Tuesday, March 1, 2016

February Top Reads #Reviews #Giveaway

Another month has come and gone and another Top Reads is born. I read a ridiculous amount of books in a month’s time so picking top reads of every month sometimes is hard!
This month it was difficult because I read many terrific books. Remember, these books didn’t have to be published this month… or even this year. I just had to read them within this month.

Here are the books that I chose were the greatest of the month for me:

Catch a Tiger by the Tail by Charlie Cochet

Calvin Summers and Ethan Hobbs have been best friends since childhood, but somewhere along the line, their friendship evolved into something more. With the Therian Youth Center bombing, Calvin realizes just how short life can be and no longer keeps his feelings for his best friend a secret. Unfortunately, change is difficult for Ethan; most days he does well to deal with his Selective Mutism and Social Anxiety. Calvin’s confession adds a new struggle for Ethan, one he fears might cost him the friendship that’s been his whole world for as long as he can remember.

As partners and Defense Agents at the THIRDS, being on Destructive Delta is tough at the best of times, but between call-outs and life-threatening situations, Calvin and Ethan not only face traversing the challenges of their job, but also working toward a future as more than friends.

My Review:
Book six of Charlie Cochet’s THIRDS Series focuses on Calvin and Ethan. But, like all Charlie’s books in this series, we get a huge dose of all the boys and girls. This book has been building for a long while. We get inside Ethan’s head for the first time. He suffers from selective mutism and severe anxiety. The poor Tiger therian tears my heart out constantly. It’s Calvin, his partner and best friend, who anchors him. They are one when they are together. We finally get to see them evolve in their relationship and individually. There’s A LOT of things uncovered in this book and not all of it is just about Calvin and Ethan. Do I tell you it ends on a cliffhanger? I’ll decide that later…. Where was I? Oh yeah…
Dex is humorous as EVER! My sides were killing me. Between Dex and Sloane, Ash and Cael, Calvin and Ethan. I laughed so hard. When you’ve followed these guys for 6 books you just sort of think of them as real and you mold into their lives.
There’s action, adventure, tears, kisses, hotness, Cael on caffeine, wet lions, and suspense. Charlie has written an outstanding book that will have you going through the wringer and looking for things to bribe her with so she can give us book 7… oh yeah, you will!
This is one of the best series I’ve read and the best characters!

Dom on the Side by Kate Aaron

“I’d love to Dom you one day. You’d be a natural.”

August, 2007. When a one-night stand makes Ryan Jessop a casual offer to introduce him to BDSM, he’s torn between denial of his submissive fantasies and their irresistible pull. Taking a chance, he discovers in Jim a skilled Dominant, and under his guidance, Ryan’s submission blossoms. Unfortunately, guidance is all Jim can offer. The one thing Ryan wants most—a loving Dom to whom he exclusively belongs—is off the table.

Sameer Farouk is the right guy at the wrong time, and as far as Ryan can tell, not kinky. No matter how clearly Ryan can foresee a future with Sameer, he refuses to settle for less than total compatibility, both in and out of the bedroom. Despite their obvious connection, breaking up is the right thing to do, even if it breaks Ryan’s heart.

Torn between them, Ryan must decide if he's prepared to gamble everything on one man, or if he'd be better off with a vanilla boyfriend and a Dom on the side.

*Dom on the Side is a prequel set in the Blowing It universe, and can be read as a standalone.

My Review:
It's writers like Kate Aaron that really raise the bar for authors everywhere. Seriously, each book she writes is not only perfectly researched but she manages to weave with in the facts a story so beautiful you swear you're watching a movie, dreaming a wonderful dream, or in a blissful reality.

Dom on the Side is a BDSM book but it's so much more than that. It's not like any BDSM book I've ever read. Ryan is realizing something monumental about himself and through him, we experience amazing things. This IS Ryan Jessop's story. This is the story of a man not only exploring a side of himself he questioned deeply, but a story of a man realizing his own reality. His needs and wants, and finding someone who will embrace this path with him.

It says it's book 3 in Kate's Blowing It series, but it's a prequel so if you wanted, you could read this first and then 1 and 2... Come on, if George Lucas can do it to Star Wars, Kate can do it here.

But, in all seriousness. Kate brings BDSM into a new light in this book. There are so many facets to this lifestyle and I absolutely LOVED how she didn't shy away from all the different kinks out there and made us (because humans are very judgmental) understand what we did not.

I thoroughly adored this story. Big applause for Kate Aaron! This is a must read.

Crossroads by Riley Hart

After divorcing the woman he’d been with since he was seventeen, Nick Fuller is starting over. He owns the restaurant of his dreams and he’s determined to meet new people, find new passions, and experience life to its fullest. Easier said than done—that is until he meets his new neighbor, Bryce Tanner…

Bryce is all about a good time. He plans to show Nick how it’s done, help him meet a few women, and enjoy the gift of the single life he’s been given. But things don’t go as planned, and soon they realize they’d rather be together than with anyone else.

Neither man has ever wanted another guy, but there’s a connection between them from the start—a spark they can’t deny. They find themselves navigating an unfamiliar new world and dealing with unforeseen obstacles. Physical desire isn’t enough, and now Nick and Bryce are at a crossroads. They have to decide which way to go: the easy path they’ve always followed, or the one that's determined to trip them up at every turn.

My Review:
Damn! Just damn. What a ride this was. Two men who have been with women their whole lives move in next to each other and discover each other. This was quite a concept I really loved. I wasn’t sure at first. I was like, how are two presumably straight men going to make this work? How will they figure things out. Of course I should realize that doubting Riley hart is just stupid. Bryce and Nick were outstanding characters. Both their own person with their own struggles. You know like real life people. Accepting a life change isn’t easy for anyone and we see that in Crossroads. I wish I could pinpoint what my favorite part of this book was but I can’t. The character growth was amazing, the ensemble and personalities of everyone involved was flawless. I loved the plot and the pacing. It was just all around a brilliant, powerful, and entertaining book!

Lollipop by Amy Lane

Ezra Kellerman flew across country to see if he had another chance with the man he let slip through his fingers. He didn't. Rico has moved on, but he doesn’t just leave his ex high and dry. Instead, Rico entrusts his family and friends with Ezra’s care. Ezra, confused, hurt, and lost, clings to Rico’s cousin and his boyfriend as the lifelines they are—but their friend Miguel is another story.

Miguel Rodriguez had great plans and ambition—but a hearty dose of real life crushed those flat. When Miguel finds himself partially in charge of the befuddled, dreamy, healing Ezra, he’s pretty resentful at first. But Ezra’s placid nature and sincere wonder at the simple life Miguel has taken for granted begin to soften Miguel’s hardened shell. Miguel starts to notice that Ezra isn't just amazingly sweet—he’s achingly beautiful as well. Suddenly Miguel is fending off every single man on the planet to give Ezra room to get over Rico—while fighting a burning suspicion that the best thing to help Ezra get over his broken heart is Miguel.

My Review:

I do love this series. With each book the characters grow and grow. In Lollipop we have Ezra and Miguel. Ezra comes from a rich, luxurious past. That past however was also loveless, hatred filled, obsessive, and it nearly killed Ezra. He comes to Sacramento in the hopes he can get Rico back. Of course we know Rico is taken and in his quest he falls in love with the other half of himself… Miguel. Miguel gives Ezra the life he deserves and in turn Ezra shows Miguel that he is seen and together they love epically. I adore this book, this series, and Amy Lane has knocked it out of the park (something only Adam could do) Bravo!!

Strong Signal by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell

I was counting down the months until the end of my deployment. My days were spent working on military vehicles, and I spent my nights playing video games that would distract me until I could leave Staff Sergeant Garrett Reid behind.

That was when I met him: Kai Bannon, a fellow gamer with a famous stream channel.

I never expected to become fixated on someone who'd initially been a rival. And I'd never expected someone who oozed charm to notice me—a guy known for his brutal honesty and scowl. I hadn't planned for our online friendship to turn into something that kept me up at night—hours of chatting evolving into filthy webcam sessions.

But it did. And now I can't stop thinking about him. In my mind, our real life meeting is perfect. We kiss, we fall into bed, and it's love at first sight.

Except, like most things in my life, it doesn't go as planned.

Strong Signal is a standalone, full-length novel with no cliffhanger

My Review:

Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell alone are excellent writers. Put these two together and you get Outstanding! Strong Signal is a touching, beautiful, emotional story. We have rough, tough, protective army man Garrett and twinkish, beautiful, video game celebrity Kai who come together because one destroyed the other in a game. YUP! Quite creative. Fate is an interesting thing. I LOVED the dialog with these 2. Complete opposites coming together and fitting perfectly. Kai was precious. Funny, smart, and full of hidden little secrets. Garrett is harsh, gritty, manly man, and dirrrrrrrrrrrrrrty! When these 2 got it on woooo! You need a cigarette afterwards.
Megan and Santino perfectly complement each other in writing styles. They are the perfect mixture and their creativity works flawlessly together.
Strong Signal is witty, smart, and wildly entertaining. It’s absolutely a must read!

Trusting Cade by Luna David

At 38, Zavier “Cade” McCade has it all: a military career he can be proud of, a successful business, and a close knit group of family and friends. A former Army Special Forces Captain, Cade leaves the military to create Custos Securities, a burgeoning protection agency that provides unparalleled security for both civilians and corporations across the U.S.

After a string of disastrous relationships—and a narrow escape from an abusive partner—Braden Cross is finally putting his past to rest. Combining both his passion for baking and his knack for business, Braden owns the Sugar n’ Spice Café with his best friend who concocts exotic coffees and teas that pair perfectly with his decadent confections.

When a stalker sets his sights on Braden, the young pastry chef’s world is turned upside down. More frightened than he cares to admit, and not knowing where to turn, Braden is relieved when Cade steps in to offer his protection. Caught up in a maelstrom of threats, break-ins, and vandalism, the two draw closer together. Braden eventually realizes that he can trust Cade with his life, but he finds himself wondering… can he trust him with his heart?

Author’s Note: For those of you that prefer warnings (trigger or otherwise) for your books, please use the “Look Inside” feature to find the warnings within the first few pages. For those of you that hate warnings--don't “Look Inside” . . . Happy reading!

My Review:
Debut novels are a tricky thing. You never really know what you’re going to get. Trusting Cade is Luna David’s debut novel and I have to say it was quite wonderful. There was alpha men and baker’s men. There was protective best friends and crazy stalkers. Love and suspense written very beautifully. I cursed a few times and have to admit I was mad at Braden a bit but it’s okay I got over it.
I’m very eager for book 2 to see where their relationship goes from here especially with how it ended. There’s so much repairing that needs done. Not in their relationship but within themselves.
There’s a wonderful cluster of characters in this story and it really makes for a wonderful mix. I really loved all of them… except the bad guy, poo on him!
Luna David is going to be an amazing treat for readers everywhere. Of that I am certain. I can’t wait for more from her!

Better the Devil You Know by Bey Deckard

Novel (40 000 words)
Genre(s): Horror, torture, paranormal, serial killer

Tags: graphic torture, murder, forced incest, rape

Byron is tall, handsome, well spoken, wealthy, and has outstanding taste in wine and food. You’ll be impressed by his impeccable attire and eloquence in conversation, ranging from Baroque art to the newest advances in pharmacology. With his charming smile and elegant manners, Byron truly is the perfect date… and who doesn’t love a man who appreciates opera?

What’s the catch, you ask?

Just this: if Byron finds you suitable, he will subject you to utterly depraved forms of torture.

No, I’m not talking about S&M.

Byron will mutilate, rape, and then kill you. Don’t think that you will survive the encounter, because you won’t. He has a perfect record.

Intrigued? Would you like me to arrange a rendezvous? It has to be in the next few days because he’s leaving on a trip south to much warmer climes, and his calendar will be completely full.

Yes? Very good. I will make a reservation for two under the name of Smith.

Who am I? I’m Gloria, his personal assistant.

My Review:
This is the first Bey Deckard book I’ve read. Talk about jumping in to the cold, deep end. Better The Devil You Know is horror, yes. But I also found it to be on the psychological thriller side of the scale as well. When I was in College I took Forensic Psychology, Personality, and Criminal Justice. I looked at case files from John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and other notorious serial killers. So, when this book opened to a gruesome scene. The ENDING of what was no doubt a long torturous scenario for 2 unfortunate victims I knew this was going to require me to really focus and to suck it up.
Byron is the MC here… but so is the Devil. Intriguing yeah? It is. I have to say as cold, and terrifying as Byron was he was beyond fascinating. The wonder of WHY he is what he is, the purpose, the reason, just all of it. But sometimes wondering, digging, it’s like a whirlpool. Eventually it will suck you down.
There are trigger warnings and you are warned by the author before page one. And after reading it, it really just throws you in there.
This is a dark, twisted, graphic book. It’s also a brilliant read. Mesmerizing in many ways. And though I’d never want to be someone Byron actually “likes” I wish I could understand him…. From a faraway safe distance that is.
Bey Deckard has a scary mind but it’s also quite creative.


One person will win their choice of any one of these ebooks. Simply enter the rafflecopter below!
Contest will run until March 15th. Winner will be contacted via email so please check your spam.
Thanks everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I re-read the Sin City series by Tricia Owens

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Let's try this again...I hot post before I answered the question...lol
    Beyond the Music (The Rock God's) book 7.
    In the middle of Rise of the Alpha Squirrel book 2 by Kate Lowell.
    Thanks again for the giveaway!

    pommawolf @hotmail.com

  4. I haven't read any of these but they all sound amazing!

  5. I haven't read many books again last month, but I really liked Crossroads. It was a great read.

  6. I'd say Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat but I also loved Strong Signal and Sunset Park.

  7. It's not a February release, but I read it then - Camp Hell by Jordan Castillo Price.