Review of: Diplomatic Relations by J.L. Langley

TITLE: Diplomatic Relations
AUTHOR: J.L. Langley
SERIES: Sci-Regency
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Sci-Fi; Regency
RELEASE DATE: Feb 29, 2019

BLURB:

Opposites don’t just attract… they sizzle.
A lusty special forces soldier who lives by his own set of rules, Dalton Fairfax decided long ago to stop wishing for his father’s love, and he found his calling. Now that he’s back home and between assignments, he finds himself at loose ends. When the opportunity arises to play bodyguard and help out his country, Dalton jumps at the chance. Not only does it keep him busy, but it just so happens that his charge is the man he saw on leave last month and hasn’t been able to get out of his head.
Heir to a dukedom and a conservative politician, Blaise Thompson strives to prove himself worthy of carrying on the family legacy as the next IN Councilman. However, his closest competitor keeps getting in the way and taking credit for Blaise’s ideas. Maintaining his stellar reputation isn’t easy to do while keeping his outrageous younger brother in line and foiling his rival’s personal attacks. He has no time for a guard and even less time for romance.
When a priceless antique goes missing, Blaise and Dalton discover that Regelence has larger problems than just IN plots. Now the only way to stop a scandal that threatens both of them is to compromise, and they are forced to confront the risk of losing everything… even each other.


I remember, a couple of years ago when I discovered this genre, MM, and it was still a forbidden read, I was struggling to accept myself, and this series was one of my firsts. Me being a romantic and sci-fi fan, this series was a dream come true.

We can be part of the Townsend princes HEA, and there we meet Dalton, the prince’s cousin. He’s infamous in the Regency society, his scandalous behavior, and his affairs with married men. This behavior pushes the king-consort, his uncle, to send him into IN.
Now after two years of him serving in the IN, he’s finally home but not for long. Between missions, he volunteers to guard Blaise Thompson, an intern in the House of Lords and next IN Councilman. Dalton has a long-time crush on Blaise, and this will be the perfect opportunity to seduce the young lord.

Blaise has never been attracted to anybody before. When he literally collides with Dalton, his life changes drastically. He’s known for his proper behavior. He strictly protects his reputation, not like his younger brother, Brannon, Prince Aiden’s best friend, who is always in between mischiefs.

Now, with new news revealed by the IN secret plans, the King assigns every lord a guard. Blaise ends up with Dalton. He can’t fight the attraction between the two of them. Stolen kisses, inappropriate touches—this what his life came too.

I very much liked this story, but in the end, I just wanted to punch Blaise right in the nose. The act he pulled really hurt Dalton, who must deal with family drama, and above all, the IN’s secret plan against Relegence.

There a few things that are not clear to me in this society, and one of those is if there are two Lords, how do they decide which young lord can be courted and which one does the courting…

I only gave 4 stars because Blaise doing what he did in the end.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: How to Be a Movie Star by T.J. Klune

TITLE: How to Be a Movie Star
AUTHOR: T.J. Klune
SERIES: How To Be
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: Feb 12, 2019

BLURB:

Josiah Erickson wants to be a movie star. The problem with that is so does half of Los Angeles. But he’s on his way, what with memorable roles as a TV show background cadaver and a guy in a commercial for herpes medication. All he needs is his big break. And that break may come in the form of a novelist who goes by the enigmatic name of Q-Bert.
Q-Bert, who is ready to make his directorial debut in a film Josy would be perfect for. Q-Bert, who Josy may or may not have a friend-crush on, and potentially something more. Being demisexual can be confusing.
From the City of Angels to the small mountain town of Abby, Oregon, Josy will give his all to make sure his dreams come true—even the ones he never thought possible.


Oh my God, he did it again!

I just literally finished the book and I’m already suffering from a book hangover. This happens to me after every Klune book. I know I’m not alone when I say that Klune holds some kind of magic when it comes to romance. He grasps things that just make you reflect on that special event that’s so similar to what happened to you (and no, I’m not referring to turning into a gnarly wolf).

This is the second installment of the series, where again, we will meet Gustavo (!) and Casey, and Xander and Serge too…but also JOSY!!! I like him the best! Hands down, I swear he’s Klune’s best character so far! You will just fall in love with him during the second sentence in the book.

This is a funny book! This time the POV is from Josy who’s high more than not, and you can enjoy all the spirals of his mind. The book is hilarious, but at the same time, it’s a bit heartbreaking. That’s Klune for you ladies, gents or however you identify yourself, Repect!
As we know from the first book of the series, in this story too, opposite mets opposite. A lighter-than-sunshine hipster movie-star-in-the-making, Josy and an introvert suffering from anxiety and depression author, who writes monster porn (please don’t ask…), Quincy.

Josy is demisexual. At first sight, he wants to befriend Quincy so bad. But emotions get in the way, miscommunication gets involved, and he becomes a stalker. Shut up…it’s not weird!

And then everything just falls into place…right, like that ever happens!

I can promise you that you will enjoy every line of this book. I did. Tears are a must, but they will be happy tears!

Cognates to TJ again, and as I always say: there’s not enough stars in the sky to rate this book!

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Saving Hannah” by J.P. Barnaby

TITLE: Saving Hannah
AUTHOR: J.P. Barnaby
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Tiferet Design
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: Dec 18, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 e-book /$14.99 –paperback

BLURB:

Thomas Aberthol’s luck has run out. His daughter, Hannah, needs a miracle he can’t deliver. A hacker with a felony record, Thomas has little chance of finding work that will provide the care she needs. Out of money, out of options, and out of hope, he throws himself on the mercy of someone he never thought to see again.
Even after ten years, Aleksander Sanna still dreams of that drunken kiss. A perfect moment in time when Thomas wanted him. In his world of elegant code and high finance, the picture he holds of Thomas torments him in the dark of night.
Their worlds collide as Thomas interviews for the job he so desperately needs with the company Aleks inherited from his father. Thomas doesn’t get the position, but Aleks offers him a completely different kind of proposal, one suited to Thomas’s unique talents…one that will change the course of both their lives.


When it comes to a romance novel with kids, I’m a sucker. When I read the blurb of this book, I knew I was in for a good read. Damn, I was right!
Little Hannah is sick, she needs intensive medical care for her to stay alive. Her father Thomas is an ex-felon who can’t find a job. He would do anything, anything to save his daughter.

Thomas had a very good reputation as a programmer until he decided that the company who he was working for had a very unstable firewall that could compromise their clients. So he proves it by hacking in their own system. His arrogance backfires, and he’s convicted and sent to prison. Now back, not only can’t he find a job, his daughter’s life is in danger as well. He’s desperately going from one interview to another with no hope whatsoever. Until one day he was called back for a second interview. His hope is back, and he’s so confident that his luck is turning around, and maybe he can save not only Hannah but the house he’s living in. That confident smile froze on his face upon meeting the owner of the company, Aleksander Sanna, his ex-roommate from college from whom he ran away after one drunk night.

Aleksander Sanna sees the opportunity to establish his role as the next CEO in his late father’s company. He knows that his father’s death wasn’t an accident. Upon seeing Tom’s name, whom he never forgot, who has hunted his dreams, he knows this is his last chance to secure Tom in his life. He knows everything about Tom; his time in jail, his daughter’s medical condition, and even the threat of losing the house him, his daughter and mother lives in. But when Tom accepts his offer to marry him, out of despair, Aleks realizes that maybe the way he approached Tom wasn’t the right one, he fears that Tom will do “anything”, even against Tom’s own desire, to save his daughter.

I loved every word of this book. Its angsty, its hot…

This book touches a borderline of gay-for-you and no-con situation (I mean the offer). I recommend it wholeheartedly!

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “First Son of the Mound” by Meraki P. Lyhne

TITLE: First Son of the Mound
AUTHOR: Meraki P. Lyhne
SERIES: Chronicles of an Earned
PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
COVER ARTIST: Angela Waters
GENRE: MM Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 365 pages
RELEASE DATE: October 26th
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book / $11.50 -paperback

BLURB:

Kaleb and Jeff are working on their budding friendship and on earning the trust of their new and potential allies. In the attempt to secure his ally, Kaleb runs into new magic. Or rather, very old magic. That mistake leads to more, and not only on Kaleb’s part.
With planning a wedding, the Enki fest, the opening reception of the auction house, and the art exhibition, the Earned are stretched thin serving. Edward strikes gold when he stumbles upon a young artist with a secret. He reminds Edward of a cycles-old love—one he’s going to need to focus on as his youngest son is once again thrust into unknown kinds of magic.
The two powerful Captains and their new allegiance are put to the test. So is their friendship as Jeff continues to work on saving his marriage.


When it comes to occult things, I always find my entire being on edge. It was like this from my very early childhood. There are a lot of books out there in this genre, but when I say that the Chronicles of an Earned is one of the most genuine, I’m not exaggerating.

I fell in love with this series from the very first book. The amount of information it contains amazes me evenl now. As often with this type of book, you may find the romance aspect is lacking or “dry” but the paranormal parts make up for it!
I love Kaleb and Alex’s POVs the best. They come to into themselves gradually, and I’m happy to to witness their growth.
This book is more focused on Kaleb and Jeff. Meraki enlightens us on Jeff’s state of mind and heart. He is one of the kindest characters in the series after Edward of course. And talking about Edward…

We know from the previous books that Edward feels useless when it comes to aiding his son Kaleb. That feeling grows when Kaleb gets in more a troubled situation. But Edwards finds a way to take away his mind for a short period of time and also his past getting the better of him.
Kaleb learns more about the elements. He discovers more about who he can serve. And with that, he gains more power, but he still feels like a child doubting himself. Thanks to the Gods for the people around him who are supporting and encouraging him. He finds a strong friendship in Jeff…

Jeff takes mentoring Kaleb with all his abilities. Also, he can’t ignore his Fay part, and when he and Kaleb come across of a Fay situation, he fears the Fays repulsiveness toward him as The Abomination.

This book is full of new information regarding Meraki’s universe of ancient creatures. It’s a slow build up. It’s not easy getting into that mind space, but once you’re caught up, it sucks you in and you just want to never part from it.

I’m restlessly awaiting the next one!

***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: “Ascendent” by Tal Bauer

TITLE: Ascendent
AUTHOR: Tal Bauer
SERIES: Executive Power
PUBLISHER: Self
COVER ARTIST: Ron Perry
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 276 pages
RELEASE DATE: Aug 23, 2018
PRICE: $5.99 -e-book

BLURB:

Sasha Andreyev grew up on the wrong side of nowhere, dreaming of starlight as he strangled a secret. He fled, enlisting in the Russian Army, and worked his way up the ranks. Years later, after surviving a beating and being left for dead, he found a new life in Moscow, working with President Sergey Puchkov.
And then, he fell in love.
Desperate to avoid his runaway heart, crippled with a shame that infected his soul, and ravaged by demons haunting his memories, Sasha ran.
But he could never escape Sergey, or the gravitational pull of their love.
Nightmares trail behind his every step and weary ghosts live in the hollow chambers of his soul. He’s spent a lifetime brutally eviscerating the parts of himself he despises, and he’s an empty, shattered shell, struggling to be the man worthy of Sergey’s love.
The pieces of his soul he cut out are the very ones he needs in order to become the man he yearns to be. He’ll need to face himself, and his past, on a journey into the frozen heart of Russia, and into the midnight depths of the dead lands.
Only then can he ascend from the darkness, and be the man Sergey needs at his side.


Ever since I read the blurb of Enemies of State, I knew I had to get my hands on that book. That happened when all three books of the series were out. I knew it would be a good read, but I didn’t know that would discover an amazing author … Tal Bauer.

He has a talent for playing with words, words that you’re connected with and become part of you, installing their meaning deep inside the reader. I fell in love with Ethan from the very beginning. Their story captured thousands and thousands of readers, of whom I wasn’t an exception either.

Reading the series, I first met Sergey, the strong Russian President, who plays games with Jack but later they become close friends. And then Sasha appears and my attention switches from JATHAN (Jack/Ethan) to Sergey and Sasha. They become my favorite couple. I could relate to both of them, maybe because I, myself, grew up under a communist regime, and I knew exactly the deep meaning of their every thought. Honestly, until and unless you had the same experience with a dictatorial government, it’s really hard to identify with some of the things thees two marvelous characters go through.

And now finally I get to read their story. I was anxious at the end of Enemy Within because I didn’t get my fair share of Sasha and Sergey. Later on, I learned that Tal planned to release a book dedicated only to my favorite guys.

Ascendant is very Russian-like literature. If you had the opportunity to read Tolstoy, it would compare on some level with the feeling that this book gives away. The shadow of communism, the always-lacking, the carved out path of the future, to not having the option of choice, it all comes back in the book. The brooding Russian-love, the self-doubt, the not-good-enough.

Sasha suffers. His self-hatred of being gay and his love for Sergey are slowly killing him. The Arctic chill of Siberia freezes his insides and the only source of heat seems to be his sun, Sergey. But that’s not enough. He knows that for him to truly be able to love Sergey, he must find the part of his soul that he buried deep under the ice of Siberia.

Sergey is happy to have Sasha at his side, even though he knows that Sasha must leave again to be trained by NASA and become the future of the Russian space program, the only astronaut. Thier love must remain hidden because the future of Russia depends on it.

This book will make you love Russia. I always had a strange attraction to Russia. The hugeness of her history, culture, and art is ever-present in European culture. We learned it in school, and we talk in private gatherings. Ascendant also touches the Meta of the life. I’m not shocked that Tal talks about it in his book. Russian scientist are very much open for meta-science being that biology or physics. Also, they have a large amount of alternative healers who use bio-energy for curing. I witnessed many causes where these alternative bio-energetic treatment have a positive effect.

The journey of Sasha to find his lost self is amazingly written. Thanks to Tal’s genius-ness, you can really get a real feel of the multi-cultural, multi-ethnicity of Russia, and Tal’s utopian vision—that I deeply share—will put a smile on your face.

 

Spasibo, moy dorogoy Tal’!

***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