Review of: Spark in the Stars by Foster Bridget Cassidy

TITLE: Spark in the Stars
AUTHOR: Foster Bridget Cassidy
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
RELEASE DATE: Jun 21, 2019


A case of mistaken identity could lead to love for an aloof starship captain and a brilliant if underappreciated mechanic from the sticks—if they can survive the dangerous mission assigned to them.
Ginnovi Oshwald just needs someone to give him a chance. He can keep anything running, despite the “spark” his body produces that sometimes wreaks havoc with electronics. Gin gets his chance when Captain Lian Hartford comes to Tallahassee in search of a mechanic. The trouble is, he’s looking for Gin’s sister. But since he only has a name to go by, Gin tells a little white lie. What could go wrong?
Lian loves his ship and his work as a diplomat but has difficulty connecting with others—only partly because of his mixed human and alien heritage. Something about the eccentric mechanic intrigues him, though, and their easy friendship could become more… if they live long enough to broker peace between humanity and a hostile race while pacifying a crew that thinks Gin belongs in prison.

When Ginnovi deliberately presents himself as his sister, he has one goal in mind. To get away from this place and starting over with more opportunities than he was ever going to get from his sister. But before we judge the sister, we must know that she took over their late father’s garage and raised Ginnovi by herself, that led her to seeing her younger brother as a kid, who has the tendency to blow up electronic devices.

It’s not really his fault. It seems that he’s charged with this static electricity, and in the most inconvenient times, it discharges. He can’t help it, and he can’t control it, no matter what he does.

After their latest fight, sitting in the local pub with the intention of downing his sorrow in alcohol, a chance appears to him in the form of Captain Liam Hartford.

Lian is looking for the very famous mechanic of Tallahassee. Despite the fact that everybody’s telling him that Oshwald is hard to convince, he finds no resistance and whisks the mechanic away in no time. So what if they get the wrong gender in the description. It was probably a bureaucratic mistake.

After their departure, he soon finds out that Gin lied to him, putting their top-secret mission at risk. But there might be a chance that the captain could help Gin with his sparkling problems. Also, it seems to Liam that Gin is more to him than just a brilliant mechanic.
I liked the plot and the romance between our two MCs, but there were minor details that I can’t see happening in real life. And while we know this is sci-fi, things like identification for a top-secret mission shouldn’t be lousy. I can understand some misspelling of the name, but gender? How can you mistake that?

We learn about new species, inter-species relations, and offsprings.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis


Review of: Innocence and Carnality by J. Alan Veerkamp

TITLE: Innocence and Carnality
AUTHOR: J. Alan Veerkamp
PUBLISHER: DSP Publications
RELEASE DATE: April 23, 2019


Innocence is his only currency.
The gilded cage of propriety where Nathan grew up as a member of the Deilian aristocracy became a true prison when, at fifteen, his homosexuality came to light and created a terrible scandal. His parents see only one way to preserve their reputation amongst the other noble families: fit Nathan with a chastity belt to increase his value to a potential partner and marry him off as soon as possible.
The recipient of that prize is Lord Rother Marsh Delaga III. After a hasty wedding, Rother whisks Nathan away to the strange and seductive land of Marisol, where Nathan will begin a new life, free to explore the pleasures of the marriage bed, though his life is still not his own.
But Rother’s Delaga House is a place of secrets, dangers, and depravity Nathan can scarcely comprehend. Where friends are few and peril waits around every corner, Nathan must employ all the manipulation he learned from high society, along with his talent for clockwork. Most of all, Nathan must adapt, compromise to survive, and cast off the preconceptions of his homeland.
Because only he can orchestrate his freedom, and it’ll come at a cost.

I loved reading Innocence and Carnality by J. Alan Veerkamp. It’s the first time that I’ve read a book by this author. I can tell you that it won’t be the last time that I read a book by this author. I was captivated by the cover. It reminds me of the covers for steampunk books with the gears being in it and that it had a historical feel to it. Like the Harlequin romances that I liked to read before I got into reading primarily MM books. And I will admit to one-clicking more than a few books just by how much I like the cover. And the blurb when I read it only made me want to read it more. Who doesn’t like a nobleman that’s been made to stay in a chastity belt to ensure his innocence when in the era of dowries and advantageous marriages? I know that I do. One of my favorite movies is Men in Tights, and Maid Marian wears a chastity belt to ensure her innocence before her marriage. Which was a good thing because she was a horny young woman when she meets Robin Hood. But I digress, back to the story.

I loved Nathan and how he grew up as a member of the Deilian aristocracy. At age fifteen, they have their blood tested by the apothecary to have their futures read in a manner of speaking. It comes out that Nathan is a homosexual and it created a terrible scandal. He’s kept in a gilded cage of propriety and fitted with a chastity belt and given lessons that are normally given to the females of the house instead of the lessons given to the males of the house. And as soon as his parents find him a potential partner, they marry him off. The Deilian aristocracy is very much about sex for procreation only after they had a virus that wiped out most of their race. So Nathan has no other value being unable to reproduce than finding a marriage from somebody that is not a Deilian. That recipient is Lord Rother Marsh Delaga III from the land of Marisol. Which is very much different from what Nathan is used to on Deilia. I loved that Nathan got to take his valet and personal servant, Harston with him. I loved Harston and would love to see him find his happy ending.

I liked Lord Rother at first. He came off as being possessive of his new husband, but he gave the impression that he was someone that Nathan could fall in love with. But the more Nathan got to know him the more he was able to see just what kind of person Lord Rother was and the only person that Lord Rother can love is himself. I did love Alexandra and Blythe, and I hated Vivian, and I am so glad she got what was coming to her in the end. Such a manipulative, nasty, vindictive person. I didn’t like Blythe at the beginning of the story. I found him vulgar and common and kind of a brutish man, which makes sense since he’s Rother’s bodyguard. He did grow on me, and I fell in love with him and his loyal heart.

I loved watching Nathan as he came into his own person and all of the twists and turns that happened in the book. There is cheating in this book, so if you don’t like to read a book that has cheating in it, then this book is not for you. I found the cheating to be justified in this book since both parties in the relationship are cheating. There is also BDSM used by a secondary character on another secondary character.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Dissolution by Michele Notaro

TITLE: Dissolution
AUTHOR: Michele Notaro
SERIES: Taoree Trilogy
RELEASE DATE: Jan 13, 2018


Oh god, no! Oh god help me… how am I going to save them? There’s just so much… blood… everywhere…
I was supposed to protect them. I was supposed to keep them safe, but wherever I go more and more people are losing their lives, and nothing I do can save them. After so much loss, my family is breaking apart at the seams.
The Taoree Legion is winning this war. No matter what we do or how we fight back, we can’t seem to gain any ground. They’re one step ahead of us at every turn. The world is crumbling before my very eyes, and I can’t seem to stop it.
I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I swear with everything I am that I will kill Emperor Thelonious Serparla for what he’s done to us, to my family, to the human race, to the entire world. By god, I will take him down, or I will die trying.
Dissolution is Book Three in the Taoree Trilogy and is meant to be read as part of a series. This book brings the conclusion of the series, and the happy ending we’ve all been waiting for.

The war is raging between the Independents and the Legions. Thelonius’ army seems to win every fight, seems to know what their enemy is going to do. Jeremy and his family need to find the mole hiding among them because they need to find a way to bring Thelonius down and end this war.

They didn’t expect to discover something that will probably help them, but also a new threat that can change the end of this war and the future of their people—Taoree and Human.

Dissolution is the last book in the Taoree Trilogy by Michele Notaro. I loved this book, and I was sad to let them go.

Jeremy and Orrean are bonded, they are balu and crazy in love. Even if the war keeps killing their friends, brothers-in-arms, they still have hope to win. They’re a united front, even when they’re mad at each other, they’re unit and ready to do anything to protect the people they love. I adored these two guys—they are beautiful together. I love how united they are, even when things aren’t easy for them. This book was the culmination of their story, of their love and it was breathtaking and beautiful.

I cried a lot…again. We lost someone…again. It broke my heart, but it was consistent with the story and the plot. The MCs are all fabulous, and I loved to see their evolutions, from teenager to survivor, to soldier to adult.
This book is the last one in this trilogy, and finally, we have the end of the war, how they fight Thelonius and a big twist at the end that I didn’t see coming at all. Well, actually, we learn two major things that I didn’t see coming, but that explains a lot of things. The rhythm is different from the first two books, it seems slower and less dynamic, but it made sense to me. In the first two books, they were on the run and trying to find their feet in this war. In this book, the MCs are installed in their role, embraced their fate and planned how to win, not to survive this time. The author transcribes this really well, and even if the rhythm was different, it was consistent in the whole series.
I adored this trilogy, I’m usually not a fan of dystopia, I most of the time find it depressing, but this series is really good, and even If I cried a lot of the time, I couldn’t stop my read. It gives me a lot of feelings from sadness to fear to excitation to love. It was really good and well written.

Now I can only wait for The Taoree Chronicle series to start with Wes’ book. It’s my favorite character, and I can’t wait to read about him.

It’s a huge 5 stars for this incredible family!

***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 ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Independents by Michele Notaro

TITLE: Independents
AUTHOR: Michele Notaro
SERIES: Taoree Trilogy
RELEASE DATE: Sept 28, 2017


All I’ve wanted to do is keep my family safe. All I’ve wanted was to protect them from the evils of the world… but I’ve failed. I’ve failed so badly, and now all of them are suffering… I’m suffering…
We’ve lost so many, and now that we’ve lost one of our own, I don’t know how to keep going. I don’t know how to protect them anymore. But I need to stay strong, I need to keep fighting because I would rather die than let another one of my family members get hurt.
We need to get to the Taoree Independents camp in order to save my brother. Supposedly they can protect us from all the turmoil, and they have tools to help Wes… or at least that’s what Orrean says. He also says that they want to fight back, but I don’t see how we could ever fight back against all of the monsters that have taken over our world.
Put yourself in my shoes and tell me there’s a better way. Tell me there’s a better option to save my brother, to keep my family safe. If you made it to that camp, would you just cower and hide, or would you stand up and fight back?
Independents is Book Two in the Taoree Trilogy and is meant to be read as part of a series. This book ends on a cliffhanger, but there is a promise of a happy ending at the end of the trilogy.

Jeremy and his family are making their way toward the Independents camp. They need to be there as soon as possible if they want to save Wes’ life (J’s little brother). Meanwhile, Jeremy is still grieving and refuses to accept his bond with Orrean, making them both suffer. While trying to understand everything about the war that’s raging in the world and to find a way to win it, Jeremy has another war to battle, an internal war with his heart.

Independents is book 2 in the Taoree Trilogy by Michele Notaro, and it was as good as the first one.
In this book, we follow our favorite mismatched family making their way in the Independents base and further into the war against Emperor Thelonius’ army and madness. Jeremy is still grieving and learning that his bond with Orrean is deeper than what he thought, and it’s disturbing him more than anything. He rejected it, rejected Orrean and shut himself out. I admit I wanted to slap him once or twice…ok a lot of times, but I could understand why it was so difficult for him to accept this new situation.

The plot and the story were very good. The book starts right after the end of book 1 (Taoree), and we discover more about the war, the resistance, and more about Orrean’s life. What he’d been through, what he had to do for the resistance, and what he did and still does for Jeremy. I have a huge crush on Orrean. I loved the universe that Michele Notaro created. The characters aren’t shallow; they evolve with the story, and we see them grow. I loved that even with all the horrendous things they have to see and live, they still have time to be a family, to laugh, and to banter.

The book is divided between their way toward the Independents camp, their life there, and Jeremy and Orrean’s bond. There was a lot of anger, pain, and angst between them but also purely beautiful moments full of love and tenderness.

I was completely hooked in the story and couldn’t stop reading until the end. I’m addicted to this series. I have to tell you that you’ll scream like I did with the huge cliffhanger at the end.

When Avatar meets The Walking Dead—you have Taoree Trilogy.

5 Stars for my favorite Alien and his Balu.

***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 ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Taoree by Michele Notaro

TITLE: Taoree
AUTHOR: Michele Notaro
SERIES: Taoree Trilogy
RELEASE DATE: Aug 30,2017


If you’re reading this, I hope that means that we’ve survived, but after everything I’ve seen, I’m sure that’s only wishful thinking…
This is my story… a story of what happens when you trust an alien race. A race that lived peacefully with humans for over two years, but something suddenly changed. When all hell breaks loose, can we count on the Taoree to step up and help or could they be the real cause of all the terror?
Three of my friends and I try to make our way back home to our families, but there’s chaos at every turn. We can trust no one; we only rely on each other. And even though we work together, nothing can stop the heartbreak and terror that surrounds us.
Before you judge me, ask yourself this: When there’s danger at every turn and nowhere safe to hide, what would you do to keep you and yours alive? Some of us won’t survive… What will happen to those of us that are left behind?
Taoree is Book One in the Taoree Trilogy and is meant to be read as part of a series. This book ends on a cliffhanger, but there is a promise of a happy ending at the end of the trilogy.

Two years ago, alien spaceships came to earth. The Taorees said they came in peace, to share the earth with the humankind. For two years, the two species lived in peace, until one day, humans start to have some major seizures then they’re able to be commanded by the Taroees, and they start to kill other humans.
Jeremy, Cal, Nolan, and Colt are at college when the crisis started, and decide to come back to their home to find their families. It’s the beginning of a long and dangerous journey without knowing what will wait for them at the end.

OH.MY.GOD, this book is FANTASTIC.
Just so you know, I don’t read dystopia. I hate it because It depresses me, all the time. So as much as I love Michele Notaro’s books, I was a little bit scared to read this one, but I decided to give it a go because it was Michele. I read the book in 5 hours, until 4am in the morning, I couldn’t stop, and if my stupid body didn’t ask me to sleep, I would probably have started book 2 and read all night and morning and day until the end of the trilogy (stupid body and stupid need to sleep). Anyway, I adored this book.

The story is told from Jeremy’s point of view only. He’s gay, young, and happy. He’s in college with his two best friends, Cal and Nolan, and with Colt, Cal’s brother and secret crush of J. When people around them start to have major seizures and try to kill them, their little group of four have to survive by any means necessary including killing other people—the ferals, as they named them. In all this horror and trauma, Jeremy and Colt start a relationship. They’re in love, and they fight together. But Jeremy has weird dreams about a Taoree, and he doesn’t understand the meaning of these dreams, until he finally meets Orrean, a member of the Taoree’s resistance and wants to help Jeremy and his family to be safe.

The book is divided into two quests. The first one entailed Jeremy, Colt, Cal, and Nolan trying to get back to their home and their families. The second one is when they finally come back to their homes and agree to follow Orrean to the Independent camp. The plot is captivating and interesting. The characters are very well developed—they are complex like human beings can be. I loved all of them. It reminded me of the Walking Dead in a Sci-fi version, how a group of humans are ready to do anything to survive and have a chance to be safe and happy.

This book is about surviving, but also love, family, friendship and most of all, what a person will do to protect the people they love. The MCs are all young, but facing the dangers, they are incredibly mature, smart and united no matter what. I really loved them all and got attached to all of them very fast. That’s probably why I cried a lot at the end, big fat baby tears. I was warned! I knew something was coming, but I couldn’t help but cry a river of tears. I hated Michele a little bit at this precise moment, but it wasn’t the end-end but the beginning of a new era with a new quest.

I need to warn you, don’t read after your manicure, it will be ruined otherwise. If you love to read about alien invasions versus human resistance this book is for you.

It’s a big 5 stars.

***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 ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis