Review: “Santori” by Maris Black

TITLE: Santori
AUTHOR: Maris Black
SERIES: The Santori Trilogy #1
PUBLISHER: Self
COVER ARTIST: Maris Black
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Mystery/Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 230 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 15, 2017
PRICE: $5.99 -e-book

BLURB:

THE KAGE SAGA CONTINUES…
Michael Kage Santori has just inherited a thriving hotel and millions of dollars. He’s poised to become an MMA champion. Things couldn’t be better between him and his college boy lover, Jamie Atwood— especially in the bedroom, where Jamie is more than eager to let Kage take out his aggressions on him.
Kage seems to have it all, but success and happiness have come at a steep price. After all of the childhood trauma he endured at the hands of his controlling uncle, Peter Santori, it’s a miracle Kage has any shred of sanity left. And now, because of him, Jamie is a murderer.
More than anything, Kage wants to be good. He wants the be the kind of man who is worthy of Jamie’s love, but fate has other ideas. His uncle’s legacy has a stranglehold on him, and it keeps dragging him further and further down a rabbit hole from which there seems no escape. Worst of all… Kage knows he’s going to pull Jamie down right along with him, and he would rather die than let that happen.


Michael Santori aka Kage has just inherited the empire of his uncle, Peter Santori. Kage has to face some new responsibilities with the hotels and other business, and he has his relationship with Jamie, the love of his life. After everything they’ve been through together, now they have to face a new threat, one who can destroy them and what they have together.

KAGE IS BACK!!!!!

I loved this book. I was so happy to have the guys back.
This book starts right after the end of Kage Unmasked, after Peter’s death, we follow the aftermath of his death and how Kage and Jamie deal with it. They are still amazing together, crazy in love and completely devoted to each other. But Kage has a goal in his life, protect Jamie from the world and the danger and to make his life full of happiness, and because of that, he decides not to tell Jamie everything, every doubt, every threat. Yeah, yeah, that’s stupid, and dear Jamie will have to teach him this, but for now, Kage thinks he does the right thing, and I can’t blame him for that.

The book is divided into two part, in my opinion, the first part is all about Jamie and Kage, and the second is about a third character. Nooooo, I won’t tell who he is, just read the book, and you’ll meet him. All I can say is that Maris Black punched me in the gut with this part. I didn’t see that coming at all. First I didn’t see that she would dare to introduce a new character and that I would love him…

What’s wrong with me? I’m not supposed to love anyone but Kage and Jamie, but she made me feel things for this new character.
The plot and the story are super good, well built, and captivating. The writing is fluid, fresh and dynamic.

Well done, dear author, you really got me with this one.
5 OptimuMMs for my Fighter

***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: “Getting His Man” by B.G. Thomas

TITLE: Getting His Man
AUTHOR: B.G. Thomas
SERIES: Dreamspun Desires
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Bree Archer
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense; Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 238 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 15, 2017
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book/ $9.99 – paperback

BLURB:

A love story worthy of an old movie… with a new twist.
Artie needs a hero, a man like those he’s always revered in Golden Age films. His drug-dealing jerk of a roommate got him arrested, and since his savior isn’t likely to sweep in and save the day, Artie calls a bail bondsman.
August has always imagined himself a hero from a black-and-white movie, but he’s never found a man willing to let him play that role—at least not until he gets the call from Artie.
Both of their dreams might come true, but not before August must use his skills as a bounty hunter as well as a bondsman. Artie is on the run for his life, and August must protect him and help him clear his name. Only then can they both finally get their man.


When I saw this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Although I love a good crime story with a bit of romance included, I’d never read anything about a bail bondsman/bounty hunter. But I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, because this book was a really sweet and enjoyable story, and I couldn’t help the smile I found myself with when I finished.

Artie Bailey is twenty-four years old but looks a lot younger. He’s always been attracted to men who are a few years older than him, especially when they’re tall, masculine and sophisticated. But Artie can’t seem to find anyone who wants anything more than sex from him. Everyone he meets that he thinks he would like to go further with all tell him the same story, that they want a manlier man as a boyfriend or husband material. Not that Artie looks feminine in any way, he’s just smaller in stature and looks young, so most people don’t really take him seriously. His best friend Ross is exactly what Artie wants in a man, and although Artie has a little bit of a crush on him, he’s happy for things not to go any further, because he’d rather have Ross as a friend than nothing at all. And he knows that he can trust and rely on Ross to be there for him no matter what. Artie shares an apartment with Willie who’s a small-time dealer, and he absolutely hates it because Willie’s always partying and smoking pot with his friends, and has no consideration for Artie at all. When the cops wake Artie up in the middle of the night and arrest him for drug dealing, he has a mini meltdown. Artie is as straight-laced as you can get. He doesn’t swear, he barely drinks alcohol never mind do drugs, but he’s also quite naïve and always wants to see the good in people and situations. So when he’s taken to jail at the police station, he automatically jumps to the worst case scenario and thinks his life is over.

August Sterling may be a bail bondsman and bounty hunter, but he’s not the rough and tough guy people expect him to be. August is a complete gentleman with impeccable manners to match. He loves eating at fancy restaurants, going to the theatre to take in a show, and relaxing at home with a nice glass of wine and some jazz music. He wants a man who he can take care of, but who can also be independent and know his own mind. August doesn’t want someone to control, but someone he can look after and share his interests with. When August’s office gets a call about Artie needing to be bailed out of jail, he goes down there not expecting anything more than another young guy getting caught for committing a crime he’s clearly guilty of. But when August sees Artie, he knows straight away that this is not one of his normal cases. Artie is a nervous, emotional wreck, and seeing him looking like he does, and clearly in need of help, gets August all worked up. Because Artie is exactly the type of guy August would go for in any other situation, and the fact that they’re standing in jail does nothing to stop the lust and attraction August’s feeling.

August can’t help but feel a kind of protectiveness towards Artie when he hears what happened to him, so he promises to try and help Artie clear his name. As the two men spend more time together, they become closer, even though August knows it would be unprofessional to go any further, but there’s something about Artie that makes him want to throw all the caution aside and just go with his heart. August and Artie discover that they have a lot of things in common, except for musical tastes, and the more they learn about each other, the harder it is not to cross the line that’s been set. When Artie’s life is threatened by some gang members, August starts calling in some favours he’s owed, because he’ll never let any harm come to the man he’s started to fall for in a big way.

This book was honestly just a fabulous little read. Yes, it was sometimes sickly-sweet, but I really didn’t mind at all. It was quite a slow-burn romance, but again it worked well for the story. August was a brilliant character, he was the classic dream man, and I seriously had butterflies in my tummy every time he did something nice for Artie. Another thing I liked, was that for once the cover model actually resembled the picture of August I had in my head, so well done to the author and cover designer for getting it right. I think it really does make a difference, especially when its such an important character.

I know not everyone enjoys extra-sweet romance, but for me, this was a winner, and I loved that I got the chance to read it.

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

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Review: “A Triad in Three Acts (The Complete Forester Trilogy)” by Blaine D. Arden

TITLE: A Triad in Three Acts (The Complete Forester Trilogy)
AUTHOR: Blaine D. Arden
SERIES: Tales of the Forest
PUBLISHER: Cayendi Press
COVER ARTIST: Simoné
GENRE: Fantasy; Mystery/Suspense; MMM;
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 340 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 15, 2016
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book/ $12.99 – paperback

BLURB:

There is always a way.”
Kelnaht, Taruif, and Ianys are meant to be together, but old promises and the decree of the elders prevent them from claiming each other openly at Solstice. Kelnaht can investigate murder and foul play, but he can’t see how he can keep both his lovers without breaking the rules. But if he believes in the guide’s words and trusts his faith in Ma’terra, they will find a way to clear the fog and puddles from their paths.
The Forester
Kelnaht, a cloud elf, is a truth seeker caught between love and faith, when a murder reveals an illicit affair between two tree elves he desires more than he can admit. Kelnaht’s former lover Ianys once betrayed him, and the shunned forester Taruif is not allowed to talk to anyone but the guide, their spiritual pathfinder.
Lost and Found
A stripling goes missing from the tribe, and heavy rainfall hides all traces of his whereabouts. With days creeping by without a lead, it’s hard to keep the tribe’s spirits up, more so when Kelnaht’s own future depends on the elders. Taruif has been shunned for almost twenty turns, but now that a possible forester’s apprentice is coming of age, the elders consider reducing his sentence. Taruif could be set free.
Full Circle
When several children fall ill with more than a summer bug, truth seeker Kelnaht is assigned to investigate. What he finds is deadly and threatens the life of every underage child in the tribe, including Ianys’ daughter Atèn. Then a wounded traveller is found in the forest, left to die after a vicious attack.
.


I grew up reading fantasy books like Piers Anthony, Terry Brooks, and so many other wonderful fantasy authors and so I was thrilled when I got the opportunity to review a book that has two of my favorite genres combined—Fantasy and all male triads. This book was a joy to read, and since it is the complete series put together, I didn’t have to wait for the next book in the series to come out. And another plus in my book is that I didn’t have to wait until the book was half over to get to the first hot sex scene. I also loved the world that Blaine D. Arden has built for his elves. It sucked me in, and I found myself eagerly reading into the early morning to find out what was going to happen next. The characters were all loveable and unique, and yet they all fit together like puzzle pieces in an intricate puzzle. The author had me rooting for Kelnaht and his former lover, Ianys, and his current object of forbidden desire due to his being shunned, Taruif. Each of the stories has different tasks that the three main characters have to work through before they can get to their happily ever after at the end of the third book.

Kelnaht is a truth seeker and is kind of the private detective of their tribe. He’s also a cloud elf and has wings, so he can fly. One of his abilities as a truth seeker is being able to touch a person to find out what they are hiding and glean the truth. Which sounds cool but in reality, instead of watching what happened, Kalnaht actually experiences what happened as the person he is interrogating. He can also use his magical ability to track while communing with the earth. He also has an apprentice that he’s training to take over his position when he retires.

Ianys is a tree elf and a blacksmith. He was the childhood friend and lover of Kelnaht. However, Ianys wanted kids and so was seeing a female elf at the same time, and Kelnaht didn’t know about her until Ianys left to be her mate when she became pregnant, a stipulation from his baby’s momma since she didn’t want to share him or be in a triad. Kelnaht was heartbroken, but there wasn’t anything that he could do. Another of her stipulations was that Ianys had to promise that Kelnaht wouldn’t be able to raise her daughter if anything happened to her. So even when Ianys became available again later in life, they still couldn’t be together because of the promise. So Ianys found another tree elf to fall in love with although they had to keep their love hidden since the tree elf, Taruif is shunned and is serving a 40 moon sentence for killing his mate.

Taruif is a tree elf and forester. He takes care of the forest and keeps it healthy. He can also talk and feel what the plants are feeling. Because of his abilities, he is only shunned instead of banished when he kills his mate (it sounds like a horrible thing to do but it was what the mate wanted. You’ll just have to read it to understand what happened and why). He’s not allowed to talk to anybody but the guide, their spiritual pathfinder. He’s having a secret relationship with Ianys, but he’s also attracted to Kelnaht and has noticed Kelnaht’s attraction to him also.
When a sapling goes missing, Taruif and Ianys secret affair is brought to Kelnaht’s attention to prove that Taruif didn’t have anything to do with the saplings disappearance. And the three of them will be drawn together again to help find him. And as the guide keeps telling Kelnaht, “Your path is muddy, Kelnaht, but don’t think avoiding the puddles will make it easier to travel.” Kelnaht, Taruif, and Ianys are meant to be together, but old promises and elder elves are keeping them from openly claiming each other during the Solstice. But if he believes in the guide’s words and trusts his faith in Ma’terra, they will find a way to clear the fog and puddles from their paths.

I recommend this book to anybody that loves fantasy books about elves and triad relationships.

***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: “Fire and Flint” by Andrew Grey

TITLE: Fire and Flint
AUTHOR: Andrew Grey
SERIES: Carlisle Deputies
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: L.C. Chase
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense; Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 8, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback

BLURB:

Jordan Erichsohn suspects something is rotten about his boss, Judge Crawford. Unfortunately he has nowhere to turn and doubts anyone will believe his claims—least of all the handsome deputy, Pierre Ravelle, who has been assigned to protect the judge after he received threatening letters. The judge has a long reach, and if he finds out Jordan’s turned on him, he might impede Jordan adopting his son, Jeremiah.
When Jordan can no longer stay silent, he gathers his courage and tells Pierre what he knows. To his surprise and relief, Pierre believes him, and Jordan finds an ally… and maybe more. Pierre vows to do what it takes to protect Jordan and Jeremiah and see justice done. He’s willing to fight for the man he’s growing to love and the family he’s starting to think of as his own. But Crawford is a powerful and dangerous enemy, and he’s not above ripping apart everything Jordan and Pierre are trying to build in order to save himself…


First of all, where have I been that I didn’t know about this series? When I first saw the blurb for the book, I knew it was part of a series, but I didn’t realise that there had already been six books released. Don’t worry though, it’s a complete stand-alone, so there’s no risk of feeling like you’ve missed something. I’m just kicking myself for taking so long to discover this author and his amazing writing.

Fire and Flint is an absolute page-turner, I couldn’t put it down once I’d started. The story and characters had me totally engrossed, and I didn’t want the end to come. The blurb kind of speaks for itself, and I’d be spoiling your enjoyment if I went into any further detail. What I can say though, is that these characters will find a way into your heart, and you’ll want to keep them there. Yes, it’s basically an insta-love story, and we already know who the bad guy is so there’s not much mystery to it, but it works perfectly.

Jordan is such a loving, kind and gentle man who will do anything to make people happy, even if it’s a stranger. He has such a big heart. But in the past, it has been taken advantage of, and now he finds it hard to trust people and accept them at face value. But Pierre changes everything when he enters Jordan’s life. He shows Jordan that he doesn’t have to be the one looking out for everyone all the time, and that people can give without expecting something in return.

Pierre is the hot cop everyone wishes they could have. He’s all brains, brawn, and good looks, but he’s also fiercely loyal and protective, especially of the people he cares about. Pierre even surprises himself with the level of attraction he feels towards Jordan, and how quickly he begins to care for Jordan and Jeremiah as a family unit. He wants to prove to them that he’s nothing like the people they’ve known in the past, and if they’ll let him, he wants to be a big part of their lives.

When the investigation into Judge Crawford starts to threaten Jordan’s adoption of Jeremiah, Pierre’s protective side comes out in full force. Although he never thought of having a child before, Pierre forms a strong bond with Jeremiah, and he won’t let anyone get in the way of the young boy’s chance of a family and happiness.

I enjoyed everything about this book. The plot and story were well thought out and written, and had the right mixture of excitement and sweetness. There were only a few sex scenes, but I’m glad of that because it made it more about Jordan, Pierre and Jeremiah developing and growing as a family together. It was just very genuine and realistic, and a nice little change from it all being about the two main characters and how many times they can get in each other’s pants.

This book is an easy recommendation from me, in fact, I loved it so much that I’m going to go back and read the first six because I need more, more, more. If they’re anywhere near as good as this one, then I’m going to be a very happy little bookworm.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. 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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