Tuesday, April 17, 2018

On the Line by Liz Lincoln

Title: On the Line
Author: Liz Lincoln
My Rating: B+

Genre: Sports Romance 
Series: Milwaukee Dragons #1
Main Characters: Carrie and Seth
Release Date: April 2018
Publisher: Loveswept
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Is this man: A) a super-hot NFL player, B) the guy you’re sexting, or C) your new boss?

If you’re Carrie Herron, the answer is all of the above. First Carrie starts exchanging steamy text messages with the sexy single dad she meets in line at the grocery store. Then she lands a job—and a bedroom—as the live-in nanny for the daughter of the Milwaukee Dragons’ newest star. But when Carrie shows up for work and realizes that they’re actually the same guy, she has no choice but to try to keep things professional. After all, Seth Chamberlain is her boss now. Her chiseled, charismatic, oh-so-tempting boss. . . .

After getting traded from Houston to Milwaukee, Seth’s having a tough time keeping his head in the game, let alone setting up his daughter in a brand-new city. So if the only nanny his daughter will tolerate while he’s on the road is the gorgeous, cosplay-loving redhead he’s had his eye on, well, so be it. Surely he can resist Carrie until football season is over. But with her knowing glances and kissable lips driving him wild, Seth must decide whether he’s ready to put everything on the line.


My Review:
This isn't a particularly new storyline...football star falls for the nanny, but there were some things that really set apart this particular story. 

The first thing was the whole nerd/cosplay/comic book connection that Carrie and her charge have. I loved that bit of geekiness that flowed through the story. I also really loved that Carrie is a teacher who's all about really teaching children the facts, no matter what it takes and that she sees comic books are the way to do that. I love the idea of that. 

The other part that played into the fun of the book was the fact that Carrie cosplays as a very sexy Poison Ivy. She has natural, red, long hair and the fantasies that Seth has about her in costume are awesome.

Regardless of the overdone trope, I really enjoyed this book. It was overall entertaining and fun. The story engaged me and I never stopped reading it from the time I started reading it. Note: the meet-cute scene between Seth and Carrie was awesome. I giggled all the way through it. Such a great way to start the story. 

Overall, it was an entertaining read and I am most definitely looking forward to reading more of the Milwaukee Dragons stories.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Forget You by Nina Crespo

Title: Forget You 
Author: Nina Crespo
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Kingman Brothers #1
Main Characters: Sophie and King 
Release Date: April 2018
Publisher: Pocket Star
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Sophie Jordan dreams about hooking up with Nicolas “King” Kingman—the gorgeous CEO of her company—but as her boss, he’ll always remain out of reach. King knows he isn’t built for happily-ever-afters and only indulges in brief romantic encounters. But when Sophie agrees to fill in as his last-minute date to a charity gala, an unexpected discovery quickly escalates their platonic relationship to one of passion.

King is determined to ignore their attraction and, feeling betrayed, Sophie severs ties with him and the company. Everything changes, however, when he’s injured in an accident, and Sophie agrees to help until he closes a major deal. Unfortunately, he’s developed amnesia, and although he doesn’t remember their night together, desire binds them in ways they can’t resist.

Time is running out on closing the deal, as well as Sophie moving on to her new career. Will King deny love in favor of winning and lose Sophie forever?



My Review:
This is the first time I've read a Nina Crespo book and it won't be my last, because I really enjoyed this book. From page one, it was really interesting, fast-paced, and engaging. 

You need to know going into this one that the hero starts out as a real jerk, but he has a good transformation. But I loved Sophie from the very start. I love that she's creative and on the cusp of really finding her passion...which is not King...just in case you got confused there. hehe, although there is passion there, too. 

I'm a sucker for an amnesia story line and this one definitely worked for me. King needed that shakeup to his psyche for this story to work. And that was just one of the reasons that I loved Sophie, too. She takes her responsibilities seriously even though she's really uncomfortable with King now.

I liked the relationship that she developed with the fashion designer. Pretty much everything about that aspect of the story line...I loved!!

I also really like that there's more to come from this family dynamic and there were some definite hints about family drama to come. I can't wait to see what skeletons are hiding in dad's closet. 

Overall, it was an interesting read and I'm really glad I picked this one up. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Squared Away by Annabeth Albert

Title: Squared Away
Author: Annabeth Albert
My Rating: A

Genre: Military Romance (m/m)
Series: Out of Uniform #5
Main Characters: Mark and Isaiah
Release Date: April 2018
Publisher: Carina Press
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
In the wake of tragedy, SEAL Mark Whitley rushed stateside to act as guardian to his sister’s three young children. But a conflicting will could give custody to someone else—someone Mark remembers as a too young, too hot, wild party boy. Even after six years, Mark can’t shake the memory of his close encounter with Isaiah James, or face up to what it says about his own sexuality.

Isaiah’s totally over the crush that made him proposition Mark all those years ago. In fact, he’s done with crushing on the wrong men altogether. For now, he’s throwing himself into proving he’s the best person to care for his cousin’s kids. But there’s no denying there’s something sexy about a big, tough military man with a baby in his arms.

As the legal details get sorted out, their long-buried attraction resurfaces, leading to intimate evenings after the kids are tucked in. A forever future is within reach for all of them, if only Mark can find the courage he needs to trust Isaiah with his secrets—and his heart.

My Review:
Wow...I really loved this book. These two guys are complicated and messy and don't know how to communicate even the slightest bit, but neither one of them has ever been a serious relationship, so I'm cutting them some slack on that. They made up for it in heat and understanding and emotion and true depths of feeling that made this book outstanding. They're also dealing with so many overwhelming, complex emotions that most people don't have to deal with so young...death and grieving for family they were very close to on top of trying to care and nurture THREE children under five...it broke my heart.

But before anything else happened, there were these two guys six years before when Isaiah asked Mark to be his first time and Mark flat out turned him down. I love how the story about what really happened behind the scenes there unfolded with where Mark was at mentally. His confusion in this book tore at my heart and I loved him so much for just thinking he's broken. He has no real idea about why he's different from others. The author did an amazing job of explaining all this and I loved this character for it...even when he's being a stoic, closed-mouth jerk. 

Note: both these guys need a good long hug and an explanation about communication throughout most of the book. 

And just let me say...the sex in this book is incredibly hot...even when it's just kissing. Knowing that this is almost all new to Mark makes it so much more and sweet. I loved how true the sexual moments between the two of them were. 

I just really loved this story. The entire series has been incredible, but I think this may be my favorite book of the series. So, so good!!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Trust by Ella Frank (audiobook)

Title:  Trust
Author: Ella Frank
My Rating: A+
Narrator: Shannon Gunn

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Temptation #3
Main Characters: Logan and Tate
Release Date: July 2015 (audiobook)
Publisher: Audible Studios
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
TRUST – verb: to believe in the reliability, truth, or strength of another.

Up until now, Logan Mitchell has never had much of a reason to trust anyone.
Having struggled with a self-identity crisis throughout college, he’s spent the years since then creating a sophisticated facade to present to the world.
It’s an armor he thought was impenetrable—until he met Tate Morrison.
The gorgeous, headstrong bartender he’d sat across from only months ago has taken a tight hold of his heart, and Logan is discovering that it’s time to let go. 
It’s time to let someone inside.

After years of placing his dreams on hold for his family, Tate has finally chosen to do what makes him happy and follow his heart. 
The one thing he never would’ve imagined was that it would lead him into the arms of a man—and not just any man—the striking, never-takes-no-for-an-answer Logan Mitchell.
Tate has fallen hard, and as his world is turned on its axis and they move forward together, he finds his life becoming more entwined with the confident, successful lawyer.

Even though neither man expected the other, it’s time to trust in their relationship—but not everything comes so easily…
My Review:
Overall: 4.75
Performance: 4.5
Story: 5.0

OMG, this installment in the series was so, so good. I loved it... a LOT! There is a lot more angst and emotion in this book...this time from Logan, which readers of the series haven't really seen before this book. And that made me adore it. 

No spoilers, so I think that's all I'll say except if you haven't read this series, fix that now. Oh, and you definitely need to read the ENTIRE series. These are not standalone reads. Each story builds upon the last. 


Friday, April 13, 2018

Something So Unscripted by Natasha Madison

Title: Something So Unscripted
Author: Natasha Madison
My Rating: B+

Genre: Sports Romance 
Series: Something So #4
Main Characters: Zack and Denise
Release Date: March 2018
Publisher: 
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Zack 

Finding my teammate in bed with my wife made the decision I had been fighting with for years easier.

It’s time to move on. 

A fresh start and a new NHL team in a big city. Most importantly, it’s my son Jack’s best shot. 

It would be both of our best shots. 



Denise 

After a bad childhood, I made sure I would succeed.

The problem is I die a little with each patient I lose. It’s part of my career at Hudson Children’s Oncology Hospital, but it doesn’t make the sting of loss any easier. 

Seeking anything other than a life saved isn’t on my agenda until a NHL player walks into my hospital with his son. 

We’re officially off script the moment we meet. 

If this love is anything, it’s unscripted.
My Review:
Overall, this was a good, entertaining read. The story had a lot of heart and emotion. But you know when there's a child with cancer that it's going to have a lot of heartbreak to it. 

My heart broke for everything that Zack was dealing with and for the most part, I enjoyed his relationship with Denise. 

I also really enjoyed this circle of friends and how they rely and interact with one another. 

There was only one aspect of the story that I had a bit of difficulty with...Denise, as a doctor was WAY too emotionally involved with both Jack and Zack. While I understood that the story needed it, doubts about her actions kept making me pause in reading and interrupted my enjoyment of the story.

Just a quick review, but I think I covered the main pluses and minuses of my enjoyment of the book. 

Overall, I definitely enjoyed it.


Monday, April 9, 2018

Once Burned by L.A. Witt

Title: Once Burned
Author: L.A. Witt
My Rating: A-

Genre: Military Romance (m/m)
Series: Anchor Point #6
Main Characters: Mark and Diego 
Release Date: April 2018
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot


Story Overview:
Captain Mark Thomas’s world has been tossed on its head: A long overdue but still unexpected divorce. A promotion out of left field. Last-second orders to a ship where careers go to die. As the dust settles in his new home, he barely recognizes his life, but he sure recognizes the loneliness creeping in.

Diego Ramírez wants nothing to do with the military or its men. Not after the Navy burned him both literally and figuratively, costing him his career, his health, and ultimately his green card. Now working illegally in an Anchor Point bar, he keeps the military and its personnel at arm’s length.

But after a single moment of eye contact across the bar, Mark and Diego can’t resist each other. As a one-night stand quickly turns into more, Diego knows he’s playing with fire. Now he can stick around and let things with Mark inevitably fall apart, or he can run like hell and wonder what might have been. One way or another, Diego knows he’s about to get burned. Again.

50% of the author’s royalties from this book will be donated to charities supporting US military veterans who have been deported or are at risk of deportation.


My Review:
Wow...what a really tough subject matter to tackle, but L.A. Witt did it beautifully. This book was wonderful...as is the entire series. Every book, every setup, and every couple are completely different, but I love them all.

This book is about Diego, an illegal who's scraping by, under the table as a bartender at the local gay bar. He spent 8 years in the Navy and got screwed when he got hurt on his last deployment...which sent his entire world and stability into a downward spiral. 

Mark is coming off a fairly 'good' divorce. He and his ex are much better as exes than they ever were as spouses. Navy life definitely didn't do them any favors over the years they were married. But now Mark is in a new town with a new job as XO on his ship. It's an all-new world, and he's not real settled into exactly what that means.

Looking for something to do, he heads to the local gay bar to check out the scene. It's been a while since he hooked up with a guy and after his divorce, the idea of something different is good. 

Both Mark and Diego have an immediate connection...to the point where Diego ignores his personal rule about 'no Navy guys'.

Because of Diego's history, there is a lot of things sitting out there waiting to be roadblocks for these two. Not only is Diego really embittered toward the Navy, but he has the threat of deportation hanging over his head all the time. He's also battling PTSD and the injury to his leg...neither of which can improve because of his illegal status, Diego can't seek medical help. He's in a huge downward spiral with no obvious way out. I had no idea how the author would fix this all for these two guys. 

But in the end, she did it and I loved how the book turned out and the journey the author took us on to get there. It was a gorgeous story and even more amazing...1/2 of the author's royalty will go toward soldiers who are facing the same future as Diego (something that should NEVER happen to those who have willingly put their lives in the line of fire for our freedom!!!!!)

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Magic Runs Deep by Alex Whitehall

Title: Magic Runs Deep
Author: Alex Whitehall
My Rating: A-

Genre: Paranormal Romance (m/m)
Series
Main Characters: Veier and Elrid
Release Date: April 2018
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
For the last five years, Veier has been chained to a king’s throne in his bear form. When a neighboring kingdom overthrows the crown, Veier’s imprisonment ends, but true freedom is not so easily earned. With blood on his hands, he needs someone with patience, strength, and trust to help him become the person he was before and prove to the invaders that he isn’t the monstrous king’s loyal pet.

Elrid, the invading king's brother and a powerful mage, is everything Veier despises. He’s also the only thing between Veier and execution, because he thinks he can help Veier change from an aggressive bear shifter into a reasonable man. While the pair have a rough start, with long talks and mutual leaps of faith, they begin to care for each other.

However, the closer Veier gets to his freedom, the closer he is to losing Elrid. He must find balance in his heart and his life if he wishes to truly claim the freedom he’s been given—and the man he loves.
My Review:
This story is definitely more about the paranormal world that Veier lives and has survived in, rather than a true love story. Yes, there is somewhat of a romantic storyline, but it plays second to Veier's life and what he's trying to come out of. I think that's important to know going into it if you need a die-hard romance story line. 

Because once you accept that, you can truly appreciate the story of Veier and what exactly he's been through the last five years and how difficult that is to overcome. He definitely would not have done that without Elrid's help...and that's where the relationship part of the story comes in. Because Elrid saves him by helping Veier find his humanity again...not exactly an easy prospect after what he's been through. 

They both suffer trying to get him there in a very quick timeframe. The story was interesting and fascinating. I loved Elrid because he is definitely the hero of this story. His empathy for Veier is what keeps him alive and makes their developing relationship even more precious. It was a highly entertaining and engaging story. 

I liked it and definitely recommend it. Just don't expect it to score high on the romantic scale. This is about two men thrown together who slowly build respect and trust and eventually (and slowly) that evolves to more. But it was good. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.