Review of: Escape by Sean Ian O’Meidhir, Connal Braginsky

TITLE: Escape
AUTHOR: Sean Ian O’Meidhir, Connal Braginsky
SERIES: Crossing Nüwa
PUBLISHER: DSP Publications
GENRE: Paranormal
RELEASE DATE: July 9, 2019


For sheltered Robbie, one week of freedom leads to sexual awakening and adventure… but when his world intersects with Theo’s, they’ll need all their wits and Theo’s magic to fight for their future.
Rare male weresnake Robbie has had his whole life decided for him down to his meals. But when the time comes for him to perform an unspeakable duty to his clan, he runs.
San Francisco Pride is in full swing when technomage Theo spots a scared-looking young man with brilliant emerald eyes. He’s only looking for a hookup, but before he knows why, he’s taking Robbie home and introducing him to champagne and enchiladas. He doesn’t have any intention of falling in love.
Robbie doesn’t want to return to his clan, at least not without trying to fit a lifetime of experiences into a week, but every day he stays puts Theo in more danger.

Escape is my first book by Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky, and I absolutely loved it. Escape is the first book in the Crossing Nüwa series, and I can’t wait for the next book to come out so that I can devour it just like I did this one. I love to read paranormal books but don’t find a lot of books about were-snakes or techno-mages. The characters were interesting and loveable, and I loved the plot.

I loved how the were-snake clans are matrilineal and are ruled by a matriarchy. The clan believes the females are strong, and the men are weak. The females don’t have any limitations on what they can do, but the men are seen but not heard, and as children, the males are allowed to play and interact with their female cousins until five years before they are considered mature. Then they live in seclusion until they’re considered mature and then they’re paired with females to breed the next generation of pureblood Nüwas.

And that would be all fine and dandy but not only is Robbie a rare male were-snake but he’s also gay and the thought of being paired with females is repugnant to him. Having been in seclusion for the past five years, all that Robbie has learned about being gay is from reading gay romances, gay porn, and watching gay pride parades. What he wants to do more than anything before his big birthday is to go to San Francisco to the gay pride parade and experience being gay before being forced to do his duty, and so he runs away and is picked up by a truck driver who just happens to be going to San Francisco. However, Robbie has been sheltered and doesn’t know how to do anything in the outside world. He has to watch and follow humans to figure out how to buy food and find places to sleep, but he gets to go to the pride parade that he’s always wanted to attend and it’s at the pride parade that he meets Theo.

The parade is in full swing when Theo spots a scared-looking young man with emerald eyes. He’s only looking for a hookup, but before he knows it, he’s taking Robbie home and introducing him to alcohol and Mexican food. Robbie quickly grows on Theo, and Theo takes him with him when he DJ’s at the various clubs and helps him experience what it is to be gay. But Robbie is found by one of the clan’s enforcers and only given a week to experience freedom before she’ll be back to deliver him to his clan leader, who just so happens to be his mom.

I loved how Robbie is able to change the structure of his mouth and use his snake senses through his tongue while still a human, and, I won’t lie, it was a little gross that he drinks blood in addition to eating human food. But Robbie’s week of freedom is cut short, and Theo will need all of his techno-mage magic to get Robbie back. Then he will have to wait for Robbie to decide if he feels the same way about Theo as Theo does for Robbie while he lives with a childhood friend that lives outside of the clan with a human and teaches him how to survive in the real world.
I loved how the authors tied up all of the loose ends, and the book ends in a HEA. I’m excited to see if the next book in the series is going to be about how Theo and Robbie’s relationship is progressing or if it’s going to be about a new gay were-snake.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Never A Hero by Marie Sexton

TITLE: Never A Hero
AUTHOR: Marie Sexton
SERIES: Tucker Springs
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: July 5, 2019


Owen Meade is in need of a hero. Sheltered, ashamed, and ridiculed by his own mother for his sexuality, his stutter, and his congenital arm amputation, Owen lives like a hermit, rarely leaving his apartment. He hardly dares to hope for more… until veterinarian Nick Reynolds moves in downstairs.
Charming, handsome Nick steals past Owen’s defenses and makes him feel almost normal. Meeting his fiery, determined little sister, June, who was born with a similar amputation, helps too. June always seems to get her way—she even convinces Owen to sign up for piano lessons with her. Suddenly the only thing standing between Owen and his perfect life is Nick. No matter how much he flirts, how attracted to Owen he seems to be, or how much time they spend together, Nick always pulls away.
Caught between his mother’s contempt and Nick’s stubbornness, Owen makes a decision. It’s time to be the hero of his own story, and that means going after what he wants: not just Nick, but the full life he deserves.

I loved Never A Hero by Marie Sexton. It’s the fifth book in the Tucker Springs series. The Tucker Springs series is written by multiple authors—L.A. Witt, Marie Sexton, Heidi Cullinan. I had the pleasure of reviewing book three, Dirty Laundry, and book four, Covet Thy Neighbor, and Never A Hero was just as good.

I thought Marie Sexton did an excellent job of showing us a glimpse into the life of a man who was born with a congenital arm amputation and also suffered from a stutter that gets worse with his social anxiety. And instead of having supportive parents, he’s ridiculed by his own mother for his sexuality, his stutter, and his congenital arm amputation.

I liked how we get to see both sides of the equation in do you help a person with a disability and how the person with the disability perceives that help. In the book, Owen doesn’t like to be helped or stared at, but he also doesn’t like it if he is ignored. He thinks that he knows what the normal person is thinking and feeling when they look at him, but he isn’t normal, so he can only assume. I liked that Nick is there to give Owen a different insight into why normal people react the way that they do. I know that I’ve struggled with that before. Do you look at the missing limb or not, do you help if they’re struggling to do something or let them struggle to do it on their own. I never know what’s right or acceptable, but I know that I definitely don’t want to offend them. So I liked that I got to see it from both of their points of view.

I liked Owen Meade. Because of his upbringing and the way he’s treated by his mom and how he perceives the outside world, he has become a bit of a hermit and rarely leaves his apartment. He works from home for a marketing company, designing newsletters, brochures, and putting together postcard advertising campaigns. He tends to live vicariously through the lives of the people that live in the apartment below his. The highlight of his day is when his neighbor plays the piano when she gets home from work, but after living there for three years, she moves out but doesn’t take her piano with her. Two days later, Owen gets a new neighbor. But unlike his old neighbor, this one wants to be friends.

Nick Reynolds is a veterinarian, has three dogs, a sister that also has a congenital arm amputation, and is in the closet at work due to a homophobic boss. I liked how he tried to get Owen out and interacting with the world again. I also liked when he introduced Owen to his younger sister, Jude, who also has the same amputation that Owen has. I really liked how Jude interacts with the world and doesn’t let anything stop her from doing what she wants to do, including convincing Owen to take piano lessons with her and to perform a recital together, each playing one hand of the song since Owen is missing his left hand and Jude is missing her right.

I really enjoyed seeing the personal growth in Owen and how he starts to stop caring about what other people think of his missing arm and doing what he wants to do.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of:  Malachite by Michele Notaro & Sammi Cee

TITLE: Malachite
AUTHOR: Michele Notaro & Sammi Cee
SERIES: Brotherhood of Ormarr
GENRE: Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: June 10, 2019


I have a wonderful life. I have no room to complain; between my brothers and their new mates, this is the most alive our home has felt since my parents died. Unfortunately, all of them being mated is making me miserable. When it was just the four of us, it was us against the world. Now they’re paired up and it’s only me and my dragon, Kesia. Until I happen to walk into the Overlord’s Lair and I see him: Quentin. Mine. Mate. As much as I want to win him over without telling him I’m a dragon rider and we’re mates—which I know he’d love—I’m not sure I can. The minute I’m around him I act like an idiot.
Every time the goofy guy walks into my store, he brightens my day, and I look forward to his daily visits. There’s just something about him that draws me to him, to the point he leaves me pining after him the moment he’s gone. But the thing is, I can tell he’s hiding something, and my wild imagination is coming up with the craziest explanations of the secrets he’s keeping. Maybe he’s a vampire that’s come to whisk me away—ridiculous, right? But a guy can dream. And I’ve definitely been dreaming of that big, muscular man wrapping me in his arms at night.
Malachite is the final book in The Brotherhood of Ormarr series. While each book focuses on a different couple, the overall story arc concludes in this installment. For maximum enjoyment, we suggest reading in order. Malachite is a m/m romance, and is recommended for adults 18 years and older.

Malachite is one of the famous Ormarr brothers. He’s the gentle giant, the last unmated brother until he meets Quentin the owner of the Overlord’s lair. Malachite and his dragon, Kesia, recognized him instantly as their mate, but Malachite wants to win Quentin’s heart by himself, not because of the pull of the mate bond.
With their enemies being reckless and Quentin’s life in danger, Malachite may not have all the time he wants to win Quentin’s heart.
Malachite is the last book in the Brotherhood of Ormarr series. I adored this book.

Malachite, aka Kite, is unmated, he’s the only one of his brother without his partner and as much as he’s happy for them, Malachite’s lonely and a little bit jealous to be alone. He has Kesia, his dragon, but even with her, Kite feels alone, until he meets Quentin. I adored Malachite, really, he was my favorite brother, and I was dying to read his book. I wasn’t disappointed, he’s perfect. I loved how goofy and clumsy he is in front of Quentin, I loved his sensitivity, and I loved how he didn’t hide his pain and sadness in front of his man. I loved how the author wrote him, the huge mountain man, the fierce warrior with the biggest soft heart in the world.

Quentin is unique, and he lives in a fantasy world in his head. Meeting Malachite wasn’t on his agenda, but he embraces it with his whole heart. He trusts Malachite despite his own insecurities. I loved his reaction in front of Kesia when he discovers that Dragons are real. It was like reading my own reaction if I discover that dragons are real. He’s sweet, funny, and sensitive.

I was curious to see how the authors would have closed this series with the brothers, their mates, and their enemies. Who is the traitor? How will they defeat him and save the world? I was curious, and I wasn’t disappointed. Even if the book was focused on Kite and Quentin, the last part was about their mission, and I was completely captivated. The epilogue was beautiful and left open a door ,a tiny door, but still a door about a (possible-maybe-one-day-if-we-kidnap-the-authors-and-force-them-to-write) sequel.

It was a great series with a beautiful ending. This book is part of the series, so it’s better to read the three previous books before. You won’t regret it.

5 Stars for Kite and Q

***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: Mercs and Strippers by Meraki P. Lyhne

TITLE: Mercs and Strippers
AUTHOR: Meraki P. Lyhne
PUBLISHER: eXtasy books
GENRE: Space Opera
RELEASE DATE: May 17, 2019


Ethan has been paired with his dad as the Corporation’s chosen lawyer, and that in itself causes both old ghosts and new challenges to be resolved.
In the meantime, Ryder tries to be the supportive boyfriend and the capable boss. But he’s in way over his head, and he knows it. When all else fails for Ryder, he at least has the dance…and a trump card on the payroll he had no idea of.
Hayden had danced himself to the honor of the last dance, yet the troubles he had in his wake were more than he and anyone else had anticipated. Once Ryder was made aware of it, Hayden found himself encapsulated in a protective shield of Brutus and his brothers.
But the mob isn’t giving up without a fight, and their methods are many and dirty.

We are back with Ethan and Ryder in this sexy-as-sin romance series. They’ve also brought along some friends we’ve met and some new characters. Ethan and Ryder are on solid ground with their relationship, and I love them something fierce. After a night out and a chance meeting with a sexy young male prostitute, they finally get the chance to put the pieces together about the men hellbent on taking over ORE-5 including Black Ryder.

Hayden is just trying to survive on this godforsaken planet. He wears a colored belt to let others know his worth, but he’s so much more. He just needs someone to help him to realize it. As a contracted prostitute he has certain obligations he must fulfill, and when the notorious Black Ryder gives Hayden an opportunity well, he’s not going to squander it no matter the consequences. He just didn’t expect the guys at Black Ryder to actually care. He’s a great character with a big heart, and you’ll love him.

Brutus has been with Ryder since the beginning. He’s the big grumbly bouncer we all know and love. He keeps everyone at Black Ryder safe and pity anyone who tries to cross him. He’s a surprise I was definitely not expecting. He has secrets not even Ryder knows. With his particular set of skills, he takes on the charge of Hayden and his safety. He just didn’t expect Hayden to get under his skin. Brutus has a rule about not being involved with his charges so the budding attraction will have to wait. With everything else going on, he definitely doesn’t need the distraction.

This series is fast paced and full of everything that makes Meraki’s books some of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Each character is unique, and every book is fun and sexy. I absolutely love this series.

***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: Ledgers and Rent Boys by Meraki P. Lyhne

TITLE: Ledgers and Rent Boys
AUTHOR: Meraki P. Lyhne
PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books Inc
GENRE: Space Opera
RELEASE DATE: June 22, 2018


Overcoming their differences and discovering new sides of each other, Ethan and Ryder are trying their hands at this new thing called a relationship. Ethan’s insecurities and his focus on putting Ryder’s business first are contradicting Ryder’s need to shout his love from the rooftops.
But that’s the personal side of things. The business is in trouble, too, since Ethan’s keen eye caught flaws in Black Ryder’s books and exposed the previous accountant stealing from the storage. The piles of messy ledgers are keeping Ethan busy while Ryder’s business is being invaded by pimps. To top off the new couple’s problems, a rentboy named Hayden dances his way to the front of Black Ryder’s stage with enough trouble in his wake to claim all of Ryder’s attention.

Ethan and Ryder are learning each other in their new relationship. Ethan wants to protect Ryder’s business and keep his reputation as a sex god. Which means keeping their love affair secret. Ryder is at odds about this because all he wants to do is shout his love for Ethan at everyone he comes in contact with. Ryder isn’t comfortable with them hiding, but he’s letting Ethan run the show. Add a rent boy who dances into Ryder’s good graces and pimps trying to take over Black Ryder, and it’s a recipe for disaster. Oh, and did I mention Ryder’s possible future in-laws?

Ethan is still my favorite character. He’s brilliant with numbers but not so much with relationships. He still has a lot of self-doubt and low self-esteem to work on. It can’t be easy when you’re dating a sex god. He’s afraid of what people will say and how their relationship will affect Ryder’s business. He’s trying to be different for his man but not in the ways he should be. Poor guy.

Ryder is having a fit. He wants Ethan to want to show his affections for Ryder beyond the closed doors of their shared spaces. He knows Ethan is insecure, but damn it, he’s tired of keeping them a secret. He also has his business to think about and all the drama surrounding it lately. He only wanted a safe haven for like-minded people to enjoy. Now he has pimps to contend with. Did I mention possible future in-laws?

Hayden just needs a break. He’s tired of the same old routine. He finally convinces his “boss” to let him venture out to new territory and what he finds is the beginning of a shit storm he wasn’t prepared for.

Book two of this fantastic series is fast-paced and so many feels! These guys are going to get their happily ever after if I have anything to say about it! Keep reading. It’s only gets better!

***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