Boy Shattered by Eli Easton (2nd Edition)

Eli Easton - Boy Shattered Cover 6gb309Title: Boy Shattered

Author: Eli Easton

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult

Length: Novel (264 pages)

Publisher: Harmony Ink / Dreamspinner (13th August 2019)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Blurb: Popular athlete Brian had everything until a school shooter nearly killed him. He survived the massacre with the help of a hero—his classmate Landon, who faced death to help others… and who is openly gay. Brian might be alive, but he can’t face his fears or move on, especially since the shooters were never caught. He’s falling apart, and he can only reach for Landon and hope Landon will take his hand a second time.

Landon did what anyone would do when he found Brian dying on the cafeteria floor. He doesn’t think of himself as a hero, but he’s ready to take a stand against the gun violence tearing apart the lives of young people—people like Brian, who returned to school a shadow of the happy, outgoing quarterback Landon used to admire. Brian still needs him, and as their friendship grows and deepens, wounds might begin to heal. The bond they share could lead a new start for them both.

Only the terror that visited Jefferson Waller High School isn’t over yet.

ASIN: B07JB2CB84

Product Link: Harmony Ink | Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Boy Shattered by Eli Easton is nothing short of amazing. To be honest from reading the blurb I didn’t know what to expect, but Easton is one of my favorite authors and I was therefore more than willing to give it a go.

When I started this young adult tale of a teenager who survives a mass shooting at his high school, I thought to read only half of it and finish the rest the next night. Instead, I stayed up all night and cried from start to finish, Seriously, get those tissues ready, it’s impossible not to feel the depths or horror and despair and hope in this book.

The story is written from the POV of two teenage boys, one is a high school senior and the other is a couple years off of finishing. Landon, the senior, is out and proud to the rest of the school and not at all popular. Meanwhile Brian is a jock. He’s the quarterback on the football team, he’s friends with other jocks and to hide his sexuality he has even dated cheerleaders. Two of his friends seem to show some homophobic tendencies, while his best friend is more down to earth. Landon and Brian have both noticed each other but due to the social circles they occupy, nothing ever happens between them, or even any sort of acknowledgement of each other’s existence.

Everything changes for the boys when two gunmen open fire at the school, changing their worlds forever. Caught in the hallway, Landon does his best to find his brother and finds Brian bleeding out in the cafeteria. Brian hadn’t meant to be in the cafeteria, but when the bullets started he tried his best to hide and take cover. Brian wasn’t so lucky and as he bleeds out, Landon did his best to put pressure on the wound and keep Brian conscious.

Landon saved Brian’s life that day, but Brian has a long road to recovery. He and Landon grow close, although it is easy to see that what may have started as a dependency caused by Brian’s PTSD has turned into something more meaningful. Brian’s brush with death leaves him with a lot of fears but it also makes him want to step out of the shadows and be who he is, albeit very slowly. Landon also changes, he was already a smart and sensible guy, but he takes his passion for wanting to help others, especially since he sees the varying effects of a shooting first hand at himself and everyone at school. Landon has a great head and mind. He is one of the most inspiring characters I’ve come across, not only in young adult fiction, but any fiction.

This is a wonderful young adult novel, yet I think that it would be valuable and enjoyable for many adults as well. It is so easy to relate to the kid’s thoughts and feelings because despite the horrible circumstances it is easy to place yourself back in the mind of being a teenager once more.

The subject matter is confronting. The romance in the book is merely incidental to the actual guts of the book. However, it was the perfect mix of emotion. As many Australians, it’s difficult to understand the lack of urgency for gun reform in the US and this book highlights it all the more.

And that is the only personal view on a current affair I will put into the book review, understand that reading the book is very thought provoking and had me thinking about this. It also had me thinking, how many kids fear going to school because they know people from their school, or from other schools, who have been touched by this horror.

Embracing His Syn by A.E. Via ~ Audio Review

A.E. Via - Embracing His Syn Audio Cover s 84g2cxTitle: Embracing His Syn

Series: Nothing Special 02

Author: A.E. Via

Narrator: Aiden Snow

Genre: Contemporary, Action, Thriller

Length: 11 hrs, 14 mins

Publisher: A.E. Via (4th June 2019)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Sergeant Corbin “Syn” Sydney had dedicated his life to becoming the best detective. So when he heard there was an opening on the notorious Atlanta Narcotics Task Force, he jumped at the chance. But, what he wasn’t ready for was realizing just how lonely he’d made himself, when he observed the loving and dedicated relationship between the two men he served under: Lieuten-ant Cashel “God” Godfrey and Lieutenant Leonidis Day.

Syn prepared himself to accept his lonely fate until he walked into a small pub and met the long-haired, tattooed bartender, Furious Barkley. Before Syn can even understand why, he’s over-come with feelings he barely recognizes: passion, yearning, craving. And if the dark, lustful gazes are anything to go by, Furious might be feeling the same things for him.

Just two thing needs to happen before Syn and Furi can give each other what’s been missing from their lives for so long…Syn needs to find the evidence that proves Furi’s innocence of murder, as well as protect him from a past that refuses to let go.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Embracing His Syn is the second book in AE Via’s Nothing Special series. Although I’m not particularly familiar with Via’s work, I absolutely loved, loved, loved (it feel I need to emphasise how amazing that book was) Nothing Special and was keen to get into Embracing His Syn as soon as I could. Being that I had just left the world of Day and God and their team on the narcotics squad I honestly had no doubt that I would love this book and therefore had some high expectations, from both Via and the narrator, Aiden Snow.

I feel that this is going to be a very short review because I loved every moment of Embracing His Syn. However, I should say that I strongly recommend reading or listening to book 1 first because it sets the scene and many of the characters are back in the sequel, continuing from where they had left off in Nothing Special. I suppose you could get away with not having knowledge of book 1, but I feel that there is stuff going on under the surface that is easier to understand if you are already familiar (or assumes the reader is already familiar) with the Nothing Special world.

Quite simply, it was exactly what I expected it to be and so much more. The story overall itself is quite simple, but the characters are complex with so much depth that it is obvious that there is a lot of smaller moving cogs that carry the plot forward. The sex scenes are also very, very steamy and well written. If you’re like me who doesn’t like a lot of sex scenes or pointless sex scenes to pad out a book, there is nothing pointless about any sex scene in this story. Each sex scene deals with the concerns of the two MCs as they navigate their fledgling relationship.

The narration is also brilliantly performed. Much like the author, I’m not too familiar with the work of Aiden Snow from other audio books. However, he had done an amazing effort bringing to life the guys of the Nothing Special series, from the main characters to the equally complex secondary characters. His tone and deep voice is absolutely perfect for the characters that Via has concocted because it brings in the edge and danger that is associated with the plot of the book. But Snow also has a gentleness that not only makes the sex scenes so amazingly real even with the overwhelming strength of the characters, but his voice helped me feel the raw emotions of the characters. An amazing performance and one that I would love to relisten to in the future.

The story starts with Sergeant Corbin Sydney, aka Syn. He’s transferred to Atlanta PD’s most revered and successful teams, the narcotics squad, which is now headed by Lieutenants Day and God. The book picks up a couple years after Day and God’s story and the two are going as strong as ever, and they are both as awesome and as dangerous as ever. Syn is set through his paces, because Day and God only want the best on their team, but Syn is up for anything. He will never compromise his morals and beliefs for anyone. Shortly after being accepted on the team, there begins a string of murders which involve men being drugged, which is what brings Syn and his new team into the case.

Syn meets the man called Furious Barkley at his local pub, where Fury works while trying to finish school so that he and his best friend can open their mechanic workshop. It’s Fury’s dream, but he had left it on hold while he had been with his abusive ex-husband. After running away from the man, Fury gets a job with his ungrateful uncle at the pub and supplements his income doing solo porn videos so that he can finish school and get moving with his plans. However, things change when some of the male performers are killed which not only brings Fury into contact with Syn at the police station, but also brings him back on the radar of his ex-husband.

Fury has a lot of baggage because of his previous relationship. Syn has a protective streak a mile long and was instantly attracted to Fury. Syn, though, isn’t just a sexy cop, he has some hidden depths that seem completely opposite to his character at first, but in the end shows just how wonderful he is as a character. I think people will also appeal to Syn’s and Fury’s relationship plays out in bed and out of bed, because of how Via wrote this, it feels like a relationship that is on equal footing. The guys have to work together to not only deal with the imminent danger, but to also deal with the mental baggage so that they can make a proper go at their relationship.

Much like the first book, I recommend this one to people that love hot cops, a story with a touch of danger, a lot of love and a heck of a lot of sex.

Familiar Angel by Amy Lane ~ Audio Review

Amy Lane - Familiar Angel Audio Cover 64gt40Title: Familiar Angel

Series: Familiar Love 01

Author: Amy Lane

Narrator: Gomez Pugh

Genre: Paranormal

Length: 6 hrs, 50 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (5th June 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: One hundred and forty years ago, Harry, Edward, and Francis met an angel, a demon, and a sorceress while escaping imprisonment and worse! They emerged with a new family – and shape-shifting powers beyond their wildest dreams.

Now Harry and his brothers use their sorcery to rescue those enslaved in human trafficking – but Harry’s not doing so well. Pining for Suriel, the angel, has driven him to take more and more risks until his family desperately asks Suriel for an intervention.

In order for Suriel to escape the bindings of heaven, he needs to be sure enough of his love to fight to be with Harry. Back when they first met, Harry was feral and angry, and he didn’t know enough about love for Suriel to justify that risk.

Can Suriel trust in Harry enough now to break his bonds of service for the boy who has loved his familiar angel for nearly a century and a half?

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Familiar Angel is the first book in Amy Lane’s Familiar Love series. While I love to read and listen to Amy Lane’s audio works, I wasn’t sure what to expect as this is the first book of Lane’s that I’ve read that is a paranormal. Typically, I love the writing style of Lane’s contemporary works and was pleased to see that this translated over into the paranormal story.

Narration for this book was performed by Gomez Pugh. According to my Audible library I’ve got another book narrated by Pugh, also written by Lane, but to be honest (although my review says I liked his work) I have zero recollection of the book. So I kinda went into this one blind. For Familiar Angel, Pugh has done a fantastic job. There are a number of characters, all requiring their own voices, with six secondary characters who are just as important as the two main characters of this story. Pugh made it easy to follow the various conversations and to follow when the book goes to a flashback.

Ugh. Sorry, this leads me onto a bit of a rant and the only reason why I didn’t give this a full 5/5.

I personally can’t stand a book that has a lot of flashbacks. And there were a number of long flashbacks here. I’m a simple person who wants near-instant gratification, particularly when there are flashbacks occurring at pivotal moments and disrupting my flow. The way I see it, especially for long drawn out scene that span a chapter or more, just tell me the important point in the present because I want to get to the guts of the story. While I did find it a bit tedious, both Lane’s writing and Pugh’s animated narration managed to pull off a really enjoyable story that I think I would find near impossible to read myself.

The story starts out when we are introduced to Harry, Edward and Francis in early 1800s California. They’ve lived a rough life and that wouldn’t get any easier, in fact, they would be lucky if they lasted another couple of years. But when Harry and Edward try to escape their predicament, they stumble upon a witch trying to help a beloved demon with the help of another demon and one of God’s angels. It is here that the boys turn from humans to become a witch’s familiar with a significantly longer life span.

More than a century later, the family use their powers to help those without hope – they will do anything to stop human trafficking. Harry has struggles through the decades, the biggest issue for him being his unrequited love for the angel that helped their family, Suriel. However, for Harry his past still haunts him, the fear of what had happened in his human life has followed over into immortality and he needs the help of his family and Suriel to help him defeat it (and as a bonus the family can save the day).

Suriel is a strong being, but he has his doubts and concerns when it comes to Harry. Harry is reckless and his family need Suriel to help save Harry. He knows that Harry is worth falling for, but there is so much uncertainty that Suriel is waiting until the absolute last possible days to figure it all out, when he had been visiting the family for almost a century and a half. However, to be with Harry permanently Suriel has to make drastic changes to his life and his being, going through a horrific trial of his own, as soon as he helps Harry and the family with breaking a massive human trafficking ring.

I can’t wait for the rest of the series. Book 2 is already out (I can’t wait for Edward and Mullin’s story) and there is to be a book 3 for Francis. I think those 2 will go a lot smoother since Familiar Angel has built a very complex world and given backstory for over six characters who are central to this story.

I recommend this to anyone that loves to read paranormal, although there are no shape shifters per se (the boys are familiars and there are no established packs, alphas, etc.), the battle between good and evil with witches, cats, angels and demons is a fun roller coaster.

Lincoln’s Park by Parker Williams ~ Audio Review

Parker Williams - Lincoln's Park Audio Cover 64v3mnTitle: Lincoln’s Park

Series: Links in the Chain 01

Author: Parker Williams

Narrator: Tristan James

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 8 hrs, 42 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (4th April 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Lincoln Merriweather was born an entitled brat with a silver spoon lodged so deep, it might nev-er have come out. At the BDSM club or in business, Lincoln was a storm, blowing in and disrupt-ing the lives of everyone he touched, until the day he met a man who peeled away the tarnished layers to expose a decent person.

Lincoln found – then lost – love.

Since then, he’s tried to atone for his past, including walking away from his family’s wealth. He opened a diner, hiring people to work for him that he would have spit on before his epiphany. He’s found peace, which he’s about to lose to a hazel-eyed man.

Noel Simmons wound up on the street when his parents discovered he was gay. His path leads him to Lincoln’s diner, where he asks for a job. He’s thrilled when Lincoln agrees to hire him but finds his new boss perplexing. Can anyone be this kind and decent?

What starts out as business becomes something more. Noel discovers he needs Lincoln in or-der to feel safe. Lincoln needs Noel to complete him. But when Lincoln’s past gets in the way of his present, will the two have a future?

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Lincoln’s Park is the first book in Parker Williams Links in the Chain series.

I’m not overly familiar with Parker Williams and I have to say the mention of BDSM often concerns me in books. For me BDSM is fine as long as its written well between consenting adults instead of being used as a way to disguise literary porn as a romance, and let’s not go down the Fifty Shades path either. But I’m so happy to report that: 1) Parker Williams had such a wonderful way with words in this book that I can’t wait to get onto the rest of the series. 2) BDSM is only a background plot device and I had nothing to worry about at all.

The story starts with Lincoln Merriweather. He had been a ruthless businessman who had played as hard as he worked. He was raised a spoilt, rich brat until the day he met someone who changed everything about the way he saw the world. There was love but there was never going to be a future together. And so when he found himself on his own, he opened the Park View Diner and decided that he would help as many people as he could.

The Park View Diner has been his life for the past ten years now. Noel walks in off the street, quite clearly homeless and desperate for a job that no one would give him due to his appearance. Noel is young, only in his early twenties, but he’s been on the streets since his parents discovered that he was gay. Lincoln is a dream come true and gives Noel so much opportunity to help him to get out of the hole he had found himself in.

Lincoln and Noel both fight the feelings which are developing as they try to figure out what is happening between them. The one thing that is clear is that they belong together, and they need each other to feel complete. Added to that Lincoln’s past in the form of his rich family come to threaten all that he has built. Noel is there to lend Lincoln strength, but the stress and the situation could threaten what is shaping up to be a beautiful romance.

The narration of this story was performed by Tristan James, who was an unknown narrator to me until I finished this book. James does justice to the story and characters. He captures the vortex of emotions mixed with the strength of Lincoln, while he conveys the strength, vulnerability and determination of Noel.

This is a sweet story full of heart. It’s an intense emotional roller coaster, too, which just makes me so happy that I can’t find words for how much I loved this plot and the characters. I recommend this to people that want a sweet romance with a lot of hope. I can’t wait for the next book, which features Lincoln’s brother and look forward to a story of redemption.

Fox Hunt by j leigh bailey

J. Leigh Bailey - Fox Hunt Cover 93bgs3Title: Fox Hunt

Series: Dreamspun Beyond 37 / Shifter U 04

Author: j. leigh bailey

Genre: Paranormal, Shape shifters

Length: Novel (248 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64405-203-7

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (2 July 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Outfoxing their enemies will be a bear of a task.

Aspiring journalist and fox shifter David ends up with a target on his back after hacking the Moreau Initiative, the shifter world’s greatest enemy. But he won’t let that stop him from the campus tour road trip that’ll help him become the next Anderson Cooper… even if his family insists he travel with a grumpy grizzly bear bodyguard.

Buddy Brady is older, sexy, and too damn distracting for David, and as the sexual tension builds, so does the suspicion around the repeated attacks—first in Chicago, then in New York. Someone is tracking them, and all clues point to a traitor in the shifter ranks. Worst of all, they could be after David’s family….

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Fox Hunt is the fourth book in j. leigh bailey’s Shifter U series. I fully recommend to read this series in order, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable series and each book is about a different couple, but also I found that since it has been a while since I read the previous books I had to do a quick flip through to reacquaint myself with the other characters and the over-arching storyline that continues through to the present book.

As I said, Shifter U is a really enjoyable series and I was pretty excited to get into the next instalment. The way that bailey has written the book made the whole thing feel more accessible in the fact that despite this is about shifters being hunted, I find it so easy to relate and sympathise with the characters. Fox Hunt, just like the previous books, are a really good book to read when you want to relax and take it easy, while having a bit of intrigue to keep you going.

The story starts out with David. He’s a fox shifter, journalist who recently graduated from the so-called Shifter U and his mother, brother and stepfather are on a supernatural group/committee who only want the best for shifters and peaceful relations with humans. Let’s face it, most paranormal/shifter/vampire books tend to have a paranormal governing body, so it’s not anything new.

David is seen as a bit of a flake, a spoilt brat by many, including his mother and brother. Yet under the surface is a man who is passionate about the truth as well as the safety of humans and shifter alike. He recently used his mother’s work computer to hack into the group known as the Moreau Initiative (as in The Island of Doctor Moreau), this group functions as the “boogie man” of this series, the evil people that are after shifters. David has effectively painted a target on his back, the last thing that he wants because David is about to do a road trip and interview to get into several internships and move to the next stage in his career.

Fearing for David’s life, David’s mother, brother and stepfather insist on David bringing a bodyguard with him on the journey. That bodyguard is Buddy Brady, an older, grumpy bear shifter who put his life’s ambitions on hold to raise his younger brothers, ultimately leading to his current career and his latest assignment. Buddy quickly finds out that there is something strange happening around David. He is definitely being targeted but it is a mystery as to how his attackers are tracking him.

Together, David and Buddy solve the mystery and uncover more disturbing facts surrounding the Moreau Initiative while going on David’s cross country road trip. These guys are well suited and while they are very different on the surface, I love how passionate they both are about just about every aspect in life. It’s now that they are together that they grow and learn to trust love and passion of a different nature. What I love the most is that with both David and Buddy there is a lot more going on under the surface than first expected and so I really enjoyed their development as individuals as well as a couple.

Fox Hunt is something of a buddy (pun intended) road trip, mixed with mystery, danger and love. This is really a typical shape shifter romance in terms of formula, but the characters have great personalities and are intriguing. Fans of Shifter U series will enjoy the latest instalment, but I also recommend to people that like shape shifter stories.

I look forward to more from this series. While David and Buddy have a really satisfying romance and we are left with a HEA for these guys, there is more to come with the whole storyline of the Moreau Initiative and I’m sure we’ll get to meet some more interesting characters from the world of Shifter U.

Survive and Conquer by Andrew Grey

Andrew Grey - Survive and Conquer Cover uy4e3Title: Survive and Conquer

Author: Andrew Grey

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (193 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64405-455-0

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (9 July 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Newton DeSantis was on the ground when the towers collapsed on 9/11. Though he still carries the scars on his body and his heart, he’s determined to ease some of the world’s suffering. Now a social worker and father to two children with special needs, he’s doing his best. But when one of his cases needs a good lawyer, Newton turns to Chase for help.

Family law attorney Chase Matthews is a rising star, and he’s in high demand. Still, Newton is very persuasive, and Chase takes his case pro bono. Everything about the other man appeals to Chase, but he’s determined to keep the relationship professional—even though, after meeting Newton’s kids, he wants to be a part of their lives.

Chase’s job doesn’t always allow him to pick his clients, though, and a case that could make him partner will put him on the opposite side of the courtroom from Newton—along with everything he believes in and the future they could build together.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: I love an Andrew Grey book and I know that I repeat myself all the time when I write a review for one of Grey’s books. But the short story is that I love the emotions that are evoked, both the highs and lows, throughout the book. It’s not uncommon for me to cry during a book by Andrew Grey and I feel that’s awesome. Grey also has a special touch when he includes children in his books, they are always cute kids (sometimes seriously ill or with a disability) whose personalities are just as big as the main characters who are their dad/s.

Survive and Conquer is everything that I expect from an Andrew Grey novel. The emotions are overflowing, the characters are very deep and complex, it was a wild journey to get to know them and their motivations. It was especially heart wrenching when Newton DeSantis opens up about being at Ground Zero on 9/11.

Newton DeSantis’s life turned upside down on 9/11, he was nearby on the ground and lost friends in the towers who are among those still unidentified. He is both mentally and physically scarred from his experience. He has made it his life to help people and that is something of a healing balm, as are his two kids whom he adopted. The girl has hearing issues and his son has a blood disorder. He works as a social worker, wanting the absolute best outcomes for the kids he comes into contact with.

However, when one situation with a child requires legal expertise, Newton turns to and manages to convince family lawyer, Chase Matthews. Chase loves his job and is an up and coming star at his firm. And while he doesn’t need more work, he agrees to look into a case for Newton pro bono.
The men have a lot in common and their connection is instant. But their careers are not always complementary. As a lawyer Chase can’t pick and choose which clients he wants to take but as feelings between he and Newton evolve, things get complicated, of course. While getting to know each other personally, their lives also cross professionally. Ultimately, this is the moment when Chase needs to get his priorities right and decide just how essential Newton and the two kids are to his life.

In short, Chase must sort out his work-life balance, he is looking to take the step of becoming a partner to man with two kids who he also forms a connection to. Likewise, Newton also needs to let in the romantic kind of love in his life, balancing his life as a dad, a partner and a social worker.

Volley Balls by Tara Lain ~ Audio Review

Tara Lain - Volley Balls Audio Cover 46v3gkTitle: Volley Balls

Series: Balls to the Wall 01

Author: Tara Lain

Narrator: Nick J. Russo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 4 hrs, 1 min

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (10th April 2018)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖 2.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: A “pumped up” version of the Volley Balls story, twice as long as the original.

A double dose of alpha male might be better than one.

Despite just getting out of an abusive relationship with an asshole alpha, David Underwood’s wandering glance lands on two hot members of the Australian volleyball team on Laguna Beach and gets him harassed again. Still, when the delicious Gareth Marshall proves his interest by coming out to his team, David succumbs to his attraction. But Gareth’s volleyball partner, Edge, who’s equally hot, makes the lovers’ lives miserable.

For Gareth, a lifetime of hiding his orientation – and his attraction – from his best friend, Edge, as well as everyone else around him, adds up to hurt and frustration. David’s the first man to ever compete with Edge for Gareth’s passion. But Edge has secrets of his own, and David’s ex-lover will never be happy without David under his fist. With everything stacked against him, can a gay Laguna man find happiness with an alpha male – or two?

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Volley Balls is the first book in Tara Lain’s Balls to the Wall series, set in idyllic Laguna Beach (much like her series Love in Laguna, and I think the Love You So series, too). The way I understand it, this is a revised and expanded edition of the story, although I’ve had no prior knowledge of it before listening to the audio. I was interested, however, because I have enjoyed a number of other books and series of Lain (like those already mentioned). I’ve found it very easy to connect to Lain’s characters and get so easily invested into their storylines. So I thought that this would be a no-brainer – a cool, short story to get into to pass some time. As always when I see something involving Australia or Australian characters, that was just the icing on the cake for me to get into the story.

But – there is a big but… I struggled with this story. I struggled with the characters – connecting to them, empathising with them, wanting them to have their HEA. I struggled with how the plot went too and how the characters story arcs panned out. I got annoyed when Australians were brushed with the homophobic brush, but I pushed that aside because while it’s not all Australians, naturally there are a lot of homophobic a*holes here as there is anywhere else. I struggled so much that I have left it almost 2 weeks to write the review because I just don’t know what to say.

Before I break this down further, let me get into the plot of this story.

An Australian volleyball team is in Laguna, two of the guys are Gareth and Edge. Gareth and Edge have been friends for years. But Gareth has stayed closeted for fear of what his teammates and his best friend would say if they found out he is gay. His actions appear justified when his team and Edge are homophobic a*holes, not holding back calling men names such as fairy.

But Gareth has caught the attention of David Underwood, and vice versa. David is a sweet, down to earth guy and has major concerns about what it would mean to get involved with a closeted volley ball player whose friends who are horrible, homophobic and even seem to border on psychotic (though I am sure that was just a way to get the story moving forward).

Then there is Edge. Gareth’s best friend and the man that could prevent David and Gareth from being together, completely in love. Edge is jealous and doesn’t know how to deal with his emotions when it comes to Gareth, who has been his best friend and so much more for so many years. To me, Edge is the most difficult character, because his actions are so full of venom and at times manipulative it is then hard for me as the reader to understand his about face which leads Gareth and David opening their minds to a different kind of relationship.

As you can now probably guess, my biggest issue in this book is Edge. While I liked David and Gareth together and felt the connection and potential between the characters, I felt that the addition of Edge into the relationship was tacked onto the end. Although, to be honest, I don’t feel that there was a lot of character development to fully understand the motivations of each of the guys, especially Edge. I normally love MM menage romances but I found it difficult to believe Edge’s connection and chemistry when he was so full of hate and venom. I’m not sure, part of me kind of thinks that if the book was longer and that if there was significantly more character development this book would be better, and Edge could be more relatable.

My feelings for this book are so intense that I’m not just getting to the narration and tacking that onto the end of the book. To be honest, it was the narration by Nick J Russo that kept me going. I’ve heard Russo’s work in the past and so I didn’t have any concerns there. He does a great job with the characters, even does a fairly good Aussie accent for Gareth and Edge. For me, while his performance couldn’t fully redeem the book in my eyes (because there are some books that I just can’t read but totally love the same book when I listen to the audio), his performance was great.

Despite my issues with the book, I am certain there are many people that would love this – I mean, I’ve read other reviews that show just that. I recommend this to people that want a very sexy book, with tonnes of steamy sex scenes, menage/poly romances and a relationship that is best described as instalove.

Tart and Sweet by Amy Lane ~ Audio Review

Amy Lane - Tart and Sweet Audio Cover 87vxaTitle: Tart and Sweet

Series: Candy Man 04

Author: Amy Lane

Narrator: Philip Alces

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 7 hrs, 47 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (1st August 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: In the Army, Robbie Chambers turned on his lover out of fear — and he hasn’t been able to live with himself since. Now he’s out of the Army but still trapped in the closet that brought on his most cowardly moment, and he starts to think he’ll never be able to fight his way free.

Until he sees Cy McVeigh. Beautiful and uninhibited, Cy is dancing on the boardwalk at Old Sac for no other reason than the moment called for it. Robbie not only joins in the dance but is smit-ten from the very beginning.

However, Robbie still has old business to clear up, and when he helps out a kid in need and comes face-to-face with the man he betrayed, he’s forced to come clean with himself. He can’t redeem his mistake if he’s still locked into his old patterns, and he won’t ever be worthy of Cy if he can’t earn Adam’s forgiveness. He’s going to need all the help he can get from the people at Candy Heaven in order to make things right with his past so he can have a future with Cy.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Tart and Sweet is the fourth and final book in Amy Lane’s Candy Man series. It continues with the themes of friendship, healing and romance. While it probably works as a standalone, I recommend reading or getting your hands on the audio of the previous books as there is a lot of interaction with a whole cast of fully developed secondary characters.

I’ve have come to enjoy some of Lane’s books and this book is no exception. I find the writing style is really accessible, in that it is well written and very expressive without too much complicated language, so it’s easy to relax and read or listen to the book. The narration was performed by Philip Alces, who narrates the full series. Alces has a soft and gentle voice that matches the sweetness of the plot and conveys the variety of emotions that tumble through the MCs. It was a wonderful performance and completely on point.

Candy Man has a really cute premise. It’s about this almost hippy-like guy, Darren, who runs a boutique candy store in Old Sacramento and just so happens to have psychic visions about the people that he needs to help, i.e. people that are down on their luck and may not be looking for love but are gonna get it anyway. Really cool.

The characters that have brought together this entire world was Adam, Darren (the psychic Candy Man), Clopper the Dog and Jacob the Cat. It’s also nice that there is the background plot where Ezra has developed the gift to help Darren bringing together people, so Ezra who had his story in the previous book is also quite important in this one.

Robbie Chambers has left the army. He feels a lot of shame for how things had ended there and he was sure that he had lost the man that could have been the love of his life. Life in Old Sacramento after the army is difficult. He picked up the first girl he met at a bar in an attempt to be straight for her very conservative parents. But all that changes when he sees a beautiful man dancing on the boardwalk, attracted to him to no one he had been attracted to in his life. That man is Cy and on top of their sexuality, Robbie knows that his parents would also disapprove of the fact that Cy is black.

But as soon as they meet, Robbie is side tracked by saving a handsome man from being hit by a car – helping the man, Finn, to where Finn’s boyfriend works, he discovers Finn’s boyfriend is his ex, Adam. Adam who had not stood up for in the army and made the end of Adam’s army career hell and breaking Adam’s heart after planning happily ever after together. But Adam has moved on now and the magic of Candy Heaven is throwing Cy and Robbie together, they are now inevitable.

Robbie’s need for healing is the main theme in this plot, he has a lot of mental baggage to deal with and Cy is the man with the patience and strength to befriend and then help Robbie heal with love. They have a great attraction which starts as a friendship of necessity and a strong mutual attraction, before developing into love. An awesome ending to what has to be one of the sweetest, pun fully intended, series I’ve read or listened to.

Nothing Special by A.E. Via ~ Audio Review

A.E. Via - Nothing Special Audio Cover 73gv4Title: Nothing Special

Series: Nothing Special 01

Author: A.E. Via

Narrator: Aiden Snow

Genre: Contemporary, Action, Thriller

Length: 9 hrs, 47 mins

Publisher: A.E. Via (14th May 2019)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Detective Cashel “Cash” Godfrey is big, tattooed, and angry so people typically keep their dis-tance. He’s fresh out of the police academy, however, no one is looking to partner with the six-foot-four beast with a huge chip on his shoulder and an inability to trust. When Cash scans the orientation room he wasn’t expecting to find sexy hazel eyes locked onto him. Eyes of the handsome Detective Leonidis “Leo” Day.

Leo is charming, witty, hilariously sarcastic and the only one that can make Cash smile. He’s proud, out, and one bad-ass detective.

Together, Cash and Leo become the most revered and successful narcotics detectives Atlanta’s ever seen. Able to communicate and understand each other, without even having to voice it, they quickly climb up the promotional ranks.

When Cash saves Leo’s life in a raid that turns deadly, Leo begins to see something in the big man that no one else does…something special. But Leo fears he’ll never break through the im-penetrable wall that protects Cash’s heart.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Nothing Special is the first book in AE Via’s series of the same name. Being that I’ve not read much of Via’s work in the past, I had no idea what to expect, but the blurb seemed interesting, especially if you’re in hot cops and gritty action.

And wow! This was amazing. I loved this book from start to finish.

There were so many hot sex scenes, but they didn’t feel superfluous, in fact I was impressed because I normally hate too many sex scenes in books, especially because many of them don’t feel that they belong in the story and have just been slapped in for a sexy break between high points.

The story starts with Leonidis Day, or just Day. His first day on the force as a detective he is paired up with Cashel Godfrey, or God as he is better known. Day gets trouble from a fellow officer on his first day for being gay, but Day is a fighter and doesn’t stand down. He is also immediately aware of just how sexy his hulking, tattooed partner is. Four years later Day and God have become an unbeatable force in the drug squad. They’re known for their cowboy antics but no one can argue with their results. They are not only partners, they are also best friends.

But things change as their feelings have evolved from day one to the present and they are faced with having to admit to a few things. God and Day aren’t scared and Day is not about to lose his best friend when he knows that they are meant to be so much more. A couple life threatening instances create tension that neither can deny. Through all this, the sexual tension, their jobs and illness, we also get to know so much more about God and Day, more about their family and how this ties into their motivations as characters.

The plot and premise is actually quite simple, but there are so many moving parts that are so well executed, I was hooked from the start and was sad to see the end.

The characters are wonderful. As well as Day and God, there are also a number of secondary characters who are just as vital to the story as the MCs. Each of them are very well developed, we are given their backstory, we see them grow. Nothing Special is one of those books where I am just so happy because the characters are so well fleshed out, the character arcs makes sense as the story goes along so there aren’t any wild card scenes that don’t make as much sense as the rest of the book. The chemistry between Day and God is electric. It’s so easy to understand why they are such good partners and why it is so natural that their relationship evolved into something a lot more. I think I just have to leave it at that I love each everyone of Via’s characters.

The narration was as amazing as the book itself. I don’t think that I am familiar with the work of Aiden Snow. However, he has a tone and timbre that matches the gritty, dangerous feel of the book and the cops that put themselves in the line of fire to do their duty. His voices for Day and God are great and it was just a joy to listen to. I especially loved how he was able to convey the snarkiness and the caffeine junky that is so central to Day’s character. Day and God are both very strong men, and this is heard in the narration. Overall, a wonderful performance that I cannot fault.

I recommend this one to people that love hot cops, a story with a touch of danger, a lot of love and a heck of a lot of sex.

From A Jack to A King by Scotty Cade ~ Audio Review

Scotty Cade - From A Jack To A King Audio Cover 34h23kTitle: From A Jack to A King

Author: Scotty Cade

Narrator: Kenneth Obi

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 7 hrs, 34 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (7th December 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: New York Times best-selling mystery writer Bay Whitman leads the life of a celebrity – at least on the surface. In public, he’s self-assured and in control. Women hang on his every word, while men envy his confidence and swagger. But in reality, Bay is a loner. He’s shy and intro-verted, and his life consists of sitting in a dimly lit room writing his famous Jack Robbins mystery novels. His one vice – gambling. Winning an escort in a poker game will change Bay’s life in ways he never imagined.

Matthew “King” Slater is one of the hottest tickets in gay porn. He spends his days in front of the camera and his nights as a highly paid escort to the rich and famous. Deep down, he craves romance and a real connection, but his past makes it hard to separate the needs of his body from those of his heart. For now, it’s easier to think of sex as just a job. But while doing a shoot in Vegas, King is hired for a tryst at a famous hotel and casino, and his handsome client might blur the line between work and play.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: From A Jack to A King is a standalone contemporary romance by Scotty Cade, with narration for the audio performed by Kenneth Obi.

While Scotty Cade is a writer that I’ve read and enjoyed immensely in the past, I can’t say that he appears on my list of must-read authors. It’s more that I see interesting blurbs that spark my interest and I give it a go. Thinking about it, that seems odd to me because I love Cade’s writing style and his penchant for sweet and happy endings for his characters and that is totally my scene for a romance book. Perhaps I just need to read more from him? Maybe that list of authors is just way too long for me to really keep more than handful on my radar at once. I don’t know. Not the point.

Moving onto the narration, I was pleased after what seems to be months to have heard something from the wonderful Kenneth Obi. I’ve become familiar with Obi’s work particularly through the Dreamspun Desires audios, and these contemporary books are definitely where he shines as a narrator. He has a good tone and pace which is really pleasant to just listen to. I love that the two MCs have distinct voices despite them being so different, and in addition to that the secondary characters are also easily distinguished from his tone. Overall, a great narration, where the emotions of the characters and their complexities is captured wonderfully.

From A Jack to A King is a really interesting book. I can best describe the premise as quirky. In Vegas, New York Times best selling novelist Bay Whitman (who is something of a Robert Ludlum or Dan Brown), wins escort and popular gay porn star, King Slater, in a high-risk poker game where his opponent puts his appointment with an escort up as collateral. I really liked this initial set up, though it took me a few minutes to get on board with Bay getting his rush from playing high stakes poker but in the end didn’t come across as a gambling addict. Bay has a number of emotional and psychological scars which leaves him happiest on his own, being forced to go on book tours and make appearances often requires time as he puts on his public mask to get him through the ordeal. Because of this, Bay has never explored his sexuality at all, despite being in his thirties. He’s never allowed himself to get close enough to anyone, man or woman, to discover what it is that he wants. In fact, until he met King, love and romance had never been on his radar.

King Slater has his own demons to fight but meeting Bay intrigues him. He has no idea who Bay is and is surprised that Bay doesn’t recognise him. However, King is convinced that the man has to be bisexual if not gay and while developing some sort of odd friendship, he wants to push Bay’s buttons. The problem being that King isn’t really up to playing such a game, especially when it seems that his own feelings are becoming involved.

During their time at Vegas and beyond, the two men get to know each other and they begin to explore the possibilities of their relationship. The plot itself is really simple, and I’ve gone into a lot of detail here, but I’ve left out what happens in the last half, mostly because this is where the real deep character development happens. This is where King’s struggles also come into their own and that is something that I think Cade has done wonderfully, especially for “thing” that many of us would not understand. The guys are extremely complex, between their respective careers and their demons, there is a lot going on. However, by the end of it I felt like I knew them, could relate to their struggles despite having no personal knowledge of their issues. On top of that, their romance was a slow burn, although their attraction was immediate. I really enjoyed getting to know Bay and King and I was really happy with the ending that Cade gave his characters.

This is a story of two men working through and learning to live with their demons while establishing a deep and loving connection with each other. I recommend this for people that like a bit of celebrity with their romance, looking for characters on a journey of self-discovery and like slow burn romances.

Hearts and Flour by Tara Lain ~ Audio Review

Tara Lain - Hearts and Flour 3d Audio Cover 2j4nuTitle: Hearts and Flour

Author: Tara Lain

Narrator: Ry Forest

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 3 hrs, 13 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (19th June 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Can a raw food enthusiast find love with a guy who bakes cupcakes?

When Micah Truveen’s devoted health-food customers start showing up with white flour, Micah wants to chew nails! To make his misery worse, he finds his yoga teacher boyfriend in bed with another guy the day before Valentine’s Day. Micah decides to drown his misery at a friend’s an-ti-Valentine’s Day orgiastic hookup party – and meets the beautiful Queen, a gorgeous cross-dresser who’s got Southern sugah in his mouth and the right equipment under the dress.

But when the hookup turns serious, Micah has to compromise to protect Queen’s secrets from his beloved grandmother. With everything against them, can two hearts rise above the flour?

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Hearts and Flour is a standalone, short story by Tara Lain (under 4 hours so perfect for commuting). I really like Tara Lain and although it is not a part of any series, it has the same Laguna setting as with her series’ Love in Laguna and Balls to the Wall.

The introduces us to Micah. He’s a raw vegan whose passion is running his raw vegan juice bar in Laguna, taking pleasure in helping his customer be healthy and stick to a vegetable-based diet. But life changes when his yoga-instructor boyfriend cheats on him and a cup cake store opens near his, drawing his very healthy customers to indulge in sinful cakes. Things start to turn around when he goes to a friend’s anti-Valentine party, where he meets drag-queen, Queen (? Not sure, Queen doesn’t like labels but feels a certain freedom wearing women’s clothing but identifies as a man). Things go well, really well. Then they meet again, first as Queen but then again as Quentin and either way, Micah is captured.

Quentin moved to California from the South with his elderly grandmother, who is quite spritely despite her age. He thinks they moved because the California climate is easier on the woman who practically raised him. The two have settled into their new home. Quentin and his grandmother have opened their own cupcake store. His grandmother goes to yoga. And despite being closeted, at least to his grandmother, Quentin meets other gay men and feels the instant attraction to Micah.

For obvious reasons, despite the fantastic chemistry, there is a definite stumbling block to this relationship!

The book was narrated by Ry Forest. I had to look it up to realise that I have heard Forest and immensely enjoyed the narration performed for Lain’s Love You So series. Still, that didn’t give me any expectations. However, I really enjoyed the narration of Hearts and Flour. Both characters were given very distinct voices, as a bonus I loved Quentin/Queen’s southern accent. I also loved his portrayal of Quentin’s 80-odd year-old grandmother who is very much a Southern Lady. Excellently done.

If this was a longer story we would be wanting to find out more about Micah and how his deep-seated issues led him to be a raw vegan, but for the length of the book we got the perfect amount of information, even if Micah was a bit of an overbearing drama queen at one stage.

I recommend this one to anyone who wants a quick, simple romance that will warm you. There is no angst, an annoying and manipulative ex and two enjoy sweet MCs who need some love in their lives.

Family Man by Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton ~ Audio Review

Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton - Family Man Audio Cover g3rd9Title: Family Man

Author: Heidi Cullinan & Marie Sexton

Narrator: Colin Darcy

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 7 hrs, 40 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (5th June 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: At 40, Vincent “Vinnie” Fierro is still afraid to admit he might be gay – even to himself. It’ll be a problem for his big, fat Italian family. Still, after three failed marriages, it’s getting harder to ig-nore what he really wants.

Vinnie attempts some self-exploration in Chicago’s Boystown bars, far from anyone who knows him. Naturally, he runs smack into someone from the neighborhood.

Between working two jobs, going to school, taking care of his grandmother, and dealing with his mother’s ongoing substance abuse, Trey Giles has little time for fun, let alone dating someone who swears he’s straight. Yet after one night of dancing cheek-to-cheek, Trey agrees to let Vin-nie court him and see if he truly belongs on this side of the fence – though Trey intends to keep his virginity intact.

It seems like a solid plan, but nothing is simple when family is involved. When Vinnie’s family finds out about their relationship, the situation is sticky enough, but when Trey’s mother goes critical, Vinnie and Trey must decide whose happiness is most important – their families’ or their own.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Family Man is a standalone book, which is a collaboration between authors Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton. Previously, I’ve enjoyed both authors on their own but since collaborations between fantastic authors doesn’t always gel, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one.

The story starts with thirty-eight-year-old man, Vinnie Fierro. He’s from a massive Italian family in the suburbs of Chicago. He’s a plumber who is nagged by his family to live closer to them, and their family’s restaurant. The Fierro family are THE family in the area, the people to know and to get along with. A little stereotypical but I found it fun. After three failed marriages and a call to a job that gets him thinking, Vinnie starts to wonder if he’s gay and has been repressing his feelings. Although he feels some trepidation, Vinnie is willing to be open to possibilities. He isn’t angsty about it, just unsure and uncertain about how his Italian family would deal with it.

When he goes to a gay bar in the Boystown area, Vinnie is shocked to see twenty-two-year-old Trey Giles, who is a frequent customer to the Fierro’s restaurant and his grandmother is a family friend. The sparks between Trey and Vinnie are immediate. Trey hasn’t had an easy his life. His father died when he was young, his mother became a terrible alcoholic and it was up to he and his grandmother to keep things together. Trey had delayed going to college to help his mother, but nothing seems to be helping. I really liked Trey’s storyline because he is the character with true struggles and demons to deal with and he finds a lifeline with Vinnie.

One thing that I did look forward to was the narration. Colin Darcy is a narrator that I’ve become quite familiar with from his performances of some of the Dreamspun Desires audios. Darcy did a great job narrating Family Man. He added a lot of charm and appeal to the characters and I felt as though he was able to convey the emotions really well, yet someone in all that also sounded light-hearted. I particularly enjoyed the voice he gave to main character, Vinnie. It felt authentic (or as much as it feels authentic when you’re from the other side of the world and basing all your assumptions on TV and movies).

The book itself was excellent. Let’s face it, a later in life epiphany that involves falling for a much younger man can sometimes feel a bit tedious. Mostly because there is a lot of the same angst rehashed and massive dramas made over age gaps but not a lot. What I loved about this book was that instead of focusing much of the energy of the plot into the age gap and the older man insisting he was straight, we get to explore the conflicting emotions as the older man opens up and allows himself to face his feelings. In addition to that, because Vinnie is so open with his storyline, it makes for opportunity for a real well fleshed out plot regarding Trey and dealing with his mother’s condition.

I loved this one. I recommend this one for anyone that loves a good May- December romance.

Daddy Needs A Date by Sean Michael ~ Audio Review

Sean Michael - Daddy Needs A Date Audio Cover 8374hgTitle: Daddy Needs A Date

Author: Sean Michael

Narrator: Stever Balderson

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs, 53 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (28th March 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: With four girls, single dad Ryan Withers has his hands too full to look for romance. He’s not complaining – he loves his daughter and the three nieces he adopted when their parents died, and he would do anything for them. He’s caught off guard when his mother and daughter de-cide to play matchmaker.

Alex Bernot works in disaster relief, his job taking him all over the world, helping others, for ex-tended periods of time. He’s staying with his aunt while he’s home, and she sets him up on a blind date. Finding a special someone isn’t really on his mind, but he goes to make his aunt hap-py.

Ryan and Alex enjoy each other’s company more than either of them expected, and they soon make a second date. Their lives are complicated, though, in very different ways, and soon, fami-ly needs and their jobs conspire to pull them apart. They’ll need to figure out how to work through the things keeping them apart, but first, they’ll have to decide if they even want to….

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Daddy Needs A Date is a standalone book by Sean Michael. Since reading more of Sean Michael’s work, particularly through Dreamspun Desires, I’m totally getting into the writing style and now look forward to Michael’s new releases. For the most part, they are usually quite happy and fluffy stories, with some adorable children and strong themes of building families and bringing together people in a way that is totally relatable and believable. In short, Sean Michael has recently made it onto my seemingly long list of authors I must read these days.

The narration of this novel was performed by Stever Balderson. I didn’t recognise the name, but when I looked in my audible library, I found that I had listened to Balderson once before in the past, performing Michael’s novel Add Love To The Mix. I remember not only loving that book, but also the performance, so it was just another reason to look forward to starting and savouring this story. In terms of the current performance, Balderson has once more done a fantastic job bringing heart and depth to the characters, not only the two main characters, but to a handful of very important background characters. I think he has a real knack at capturing the emotion and urgency of an emergency worker during the action scenes, but also successfully brings it down to when the character is home and has to discover the joys of building a life and settling down. He also brings great depth to a single father who is very lonely, as well as an enjoyable performance on the child characters who adore their father because he is the centre of their world.

As for the story itself, which I’ve just alluded to, Sean Michael has written a beautiful story of two men trying to find their way in the world. There is so much love and emotion that I found myself quickly lost in the plot and cheering on the men who have so much chemistry, they just need to learn to trust their emotions and give love a chance.

For both MCs, their lives are dominated by caring for others: Ryan Withers is a young father with four daughters. When he was fifteen and still unsure of himself, he got his high school girlfriend pregnant. The girl didn’t want the baby but he did, and with the support of his wonderful mother, he became a single father. Later down the track, in recent years, he lost his sister and brother in law, and necessity led to him adopting his orphaned three nieces. Life hasn’t always been easy, but Ryan has not only become a great father and has learnt to juggle his home and work life. Unfortunately, though, his juggling act does not help him meet new people, especially potential boyfriends. With a well-meaning mother and a concerned teenaged daughter, Ryan finds himself set up on a date with a nephew of a woman that his mother knows. Ryan is not happy, yet he is touched by his daughter’s concerns, and so he swallows his pride and goes on the blind date.

Alex Bernot is a dedicated disaster relief worker. With no real close ties other than the aunt he lives with in between trips in disaster zones all over the world, Alex has no reason to stay still or settle. However, things begin to change when he set up on a blind date by his aunt. It starts off a little rocky to realise that Ryan has four kids and he was about ready to hit the brakes right then. But something, some feeling, propels him forward and the men begin to get to know each other. Falling in love is the easy part, the truly difficult part is Alex’s work and need to travel into dangerous zones with little or no communications back to the States. My heart broke for Ryan as he was left to keep things going, however, with four girls it doesn’t matter how understanding Ryan is when Alex has to learn what it truly takes to have a family that depends on him for love.

This book is sexy, there is low angst and overall, while it is relatable it probably does go towards the fluffy and sweet kind of things. This is a great book when you are looking for something easy to listen to, the performance is excellent, if you want a no-nonsense kind of romance or coming down for a book that broke your emotions. I think for me this will be one of those books I’ll listen to again on a flight to pass the time (because I never listen to new stories when I’m travelling).

Yield by Mickie B Ashling

Mickie B. Ashling - Yield Cover 73y3hTitle: Yield

Series: Bay Area Professionals 05

Author: Mickie B Ashling

Genre: Contemporary, BDSM

Length: Novel (227 pages)

ASIN: B07JGVC7N5

Publisher: Mickie B Ashling (13th November 2018)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: A promising encounter takes a dark turn.

Captain Sami Soros and Father Jay Blackstone cross paths at a major European hub. When systems shut down due to a cyber-attack, flights are delayed and the resulting chaos is unprecedented.

After having served three tours in Afghanistan, recently discharged Sami struggles with his new civilian status. Emotionally depleted, and dangerously edgy, he views most of his fellowmen with utter contempt.

Jay is returning to his parish in San Francisco after a month-long retreat meant to shore up a crumbling vocation. All vestiges of spirituality melt away when he sets eyes on Sami.

They begin a clandestine affair fueled by a shared addiction to extreme forms of BDSM. Their relationship goes off the rails, and Jay reaches out to Rino Duran, a former seminarian. With the help of Dr. Ethan Marshall, Rino’s full-time Dom, the established couple attempt to separate truth from lies to give Jay and Sami a shot at happiness.

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Yield is the fifth book in the Bay Area Professionals series by Mickie B Ashling. I have loved reading this series, it is complex and a total emotional rollercoaster. To say that is an intense read is an understatement and in my mind is the most intense, as well as being the best book in this series.

Although I’ve been enjoying this series, I can’t say if I am completely sold of Ashling’s writing to put them into my authors I must read list. I find BDSM a little hit and miss. I’m not sure why, I suppose the easiest explanation is the some authors can write the emotions of the D/s couple really well, while others just write what feels like a soft porn. I personally don’t like long sex scenes in books, because romance isn’t all about smut, and Ashling nailed this well. There is a lot of depth to the stories and the characters, even some of the minor characters have their little side stories going on at the same time. However, everything comes together in a nice, neat package by the end (which is essential in my mind).

Despite being the fifth in this series, Yield works fine as a standalone book, although there are direct ties to the previous book in the series, Forged in Trust (that one, I think, is the most titillating book in the series).

As I said, this is an intense read. It covers an insanely broad range of issues including rape, PTSD and abuse. The MCs, Sami and Jay, are also sit on the more extreme side of kinks compared to previous MCs in this series. The characters are so bloody complicated I don’t think I can do justice with describing them here. I don’t want to get into too much detail because spoilers, ick, and also I don’t want to be writing a ten page review.

Captain Sami Soros has served three tours in Afghanistan, leaving his physically and emotionally drained. He has a lot of issues to deal with mentally as he attempts to fit into the world outside of the military. Father Jay Blackstone is a clergyman who has been questioning his vocation, but he also has a slew of mental demons to contend with as well. The depth of these guys is astonishing. They are almost like they are two sides of the same coin. They have opposing world views, which is fundamental to their very different career paths. Yet, while their philosophies are very different it is almost as if, as they work through their demons, their kinks and get help from their friends, their beliefs are essentially the same once they are boiled down. The issue is, that it is a very rocky road to get there.

As I said, I enjoyed the story, the character and plot development and the intensity of pretty much everything. However, I have to say, as someone not totally keen on BDSM romance, I think I need to take a break from it for a while before I find another one to read.

Bromantically Yours by K.C. Wells ~ Audio Review

K.C. Wells - Bromantically Yours Audio Cover b4n4gTitle: Bromantically Yours

Author: K.C. Wells

Narrator: Daniel Henning

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 3 hrs, 13 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (5th June 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: A friends-to-lovers novella that came from Out of the Shadows because Nate and Dylan needed a story….

Nate and Dylan have been pals for a long time. So what if their friends think they’ve got a little bromance going? Doesn’t mean there’s anything more to it than that, right? And even if there is, Nate and Dylan are totally oblivious….

Until the night they share a drunken kiss, and everything changes.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Bromantically Yours is a novella spin-off, sequel by KC Wells for her book Out of the Shadows (Dreamspun Desires #40), about lifelong friends Nate and Dylan. I listened to the audio of Out of the Shadows about a year and a half ago, so while I roughly remember the plot and the featured couple, I don’t really remember Nate or Dylan, who are best friends of Josh, who is now with Christian, who is a hermit due to disfiguring scars.

Nate and Dylan are best friends and have been close since they were kids. They’ve both thought that they were straight, although they both love and support their gay best friend, Josh. One night, when not only Josh and Christian bail on them, but also their other friend Logan, the two men end up at Nate’s place for beer, pizza and movies. It’s here when things get very personal, as secret desires come to light and a kiss (and more) happens. In the aftermath, these guys need to work out what they are going to do, but that’s a lot easier when they have a friend who is more than happy to play matchmaker.

This is a quick listen, so if you want to get through the audio in a day or on a short trip, it’s super easy. Overall, the story is very cute with some steamy sex scenes and great chemistry between the couple, good for those that are a sucker for friends to lovers type stories. It’s also got a few funny moments, because the entire world seems to realise that these two are made for each other, but Nate and Dylan haven’t got the memo yet.

The narration by Daniel Henning was great. I didn’t know what to expect as I’ve not heard any other performances by Henning, but his voice suited both men, but I especially liked his portrayal of Dylan.

Best New Artist by B.A. Tortuga ~ Audio Review

B.A. Tortuga - Best New Artist Audio Cover 474jhTitle: Best New Artist

Author: B.A. Tortuga

Narrator: Brian Hutchinson

Genre: Contemporary, Cowboy

Length: 6 hrs, 3 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (25th August 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Kasey “Tuff” Tuffman just told Nashville to kiss his you know what. After winning Best New Art-ist at an award show, he knows it’s time to head back home to Texas. So after a very public meltdown, Tuff makes his way to Austin, where the Red Dirt music lives large.

Jonah Littlejohn once loved KT more than anything in the world. When KT loses it on national TV, Jonah knows he has to reach out and offer his home studio as a place to heal and make music. A bad relationship has left Jonah broken and wary of romance, but he wants to help his old lover out.
Seeing Jonah again proves to Tuff that he’s made the right decision. Now all he has to do is convince Jonah that they’re the most perfect duet there’s ever been.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Best New Artist is a standalone romance by BA Tortuga, which will appeal to everyone that not only loves a good cowboy romance, some country music and a second chance at love. Well, it’s more country music than actually cowboy, but I hope you get what I mean. As for the author, I really enjoy Tortuga’s writing and always look forward to a wonderfully sexy cowboy romance, some books are sweet, some are angsty, some have a touch of mystery. There’s always something to enjoy as long as you love a cowboy!

Brian Hutchison performed the narration for this audio book. I’ve only heard his narration twice before, on what has actually become one of my favourite ongoing series. But Best New Artist is so different from the crazy world of PIs and mystery, that hearing Hutchison perform a romance about two country musicians was definitely novel. However, Hutchison perfectly suited the role. He nailed the uncertainty, the longing and the unrequited needs of the characters.

This is a story of two men who weren’t actually torn apart, but they never got over each other despite believing at the time breaking up was the best thing for them both – one didn’t want to live in a closet and the other wanted fame and fortune as a country singer.

Kasey “Tuff” Tuffman is a man that should be at the top of his game. But he is unsatisfied with the Nashville country scene. Like other Texans before him, he expects to be chewed up and spat out. So, when he has a very public meltdown on television, he goes back to Texas to lick his wounds.

Jonah Littlejohn used to be in love with Kasey. In fact, he still was in love with the man but breaking up ten years ago was something that he did for his own sanity. In ten years he’s gone through his own horror with an ex, while watching Kasey’s career from afar. But when he sees Kasey lose it on television, he calls Kasey’s parents to pass on the message that Kasey is welcome to regroup his thoughts at Jonah’s farm/music compound where many local musicians get together and jam and create raw music.

When Kasey makes it to Jonah’s place things are awkward. Jonah’s best friend is suspicious of Kasey, mostly because he saw Jonah’s misery when they first broke up and saw Jonah almost die as well. Even Jonah’s dogs are suspicious. But slowly, it’s clear that there is something very strong between the two guys. However, they have a lot of has happened and there is a lot of uncertainty and fear on both sides, despite the love being there.

This book is the journey of these two men finding their way back to each other. It’s sweet, highly emotive, low on angst and drama, but totally thoughtful.

Set Ablaze by K.C. Burn ~ Audio Review

K.C. Burn - Set Ablaze Audio Cover k3o3pTitle: Set Ablaze

Author: K.C. Burn

Narrator: Darcy Stark

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs, 48 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (16th August 2018)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: California firefighter Hayden Hurst is starting to realize there’s more to life than fighting fires and drinking with his buddies. He has room in his home and his life for someone special, but no one has stood out among his hookups. And while he’s out at work, admitting he’s gay is very different from showing up at social functions with a man. He’s afraid that’ll be too much for his less-than-accepting “friends”.

Broadway dancer Jez Bouchet hasn’t been mistaken for straight since he was gay-bashed at 17. After getting a lucrative job offer in Hollywood, he uproots his life in New York and drives to Los Angeles. His brother, who is Hayden’s best friend, arranges for him to crash at Hayden’s place.

The attraction between Hayden and Jez is unexpected but fiery, and they succumb before they’re even sure they like each other. But Jez hates Hayden’s homophobic friends, and Hay-den knows Jez is too flamboyant for him to fly under the radar. Then there’s the complication of Jez’s brother.

Despite those hurdles, they fling themselves into a relationship. But Jez has secrets: a tiny spoiled dog and a determined stalker. If he doesn’t come clean, he might torch their burgeoning relationship before it has a chance to bloom.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Set Ablaze is a standalone book by KC Burn and narrated by Darcy Stark. I was looking forward to this because I’ve enjoyed other books by Burn in the past, I really gel with Burn’s writing and there isn’t an audiobook performance that I didn’t enjoy.

The story starts with firefighter Hayden Hurst, he’s very much a closeted man who is afraid of what the macho, homophobic men in his world of firefighters think of him. When his best friend, who is also a fire fighter from another from another station, wants Hayden to take in his baby brother as a tenant, Hayden feels that there is no reason to say no. Then he meets Jez – again, because he did know Jez briefly when they were kids. Jez challenges everything about Hayden and his closeted lifestyle.

Jez refuses to be anything other than the man he his. His life was made hell because his family could never accept the fact that he is gay. He has been beaten for it, he has been ignored by everyone but his family and his life has been generally shitty. Except he was able to make a better life for himself in New York. It wasn’t until he moved back to California for a new and exciting job that he sees why he left California in the first place, as well as realising that he has been seeing his brother in the wrong light, he falls for the closeted Hayden, and then discovers that Hayden has a few homophobic a-holes for “friends”.

In terms of the audiobook, the narration was fantastic and probably one of my favourite things of the whole audio experience. I feel that this is one of those books that I would enjoy more listening to the audio than if I had actually read the book. I’ll get to the reasons why soon enough. Overall, there wasn’t anything that I didn’t like about the performance of the book, although I felt that it was held back (I can’t think of a better word) by my feelings about the plot of the book.

I liked the book for the most part. The closeted firefighter was an interesting, I loved getting to know Hayden. Jez was also interesting because this is a man who has clawed his way back from adversity and is someone that he wants to be and loves himself as a person. My biggest issue, however, was some of the threads of the plot seemed rather weak. I don’t want to give spoilers, but the men that surround Hayden, in particular, Jez’s brother and his motivations, aren’t particularly strong. Which wouldn’t normally matter for many minor characters. But these guys influence everything in how Hayden sees himself and his place in life and for that reason they needed to be stronger, or at least they needed to make more sense a lot quicker. Yet, in saying that I like how the story arc went and it was, overall, enjoyable.

If you’re into an angsty, closet case type of story, this is probably a good one for you.

Q*pid by Xavier Mayne ~ Audio Review

Xavier Mayne - Q#pid Audio Cover u4h47Title: Q*pid

Author: Xavier Mayne

Narrator: Randy Sanda

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 12 hrs, 4 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (30th October 2018)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Can a computer program understand love better than the human heart?

Archer, the AI at the dating service Q*pid, realizes humans don’t always make the best choices, so it begins making some unconventional choices for them.

Fox Kincade is the last of his group of friends to be single, so he’s delighted when he discovers a new match in his Q*pid app – one that, according to the new AI wizardry, should be the love of his life. Instead of the woman he’s expecting, he’s paired with Drew Larsen, a shy, somewhat nerdy PhD student who has also grown discouraged with romance.

Drew and Fox have little in common – aside from the fact that they’re both straight. Or so they thought. But as the guys get to know each other, they realize Archer might have the right idea. Their path isn’t smooth, because both need to overcome every idea they have about themselves and what true love might look like. But with the help of Archer – and some friends who have stuck with Fox and Drew through the thick and thin of their relationship trials – they might find their way into each other’s hearts.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Q*pid is a very enjoyable book by Xavier Mayne and the audio is performed by Randy Sanda. I’m not familiar with either the author or the narrator, so other than liking the sound of the blurb, I went into this one completely blind and with no expectations.

What you read in the blurb is basically what you get, which is always a good start. We follow the development and implementation of a new AI for a dating site, which accesses all of a person’s online activity in order to make a better match than the usual dating algorithms. It’s all pretty cool, techy stuff if you’re into that. However, a momentary lapse means that Archer, the AI, starts to make matches which disregard a person’s sexuality. Of all the matches that were made, and those that were actually sent out, we meet Fox Kincaid and Drew Larsen.

What starts out as dinner and drinks to laugh about the predicament of two heterosexual men being matched to another man becomes a really sweet and deep friendship. Drew is a PhD candidate who studies economic history, while Fox is a successful businessman. Fox is very analytical, devoted to his spreadsheets, while Drew is more fluid in his thinking despite his academic background. They also contrast in their reactions to the news. Despite having his two best friends (which I was disappointed we never met) who had the stunning realisation that they were gay (or gay for you) with each other, Fox is adamant that he is straight and that he would never be with a man. Drew is much more composed, if anything he is amused though his anxieties tend to make him over think everything. Drew and Fox are complete opposite in some ways, yet completely compliment each other.

There are some pretty entertaining secondary characters too. Fox’s best friend, Chad, is portrayed as a California surfer dude and he is a riot. He has a heart of gold and wants nothing but the best for his friend. Then there is Mrs Schwartzman, who is Drew’s neighbour upstairs and a strong mother figure for Drew. The elderly woman is written like a Yittish Yoda, but she is certainly entertaining. She too has only the best of intentions for Drew and his life.

What I loved most about this was that the book is thought provoking, particularly in terms of privacy in the digital age. To lesser extent, there was the whole gay for you thing going on, and it was intriguing that perhaps humans need to “broaden their parameters” a little. Seriously interesting thoughts. Another interesting point was how people present themselves online and how we really don’t know what we need in a partner when we must explain it.

The only downside was that I found the plot was a bit slow at times, especially when Fox was being a dick. I accept that in terms of his personality that it was part of his coming to terms with his attraction to another man, it was just sometimes the plot felt as though it slowed down too much. As for the narration, I liked it but it didn’t really connect with my. Granted, Sanda did a good job giving the characters individual voices and even in conveying the themes of the story. However, I was too distracted by the fact I really wasn’t into Fox’s voice and I felt some of the emotion was missing.

I recommend this one if you’re into a contemporary, gay for you story line.

The More the Merrier by Sean Michael

Sean Michael - The More the Merrier Cover sne45iTitle: The More the Merrier

Series: The Teddy Bear Club 02, Dreamspun Desires 83

Author: Sean Michael

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (195 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64405-195-5

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (4th June 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Too much of a good thing?

When Logan gets the call about newborn triplets in need of a home, he steps up, realizing too late the daunting task he’s taken on. He’d be lost without the men of the Teddy Bear Club—especially Dirk.

Dirk even offers to spend spring break at Logan’s home, helping him and the babies settle in. He loves being a dad, and he wants to help Logan find the same joy. It doesn’t hurt that they enjoy spending time together.

Before they even realize it, they’re settling into a routine… becoming a family.

Falling in love.

But their new bond is about to face the ultimate test. Will they come through and realize that with love, there’s no such thing as enough?

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: The More the Merrier is the second book in The Teddy Bear Club by Sean Michael.

I’ve become more familiar recently with the work of Sean Michael and I am, quite honestly, a great fan now. For the most part, they are usually quite happy and fluffy stories, with some adorable children and strong themes of building families and bringing together people in a way that is totally relatable and believable. In short, Sean Michael has recently made it onto my seemingly long list of authors I must read these days.

I’ve been looking forward to this book since I read the first book in the series. And while it is a series and there are call backs to the kids and MCs of the previous book, I think this could easily work as a standalone book without losing any key points.

Logan is a lawyer, a single man who has a daughter with a friend who wanted a child (they have a very amicable agreement for their daughter), and now he has gone through the all the hoops to become a foster parent with the intention to possibly adopt. But then finding out that he is going to get newborn triplets, he understandably feels overwhelmed. Lucky for Logan, he has the men of the Teddy Bear Club to help him.

The Teddy Bear Club is a group of single dads who happen to be gay, their kids play with each other but most importantly the men support each other.

One of the men of the club is Dirk. The two men already of a connection and an easy friendship. Dirk also has a massive crush on Logan though he has never done anything to act on it. Logan’s desperate need for help, though, has leads Dirk to offer to move in with little girl to help with the triplets. It’s a win-win situation because Dirk can move into a safer neighbourhood and live in a larger home while he helps Logan. Logan sees the same advantages as Dirk and the men quickly fall into a routine as Logan deals with having the triplets, his older daughter, plus dirk and his daughter. The kids’ bond and the guys bond. Love grows. But life can change at the drop of a hat, Logan learnt that with the triplets, and it happens again. Now that he is growing closer to Dirk, the two men can now support each other.

I absolutely adored this book. I adored both Logan and Dirk and the five kids. Logan and Dirk are brilliant together. This was a sweet romance with low angst. Instead, this a story about two guys in an intense situation, one of them needing a heck of a lot of support, and both nursing a crush that could become something more. If you’re into romances with ordinary guys with extraordinary circumstances and lots of cute kiddies, then this will be a good book for you.

Catch and Release by B.A. Tortuga ~ Audio Review

B.A. Tortuga - Catch and Release Audio Cover d7wheTitle: Catch and Release

Series: The Release 03

Author: B.A. Tortuga

Narrator: Lou Lambert

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 7 hrs, 16 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (4th April 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Dakota Landry just got out of prison after 12 years. If anyone can understand how that feels, it’s his new friend, Sage, who is determined to help him get used to life on the outside – and be-lieves Dakota didn’t commit the crime he was in for.

Jayden Wilson is a former prosecutor who agrees to look into the case at the request of Sage’s lover, Adam. He sets out to prove Dakota is just another “innocent” ex-con, but once they meet, Jayden is more and more convinced Dakota just didn’t do what everyone thinks he did.

Trouble follows Dakota, and nothing is easy as he struggles to figure out how to live, now that he has choices. And Jayden isn’t sure how Dakota, or any lover for that matter, fits into his life. Their path from friendship to romance is a slow one, but Dakota begins to believe he deserves a chance at life, and Jayden falls a little more for Dakota every day. Now they just need to tell each other how they feel.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Catch and Release is the third book in BA Tortuga’s The Release series. This book can work as a standalone book, but since the main characters of the two previous books feature so heavily, I would recommend avoiding this.

I really enjoy Tortuga’s writing and always look forward to a wonderfully sexy cowboy romance, some books are sweet, some are angsty, some have a touch of mystery. There’s always something to enjoy as long as you love a cowboy! Overall, The Release has also been a fantastic series which has the overarching theme of emotional and physical healing and making a family with the friends you find who support you unconditionally.

The narration for this book was done by Lou Lambert. After the unfounded trepidation I felt when I realised that the same narrator was not performing the whole series, I was ok to find that the third and final book had a different narrator again. I figure that these men were chosen because they suit the main characters of each book. After all, this isn’t exactly a cookie cutter group of people who happen to become friends, they are all different in personality and intensity, which is what makes me love the series. I hadn’t heart anything by Lou Lambert before listening to Catch and Release, but as I just said, his voice suited both main characters. He nailed the tone that conveyed their hope and their hopelessness, sometimes all within the same scene.

Catch and Release is the story of Dakota Landry and Jayden Wilson. Dakota has just served 12 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, too bad his own family did nothing to help him, like providing a lawyer. At the time he had been a lonely, gay, chubby college student who was found guilty of raping a girl at a party he had made a brief appearance at after she named him as her rapist. Getting out of jail, Dakota doesn’t have much hope. In many ways he is a lot like Sage from book 1, although Sage was guilty of being a druggie, both men went into jail as boys and went through their twenties in jail, often used by more tougher, violent men in the jail. And it is Sage that took it upon himself to take Dakota under his wing, with a lot of reservations from his husband. Dakota finds it difficult to realise that there is someone in his corner. It is through Sage that he meets lawyer Jayden Wilson.

Jayden used to be a prosecuting attorney, but the stress and danger of dealing with such horrible cases led Jayden to have a go a property law. However, his past caught up with him and he currently has a guy acting as security – Adam (Sage’s husband) who was in the army, was a cop and now a security specialist. Adam explains about his concerns of Sage befriending a convicted rapist who, on the surface had an open and shut case. With the danger over, Jayden feels the itch to have a look into things and quite suddenly things aren’t as clear as it had been assumed.

Dakota is so beaten down, he finds it nearly impossible to believe in the hope that Jayden is offering. However, as the men get to know each other more the connection between them grows into something more.

I’m finding it difficult to find a book in this series that I liked more than the others. It is impossible. Unlike many series that have a lot of similarities between characters and storylines, this series gives readers three very different stories with six very different characters, all of whom have been deeply affecting by an event in their lives before we meet them.

Catch and Release is an excellent story for those that like a little bit of crime, Law and Order style, with their romance.