Monday, May 21, 2018

Promo Post: Goal Keeper by Sarah Nego

Title: Goal Keeper
Author: Sarah Nego
Genre: NA Sports Romance
Publication Date: May 21st, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb: Plan the work. Work the plan.
Luci Ryder is determined to make the most of her college education. Armed with a partial scholarship to play soccer at Pearson University she knows the next four years are going to be a lot of hard work. Long hours in the gym will be paired with even longer hours in the library. So when the team captain lays down a new rule: No dating the men’s soccer team, Luci couldn’t care less.
Freedom. Sweet Freedom.
Over the summer Ryan VanKamp finally realized that his long-time girlfriend was going to drive him to an early grave. So he cut her loose, along with all the connections her family could offer him after graduation. His future is up in the air, but the guys on his soccer team are ready to help him forget all about his ex.
One little rule.
Neither Luci nor Ryan are interested in settling down with a happy ever after. But as their attaction for each other moves out of bounds, they’ll have to decide if they’re willing to risk a red card for a potential big score.
Goal Keeper is a laugh-out-loud stand-alone college romance. If you like quirky heroines, alpha males, and skinny dipping, then you’ll love Sarah Nego’s New Adult sport romance debut.
Buy Goal Keeper and kick off a swoon worthy romance today!
Sarah Negovetich knows you don't know how to pronounce her name and she's okay with that.
Her first love is Young Adult novels, because at seventeen the world is your oyster. Only oysters are slimy and more than a little salty; it's accurate if not exactly motivational. We should come up with a better cliché.
Sarah divides her time between writing books that her husband won’t read and performing on stage at BE Theatre. Her goal in life is to never grow up.

Wash Out by L.A. Witt

Title: Wash Out
Author: L.A. Witt
My Rating: A-

Genre: Military Romance (m/m)
Series: Anchor Point #7
Main Characters: Casey and Logan
Release Date: May 2018
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Casey Olson has always known he was destined to be a Navy SEAL, and the best day of his life was when he was accepted into training. The worst day was when a snapping bone ended his dream.

After three combat tours in five years, Logan Carter left the Marines and self-destructed. Now he’s sober and, thanks to a forgiving ex with friends in high places, has a promising job as a civilian contractor. All he has to do is stay on the rails and out of a bottle, even when his demons won’t leave him alone.

Logan likes his job, and he really likes the gorgeous man at the next desk. Casey tries not to check Logan out, but who is he kidding? From the start, despite their best efforts, neither man can resist the other. Sizzling chemistry leads to sex so hot they can both almost forget why they’re stuck in this office to begin with.

It would be perfect, except Logan can’t stop reliving wars he’ll never forget and Casey can’t stop grieving the SEAL he’ll never be. And they’ll never have a future together until they can make peace with their pasts.

My Review:
While I've liked some of these books better than others, I really liked this one. Both of these guys are really relatable. I really enjoyed reading both their stories and really enjoyed watching the two of them growing in their relationship with one another. 

Both of them have hard backstories. Logan is a recovering alcoholic. He used alcohol to get through his PTSD after three war-zone tours. So, now he's learning how to live life with PTSD and without alcohol. Casey made it through hell week for the SEALS when he broke his lower leg (badly) in a freak accident. So, his lifelong dream of being a SEAL is over. His leg will never recover enough for that. 

They also work together, but that can be both a pro or a con...and both sides are shown throughout the story. 

I really did enjoy this story. The guys were good together, and it was so easy to see where both of them were coming with their conflict. I loved the way the author illustrated Logan's PTSD with his sketching. The visuals there were so moving...and the progression of his nightmares felt very realistic.

I've enjoyed this entire series and definitely recommend this story. All the books in the series can be read as a stand-alone.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Roped In by A.M. Arthur

Title: Roped In
Author: A.M. Arthur
My Rating: B

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Clean Slate Ranch, #2
Main Characters: Colt and Avery
Release Date: May 2018
Publisher: Carina
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
At Clean Slate Ranch, the men are rugged, the trails are rocky and lassos aren’t only used for roping horses 

For Colt Woods, Clean Slate Ranch is home. The dude ranch in Northern California helped him heal from a devastating breakup. So when his ex-Dom, the man who broke his heart, waltzes onto the ranch, Colt doesn’t know how to deal.

A research job at a nearby ghost town brings history PhD Avery Hendrix to Clean Slate. He’s not in town forever, but it doesn’t take long for him to feel the familiar draw to Colt. When they find out they’ll be sharing a cabin on the ranch, it’s all Avery can do to stop himself from bending Colt over a saddle right then and there.

In such close proximity, Colt’s and Avery’s old feelings come galloping back. Soon Colt is doing his master’s bidding again and loving every moment of it. And the pair may be in for the ride of their lives—if the dedicated professor and his rugged cowboy can learn to trust again.

This book is approximately 88,000 words

My Review:
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, so I was looking forward to this one, but the feel of this book is very different from the first one. 

This book is a second chance at love story. Five years before Avery and Colt were in a D/s relationship that started out as a business relationship. Avery is asexual (I think...he doesn't like labels so would never discuss the specifics), but before Colt, he's never had a sexual relationship. He worked as a Dom, but that never involved sex...until Colt. 

But they had some serious issues back then. Issues that haven't changed now...problems with distance and different standards for morality. Avery is pretty strict on his standings on things and wasn't willing to give Colt a whole lot of leeway...which in the end killed their relationship. 

The thing is...neither has fallen out of love with the other. Five years later, they can see what caused their downfall with a better 20/20 vision of it...and hopefully a better understanding of how to make that work for them now. 

Overall, the book worked for me, although I had a few little niggles that weren't resolved. Avery had problems with Colt automatically dropping into D/s mode. Sometimes Avery wanted Colt to look at him as Avery, not Sir. I was really disappointed that was never truly resolved. Even in the epilogue, Colt would automatically drop into that Sir dialogue during sex. So, I was sad that it wasn't really addressed. 

Avery also isn't the easiest character to love. He's pretty stuffy....although I adored Colt, and hurt so much for him and all his back story. He's been through a lot and I feel like he's really gotten shafted by both Avery and his friends. 

So, while not my favorite book in the series so far, I did really enjoy reading it overall. I'm ready for more stories from this ranch.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review. 

Fourteen Summers by Quinn Anderson

Title: Fourteen Summers
Author: Quinn Anderson
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Main Characters: Aiden and Oliver
Release Date: May 2018
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Identical twins Aiden and Max Kingsman have been a matched set their whole lives. When they were children, Aiden was happy to follow his extroverted brother’s lead, but now that they’re in college, being “my brother, Aiden” is starting to get old. He’s itching to discover who he is outside of his “twin” identity.

Oliver’s goals for the summer are simple: survive his invasive family, keep his divorced parents from killing each other, and stay in shape for rowing season. He’s thrilled when he runs into his old friends, the Kingsman twins, especially Aiden, the object of a childhood crush. Aiden is all grown-up, but some things have stayed the same: his messy curls, his stability, and how breathless he makes Oliver. Oliver’s crush comes back full force, and the feeling is mutual. Summer just got a whole lot hotter.

Fun-loving Max takes one thing seriously: his role as “big brother.” When Aiden drifts away, Max can’t understand how his own twin could choose a boy over him. Summer won’t last forever, and with friendship, family, and happily ever after on the line, they’ll have to navigate their changing relationships before it’s too late.
My Review: 
This book was simply a sweet read that's perfect for summer reading. So I recommend you buy it now, so you'll have it to read this summer, while sitting in a hammock, and sipping a lemonade. Seriously, it's perfect for that. 

These guys haven't seen one another in about six years (I can't remember the exact amount of time), but once upon a time Oliver, Max and Aidan were inseparable. Oliver wanted to be a brother to the twins for real, mainly just because his home life was so miserable. So, it was no surprise when Oliver's parents got a divorce (his home life was miserable because his parents were fighting all the time). It was really sweet because they used to play wedding where Max (the ringleader for the group) and Oliver got married when they were little, but when they grew up, it was Aidan and Oliver who were gay...and I love how that scene tied in later...LOVE!!!!

I just really enjoyed the story and the conflict was really interesting. Twins are so close (I have brothers who are twins). It's got to be hard when suddenly they aren't one of the close two of a lifetime of being a team. 

I also really loved Oliver and how adamant he was about not getting between the twins. He's grown up with fighting and realizes how truly damaging the constant fighting can be.

I just really enjoyed the story. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read and I definitely recommend it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan (audiobook)

Title:  Carry the Ocean
Author: Heidi Cullinan
My Rating: A-
Narrator: Iggy Toma

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: The Roosevelt #1
Main Characters: Jeremey and Emmet
Release Date: May 2017 (audiobook)
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Normal is just a setting on the dryer. 

High school graduate Jeremey Samson is looking forward to burying his head under the covers and sleeping until it’s time to leave for college. Then a tornado named Emmet Washington enters his life. The double major in math and computer science is handsome, forward, wicked smart, interested in dating Jeremey—and he’s autistic.

But Jeremey doesn’t judge him for that. He’s too busy judging himself, as are his parents, who don’t believe in things like clinical depression. When his untreated illness reaches a critical breaking point, Emmet is the white knight who rescues him and brings him along as a roommate to The Roosevelt, a quirky new assisted living facility nearby.

As Jeremey finds his feet at The Roosevelt, Emmet slowly begins to believe he can be loved for the man he is behind the autism. But before he can trust enough to fall head over heels, he must trust his own conviction that friendship is a healing force, and love can overcome any obstacle.

Warning: Contains characters obsessed with trains and counting, positive representations of autism and mental illness, a very dark moment, and Elwood Blues.

My Review:
Overall: 4.25
Performance: 4.75
Story: 4.25

Wow, talk about an unexpected story. I honestly wouldn't have expected to enjoy a story written about two characters like Emmet and Jeremey. They are most definitely the most unlikely heroes, but they were wonderful. The story was wonderful. The romance was wonderful. The story line is unexpected, but it was fabulous. Heidi Cullinan (the author) and Iggy Toma (the narrator) both did a phenomenal job with the book. BUT huge, HUGE kudos to Heidi Cullinan for writing such a wonderful, heartwarming, eye-opening story. 

Both Emmet and Jeremey have issues holding them back in life. Emmet is incredibly intelligent, but he's also autistic, which makes it very difficult to interact in the world. Jeremey has crippling anxiety and depression, which make it difficult for him to interact in the world. But together, they work. Emmet sees Jeremey and is so open and honest that it makes it easier for Jeremey to be with him. 

They definitely don't have an easy life, but they work together. Their commitment to one another works and makes for a great they transverse some huge obstacles to being together. Gah, and those obstacles are not small. I hated Jeremey's family and the way they make his life so much worse. After every interaction, my heart just hurts for him. He's such a good guy. 

Note: Iggy Toma was an INCREDIBLE narrator. OMG, so much love for his narration on this novel. It couldn't have been easy and he ROCKED it! I highly recommend it...and most definitely in audio!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Darkness Awakened by Katie Reus (audiobook)

Title:  Darkness Awakened
Author: Katie Reus
My Rating: A
Narrator: Jeffrey Kafer

Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: Darkness #1
Main Characters: Lyra and Finn
Release Date: January 2014 (audiobook)
Publisher: ListenUp Audio
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
4 hrs 55 mins

Years ago he ended things between them to protect her…

As leader of one of the fiercest werewolf packs in the south, Finn Stavros is in full battle mode 24/7. He has no choice—he’s one of the few beings strong enough to fight the Akkadian demons, whose mysterious escape from hell threatens the entire world. With the battle turning bloodier by the second, Finn is ready for anything…until his vampire long lost love shows up on his doorstep in desperate need of his help, sending his heart into a tailspin. He agrees to help her, unaware that she carries a shocking secret that will turn his life upside down.

This time, he’s not letting her go…

Vampire Lyra Marius curses the day she met Finn. The ruthless werewolf promised to love her forever, but he rejected her instead—before she could share her life altering news. Pregnant, kicked out of her coven, and cast aside by the love of her life, Lyra struggled to raise their rare shifter-vampire daughter Vega alone among humans. When the 16-year-old is kidnapped and used to fulfill a frightening prophecy, Lyra swallows her pride and turns to Finn for help. But how long can she fight her feelings for him and keep him from guessing the truth about who Vega really is? As they race against the clock to save their daughter, they must defeat the lethal threat imposed by demons infiltrating the human world and a hell gate that could not only reveal their existence to mankind, but destroy the world in the process

My Review:
Overall: 4.5
Performance: 4.75
Story: 4.5

I've had this audiobook on my iPod forever...seriously, why haven't I listened to it before now? It was so, so good. This was one of those audiobooks where I was looking for chores to do in my house, so I could keep listening to it (I listen to audiobooks while I do the drudgery of housework).

So, this book isn't the longest, but it's completely entertaining and engrossing from the very first word. Lyra's 16 yo daughter has been kidnapped. She goes to the one man who she knows will be able to help...her former lover, Finn.

For both Finn and Lyra, there's never been anyone but the other for them. It was just a cruel twist of circumstances that meant they couldn't stay together back then, but their joining so long ago set highly unusual set of circumstances into motion. Now they are trying to pull all the threads back in after they begin to unravel. 

The story is so, so good. And the twists at the end with the new stranger, Drake...was just the icing on top of the already delicious cake. I loved every moment of reading this book and can't wait to inhale the rest of the series. I'm just sad that it's not all out on audiobook, because it was fabulous to listen to.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Melt For You by J.T. Geissinger

Title: Melt For You
Author: J.T. Geissinger
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Slow Burn, #2
Main Characters: Joellen and Cameron
Release Date: May 2018
Publisher: Montlake
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
A wallflower gets seduction tips from a playboy athlete—until love changes the rules.
Socially awkward Joellen Bixby has a date every Saturday—with her cat, a pint of ice cream, and fantasies of the way-too-handsome Michael Maddox. She’d give anything to win over the unattainable CEO of her firm, but how can she when she blends in so well with her cubicle? The answer may be closer than she thinks.
Cameron McGregor is a cocky, tattooed Scottish rugby captain who just moved in next door. He’s not Jo’s type—at all—but the notorious playboy is offering to teach the wallflower everything he knows about inspiring desire. Though a lot of women have rumpled Cam’s kilt, Jo is special. Far from the ugly duckling she thinks she is, in Cam’s eyes she’s sharp, funny, and effortlessly sexy. Now, thanks to him, Jo is blooming with confidence and has the man of her dreams within reach.
Unfortunately for Cam, he’s just helped to push the woman of his dreams into the arms of another man—and now he’s in the fight of his life to keep this beauty from getting away.
My Review:
This book was amazingly good. I loved it so, so much!!

Joellen is awesome at the same time I just wanted to slap her upside her head for being so dense. I did love her overall, but I adored Cameron and the fact that he sees her beyond the issues that she thinks she has (and throughout so much of the book I wondered how much of her perception of herself was warped by her family and way off from what everyone else saw).

I loved the relationship and how Joellen and Cameron interact with one another. Their relationship starts out so contentious, but their dialogue is snappy and fun and that makes reading this book so much fun. I loved watching the two of them together. They were definitely oil and water at first with a huge dash of chemistry thrown in. While Joellen was completely oblivious to what was happening, it was fun to watch and it was obvious that Cameron was seriously falling for her. 

It was just a fabulously fun book to read. The dialogue was witty and fun and the story. completely engaging and absorbing. I truly loved reading it and the romance between the two characters.

I highly recommend it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.