Monday, November 27, 2017

Express Holiday Review: In Case of Emergency

In Case of Emergency

Title: In Case of Emergency

Author: Keira Andrews

Release date: 11/30/17

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Summary: After years alone, Daniel Diaz is finally ready to shake up his orderly, solitary life. He's about to leave for a cozy Christmas getaway with his new man when he gets the call from the ER that his former stepbrother has been admitted with a concussion and a broken hand—and Cole put him down as his emergency contact. Why the hell would he do that? Daniel barely knows the guy. After all, their parents' marriage lasted less than a year and it was a decade ago! 

, Daniel will bring him along on vacation to make sure he doesn't starve or fall into a coma. This is supposed to be Daniel's chance to explore romance again after locking down his feelings for too long—except it turns out his could-be boyfriend is more interested in partying and being an obnoxious jerk. Daniel sends him packing, and now he's stuck with a virtual stranger in an isolated mountain cabin. 

Cole Smith crushed hard on cranky Daniel when they were teenagers. Alone with him in a romantic winter wonderland, those feelings roar back to life. Glimpsing the caring, vulnerable man under Daniel's frosty shell, he yearns to get closer. Christmas is a time for surprises, and Daniel and Cole discover a scorching connection that just might melt their hearts.

This fluffy gay Christmas romance from Keira Andrews features former stepbrothers reconnecting as adults, sexy hot-tub shenanigans, cuddling by the fire, and of course a happy ending. 32,000 words.

Review:  This book is adorable and just what I needed to get me in the holiday mood!  I have a long list of cute holiday reads for the next several weeks, and after decorating my house on Friday, this was the one I chose to kick off my Holiday TBR pile!  It was a perfect choice!

This is pure holiday fluff, but it never becomes sappy or saccharine.  It is the right blend of sweet and oh-so sexy!  

Cole and Daniel are step brothers, but really in name only.  They barely lived together, and this is much more about opposites attracting and a sort of friends (on one side)-to-lovers.  I loved watching Cole get his man, and Daniel warming up to the idea that he needs and deserves one!

Catch this adorable read soon!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

5+, BIB Star New Release Review: By the Currawong's Call, by Welton Marshland

Title: By the Currawong's Call

Author: Welton B. Marshland

Publisher/GR Link:Goodreads

Vice: Historical, Priests

Rating: 5+ stars, Best of Banned in Boston

Lock this book up: 4 keys.  This book is sexy, sensual and so romantic!

Length: Novel

Satisfaction: HEA

Cover Impressions: I love it!

Synopsis:  Anglican priest Matthew Ottenshaw receives his first posting in tiny Dinbratten, two days’ ride from his Melbourne home. Determined to honour his calling as best he can, he throws himself into the footy mad, two-pub town, navigating the dusty streets, learning the gossip, and striking up a friendship with Jonah Parks, the resident police sergeant and local bona fide hero. 
A police officer and a priest often find themselves needed at the same place, and Jonah and Matthew’s friendship deepens quickly, as they set about their business of protecting the bodies and souls of Dinbratten’s residents. When a bushfire threatens the town, and Matthew’s inexperience with fire endangers the church buildings, Jonah comes to the rescue, and a reckless kiss in the midst of the chaos takes their friendship to forbidden. 
Neither Matthew nor Jonah can go back to the way things were before, but continuing their relationship puts everything at risk: their jobs, their friends, even their lives. In the outback town of Dinbratten where everyone knows everything about everyone else, how can they ever expect to keep a secret this explosive?
Impressions: This book is really something amazing and special.

I first heard this book described as a cross between The Thornbirds and Brokeback Mountain.  Needless to say, I was sold.  What I found, was really so much more.  

The characters in this novel take on that living dimension that makes you almost guilty to close the book in case they are left frozen in time.  Jonah and Matthew captured my heart, and I felt myself lost in their story.  The setting was beautifully created and I had a vivid picture of their houses, the police station, and even the local cemetery.  The secondary characters are vibrant and realistic, even when they are causing challenges.

This is one of those books that comes along that will sweep you into its world.  It is a wonderful read, and I am sure this will be in my top ten for the year.

Highly recommended!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

New Release 5* Review: Kidnapped by the Pirate, by Keira Andrews

Title: Kidnapped by the Pirate

Author: Kiera Andrews

Publisher/GR Link:Goodreads

Vice: Pirates!

Rating: 5 stars!

Lock this book up: 4 keys…like a treasure chest!  This book is HAWT.

Length: Novel

Satisfaction: HEA

Cover Impressions: Do you need to ask?  It is amazing!

Synopsis: Nathaniel Bainbridge is used to hiding, whether it’s concealing his struggles with reading or his forbidden desire for men. Under the thumb of his controlling father, the governor of Primrose Isle, he’s sailing to the fledging colony, where he’ll surrender to a respectable marriage for his family’s financial gain. Then pirates strike and he’s kidnapped for ransom by the Sea Hawk, a legendary villain of the New World.

Bitter and jaded, Hawk harbors futile dreams of leaving the sea for a quiet life, but men like him don’t deserve peace. He has a score to settle with Nathaniel’s father—the very man whose treachery forced him into piracy—and he’s sure Nathaniel is just as contemptible.

Yet as days pass in close quarters, Nathaniel’s feisty spirit and alluring innocence beguile and bewitch. Although Hawk knows he must keep his distance, the desire to teach Nathaniel the pleasure men can share grows uncontrollable. It’s not as though Hawk would ever feel anything for him besides lust…

Nathaniel realizes the fearsome Sea Hawk’s reputation is largely invented, and he sees the lonely man beneath the myth, willingly surrendering to his captor body and soul. As a pirate’s prisoner, he is finally free to be his true self. The crew has been promised the ransom Nathaniel will bring, yet as danger mounts and the time nears to give him up, Hawk’s biggest battle could be with his own heart.

This May-December gay romance from Keira Andrews features classic tropes including: a tough alpha pirate too afraid to love, a plucky virgin captive half his age, enemies to lovers, first-time sexual discovery, and of course a happy ending.

Impressions: Keira Andrews is an auto-buy for me, and when I saw the cover reveal and the title of this release, all I could do was make grabby hands at my computer screen.

I was not disappointed for one second.

This could have been just a scrumptious tale about pirates from Andrews and I would have been glued to the page, but in fact I found it to be even more. 

Hawk is a great character.  He is a classic misunderstood, domineering man who yearns for the companionship of a lover.  He seems commanding and yet fair to his men.  He is educated and self-motivated, and he has been done a great wrong that he yearns to address.  He was easy to love and I wanted him to get his much deserved HEA. 

Nathaniel was so much more than the perfect man for Hawk.  Nathaniel was not just a softer, younger partner for Hawk; he was far more complex and he is where Andrews went about and beyond for me.

Nathaniel has a vulnerability to him, and an innocent naivety that makes him so endearing.  He isn’t a weak parody of a swooning Victorian.  He is strong, agile, and skilled, and yet also so sheltered and isolated by his circumstances.  Andrews seized on a great opportunity to make him more than a 2D foil for Hawk, and in his creation she made a wonderfully complex character that really drew me right into the page.

The setting of this novel is gorgeous, and this story pulls you in right from page one.  Plan on a very late night (trust me!) or a wrap yourself up in a comfy spot and get ready to escape into Hawk’s crew.  In the end, you will be the one Kidnapped by the Pirate(s)!

Monday, October 9, 2017

New Release Review: His Convenient Husband 4* Read


Title: The Convenient Husband, Love and Sports Series, #1

Author: Robin Covington

Publisher/GR Link: Entangled Publishing, GR

Genre: MM Contemporary

Vice: Athletics, multiracial

Rating: 4 Stars

Lock this book up: 3 keys- the sex supports the romance

Length: Novel

Satisfaction: HEA

Cover Impressions: Nice, clean and well presented

Synopsis: NFL football player Isaiah Blackwell lost his husband three years ago and is raising their teen son alone. He lives his life as quietly as his job allows, playing ball to support his family but trying not to draw unwanted attention. His quiet life is shaken up when a mutual friend introduces him to Victor, a visiting principal ballet dancer who is everything Isaiah is not.

Brash and loud, Victor Aleksandrov has applied for political asylum to avoid returning to Russia, where gay men are targeted and persecuted. He’s been outspoken about gay rights in his home country, and if he doesn’t get asylum, going back to Russia is a death sentence.

Their one-night stand turns into a tentative friendship, a relationship they both agree is temporary... until Victor’s denied asylum. Isaiah can’t offer Victor a happily ever after, but he can propose something that’ll keep Victor in the US and safe... marriage He just doesn’t expect his new husband to dance away with his heart.

Impressions: This was a fun, tropey, escape for a long weekend.  I like the large cast of supporting characters, and I am looking forward to hearing some of their stories.

Isiah was a likable character.  Though I can imagine there would be a lot of complications with being an out, married, NFL player, this book focuses much more on the love and developing relationship between Isaiah and Victor.

I really enjoyed Victor.  He is loud, brash, and yet vulnerable. I really wanted the HEA for Victor more than anyone else.

This is a fun forced-to-marry romance, and I think you will enjoy it as much as I did!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

5 Star Review for a 5 Star Series: An Unsuitable Heir, by KJ Charles

An Unsuitable Heir (Sins of the Cities, #3)

Title: An Unsuitable Heir, book 3 in Sins of the Cities

Author: K.J. Charles

Publisher/GR Link: Loveswept, GR

Genre: MM Historical, Series

Vice: Historical, Genderqueer, Circus

Rating: 5 Stars

Lock this book up: 4 keys- This book is so hot and the pages turn themselves!

Length: Novel

Satisfaction: HEA

Cover Impressions: Gorgeous!  Love the look of the whole series together. 

SynopsisOn the trail of an aristocrat’s secret son, enquiry agent Mark Braglewicz finds his quarry in a music hall, performing as a trapeze artist with his twin sister. Graceful, beautiful, elusive, and strong, Pen Starling is like nobody Mark’s ever met—and everything he’s ever wanted. But the long-haired acrobat has an earldom and a fortune to claim.

Pen doesn’t want to live as any sort of man, least of all a nobleman. The thought of being wealthy, titled, and always in the public eye is horrifying. He likes his life now—his days on the trapeze, his nights with Mark. And he won’t be pushed into taking a title that would destroy his soul.

But there’s a killer stalking London’s foggy streets, and more lives than just Pen’s are at risk. Mark decides he must force the reluctant heir from music hall to manor house, to save Pen’s neck. Betrayed by the one man he thought he could trust, Pen never wants to see his lover again. But when the killer comes after him, Pen must find a way to forgive—or he might not live long enough for Mark to make amends.

Impressions:  I could not wait to read this new series from K.J. Charles.  I knew I would love them, but I couldn't have imagined how much I would fall in love with Mark and Pen!

This is a great series overall, and I read them so quickly, but only because I stopped sleeping and chose reading instead!  Books 1 and 2 were great, but book 3 was something special.  I love the diversity in this series, and in book 3, Charles wrote a genderqueer character that was so well developed and so relatable that it was a joy to read.  Pen explores his own identity in such a thoughtful manner, but one that feels so appropriate to the 1870's, and yet never becomes pandering or anachronistic.

At the heart of this story is...well, a lot of heart.  There is so much love (and sexy times) that I will remember this as a love story more than anything else.  I loved seeing some beloved characters from book 1 and 2 also!

This will be a book I don't soon forget- because I'll be re-reading it over and over again!

Highly recommended!