Review: Love Me Whole by Nicky James

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Author: Nicky James
Publication Date: January 13, 2018
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 329 pages
My Rating: 5 / 5 stars

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SYNOPSIS

Twenty-eight-year-old Oryn Patterson isn’t like other people. Being an extremely shy, social introvert is only part of the problem. Oryn has dissociative identity disorder. He may look like a normal man on the outside, but spend five minutes with him, and his daily struggles begin to show.

Oryn shares his life and headspace with five distinctively different alters. Reed, a protective, very straight jock. Cohen, a flamboyantly gay nineteen-year-old who is a social butterfly. Cove, a self-destructive terror, whose past haunts him. Theo, an asexual man of little emotion, whose focus is on maintaining order. And Rain, a five-year-old child whose only concern is Batman.

Vaughn Sinclair is stuck in a rut. When his job doesn’t offer the same thrill it once did, he decides it’s time to mix-up his stagnant, boring routine. Little does he know, the man he meets during an impromptu decision to return to college is anything but ordinary.

Vaughn’s heart defies logic, and he finds himself falling in love with this strange new man. But how can you love someone who isn’t always themself? It may not be easy, but Vaughn is determined to try.

Love Me Whole is definitely something new and touches on a topic I have no knowledge about – dissociative identify disorder, also known as DID. So, from the perspective of not knowing anything about people with DID, I think the author wrote in a lot of informative things about the disorder and seemed to approach the topic sensitively. That said. There is an author’s note at the beginning of the book that informs readers that this book does contain a scene of self-harm and it is mentioned in this story (but never told in detail) that one of the characters had an abusive past.

I didn’t really know what to expect coming into this story. I’ve read the author’s Healing Hearts series and really loved the books, so I thought I would give this a try. The story is told solely from Vaughn’s perspective. He’s 35-years-old and returning to college for a marketing course, because he feels bored at his accounting job and wants something more from life. He’s not comfortable being around the early, mid-twenties college age students again, but there is one guy that catches his eye in class. And that’s shy, introverted, stuttering Oryn. Oryn is 28-years-old and from what Vaughn can tell, being buillied by his classmates. Oryn is a sweetheart and Vaughn just wants to get a change to know the guy and work on their marketing project together. But little does Vaughn know who all he signed up for meeting.

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Review: Weight of the World by Riley Hart and Devon McCormack

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Author(s):  Riley Hart and Devon McCormack
Publication Date: August 28, 2016
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 241 pages
My Rating: 2 / 5 stars

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SYNOPSIS

Zack lost his job, his apartment, and his hope, which is why he ends up on the roof of a high rise, certain that one final step will solve his problems. But a mysterious stranger named Rob happens to be on the roof that night too. He talks Zack down, convincing him there’s still hope left in the world. Zack thinks maybe he’s right, which is why he’s shocked when he turns on the news the next morning to find out Rob jumped himself. Disturbed and confused, he searches for answers, starting with Rob’s brother Tommy Rayburn.

It’s been Tommy’s job to take care of his brother since they were kids, taking the blows from their father so Rob wouldn’t have to. Tommy thought he could protect him, even if it meant carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. Considering Rob threw himself off a building, he obviously couldn’t.

Then he meets Zack, a friend of Rob’s who’s suspiciously evasive about how they knew each other. But they’re both grieving and determined to find out why Rob jumped. Answers don’t come easily, and soon they’re soothing each other with sweat-slicked, passionate encounters. Hot as things get in the bedroom, it doesn’t take them long to realize there’s more between them than mind-blowing sex and their pain. But the heaviness is still there, threatening to pull them under, and if they can’t open up with each other to lighten the load, the weight just might be enough to crush them both.

I don’t know what I was expecting when I requested this book off of Kindle Unlimited, but it wasn’t quite this. I’ve read Riley Hart’s books before, but Devon McCormack is new to me. My biggest issue with this book is that there are zero trigger warnings for this book. I have looked. There is nothing before, after, in the blurb, or anywhere else in this book. If any book needed a trigger warning page, this would have been it. You read the blurb and sometimes books are told from any one of the love interest’s point-of-view, or all of the love interests in the book. Weight of the World takes it one step further and I don’t think it was necessary at all. It’s just too much.

Our love interests are Zack and Tommy. We do see the story from their perspectives. BUT. What I 100% was not expecting was getting chapters from Rob’s perspective. From the blurb, we know what happens to Rob before this story even begins. The fact that we have to read from Rob’s POV is so unnecessary. Especially with no warning at all.

Trigger warnings for suicidal thought, suicide, and abuse. There are first-person POV chapters for a character up to the point he commits suicide.

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Review: Agent Bayne (PsyCop #9) by Jordan Castillo Price

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Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Publication Date: January 16, 2018
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 279 pages
My Rating: 4 / 5 stars

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SYNOPSIS

Victor Bayne is through with the Chicago PD. Can he handle the FPMP?

After years of frustration as a PsyCop, Victor Bayne reports for duty at the Federal Psychic Monitoring Program. As a fledgeling agent, he’s ready to smoke out a few ghosts and be home each night in time for dinner. But is he prepared to add a professional dimension to his romantic partnership with Jacob Marks?

Jacob has already established his territory in the Program—he’s competent, he’s respected, and he’s pretty much fearless. The last thing Vic wants to do is screw up in front of him.

When fellow agents start turning up dead, Vic is expected to do more than just lay their ghosts to rest. But what if his psychic talent isn’t quite enough? As the death toll rises, he and Jacob scramble to determine who’s in danger, and who’s a killer.

Using all the resources at their disposal, they close in on their suspect. But as they do, their past comes back to haunt them…and even Jacob worries they’ve tampered with forces they should have left alone. Are their combined talents enough to protect them from enemies both living and dead?

I really enjoyed reading this book. I would say it’s less creepy than some of the previous books, but definitely still has a mystery element to it that I liked. We get to see how Victor adjusts to his new life as a federal agent at the FPMP and how that may complicate his relationship with Jacob.

This book almost feels like a…restart to the series? And what I mean by that is that we’ve read seven books now where Vic knew his place at the Fifth Precinct. His job was the PsyCop who went out to the field and questioned ghosts and put the bad guys away. It’s been his job for the past fourteen years. Now, he’s starting back over as the new guy in a new workplace. We join Vic as he navigates the end of his old life as a homicide detective and steps into his new role as Agent Bayne.

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Review: PsyCop Briefs: Volume 1 by Jordan Castillo Price

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Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 204 pages
My Rating: 4 / 5 stars

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SYNOPSIS

Victor Bayne sees dead people for a living…and he sees them off the clock, too.  After all, ghosts don’t confine their appearances to a psychic medium’s work hours.

From the macabre to the mundane, from titillating to tender, these PsyCop shorts feature stolen moments between the novels. Get a glimpse of Vic’s life with Jacob between cases, from both men’s viewpoints. Gain new insight on their psychic talents by accompanying them on odd jobs, shopping runs and family visits, or simply enjoy some downtime in the cannery.

The twenty short works range in length from flash fiction to novelettes, woven together to create a novel-length narrative of Vic and Jacob’s relationship from a fresh perspective. The stories are gleaned from various sources: anthologies, newsletters, and web, with four all-new pieces to tie the collection together and delve deeper into your favorite PsyCops’ domestic life.

This is going to be a short review. I really liked that all the shorts for the series were compiled into one book. We do get stories from Vic and Jacob’s perspective, and others from first- and third-person POVs.

My favorite story is also the longest short in this book. It’s the last story called, “Witness” and takes place after Spook Squad. Vic, Jacob, and Bly are being tested by the FPMP in a training exercise in the middle of nowhere. It’s a mystery and has Vic seeing ghosts. It’s delightfully creepy and I really liked read it. I loved seeing Vic and Jacob trying to work together when Jacob is always wanting to one-up everyone and Vic just doesn’t care and will do the least amount of work possible.

So this was how working with Jacob was going to be. His gung ho to my ho hum.

This is a fun collection of shorts, and I highly recommend it for anyone reading the PsyCop books.

Review: Skin After Skin (PsyCop #8) by Jordan Castillo Price

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Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Publication Date: March 13, 2017
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 336 pages
My Rating: 4 / 5 stars

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SYNOPSIS

Fierce. Audacious. Independent. Curtis Ash can’t be bothered to settle down. He’s too busy enjoying his cushy job as a high-paid stylist, caught in a whirlwind of hookups, parties, and obscenely priced cocktails.

The only snarl in an otherwise charmed life is the salon’s hotshot colorist, Red Turner. Not only does Red put the whammy on customers and rake in all the big tips, he’s oblivious to Crash’s flirtation. But there will be plenty of time to win him over…so Crash thinks.

Thanks to his refusal to trust his gut, Crash not only tanks his career—he allows the one man who truly holds his interest to slip away. While he insists he doesn’t need a relationship to complete him, would sharing his life with someone really be so bad?

Skin After Skin is a sweeping saga that begins two years before Among the Living and ends just after Spook Squad. Experience PsyCop like you’ve never seen it before, through Crash’s eyes. Discover new facets of characters and events from the span of the entire series and beyond, all from the viewpoint of an extroverted empath.

Content advisory: one scene includes potential dubious consent.

This is a tough book to rate. I was binging the series and then I really hit a snag when I started this book. I LOVE Crash, but somehow starting the book in his POV after 7 books of Vic was too jarring for me. I had to put this book down for a few months before getting back into it. I did think the story got more interesting when Carolyn and Jacob entered the story, because now we get to see them a view of them outside of Vic’s POV.

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Release Day Blitz + Giveaway: The Preacher’s Son by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

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Author(s): Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock
Publication Date: January 16, 2018

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SYNOPSIS

Jason Banning is a wreck. His leg’s been blown to hell in Afghanistan, his boyfriend just left him and took the dog, and now he’s back in his hometown of Pinehurst, Washington, a place that holds nothing but wretched memories…and Nathan Tull. Nathan Tull, whose life Jason ruined. Nathan Tull, who will never believe Jason did what he did for a greater good. Nathan Tull, whose reverend father runs the gay conversion therapy camp that Jason once sought to bring down—at any cost.

Nathan Tull is trying to live a quiet life. Four years ago, when Nate was a prospective student visiting UW, his world collapsed when senior Jason Banning slept with him, filmed it, and put the footage online. A painful public outing and a crisis of faith later, Nate has finally begun to heal. Cured of the “phantoms” that plagued him for years, he now has a girlfriend, a counselor job at his dad’s camp, and the constant, loving support of his father.

But when he learns Jason is back in town, his carefully constructed identity begins to crumble. As desperate to reconcile his love for God with his attraction to men as Jason is to make sense of the damage he’s done, Nate finds himself walking a dangerous line. On one side lies the righteous life he committed himself to in the wake of his public humiliation. On the other is the sin he committed with Jason Banning, and the phantoms that won’t let him be. But is there a path that can bridge those two worlds—where his faith and his identity as a gay man aren’t mutually exclusive?

And can he walk that path with the man who betrayed him?

EXCERPT

Nate closed the distance between them and sat on the end of Jason’s bed. He gestured to the comforter covering his leg. “Can I see it?”

Jason shrugged, and tugged the comforter off.

“Oh.” The word barely a breath.

The leg was a mess, from the thigh all the way down to the foot. What hadn’t been torn open by shrapnel had been carved up by surgeons. It was like the trunk of a gnarled, diseased tree. Thick ropes and knots of scar tissue. Hollowed-out places where the flesh had been gouged away. Divots and bumps where screws and wires had been inserted. Shattered bone replaced with steel and titanium.

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Re-Release Cover Reveal: Getting Hotter (Out of Uniform #8) by Elle Kennedy

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Release date will be announced soon!

Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

A sexy standalone novel from New York Times and international bestselling author Elle Kennedy!

A good bad boy is hard to find…

Seth Masterson has been lusting over Miranda Breslin since the moment he saw her on a Vegas stage. Now that he’s been asked to watch out for her as she opens a dance studio in San Diego, he’s all over it, figuring it’s his chance to get her in his bed. Except the stubborn single mom seems determined to deny their sizzling sexual chemistry. In typical SEAL fashion, Seth makes it his personal mission to prove her wrong.

Miranda got over her attraction to bad boys about the time one of them knocked her up at the age of eighteen. Seth’s mocking gray eyes and military-buff bod, though, are pure and utter temptation. And when a flooded apartment forces her and her twins to move in with him, she can no longer resist the urge to set off some serious fireworks between the sheets.

But any involvement with Seth will be strictly physical—and temporary. So when Seth decides permanent is what he wants, Miranda must steel her defenses before she does something incredibly foolish…like fall in love.

Warning: This book contains a bad boy SEAL who knows what he wants and will go to any lengths to get it. Expect graphic language, hot sex, seduction, hot sex, dirty talk, hot sex, a little man-on-man action. Oh, and hot sex.