Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review: Exodus by CC Bridges

Reviewed by Whuppsy
Exodus (Heaven Corp. #2) by CC Bridges
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 200pgs
3.5 Pants Off

Henry “Hank” Abraham’s privileged status in the floating city of Heaven lets him flout Morality Laws that control the lives of others. But when he wakes up in the arms of another stranger, only bodyguard Ian Caldwell’s quick thinking saves his life.

Though Ian’s from the low levels and the labor class, he’s used to dealing with the pampered society of Heaven. He’s assigned to protect Hank while angels, cybernetically modified humans who defend Heaven, investigate the assassination attempt. Doing his job means Ian must ignore his growing interest in Hank. Acting on their mutual attraction would certainly get Ian reprogrammed, something neither of them can afford.

When Hank follows Ian to a popular BDSM club in Downside and his ID chip is lost during a nearly fatal mugging, he finds himself locked out of Heaven. As Ian fights to get them home, rumors of impending war begin to circulate—along with more troubling news that Ian is wanted for Hank’s murder. While struggling to keep the man he has come to love safe, Ian must find out who’s behind the plot and if it’s a catalyst for war or just a convenient excuse.

Hank Abraham has lived a life of so much privilege that he’s used to getting what he wants. He’s all about how he is perceived from his social peers and what’s shown on the news feeds. However, even though he’s been self-centered in his life, with the events that are happening, that is all about to change. He’s now been targeted for assassination and only one man can save him, Ian, his faithful bodyguard.

Now, Hank isn’t what you’d call the brightest thinker in the world. He’s so used to having lived his life a certain way and when that has to change, it was pleasant to see Hank really step up and grow. To see Hank become aware of another and to care what happened and as events grow bigger and bigger, to see this once foolish young man, grow into a stronger version of himself. He doesn’t always get it right, but his heart is in the right place.

Ian, is the wonderful character that is from the other side of the tracks, so to speak. He’s worked hard to get where he is in his career. He knows that no matter what, he’ll always be seen as “below” the ruling caste system of Heaven. He’s good enough to protect and die for them, but he’d never be good enough to love and be seen with in public. Another strike against him that no one knows about is that Ian is a Dom and he’s in love with Hank. Those things could very well get him in serious trouble.

It was fun watching these two characters have their misunderstandings and try to fight the attraction that they have for one another. To see both of the characters come into their own and deal with what they were feeling and especially what was happening around them. Again, I will say that I loved Hank’s transformation the most. That he’d do anything for Ian and did so. That he was no longer the spoiled young man that he had been in the beginning of the story was really nice to see.

It was nice to see that even though this story took place in a post-apocalyptic world, that there were still characters that had good hearts and others that will still use other people to get their own visions of what the world should be like. It wasn’t as horrific as some of the other post-apocalyptic dystopian society stories that I’ve read before. It was different with the use of Heaven and the 360 and Downside. The three different levels, the people, and demons.

I will say that it was a very intriguing story. I loved the romance between Hank and Ian. It was sweet with a bit of BDSM. I also liked the bit of mystery/suspense that was prevalent throughout the story. Who was behind the attempts on Hank’s life and why? What was going to happen between Hank and Ian? How were they going to live a life in the open as a couple?

Definitely worth taking the time to read this story and enjoy the love affair of Hank and Ian.

3.5 Pants Off

Review: The Terms of Release by B.A. Tortuga

Reviewed by Whuppsy
The Terms of Release by B.A Tortuga
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 24opgs
4 Pants Off

They say a man can always come home. So after doing hard time, Sage Redding heads to his family’s northeast Texas ranch to help his ailing daddy with the cutting horses. 

Adam (Win) Winchester is a county deputy and the cousin of one of the men killed in the incident that sent Sage to prison for almost a decade. While Win's uncles, Jim and Teddy, are determined to make Sage and the entire Redding family pay for their loss, Win just figures Sage has paid his dues and maybe needs a friend. Maybe he needs more than a friend. In fact, Win’s counting on it. 

No one’s denying Sage is an ex-con who went to prison for manslaughter. Regardless of the love he has for his father, he’s returned knowing things will likely go badly for him. Maybe a man can always come home, but he may not be able to stay.

Well, this book was so…wow. I’m not really sure how I can put into words what I’m feeling right now. This book had me just all over the place.

Sage Redding is this young man who has been out of prison for about a year. He’s trying to do the best he can living and surviving. He has served his time and now he’s just trying to survive. He gets a dreaded call from his Momma to come home to help with the family ranch. He’s this really sweet, loving guy who just wants to work with horses and help his family. He knows that going home is going to be hard, but it’s his family and he is going home.

Adam “Win” Winchester is this deputy in the small Texas town. He’s a bit of an outsider himself as he doesn’t automatically hate Sage the way the men in his family does. He’s always thought for himself and he’s going to go his own way and not be bullied to do something that he doesn’t think is right. He’s this really kind and loving guy who is just looking to have a life of his own. Adam has a heart and isn’t afraid to follow it.

The secondary characters in this book just made my heart just beat a bit faster. Sage’s family is just wonderful. Their love and acceptance of who he is was just beautiful to see. Wilma and Bulldog are so accepting of Sage and it’s beautiful to see people just showing kindness and their good hearts. I loved Adam’s Momma. She was a hoot and a half. She had such unconditional love for Adam and stood up for those who tried to hurt her son. Jim and Teddy were such horrible men, yet it what you’d expect from Old fashioned men who aren’t ok with anything that wasn’t their way. But the good in this story sure outweighed the bad.

I like that Adam felt that Sage needed a friend. Even though he was attracted to Sage, he wanted to let him know that he thought that he was ok and that someone else was on his side. That meant a lot to Sage, who figured being back there would be hard and would test his resolve, but he knew that he had to go. It was nice to see that as Adam fell in love with Sage, it became more than keeping him safe, it was about being together staying together as a couple. Facing their troubles together and knowing that there would be someone there to love and support them. It became about making a life together and not allowing anything or anyone to tear them apart.

This story had me reeling. I felt so much for Sage. All he went through just for wanting to come home again going to prison and the horrible things that happened to him there. Sage is a bitty thing. Adam calls him his pocket cowboy. So, you can just imagine the horrible things that he faced. Yet, he did what was necessary to survive and I can’t fault him for that. When he spoke to Adam about the things that had happened to him and the way he sounded was just so heartbreaking. Adam was furious on his behalf. I think most of it was because the Man that he loved suffered and had to go through that made him so very angry. I totally understood. Hell, I was pissed as hell and it was over a fictional character. There was love and hope and strength in this story. There had to be. Sage showed that he was stronger than anyone ever thought he is. To survive what he did, that says a bunch. His biggest thing was that he couldn’t go back to prison, so some of what he took, was with that fear of going back. I think that anyone understand those thoughts. I sure did.

I will say that I enjoyed this book a lot. It was nice to see that Adam and Sage as different as they seemed to be were so very alike where it counted. That love and compassion overruled those that had hate in their hearts. It was a story about hope. I think that was one of the most important themes that rang strongly throughout the entire story.

Read this book and go on this wonderful journey that at times will break your heart, but it will also show you love and hope and true courage.

4 Pants Off

Review: Second Star to the Right by A.F Henley

Second Star to the Right by A.F Henley
Less Than 3 Press
4 Pants Off

Be it unrequited fascination with his straight best friend or impossible fantasies of rekindled interest with his heartbreaking ex, Mason has no clue why the perfect connection seems to keep slipping through his fingers. When another lonely holiday seems like too much weight to shoulder, Mason gives up on romance and seeks out the next best thing—rented company. Jack is everything a person could want in an escort: willing, hot, and built like an angel. 

Mason can't resist. After all, who wouldn't be interested in a guy who loves kid's movies, is a self-professed Peter Pan, and has no problem throwing caution to the wind at a moment's notice. But then interest quickly blooms into a whole new emotion—an emotion that Mason knows far too well, especially when Jack has no interest in returning it, preferring to keep his heart safely tucked away in Neverland.

Mason is lonely, he’s so alone guys. He has friends but the connection is fragile and he fancies himself in love with his best “straight” friend which is just a bag of crazy. Why can’t he make a love connection? He’s very successful, fairly good-looking, and just an overall nice guy and yet he’s just so lonely. When the topic of an escort comes up, Mason is both thrilled and repulsed by the idea but the thrill wins out and he finds himself getting a rentboy for a week. Its either going to be the best week of Mason’s life or the absolute fucking worse.

Mason nerves are on high alert but meeting Jack is lust at first sight. Of course there’s doubt because Jack is so attractive and young and why would he be interested in an old man like Mason?  Well he’s getting paid and this weekend is not about love but losing himself in glorious lovemaking and making for the time past. Yet, there is something about Jack that draws him in and he finds himself wanting to get to know the young man. But Jack has his boundaries and they’ve been clearly set, but rules and shit were meant to be broken.

OMG Guys! This story is just so sweet and gave me all the feels. Jack is so wonderfully jaded and Mason is so absolutely sweet which created a wonderful balance. Mason’s character is written so well that he never felt too perfect, just believable as a really great guy. Jack isn’t original as a rentboy and yet I feel like there is more to his stories, I just wish I had the opportunity to get to know his character better (he must have lived some life to be so young and almost without hope). I love their coming together and overall attraction, not a tale of insta love but a journey of finding love. Did I mention it really touched me in the feels?

Second Star to the Right is wonderfully sweet and will leave you feeling happy. I am so happy I read this book, and A.F Henley is becoming a fave to read. Also, freaking Canada man (home turf). If you’re looking for something sweet and quick then this book is a must. So adorable!

4 Pants Off

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review: Ball & Chain by Abigail Roux

Reviewed by Whuppsy
Ball & Chain (Cut & Run #8) by Abigail Roux
Riptide Publishing
Novel: 340pgs
5 Pants Off

Home from their unexpected deployment, the former members of Marine Force Recon team Sidewinder rejoin their loved ones and try to pick up the pieces of the lives they were forced to leave behind. Ty Grady comes home to Zane Garrett, only to find that everything around him has changed—even the men he went to war with. He barely has time to adjust before his brother, Deuce, asks Ty to be his best man. But that isn’t all Deuce asks Ty to do, and Ty must call for backup to deal with the business issues of Deuce’s future father-in-law.

Nick O’Flaherty and Kelly Abbott join Ty and Zane at the wedding on an island in Scotland, thinking they’re there to assuage Deuce’s paranoia. But when bodies start dropping and boats start sinking, the four men get more involved with the festivities than they’d ever planned to.

With the clock ticking and the killer just as stuck on the isolated island as they are, Ty and Zane must navigate a veritable minefield of family, friends, and foes to stop the whole island from being destroyed.

So, this is book 8 in the Cut and Run Series and it was a doozy!! I was on the edge of my couch the entire time!! I hate that I had to sleep!! I wanted to see what happened and OH MY LANTA did A LOT HAPPEN!!

So, we start with Ty coming back from a six month deployment and he’s only contacted Zane twice. Their reunion was so sweet. I was so happy to see our boys back together again. Ty comes home and as he gets ready to go back to work, he finds out that him and Zane can’t work together anymore. Not even in the same office. One of them will have to move and Ty tenders his resignation. He’s trying to figure out what he’s going to do and then he gets a call from Deuce to go to his wedding in Scotland and to bring a friend to help with a problem that he won’t discuss until he sees him. GAME ON!!

Zane is a different man that what he was when Ty left. Six months is a long time but it also helped Zane gather himself together. He’s made peace with his past and he’s moving forward and not always looking back. It was wonderful to see Zane become the man that Ty has always claimed that he’s seen in him be right out in front of him. Beautiful, actually. Zane is still the quiet and steady partner, but he’s a lot lighter and happier.

The secondary characters…wow. There were so many new people in this story it was hard to keep some of them straight. But did they add bunches to the story. There were the usual suspects, Deuce, Livi, Earl, Mara, Chester, Dick, Kelly and Nick. Then added in is Livi’s family and the people that are hired in the house and the island. They were great in mixing things up and keeping you guessing as to what’s going on and who was involved. It was a veritable who’s who in this story, so many people and so much going on.

There was lots of Nick and Kelly in this book. I loved that Abi added them in. I really liked getting to know more about Nick’s life and it was great to see those two guys are still in love and really want to build a long-lasting relationship together. I have to say that seeing things from Nick’s perspective was pretty amazing. I think I fell more in love with Nick in this book than I was before. He showed such strong strength of character and integrity.

I will say that I loved that Nick and Ty weren’t always vibing in this story and that Nick finally told Ty what the deal was. That he was honest and showed that while he loved him, he was tired. I loved how Ty had to finally admit that he wasn’t being a good friend to Nick and that he needed to be loads better. It was wonderful to see that even after all of these years that the love and friendship that these two men had for each other wasn’t going to be lost. That it was and is worth working for. It was emotional to read and I was right there with them in those moments.

There were moments of humor because as you know, it wouldn’t be a Ty and Zane book without humor. I loved how Ty was disgruntled when Amelia, Deuce’s daughter ran right past him to Zane. I loved how Ty kept asking Zane to marry him and Zane kept turning him down. I loved how it became almost a running joke between them.

There were moments of bittersweet happiness and then the most heartbreaking sadness that was almost overwhelming. This book took you through the emotional gambit. It was SO WORTH IT!! This book was heavy, don’t get me wrong. Like Touch & Geaux was heavy, this book was also. There was so much happening and you were pulled right along with Ty and Zane and Nick on this ride.

I can’t wait for next year!! I can’t wait to see how Abi pulls it all together. I am excited but then I realize that Ty and Zane will be over. Part of me can’t wait, while the other part is like NOOOO!! Trust me, if you are a Ty and Zane lover, this book is what you’ve been waiting for!! Abi pulls no punches again in this latest book and you will thank her for putting you through the ringer. You won’t be disappointed At ALL!!

5 Pants Off

Monday, April 21, 2014

Review & Giveaway: Forever Fearless by Jeff Erno

Forever Fearless (Forever Vampire #2) by Jeff Erno
Ai Press
Novel: 215pgs
3.75 Pants Off

The Forever Vampire saga continues…
In the aftermath of unspeakable slaughter, Robbie and Colt have escaped to the wilds of Alaska to face their immortal future. Things aren't so certain for their mortal enemies, Dylan and Issa, Matarian soldiers sworn to hunt them down and slaughter them.

Dylan is poised to begin his first vampire hunt and wants Issa as his partner, but Issa is far more concerned with finding his brother and tracking down the blond boy who nearly died on the battlefield. The entire cast from book one reunites in this thrilling continuation of their story, joined by a host of new faces--friends and foes--whose lives somehow weave together as they cross paths in their efforts to battle evil and attain their own happiness. Humans, Shifters, Daywalkers, and Purebloods confront each other with the guidance of three enigmatic sisters--one a Maenad, one a necromancer, and the other a human witch. Plot twists and surprises mark the paths of these diverse characters, forever fearless in their quest to cling to all they hold dear.

I really liked the first book in this series, so I was very much excited for the second book cus the ending of the first book ripped my heart and I was like all the nopes. While the first book was so exciting and kept me engrossed the second dragged in a few parts and with a lot of characters getting some page time, this one really didn’t hit on my feels level.

This second book picks up right where the first left off, with Brendan and Richard dead and an all out war between vamps, wolves, and human seems imminent.  Robbie and Colt have to begin anew and Robbie a fresh new vampire, things are both good and bad. Colt has lost his father Richard and now he has to navigate life without his supports in place. Yet, having Robbie with him is making eternal life so much easier.

For others, their life is all about danger. Dylan and Issa are vampire hunters but with what Issa has seen he’s wondering if they aren’t just killing innocents. All he’s know about vampires being evil and soulless has been crushed because he’s see the love and caring they have for each other and there is just no way could things that are evil could love. He has to reconsider everything, and run from a Master vamp who is hell bent on making him a slave.

Throw in other POVs and just a train ride of events, and you have really nice adventure vampire story. While it does feel very all over the place, the characters are likeable and if you’re are a fan of the first then you most defi would want to read this one. Honestly, while I was expecting more I still liked the story and I am very much intrigued for a third book.

Overall, Forever Fearless is a fun read with young and interesting characters. I think a little tightening of the storyline would have done this book good, and filler characters could have been done without. Yet, I still liked and am looking forward to the third book (if there is a third book?). I say this every time, but I am such a fan of Jeff Erno I have yet to seriously dislike any of his books.

Review: Book #1 Forever Young



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