Sand Trap by L.M. Somerton

L.M. Somerton - Sand Trap coverTitle: Sand Trap

Series:  The Wyverns #4

Author: L.M. Somerton 

Genre: Bondage and BDSM, Contemporary

Length: Short (61 pages)

Publisher: Pride Publishing (May 2, 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Exposing secrets can be lethal.

Crow has had his eye on baby-faced Shelton since the young man became part of the Wyverns, but Crow is a committed Dom and unsure that Shelton is ready, or willing, to become his submissive. Getting trapped together during a dust storm provides an opportunity to find out.

When the dust settles, the winds have scoured the desert and uncovered a shallow grave full of bodies. Smuggling people across the border is big business and Crow knows that the traffickers will not want their gruesome secret revealed to the authorities.

When Shelton is taken and used as collateral, Crow and the Wyverns have to decide just how far they are prepared to go to serve justice and save Shelton’s life.

ISBN: 978-1-78651-545-2

Product Link: https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/sand-trap

Reviewer: Shorty 

Review: Crow finally decides to do something about his attraction to Shelton but while camping Shelton is kidnapped. I enjoyed this addition to the Wyvern’s series. Shelton is smart, kind, sweet and snarky. Crow is badass and possessive. 

I liked the action scene but felt it was way too short considering it’s a biker book. Other than that it was a great read.

The Strike of Hot Iron by Charlie Richards

Charlie Richards - The Strike of Hot Iron CoverTitle: The Strike of Hot Iron

Series: A Loving Nip #13

Author: Charlie Richards

Genre: Paranormal

Publisher: eXtasy Books (May 19, 2017)

Length: Novella (92 Pages)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Just a little Love Bite: When a dingo shifter finds a reluctant mate, he needs plenty of help from his friends.

Pascal agreed to move with his two brothers to a vampire coven which runs a dude and cattle ranch. With both of his brothers wrapped up in their mates, he has plenty of opportunity to explore. He accepts his sexuality as he learns his likes, dislikes, and craving, which include submitting to a dominant lover. With abuse part of Pascal’s past, his brothers don’t understand why he occasionally sports bruises from sex he claims is consensual.

When the new blacksmith arrives at the ranch, Pascal finally understands what his brothers had talked about when describing the mate-pull. Abner Johnson is all he can think about. Unfortunately, while the huge redhead is okay with a little fun, he doesn’t want a relationship…with anyone. He’s also up front about his feelings on biting–don’t even try it.

Can Pascal get help wooing his mate from his family and friends, even when they don’t understand his desires?

ISBN: 978-1-4874-1323-1

Product Link:  http://www.extasybooks.com/the-strike-of-hot-iron/

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: Each book in A Loving Nip collection features a different romantic couple. To enjoy the overall story arc and crossover characters, I would recommend reading the series in sequential order. In fact I would recommend reading the very first series that leads you to this one. Wolves of Stone Ridge is the starter that many different series branched off, so I would start with that one first. There are about five different series, so you will definitely be entertained. 

I came across Charlie when she wrote her very first book for the Wolves of Stone Ridge series and never looked back. You will meet a group of alpha that want the love of their mates. They live many centuries and their mates make their lives better and a bit interesting. Most of the time they have their serious tones but there is quite a bit of humor mixed in with them that make them even more fascinating for me. Each story will have danger, excitement, adventure, and a touch of kink to them that will keep your attention the whole time, like it does for me. 

Pascal and his brothers were rescued from their old lives and brought to live among a vampire coven.  It was definitely a change for them, to live with no fear.  The ranch is a nice place to heal, but Pascal is a bit different.  He is learning that he is definitely a submissive, but is afraid to let the others know.  That is until his mate shows up.

Abner is one of the few who cannot be tranced by a vampire.  He found that out the hard way.  Now he is let into the secret of the paranormal world and is fine as long as no one wants a snack.  He is interested in a bit of fun with the dingo, but nothing to serious.  Too bad for him, he is a mate.   

I love how Charlie puts together a book that will draw you in and keep you captivated all the way to the end. Charlie has become one of my favorite authors, and I am glad to see that it will never change. This is one book I would recommend. 

Charlie’s Hero by Nic Starr ~ Audiobook

Nic Starr - Charlie's Hero Cover AudioTitle: Charlie’s Hero

Series: Heroes Book 1

Author: Nic Starr

Narrator: Joel Leslie

Genre: Coming Out, Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs and 55 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit

Narration: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Schoolteacher Charlie Matthews returns to his hometown, looking to regain a sense of community, reconnect with friends, and settle down. It looks like his dreams have come true when paramedic Josh Campbell attends an accident at the school. It’s love at first sight, and a romance begins.

But Josh’s reluctance to come out to the brother who raised him puts pressure on their fledgling relationship. While Charlie understands Josh’s concerns, he can’t help growing impatient. After all, Charlie came out years ago.

It’s not until Charlie confronts his own parents and realizes he hasn’t come to terms with their rejection that he fully understands what Josh has to lose. But Josh is Charlie’s hero, and Josh will do anything to prove to Charlie that to be part of a family, he doesn’t need his parents.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: Schoolteacher is hot for the EMT! It’s a cute matchup, but takes a while to get there. The romance has a slow simmer, which can be very refreshing, but sometimes I wanted the story to pick up the pace a bit.

The narrator, Joel Leslie did a very fine job with the character variation, the passionate scenes may have been a bit flat, but still tastefully done.

My favorite thing about Charlie’s Hero is the building of a community, friends, family and co-workers coming together to enjoy each other’s company and build a strong community of support. I love to see this and in reality it isn’t done enough.  

Most of the drama here occurs with Josh, and his fear over what his brother will do when he finds out Josh is gay. I can also feel Charlie’s frustrations with Josh, and I’m just crushed over his idiotic family’s reactions during the story. Plenty of sadness, frustration, anger and lusty moments abound in this contemporary love story. The drama builds and builds in a fun way with a definite twist at the end.

A warm fuzzy, sexy read.

The Dentist and His Fox by A.J. Jarrett

A.J. Jarrett - The Dentist and the Fox CoverTitle: The Dentist and His Fox

Series: Nehalem Pack #37

Author: A.J. Jarrett

Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy

Publisher: Siren Publishing (May 8, 2017)

Length: Novella (162 Pages)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: It’s the start of a brand new life for Reed Ingram. He’s just graduated dental school and is opening his own practice. With the encouragement of his brother and the Nehalem pack, he’s making a home in Silver Creek. Little does he know, he’s about to find so much more than a place to set down roots.

Love doesn’t exist, and Dane Forum wants no part of it. He was raised by an absentee father and a mother who thought love was controlling everything and everyone. Dane isn’t sure he believes that there is a mate out there for him…that is until he walks into Dr. Ingram’s office. His life it flipped upside down and in a tailspin because now Dane is feeling so many emotions and dare he say it, love?

Life is short, and love doesn’t come along often. Now, it’s up to Reed to prove to Dane that love is real and worth fighting for.    

ISBN: 978-1-64010-326-9

Product Link: http://www.bookstrand.com/book/the-dentist-and-his-fox

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: Each book in the Nehalem Pack collection features a different romantic couple. To enjoy the overall story arc and crossover characters, I would recommend reading the series in sequential order. 

I got a kick out of the title for this story, but the cover was a bit boring.  Let’s just say that if I wasn’t a fan of quirky titles, and just went by what the cover looked like, I would have probably dismissed it.  Although the fox on the front was adorable.  Now that that is out of the way, let’s get to the story itself.

I haven’t read to many stories where dentist and dentistry are used.  It cracks me up each time and the characters are usually quirky.  However it also sounded to familiar to me.  However it did not take away from this story at all.  Reed is a human who has a shifter for a brother.  He is used to pack life and the way things move around.  In fact his big brother talked him into moving to Silver Creek right after graduating from dental school.  He just doesn’t expect a sexy little fox shifter.

Dane is a very good dental assistant, who just wants to get away from his family.  His dad was never around and his mother is a first class bitch.  Everything is about look and prestige whereas Dane is about normal living and peace.  He also does not believe in love, so when he finds his mate, well let’s just say sparks will fly.  

It is a fun filled and very quirky story that has its ups and downs.  I would have kicked his mother out a very long time ago.  I got a kick out of the guys and let’s just say there doesn’t really seem to be an alpha bone among them.  I liked the over protective big brother part.  Sometimes their way of life seems to be a lot calmer then the way real life is these days.  It would definitely be a world I would love to live in. 

I had fun with this story and I think you will too.

Stained by Chris T. Kat

Chris T. Kat - Stained CoverTitle: Stained

Author: Chris T. Kat

Genre: Contemporary, Abuse 

Length: Novella (112 Pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 1, 2016)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Blair Clark has reached his breaking point. Forced to leave one job because of sexual harassment, he’s having difficulty finding another. Since no one believes what happened, Blair’s left with a stain on his employment record that he can’t get rid of. He’s had to move back home with his mother. As if that’s not bad enough, he realizes his crush, Travis, is simply using him. His romantic life looks as hopeless as his job search.

Jack Ross is sure he’ll never find anyone who’ll love him for who he is. All anyone sees is the port-wine stain on his left cheek—not the man behind it. Even his mother thinks he should get rid of it. But the procedure is difficult and painful.

When Blair applies for a secretarial position with Jack’s firm, both men learn that beauty is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder. It’ll take a lot of trust to chase away their insecurities, but if they take a chance on one another, love will find a way.

ISBN: 978-1-63477-051-4

Product Link: Dreamspinner

Reviewer: Lisa

Review:  This story is about not looking at what’s on the outside but what is on the inside, and about finding the beauty beneath the skin.  It is about abuse, acceptance, love and friendship plus a bit more that I find intriguing.  Now to me this story felt a bit rushed and is not my normal type of love story.  

Blair had been told by his company to vacate after he tried to bring his boss up on sexual harassment at work.  It made it difficult to find a job.  To top it off his friends-with-benefits was not turning out to be so good, or at least for him.  Let’s just say it, his creepy friend is an abusing asshat who should be taken out and shot.  Thankfully he ends up in a job that might just be perfect for him; however I would have loved to find out what was going to happen when the secretary came back after two years.  

Jack was born with a port-wine stain on his left cheek.  He had been called all sorts of names, screamed at, laughed at and picked on most of his life.  Even his mother gave him a hard time with it.  Then his first impression from Blair was shock, it turned out that he was refreshing in a way.  Now I have to say that I think the whole boyfriend stage came to fast for some as did the ‘I love you’, but then again it isn’t really a long story.  

Now this is a really cute story and it flowed pretty good.  However the development was a bi off.  It seemed to be missing some crucial parts to make it a perfect story, at least to me.  Other than my issues with it though I found myself enthralled with it.  I loved the characters and the way they just seem to complement each other.  I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it.  Although I have to admit though, that I can’t see myself reading this more than once which was a shame, it is a really cute story.

Shadow Fray by Bradley Lloyd

Bradley Lloyd - Shadow Fray CoverTitle: Shadow Fray

Series:  Shadow Fray Round # 1

Author: Bradley Lloyd

Genre: Science Fiction

Length: Novel (284 pages)

Publisher: DSP Publications (May 30, 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Family is worth fighting for—and family doesn’t always mean blood.

No one knows what calamity poisoned the earth and decimated the human population, but living close to the toxic ground means illness and death. Justin is determined to keep his twin sister and younger brother from that fate—no matter what he has to do. To earn enough to keep his family safe in a high-rise, Justin enlists in a deadly sport called Shadow Fray. He quickly finds himself in over his head, especially when he is scheduled to face the most dangerous player.

Hale—who competes as Black Jim—knows he won’t be on top forever, despite his skills. He fights for a better life for his daughter, but his time is running out as Shadow Fray becomes increasingly lethal. Something about the newest fighter intrigues him, but does he dare defy his masters to investigate? Justin and Hale will clash in the ring, while beyond it the powerful elite and the crumbling world seem determined to keep them apart. If they can find common ground, they might have a chance to fight for their futures.

ISBN-13: 978-1-63533-360-2

Product Link: https://www.dsppublications.com/books/shadow-fray-by-bradley-lloyd-379-b

Reviewer: Shorty 

Review: This book was intense. It has fighting to the extreme in it. So be advised of that. It’s brutal and gory. 

Shadow Fray is a no holds bar fight ring that never stays in one place. Fighters are anonymous when they fight. The bosses do not care if they die in the ring either. I found that even though this story is no so much a romance as it is a survival in a time when things are not so great.

The main character’s, Hale, who fights as Black Jim and is known in the fighting world for his impressive winning streak fights for his daughters wellbeing. Justin, a beginner to the scene, has aligned himself with the wrong handler who really does not care anything about him except the money he brings in. But Justin is fighting for his family to have a better life.

I really liked the explanation of the epidemic that tore the wold apart and found it intriguing that no one could actually walk on the ground due to the contamination. As a result all the population that is left has to live in high rises. 

I don’t want to give away too much but I will say I loved the plot as it was more than fights. The rules to this new earth are downright scary. At times it seemed that civilization went backwards instead of forward. The mystery surrounding the bosses was intriguing. It’s truly a well written story about two men trying to survive any and all dangers. 

Fantastic read.

Breaking Bonds by Ari McKay

Ari McKay - Breaking Bonds CoverTitle:  Breaking Bonds

Series: Walker Boys 02 / Dreamspun Desires 35

Author: Ari McKay

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (190 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (1 June 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: From the frying pan into the fire.

After a critic’s review attacks both Chef Liam Walker’s culinary skills and his personal life, Liam can no longer take the heat of the cutthroat New York City restaurant scene. He needs to get out of the kitchen—at least long enough to cool down and regroup.

At the Overlook Resort in North Carolina, Liam meets owner Carter Galloway. Carter has a passion for the hospitality business to rival Liam’s own, and it’s not hard to see where their shared interests—and attraction—could lead. But Carter has no interest in a fling, and Liam has no intention of walking away from the career he fought so hard for. If they want a taste of happiness together, they’ll have to find the courage to break the bonds threatening to pull them apart.

ISBN:  978-1-63533-151-6

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/breaking-bonds-by-ari-mckay-8447-b

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Before I get started on Breaking Bonds, just a quick note – this is the second in Ari McKay’s charming series the Walker Boys. They are only related in so much that one MC (the Walker boys) from each both books are actually cousins. You don’t necessarily need to go back except for a thoroughly enjoyable story which I liked a lot.

Breaking Bonds is a highly enjoyable story – a little predictable and had me thinking of rating this only 3.5/5 but in the end I couldn’t do it. In the end this is lovely and sweet romance that holds up its own and like the first book it’s a good read for fellow Food Channel addicts.

The story’s MCs are Liam Walker and Carter Galloway. Liam Walker had made his career in New York City in the, forgive the pun, cut throat cooking/restaurant industry. Liam is a world of difference away from Liam. He owns and runs a North Carolina resort. Like Liam is passionate about food, Carter is passionate about hospitality. It’s not difficult to see why the sparks fly when Liam offers Carter some much needed help to get his resort’s restaurant up to scratch. It’s also perfectly charming to see Liam come to a number of realizations about what makes him passionate about his job as he gets to know Carter more.

As I said, I had initially thought the book a tad bit predictable – in so far that I conjured up a few books I’ve read in the past and thought this was a good mix of them. But ultimately, these guys have a wonderful chemistry which is what really stuck with the most from this book. They are definitely the reason why I fell in love with the story, which in the end, isn’t that exactly what an author strives for when they write a story.

His Omega to Keep by Jane Perky

Jane Perky - His Omega to Keep CoverTitle: His Omega to Keep

Series: Wolves of Emerald Valley #2

Author: Jane Perky

Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy

Publisher: Siren Publishing (May 11, 2017)

Length: Novella (84 Pages)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: Joe’s a defective Omega who’s finally found the courage to leave his cheating lover. He leaves his pack of ten years and intends to make it on his own. But when his car breaks down, Joe has no choice but to call for a mechanic.

He’s shocked when he discovers the mechanic is Atlas, one of the five lone Alphas who recently moved back to Emerald Valley—and who pose a threat to his former pack. Is the attraction between them real, or will Atlas break his heart, too?

Alpha werewolf Atlas can’t explain his strange attraction to Joe, given that the man Atlas believes was his mate died a year ago. Atlas’s wolf tells him Joe is his mate, but his wolf has made a mistake before.

When the inferno between them grows too strong to ignore, Atlas knows it’s too late for second-guessing. Joe is his mate, and he intends to show his Omega that running away isn’t an option.   

ISBN: 978-1-64010-320-7

Product Link: http://www.bookstrand.com/book/his-omega-to-keep

Reviewer: Lisa

Review:  Each book in the Wolves of Emerald Valley collection features a different romantic couple. To enjoy the overall story arc and crossover characters, I would recommend reading the series in sequential order.    

First off, the cover rocked.  It was very unique and effective in catching my attention.  However the title of the story, was just like every other title when Omega’s are involved.  Now if I picked a story based on those two things, then I would have passed up the book.  I haven’t read too many books by this author, but I do remember the first book of this series.  With the first book I was not impressed, but left my mind open that the books would improve and strengthen.  However it is still focused on the alpha and omega such as all the other stories you read. 

Now we know that alpha’s are the strong and omega’s are the peace keepers of a pack.  However in this particular story they pretty much treat their omega’s like crap.  Well the pack did, not the main alpha.  Also Alpha Blake would have been taken down and replaced by a stronger wolf, and so far no go.  So the author did do a different tune when it came to him.  But with the main characters, she has followed every other story line you read about.  There was no spark, no heat, and no excitement.  No connection at all was felt.  Which was kind of sad as a reader.

Joe is a defective omega who cannot produce strong babies.  Well how does that make him defective if he is gay?  He focused on that and quite frankly it got old real fast.  There was no defective gene about the kid.  Unless this book was going to be a m/m pregnancy book, which it is not, then it wouldn’t matter if he produced weak babies.  Anyhow, he leaves his cheating looser and runs away with twenty dollars in his pocket.  Breaks down and low and behold it is one of the alpha’s who killed their beta.  

Now I could have saved myself the time of reading the book, because it felt like I already knew what the book was about just from reading the blurb.  Now don’t get me wrong, it is still an interesting tale, but did not keep my attention like it really should have.  Also the amount of sex in this book over whelms the rest of the story.  It did not come off as believable nor would I see two men jump each other right off the bat.  No heat nor any spark between them was seen, then all of a sudden bam.  Sorry but it was not seen by me.  I just felt like the whole story missed some major points in it.  For me, the potential was there but it was not delivered. 

However I will still hold out on book three, to see if there is any change in this author’s work.

Striking Sparks by Ari McKay ~ Audiobook

Ari McKay - Striking Sparks Cover AudioTitle: Striking Sparks

Series:  The Walker Boys 01 / Dreamspun Desires 24

Author: Ari McKay

Narrator: Rusty Topsfield

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs 10 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (27 Jan 2017)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: The stakes are high and the heat is on.

Beau Walker, owner of the Barbecue Shack, needs the help of Jake Parnell, his one-time rival and secret crush, in a televised barbecue competition. Beau is a proud man, but the stakes are high, and smart, sexy Jake is his only hope, even if being around Jake reawakens the attraction he’s fought for years.

Jake left his hometown, determined to build a life somewhere his sexuality wouldn’t hurt his family’s restaurant business—and far away from hunky, obstinate Beau Walker. Then his twin, Josh, is killed, and Jake returns to support his brother’s wife and children. Despite his reservations, he agrees to go head-to-head against Beau on national television. Between stress and grief, as well as pride and determination, only one thing is certain—the heat between Beau and Jake extends well beyond the kitchen.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: This is my first Ari McKay audio read, although I read this book at the end of last year so I sort of knew what I was getting myself into. However, in saying that, I have the worst memory and actually forgot most of the details except for the BBQ competition which is mentioned in the blurb. Regardless, this was as wonderful to listen to as it had been to read last year (especially since I also gave that a 5 heart rating too).

Beau Walker is owner of the Barbeque Shack. His rival is Jake Parnell, who now runs Parnell’s Pantry and supporting his brother’s family after the death of his twin brother, Josh. Beau had always got along with Josh, but for numerous and probably obvious reason, he and Jake never got along. The main point would be that Beau is out to their small town community while Jake is still firmly in the closet.  But now the time has come that they are going to have to work together, Beau had organized a friendly competition with Josh, which was going to be filmed for television. Now it is Jake who is going to take his brother’s place despite the tension between the guys. The money would be good for the family, the advertising for their businesses would be invaluable, as well as for tourism of their hometown.

I have to admit that I’m totally addicted to watching Food Network, so getting into this book was never a problem. Add onto that the great tension that was crafted between the MCs and then there is explosive attraction between them. I think that this is a book that will easily please many listeners.

Rusty Topsfield lends his voice to this audio and his voice perfectly fits the tone and style of the book. He also happens to be (along with John Solo) one of my favorite narrators in the MM genre. He absolutely gets both Beau and Jake and the crazy sexual tension going on between these guys.

Falling For Tripp by Jo Penn

Jo Penn - Falling for Tripp CoverTitle: Falling For Tripp

Series:  Milson Valley 07

Author: Jo Penn

Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romantic Suspense, Shape-shifter

Length: Novella (138 pages)

Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand, Inc. (May 3, 2017)

Heat Level: Scorching

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: After a reasonably bad first meeting where his mate literally shudders in dislike, Tripp Croggen actually finds himself liking the slightly bad-tempered human fate chose as his. While Eddie Nelson might have a few issues regarding paranormals, he agrees to give Tripp time to show him that creatures are not so different from humans when it comes to the fundamentals in life, that they both just want love, respect, and happiness.

The more he learns about Eddie, the more Tripp sees beneath the slight bitterness to who the human really is: smart, passionate, and caring. Eddie has a dry sense of humor and goals he works toward, and he keeps Tripp fascinated. In fact, Tripp couldn’t ask for more in a mate.

Now, he just has to convince Eddie that they are perfect for each other…before the person they didn’t even know was after them attacks.

ISBN: 978-1-64010-283-5

Product Link: http://www.bookstrand.com/book/falling-for-tripp

Reviewer: Shorty 

Review: Tripp is at a loss about his mate’s hostility towards paranormals. Edward has been through a lot in his life and just wants to be left alone. When he finds out Tripp is his mate he freaks out. But there are worse dangers out there.

I enjoyed reading Tripp and Edwards’s story. I liked how Tripp took his time with Edward rather than claiming him right off. The added mystery as to who was after them was a bonus. 

Great read.