate. Plus, he's a bonafide top.

 

He gets told by a bottom, "it's just another way to feel cock". And Tony has a revelation. Why not try bottoming? So he places an ad online, "top curious about being a bottom, wants to meet likeminded tops." Two like-minded blokes respond: Butch, cake baking bear with a philosophical look on life and Ford, a top who has a boyfriend and just wants to get down to fucking.

 

I was in accord with Ford. Butch and Tony were very poetic, and the prose had a tendency to get purple-y.

 

I won't say who first pops their road to "nirvana", but the story gets straight down to sex.

 

 

*growls*

 

While erotic, it also was quirky. There were so many slang for ass. Soooooooooo many. Some good, some weird as fuck like "chew my gremlin". I have to save that in my all time quotes. Some I haven't even heard before. And this is coming from a Dallas Sketchman fangirl (RIP).

 

Who wouldn't laugh at:

 

"My gremlin feels satisfied"

 

or

 

"My gremlin is hungry. My gremlin's been watching soap opera and wants to feel the leading man."

 

The leading man, of course being:

 

 

 

 

While chewing over the gremlin ass talk, the author ups the ante with a spoken word session on the joys of gay sex. And it's hosted at an honest to goodness orgy.

 

Here I am thinking it's just going to be quick one and done type of deal. But no ma'am, Tony and Butch pound their way through the flesh "playground". The sex was described in a joyous, ritualistic tone, where it was an ode more than erotic.

 

For the smutsters: rimming, felching, snowballing, double penetration was had. (pssst...someone fibbed about being a backdoor virgin)

 

The story was different. And while weird euphemisms get thrown in the mix, Tony's dad added more hilariousness. He's very upfront. Tony explores the pleasures of being topped.

 

As does his dad.

 

 

 

 

 

His dad goes into detail how much he shot after discovering his G-spot. Truthfully, my favorite scenes included Tony's dad from getting a colonic, to his pegging joy. I was fully there for Dad, despite the weirdness.

 

There was a message with this erotica. I think I know what the author was going for and I enjoyed that. The story was memorable more to me for the odd words and descriptions, not so much for the erotic bit. Which is the point of PWP for me.

 

 

The story ends at an odd place. Two of the original three tops form a friendship. A crush isn't returned. I wouldn't say it was faptastic. Weird and poetic mainly.

 

But hey at least there was cake?

 

 

 

Am I right?

 



A copy provided for an honest review.

 

 

 

Hot sci-fi erotica... oh how I enjoy F.I.S.T.S.

Murphy (F.I.S.T.S. Book 2) - Bey Deckard, Starr Waddell
A Double Tag Team Review with Ann!

4 HEARTS
--

"Well, well, well... What the fuck's got you so damn worked up, son?" he says, and flicks the head of my cock hard; I wince but manage not to make a sound. "Have you been a bad boy and touched something that doesn't belong to you? And don't you goddamn lie to me."

Excuse me as I melt. Murphy and Sarge could have melted my e-reader.







Established couples aren't my go to. I think it might be why I didn't rush to read this book. Because Murphy and Sarge's initial scenes are that special.

But I am so happy I finally got to it. This time around I listened on audiobook and read along to the second book in the F.I.S.T.S. series. It's months later after that last battle scene in Sarge. Murphy and his Sarge both go through some changes, moving up the ranks, more erotic D/s scenes.

Murphy and Sarge already had a connection, this book was a deeper exploration of their bond. It was hot. There were a tender moment here and there. But overall, the two are made for each other.

And did I mention hot?

"Will you look at the mess you've made of yourself? How long's your cock been drooling all over you?"
"All day, Sarge. Like you wanted."


Because it continued the scorch from book #1.

Someone is possessive and demanding. I'm all about that. And in between the molten D/s times, there was a little suspense added. The men are sent to a swampy alien world and everything is not how it seems. Murphy's synesthesia comes back into play in this story. I thought it added a nice touch.

A little action, a lot sexy and an easy read. The series left on a note with a possible revolution, or possible attack on the leaders? There's room for more in the series should the author pursue but the couple is definitely solid. I liked the narration in Murphy more. I agree with Ann, if you go the audiobook route, listen to them back to back. It helps and I finished it with a smile. So maybe the narrator is growing on me. His Sarge voice was still consistent, gruff and growly.

I definitely recommend this series if sci-fi erotica is your type of read.




A copy provided for an honest review.

Sometimes easy breezy and sweet is all you need.

Rainbow Sprinkles - Anna  Martin
3.5 HEARTS--In the mood for something cute, light, easy and breezy? Anna Martin's Rainbow Sprinkles fits that description to a T.




Set in California, Cooper Reed is perfectly content working two jobs, one as a bartender, the other as worker/ ice cream creator at the Dreamery Creamery. He makes enough to get by and he also gets to fawn over his weekly customer with questionable ice cream tastes, Drew. Drew will combine some crazy flavors but never, ever forgets the rainbow sprinkles.

Is it a little pathetic that Mr. Rainbow Sprinkles has been delegated to wank fodder? Maybe, but Cooper's happy to keep his man of his dreams as just that in his dreams. Until one day, Drew shows a little interest.

Then dream man becomes real man. *smile*

Drew is a real live Disney prince! Okay, okay, he acts as one in nearby Disneyland. And he shows behind the Disney scenes in this book. I enjoyed the glimpses. Drew's sweetness and romantic side draws the more sarcastic Cooper in.



Both men are in mid twenties and they read their age. They fall for one another kind of quickly, kind of not, since they shared the employee/customer relationship for sometime prior to the start of the book. And like some twenty-somethings, they don't have it all figured out as of yet. The story has zero angst. We get meet cute into budding relationship into first fights and learning that when it matters, you have to communicate.

The boys drag their feet into resolving the internal conflict. That part kinda pissed me off a little. We go from one of them sending texts over and over on a daily basis (loved that) to just dropping off the face of the Earth when the going got a little tough.

I hope they work on it. I think they could.

The side characters are great and compliment Cooper and Drew. Their BFF's are cute and I was super happy with their development as well at the end.

It's my first foray into Dreamspinner Press' States of Love collection. I'd definitely return. The setting read authentic - down to the temperature, the traffic, the laid-backness. I never been to Cali but I imagine it to be something like this from what I've seen through media. There were tiny spots when the dialogue read British here and there if I had to nitpick.

I think this would work best for Anna Martin fans who like the quieter romance, fans of light, no angst reads and of course, Disney-stans.






Overall, pretty sweet.



A copy provided for an honest review.

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