Review: “Sinfully Mine” by Nicky James

TITLE: Sinfully Mine
AUTHOR: Nicky James
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Self
COVER ARTIST: Nicky James
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 298 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 24, 2018
PRICE: $3.99– e-book/ $12.99– paperback

BLURB:

Four years ago, mistakes were made, lines were crossed, rules were broken.
It was wrong, and it never should have happened.
But, the past refuses to stay buried, wrongs start feeling right, and lines begin to blur.
Sometimes, the heart wants what the heart wants, and nothing will stand in its way.
Consequences be damned. Rules be damned.
Sometimes, secrets are sinfully delicious.


I’m going to start out by saying that yes this is a book about romantic love between two brothers. This book in no way is erotica or smut. I have read both, and this book is nothing like that or anything I’ve ever read.

If you looked beyond the relationship of the characters, you’ll find a beautiful love story with a depth that rivals some of the best romances. Emerson and Kaiden share a unique bond, and as the boys grew up, their bond became stronger until one night their bond had been irrevocably broken.

Emerson has loved and cared for his brother since his brother was born. His mother has an illness that makes her emotionally detached from her children. It has caused both boys to lean on each other for emotional support. Emerson has taken his job as big brother seriously. He’s used the more dominant side of his nature to help guide Kaiden through his life. As Emerson got older, he realized his feelings for his brother had developed into something that he can’t explain but knows that is wrong for a sibling to feel towards another sibling. He’s hidden these feelings successfully, but one night, Kaiden’s reaction towards his more dominant side had Emerson crossing a line and losing his brother in the process. Emerson, bless his heart, is such an endearing character. You can’t help but love him. He has this sweet side to him where he cares about people, and then he has this sexy dominant side that had my heart palpitating.

Kaiden has always looked up to his big brother. Emerson always involved the younger sibling in his social life and always looked after Kaiden. Without Emerson, Kaiden would fall apart, and he knows this. Emerson is the glue that holds Kaiden together. So why did Emerson have to betray him like that? It had been four years that his brother’s been gone and now he comes back with hopes of fixing Kaiden. Kaiden wants nothing to do with Emerson. But he can’t deny how Emerson makes him feel. He hates it because he doesn’t understand it. He hates the control Emerson has over him, especially his emotions. He needs Emerson to put him back together, even if Emerson was the one who broke him. Kaiden is a wreck. He’s all over the place, and I loved how flawed he was. His character is absolutely brilliant.

This story had me so emotionally involved I couldn’t even contemplate putting it down. This book is one of the best contemporary romances I have ever read. The secondary characters were so thought out and well-written with their own side stories that I was truly astounded by Nicky James’ writing. Every aspect of this book was brilliantly written. How does she write such a taboo topic and make it so beautiful?

Nicky James is an absolute treasure. If you are willing to see beyond the relationship of the characters and look instead at the heart and soul of the book, you will find a brilliantly written, unique and powerful story. If you decide you can’t read this, then I would encourage you to read her other fabulous stories of men, heartache, redemption and ultimately love.

***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: “Heavens Aground” by G.R. Lyons

TITLE: Heavens Aground
AUTHOR: G.R. Lyons
SERIES: Treble and the Lost Boys
PUBLISHER: Self
COVER ARTIST: Dana Leah
GENRE: Fantasy
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 348 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 24, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book / $12.89 -paperback

BLURB:

Ryley Skye can’t take anything seriously. Not the murder scenes he investigates, nor the fact that he’s cheating on his boyfriend. Not the bloody nightmares he gets every other night, and especially not Vic’s ridiculous theory that Ryley might be a mage.
Magic? Him? There’s just no way.
When Vic decides he’s had enough of Ryley’s cheating and breaks things off, it couldn’t come at a worse time. They’ve just been handed a case that will require them to work closely together, whether they like it or not. But Ryley plays along. He has to. He can’t afford any kind of confrontation. Things happen when he gets angry or aroused. Weird things. Bad things. He has to stay bottled up and in control at all times.
Then he meets Asher Arden, and indulges in what he thinks is a little rebound fling. But when Ryley loses control and puts Asher’s life at risk, he realizes two things: He loves Asher more than anything else in the world…
And Vic just might have been right all along.
(Note: This story takes place in a fictional world, the same as in the Shifting Isles Series. There are multiple gods, different names for the days of the week, etc. A glossary is included.)


The author has done it again! He’s sucked me in, and I need the next book yesterday. I absolutely love these characters in this series. The author tells such a story that your heart just aches until the end. The reality of what some of these characters go through, to this day, still breaks my heart. Being a woman, I will never understand what a gay man goes through just for being gay, but my heart aches so much anyway. I loved my children unconditionally, and it blows my mind that there are parents that do not.

Now to talk about the characters without giving too much away. This second book has a lot of little twists and plots that I sure don’t want to spoil anything for you.

Vic and Ryley have been together for six years, but Ryley can’t stop cheating on Vic. But Vic will not have sex with Ryley. Ryley has terrible nightmares about lots of blood in his hair and lungs. Vic is very good at calming him down after one, but it’s not enough for them to stay together and Vic moves out.

Ash was pushed off a boat by his own father 15 years ago and survived. He’s been reliant on himself for shelter and food but he’s not had any human contact for all these years. Ryley has been investigating this case as of recently, and Ryley had found a clue, so he traveled to this island by himself. It blew my mind how Ryley introduced himself to Ash.

They bring Ash home and try to introduce him to humanity again. This is not an easy task, as you can only imagine. Ry and Ash have a great connection, and Ry wants to be faithful to him. Weird. But every time they have sex, the lights go crazy, and Ash ends up in some kind of pain. Vic had told him about the lights before, but Ry wouldn’t listen. It isn’t until a tragedy happens that he finally listens.

Will Ash get accustomed to society? Will Ry actually be faithful to Ash? Why won’t Vic have sex? So many questions and so little answers. This is an intense read. Well, it was for me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I apologize if this review seems vague but like I said, I don’t want to give away any spoilers.

***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: “The Englor Affair” by J.L. Langley

 

TITLE: The Englor Affair
AUTHOR: J.L. Langley
SERIES: Sci-Regency
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Tiferet Design
GENRE: Sci-Fi
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 254 pages
RELEASE DATE: Aug 28, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 –e-book /$16.99 -paperback

BLURB:

A Sci-Regency Novel: sequel to My Fair Captain
Anxious to escape the confines of Regelence society, if only for a little while, Prince Payton Townsend poses as an admiral’s aide to further investigate a dangerous conspiracy. Payton plans only to use his computer skills to help navigate the tangled web of mystery and deceit on planet Englor, then return home, but he finds himself drawn to the charismatic Colonel Simon Hollister.
Simon, however, is no mere soldier—he is heir to the throne of Englor, and his life is meticulously planned to include a bride and heir. Unlike Regelence, the Regency society on Englor disapproves of same-sex relationships, and Payton and Simon’s attraction plays out in a daring secret affair, one Simon never expected would grow into love.
Risking scandal and certain ruin if they are discovered, Payton and Simon uncover more about a common enemy and a deadly plot that imperils both their worlds. But in this game of interplanetary intrigue, love might be the ultimate casualty….


This is the second installment in Sci-Regency series. Actually, this series is a re-read for me, but I couldn’t pass up on the possibility to review this series on OptimuMM as well. So be prepared for the next review of the sequel as well.
I remember the feeling I had when I first read this series. It was soon after I discovered MM. Back then, I was struggling to accept myself openly as a gay man. These books were a big help to overcome the guilt and all the struggle.

Me being a bit conservative romantic-wise and a hopeless romantic also and a bit of sci-fi nerd this series hit home like nothing else. If you were reading the first of the series (and I highly recommend you do) you know already that Regelence is a regency planet were man marries man. I will be honest with you, if that planet had been real, I would be already on my way. I love how young men’s virtues are guarded. We read about this mainly in MF, when the young, noble lady must remain virgin till marriage. In this series, the young lords have the same faith.

Payton aka Lord Plague was raised in the same manner. So when his brother-in-law, the Admiral of the battleship Lady Anna of IN, brings him along as his aid to Englor where they continue to investigate Aiden’s and Jeremy’s kidnapping, he finds himself in scandalous situations. I’ll just tell you one thing …gym locker room…

Englor is not so open for same-sex couples, and by that, I mean they’re quite homophobic. Si, being the next in line to become the king of Englor, must hide his homosexuality. Then he meets Pay, the Admiral’s aide and all his precautions are blown away.

I love this series with all my heart. Pay’s insecurity and Si’s doubtlessness doesn’t seems to get along. I had some difficulty with some parts of the book, because being raised in our society, for me, it seemed that Payton was given a feminine role. But then I schooled myself for being so narrow-minded and I put myself in Payton’s shoes, remembering that Payton was brought up to be a Consort of another man.

I hope you’ll enjoy it as I did!

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “For You I Fall” by T.N Nova & Colette Davison

TITLE: For You I Fall
AUTHOR: T.N Nova & Colette Davison
SERIES: Angels & Misfits #1
PUBLISHER: Self
COVER ARTIST: Colette Davison
GENRE: Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 239 pages
RELEASE DATE: Aug 28,2018
PRICE: $4.97 e-book

BLURB:

Despite having had a rough life, Seth has a big heart. After spending nearly ten years sleeping rough on the streets of New York, he’s managed to get himself freelance work and a place to live. But his new found security is about to be torn apart, as the horrors of his past come back to haunt him in the worst possible way.
Dante was sent to watch over a young Seth when his mother died. As an angel, he had many rules to follow. The most important of which was to never fall in love—especially when it involves a human who is your charge. For the last ten years, Dante has kept his feelings for Seth hidden. That is until the night Seth’s past catches up with him.
When Seth is murdered, their destinies are changed forever. Feelings and emotions come to the surface, but will the rules that govern the afterlife keep Dante and Seth apart for eternity, or will they be able to find their happily ever after together?


Dante is an angel who watches over his human charge Seth. For 10 years, Dante helped Seth to reach his path, and protect him, until Seth is murdered and has to make a choice for his afterlife.
Dante and Seth will have to find a way to find justice for Seth and be together for eternity, but time and other paranormal forces are against them. An eternity with the man they love is at risk if they fail.

For You I Fall is the first book in the Angels and Misfits series, and the first book I’ve read by the authors.

I liked this boo, it was a sweet love story.

Dante has been an angel since he was created, he belongs to the caste who watch over humans, he has his charges and helps them in their destined paths. But everything changes when Dante falls madly in love with Seth. Rules, in the angelic plane, are strict, love is forbidden, and the angel can be kicked out and live an eternity on earth as a fallen angel. Dante knows the risk, but he’s ready to take them all for Seth.

Seth is a good person with a big heart. He had a rough life but never stopped helping others and love people in need. When he’s murdered, Seth refuses to be at peace and wants justice. He didn’t plan to fall in love with Dante, and he’s scared to lose him for eternity after their mission is accomplished.

I liked them both and they complemented each other perfectly. Dante is protective of Seth. He wants him to be happy, safe and loved, and for that Dante is ready to take all the risks. I really liked this about him. Seth is a sweetheart and he wants to help people. He did it when he was alive, always ready to help the homeless in his city. I liked how kind, smart and devoted he was. They were a very good match, and I couldn’t love one more than the other.

The plot and the story were good. We alternate between Seth and Dante’s pov, but sadly sometimes it was too repetitive. Some chapters were practically the same as the previous one, but with Seth or Dante’s pov and inner thoughts, but even with that, sometimes it was difficult to hold my attention and still be in the story.

All in all, it still was a good story, and a pleasurable book.

It’s 3 OptimuMM for the Angel and his Protector.

***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: “Q*pid” by Xavier Mayne

TITLE: Q*pid
AUTHOR: Xavier Mayne
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Adrian Nicholas
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 282 pages
RELEASE DATE: Aug 28, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 –e-book / $16.99 – paperback

BLURB:

Can a computer program understand love better than the human heart?
Archer, the AI at the dating service Q*pid, realizes humans don’t always make the best choices, so it begins making some unconventional choices for them.
Fox Kincade is the last of his group of friends to be single, so he’s delighted when he discovers a new match in his Q*pid app—one that, according to the new AI wizardry, should be the love of his life. Instead of the woman he’s expecting, he’s paired with Drew Larsen, a shy, somewhat nerdy PhD student who has also grown discouraged with romance.
Drew and Fox have little in common—aside from the fact that they’re both straight. Or so they thought. But as the guys get to know each other, they realize Archer might have the right idea. Their path isn’t smooth, because both need to overcome every idea they have about themselves and what true love might look like. But with the help of Archer—and some friends who have stuck with Fox and Drew through the thick and thin of their relationship trials—they might find their way into each other’s hearts.


We know dating apps, right? In one way or another, they’re just for a quick hook-up or searching for our eternal soul-mate. What? You don’t know? Well then, maybe it’s time for you to give it a try.

Q*pid is a dating service, and Veera is one of its developers. They are ready to launch the new algorithm, an algorithm controlled by Archie, an A.I. developed by Veera. They send out a message for their top users to give Archie a try. But to do that they must give access to their social-media file and facial analysis through their cameras. It’s a high risk for exposure, but our MCs are desperate enough to find their true love, so they accept the terms and conditions and all the privacy settings. Curiously it seems that Archie’s algorithm works just fine, until one Sunday morning, where by accident, he ignores one tiny little fact to consider, and that would be gender preference…

Fox is the ultimate analyst. He has a spreadsheet to rate all his dating. A system with what he eliminates the women he’s not compatible with. After every date, he and his bro-buddy Chad analyse the last night’s events together. Fox is convinced he’s a straight man, who never questioned his sexuality. He has a very clear idea in his mind: to meet the one and marry her.

Drew is writing his Ph.D. and living the life of a poor student. He also had many unsuccessful dates behind him. While he’s checking Q*pid at least 3 times a day, waiting for the big connection, he’s selected to try out the AI of Q*pid, but he ony hesitates few minutes. So imagine his shock when after a few days, he gets a 99.5% match. He’s eager to finally see the woman of his dreams, but that woman turns out to be a man.

This book is an amazing read!!! I couldn’t put it down until I finished it! Maybe the first half of the book is a bit boring, but then things get active. It’s humorous, syrupy-romantic, and full of confusion on the part of the MCs who try to enlarge the horizon when it comes to their sexuality.

The intimate scenes were genuine. Being a man, I know what a real quickie means, and it’s reflected in this book. Maybe some of you will not agree, but my fellow men readers will be able to relate to it.

All in all, it’s a good read! I wouldn’t mind that this would turn into a series, or read a bit more about Fox and Drew!

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis