Finding Aurora by Rebecca Langham

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Four out of Five Stars

Summary: Aurora Rose slumbers in the city of Oldpass, a cursed kingdom once allied with Grimvein. The victim of a malicious spell, she is powerless to control her own fate. At least, that’s how the story goes.

Now, as Grimvein faces attack, Prince Amir has been tasked with the life-threatening rescue of Aurora, his parents hopeful he will marry the princess and secure safety for their kingdom. Talia, the strongest spellcaster in the known lands, protects and guides the prince in his quest to save a woman that threatens to change their lives forever.

In finding Aurora, the pair will realise the truth about themselves and each other, coming to understand just what – and who – they really want in life.

The Review

If you are a fan of fairytale retellings, Finding Aurora by Rebecca Langham is one you’re going to want to grab to read ASAP. This is a kickass Sleeping Beauty retelling and it was refreshing to see the Prince having a female spell-caster helping him find Aurora and learning who he truly is.

Talia has been tasked with helping Prince Amir of Grimvein to locate Aurora Rose in the hopes of a securing a marriage contract that will unite the kingdoms and guarantee Grimvein’s safety. As in the traditional Sleeping Beauty, Aurora has been cursed to slumber until her true love wakes her.

Throughout this journey we see the friendship between Talia and Prince Amir grow. They work together and trust each other to make it through whatever situation they land in. Even when Talia speaks her spirit guide, Red, Prince Amir treats her as a friend would. Red comes to Talia in times of need, provides companionship, and protects Talia.

Red is incredible. I got a bit of an image in my mind the first time Red was mentioned and I feel like the word beautiful doesn’t do how I picture he justice. Even while I’m writing this, I can clearly see her in my head. Red and Talia’s connection is deep and I so badly wanted them to meet in more than the spirit world. Red is going on this journey just as much as Talia and Prince Amir.

What I truly enjoyed was the different take on the tale. Once they come close to finding Aurora Rose, they face different ‘tasks’ (that’s the best way I can describe it). They face Goblins, the dragon and it turns out to be more than goblins and a dragon. They were part of Aurora Rose’s family. It was a bit heart breaking finding out that they had been stuck in those forms, unable to remember who they were for over a century.

The love between Red and Talia is sweet and left me feeling happy and hopeful. I’d love to see what happens after this novella and how the kingdoms fair.

Pre-Order your copy here!

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Christmas Angel by Eli Easton

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Four out of Five Stars

Summary: When John Trent, a dedicated member of the new Bow Street Runners, finds an exquisite carved angel floating in the Thames, he can’t stop thinking about it. He tracks down its creator, a sad and quiet young sculptor. But neither the angel nor the sculptor is done with John just yet. The blasted angel refuses to leave him be, behaving not at all like an inanimate object should.

Alec Allston is resigned to the fact that his love will ever be a river that flows out and never flows in. All he wanted to do was create a special gift so that a small part of himself could be with his unattainable and noble beloved, always. But when the gift keeps showing back up at his shop in the hands of a windblown and rugged thief-taker, Alec will need to reconsider his conviction that love is destined to remain an aethereal ideal.

The Review

Whenever I see any kind of historical M/M book, I snatch up the chance to read them. Add Eli Easton into that mix and that just sweetens the deal. Elia Easton has written their first book in the series of holiday-based romances that are all connected by the Christmas Angel that connects Alec Allston and John Trent.

Allston is a sculptor who has had his heart broken and dedicates his life to his art. That is, until John Trent appears in his shop holding an angel that had been tossed into the Thames. John is a Bow Street Runner on the hunt for justice and wants to return the angel to its owner/creator.  The connection between the two men is obvious and only intensifies the more they see each other.

I’m a stickler for accuracy in historical novels and this one fit the bill. Even the interactions between Allston and Trent were accurate. Oh John Trent, he could sweep any man off his feet. He was kind and took the time to woo Allston with little gifts, walks and talks at his shop.

I absolutely loved the house of misfits that Trent lived in. I think by introducing Allston to his housemates, it gave Allston the courage to go after what he wanted. They’re romance scenes weren’t overdone. Their kisses were sweet and then steamy.

The detail used throughout put you in the time period. I could see the clothes, the expressions and the city around Allston and Trent as the story progressed. My only complaint was I needed more!, especially between Allston and Trent in certain aspects.

Will I be reading and recommending this one out to friends? Oh yes. Go read it now!

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Christmas Lane by Amy Aislin

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Five out of Five Stars

Summary: It’s recent college graduate Zach Greenfeld’s favorite time of the year and he’s just received a temporary gig planning Lighthouse Bay’s Christmas parade. Not only does it speak to his penchant for organization, it also puts him face to face on a daily basis with his unrequited crush–Holland Stone. But his new job starts off in disaster when the most important float–Santa’s sleigh–gets damaged.

Holland needs to win the Lighthouse Bay Christmas parade float competition in order to grow his new dollhouse-making business. The prize is an article in a major city newspaper, and nothing beats free advertising. Except, eager to help the adorable parade organizer, he volunteers to help fix Santa’s sleigh, leaving no time to work on his own float, and putting his prize at risk.

Damaged floats, snowstorms, and a last-minute parade emergency force Zach and Holland closer than ever. All they need is a little bit of Christmas magic to help them realize they belong together.

The Review

I would like to start this review by giving it heart eyes and happy snuggles. It’s exactly what I needed to get me into the holiday spirit.

Zach is a recent college graduate and he’s ready to find a job that doesn’t include working at his family’s restaurant with his sister as his boss. Holland is fifteen years older, has bounced from job to job trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life and is attracted to man who he once taught in primary school. They are thrust together when Zach gets put in charge of the town Christmas parade and Holland is building a float and eventually more.

Holland was kind. In a way you wouldn’t expect people to be any more. As their relationship progressed, Holland talked to Zach about what he wanted and needed. Zach is portrayed as a possibly Ace, but more like demisexual (In my opinion). And Holland respects that. Eventually they progress to more. Their kisses were pretty swoon worthy. There isn’t any on-screen sex scenes, but it worked for their story. They didn’t need explicit scenes.

Zach was a cautious when it came to Holland. How could he, of all people, be what Holland is looking for in a partner? Especially, when Holland dated men like Mika and Clark in the past. Zach has his quirks and Holland lets him do his thing. I loved that. He didn’t tease Zach for having multiple calendars or having certain ways he did things. They supported each other. I found it adorable that Holland took care of Zach in the little ways he could.

Through all the issues that crop up like ex-boyfriends, roofs caving in, endless car trouble, and figuring Christmas out, Zach and Holland make it through it all.

Another plus, the secondary characters were just as engaging as Zach and Holland were. I have secret hopes that Dev and Clark might get their story told next. This is definitely a holiday read that I will be revisiting yearly.

 

Pre-Order/Buy your copy here

A Christmas Situation by H.L. Day

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Four out of Five Stars

Summary:  Love conquers all. But can it survive Christmas?

Dominic and Tristan have been together for almost a year. So everything’s got to be plain sailing, right? Not quite. Not if you ask Dominic. Tristan’s a bundle of energy and crazy ideas at the best of times. Add in Christmas, and it’s a recipe for disaster.

That’s not the only issue. There’s also Tristan’s mysterious absences and secret phone calls to contend with. Dominic might be insecure, but he’s not crazy. His boyfriend is definitely up to something, and neither family nor friends seem interested in listening to his concerns. He won’t jump to conclusions this time though. He’ll talk to Tristan. Only what do you do when you can’t get a straight answer out of the man you love?

When Tristan’s secrets are revealed, will their first Christmas together also be their last? Or is Dominic about to discover that all his worries have been for nothing?

Only time will tell.

The (mini) Review

A Christmas Situation is a bit of a holiday bonus novella that gives us a glimpse into the continuation of Tristian and Dominic’s relationship. It’s been a year since they’ve gotten together and they’re still going strong. Or so it seems. Tristian has been acting extremely secretive and disappearing from the office a lot more than usual. Poor Dom thought he knew what he was in for when it comes to Tristian. He doesn’t even know what he’s in for when it comes to the holidays.

Tristian is a bit overzealous when it comes to Christmas surprises involving Dominic. I feel like he may have overstepped buuut Dominic liked the results so I can’t find fault in it. I did expect the little surprise at the end and was excited to see it happen! My lips are zipped, so you have to read it to find out what I’m talking about. But yay!

Overall, an excellent addition to Tristian and Dom’s story.

Get your copy here

A Temporary Situation by H.L. Day

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Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: Personal assistant Dominic is a consummate professional. Funny then, that he harbors such unprofessional feelings toward Tristan Maxwell, the CEO of the company. No, not in that way. The man may be the walking epitome of gorgeousness dressed up in a designer suit. But, Dominic’s immune. Unlike most of the workforce, he can see through the pretty facade to the arrogant, self-entitled asshole below. It’s lucky then, that the man’s easy enough to avoid.

Disaster strikes when Dominic finds himself having to work in close proximity as Tristan’s P.A. The man is infuriatingly unflappable, infuriatingly good-humored, and infuriatingly unorthodox. In short, just infuriating. A late-night rescue leading to a drunken pass only complicates matters further, especially with the discovery that Tristan is both straight and engaged.

Hatred turns to tolerance, tolerance to friendship, and friendship to mutual passion. One thing’s for sure, if Tristan sets his sights on Dominic, there’s no way Dominic has the necessary armor or willpower to keep a force of nature like Tristan at bay for long, no matter how unprofessional a relationship with the boss might be. He may just have to revise everything he previously thought and believed in for a chance at love.

The Review

Dominic is the most professional, professional while at work, unless it concerns the CEO Tristian Maxwell. Dominic doesn’t understand why the rest of his co-workers can’t see under all of Tristian’s playfulness is a cold hearted CEO who doesn’t think well of his employees. Dominic is thankful he doesn’t have work directly with Tristian. Until he does. No matter how hard Dominic tries to keep Tristian at arms-length at all times, but Tristian won’t let him.

It’s hard not to like Tristian though. He is obsessed with food, has a sense of humor and is often times in his own little world. It’s hard to ignore Mr. Fucking Perfect. Oh my, I loved that nickname from the first time Dominic uttered it internally.

These two, they had a fair share of outlandish mishaps that had me laughing out loud. There was a botched flower order, an allergic reaction, and series of communication errors. Dominic did his very best not to fall in love with Tristian. He was his boss, a fairly unconventional boss, but still that was line that he didn’t want to cross. I liked that this wasn’t an immediate fall into the boss’s arms and let him pay for everything situation. Dominic has his own standards and he isn’t going to lower them for anyone.

I loved the text messages and scenes with the two of them together. I had to know what was going to happen next, how everything was going to turn out. It was nice seeing that Tristian didn’t give up on Dominic. Everything happened quickly and intensely, but he found a way to show Dominic that he was sincere. Even when Dominic made it near impossible.

Their chemistry together was excellent. When they ended up in the same areas together, I was waiting for that moment they would acknowledge all the flirtation that had been going on. Tristian did a lot of the chasing and convincing and I wish Dominic would have just given in, just a little, before he finally did. But other than that, I loved Tristian and Dom. They were adorable and I’m glad to see there is a Christmas Novella being released as well, A Christmas Situation. That review will be next up! I’m excited to read it.

Get your Copy Here

Ashes by H.J. Welch

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Three out of Five Stars

The Summary: Kris Novak pours his heart and soul into his job at Hidden Creek’s only gay bar. When an arsonist burns the place to the ground, his whole life goes up in smoke and only his long-time crush can save him.

Firefighter Remi Washington never told anyone he’s bi, let alone acted on it. But when he temporarily offers his spare room to his best friend’s younger brother, he’s drawn to the twinky, beautiful Kris in a way he can’t ignore. How long before he gives in to this temptation?

Soon Kris stands accused of having started the fire and he has to fight with all his strength to clear his own name. Will Remi risk outing himself to stand by Kris’s side, or will that closet door remain closed forever?

The (mini)Review

Ashes is the first book in the Men of Hidden Creek series season two. Each book in this series is written by a different author and focuses on a different character. I’m going start out with this wasn’t my favorite book and I really thought I would enjoy it because of the summary. Something that really threw me off was the ‘preview’ chapter. I don’t know what else to call it but it showed Remi and Kris together before we even got their story. Honestly we all know they’re going to get together but this irritated me. It kind of took away from the magic of seeing them get to that point and it was a bit confusing and had me wondering if I had accidentally skipped pages without meaning to.

Remi is a firefighter who gets the call out to the local gay bar, who everyone believed to be empty but it wasn’t. Kris would lives in the third floor apartment and is trapped. Remi saves him and then offers Kris a place to stay until he gets back on his feet. They are both on a journey to figure out who they are as individuals. Remi wants to come out as bisexual, and Kris just wants to be himself and provide a safe space for the community.

Everything seems like a bit too much if that makes sense. I got tired of how many times the word ‘baby’ was used in sex scenes. Like every sentence uttered, baby had to be present. I wasn’t a fan of the author’s version of dirty talk. I felt like there was not much plot besides Remi saved Kris, they had sex, and Kris was very fabulous and people in Hidden Creek didn’t like it. *shrugs* This one wasn’t for me.

Give it a try, it might be your cup of tea

In the Ruins by Hailey Turner

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Audiobook Review

Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: Truth and lies.

Captain Jamie Callahan knows the Metahuman Defense Force frowns on fraternization. For once in his life, he’s breaking all the rules. Having Staff Sergeant Kyle Brannigan on his team and in his bed is worth the risk of being found out. When a mission comes down requiring Alpha Team to go undercover in order to infiltrate a criminal alliance, Jamie knows it won’t be easy. Putting his family’s name on the line is nothing compared to the role the MDF wants him to play—that of a billionaire’s son, discharged from the military, with a lover on his arm, looking to make his own shady business deals.

Dirty little secret.

Kyle knows the only way to be with Jamie is to hide their relationship from their superiors. Waking up to Jamie at home is more important than being together in public, or so Kyle thought, until he comes face to face with what he’s been missing. Pretending to be a couple on paper for the sake of the mission thrusts Kyle into a world of incredible wealth and a social status he’s not sure he belongs in, but he’ll do anything to stay by Jamie’s side.

Play the game to win.

Surrounded by the enemy, Jamie and Kyle need to trust each other now more than ever. Their covers—and the life they’re trying to build together—depend on it.

The Review

First, let me talk about the greatness of Greg Boudreaux as a narrator. He’s got one of those voices that just hit the spot (with everyone but Annabelle, but that’s just nitpicking about southern accents). I could probably listen to him speak with an English or a Scottish accent for days. Oh and the Russian accents *shiver*. I loved hearing Alexei’s speaking parts. Boudreaux had a way with differentiating between different characters with his voice. I didn’t get lost in conversation sections. I knew who was talking and how they were feeling in that moment. He made it very easy to get lost in this world and I highly recommend listening to his work. I already have his other three works in my to listen list.

Now on to the story!

In the Ruins picks up a few months after In the Wreckage ends. We see the MDF going undercover to continue their fight against a group of criminal organizations who are working together, instead of fighting each other, for power.

They utilize Jamie’s family wealth as the background for the teams covers. There are a lot of challenges that come with this. Jamie has to become a person he used to be and never wanted to be again; selfish, overbearing, unkind. Kyle experiences what Jamie’s life was like before the Marines and just how wealthy Jamie’s family is.

Also, Jamie and Kyle can publicly be together due to Kyle’s cover as Jamie’s arm candy. They can hold hands, they can kiss, they can sleep in the same bed without having to sneak out of the room early in the morning. These two men have chemistry that is out of this world. It’s obvious that that their relationship has continued to grow. The scenes with only two pair of them together, oh boy. Just turn the AC down and grab a fan, cause things just got hot. They are beyond intense.

Their mission was always at the forefront of their minds. Even if I lost track of what the mission actually was at some points. I liked that the action balanced out with the romance parts. This universe that Turner has created is amazing. I could see what Jamie’s apartment looked like. Then I could see 2285 London, the underground, the museum where the gala took place. The way she described the characters and the settings, it was opulent. That’s the only word that would do this world justice.

There were a few parts that dragged on for me and got a bit slow. I think it may be because I got so attached to Alexei. Will I continue this series? Most likely. I really enjoy the detail Turner puts into her novels and her characters. Should you read this? If you like sci-fi, military, steamy romances, yes. One hundred percent yes.