Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Kneading YouKneading You by C.S. Poe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.25 Stars

This was a novella done right. It had all of the elements of a flirty, believable romance with two cute MC's and a bit of hope.

Christopher had his heart set on living in a dreamy small town in New Hampshire, but once there, finding work was proving difficult. When he heard about the small library set in a historic old building, needing repair, upkeep and updating, he knew he'd be perfect. But no one mentioned he only had a month to prove the library was as important to the town as he thought it was, otherwise they'd tear it down.

Miles, the local handyman, was hired by Christopher to help fixing up some bookshelves and other items around the old building, but ended up staying for more. As a team, they decided to make the library into a place that would be meaningful to youth and adults.

The characters in this were so stinking cute. Christopher in his sweater vests and checkered shirts was the epitome of a nerdy librarian. And Miles, the shy, brooding baker/handyman who had more love in his heart than anyone. I fell in love with them instantly.

The cute little tale had a lot of heart, a lot of hope, a bit of yeast and punching and a perfect HEA.

*Galley copy generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. Cross posted to*

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Curses, Foiled AgainCurses, Foiled Again by Sera Trevor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 Stars

Felix and John's adventures together felt like the Odd Couple and I loved every minute of it.

Felix is a vampire on the prowl when he sees John walking home from work late one night. As he jumps out to scare him, John rolls his eyes and keeps going. Inexplicably, Felix is unable to bite him and it drives him crazy. It just so happens that John is a witch.

Unable to stop from thinking about John, Felix stalks him, investigates him, follows him, then finally shows up at his work. At this point, it's no longer just intrigue that keeps him interested, but John himself.

When John realizes he can't get Felix to leave him alone, he tells him that if he puts a drop of blood on a rose every day for 101 days, it will turn blue with magic and he can bring the rose to John and he'll see him. John knows that a vampire wouldn't be able to hold their interest long enough. But Felix isn't just any vampire. At this point, John can't stay away. But their lives start to get messy and entangled and they'll need vampires, blood and magic to fix it all.

There is a ton more to this story involving twins and curses and sharing hearts and cats and murders and movies and old film stars. And every single one of those things is central to the story. And what a story it was. I seriously loved it.

It's possible I loved the narration by Michael T. Bradley the most because his portrayal of John was just so innocent and sweet and even tempered, yet so very melancholy, which fit him perfectly. Felix's voice was magical. He was deep and dark and sometimes whiny, which just added a level of dimension for me, making this mysterious and fun.

I loved how much comedy was involved in this story. Felix wasn't the studious, formal vampire that is commonplace in the paranormal world. He was a little off, a lot sweet, very silly and oh so loving.

The characters were marvelous, each bringing so much to the story individually, then all blending at the end to create a stellar ensemble for the HEA.

I thoroughly enjoyed this listen and would absolutely recommend it to any audio lover.

*Audio generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. Cross posted to*

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Warm Heart (Search and Rescue #1)Warm Heart by Amy Lane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Soft and fluffy and heartwarming. It was pure Amy Lane.

Tevyn Moore is a world champion snowboarder and Mallory Armstrong is his finance backer, but really, there's more to their relationship than that. Even though Tevyn finds his way into a different bed each night, Mal is always there.

Tevyn's grandmother is dying and he's got to get to Colorado to see her one last time. When Tev and Mal get into a helicopter with Damien, things get rough in the snowy mountains and their copter crashes into the trees.

Now, for the three of them, it's all about survival. Damie's injured and both Tev and Mal lean on each other to figure out a way through this to survive. And quite possibly to start living a life they'd been pretending didn't exist.

After reading this inspiring story, I will say that if I was ever trapped on a mountain I'd want Tevyn and Amy Lane with me. I literally wouldn't have known half of what they came up with for survival. And the tenderness between the characters as they each tried to save the others... it was beautifully written.

With this story, nothing was vague. The words were clear and heart felt. The dialogue was proud and poignant. Hearts sat on the knitted sleeves of colorful sweaters, to be seen and felt throughout the story. I loved it. It's one I will definitely read again and I'm hoping the next book in the series is Damie and Preston!!

*Galley copy generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. Cross posted to*

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Monday, July 8, 2019

Rules of the GameRules of the Game by TL Travis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kendall is a player. Working for the family business, he's looking for something...more. When his father hires an architect, Kendall is instructed to be the main contact.

Joe has spent his life building up his business and he's finally accepted a major contract. When he meets Kendall, he's instantly attracted, but he can't do anything about it. He needs this job.

Kendall doesn't take no for an answer, or at least, not when he knows it's not a firm no. And that's what's so epic about him. He knows what he wants and he goes after it.

Joe's reluctance fell away and he was so sweet and honest. They were a perfect match.

As a short novella, I felt like this packed a pretty full punch with a lovely couple and a perfect HEA.

*Galley copy generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. Cross posted to*

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Friday, July 5, 2019

Here Comes Trouble (Nothing Special #3)Here Comes Trouble by A.E. Via
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As the third book in the Nothing Special series, this was engaging and entertaining, but not as full of action or suspense as the first two.

Mark Ruxsberg and Chris Green are the 'enforcers' on God and Day's team. They are the muscle and the heat and the ones in the field. They've been partners for years, but lately Mark has been having a rough go of things.

When his addict mother goes on a binge and Chris decides to start dating, he finds himself falling down a rabbit hole of solitude and alcohol. Oh, and he's caught feelings for his partner that won't go away.

Green can't understand what's going on with Ruxs or why he's acting so crazy lately, until one night he shows up at his door, the unmistakable look of lust in his eyes. He's wanted Ruxs for years, so he's finally getting the man of his dreams. But Mark is straight. And never been with a man. Not to mention his life is pretty close to rock bottom. Is he really looking to start something?

I was a tiny bit disappointed at the lack of action in this book. There was a lot of buildup from the start about a raid going down, but it was completely off page. Instead, this seemed to be centered more around Green and his relationship with Curtis, the 17 yr old kid that helped out around the precinct and sometimes stayed at Green's house.

While I totally enjoyed Green and Ruxs building a relationship and family around Curtis, I also found it odd that at the end we started getting into Curtis' POV. Especially since there isn't a book devoted to him.

This was still a wild and sexy ride...lots and lots of sexy times.

The narration by Aiden Snow was brilliant, as usual. There is just no one else that can pull of these big, brawny, cocky bad boys like he can.

Well worth the listen if you're into this series!

*Audio copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. Cross posted to*

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Home ImprovementHome Improvement by Tara Lain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 Stars

If a fluffy romance between a carpenter and a rock and roll god sounds like your brand of screws, this delightful story will hit the nail on the head.

Gabe Mason is a 33 yr old single gay man raising his 17 year old daughter. His ex-wife is still in the picture, just enough to threaten his ability to have a life without worrying about her taking him to court. He makes his own furniture in his spare time, but living in Oregon doesn't truly afford him an opportunity to get his business off the ground. Instead, he works a day job at the local home improvement warehouse.

Jerry Castor is a rock star by night, but really wants a new life in the light of day. When he buys a run down home and has no idea what he's doing, he heads to the local hardware store for help and runs into Gabe. Who just happens to be perfect.

This first half of the book grabbed me and held on for dear life. I loved it all and couldn't put the book down. The attraction between the two men was palpable and explosive. But there were secrets that Jerry was keeping and things took a turn.

This is where things started crumbling for me. It seemed like the shy, stuttering Jerry turned into a wholly different person that oozed sex appeal and charm, which seemed contrived. It almost seemed to go to extremes. At one point I felt like we had gotten to the 'I think I like him' stage, and then a few minutes later there were declarations of forever. It just felt unrealistic to me, unfortunately.

Ellie stole the book for me. As Gabe's 17 year old daughter, she was the glue that held everything together. The voice of reason. The adult. The shoulder to cry on. I loved her and was thrilled that she ended up being such a vital character in the story. She's worth the read, just as herself.

Overall, it was a cute spin on the rich/poor trope with lots of fluff and hyperbole.

*Galley copy generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. Cross posted to*

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Rise from the AshesRise from the Ashes by Noah Harris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 Stars

This was very unlike any other shifter story I've read in the best way possible. Told in a single person POV, it was more than a romance between two characters. Yes, that played a huge role, but it was more about pack families, loyalty and friendship.

Adam Miller was content. He had an office job where he was respected, a pack that he loved, and alpha friend who guided him and plenty of freedom. It wasn't perfect, but he didn't want to rock the boat. He was next in line for alpha and his secrets could wait.

Joshua Wetmore walked into Adam's conference room and changed everything with a glance. His sweet omega side called to Adam and soon their connection sparked.

When Adam's alpha suddenly dies, the pack looks to him for comfort, guidance, and leadership, but most of all, revenge. They want blood and will stop at nothing to get it. Even if that means taking down Adam and his mate.

The overall theme of family and bonds was the main thread that wove this story. It was more than just Adam and Josh's relationship. There were so many elements involved with side characters and side stories that all interwove into an inspiring tale.

Noah Harris has a unique writing style that moves the reader with descriptive phrases and effortless flow. I can't wait to dive into more from this author.

The narration by Christopher Kauzlarich was impeccable. His voices were distinct for each character, adding emotion and depth to the story.

If paranormal/shifter romance is your thing, you'll absolutely love this audio version of Noah Harris' story. I'd definitely recommend giving it a listen.

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Kneading You by C.S. Poe My rating: 4 of 5 stars 4.25 Stars This was a novella done right. It had all of the elements of a flirty, believ...