3 Stars

The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #15) by J.R. Ward Review

   The Chosen  by J.R. Ward 3 Stars! 

Xcor, leader of the Band of Bastards, convicted of treason against the Blind King, is facing a brutal interrogation and torturous death at the hands of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Yet after a life marked by cruelty and evil deeds, he accepts his soldier’s fate, his sole regret the loss of a sacred female who was never his: the Chosen Layla.

Layla alone knows the truth that will save Xcor’s life. But revealing his sacrifice and his hidden heritage will expose them both and destroy everything Layla holds dear—even her role of mother to her precious young. Torn between love and loyalty, she must summon the courage to stand up against the only family she has for the only man she will ever love. Yet even if Xcor is somehow granted a reprieve, he and Layla would have to confront a graver challenge: bridging the chasm that divides their worlds without paving the way for a future of even greater war, desolation, and death.

As a dangerous old enemy returns to Caldwell, and the identity of a new deity is revealed, nothing is certain or safe in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, not even true love . . . or destinies that have long seemed set in stone.

Review

The good news is that this book marks a series reset and an new plot arc. We are going to get a new set of heroes. Yea!

The bad news is the book is a mess. Layla and Xcor story has to be read over the course of about 5 books. I hate that. If you are a fan of this series, you need to read this book but honestly they suffer and suffer and suffer and that doesn’t get resolved until way late in this book.

And then there is all of everything else crammed in here and the end is a unclear picnic and rushed.

I want a romance centered book. I do. So, sue me. lol

I hope the the next turn in the series gives me that.

Quiet Nights (Mangrove Stories #2) by Mary Calmes Review

Review:

Quiet Nights - Mary Calmes

It’s a lovely little life Kelly Seaton leads. He’s got his own landscaping business, a nice little house, and his best friend, Cosimo Renaldi, and Coz’s goofball family who have adopted Kelly as their own. Sure, it’s a little lonely at night, but it’s a sweet deal, and Kelly can’t chance ruining it by letting on that he wants more—has always wanted more—with Coz.

Then Kelly’s past comes to town, bringing bad memories and hurt feelings that start to break Kelly down, and Coz just doesn’t understand why Kelly won’t let him be the support and strength that Kelly’s always been for him. They’ve already been through war, Coz’s devastating injury, and starting new careers in Mangrove, Florida. Why shouldn’t they face their chaotic pasts and build their future of quiet nights… together?

 

Review

 

There is a ton to like in this little novella. Its funny and charming. The family is wonderful. I like small towns and love friends to lovers.

The plot zips along and the heroes both grow and change.

What isn’t that enjoyable as I don’t really understand what held them back I don’t get to enjoy them being together. It is a bit slap dash in this way.

 

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1585269/quiet-nights-mangrove-stories-2-by-mary-calmes-review

Femme by Marshall Thornton Review

  Femme by Marshall Thornton  3 Stars!

Queeny cocktail waiter, Lionel, wakes up to find himself in bed with Dog, a straight-acting softball player and the two embark on a rocky road to romance. A journey that requires coming out of the closet, going into the closet, a pair of red high heels, many pairs of red high heels, a failed intervention, a couple of aborted dates, and homemade pom-poms. Mostly, Lionel and Dog learn what it means to be a man.

Review

There is a lot I like about this book–Its Long Beach setting, the funny bits, the friendships, the characters, the exploration of intra dynamic in queer culture.

I wish there was more to the romance as why Lionel would love Dog and more time of them being together. Each hero’s personal journey is interesting and the plot is both mad cap and touching in place but the love story needed more time for me.

Yes by Brad Boney Review

   Yes by Brad Boney 

What if youth wasn’t wasted on the young?

On the eve of his fortieth birthday, Ian Parker is looking for a reboot. He may be the proud owner of a trendy coffee shop in Austin called La Tazza Magica, but his love life has been MIA for years. During a trip to Denver with his best friend, Mark, Ian buys an enchanted chocolate from a mysterious candy store—then wakes up from a nap two decades younger. After the initial shock, Ian realizes a quirk of the universe has given him a second chance and, with Mark’s help, he devises a plan to start over.

With a new lease on life, Ian sets his sights on handsome architect Bartley James, a regular customer at La Tazza. He pursues Bartley as Ian’s twenty-one-year-old alter ego, Ryan, with decidedly unexpected results. Joining Ryan on his adventures are Matthew, the dreamy new barista, Jeremy, the geeky high-school math teacher, and Sam, the pizza delivery boy. Even as misunderstandings and expectations collide, Ian remains determined to right his past mistakes and find his off-ramp to happiness.

 

Review

This book is a lot about regret. The story is engaging and the concept intersting. I like the writing style as well but as a romance it didn’t work very well for me.

I need more couple time than this book provided.

However, it is an good read with endearing characters.

Sweet Topping (Cattle Valley #3) by Carol Lynne Review

    Sweet Topping by Carol Lynne 3 Stars! 

Wheelchair-bound, Kyle Brynn loves his home above the bakery he owns and runs. He’s proud of everything he’s managed to accomplish since the accident six years ago that took the use of his legs. At the age of twenty-six he’s an independent man living on his own, despite the protests from his family. However, with his independence comes loneliness. It’s not the townspeople’s fault that they see him as less of a man, it’s his.

Darshawn ‘Gill’ Gilling quit professional football at the height of his career without a word to the press as to why. Now settled in Cattle Valley, Gill’s happy running his garage and gas station. His life is much easier since coming out of the closet to his friends and family. He just wishes he’d had someone to come out for. Most folks in town tend to be a little awestruck when Gill comes around, but if he wanted fans he’d have stayed in football. What he really wants is that cute little baker down the street.

 

Review

This is a sweet romance. It does a decent job looking at a love life after an accident that left the one of our heros using a wheelchair.

Nicely, the books begins several years after the injury and he has a fully life and a hot man with a huge crush on him.

There is nothing really wrong with this book but the setting, the characters, and the plot are pretty thin. As with a lot of long running series, it likely relies on the series as a whole to build depth.

This is my first book in the series. I may or may not read more.

WTF (Geek Actually #1.1) by Cathy Yardley Review

Review:

Geek Actually: WTF (Season 1 Episode 1) - Rachel Stuhler, Melissa Blue, Cecilia Tan, Cathy Yardley

Meet your new best girlfriends in this sexy, genre-busting serial that’s all about feminism, friendship, and fandom.

Michelle and Aditi have been friends for ages, but with Michelle as Aditi’s editor for her debut fantasy novel, their relationship is under a bit of strain. Aditi needs to blow off some steam-a hot Tinder date does the trick (and then some). Meanwhile, Taneesha and Elli are both having some job trouble.

Join this tight-knit group of lady geeks as they navigate the ups and downs of their personal and professional lives. Michelle is a hard-nosed fantasy and sci-fi editor used to things going her way. Taneesha is a talented video game programmer used to being the odd (wo)man out. Aditi is a fantasy writer on the verge of her big break. Christina is a rebel on the sidelines of Hollywood. And Elli is a fan-of anything and everything that keeps her from “proper adulting.” They might live far apart, but through the power of the internet and a shared love of all things geek, they are ready to face the world together.

 

Review

 

This is a fun start to an interesting concept of series. 

The idea is that is like a TV show with geeky heroines and romance. I love Yardley and many of the writers but I hate serials. However, I am always up for trying something new.

This might have worked but it is more Chic Lit of Women’s Fiction/Drama than romance. 

And I don’t get enough time to really invest in the characters so as charming as this world is I am far from all in.

I will read several more in the series to see if it improves.

I was given this book for my honest review. So, there you have it.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1584055/wtf-geek-actually-1-1-by-cathy-yardley-review

Geared Up (Tales Of The Citadel #54) by Viola Grace Review

Review:

Geared Up (Tales of the Citadel Book 54) - Viola Grace

Niad has controlled herself since returning from the Citadel. She has kept out of the public eye and kept off the Guardians’ radar. Her talent is not encouraged by her people, and she is not legally allowed to participate in a rescue, a natural disaster or any law-enforcement actions.

She keeps her head down and continues her work as a vehicle repair specialist until the day that her careful actions mix with a disaster. She finds a fire where a repair job is supposed to be and takes steps to do the best she can for those trapped inside.

That one act is observed by one of the Guardians and evolves into an arrest, a charge, freedom and a change in position. She is ready to gear up.

 

Review

What I love about this book is that we have a working class heroine, a mechanic, with a job that is little valued in her culture and that she uses her skills to save people.

 

Very fun. The romance is nice too and she has great parents.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1468538/geared-up-tales-of-the-citadel-54-by-viola-grace-review

Blue Days (Mangrove Stories, #1) by Mary Calmes Review

Review:

Blue Days -  Mary Calmes

Falling for a coworker is rarely a good idea, especially for a man getting a last chance at salvaging his career. But from the moment Dwyer Knolls sees the beautiful but socially awkward Takeo Hiroyuki, he seems destined to make bad decisions.

 

Takeo’s life is a string of failed attempts to please his traditional Japanese father. Unfortunately, succeeding in business turns out to be just as difficult for Takeo as changing from gay to straight. In fact, the only thing Takeo seems to truly excel at is taking notice of Dwyer Knolls.

 

When Dwyer and Takeo head to Mangrove, Florida on a real estate buying trip, their tentative friendship combusts and becomes much more. Is their sudden connection real enough to bank their futures on, or should they chalk the whole thing up to the daze inspired by the blue ocean breeze?

 

Review

 

This is a very sweet slow burn romance. I love a socially awkward hero and we get that in every way while have the fun of a stunningly attractive man and great friends to lovers story. 

They sort of combust which is fun. However, this love story had a ton of places it could have been richer with Japanese culture and LGTBQ issues for example and we know nearly nothing of one the hero’s past romantic life. 

Sex is pretty much off page but not totally and I wanted more after such a build up. 

The epilogue is awesome but more couple time would have been great. 

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1585268/blue-days-mangrove-stories-1-by-mary-calmes-review

Base Instincts by Larissa Ione Review

    Base Instincts  by Larissa Ione 3 Stars! 

As a Seminus demon, Raze’s life literally depends on having sex with females. The problem is that he doesn’t desire females, and it’s physically impossible for him to be with males. Thankfully, he and his best friend, Fayle, have an arrangement that keeps him alive . . . if lonely. He finds some solace in his work as a medic at Thirst, a vampire club known for its rough clientele. But his carefully structured world turns upside down when he meets a mysterious male who makes him want what he can never have.

Slake is an assassin used to getting what he wants, and what he wants is Raze. But he also wants to earn back the soul he sold when he was a much different demon. All he has to do is capture a runaway succubus named Fayle and hand her over to her family. What he doesn’t count on is being caught himself by a web of lies—and his attraction to Raze.

Raze and Slake must navigate a dangerous world to be together. But as Fayle’s jealousy of their relationship turns deadly, they find themselves embroiled in a battle not only for their love, but their lives and souls.

 

Review

I love the heros and I love this world. The weird issue of being gay and need to complete in a woman is hard to overcome but some clever plotting does the trick.

The romance is engaging but there are too many loose ends for me to be totally happy with the book and rushed parts.

Always happy to meet another Sem Demon though and see old friends in this series.

Training Season (Training Season, #1) by Leta Blake Review

  Training Season by Leta Blake  3 Stars!

Unquestionably talented figure skater Matty Marcus is willing to sacrifice everything for his Olympic dream, but his lack of discipline cost him the gold once before. Now the pressure’s on. He needs a coach who can keep him in line, but top coaches don’t come cheap, and Matty can’t afford to stay in the game no matter how badly he wants to win.

When a lucrative house-sitting gig brings him to rural Montana, Matty does his best to maintain his training regimen. Local residents turn out to be surprisingly tolerant of his flamboyant style, especially handsome young rancher Rob Lovely, who proves to be much more than a cowboy stereotype. Just as Matty requires a firm hand to perform his best on the ice, Rob shows him how strong he can be when he relinquishes control in the bedroom. With new-found self-assurance, he drives himself harder to go straight to the top.

But competition has a timetable, and to achieve his Olympic dream, Matty will have to join his new coach in New York City, leaving Rob behind. Now he must face the ultimate test. Has he truly learned how to win—on and off the ice—during his training season?

 

 

Review

I have mixed feelings about this book. If you like angsty romance, you will love this one. If you like BDSM well done, you will like it as well.

Rob is a wonderful complex character with all kinds of intersting pockets of who he is.

Matty is super messed up. I have trouble setting into a book when the lead needs therapy and does not get it nor is it really talked about. He is messed up in intersting ways though.

It is very rough road for this couple and because the other book I had read by Blake was so funny, I longed for more light at least in parts.