Heated Rivalry by Rachel Reid

41735449

Five out of Five Stars

The Summary: Nothing interferes with Shane Hollander’s game—definitely not the sexy rival he loves to hate.

Pro hockey star Shane Hollander isn’t just crazy talented, he’s got a spotless reputation. Hockey is his life. Now that he’s captain of the Montreal Voyageurs, he won’t let anything jeopardize that, especially the sexy Russian whose hard body keeps him awake at night.

Boston Bears captain Ilya Rozanov is everything Shane’s not. The self-proclaimed king of the ice, he’s as cocky as he is talented. No one can beat him—except Shane. They’ve made a career on their legendary rivalry, but when the skates come off, the heat between them is undeniable. When Ilya realizes he wants more than a few secret hookups, he knows he must walk away. The risk is too great.

As their attraction intensifies, they struggle to keep their relationship out of the public eye. If the truth comes out, it could ruin them both. But when their need for each other rivals their ambition on the ice, secrecy is no longer an option…

The Review

HOLY SMOKES YA’LL! I ate this book up in one sitting! That’s how much I liked this book.

Shane Hollander and Ilya Rozanov have always been pitted against each other, from when they met in juniors and into their professional careers. What no one knows is how wrong the rest of hockey world is. They’ve been seeing each other secretly since their draft. My favorite part of this book? We get the entire journey! Seriously, from the first time they hooked up and all the way through the current season and them acknowledging that perhaps there is more to their love/hate relationship.

There had always been a boundary that Shane refused to let Ilya cross, entrance into his bedroom. They would always end up everywhere else but in Shane’s bed. Once that changed, I knew it was going to be amazing. I was not let down. At all.

There was something about how cocky Ilya was and how down to earth Shane was that just worked well together. They balanced each other out while at the same time they pushed each other to be more. They did not let their romance get in the way of how they played on ice. I feel like it made them play harder, to prove who was the better hockey player.

Now, there is a lot of sex in this book. Normally that’s not my thing. But for this, it worked. As their relationship grew, how they were with each other changed as well. Their sexual relationship evolved with them and it wasn’t the same thing every scene.

Then the ending… *sigh* They schemed together to figure out a way to be able to spend more time with each other during the hockey season. Then they found a way to portray the change in the rivalry. I was so happy with the way this turned out. I still want more of Ilya and Shane!

Get your copy here!

Slammed into You by C.M. Valencourt

44080752

Four Stars out of Five

The Summary: It’s not easy hating who’s someone so goddamn hot.

Amir is a rising slam poet who wants to make it big. While he works a day job at a café, he writes poems like his life depends on it and performs at a local poetry slam every week.

When Landon, the hot new guy desperate to prove himself, joins the team, he threatens Amir’s chance to go to Nationals. Landon soon finds himself locked in a fiery battle with Amir, and they’re both out for blood.

They can’t stand each other. But when a huge fight turns from hatred to fierce passion, they can no longer ignore their attraction to each other. Now they must confront their growing feelings while they vie for the last spot on the team. Can one come out on top without losing the other?

The Review

Amir is a budding slam poet with hopes of making something out of his work. He works with a group of poets to improve his work and to compete. His life gets turned upside down when Landon, a new poet with something to prove, joins the team. Amir and Landon can’t stand each other from the get go. Amir feels threatened that Landon might take his spot on the team, and he may end up being a better poet than Amir. That would be a hard pill to swallow.

A passion filled fight turns from words to harsh kisses and touches changes everything for Amir and Landon. Both men enjoy the time they have with each other but its still in the back of their heads that they want a spot on to compete at Nationals. A surprising opportunity for Amir threatens everything he has built with Landon and his slam team. Can he fix what he’s risked?

As soon as I started reading this, I was immediately thrown back into my creative writing club days of high school. We were always trying to make sure we bettered each other’s writing, gave constructive criticism, and there was always that one person who had to be better than the rest of us. The group of characters were just as diverse as any creative writing group that I’ve been part of. It brought up fun memories while I was reading. I loved that we got to see different cultures at work and how their religion influenced their lives. I haven’t read many M/M books with a Muslim main character, so this was a new experience for me.

Their distaste for each other was palpable in the beginning. I almost grimaced whenever they would get in close proximity of each other because I was like, ‘what’s going to happen now?’. I will admit, it was a little strange how quickly they went from enemies, to sweet lovers. But it really didn’t bother me once I was amid them learning about each other and going on dates. They were kind of adorable.

Amir though, that fella needed to get his act together towards the end. I wanted to shake him. Like why do you have to be like that Amir? I was very glad when he woke up and realized what he had been doing.

What I also enjoyed was the fact that poetry was used in the novel It wasn’t only referenced. There were poems from the slams and then the paired poem that Amir and Landon worked on together. It made what I was reading that much more powerful.

I’m definitely looking forward to reading more in the series!

Get Your Copy Here

All Souls Near and Nigh by Hailey Turner

44415720

Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: You can’t bargain with death if you’ve already sold your soul.

Special Agent Patrick Collins has been reassigned by the Supernatural Operations Agency to New York City. Navigating his new relationship with Jonothon de Vere, the werewolf he’s now soulbound to, is nothing compared to dealing with territorial disputes between the vampires and werecreatures who call the five boroughs home. But the delicate treaties that have kept the preternatural world in check are fraying at the edges, and the fallout is spilling into the mundane world.

Manhattan’s club scene is overrun with the vampire drug known as shine and the subways have become a dumping ground for bodies. When the dead are revealed as missing werecreatures, Patrick and Jono find themselves entangled in pack politics twisted by vampire machinations.

Learning to trust each other comes with problems for both of them, and the gods with a stake in Patrick’s soul debt aren’t finished with him yet. Bound by promises they can’t break, Patrick and Jono must find a way to survive a threat that takes no prisoners and is stalking them relentlessly through the city streets.

Old and new betrayals are coming home to roost but the truth—buried in blood—is more poisonous than the lies being spun. Trying to outrun death is a nightmare—one Patrick may never wake up from.

The Review

All Souls Near and Nigh is the sequel we’ve all be waiting for. It’s full of action, grit, and a self-made pack trying to find their feet.  It was an excellent follow up to A Ferry of Bones and Gold.

Special Agent Patrick Collins has been permanently reassigned to New York City. He’s navigating a fledgling relationship with Jono de Vere, who he now shares a soul bond with. Through all of this, there’s a territorial dispute between the vampires, werecreatures going missing, and gods who can’t seem to leave Patrick be.  He’s never going to get away from the God’s.

Jono’s storyline with the God Pack is my favorite part of this story. Actually all of the chapters told from Jono’s point of view had me on the edge of my seat, anxious for what was to come. Lucien, the gods, they were secondary for me. Jono made his stand against the God Pack. I did not realize that I had been waiting for him to do that until now. I’m invested in Jono, ya’ll. I still need to know why Fenrir has chosen Jono. There are too many possibilities and I need answers!

Things I wished for in this novel? More scenes with just Patrick and Jono. I felt like at times they were operating outside of each other. Patrick was still getting used to the fact that Jono was there and had his back, while Jono’s mind was focused on his pack. I’m excited to see them working as a unit that knows each other.

Overall this was a great novel and I’m looking forward to the next in the series coming out.

Get your copy here

The Rising by Morgan Brice

44012425

Four out of Five Stars

The Summary:  A big storm is brewing, there’s a killer on the loose, and the ghosts of Myrtle Beach are restless. Psychic medium Simon Kincaide and his sexy cop boyfriend, homicide detective Vic D’Amato have their hands full helping the Grand Strand brace for rough surf, driving rain, and high winds as a winter storm roars toward shore.

Everyone’s on edge, and rumors are rampant about sightings of Blackcoat Benny, a ghostly omen of danger, and worse, the Gallows Nine, the spirits of nine infamous criminals hanged back in the 1700s, a harbinger of disaster. Rough tides wash the wreck of an old pirate ship into shallow waters, high winds threaten to damage an old mansion with a dark past, and the citizens of the beach town hunker down to ride out the storm.

As the skies grow dark and the sea turns wild, several men from prominent local families end up dead under suspicious circumstances. Simon’s premonition confirms Vic’s gut feeling—the killing is just getting started. As Simon tries to reach out to the spirits of the murdered men to help the investigation, he’s attacked by malicious ghosts that don’t want anyone getting in the way of their long-overdue vengeance.

With the storm hammering the coast, and new victims piling up, Simon is certain that the sins and secrets of the past are coming due, and that the murders have a supernatural link. Vic and Simon race to stop the murders against an unholy deadline, but as they battle rising tides and risen ghosts, can they save the intended victims without getting trapped themselves?

The Review

A storm washes in more than then skeleton of past pirate ships a shore. As the storm approaches suspicious deaths start occurring of men of from local families that don’t quite make sense. Homicide detective Vic D’Amato brings in his psychic medium boyfriend Simon Kincaide in to see if he can pick up on why these men are dying. At the same time Simon is trying to make historical Socastee Manor safe from vicious spirits for the crew that is working to bring it back to its former glory.

What I loved about the second book in the Bandlands series? The pirate lore and the connections that linked past and present. It was fun seeing how events of the past were coming to effect the present. I still have moments where I got that chill running up and down my spine and made me want to look over my shoulder (even though I was reading in bed and my bed is against a wall). The Socastee Manor scenes were the shining star for me. The descriptions were rich, the spirits were so different to each other that it didn’t feel like the same ole’ same ole’. It felt fresh and slightly chilling. I was there in the manor watching and feeling all the terror that the characters were feeling.

Vic and Simon were just as delicious in this book as they were in the first book. Vic had a hard time balancing being a cop and being a significant other in regards to Simon and that struggle was realistic. I think it if had been glossed over like it is in so many books, I might have given it an eye roll, because that’s not how Simon and Vic are. Their feelings towards each other are intense, still fresh, and they do their best to protect each other.

I’m looking forward to what this couple will be facing next.

Get your copy here

Perfect Partners by Maggie Cummings

40653484

Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: Sara Wright knows better than to fall for a cop.

For Sara, an elite police dog trainer for the federal government, attractive women in uniform are an occupational hazard. But she gave her heart to a coworker once before and the battle scars from that failed relationship are still fresh. She dodges every chance at romance with the officers she trains, focusing her energy on turning out the finest handler-canine teams in the country. But when annoyingly perky, unfairly sexy Isabel Marquez arrives at Homeland Security’s Northeast Regional Training facility brimming with excitement, and a surprising desire to succeed, Sara’s good intentions start to falter. She can’t help being drawn to Isabel’s enthusiasm, and, okay, her long dark hair and brilliant smile don’t hurt either. Keeping their contact limited to friendship is harder than she thought. When it comes to enforcing her own rules of the heart, Sara might need to break a few for a chance at forever.

The Review

If you are looking for a quick, fun read then this is the book for you.

Isabel Marquez arrives bright eyed and excited to become a K-9 officer. She’s determined to do her absolute best and prove that favors weren’t all that got her into this position. Sara Wright trains the officers and dogs for the real world and all the risks that come with being a K-9 officer. She doesn’t want to get involved with another cop, but it’s hard to resist Isabel especially once Chase picks her as his officer. There is no other way to explain the bond between Isabel and Chase but it was moving seeing the two get to know each other and learn to work together.

What I really enjoyed about this book with the romance. It wasn’t too spicy and it fit Sara and Isabel. Their relationship was gentle, kind and well thought out. I liked the realistic sex scenes (that felt odd admitting to) but it wasn’t like last few books where I needed to skip a few pages. The way they touched each other was intentional and done with care. I like a soft, subtle romance scene. That’s what you got with this book.

There was a little drama with Sara’s previous girlfriend, but it wasn’t too angsty.  It kept the story moving and helped us learn more about Sara’s past and why she does what she does. Family was also an important aspect in this novel. While we didn’t get huge family scenes, the ones we did get were enjoyable and felt exactly how you would feel meeting your significant other’s family.

This was a cozy romance with a touch a spice.

Get your Copy Here

Wild as the West Texas Wind by Jackie North

43787252

Five out of Five Stars

The Summary: Soulmates across time. Two hearts that were meant to be together.

In present day, Zach takes a road trip to Trinidad to find information on a missing friend.

In 1892, Layton Blue, outlaw, longs for hearth and home even as he treasures his life of freedom.

A freak rainstorm washes Zach’s car into a ditch, sending him back to the year 1892. Searching for help, alone and on foot in the middle of the nowhere, he crosses paths with the famous Ketchum Gang. Now the gang’s prisoner, Zach’s fate is to be sold at a seedy auction for whores.

Layton is put in charge of making sure Zach does not escape, but as the chemistry between them grows, Layton finds himself wanting to help Zach.

Can Layton overcome years of being on the run? Can Zach accept help from an outlaw?

The Review

Zach is searching for his best friend Laurie trying to understand how he could have disappeared from a Dude Ranch and then sent a letter from 1892 to the present. After a freak rainstorm, Zach finds himself in 1892 face to face with an outlaw gang. Layton gets charged with keeping an eye on Zach after Zach becomes ill. The tension that had been building between the two men grows more intense as they separate from the Ketchum Gang.

The romance between Zach and Layton was warm, slow burn. And I loved every page of it. Their romance starts out simply, sharing a blanket for warmth. Then their attraction grows as Layton takes care of an ill Zach. The trouble he went through to show Zach he was different from the rest of the outlaws made me swoon (just a little). And the shaving scene – I don’t know why it does it for me, but that scene made my heart flutter. It was placed in the perfect place in the storyline.

I loved the way Zach and Layton looked out for each other. Layton helped stop Zach from being too obnoxious towards Ketchum. While Zach helped Layton see that he could have what he wished for even if he didn’t think it was possible.

North has a way with creating a setting that puts you directly into the story. It’s rich, vibrant and everything I needed for a western romance. I could feel the heart of the day and the cold desert nights. I felt like I was in the west with sand in my boots. There is attention to creating a historically accurate world, and it’s successfully done.

AND!! Holy smokes, can I just say that I love the covers to this series? They are amazing. And I want physical copies to have on my bookshelf. That’s how much I love these books, the covers and everything about them.

**Due to be released February 23, 2019 – I’ll update with a Buy Link soon!**

Ghost of Himself by Pandora Pine

42944791

Three out of Five Stars

The Summary: When a reclusive psychic shows up looking for Jude Byrne in his adopted hometown of Salem, Massachusetts, the private investigator’s walls go up instantly. Psychic or not, this mysterious man knows secrets about Jude’s past that are better left buried in the New Mexico desert. Stranger still is the personality change that comes over the flirty P.I. after he meets the newcomer.

Psychic Copeland Forbes is a man on the edge. The once popular and well-respected medium has lived in seclusion since an attack by a former student has shaken his confidence in his abilities. Sickened by an ailment no doctor can diagnose, he travels from his home in Louisiana to seek out the one man he believes he can help him, if the rumors are true.

Faced with an enemy possessing powers greater than either man has ever faced alone, will Jude and Copeland decide to work together to defeat this dark magick? Or will both men continue on as they are now, ghosts of themselves?

The Review

Copeland Forbes has been secluded himself since he had been attacked by a former lover/student in his magick shop. He’s been facing psychic attacks and can’t cope any longer. He ends up in Salem Massachusetts looking for Jude Bryne because he’s the one man that can apparently help him.

As we learn more about Jude and his Healer abilities, the answers Copeland is searching for slowly unfurls just as the chemistry between the two men does as well. What I liked about this book was seeing the ensemble of the Cold Case Psychic Cast. It was fun seeing them as the not so main characters (honestly they were though). Of course, Bertha was a star.

So very unpopular opinion, I had problems with this book, and it KILLS me to admit it. I loved Pine’s Cold Case Psychic series (what I’ve read of it so far). That being said, you should know something about me. I am a Louisiana native and live twenty minutes from New Orleans. There is the problem right there. I’m a native reading a novel written by someone who is very much northern. There’s no one way say, “crawdad” unless we’re making fun of someone. We don’t all speak French or have a Cajun accent. Typically you find that four hours west, in Lafayette. We have flat accents. You’ll find more Spanish speaking folks in the French Quarter than French. I know, sounds ridiculous but it’s the truth. We do not run around saying, “NOLA”. It irked my nerves. What you see on NCIS New Orleans is not what you actually get in New Orleans.

So besides all of that – which most people won’t even bat an eye at – this was extremely repetitive. Especially concerning Jude’s inner thoughts and going over the same situations with different characters at different times. We know the characters need to know, but you can tell us in a different way that these characters were informed. I feel like that was used as filler and to get the page count up. The resolution seemed like an after thought because there was so much build up and then bleh. Not that exciting.

This was honestly a miss for me. But it might not be for you. Check it out.

Order your copy here

 

 

Rough Terrain by Annabeth Albert

41121276

Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: The camping trip from hell may be the first stop on the road to happily-ever-after in Rough Terrain, the final book in Annabeth Albert’s critically acclaimed, fan-favorite Out of Uniform series.

Navy SEAL Renzo Bianchi has a soft spot for Canaan Finley, and not only because the man makes a mean smoothie. He’s the first guy to get Renzo’s motor revving in a long time. But when he agrees to Canaan’s insane charade—one all-access fake boyfriend, coming right up—he never expects more than a fling.

Creating a hot Italian SEAL boyfriend to save face seemed like a good idea…until his friends called Canaan’s bluff. Now he’s setting off into the woods with the very man who inspired his deception, and Canaan is not the outdoorsy type. The sparks are already flying when a flash flood separates them from their group, leaving Renzo and Canaan very much trapped…very much alone in the wilderness.

Working together to come up with a plan for survival is sexier than either of them expects. But back in the real world, being a couple is bringing its own set of hazards…

The Review

Canaan Finley works at a smoothie shop that Renzo Bianchi (aka Rooster) and other SEALs like to frequent. He doesn’t only have a weakness for men in uniform, there’s more to him. He takes care of his grandfather and he’s studying to be the nurse and he sometimes fills in as a drummer for his former band when needed. When he is invited on a camping trip with those former band mates, they don’t want him coming alone. He makes up a story saying his SEAL boyfriend may not be able to make it, duty calls at any time. The problem is, he doesn’t have a SEAL boyfriend. After spending an evening with Renzo he broaches the topic to see if may Renzo wouldn’t mind pretending for the weekend. When disaster strikes, they both acknowledge that there may be something more there. But can Canaan handle being with someone in the military, who moves around when it’s needed and is deployed at moment’s notice?

Oh, ya’ll, fake boyfriend trope? Sign me up every freaking time. Add in lots of kissing? Annabeth Albert can write some intense kissing scenes. Like when I become a super amazing author, I want to write kissing scenes like hers, kind of intense. There was an intimacy Renzo and Canaan’s kisses that I feel like a lot of authors over look between their characters. That level of intimacy shows a level of trust, understanding and caring between Renzo and Canaan. I’m a sucker for it and I have no shame.

Renzo, no matter how much pride he takes in his body, he’s still insecure. It hurt knowing that there were parts of his romantic life he had been denying himself. He tried so hard to be the perfect SEAL, son, brother and I think that quest for perfection caused a rift in himself. I could relate entirely on that part (except my body is NOT a temple lol). Canaan was so gentle with Renzo and showed him bits and pieces of his life. I think Renzo needed the balance that Canaan offered him and because of that balance he bloomed.

Of course there were parts that you wanted to shake Renzo and be like, “Why are you doing this to yourself?!” But it took someone at work, which everyone should have a boss like that, who kind of woke him up to what was happening and why he was feeling the way he was.

I absolutely loved this installment of the Out of Uniform Series and I’m looking forward to Annabeth’s new series that is to be set in Alaska!! She is definitely one of my favorite authors that I recommend to everyone who reads, or is interested in reading M/M.

Pre-Order/Order Here

Going Down by Barbara Bell

42639668

3.5 out of 5 Stars

The Summary: Trapped in an elevator with her boss… 

Ellie has been trying to keep her distance from Casey, her supervisor, ever since last year’s Christmas party. A quickie in a bathroom stall left both women breathless…and more than a little embarrassed when they rejoined the party. Workplace snogging is highly inappropriate.

Though enormously erotic.

Body temperatures are already rising when Ellie and Casey find themselves alone in the elevator one Friday night at the office. When the lift comes to a grinding stop, awkward isn’t large enough a word.

Trapped in an elevator with her boss. Her tall, powerful, beautiful boss—the woman who monopolizes Ellie’s fantasies and sneaks into her dreams.

Whatever will they do to pass the time?

The Review

First, let me give you a little background on Dirty Bits by Carina Press. Dirty Bits gives you what you want, when you want it. Designed to be read in an hour or two, these sex-filled microromances are guaranteed to pack a punch and deliver a happily-ever-after. So any time I review one of these, expect a micro-review, because I’m not giving everything away 😉

Ellie and her boss, Casey, may have crossed a line in a bathroom stall at the previous work Christmas Party. It’s been months and Ellie has been avoiding Casey and only speaking to her boss about work matters when they used to be friends with each other. It takes getting trapped in an elevator for a couple of hours together for Ellie to relive the mind blowing experience, and try to figure out where they went wrong.

The sex between the two is going to leave you fanning yourself and wondering how Ellie could have ever let Casey disappear out of her life as a potential lover. There’s a specific part that I wasn’t really into and I’m finding this in a lot of lesbian erotica, check the tags for that spoiler, but the rest of it was great. I’d definitely want to visit Ellie and Casey again to find out how their relationship has progressed.

Pre-Order/Order your Copy Here