Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Audio Review: Jack: Grime and Punishment by Z.A Maxfield

Jack: Grime and Punishment (The Brothers Grime #1) by Z.A Maxfield
Audible, Goodreads
Time: 5hrs and 52 minutes

4 Pants Off

Blurb: The Brothers Grime is Jack Masterson's way of helping people in crisis after disability ends his career as a firefighter. Jack's people get to a scene long after the physical trauma ends. They don't solve crime or rescue the victims. They help people move on. The new job is all Jack wants or needs, until he gets the call about old flame Nick Foasberg's suicide. Ryan Halloran's cousin Nick has been on a downhill slide for a long time. Despite that, Ryan does everything he knows to help. Ryan only understands part of what happened between Nick and Jack in high school, but after Nick's suicide, Ryan agrees both he and Jack need closure. They work together to clean the scene and despite the situation, heat flares between them. Jack is keeping a painful secret and fighting his attraction to Nick's lookalike cousin, Ryan. Ryan calls himself a magnet for lost causes and worries Jack might be the next in a long line of losers. Despite his misgivings, despite the past and the mistakes they've both made, Jack gives Ryan something to look forward to, and Ryan gives Jack a reason to stop looking back, in Grime And Punishment.


Review

I enjoyed this just as much the second time around. Z.A offered up a story with a profession that I’ve never read in m/m before and it just makes it so interesting, and plus I really enjoy the authors writing. 

The Story: 4 Pants Off  

Jack is one of the owners in The Brothers Grime, a crime scene clean up service. Once a firefighter, an accident left him unable to continue the job of his heart but was able to find another way to help others. One wouldn’t think about what happens after the cops leave but Jack and his crew think about all that comes. They make it easier to clean up so the family, or maybe a spouse won’t have to deal with the hard reality of worrying about getting blood off the walls and out of a carpet.  

When he gets the heads up from his detective on and off lover that his first love Nick from his teen years committed suicide Jacks knows he needs to bid for the job no matter that he’s too emotionally connected to the case. How he and Nick ended was very tragic and Jack still carry the scars of it all but deep down he knows he needs do the cleanup even though it will bring old hurts to the forefront. All that’s left is convincing his cousin Ryan who happens to be Nicks lookalike. Cleaning up what’s left of Nick while looking into eyes and face that’s a dead ringer to his once lover now dead is a bad idea of epic proportions. 

As I said. I love the crime cleanup part of the story. No one ever thinks about what happens to crime scenes and the care that’s needed to cleanup. Thinking about blood born pathogens and all that isn’t even on people’s radar but Z.A brings it up here and gives you something to think about. 

The relationship between Jack and Ryan wasn’t hot fire but I liked it well enough. What bothers me is how Ryan viewed Jack in the beginning without knowing anything and how Jack took everything on like it was his fault. I also didn’t understand why the story revolves around Nick and yet I know nothing about him expect he was a drug addicted asshole. He obviously was dealing with somethings and his story intrigued me because I just wanna know “why”. 

Overall, another solid book by ZAM. I’ve never really disliked a book by this author and this one had that dark morose element that doesn’t exist much in the other author’s work. It was a new type of pace. 

The Narration: 3.5 Pants Off  

The narration wasn’t horrible but I did find it forgettable. It’s a good thing the story is so enjoyable. The was no strong difference between the voice of Jack and some of the other characters. While not incredible I still enjoyed Joe Arden's narration. There was a lot of emoting and no actual strong emotions coming across and that stopped it from getting a higher rating.

Review: Absinthe of Malice by Rhys Ford

Absinthe of Malice (Sinners #5) by Rhys Ford
Dreamspinner Press, Goodreads, Amazon
Novel: 200pgs
3.5 Pants Off

Blurb: We’re getting the band back together.

Those six words send a chill down Miki St. John’s spine, especially when they’re spoken with a nearly religious fervor by his brother-in-all-but-blood, Damien Mitchell. However, those words were nothing compared to what Damien says next.

And we’re going on tour.

When Crossroads Gin hits the road, Damien hopes it will draw them closer together. There’s something magical about being on tour, especially when traveling in a van with no roadies, managers, or lovers to act as a buffer. The band is already close, but Damien knows they can be more—brothers of sorts, bound not only by familial ties but by their intense love for music.

As they travel from gig to gig, the band is haunted by past mistakes and personal demons, but they forge on. For Miki, Damie, Forest, and Rafe, the stage is where they all truly come alive, and the music they play is as important to them as the air they breathe.

But those demons and troubles won’t leave them alone, and with every mile under their belts, the band faces its greatest challenge—overcoming their deepest flaws and not killing one another along the way.

Review

A STORY WAS ABSINTHE

So the 5th book in the Sinners series and like the 4th book I didn’t like it a hell of a lot. While I understand the reason for this book because of course it’s the setup to the finale. There was just a whole lot of nothing IMO. 

The band is back on. Made up of the lovers of the Morgan family Miki St John and Damien decide to put the old band back together. No longer Sinners Gin but Crossroads Gin And their tour is one of rebirth and moving forward. Too bad the past won’t stay dead and someone is dead set on hindering their future. 

What I like: I loved getting glimpses into the lives of the boys and their significant others. Life on the road can be tough and so I just really enjoyed seeing their vulnerability and the strong sense of family they all have.  

A realistic approach to their issues. Especially dealing with Miki and Rafe, it was great to see them face their problems head on and finally start asking for help. Miki has been a head case since the beginning of time and I for one am hella happy he’s realizing that his thought process is a tad bit unhealthy.  

Throw in the mystery, the crazy that comes with most Rhys Ford book, and some steamy scenes and you have a nicely balanced book. 

I’d like to make this Public Service Announcement…I live for Forest and Connor. They have captured my heart and their book is my fave, Connor is my fave Morgan and I need an invite to the wedding.  

What I didn’t like: How easily I know that things will go boom. For once I’d like to be surprised and things don’t go the expected OTT route.  

I feel like a whole lot of nothing happened until the very end here and then I was excited again. I am looking forward to the final book in the series and I already know it’s going to go down. I’m gonna need everything wrapped up in a neat little bow, and for Miki to get his basket of a mind weaved a little tighter.  

Overall, another entertaining read which was just a nice little glimpse into the lives of the men we’ve grown to love.

 

Release Blitz & Giveaway: Out, Proud, and Prejudiced by Megan Reddaway



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 85,000 words approx.

Blurb

One’s proud, one’s prejudiced, and they can’t stand each other.

Quick-tempered Bennet Rourke dislikes Darius Lanniker on sight. Darius may be a hotshot city lawyer, but that doesn’t give him the right to sneer at Bennet, his friends, and their college. It doesn’t help that Bennet’s restaurant job has him waiting at Darius’s table. So when his tutor recommends him for an internship at Darius’s Pemberley estate, Bennet isn’t sure he wants it. He’s also not sure he can afford to turn it down.

Darius is a fish out of water in the small college town of Meriton, but something keeps pulling him back there. He’s helping out a friend with business advice, nothing more. If he’s interested in Bennet, it’s not serious. Sure, Bennet challenges him in a way no other man has. But they have nothing in common. Right?

Wrong. Their best friends are falling in love, and Bennet and Darius can’t seem to escape each other. Soon they’re sharing climbing ropes and birthday cake, and there’s a spark between them that won’t be denied.

But betrayal is around the corner. Darius must swallow his pride and Bennet must drop his prejudices to see the rainbow shining through the storm clouds.

A standalone novel—a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Note: contains mention of past abuse.

About The Author

MEGAN REDDAWAY lives in England and has been entertained by fictional characters acting out their stories in her head for as long as she can remember. She began writing them down as soon as she could.

Since she grew up, she has worked as a secretary, driver, barperson, and article writer, among other things. Whatever she is doing, she always has a story bubbling away at the same time.

For news of Megan’s gay romance releases and two free stories, visit her website: http://meganreddaway.com
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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Review: Shiver by Jocelyn Drake & Rinda Elliott

Shiver (Unbreakable Bonds #1) by Jocelyn Drake & Rinda Elliott
Amazon, Goodreads
Novel: 330pgs

4 Pants Off

Blurb: Lucas Vallois is always in control. He’s building an empire in the glittering city of Cincinnati and created his own family from his three close friends. The self-made millionaire has everything he wants within his tight grasp. But his world starts to crumble after he’s jumped by a trio of thugs late one night after leaving a club. The warning is clear—give up his new property venture or end up dead.

Caving to the demands of his friends, Lucas accepts the help of bodyguard, Andrei Hadeon, as as he hunts for the source of this new threat. But as Lucas gets closer to uncovering the danger, he realizes the sexy Romanian bodyguard poses an even bigger risk to his carefully constructed world. Trapped by a need he never expected, Lucas must find a way to deny the shiver of longing he cannot control.

His brother. His warrior. His heart. Four friends. Unbreakable bonds.

Review

SHAKING AND QUAKING 


Well, well, well what have we here? I was never expecting to enjoy this book so much so I went in with little expectations. The last time I went in thinking I’m gonna love a book (ahem Try) I was very disappointed so I went in to Shiver expecting nothing and man was I surprised. The book was hella enjoyable and I am so looking forward to reading the entire series. Let the hot man fucking commence. 

Lucas Vallois, hot man and millionaire. He doesn’t have many things that he loves in life. His love boils down to his three best-friends and his job. Life is good until Lucas finds himself being jumped on a night out with his friends. In a fight Lucas can most definitely handle himself but against 3 seasoned fighters it’s a bit of a stretch, plus the men have intent to do some serious damage. He gets away (barely) and land in the hospital with some serious injuries. Seems someone wants him to hold out on his business ventures and Lucas doesn’t take threats easily.  But it seems his life is in danger and needs to protected, in comes Andrie Hadeon bodyguard extraordinaire. 

Andrie Hadeon knows how to do his job but Lucas is making it hard. First he’s got him all tied up in knots, and second he can’t seem to do his job properly. Lucas Vallois is a problem, a serious problem. Andrie has never been this attracted to a man before and it’s messing with his head, add to the fact that he’s supposed to be protecting his body not effing watching and drooling over it. Complicated shit is complicated. Lucas is more dangerous than the crazy situation they’ve landed in. 

When I say I wasn’t expecting this level of story telling and enjoyment, believe me because I wasn’t expecting it. A few pages in I knew I found a new series to get lost in and fall in love. I really enjoyed Lucas and Andrie together they were cute as hell, and Lucas’s makeshift family is already the best.  

I love the push and pull dance both men do. Is it just fucking? Is it a relationship? Is it just a strong feeling of like? I love that I got to figure it out with them. The plotty device of the thugs trying to stop Lucas’s shine was enjoyable but it was my least fave part of the story. The bad guy reveal had me giggling cus I was like “look at this fool”. While I was a little surprised, his ass was effing amateur. 

Overall, really enjoyed this one and  am looking forward to the rest of the series. Unsure if Shiver is the authors first foray into M/M and if it is, I gotta say, job well done. While it still has that hyper masculinity that some new m/m authors who predominantly write m/f books possess, I find that I didn’t mind that much and there was a nice balance. These new to me authors have found a fan in me and I am looking forward to reading about my man Snow. I’m Canadian so I can handle the cold 😈

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Audiobook Review: Slow Heat by Leta Blake

Slow Heat (Heat of Love #1) by Leta Blake, Narration by Michael Ferraiuolo
Audible, Amazon, Goodreads
Time: 14hrs and 7 minutes

4.5 Pants Off

Blurb: A lustful young alpha meets his match in an older omega with a past.

Professor Vale Aman has crafted a good life for himself. An unbonded omega in his mid-30s, he's long since given up hope that he'll meet a compatible alpha, let alone his destined mate. He's fulfilled by his career, his poetry, his cat, and his friends.

When Jason Sabel, a much younger alpha, imprints on Vale in a shocking and public way, longings are ignited that can't be ignored. Fighting their strong sexual urges, Jason and Vale must agree to contract with each other before they can consummate their passion.

But for Vale, being with Jason means giving up his independence and placing his future in the hands of an untested alpha - as well as facing the scars of his own tumultuous past. He isn't sure it's worth it. But Jason isn't giving up his destined mate without a fight.

This is a stand-alone gay romance novel, 118,000 words, with a strong HFN ending, as well as a well-crafted, non-shifter omegaverse, with alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, heat, and knotting. Content warning for pregnancy loss and aftermath.


 Review

SLOW HOT FIRE
Squeeeeeeee!! This review will probably just be all gushing cus of reasons. What a surprise to my senses and my feels Slow Heat was. I’ve read a lot of non-shifter omegaverse in fanfic and I don’t see it a lot in published works and when I do they’re not that great. But this book and the narration was a slam dunk.  

Micheal Ferraiuolo is the TRUTH!! 

The Story: 4.5 Pants Off 

Jason Sabel is a young Alpha not yet into maturity. He attends universiy to learn how to finally care for his Omega when they meet. As an Alpha he’s got urges but Omegas are to remain pure until they meet their one true match so he’s getting no love on that part. But that doesn’t stop Jason from getting himself into something warm. So he gets off with his best-friend Xan another Alpha, which is a forbidden complication, but horny growing boys. 

When Jason meets his much older omega Vale, a professor at his university it’s quite unexpected and everything is set to work against them but instinct is a hard thing to deny. To the world their union would be a disaster because Jason is a young Alpha, and to everyone else Vale is a used up Omega who has been through many heats but Jason will not be denied his true match and he’s very much willing to risk it all for Vale. 

Vale Aman has his hang ups, after going through two very traumatizing heats. An omega is required to bare children and that’s something he can never do. So, he will not let Jason suffer a childless union no matter how much his heart will hurt. For each day he spends getting to know Jason, it’s a little bit of himself that he loses to the young man. Walking away will be hard but it’s for the best even though it will break him. 

So like wow, what a rollercoaster this was. I’m all about the older guy poking younger dude, but this one had a case of younger guy poking older dude. Along with heartache and miscarriage, a very bloody sounding miscarriage. 

Things I Liked: Pretty much everything. The story is entertaining, while a bit on the very long side it really kept me entertained all through. 

I enjoyed Jason and Vale as characters and their slow burn coming together. 

The writing is amazing. Leta Blake delivered a complex and very unique novel with so much undertones about serious topics like gender, and society norms. There’s a richer meaning, and it’s so much more than dudes who get pregnant.  

I enjoyed all the supporting characters and they added more spice to the story (but sometimes they were there just a little too much).  

Things I didn’t Like: Jason’s sexual relationship with his best-friend. Initially I really disliked Xan but there is so much to his character that I’m looking forward to his story. I just find their relationship contradicting, especially after Jason meets Vale. Like the Alpha/Omega bond is this undeniable sacred thing so Jason and Xan together just seemed wrong. 

So much story about other people that wasn’t Jason and Vale. The most intense and heartbreaking moments in the book really had nothing to do with the main MCs and that really bothered me. Their entire story could have been wrapped up in 150pgs or less. 

It also didn’t need to be so depressing and angst filled through out. For once I needed something to go easily, but every aspect just had to have some obstacle to get over.  

Vale! At a certain point his negative thinking and woe is me attitude really started to irk me. He was way too into his feelings and by the end I was over him. I would have been on board if Jason said “adios you whining omega” 

It’s not a perfect 5 ️s because it really did get draggy and Vale got super whiny and I swear he became the one with the lower mental age.  

Overall, I really loved the story and there is just so much more to discuss but then this review would be a 10pg review and ain’t nobody got time for that. I’m really looking forward to reading the next book in the series. 


The Narration: 5 Pants Off 

Michael Ferraiuolo is my favourite narrator ever!! While I am new to the whole audiobook movement, Mr Michael is the best I’ve ever heard. He made the story so freaking epic and I am convinced I love it for the sole reason of his narration (Maybe). 

Each character voice was unique and exciting and there was never a moment where I was confused about who’s who. He really brought his a-game and I want to dive into any audiobook he’s done. 

Even if the story wasn’t very good Michael Ferraiuolo would have made it enjoyable regardless, he brought Slow Heat alive.  This is one story I will be listening to over and over again and eagerly anticipating the second book in audio form.