Tag Archives: genre: romance

Going Off Grid, by SJD Peterson

 

Blurb:

Clay and Elliott are working toward a dream—working sixty-hour weeks for one of the oil companies that recently sprung up in North Dakota. The pay is good, but is it a fair trade for never seeing each other? The point becomes moot when the company folds, like so many others, and the couple is left with a difficult choice.

Should they find comparable work somewhere else, or is it time to throw caution to the wind and go after their goal—years earlier than they intended?

What they’ve always wanted is to be together and have time to enjoy it, so they follow their hearts. They’re going off the grid and fixing up an old cabin so they can be self-sufficient. But when they go from all the conveniences of the modern world to outhouses, solar power, a shoestring budget, and more mosquitos than they ever thought possible, will they find there’s such a thing as too much time together?

Buy Links:

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon

kobo

Published:

March 23, 2018
Dreamspinner Press

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Going off Grid, part of the States of Love series from Dreamspinner Press is a cute story. Cute. It’s a pretty light read, quick, short, and sadly, empty of any real conflict or tension that I’d hoped for. It started off really good, but after a while I had a hard time giving it my attention. I think this was just too sweet of a story, or maybe not even sweet, but more like too eye rolling.

Clay and Elliot, together for years, have been working towards a goal… working their asses off, making all the money, retire early. But when the timeline moves up and they’re forced to make a decision, the transition is harder than they even imagined. Literally going off grid and living out in the middle of nowhere, fixing up a cabin that’s seen better days, tests their relationship… but not that much. They’ve been together too long. They’ve known each other too long. So when the main tension comes towards the end of the book, I had a hard time thinking anything would go wrong. Plus, I knew there was going to be a happy ending so that close to the end of the book, the tension felt manufactured.

I’m normally all for this type of short story, I just could not get into this one. It was okay, just not my speed.

~kristie

Leave a comment

Filed under Advance Reader's Copy, Dreamspinner Press, LGBT, MM Romance, Standalone

Kairos, by Mary Calmes, Narrated by Michael Fell

 

Blurb:

Sometimes the best day of your life is the one you never saw coming.

Joe Cohen has devoted the past two years of his life to one thing: the care and feeding of Kade Bosa. His partner in their PI business, roommate, and best friend, Kade is everything to Joe, even if their relationship falls short of what Joe desires most. But he won’t push. Kade has suffered a rough road, and Joe’s pretty sure he’s the only thing holding Kade together.

Estranged from his own family, Joe knows the value of desperately holding on to someone dear, but he never expected his present and past to collide just as Kade’s is doing the same. Now they’ve stumbled across evidence that could change their lives: the impact of Kade’s tragic past, their job partnership, and any future Joe might allow himself to wish for….

Buy Links:

Audible

Dreamspinner Press

Published:

March 16, 2018
Dreamspinner Press

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kairos is a book that I liked when I read it, but I think I liked it more on the listen. There’s something about the pacing that Michael Fell has that kept me more interested in the story than I was before. His character voices for Joe and Kade were good, but it was more about the tone, the way he was able to tell this story with feeling, bringing the entire story into my ears and making it more visual than just reading did. His female voices were also very good, something I really appreciated.

The story itself it typical Mary Calmes. It’s fast paced, packed with a ton of characters (some important, others not so much), lots of UST, and it left me wanting more. Add in the excellent narration and I was even more greedy for a sequel than I was before. It’s a fun read, but for me, even more fun to listen to. All of the Mary Calmes fans out there who love audio books will love this. There is a brightness to the story that brought a smile to my face.

~kristie

Leave a comment

Filed under Dreamspinner Press, LGBT, MM Romance

Guardian’s Bond (Ancient Ink #1), by Rhenna Morgan

Blurb:

For decades, he’s been alone.
Now, she’s here. His fated mate.
His to win. To protect.
To provide for and pleasure.

Priest Rahandras has lived with the darkness trapped inside himself for years. Betrayed by his own brother and forced to watch his clan’s brutal annihilation, the only thing Priest wants more than to escape the curse that haunts him—as both man and beast—is to rebuild.

Until the mate he’s longed for walks into his life with an elder from his past. She’s everything he’s wished for, and the key to the clan’s very survival.

Kateri Falsen is a woman of logic and facts. While Priest’s cat can sense her arousal, telling her they’re fated won’t be enough. He’ll have to show her his love: with his words, with his actions, and with his body.

Protecting Kateri from the evil trapped inside him is paramount. But when lost clan members are systematically murdered, he’ll have to choose between exposing his mate to his black magic, or risking her as the next victim.

Buy Links:

AMAZON

kobo

Published:

March 12, 2018
Carina Press

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Guardian’s Bond was a pretty fun read for me. While it starts off a little bit too slow for my tastes, Morgan quickly picks up the pace by the second act. The set up for this new series comes in bits and pieces which made me frustrated with questions, but many are answered by the time this book finishes… thankfully. While this is a tale filled with magic, shifters, and people from clans that are all new and different than those in any other of Morgan’s books, that cool uniqueness she tends to spin is totally there.

For the most part, I enjoyed getting to know Priest and Kateri as well as the others that set up this group of people trying to save their clan, despite the slow roll. The world building for a series like this is important. I just wish it was a little bit more informative and had a faster pace. Still, I think once things kicked off and it was full steam ahead, the magic and shifting capabilities of the clan is entertaining. I’m anxious to see where the series leads and just how Priest is going to save them all. It’s going to take a lot more than just himself, so the journey the characters have to take in the next books will be important, and hopefully, fun.

For the romance of it all, the whole true mate thing really does come into play. If you’re not a fan of that concept, this might not be for you. But, as I’m finding myself read more and more shifters, this seems to be a common theme so I just go with it. And in this case, while Priest if really over protective and very Alpha Male, he’s not so overbearing that I hated him for it. He’s quite perceptive and learns Kateri’s needs quickly, understands her wants and has a great respect for her. Kateri is highly intelligent, very independent, and takes no shit. She is also really living her life with blinders on and when they come off, she’s even more fun to read. And their passion together was not only interesting but pretty hot.

With really good characters to meet and learn about, the set up for this series is good. Looking forward to what happens next.

~kristie

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Advance Reader's Copy, Carina Press, NetGalley, Paranormal

On the Edge of Scandal (Snow & Ice Games, Book 3), by Tamsen Parker

 

Blurb:

Bronwyn Perry is the star of the US women’s hockey team, and she and her boyfriend Brody Hill have been hockey royalty since they’ve been in high school. Brody unexpectedly fails to make the men’s team but still comes to Denver to support his girl at the Snow and Ice Games. Or so Bronwyn thinks.

Ash Levenson is the coach of the women’s SIG hockey team. His primary responsibility is to keep his team happy, healthy, and primed to win. Though he’s close in age to his players, he’s been doing this for a while and mostly, it’s easy to keep his eyes on the puck. He’s always been able to discard any crush he might have on any of the women he’s coached…until Bronwyn.

When Bronwyn and Brody’s romance comes to a very public and very ugly end, Ash has to get his star player’s head back in the game and ready to dominate on the rink. Which may mean spending a little time off the ice…

Buy Links:

AMAZON

kobo

Published:

February 6, 2018
St. Martin’s Press

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This started out really great. A story that builds on the the development of the characters is almost always going to win me over. The character build up for coach Ash Levenson is really solid. I felt like I had a good handle on who he was, where his feelings were coming from, and I really saw the affection he had for Bronwyn. The same could be said for Bronwyn, but not at the same level. With Bronwyn, I felt like I started to understand her, only to be infuriated by her decisions. 

Bronwyn is a really strong female character, excellent hockey player, with a great personality… when she’s not second guessing herself or hanging around her boyfriend. The times where she’s strong are counterbalanced by the times she’s really not, and when she looses confidence in herself she becomes this other person all together. And honestly, to me, she read as really immature and childish at times. The more I read, the more I started to dislike her. It was like I had this instant affection towards her, only to have it turn around rapidly.

And speaking of her boyfriend… for someone who comes off as strong willed, sure of herself in almost all things, and a fierce competitor, I could not figure out why she put up with so much shit from that dude. Yes, they’d been together for a really long time, since both were really young, but how she was able to be so independent and amazing in every other aspect of her life, and then let him walk all over her, belittle her, and treat her like shit was beyond me. This made it even harder for me to connect with her.

The times when I really disliked Bronwyn were when she’d talk about how Ash was not her type, not the greatest looking guy, yet something made her want to “board that train”. When Bronwyn and Ash do get intimate, it really felt like he was using him. And in reality, she was at first. She had no idea of his true feelings, and that’s not her fault, but the way she comes off in her POV really rubbed the wrong way. The way things start between these two didn’t sit well with me.

BUT! All of that was this back of my mind, simmering dislike for some things. For the rest of it, I found the story good. I liked the way Ash is so passionate about the way he coaches, how the women on the team play, that he is a positive coach for them, and his dedication to them. I wished there was more hockey in the book because those couple of times we get them on the ice were really fun. And while Bronwyn ends one long lasting relationship and dives head first into another the very next day without even realizing it, finding love after only a couple of weeks, I appreciated that Ash had this long budding crush on her. It helps the insta-insta love aspect of their story go down easier.

All in all I suppose this was not my favorite of the series, at least I don’t think, but it’s not my least favorite either.

~kristie

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Advance Reader's Copy, NetGalley

Zero Hour (Wired & Dangerous, Book 1), by Megan Erickson

 

Blurb:

The Fast and the Furious meets Mr. Robot in USA Today bestselling author Megan Erickson’s sexy new romantic suspense series.

Hacker extraordinaire Roarke Brennan lives each hour – each breath – to avenge his brother’s murder. His first move: put together a team of the best coders he knows. They’re all brilliant, specialized, and every one an epic pain in his ass. Only now Wren Lee wants in too, threatening to upset their delicate balance. The girl Roarke never allowed himself to want is all grown up with sexy confidence and a dark past … and she’s the wild card he can’t control.

Roarke might still think she’s a kid, but Wren’s been to hell and back. Nothing and nobody can stop her – especially the tatted-up, cocky-as-all-hell hacker. But when years of longing and chemistry collide, Wren and Roarke discover that revenge may be a dish best served blazing hot.

Buy Links:

AMAZON

kobo

Published:

January 30, 2018
Forever (Grand Central Publishing)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

When I got this, I knew I’d like it because it’s Megan Erickson. She’s just a great storyteller, you know? What I didn’t expect was just how much I’d love it. And I’m not surprised so much as really fucking pleased.

Zero Hour has this exciting thriller/mystery/revenge plot that kept me on the edge of my seat. It was difficult to put down as each chapter lead into the next, leaving me wondering what the heck was going to happen to my heroes, how they were going to get out of the mess they were in, and when we might get Jock’s book. Well, as it happens, I know that Jock’s book is next in this series, and I could not be more excited. As for the rest? Lets just say that yea, they get into it. Really into it. The problem is, it’s never just hacking that needs to happen. Sometimes, to do a a job, you need to actually talk to the bad guys in person, go undercover, plant a virus, and do other various highly illegal or suspicious things. So this team of hackers not only need to know their way around a computer, they need to be willing to go all out.

All out is what this team does best. Sort of… I mean, they’re not perfect. They really are hackers first, so all of those things that also need to happen don’t come easily and problems pop up. So one of the things I absolutely loved about this book is the fact that they make mistakes, they get out of situations by the skin of their teeth, and not everything runs smoothly.

Another thing I loved, loved, loved, is the balance between action/hacking/romance. Because in all honesty, at its heart, Zero Hour is a romance novel too. Erickson does a great job of keeping the romance in balance with everything else, giving readers a chance to take a breath, just not too long of one, before the next batch of action takes place. And these characters, Wren and Roarke, they are really well developed. Past history is clearly and succinctly explained, lending to the way the romance plays out. So when these two are having all the feels, and trying to deny them, it feels right. Having the history so well laid out made for a more believable connection. They’re also seriously hot together. Steaming. Add in the rest of the team, all of whom have interesting backgrounds I’m wanting to explore, and I’m a happy camper. Wren and Roarke also butt heads… a lot. But my dude seriously has a boundaries problem and when he oversteps them, he really oversteps them. Having Wren put him in his place was a thing of beauty.

Speaking of the team… Not only does Jock, new love of my life, get the next book, but also coming will be Erick, Wren’s brother. His story is one I’m also very excited for based on all the information we learn in Zero Hour. To say I have a bunch of theories about how his book will play out is an understatement. I’m also crossing my fingers that other team members Marisol and Dade get their own book(s). They’re both mysterious and compelling, so help me convince all who need to be convinced to make this happen, would you?

To close, I loved this book, in case you couldn’t tell. This was a lot of fun to read and I’m adding this to my reread rotation.

Cheers Megan! You knocked this one out of the park.

~kristie

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Advance Reader's Copy, Mystery-Thriller, NetGalley