Review of: The Nothingness of Ben by Brad Boney

TITLE: The Nothingness of Ben
AUTHOR: Brad Boney
SERIES: The Austin Trilogy
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: Nov 23, 2012

BLURB:

Ben Walsh is well on his way to becoming one of Manhattan’s top litigators, with a gorgeous boyfriend and friends on the A-list. His life is perfect until he gets a phone call that brings it all crashing down: a car accident takes his parents, and now he must return to Austin to raise three teenage brothers he barely knows.
During the funeral, Ben meets Travis Atwood, the redneck neighbor with a huge heart. Their relationship initially runs hot and cold, from contentious to flirtatious, but when the weight of responsibility starts wearing on Ben, he turns to Travis, and the pressure shapes their friendship into something that feels a lot like love. Ben thinks he’s found a way to have his old life, his new life, and Travis too, but love isn’t always easy. Will he learn to recognize that sometimes the worst thing imaginable can lead him to the place he was meant to be?


This was my first read from this author.

When it comes to rating this book, I’m not sure how to rate it. I liked it, and at the same time, there was so many things that I couldn’t agree with.

Ben Walsh comes home after his parents die in a tragic accident. He has a promising carrier in Manhattan, and he’s also an out and proud gay man. This was the reason he was considered a absent member of his family. His late mother didn’t agree to his lifestyle, so he stayed away missing out on his three younger brothers growing up. And this when it’s started to be weird for me. I’m, myself, am the older brother, but my parents’ behavior never let me to stay away from my brother.

Ben Walsh’s behavior is inappropriate when it comes to understanding what his younger brothers are going through. The brothers are angry with him, and honestly, with reason. Ben is not a likable character in my honest opinion, and the feeling remained till the end of the book.

Travis is a sweetheart! It was an insta-like for me. He’s the big brother to the younger Walsh brothers that they need. They seek comfort in him, turning to him instead of their brother, Ben. But then Travis starts to have strange feelings for Ben … Travis is straight, up until now. He never felt attracted to a man before. This confuses him.

There was a scene, actually many, when I wanted to club Ben on his head! Ben is a selfish person. If I were in Travis’s place, I wouldn’t give a minute of my life to Ben.

Rapping it up, it’s not a bad or good book. I let you be the judge of it …

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: The Enchanter’s Soul by Michele Notaro

TITLE: The Enchanter’s Soul
AUTHOR: Michele Notaro
SERIES: The Elwood Chronicles
PUBLISHER: Self
GENRE: Paranormal
RELEASE DATE: April 15, 2019

BLURB:

Many fall as the last enchanter rises…
The first line of the ancient prophecy keeps playing over and over in my head, but I’m afraid to remember the rest. I don’t want to think about what’s coming for us—what’s coming for him. I’ve been keeping Brinnswick safe for years; I’ve been keeping my coven safe my whole life; and now I was responsible for keeping Sebastian safe, too. It shouldn’t have been a problem, he was my vitmea viramore, after all, and I was used to having the weight of the world on my shoulders.
What Seb doesn’t know is that everyone in the magical community is after him—even if they don’t realize it yet. They’ve been looking for him for centuries; not only for him, but for his soul. But they never counted on him having me. I will protect him with my every breath and take down anyone that gets in our way. His soul belongs with me, not in the arms of evil.
The Enchanter’s Soul is the second book in The Ellwood Chronicles and is a continuation of Sebastian and Ailin’s story. It contains explicit material and is intended for mature adults 18 years of age and older.


Seb is my new favorite character! I love everything about him! His frustration with Ailin but his inability to stay away from him! He fascinated me from the very first book. And now that they are connected and he’s also able to read the witch’s mind, his frustration grows. It’s so much fun!

This second book switches POV’s between Ailin and Seb. Finally, we’re able to understand Ailin. He doesn’t see life with normal human standards. As the oldest Elwood and being Sage, he has the weight of the world on his shoulders, and he has no time to waste for human nonsense.

Seb is quite the opposite. Growing up as an orphan alone, his adjustments to his new life comes harder than he thinks. Yes, he always wanted to belong, to call someone his own, to have his own family but this new world he suddenly finds himself in is overwhelming, to say the least. His adjustment to being the last enchanter it not easy at all. He craves Ailin all the time, but he’s also very insecure, and he fears that Ailin only cares for him because they are each other’s “vitamin”. Seb learns about the prophecy, a prophecy he fears. Ailin is there for him all the way, supporting him.

Ailin doesn’t understand the need for Seb to be alone sometimes. After all, Seb is his vitmea viramore, and being apart from him hurts. Literally. He knows that creatures will come for Seb. He does everything in his power to protect his soulmate. As much as Seb lets him.

I loved the book. The only thing that was a bit annoying was the “mating dance” between these two. I was like “just do it already”, many times. But other than that, the book is an excellent read and I can’t wait for the next one of the series!

Congrats Michele!

***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: Why We Fight by TJ Klune

TITLE: Why We Fight
AUTHOR: TJ Klune
SERIES: At First Sight Series
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: May 14, 2019

BLURB:

Do you believe in love at first sight?
Corey Ellis sure doesn’t. Oh, everyone around him seems to have found their happy ending, but he’s far too busy to worry about such things. He’ll have plenty of time for romance after he survives his last summer before graduation. So what if he can’t get his former professor, Jeremy Olsen, out of his head? It’s just hero worship. And that’s the way it should stay.
Except that this summer, bi-gender Corey—aka Kori—is interning at Phoenix House, a LGBTQI youth center that recently hired an interim director. And because life is extraordinarily unfair, the director just so happens to be a certain former professor, now current boss.
Desperate to keep things professional as he and Jeremy grow closer, Corey makes a major mistake: he turns to his friends, Paul Auster and Sanford Stewart, for help.
But Paul and Sandy have some ideas of their own.
Set in the summer of 2016, Why We Fight is a celebration of queer life and being true to oneself… no matter the cost.


…and we came to an end to another amazing series of TJ Klune. Damn, will I miss these guys!

We know Corey/Kori from At First Sight series as well as from Bear, Otter and The Kid. In this book, we’ll learn more about him and his inner turmoil. As we’re used to by now from TJ Klune, from the very first page, he will bring tears in your eyes. This book is no exception. It was a fast read for me, as are all the books from this author.

Summer is here and Corey interns at the Phoenix House, a safe-haven for the LGBTQ youth. He’s preparing for his last year of university. What he didn’t expect is Jeremy Olsen. Corey has a secret crush on his ex-professor, Jeremy Olsen, so working near him—or as the substitute director of the Phoenix House, Jeremy says—under him, not an easy task. Jeremy also happens to be the son of Charlie/Daddy’s boyfriend, Robert. Corey/Kori’s insecurities don’t let him hope that there could be anything between Jeremy and him. But that’s not what Jeremy intends to do …

For the last time in this final book of the series, we’ll meet all the great characters. Nana, with her mysterious past. Paul and Austin, and it seems they can’t control their passion, and they just go for it regardless of the place, time, or ambiance. Helena Handbasket and Darren the Homo Jock King. As well as Charlie who’s in very happy relationship with Robert and also we get a glance into the Super Gay society.

The book is funny. I laughed out loud several times, but I also had tears of compassion for Kori.

TJ Klune has written another great story, guys. And as I always say: there are not enough stars in this universe to rate this book!

Enjoy and let’s hope one day we’ll see them again!

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Aaron by J.P. Barnaby

TITLE: Aaron
AUTHOR: J.P. Barnaby
SERIES: A Survivor Story
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: Oct 8, 2012

BLURB:

I can’t describe what it’s like to want to scream every minute of every day.
Two years after a terrifying night of pain destroyed his normal teenage existence, Aaron Downing still clings to the hope that one day, he will be a fully functional human being. But his life remains a constant string of nightmares, flashbacks, and fear. When, in his very first semester of college, he’s assigned Spencer Thomas as a partner for his programming project, Aaron decides that maybe “normal” is overrated. If he could just learn to control his fear, that could be enough for him to find his footing again.
With his parents’ talk of institutionalizing him—of sacrificing him for the sake of his brothers’ stability—Aaron becomes desperate to find a way to cope with his psychological damage or even fake normalcy. Can his new shrink control his own demons long enough to treat Aaron, or will he only deepen the damage?
Desperate to understand his attraction for Spencer, Aaron holds on to his sanity with both hands as it threatens to spin out of control.


Ohhh…my feelings…

Aaron is broken. He didn’t see a way out of his state of mind. After the trauma he suffers from the kidnapping of him and his best friend, Jessica, he feels his life is over.

He’s now in the second year of his hell. He doesn’t function at all. His room is his safe haven until it’s not. He can’t get out of the bed when it’s cloudy, but he tries his best when the day starts as a sunny day. And when he says he tries, what he really means is that he gets up to take a shower in the mirrorless bathroom. He can’t stand the sight of himself. He wears his scars as much on the inside as much as on the outside.

Spencer has a very healthy sexual drive. However, the problem is that his partners run out on him as soon they find out he’s deaf. So he finds some release online, where he keeps numerous chat partners. He’s also worried for his father, who finds his solace at the bottom of the bottle, lately. Spencer is helpless and desperately tries to find a way to help his beloved father.

Aaron has triggers—triggers that cause him flashbacks to that terrible night. He can’t stand others, nor crowded places, nor noises, nor smells, nor touches, not even from his lovely mother. After he listened to his parents fighting and he learns that they may institutionalize him, he gives into his mother’s insistence and signs up for college.

It’s there he mets Spencer, and they are assigned as project partners. But things are not as simple as I described for either Spencer or Aaron.

This is another tear-jerking story, and if you are easily triggered, please read it with caution, but even with that, I highly recommend it!

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: The Return by Brad Boney

TITLE: The Return
AUTHOR: Brad Boney
SERIES: The Austin Trilogy
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Paranormal
RELEASE DATE: Jul 5, 2015

BLURB:

Music. Topher Manning rarely thinks about anything else, but his day job as a mechanic doesn’t exactly mesh with his rock star ambitions. Unless he can find a way to unlock all the songs in his head, his band will soon be on the fast track to obscurity.
Then the South by Southwest music festival and a broken-down car drop New York critic Stanton Porter into his life. Stanton offers Topher a ticket to the Bruce Springsteen concert, where a hesitant kiss and phantom vibrations from Topher’s cell phone kick off a love story that promises to transcend ordinary possibility.


Wow just wow…

The first book of the series wasn’t really for me, so I was skeptical of this sequel, but damn I was wrong.
Oh man, I cried like a baby! This hits directly into the feelings. I loved it. I was a mess when I finished, but it was worth it.
This was Topher’s story, true, but for me, it was all Stanton.

First, you must now that there’s more than a twenty-year age gap between Topher and Stanton. That’s not an issue for Topher, but it is for Stanton, but that’s really not the point!!!

OMG! This series is escalating from contemporary to paranormal fast! But I will not give you details! Trust me, if you decide to read it, you won’t regret it! Emotional angst doesn’t even cover it when it comes to this story.

It’s constantly back and forth in time from Stanton’s point of view, building up to a finale that will blow your mind. You will get the hunch to where the story might lead, but you’re not quite sure. Because stuff like this is just out of the norm!
While in general, I’m not fond of when the MC’s past love lives are mentioned in books, but this book makes a difference. I enjoyed every word of it, be it from the past or the present.

Stanton is a famous music critic, and Topher is the lead singer and songwriter of his indie band of four. The band are very close friends, coming from a small town from the middle of the nowhere. They’re like brothers, living together dreaming the big dream, but at the same time, they’re very down to earth type of guys.

When fate brings Stanton into the auto shop where Topher works as a mechanic, his life takes a one-eighty. And from there, with mysterious phone calls, Topher starts to discover himself, and his feelings toward Stanton.

Dude, just read it already!

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis