winter

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.

A Second Harvest (Men of Lancaster County, #1) by Eli Easton Review

   A Second Harvest  by Eli Easton 4 Stars! 

David Fisher has lived by the rules all his life. Born to a Mennonite family, he obeyed his father and took over the family farm, married, and had two children. Now with both his kids in college and his wife deceased, he runs his farm alone and without joy, counting off the days of a life half-lived.

Christie Landon, graphic designer, Manhattanite, and fierce gay party boy, needs a change. Now thirty, he figures it’s time to grow up and think about his future. When his best friend overdoses, Christie resolves to take a break from the city. He heads to a small house in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to rest, recoup, and reflect.

But life in the country is boring despite glimpses of the hunky silver fox next door. When Christie’s creativity latches on to cooking, he decides to approach his widower neighbor with a plan to share meals and grocery expenses. David agrees, and soon the odd couple finds they really enjoy spending time together.

Christie challenges the boundaries of David’s closed world and brings out feelings he buried long ago. If he can break free of the past, he might find a second chance at happiness

 

Review

A lovely romance between a Mennonite farmer and a younger man.

I loved the building of a friendship that allowed Christie and David to fall in love before our eyes. All the details of the farm are wonderful.

David’s life and Christie’s life are full and rich before they meet each other and have powerful impacts on their relationship.

This is a wonderful slow burn romance with a great Happily Ever After pay off that you will root for and believe in.

Wake Up Married Serial, Episodes 1 – 6 by Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths

4.5 Stars!!!

Episode One: Will & Patrick Wake Up Married

After a drunken night of hot sex in Vegas, strangers Will Patterson and Dr. Patrick McCloud wake up married. A quickie divorce is the most obvious way out—unless you’re the heir of a staunchly Catholic mafia boss with a draconian position on the sanctity of marriage. Throw their simmering attraction into the mix and all bets are off!

Episode Two: Will & Patrick Meet the Family

Meeting the family is challenging for every new couple. But for Will and Patrick, the awkward family moments only grow more hilarious–and painful–when they must hide the truth of their predicament from the people they care about most. Throw in the sexual tension flaring between them and you’ve got a recipe for madcap laughs and surprisingly heartwarming feels.

Episode Three: Will & Patrick Do the Holidays

A couple’s first holiday season is always a special time. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve are magical when you’re in love. Too bad Will and Patrick’s marriage is a sham and they’re only faking their affection for each other. Or are they? Sparks fly in this episode of the Wake Up Married serial. Will the sexual tension between Will and Patrick finally explode in a needy night of passion? Or will they continue to deny their feelings?

Episode Four: Will & Patrick Fight Their Feelings

Will and Patrick have embraced adding hot sexy-times to their fake marriage, but as their emotions deepen, they confront whether or not they want to be more than friends-with-benefits. The heat is high (and occasionally kinky) as Will and Patrick struggle to accept their mutual affection.

Episode Five: Will & Patrick Meet the Mob

Patrick has finally accepted that he’s in love with Will, but his newfound determination to do something about that runs up against his father-in-law’s mobster plans. Will must face the truth about his family before he can fully come to terms with his feelings for Patrick. And Patrick has to decide if this whackadoodle world is something he truly wants to be part of forever.

Episode Six: Will & Patrick’s Happy Ending

Sure, Will and Patrick are in love now, but they weren’t when they got married in Vegas. For Patrick, that’s no problem, but Will can’t shake his doubts that a relationship started through coercion can ever become the real deal. Since the Molinaro crime family has reversed their position on divorce, Will and Patrick have a chance to rectify their drunken mistake. But is divorce the right choice for them?

Review

This book has all the cat nip. It is a sheer joy to read as it plays with tropes through hyperbole and reversals while mixing in powerful psychological depth.

It is at once silly and moving with a grand love story at its heart.

It would have been a 5 Star read for me but its a Serial (I hate them with all my heart) and there is some sex aftermath body stuff that happens repeatedly and is just a bit ewww for me in the way that it is described.

There is a lot of silly here that makes it fun. We have a strangers marry Vegas while drunk fun with opposites attract joy through in. They have to stay married because of an inheritance clause from the Mob family of Will who is much younger than the Patrick. Fun!

And yet each of these standard (and great in my opinion) is explored at the same time with emotionial truths. Will was drunk that night because he was relapsing in his alcoholism after getting dumped by his long time boyfriend via a phone call. The book does a beautiful job with addiction, recovery, and family made more compelling because Patrick is a neurosurgeon and looks at addiction biologically.

The mob family stuff show layers of recklessness and disfunction of Will’s family. Will has diabetes and the book details the daily life of such a disease. Will’s last relationship was awful and Patrick’s gruff but steadfast treatment and care and eventual love of will is a wonderful display what love should be. He respects and treasures Will.

Patrick is his own gruff, arrogant, funny mess. I don’t want to give to many spoilers as to why but he has a hard time with so much feeling and yet…he is the very best. The friendships he develops are their own awesome love story.

There is a joy in this book too that while internalized homophobia does come up they fact that gay marriage is legal means that everyone in the book simply looks at their marriage as a marriage.  The end.

This is just such a wonderful read with so much healing and love. Read it.

Barbarian’s Lady (Ice Planet Barbarians, #13) by Ruby Dixon

3.5 Stars

You’d think a tall woman would fit in on a planet of seven-foot-tall aliens, but even on the ice planet, I’m still a weirdo and an oddity. I’m everything all the other cute, dainty human women aren’t.

One guy in particular – the alien Harrec – is determined to embarrass me by pretending he’s interested. He’s a jokester that flirts like mad and hits on me constantly just to make me feel foolish. He gets under my skin. He makes me so frustrated I want to scream.

When a side-trip to a glacier turns into a nightmare and the two of us are forced to survive alone, I see another side to the enticing blue alien. Even with no one else around, his compliments keep coming and I start wondering if the attraction between us…is real.

Review 

I love a sunny (not brooding hero) and we get a lovely one (if clueless at times) here.

There are many wonderful parts of this books once the heroine’s tedious (because they go on too long) self esteem issues are moved past.

They are sweet together. The heroine is strong and awesome. The adventure is a good one.

Enjoy!

The Demon Prince (Ars Numina Book 2) by Ann Aguirre 5 Star Review

   The Demon Prince (Ars Numina Book 2) by Ann Aguirre

Charming. Irreverent. Haunted.
Alastor Vega is the sole challenger in a brutal battle for succession. Against all odds, he must stop his power-mad brother, Tycho, before he destroys the Numina. Though he never wanted to rule, he must claim the throne and liberate his people, or the consequences will be calamitous. Yet only the surprising support of a beautiful Animari doctor gives him the fortitude to fight.

Focused. Analytical. Solitary.
Dr. Sheyla Halek has always been more interested in research than personal contact, but family ties—and the needs of her pride—keep her in Ash Valley, deferring her dreams. Brusque and abrasive at the best of times, she never expected to bond with anyone, let alone Golgoth royalty. Strangely, Alastor seems to need her as no one has before, and not only for her medical skills.

Their attraction is forbidden, likely doomed beyond the wildness of wartime, but these fires burn too hot and sweet to be contained…

Review

I really loved the first book in this series but this one is even better.

The heroine… The hero… The plot… The world building…. The series arc… The romance…

Spot on.

This love story takes place during the start of what will be a long war where the paranormal species must unite and fight together to defeat a cruel enemy.

Our hero is a prince of the demon shifters who must rally the exiles and his people against his brother who is the tyrant who wants more power and to the cull the weak. The hero has suffered a horrible illness his entire life and his out of his meds.

Thus, our heroine, a doctor and researcher, is assigned to him and choses to follow him to the front lines. She is a cat shifter, on the spectrum, and fierce as hell.

The hero is a charmer and burdened with his too large task.

Their love story is epic and so hot. I don’t want to spoil with the details but our heroine give the hero a safe place to just be and it is amazing.

The culture building is grand as are all the secondary characters.

This is just top notch story telling. If you like Paranormal Romance, this book is a must read for you.

I was given this book for my honest review (Though I would have bought it anyway), So, there you have it!

Documenting Light by EE Ottoman Review

4.5 Stars!

If you look for yourself in the past and see nothing, how do you know who you are? How do you know that you’re supposed to be here?

When Wyatt brings an unidentified photograph to the local historical society, he hopes staff historian Grayson will tell him more about the people in the picture. The subjects in the mysterious photograph sit side by side, their hands close but not touching. One is dark, the other fair. Both wear men’s suits.

Were they friends? Lovers? Business partners? Curiosity drives Grayson and Wyatt to dig deep for information, and the more they learn, the more they begin to wonder — about the photograph, and about themselves.

Grayson has lost his way. He misses the family and friends who anchored him before his transition and the confidence that drove him as a high-achieving graduate student. Wyatt lives in a similar limbo, caring for an ill mother, worrying about money, unsure how and when he might be able to express his nonbinary gender publicly. The growing attraction between Wyatt and Grayson is terrifying — and incredibly exciting.

As Grayson and Wyatt discover the power of love to provide them with safety and comfort in the present, they find new ways to write the unwritten history of their own lives and the lives of people like them. With sympathy and cutting insight, Ottoman offers a tour de force exploration of contemporary trans identity.

Review

This is rich romance filled with nerdy historical details of Upstate New York, queer history, and reading the text of photographs.

It is moving looking at falling in love between two working class people–one a trans man and one gender queered person not yet out.

There is angst and the ties of family and work in the middle of this winter. The writing is lyrical and academic and tender.

The love story hopeful but realistic. Very good!

4.5!

Alien Refuge (World of Kalquor #7) by Tracy St. John Review

Review:

Alien Refuge (Clans of Kalquor) by Tracy St. John (2013-03-12) - Tracy St. John

All Iris Jenson wants is a safe place to raise her autistic six-year-old Thomas. She thinks she’s found it on Haven, an Earther colony located within the Kalquorian Empire’s borders. Making a fresh start under the watchful eyes of Earth’s former enemy has its challenges, but it also possesses opportunities to live free of fear, something Iris hasn’t had in a long time. Love is an added surprise when Haven’s governor Dramok Ospar and his clanmates Nobek Jol and Imdiko Rivek enter the young widow’s life.

Trouble is brewing on Haven Colony, however. Insurgent Earthers want to free themselves of Kalquor’s influence, and Kalquor itself is on the brink of a revolt, led by the shadowy figure known only as the Basma. Then a violent ghost from Iris’ past reappears and threatens to snatch Thomas from those who love him. Ospar’s clan races against time to save Haven from a bloody rebellion and Thomas from the grasp of a monster.

Mild BDSM, including anal play/intercourse, bondage, Dom/sub play, forced seduction, and multiple sexual partners (m/f/m/m).

 

 

Review

With this series, the plot arc for the whole series often interferes with what are really tender (albeit erotic) love stories.

 

If the book was more nuanced about the villains and the cultural issues and spent more time on the romance and the cultural world building, I would likely adore this series.

I tend to like it.

 

The heroine has been abused and is raising her son with autism on a colony world sponsored by the Aliens Earth was at war with just a few years ago.

 

All the parts with the begining of education and therapy for her son and the falling in love with the child for the heroes of this book are wonderful.

 

The falling in love with the heroine is nice as well. Especially the parts with the clergy hero. Well, the warrior hero is pretty sweet too.

 

Why when these men are bisexual don’t we get sexy times with each other? Sad about that in terms of really looking at a bisexual (at least for the males) poly culture.

 

All the other stuff is a lot of drama and I get a little sick of the zealotry and and hate and wish the series would settle into the two culture assimilating instead of the continued clash.

 

So, I will keep reading and enjoying and being annoyed at the same time.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1472990/alien-refuge-world-of-kalquor-7-by-tracy-st-john-review

Off the Map (Winter Rescue #2) by Tamara Morgan Review

Review:

Off the Map (Winter Rescue Book 2) - Tamara Morgan

 

Scott Richardson is one superstitious bastard.

After a decade of training rescue dogs to weather the worst storms, Scott has seen it all. Good luck, bad luck — he knows that a large part of survival is being in the right place at the right time. Which is why he’s determined to stay in the right place…as far away from his cursed ex-girlfriend as possible.

Carrie Morlock is a disaster waiting to happen.

An inveterate risk taker and skilled helicopter pilot, Carrie lives life on the edge. It’s her job to push boundaries and take chances — and it’s a job she does well, even if her ex fails to appreciate it. Too bad Scott won’t have much of a choice when one of his beloved dogs goes missing on a rescue mission. As danger rises and their luck runs out, she’s the only one willing to risk her life — and her heart — to save them.

 

Review

 

This was off the map in terms of strangeness. The hero and heroine are mean to each other. Mean but oh so funny.

 

The heroine is beyond quirky and I love that and just will not take crap. The hero really resists emotions. Really.

 

They bowl each other all time. And then there are dogs and snark and great friends and while I wish we got much more time in the HEA to make up for the punches in the face these two gave to each other I believed in this romance and I laughed.

 

It made me want to read more of her books. 

 

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1502264/off-the-map-winter-rescue-2-by-tamara-morgan-review