Unexpected Christmas by Nell Iris

A flash review, just for you!

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Four out of Five Stars

Summary:  All alone, caught in a blizzard—without a coat—on Christmas Day. Would you accept a ride from a huge guy looking like a serial killer?

Review:

If you’re looking for a quick, spicy but sweet holiday read, this is definitely one to add to your list. Daniel experience a crappy family holiday and escapes into some pretty terrible weather without a coat or boots. He ends up being rescued by Axel, a mountain of a man who may or may not be a serial killer. Daniel had me cracking up with that. I loved Axel. How could you not? Especially when it comes to his niece Bea.

I hope that we might get another story about Axel and Daniel but if not, it left me satisfied and happy.

 Purchase Here

Curses, Foiled Again

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Three out of Five Stars

Summary: Felix is a vampire—a fierce creature of the night who strikes terror into the hearts of everyone unlucky enough to become his prey. Or at least, that’s what he thought was true, until he met John. John is completely unimpressed with Felix, much to his dismay. Felix becomes fixated on proving his ferocity to John—and when that doesn’t work, he strives to make any impression on him at all.

John is a witch, and as all witches know, vampires are notoriously stupid creatures who only have the power to hurt those who fear them. Besides, he’s under a curse much more frightening than any vampire. Felix’s desperate attempts to impress him annoy John at first, but gradually, they become sort of endearing. Because of his curse, John has pushed everyone in his life away. But Felix can’t be hurt, so there’s no harm in letting him hang around.

Felix is technically dead. John has nothing left to live for. But together, they might have a shot at life

The Review

 

Curses, Foiled Again features a cursed witch (John) who is not at all impressed with the vampire (Felix) that has focused on him. Eventually, John can’t help but be won over by Felix’s determination.

This is going to be an interesting review. At times I absolutely loved this book. Then there were times I got bored and set my reader down in favor of watching prison shows on Netflix. At times it felt like I was reading three different books featuring the same characters in each book.

The beginning I found funny. There was a vampire who was trying so hard to be scary it was comical. When John gave in, he gave in fast. The tone shifted to more of a contemporary romance kind of vibe. I was down for it. I like my romance any way I can get it. But after reading a little more, BAM! tone shift to the dark, thriller aspect I had expected since the beginning of the book.

I understand the curse, the spell Richard preformed between John and Felix changed John but, I didn’t like how rushed those last chapters felt. I feel like I missed a few chapters. I didn’t. I checked.

BUT!

I don’t think I ever met characters like John, Felix, or Lo. They were unique and I loved them. Lo kicked ass and had a mine like my own. Felix I adored. He made me laugh, hide from second-hand embarrassment, and how sweet he became with John made my heart melt. John, I related to him and his predetermined fate with his curse. Sometimes, with a chronic illness, I think why bother? John did this A LOT and I could completely understand that. John found a reason why he should bother in Felix.

So I was on the fence with this one and will give the author another go if I see something by her but I’m not rushing out to the store.

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Ivory by J. Rocci

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Five out of Five Stars!!

*originally published in 2010, first time reading for me in 2017*

Summary: Trapped by familial obligations, engaged to a fiancée he doesn’t love, and crippled by the regrets of his past, Dr. Bradley Durrant is miserable and rapidly caring less about his own health as he works himself to the bone at the family hospital. But then he meets Nashan Windham, the grandson of his late father’s scandalous old friend, and Brad’s downward spiral is derailed, at least for the moment.

Brad lets Nashan and his grandfather pull him into a world where families—blood and the ones you choose—support each other and understand that love is unconditional. Brad gets his life together again, with Nashan’s help, and he can finally accept who he is and knows what he wants, but can he convince Nashan?

The Review

Ivory by J. Rocci is about Dr. Bradley Durrant who feels trapped by familial obligations and that he can’t be who he truly is. He’s barely living life, if what you call what he is doing living. He’s barely there and quickly spiraling. Then he starts playing chess with his elderly neighbor, Mr. Windham, every Tuesday. During these games he slowly begins to heal and wake up from the passive way he had been living.

During one of these chess nights, Brad meets Mr. Windham’s grandson, Nashan. As Brad spends time with the Windham’s he starts to flourish and becomes the man he always hoped to be. He’s happy, taking time for himself and enjoying life.

I think what resonated with me was the fact that I can relate to Brad so much. It hurt seeing how much he had given up on life and was only living for his patients. Then when Nashan appeared, it was the little bit of hope Brad needed to make a change. Nashan offered Brad something he never had. A true friend. Seeing their relationship blossom, it just left me feeling like I was wrapped up in a warm blanket snuggled up with my pillows. That good ya’ll.

Now I’m going to go find everything by Rocci and read it. So if you don’t hear from me for a while, my bad.

Purchase Here

Eight Nights in December by Keira Andrews

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Five out of Five Stars!!

Summary: A geek. A virgin. One sexy holiday.

Orphaned Lucas figures spending the holidays with his obnoxious roommate’s family in New York City is better than staying alone on campus upstate. He ends up sharing a room again, this time with his roommate’s brother, Nate. Geeky photographer Nate isn’t at all what Lucas expects. In fact, he’s incredibly sexy—especially when he invites Lucas into his darkroom…

They hide their attraction during Hanukkah celebrations, but behind closed doors, Lucas and Nate can’t keep their hands (or mouths) off each other. Nate’s only looking for a bit of holiday fun, and amazing sex with a hot virgin definitely fits the bill. Yet as the candles burn, Nate and Lucas begin to realize eight nights will never be enough.

The Review

Eight Nights in December by Keira Andrews is a Hanukkah based romance. Lucas gets talked into spending the university winter holiday with his room mate’s family where he meets Nate. Sparks almost immediately start flying between the two.

I’ve never outright looked for a Hannukah romance but I was excited to see it. I wanted to spend my morning curled up in bed reading it. That’s exactly what I did.

Lucas is unsure of himself and it’s perfectly awkward. I’m just like Lucas in that sense. I don’t really want to be here but okay, looks like I’m stuck here vibe. His inner dialogue was spot on and he had me laughing out loud.

Nate, oh goodness. The geeky, sex god. Is that even possible? Well it is now. I have a thing for glasses and Andrews took the time to write about taking them off in sex scenes. (I know I’m a weirdo, but you just don’t fling your glasses off in a fit of passion. And you definitely don’t let them smash against your face while kissing. Say no to dirty lenses kids.)

My favorite part was how both Nate and Lucas were written. They learned who they were as their story progressed. They both came to their own realizations about who they believed they were and wanted to be. Then they came to a few realizations as a couple.

This left me smiling and wanting to read more about these sweet, smart, sexy boys.

Would I recommend this? Yes! Go get it now!!!

To be published on December 7, 2017.

Obsession by Theophilia St. Claire

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Five out of Five Stars

Summary: Nick has a hard life. Not only is he working at an East Harlem bar to make ends meet and pay for his sister’s medical expenses, he’s also on the run from a shady past that’s surely catching up to him.

Most people think Claude has it easy due to the money and luxury surrounding him. But they would be wrong. Firmly trapped beneath his stern father’s thumb, Claude’s pre-determined life took a nosedive when his lover, Christian, left him a year ago.

When the two meet, sparks do not instantly fly between them. Claude thinks Nick is his ex-lover returned to him. Nick thinks Claude is crazy.

However, circumstances bring these two men together. And despite Claude’s jealousy and possessive nature, Nick is falling for him. Sick of being mistaken for Claude’s ex, Nick is willing to find out what happened to him—the real Christian. He’ll have to if he wants a stable relationship with Claude. How Claude takes the truth, however, is the only thing that scares him.

The Review

Obsession is the story of Nick, Claude and the dangerous romance they find themselves immersed in. But is all the danger a physical threat or perhaps a psychological whirl wind as well. Nick works at Jen’in’s Bar for minimum wage and crappy tips in order to help pay his sister’s medical bills. Ever since his childhood, he’s faced abuse and desperation, so it isn’t new for him to face precarious situations and to take advantage of them

Claude is a wealthy, business man who sees Nick during a client meeting and believes Nick to be his ex, Christian. It becomes an obsession for Claude. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to get Nick’s attention, keep it and to have him forever.

My first thought as I read was, how could Nick entertain Claude believing him to be a different person. Then I started to understand it. Claude had everything Nick could ever want and he’s willing to please Nick in any possible way; romantically, monetarily, and sexually. Nick developing feelings for someone showering him with that much attention was completely understandable. That would be hard to walk away from.

I thought I would absolutely hate Claude but as crazy as it sounds, I empathized with the psychotic man. There was something about it that made me hope that Claude would see Nick as who he truly was sooner rather than later. There was something about Eric, for as good as he was, that made me weary.

It wasn’t until close to the end that I came to the right conclusion about “Christian” and what had happened to him. I liked how St. Claire kept me on my toes the entire time. I kept asking myself question after question. When was Claude going to lose it? How was he going to lose it? Where was Christian? Was he going to show up? Obsession kept me on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was going to happen.

It broke did break my heart, just a little bit, how everything turned out. But I feel like St. Claire did the story line justice.

Would I recommend this to other readers? Oh yes! I’m looking forward to reading more from St. Claire.

Expected release date: December 4, 2017 from NineStar Press

Time Will Tell by M. Ullrich

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Three stars out of five stars

Summary: What would you do if you could go back in time and change your past?
For Eva Caldwell that question is a no-brainer. After her parents were murdered while she was away at summer camp, Eva was placed into the custody of her abusive uncle and bullied in school. She’d gladly go back and change it all. When her uncle passes, Eva discovers he created a time machine. The problem with the once-hypothetical question becomes clear: changing the course of her past would mean giving up Casey McClellan, her best friend and the girl her heart has belonged to since she was twelve years old.
Will Eva choose to save her parents’ lives or take a chance on the love of a lifetime?

The Review

I want to preface this review by saying, I kind of liked this book, but the summary is extremely misleading. When I first started reading Time Will Tell by M. Ullrich I thought I was reading a completely different book and a mistake had been made in NetGalley’s system. No mistake made.  Time travel is not the focus of this book. It’s in there, briefly, but don’t expect it.

Now on to what I liked.

I loved Eva and Casey’s relationship. We got to see it in the early stages during high school and how electric that attraction continued to be once they became adults. I’ve always wanted to read a book that showed that kind of evolution in a relationship. The intensity they fell into such an intimate relationship bothered me. How can Casey, who was so heart broken, forgiven Eva that easily? There was so much time spent in their teenage years, I feel as though their adult relationship deserved that attention as well.

While it was difficult to justify how ‘in love’ the two were to jump into sex, the scenes were written very well. I’ll give M. Ullrich points for that. A lot of previous F/F pieces I’ve read used really disgusting terminology when it wasn’t needed. Ullrich wrote hot scenes without the use of swearing or raunchy descriptions. So A+ there.

There were jumps in time, moments where I felt like there could have been more information so the storyline didn’t give you whiplash. The ending was a bit rushed. There was no explanation of how Eva came to her decision to time jump. If there were maybe forty more pages of story, it would have been perfect.

As is, it’s not my favorite. I’m not jumping to go read more of Ullrich’s work.

Estimated on sale date:  December 1, 2017 – no purchase links as of 11/21/2017

 

Falling Into Her by Erin Zak

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Five out of Five stars

Summary: If you had the chance to grab on to happiness and not let go, would you?

Kathryn Hawthorne, local Chicago celebrity, thinks everything in her life is just fine. She has friends, money, a job—everything she needs to survive. Except, of course, love, which, after getting her heart broken, she avoids like the plague. Pam Phillips, on the other hand, just buried the love of her life—her husband of twenty-one years. The last thing she wants is a new friend, let alone a new love interest. When the two women meet and swap witty banter, things start to change. Kathryn can feel that familiar tug of desire in her chest as she suggests—in a smooth as silk way—that they meet up again someday. In a moment of pure insanity—or desperation—Pam decides to take a chance. What happens next changes Pam’s life forever.

 

The Review

Falling into Her by Erin Zak is a story about two women who fight their attraction for one another and eventually fall for each other. Kathryn Hawthorne is 32 years old and has given up on love after having her heart broken too many times. Pam Philips is 40 years old, and has buried her husband recently when she meets Kathryn in the local boutique she works at. The attraction is immediate for Kathryn and is a slow, curious burn for Pam. On a whim Kathryn leaves her phone number for Pam and to her surprise, Pam texts.

They go through a series of coffee dates, and the entire time Kathryn is focused on just remaining friends despite her growing attraction and the cues Pam is giving that she is interested as well. Throughout their time as friends, they have a lot of personal, confessional type conversations. Which I liked. You could see how much their relationship was steadily growing.

Once their romance blossomed into something more, there were moments I had to stop and take a breath. These love scenes aren’t the overly done, raunchy scenes you see in a lot of books. It felt real. Pam’s anticipation, anxiety about being with a woman, her pleasure, you could feel it all.

I read this book in one sitting, that’s how much I liked it. It’s rare for me to find a book that I will stay up way past my bedtime to keep reading. I usually find a chapter break and quite. Falling Into her made that impossible.  I liked the way the text messages appeared. The conflict of meeting each other’s parents and how important that was to the both of them.

Would I recommend this book? Oh yes. I want to read more by Erin Zak ASAP.

Release Date: December 12, 2017

Purchase Here

If the Fates Allow

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Four out of Five Stars

Summary: During the holidays, anything is possible—a second chance, a promised future, an unexpected romance, a rekindled love, or a healed heart. Authors Killian B. Brewer, Lynn Charles, Erin Finnegan, Pene Henson, and Lilah Suzanne share their stories about the magic of the season.

 

The Review

If the Fates Allow, edited by Annie Harper and contributed to by: Killian Brewer, Lynn Charles, Erin Finnegan, Pene Henson, and Lilah Suzanne is a collection of Christmas shorts. If you need something light-hearted, funny, and touching, this is a great collection of stories to read.
I enjoyed each of the stories included. Each of them had their own unique flair and they weren’t just retellings of the traditional Christmas stories we all know.

I loved being able to hear the southern drawl of the characters in Brewer’s piece, Gracious Living Magazine Says It Has to Be a Live Tree. I couldn’t get over how perfect the match making was done through books in Shelved by Lynn Charles. Erin Finnegan gave me hope and made me want to cuddle up next to my love. True North, was my absolute favorite and I wish there were more about the couple. Halfway Home, wasn’t my favorite but there were some funny parts to it. I mean, how could there not be funny parts with a dog like Rudy.

I definitely would recommend this to others and I have found some new authors to check out.

Available for purchase December 1, 2017