Hello everyone! Today we are wrapping up the second week of our Reading Challenge Month with our New To Me Author Challenge.
You guys can play along with this event in two ways. First off, you can leave a comment on any of this week’s challenge week reviews and earn one entry point for each. And second, if you read along with your own challenge book, you can tell us all about it by leaving a mini review in the comments of this post and earn 10 contest entries. So if you comment on all the posts and do a mini-review, you can earn mega entries!
This week’s fabulous prize is sponsored by Riptide Publishing!
Riptide is donating paperback, advanced copies of a selection of their books, which will be awarded before they are even released! (In the event of an international winner, you will still receive copies of the books, but they will be in ebook format once the books come out)
- Five Dares by Eli Easton
- Foxglove Copse by Alex Beecroft
- The Love Song of Sawyer Bell by Avon Gale
- Kill Game by Cordelia Kingsbrige
- Read My Mind by Kelly Haworth
- Operation Green Card by GB Gordon
- Life on Pause by Erin McLellan
- Suspicious Behavior by LA Witt and Cari Z
And remember all entries throughout the month qualify you for the grand prize sponsored by Dreamspinner Press. They are giving away a Kindle Fire loaded with some great releases!
Ok, here are all the details:
- All the contest details and rules are in this post or at least linked from here
- This week’s deadline to leave comments on our reviews, or your mini review of your own book here on this post, is Saturday, September 16th at 11:59 pm ET. All entries will also carry over for the grand prize at the end of the month.
- In case you missed any, here are the books we reviewed this week for the New To Me Author Challenge. Comment on each for chances to win!
- The Quarterback by Mackenzie Blair
- Stalking Buffalo Bill by J.Leigh Bailey
- Firefly by R.W. Clinger
- Three Days in Jackass Flats by Rhae Camdyn
- Cinnamon Eyes by Nell Iris
- Burn the Sky by Jaye McKenna
- Earning His Trust by Alicia Nordwell
- Queen Called Bitch by Waldell Abraham Goode
- Strong Enough by Melanie Harlow and David Romanoff
- My Life as a Myth by Huston Piner
- If you read along your own challenge book this week, leave your mini review here on this wrap up post.
Thank you so much to everyone who has been participating all week (and all month)! Don’t forget to leave your comments and your mini reviews for a chance to win!
I read Counterbalance by Aidan Wayne
This was so cute. I loved it. This is a new author to me, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was so pleased with this book.
It was free of angst which is always appreciate. The characters were very nice, especially Bao that was so sweet, always so happy that became a little contagious, he was a great character to read about and put me in such good mood. I also liked John, he was good, not as good and lovely as Bao, but he was a very likable character that the reader can easily care for.
The plot was nice, not too angsty but interesting enough to keep my attention the whole time. I would love to know so much more the circus. That was the only part of the book that disappoint me, but I don’t think it change my opinion of it. It was really fun to read. I had a great time.
So glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the review!
I read Spun! by JL Merrow
I read it in one evening. I thought I was going spend my evening cleaning while listening to podcasts and then maybe start a new tv show. But no, I picked this book up intending to read for 20 minutes but then didn’t stop.
I thought it was really funny. I thought the word play was great. Rory and David bond over fan things and I’m in the fandoms that Rory and David are in so that was fun to read about. David’s attachment to his teddy bear, Gregory is slightly weird but I have people in my life who have similar attachments. There was a frustrating lack of communication, but I could understand why it was happening, it felt realistic.
I haven’t read any other books in this series and it was still enjoyable. I will definitely read more by JL Merrow
Yes, I love JL Merrow! Glad you enjoyed this one. If you haven’t read it, one of my favorites of hers is Muscling Through. Less humor, but such a wonderful story. It is a regular reread of mine.
Thanks! I’ll put it on the TBR
I read the Accidental Roots series by Elle Keaton. I tried the first and just had to read the rest. It’s a mystery/suspense series set in the Pacific Northwest that revolves around an FBI agent that reluctantly goes home after the death of his father and encounters both love and crime. Each book focuses on a different character, but the crime aspect continues through each book. These books are well-written and kept me engaged. They’re in KU, so you have nothing to lose in giving these a try.
Oh yes, I know Kenna has really been enjoying this series too. There is a new book coming out soon as well, I think the end of the month. Thanks for your review!
I read Untouchable, A Blake Harte Mysteries Book, 1 by Robert Innes.
Well this was a charming cosy, closed room murder-mystery. I was expecting a bit more from the rave reviews but I did enjoy it and will read the others in the series. Maybe longer treatment would have given the depth I wanted.
The premise is that Blake Harte moves from inner city policing in Manchester to the dales on the outskirts – a whole new environment for him! So this book was a lot of set up for the series – describing the place, adding characters, giving Blake his background and setting up a whiff of romance for him.
As a British reader I enjoyed the settings, the local references, the dialogue and could relate to British police TV series.
Sounds interesting, I’m not familiar with the series. Sounds like a good set up for more books!
by Mackenzie Blair
RATING: 3.75 out of 5 stars
Any other day, I will probably be really pissed off with some of the inappropriate things that either the MC’s or the secondary characters here say or do. But I found myself liking these two young men enough that I was able SLIGHTLY to dismiss all those comments (even if I cringed or rolled my eyes hard at times).
I liked that Matt owned up things when he made mistakes and Matt was pretty adorable when he was trying to work out his first relationship with Trevor. I thought Trevor was pretty bad-ass, despite being rejected by his Korean family or not exactly having all big / muscled body type. I thought these two have cute chemistry.
There is a ROOM for improvement for the author to tone-down the stereotyping / clichés for the next books. But all in all, I quite enjoyed despite all of its weaknesses.
Thanks for the review!
by Elyse Springer
RATING: 2.5 out of 5 stars
This could work for me as a mystery, especially in the beginning when Noah wakes up with no memory about himself and this man calls Jason who says that Noah is his partner. But when Noah remembers everything, I felt like the romance went out the window. MAYBE because then I discovered the reason why Noah was with Jason in the first place. I’m not convinced of their relationship, and I feel like I miss the build-up because of Noah’s amnesia. The flashback scenes are just not enough for me.
Sorry this one didn’t work for you. I enjoyed it more than you did, but I do agree that the reveal is something that really shakes up the book a lot.
by Nell Iris
RATING: 3 out of 5 stars
I actually picked this up because of the review here. I love second-chance romance, especially with best friend trope thrown in as well. Unfortunately, this is WAY too sweet for my liking. I prefer my second-chance romance with tension. So the romance didn’t charm me. BUT I thought the author treated depression here with respect. And I actually enjoyed the dynamic between Cory and Asher’s father, who at first I thought was being a homophobic asshole, but ended up as a character I really liked.
Interesting, nice to get a different perspective. Thanks!
My new-to-me author is Laura Lascarso. Laura generously offered up paperbacks of The Bravest Thing for auction to raise money to help LGBT Chechens, and I wanted to use this challenge to finally read it. So, I kind of did a foolish thing and it affects my feelings of the book. The paperback shows it’s a Dreamspinner Press book, and though the blurb clearly states we’re dealing with high schoolers, there’s a line at the end that made me think we’d be getting some story when they were teenagers and some would be things resolving when they were adults. Not because it says that but because it’s a DSP book and not a Harmony Ink Press book, their YA line. That was my bad. I assumed things, and we all know what happens when you assume!
Berlin Webber and Hiroku Hayashi meet when Hiro moves to Berlin’s small Texas town in Berlin’s junior year of high school. Hiro pulls up on a motorcycle with long hair buzzed on one side, piercings all up one side of his ear, and wearing eyeliner, not something questioning football star Berlin sees every day. He’s admittedly intrigued and soon Berlin’s girlfriend is a thing of the past and Hiro is who he sets his sights on. Problems come in the form of a heavily homophobic football coach who’s influenced (and physically & emotionally abused) his son and quarterback, Trent, who’s Berlin’s best friend. Plus, Hiro’s move to the small town is precipitated by his stay in rehab after an overdose and years-long relationship with an abusive, drug addicted rocker. Although this sounds like a lot, it flows out more smoothly in the story.
The boys are more opposites attract, Berlin as the salt of the earth, Christian virgin who loves to work on his father’s ranch and Hiro as the thrill-seeking, button pusher who’s sure of who he is but unsure on what he deserves. Their relationship development is lovely, and I really enjoyed their characterization. But this is not a gentle story. Hiro’s past relationship with the abusive rocker and drug addiction, plus the rampant and destructive homophobia make this a difficult read at times. There’s a balance of love and hate in this book, but only individual readers can decide if it’s the proper balance. Berlin’s dad and Hiro’s mom and sister provide a lot of extra love and Trent and his dad plus the rocker add the stickers extra hate. Berlin’s awakening to both his feelings and the nature of hate and bullying as well as Hiro finding his strength and self-respect, as well as their love for each other are wonderful.
What didn’t always work for me: Part of me questions how this all happened in 3/4 of a school year, with the boys at these ages, junior and senior in high school. At times I wondered if I’d accept them easier if they’d been college age but then some of their issues wouldn’t exist. Also, it was hard seeing so much heaped on Hiro. That’s my own personal thing. Even when he was getting together with Berlin, Berlin was still closeted and basically ignoring him as much as possible at schools, and some of the is on Hiro’s insistence. Add in the bullying, the issues with his father and ex, and two very violent on-page episodes he went through, I was traumatized with him. So, no, it’s not an easy read, but it is a valuable and well-written one. I’d definitely like to read more from this author because I felt a lot of respect for the situations and characters, and that’s something that’s really important to me.
Thanks Carolyn! I am familiar with this story but didn’t know too much about it.
I really loved this story, though you are right that it’s tense and the teens are troubled. The homophobia was hard to take, because is was so realistic. And, Hiro’s struggles to stay sober, and do the right thing for himself, and Berlin, were difficult to witness. There’s a lot of violence, some domestic, some homophobic, so you need to be prepared going in that the ride is rough but the end is good.
I have just read this book and I really loved it so much!
I’ve read 3 new to me authors this week. So here is one.
The Token Yank by AJ Truman
I enjoyed the first half immensely. Eammon is a nice guy and a great friend. Because he is a great friend it felt almost like Rafe was neglected in favor of taking care of Eammon’s friends, especially the ex boyfriend. That is where the story lost me.
Rafe is a romantic and a bit naive. For a romance story, I think Rafe deserved someone who put him first. I didn’t feel that way with Eammon. The end was a grand gesture and I can appreciate that, but I still wanted more for Rafe.
3 stars because there is a solid HFN and some seriously steamy scenes.
Thanks for the review! I have this one scheduled for review here so I’ll be interested to see if we have the same thoughts.
I chose Strictly Incubusiness by Vanessa Mulberry, and I really enjoyed it
Kai is an Incubus who tries to behave. He works at his own brothel, and feeds by tiny bits, sparing humans their life and keeping himself starved most of the time. When he is caught by bounty hunter Tynan of the Mount, Kai knows he is in trouble. Firstly, because getting away from an accusation of murder in the Court is going to be difficult. And secondly, an even more important, because Tynan is immortal, and so the perfect partner for a half starved incubus. Although their relationship is strained at the beginning, sharing close quarters while travelling together makes the sexual tension grow unrelentingly between them, and soon the feelings appear as well. But Kai does not want a relationship, and running away, from justice, from customers, even from love, is the one thing he is really good at…
This is a short, light, and very entertaining story. Being about an Incubus, sex is a big part of it, but not overwhelmingly so (in fact, it is more about the tension between the characters than the intercourse itself). I liked the main characters a lot, they both follow their own set of rules of what their consider fair behaviour. Despite being a Demon, Kai tries to spare human lives as much as possible. And Tynan is careful and sensitive, no matter how powerful his immortality makes him. Their relationship and encounters during the trip to court are sometimes hilarious. They meet werewolves, bandits, pixies… all determined to cause trouble, and they do cause trouble…
In short, a funny novel recommendable for those who like paranormal and like their stories with some humour (yes, that’s me).
This sounds like something I’d enjoy. I’m glad you tried it out and shared.
Ooooh sounds good! I am not familiar with this one at all but I’ll definitely check it out.
I decided to read a long and read The Quarterback by MacKenzie Blair. Matt Lancaster is the star quarterback at Bodine College and he is gay but deeply in the closet. He thinks he is successful in hiding who he truly is but his best friends already suspected it and they take him to a massage parlor and request a male masseuse for him. At the parlor he meets Trevor Kim, a fellow Bodine student who does massages to pay for school and he is out. I Loved this book it was a mix of everything you want in a book it was fun and sexy with some angst. It does have some cliches and stereotype but those things are happening in real life too so it didn’t feel fake to me. Matt was such a sweet character denying himself for his sisters and to some extend for the team and you just got to love him for that. He made some mistakes but he owned them and he did try to make up for them. Trevor is also a wonderful sweet character but sometimes i felt he was a bit to demanding on Matt but he is such an amazing (boy)friend so he is forgiven. There is some angst but nothing over the top or to dramatic and those moments are resolved very quick and sometimes a bit to easily but i didn’t mind. I’m so happy i took a chance on this author i really loved this book and i definitely will re-read this one. I read somewhere that this is a debut book and if that is true then i’m really in awe because the author did an amazing job and i highly recommend this book. I i look forward in reading more by MacKenzie Blair.
So glad you enjoyed it! I really loved this one too. And yes, as far as I can tell it is a debut book.
THE LAWRENCE BROWNE AFFAIR (Turner Series #2) by Cat Sebastian
Blurb: “An earl hiding from his future . . .
Lawrence Browne, the Earl of Radnor, is mad. At least, that’s what he and most of the village believes. A brilliant scientist, he hides himself away in his family’s crumbling estate, unwilling to venture into the outside world. When an annoyingly handsome man arrives at Penkellis, claiming to be Lawrence’s new secretary, his carefully planned world is turned upside down.
A swindler haunted by his past . . .
Georgie Turner has made his life pretending to be anyone but himself. A swindler and con man, he can slip into an identity faster than he can change clothes. But when his long-dead conscience resurrects and a dangerous associate is out for blood, Georgie escapes to the wilds of Cornwall. Pretending to be a secretary should be easy, but he doesn’t expect that the only madness he finds is the one he has for the gorgeous earl.
Can they find forever in the wreckage of their lives?
Challenging each other at every turn, the two men soon give into the desire that threatens to overwhelm them. But with one man convinced he is at the very brink of madness and the other hiding his real identity, only true love can make this an affair to remember.”
Review: I didn’t realize this was the second in the series, but it works pretty well as a standalone. Lawrence and Georgie are both men who see themselves as deeply, maybe irreparably flawed, and this makes them play off each other in really intriguing, often touching ways. It was also a nice surprise that the riskiest plot point (the eventual presence of a child) actually did a lot for story and character development, since Lawrence’s treatment of his (technically adopted) son Simon highlights both the noble and emotionally detached sides of his personality. Even so, there’s a lightness of touch with the banter that will appeal to fans of JL Merrow especially. I did wish that more was done regarding Lawrence’s scientific inventions, and it was distracting to see Lawrence referred to alternately by his first name and as Radnor. Even so, I plan to delve into the rest of the series shortly, and since I don’t read historicals very often, that’s high praise!
Glad you liked this one! I really am a fan of this series. Soldier’s Scoundrel (book 1) was one of my favorite reads last year.
My new to me author is Jordan L. Hawk and I read Hexbreaker. I hadn’t read it previously because it looked historical and that is not usually my favorite, but it was paranormal, which is a staple for me. I didn’t really need to worry about it being historical; once I wasset up to think Gangs Of New York, that is all the scene setting done. This is a story about a police officer with a secret and a cat familiar working in the paranormal police equivalent, named MWP (Metropolitan Witch Police). Cicero is an unbonded cat with no witch; Tom is a policeman trying to hide that he has witch powers. A murder with links to Tom’s past leads him to the MWP in order to help stop more murders, but letting them know about his past, might be the end of his present. The author sets up a world where familiars are treated like women (take a witch’s name, might be kidnapped and sold to be bonded as magic/sex slaves.) Cicero is not my favorite character. He dislikes Tom on sight due to his looks and size. We are made to understand he might be resentful of losing his independence and frightened due to his own life experiences and that of other familiar, yet he is a jerk and the reader is supposed to just go with it because he’s a cat (and you know how cats are.) Tom on the other hand is shown to be a honest cop who cares about the people on his beat although we are given hints about his unsavory past. Tom also beats himself up about his past. As these two are assigned to work together to solve what might be two murders and the disappearance of a familiar, Cicero continues to treat Tom badly and then all of the sudden we are in the middle of a sex scene while they are undercover and they don’t even appear to like each other. I understand why Tom is confused. Tom shows trust in Cicero early on by admitting he has witch powers. Cicero, however, has a perfect situation to do the same and explain the bonding of a withc and familiar and doesn’t–in fact he partially bonds with Tom without telling him. This seems strange that Cicero would not tell him, since he knows what its like to have to worry about consent. There is a second sex scene while they are at work and it wasn’t any hotter than the first one. Now, about halfway through the book is where the story starts to come together, make sense, and be enjoyable. The first intimate scene finally takes place where you can tell they like each other, are attracted, and form a connection. It is a shame this was not the first love scene. The plot is very involved and I don’t want to give any spoilers so I will say if you can get through the first half of the book, the second half is much better. Here’s a great quote to illustrate some plot points, ” show people that the real threat to their safety comes from a corrupt government enslaved to the whims of rich men who would work the rest of us to death for their rights.” Even with the time difference, in some ways things are the same so as social commentary, this wins. There is a pivotal moment when Tom’s secrets and murky past come out because he is trying to save lives and Cicero doesn’t support Tom when he needs it the most. Frankly, I don’t think what happened shows Tom in that bad a light and this plot point made everyone turn against him. Later when they make up and realize they are in love, I am supposed to just swoon and get over it…but I’m not over it yet. I would rate this a 3.5.
I read this over the summer, and while I thought there were too many “big misunderstandings,” the portrayal of late 1800s NYC and the very entertaining Cicero saved it for me. I wondered if reading THE 13TH HEX first might have helped a bit–any opinions out there?
Thanks Lennis! I am a huge fan of this series, though I do agree with Trix that having read the first short story does help set the tone a little more. I actually love Cicero, but I do see your points as well.
The Lightning-Struck Heart by TJ Klune
First up I related way to much with the MC, like I’ve never been kidnapped, don’t have magic and as far as I’m aware (and I am aware) everything doesn’t want to fuck me–wait I’m actually nothing like him, I’m shy and awkward, hm…it’s just told in such a way that it fooled me.
I read this for New-To-Me Author Week because….well I was actually going to read something else and for whatever reason picked this one and since I have a bunch of books (this series I own in paper) I’d never actually read anything by him so thought, *shrugs* it works 🙂
This book of epic journey is great. Really just read it and see. I got the best kick out of the dragon, mainly because he has my brothers name and ego, it was an awesome sauce book and tho it never truly dragged, I found (and this is could be solely because I haven’t read books this long in a long time) it just took to long to get to the end, there was a bit of a drag even when it made me have deep feels.
I can’t wait to read the next book while I know I’m going to wallow in the greatness of this book for maybe a month (I heard the third book is coming out in November…??)
And anyway, my review-ish
I LOVED this book. Like totally loved. I have been holding off on book 2 b/c I listened to the first in audio and I can’t imagine not hearing it through Michael Lesley’s narration!
I’ve been told it was amazing in audio, and even tho I can’t stand listening to books if I ever decided to pick on to give it a second try with this book would be it, i can imagine the greatness of them come to life (more then they already are)
What’s funny is that I also started this book this month; however, I gave up after reading about a third of it. For some reason, I like some of the author’s books very much while others lose me. Who knows … perhaps it was my mood. I may give it a try at some later date.
You know I’m with you there, I honestly think I really needed thi book which is why I picked it up. And it worked but I can also see how if my mood wasnt there I’d struggle with it a lot. It’s a lot to take in all at once
This book is laugh out loud funny if you know people like this. Also, explaining this to my husband was almost as entertaining.
Oh my god that would have been entertaining, I wish I’d had been a fly, lol … my kids mostly just looked at me funny whenever I started laughing, I de believe they liked that better then a book making me cry
I read Rule Breaker by Lily Morton because I saw a few reviews of the book and was not familiar with the author. The characters of the two men were so well described, I decided that I would like to know them and be there as they trade barbs. Gabe is not a very nice man at the beginning. In fact, he is insufferable. He is a terrible boss, constantly insulting his devoted employee, Dylan. Gabe flaunts his sexual conquests in front of Dylan who must continue to show no emotion For two years the two avoid their feelings. When Dylan does eventually admit that his feelings for Gabe are deep, Gabe is frightened and does everything to sabotage their relationship. The story does end with a HEA and I will make sure to read the next book by Lily Morton.
I just read this one (for next week’s self pub challenge actually) and ADORED it. I immediately got one of the author’s other books b/c I thought her writing was fantastic.
I read St. Nacho’s by Z. A. Maxfield.
Most of this story took place in Santo Ignacio commonly called St. Nacho’s by its residents; it was a welcoming place I’d enjoy visiting. The two heroes are Cooper, a talented musician trying to deal with/escape from his past, and Shawn, a St. Nacho’s resident/student/bus boy who happens to be deaf. They begin a relationship in St. Nacho’s before a friend from his past has Cooper returning to him hometown; Shawn follows. The story ended on a happy note. I definitely enjoyed this book and plan to read more by this author. (That should prove fairly easy as it seems I have several others books already on my Kindle.)
Glad you enjoyed it. This is a tried and true favorite of mine. I really enjoyed book 2 as well as the ex-boyfriend is the MC, so you get to see some things from his POV.
I read the ARC of By Fairy Means or Foul: A Starfig Investigations Novel by Meghan Maslow
Twig Starfig is a half dragon/half fairy PI hired to find the enchanting unicorn Brandsome Nightwind’s missing horn. In lieu of payment, Brandsome signs over his indentured servant, Quinn Broomsparkle. In the quest to find the missing horn, Twig & Quinn encounter a cheating club owner, zombies, & various other supernatural creatures of the realm.
I found this story to be completely enchanting! It was fun, unique (although the style did remind me some of the AURA series by Angel Martinez), humorous, & engaging. I loved all the puns & the creative names. I hope this will be a series because I really want more from this universe!
Sounds great! Thanks Lisa!
The Witches of London: Lars
Author: Aleksandr Voinov
Rating: 4 out 5 stars
There are spoilers in this review.
Lars Kendall is a pagan and worships the old Norse gods and he physically resembles a modern day viking. Rejected by a homophobic pagan group, he finds kinship with a queer coven. Each member follows their own pagan/Magick beliefs and are very supportive of each other.
Lars is a building contractor and is hired to renovate a house recently purchased by Rhys Turner. Rhys has sold his London flat, has ended a long term relationship with his boyfriend and has quit a very lucrative and stressful job as a banker in The City, he is also dealing with some serious health issues. He has bought a house in the suburbs in need of major renovations. The attraction between Lars and Rhys is almost immediate and it slowly develops into a caring, loving relationship.
Unfortunately Rhys suffers from a very aggressive type of cancer and his last round of chemo has failed to halt its progress. How each MC deals with this situation brings so much love, heartbreak, hope and courage to this wonderful story. Rhys puts his hopes in modern medicine and a treatment that will either kill him or if he survives the ordeal he will be cancer free. Lars puts his faith in the old Norse gods. With the help of his coven friends, especially Julian, he goes on a series of dream quests. He petitions Odin to spare his lover and
Lars is required to to complete tasks of mental and physical endurance to prove himself worthy of Odin’s help.
I just have to say right now that Lars is a lovely person, he is kind, gentle and just glows with positive energy.
After some truly heartbreaking and discouraging episodes Rhys is able to return to Lars and to the house he thought he would never see again. Through modern medicine and Odin’s intervention Lars and Rhys may look forward to a HEA.
The Witches of London is a series, Lars is book one and is stand alone read. I hope Julian gets his own story.
Thanks for the review! I am unfamiliar with this book, though I have read a lot of Voinov’s other work. This one sounds interesting.
#Junkie by Cambria Hebert
My new author for me was Cambira Hebert. I haven’t read any of her books but did look up her backlist and saw that a majority of her books are M/F titles. I liked the sound of this but I didn’t know that it was better read in order going from one series to the next. This is the first book in The Gearshark series and it seems to be a spin-off. The characters all knew each other and and brought up series of events/ conversations they had with each other in previous books. This made it a bit confusing and curious coming in as a new readers since I don’t have much background on the characters and their friends/family and the bare minimum is laid down about their relationship in relation to those characters. Of course, since the story focuses on best friend’s Trent and Drew, we get a bit more information but not much. Readers don’t really get to know Trent and Drew too well. It’s clear that their personalities and bond were developed in previous books from another series. That being said I still enjoyed the book. I liked learning the random car facts being given at the start of every chapter. Drew and Trent had fantastic chemistry I just wish I had had the chance to see their bond develop from the start in this book instead of having to go back to read a different series just to discover how they got from Point A to Point X,Y, and Z. I really missed the romance. It’s not that I don’t like MF stories it just that I’ve given them up for a few years now because I mainly read MM romances. For me it’s a bit of a inconvenience to find the series and keep track of the going on’s. As a standalone it didn’t really fair too well and if I had the chance to erase this book from my memory and read both series from start to spin-off I would because it would have read so much better, I think. I liked the family dynamic between Trent and Drew and Drew’s sister, brother in law, etc but I felt like an outsider coming into a whole new town or school that had it’s own selective cliche and where everyone knew each other and I couldn’t fit in because no one got to know me.
Thanks for the review! It’s interesting that the author relied so much on the earlier series. Usually when there is a spin off, there is a loose enough connection that you can jump in. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
BREAKER, by Kelly Wyre and A.F. Henley
4.0 of 5 stars – “Electrifying” Romance and Dystopian World Building.
Actually, both authors are new to me, and it turned out to be double the fun, with a thank-you nod to Reading Alley for providing me a copy. I was pleasantly surprised and “electrified” by the story. Sorry for the pun, but apropos, as one MC was an interesting, likable yet gruff “estranged” who could short circuit whole cities (thus the title, which was also symbolic).
The tension between him and the other MC, moving from reluctant tolerance to lovers, was quite the journey, with good pace, action, cast and world building along the way. I like dystopian and paranormal, with a nice dose of gay romance without it overwhelming the story, and this one had just the right balance, making it a joy to read.
Thanks for the review! Sounds good!
I read this one several months ago and liked it so much, but I never see anyone talking about it!
Glad someone else liked it too, b/c I agree and surprised it’s not talked about. It was a nice surprise read for me and was glad to give it a little attention.
Jay ~ thinking ahead to next week is there a list on the site of self-published authors? (When reading on my Kindle, it’s not always obvious whether a book is self-published or not.)
Great question! No, there is not a list, but you can see all our reviews by self published authors here: https://joyfullyjay.com/tag/self-published/ These folks are not all exclusively self published, but looking through here should hopefully give you some ideas of places to start. Also, if you check out our prize list for Self Pub week, all those books are self published as well.
Thank you, Jay. I’d never noticed the self-published tag, so that is indeed helpful!
I read The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles. I heard a lot of good things about this series and author but somehow never got around to reading it. Now I’m really wondering why I didn’t read it sooner because I really loved it. The characters were really fun and snarky, expecially Crane. <3 I love Crane forever and there is so much great chemistry between him and Stephen. I wanted them to get together as soon as they met, practically!
The plot was also interesting. I was pretty much engaged with it from the very beginning, given what happens on very first page. It was really interesting to see how complicated it ended up being. There were some twists I didn’t expect. Though I should have seen one of them coming, given the title but I guess all the sexual tension distracted me. :3
Now, off to read the rest of the series!
Oh, so glad you loved it. I absolutely adore this series and love Stephen and Crane together! And the series just gets better. Hope you enjoy them all!
The Next by Rafe Haze.
This was the last book I bought from Wilde City before it sadly closed its doors. And I’m so glad I did it. This book is truly stunning. It is so unique written, and i really can’t give it justice with my very limited english writing skills. The Next is gay fiction with some romance and a mystery plot. It is written with so many layers, in a dark, sarcastic and also sexy voice. I highly recommend it!
I want to add another great author I discovered this week. I read “Admit One” by Jenna Hilary Sinclair, a romance from Dreamspinner. It is about a difficult, late coming out. I liked the very realistic take on it. The characters were believable and this made the story very touching.
Thanks for the review and glad you enjoyed it!
Oversight (The Community Book 2) by Santino Hassell
I probably should have started with Book 1 in the series, but this one was 1/2 price at Riptide and it sounded so good I wanted to give it a try. It probably isn’t meant to be read as a stand alone but I didn’t have any trouble following the story.
Of course now I feel the need to read the first one and I see there will be a third installment pretty soon. 🙂
This story revolves around a group of paranormals, each with their own special power. The main characters are
Holden & Sixtus, and I loved them both. It’s sort of a mystery, I guess, or maybe it’s considered a thriller. Holden is a
rich, spoiled young man who runs an LGBTQ night club, and Sixtus was hired by Holden’s dad (the founder of The Community) to keep an eye on Holden. I loved watching the two of them start to form a relationship (Sixtus was the virgin hero), but there is a lot more going on than romance, and it kept my interest all the way through.
I would definitely recommend this book. 🙂
Oh yes, this is a great series. And yes, it probably is best read in order b/c you get the background on Holden and what happened to them all. The third book is coming out soon and I am really excited to see how it wraps up!
I read Mr. and Mr. Smith by Helen Kay Dimon and I really enjoyed this story. 4 out of 5 stars. Non-stop and action packed. Plenty of heat and sexual tension between the 2 MCs. The other members of the team are likeable with just enough snark. Great writing and story telling. There are a couple instances where the wrong character names were used so I had to go back and re-read the passage.
I like this series too. The other books feature side characters and I have been enjoying them, as well as a recent spin off. Thanks for the review!