Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Cover Reveal: Astray (Wavesong #1) by Elvira Bell

Astray (Wavesongs #1) Elvira Bell 
Release Date: May 1, 2018 
Genre: Romance, Historical fiction, LGBT, M/M, Coming of age, Pirates, Age gap

Nick Andrews has grown up in poverty in a tiny village. All his life he’s been told that he’s useless. After getting one scolding too many he decides to go far away, off to sea. But his experience as a farmhand has done little to prepare him for the hardships of a sailor’s life.

When his ship is attacked by pirates, Nick’s life is miraculously spared by the notorious pirate captain, Christopher Hart—a man in charge of a crew feared for their brutality. Nick is forced to join the pirates, and he dreads finding out for what reason the captain has saved him.

But Hart is nothing like his reputation suggests, and Nick soon finds himself entangled in a relationship that could endanger both their lives. Unless Nick can help Hart on his quest to find a long lost treasure, their forbidden love may tear his new life apart.


Meet the Author Elvira Bell lives in Sweden and spends most of her time writing, reading or watching movies. Her weaknesses include, but are not limited to: vintage jazz, musicals, kittens, oversized tea cups, men in suits, the 18th century, and anything sparkly. Elvira writes m/m fiction with a touch of romance and has a penchant for historical settings. She adores all things gothic and will put her characters through hell from time to time because she just loves watching them suffer. It makes the happy endings so much sweeter, after all.

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Friday, March 9, 2018

Review: The Stolen Suitor by Eli Easton

The Stolen Suitor by Eli Easton
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 270pgs

3.5 Pants Off

Blurb: His future was set until a thief stole his heart.

All of Clyde’s Corner, Montana, knows local dandy Chris Ramsey will marry Trix Stubben, young widow and heir to the richest ranch in the area. But one woman isn’t too keen on the idea. Mabe Crassen wants to get her hands on that ranch, so she sets her older son to court Trix, and her younger son, Jeremy, to distract Chris and lure him astray.

Jeremy Crassen thinks his mother’s scheme is crazy. But he wants desperately to go off to college, which Mabe will agree to—if he seduces Chris. How will shy, virginal, secretly gay Jeremy attract Chris, who seems determined to do the right thing and marry Trix? Jeremy can’t compete with a rich female widow. Or can he?


A Suitor For Everyone 

The Stolen Suitor, or what I’m dubbing as The stolen story-line. While I enjoyed the writing, and realizing that I like Eli Easton’s style, in no way did this book deliver on what I was expecting. What is it with this series that be giving so an amazing start and then disappointing you towards the end. This one had it all until it didn’t.

Jeremy Crassen had to just listen to his mom tell him about how he’s going to steal Chris Ramsey from the girl he’s dating because she can’t allow him to inherit a ranch. To make matters worse she’s also pulled in his older brother to do some seducing of his own. Jeremy can’t quite comprehend why his mom would have him seduce a guy unless she’s figured out that he’s gay. He’s sure he hadn’t been given off any vibes, he just moves quietly through the town knowing that no one ever sees him. 

One thing is for sure he can’t deny his mom and so he puts himself to the task of seducing Chris Ramsey. Chris Ramsey with his college education, town charm good looks, and the fact that he’s dating and will most likely marry his dead best friends wife (the small town crazy is real). Downside Chris is doing all this dating out of a sense of responsibility, upside Jeremy Crassen has caught his eye and he’s most definitely not married yet.  

Now the story continues with so many POVs of people falling in love it becomes such a chore. But in all honesty, I didn’t completely hate it. I liked Jeremy he was super sweet and shy. I liked Chris with his hometown boy vibe, and together they were adorable. My problem lies with how all this love shit began with a seducing plan, it all began with a lie. In no way does the book even bring that up again, it all gets swept under the rug. I know the whole “what you don’t know won’t hurt you” thing is a good idea, but I didn’t like or appreciate it. 

The writing and the flow was good and I enjoyed it, but there was too much going on and I couldn’t get a feel for the overall story. Who and what this story is about got lost sometime in the middle and this book became everyone’s story. 

Zero conflict mostly apart from that one thing there at the end that was working ok, until another aspect of it makes it way into the storyline. That part wasn’t needed and another overwhelmingly plotty device bites the dust. 

The Stolen Suitor with its excellent writing, turned into a Suitor for everyone and it took away from the story. Seriously, so much shit going down!! 

Review: Heat Trap by J.L Merrow

Heat Trap (The Plumber's Mate Mysteries #3) by JL Merrow
Riptide Publishing
Novel: 318pgs

3.5 Pants Off

Blurb: Old flames can leave a nasty burn.

It’s been six months since plumber Tom Paretski was hit by a shocking revelation about his family, and he’s been avoiding dealing with it ever since. His lover, PI Phil Morrison, wants Tom to dig deeper into his history and try to develop his psychic talent for finding things, but Tom’s not nearly so keen. Just as he decides to bite the bullet, though, worse problems crawl out of the woodwork.

Young Devil’s Dyke barmaid Marianne has an ex, Grant Carey, who won’t accept that things are over between them, and he’s ruthless in dealing with anyone who gets in his way. When Carey threatens an old friend of theirs, Phil and Tom step in to help—but that makes them targets themselves.

What with his uncertainty about Phil’s motives, Tom’s family doing their best to drive a wedge between them, and the uncovering of an ugly incident in Phil’s past, Tom’s not sure who he can trust—and the body he finds in the pub cellar isn’t the only thing that stinks.

Here I go again with another book in the Plumber Mates series. While I enjoyed this one a lot more than the last I'm unsure if I will continue with the series. Once again, the mystery aspect was a letdown and I’m contemplating if Tom and Phil are still worth it. 

Heat Trap gives us Tom and Phil on another case, a most lukewarm case. When the owner of the Pub they usually frequent asks for their help in stopping a slithering stalker Carey Grant, they take the case. What they never expected was the slimy stalker to be so slinky and dangerous. Along with dealing with the case, Tom is also dealing with some personal issues and having a hard time coming to terms with everything. Things take a while to get to the point and when it does Tom finds Carey Grant in the cellar of the pub and thus begins the chase to catch a killer or so thought… 

I’m trying to get into this without giving too much away, but let’s say the story was quite interesting and fun up until the death of Grant Carey and then boom, bloody wilted lettuce. All the dryness none of the deliciousness. The big reveal of the actual killer I felt didn’t even have a connection to the story so instead of being surprised, I just felt let down. So many people going round and round and ending up nowhere. 

Let’s talk about Tom. I remember loving him in the first book and though he does have his charms and is on his way to crazy town with how he’s all in his head. I’m not here for him anymore. He doesn’t take things seriously enough, and the way he treated Phil in the end there was just too much. He learns something’s about Phil’s past and jumps the gun by overreacting leaving to do the whole begging thing when it was Tom who should have been apologizing. I lost all my love for him as a character with his woe is me attitude. Everything is Tom, Tom, Tom, he’s a special snowflake. 

I believe for me the series has lost its charms. While I remain curious of what will become of Tom and Phil my underlying need seems to be gone. Maybe in a while I’ll give it another go especially with that cliffi at the end there, Toms life is about to get a whole of interesting. But for now I’m calling it quits. While I liked this one significantly more than the last book, and did have some burst out laughing moments, I am quite done with being disappointed. These mysteries have become children Easter egg hunting.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Review: First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony

First Comes Marriage (Dreamspun Desires #2) by Shira Anthony
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 262pgs

3.5 Pants Off

Blurb: Their marriage was supposed to be all business....

When struggling novelist Chris Valentine meets Jesse Donovan, he’s interested in a book contract, or possibly a date. The last thing Chris expects is a marriage proposal from New York City’s most eligible bachelor!

Jesse’s in a pinch: to keep control of his company, he has to marry. So he has valid reasons for offering Chris this business deal. In exchange for living in a gorgeous mansion for a year, playing the doting husband, Chris gets all the writing time he wants and walks away with a million dollar payoff. Surely Chris can handle that. He can handle living with the most handsome and endearing man he’s ever met, a man he immediately knows he wants in the worst way and can’t have. Or can he?

Then Comes Love 

I love the marriage out of desperation trope or arranged, anything along those lines so First Comes Marriage is already a win on that part. So I’m surprised I don’t love it, I really liked it but it lacked a certain amount of angst that would have made it sensational. I think it would have been glorious if they hated each other in the beginning… 

Chris Valentine, struggling author, living on his best friends couch, and working in a coffee shop. He’s running out of options in both life and with his writing. When a handsome stranger makes him an offer that will literally change his life. He balks at the idea, but a man has got to eat and what’s so bad in marrying a good looking guy with lots of money. At the end of it he’ll walk away a million dollars richer, and maybe his manuscript will finally be done. 

Jesse Donovan, rich ass dude. His company is on the line and he can’t have that. His dead grandfather left a clause in his will that guarantees him the company if he marries. He formulates a plan an in order for it to succeed, he’ll need Chris. The natural order is, first comes love, then comes marriage but for Jesse and Chris marriage is most definitely first. 

What can I say about this book? Things don’t go as planned, what was once a business deal becomes something more. The lines become blurred and feelings take root, and you know you can’t stop the feelings. 

Honestly, I liked the book. I liked Jesse and Chris, they worked together on a nerdy level. With that being said, everything felt formulated. 

    • The business/marriage proposal 
    • The marriage  
    • The questioning if this is the right thing to do 
    • The feelings 
    • The sex 
    • The blow out that causes separation  
    • The reunion 

Overall, I liked this offering from the series. I believe it could have been better if only it was a little shorter and had a tad bit more angst. I understand the idea behind painting a picture but after awhile everything felt like dry wilted lettuce. I believe this was my first ever read by Shira Anthony which surprises me because I own a few of her books. I’m actually interested in seeing what else she has to offer.  

First Comes Marriage was a nice harlequin-y type of book.  

Seriously though, where the hell is my secret baby 😁 

Review: Trick Roller by Cordelia Kingsbridge

Trick Roller (Seven of Spades #2) by Cordelia Kingsbridge
Riptide Publishing
Novel: 295pgs

5 Pants Off

Blurb: It’s the height of summer in Las Vegas. Everyone believes the serial killer Seven of Spades is dead—except Levi Abrams and Dominic Russo—and it’s back to business as usual. For Levi, that means investigating a suspicious overdose at the Mirage that looks like the work of a high-class call girl, while Dominic pursues a tough internship with a local private investigator. The one bright spot for both of them is their blossoming relationship.

But things aren’t so simple. Soon Levi is sucked into a dangerous web of secrets and lies, even as his obsession with the Seven of Spades intensifies. Dominic knows that Levi isn’t crazy. He knows the Seven of Spades is still out there, and he’ll do anything to prove it. But Dominic has his own demons to battle, and he may be fighting a losing war.

One thing is certain: the Seven of Spades holds all the cards. It won’t be long before they show their hand.


So like… 2nd book in the Seven of Spades ️ series 

I don’t even know where to begin. This might be more gushing, and raving than a review. Because I’m betting it all on this series. I’m so shook guy, I’m a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. 

This might be spoiler-ish, but the end of book one wrapped up with my favourite serial killer being “dead” or so the rest of Las Vegas thinks, but my main dudes know that is not the case. Our Seven of a Spades ️ is cunning and dead for him/her means just resting up. Book 1 also was just a prelude into Doms and Levi path into a relationship and recovering from all the shit they been through. 

Trick Roller gives time into their lives without the shadow of a serial killer loose on the streets, but never letting up that at any moment he/she could strike and fuck all the things up. Levi spends his time trying to catch a killer doing regular detective work, and Dominic working is way up to being a P.I but also facing his own struggles. They both have an addiction and only time will tell who gets consumed with no way out. 

Ok! Here goes the raving… 

The Story: While I love my serial killer extraordinaire, I liked this one with Levi working on actual case that isn’t messing with his head. While Levi seems almost settled, we see something dark rearing it’s head in Dominic and I ain’t gon lie, I’m hella worried for the future. It’s going to be dark, it’s going to be rough, and they will need their wits about them, but keeping it together seems very uncertain. 

The Sexy Love: I have questions directly for Ms Kingsbridge. 
  1. Why they gotta be so sexy? 
  1. This sexy wrestling, like is their a school for that? 

Seriously though, Dom and Levi are something else. My disinterest and sometimes disconnect with sex scenes happen often, but these two make even the simplest of kisses an experience. I want their love to succeed and shine bright like a diamond. 

I’m no size queen (heh) but the way the author give nods to how their both built, it does something to me. Gaww, cue wrestle move sex in my head (I’m crying real sexual tears right now). 

The Conclusion: Excuse me sir! Are we just going to go out like that? Like hell I was expecting it, but in reality I wasn’t ready for it and I am crying that I can’t just jump into book 3. The pain and game is coming, and Levi and Dominic better be ready to play because “ All Bets Are Off”.  

I am a such a fan of Cordelia’s writing, the flow, the knowledge of crime and just overall execution. While Trick Roller lacks the heart pounding action of Kill Game, in no way does it feel settled. It’s the calm before the storm, and the look into blossoming love affair of our MCs is almost like an illusion. A “enjoy this right now. Bask in the good times because when you’re all the way up the only thing left to do is fall”. God, I’m weak! 

Trick Roller is a sequel to a series that might be one of my faves ever. I’m just quaking that all my feels don’t get fucked in the end. You can end up hating the things you love. Book 3 I’m waiting for you…