Review: Fatal Shadows (The Adrien English Mysteries #1) by Josh Lanyon

fatalshadows.jpeg

Author: Josh Lanyon
Publication Date: May 7, 2012 (second edition)
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 236 pages
My Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book DepositoryGoodreads | Kobo

SYNOPSIS

One sunny morning Los Angeles bookseller and aspiring mystery author Adrien English opens his front door to murder. His old high school buddy (and employee) has been found stabbed to death in a back alley following a loud and very public argument with Adrien the previous evening.

Naturally the cops want to ask Adrien a few questions; they are none too impressed with his answers, and when a few hours later someone breaks into Adrien’s shop and ransacks it, the law is inclined to think Adrien is trying to divert suspicion from himself.

Adrien knows better. Adrien knows he is next on the killer’s list.

This book was originally published in 2007, so there’s terminology and such that are a bit dated, and I’ve taken that into account with my rating. Trigger warnings for this book include homophobia (I think biphobia and transphobia as well) and rape/non-consensual sex in the last chapter of this book. It is not between the two love interests in this series, but it does happen, and it is not addressed by the characters (as far as I can tell) at any point in the remaining pages of this book or the beginning chapters of the next.

So, I flew through this book. I love mysteries, but haven’t really read mysteries in a while. And I miss the thrill of the chase. What better than to have a mystery subplot in a romance book? Well, this book is a bit older than the usual contemporaries, so there’s a few things that date it that I definitely don’t think would be acceptable terminology-wise if it were published today. But, there’s also fun things where video rentals are still a thing and the fact that the character rely more on landlines than cellphones in this book. There are some instances too where there’s a lot of British terms in the text even though the book is set in LA. It kind of takes me out of the story, but could possibly be explained away with Adrien having an English mother.

We meet Adrien, the 32-year-old bookstore owner and soon-to-be mystery book author. He’s wakes up to two policemen questioning him about the death of a long-time friend and employee of his, Robert. Robert was found stabbed to death in an alleyway and he had been last seen arguing with Adrien at a bar the night before. Very suddenly, Adrien is a potential suspect and he hasn’t even had his coffee yet.

Continue reading

Advertisements

ARC Review: Tender with a Twist (Rainbow Cove #2) by Annabeth Albert

tenderwithatwist

Author: Annabeth Albert
Publication Date: October 2, 2017
Format: ARC
Page Length: 280 pages
My Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Amazon | Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

One kinky wood carver. One younger chef looking to try new things. A series of lessons that bring both men more than they bargained for…

Curtis Hunt has made a name for himself as a chainsaw wood carver, winning national competitions and operating a small business in Rainbow Cove, Oregon. As winter whittles away his tourist traffic, his goal is just to survive the season and try to not get lost in grief for his dead lover. It’s been two years, but he’s sure he’ll never be over the love of a lifetime. However, his body has a certain restlessness that he doesn’t quite know how to calm.

Logan Rosner knows a thing or two about restlessness. It’s what drove him to Rainbow Cove to be a chef at a bar and grill run by his friends. And it’s what drives him to a single sizzling encounter with the local legendary lumberjack. Both men get far more than they expected and learn that first impressions aren’t always accurate…

But when Logan proposes a series of sexy lessons, Curtis must decide how much he’s willing to risk. He knows he can’t afford to get attached to Logan’s good cooking, his easy smiles, or his caretaking, but he keeps going back for more, even as deeper emotions become involved. Soon, Curtis must decide whether to risk his heart again or risk losing Logan for good.

Tender with a Twist is a 79,000 word stand-alone gay romance with a May/December theme, featuring a second chance at love, opposites attract, loads of sexy times with mild BDSM elements, and one emotionally-charged, guaranteed happy ending with no cliffhangers.

I forgot what I was getting into when I picked up this book to read. After reading Trust with a Chaser, I just knew I had to read the rest of the series, and Tender with a Twist did not disappoint. This is definitely the kinkiest book I’ve ever read from Annabeth Albert and the story and the characters were unexpected.

This does work very well as a standalone, but we did meet both Logan and Curtis in the first book, if only in passing. Logan is the chef at Rainbow Cove’s new bar and grill restaurant he opened with his friends, Mason and Adam. He dresses preppy and still has a baby face, despite being twenty-seven. His style of dress is a left-over from his childhood days with his parents and now that he’s away from Portland, he wants to dress how he wants and actually do the things he wants. Logan is a Dom, but anyone that takes one look at him in a bar, and automatically assumes he’s a sub. Doesn’t help that Logan has a type. Logan is into bigger guys. Someone like Curtis.

Continue reading

Release Day Blitz + Giveaway: Tender with a Twist (Rainbow Cove #2) by Annabeth Albert

Tender with a Twist Banner

Author/Publisher: Annabeth Albert
Publication Date: October 2, 2017
Series: Rainbow Cove #2, but stands alone well
Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 79,000
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, May-December, BDSM (light), Small Town

Amazon | Goodreads

Read on for an excerpt and a giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card at the end of this post!

tenderwithatwist

SYNOPSIS

Curtis Hunt has made a name for himself as a chainsaw wood carver, winning national competitions and operating a small business in Rainbow Cove, Oregon. As winter whittles away his tourist traffic, his goal is just to survive the season and try to not get lost in grief for his dead lover. It’s been two years, but he’s sure he’ll never be over the love of a lifetime. However, his body has a certain restlessness that he doesn’t quite know how to calm.

Logan Rosner knows a thing or two about restlessness. It’s what drove him to Rainbow Cove to be a chef at a bar and grill run by his friends. And it’s what drives him to a single sizzling encounter with the local legendary lumberjack. Both men get far more than they expected and learn that first impressions aren’t always accurate…

But when Logan proposes a series of sexy lessons, Curtis must decide how much he’s willing to risk. He knows he can’t afford to get attached to Logan’s good cooking, his easy smiles, or his caretaking, but he keeps going back for more, even as deeper emotions become involved. Soon, Curtis must decide whether to risk his heart again or risk losing Logan for good.

Tender with a Twist is a 79,000 word stand-alone gay romance with a May/December theme, featuring a second chance at love, opposites attract, loads of sexy times with mild BDSM elements, and one emotionally-charged, guaranteed happy ending with no cliffhangers.

Continue reading

September Wrap-Up

sept2017wrap.jpg

Farewell, summer. And hello, fall! Well, if you’re like me in Texas right now, it’s still burning at a hot 90 degrees out, but I’m ready for the cooler weather! What have I been up to…well, I went to Patrick Ness’ signing at BookPeople in Austin to celebrate the release of his new book, Release. His talk was really funny, and down-to-Earth, and the whole event was a lot of fun!

patricknessevent.jpg

I’m planning on going to Texas Teen Book Fest in Austin October 7th, so I’ll try to grab some pics at the festival for a post! If any of you guys are going to the fest and see me, don’t hesitate to say hi, or whatever! Or shove some coffee in my direction. Whatever works. <333

I read some fantastic books in September! Surprisingly, this might be the one month I read more YA than I have in a while. But, I loved the books I did manage to read, and I’ve linked to my reviews, or the Goodreads page, for my September reads below!

Continue reading

Review: Circle (Roads #3) by Garrett Leigh

circle.jpg

Author: Garrett Leigh
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 179 pages
My Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Amazon | Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

I love him…but he’s forgotten why.

A lot can happen in six years, and Ash and Pete have seen their world flipped upside down more times than most. Being parents to Pete’s young nephew wasn’t in their plan, but life happens to them and they roll with the punches. Or at least they did, until new heartache rocks their hard-won happily-ever-after.

Ash loves Pete as much as ever—more, in fact—but Pete battles alone with a burden that weighs heavily on his heart. Ash is no stranger to dark clouds, but the secret Pete keeps from him is a storm that could break them.

Despite the fierce love that once buoyed them, they’re both drowning until a new friend throws them a lifeline. His wisdom offers insight—for better or worse, real love is rarely a smooth journey. For Ash and Pete to come full circle once more, they’ll have to hit the road and chase it.

This book is shorter than the previous books in the series, and yet, it took me maybe the longest to read it? Things have changed since we last saw Ash and Pete in Rare. They were healing and their relationship was good. Strong. They haven’t really grown apart, but in the three years since the last book, Pete’s mother got ill and passed away. Pete’s sister Heidi shot her husband, leaving a seven-year-old he has to win from the courts. Pete’s no longer a paramedic and working as an ER nurse. It’s better hours, but he’s still burning himself out working extra shifts.

Ash has gotten better since we last saw him. He’s done really well for himself. He’s a bit of a name in the art world, and makes a pretty penny off his art. He’s still Ash, and doesn’t like going to his own art galley showings or flying really, but mentally, he’s doing a lot better. But Pete hasn’t gotten better. Pete’s gotten worse, mentally, since his mother died, and his general apathy to life scares Ash to death.

Continue reading

Review: Awake and Alive (Only Love #1.5) by Garrett Leigh

awakeandalive

Author: Garrett Leigh
Publication Date: April 11, 2014
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 34 pages
My Rating:  4 / 5 stars

Amazon | Barnes and Noble |  Goodreads | Kobo

SYNOPSIS

After a successful surgery relieves Jed of the illness that nearly killed him, he returns home to slowly recover with Max. With time to reconnect, Max shows him a new way to love. Now at a crossroads and facing a new life, Jed must listen to his friends and family to learn how to move forward.

This was an interesting novella. It’s still very much in the same tone as Only Love and even has flashbacks in this as well. The interactions between Jed and Max are as lovely to read about as ever. They’re more or less a lovely old married couple who know each other’s every thought and feelings. Their relationship is so sweet and I could read about them cooking and living out by the lake forever. There’s also a few moments in this book where we see what Jed is going to do with his life. His work as a translator wasn’t exactly fulfilling any life calling for him, but with a few friends to push him, he finds that he might know what he wants to do, with Max by his side.

The dry spell didn’t worry Max. Sex wasn’t something he needed from Jed; their relationship ran far deeper than that. But it was something he craved. He was only human, after all.

Review: Only Love (Only Love #1) by Garrett Leigh

onlylove

Author: Garrett Leigh
Publication Date: April 11, 2014
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 274 pages
My Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Goodreads | Kobo

SYNOPSIS

The diagnosis of a chronic stomach condition leaves thirty-two-year-old Sergeant Jed Cooper with little choice but to call time on his Army career. Then on the dusty streets of Kirkuk, an ambush gone tragically wrong decimates his team, and he returns to the US with a shattered leg and the memory of his best friend dying in his arms.

Life in his sleepy hometown proves intolerable until he finds solace in a lakeside cabin with vivacious young carpenter, Max O’Dair. In the shadow of the epilepsy that periodically plagues Max, he and Jed form an unspoken bond. After a late night episode, Jed realizes how much Max means to him, and life has taught him not to waste time.

But the lines between contentment and complacency are blurred. Things left hidden resurface to tear through their world, and before they can repair the damage, death comes to call again. Faces, past and present, rally around them to weather the storm, but before long, they are left with only love.

I actually read this after reading Circle, thinking that hey, Jed and Max need a book. Well, I’m glad I found this book because it turns out THEY ALREADY HAVE ONE. I was a crying mess reading this book, but it took me by surprise? This book is definitely full of angst and heartbreak, but also a book that’s full of love.

The book starts off with Jed Cooper and his men in Kirkuk and the moment everything went wrong. They had three weeks left of their tour in Iraq and with the end in sight, an ambush rips apart his team. Two months later, Jed’s on a plane back to Oregon, his stomach in pain, and his leg injured. He left the small town of Ashton, Oregon when he was eighteen to join the Army, and hadn’t been back since. His younger brother, Nick, offered Jed a place to stay, and since Jed didn’t have another place to go, he’s returned back to the town he never wanted to go back to.

Continue reading