Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June Top Reads #Reviews #Giveaway

It's that time again. Top Reads time! It was a great month for books, I must say!!! At least for me and what I got to read. I have for you a list of books I found to be my top favorites for the month of June. I will show them to you with buy links, blurbs, my review, and the cover. At the end of this post is a giveaway. I'll gift one person any one of these ebooks.

Here are my June Top Reads.

Balls Up by Kate Aaron

Blurb: Owen Barnes’s life is finally going the way he wants. He’s making a living as an author, and his relationship with building surveyor Magnus Cassidy is going from strength to strength.

When Owen finds a lump, he buries his head in the sand. He’s too busy for doctor appointments and besides, it’s probably nothing. He pushes concern away and is soon swept up in a whirlwind of distractions. His best friend’s husband is falling apart and Owen needs to be strong for them, not burdening them with his fears.

He says he’ll deal with it when the new book is released, when Ryan and Sameer are more stable, when he’s done writing. Owen has a hundred excuses to hide one simple fact: he’s scared.

Eventually Magnus drags him to the doctor, and the news isn’t good. Can Owen cope with the unexpected turn events have taken, or is his perfect life about to go balls up?

CONTENT WARNING: Cancer, hospitals, chemotherapy, backless gowns, hideous scrotal supports, and the complete loss of human dignity from being shaved by a nurse named Alan.

My Review:
It's not that often I finish a book, sit back and try to relive the experience all over again. I don't even know where to begin with this book to be honest. I'm good with expressing my feelings but this book left me speechless, breathless. It left me grateful. It woke me up. We are not invincible. We are not unstoppable. We are human and we are guilty of thinking, "This can never happen to me."
In Blowing It (book 1) Kate Aaron introduced us to these very same characters. Relationships were born, bonds formed, and the readers fell in love with this amazing ensemble.
Balls Up, brings us back to them and things aren't okay. It's the realism that Kate captures so well in this story. No doubt she did stellar research and that is so very important for this subject matter. It's the emotion of each moment, each trial, each flicker of change that Kate has mastered.
We read books often to escape the every day. Sometimes we need to be reminded why our lives are so valuable to begin with. Balls Up takes those characters you love, the ones you swear would be your family if they were real and tears them from the pages of fiction. They could be your brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, cousins, friends, lovers. As quick as a kiss, life can change.
Start with Blowing It, if you haven't already, then grab this book because it's books like this we need more of!

Buy Links: Amazon USAMAZON UK * B&N

One Step Further by Felice Stevens

Blurb: Alex Stern has it all; good looks, charm, a job he loves and everyone calls him a friend. He lives life to the fullest at a breakneck pace, in the city that never sleeps. But Alex is also a master pretender; not even his best friend sees the pain that Alex hides so well. Alex himself isn’t sure who he is or what he’s searching for, he only knows that he hasn’t found it yet.

As a veterinarian, Rafe Hazelton loves each animal that crosses his path; they don’t care if he stutters a bit or that prefers men. Their love is unconditional, but his life is still empty; they can only give him so much. New friendships convince him it’s time to break the wall of loneliness he’s hidden behind since childhood and discover what he's been missing.

Alex and Rafe forge a friendship that turns physical, and they both swear that the relationship will last only as long as the fun does. But when old heartaches come to light and secrets hidden for years are revealed, Alex and Rafe discover if they accept what’s in their hearts and take it one step further, the greatest reward is waiting for them in the end.

My Review:
Felice always delivers and One Step Further is yet another success! I fell into this story, eyes wide open and heart ready to be broken and perfectly put back together.
Alex really made me ache. A master pretender, sad, broken, a beautiful disaster... with a smile. Never to let the world see his pain. Never to let anyone in.
Rafe is such a fighter. He really has overcome more than most and never let the world crush him. He is who he is because he's stronger than the demons.
2 men, life has been hard for them. They climbed out of the quicksand alone... till now. When Alex and Rafe are together it makes sense and I found myself mentally shaking them a few times. But, Felice always brings the story to an epic climax. One Step Further is a story about overcoming the odds. About showing the world love truly IS the strongest thing in this whole world. When you have it, you have everything.
This is a beautiful story. A heartwarming tale of finding love in the dark.


The Long Fall of Night by AJ Rose

In a flash, everything changes.
When NYU student Asher Caine’s uncle calls to warn him something big is coming, he has no idea it will be so devastating. Not even years of training can prepare him for what he's about to face. The only plan he has is to get his sister and nephew across country to safety, whatever it takes.

The darkness is full of potential. For good or evil, only time will tell.
Elliot Davenport isn’t about to let his Chemistry lab partner leave him behind, though he’s never done a spontaneous thing in his life. Ash is mysterious, aloof, and so damned sexy, Elliot can’t get the guy out of his head. But his crush takes a backseat as the gravity of the situation becomes clear: the eastern two-thirds of the United States has gone dark.

What happens when all the rules change in a split second?
200 million people are without access to sustainable food and water, let alone coffee and the Internet. Facing the worst humanitarian crisis the western world has ever seen, the government calls the military to step in. The entire military.

The soldiers of Team Shockwave are tasked with evacuating civilians to the safety of refugee camps, and then patrolling the new border between the East and West. Shockwave are on the front lines and the fate of an entire nation rests on them.

Welcome to the long fall of night…

My Review:
Where do I start with this book? I don't even know...It consumes you. I found myself daydreaming about it. Long after I closed it, it was there. Every song, commercials, even food shopping made me think of it. That's some serious writing power. AJ Rose has started a series with one hell of an explosion of literary genius. She's not a bestselling author for nothing. I will say Elliot was my favorite character. I was drawn to his thinking, his doing, his existing. Ash was his beacon and together they were safe. That's saying something too. This world AJ created is terrifying and sadly it can absolutely happen. If the other books in this series are as great as book 1 this will likely be one of, if not, the best series out there.
Now, you may wonder if this is hyperbole. But, it's not! I gravitate toward apocalypse movies and shows. The Walking Dead, Day After Tomorrow, Armageddon. I love shows built on pillars of unique creativity like Game of Thrones and Sons of Anarchy. I LOVE when anything can happen, when my heart is in my throat, my pulse pounds, and I'm about ready to jump out of my skin. AJ has managed to do this epically with this book. I know what I'm talking about here.
This book will stay with you. It will literally change how you live your life. It will make you appreciate the luxuries. You'll be hooked!


Bound Series by J.R. Gray (First 3 books. Book 4 is out soon. BOOK 3 IS A FREE READ)

Legally Bound: The last thing Daniel, a hard-working public defender, expected to see the morning after a one night stand was his hook-up staring back at him from the wrong side of the law. Assigned to work his case, Daniel vows to keep things professional with Rafael but has a hard time controlling his craving for dominance, the control, and the connection they shared. Rafael, a paid Dominant in the Chicago underworld, has been dealing with a cop problem for far too long. Used to sex with no emotion, he’s entranced with Daniel’s submission, his innocence, and…could there be something more? Can Daniel clear Rafael's name, keeping him out of jail and in his life, with the odds, a cop, and the mounting evidence against them?

Be Warned: m/m sex, BDSM, branding, flogging, caning, whipping

My Review Legally Bound: It's always refreshing to read a BDSM story where the writer is well educated in the craft, whether it be personally or researched. This story, while BDSM, was so much more than that. GREAT characters. The development was flawless as well. Raf and Daniel were fabulous to watch. I love seeing distrust morph into trust. I love when a down man rises up through the strength of those around him.

Jesse, Daniel's partner and BFF, was OUTSTANDING! OMG I love him! He had me laughing so hard my sides hurt and he only became better once George and him came face to face! I hope we see more of these 2 in the next book! *PLEASE*

Writing an ensemble isn't easy, I've said that 100 times, but I've never read a book where the ensemble grows effortlessly through the story to the point I can't decide who I want to read more. All the characters are lovely... except the bad guy eeew we don't like him!

Breach of Contract: With the legal trouble behind them, Daniel Caplin and Rafael Argon are ready to settle into a low-key D/s relationship, but life is unrelenting, when blackmail shatters their illusion of happily ever after. Pictures from one of the Rafael’s public scenes instill fear into his new submissive, Daniel, acting as a wedge driving the new couple apart.

The building peril in George’s community weighs heavy on his shoulders as he struggles to find the culprit—all while hiding his feelings for his new house guest. Jesse is torn between ending his marriage, picking up a rebound he should have left fifteen years in the past, and the dangling carrot of a possible relationship with a man. He is forced to fight for what he wants most, a leap he may be too chicken to take.

In the sequel to Legally Bound, George battles to take down an unknown enemy, while watching helplessly as those he cares for are broken beyond repair. Can Rafael and Daniel rebuild their trust after it's broken with lies? Can George hold it together as Jesse is ripped from his life?

 My Review Breach of Contract: J.R Gray is trying to kill me! There's no other explanation to this. This series just gets better and better. Amazing intrigue, well researched on ALL fronts, exceptional characters and the flow is flawless! George is just... I want to kidnap him and make him mine... or me his *wink* Seriously, this is a brilliant series. Mystery, sex, intrigue... it has it all really! I am kicking myself for taking so long to fall in love with these books! HIGHLY recommend!

Illicit Activity: FREE READ The Christmas season is fast approaching. Jesse and George try to keep their connection alive with stolen late night dinners and secret meetings, which never seem to be enough.
Zac doesn’t take no for an answer, and has set his sights on George’s slave Elliot as his newest conquest. Determined to see Elliot and bring him some holiday spirit, Zac starts a battle of wits with George. But Will George be able to outsmart Zac, and keep him away from Elliot, for long?
Be Warned: m/m sex, BDSM, sex toys, fire play

My Review Illicit Activity:
It may only be 56 pages but they are vital to this series! George and Jesse come face to face after George's showdown with the evil witchy wife... what ensues after that is beautiful! Book 2 left you hanging and this is what will make it ALL right!!! Great read!

My Mate, Jack by Garrett Leigh

Will Barter’s been in love with his best mate Jack for as long as he can remember. They’ve shared everything: love, life, laughs, even Will’s first kiss. But Jack’s straight, and Will’s long-buried infatuation means nothing until their last summer together draws to a close.
Then one night, everything changes, but with Will bound for university in Leeds, and Jack for his dream DJ job in Ibiza, there’s no time to explore their blurred lines. Before long all that’s left are secrets, lies, and misunderstandings.

In the months that follow, anger and hurt overshadow fifteen years of friendship, and Will must dig deep to remember Jack is his mate… his best mate, and nothing matters more than that, right?

My Review:
OMG Garrett Leigh never lets me down. Even though this was a shorter story than her other work it was packed with perfection. Will and Jack are best friends and as they grow and move on they never lose each other. In fact, they grow closer. Garrett has an amazing gift of sucking you in to her worlds and this was just that! Great read!


Rubble and the Wreckage by Rodd Clark

Gabriel Church knows you can’t take a life without first understanding just how feeble life is, how tentative and weak it stands alone. If you desire murder, you hold a life in your hand. Whether you release it to grant life or grip tighter to end it, it is at your command and discretion.
Gabriel is a serial killer with a story he wants told.

Christian Maxwell studied abnormal psychology in college but chose instead to focus on a career in writing. His background comes in handy when he thinks of writing about a serial killer. He can’t think of anyone more qualified to write the story of Gabriel Lee Church, and do so in the murderer’s own words. It’s been done before, but never with a killer who has yet to be captured or convicted.

There was never anything more than a gentleman’s understanding between the two men that Christian would record Gabriel’s life story. The killer did not ask for his complicity in any crimes, nor did he ever ask for his silence. Christian’s interest in the man, though, is fast becoming something more than academic. When the writer and his subject become unexpected friends and then lovers, the question remains: What is Gabriel’s endgame . . . and why does he want his story told?

My Review:

I knew going in that this book was going to be a bumpy, dark, sinister, and sexy ride. And that it was. It's not your typical fairytale. It's more like Dexter in a sense. We have a serial killer who wants his story told (Gabriel) and we have a writer who desperately wants to do that (Christian) What happens when these two meet changes the game for them both. Can you trust a serial killer that has no remorse? That bathes in manipulation? I am not going to tell you if Christian trusts, believes, or falls for any of it but I will tell you it's a drug for those who crave a dark twist in their daily reads. It's hot between these two. It's also suspenseful and nerve wracking. Venture outside your comfort zone for this book.



Enter the rafflecopter below and one person will get their choice of any of these ebooks. Contest ends July 15th. Winner will be emailed so please check your spam! Thank you and good luck.

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  1. You can't ask me for my favourite book in June when I read both Balls Up and The Long Fall of Night that month. And that's without mentioning two books not on your list which I also highly recommend: For Real by Alexis Hall and Silver Scars by Posy Roberts.

    June was a fabulous reading month for me. I'm delighted to see the same was true for you.

  2. The one I loved the most? I read 21 books in June and the one I liked the most was Leaving Flowers by Debbie McGowan and Raine O'Tierney followed closely by Wild Pitch by Sloan Johnson. Awesome month for me to!

  3. I read so many good books last month! Hmmm... if I have to choose one... Secret by Kindle Alexander

  4. I spent June reading the Daily Dose books from Dreamspinner they were all very good but I have so much reading to catch up on.

  5. Repaired by Melissa Collins was great

  6. Just finished reading Lane Hayes The Right & Wrong series & loved them.

  7. The long awaited Life, Some Assembly Required by Kaje Harper

  8. It wasn't a recent release, but Cronin's Key by NR Walker was my favorite. I quickly read the sequel after. :)

  9. Don't Judge by AE Via was great. I also got an ARC of Tara Lain's upcoming book, Knave of Broken Hearts which was fantastic.

  10. Love Starved by Kate Fierro. This was quite a sweet story.
    taina1959 @

  11. June was an off month for me for reading due to travel and other things, but I did read a really good thriller/horror novella, Memorial by Joseph Pinto. I hope to dive back into my massive TBR of new releases soon, though!

  12. Oh, I read so many great books but One Step Further by Felice Stevens was definitely a favorite for me!

  13. Great list! I read nothing June (how is that possible???) so I'll go with July - and it was The Hardest Fight by Amy Vastine from Harlequin Heartwarming. Excellent writing. <3