Tag Archives: Prime’s Reviews

Smitty’s Sheriff by Cardeno C.

Cardeno C. - Smitty's Sheriff CoverTitle: Smitty’s Sherriff

Series: Hope #3

Author:  Cardeno C.

Genre: Contemporary, May-December

Length: Novella (33K words)

Publisher: The Romance Authors LLC (17 July 2017)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Blurb: Todd is too flakey. Richard is too stubborn. Together, they’re perfect. A May-December couple get a second chance at love. 

Retired soldier Richard Davis wants a stable life in a quiet town with a forever man. Becoming the sheriff of Hope, Arizona, accomplishes two of his three goals, but instead of finding a serious partner, he falls for too-young-to-be-committed and too-flakey-to-be-serious Todd Smitty. Richard won’t find the right man if he’s obsessed with the wrong one, so he walks away from Todd. 

It’s lust at first sight when Todd meets his sister’s army friend. He sets his sights on the worldly, strong, stable older man, and the more time he spends with Richard, the harder he falls. But after three years together, Richard cuts off all contact with no explanation. 

When a mutual obligation requires Todd to move into Richard’s house, he’s thrilled at the opportunity to earn a second chance. Ignoring Todd from across town was hard enough. Can Richard resist temptation under his own roof?

ASIN: B073W51Q8Y

Product Link: Cardeno C. | Amazon UK | Amazon US

Reviewer:  Prime

Review: Cardeno C’s Hope series is for those of us who don’t mind reading a sweet May-December romance. I’ve read Cardeno C in the past, but is still one of those authors I judge by the books as they come. However, in saying that, I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed the previous books in the Hope Series. Although I have read the series out of order, I recommend reading the series in its proper order to get a full feel on the characters. Between each book we get to meet our upcoming heroes as well as catch up with our old friends. Being that I actually read the third book last, it was nice that everything fell into place nicely.

The story is about Todd Smitty and Sheriff Richard Davis, who also happens to be a retired soldier. For three years Todd and Richard had a secret relationship. Richard thought that Todd was just there for fun, which was why he didn’t want their relationship revealed. But when Todd’s sister, also Richard’s best friend, needs their help, the two are thrown back together and they need to do something they had not done before: communicate.

OK, so two things. 1) This is one of those books that seem to be based around the fact the guys didn’t communicate the first time around. It’s now up to them to get it right the second time. This kind of trope usually pisses me off, but I have to admit that I kinda just went with the flow for this book. 2) There is an element of BDSM in their relationship, I personally liked it and suited them very well. The only thing is that I thought that others, who may not like BDSM (the Dom is too controlling) or were not expecting it, may be turned from the book.

Jesse’s Diner by Cardeno C.

26800568Title: Jesse’s Diner

Series: Hope, #2

Author: Cardeno C.

Genre: Contemporary, May-December

Length: Novella (112 pages)

Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC (29 Sept 2015)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Two men with a shared history and a mutual attraction must be honest with themselves and each other so both their dreams come true.

Quiet, unassuming Tanner Sellers spends his time running a diner in Hope, Arizona. Not particularly social, twenty-two-year-old Tanner keeps to himself and enjoys his simple life, but he longs for someone to call his own. In his most secret fantasy, that someone is sexy Steve Faus. But Steve is his friend’s father and mentor’s widower and therefore off-limits.

Despite some challenges, thirty-nine-year-old Steve Faus has had a good life. He’s extremely successful at work, has a great relationship with his college-age son, and lives in a wonderful town. Eighteen months after losing his partner, the one thing Steve lacks is someone to share his life. If Steve is honest with himself, that someone is the young man he has known and cared about for years. Steve and Tanner want one another. All they need is a little push in the right direction to make both their dreams come true.

ISBN: 9781942184331

Product Link: Cardeno C. | Amazon UK | Amazon US

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Jesse’s Diner is the second book is Cardeno C’s Hope series. I will admit that this is the only book in the series I’ve read so far, so I can definitely say that this can be read as a standalone story.

However, in saying that, after reading this book, I want more of this series. That means for the time being it’s back to book one, McFarland’s Farm.

This is a sweet story about the equally as sweet Tanner. He’s quiet and finds it difficult to be around people and so as a result he is quite lonely, too. However, when he moved to live with his grandmother as a teen, he made friends with local boy Mike. Being friends with Mike meant that in school he had “friends” but once school was over and Mike left, no one kept in touch with him.

But Tanner’s one saving grace is that one of Mike’s dads, Jesse, hired Tanner to work and when Jesse got terminal cancer he left his beloved diner to Tanner. Mike calls Tanner one day, worried about his father and asks Tanner to look in make sure that Steve is eating, looking after himself, etc.

Then there is Mike’s other father, Steve. He arrived in Hope as a young man (around Tanner’s age), pretty lost and probably a tad bit burnt out. He met Jesse, who was approaching 40 and ready to settle down with a partner and adopt a child (i.e. Mike).Now, fast forward around 20 years, Jesse is gone and Steve has thrown himself into work and has become something of a recluse when he did change his work habits.

There is a shared attraction between Steve and Tanner and now Steve is the older man in the relationship.

This is just filled with tender, sweet emotion. This is something of a slow burn, which on reflection, probably makes for a more satisfying story. If you like May-December stories, this is a great one to immerse yourself into, especially if you like the whole “best friend’s dad” type of story.

Macfarland’s Farm by Cardeno C.

Cardeno C - Macfarland's Farm CoverTitle: MacFarland’s Farm

Series: Hope #1

Author: Cardeno C

Genre: Contemporary, May-December

Length: Novella (26K words)

Publisher:  The Romance Authors LLC (10 Sept 2014)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Wealthy, attractive Lucas Reika treats life like a party, moving from bar to bar and man to man. Thumbing his nose at his restaurateur father’s demand that he earn his keep, Lucas instead seduces a valued employee in the kitchen of their flagship restaurant, earning himself an ultimatum: lose access to his father’s money or stay in the middle of nowhere with a man he has secretly lusted over from afar. 

Quiet, hard-working Jared McFarland loves his farm on the outskirts of Hope, Arizona, but he aches to have someone to come home to at the end of the day. Jared agrees to take in his longtime crush as a favor. But when Lucas invades his heart in addition to his space, Jared has to decide how much of himself he’s willing to risk and figure out if he can offer Lucas enough to keep him after his father’s punishment is over.

ASIN: 978-1-942184-00-3

Product Link: Cardeno C. | Amazon UK | Amazon US

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Cardeno C’s Hope series is for those of us who don’t mind reading a sweet May-December romance. I love a book that doesn’t make a big deal about an age gap, I mean after reading some May-December books it’s laughable when some books make a big deal out of 5 years difference. But that’s another rant for another time.

I’ve read Cardeno C in the past, but is still one of those authors I judge by the books as they come. However, in saying that, I’ve read the second book in the Hope Series, Jesse’s Diner, when it was released a couple years ago and really enjoyed it. Although I have read the series out of order, I recommend reading the series in its proper order to get a full feel on the characters. Between each book we get to meet our upcoming heroes as well as catch up with our old friends.

MacFarland’s Farm is about Jared and Lucas. Jared is a quiet guy who works hard on his land but is in real need of help, not that he is looking for any help. He’s open about his sexuality, but does not advertise and is still close friends with ex-wife and deeply respects his ex-father-in-law.

Then there is Lucas, he has been spoiled his entire life by his father. His father, who was widowed, worked hard to make a lot of money to provide for his kids. The problem is, Lucas is 24, barely finished college over 5 years and thinks that life is party. He also assumes that his father’s money is his. Things come to a head when Lucas is caught in a compromising situation. His father and sister decide that the best way for Lucas to learn responsibility is to go to the town of Hope in Arizona and work for his ex-brother-in-law.

The problem is that 1) Lucas needs a massive attitude adjustment before he can grow up, and, 2) they guys are attracted to each other.

Look, Lucas is unlikable in the beginning but Cardeno C weaves magic and Lucas becomes a relatable character. The guys work well together although I was disappointed that the chemistry wasn’t exploding off the page. This is a sweet romance and part of me just wanted there to be more!

The Sixth Chukker by Mickie B. Ashling

Mickie B. Ashling - The Sixth Chukker CoverTitle: The Sixth Chukker

Series: Polo 03

Author:  Mickie B. Ashling

Genre: Contemporary, Sports

Length:  Novel (200 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (8 April 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Retired polo players Preston Fawkes and Konrad Schnell have finally found the happiness that eluded them for years. Their stud farm is a big success, and their marriage couldn’t be healthier. Unfortunately, this idyllic life is disrupted by several unexpected sources.

Paloma, Preston’s twenty-one-year-old daughter, is determined to be a 10 goal player before she turns thirty. Bandi, Konrad’s son, dreams of starting a family with his husband, Ned Temple. Paloma offers to surrogate if her father and stepfather come out of retirement and team up with her for one season.

Preston and Konrad would do anything to make their children happy, but they’re confronted with a stumbling block. Trauma specialist Dr. Rayne Carlisle refuses to sign off on the necessary paperwork unless Preston agrees to be his submissive for one week.

Caught between the proverbial rock and hard place, Preston and Konrad deal with disgruntled former lovers, demanding children, and old enemies in this sequel to Ride-Off.

ISBN: 978-1-63477-025-5

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-sixth-chukker-by-mickie-b-ashling-5418-b

Reviewer: Prime

Review: The Sixth Chukkur is the third installment of Mickie B. Ashling’s Polo series. You need to have read books 1 and 2 in order to understand the continuous plot lines carried on between books. While I think that this book, much like book 2, is not as strong as book 1 (Fire Horse), it is an utterly enjoyable read and fans of books 1 and 2 will not be disappointed.

We once again meet up with Preston and Konrad – the guys are a bit more prominent in this book, which is nice. We also get to see more of Ned and Bandi, as well as Sasha and Jeremy. But then there is Paloma, Preston’s daughter. She is the female copy of her father in every way and much like Preston’s stubbornness drives the plot, her stubbornness is just as bad. She wants to be a champion polo player like her father. We even get to see more of Sasha’s (young Conrad) mother, who is also Preston’s ex-wife and older Konrad’s sister. Hell, there is even the potential for a murder mystery, which was really a mystery assault. All in all, it was nice seeing all the end begin to tie up nicely, even if we have to get through more of Preston’s hot temper.

I have to admit, the key event to this entire book- blackmail from Dr Rayne Carlisle (who we will remember from book 1 as Preston’s acerbic doctor) just did not sit well for me. The fact that the doctor is a Dom didn’t really seem like an important part of the story either. What happens (as said in the blurb) is that the good doctor proposes to show to Preston that competing in polo is too dangerous after his last horrific accident by saying he will only sign off on the paperwork for Pres to compete again. It’s complicated and seemed too contrived. But it did its function and the event triggers off a number of plot lines for the book.

Ride-Off by Mickie B. Ashling

Mickie B. Ashling - Ride-Off CoverTitle: Ride-Off

Series: Polo 02

Author: Mickie B. Ashling

Genre: Contemporary, Sports

Length: Novel (240 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (18 Oct 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Finally reunited, Preston Fawkes and Konrad Schnell put family and obligations aside, preferring to remain in seclusion on Ned s estate to get reacquainted. Unfortunately, reality can only be held off for so long, and they return to Texas to reclaim the life they put on pause. Trying to strike the right balance between business, family, and romance requires ongoing effort, and the challenges begin shortly after they arrive.

At the top of the list is Bandi, Konrad s son, and his desire to play polo. A close second is Conrad Sasha Fawkes, Preston s actor son who s struggling to succeed on Broadway. And last, but certainly not least, is Paloma, the fiery Argentinean beauty Preston sired after a passionate tango.

Blending the interests and needs of three grown children is difficult at best and almost impossible when agendas collide and old secrets are unearthed. The situation comes to a head when the family gathers in San Antonio for Thanksgiving, throwing Preston and Konrad into a maelstrom they must weather as best they can, or they ll face a major ride-off that could throw the game before it even starts.

ISBN: 978-1-62798-263-4

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/ride-off-by-mickie-b-ashling-598-b

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Ride-Off is book 2 of Mickie B Ashling’s Polo series. It you really need to read the first book to understand all the overarching plot details as this sequel picks up where book 1 left off. I loved this book, almost as much as I loved Fire Horse. However, for some reason that I can’t quite fathom, I don’t think that this one was as strong as the first book.

We meet up with Preston and Konrad again – they were sweethearts separated by time and amnesia but are finally back together again. It is totally sweet. But this is a soap opera, for the most part. There are a whole host of other characters that we meet or have met in the first book.

The guys, though, take a bit of a back to seat and we get to follow the stories of their sons, Konrad’s son Bandi and Preston’s son Conrad. Preston still has a tense relationship with his ex-wife, Monica, who is Conrad’s mother, but since Konrad’s resurrection things seem less tense. This is all despite the fact that Preston had married his sweetheart’s sister after mourning his loss. Yeah, it’s complicated, but as I said, it’s a bit of a soapie.

Here, we get to follow Bandi’s relationship with Ned, Preston’s best friend. We met the couple in the first book but now we get the gritty details and how the guys deal with the age difference. We also follow young Conrad, Preston’s son, who lives in New York and is an aspiring actor. When in NY, he likes to be known as Sasha and goes professionally by his middle name, Alexander. Sasha feels left out of his father’s new life for the past two years, but here we see all the characters deal with the issues.

One thing that bugged me was that Kondrad (i.e. Dead Man Walking) diagnosis of PTSD was mentioned and rather overlooked. I know it was a means to an end, something significant to provide an excuse for Preston being a rather distant father for 2 years, but I would have liked it to matter more than to explain that one plot point.

So, there’s a lot going on and I refuse to spoil any of it! If you enjoyed the first one, you need to read this. If you haven’t read the first book, you need to read it but the blurb and my review kinda spoils things for you.

And best of all: book 3 is up next!

Fire Horse by Mickie B. Ashling

Mickie B. Ashling - Fire Horse CoverTitle:  Fire Horse

Series: Polo 01

Author: Mickie B. Ashling

Genre: Contemporary, Sports

Length: Novel (256 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (12th April 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Preston Fawkes is ten the first time he meets fifteen-year-old Konrad Schnell at the San Antonio Polo Club. Captivated by the mystique surrounding the sport of kings, Pres vows to learn the game at the hands of his newly acquired friend and mentor. The hero worship soon grows into something deeper, but the friends are separated when Preston goes off to boarding school in England.

The relationship that follows is riddled with challenges―their age gap, physical distance, and parental pressure taking precedence over feelings yet to be explored. Although their bond goes deep, they deal with the reality of their situation differently: Preston is open and fearless while Konrad is reticent and all too aware of the social implications of making a public stand.

Their paths intersect and twine, binding them as tightly as a cowboy’s lasso, but fate may alter their plans. How will love overcome the divots in the turf as they gallop toward the future—one where obstacles no longer stand in their way?

ISBN: 978-1-62380-578-4

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fire-horse-by-mickie-b-ashling-5157-b

Reviewer: Prime

Review: If you’re into a soap opera style melodrama and highly driven sport personalities, offset with some cowboy humour and some stiff, English upper lip, this is the book for you. For the sake of honestly, I will admit that I’ve read a couple books by Mickie B. Ashling in the past and they were a struggle for me to get through. Fire Horse, however, is just a fun adventure that swept me away from the get go.

We start with Preston Fawkes, he’s a world class polo player who grew up on a Texas ranch with a not-so-nice father, but with a deep English connection through his mother. His story is a sad one. He has been a lonely guy for a long time – he is openly bisexual with a son and daughter from 2 marriages to prove it. But he has never got over his first love, who had also been a polo player but disappeared over Eastern Europe in the 80s while working for the air force.

Now in his forties, Preston has suffered a potentially career ending fall, waking up to a doctor with a personality that is as acerbic as his own. With the help of his best friend (Ned) who he met at an English boarding school as ten year olds, Preston is on the road to recovery. But there is so much going on and unfolding!

I have to admit, the big twist of the book, I saw coming a mile away, but that didn’t mean I loved it when it finally happened. Regardless, I’m not saying a peep here. Just read the bloody book and enjoy the drama and the sports!

Suddenly Yours by Jacob Z. Flores ~ Audiobook

Jacob Z. Flores - Suddenly Yours Cover AudioTitle: Suddenly Yours

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 20 / One Fine Day 02

Author: Jacob Z Flores

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs, 33 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (7 Dec 2016)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas.

Cody Hayes is having one epic morning after. The hangover following a Vegas bachelor party is nothing new to him, and neither is the naked man in his bed.

His apparent marriage is a different story.

Carefully plotting every detail of his life carried Julian Canales to a Senate seat as an openly gay man. A drunken night of Truth or Dare isn’t like him…and neither is marrying a man he just met. He’d get an annulment, but the media has gotten wind of his hasty nuptials. If Julian’s political career is going to survive, he has to stay married to a man who’s his opposite in every way.

Now he must convince Cody that all they need to do is survive a conservative political rival, a heartbroken ex, their painful pasts…and an attraction neither man can fight.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I’ve not read or heard a lot of Jacob Z Flores, but what I have checked out of his work I have enjoyed immensely and Suddenly Yours is no exception. Of course this audio book is made a lot more awesome for me because of John Solo’s narration. Seriously, the dude knows how to nail every emotion of basically every type of character imaginable. 

Suddenly Yours is the second in Flores’ series One Fine Day. The first book, Undercover Boyfriend, was a great story as well and an enjoyable audio but has no connection to the story in Suddenly Yours. Completely different characters, completely different setting, completely different feel.

Cody Hayes has saved up for his best friend’s wedding in Vegas. It was his one big splurge. He works his butt off as a waiter while he struggles to write his first novel. He has visions of writing a best seller. After a big night at his friend’s bachelor party, he wakes up to a big surprise – the cute and almost unapproachable guy his friends had dared him to pick up is now his husband!

Julian Canales has carefully and meticulously plotted out every detail of his life since entering college. Everything was done to get him to where he was today – as a senator. He may be out as a gay man but he never, ever planned to marry a guy, let alone have a drunken Vegas wedding.

Their first thought had been to get an annulment and get it over with ASAP. However, the media found out and Julian and Cody become headline news.

Julian’s spin team – and Julian – know that there is only one thing to do. Make the marriage look real, for at least a year or something so not to damage Julian’s reputation. For the guys, when they had been drunk it had all made sense at the time. They wanted the same things out of life when it came to love. Or at least they thought they did and what was meant to be an easy arrangement becomes a difficult journey, especially for Cody.

I loved, loved, loved every moment of this possibly farfetched, high drama but very sweet story!

Smitty’s Sheriff by Cardeno C. Blog Tour, Excerpt & Review!

Cardeno C. - Smitty's Sheriff Blog Tour Banner

Hiya guys! We have Cardeno C. popping in today with the tour for her new release Smitty’s Sheriff, we have a great new excerpt and Prime’s reviews for all three Hope books so check out the post and enjoy! ❤ ~Pixie~

Cardeno C. - Smitty's Sheriff Cover

Smitty’s Sheriff

(Hope 03)
by

Cardeno C.

Todd is too flakey. Richard is too stubborn. Together, they’re perfect. A May-December couple get a second chance at love.

Retired soldier Richard Davis wants a stable life in a quiet town with a forever man. Becoming the sheriff of Hope, Arizona, accomplishes two of his three goals, but instead of finding a serious partner, he falls for too-young-to-be-committed and too-flakey-to-be-serious Todd Smitty. Richard won’t find the right man if he’s obsessed with the wrong one, so he walks away from Todd.

It’s lust at first sight when Todd meets his sister’s army friend. He sets his sights on the worldly, strong, stable older man, and the more time he spends with Richard, the harder he falls. But after three years together, Richard cuts off all contact with no explanation.

When a mutual obligation requires Todd to move into Richard’s house, he’s thrilled at the opportunity to earn a second chance. Ignoring Todd from across town was hard enough. Can Richard resist temptation under his own roof?

Read Today! (Free in Kindle Unlimited)
Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon ES | Amazon FR | Amazon IT | Amazon UK | PayHip

Continue reading Smitty’s Sheriff by Cardeno C. Blog Tour, Excerpt & Review!

Poppy’s Secret by Andrew Grey ~ Audiobook

Andrew Grey - Poppy's Secret Cover AudioTitle: Poppy’s Secret

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 28

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs, 11 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (24 March 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: A second chance born of love.

Pat Corrigan and Edgerton “Edge” Winters were ready to start a family – or so Pat thought. At the last minute, Edge got cold feet and fled. Pat didn’t bother telling him the conception had already gone through and little Emma was on her way. He didn’t want a relationship based on obligation. He’d rather raise his daughter on his own.

Nine years later, Emma and her Poppy are doing fine. Edge isn’t. He realizes what he threw away by leaving, and he’s back to turn his life around and reclaim his family. It’ll take a lot to prove to Pat that he’s a new man, and even if Edge succeeds, the secret Pat has hidden for years might shatter their dreams all over again.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I absolutely adore Poppy’s Secret. It is part of Dreamspun Desires, which are contemporary stories with sweet romances and hot but flawed heroes. It is safe to say that I devour each and every addition to the series, regardless of the author. For me Andrew Grey is always a go to on my list of authors I must read. He has a way with emotion and getting the reader (or at least me) to connect to his characters’ emotions with his magical use of words. Add to the audio with narration by John Solo and I’m set because this is an audio artist who can nail the voice and emotion of the characters in the story.

I have to admit, as much as I love Poppy’s Secret, I figured out the titular secret in no time at all. However, that did not take away from me loving the story and crying for probably half of the book. Because ultimately this story is about mistakes, second chances and true love. *sigh*.

This is a wonderful story of everlasting love, strength and reunion. Andrew Grey fans will not be disappointed, this one reminds me in part of some of the installments from his Senses series, which I adore. I also love how Andrew Grey weaves in themes of love and family – often with a child character who is being raised by a strong single father until the love interest enters the picture.

As for the story itself, it’s quite predictable in the way that you can just see exactly what is going to happen or at least figure out the facts/secrets between the two MCs. It’s the how and the why of the story which makes this book a ride worth taking. Nine years ago Pat and Edge had been head over heels in love and planning for a surrogate to start a family. But Edge got cold feet and left their small town home for Boston and never looked back. Yet in the present, he is back in Harrisburg and one thing on his list is definitely trying to make up for the mistake he had made when he had left Pat. Edge has a lot of groveling in his future, trying to make his way into Pat’s, and Pat’s daughter Emma’s life.

Murmuration by T.J. Klune ~ Audiobook

T.J. Klune - Murmuration Cover AudioTitle: Murmuration

Author: TJ Klune

Narrator: Kirt Graves

Genre: Historical, Mystery

Length: 12 hrs, 11 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (16th January 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: In the small mountain town of Amorea, it’s stretching toward autumn of 1954. The memories of a world at war are fading in the face of a prosperous future. Doors are left unlocked at night, and neighbors are always there to give each other a helping hand.

The people here know certain things as fact:

Amorea is the best little town there is.

The only good commie is a dead commie.

The Women’s Club of Amorea runs the town with an immaculately gloved fist.

And bookstore owner Mike Frazier loves that boy down at the diner, Sean Mellgard. Why they haven’t gotten their acts together is anybody’s guess. It may be the world’s longest courtship, but no one can deny the way they look at each other.

Slow and steady wins the race, or so they say.

But something’s wrong with Mike. He hears voices in his house late at night. There are shadows crawling along the walls and great clouds of birds overhead that only he can see.

Something’s happening in Amorea. And Mike will do whatever he can to keep the man he loves.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: It’s no secret. I absolutely love and will devour each and every TJ Klune book. Whether that book is in written or audio form, I will love it either way. He makes me laugh and he makes me cry, sometimes at the same time. I tell you, the man is evil, because his writing touches the soul speaks to every fiber of my being. Sounds a bit melodramatic, right? I know but seriously, I am having problems conjuring the words to describe why I love his writing and the stories he weaves with the most wonderful characters. However, Murmuration is a bit different in that despite having some light hearted moments it was more intense and full of mystery than anything else.

I heard Murmuration off the back of listening to TJ’s book Wolfsong. Both audios have the same narrator – Kirt Graves – who absolutely get the characters and the emotions on point.

Right I’m trying to keep this short because I think every time I write a TJ Klune review I go on and on and just gush about how much I love his writing and the book in question. I don’t want to give too much away either, so I really need to keep it brief.

This is a slow burn story between Mike and Sean in the very familiar theme of friends becoming lovers. In Murmuration we’re going back to 1950s small town America, an idyllic time for kids playing out on the road, people keeping their doors unlocked and generally tight communities where everyone knows each other and takes care of one another. I felt a bit of trepidation, though, because of the historical setting and what this could mean for a gay relationship. However, as you read and get hooked on the plot, it had me wondering if you can call it a historical as indicated by the blurb. It certainly gave us a setting and a starting point but there is so much more going on than the time/year that the book is set in. There is definitely a sense of mystery as odd things occur in the quiet small town.

Klune weaves together a complex story with many layers and I’m convinced he does it just to fuck with our minds. Because seriously that ending, was not expecting, seriously massive mind fuck. I can’t even say what book it immediately made me think of because for fans of Klune [and have followed his blog and Facebook] you will probably know what book I’m talking about! It’s one of those endings that have stuck with me and makes me keep on thinking. But ultimately I am happy because it was a HEA.

If you’re looking for a pure romance, I’m not sure what to say about it. It is a very romantic and very sweet story woven in between the darkness and intrigue of the surrounding world. This about a guy trying to find himself in a world that seems dark and scary, but it is the romance that gives us the sense of hope and light.

Close To You by Skylar M. Cates ~ Audiobook

Skylar M. Cates - Close to You Cover AudioTitle: Close to You

Series:  Sunshine and Happiness 03

Author: Skylar M Cates

Narrator: Tristan James

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 10 hrs, 12 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (8 Dec 2016)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: It’s hard to recover from a first love. Some people never do.

How hard would you fight to keep your best friend? Marc Lucas and Tomas Santos have been best friends forever, but now their friendship is in a crisis. When they were boys, betrayals ripped their world apart. They thought it was fixed, but some parts remained broken. Ever since he saved him from a humiliation at school, Marc has loved Tomas. The last thing he expects is for Tomas to love him back. To keep his best friend, Marc revisits an abusive past he’s tried to forget.

For Tomas, loving Marc has been anything but easy. His upbringing told him it was wrong, so why did it feel so right? Accepting who he is as an adult, Tomas decides he needs a committed relationship. To his deep sorrow, he can’t seem to find it with Marc.

When the two find themselves alone and in the grip of a hurricane, long-buried feelings emerge. Being “just friends” is no longer an option. They must risk it all on love.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Close to You is the third book in Skylar M Cates’ series, Sunshine and Happiness. You don’t necessarily have to read or heard the two previous books to get this, I honestly haven’t read the first book, but I enjoyed the audio of the second book immensely. In fact, it was some of what had happened and shown about the characters of the third book that made me want to get my hands (or ears) into this story. The series is set around a group of guys living in a shared house and are still dealing with the fallout of the death of one of their best friends.

Marc Lucas and Tomas Santos have both lived difficult lives. They have been friends for years, since high school. There has been the potential for more between them for years, since day one in fact. But Marc is damaged after a childhood of abuse and neglect and Tomas, who was damaged from losing his father as a child, is devoted to the little family he has left. Marc is certain that he is not capable of love, getting his only real feelings from being Tomas’s friend and from his passion of cooking. Back in book 2, something that is explained to us anyway, Marc made a deal with a friend that he would go to a therapist as a sort of buddy system for the friend. Between the therapy, Tomas moving away to be with his mother and grandparents, and an approaching hurricane, Marc begins to learn that maybe he isn’t quite so damaged any more. And maybe he has a chance to actually know what love is like and reciprocate the love from his best friend.

I loved the story, I loved the angst and I loved the narration. I think the only criticism that I have is the pacing. I didn’t really get into the flashbacks. For me they were too disruptive to what was happening in the here and now. However, in saying that, I generally don’t like excessive flashbacks and for me this was excessive, almost every second chapter was a flashback. I know that Mark and Tomas’s relationship/friendship as kids was vital to the story but I just wasn’t into the flashbacks.

Wolfsong by T.J. Klune ~ Audiobook

T.J. Klune - Wolfsong Cover AudioTitle: Wolfsong

Series:  Wolfsong 01

Author: TJ Klune

Narrator: Kirt Graves

Genre: Paranormal

Length: 18 hrs, 40 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (5th October 2016)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Ox was 12 when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.

Ox was 16 when he met the boy on the road, the boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.

Ox was 17 when he found out the boy’s secret, and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet.

Ox was 23 when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his blood red eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.

It’s been three years since that fateful day and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I think it’s safe to say that I adore anything by TJ Klune in any shape or form – or rather in any format. I love paranormal-shifter books and so when TJ Klune wrote this one, it was a must have. I mean, really, my two favorite things. What could go wrong? Reading TJ’s books is always a thrill and he is always guaranteed to make me laugh like a loon and then pull a “Wookie cry face” as I struggle to hold myself together and cry on public transport. Each and every TJ Klune book has a whole lot of a heart and Wolfsong is no exception.

With Wolfsong I originally read the epub version when it was first released. When I got the opportunity to hear the audio, I forgot basically the entire book except for knowing there was the usual TJ Klune wit, making me laugh and cry.

The story opens when we meet Ox at the age of 12. He is so sweet and once I fell in love with 12 year old Ox, I knew that I would love him as he got older. With an abusive alcoholic for a father, Ox doesn’t have an easy life but he just keeps on going, even after being abandoned at the age of 12. Ox struggles with his self esteem. Ox remains a quiet person but one day walking home from work he meets a very talkative and very energetic kid (his complete opposite), named Joe. But Joe has his own issues and Joe’s family welcomes Ox with open arms after helping Joe. As years pass Joe grows up and Ox remains to have a low self esteem. Also as the years pass we see Joe and Ox’s life and relationship become something that is nothing short of amazing. And Joe… Joe is just simply perfect for Ox.

Wolfsong was also my first experience Kirt Graves narrating and he is totally wonderful. When TJ said that the guy nailed the audition, he also nailed the book absolutely perfectly. He provided a brilliant voice to our main characters and just gave me all sorts of feels.

This is one beautiful, heartfelt ride into the lives of a wolf shape-shifter pack. There is so much packed into this. We got a guy who has been abused and trying to make a life for himself – and manages to surround himself with wonderful people in the process introducing love and family into his life. Ox is just so damn sweet and lovable that I wanted to wrap him up in a blanket and cuddle him close. The sequel is out in 2018 and I can’t wait!

Power Play by A.J. Marcus

A.J. Marcus - Power Play CoverTitle: Power Play

Series: Dragon Elite 01

Author: AJ Marcus

Genre: Paranormal

Length: Novella (84 pages)

Publisher: eXtasy Books (17 March 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: Can an average man end up landing one of the hottest dragons in Denver?

Naga Industries wasn’t Calvin’s first choice of a place to intern. It wasn’t even his tenth. But when every other internship spot is taken, he finds himself at the mercy of Draeke Lindwurm and he’s way over his head. 

Draeke doesn’t want an intern, but his go-to man is threatening to revolt if he doesn’t get them both some help. Calvin is everything Draeke doesn’t like in men. He’s too young, too average, never on time, doesn’t dress well, and worst of all Calvin is human which makes things complicated between them when he becomes a pawn in a power play with the world’s dragon elite.

ISBN: 978-1-4874-1036-0

Product Link: http://www.extasybooks.com/power-play/

Reviewer: Prime

Review: For me, AJ Marcus is a very enjoyable story teller. I’m not sure exactly why, but the simple fact is that I connect with and enjoy the writing. And hey, that’s all that really matters, isn’t it?

The story stars one very surly dragon called Draeke. He is the head of Naga Enterprises – which essentially is a massive company run by shifters that has so many umbrella companies and interests they might as well be ruling the world with their obscene amount of money. Drake is tall, dark, sexy and surly – everything that your typical dragon hero should be. He grabbed me from the get go and held on for the whole story.

Then there is Calvin. He’s very human and doesn’t know about the paranormal world. In fact, he doesn’t know much about Naga Enterprises besides knowing that he landed an internship and this lends to showing us the wide-eyed naiveté that I have no doubt he was meant to portray. However, in no time at all, he is going in deep with his boss – he flies off to Shanghai after the murder of one of Naga’s most senior dragon employees and then finds out about the existence of shifters.

This is a totally fun and very hot story. For everyone that can’t go past a dragon shifter tale, you will definitely enjoy this one. I think the only reason I’ve rated this 3.5/5 is because this was a tad bit predictable despite the fact I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Winter Ball by Amy Lane ~ Audiobook

Amy Lane - Winter Ball Cover AudioTitle: Winter Ball

Series:  Winter Ball 01

Author: Amy Lane

Narrator: Nick J Russo

Genre: Contemporary, Sports

Length: 5 hrs, 35 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (23 Feb 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Blurb: Through a miserable adolescence and a lonely adulthood, Skipper Keith has dreamed of nothing but family. The closest he gets is the rec league soccer team he coaches after work – and his star player and best friend, Richie Scoggins.

One brisk night in late October, a post-practice convo in Richie’s car turns into a sexual encounter neither of them expected – nor want to forget. Soon Skip and Richie are living for the weekends and their winter league soccer games – and the games they enjoy off the field. Through broken noses, holiday decorating, and the killer flu, they learn more about each other than they ever dreamed possible. Every new discovery takes them further beyond the boundaries of the soccer field and into the infinite possibilities of the best relationship of Skipper’s life.

Skipper can’t dream of a better family than Richie – but Richie’s got real family entanglements he can’t shake off. Skipper needs to convince Richie to stay with him beyond winter ball so the relationship they started on the field might become their happy future in real life!

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Amy Lane is one of my favorite authors. I’ve enjoyed a number of heartwarming one of my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the story and the writing – for me it nothing in particular about the characters really grabbed me and I felt that sometimes the pacing dragged a little.

Winter Ball is your usual kind of gay-for-you, friends-to-lovers story set from the end of spring to around the Christmas Holidays (if the title didn’t give it away I don’t know what would).

Skipper is a lonely guy – he’s never had real close friends or family. He lives for – at least socially – the soccer team he plays on. For now it is the team that satisfies his need for a family of some sort. Then there is Richie – he’s got just as much baggage as Skip. Richie comes from a screwed up family and the way they treated him was abusive. So Richie “skipped” town as a teen (sorry for the pun) and tried to start over again. He’s on the same soccer team as Skipper and when the book opens, Richie and Skip are already acting on their mutual attraction, although they are extremely cautious about their budding relationship let alone jump out the closet screaming.

There was plenty of angst and emotion, which certainly helped me stay with the story. I think though what didn’t grab me was that there was no lead up to the guys getting together, but we had to go through the motions and angst that comes with the guys staying together. However, Nick J Russo’s ability to convey the message of story and the lives of the characters was another definite plus for the story.

Canary for the Dragon by Angelique Voisen

Angelique Voisen - Canary for the Dragon CoverTitle: Canary for the Dragon

Author: Angelique Voisen

Genre: Paranormal

Length:  Short (61 pages)

Publisher: Evernight Publishing (22 April 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Blurb: Sky’s a canary prince that’s been kept in a gilded cage all his life. As a breeder for his dying people, it’s his job to find a suitable mate and continue the bloodline. All he wants to experience is a one-night-stand with a stranger he’s attracted to, before someone puts a permanent lock on his cage. 

Rex’s a century-old Alpha dragon shifter trying to make it past each day. Losing his mate tore his soul in half. As a result, his dragon’s broken beyond repair. When Rex meets Sky, he realizes he’s been given a second chance at love. But things are never that simple. 

Sky’s powerful avian family wants their breeder back and Sky’s terrified for Rex. Little does Sky know who the real threat is. When a dragon finds his mate, the hunt never ends until the Alpha claims his mate. 

ISBN: 978-1-77339-264-6

Product Link: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/canary-for-the-dragon-by-angelique-voisen/

Reviewer: Prime

Review: For me Angelique Voisen is an author on my radar but not really an author that I immediately want to read. I’m not really sure if I’ve read any of her previous works but I know I’ve read the blurb for a number of stories (and clearly never got further than that). Maybe one day that will change. For now I’m reviewing this fairly enjoyable and very short story.

Sky is a sweet canary shifter who has been mistreated by predatory birds, in particular the cruel eagle shifter who Sky has been forced to mate. He spends time perched in his canary form singing a mournful song, feeling trapped, which connects with lonely centuries old dragon shape shifter, Rex. Rex lost his human mate twenty years ago and because of that struggles to maintain control of his dragon. But the moment Rex sees Sky (and saves him) in his human form it seems to be fate that they are together.

For the most part this was an enjoyable story. I wished there was more of Sky and Rex – if that were the case I would hope that the introduction to Sky especially would give the same details in the blurb. I find it a little disappointing that I got more info about Sky from the blurb than I felt I did from the book. But Sky and Re are made for each other – as I said, it would have been cool to have more of them.