Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Release Day Review: Savior by Rhys Ford #Review #Giveaway





Author: Rhys Ford
Title: Savior
Series: 415 Ink #2
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reece Notley
Publication Date: September 18, 2018
Length: 220 pages

Reviewed by Erin

Synopsis

A savior lies in the heart of every good man, but sometimes only love can awaken the man inside the savior.

The world’s had it out for San Francisco firefighter Mace Crawford from the moment he was born. Rescued from a horrific home life and dragged through an uncaring foster system, he’s dedicated his life to saving people, including the men he calls his brothers. As second-in-command of their knitted-together clan, Mace guides his younger siblings, helps out at 415 Ink, the family tattoo shop, and most of all, makes sure the brothers don’t discover his darkest secrets.

It’s a lonely life with one big problem—he’s sworn off love, and Rob Claussen, one of 415 Ink’s tattoo artists, has gotten under his skin in the worst way possible.

Mace’s world is too tight, too controlled to let Rob into his life, much less his heart, but the brash Filipino inker is there every time Mace turns around. He can’t let Rob in without shaking the foundations of the life he’s built, but when an evil from his past resurfaces, Mace is forced to choose between protecting his lies and saving the man he’s too scared to love.




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Review

As a die hard and long time Rhys Ford fangirl, anytime there's a new book out I think it's a reason to celebrate. I mean, new words from Rhys is always worthy of squeeing loudly, but I have to say her 415 Ink Series has me excited like I haven't been since Sinner's Gin. Don't get me wrong, EVERY book Rhys writes is amazing, but this series is something special. This found family of five, these men who are all so fierce and loyal and broken have something extraordinary to them. Rebel, the first book of the series, was fabulous and I was immediately enraptured by Bear, Luke, Gus, Ivo, and Mace and their dynamic. Rebel was about Gus and second chances. In Savior, it's time to find out all about Mace. 

I've got to honest, of the five brothers we were introduced to in Rebel, Mace Crawford wasn't exactly my favorite. He came off as a bit-or a lot depending on your viewpoint-of an asshole. Judgmental and brash and condescending, there was definitely something a bit unappealing about him. At least in my opinion anyway, but I trust Rhys in all things, so I knew there had to be more to this guy and boy was I ever right! By the end of Savior, I was madly in love with Mace and my heart ached for all he's been through. I mean, yes, I KNEW there had to be a reason for his attitude and there was no doubt he loved his family with his whole heart but man it took some work to get underneath all those layers. You just knew it was going to take someone special to be up for the job and Rob Claussen was just the guy to do it. 

Rob's been working at 415 Ink, learning from Bear and lusting after off limits Mace. Not only is he Bear's brother, but he's also part owner of 415 Ink and even though Rob knows he shouldn't, he can't help but want Mace. The feeling is mutual, as we are shown, and their chemistry is on fire (pun intended since Mace is a firefighter!) hot and though they try, they really can't stay away from each other. In time, and little by little, Rob begins to chip away at Mace's walls and then there's a nasty encounter with Mace's truly evil and vile father that brings them even closer together. Mace has been afraid of his father his whole life and he's kept secrets from his childhood deeply buried to the point that's he's kept people from getting too close. 

Once Mace comes clean not only to Rob but to his family about the horrors of his childhood, it was so awesome watching Mace bloom into this guy that just melted my heart. He's got this vulnerability to him that is SO appealing and it's no wonder Rob fell head over heels in love with the man. I love how Rhys shows his growth, from this guy who snarls and snaps into one who calls his neighbor Grandma and lets himself fall in love with Rob. There's not a ton of page time spent on Rob and Mace together, but I didn't mind that. I really enjoyed getting to know each of them and seeing Mace with his brothers and Rey was fabulous. As always, Rhys's storytelling is engrossing and evocative, leaving me alternating between smiles and tears. The way she writes families of all kinds, man, I'm not sure there's anyone that does it better. How she captures each nuance, how there's frustration and anger sometimes but it's always rooted in love and that ALWAYS shines through her writing. 

To say that I'm dying for the next book and Ivo's story is an understatement if there ever was one and I can't wait to see more of Gus, Mace, Luke and Bear as well. If you haven't started this series, what are you waiting for? It has some of everything, laughs and angst and heat and so SO much heart! Be sure to start with Rebel then Savior so you can anxiously wait with the rest of us for book 3 because I guarantee you'll want more 415 Ink!





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Monday, September 17, 2018

Random Review: We Have A Decision by Steph Marie #Review #Giveaway




Author: Steph Marie
Title: We Have A Decision
Series: Mrs. Shaw's Club book 2
Published: May 29, 2018
Length: 231 pages

Reviewed by Michael


Synopsis

High school freshman, Danny Burns, loves life, art, and boys. From the outside, he looks like a happy-go-lucky guy with no concerns. He blows off the bullies and he’s an amazing friend. What people don’t know is that he’s had a boyfriend since the summer, and when Danny decides being a secret isn’t enough for him and tries to end it, it’s not as easy as he expects.

High school freshman, Noah Glass, thinks he knows exactly who he is, what he wants, and where he’s going. Unfortunately, when the strict religious rules he’s grown-up with don’t line up with him being able to have friendships with people he cares about, he begins to question his own beliefs.

Guidance Counselor, Mrs. Shaw, formed a special club forty years ago. Each year, she handpicks twelve students to participate, but no one knows what they talk about, and former students never tell.

Danny and Noah are two of the chosen this year. When Mrs. Shaw partners them up, their lives begin to alter in ways that they couldn’t have imagined. While Danny is confronted with a stalking ex, Noah begins to question his values. As their friendship grows within the nurturing circle of Club Shaw, will that foundation be enough to get them through the troubles ahead? Will Noah be strong enough to set aside his preconceived notions and be there for Danny? Will Danny trust in Noah’s friendship and strength to help him move on from his ex to give the new guy Noah introduces him to a chance?

This is book two in the Mrs. Shaw's Club series. We’ll continue to get glimpses into the lives of the students, and with each book, we’ll see a romance bloom. This is a standalone, but more fun if you watch them all grow together through the year.








Review

I don’t get the chance to read YA novels that often, but I really do enjoy them.  I love the idea that there’s a sub-genre of fiction that didn’t exist when I was a teenager.  For no other reason than to see ourselves represented in a form of media that wasn’t always available.  Teens need that, to be able to see themselves in ways that they wouldn’t normally.

This is the second book in the series, but easily readable as a stand alone.  That’s always a concern when I haven’t read the first one.

The premise is a simple one:  a group of students, all from different backgrounds, come together in a group led by a teacher by the name of Mrs. Shaw. 

The main focus of the story revolves around Noah, his best friend Josh, and another group member Danny.

I enjoyed the relationship between Noah and Josh.  They’ve been best friends forever.  Both of them come from very religious backgrounds, yet as they’ve gotten older, they have come to realize that perhaps what they were taught may not necessarily be the way the world actually works. 

Danny couldn’t hide his sexuality if he tried.  But that’s a good thing because he’s also bright and cheerful.  He’s never got anything really bad to say about anyone, regardless of how he’s treated (I’m looking at you, Doug)

Most of the chapters are told from three POV’s:  Noah’s, Danny’s, and Mrs. Shaw’s.  I understand why her POV was used (she is the group advisor, after all), however, I was far more interested in Noah and Danny’s storie(s), and how they intersected through Josh.  In fact, I would have loved to have read from Josh’s perspective as well.

These kids go through some very adult situations, from stalking to physical violence.  But each trial serves to bring the main characters, and through them, the rest of the group, closer together.  It made me wish I had a group like this when I was their age.  There were even a few scenes that made me tear up, especially between Noah and Josh.  This is definitely the kind of book that I wished would have been available in my schools’ library.





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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Random Review: Flare by Posy Roberts #Review #Giveaway







Author: Posy Roberts
Title: Flare 2nd edition
North Star Trilogy book 3
Self Published
Published: August 28, 2018
Length: 382 pages

Reviewed by Racheal


Synopsis

A love story and a family worth fighting for.

Hugo and Kevin strive to put their lives back together after tragedy, doing everything in their power to create a stable life. Hugo’s acting career is back on track, and Kevin hires a nanny to help with the kids as they discover their new normal. But when Erin’s parents seek full custody of Brooke and Finn, that stability is shattered.

With Hugo working in LA or New York, the distance from his new family gets to him. At home, the nanny’s hands-on approach leaves Hugo feeling pushed out, so he leaves his beloved apartment and eclectic neighborhood behind to move in with Kevin.

Hugo has a hard time fitting in with the suburbanites with Kevin’s passive-aggressive “friends” making Hugo feel anything but welcome. As the custody case heads to mediation, Brooke is bullied about having two dads, and Hugo realizes his mere presence might be doing more harm than good.

Hugo must decide to stay and fight for his family or leave and let them live in peace.







Review

I have absolutely been under a spell since being introduced to the North Star Trilogy. Posy Roberts' had me falling in love with her characters Kevin and Hugo from her first novel Spark

The final book and chapter in their lives was one that was met head on with heart wrenching challenges. After the lost of a beautiful woman, and the mother to Kevin's amazing children he and Hugo are faced with the possibility of losing them. It was an emotional roller coaster that they all struggled with, and now months later are facing more heartache. 

However, that is not the only challenges our new couple with a family faces. Hugo being away from his job takes a toll more so on Hugo. Kevin still having some backlash from his snubbing country club friends who look down at not only his new relationship but also at Hugo. 

I laughed, cried, and shared in all of their struggles and triumphs. I loved the co-characters of Russell and Sunshine because they helped along the way to give them structure as well as advise. 

As with all great series I was happy and sad that it came to an end. I am just so excited that I was able to take the journey with these two incredible men.





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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Release Blitz: Ride or Dye by Aimee Nicole Walker #Review #Excerpt #Giveaway






RIDE OR DYE
CURL UP AND DYE MYSTERIES SERIES, BOOK 6
AIMEE NICOLE WALKER
M/M ROMANCE
RELEASE DATE: 09.12.18







PHOTOGRAPHER: Wander Aguiar
COVER ARTIST:  Jay Aheer/Simply Defined Art
MODELS: Jacob and Matthew










BLURB

Gabe and Josh Roman-Wyatt have been living life in the fast lane. Demanding jobs, precocious twin toddlers, an ever-growing circle of friends, and a menagerie of pets means their home is filled with love and laughter but very few quiet moments for the happy couple. Gabe’s solution is to plan a surprise vacation at a perfect hideaway where the two of them can slow things down and reconnect.

Tarlington House, a historic home located on Edisto Island in South Carolina, hosts an annual murder-mystery event which will allow Josh to use the skills he learned from his all-time favorite television detective to solve the case. The serene setting is perfect for fun days in the sun, passionate lovemaking under the stars, and a healthy wager between husbands to see who can plan the best date. But when the other guests arrive, the guys find themselves surrounded by liars and cheaters who will say or do anything to win, reminding them there’s no place like Blissville.

When a guest is killed during a vicious storm that knocks out the power and phone lines, Josh and Gabe’s murder mystery role-playing becomes a real-life whodunnit. Serve and protect will take on a deeper meaning for Gabe when he’s torn between upholding the law and protecting his husband from a ruthless killer.

Ride or Dye includes sexy sunrises, snarky banter, and swoon-worthy romance. It is the sixth and final book in the Curl Up and Dye Mysteries, which must be read in order. Ride or Dye contains sexually explicit material intended for adults 18 and older.






Review

I have been reading this series from the very beginning. I've loved, laughed, cried, and screamed right along with Josh and Gabe.... Well, mostly Josh. Gabe is a cool operator when there's murder. The dynamic between these two characters is stellar. Josh is snarky and sassy. Gabe, well, he's a slave to Josh truly. He loves his sunshine and it shows with every passing page.

I love seeing them grow with each book and the fact that this is the last book for these two is very bittersweet. While they have come full circle I find myself wanting to sit in their house and just watch their life. That is how you know an author has mastered a series.

There's not one character I don't enjoy and each mystery is so much fun. In this one a romantic getaway turns into murder and of course Josh and Gabe are smack in the middle of it.

I loved the history of Tarlington House and how Aimee Nicole Walker weaved it brilliantly into this story. There's a great respect in the careful execution of what happened there and how much that place meant years ago. I loved that so much.

It's a read you should not miss. This is a series you should embrace from the very beginning and fall in love with it just as I have.









EXCERPT

I followed Josh into our bathroom and undressed while he turned on the faucet to let the water heat up. “Let me,” I said when he reached for the hem of his T-shirt. Baring his skin never got old, and I knew it never would. Once he was naked, Josh adjusted the water temperature then put the stop in the drain so the tub would fill. I kept my hands on his body the entire time then pulled him to me for a kiss while we waited for the water to rise.

“I love the way you cherish me,” Josh whispered against my lips. “I appreciate all the thought you put into this vacation. I adore being just us again.”

“I do love and cherish you, Sunshine. It feels like these last few years have flown by like a speeding train. At least at this moment with you, life doesn’t feel so damn hectic and insane.” I reached around to glide my hand over his taut ass. “I want to slow it down and soak up every second I have with you.”

Josh reached over and shut off the faucet. “We’ll start with a soak in this amazing tub.”

“That’s borderline cheesy, Sunshine,” I said, stepping into the tub. The water temperature was perfect, but Josh always knew just how I liked everything. “We are a snarky family, not a cheesy one.”

“I believe I came up with that rule,” he reminded me.

“Well, you nearly broke it.”

Josh waited for me to get settled before he stepped over the side of the tub and sank down in the water between my parted thighs. “Oh, hello there, Captain.”

How could I not be rock hard with his glorious ass pressed against my cock and balls? Thoughts of soaking my body turned into rowdy fucking. “Turn around and straddle me,” I whispered in his ear. Josh must’ve liked the husky timbre in my voice because he shivered deliciously before doing as I requested.

Josh let his head fall back as soon as our hardened cocks pressed against each other. I took advantage of his exposed neck, knowing how sensitive it was and how horny my kisses made him. The urge to fuck grew stronger every second he was in my arms, but why rush? We were on vacation. We didn’t have to set alarms to be up early for work nor would our kids wake us at some ungodly hour. I could kiss and savor him in ways I hadn’t in a very long time.

I left no part of my husband’s body untouched, and he did the same to mine. I relearned all the types of kisses that made him shake with want and need. Neither of us let up on our sensual attack until we both trembled against each other. As much as I wanted to be inside Josh, I took my time drying his body then mine before we kissed our way to the bedroom. Turning the bedside lamps off wasn’t even a consideration because I didn’t want to miss a single expression on his face when we joined our bodies.

I loved the way he reached for me, trusting his heart, body, and soul in my hands. No matter how desperate my lust became, I took my time stretching him open with lubed fingers because I only wanted cries of pleasure crossing his parted lips. I pressed my mouth to Josh’s, tasting the passionate cries escaping him when I finally slid home and was fully seated. Josh wrapped his arms around my shoulders and hooked his legs around the back of my thighs, making sure every part of him enveloped every part of me. Just like that, my plans to love him slow and tender evaporated.






I am a wife and mother to three kids, three dogs, and a cat. When I’m not dreaming up stories, I like to lose myself in a good book, cook or bake. I'm a girly tomboy
who paints her fingernails while watching sports and yelling at the referees.
I will always choose the book over the movie. I believe in happily-ever-after. Love inspires everything that I do. Music keeps me sane.





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