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

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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!

[Review] Mistletoe Games by Jaci Burton

About the book

Mistletoe Games
(Play by Play #6.5, 8.5, 10.5)
by Jaci Burton

ebook
Publication Date: October 18th 2016 by Berkley
ISBN: 045148813X

No one brings the sexy out in sports like Jaci Burton, the author of the New York Times bestselling Play-by-Play novels. Now, she puts together a holiday hat trick with three novellas featuring the hottest sports around: baseball, hockey, and surfing—because hard bodies are always in season…

Holiday Games
For the high-achieving Elizabeth and her husband, baseball player Gavin Riley, failure is not an option. So when it comes to making a baby, they’re not about to let any holiday distractions get in the way of their necessary pleasures…

Holiday on Ice
It’s the season for giving and superstar hockey player Patrick “Trick” Niemeyer is ready to give dancer Stella Slovinski his heart wrapped up in bow. But he’ll have to melt the ice surrounding her heart to keep her from walking away…

Hot Holiday Nights
Christmas in Hawaii brings sports agent Tori Baldwin two presents: a young surfer at the top of his game and his business manager. But this hot threesome has to decide if the romantic wave they’ve caught is nothing more than a vacation fling, or the kind of love that could change their lives forever…

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

Note: I haven’t read any books in the Play by Play series yet, but I’m pretty sure all these short stories can be read as stand alones.

Holiday Games:
What could I possible say to Holiday Games, except for it’s basically one giant-ass sex scene, with some bits of  story here and there – and those weren’t even interesting. If I had read the previous books in this series, I might have appreciated this story more, but as it is, I was not impressed by it.

After reading Holiday Games I just couldn’t immediately continue reading the other two short stories of this book, so I put it aside for a while.

To be quite honest, I picked it up again a few hours ago and I just can’t. I can’t finish it. The writing style didn’t keep me hooked and I’m not sure if I want to read the rest of the book, just to get disappointed by those stories as well. So I decided after a long internal battle – I hate quitting ARCs – to stop the struggle I have with this book and just call it a day. I won’t continue reading it.

Should you pick it up, I hope you enjoy it. I guess Jaci Burton and me, we don’t mix well. Maybe I should have read a book in Play By Play series first to fully be hooked to this series, but I highly doubt it.

Rating: DNF

 

[Review] At Attention by Annabeth Albert

About the book

At Attention
(Out Of Uniform #2)
by Annabeth Albert

ebook
Publication Date: April 10th 2017 by Carina Press

Lieutenant Apollo Floros can ace tactical training missions, but being a single dad to his twin daughters is more than he can handle. He needs live-in help, and he’s lucky a friend’s younger brother needs a place to stay. He’s surprised to see Dylan all grown up with a college degree…and a college athlete’s body. Apollo’s widowed heart may still be broken, but Dylan has his blood heating up.

It’s been eight years since the teenage Dylan followed Apollo around like a lovesick puppy, and it’s time he showed Lieutenant Hard-to-Please that he’s all man now—an adult who’s fully capable of choosing responsibility over lust. He can handle Apollo’s muscular sex appeal, but Apollo the caring father? Dylan can’t afford to fall for that guy. He’s determined to hold out for someone who’s able to love him back, not someone who only sees him as a kid brother.

Apollo is shocked by the intensity of his attraction to Dylan. Maybe some no-strings summer fun will bring this former SEAL back to life. But the combination of scorching desire and warm affection is more than he’d expected, and the emotion between them scares him senseless. No fling lasts forever, and Apollo will need to decide what’s more important—his past or his future—if he wants to keep Dylan in his life.

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

Truth be told after reading the synopsis I was a bit afraid – for two reasons. First because I couldn’t quite remember who Apollo was and if he even was in the previous book. I’m bad at remembering names, let me tell you that. Reason number two was that a few days ago I’ve read a book about a married guy with children, who was secretly gay, but never came out to his wife and then she died. So, because I couldn’t remember who Apollo was, I thought it would be the other book all over again. Note: I didn’t like that other book. But of course, I didn’t need to worry, everything was totally different. I really need to work at remembering names. I remembered there was a guy in the military who was gay with children, but I didn’t know anymore that that man was Apollo.

So if you made it through my little “I am stupid” paragraph, let me tell you that I love this book. I rarely give a book a full 5 star rating, but I just can’t do anything different with At Attention. I loved the character, loved the story and loved the writing.

I loved Dylan, Apollo’s love interest. He was adorable. ADORABLE. He didn’t push Apollo into starting something new after his husband’s death, but let him decide the pace. Also he was really good with the children. He was fun and at the same time everyone thought of him as a child, even though he’s long grown up.

Then there was Apollo. There were some scenes where I wanted to bash his head in, because he kept hurting my poor Dylan without knowing it, but I still also loved him.

At Attention didn’t have too much talk about the military part of Apollo’s job. There were a few scenes that dealed with that topic, but overall it only took a minor role in the book.

I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, which could be about Ben and Maddox, but I’m not quite sure it actually is. I guess I have to wait and see.

Also I told myself to wait before I start reading At Attention. I didn’t want to start till March. Joke’s on me. I already finished it and it isn’t even February yet. LOL.

Rating: 5 stars

[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

[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