Daring Fate (Megan Erickson) – Review

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Title: Daring Fate

Author: Megan Erickson

Series: Silver Tip Pack

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: 11/15/16

Stars: 5 out of 5

Flames: 5 out of 5

 

Megan has done it again, oh my! This was a sexy, 5 star read!

Megan Erickson is one of my insta-read authors because I know that no matter what she’s writing about, I’m not going to be disappointed. I grabbed this book before even knowing what it was going to be about, but when I found out it was a shifter book?

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I’ll quote Megan here when I say, “They are like crack to me.” And Daring Fate happens to be my favorite shifter book to date!

Erickson differentiated between three separate types of shifters. The Werewolf, our classic man to wolf shifter; the Were, a man to wolf shifter with a human/wolf hybrid form; and the NoWere, undead, infected Were that have been reduced to base instincts. They’re like the zombies of the shifter world.

Reese was a sturdy and dependable werewolf. His backstory made him instantly relatable and lovable. He and his brother, Jude, had just (barely) escaped life living as slaves only to be thrown into NoWhere territory to be devoured. Reese was gravely injured, so Jude made a life-or-death decision and called for help from the Silvertip Pack.

Waking up in a prison cell, Reese was terrified but he remained as stoic and brave as he could have been. Protecting his family was his top priority. I loved Reese as a character because his first instinct was to care for and protect the people around him. He always put himself and his own happiness second. He was a pack leader in his own right.

The sound of footsteps had me taking a step back, and Jude crowded against my back. With every thump of a footfall, my anxiety ratcheted up a notch, because whoever was making that sound walked with purpose. With authority. With ruthlessness.

Dare was the brooding, withdrawn Alpha of the Silvertip Pack. He’s moody and guarded and the minute he meets Reese, he makes sure he knows just how thoroughly owned he is.

Reese isn’t running the show anymore.

I was going to be mated. To a Were. And there was no going back.

But where Dare was dark and toppy and Alpha with a capital A, he also doted on Reese and looked after him. Every time he called him little wolf, I couldn’t help but smile. These two may have been fated to be mates, but their bond went beyond that.

And god, this book was hot. These two were on fire. Dare was all dominance with that mine Alpha mentality, and Reese gave as good as he got. He wanted Dare, mind, body, and soul, but his secrets kept him from willingly handing over his heart without a fight.

I’d wanted him the moment I laid eyes on him, but once I saw him healed, with both blue eyes blinking at me, I lost control.

I never lost control. Sex before this was for pleasure or procreation. Strings not attached.

But now, my Were was rioting inside my brain. I beat him back, because he’d have to wait his turn to meet Reese. Right now, Reese was mine.

Sex between them was raw and animalistic and I couldn’t have hoped for more. And shit, anytime they were alone they were going at it. As they got to know one another, his animalistic need for Reese morphed into a want. 

His eyes were swirling, which used to scare me, but now it only turned me on, because it meant he was losing control a little bit. And Dare on the edge meant he fucked me the best.

Dare cared for Reese on a level that only the two of them could really understand. Their love for one another was crucial to overcoming their differences. As the secrets came to light and Reese didn’t have anything to hide behind, he was forced to reevaluate his relationship with Dare and what he really needed to be happy.

Fate is not always right. A lot of times she’s a wrong bitch. But she was right with you, my mate. She was so right when she gave me you.

This is the shifter novel I needed but didn’t know it until I finally got it. Erickson did such an amazing job creating this post-apocalyptic, dystopian universe (Santino must be so proud!) and I am sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for the second book. It can’t come soon enough.

5+ Stars. Highly, highly recommended.

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Reviewed by Jordan at Alpha Book Club.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the author or the publisher in any way.

Falling Down (Eli Easton) – Review

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Title: Falling Down

Author: Eli Easton

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: 11/07/16

Flames: 4 out of 5

Stars: 5 out of 5

 

There are very few books that impact me the way this one did. This isn’t my first Eli Easton book. I always thought she was a good writer and her characters were decently well developed. After reading this book, I have to admit that I was wrong. Falling Down is proof that Easton is a great writer with phenomenal characters.

This one hit the mark for me on so many levels.

Josh was such an amazing, well-developed character. My first impression of him wasn’t so great due to his depression and general ‘blah’ attitude. I don’t feel like I really got to meet Josh until chapter 4, but when I did, I realized how well worth the wait it really was. Josh was funny and sweet and kind. He was truly a strong, well-rounded MC. But, he was also weak. He was imperfect and depressed and self-conscious and God, his internal dialogue broke my heart. It’s too often that you see a character with either all strong traits or all weak traits. Easton had me believing by the end of chapter 5 that this could actually be non-fiction.

And Mark, oh man. Mark was… flawed? He was vulnerable and kind. He took Josh in when he wasn’t in the best place himself and gave him a roof over his head and a bed to sleep in. Despite his unfamiliarity with the topic, he catered to Josh’s dietary restrictions without being judgemental. Speaking of which, the integration of veganism into this book was absolutely flawless. I’ve read too many books that feature even vegetarian characters and an overwhelming amount of dialogue is spent explaining and defending their choice. For Josh, it was just another meal. I have to commend Easton on that one!

“That’s the way I want you. Like I would crawl over hot coals to get to you. Like nothing would ever stop me from being with you—not if you wanted it too.”

These two characters were so perfect for each other even if they weren’t an obvious choice. I didn’t get the feeling that these characters were designed to fit together flawlessly. They were rough around the edges but they were both so compassionate and understanding that they made it work.

Josh hadn’t loved very many people in his life. Really, there was only one: his mom. Now he loved someone else: Mark. God, he did. Hugely. Epically. Terminally. No matter what else happened from here on out, no matter if he stayed with Mark or had to leave. No matter if Josh lived ’til he was ninety or found his peace in the snow, he would love Mark ’til the end. He was suddenly so grateful to have experienced that.

I was actually shocked that Josh was the first to really make a move. His confidence wasn’t exactly the highest and he had a lot riding on the line. Seeing him make this unexpected move made me realize how much he really was growing as a character throughout the book.

Plus, the syntax in this book was unbelievable. It’s like Easton put feelings into words in a  way that punched you in the gut or made you feel warm and happy and they resonated with you. There were times when I had to pause and put the book down because Easton did such a good job portraying these character’s feelings and I knew exactly what they were going through.

He wouldn’t look away from Mark’s eyes for a second. This was them. Them, together. Josh and Mark.

Very rarely do I wish I could give a book 6 stars, but if I could, this would definitely be one of them. Despite the dark and depressing parts of this book, the payout was so worth it. This is a must-read for 2016 and I highly recommend it to all M/M readers!

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Reviewed by Jordan at Alpha Book Club.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the author or the publisher in any way.

Friendly Fire (Cari Z.) – Review

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Title: Friendly Fire

Author: Cari Z.

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Release Date: Oct. 17,2016

Flames: 3 out of 5

Stars: 4 out of 5

 

There are very few books that I’ve had the privilege of reading that a) instantly pulled me in, b) featured beautifully well rounded characters with chemistry for dayyyss, and c) pulls all of that together with multiple mediums. Friendly Fire was one of those books.

I’m a little bit of a sucker for the ex-con redemption story, and Elliot here is no exception. Although, I do have to admit, when the blurb said, “after losing his job and his lover and almost going to prison,” I did kind of expect the crime in question to be a little bit more… should we say, explosive?

For me, redemption of this sort is a lot more effective if the MC has done something truly despicable and was truly a terrible person and is finding themselves and rising above that. I didn’t feel like Elliot really fit that bill in his little world of white collar crime (not to say that crime isn’t crime! I just expected… more?).

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That being said, I instantly fell in love with Elliot’s charm and ease with which he understood and could read people. He was very smooth and suave and to be completely honest, he reminded me a little bit of a snake, minus the creep factor. Buuttt, he also had a way with words that made him seem so harmless. I was completely enamored with his character because that type of person is incredibly difficult to write. Very impressed, Cari Z. Very impressed.

Plus, who couldn’t love little Holly? I think she was the highlight of the entire book, and such an unexpected little dog for either of these characters to care so deeply about.

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I absolutely loved that prissy little dog.

And on the other hand, we have Lennox, who… I did not like at first. I think he came across as a very withdrawn and damaged character that was a little too dad-like for a character like Elliot to fall for, but it didn’t take long for me to change my mind.

was mildly upset that there was so little background on Lennox and his internal struggles, both with his nightmares and PTSD and with his family. Buuttt, I really grew to love his character despite not having that background information to help me form an opinion and understand why he behaved the way he did. The way that he held his daughter above everyone else and the way he treated Elliot like he was his world (in such little time, no less) told me everything I needed to know to understand that Lennox West was a good man.

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I loved the plot. I loved the characters. I loved the chemistry. So, why only 4 stars then?

Well, these two definitely had the chemistry. It was all there, practically wrapped in shiny red paper, complete with a bow on top, but do you know how disappointing it is to have that present sitting there, completely perfect, as the tension builds and then… you never get to open it?

That’s what Friendly Fire was like to me. Lennox was a character that had so much depth and he’d already shown in his relationship with his daughter that he knows how to read people and be what they need in a particular situation. As someone who was dealing with PTSD, he understood shock and the need for comfort more than anyone else in Elliot’s life, and yet… he did nothing.

There was such an opportunity here for Lennox to open up and to have a heart-to-heart with Elliot, for them to really get into each other’s minds and open up. That special brand of vulnerability introduces a whole new side of a character for a reader and it creates a kind of depth that is difficult to achieve otherwise. I think Cari really missed out on taking advantage of that.

This book got a little bit steamy in the beginning, and that was great, but I really really really would have loved to have seen how their love for each other changed those intimate moments.

Overall, this book was a solid 4 stars for me. I enjoyed the read and the individual character depth was amazing, but I would have loved to see their connection with each other grow a little more. I would certainly recommend this one and will be keeping my eyes peeled for more of Cari Z.’s work.

Rescued (Felice Stevens) – Review

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Title: Rescued

Author: Felice Stevens

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: Sept. 5, 2016

Flames: 5 out of 5

Stars: 4 out of 5

 

Wow, this one was steamy. I mean, I expected the fluff (it’s a novel about rescue and dogs) but the extremeley descriptive sexy times, not so much. I had a lot of highlights for this book, which usually means it was really good and cute and poetic, or it was really, painfully bad. This has to be the cutest, fluffiest book I’ve read in a long time.

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Ryder was this passionate, caring person who just wanted to rescue dogs and share his life with someone he loved. His history in choosing the wrong people to fill that role left him hurt and feeling empty.

He wondered if he was ever really in love with Matt, or if he was in love with the idea of being in love.

Despite all of his trouble with men, he never had much trouble in the dog department. Ryder loved working at the rescue! He had the opportunity to save lives and bring families together every single day, and that kept him going despite feeling like something was missing from his life.

I love these dogs. They’re so misunderstood, and society would rather throw them away than take care of them. I can relate.

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Jason was the disgruntled construction worker who, despite his initial reaction to Ryder, had convinced himself that he couldn’t be gay, because he wasn’t that guy. After seeing a cute pitt bull puppy bring rescued from a construction site he was working at, he ended up giving the rescue a call to adopt the puppy.

 

 

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Ryder, being in charge of making sure the owner and dog are a good fit, and at the invitation of Jason, started spending time with him and his crew at a sports bar. Jason and Ryder got close… fast.

The romance between these two MC’s was something like out of a fantasy!

This guy has made my brother happier than I’ve ever seen him. It’s like every fucking day is Christmas morning when you see them together.

There was so much chemistry that it was almost difficult to read. I just wanted them both to stop being stupid and admit that they had something going on between them. But, Ryder wanted to keep his distance, for a good reason, and Jason seemed too afraid to say anything to spook Ryder, or to screw up their friendship.

I absolutely loved the relationship that these two had, and once they stopped being stubborn, it just got even better.

His heart twisted, and right then Ryder knew, despite all the walls he’d put up to protect himself, the ship had sailed. He was a goner for this man.

And the sex was so steamy, oh man. Not what I expected from a book about rescue AT ALL. This was a phenomenal book. Definitely recommended. Please just save yourself some time, pick up a copy, and read it.

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Reviewed by Jordan at  Alpha Book Club.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the author or the publisher in any way.

Overexposed (In Focus #4) by Megan Erickson Review

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Title: Overexposed

Author: Megan Erickson

Series: In Focus #4

Publisher: InterMix

Release Date: 09/20/16

Flames: 4 out of 5

Stars: 5 out of 5

 

Let me just start off by saying…  I’m so sorry Megan Erickson, I have completely underestimated you. Overexposed was not my first book by this author. I’ve read three of her collaborative works with Santino Hassell (the extremely sexy and 5+ star Cyberlove series), and I have to confess… I gave him most of the credit, but two pages into this novel and I knew that Megan had just as much of a hand in bringing those unapologetically complex characters to life as Hassell did. And she proved it with this amazing story of two lost men just trying to find their way back home.

I was stunned the moment I opened this book, before I even got to the beginning of chapter 1. Megan dedicated this book to so many people with so few words, ones that I wish people said more often:

For anyone who’s trying to start over. You’re enough. You’re always enough.

Overexposed was a very honest and raw novel. I caught myself tearing up a few times (towards the beginning of the book no less) which speaks volumes about her ability to write characters that are easy to connect with. Levi was gritty and real in a way that I haven’t experienced in a book since… well, since I cracked open First & First.

“I told you I was fascinated by how you looked, but that wasn’t enough for me to… want you. Then we started hiking together, and I guess the isolation just made it all happen so fast and I-wanted you. Still want you. And it fucking terrifies me, because the last guy I wanted told me I wasn’t enough.”

Such emotionally charged novels usually leave me feeling drained after a few chapters and I have to take a break for a while, but there was just enough laughter and happiness in this one to break up the sad, depressing moments so that I didn’t feel like I was being overwhelmed or pulled down.

I absolutely loved Levi. He pulled me in from the first chapter with his cute (and slightly prissy) attitude and fierce loyalty to his sister and her memory. Throughout the book he grew as a person and, as a reader, experiencing his coming to terms with the recent tragedies in his life while so bravely and unhesitatingly opening his heart to a complete stranger gave his character a complexity that’s extremely hard to capture as a writer.

I was a project, and Thad was studying for the best possible outcome. He wanted to learn me. Be good at me. No man had ever focused on me that hard before.

And Thad… wow, did I have mixed feelings about this character. We didn’t get much insight into who he was throughout the book, as it was almost entirely told from Levi’s perspective. The few pieces that we did get from him (at least in the beginning) were vague and confusing at best. He definitely had that air of mystery around him, which I simultaneously loved and hated at the same time.

There was so much more that I wanted to know about Thad that probably would have helped me understand his character and his decisions throughout the book, but he kept the Mr. Mysterious mask on until nearly the very end of the book, where everything fell together and made so much sense. Thad’s that character with the tragic backstory that I’ll probably think about two months from now completely out of the blue and still feel that discomfort and heartache for.

“You’re enough,” I said. “You’re so fucking enough. And no one gets to tell you that you’re not.”

Despite his flaws, I found myself rooting for Thad to find happiness within himself (with or without Levi).

“I’m closed off and broody and don’t give enough.” He shot back quickly, and I knew those words had been said by someone else so often that he’d internalized them.

These two characters together were unbelievably sexy. This book certainly got a little steamy!

“Seriously, you’ve only done that once or twice? You… fuck, Thad, you sucked me like you loved it.”

…and wow, Megan, you killed those erotic scenes! But I almost thought that their initial encounter together was a bit abrupt and sudden, like there wasn’t enough build up and sexual tension between them yet… I don’t know. It felt a little like something was missing for that first scene, but it was definitely present throughout the rest of the book.

“I’m not looking at the moon right now, Le,” he said. “I’m looking at you. Those gorgeous eyes. Those lips. That body. You’re the moon I get to see during the day.”

These two guys completely broke my heart and then put it back together as they learned to come to terms with their pasts and move on.

Overexposed was a fantastic, heart wrenching, painfully bittersweet, and unapologetically real novel that I would recommend to all M/M Contemporary Romance readers.  I couldn’t imagine giving this novel less than 5 stars, and although I did read this as a standalone, I will definitely be going back to catch up on the rest of the series.

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Reviewed by Jordan at Alpha Book Club.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the author or the publisher in any way.

Louder than Words by Felice Stevens – Review

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Title: Louder than Words

Author: Miya Lee

Publisher: Lovelight Press

Release Date: July 25, 2016

Flames: 2 out of 5

Stars: 4 out of 5

 

4 Sickeningly Sweet Stars for Louder than Words.

This was my first Miya Lee read and I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical. Characters who have “crippling anxiety” are usually portrayed to be weak or less than, and that’s just something I don’t have patience for. But… Felice Stevens did alright.

Yes, Joel did have anxiety. Really really bad anxiety, to the point where it interfered with his life every second of the day, but I never got the impression that he was a weak person because of it.

Joel wanted so bad to get over his fears and return to the person he used to be, and that internal conflict brought a lot of darkness to this book. The tragic event in Joel’s life that made him unable to function effortlessly and completely in society was heartbreaking to read about, though I’m not sure I particularly connected with him as a character. Joel was a complex character but I did feel like descriptions of him got a little repetitive, and every other paragraph seemed to be about his anxiety, which got a little annoying sometimes. But I do think that my inability to connect with him as a character was more personally based than technically.

I was so easily frustrated with Joel, partially because he constantly used his anxiety as an excuse, but mostly because he came across as petty and childish throughout most of the book. I almost had to ask myself how old he really was midway through the book because I felt like I was reading about a teenage kid who didn’t get his way and decided to whine to mom and dad. But at the same time, I also know people who are in the same age bracket who act exactly like that so I can’t say that it’s entirely unrealistic. Just annoying sometimes.

Nick, however, was so sickeningly sweet! He made the entire book worth every single minute spent reading it. He was such a hopeless romantic and his love for Joel was nothing short of admirable. I really loved his character! And because of that I found myself rooting for him and Joel.

There wasn’t a whole lot of conflict in this book, aside from Nick coming to terms with his feelings for Joel (and Joel facing his anxiety problem). I don’t think Nick had much of a problem with his feelings for Joel, so it wasn’t conflict in the typical sense of the word, but it was just enough to stir the pot while keeping the focus on their romance and not making the book boring. This was a great, quick read that was easy to digest. I loved the story, the romance, and Nick (Joel was okay).

Solid 4 stars from me. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more Felice Stevens books and I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another of her books if the blurb caught my attention.

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Reviewed by Jordan at Alpha Book Club.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the author or the publisher in any way.

Dark & Dazzling (Sassy Boyz #2) by Elizabeth Varlet – Review

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Title: Dark & Dazzling

Series: Sassy Boyz #2

Author: Elizabeth Varlet

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date: Nov. 07,2016

Flames: 4 out of 5

Stars: 5 out of 5

 

Pre-Review Disclaimer: I will not apologize because I loved this book but I will warn you, there are probably wayyyy too many quotes and gifs in this review.

5 Sexy Stars from me – this book was everything I wanted and more! I honestly wasn’t sure if I loved or hated Azariah, but that sassy bitch killed it even without the heels.

When I sat down to read Dark & Dazzling I was both uncontrollably excited and afraid. The first book in the Sassy Boyz series (Fierce & Fabulous) made my top 10 of 2016 list before the end of chapter 5, so I was very aware of what Elizabeth Varlet was capable of as an author. I was also afraid to read it in case it didn’t live up to my expectations (lets face it, Ansel’s pretty hard to beat).

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But Azariah Hayes, better known as “Z”, was an amazing and strong character in his own right.

He’d never dated someone whose mere presence simply demanded attention.

From the very first introduction of this character in Fierce & Fabulous, I knew I wanted to read his story (I did not, however, anticipate it being the next book in the series). Azariah was anything but ordinary and his friendship with Ansel was so important in the first book that I wanted to know him as more than just a supporting character.

From the get-go, it was clear that loss and heartbreak were major influences on who Z had chosen to be.

He’d loved those moments with his mom. Watching her put on her makeup and eventually getting up the courage to ask her to do his. The first time she’d rouged up his cheeks he’d felt like a princess and the way she’d smiled at him-it was like he was her entire life. Her everything.

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Z hid behind his sarcasm and quick wit, making sure that who he really was and how he felt were concealed from obvious sight. He’d somehow found a way to use being an asshole as a defense mechanism to protect himself. His flaws, and he had a lot of them, were part of what made him so relatable and lovable as a character, even though I wanted to rip my hair out at times.

 

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Despite all odds being against him, he’d built a family with the Sassy Boyz, and dancing had become not only a source distraction and income, but also an emotional crutch.

Being onstage was a form of worship for him. His way of giving thanks, even though he rarely had much to be thankful for. It made his soul purr.

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I loved the relationship that these boys shared, and I was actually a little disappointed that I didn’t get to see more interaction between them. I think their familial bond and sassy banter with each other was one of my favorite parts of the first book, and now I’m holding out hope that the third book will have more of that in it.

Plus, I’d love to get more insight into Ansel and Azariah’s lives (even though their books are over).

In his heart, there was only Azariah’s aching vulnerability and the certainty no one else had ever seen it-because if they had, they never would have let Azariah go.

Z wasn’t ashamed of who he was, and he was only afraid to pursue what he wanted if it meant he’d lose something he couldn’t be without. And Detective Connolly Reid scared the shit out of him.

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Connelly was the white-knight type of character and I fell in love with him immediately. I wish that were saying something, but I always love the detective MC’s (despite really disliking mystery books). Reid was loyal, intelligent, and protective, the perfect detective, but he was also more than that.

There were two types of people in the world, those who hurt you and those who changed you. Z knew without a doubt that Connelly was going to be both.

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Connelly challenged Z in a way that nobody else could. He took the focus off of his failures and redirected his attention to what could be if he let it. These two were honestly so cute together that it was plain sickening at times (and don’t get me started on the nicknames).

“Make me feel good again, Hot Fudge. Make me feel alive.”

Reading about these two together was like fire. The chemistry was all there (and they both knew it) but they spent so much time fighting their feelings and fighting each other because it just “couldn’t” happen that I actually thought we were going to go off script and there would be no HEA for Azariah… Which, was actually upsetting because I’d kind of grown attached to him already, the little shit.

Z had put a lot of time and effort into safeguarding is heart and building up those walls so high that nobody would ever see over them, much less get close enough to make him feel.

“Give it to me,” Connelly said. Then, with everything in his heart, he whispered,”Give me that part of you no one else has seen.” The sob that escaped Azariah’s lips was full of denial.

“Come on, Azariah. Please.”

And Connelly completely broke him down until Z didn’t even know what a barrier was.

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Love isn’t about dependence or independence. It’s about support. It’s about wanting to see someone else smile more than you want to breathe.

Aaannnddd then he had to go and screw up (but we all saw that coming anyways). I was so hopeful and frustrated with Azariah throughout the book (it was a little like a roller coaster actually) that I think I was very lenient on my judgement of Connelly. But he had some major flaws too, and his seemingly justifiable mistakes didn’t seem so clean cut when the consequences had the potential to destroy everything he’d worked so hard for.

Azariah growled in frustration. “Why won’t you just leave me alone?”

“Because I like you, you asshole.”

I was actually really surprised that he put up with Z the way he did. Despite not being a perfect person, Connolly didn’t treat him like he was the scum of the earth or like he didn’t want him because he was imperfect, and I think that’s the perfect example of why these two MC’s work so well together.

This book was a complete joy to read, and definitely worthy of a top 10 award. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. The next book can’t come soon enough, and oh, do I hope we get to read about Tam next.

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Reviewed by Jordan at Alpha Book Club.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the author or the publisher in any way.

Betrothed: A Faery Tale by Therese Woodson

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Title: Betrothed: A Faery Tale

Author: Therese Woodson

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: Sept. 23, 2015

Stars: 5 out of 5

Flames: 4 out of 5

 

This book reminded me so much of the fairy tales I used to read as a child. I remember getting a little older, maybe 11 or 12, and wondering why there were no fairy tales about gay men or women who got an HEA, and now my question has been answered: because they’re all too hot for 11 and 12 year olds to read!

“It’s a delicate situation, but it involves me and a law and a marriage. And I might have started a faery war.” Puck’s dad paled and let out a low whistle.

“This sounds like a breakfast and coffee kind of conversation.”

I enjoyed this book a whole lot more than I thought I was going to! When I started reading it I half expected it to be a mirror of a Disney classic but with a little M/M twist, but I was so very wrong.

Puck was a very interesting character for me to read about because as he made decisions and drew conclusions I found myself simultaneously thinking wow, so immature and yep, that’s me. There was a constant push and pull attraction for me and it made Puck as a character appear to be much more complex.

You are strong, and you are beautiful, and you have the sky in your veins and in your name.

I had a lot of conflicting feelings about this book, mainly because I so very badly wanted to read it from Sky’s perspective. He’s definitely my favorite out of the two MC’s and it’s no question why. He’s determined and has a strong sense of loyalty, not only to his kingdom and the faeries, but eventually to Puck as well.

Despite their rough beginning…

Jim laughed, loud and sudden, doubling over in his chair. He slapped his knee, shoulders shaking. “Sorry,” he said, still chuckling and giving Puck an indecipherable look. “Sorry, but when you said they were forcing you to marry, I thought you meant to a troll or something.”

…Sky and Puck eventually formed a close bond (after Puck finally dropped the attitude). This book was a little bit of a slow burn, but eventually these two became each other’s rock and primary support.

Betrothed: A Faery Tale was a fun, lighthearted, and easy read. I’ll be keeping my eyes out for Therese Woodson’s future works for sure!

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Reviewed by Jordan at Alpha Book Club.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the author or the publisher in any way.

As You Wish (Shatterproof Bond #0.5) by Isobel Starling

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Title: As You Wish

Author: Isobel Starling

Series: Shatterproof Bond #0.5

Publisher: Amazon

Release Date: Oct. 5, 2015

Stars: 4 out of 5

Flames: 4 out of 5

 

So I saw this one and I was like, yeah, novella, okay, I’m crunching on time here but I think I can sneak that one in.

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Novella… mhmm. Okay, Isobel Starling, I see the game you’re playing here. I’ll just have to make sure I clear my schedule for the week before I start that “full length” novel of yours.

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In all seriousness though, I enjoyed this one a lot more than I thought I was going to! I was immediately drawn to Sam as an MC because he was quirky and lighthearted. His character  made me laugh, and that’s always something I love in a book.

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I’ll be the first to admit, I have a thing for the name Declan. I may or may not have decided to read this based entirely on that fact (you will never know). Declan as a character? Eeehhhhhhh, not my favorite. Not bad, but he’s just not my cup of tea.

Now, Declan and Sam together?

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“He was sick last night too. I went up to check on him, and there were terrible moans coming from his room.”

“Oh, I know. He kept me up all night.” Sam informed her. “He said something about overindulging on sausage… from the buffet.”

Declan and Sam were on fire. I absolutely loved their slightly childish and dorky movie references despite The Princess Bride being my least favorite movie ever. The references and quotes in this book were easy to follow and actually rather endearing. Maybe the next time I’m forced into watching it at a family gathering I won’t hate it so much…

I was also pleased to see an author take a not-so-serious slant on sex, especially in a romance novel that was otherwise very passionate and serious. Actually, I think their playful bedroom banter is what made me keep reading the novel (despite having a long list of things to do).

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When it was just him and Sam tangled in one another’s limbs, satiated from a session of lovemaking, there was no gender; it was just beating hearts, ragged breaths, and the exchange of long looks that spoke of words they could not yet say.

These two MC’s were embarrassingly cute and hilarious to read, but they were also passionate and wildly hungry for each other. Starling can write some seriously steamy (and wildly unexpected) stuff. I do have to say, I loved every bit of it.

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And can we just talk about men in kilts for a moment?

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Actually, you know, I don’t think we even need to talk. Just seeing that is enough to make me want to crack open this novel for another read.

There’s a very special place, in both my heart and on my bookshelf, for GFY novels (especially GFY with kilts and cute boys). I think this one is going to fit in rather perfectly.

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Reviewed by Jordan at Alpha Book Club.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the author or the publisher in any way.

Earning His Leathers by S. Dora

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Title: Earning His Leathers

Author: S. Dora

Publisher: Pride Press

Release Date: Aug. 30, 2016

Stars: 3 out of 5

Flames: 3 out of 5

 

When I started reading this, I was initially under the impression that it was going to be a full length novel (my mistake) but it was actually a pretty quick read and (very) fast paced.

The entire book takes place over the course of one day, during which our lovely MC Connor Lee (who I actually found myself liking despite not getting to know him very well) stumbles into a leather shop and after a brief conversation with the shopkeeper, who also happens to be a sub, and is given the address of an exclusive BDSM “brotherhood” where he can “earn his leathers” (hence the title).

Sometimes a man simply has to take a blind step on an unknown road.

Whenever I pick up a book containing BDSM elements I have to clear my mind, because I’m either about to be impressed or wildly offended by what the author has written. Let’s put it this way, I was not offended.

“I’ve been where you are now. I thought it was the most natural thing in the world that any submissive would kneel for me, the born top, but that I should never kneel for anyone, ever.”
“What made you change your mind?”
“The same pride that made me believe I was all that. I wanted to prove I could take it as well as the best trained sub.”
“And could you?”
“Of course not, but that’s neither here nor there.”

It’s pretty obvious to me that S. Dora has a fairly decent grasp on the basic principles of BDSM, but there were times that I did feel like the writing was so vague that it could make it appear otherwise.

And the insta-love! I really did not expect the insta-love. I mean, I know as well as anybody that power exchanges have the potential to intensify feelings and I have been known to secretly have a thing for the occasional steamy insta-love plot, but this was instant even for insta-love!

All in all, I liked the book, it was just a little vague and entirely too fast (I do love those slow burn novels). I love the premise and there’s a solid plot here, hence the three stars. I even loved the characters – so far. But that was just it. I felt like I liked it so far. It was an entertaining, quick read, but there was so much going on and the plot contained enough material that this could have been spread out into a 3-400 page novel.

I’m going to keep my eye out. If this gets expanded into a full length novel, I definitely want to know about it!

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Reviewed by Jordan at Alpha Book Club.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the author or the publisher in any way.