debbiereadsbook

sharing my reviews for Archaeolibrarian and Divine Magazine

wonderful start to a new series!

Alex (Twilights Falls #1) - A.M. Salinger
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. Alex’s business partner scammed him for the tune of half a million dollars. His friend, Izzy, has the perfect solution. Marry her client, live with said client for 6 months, and get his half million back. Finn’s great aunt is a manipulative woman, but she loves him, she really does. Getting Finn out the house to meet someone new was not going to work while the artist hides himself away following the death of his wife several years ago. Marrying him off seems the perfect idea. When Finn and Alex come face to face at the courthouse, neither is expecting a man, but they go ahead. They can live with each other for 6 months and be done. But what happens when feelings get involved? When things begin to be REAL? I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed this start of a new series by Salinger! I LOVED the Nights series and I can see this new series growing on me too. There is immediate attraction to Finn from Alex but while Finn acknowledges, to himself at least, that Alex is gorgeous, it takes time for the attraction to Alex to grow. Loved that it wasn’t immediate obvious to Finn, just what he might be feeling for Alex. It’s not overly explicit, at least to start, but once these guys admit they want each other, and that Finn doesn’t seem to have a problem with that, they are all in! It does get a bit emotional, especially for Finn, when talking about his wife, and then to his great aunt about . . .things . . .and you feel sad for him, that he was never fully honest with himself. That his wife and his aunt saw, though, knocks him. Glad the business partner gets his comeuppence! I LOVED the wider group of friends that Alex comes home to! They are funny and I wonder if the series will evolve around them? I know Carter is next, who pops up here. It didn’t take me long to read the 170 pages its billed as, just over 90 minutes, but it left me feeling that warm and fuzzie feeling I haven’t had from a book in a good long while. So, thank you, Ms Salinger, for setting me up for a busy day at work, feeling that warm and fuzziness all day! I look forward to catching up with these guys should they pop up again in the series. * I hope they do!* OH!!! There is a bit at the back of this book that gives the first chapter to One Night, which is the first in the Nights series. If you haven’t read those books, I STRONGLY recommend you do! I made a new shelf for them, and everything! And of course I read that little bit and then had to go back and read Cam and Gabe’s first book again. And NOW I wanna go back and read the whole damn series again! Be warned though, those books are HOT off the charts! Ah sod it! I wrote 4 stars, then changed it to 5 then back to 4, but here you go! 5 warm and fuzzy, too stinking cute stars! **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

Ropin' the Moon - Deborah Camp
I was gifted my copy of this book direct from the author, that I write a review was not required. This landed in my queue at JUST the right time! I had just finished a heavy long book, and the one after this was gonna be a hard read too so, finding this little gem in the middle of those two books was perfect! Dalton is in town to "sort out the crime problem" which eans sort out the town bully who thinks he can run roughshod over everyone and everything, even a brand new rail road track! He's done this sort of thing before, he knows how it will end. Lacy works in the hotel, and Dalton catches her eye on his first ride through town. Sparks fly, even across the road from each other, but Dalton has a job to do, and will be leaving town, so Lacy can't get close. Can she? Like I said, this landed right where I needed it to, and I really enjoyed it! It's a bit vague on an exact timeline, but after the Civil War in the States, so maybe very late 18oo/early 1900s but that's neither here or there, you can piece together a rough idea, from the information given, or at least I did. Dalton and Lacy both have a say, and their attraction to each other is powerful, right from the start. It is, however, fairly clean because of the time it's set and all the rules and regulations regarding young ladies and how they should behave. There is, though, plenty steam and passion! The bully is dealt with in a way that was fairly inevitable but with just enough surprises to make it a bit of a shocker too. It was fun watching these two fall for each other, and the way they resloved Dalton's inability to settle and Lacy;s desire to travel was just perfect. A absolute please to read, thank you, Ms Camp, for my copy. 4 solid stars **same worded review will appear elesewhere**

 

totally surprised me, in a very good way!

Without Reservations - J.L. Langley
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted my copy of this book. When Chay was 4 years old, he told his mother that his mate had “blonde hair and his eyes were blue” Mother wasn’t too impressed with the hair and eye colour, but she glanced over the reference to Chay’s mate being male. Years later, when Chay comes face to face with the injured wolf now on his table, Chay knows this wolf is his mate, his very MALE mate. When Keaton comes round, he knows Chay is his, but having had one in the closet relationship, he doesn’t want another. Chay, however, is very aware that there will never be another for him, and then Keaton’s past comes him, Chay and Keaton have to rely on each other to get through. I don’t read other reviews before I read a book anymore, I learnt the hard way not to do that anymore, and I read a few of the old reviews for this book. Old as in YEARS ago. I wonder, has the book had a major re-edit, tidy up?? Cos let me tell ya, I found NONE of the problems those reviewers did! I loved this book! I have no idea what I expected from this book, but my feeling is that it surprised me! And I have not a single clue as to WHAT surprised me, either! I sat down to read a few pages, as you do, before bed. Next thing, I’ve run out of book! Boom, 280 odd pages, 3 hours, and I’m semi-functioning the next day! Chay is of Native American descent, it does say which tribe, but I forget already. His mother is adamant that Chay’s mate be of some other tribe. That Chay keeps telling her his mate will be blonde and blue eyed, is beside the point. Keaton is very much NOT of Native American descent, and Chay’s mother does not like that. That Keaton is MALE isn’t really too much of an issue, though! Keaton walked away from his family when he announced he was gay, but he will always be gay and nothing will change that. Chay claiming to be hetero isn’t too much of a problem, because Chay really WANTS Keaton and once Keaton makes it clear he will NOT be in the closet, both men jump straight in to make this work. Keaton’s past though, doesn’t want it to work. That past threw me! I did not see that going down the way it did. All the tells were for one way, and then BOOM! Totally different direction! And I loved that! I loved how everyone else deferred to Keaton, but not Chay. Keaton’s power not obvious to him until it was pointed out. Both men have a say, it’s not overly emotional, but it gets the points it needs to make across. It’s not overly explicit, but it is all kinds of sexy. There are, according to some websites, 11 books in this series, and I would LOVE to read them all. Remi, Chay’s best friend, especially. His story is laid out here and it may well a better read than this one! First I’ve read of this author. I want to read more, not just this series, but in general. 5 totally unexpected but brilliant stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

a stunning concusion!

Forged Redemption (Tribal Spirits #5) - Katherine McIntyre
I was gifted my copy of this book, direct from the author, that I write a review was not required. But when the previous four books in the series have ALL been 5 stars, it’s only right and proper that you round off the WHOLE series, with a 5th FIVE star review! I strongly and highly recommend; find it absolutely NECESSARY that you read the other books first, and in order. The ongoing story arc that runs through them all comes to a head here and you NEED to know what has happened before. What this group of people have suffered before at the hands of a madman. Drew is trying to redeem himself, even though the things he did weren’t under his own steam. Joining forces with the Red River and the Silver Springs packs to rid the world of his nemesis, Drew knows he faces the final battle. But at least he has his Ally-Cat at his side, and if he dies today, she knows he loves her. Ally suffered when Drew left to join the Landsliders, in more ways than one and now, no one will want her, damaged as she is. Drew though? He might, if they survive this last fight. When Drew turned up with Lucas, right near the beginning, you knew, you just KNEW he had a tale to tell and that it wasn’t going to be pleasant. And it certainly isn’t! Far darker than I was expecting, with so many twists and turns, I had to concentrate to keep up! Trust me when I say, this is a good thing: when a book makes ME slow down my reading, because I must keep up, it’s a very good thing. Ally’s tale is equally hard reading, just in a different way. We knew Drew turned Landslider, that much is clear from the previous books, but WHY he did, isn’t so clear. When you hear what his father did, and then Hendricks made Drew do, you wonder how the man is still standing, the weight of his guilt is massive. Ally doesn’t sugar coat his feelings, she doesn’t try to make him feel any better. She carries her own (misplaced) guilt and that’s enough for her. What Ally DOES do, though, is make Drew HOPE. She makes him hope there is an end to their nightmare. She makes him hope there will be a happy ending, for the others at least. And deep down, deep within that part of him that never really let Ally go two years ago, she makes him HOPE there will a place for him in her heart, even after all he did. It’s difficult reading, watching Ally and Drew come together again, especially when Drew comes across a particularly nasty reminder of something he did, and Ally suffered because of it. But it also BEAUTIFUL reading, when they finally, FINALLY give in to the true feelings, and just be together, the way they are supposed to be, as mates. The end, for Hendricks, when it comes is long and heavy on the fighting, but I really think it is needed here. You need to know how Drew and Ally are feeling as they close in on Hendricks, and I would have loved to have heard from him, as his end draws nigh, I really would. Some clue to his feelings is given, but I’m just greedy! All the previous pairings show up, Sierra and Dex (Forged Alliances) Finn and Navi (Forged Decisions) Raven and Jer (Forged Contracts) and Lana and Lucas (Forged Futures) and I am so pleased they did! Just why I didn’t pick up that Dex was Drew’s brother before this book, I have no idea! It’s always sad when a series comes to an end, but this one goes out with a huge bang! Thank you, Ms McIntyre, for bringing these people into my world. I shall miss them! 5 stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

loved this in both formats!

In Safe Hands - Michael Pauley, Victoria  Sue
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted my copy of this book. Mav is. . . .broken, and thinks fixing things is downing a bottle of Jack. Crashing on his sister's sofa isn't doing him or her any favours. When Jamie calls him out to do something for her, Mav really has to dig deep to get out of his stupor. Meeting the new client, however, does wonders. Deacon needs some help. After a scandal last year left him penniless, he can't afford to pay for the protection he needs. someone is out to get him, and the bodies keep piling up. Mav needs to up his game, and when the threat comes to a 2 year old child, Deacon's niece, both Mav and Deacon know they would do anything to keep her safe, even if it means Mav breaks Deacon's heart. I am, personally, not in a good place. Not a BAD place, just not doing so well and my reading is suffering. I said I would read this before the poop hit the fan, and I was concerned I would not be able to give this book my full attention, or worse, not be able to finish it at all. BUT!!! I bloody LOVED this book! Mav is, by his own admission, one drink short of becoming an alcoholic. His sister takes him in, and he's drowning his sorrows every night. Losing his career, and his leg, after a helicopter was bombed while he was the pilot has soured Mav to life and he just wants to be left alone. His sister, Jamie, ain't having none of it! She ropes him into talking to a possible new client, while she attends another job for her private investigations business. Deacon, lead singer of a boy band who was spectacularly disgraced last, is the client. A reporter twisted some truths, and Deacon's life came crashing down around his ears. He lost custody of his niece. Now, no one believes him, that someone is following him. When things escalate to a break in at his flat, and said reporter turns up dead, the police start to take notice. All the while, as Deacon continues to fall, Mav holds him up, keeps him close. I loved that things crept up on Deacon and Mav, the feelings they begin to have for each other. It's not that thunderbolt and lightning thing: more a sweeping rain storm that starts off as drizzle then increases in it's intensity til neither Mav nor Deacon can deny it any longer. Loved that, after the initial shock of seeing Mav's face, Deacon is like: okay, scars make you, YOU. Mav is concerned about the other scars, the ones on his leg and residual and again, Deacon is not at all bothered. It makes Mav see that maybe, just maybe, they can make it work. I must admit, I had an inkling who might be doing what they were doing to Deacon, very early on. Something they said set off bells and it was great being able to watch it all unfold. I have no idea WHAT this person said, I really don't, but something they said went ding ding ding and when Mav puts the pieces together, oh my! That man's alpha-protect-whats0mine instinct went into massive overdrive! Loved that, when it all went down, Mav and Deacon both knew, with just a look, that they might not come out of this alive. LOVED that the baddie gets a voice! Mav and Deacon's story carries some difficult topics: drug abuse, alcohol abuse, PTSD, murder (in some detail from the baddie!) All difficult topics, but very well written, and the research shows. I was particularly impressed with the research into Mav's accident, his injuries and what he went through after losing his leg. That doesn't always come across in a way a lay person such as myself can fully comprehend, but Ms Sue nailed it here! This book may well have been the one to kick start my ability to write a coherent review, or at least I think it makes sense! 5 full and shiny stars! Michael Pauley narrates. Having READ this book previously, what I was particularly looking for was the baddie’s voice. When I read it, something they said made my brain go ding, ding, fire alarm in the head, ding and I KNEW that this person was the baddie. HERE, in audio, I wanted to see if I could pick up just WHAT they said to make all the alarms go. And I got . . . nothing. The voice gave nothing away! Pauley NAILED that, he really did! So, while I was glad I didn’t get what they said to set me off, I’m also a little miffed

very interesting character, is Ivo!

Hellion (415 Ink #3) - Rhys Ford
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gofted my copy of this book. This is book 3 in the 415 Ink series, but you don't NEED to have read books one, Rebel, and two, Savior, before you read this one. You SHOULD though, because it will give you a better picture of this family group and how they work. Plus, they were both 5 star reads. This one?? Not so much. And I cannot figure out why! Well I can, and I'll try to explain in a bit. Oh don't get me wrong, its still a fabulous book, very well written form both Ivo and Ruan's point of view. Its well told, its emotional, its sexy, its a good book! It just doesn't have that sledgehammer to the chest of such heartbreaking emotion that Gus and Mace's story carry. It DOES have deep emotions, especially when Ivo is talking to Ruan about *that* day and how it led him to do what he did and what happened after, but I kept waiting for Ivo to slip back, for *something* to happen to tip him over the edge. Maybe I'm becoming very mean in my old age, and wanting characters to fall apart so badly cannot be a good thing, but thats how I felt here, and I'm all about the book feelings. I loved how Ruan questioned Ivo about his clothes, his image, the way he is, NOT to make him change, but to understand Ivo better. Loved that Ivo gave Ruan the time to process everything. Loved that all the brothers pop up, there is a little bit of overlap to Mace's story. There is also a little bit that gives you Luke and his story. Now, when Ivo was at his tattoo thing, I saw this coming at me, what I did NOT see what how James and Luke knew each other and what happened then. I look forward to reading their story! And Bear? Oh I have a feeling Ms Ford might have saved the best for last. Being the eldest brother in the family looks like he is the last to fall, and I cannot wait for his story! So, I'm sorry Ivo wasn't quite the a**hole I thought he was going to be, given how much trouble he caused Ms Ford, but I did enjoy his and Ruan's tale, I just did not love it like I did Mace and Gus' 4 great, good stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

narrator changed for this one!

Forsaken (The Protectors, Book 4) - Sloane Kennedy
This is book 4 in the Protectors series, but you don’t need to have read/listened to the other three before this one. Also there is some crossover with the Barrettis series by the same author and I am reading that series and listening to this one, all out of the order the author recommends. Spoilers, is all. Mav stops an attack on Eli in the hospital stairwell and is immediately drawn to the much younger man. He tries to stay away, he really does, but he keeps coming back to check on Eli, but he doesn’t want to get too close, because everyone leaves Mav. Everyone. Eli has other ideas, but he doesn’t want Mav to know about his past. He did some terrible things. When those things come back to affect his younger brothers, Eli knows, he KNOWS all will come out, and Mav will walk away. I’ve been listening to this series, rather than reading it and I struggle to split the narration from the book, like I try to do when writing my reviews for audio books. Also, here? This is not the same narrator as the first three books and I wondered how that would come across, how the VOICES, more importantly, would come across. Had I listened to these back to back, I might have noticed some difference in the voices of previous characters, but I didn’t, either back to back them nor notice the difference in the voices, so I really cannot fault the voices of PREVIOUS characters. What I DID struggle with, at first anyway, was Mav’s voice. I don’t think he actually says a word in any of the other books, although he is mentioned. It’s LOW, so very low it dipped in places outside of my hearing range. Which is odd, cos usually it’s the HIGHER pitch voices I lose. But this is a problem I seem to have with Pauley. The dipping of the voices. And since this is written in the first person, there is no reading voice, as such. It’s either Eli, or Mav, with the other voices breaking it up. So struggled a bit, quite a bit at the beginning. It DOES get better, maybe I grew used to Mav, maybe I grew used to Pauley again, after a while. I don’t know, but it did get better. I cannot fault the story line though! SO much pain carried by both men, for so very different reasons, and Pauley does get that across well, the pain these men have. 5 stars for the book 4 stars for the narration (but it was very nearly 3!) 4.5 stars overall **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

it hit THAT spot, good and proper!

Blue Fire - Z.A. Maxfield
This was a freebie in August 2019. Jared loses his home to a wildfire, and Adam rescues him. Adam doesn’t usually follow up his rescues, but Jared calls to his soul, deeply. When Jared isn’t recovering from his depression, Adam takes a chance and takes Jared to the place Adam calls home. Just when things start looking up, Jared runs. Years later, when Jared finds out Adam has been injured, Jared has moment of clarity, and realises he might have run away from the only person who made him truly whole. Will Adam see him, let alone listen to him? I really rather enjoyed this! It’s not very long, some 80 odd pages, only took me an hour to read, but it was a very enjoyable hour on a wet and miserable Wednesday morning! Jared is still grieving the loss of his husband to cancer, and now the house he built has been destroyed and Jared feels destroyed too. Adam, with his ice blue eyes, rescues Jared from the blaze and visits him in rehab. Adam feels a powerful need to look in on Jared, to look AFTER Jared, and taking him to the cabin in the hills seems just the thing. And it was, till one of them says something, that sends them both into a tailspin and Adam has to return to work. After Jared runs, three years pass, and Jared’s glass work centres around his search for that perfect blue, the one that touches his soul. But it isn’t until Adam is injured, that Jared knows he’ll never find that perfect blue in a glass bauble. I felt for both these guys. Adam, fighting his growing feelings for Jared, and Jared who is still recovering, and fighting all kinds of inner demons of his own. They both have a say, in the third person. It’s hot and steamy in places, and deeply emotional in others. It just hit THAT spot, you know? The warm and fuzzies one. First I’ve read of this author, I’d love to read more! 4 solid stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

I LOVED THESE!!!

Interludes Box Set - Aliyah Burke
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this box set of three books. Because I read these books back to back, as a set, I’m writing one review for the whole bundle, rather than three separate reviews. And let me tell ya, I loved these books! Well, I LOVED books one and three, two didn’t quite hit that spot, but still! These books landed right in my queue when I needed them the most. I read a lot, A LOT, a lot and a huge chunk of those books are male/male romance of some description or other. Now, I’m not picky, I like to think I’m an equal opportunities reader, I will read most pairings so long as the blurb grabs. But it’s been a while since I had such great male/female pairings that were so bloody sexy! There is instant and powerful attraction between Roxi and Sam in book one. Tuck and Ariel pussy foot around each other for the better part of two years before they act on their feelings in book two. Maya and Brent, in book three, had a one night stand some time (but I was never really clear on how long ago that was!) in Hawaii and when Brent finds himself face to face with Maya again, he wants to pick up where they left off. Each book is well written, with both male and female lead having a say. All the characters have very different voices, and tell their stories in the third person. Each book has a Marine or two as the lead, and there are a whole host of other Marines that pop up in each book. There is a huge supporting cast, spread over the three books, with some very interesting people who I want to have a story of their own. Some massive hints? Clues? Teasers, I think is probably the best word, to their stories and I need to know will there be more in this series?? I read tow of these books in one day, and had I not had to up at stoopid o’clock the next morning, I would probably have read all three! First I’ve read of this author, and now I want to read more. Her back list is massive though, and it may take some time to choose! Like I said, book two did not quite hit *that* spot, but I’m still giving the whole set. . . 5 full stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

I NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED book two, yesterday!

The Rogue King (Inferno Rising #1) - Abigail Owen
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. Jumping straight in here, cos ooooooeeeee I did LOVE this book!! Brand is a rogue dragon, without a clan. Kasia, a Phoenix without a family. A Phoenix is the only one who can mate with the High King of ALL the dragons, and the makes her valuable. Brand is tasked with delivering Kasia to the Blood King, to his only friend from childhood. But Kasia ignites something in Brand, and he knows he cannot give up his mate. This was, quite possibly, my favourite read this month! I mean, I had a lie in, read a few pages before you have to dig yourself out your pit, and before you know it, 3 hours has past and you've about flung your kindle (but not quite!) at the wall, cos now you NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED book two, yesterday! Everyone, and I mean everyone IMPORTANT has a say: Kasia, Brand, and all those trying to get Kasia (but not saying who!) Not everything is immediately clear, and you put things together all kinds of wrong before things are cleared up. And I LOVE being kept on my toes! It's different, and I LOVE different, with the Phoenix being the key to High King status. With female born dragons being unable to bare children. With Kasia and her sisters having hidden for so long, and Kasia not doing so well hiding herself anymore. There is an ongoing story arc, that makes you NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED book two, yesterday, to see what happens to Kasia's sisters. You can't see what's going to happen, not in the long term, but a massive clue screams at you for one sister, and there is another, much less subtle clue, for another. Whether that pans out how I see it, remains to be seen, but I WILL be reading these books! Thank you, Ms Owen, for proper making my day! 5 bright and shiny stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

I was missing . . . something!

Patron Of Mercy (Lords of The Underworld #3) - Sam Burns, W.M. Fawkes
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. This is book 3 in the Lords of The Underworld series, and it CAN be read as a stand alone. However, personally, I felt I was missing. . . something . . .that I can't quite put my finger on, for not having read books one and two YET. I have them, but I have not got round to them yet! I will do, now though! Lach walked away from Thanatos a milennia ago, because now he was immortal, who wanted to hang aroudn the God of Death? But both Thanatos and Lach lusted after the other for all that time. When Lach discoveres a way to save the world from starvation, he knows he will need Thanatos. Can Lach win back the only man, the only GOD he would ever love? I did enjoy this, apart from the previously mentioned . . .something . . . I really did! All the major players get a say, and you don't see what fate has instore for Lach and his friend till all is made clear in the book. It is HEAVY on the Greek gods history. I *sort of* managed to keep up, because I paid no attention to histoy at school, but I felt I was given enough to *sort of* keep up! Someone else will have paid far better attention, and followed it beautifully. Thanatos and Lach's story, though, I had no trouble following! It;s not overly explicit, but hot enough. There is some detailed descriptions when Lach is in major trouble, though. It is the first book I've read of Sam Burns or WM Fawkes. I'd like to read more, as I said, I have books one and two to read. Their collaboration is really well written, and you really can't tell how they split the writing! (sometimes, it's very obvious!) So, ONLY because of that . . .something . . .I (personally, me, myself, and no one else!) was missing. . . 4 solid stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

good but not great

Common Powers Box Set - Lynn Lorenz
Indepedent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this box set. Four stories, of men coming together when they need each other the most. Sammi is running away from being a sex slave, can Mitchell keep him safe? Brian and Rush have chemistry, and they haven't even touched, but can Rush step out of the dark for Brian? Edward is in town to visit his grandmother. The Chief of Police, Jack, is so NOT his type. So why is he drawn so badly to the man? After a homophobic attack, Phillip finds himself taken in by Brian and Rush, and Phillip can only hope to have the kind of relationship they do. For the most part, I did enjoy these four books, but maybe reading them back to back wasn't the best idea. The general plot lines are very similar, and some dialogue is repaeted, particularly in the final book, when ALL four guys have a say, and it is especially when the guys are getting down and dirty! And they get down and dirty a LOT in that last book! And I'm not usually one to bawk at a lot of down and dirty but I did feel that it overshadowed Phillip's story. I did enjoy the paranormal aspect: Sammi can read minds, Brian has premonitions, Rush can see in the dark, Edward can heal by touch and Phillip can influence by touch. I liked that all the guys in the pairings have a say, so we hear from everyone and you know that makes me happy. I did not like the SPEED at which things moved for the first three couples. Phillip's tale was a good deal slower, with everyone else having some thing to say. The previous three though?? Very quickly it went from attraction to love, for Sammi and Mitchell, it was the first chapter! I'm all for insta-love in places, but I did not like here, especailly for Sammi because of what he was running from. But equally, Jack and Rush are hiding, deep in their only personal hall closets, and you have expected there to be a bit more reluctancy to fall in love from those two (although they DID fight it, tooth and nail!) It was just too mcuh too soon. It is explicit, heavily so; it also carries references to murder, rape and stalking and deals with the sex industry and being held against their will. Still, a good read, just not a brilliant one. 3 GOOD stars **same worded review will appear elewhere**

 

doesn't quite hit THAT spot!

Black Sky Morning (Mind + Machine #3) - Hanna Dare
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. This is book 3 in the Mind + Machine series, and it's not totally necessary to read the other two books first, but I personally think it would give you a bigger better picture of Jonathan, and his work. I LOVED books one adn two, this one though, did not quite hit THAT spot, you know? And it pains me, deeply, when I cannot figure out why! Jonathan is Rylan's brother (book one, Metal Machine Magic) and Xin pops up on both previous books (I think!) they just haven't crossed paths just yet. Not til Jonathan enlists Xin in a mission that goes a bit wrong. But then Xin enlists Jonathan in a mission of his own and the pair end up stranded on a distant planet, faced with possible death. They have to work together to get free. Neither is used to trusting though. I liked the way the story developed, at an even pace, fast enough to keep up but not so fast you miss something. I liked that there wasn't rally any attraction brewing between them (at least I didn't pick it up!) until Xin brings up a possible physical relationship to get them through their predicament. I liked the way that things crept up on them both. It's well told, from both Jonathan and Xin's point of view, in the third person. Each voice is clear and distinctive, given their very different upbringings. I liked the way their story unfolded. I just didn't LOVE it like the other two! So, gonna leave it with this, a good solid sci-fi read, that I did read in one sitting! 4 solid stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

Jesse was HARD work!

Enough - Matthew J. Metzger
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. Jesse loves Ezra, he just can't say the words while he's waiting for Ezra to realise that Jesse isn't good enough for him. It takes an accident to make him see what Ezra does: that Jesses really is more than enough for him! For the most part, I did enjoy this. Besides one glaring reason, which I will tell you shortly, the other reason is a little less glaring and might just be the reason other people love this book. And it's Jesse himself! You know the saying, if you hear it often enough, you'll start to believe it?? Well Jesse does not believe Ezra when he tells him he loves him. Jesse does not believe Ezra when he tells him he does NOT want his ex. He does not believe Ezra when Ezra tells Jesse that his family are homophobic and will hate Jesse on sight but that's only because Jesse is a MAN and not for Jesse himself. And I found this bit hard to deal with! I mean Ezra tells him often enough, enough to get a little bored hearing Ezra repeat himself time and time again. Jesse talks himself down so much, I started to get negative feelings for him, and wanted to slap him upside the head and MAKE HIM SEE, but it's not until he realises he might actually LOSE Ezra, that Jesse takes stock, and finally, halle-flipping-luiah, prasie the God he doesn't belive in, Jesse FINALLY can see, that he really is what Ezra wants, WHO Ezra wants! It just took him far too long for my liking! And the glaring thing?? Only Jesse has a say. Yes yes I know I say it often enough to be as annoying as Jesse is here, but come on! Ezra NEEDED a say, to balance out how negative Jesse was for most of this book. Ez is quite a chirpy soul, and I think this may well have been a 5 star read, had Ez been given a voice, and we got into HIS head, when he was telling Jesse over and over how much he loved him and wanted him. It's heavy on steam and passion, but at one point I thought it might come out almost clean. It wasn't til it was clear it was NOT going to be clean, that I noticed it had been up to that point, and,to be honest, this book would have been great (previous points aside) had it been totally clean. I didn't dislike that it came out not clean, but I would have liked it just as much if it had, does that make sense? Does to me, so hope it does to you! The after effects of the accident is described in great detail, graphically so, and that really IS needed, to get the full picture. Not easy reading, but you do need it. This is the first I've read of this author, but another of his books is sitting on my "languishing on kindle" shelf. I might pull it forward! So, because Jesse was a little grating on the nerves, adn because ez doesn't get a say. . . . 4 solid stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

really rather cute!

Hearts Abroad (The Atlas Series #1) - Skye McNeil
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. Londyn takes a nanny job, while thinking what to do about her play writing. Since her 'boyfriend' stole the last play she wrote, she thinks she might give up. A summer out of town, looking after two little girls, might give her the clarity she needs. She just never expected to fall in love with the girls or their daddy. Callum is a museum curator and spends a lot of time away from his family. But the new nanny makes him see, really see, what that is doing to his girls. He just didn't see Londyn coming! This was a really great, fun read. I thoroughly enjoyed it! It's well told, with both Callum and Londyn having a say, in the third person. We get all of Londyn's stressing about her playwriting, and how much fun she wants the girls to have. We get all of Callum's fretting over his feelings for the nanny, and we get his dawning realisation that it might not just be infatuation. I liked the marked differences between Londyn and Callum, it made me giggle in some places! It's funny, it's witty, it's sexy and it's emotional. It has a little bit of everything! It's one of those books you just fall into, you know, and the book runs out before the afternoon does. It's the first book I've read of Ms McNeil, and I look forward to reading more. A very well deserved 4 stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

my STAND OUT book of the year

Digging Deep (Digging Deep #1) - Jay Hogan
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. I want to just say a few words about this book, cos if I let myself have free reign, the review might be as long as the book! Outstanding! Brilliant! Best book of the year! Drake is a midwife with more than a few problems, most of them centring around his Crohn’s. When he gets arrested for using the loo, Caleb is the arresting officer and is immediately and totally smitten with Drake. Drake, though, holds Caleb at arm's length and then some. Making sure Caleb knows exactly what he is getting into with Drake is the only way to make Caleb see that Drake is not boyfriend material. But Caleb? Batchelor that he is, he doesn’t back down from Drake’s all doom and gloom and it takes a flare up for Drake and a shooting for Caleb to make both men see that they are perfect for each other. So, picture the scene. It’s miserable out, you’ve a glass of wine, and an early night and a new book to start. Bear in mind, you have to be up at 6am for that darn day job and it is already after ten. And the next thing you know, the book is finished, the wine sat untouched, it’s 3am and you just put your kindle down and go “oh.my.god” There are no other words that floated in my brain when I finished this book, none at all. All I could think was “oh.my.god” just that! And trust me when I say, that is a very VERY good thing! Drake is a prickly sort, he’s a male midwife, he’s gay and he has a life altering condition that requires a huge amount of adjustment for him, let alone anyone else. Caleb is happy, plodding along with his very uncomplicated life. And Drake knocks Caleb for six, quite literally. Drake also pushes Caleb away so darn hard, I felt it. But Caleb, he’s a stubborn sort, and when Drake wants wooing, Caleb woos! Oh yes, that boy does wooing beautifully! There is a huge, massive, MAHOOSIVE amount of talk about what Crohn’s means to Drake and what that would mean to a prospective partner. And really, it is absolutely needed here. Caleb needs to know, right down to the itty bittiest detail what it means to live with this disease, and what Caleb should expect. And Caleb?? Caleb laps it all up and throws the hole darn pile of poop right back at Drake! The level of research into Crohn’s is amazing and either the author worked her bloody socks off, and/or has first hand experience, because it shows! There is a lot of information, yes, but the way Drake delivers it to Caleb, it’s all absorbable for the lay person to take in. I loved these two! So very different, but so very matched. They are funny in places, and deeply emotional. Sexy in places, and downright filthy too. Oh I could rant all day about this book, I really could! This is only the THIRD book that Hogan has written, and the second I have read. I need more! I really do! Cos if Hogan can deliver THIS level of writing after only 3 books, I’ma on the end of the next one, oh yes, yes I am! So, in case you did NOT get how I felt about this book, and ya’ll know I’m all about my book feelings: This is my outstanding book of the year! I’ve filed it on my “Masterpieces” shelf too. And as if I could give it anything other than: 5 stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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