Review: “The Long and Winding Road” by TJ Klune

TITLE: The Long and Winding Road
AUTHOR: TJ Klune
SERIES: Bear, Otter, and the Kid Chronicles
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Paul Richmond
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 346 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 11, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / 17.99$ -paperback
  

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Family is not always defined by blood. It’s defined by those who make us whole—those who make us who we are.

And here, at the end, Bear and Otter will be tested like they’ve never been before.

There’s a knock at the door from a little girl who has nowhere else to go.

There’s a phone ringing, bringing news they do not expect.

There’s a brother returning home after learning how to stand on his own.

As these moments converge, all of their lives will change forever.

Beginning in Bear, Otter, and the Kid, and continuing in Who We Are and The Art of Breathing, TJ Klune has told a saga of family and brotherhood, of love and sacrifice. In this final chapter, the events of the past pave the long and winding road toward a future no one could have imagined.


I just finished the last line of the story of Bear, Otter and the Kid…

The first half of the book it really annoyed me, I’m honest here!
I know I know how dare I?! …but I do because I was so damn curious what happens after the doorbell rings and the twins?!

But no, TJ had to go back in time! Okay, it was beautiful, but whatever!
So as I said, in the first one hundred or so pages, will cover about the 4 years where the Thompson’s were gone in New Hampshire. I was glad to see what these three went through in those four years, but I must say that probably belonged to the previous book better.

Then we get where we are, in the present and there a little girl and things happen. Now, before you go jumping on me demanding details, you know I can’t do that. No, no I’m not a bad person, not at all! Tease?! Well, I can’t say no to that though.
I could talk about Bear or the Kid or Otter or even Izzy, but I don’t because there is a character that it seems we all like to ignore… Yes, I’m talking about It, the little voice we are so familiar with.
It who is more constant in their life than any other person. And it’s strange that we all have It, and don’t you dare deny it that, you have it, and we are so familiar with it. Maybe it tells us different things, but there it is, a constant in our life…

So I would like to talk about It, about those whispers, the hateful things that it whispers to us constantly try to bring us down. And sometimes it is right but sometimes is so very wrong.

As Ty and Bear learned the art of breathing, we, my fellow readers who tend to create our own little universes, we need to learn to know when it is full of shit. To look beyond It, and to see the righteousness in ourselves. To accept ourselves. To love ourselves. As We Are!

And now we say good bye to these amazing characters. We may share a few tears, we may shake a bit, feel a bit of pain in our hearts, and I know you, you so do! And we…ohh we need to not listen when It says that this is just a book and you will never ever have what Bear and Otter have, we need to not listen to it, because we are a little bit like Bear or little bit like Otter and one day, I promise you, one day we will be as happy as they are!

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

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Review: “Dolphins in the Mud” by Jo Ramsey

TITLE: Dolphins in the Mud
AUTHOR: Jo Ramsey
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Harmony Ink Press
COVER ARTIST: Brooke Albrecht
GENRE: Teen Fiction
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 180 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 8, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 -paperback
  

BLURB:

Stranded. Hopeless. Trapped. No one to turn to and no way to reach the freedom just beyond his grasp…

That’s how Chris Talberman feels when his family moves to an isolated New England coastal town and leaves him alone to care for his severely autistic sister, Cece.

Chris knows how the dolphins stranded in the cove near his home must feel–he understands their struggle better than he can express. But the tragic event has a silver lining. It’s there, while chasing his sister, that Chris meets Noah, a boy his age who is as kind and handsome as he is fascinating. Not only has Chris found the friend he needed, but the possibility for love–

Until Chris’s mother abandons the family and Noah reveals his own hidden pain. Now Chris must care for the person he thought would care for him.


This teen fiction tells us about a period of Chris’s life.

Chris and his family recently moved to this isolated town near the coast. He didn’t have time yet to make new friends. He’s busy with helping his mom with his sister Cece, who is autistic. Cece is 9-years-old but sometimes she behaves like a 2-year-old. Chris loves his sister so he really didn’t mind but sometimes he just wants to be on his own, doing things like a normal 16-year-old would do.
Chris is out. He had a boyfriend back in his old town, but they broke up. So now he’s looking forward to meeting someone with whom he can be friends and even something more.
Then one day there are dolphins in their cove. His little sister Cece succeeded escaping from the house to run to see the “Dophs.” Chris takes after her, barefoot, but before he catches her, she is stopped by a blond young guy. Later he finds out that the boy name is Noah.
Noah lives near to Chris’s house, but they never met yet. He feels the connection, but he knows that Noah is hiding something. And when Noah makes a desperate thing he is not sure he wants to be friends anymore…

This book is not about Chris and Noah’s relationship. If you are expecting some teen fling, this is not what is happening.
The book is more about Chris’s emotions, how a teen boy handles the changes in his life. The constant pressure of his mother to take care of his little sister. The struggle between feeling responsible and the guilt that he would like to spend some time for himself.
The book is really from the POV of a teenager, who feels the weight of his family on his shoulders. The anger when their mother abandoned them, the impotency when it comes to a lack of knowledge of his father about his sister. And there is Noah’s behavior …

The end of the book is not what I was hoping for, I can’t say I’ve enjoyed this book, but it’s definitely an interesting read.

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

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Review: “The Storms Lords” by Ravon Silvius

TITLE: The Storms Lords
AUTHOR: Ravon Silvius
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: DSP Publications
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 254 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 8, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $16.99 –paperback
  

BLURB:

The heat took everything from Rowen: his parents, his voice when the local cure for heatstroke poisoned him, and the trust of his fellow villagers, who branded him a water thief. It would have claimed his life when he was deemed unworthy of precious resources and left in the sun to die, had not a strange man named Kristoff ridden in on the wind and told Rowen he had power.

Rowen works hard to become a Storm Lord, one of a secret magical group that brings storms to break the heat waves overtaking their world. But Rowen is starting his training at a disadvantage since he cannot speak and is much older than the other novices. The desire to please Kristoff inspires him to persevere even more than the threat of being sent back to his village to die should he fail. Still, he cannot gather rain, and when his abilities manifest, they are unlike anything known to the Storm Lords. Unless Kristoff can help him control his deadly powers, the entire world will be in danger.

Kristoff might be among the mightiest of the Storm Lords, but he’s never been a mentor before. For a chance to be with Rowen, he’s willing to risk everything.


Rowen, 19 years-old, lived in a village in the middle of the desert where the heat spells were the worst. His parents died to a pretty hard heat spell, and he lost his voice at that same times. A year later, his village decided to sacrifice Rowen to the heat spell in order to bring the Storm God. Rowen was left, bonded and naked in the desert.

Kristoff, 21 years-old, was the youngest and the most powerful Storm Lord alive. After breaking a heat spell, Kristoff was flying to his island when he sensed powers below him. He landed in the desert and found Rowen practically dead.

Kristoff decided to take Rowen with him, as an apprentice to be a future Storm Lord.

I LOVED THIS BOOK.

Rowen is so adorable, smart, naïve and heartbreaking. He tries very hard to learn how to write and read for Kristoff and being able to communicate with others. He has a pure heart, he truly wants to help others and save lives. He’s so strong, physically but mentally too, despite all he’s been through, he still wants to be a Storms Lord and save his village (the same village that tried to murder him in a ritual sacrifice!).

I loved the story, I found it very original, how the world suffers from hard heat spells, what’s happening to the planet, and how human beings try to survive. Besides, everything in this book about heat spells and the Storm Lords—how they bring lightning, hurricanes, or storms and how they use it to break those masses of heat, are real. I mean, it’s well explained, and it’s scientifically true, this book taught me some things that I’ve never understood at school. (Science wasn’t my thing).

The love story between Kristoff and Rowen was sweet, beautiful, and well built. I loved how they were together as mentor and student, and then they started to become a little more like friends, but the more time they spend together, the more the heat between them grows up until it consumes them.

The only little tiny thing that I can say was that sometimes, it was a little too long with too much detail, but really, it’s nothing in comparison to how the book is great, and the characters are adorable.

It was a very good book that I enjoyed a lot and it’s the perfect read for a hot summer day, with that, you will be completely immersed in the story.

4 OptimuMM’s for my 2 lords

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

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Review: “Somewhere to Belong” by Caitlin Ricci

TITLE: Somewhere to Belong
AUTHOR: Caitlin Ricci
SERIES: Thornwood
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Caitlin Ricci
GENRE: Paul Richmond
E-BOOK: Contemporary Romance
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: Yes
RELEASE DATE: 200 pages
PRICE: August 7, 2017
  

BLURB:

Needy. Obsessive. Clingy. Twenty-five-year-old Eli Walker has heard it all. That’s why he doesn’t bother calling back the guys he’s been with anymore. Sex should be about fun, not a relationship, and no one has complained about him getting overly attached in years. If only he actually felt wanted for once instead of empty and used when guys are done with him.

Grayson Pendleton is a wealthy business consultant with clients all over the world. His life is often glamorous, but it leaves him no time for a relationship, and at forty-eight, he’s starting to notice the lack of romance in his life. His only romantic connection is Eli, but they’re just two guys who have sex occasionally. It took him months to get Eli’s first name, and even now they only communicate through a hookup app.

When Grayson inherits a house in Thornwood, Colorado, it’s one more thing he doesn’t need in his life, and he knows he won’t be there enough to enjoy it. Still, the old house has the potential to be a home, and more importantly, it gives Grayson a chance to save Eli when he needs it most


I liked Somewhere to Belong by Caitlin Ricci. It had a good flow to the story. It was nicely edited, and I enjoyed the characters. I liked the storyline about a horse rescue worker, Eli, and wealthy business consultant, Grayson, and how they start out as just casual hook-ups through an app and then through circumstances and persistence from Grayson they begin to be more. First friends and then boyfriends. But it’s definitely a slow process fraught with miscommunication and angst and Grayson having to show Eli how to let him in and that Eli is worthy of more than what he’s been settling for which is being used by anybody who wants him for sex, and Grayson will have to convince him that he is worthy of being loved.

Eli has only known guys from the hook-up app. He’s never had a relationship or even a date. But he’s found that the more needy and clingy he is, the faster his hook-ups stop responding to him and start ignoring him. So he’s learned over the years to go in and get what he’s there for and leave and wait for them to contact him again. He has learned to close off his emotions and not to want more to keep from getting hurt. During his days he works as a full-time assistant to a horse rescue. He gets to do home evaluations and evaluate all of the new horses that come in and decide what kind of training they have had, which results in him being thrown or kicked on a daily basis. And all I have to say to that he must have one high threshold for pain because it definitely doesn’t slow him down or keep him from hooking up.

Grayson’s always wanted more from Eli since they first started hooking up through the app but he can sense from Eli that if he pushes too hard too fast for more then he will lose him forever. But he can’t help wanting more. Eli is everything that he’s ever wanted. He is just his type, and they have awesome chemistry together. So he will just have to slowly chip away at the wall that Eli has up between them. He’s impressed with Eli’s work ethic and his passion for his job, and it inspires him to want to do something that will also matter instead of his consultant job. He isn’t perfect by any means but he is quick to learn from his mistakes, and that’s all that Eli asks for. I loved how protective Grayson is toward Eli and how he wants to help him.

My only problem with this story is a couple of things that only a person who lives, works, and trains horses would question. The part about Eli not wearing glasses because they get broken when he gets thrown is believable and a good reason to wear contact lenses. However, he wouldn’t wear contacts because the arena was too dusty and his glasses would get dusty. If anything, he would have to wear sunglasses while riding in the dusty arena with contact lenses. Dirt in the eye with contact lenses would be murder on the eyes and also dangerous while evaluating a new horse. The other part that bugged me would be that Eli went commando under his riding jeans. I have had enough boyfriends that have tried to ride in boxers while trotting a horse to understand how painful that is and have to wear briefs while riding even if they normally prefer to wear different underwear or no underwear.

So I have a hard time believing that he would willing go commando. He could get away with wearing a jock strap but not going commando, he would need some form of support. The same would be true for a woman to ride without wearing a bra or sports bra, it just wouldn’t happen. So yeah for those little things that I am sure only a rider would notice or be bothered by I gave this book 4*s.

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

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Review: “The Teddy Bear Club” by Sean Michael

TITLE: The Teddy Bear Club
AUTHOR: Sean Michael
SERIES: The Teddy Bear Club
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Bree Archer
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 208 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 1, 2017
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book / $9.99 –paperback
   

BLURB:

Two lonely men. One perfect family.

Aiden Lake adopted his institutionalized sister’s two daughters, and he’s a good dad. He works nights on websites and gets in his adult time twice a week at the Roasty Bean, where he meets with other single gay parents.

Devon Smithson wants to be a good dad now that his sixteen-year-old sister asked him to babysit her newborn… three months ago. But he’s overwhelmed with the colicky baby. An invitation to the daddy-and-kid gatherings at the café is a godsend. The pot is sweetened when his friendship with Aiden develops into more—maybe even something that can last.

But the mother who kicked Dev out for being gay wants to get her claws into the baby, and she doesn’t care if she tears Dev, Aiden, and everything they’re building apart in the process.


I loved The Teddy Bear Club by Sean Michael. This book’s vastly different from the Iron Eagle Gym series that’s a BDSM series. The Teddy Bear Club’s a cute story about a group of single dads that are trying to find their way and keep their sanity. The book’s easy to read, kept me entertained, had lots of feels, and it looks like it’s the first book in a new series, so I am super excited that the other friends in the Teddy Bear Club will be getting their stories also. I can’t wait to see who Logan, Zack, and Dirk end up with. This book’s well written and nicely edited, and it was a joy to read. It has a great storyline and just enough stolen moments of ecstasy to make it realistic with two single dads that are juggling two babies that aren’t old enough to crawl yet and one older helpful 3-year-old.

I loved Aiden and his back story about how he ended up adopting his sister’s two kids when she had to be institutionalized and what a great dad he is to them. I love that they have a support group at a friend’s café called the Roasty Bean where he meets with other single gay parents at the daddy-and-kid gatherings held twice a week. He’s able to get his caffeine fix and his adult conversation fix at the same time. Aiden’s definitely the Mr. Fix-it of the group, and he develops a fast friendship with their newest single gay parent, Dev.

I loved Dev. He’s the new single dad of the group, and he’s at the end of his rope dealing with a 3-month-old colicky baby and is seriously sleep deprived. He’s been on his own since he was kicked out of the house at 16. He’s from a very religious family. And his mother’s a piece of work. His 16-year-old sister asked him to babysit for her new born son three months ago and hasn’t been back for the baby since. Devon’s excited when he gets invited to the daddy-and-kid gatherings at the café. He isn’t sure what to expect but what he finds is a great group of guys that are willing to help him in any way that they can. Logan’s a lawyer and is willing to help him with adopting his sister’s baby and helping him locate her so that she can sign her rights over to him.

His biggest fears are realized when his mother comes for the baby. But Dev will do everything in his power to keep that from happening, and Aiden’s there for him when he needs a place to stay. And they find that their families work well together.

I loved the story. It had just enough angst, just enough passion, and just enough of a heart-warming story that had me fall in love with both of Aiden and Dev, their kids, and the other members of the Teddy Bear Club. Great job, Sean Michael, on the start of a great new series. I can’t wait to read more.

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

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Review: “Sparkle and Shine” by Julia Talbot

TITLE: Sparkle and Shine
AUTHOR: Julia Talbot
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: L.C. Chase
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Western
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 72 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 2, 2017
PRICE: $3.99 – e-book
  

BLURB:

All that glitters is not gold. No-frills cowboy Evan learned that lesson the hard way while married to a rodeo princess, a relationship that was all flash and no substance. At least Evan held on to his daughter, Cheyenne, and his best friend, Brooks, when the sparkle wore off and things fell apart. Life could be a lot worse.

But it could also be better… if Evan and Brooks took a step beyond friendship. Just as they start to explore their feelings, Evan’s ex-wife sticks her nose in to sabotage them. Suddenly everything is up in the air, and they have difficult choices to make about the rodeo, Cheyenne, and the romance they both want so badly to pursue.

2nd Edition


Sparkle and shine was a short but fun little read. Yes, the plot was obvious and predictable, and sometimes a little bit too sickly-sweet, but I did enjoy reading it in the small amount of time that it took.

Evan has been a single dad to his smart and adorable little girl, Cheyenne, since his ex-wife left them 5 years ago. He has taken part in the rodeo circuit for most of his life along with his best friend, Brooks. But Evan hasn’t been at his best lately and thinks that he’s getting too old to take part now. Evan believes it’s time to settle down because Cheyenne is getting older and needs more of an education than he can provide on his own. At the same time, this life is all he’s known, and he doesn’t know if he can just walk away, especially because that means that he won’t be with Brooks all of the time. Unknown to Brooks, Evan has been hiding the fact that he has had a crush on him for a quite a long time, and he’s finding it harder to keep those feelings at bay.

When Evan tells Brooks that he’s thinking of leaving the circuit, Brooks can’t believe what he’s hearing. He doesn’t want to do the circuit without Evan because he loves spending time and travelling around the country with him, but Brooks has also become very attached to Cheyenne, and leaving the little girl and her father behind would break his heart. As far as Brooks is concerned, they’re like a family to him because he’s got no one left of his own anymore. Brooks has also been trying to push back the strong feelings that he’s having towards Evan because one day he started to look at him as more than just his friend. But Brooks doesn’t want to do anything that will ruin the friendship/bond that he has with Evan either.

When a few drinks after a show in Vegas leads from one thing to another, Evan and Brooks realise that there is no going back to just being friends, and decide to explore where the journey of being lovers will take them. In their case, what happens in Vegas will not being staying in Vegas. But the two men have a few challenges to face along the way, including homophobia and an ex-wife who only cares about herself and what she can get.

This book was the first I’ve read by this author, and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed. Both the characters and dialogue between them were really well written and felt true and natural. The accent and cowboy twang was very distinct in the writing and definitely added to how the story came across. I’m really glad I got the chance to read this book because it was a great little light-hearted, lift-your-spirits story that left me with a huge grin on my face and forgetting about all my worries when I was done.

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

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Review: “Comes a Horseman” by Anne Barwell

TITLE: Comes a Horseman
AUTHOR: Anne Barwell
SERIES: Echoes Rising
PUBLISHER: DSP Publications
COVER ARTIST: Reese Dante
GENRE: Historical; Mystery/Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 230 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 1, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback
  

BLURB:

Sequel to Winter Duet
Echoes Rising: Book Three

France, 1944

Sometimes the most desperate struggles take place far from the battlefield, and what happens in secret can change the course of history.

Victory is close at hand, but freedom remains frustratingly just beyond the grasp of German physicist Dr. Kristopher Lehrer, Resistance fighter Michel, and the remaining members of the team sent by the Allies—Captain Matt Bryant, Sergeant Ken Lowe, and Dr. Zhou Liang—as they fight to keep the atomic plans from the Nazis. The team reaches France and connects with members of Michel’s French Resistance cell in Normandy. Allied troops are poised to liberate France, and rescue is supposedly at hand. However, Kristopher is no longer sure the information he carries in his memory is safe with either side.

When Standartenführer Holm and his men finally catch up with their prey, the team is left with few options. With a traitor in their midst, who can they trust? Kristopher realizes he must become something he is not in order to save the man he loves. Death is biding his time, and sacrifices must be made for any of them to have the futures they want.


So, when I first saw this book and read the blurb I was either not paying proper attention, or perhaps I had gone temporarily blind. For some unknown reason, at no point did I notice that this book was the third and final book of a series (yeah, quite an important part of the details to overlook hehehe). As you can imagine, when I opened the book and saw that it was a sequel I had a little bit of a panic moment. When I started reading, the panic turned to slight terror because I was completely lost and had absolutely no idea what was going on in the story. Now, I take complete responsibility for my stupidity, and although this review is going to be a somewhat unorthodox, I’m just working with what I’ve got.

At this point, I would normally describe the plot/storyline/characters of the book, but unlike me (facepalm), the chances are that if you’re planning on reading this book, then you’ve probably already read the first two and know about all of this stuff already. I mean what can I really tell you that the blurb hasn’t already? Well, after the meltdown had subsided and my heart rate had reduced to normal levels, I managed to grasp the basics of the story and characters and just went with the flow, and I have to be honest and say that what I read in this book was nothing short of magnificent.

I’m a huge WW2 history fan, and I’ll generally take an interest in any books, movies or documentaries on the subject, whether it be fact or fiction. This book was so well written, that even though I had no idea of the backstory, I was totally and utterly engrossed. After a couple of chapters, I actually forgot that I had gone into this blind. The confusion was just gone. The amount of detail in the story was phenomenal, and I really need to commend the author for that. From the places they were staying/hiding, the ranks of the German soldiers, the use of the French and German languages, and how the characters were treated by the soldiers and other civilians, it all had a real authentic feel to it, and apart from a couple of little scenes, I could easily have been reading a memoir by an actual WW2 survivor. The story was so intriguing that I just couldn’t put it down.

Although the relationships between the male characters are discussed quite a lot, this book doesn’t really go into any intimate details, and by that, I mean there are no sex scenes. This is all about the feelings and emotions that they share, and their plans for when the war ends if they survive. I think that this was absolutely right for the story and the time period. There were a few twists that I didn’t see coming at all, and they just made me enjoy the book even more than I already was.

Now that I’ve read this, I’m going to make a point of going back to read the first two books because I really want to know so much more about these characters. I want to see how the relationships started and how they got to this point. I loved this book without knowing anything that was happening, so if you have followed this series from the start, then I can guarantee you’ll not be disappointed with how it’s all tied up and finalized. It was truly a joy and pleasure to read this book.

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

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Review: “Valentine’s Day Resolution” by Ava Hayden

TITLE: The Valentine’s Day Resolution
AUTHOR: Ava Hayden
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Alexandria Corza
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 140 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 2, 2017
PRICE: $ 4.99 -e-book
   

BLURB:

Huxley carries invisible scars from a near-fatal car accident. He sleepwalks through a job at his father’s company, marking time until he can quit and pursue his own dreams.

Everything changes the moment he makes eye contact with a stranger while riding to work. It’s as if he’s been shaken out of his stupor, and Huxley vows to find the man.

Thanks to a thieving ex-lover, Paul’s florist shop is on the brink of closing down. He needs to milk Valentine’s Day for all it’s worth—and the irony that a day dedicated to love might help undo the damage of a failed relationship is not lost on him.

When Huxley finds Paul at his shop, both men feel an instant attraction. Before long, they’re falling hard, but Huxley holds back. If Paul knew all the baggage he’s carrying, he might run.

Paul’s gut tells him Huxley is hiding something. Huxley looks like a keeper, but Paul can’t go through another disastrous romance.

When Valentine’s Day arrives, will they have anything to celebrate?


I loved The Valentine’s Day Resolution by Ava Hayden. It sucked me in and wouldn’t let me go. The book is wonderfully written and nicely edited. I loved both Huxley and Paul although I wanted to shake Huxley and Paul a couple of times and may have yelled at my Kindle a time or two. But they both made me smile and also laugh and just made me feel. This is the first book that I have read by this author, but it won’t be the last. Hopefully, I enjoy her other books as much as I enjoyed this one. I liked her writing style and the way she unfolded her facts like how she didn’t tell us the exact facts about the near fatal car crash but revealed glimpses of them through Huxley’s nightmares.

I loved getting to watch Huxley progress as a character. He starts out after the accident just going through the motions in his life and job. His father has installed him as CEO and President at one of his companies. And he has to prove himself if he wants his father to release his trust fund money. He primarily lets his COO Bob do whatever he wants with the company much to the displeasure of the other associates at the company. I loved that Huxley started to wake up after meeting Paul and that Paul was the motivation he needed to re-join the living. But he is harbouring a secret that he is working with a therapist on that has a deadline of Valentine’s Day also. And he’s embarrassed by his limitations and doesn’t want Paul’s pity.

Paul has been having a hard time lately. His boyfriend embezzled all of the money from his family’s flower shop, and he is too ashamed to tell his parents that their beloved flower shop is in jeopardy of closing. He’s hoping that he can make enough during their busiest day of the year, Valentine’s Day, to keep them afloat and get them back on track. But that means working insane hours with only one helper and accepting any and all jobs that come in. Including the jobs the new hunk that keeps coming in and ordering different arrangements and gift baskets. But Paul doesn’t have any extra time to date even if he would like to. And Huxley is definitely somebody that he would like to get to know. But Paul has reservations about Huxley. He has a feeling that he’s hiding something from him which leads to a misunderstanding and might cost them their new relationship.

I also loved the supportive characters. Paul’s best friend, Carson, is a drag queen when he isn’t running his own custom built-ins business. He’s very flamboyant, and a riot and he makes sure that Paul is taking time to eat during his busy days and nights. I also liked Bishop, Huxley’s driver, and how he went from being an employee to being a friend. And the various people at Huxley’s office that start to be friendlier as he becomes more alive and outgoing.

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

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Review: “Out of The Ashes” by Ari McKay

TITLE: Out of The Ashes
AUTHOR: Ari McKay
SERIES: Asheville Arcana
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: Shapeshifter; Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 220 pages
RELEASE DATE: Aug 1, 2017
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book / $9.99 –paperback
  

BLURB:

Asheville Arcana

In their differences, they’ll find strength—and love.

Alpha werewolf Eli Hammond returns from a fishing trip to discover a nasty surprise—five members of his pack murdered and the rest missing. He needs help locating and rescuing his pack mates, but the supernatural council in Asheville, North Carolina, turns him away.

Except for one man.

As they work together, Eli is stunned—and not especially thrilled—to discover half-elf Arden Gilmarin is his destined mate. But as Arden and his friends struggle to help Eli in his quest, Eli surrenders to the demands of his body—and his heart. They’ll need to bond together, because the forces opposing them are stronger and more sinister than anyone predicted. The evil has its sights set on Arden, and if Eli wants to save his mate and the people he is entrusted with protecting, he’s in for the fight of his life


Eli Hammond is an Alpha wolf, after a trip, he comes back to his pack and finds 5 of his pack-mates dead and all the other members missing.
Arden Gilmarin is a Half-Elf, successful business man and a member of the Council of the Sup-Nat.

When Eli comes to Asheville asking for help rescuing his pack, he finds a closed door by the members of the council, except for Arden. His mate.
Eli knows from the beginning that Arden is his mate, but he refuses to claim him. First, he has his pack to rescue and as the Alpha, the pack comes first. Second, the fact that Arden isn’t from the same species, is something that bothers Eli. How can 2 different species be together and mate for life when they are so different?

Arden is adorable, smart, fun, with a big heart. He’s a caretaker, and helping people who need it, it’s second nature to him. So when Eli comes asking for help, he couldn’t refuse him. When he realized that they were mates, Arden tries to understand why Eli doesn’t want him and doesn’t do stupid things and I love that about him.

I loved this book. Eli and Arden are perfect together.

I’ve read a lot of paranormal books, I love this kind, and Out of the Ashes, is a really good book.

The author wrote an interesting story with a good plot, the MC’s a couple that I loved from the beginning, both of them (I was surprised too), the secondary characters were good too, and I wanted to know more about them.
The fact that the book wasn’t all about the mate pair, pleased me. The author wrote two stories in one.

The first story, we have the investigations about Eli’s pack and all the ramifications of it. The second story, Eli and Arden’s love story and mate’s bond.
I also loved that the author didn’t use the mate thing for ugly useless sex scenes (yes, it’s me Ivy, and no I’m not sick). Actually, he took the time to build the bond between them, of course it’s a magical bond, and of course after 4 days they were together for good (and I was doing a little dance), but that doesn’t mean they didn’t talk together or didn’t share their fears and worries.

Besides, like I said, the plot about the missing pack was super good.

For me, it was like reading a paranormal gay’s version of the TV Show Supernatural. Replace the brothers Sam and Dean Winchester by an Alpha Gay Wolf mated to a bossy bottom Half-elf, then add a broody Vampire as expert ès-demon, a wizard as the best friend who is also sex-buddy (I love this book!) and other supernatural creatures like Dryads, Witches and demon hunter.
Shake well, and you have Out of the Ashes.

I will definitely follow this series, and hope that book 2 will come soon.

4 OptimuMM’s for those adorable supernatural misfits

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

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Review: “Olivier” By TJ Nicholas

TITLE: Olivier
AUTHOR: TJ Nicholas
SERIES: Order of the Black Knights
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Paul Richmond
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense; Urban Fantasy
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 31, 2017
PRICE: $8.32 -e-book / $14.99 -paperback  

BLURB:

Olivier Merlo works for a dangerous man. He does what he’s told without asking questions because he needs to protect his sister and niece. When someone gives his boss trouble, Olivier does what he does best. It’s a routine hit—until the victim’s brother starts poking around.

Cody Anders left his family behind a decade ago—along with their wealth and influence—to live on his own terms. Still, he knows his twin didn’t die of a drug overdose, and he’ll do anything to find the truth. What he uncovers is a conspiracy that will topple his family and leave him staring down the barrel of a gun.

Olivier must decide if he’s going to obey orders or free himself from the curse that has guided his hand for centuries. Cody, who challenges Olivier’s notion that no one can love him, holds the key to breaking his chains. But when the truth finally comes out, it might be more than Cody can accept.


I have been of fan of this series, and this book continued to feed my love of it. This author has a great sense of writing a hot and steamy read but also has me thinking throughout the whole book. The men in these books have lived many lives and die, just to start all over. They have made a deal with the wizard centuries ago and continue to fight. It’s pretty simple what they have to do to not to have to continue this cycle, but it always takes a few lives to figure it out. Forgiveness…

Olivier is no different. He has loved, killed and died for a very long time now. Olivier thought he might have had something with Finn but then…betrayal is a hard slam on the ego. And, Olivier is not able to do the one thing to end this cycle. Forgiveness. That’s all it would’ve taken, but then again, that would have been a short read. LOL

Then there is the twins. Always twins for Olivier but no matter, Olivier always falls for the sweet one. Cody is trying to piece everything together that happened with his twin, Connor. As soon as he spots Olivier, he can’t help but stare at him. The chemistry is so apparent but, of course, nothing is that easy.

There are the other characters that help the story. There are the bad families and bosses. Who can be trusted? Who should you watch over your shoulder for? And who gets to live and die?
I loved this book and really enjoy the way it makes me think. Don’t sweat the little things and grab ahold of that spark of life and run with it. Forgive and be forgiven. We all make mistakes. Be the best person you can be and love with all your heart.

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

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