Review: Overnight Sensation (Brooklyn Bruisers #5 / Brooklyn #2) by Sarina Bowen

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Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: January 22, 2019
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 341 pages
My Rating: 3 / 5 stars

Amazon | Apple BooksBarnes and Noble | Goodreads | Google PlayKobo

Previous books in the series: Rookie Move | Hard Hitter | Pipe Dreams | Brooklynaire

SYNOPSIS

Everyone knows the girl is off limits. But it’s so good to be bad.


There’s this girl…
Heidi and I have been trading hungry looks all year, and everything she does makes me smile. But I don’t do girlfriends, and I certainly can’t get involved with the league commissioner’s daughter. I need shots on goal, not a hookup and a widely misunderstood paparazzi photo.
Can I resist her, though? The way she teases me should be a game penalty for interference with my libido.

There’s this guy…
Jason wants me, but he won’t admit it. That man looks at me the way a hockey player eyes the lunch buffet after practice–and I love it.
But when victory is finally within my grasp, I blow it and humiliate myself. Even then I can’t even avoid him–as the team intern, I’m in constant view of his hard body and cocky smile.
I need another chance. Jason Castro is about to learn the true meaning of an overnight sensation.

This story got to be really addicting, and I did wind up reading everything in one sitting, but I did have issues getting into the story. I liked Jason’s POV chapters, but Heidi’s was really strange at first because the southern belle thing was just soooo over-the-top. It did taper out a bit and I liked reading her chapters more and  more as the book dragged on.

This book is really funny and I actually really loved the jokes and the BANTER between Jason and Heidi. We also see a lot of the hockey team, which is great.

Trigger warnings for mentions of the death of a love interest back in high school.
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Audiobook Review: Reasonable Doubt (Hazard and Somerset #5) by Gregory Ashe

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Author: Gregory Ashe
Narrator: Tristan James
Publication Date: August 11, 2018 (e-book), May 13, 2019 (audiobook)
Format: Audiobook
Audiobook Length: 12 hours and 41 minutes
Page Length: 458 pages
My Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Amazon | Apple BooksAudibleBarnes and NobleGoodreads | Kobo

Previous books in this series: Pretty Pretty Boys | Transposition | Paternity Case | Guilt by Association

SYNOPSIS

After almost twenty years, Emery Hazard finally has the man he loves. But things with his boyfriend and fellow detective, John-Henry Somerset, are never easy, and they’ve been more complicated lately for two reasons: Somers’s ex-wife and daughter. No matter what Hazard does, he can’t seem to get away from the most important women in his boyfriend’s life.

While Hazard struggles with his new reality (changing dirty diapers, just to start), a bizarre murder offers a distraction. John Oscar Walden, the leader of a local cult, is found dead by the police, and the case falls to Hazard and Somers. The investigation takes the two detectives into the cult’s twisted relationships and the unswerving demands of power and faith.

But the deeper Hazard looks into the cult, the deeper he must look into his own past, where belief and reason have already clashed once. And as Hazard struggles to protect the most vulnerable of Walden’s victims, he uncovers a deeper, more vicious plot behind Walden’s murder, and Hazard finds himself doing what he never expected: racing to save the killer.

Only, that is, if Somers doesn’t need him to babysit.

This book took me OUT. It had me ugly crying late at night trying to finish the book. It broke my heart and slowly tried to piece it back together.

Trigger warnings for cults, violence, murder, homomisia, emotional manipulation, mentions of abuse, sex with underage teens, PTSD from conversion therapy, attempted murder of a child, suicide, and a parent with terminal cancer.

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Mini Audiobook Reviews: The Duchess Deal and The Governess Game (Girl Meets Duke #1 and #2) by Tessa Dare

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Author: Tessa Dare
Narrator: Mary Jane Wells
Publication Date: August 22, 2017 | August 28, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Audiobook Length: 7 hours and 56 minutes | 7 hours and 23 minutes
Page Length: 389 pages | 373 pages
My Rating: 3 / 5 stars

The Duchess Deal: Amazon | Apple BooksAudibleBarnes and NobleGoodreads | Google PlayKobo

The Governess Game: Amazon | Apple Books | AudibleBarnes and NobleGoodreads | Google Play | Kobo

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Mini ARC Review: One and Only (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1) by Jenny Holiday

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Author: Jenny Holiday
Publication Date: February 27, 2018
Format: ARC
Page Length: 337 pages
My Rating: 1 / 5 stars

Amazon | Apple BooksBarnes and Noble | Goodreads | Google PlayKobo

SYNOPSIS

Miss Responsibility meets Mr. Reckless

With her bridezilla friend on a DIY project rampage, bridesmaid Jane Denning will do anything to escape – even if it means babysitting the groom’s troublemaker brother before the wedding. It should be a piece of cake, except the “cake” is a sarcastic former soldier who is 100% wicked hotness and absolutely off-limits.

Cameron MacKinnon is ready to let loose after returning from his deployment. But first he’ll have to sweet talk the ultra-responsible Jane into taking a walk on the wild side. Turns out, riling her up is the best time he’s had in years. But what happens when the fun and games start to turn into something real?

I loved the story as a whole, and I really did like Jane and Cameron. I liked the friends, and I liked the plot. Consent was great and very clear throughout this book.

But.

There were SO many issues with problematic stuff that came up again and again. It just got super painful to read at times.

Trigger warnings for homomisia and fatphobia.

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Queer Reads for Pride Month

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I KNOW. I’m late. I’m never early with these kinds of posts. BUT I FINALLY PUT SOMETHING TOGETHER. I mean, most of the books I read and review on this blog are queer books anyways, but I thought I’d make a small post for Pride month featuring some of my favorite queer books!

As a note, just be aware that not all these recommendations are romances that end with a HFN/HEA. If you have questions about a specific book, let me know in the comments and I’ll definitely do my best to answer them!!

Let me know if you see any faves and if you have some recommendations for me! ❤

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Mini Review: Arrows Through Archer by Nash Summers

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Author: Nash Summers
Publication Date: June 12, 2017
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 264 pages
My Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Amazon | Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

After the loss of his parents, Archer Hart is consumed by grief. Each day, he struggles his way through classes, parties, and trying to put on a good front for the sake of his best friend. But at night, he falls asleep to the sound of gunshots ringing in his ears.

Mallory is a man fighting a war of emotions all his own. When his son invites his best friend back home to Banff over a college break, he’s happy for the company.

Some time during the late-night talks, subtle smiles, and long, long silences, the two men begin to find solace in one another.

But love isn’t always easy, especially when it strikes you straight through the heart.

This is a story of grief and learning to live life again in the after. This is heavy at times, but a book I winded up reading all in one sitting.

Both MCs get a chance to tell their stories from their own POV chapters, but it’s split between parts one and two instead of the usual alternating POV chapters like I see in other romance books. I wish the epilogue gave us back Archer’s POV, but instead, the ending seems a bit too…abrupt with only Mallory’s POV.

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Review: Orientation (Borealis Investigations #1) by Gregory Ashe

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Author: Gregory Ashe
Publication Date: May 24, 2019
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 303 pages
My Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Amazon | Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

Shaw and North are best friends, private detectives, and in danger of losing their agency. A single bad case, followed by crippling lawsuits, has put them on the brink of closing shop. Until, that is, a client walks into their Benton Park office.

Matty Fennmore is young, blond, and beautiful, and he’s in danger. When he asks for Shaw and North’s help foiling a blackmail scheme, the detectives are quick to accept.

The conspiracy surrounding Matty runs deeper than Shaw and North expect. As they dig into the identity of Matty’s blackmailer, they are caught in a web that touches politicians, the local LGBT community, and the city’s police.

An attack on Matty drives home the rising stakes of the case, and Shaw and North must race to find the blackmailer before he can silence Matty. But a budding romance lays bare long-buried feelings between Shaw and North, and as their relationship splinters, solving the case may come at the cost of their friendship.

I AM NOT OKAY. THIS BOOK? IT KILLED ME.

It also affirms that I love friends-to-lovers SO MUCH. All that history between the love interests and the angst at realizing they love each other? *chef’s kiss*

Shaw and North aren’t Hazard and Somerset but I suppose their stories are similar, in a way. Shaw and North don’t really carry the baggage between them like Hazard and Somerset do, but their attraction for one another really has gone on unsaid for quite some time.

Shaw and North have known each other since freshman year in college and haven’t spent much time apart since they first met. They own a private eye detective agency together and pine for one another like you wouldn’t believe.

The problem though?

North is married.

Trigger warnings for domestic abuse, blackmail, violence, torture, and suicidal ideation.

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Release Blitz + Excerpt + Giveaway: Give Up the Ghost (Not Dead Yet #2) by Jenn Burke

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Give Up the Ghost (Not Dead Yet #2) by Jenn Burke
Series
: Not Dead Yet #2
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: June 3, 2019

Amazon | Apple BooksBarnes & Noble | Goodreads | Google PlayKobo | Publisher

Previous books in the series: Not Dead Yet

I was lucky enough to have read this book early and you don’t want to miss out on this series! This is the paranormal m/m romance you NEED. It is all the feels and it’s a second-chance romance between Wes and Hudson. There’s also a mystery they characters need to solve and this one was a spooky one. Ghosts doing scary stuff in books creeps me out on a normal day but this book really took it one step further and I had to settle for reading this book during the day. lol I really enjoyed this book, so go check out the first book in the series and go read this one as well! ❤

Scroll down to the bottom of this post for your chance to win some an awesome prize pack!!

Review: Give Up the Ghost

SYNOPSIS

The bigger they are, the harder they maul.

Immortal not-ghost Wes Cooper and his vampire partner, Hudson Rojas, have it all—rewarding private investigation work, great friends and, most important, a love that’s endured. But ever since Wes sent a demon screaming back to the beyond, his abilities have grown overpowering and overwhelming. He’s hiding the fact that he’s losing control the best he can, but it’s hard to keep anything a secret for long when your partner’s a former cop…and especially when your partner’s a former cop who wants to move in together.

When all hell literally breaks loose in Toronto and superstrength ghosts are unleashed on Wes and his friends, he and Hudson are thrown into a case unlike any they’ve seen before. To save the city, Wes needs to harness his new power…and find some answers. But when he gets them, the solution to fix it all could mean losing everything.

Excerpt

Let’s investigate. Simple. Direct. Easy.

Except I’d forgotten about the wet blanket known as Hudson Rojas.

“No,” he said, his arms crossed. The fabric of his long-sleeved, eggplant-colored Henley bunched across his biceps. He was tall—way taller than my five-seven frame—and broad, muscular, barrel-chested. His dark brown hair was more silver than not these days, and long enough for gentle waves to tease his collar. His everyday appearance was intimidating, but when he let his vamp out and flashed his fangs, he could be downright scary.

Not to me, though. Never to me. Just looking at him made my blood sing.

Usually. Right now, though, it was starting to boil.

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May 2019 Wrap-Up

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Hello, lovelies!! This has been a very weird month. I almost thought there weren’t going to be any 5-star reads since I’ve been on a dark romance kick (which, honestly, might be the reason why there almost weren’t any 5-star reads).

BUT.

I read ONE book which I love so much that I immediately bought a physical copy of right after reading it on KU. Fingers-crossed Gregory Ashe does audiobooks for his Borealis Investigation series too because I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

This month has felt so long and yet also so short? I went home to Alabama at the beginning of the month to see my brother’s graduation and my parents for the first time since Christmas and then when I got back to Texas, I saw Hamilton for the second time???

Like I said. This has been a very weird month.

GOODREADS CHALLENGE UPDATE

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ARC Review: Top Shelf (Seacroft #1) by Allison Temple

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Author: Allison Temple
Publication Date: May 20, 2019
Format: ARC
Page Length: 302 pages
My Rating: 3 / 5 stars

Amazon | Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

Martin is a ghost. Well, not really, but he might as well be. Job gone, home gone, self-respect gone, and no one even seems to notice. The only person who really sees him is Seb, the artist who lives above the used bookstore.

Seb haunts the edges of Seacroft in search of beauty. He knows how to excavate the hidden value in abandoned things–whether it’s in the pages of forgotten books or in Martin’s stuttering attempts to rebuild his life–and transform them into works of art.

Two lost souls, Seb and Martin discover the strength they need to face eccentric townies and their dysfunctional families together. But as friendship sparks toward something more, neither man wants to risk what they’ve only just found. It takes two to fall in love, but it will take the whole community to bring their beauty to life.

Top Shelf is an 81k slow burn friends-to-lovers MM romance. It features an anxious professor, a drama queen artist, a bookstore that might be haunted, and a full-blown heart-eyes HEA.

I feel like you all should know that I have an extreme weakness for books with anxious characters who are too precious for this world and deserve to be loved and cherished by a sweet love interest.

This book has that character. That character is Martin. And I love Martin. SO MUCH. He just breaks my heart and I just want him to get his happy ending.

Which is why we need to talk about Seb. I think he’s…likable enough but I’m not sure if I love him within the context of this story? There was definitely potential for me to love him, BUT.

I think the first 50% of this story was fantastic and I was immediately captivated and hooked. Martin finds a job at a used bookstore and meets a ghost inside the bookstore when he goes to lock up for the night. Martin is an anxious and introverted person. He used to be a professor at a university before circumstances led him to the little town of Seacroft where he now lives with his brother.

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