Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review: To Say I Love You by Anna Martin

Reviewed by Whuppsy
To Say I love You (Another Way #3) by Anna Martin
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 224pgs
4 Pants Off

After six years of romance and kink, Jesse Ross and Will Anderson have had their ups and downs and come through them stronger and happier. But when Jesse’s mother dies unexpectedly, Jesse is forced to return to his childhood home in Georgia to help his family cope. Will transfers from Seattle to his company’s Atlanta office, but love their way is out of the question while they’re staying in Jesse’s parents’ home. So Will buys a small house for them to fix up and find some privacy.

When their lives start to settle back into something like normality, Will and Jesse resume their recently neglected BDSM relationship. Along with the security of Jesse’s submission comes trouble, as a local man tries to lure a lonely, grieving Jesse away from Will, and one of Will’s coworkers causes tension between them. Both men are forced to reassess what really matters, and where their romance is heading.

So, this is the 3rd book in the Another Way series and I’ve got to tell you, it was a pretty good read.  I’ve not read the other books, so this was a first read for me. 

Will and Jesse are already established couple.  They have gone through their ups and downs in their relationship and have come out the other side as a stronger couple. This story is truly a journey for both of these men.  They are dealing with being in a different environment than what they live in at home.  They are more dependent on each other and making it through this period of their lives.

This story starts off after the death of Jesse’s momma.  They’ve been in Georgia awhile now and Jesse isn’t ready yet to go home to Seattle.  He feels that he’s should stay there to be close to his father and sister.  Jesse also feels the need to find some semblance of balance back into his life.  They end up staying in Georgia for a bit and this is where our boys start to heal and deal.

Jesse is so off-balanced from the loss of his momma that he’s not really sure if he’s coming or going. He’s just not ready to say goodbye and leave.  Jesse is such a sweet character, he’s loving and loyal and kind and just a really good guy. He wants to be able to do the right thing for everyone and yet, he’s not really sure what that actually means. Will was a harder character for me to get a read on.  As the story is from Jesse’s POV, it was difficult to really get much of a feeling from him.  He seemed like a really good guy.  He loves Jesse, so very much.  That came through loud and clear.  He moved his life around to be able to support Jesse as he’s struggling.  He’s loyal and he loves Jesse without any reservations.  He’s a great guy.  I just found him to be aloof.  I couldn’t really put any one thought of how I feel about him.  

There was a fair bit of sex in this book.  It’s got lots of BDSM elements in here as well.  I assume if you’ve read the previous books, you know that their relationship was based on this from the very beginning.  However, that’s not all there is to their relationship.  They are a committed, loving couple.  The love that they have for each other was felt on every page of this book.  They are each other’s world. There was an instance of ménage in this story.  It was done so beautifully and tasteful, that I was really surprised and very happy at how it was written.  

There were a few characters in the story that were making a play for our MC’s, but it never went anywhere.  These two would never cheat or leave each other.  It was really nice to see that Will didn’t even notice that this character was interested in him.  He just thought that they were friends.  Jesse’s guy, the one that they had a threesome with, he was in a totally different mindset than Jesse.  Jesse was lonely and wanted a friend.  He thought that it was and when it came to a head, he let the guy down and let him know that it was only Will for him.  I think that it was really sweet the times that they made love to each other.  It showed that they are truly a couple that love each other deeply. 

The story was really good.  It flowed smoothly and I was never taken out of it by grammar errors, etc.  This was such a wonderful story of an ever-evolving relationship.  I really liked that they were an established couple and that they were staying that way.   I will say that I really enjoyed this book.  If you are indeed a fan of the series, I would say this is a great addition.  If like me, you’ve not read the previous books, this will make you want to go back and read about them from the very beginning.  They were wonderful together and I enjoyed their story. I’m intrigued to see how they got together in the beginning.

So, take the time to read this story and either fall in love with them for the first time, or fall further in love with these guys. This book had it all lots of Love, Sex and very low angst.  So, grab a drink, sit in a comfy chair and enjoy. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

4 Pants Off

Review: Lineage by Angela Fiddler

Reviewed by SinChan
Lineage (Master of the Lines #1) by Angela Fiddler
Novella: 157pgs
4 Pants Off

Love didn’t just kick you when it were down; it staked you out and turned you into a vampire. Not that Vision was bitter. His ex-lover taught him nothing lasts forever, while his ex-master taught him to submit and the fine art of not resisting silk restraints. In exchange, Vision let both of them keep their heads. He considered it a fair trade-off.

Now Vision is a master, but still finds himself wanting to be on his knees.

Enter Hanz. He’s just a driver, but he knows what Vision wants and how to make it sting the way Vision likes most.

Vision won’t be fooled again. Sure, Hanz is sweet. The respect feels genuine, and, what’s worse, he honestly seems to love Vision. Older, wiser masters counsel Vision against Hanz. And, of course, they’re right. Hanz does have something to hide.And, as if on cue, along comes Vision’s ex-lover, the cause of and solution to being kicked, staked, and vamped. Vision is caught again, and this time not with ropes and silk. Now if he can only keep his neck and his heart intact…

Steven (Seraph) and Vic (Vision) lived on the streets together as prostitutes when Gabriel found them and turned them into vampires. Now Gabriel is low on power and influence, he uses Seraph to force Vision to submit. However, Vision is now a leader in the vampire world, having control of two ley lines. He has status, prestige, and extra power from the ley lines. He just needs to cement Hanz's position in the vampire world and by his side and prevent other vampires from stealing his lines.

The story is told by alternating the present time with Vision and Hanz and the past before he came to power. There is so many years difference between the past and present that Vic and Vision are like two different people. It's a little disorienting when the perspective switched after each short passage.
Vision's relationship with Hanz is unclear at first but Hanz is a critical player later in the story. Vision wants to be dominated by Hanz even though he is the superior one. This juxtaposition is intriguing and adds more problems for Vision. He is also the youngest vampire in the council but inherited two elder ley lines. He has a lot to prove and it's fascinating to see how he became so powerful.

This story is filled with fascinating vampire politics and world building. Men and women seems to use the ley lines differently and this causes a difference in how power is divided between the sexes. The story keeps me on my toes with shows of Vision's power in public, his submissive side in private with Hanz, and his past. Vision is a fascinating character and he keeps me turning the pages to figure out who he is.

Overall, this story has a good set of intriguing characters in a fascinating world. Even though the shifting time frames could be tiresome, it was a fast read for me. I would recommend this story for vampire fans.
4 Pants Off

Review: Blackbird Knitting in a Bunny's Lair by Amy Lane

Reviewed by Whuppsy
Blackbird Knitting in a Bunny's Lair (Granby Knitting #4) by Amy Lane
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 244pgs
5 Pants Off

Blurb: After three years of waiting for “rabbit” Jeremy to commit to a life in Granby—and a life together—Aiden Rhodes was appalled when Jeremy sustained a nearly fatal beating to keep a friend out of harm's way. How could Aiden’s bunny put himself in danger like that?

Aiden needs to get over himself, because Jeremy has a long road to recovery, and he's going to need Aiden's promise of love every step of the way. Jeremy has new scars on his face and body to deal with, and his heart can’t afford any more wounds.

When their friend’s baby needs some special care, the two men find common ground to firm up their shaky union. With Aiden’s support and his boss’s inspiration, Jeremy comes up with a plan to make sure Ariadne's little blackbird comes into this world with everything she needs. While Jeremy grows into his new role as protector, Aiden needs to ease back on his protectiveness over his once-timid lover. Aiden may be a wolf in student's clothing and Jeremy may be a rabbit of a man, but that doesn’t mean they can’t walk the wilds of Granby together.

This is this book is a continuation of the series, however, it’s mostly about Aiden and Jeremy. I have read lots of Amy Lane’s books before, but not this series, so I was very interested in coming into this series and seeing if I could fall for these characters. I should have known better. Once again Amy has delivered a wonderful book.

We pick up this book at Jeremy is sacrificing himself for Stanley. Well, part of it was for Johnny who saved his bacon 3 years ago and who is involved with Stanley and would be heartbroken if anything happened to him. Jeremy has finally decided to stop running and is standing still.

Jeremy is having to come to grips with the decision that he made in the sense that he no longer looks the same as before. He’s got this really great heart and he only wants to be seen as a good man. Yes, he’s made his mistakes, but he’s served his time as is trying to have a better life. Jeremy is so sweet and so giving and yet, he really doesn’t see how good of a man he truly has become. For some reason, Jeremy seems to think that his past is all that there is to him and he doesn’t see that those in his life know very well that that isn’t true. Jeremy just needs to see that for himself.

Aiden on the other hand is dealing with getting Jeremy back up and running. Letting go of the anger that he feels. How could Jeremy do that? Put his life in jeopardy like that? Aiden is having to really come to grips with what happened and just what Jeremy means to him. That he wanted Jeremy. That he waited until Jeremy was ready for him. Aiden is this great guy who has this family that loves him so much. He’s got this other family at the mill where he works that show him love and acceptance and guidance if needed. Aiden is so strong and so determined for Jeremy to know that he’s loved, both the good and bad sides of himself, equally.
The secondary characters are so wonderful. You get the feeling of such love and acceptance and understanding from them. Craw is this wonderful gruff man who does what he can for those in his life that he loves. I love that he’s got this really tender side to him. Ariadne has become Jeremy’s best friend. Ariadne and her husband, Rory are going to have a baby with a cleft palate and they will be in need. Even with all that is going on with them, there is love and acceptance there. Jeremy and Ari’s relationship blossoms and grows into such love and friendship, it was really sweet to watch.
This story had so much going on. Love. Not only romantic love, but the love of your family and also the family that you have created. Acceptance of the past and who you are now. I guess you can call that acceptance of self. I love the sense of community that this story had. I loved the way everyone came out to help Ari and Rory was beautiful. I love that Jeremy got the chance to seek and gain redemption. That commitment was needed and how Jeremy stepped up to the plate and decided to knock it out of the park.

Amy is a Master Storyteller. I have read her works and have never read a book that made me not fall in love with her characters. I’m in there with them and going on the journey right along side of them. There was actually no real angst in this story. Just Jeremy’s in regard to commitment, but other than that, angst-free. I’m not much of a knitter, but the way Amy described the knitting in this book, it just amazing!! I could actually see what the patterns were. AMAZING!!
This book was beautiful to read. I enjoyed the ride and I know that if you love Amy’s Granby Knitting Series, this is one that you’ll really love. Don’t wait, go and get this book and be prepared to be taken on a journey.

5 Pants Off

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Review: Holding out For a Fairy Tale by A.J Thomas

Reviewed by Whuppsy
Holding Out for a Fairy Tale (Least Likely Partnership #2) by A.J Thomas
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 250pgs
4.5 Pants Off

When his vicious cousin Alejandro makes a violent late-night visit, San Diego homicide detective Ray Delgado gets a brutal reminder of why he left his family behind. Alejandro wants Ray to find his sister, Sophia, who disappeared from the UC San Diego campus, before the FBI digs too deep into his business.

Special Agent Elliot Belkamp spent his entire life jumping from one place to another, but his new assignment assisting a FBI task force offers him a chance to settle down. When Elliot catches a missing person's case as his first assignment, the last person he expects to find poking around the victim’s dorm room is Ray, a one-time hookup he’s more inclined to punch in the face than kiss hello. After discovering Sophia's disappearance is linked to a massive computer-based theft that has two powerful crime families ready to declare war, Elliot focuses on his investigation and tries to ignore Ray. As the search for Sophia turns dangerous, Elliot and Ray discover that tackling organized crime might be easier than resisting the urge to tackle each other.

I had read the first book, A Casual Weekend Thing and I really liked it.  I was really excited to read the second book in the series and I’m really glad that I did.

Ray Delgado is this really very smart, loves science fiction and computers and playing wonderful, elaborate jokes.  Ray is a great cop.  The analytical way that his brain works to
move pieces together is one of his endearing traits.  The other is his self-proclaimed nerdom.  Ray is loyal and kind and so very giving.  If he cares about you, you know that he’d be there in a hot minute if you needed him.  Ray is closeted at the moment. He doesn’t want his fellow cops to know that he’s bisexual, leaning towards gay.  Ray’s family is just so damn hard on him.  He’s on the other side of the law from his family and he’s done things that they can’t forgive him for. 

Elliot Belkamp is a special agent with the FBI who we also met in the first book.  Elliott is a much more complex character than you would have originally thought.  Elliot is a war veteran, martial artist besides being an up and coming special agent.  Elliot is open about his sexuality.  He doesn’t advertise, but he doesn’t deny it.  Elliot is such a great character.  He’s honest and open and so very kind.  He is also more dangerous than you’d think.  I like the fact that Elliot is so honest about what he’s thinking and feeling. It’s a nice foil for Ray’s behavior. Elliot strives so hard to do the right thing and do the very best job that he can.

There were some good secondary characters in this story.  The people from Ray’s job, they were such a great bunch of people.  They truly cared about him and did what they could to help him out during his time of need.  Elliot’s boss, who was more than a boss, but also a friend.  Special agent Hathaway, a co-worker of Elliot’s was more of a joke for the majority of this book.  You could tell that this character had some things going on and I actually surprised when I got further into the story about him. Carmen, Ray’s sister, well I thought she was just ok until the end of the story and then I didn’t like her at all.  Alejandro, Ray’s cousin, WOW!!  He was great!! 

I like the dangerous way he acted during the entire book.  He was one character that you didn’t have to worry about.  Well, if he didn’t want to kill you, that is.  Alejandro is dangerous and truly without a conscience.  He’s the kind of bad guy that you end up liking a bit.  I know that I did. Hayes and Doug make a brief appearance in the book and it was really good to see them again.  I love seeing them again and seeing how their relationship is going.  

There was a bit of sex in this story, but it never overwhelmed the story in the least.  The amount of sex truly was done in a way that expressed emotions between our MC’s.  It was never over the top and it only helped to move our story along.  Really tastefully done.

I will say that the mystery/suspense part of the story was so well done that I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what was really happening and in doing so, didn’t see what was right in front of me.  Which is sad to say for someone like me who likes to know exactly who’s doing what and picking up the bad guy from the beginning.  I give mad props to AJ for making me work for it in the end.

I really liked this book and am looking forward to more books from this author in the future.  So, settle back in a comfy chair and get ready for a wonderful story that will have you entertained from the minute you start reading until the very last word is read.           

Review: The Art of Breathing by TJ Klune

Reviewed by Whuppsy
The Art of Breathing (Bear, Otter, and Kid #3) by TJ Klune
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 350 pgs
5 Pants Off

Tyson Thompson graduated high school at sixteen and left the town of Seafare, Oregon, bound for what he assumed would be bigger and better things. He soon found out the real world has teeth, and he returns to the coast with four years of failure, addiction, and a diagnosis of panic disorder trailing behind him. His brother, Bear, and his brother's husband, Otter, believe coming home is exactly what Tyson needs to find himself again. Surrounded by family in the Green Monstrosity, Tyson attempts to put the pieces of his broken life back together.

But shortly after he arrives home, Tyson comes face to face with inevitability in the form of his childhood friend and first love, Dominic Miller, who he hasn't seen since the day he left Seafare. As their paths cross, old wounds reopen, new secrets are revealed, and Tyson discovers there is more to his own story than he was told all those years ago.

In a sea of familiar faces, new friends, and the memories of a mother's devastating choice, Tyson will learn that in order to have any hope for a future, he must fight the ghosts of his past.

So, I’m such a fan of Tj’s books.  He can make you feel so much with his words.  He draws you in his stories and you fall into them and you can’t get out until the very end.  Even then, it’s never fully over for you, trust me. When I heard that the Kid’s story was coming out, I KNEW I had to read this book.  I knew that I was going to cry because I cry in ALL of his books.  Especially his Bear, Otter and the Kid Chronicles.  So, are you ready?  Well, let’s get into itThis is the Kid’s (Ty’s) story. It’s a story BOATK fan has been waiting for.  But, I really don’t think that we were expecting the level of gut-wrenching that we got. But, I will say that it was worth it and Tj stayed in the realm that he has created so well.

Ty’s life isn’t going as well as he thought it would. He’s coming back to Seafare after being put on academic probation because of the problems that he’s faced over the last couple of years.  Ty was diagnosed with Panic Disorder and those attacks take so much from him. He got addicted to drugs and had to battle his way back.  Ty has so much fear in his life that he just can’t see a way out.  But he’s trying to get his life in order.  I love the resilience that Ty shows in trying to figure out his life. 

Ty has been in love with Dominic since he was young.  He at first though it was just friendship, but it wasn’t until he got older that he realized that it was love.  Dom has always been just his.  Dom helped to keep things from being too scary.  He was Ty’s heart and that kept him beating along. 

Ty says it perfectly:” Bear may be my rock, but Dom is the force that moves me.”

 Their way to happiness isn’t going to easy, but this is Tj Klune, so we know that there will be bumps and bruises along the way.  It was a slow build to their HEA.  Tj is known for making his characters deal with the issues that plague them.  Ty had so much to work on.  Dealing with the abandonment of his mother when he was five.  Dealing with the fractured relationship that he has with Dom.  Trying to deal with his own feelings of insecurities.  

Ty’s voice was so different from Bear’s voice.  Ty is neurotic thoughts are the same and yet so different from Bear’s. Ty is a vegetarian, hippish, ecoterrorist that will make your heart hurt and yet, you just want the very best for him.  Ty is dealing with so much and yet, his love for his family, the family that has been created during our tenure of BOATK’s chronicles is unmatched.  I love to see how he deals with all of the crazy that is his family.  The love that they all share is beyond beautiful to see.

Dom is Ty’s other half.  Dom realized that Ty was his as well.  Even though he’s so much older than Ty and he wants him to stay, he lets Ty go.  To allow Ty to realize his dreams.  It’s wonderful to see Dom again and he’s such a wonderful man.  I always liked Dom.  He was so strong and silent and yet, he’s always shown such consideration for Ty.  How gentle and kind he was with Ty.  I just fell for this guy.  He’s all that and so much more in this story.  So much more.  I fell more in love with his character in this book.

The secondary characters in this book, WOW!!  I loved them so much!!  Creed, Anna and JJ, their son had me in stitches!!  Creed is ALWAYS great for a laugh.  He’s still the same after so many years.  I love that about him.  Corey/Kori, I truly loved this character.  I learned about bigenderism and it was something that is so real and really needs to be explored more. Sandy, Paul, Vince and Darren made appearances in this story and can I just say…I WANT WAY MORE OF THEM!!  I can’t wait for Sandy and Darren’s story!!  Vince was his truly adorkable self and I still just wanted to kiss his cheek and listen to his sweetness. Paul…what can you say about Paul?  Paul just had me rolling. I was laughing out loud

reading him.  If you’ve not read Tell Me It’s Real, you’re missing so much and you must RUN to read that book.  You’ll totally laugh and cry your way through that book. Otter, is still the protective Father/Brother for Ty.  He’s Bear’s other half.  His sane half.  I love that Otter is still the rock that he’s always been.  Bear…I’ve saved Bear for last.  I love his protectiveness.  His love for Ty is unparalleled. To see Bear and watch him Freak Out is quite possibly the best part of these books.  Bear is just a hoot to read about.  You’ll enjoy his crazy as much as ever, possibly even more.  I know that I did. 

I have to say that this book spanned more years than the previous books, but the way Tj did it and the reason was perfect.  This book was perfect.  There were times when I thought my heart would fall out of my chest with the sadness and sorrow that I felt.  Yet, there was times that I laughed out loud and snorted.  Tj has ALWAYS given you wonderful books that draw you in and you go on the journey with the characters.  He hasn’t lost that touch in the least.  In fact, he keeps getting better with every book that he does.  He did with this book.  Know that you are about to go on Ty’s journey with him and feel everything that he does. You will cheer his triumphs and hurt for him in his sadness. 

So, sit down and grab some tissues and be prepared to go on an emotional ride and never want to get off.

5 Pants Off