grief

Manny Makes Three by Sean Ashcroft Review

   Manny Makes Three by Sean Ashcroft 3 Stars! 

Single father Mark doesn’t have enough hours in the day to both take care of his son, Dylan, and work his stressful marketing job by himself. Facing the prospect of having to leave Dylan with his aunt over the summer break, he realises that what he needs is a nanny.

Thankfully, Mannies Inc. have just the right guy for the job. Josh is qualified, good with kids, and more or less a human ray of sunshine. His resumé speaks for itself, and when he and Dylan hit it off, Mark knows he’s the perfect person to hire.

Mark’s never thought of himself as attracted to other men, but Josh is so warm and kind and good to him, not to mention amazing with Dylan. He finds himself drawn to the other man in a way he’s never experienced before, but he’s been alone for so long that he can’t bring himself to care. So what if he’s suddenly attracted to a man?

Josh is also struggling with his attraction to Mark, a man who represents everything he wants in life–stability, companionship, and a family of his own. He knows better than to believe that Mark would want him like that, but it’s so easy to dream…

Both men have already been hurt by love, but can they open their hearts again before their doubts tear them apart? Or will their worlds prove to be too different for them to be together?

 

Review

This is a super sweet romance between widower and his manny.

Mark is a great guy and so is Josh. Well, Josh is epically wonderful and kind.

It is lovely story that is thoughtful about grief and employer/employee relationships.

It could have been as thoughtful about bisexuality but it is a lovely light read overall.

True Brit by Con Riley 4 Star Review

    True Brit by Con Riley 4 Stars!

Winning the United Kingdom’s favorite singing contest is a challenge for half-Afghani Pasha Trueman. He doesn’t have the best voice, but success would be life-changing. His strategy is simple—he’ll make the British public love him.

Ed Britten is an ex-soldier with a different agenda. Winning means he’ll keep a promise made after a deadly Afghan ambush. His voice is his weapon, but he leaves his heart unguarded.

Ed and Pasha’s discovery that the contest isn’t a fair fight calls for creative tactics. Staging a fake love story could bring victory, only there’s more at stake than the prestigious first prize. If winning means surrendering each other, they could both end up losing.

Review

I was utterly charmed by this book but it has some loose ends that were annoying because if these issues had been addresses it would have went from being a very good lover story to an excellent one.

Pasha and Ed are very different people. However, they are on a singing show together and end up needing each other and liking each other very much.

This a spot on pretend relationship plot for those of you who like me love those. It is great.

They communicate and are steadfast. There are lots of twists and turns that I don’t want to give away. Each character is detailed and the exploration of the heroes and falling in love is grand against the backdrop of the show.

They are both very smart but hurting and take time to show each other fully who they are.

It is a really good book.

The ends that that dangle: A better understanding of what happen to Ed in the army, more with Pasha’s auntie and his sexuality… And others stuff lol.

Very good overall.

Arrows Through Archer by Nash Summers Review

   Arrows Through Archer by Nash Summers 3.5 Stars

fter the loss of his parents, Archer Hart is consumed by grief. Each day, he struggles his way through classes, parties, and trying to put on a good front for the sake of his best friend. But at night, he falls asleep to the sound of gunshots ringing in his ears.

Mallory is a man fighting a war of emotions all his own. When his son invites his best friend back home to Banff over a college break, he’s happy for the company.

Some time during the late-night talks, subtle smiles, and long, long silences, the two men begin to find solace in one another.

Review

This was on odd book for me. I liked as much about it as I didn’t. Archer and Mallory are both sympathetic characters but as they are both taciturn, it is hard to get to know them.

I like the way the book is divided into half with a realistic separation of the characters in the middle and a change in point of view. I can feel the love for each other and they way grief is processed is powerful.

However, lots of details just flutter out there. Archer’s brother makes little sense or at least we don’t get to understand him nor Archer’s money situation. We barely get to see his parents nor really know what he looks like.

Mallory is less mysterious but even in his point of view his past and emotionial life are a bit blurred.

So, I enjoyed it as the writing itself was compelling but it could have been much better.

Christmas with Danny Fit by Amy Lane 4 Star Review!

   Christmas with Danny Fitby Amy Lane 4 Stars!

In a perfect moment of cold November sunshine, pudgy accountant Kit Allen realizes Jesse, his new office assistant, is everything he’s ever dreamed about in a man. Feeling supremely unworthy and desperate to get a life—even an imaginary one—Kit embarks on a self-improvement campaign featuring DVD fitness guru, Danny Fit. In the meantime, Jesse has begun a subtle campaign of his own, one designed to bring Kit out of his DVD dream world and into Jesse’s arms. Jesse isn’t perfect—he’s no Danny Fit—but he hopes that the kind, funny man who has been looking at him so soulfully since his first day at work has what it takes to be everything Jesse has always wanted.

Review

This romance was just so right.

Lane handles the small space of novella with mastery. Kit and Jesse are both vulnerable and both take big emotionial risks.

I love a plain Joe here and we get that in spades in Kit. All of reasoning for not coming out and living his life as he has make perfect sense.

And so do Jesse’s choices.

It is a warm fuzzy to watch the crush turn into love and we get holiday fun and kittens. 

Winter Knight by L. Valko Review

  Winter Knight by L. Valko 3 Stars!

fter three years living as a rich man’s toy, Micah Zaine is on his own again and struggling to salvage both his career and a shattered sense of self-worth. Accepting a position as a substitute kindergarten teacher seems like an excellent start, until he develops a crush on a student’s father.

Two years after the death of his beloved wife, Jacob Lournigran’s life revolves around work and raising his young son—a social life is nowhere in the picture. Until his meddling sister extends a holiday dinner invitation to his son’s handsome kindergarten teacher.

Spending time with Micah makes Jacob wonder if a friend could be just what he needs to start rebuilding his broken heart. And when financial difficulties and an angry ex put Micah in distress, Jacob has all the makings of a knight in shining armor.

Except Jacob is straight, and Micah is no damsel.

Review

This is a slow burn with Micah who is starting over after leaving an affair with a married man and Jacob whose is still grieving for his wife while raising his child.

Jacob is likely demisexual but the novella doesn’t talk about it much. This is mainly a book about falling in love, healing, and a bit of fairy tale love makes everything okay.

Wrapped Together (Portland Heat) Annabeth Albert Review

Review:

Wrapped Together  - Annabeth Albert

For a stationery store owner, the holidays are great for business. But for Hollis Alcott, Christmas reminds him of the tragic events of three years past, and the last thing he wants to do is take part in Portland’s over-abundance of festive cheer. But Sawyer Murphy, a hunky gift shop owner whose brother is married to Hollis’s sister, has made it his mission to pluck Hollis out of his holiday blues. And his plan is beginning to work. Wrapped in the warm glow of newfound passion, the former business rivals hit up Portland’s finest holiday traditions—and Hollis’s icy attitude begins to melt like snowflakes on his tongue. But he isn’t sure he can trust anyone with the only gift he has—his heart—without breaking it like an antique ornament. Unless he can find the courage to take a leap with the one lover he never expected . . .

 

Review

 

A lovely addition to the series with a Christmas flare. I adore this street in Portland and love Hollis Alcott and Sawyer Murphy in this friends to lovers opposites attract romance.

Hollis is a great uptight hero who it turns out is uber sexy in bed. Sawyer is a wonderful sunny hero.

 

I wanted a little more on the issue of Sawyer just not being read for a relationship with Hollis until recently. It would have given the book more depth to explore this topic but it is a enjoyable romance with lots of quirks and turns.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1581465/wrapped-together-portland-heat-annabeth-albert-review

Knit Tight (Portland Heat) Annabeth Albert Review

Review:

Knit Tight - Annabeth Albert

One of Portland’s hottest young baristas, Brady is famous for his java-topping flair, turning a regular cup of joe into a work of art. Every Wednesday—aka “Knit Night”—hordes of women and their needles descend on the coffeehouse, and Brady’s feeling the heat. Into the fray walks a tall, dark, and distractingly handsome stranger from New York. His name is Evren, and he’s the sexy nephew of Brady’s sweetest customer, the owner of the yarn shop down the street. He’s also got a killer smile, confident air, and masculine charm that’s tying Brady’s stomach in knots. The smitten barista can’t wait to see him at the next week’s gathering. But when he tries to ask Evren out, his plans unravel faster than an unfinished edge. If Brady hopes to warm up more than Evren’s coffee, he’ll have to find a way to untangle their feelings, get out of the friend zone, and form a close-knit bond that’s bound to last a lifetime…

 

Review

 

I like a great deal about this romance.

 

Brady is wonderful hardworking young man. He is providing for his family when his world collides with Evern a famous knit blogger who has come home to care for his Aunt and her yarn shop as she fights cancer.

 

Evern nor Brady have time to fall in love. When they decided its too late this becomes a compelling and kind romance about make room.

 

However, Evern is really closed in and the aspects of his character like his art and cultural background don’t get explored as much as I would like. The issues with Brady’s younger sister are really left tangled (this might be a reality but it didn’t make for the best read.)

 

I love Brady but I wanted to feel as strongly about Evern for the book to be a real success. It still adds nicely to the series.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1581486/knit-tight-portland-heat-annabeth-albert-review

Quinn’s Gambit (AURA, #1) by Angel Martinez and Bellora Quinn Review

    Quinn’s Gambit (AURA Book 1) by Angel Martinez and Bellora Quinn 4 Stars!

An unregistered human con wizard and a duty-bound, straight-laced elf cop. As New York explodes with dangerous creatures, their passion goes nuclear.

After a terrible magical accident at Berkeley created unpredictable holes between realities, all manner of non-human creatures started popping into our world. These displacements, called Random Anomalous Reality Events or RARE, have taken magic out of fiction and relocated it firmly in reality, resulting in a great deal of chaos and confusion. Displaced elf Valerian works with AURA, the Agency of Unnatural Resettlement and Assimilation, to intercept these beings as they appear in the human world, helping the peaceful ones and subduing the violent, malevolent ones. It’s good, satisfying work, and Val would be happy if he wasn’t so lonely.

Quinten is a young mage just trying to get by, but New York isn’t the easiest city to make a living in. If his methods are sometimes morally dubious, his heart is still in the right place. Of course, for Quinn, the right place means firmly locked away, protected at all costs. Living by his wits and sometimes magically induced luck, he works as a ‘freelance magic user’, or unregistered mage and small-time con, according to the authorities. The last thing Quinn wants is to draw the cops’ attention, but when an Event happens right on top of him, he’s forced to turn to AURA for help. Valerian isn’t at all what he’d expected in an AURA cop, and he certainly wasn’t expecting to join forces with the sexy elf, a snarky drow and a bitter incubus, when certain individuals in power try to stop the RARE by any means necessary.

Things are not all what they seem at AURA headquarters, and a greater evil lurks at the top than anyone could have imagined.

Review

Quinn’s Gambit is a wonderful Fantasy/Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance.

The world building is excellent and based on the idea that there is a magical rift dropping all sorts of magic beings into Earth. One of our heroes is a police Elf older and grieving the lost of his mates in the other realm with Alpha mixed in with the social awkwardness of adjusting to a new culture and being deeply hurt. Our other hero is Quinn, troubled in his own ways, a mage hiding the extent of his power and much younger, working as a con man.

They, of course, get together and the save the world.

This is a slow burn romance with a wonderful cast of others and a great premise of being set in this agency of crime solving and magical being immigration. The other all tone is light but with some dark topics, great character driven romance and adventure.

Baked Fresh (Portland Heat) Annabeth Albert Review

Review:

Baked Fresh (Portland Heat) - Annabeth Albert

Vic Degrassi is a baker on the rise, and it’s all thanks to his rare ability to make—and keep—his New Year’s resolutions. Whether it’s losing weight, giving up smoking, or graduating from culinary school, Vic goes after what he wants—and gets it. This year? He wants Robin Dawson, the sweet-hearted hottie who volunteers with him at the local homeless shelter. When he learns that Robin is suddenly single after being unceremoniously dumped, Vic is more than happy to offer a shoulder to cry on—or at least a fresh-baked pastry to bite into. But it’s been a long time since Vic’s gone on a date, and he’s nervous about risking his friendship with Robin. So when their flirtation turns into a steamy night together, Vic and Robin have to figure out if they’re friends with benefits or lovers in the making, and if Robin is ready for something more than just a rebound. There’s only one way to find out: turn up the heat…

 

Review

 

This is another great character driven romance with Annabeth Albert.

 

A wonderful love story about what it means to be in love with a person with a fully realized past. Both Vic and Robin carry a lot of their old selves into their romance.

Here we get a nice friends to lovers tale with the blending for two lives and taking risks to trust and love.

 

Very well written and engaging and as always with Albert the best parts of the book are in the details I don’t want to give away.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1581488/baked-fresh-portland-heat-annabeth-albert-review

Cutie and the Beast (Fae Out of Water #1) by E.J. Russell Review

    Cutie and the Beast (Fae Out of Water Book 1) by E.J. Russell 4 Stars! 

Temp worker David Evans has been dreaming of Dr. Alun Kendrick ever since that one transcription job for him, because holy cats, that voice. Swoon. So when his agency offers him a position as Dr. Kendrick’s temporary office manager, David neglects to mention that he’s been permanently banished from offices. Because, forgiveness? Way easier than permission.

Alun Kendrick, former Queen’s Champion of Faerie’s Seelie Court, takes his job as a psychologist for Portland’s supernatural population extremely seriously. Secrecy is paramount: no non-supe can know of their existence. So when a gods-bedamned human shows up to replace his office manager, he intends to send the man packing. It shouldn’t be difficult — in the two hundred years since he was cursed, no human has ever failed to run screaming from his hideous face.

But cheeky David isn’t intimidated, and despite himself, Alun is drawn to David in a way that can only spell disaster: when fae consort with humans, it never ends well. And if the human has secrets of his own? The disaster might be greater than either of them could ever imagine.

 

Review

I was looking for a light paranormal romance and this just hit the spot.

Grumpy vs Sunny Hero is always a joy and a nice retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

The world building is good and the cast of others is a lot of fun,. I love how David is so much himself. He makes this book for me and his Aunts.

The end of the book gets a bit action adventure and I would love to pull back into the more character based stuff and the fun of the Other World which is much for intersting that Fairy to me and there are some plot holes  but all in and all a pleasure of a read.