Sunday, November 1, 2015

October Top Reads #reviews #Giveaway

It's TOP READS time!!!! As always, the date the book published has no bearing on this, just that I read it in the month of October.

It was a great month for books I tell ya! I got lucky more times than not. I'll show you the 6 I've chosen and at the end of this post you can enter the rafflecopter for your chance to win one of these amazing books.

Stygian by Santino Hassell
Jeremy has been isolated and adrift since the death of his brother. Most people just see him as the skinny emo kid who wears eyeliner and plays drums. No one gets him. Nobody tries. He thought the indie rock band Stygian would become his anchor, but—lost in their own problems—they’re far from the family he sought.

Still, hoping to get close to Kennedy, the band's enigmatic guitarist, he follows Stygian to northern Louisiana for a summer retreat. They had planned to spend six weeks focusing on new music but things go awry as soon as they arrive at the long-deserted Caroway mansion. Tempers flare, sexual tension boils over into frustration, and Jeremy turns away from the band to find a friend in his eerily beautiful landlord Hunter Caroway.

Kennedy suspects there’s something off about the creepy mansion and its mysterious owners, but Jeremy thinks he's finally found somewhere he fits. It isn’t until Kennedy forces the Caroway’s secrets into the light that Jeremy realizes belonging sometimes comes with a price.

My Review:
Santino Hassell’s mind must be a tornado of creative genius. There’s no other way to explain how he not only manages to plot his books, but to brilliantly get it onto paper. Stygian is a hauntingly beautiful story about 4 misfit band members. Told in the point of view of Jeremy, the new member of the band. Jeremy is shattered. Utterly broken. He clings to a love that may not be. He is shrouded in a past so dark no light can illuminate hope. We follow this broken existence. See him grappling any solid happiness he can find. He’s mesmerized by the illusion others show him. These characters are facets of all things. I didn’t know who to believe. I felt like I was Jeremy. And in a way we are. We are experiencing all of this through him.
Santino’s ability to bring reality to a plotline such as this is breathtaking. Stygian is nothing like I thought it would be… it was far better. It sucked me in. It wrapped me up in these 4 boys and their lives. In their maybe futures. I’ve read hundreds (yes hundreds) of books so far in 2015 and I can say this is the best book of the year so far. Make it part of your life.

Borrowing Trouble by Kade Boehme

After an amicable divorce, Jay Hill decided to move back to his rural hometown with his teenage kids. Being on good terms with his ex-wife and in laws has made the transition into single life pretty smooth. Things were good and uncomplicated. Then Landon Petty walked into his life.

Landon didn’t expect to still be stuck in his hometown working at his dad’s sawmill at this point in his life. Being an openly gay truck driver was as awkward in practice as in description. When Jay came to take over managerial duties at his dad’s business, Landon was surprised to find a friend. When Jay turns out not to be as straight as he thought, things get complicated.

When feelings for Landon shine a light on how much Jay’s life has been actually half lived, he’s forced to decide if he’ll jump in with both feet or if he’ll let Landon slip through his fingers.

My Review:
Whenever I start a Kade Boehme book I prepare myself for a few things. 1. that I'm going to hurt a bit in my wee little heart. 2. I'm going to fall in love with the characters and be sad to see them go. And 3. I'm going to have a book hangover. With Borrowing Trouble all of that happened.

The second Landon hit the page I shook my head and muttered, "I'm gonna love this man." And I did. What a gorgeous character he is. From the gentle giant thing he had going on to his radiating love for Jay.

Where Landon and Jay live, an open love like theirs is extremely difficult. Kade does an exemplary job of showing us that. That was where my heart hurt the most. A love like theirs shouldn't be hidden. We need more happy, more real and true love in this world.

Now Beth (Jay's ex) I liked her, then hated her, and settled on being happy just to never speak of her again. LOL. I got where she was coming from. The not understanding, but on a personal level I wanted to smack her upside the head.

What I took away from this book was, you have to live your life. YOURS. You owe it to yourself to be the best part of you. It affects those around you to see you so blissfully happy. The world won't always embrace it, but you need to live for you and not for the world. And you need to let your someone love you and return that. It's the most powerful thing in the world.

This is another breathtaking and wonderful book by Kade Boehme.

Redeeming Hope by Shell Taylor

Fifteen years ago Elijah Langley’s world came to an abrupt halt with the death of his high school boyfriend. He keeps his past—and his sexual orientation—hidden until he attends a fundraiser for The Center for HOPE, an LGBT youth center, where he meets Adam Lancaster, HOPE’s infuriatingly stubborn and sexy founder.

A survivor of a turbulent childhood, Adam understands better than most the challenges his youth face. He’s drawn to Elijah’s baby blues and devilish smile but refuses to compromise his values and climb back into the closet for anyone—not even the man showering time and money on HOPE. Months of constant flirting wear down Adam’s resolve until he surrenders to his desires, but Elijah can’t shake his demons.

When a youth from the center is brutally assaulted, Elijah must find a way to confront the fears and memories that are starting to ruin his life, so he can stand strong for those he loves.

My Review
It’s an amazing thing when an author writes a book that is not only amazing, beautiful, and wonderfully written but also tackles major issues. Shell Taylor has wrapped all the characters in Redeeming Hope into a reality that is overlooked too often. Our LGBT youth. Or as I like to call them, a huge chunk of our future.
Elijah and Adam are the MCs in this book. Elijah is a closeted bisexual man harboring great heartbreak and it’s affected him more than I think even he knows. Adam runs HOPE the center for these troubled kids. Together they not only have an amazing love story brewing but they are powerful and detrimental to the future of the center.
Then Shell Taylor went and did something that made me love and hate her. Enter Kollin. I saw Kollin in this story as the voice of the kids of HOPE. I LOVED that she wrote him. Many times I felt he was an MC and not a secondary. He is a glue, he is hope.
The dialog was brilliant and the emotions come across like you are actually feeling them. Shell Taylor has started something here. A series that I feel will be a favorite of mine.
Mastering reality within fiction isn’t always easy, yet Shell Taylor makes it look effortless. I highly recommend this moving book.

Whiskers of a Chance by Tempeste O’Riley
Jason Grant runs his own IT business from home, owns his own home, and has the best friend he could imagine. What he doesn’t have, or believe he will ever have, is love. When Jason catches a glimpse of his new neighbor on moving day, his libido ignites and his fascination in piqued. He even manages to concoct an excuse to go over and meet the man who makes him hope and want for more than he has in years.

Keith Skyler is a shifter in a world where his kind is known to only a few, but they don’t often mix and they never mate. Keith has been hoping for a mate since before he can remember, but gay lynx don’t have true mates. As far as he knows, they don’t have mates at all. However, while moving his little family across Seattle—and away from their tribe—his reality tips and spins more than he thought possible.

When these two men meet over a dish of five-cheese broccoli-noodle casserole, sparks fly. Who knew a welcome to the neighborhood gift could give both of them their chance at love?

My Review:

I do love a good shifter book and this one was wonderful! I LOVE this world Tempest has created! Jason lives in a world we only have dreamed about or seen on TV. A lynx shifter, Keith, moves across the street from him and raises the veil from Jason’s eyes. Suddenly he’s thrust in a world of shifters, vampires, and fantasy. This was a very entertaining story. I finished it in one day. Literally I got nothing done. It’s consuming and well written. The passion between Jason and Keith is like an inferno! Some serious alpha stuff happening here. If you’re a shifter fan you’ll love this book. If you’ve never read a shifter book but been thinking about giving it a try, well, look no further. Great book!

Vespertine by Leta Blake & Indra Vaughn

Can a priest and a rock star obey love's call?

Seventeen years ago, Jasper Hendricks and Nicholas Blumfeld's childhood friendship turned into a secret, blissful love affair. They spent several idyllic months together until Jasper's calling to the Catholic priesthood became impossible to ignore. Left floundering, Nicky followed his own trajectory into rock stardom, but he never stopped looking back.

Today, Jasper pushes boundaries as an out, gay priest, working hard to help vulnerable LGBTQ youth. He's determined to bring change to the church and the world. Respected, admired, and settled in his skin, Jasper has long ignored his loneliness.

As Nico Blue, guitarist and songwriter for the band Vespertine, Nicky owns the hearts of millions. He and his bandmates have toured the world, lighting their fans on fire with their music. Numbed by drugs and fueled by simmering anger, Nicky feels completely alone. When Vespertine is forced to get sober, Nicky returns home to where it all started.

Jasper and Nicky's careers have ruled their lives since they parted as teens. When they come face to face again, they must choose between the past's lingering ghosts or the promise of a new future.

My Review:
I love Leta Blake's work so hard. This was the first time I read any of Indra Vaughn's. ( I will be rectifying that now)

Now, I was skeptical at first when I read the blurb. Scared even. A priest. a rocker. long ago lovers. As a Christian I feared it would be insulting. I also feared it would be preachy. I'm sure some of you feel or felt the same way. I'm here to tell you it is none of those things.

Leta and Indra were so respectful.

Nicky and Jazz. Were there ever two men who loved more than these two did each other? I doubt it. A love that was like walking through a battlefield. Each hit hurt, each hit scarred. Each scar, a memory. Time was killer for them. Only when they reunite after Nicky not only hit rock bottom but crashed straight through to Hell's bedrock do we see their story. A story of long ago crashing into the present.

This is a friends to lovers back to friends back to lovers story LOL. This is a tale of strength, courage, trust, healing, and loyalty. God does work in mysterious ways. His answers aren't always clear and through Jazz we get such a crystal clear view of the struggle of choosing a path. One forever or the right forever.

Nicky and Jazz. Badger and fox. two sides of the same coin. One a saint one a sinner. And yet for them to be together makes so much sense.

This is a stunning story.

Dominque by Nicole Colville

What does it cost to sell yourself? Your body? Your heart? Your soul?

At eighteen, with no job, no money, and a young sister to care for, becoming an escort seemed the perfect answer, but by the age of twenty four, Dominque is left wondering how he can break free of his ‘short term’ solution.

Jacob is at the top of his profession, leaving him with no time or desire for a relationship. Caring for another person full time isn’t on his agenda, but that soon changes when fate steps in and offers him the chance of something more.

Unable to forget the intriguing brunette after their first date, Jacob is enticed to spend more time with Dominque, seeking to put the pain of the past behind them, and bring peace to the wounded bird who captivated him so easily. Only through gaining his trust can Jacob hope to set him free.

It’s not just the clients who pay

*A standalone book which can be read at any point during the series*

My Review:
The two main characters in this BDSM love story are Jacob, a successful Surgeon (who is also a Dom) and Dominque an escort for a high class service (he’s also a sub). Now, Dominque is trying to raise his sister and to do that he needs money so he makes the ultimate sacrifice to do so… control over his own body. His past isn’t the happiest but he remains so unbelievably strong!
Jacob is cold, all professional, unwilling to love a partner. Of course a last minute change brings Jacob face to face with Dominque… the last escort he wanted because it forces Jacob to accept love.
These are two men entering something they never have before… a relationship. Jacob gives Dominque so much of what he misses: a family, love, and the ability to submit again. In return Dominque gives Jacob love, understanding, control, and his heart. It’s a very beautiful story where we see the BDSM lifestyle mixing with everyday life. I love how it wasn’t easy and organizing the two lives to entwine with everything.
Nicole Colville wrote a story with wonderful characters. She had me worried a few times but in the end she came through.


Enter the Rafflecopter for your chance to win one of these Top Reads!
Contest ends November 15th! 
Good Luck everyone.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I think the best book that I read in October was Morning Report by Sue Brown or Last Dance with Mary Jane by John Goode. Both very different from each other but I loved them!

  2. Best book I read in October was Watching Out For Fangs (Cloverleah Pack #7)
    by Lisa Oliver. I love that series. All the books listed look tempting. Thanks for the chance.

  3. Thank you for including me on this amazing list.

  4. Great list!!! Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell was my best read for October. Looking forward to Stygian!

  5. The best book in October for me was A Call To Arms by David Weber. However that was an audio book so for the best one I read I actually go for two.
    They are the first two books from the series Alliance. Breeding Station and Battle Station by Chris T. Kat.

  6. You've picked some wonderful October books I loved "Whisker of Chance" and also "Stygian" was amazing.

  7. Among The Living by Jordan Castillo Price - I now have to have the whole series.

  8. What a great list of books this month. I really didn't get much chance to read this last month, so I would have to say that my read of Cardeno C's Perfect Imperfections was great.

  9. Reading Dominque now! And OMG I loved, loved Borrowing Trouble! My favorite thing had to be the importance he out on his discovery of the previous EMOTIONAL connections he had with men. Which came with the realization that he didn't have that with his excited-wife. I think it's such an important part of his self discovery plus it added more to the story for me.

  10. I read Carry On the Ocean last month so it's easy to say that that one was the best read on the month!

  11. I've read some very good books this month... but my favourite one, and only five-stars book on october was Marty and the Pilot by Harper Fox.