Snap Shot by V.L. Locey

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This is book one in the Cayuga Cougars Hockey series

Summary: Mario McGarrity has been around the block – and rink – more than a few times.

He’s creeping up on retirement age, has some dings and dents, and says what’s on his mind. Not exactly what most would consider a luxury ride, but his beautiful Lila – the transgender woman who stole his heart – loves him like no other woman ever has despite a little rust here and there.

Everything is good – no, great – aside from the distance issue, until a surprise from Lila’s past crops up and moves in with her. Can Mario be the family man that Lila needs, or is this one game the old vet is unable to skate in?

 

The Review

Snap Shot by V.L. Locey is the first in the Cayuga Cougars series. Lila and Mario (aka Seamus) have a relationship that I think everyone aspires to have. No matter the difficulties they face, they face those issues together and work to find a solution.
I’ll be one hundred percent honest, I was hesitant at first towards how Lila was going to be written. It’s my first foray into this particular genre so I was a bit nervous about how their love scenes would be written. Locey blew it out of the water (in the greatest way possible). Lila and Seamus’ relationship was honest, full of steamy goodness and not at all raunchy (which was what I was afraid I’d find here).

I enjoyed seeing how Seamus dealt with the surprise Lila gave him, Langley, her son. Langley acted exactly how a kid in his shoes would act. He was a rebellious, smart ass that all teenagers are. Some of the things he did had me rolling my eyes but Seamus and Lila made an excellent team when it came to Langley.

I found myself falling in love with the secondary characters as well. Augie, the goalie and the rest of the team as they drifted through the novel had me laughing. When you fall in love with the secondary characters along with the main characters you know you’ve found an excellent book.

I was super excited to see that Augie was going to be featured in book two!

Would I recommend this book to others? Yes, so many times yes.

The Last Thing He Needs by J. H. Knight

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Summary: Tommy O’Shea is raising his seven younger brothers and sisters without any help from his drug abusing father and stepmother. Since he was fifteen years old, he’s managed to keep the children fed and out of foster care. It takes up every ounce of his energy and the last thing he needs is romance complicating his life further.

Rookie cop Bobby McAlister doesn’t belong in Tommy’s harsh world, but Tommy can’t push him out. As their unlikely friendship turns into a tentative relationship, they weather the daily storm of Tommy’s life with a lot of laughs and more than a few arguments.

Tommy isn’t used to trusting outsiders, and he’s never asked for help in his life. But when a tragedy strikes the O’Shea family and threatens everything he’s fought for, he’ll have to learn to do both to recover from the brutal hit.

 

The Review

In J.H. Knight’s The Last Thing He Needs, Tommy O’Shea and Bobby are from two separate walks of life. Tommy lives in the gray. He does what he needs to do in order to get by and to take care of his brothers and sisters. Bobby, a cop, lives within the law.

The tension and the attraction between the two is intense from the beginning. They don’t act on their attraction immediately. They let it linger and those feelings grow. I loved the slower burn to their relationship. And the fact that Bobby took the time to get to know each of Tommy’s brothers and sisters made melted my heart.

Bobby stepped in to help Tommy but he didn’t have to be the hero. He wanted to work with Tommy to find and share their happiness. This novel reminded me a bit of Shameless without the plethora of cursing and nudity.

Would I recommend this to others? Oh yes. This is definitely on the reread on a rainy day list!

Purchase Here

Walking Through the Shadows by Sheris Lewis Wohl

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Summary: Molly Williams is a powerful hereditary witch who manages to keep her powers under control as she tries to be normal. Most of the time, it works.

An invitation from friends Winnie and Angus is just the diversion she needs right now, and she jumps at the offer to go backpacking along the Umatilla River in northeast Oregon. When a freak storm forces them to take shelter in a secluded, crumbling cabin, their trip takes an unexpected turn. The moment Molly touches a leather-bound book discovered in the floorboards, they’re transported back in time.

Only with the help of the mysterious and beautiful Native American woman Aquene do they stay one step ahead of a band of witch hunters. Will Molly find the right magic to get them home before the hunters find her? Or will she risk it all to stay at Aquene’s side?

The Review

Walking Through Shadows by Sheri Lewis Wohl is considered a time traveling romance. I really wanted to like this book, especially with the potential of Molly and Aquene’s relationship but this novel fell flat for me. I feel like Wohl put more and attention into Winnie and Angus’s relationship, and the witch hunter’s internal thoughts then what the summary lead me to believe Walking Through Shadows would be about. I expected it to be about Molly and Aquene, but it really wasn’t.

The pacing was slow. It didn’t get the feeling of the characters being in danger, the rush of adrenalin that was most likely intended. I was bored with it.
Each section with Aquene was repetitive and by the end I knew what she was going to be thinking about Molly. There was no build up to her and Molly ‘loving’ each other. It just happened and it didn’t make sense.

It was supposed to be their destiny to come together, to defeat ‘him’ and to fall in love but I found myself skimming their parts and more invested in Winnie and Angus. I was determined that Angus was going to turn out to be more but that didn’t get explored either.

It was disappointing and I thought it was going to be a really great read. The concept was awesome, time traveling, Native American guide, not something you see. I just wish there would have been something more than the repetitive, boring story-line.

Would I recommend this? No. Will I search out other books by Wohl? No.
I received an e-copy through NetGalley for an honest review.

Purchase Links Here

Drawn In by Sean Ashcroft

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Summary: Owen Jules isn’t gay, and the last thing he expects is to get married to his childhood best friend. But when he moves back to his hometown after losing his wife, he finds Jude sick and at risk of dying, all because his medical insurance was cancelled.

Between wanting to help Jude out and wanting to get custody of his daughter back, Owen takes the plunge into a fake marriage, hoping to solve everyone’s problems at once.

As Jude begins to recover and the two of them settle into married life, Owen starts to get a little too comfortable with being married to his best friend. Owen begins to wonder if he missed out on a lot by getting married for the first time when he was eighteen–including the chance to explore his sexuality.

Jude seems like a safe person to experiment with, but will that put Owen’s little patchwork family at risk? And what happens when outside forces challenge their newfound stability?

Can Owen and Jude find a way to be happy and raise Kalya together?

Drawn In is a standalone gay romance with a HEA ending. It does not contain a cliffhanger, but it does contain a sweet baby girl, a big family wedding, glow-in-the-dark condoms, and socks with rubber ducks on them.

 

The Review

Drawn In is the first in the Family Jules series by Sean Ashcroft. If you want a quick read and escape from reality this is your book. Otherwise, there will probably be a lot that bothers you the more you read.
It’s the classic, married for health insurance trope. There were a lot of elements that were unbelievable. Like the troubles that Jude faced in getting his medication. I suppose the fact that I have health issues and have researched thoroughly how to pay for medication at price when insurance does not cover it, it made it hard to swallow how over exaggerated Jude’s situation was.
That being said, I love the trope. Marrying someone for mutual benefits. It was something I had a hard time staying away from when ever I read fic. There’s something about two men who aren’t romantically in love with each other and reading that build up and potential.
I did read Drawn In, in one sitting. It was a fast and entertaining read if you aren’t concerned about a one hundred percent realistic universe. If you’re on vacation or commuting or need a quick escape, give it a try. I know that I’m going to be reading the next in the series. I can’t help myself when it comes to the sappy, happily-ever-after stories.

Swearing Off Stars by Danielle M. Wong

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Summary: Amelia Cole–Lia for short–is one of the first women studying abroad at Oxford University in the 1920s. Finally free from her overbearing Brooklyn parents, she finds a welcome sense of independence in British college life–and quickly falls for Scarlett Daniels, an aspiring actress and hardheaded protester. Scarlett introduces her to an exciting gender-equality movement, but when their secret love clashes with political uprising, their relationship is one of the casualties. Years later, Lia’s only memories of Scarlett are obscured by the glossy billboards she sees advertising the actress’s new films. But when a mysterious letter surfaces, she is immediately thrown back into their unsettled romance, and she crosses oceans and continents in her search for her former lover. Lia will stop at nothing to win Scarlett back–but ultimately, spread across time and place, she begins to realize that uncovering lost love might not be attainable after all.

 

The Review

 

Swearing Off Stars by Danielle Wong is a journey through the beginning of a relationship and tracking it’s progress decades through time. The way Wong wrote but Amelia and Scarlett made me want more. It was beautifully written. I felt for all the characters from the ‘20s all the way to the 50s.

It’s be a while since I’ve read something that’s made me hurt as the character was hurting but Lia’s innocent, unsure and the heartbreak she experiences, it was like a knife to the heart in some parts. There were times I was so angry with Scarlett, with Beck and I just wanted happiness for Lia but it was truly something that could have happened during that time period.

Wong left me wishing for more, and there were a few areas I wished she would have explored and that’s the only reason I’m giving this a 4/5 star review, otherwise it would have been 5/5.

Would I recommend this to others? Oh yes, I definitely would. Will I be looking for more of Wong’s work? Count me in.

Purchase link: Here

The Uncrossing by Melissa Eastlake

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Summary: Luke can uncross almost any curse—they unravel themselves for him like no one else. So working for the Kovrovs, one of the families controlling all the magic in New York, is exciting and dangerous, especially when he encounters the first curse he can’t break. And it involves Jeremy, the beloved, sheltered prince of the Kovrov family—the one boy he absolutely shouldn’t be falling for.

Jeremy’s been in love with cocky, talented Luke since they were kids. But from their first kiss, something’s missing. Jeremy’s family keeps generations of deadly secrets, forcing him to choose between love and loyalty. As Luke fights to break the curse, a magical, citywide war starts crackling, and it’s tied to Jeremy.

This might be the one curse Luke can’t uncross. If true love’s kiss fails, what’s left for him and Jeremy?

 

The Review

The Uncrossing by Melissa Eastlake was a book I was really looking forward to reading. The entire premise of curse work and Russian rivalries plus M/M YA story line reeled me in. But I was a bit disappointed. In the beginning I had a hard time keeping track of all the characters and usually that is never a problem for me. Within the first chapter I usually have it but I kept getting Luke and Jeremy confused for each other.

Then I got bogged down in understanding just what uncrossing and crossing really was. It didn’t seem to be the focus like I thought it would be. I actually got lost with what the main conflict was until the last 20%.

What I did like was the relationship between Luke and Jeremy. It was well written once I got everyone right in my mind. They were really sweet and fun to read in scenes together. I feel like if this could have been longer, the details drawn out a little clearer, this would have been an amazing book that I’d want to read over and over.
Will I read Melissa Eastlake’s work again? Most likely. She caught my interest and had a interesting storyline.

I received an E-Book copy of The Uncrossing by Melissa Eastlake via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Link: Here on Amazon