Saturday, April 2, 2016

March Top Reads #Reviews #Giveaway

The beginning of a new month marks the end of an old. March is over and I have for you the top reads of the month. There were so many I read but I was able to come up with the top 10 I feel deserve to be read by all of you. Here you are.

Dirty Heart by Rhys Ford

Former LAPD detective Cole McGinnis’s life nearly ended the day his police partner and best friend Ben Pirelli emptied his service weapon into Cole and his then-lover, Rick. Since Ben turned his gun on himself, Cole thought he’d never find out why Ben tried to destroy him.

Years later, Cole has stitched himself back together. Now a private investigator and in love with Jae-Min Kim, a Korean-American photographer he met on a previous case, Cole’s life is back on track—until he discovers Jeff Rollins, a disgraced cop and his first partner, has resurfaced and appears to be working on the wrong side of the law.

As much as Cole’s fought to put the past behind him, he’s soon tangled up in a web of lies, violence, and death. Jeff Rollins is not only trying to kill Cole’s loved ones, he is also scraping open old wounds and long-forgotten memories of the two men Cole loved and lost. Cole is sure Rollins knows why Ben ruined all their lives, but he isn’t looking for answers. Now Cole is caught in a cat-and-mouse game with a cold-blooded killer with the key to not only his past but his future.

Review: By Erin

I remember when I first read Dirty Kiss, book 1 of the Cole McGinnis series. It was back in 2013 when I was still relatively new to reading LGBTQ fiction. Book 3—Dirty Laundry—had just been released, and I’d had the first two books saved on my computer for awhile so I figured it was about time I gave the books a go. I grabbed two very good friends and said, “Hey, buy these books and read with me. They look great, I think we’re gonna love them.” So they did. And we read. And read. And read. We flailed. There were more messages than I could count going “OMG can you believe that happened?” and then “Holy shit, how does someone DO that?” and of course there were lots of “oh Cole’s and poor Jae’s.” By the end, I fell in love. Completely in love with Cole and his sarcasm and humor that tried to hide his broken heart. With Kim Jae-Min and his quiet demeanor but fierce and complicated struggle to remain true to his heritage while wishing to follow his heart. With Bobby and his staunch protectiveness of his princess and best friend, Cole. With Claudia and her complete devotion and acceptance of Cole and all his faults. With Scarlet, this beautiful creature who loves Jae with absolute abandon.

Like the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Dirty Heart is the final book in the Cole McGinnis series, and it is the perfect culmination of an incredible journey. Not just for the characters, but for us, the readers, as well. We’ve all laughed at each and every improbable but somehow totally believable situation Cole has found himself in, no matter how outlandish. We’ve gasped and cringed as Cole has been knifed and shot and chased by llamas and gun-wielding granny’s wearing leather. We’ve cried as Cole and Jae have navigated their sometimes rocky but always real and true relationship. We’ve swooned and sighed at the heart-achingly beautiful words these two very flawed men have whispered to each other, speaking from soul-deep love and commitment. We’ve raged at the cruelty Cole and Jae have suffered from the people who were supposed to love them unconditionally, and then felt our hearts soar as they found that love and acceptance from Claudia and Scarlet and the rest of their make-shift family. These aren’t just characters on a page, but friends and family we’ve watched grow and learn and fall in love on their journey toward their happily-ever-after.

One of my favorite moments from the book:

“Promise me one more thing?”
“Anything.” I was tired. Probably more tired than I’d been in my entire life, and sleep tugged at my brain.
“Promise you’ll love me. Forever, if I need it.” He slurred a bit, dipping down into a cadence more Korean than English, but he was clear enough for me to understand him.
“Forever. Even if you don’t need it,” I whispered, nestling up into him. “Because I will.”

Dirty Heart is written in Rhys Ford’s incomparable style: poetic prose interspersed with evocative and often biting, sharp realism. She has a way of writing that is unparalleled (anyone who can write the gruesomeness of death in a way that seems almost artistic is a true master at her craft). Whether it’s humor or mystery or violence or sex, Rhys is beyond compare. Dirty Heart is the perfect and fitting end to the series. The answers to the questions we’ve been waiting years and 5 books to get to is done so well, and it’s worth all the pain and heartbreak it’s taken to get here (not just for Cole, but for us, too, who have desperately ached—and dreaded—for the moment). As with every book in the series, you will laugh and cry and gasp and cringe and get angry more than a few times. But at the end, your heart will be full, you’ll be left very satisfied, if a tad bittersweet, knowing that Cole and Jae and all their family, will be moving on. The joy though, is knowing that they’re happy and at peace.

Saranghae-yo Cole and Jae.

Slash Op by J. Johanis

The White House has ordered the execution of a highly sensitive covert operation in dragon-occupied territory. Though a Slash Op has a zero percent survival rate, the commanding general is forced to enlist his most prized officer for the task.

Major Gideon is embarking on his first mission in the dragon district. Yet Gideon has hardly recovered from all that Drago made him endure. For the past three months, Gideon has been plagued with dreams of dragons terrorizing him, but his dreams have gradually turned into sexual fantasies. Despite coming to terms with his longing to have Drago in bed, Gideon cannot suppress his desire to beat Drago’s face in. When Gideon is called for a mission in the most dangerous district on Earth, what freaks him out the most is the prospect of seeing Drago again.


This is book 2 in J. Johanis’s Toy Soldiers series. It starts off with Gideon away learning High Dragon and Drago getting a mission for Gideon that could possibly kill him… no big right? LOL. When Drago Star (book 1) ended it didn’t really have much of a happy ending and it made me sad because I wanted Drago and Gideon together forever (I’m a sap) In this one we really get to see the magnitude of their feelings for each other and the sacrifices Drago actually makes for him. It was touching. As dark, erotic, and violent as things were there’s a love story here that is truly beautiful and fills you with so much hope.
I really do enjoy this series and look forward to more!!!

The Star Host by F.T. Lukens

Ren grew up listening to his mother tell stories about the Star Hosts – a mythical group of people possessed by the power of the stars. The stories were the most exciting part of Ren’s life, and he often dreamed about leaving his backwater planet and finding his place among the neighboring drifts. When Ren is captured by soldiers and taken from his home, his dream slips further out of his grasp. Now a slave of a despotic Baron, Ren must remain inconspicuous while plotting his escape. It’s a challenge since the general of the Baron’s army is convinced Ren is something out of one of his mother’s stories.

Ren finds companionship in the occupant of the cell next to his, a drifter named Asher. A member of the Phoenix Corps, Asher is mysterious, charming, and exactly the person Ren needs to anchor him as his sudden technopathic ability threatens to consume him. Ren doesn’t mean to become attached, but after a daring escape, a trek across the planet, and an eventful ride on a merchant ship, Asher is the only thing that reminds Ren of home. Together, they must warn the drifts of the Baron’s plans, master Ren’s growing power, and try to save their friends while navigating the growing attraction between them.


I’m going to start this review off saying that this was a fabulous story. This YA Paranormal was nonstop excitement. I was engaged the entire time. It didn’t drag at all! The characters were brilliant. Starting the story we meet Ren and by the end of chapter 1 you’re already entranced with his situation. Set in Ren’s POV was perfect. We meet a lot of characters but you’re never confused with who is who. Asher is his “cell mate” at first. The evolution of this book and these characters was so wonderfully put together. Creating new worlds is so hard but FT Lukens mastered it brilliantly. I was emotionally invested in the mission, Ren, Asher, and all the secondary characters. Ren’s gift…. How it’s described…. What a Star Host is, it’s creative genius and outstanding writing.
I highly recommend this book to paranormal fans or just anyone who really loves a great, engaging, wildly entertaining story!

Clouded Hell by J. R. Gray

I survive on avoidance. Physical pain to avoid the mental. Disposable flesh to avoid relationships. Work to avoid attachment.

My club became my empire of avoidance. Inside the ring millions are won and lost. The fight is confined to breaths, actions and reactions, fists and pain. Rules don’t exist. Only my opponent exists.

I’d been avoiding my needs for far too long when Remi stumbles into the Inferno and I’m hungry. The promise of a submissive with no attachment is far too tempting. I can’t resist him.

He was only supposed to be a distraction, but I know I'll never get over him. There isn't a chance in this clouded hell.


Never expect a fairytale when it comes to JR Gray. If you come looking for it you’ll be disappointed every time. Clouded Hell is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. First it’s like tough skin, then soon it's bruised, then slashed, then ripped open. Stick around a little while longer and concrete shrapnel will be shoved into the healing gash and kept there for all eternity.
Now if you think this is a negative review than you’ve never read a JR Gray book. This, I believe, was his goal. Yes, to a degree it’s a love story. A love story for two very broken men. Life isn’t easy and that’s the reality of things. Remi and Dante haven’t lived the lives of saints but that of sinners and have paid the price. Even though when they are with each other it’s like heaven and hell all wrapped into one. They are supposed to be together.
There’s somewhat a finality to this story and yet it’s open for more if JR chooses to expand. Remi and Dante seem happy for now but there is a lot left unsaid, undone, and a lot of healing needed.
This is a gritty tale a brutal beating for the heart and soul. It’s a mental carnival, and Remi and Dante are very intriguing and I’d love to have sessions with them to see how they tick.
JR has used his talent and written a wonderful story that will test you on many levels.

Bankers’ Hours by Wade Kelly

Even though bankers' hours leave long weekends for romance, cosmic intervention is Grant’s only option when money doesn’t buy happiness and he’s got virginity in spades.

Grant Adams is a twenty-six-year-old bank teller who’s unlucky at love, yet hopelessly hopeful. After years of horrific first dates, he’s convinced he’s saving himself for true love. Surely he has bad taste in men because it couldn’t possibly be his persnickety nature that’s sent them packing.

Tristan Carr has been in a holding pattern since his daughter was born fifteen years ago, which suits his workaholic lifestyle just fine. This ex-Navy turned auto mechanic never wanted anyone interfering with being a weekend dad. For Tristan to rearrange his perfectly orchestrated life, a guy will need to be special. Or in the case of the newest employee at his bank, the guy will need to be adorable, shy, and open to the prospect of forever when it shows up at his window.


What an absolutely delightful and fabulous story. One of my all-time favorite type of characters are the quirky, awkward, sweet characters and that is what Grant is! He is so wonderful. The book is in his POV so you really get attached to him. You follow him from beginning to end and it’s like an evolution. When he meets Tristen (His absolute total opposite) he has no idea how much his life is about to change.
This book truly had everything. There’s psycho ex’s, hilarious banter, amazing characters, hilarious hijinks! Teenage girls an love… beautiful love!
Wade Kelly has delivered a terrific book it will keep you entertained, engrossed, and by the end you’ll be smiling from ear to ear. This was an absolute joy!

Suspicion by Nicholas Bella

Théoden: I'm still trying to figure out who killed a vampire in my territory, and I'm still busy training my youngest son, however, the phone call I received must take precedence. The River Rock Alpha claims one of my vampires is responsible for the death of one of his wolves. It's a serious accusation and one I will not take lightly.

Noel: Riding around with Marco and learning how to conduct a proper investigation has been pretty exciting. I also love getting out of the house and seeing more of the territory. Of course, the way Marco keeps looking at me lets me know that my night will have more action to come.

Deacon: Tonight is Fight Night, and I've been waiting for this entertaining event all day. My yard is filled with wolves from my pack, and I'm going to see just how tough they are. As for my mate, a big decision will be made tonight for him, because he still has a lot to prove.

Josef: I'm not looking forward to having a sit-down with vampire Prince Théoden, I'm not fond of bloodsuckers, but I'll be damned if I let him or any of his leeches get away with murdering one of my wolves. They will pay.

Warning: This serial contains strong adult content not meant for sensitive eyes. The novelettes in this serial will be filled with dark, twisted, raunchy and steamy scenes between powerful, sexy men that will either offend you or get ya revved up. This series will not be pulling any punches, and it won’t apologize for hurting your feelings, either. You’ll find no fluff and ruffles here. The vampires are not misunderstood, hopeless romantics looking for love. The werewolves are not cute and cuddly, and the dragons aren’t the ones from your childhood. This is NOT a romance.


I think I swore the whole way through this book! HOT HOT HOT and OMG with the suspense. Nicholas Bella... Sort of want to hit him BUT I won't because he needs to write the next book so we can see what's going to happen.

When we read books like this there's a bad guy and a good guy, right? Well none of these characters are good guys. None of them. This is a series about the baddest creatures. We cheer on the worst of the worst. The darkness is consuming. You can feel the hopelessness of the world. Humanity means nothing.

Of course I will always favor Theoden and his sons ALWAYS. That is where my loyalty is. But, Josef and Deacon they are something else. We hear ALL the POV's so you think it's easy to pick a side but it's not. It's near impossible.

This was a very nail biting book and it left us hanging. The outcome of what is about to happen will impact this entire series.

The WOW factor on this series just blew up!

Simple Things by Kade Boehme

Carter Darling’s life has been a whirlwind since his mother was elected to the senate when he was a teen. From private school to joining the military, he tried to forge his own path while making as few ripples as possible. But an injury forced him to figure out new goals for his life. After his parents were involved in a sex scandal, he decided to go back home to Tennessee to get some distance and get away from the madness.

He didn’t bargain on Jeremy Beck returning at the same time.

Jeremy was finally past the rich boy angst that made for some dramatic teenage years, but he hadn’t earned back much respect from his parents by playing in an indie band. Now that his band was on hiatus, Jeremy was looking for space from his unhealthy non-relationship with a band mate, so returning home to figure out his next step seemed like the way to go.

Their initial reunion turned awkward. Carter was still holding on to hurts from their last meeting and Jeremy was trying to convince himself that Carter was still just his sister’s closeted little friend. But when they open up to one another again and decide a staycation fling would be a nice distraction, they may get more than they bargained for.

For two guys who’ve had so much drama in their lives, it might surprise them to find that sometimes love is found in the simple things. Who knew?


I truly love this story. It was romantic, witty, and hot. Kade has written a story that will lift you up. This friends to lovers story burrowed its way into my heart. Carter and Jeremy’s story is poetic. There’s a few scenes in this book where I had to stop reading, set my Kindle down, and breathe the moment in. They were that good. I won’t give anything away but there’s a declaration of love scene in this book that I read three times in a row before continuing because it was what every “I love you for the first time” should be. Just breathtaking.
I don’t usually re read books, rarely if ever. But Simple Things will be the exception to that rule. This is a book you read when you need to remember that love is there, time and distance don’t always mean an end to that love.
Outstanding story from a very talented author.

Two Pet Dicks by John Inman

Old friends and business partners, Maitland Carter and Lenny Fritz, may not be the two sharpest pickle forks in the picnic basket, but they have big hearts. And they are just now coming around to the fact that maybe their hearts are caught in a bit of turmoil.

Diving headfirst into a whirlwind of animal mayhem, these two self-proclaimed pet detectives strive to earn a living, reunite a few poor lost creatures with their lonely owners, and hopefully not make complete twits of themselves in the process.

When they stumble onto a confusing crime involving venomous reptiles, which is rather unnerving since they’re more accustomed to dealing with misplaced puppy dogs and puddy tats, they take the plunge into becoming real-life crime stoppers.

While they’re plunging into that, they’re also plunging into love. They just haven't admitted it to each other yet.


This was absolutely adorable and hilarious. With a dose of mystery, it made for a most entertaining story. John Inman wrote a terrific friends to lovers story that will have you smiling all the way through. Lenny and Mait are seriously made for each other and I really love how they have been friends for so long (with benefits) and the realization of what they mean to each other is just the sweetest thing ever. Throw in a foul mouthed bird, a pooping dog, a masturbating monkey and an assortment of other colorful characters and it’s sidesplitting! This story is chuck full of wit, happiness, and good old fashioned feel good humor!
This is the perfect pick me up story. Well done, John!

The Queen & the Homo Jock King by TJ Klune

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Sanford Stewart sure doesn't. In fact, he pretty much believes in the exact opposite, thanks to the Homo Jock King. It seems Darren Mayne lives for nothing more than to create chaos in Sandy’s perfectly ordered life, just for the hell of it. Sandy despises him, and nothing will ever change his mind.

Or so he tells himself.

It's not until the owner of Jack It—the club where Sandy performs as drag queen Helena Handbasket—comes to him with a desperate proposition that Sandy realizes he might have to put his feelings about Darren aside. Because Jack It will close unless someone can convince Andrew Taylor, the mayor of Tucson, to keep it open.

Someone like Darren, the mayor’s illegitimate son.

The foolproof plan is this: seduce Darren and push him to convince his father to renew Jack It’s contract with the city.

Simple, right?


TJ Klune is by far the best at comedy. I'm just going to say that and get that out of the way. I've never laughed as hard as I do than when I read his books.
That said, The Queen and the Homo Jock King has GOT to be one of his best works! This is book 2 in his At First Sight Series. Book one Tell Me It's Real was just as side splitting. But, this one (and I didn't think it was possible) had me laughing even harder. Sandy/Helena is my spirit animal. Oh my word! I never. I don't have words for the awesomeness that is Sandy/ Helena. And Paul (his BFF) he is just as fabulous in this one. But the family?! I want just one holiday with them. ONE! And a group chat session!
Darren... poor Darren. So, my heart was sad for him at times. And he wants Sandy and I get why. And what Sandy puts him through? LMFAO! I can't breathe just thinking about it.
I love that this was a long book but it didn't feel like a long book. I could have read these characters for days. I wish I could join this world TJ Klune has so brilliantly created. This is one of the best books I've read this year by far!

The Law of Attraction by Jay Northcote

When a professional relationship turns personal, it’s impossible to resist the law of attraction.

Alec Rowland is a high-flying lawyer in a London firm whose career is his life. He doesn’t have time for relationships and his sexuality is a closely guarded secret. After picking up a cute guy on a Friday night, Alec’s world is rocked to its foundations when his one night stand shows up in the office on Monday morning—as the new temp on his team.

Ed Piper is desperate to prove himself in his new job. The last thing he needs is to be distracted by a crush on his boss. It’s hard to ignore the attraction he feels, even though Alec’s a difficult bastard to work for.

Both men strive to maintain a professional relationship, but tempers fray, passions ignite, and soon they’re both falling hard and fast. If they’re ever going to find a way to be together, Alec needs to be honest about who he really is because Ed won’t go back in the closet for anyone.


When you read the first chapter of a book and want to cry because you know it’s going to be everything you have been craving, it’s a win for the week! I truly adored this book. It’s one of my most favorite tropes. Alec is a lawyer in a very prestigious firm, Ed is his temp. They sleep together before meeting and then DO meet and… yeah. It’s so freaking awesome!
Alec, he projects some jerkiness, but his upbringing, his past, and yeah a bit of a life of his own making has made him what he is today. Fear is a great motivator as they say and his whole life he feared coming out. Only when he’s faced with losing something or should I say someone does the fear change.
Ed, is FANTASTIC!! He of course had a different upbringing than Alec and he is proud of who he is. He’s the best thing to ever happen to Alec.
This story had me teary and excited. I never wanted it to end and wish there was like a million more pages of these two.
Jay Northcote has written a wonderful story. A love story. Every facet of Ed and Alec was emotional and poetic and you just get lost in them
This is a refreshing and breathtaking tale!

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  1. The Mannies Inc. books by Sean Michaels.

  2. March was a slow reading month for me. But the upcoming Prince of the Playhouse by Tara Lain was one that I read and enjoyed.

  3. Dirty Kiss by Rhys Ford was awesome. On the kinkier side, I also enjoyed the Viking Captivity series by Brad Vance. The Dare in the Dungeon series by SM Johnson was really good, and I also read Will and Patrick Fight their Feelings by Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths--that series is the bomb, trust me.

  4. Spencer Cohen Book 2 by NR Walker

  5. Spencer Cohen Book 1 by NR Walker, The Law of Attraction by Jay Northcote, Playing to Win and Playing with Fire by Avery Cockburn. Listened to some great audiobooks too :)

  6. I've not really read anything new this much but I reread Graffitti Moon by Cath Crawley which I absolutely love

  7. Rethinking the Andrew Grey release, the "bit of mystery" has me adding it to a wishlist

  8. Lots of fab books out in March especially Rhys Fords "Dirty Heart" and Nr Walkers "Spencer" Books.

  9. I loved "Love Starved" by Kate Fierro. Not sure if it's a new release or not but loved it!

  10. I read and really enjoyed the Princes of Blood series by Megan Derr, which included Of Last Resort, With Pride, and In Despair.