Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Audio Review: Retribution by Sloane Kennedy

Retribution (Protectors #3) by Sloane Kennedy, Narration by Joel Leslie
Audible, Amazon, Goodreads
Time: 8 hours and 3mins

Blurb: Ex Special Forces soldier Michael “Hawke” Hawkins has spent every day of the last ten years waiting for the moment he would get to watch the life fade from the eyes of the men who brutally murdered his wife, but when he finally gets the break he’s been waiting for, the trail leads him to someone he wasn’t expecting.

After nearly two years of running, 24-year-old Tate Travers has become an expert at hiding…until the day a dangerous stranger shows up looking for vengeance and threatens to destroy the fragile life Tate has managed to build for himself and his five-year-old son. Except the life Tate has been struggling to hold on to started unraveling long before Hawke showed up looking for the same men Tate has been running from…his own father and older brother.

Retribution – it’s all Hawke has wanted since the day he held his wife’s hand as she took her last breath. And he won’t give that up for anything or anyone…not even the tormented young man trying to give his little boy a better life. Because Tate is the only one who can lead Hawke to the men he’s been searching for. And if it means forcing the young man to confront the past that nearly destroyed him, then so be it.

Only the last thing Hawke expects to feel is something besides the hatred that has driven him. And he definitely never expected to feel it for a man.

But when it comes down to choosing between the unwanted feelings Tate stirs in him and the revenge he’s finally close enough to taste, will Hawke be able to give up the one thing that has kept him going for a second chance at a future he gave up on ever having?


Review

The Story: 3.75 Pants Off 

Michael “Hawke”Hawkins lives for the day he catches his wife’s killers. That’s his only mission, and when he gets evidence that could finally lead him to his killers Hawke is more than ready to lay down the law. What the evidence leads to is someone he never expected. Tate Travers the link to his revenge and Hawke will be damned if he lets the man out of his sight. But Tate comes with responsibility, in the form of a son who has just been diagnosed with a serious illness. It’s time for a little manipulation and promising Tate that his son will get the best medical treatment on the condition that he takes them to the men responsible for the death of his wife, his father and brother.  

Tate has been running from the very men Hawke wants him to help find but his sons health on the line at this point he’d do anything, and that includes helping the asshole who had a gun on him in front of his son but there is something about him that Tate just can’t deny. Maybe this thing between them will lead to something but Tate knows it won’t because Hawke is very much a straight man still madly in love with his life. 

Thus begins a love story between a man who held another man at gunpoint in front of his son and who needs him to help catch his murdering father and brother. Tate has fallen hard for Hawke but the man has whatever left of his heart locked away tight but Tate is willing to take scraps if it means only having Hawke for just a moment. 

What can I say about this except nothing really happens, just whole bunch of the same same. Like there was some heartwarming story mixed in with doom and angst but I feel like we’ve gotten the same type of feel as the previous books. With that being said I happen to like this story a lot more than the previous books. Hawke is a bit of an asshole but I liked his character and the reason for his pain is very understandable. Tate I also liked, he stepped up and took care of his son and was willing to anything at any cost to himself. 

I didn’t really like the conclusion but I get it, things needed to be tied up and a lot of things explained but overall an alright entertaining book. I found this to be the least sexy of the books and it should have been hella sexy with Hawke catching his first feelings for a man but there was just some questionable shit there and the fact that Tate took that really pissed me off.  

The Narration: 3.5 Pants Off  

Now this was a better job from the previous book and there was no random burst of laughter from me. Still some emoting especially when Ronan came in, seriously that voice for that character is a freaking mess.  

Not really a fan of his voice for Tate, he ended up sounding like a gentile southern lady. Which I wasn’t really feeling but I didn’t hate it. I feel there were a few scenes there that needed just a little bit more emotion and it wasn’t quite delivered. Also after awhile a few characters started sound exactly like each other, except for Ronan his voice will be a tattoo on my brain and will have me bursting into giggles whenever I think of it. 

It was a passable job but nothing to really rave about 🤷🏽


Review: Sin and Tonic by Rhys Ford

SIN and TONIC (Sinners #6) by Rhys Ford
Dreamspinner Press, Goodreads, Amazon
Novel: 270pgs

4 Pants Off

Blurb: Miki St. John believed happy endings only existed in fairy tales until his life took a few unexpected turns… and now he’s found his own.

His best friend, Damien, is back from the dead, and their new band, Crossroads Gin, is soaring up the charts. Miki’s got a solid, loving partner named Kane Morgan—an Inspector with SFPD whose enormous Irish family has embraced him as one of their own—and his dog, Dude, at his side.

It’s a pity someone’s trying to kill him.

Old loyalties and even older grudges emerge from Chinatown’s murky, mysterious past, and Miki struggles to deal with his dead mother’s abandonment, her secrets, and her brutal murder while he’s hunted by an enigmatic killer who may have ties to her.

The case lands in Kane’s lap, and he and Miki are caught in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. When Miki is forced to face his personal demons and the horrors of his childhood, only one thing is certain: the rock star and his cop are determined to fight for their future and survive the evils lurking in Miki’s past.


Review

NOW ITS TIME TO SAY GOODBYE!


 And an era has come to a close. Our boys are now men (well…) and people are still out here trying to kill everybody. 

Miki St John haven’t had the best run at life, and while there has been really good things like falling in love with the man of his dreams Kane, and having his best friend back who he thought had died Damien. So yes, shit has hit all the proverbial fans with him but there’s so much good he’s been given and yet his past is always behind him like a shadow of death following him everywhere and now someone wants him dead once and for all. While he's lived in his bubble over never facing his mental issues and ignoring all the things that got him to where he is right at this very moment, the jig is up and it’s time to face the music, the songs of his past and the beats of his future. Miki St John will not go out without a fight and he’s got family, he’s got friends, he’s got Kane. 

If you’re like me and have been with the boys from the beginning then you know all this was meant to happen. People have been trying to kill Miki from way back when and now we finally know why, now Miki finally knows why. Done in Rhys Fords usual dramatic flair and Sin and Tonic kept you on your toes and had you anticipating when the final shoe will drop. 

What worked for series at one point, kind of worked against this story. Don’t get me wrong I love Miki and Kane but by the middle of the book I was like his ass gon die just now”. Miki being stubborn was no longer cute and just downright annoying. He knows if he moves something blows up, so I don’t know why he couldn’t just understand to keep his ass at home. I get it, he’s independent and does what he wants but he forever be putting himself and innocent people in harms way. The big climax was a bit of a disappointment because I saw it coming. Like people out in the streets trying to kill Miki but you gon leave him at home all by his lonesome (oh bad guy what a big gun you have).  

Upside, I love seeing his growth. Forever he been avoiding everything and in the process pushing people away and unraveling, so to see him getting the help he finally needs is just “bless up”. Lots of loose ends gets all tied up and finally we know how Miki St John came to be and how his past lead him to the future he has now. 

Overall, a nice wrap up to a wonderful series. From Sinners Gin to to Sin and Tonic the entire series has been a wonderful series filled with violence, music, and most of all heart. What a ride it has been to watch all these men fall in love and find family in the process. Regardless of past and situations music brought them together and music kept them together. It’s been a pleasure Miki St John, Kane, Connor, Forest, Damien, Rafe, Quinn, Sionn, and the entire Morgan clan. 


 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Review: Alpha Heat by Leta Blake

Alpha Heat (Heat of Love #2) by Leta Blake
Amazon, Goodreads
Novel: 424pgs

4 Pants Off

Blurb: A desperate young alpha. An older alpha with a hero complex. A forbidden love that can’t be denied.

Young Xan Heelies knows he can never have what he truly wants: a passionate romance and happy-ever-after with another alpha. It’s not only forbidden by the prevailing faith of the land, but such acts are illegal.

Urho Chase is a middle-aged alpha with a heartbreaking past. Careful, controlled, and steadfast, his friends dub him old-fashioned and staid. When Urho discovers a dangerous side to Xan’s life that he never imagined, his world is rocked and he’s consumed by desire. The carefully sewn seams that held him together after the loss of his omega and son come apart—and so does he.

But to love each other and make a life together, Xan and Urho risk utter ruin. With the acceptance and support of Caleb, Xan’s asexual and aromantic omega and dear friend, they must find the strength to embrace danger and build the family they deserve.

This gay romance novel by Leta Blake is the second in the Slow Heat universe. It’s 130,000 words, with a strong happy ending and a well-crafted, non-shifter Omegaverse. It features alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, heat, and knotting. No cheating. Content warning for brief sexual violence.

Review

ALPHA SIZED OMEGA

All the ways I was excited to read this after falling truly, madly, deeply in love with the first book Slow Heat. Alpha Heat was very much on my radar featuring two characters that really pissed me off but who I eventually grew to like. Alpha Heat brought the sexy but it also brought heart. 

Xan Heelies is a young Alpha who doesn’t feel like an alpha. For his entire life Xan has known that he doesn’t fit the make and model of what an alpha should be. His desires are forbidden and will never be looked at favourably because you see Xan knows with every fibre of his being that he’s an Omega and though the world sees Alpha it’s the one thing he can never be truly. Xan slates his desire in the worst way possible and it often leaves him bloody and bruised. He once felt loved when he was with his best-friend but his friend found his own omega, his one true mate. Yet, Xan has to live an Alpha life and that means having his own omega and producing children regardless of what he feels inside. Then there is Urho, all that is Alpha and man  Xan yearns for but what Alpha would want a man that’s broken and is only an Omega in feeling. 

“I don’t think what’s wrong with me is something that can ever heal.” 

Urho lost his true mate (erosgape) a long time ago and his long time lover not too long ago. His life is pretty much picturesque and he’s fulfilled by his job and friends. He’s old fashioned and set in his ways and that does cause some strife between him and his friends but no one gets to him like Xan, Xan the mouthy Alpha who invokes feelings in him that he has no business feeling. And mostly it makes him angry because the things he wants is not allowed. 

A chance meeting between the men lead to some awful truths and also some inevitable ones. If Urho can give Xan what he needs then he can also keep him safe and besides he’s realizing that it’s also something he craves and one things for sure his alpha sized omega will be his undoing.  

Together they navigate a forbidden attraction and pair that with Xans contracted but asexual omega and you have a unique story filled with many delights. For me the first 50% was hot as hell and so incredibly sexy. The push pull dance between Urho and Xan was done so well I think I almost passed out from holding my breath for a few minutes. That part was done amazingly and yet it really started to fizzle out for me, not so much where it wasn’t enjoyable but enough for it to lose what made it exciting. 

As I mentioned I didn’t much like Xan when first introduced but he turned out to be a multilayered character, and Urho was just Urho (which is surprising because I couldn’t stand him in book 1. He was a obnoxious, condescending prick) a great fit for Xan and an even better alpha for him. Throw in characters that I’ve come to love and new ones that I’m starting to appreciate and you have a solid second story in the ABO verse.  

I did have a few things I didn’t like. First, I caught Xan in many lies and then he sorta just brushed it over. Second, how you gon feel it’s ok to be beaten to an inch of your life and think that’s ok because you “need” sex, I’m sure there’s many avenues he could have gone and I’m trying to understand why it had to be him 🤔. Third, how Mr abuser was conveniently handled but also how it felt like what he did was no big deal (The he was a problem, we made him more of a problem and then snipered him out). Fourth, and this really bothered me. The description of Urho being dark skinned but I’ve been trying to figure exactly what that means. Dark skinned as in black man, dark skinned as being south Asian or just dark skinned as being tanner than the other characters? Representation is an important thing and I found that with not saying exactly what he was just felt like avoidance, but that’s just my opinion. Last but not least the crazy ending there. It followed the same pattern of the first book where all the crazy just happen at once and I wasn’t checking for that.. 

Overall, I still very much liked this story and while I didn’t fall in love like I did the first book, I still really liked it. It missed it mark by trying to follow the same steps or setup and what worked for a Slow Heat didn’t work for this one but it’s still an enjoyable story. If you’re like me and love Mpreg and Alpha/Beta/Omega dynamics then this series is definitely something to check out. 

SideNote: I need this on Audio asap. Michael F. I’m looking at you baby 😁