[Review] Wrapped Together by Annabeth Albert

About the book

Wrapped Together
(Portland Heat #5)
by Annabeth Albert

ebook
Publication Date: December 6th 2016 by Lyrical Shine

In the bustling restaurants, shops, and cafés of Portland, Oregon, things really heat up for the hard-working men behind the scenes when the holidays come into town . . .

For a stationery store owner, the holidays are great for business. But for Hollis Alcott, Christmas reminds him of the tragic events of three years past, and the last thing he wants to do is take part in Portland’s over-abundance of festive cheer. But Sawyer Murphy, a hunky gift shop owner whose brother is married to Hollis’s sister, has made it his mission to pluck Hollis out of his holiday blues. And his plan is beginning to work. Wrapped in the warm glow of newfound passion, the former business rivals hit up Portland’s finest holiday traditions—and Hollis’s icy attitude begins to melt like snowflakes on his tongue. But he isn’t sure he can trust anyone with the only gift he has—his heart—without breaking it like an antique ornament. Unless he can find the courage to take a leap with the one lover he never expected .

review~ Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion

Wrapped Together was only my second book by Annabeth Albert and haven’t I just looked it up on Goodreads I still wouldn’t know that this is part of a series. The fifth installment in fact. I was perfectly able to read it as a stand-alone.

But guys, I did it in the wrong order. This story works around Christmas. When do I read it … right, after Christmas, of course. Didn’t hurt the story, but it made me miss Christmas already. Stupid me. Haha.

Wrapped Together was a really cute and heart-warming book. I read it in one sitting, that’s how glued to the pages I was.

The guys – Hollis and Sawyer – Annabeth created were really down-to-earth and felt so real. Their romance hadn’t overly much drama, except for that one scene that I thought fit perfectly into the story. Reading about the progress between these two was sweet and fun. Their sex scenes were steamy though! I loved how they told their families that they are together. So funny. I highlighted so many funny conversations between those two on my Kindle. They made me smile a lot.

The only thing that made me a bit sad was that Wrapped Together was so short. Only a bit over 100 pages, but I think that gave the story the charm it had.

Wrapped Together was a really cute story about Christmas and really likeable characters. This won’t be the last time I read a book of this series.

Rating: 4 stars

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[Review] Justice Ascending by Rebecca Zanetti

About the book

Justice Ascending
(The Scorpius Syndrome #3)
by Rebecca Zanetti

ebook, 400 pages
Publication Date: January 31st 2017 by Zebra

Before surviving the Scorpius bacterium, Tace Justice was a good ole Texas cowboy who served his country and loved his mama. After Scorpius, the world became dark, dangerous, and deadly… and so did he. The Vanguard medic is stronger, faster, and smarter than before, but he’s lost the line between right and wrong. His passion is absolute, and when he focuses it on one woman, there’s no turning back for either of them.

Sami Steel has been fighting to survive right alongside Tace, convincing the Vanguard soldiers she’s one of them. In truth, Sami is a former hacker turned government agent who worked at The Bunker, where scientists stored both contaminants and cures. Only she knows the location, and she’s not telling. Yet when sexual fire explodes between her and Tace, she’ll face even that hell again to save him.

review~ Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion ~

I might have been way to happy when I saw the email from NetGalley telling me I got approved for this title, just saying. I usually hate book that deal with apocalypse themes, but this series had sucked me in right from the beginning.

I love the world that Rebecca Zanetti has created and her characters as well. Also I love how she gives us one piece of the puzzle that brings as one step closer to beating Scorpius but also it opens up a whole lot of more questions. I’m quite curious how that whole problem with Scorpius will be resolved in the future books and what characters will get their books next. I’m hoping for a particular couple that we got to meet in Justice Ascending, but whose names I can’t write without it being major spoilers.

On to the characters of Justice Ascending.
First we have Tace. I loved Tace since Mercury Striking. He has his dark and his light sides and I loved his reaction to Sami’s confession. Yes, he was pissed, but he also understood her.
Then we have Sami. She has her own head and will do what she has to do to save the ones she loves. I loved her from the beginning as well.

Those two together – they were explosive. They had their fights, but also their cute and funny moments. Truth be told, I shipped them since book one and I would have been mad had they not ended up together. Also I loved how Sami would take BS from Tace. Their fights were fun to read. We need more strong women in action books – well, in books in general.

Speaking of action, the action in this book was on point. While reading Justice Ascending, I felt like watching a good action movie on TV. On one hand I wish to be a part of this story, but on the other hand I’m glad I’m not, because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t survive more than 2 days in this new world by Rebecca Zanetti.

On another note: I love how Rebecca Zanetti incorporates the last names of her heroes in the title of their books. I’m curious what the next book will be called.

All in all, another great addition to the series and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. I hope our heroes find a cure on the way – but not to soon. I want to read another few books of the Scorpius Syndrome series first.

Rating: 4,5 stars

[Review] The Truth As He Knows It by A.M. Arthur

About the book

The Truth As He Knows It
(Perspective #1)
by A.M. Arthur

ebook, 289 pages
Publication Date: February 10th 2015 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Lies are the chains that keep you weighed down at rock bottom.

Officer Noel Carlson isn’t out to anyone in small-town Stratton, Pennsylvania, only to distant friends and family, so a relationship is out of the question. That doesn’t stop him from wanting one, though.

When a night-shift call brings him face to thonged butt with a hired stripper whose girl-party gig went terribly wrong, Noel takes pity on the guy and lets him go. But he can’t get the encounter out of his mind.

Shane has big-time debts to repay, especially to the brother who sacrificed nearly everything for him. His two jobs, in a deli and as a stripper, leave him no time for a social life. But a non-date of hot sex and takeout food with Noel? He can squeeze that in.

The bond they form is stronger than either expected or wanted. Especially since the step Shane’s about to take to put his brother—and his soul—back in the black isn’t quite legal. And he never calculated just how much his determination to make things right will cost him in the end.

Warning: Following on from the Cost of Repairs series, this book contains a closeted cop who’s looking for love, an indebted stripper who doesn’t believe he’s worthy, and a tasteful abundance of dirty guy sex. Also contains references to past physical abuse some readers may find disturbing.

review~ A big thank you to A.M. Arthur for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest opinion ~

I’m going to start this review of with saying that though I liked the story and the writing style and the like, I also had one major issue. Some of you might think I mean the abuse part of the story, but that’s not it. In fact I liked how the abuse was handled by A.M. Arthur in this book.

No, the major problem I had was the damn insta-lust thing. Truth be told they only had sex on their second meeting, but that first meeting they were both on their “jobs”, so that doesn’t really count. I’m not even quite sure if Shane knew Noel’s name when they had sex and I’m sure that happens often with one night stands, but it kind of bothered me.

Apart from that thing, I quite enjoy The Truth As He Knows It. Maybe “enjoy” isn’t the right word, because this book was quite dark and sad – so grab some tissues when you decide to read it – but even though some dark and rough patches Shane and Noel occasionally still got me to chuckle.

Both Shane and Noel had big issues they had to work on, but I liked seeing how they grew together as a couple and how they would tackle the next big obstacle.

Also there was this side character, Tony aka Gabe, that left me quite curious about his story. Then there was Tristan as well – Noel’s friend, who has a problem with his long term memory due to an accident. I would love to know more about his story too and maybe see him getting an HEA. I just don’t know how A.M. Arthur could possibly deal with his memory issue. I don’t really see a solution for that. Tristan was really cute though.

I look forward to reading other books by A.M. Arthur in the future and will definitely return to this series.

Rating: 4 stars

 

[Review] Off Base by Annabeth Albert

About the book

Off Base
(Out Of Uniform #1)
by Annabeth Albert

ebook
Publication Date: January 9th 2017 by Carina Press

After trading the barracks for a fixer-upper rental, navy SEAL Zack Nelson wants peace, not a roommate—especially not Pike, who sees things about Zack he most wants to hide. Pike’s flirting puts virgin Zack on edge. And the questions Pike’s arrival would spark from Zack’s teammates about his own sexuality? Nope. Not going there. But Zack can’t refuse.

Pike Reynolds knows there won’t be a warm welcome in his new home. What can he say? He’s an acquired taste. But he needs this chance to get his life together. Also, teasing the uptight SEAL will be hella fun. Still, Pike has to tread carefully; he’s had his fill of tourists in the past, and he can’t risk his heart on another, not even one as hot, as built—and, okay, yeah, as adorable—as Zack.

Living with Pike crumbles Zack’s restraint and fuels his curiosity. He discovers how well they fit together in bed…in the shower…in the hallway… He needs Pike more than he could have imagined, yet he doesn’t know how to be the man Pike deserves.

review~ Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion

I found this book on NetGalley by pure accident. I was browsing through the pages and then my mouse decided to twitch and stop on this book. I was intrigued and click on it to read the description and after reading it, I knew I had to request it. Thankfully I got accepted otherwise I would have had to wait for more than another month.

On this note, this is my very first book by Annabeth Albert and it won’t be the last one, let me tell you that.

I have this weird love for M/M books where one of the guys is totally out in the open about him being gay and the other one is still fully in the closet. In this book Pike was the one out and Zack was the one still in the closet.

Both of these guys were pretty awesome in their own ways. Pike was so compassionate and honored Zack’s wishes about coming out on his own terms and Zack was sweet and always around to listen to Pike’s rant about his teaching gig.

I loved that this book was about a gay military guy – Zack’s a SEAL – but without the typical “he’s a SEAL, don’t you forget it”-stuff that seem to take place in straight couple books. Also Pike’s teaching job at the university was a nice contrast.

Annabeth Albert’s writing style drew me in from page one and hadn’t I looked up to take a look at the clock and hadn’t I seen that it was midnight, I most definitely would have finished Off Base in one sitting, but sadly I had work in the morning. So I had to cut my reading session short and read the rest of the book right after I got of my shift.

I will absolutely read At Attention, the second book in the series, as well as Ryan and Josiah’s story Connection Error – two side characters in Off Base – I really want to find out more about how they got together. By the way I only now in the progress of writing this review found out that the Out Of Uniform series is a spin-off series of the #gaymers series. So if you read those, I’m totally confident that you will like Off Base as well. If you haven’t read those, trust me, you can read Off Base without reading the #gaymers series first.

Rating: 4,5 stars

[Review] If Santa Were A Cowboy by Melissa Cutler

About the book

If Santa Were A Cowboy
(One And Only Texas #2.5)
by Melissa Cutler

ebook
Publication Date: October 25th 2016 by Swerve
ISBN: 1250108403

This Christmas, Santa wears a Stetson.

Paul Savage loves Christmas at Briscoe Ranch Resort, when he gets to take a break from being a back country guide to play Santa in the resort’s lobby and talk to kids about toys. The last thing he expects is his high school crush to come waltzing in as his new assistant photographer, wheeling a suitcase that’s more naughty than nice.

Kelly Walker is a disaster. All she’d wanted was spice up her life by saying ‘yes’ to every opportunity, which is when the universe started pelting her with ‘no’s. So when she comes across a job listing for a holiday photographer working with the sweet, scrawny boy whose advances she’d laughed off in high school, she jumps on the chance to turn her bad Karma around by giving Paul a second chance.

Trouble is, Paul’s anything but scrawny anymore, and his cowboy swagger throws her grand plans for a loop—especially when he tempts her with a red hot proposition of his own. Kelly’s in way over her head, but as she gets swept up in the magic of Briscoe Ranch’s holiday charms—and Paul’s—could Kelly’s year of ‘no’s be leading up to the ‘yes’ of a lifetime?

review~ Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion

I really loved Melissa Cutler’s Bomb Squad series, so when I saw If Santa Were A Cowboy on NetGalley I had to request it, even though these two series have nothing to do with the each other.

I started it right when I got it, back in September, but I couldn’t get into it. I blamed it on me not feeling christmas feelings yet. So I pushed it a bit back in my reading schedule. I started it again yesterday, but even now – with Christmas right around the corner – I couldn’t get invested into this book and that’s really sad. Maybe I would be more interested in this story and its characters if I actually read the previous two book in this series, but I honestly don’t think so.

The main reason why I couldn’t get into this book: Kelly. I didn’t like Kelly much. I didn’t agree with her choices. She was just …. a bitch. Paul deserved a much better girl for himself.

If you’re in the mood for a romance book with a christmas theme and you don’t care for a bitchy heroine, this might be it for you. For me it was ok, but I could have done without it. I guess I stick with Melissa Cutler’s Bomb Squad series.

Rating: 2 stars