ARC REVIEW: Soul To Keep by Garrett Leigh

About the book

Soul To Keep
(Rented Heart #2)
by Garrett Leigh

ebook
Publication Date: April 2nd 2018 by Riptide Publishing
>> Review copy provided by NetGalley <<

Recovering addict Jamie Yorke has returned to England from California. With no home or family to speak of, he sticks a pin in a map and finds a small town in the Derbyshire Peak District. Matlock Bath is a quiet place—he just needs to get there, keep his head down, and stay clean. Simple, right? Until a chance meeting on the flight home alters the course of his so-called life forever.

Ex-Army medic Marc Ramsey is recovering from life-changing combat injuries while pulling nights as a trauma specialist at the local hospital. Keeping busy is a habit he can’t quit, but when Jamie—so wild and beautiful—bursts into his life, working himself into the ground isn’t as compelling as it used to be.

Marc falls hard, but chaos lurks behind Jamie’s fragile facade. He’s winning his battle against addiction, but another old foe is slowly consuming him. Both men have weathered many storms, but the path to the peace they deserve might prove the roughest ride yet.

reviewSoul To Keep is the first book by Garrett Leigh I read and I’m quite sure it won’t be the last one. Also it is the second book in the Rented Heart series, but can perfectly be read as a stand-alone in my honest opinion, because that’s what I did. I might have missed some backstory about Jamie and Zac (main character from the previous book), but I didn’t need it to understand Soul To Keep, so no harm in not knowing the first book.

Garrett Leigh’s characters were quite broken. Marc not as much as Jamie, but he also struggles. Both, Jamie and Marc, had to fight with some sort of darkness in their life and I like, how after meeting and getting to know each other, they complemented each other. Their relationship started off as some sort of friendship and morphed into a romantical relationship. What I loved about that relationship as well was that it was quite a slowburner. The first time they really had sex was at 80% of the book. Don’t understand that wrong, they did make out a bit before that with BJs and stuff like that, but it took some time till they had the real deal. Nowadays I feel like most of the books have the first sex scene in the first 30% and sometimes it feels totally unnatural, more like it’s a requirement to have one that early. So I was glad that was not the case in Soul To Keep.

I also liked how Garrett Leigh dealed with Jamie’s addiction and other problems and didn’t totally make them disappear at the end of the book, because that’s not really the way that works. That little conflict Marc and Jamie had near the end also made perfectly sense, because of Jamie’s past.

Also this book had quite a lot of angst, mostly from Jamie’s POV. Marc was more relaxed in that manner, because he already had enough years to deal with his problems, but I liked to read from both POV’s. That’s always my favourite, because this way I can experience the feelings from both sides of the story.

I absolutely recommend this book, if you are looking for an angsty, but at the same time cute and slowburner-y book to fill some of your hours.

Rating: 4,25 stars

 

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[Review] Wild Trail by A.M. Arthur

About the book

Wild Trail
(Clean Slate Ranch #1)
by A.M. Arthur

ebook
Publication Date: December 11th 2017 by Carina Press

Welcome to Clean Slate Ranch: home of tight jeans, cowboy boots, and rough trails. For some men, it’s a fantasy come true.

Mack Garrett loves the rolling hills surrounding his Northern California dude ranch. Leading vacationers on horse trails with his two best friends is enough – romance is definitely not in the cards. When a sexy tourist shows up at Clean Slate, he’s as far from Mack’s type as can be. So why is the handsome city slicker so far under his skin in less than a day?

Roughing it in the middle of nowhere isn’t anywhere near Wes Bentley’s idea of fun. Then he lays eyes on the gruffest, hottest papa bear he’s ever seen. But Mack is as hard to pin down as he looks – distant, sharp-tongued, and in desperate need of a shave. Until a campout gone wrong strands both men in the mountains with nothing to do but get to know each other.

Mack intends to keep his closely guarded heart out of Wes’ very talented hands. But for a seven-day cowboy, Wes is packing some long-term possibility. The cold country air can do wonders for bringing bodies together – but it will take more than that to bridge the distance between two men whose lives are worlds apart.

review

Once again I’m reading a book by A.M. Arthur and I liked it, didn’t love it, because I had some issues with it, but I liked it.

Let’s start with the positive stuff.

#1: A.M. Arthur’s writing style, I liked her writing style in previous books and also liked it in Wild Trail.

#2: this book wasn’t as angst-filled as her other books, don’t get me wrong, I like angst, but this was a welcomed change.

#3: that action scene near the end was cool and I mean a different kind of action than sex 😉

#4 gay cowboys, I’ve read a lot of M/M books and non of them ever featured cowboys, and while I love my gay/bisexual sport players, this whole cowboy thing was a welcomed change as well.

#5: I liked the characters, especially Mack, and while I liked them and how they all interacted, they are also the cause of all my negative points, which are the following.

The whole daddy/boss nickname situation between Mack and Wes – I did not get that at all, because there was not one element of the whole BDSM dominance stuff in this book and whenever I read one of those two nicknames, I had to cringe inwardly. It just felt off. Might only be me though that thinks so.
Another thing that bugged me just a bit was the relationship overall between Mack and Wes. While I loved that they didn’t immediately jumps into bed to have wild sex, I didn’t get what their relationship was built on. Yes, they have deep talks and date and romance – and I liked it – but I just didn’t feel it. Maybe I’m defective. LOL

Overall I still liked it and will definitely check out the next two books, because I’m curious how the whole Avery and Colt thing will work out, also I’m eager to see if the book about Reyes and Miles will be as slowburner-y as I think it will be.

You know what thing I think A.M. Arthur could also write really well? NA M/M sports themed books, because her books are always – in my unknowing mind – well researched and like I already mentioned I’m a sucker for that setting. LOL, don’t mind me and my cry for more sports themed books, I read a bunch of them and are running out.

Rating: 4 stars

Mini Reviews #3

Cody McFayden – The Truth Factory (Review copy proved by NetGalley Germany)

I read the first four Smoky Barrett books a few years ago and really loved them, but this one… by 39% I couldn’t take it anymore. Maybe my expectations were just way too high, but it was so damn boring and  then all these descriptions. I skipped whole paragraphes because they were just bla bla bla.

Also Smoky’s team and family that I loved dearly in the previous books were pretty much absent.

I wished I could have loved this, but I can’t read another 250+ pages. (the german version is 480 pages long).

Rating: DNF


Mina MacLeod – Experiment Number Six (Review copy proved by NetGalley)

If you are expecting a big romance in Experiment Number Six, you won’t find it. It focuses more on the whole mission stuff and getting Jason Slate to regain his memory. I had no problems with that fact, I liked it, but I have a problem with the fact that I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a prologue novella for an upcoming full book or not. Because I really wanted them to catch the bad, bad terrorists and the ending was just a bit too sudden for me. It was a novella so I can’t really expect much about character development and I didn’t, so that’s that.

The one thing I can say for sure is that I really enjoyed the writing style, it hooked me from the first page.

That little twist near the ending was fun, a bit obvious, but fun nevertheless.

If you are looking for a quick afternoon read – took me 25 min – then you might give this a try, but don’t expect a big romance story.

Experiment Number Six didn’t blew me away, but it was an ok read to fill my afternoon for a few minutes. I blame the fact that it was only ok for me on the fact that I’m used to full length books. If this had been full lenghted I believe I would have liked it more.

Rating: 2,5 stars

[Review] Power Play by Avon Gale

About the book

Power Play
(Scoring Chances #3)
by Avon Gale

ebook
Publication Date: May 9th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

A freak accident during the Stanley Cup Playoffs put an end to Max Ashford’s hockey career. Despite everything, Max gets back into the game he loves—only this time, behind the bench as an assistant coach of the Spartanburg Spitfires, the worst team in the entire league. But nothing prepares him for the shock when he learns the new head coach is Misha Samarin, the man who caused Max’s accident.

After spending years guilt ridden for his part in Max’s accident, Russian native Misha Samarin has no idea what to do when he’s confronted with Max’s presence. Max’s optimism plays havoc with Misha’s equilibrium—as does the fierce attraction that springs up between them.

Not only must they navigate Misha’s remorse and a past he’s spent a lifetime trying to forget, but also a sleazy GM who is determined to use their history as a marketing hook. But when an unwelcome visitor targets a player, Misha revisits his darkest days, and that might cost him and Max the beginning they’ve worked so hard to build.

review

You might have realized that I’m currently on a M/M book reading trip and that’s absolutely true, just look at my last three reviews. LOL. Anyway, I just read all five books of the Scoring Chances series in less than four days. Admittedly in a weird order, but still, I inhaled them. I wanted to save one for new year’s eve, because I’m not that big on fireworks, but I gave in and I just finished the last one.

Because I read all five of them in that quick of a period I thought to myself I couldn’t possibly review them all, because first all those reviews would sound the same: me gushing about the book, and second I decided to just write a review about the one book of the series that made me realize something about the books I usually read.

What’s that, you’re wondering? Well, this book opened my eyes about the fact that I never – at least I can’t remember – read a book in which the two characters of the couple did not share the same first language. Yes, you might find that silly, but that really shocked me. Sure, I read a lot of books where the characters are from different countries, but their primary language is still english. Not as much in this book: Misha’s first language is russian and  although his english is really good, sometimes he gets things wrong and that was funny, also I really could relate. My first language isn’t english either, in case you haven’t noticed that yet, even though I pretty much butcher the english language with my wrong use of commas (what is the plural of comma, I’m not quite sure in english) and grammar overall. LOL.

Site note: Am I the only one that read Misha’s spoken words with a russian accent in her head the ENTIRE book? Nope? Just me… ok, I’m weird, but I really did that and not even on purpose, it just … happened and I had fun doing it. Gave Misha’s character even more dimension.

Anyway, I was talking about the book, not me. I should get back on track.

I really loved Power Play for its humour, the fact how the whole relationship between the characters played out and for the characters especially. This is one of those book where I wish I could  have amnesia, so I could forget about it and read it anew like it was the first time.

The relationship between Max and Misha was lovely and I loved the fact that Max never blamed Misha for what happened in the past. Also Drake was another one of my favourites and I was glad to read his story right after Power Play.

Also this book had ice hockey, so I was sold anyway. Duh. I love me some ice hockey and some ice hockey themed books. 🙂

If you like reading M/M books, I absolutely recommend this whole series. Read them in a weird order or the right one, does not matter the slightest. Trust me, I know. Yes, you see previous characters here and there when you start at the end of that order – like I did – but they are still all stand-alones. In my opinion.

I hope to read more books about this series and I will definitely read more books by Avon Gale, that much I can promise you.

Rating: 4,75 stars

[Review] Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell

About the book

Illegal Contact
(The Barons # 1)
by Santino Hassell

ebook
Publication Date: August 15th 2017 by Penguin Publishing Group / InterMix

The rules of the game don’t apply off the field in this first Barons novel.

New York Barons tight end Gavin Brawley is suspended from the team and on house arrest after a video of him brawling goes viral. Gavin already has a reputation as a jerk with a temper on and off the field—which doesn’t help him once he finds himself on the wrong side of the law. And while he’s been successful professionally, he’s never been lucky when it comes to love.

Noah Monroe is a recent college grad looking for a job—any job—to pay off his mounting student debt. Working as Gavin’s personal assistant/babysitter seems like easy money. But Noah isn’t prepared for the electrifying tension between him and the football player. He’s not sure if he’d rather argue with Gavin or tackle him to the floor. But both men know the score, and neither is sure what will happen once Gavin’s timeout is over…

reviewIllegal Contact was recommened by Amazon to me. Those recommendations can turn out in multiple ways, but most of the times – at least for me – it leaves me with a meh feeling. But this time Amazon actually nailed it.

I really loved reading Illegal Contact. The banter between the two characters was funny and I loved that their relationship was a slow-burner. It took half the book till something even slightly sexual happened between Gavin and Noah and I loved it, because I’m so done with insta-love stories.

The writing style of Santino Hassell was really good and sucked me in with the first page. I would have probably finished the book in one sitting, but I decided to pick it up at nearly 1am. Why do I always to that? Hehe.

The characters Santino Hassell created were not what I expected. To be quite honest, after reading the synopsis I was pretty sure I would only tolerate Gavin, because I was sure he would not quit being an Jerk, but I was wrong. I even loved him more than Noah, who was adorable by the way.

I’m normally not really into the kind of twist this book had, but it made sense for once, because this had to happen with their type of situation.

The ending was interesting and I can’t wait for book #2, which is called Down By Contact and will star a side character from this book.

I will definitely check out more books by Santino Hassell and I have a feeling he will quickly become one of my auto-buy authors.

Rating: 4,75 stars

Mini Reviews #2

Max by Sawyer Bennett (Review copy provided by Netgalley)

>> Goodreads link, Genre: Romance, ice hockey, M/f

Max is the sixth book in the Cold Fury Hockey series and I can say it totally blew me away, but I love ice hockey and I absolutely loved Max, the character. He was perfect and sadly I probably will never find a guy with his character in real life. LOL. The reason I can’t give this book 4 or even 4,5 stars is the heroine, Julianne.

She was an really, really ungrateful. Whenever Max wanted to help her in any way, she said no. Also the reasons why she pushes him away were just plain, old stupid. I couldn’t deal with her. Max deserved better, even though in the end she got a bit more tolerable.

There was the tiniest bit of drama in this, otherwise it was a cute, light afternoon read.

Rating: 3,5 stars


Going Overboard by L.A. Witt (Review copy provided by NetGalley)

>> Goodreads link, Genre: military, M/M, romance

Going Overboard is the fifth book in the Anchor Point series and the first one of it that I read.

I previously read a different series by L.A. Witt and really liked that and while I also liked the writing style in Going Overboard, I was kind of… do I dare to say it… bored by this book.

I really liked the transition of Dalton and Chris’ friendship to a romantic relationship – I’ve always been a sucker for friend-to-lover books – but that’s about it. Regarding all other aspects of the story I was utterly bored, which makes me kinda sad, because this book had promise.

So all in all this book was just average for me.

Rating: 3 stars


Cross Check by Kelly Jamieson (Review copy provided by Netgalley)

>> Goodreads link, Genre: Romance, ice hockey, new adult, M/f

Cross Check is the second book in the Bayard Hockey series.

I really liked reading it. It had funny and light scenes, but also touched  the darker aspects of life. Also its a enemies-to-lover story, I’m totally down for those. Huge fan. The sparks between Ben and Ella were on point.

Although the big fight that Ella and Ben had near the end was kind of stupid and unnecessary in my opinion, but I get the need for it.

Overall it was a good read and who can hate books about ice hockey and romance. I know I can’t. Love me some ice hockey.

Rating: 4 stars

 

Mini Reviews #1

Wheels Up by Annabeth Albert (Review copy provided by Netgalley)

>> Goodreads Link, Genre: Romance, M/M

Wheels Up is the fourth installment in the Out of Uniform series by Annabeth Albert and while I liked it, I didn’t like it as much as the previous three books. The main reason for the might be the fact that I never was into the whole boss and subordinate thing, which this absolutely is. Another thiny reason is that it took a really big part of the book for me to warm up to Dustin. I don’t really know why.

Overall I still enjoyed this and will definitely read the next book in the series, if there’s another one.

Rating: 4 star


Cover Up by L.A. Witt (Review copy provided by NetGalley)

>> Goodreads Link, Genre: Romance, M/M

Cover Up is the third book in the Skin Deep series about tattoo artists and their significant other.

I really loved this book. Lucas and Nate were a cute couple and I was glad to see that Nate got an happy ending, after the way we left him in the previous book.

I always find it easier to point out what I didn’t like about a book, and since I pretty much liked everything about Cover Up my review will end here. I was missing one little thing about this book, but I can’t really pinpoint what, so I’m just going to let that slide.

Rating: 4,5 stars


Wild Ride by Julie Ann Walker (Review copy provided by NetGalley)

>> Goodreads link, Genre: Action, Romance, M/f

Wild Ride is the ninth installment in the Black Knights Inc. series and probably my least favourite, even though I loved Ozzie, the hero, and the action. Also the banter between the characters, that’s always funny.

The biggest problem I had with this book was Samantha, the heroine. Half of the time she was annoying and the other half she was horny. In the end it got better and she was more likeable,but overall I just could warm up to her.

Another thing that bothered me was the ending. It felt to me like the author didn’t had enough pages left, but had to put all the stuff down anyway. The ending felt rushed.

Rating: 3,5 stars


Enrage by Rachel van Dyken

>> Goodreads link, Genre: Dark Suspense, Romance, M/f

I still remember when I started the first book in the series and thought to myself if I could possibly like this series, because this normally isn’t my piece of cake. But here I am, reading book 8 and loving it more than ever.

The whole series grows darker and darker with each installment and if you have a weak stomach I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you love mafia books and all that comes with them, these are totally for you.

Also that twist at the end, totally did not see that coming, let me tell you that.

I personally can’t wait for the next installment “Eulogy” which comes out in February next year.

Rating: 4,75 stars

Review: Blade of Darkness by Dianne Duvall

About the book

Blade of Darkness
(Immortal Guardians #7)
by Dianne Duvall

ebook
Publication Date: September 19th 2017

Dana Pembroke has been able to glimpse the future of those she touches for as long as she can remember. But she never saw Aidan coming. When the tall, dark Celt with the charming grin yet world-weary eyes walks through her door, the future she sees for him is one full of violence, danger, deception… and passion. Because amidst the terrifying battles that unfold in her visions, she also sees herself in Aidan’s arms and in his bed. Dana knows she should keep her distance, but the tender moments and laughter they share entice her even as she finds herself thrust into a world of vampires, immortals, and other preternatural beings.

Immortal Guardian Aidan O’Byrne has been hunting and slaying psychotic vampires for nearly three thousand years, so visions of bloody battles don’t trouble him. The battles Dana foresees, however, show Aidan’s brethren turning against him, so he can’t help but feel alarmed. While he spends as much time as he can with Dana, struggling to decipher her dire predictions, Aidan finds himself utterly smitten. Hope rises that he has finally found a woman who can banish the darkness and loneliness that plague him. But when vampires begin targeting Dana and a powerful enemy spawns chaos, will fate grant them time to find happiness together?

reviewI feel like I always write the same stuff whenever I review a book of Dianne Duvall’s Immortal Guardians series, but I’m not quite sure what else I should write instead of just saying as it is: I loved it, the writing, the story, the characters, the chemistry, the way it had me hooked. I’m never disappointed when I read a book by Dianne Duvall. I know that when I open one of her books I’m in for fun, action, romance, twists and just the feeling of belonging.

I love her Immortal Guardians series and I hope for a lot more books in this series. I could write a long, long list with all the names of characters that I want to see with a happy ending.

Rating: 5 stars

ARC REVIEW: As I Am by A.M. Arthur

*I received this book a while ago, but due to a stressful internship and my very last finals – which are still not over – I kind of abandoned my blog and all the books for which I still own people reviews. So here’s me catching up. I’m sorry it took so long*


About the book

As I Am
(All Saints #3)
by A.M. Arthur

ebook
Publication Date: February 13th 2017 by Carina Press

Will Madden is healing.

Thanks to therapy and a growing support system, he’s taking baby steps into a promising future. One of those steps leads him to an online chat room, where he quickly bonds with fellow PTSD sufferer Taz Zachary.

Despite their virtual connection, Taz is initially freaked out at the idea of meeting Will face-to-face. A sexual relationship may be the last thing on his mind, but his craving for human interaction—and more of the way Will makes him laugh—gives him the courage he needs to take the next step.

In person, the chemistry between them is undeniable. But Will is hurt when Taz doesn’t seem to be in any rush to get him into bed. Still, acceptance, love and happiness all seem within reach for the first time in forever—until demons from the past threaten the future they both finally believe they deserve.

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

I love A.M. Arthur’s way of writing “broken” characters, they are so very real. Even though I don’t personally struggle with the problems the characters portray I feel so very connected to them. Another thing I really like about A.M. Arthur’s books is that her New Adult books take their time. There is no insta-love and I absolutely love how the characters get to know each other and fall for each other over time. I also love how we always catch up with characters from previous books.

I totally recommend her All Saints series if you want a M/M romance with some darker elements. I totally hope for a fourth installment in this series.

Rating: 4,5 stars

ARC REVIEW: On Point by Annabeth Albert

*I received this book a while ago, but due to a stressful internship and my very last finals – which are still not over – I kind of abandoned my blog and all the books for which I still own people reviews. So here’s me catching up. I’m sorry it took so long*


About the book

On Point
(Out Of Uniform #3)
by Annabeth Albert

ebook
Publication Date: June 5th 2017 by Carina Press

Never fall for your best friend…

Pushing thirty, with his reenlistment looming, decorated navy sniper Maddox Horvat is taking a long look at what he really wants in life. And what he wants is Ben Tovey. It isn’t smart, falling for his best friend and fellow SEAL, but ten years with Ben has forged a bond so intimate Maddox can’t ignore it. He needs Ben by his side forever—heart and soul.

Ben admits he likes what he’s seen—his friend’s full lower lip and the perfect muscles of his ass have proved distracting more than once. But Ben’s still reeling from a relationship gone to hell, and he’s not about to screw up his friendship with Maddox, too.

Until their next mission throws Ben and Maddox closer together than ever before, with only each other to depend on.

Now, in the lonely, desperate hours awaiting rescue, the real challenge—confronting themselves, their future and their desires—begins. Man to man, friend to friend, lover to lover.

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

On Point is the third book in the Out Of Uniform series by Annabeth Albert and I decided that it should be the first book I would read after my really long book hiatus. So I did just that and I told myself I should get slowly back into the game, so I intended to only read a few chapters at a time,  I’m pretty sure you all know how this worked out. I read the whole damn thing in one sitting! Typically me. LOL. I totally forgot what that felt like.

Like always Annabeth’s writing had me hooked from the first page. I couldn’t put it down and while I have to confess I’m not really fan of best friends to lovers book, but I was rooting for these two since their first introduction. Their romance was cute and I loved how all worked out between them in the end.

I’m quite curious to see about whom the next book will be about, but I know that I will devour it the same why as the three ones before that. Keep them coming, Annabeth!