Review: “Undercover Star” By Jackie Keswick

TITLE: Undercover Star
AUTHOR: Jackie Keswick
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Self
COVER ARTIST: Emma Griffin
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 130 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 22, 2017
PRICE: $3.93 – e-book

BLURB:

It sounds like the stupidest idea in the history of stupid ideas. Detective Inspector Josh Ingram wants to find a deadly medieval locket and through it, a murderer. So why does his boss decide to team him up with Matisse Vervein, a pop idol many consider just a pretty face… and expect the two of them to hunt down an art thief?
Marissa Godwin, Matisse’s no-nonsense manager, isn’t stupid. Neither is her brother-in-law, Detective Superintendent Tim Montgomery. Each is looking out for a lonely man on the verge of quitting what he does best, and both believe that their charges would make a great team.
The attraction sizzling between Josh and Matisse is hard to miss, but there’s plenty of resentment, too. Focussed on pushing Josh and Matisse towards each other, Marissa and Tim haven’t imagined the kind of trouble a music star and a detective can find when they ditch their prejudices and accept that the attraction between them is mutual. Or how far each is prepared to go to prove it to the other.
A standalone, feel-good, action adventure romance set in England and Scotland, featuring a reluctant pop star who’s not out, a detective trying his hand at being a bodyguard, plenty of adventure, and a happy ending.


There’s not much more that I can say about this book that the blurb hasn’t already covered. Josh and Matisse are forced to work together to try and find an art and jewellery thief who commits his crimes at high profile fundraisers and promotional events, but who also murdered Josh’s detective partner when he stumbled across the sale of one of the items that had been stolen in Rome. Josh’s boss thinks that using Matisse as a way in to these events will help them get closer to the culprit, and give them a bigger opportunity to catch him, something they wouldn’t be able to do just going into the event as police. Josh will act as one of Matisse’s bodyguards and will be able to move in and arrest the suspect if he shows up while they’re there.

Josh is openly gay, but for the past few years, his love life has been put on the back-burner as all of his attention has been on catching the person who murdered his friend, and who keeps slipping through his fingers. Matisse knows he’s gay, but he’s in the closet and afraid to come out because he doesn’t think his fans will accept it, and all he really wants to do is make sure his fans are happy, even when it means putting his own wants and happiness aside. When Josh and Matisse meet, there is an attraction, but both men don’t want to admit to it and keep skirting around each other, even though having to spend a lot of time together makes it difficult to down-play the sneaking glances and flirty comments.

When Josh finally gets a break on the case with the help of Matisse, it leads the two men on an unexpected journey to Scotland, where Josh discovers there is much more to Matisse than his pop star persona, and Josh can’t help but fall for the man in front of him.

This book was enjoyable and entertaining and kept me hooked from start to finish, but at times I felt as if it lost it’s way a little. It almost felt like catching the killer/thief was pushed to the side, and all of the focus was on the developing relationship between Josh and Matisse. It was almost like two separate storylines. But don’t get me wrong, I really did like the story and the characters, and the author actually made my jaw completely drop and gave me goosebumps at one point when she mentioned the name of the town in Scotland they were heading to. Either the author knows the west coast of Scotland pretty well, or she’s done some really decent research, because the town name she used, Greenock, is kind of obscure and relatively unknown unless you know the area. I know this because I live in the very next town to it, and even some people who only live about 20 miles away probably couldn’t really tell you where it is. She also mentioned Josh and Matisse crossing the Erskine Bridge, which is the same bridge I have to cross every day to get to work. It just makes the story feel much more realistic when the places used are places you personally know.

This is the second book I’ve read by this author, and another that I’d happily recommend. A great little book to read on an afternoon while sitting with your feet up and coffee in hand.

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

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Review: “Tried & True” by Charlie Cochet

TITLE: Tried & True
AUTHOR: Charlie Cochet
SERIES: THIRDS
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: L.C. Chase
GENRE: Paranormal; Shapeshifter; Mystery/Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 254 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 24, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $16.99 -paperback

BLURB:

When THIRDS agent Dexter J. Daley met Team Leader Sloane Brodie, he couldn’t have imagined how slamming into his new partner—literally—would shake both their worlds. Now four years later, they’ve faced dangers, fought battles both personal and professional… and fallen deeply in love. Now their big moment is finally in sight, and they’re ready to stand up together and make it official. Unfortunately, as the countdown to their big day begins, an enemy declares war on the THIRDS….
With their family in danger, Dex and Sloane are put to the test on how far into darkness they’ll walk to save those they love. As secrets are unearthed, a deadly betrayal is revealed, and Dex and Sloane must call on their Destructive Delta family for one last hurrah to put an end to the secret organization responsible for so much devastation.
Dex and Sloane will have plenty of bullets to dodge on the way to the altar, but with happiness within their grasp, they are determined to get there come hell or high water…


We are saying good bye to Dex and Sloan’s interesting journey…
This is the last book of the THIRDS series where Dex and Sloan finally have their happy ending.

The first part of the book is a slow read, very romantic, very mundane letting us into Dex and Sloan’s “everyday”. They are on vacation, preparing for their wedding with rehearsals, flower picking and cake tasting. Sloan let’s Dex to choose as he wishes because for Sloan it’s more important to be with Dex than anything else.
Dex is busy with everything, but he finds time for him and Sloan to relax. The secret he keeps from his father, that they joined TIN eats his at his conscious, but he only does it to protect Tony.

Honestly, I’m not used to this “slow burn” from our guys, so for me it was a bit difficult the first part of the book, but then things changed…

The second part of the book is filled with action as we are so familiar. I can’t really say what’s happening because I would spoil it for you guys but “it” hits the fan pretty bad.
There is danger lurking in the shadows, as always, but now it hits to close to home. The extremist group of Therians wants their revenge and there is nothing those villains wouldn’t do to achieve that. The Destructive Delta need to reach out and find allies to save their family, allies like Wolf, Hudson’s brother and they must also involve TIN agents. To trust them, Dex and Sloan are out of their comfort zone, mostly Sloane when he has to face Wolf.

There is blood, revenge, anger and fury, physical and emotional hurt. Well, the emotional hurt reaches us, readers too, leaving a bad taste in our mouth when we have to say good bye to Dex and Sloan.

I would like to congratulate and thank Charlie for this amazing journey!

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

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Review: ” Drama Queens with Love Scenes” By Kevin Klehr

TITLE: Drama Queens with Love Scenes
AUTHOR: Kevin Klehr
SERIES: Actors and Angels
PUBLISHER: NineStar Press
COVER ARTIST: Natasha Snow
GENRE: Fantasy; Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 302 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 17, 2017
PRICE: $5.49 –e-book
  

BLURB:

Close friends Allan and Warwick are dead. They’re not crazy about the idea, so to help them deal with this dilemma are Samantha, a blond bombshell from the 1950s, and Guy, an insecure angel.

Allan also has a secret. He has a romantic crush on his friend, Warwick, but shortly after confiding in his new angel pal, his love interest falls for the cock-sure playwright, Pedro.

Not only does Allan have to win the heart of his companion, he also has to grapple with the faded memory of how he actually died.


This title definitely fits this book as there are a few drama queens and some love scenes. I wouldn’t consider this your typical MM read. I have mixed feelings—I think this is well written and will be loved by some. I was lost for a while from the get-go.

I mean, I understood Allan and Warwick were dead, but I felt it took forever to understand why they went through so much. I understood by the end, but it just took a long time to get there. There were times I wanted to punch them both. Allen for not letting him go and Warwick for not giving in to him.

Samantha and Guy were wonderful characters that helped them in their afterlife and unfinished business. Samantha is a 1950’s exuberant angel, and Guy is just an adorable angel that needs to work on his self-esteem. They help Allan get into the theater and direct which really fits into this whole concept. It’s a play, and it reads as one.

My major problem is all the judgment. I mean, this is the afterlife and I would like to think that I will leave all judgment behind when I go. The biggest offense was against bisexuality. I mean, common on, we can’t make our minds and are selfish. This was a big turn off of the book for me. When I get to hang out with angels, they need to be that, angels. Maybe I’m just over sensitive about this subject, but it is how I feel.

Like I said earlier, this is well written and there are lots of laughs and love. If you like the theater and drama queens, this is the book for you.

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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Review: “Straight Up” by JS Finley

TITLE: Straight Up
AUTHOR: JS Finley
SERIES: Only You
PUBLISHER: Self
COVER ARTIST: Sara York
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 195 pages
RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2017
PRICE: $2.99 – e-book/ $5.50 – paperback

BLURB:

Sometimes you need the truth Straight Up

Jake:
Brent is HOT but hot doesn’t matter when you can’t have what you want.
After the Marines, they went their separate ways, but he can’t forget…never forget and never leave a man behind, but that’s what he did when he ran from Brent.
Maybe it wasn’t the best reaction, but he couldn’t face the truth. Now he has a second chance and he doesn’t want to blow it, instead, he wants to blow Brent.

Brent:
Maybe there’s something between he and Jake, but Brent can’t ask, and Jake won’t tell because in the Marines being gay is bad for business.
Time heals all wounds, and that’s what Brent is gambling on when they meet in the hills of Tennessee. Brent is hoping for friendship…but if there is more, he’ll take it.
When Brent meets his straight friend again in Tennessee will they remain friends or will they become more?
.


This is a great story guys! Hand’s down 5 OptimuMMs

It never was a secret that from all the MM subgenres the GFY – Gay For You is my favorite. I can’t exactly tell why, probably the taboo or probably “love knows no boundaries” …

The story is about two former marines, Jake and Brent.
Brent always felt attracted to Jake, but he couldn’t act upon his desire when he was in the military. Now that he’s left the marines, and the following reunion makes him hope that maybe there is more between them than just friendship, if not he is ok with it, he just wants Jake back in his life.

The story goes back and forth between letters that were written but never sent and the present. Those letters made me tear up, so much untold things that finally got to be written down. I think those letters are the reason for my 5 OptimuMM rating.

Reading from Jake’s point of you is the charm of the book. Jake is a straight guy who has some very – and not so very – confused feelings for Brent. He knows he wants more than friendship with Brent, but he doesn’t know if he is ready to move upon his desires and let the world know that he might be gay.

When they finally become an item, Jake discovers a new life he didn’t know before. The sex is amazing, and the scenes are hot.

Well done J.S. Finley!

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

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Review: “The Consumption of Magic” by TJ Klune

TITLE: The Consumption of Magic
AUTHOR: TJ Klune
SERIES: Tales From Verania
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Paul Richmond
GENRE: Fantasy
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 450 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 20, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $17.99 -paperback

BLURB:

Sam of Wilds faced the Dark wizard Myrin and lived to tell the tale. Granted, the battle left him scarred, but things could be a hell of a lot worse.
It’s not until he reunites with Morgan of Shadows and Randall that he realizes just how much worse things could be.
Because the scars have meaning and hint at Myrin’s true plans for Sam and the Kingdom of Verania.
With time running out, Sam and his band of merry misfits—the unicorn Gary, the half-giant Tiggy, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart, and the dragon known as Kevin—must travel to the snowy mountains in the North and the heart of the Dark Woods to convince the remaining dragons to stand against Myrin. Along the way, Sam learns secrets of the past that will forever change the course of the future.
A reckoning is coming for Sam of Wilds, and there is nothing he can do to stop it.

 


I don’t want to repeat myself when I say that TJ Klune is one of the most talented contemporary authors. He wields his words with magic, touches your emotions and brings it to the surface. You may think I’m exaggerating, but I’m really not.

This is the third part of the Tales from Verania, and as we are used to by now, the pages are full with hilarious banter and some…

Sam still hates that he has his own destiny, that he must pay for others’ mistakes. He is afraid of what might happen to his cornerstone Ryan Foxheart. He promised himself that he will never, ever let someone or something take Ryan from him.

Sam must learn. If he’s to face Myrin, he needs to find all the Dragons of Verania. He already has two, and now he’s on his way to find the mated Dragons before he stands in front of the Great White. But before that, Randall takes it upon himself to educate Sam …let me tell you, you want to get to that part as soon as possible…

My hand is itching to share more with you, but I don’t want to spoil your fun guys. But one thing is for sure, you will be not be disappointed, well you will but not because TJ lost his talent…

Generally, my reviews of TJ’s books are more fun, but I still have tears in my eyes and my heart is full of loss…I need to tell you something, TJ Klune is a bastard and has too much time to think he can do as he pleases…well he can, but you will get me as soon as you finished the book.

P.S.
I still love you TJ … kinda… not at this moment, but I will come around …eventually … if you’re lucky!

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

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