Fish Out of Water by Amy Lane : Release Day Review

fish out of watersynopsis

PI Jackson Rivers grew up on the mean streets of Del Paso Heights—and he doesn’t trust cops, even though he was one. When the man he thinks of as his brother is accused of killing a police officer in an obviously doctored crime, Jackson will move heaven and earth to keep Kaden and his family safe.

Defense attorney Ellery Cramer grew up with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, but that hasn’t stopped him from crushing on street-smart, swaggering Jackson Rivers for the past six years. But when Jackson asks for his help defending Kaden Cameron, Ellery is out of his depth—and not just with guarded, prickly Jackson. Kaden wasn’t just framed, he was framed by crooked cops, and the conspiracy goes higher than Ellery dares reach—and deep into Jackson’s troubled past.

Both men are soon enmeshed in the mystery of who killed the cop in the minimart, and engaged in a race against time to clear Kaden’s name. But when the mystery is solved and the bullets stop flying, they’ll have to deal with their personal complications… and an attraction that’s spiraled out of control.

Title: Fish Out of Water
Author: Amy Lane
Release Date: July 29, 2016
Category: Mystery/Suspense
Pages: 270

paula reviewI really enjoyed this story. However I had to kind of forget about what is going on in the real world right now, and just put myself in the story.

First you have Jackson Rivers, a former cop turned PI. He is very much a no strings kind of guy. Men, women it doesn’t matter. And he has had a lot of people in his bed. I really liked this character. His attitude and personality was so good. He has a whole bunch of issues, and all of them are well deserved. His life has not been easy. His relationship with his family was beautiful. The loyalty and love there was incredible.

Ellery is like the complete opposite of Jackson. He grew up in a stable, privileged home. He was perfect for Jackson. He could take Jackson’s attitude and dish it right back.

I loved watching him push Jackson to get what he wanted and what Jackson needed. Some of the scenes between these two were page smoking HAWT!! Ellery was fearless in his pursuit to get to the truth. Highly recommend this one.

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Open Road by M.J. O’Shea: Release Day Review

open roadsynopsis

Angus has been with the same guy for ten years. When his boyfriend breaks up with him the night of his thirtieth birthday party and announces his engagement to a twenty-two-year-old less than ten hours later, Angus is… a mess. To put it lightly. He spends days in bed, drinks himself into a stupor every night, and ends up losing his job and his apartment. His best and oldest friend, Reece, decides it’s time for an intervention. And a change of scenery.

Reece and Angus take off on a buddy trip across the US. They don’t have much of a plan; they just start driving. It takes Angus a couple of days to do much more than grunt when Reece talks to him, but slowly he opens up. They drive, talk, heal, shout, drink a bit too much sometimes, dance, meet new friends… and somewhere between Portland, Oregon, and Portland, Maine, they fall in love.

Which was the last thing in the world Angus expected.

Title: Open Road
Author: M.J. O’Shea
Release Date: July 25, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

paula review

I’m ready for a road trip now! This was a really fun story to read. Angus and Reece were great characters. I really felt bad for Angus and how he was treated by his ex. I wanted to hit his ex so bad. Angus was so lost and depressed when his ex dumped him. After spending the last 10 yrs. with his ex and then being dumped so callously was horrible. Angus was so lost in his heartbreak and embarrassment that he cuts everyone out of his life. His pain is easy to relate to and draws you more into the story. And then as it usually is with really good friends, they do what they have to, to get you out of your funk. I really liked Reece. His dedication to his friend is awesome. Reece is so patient and understanding. He put a good honest effort into making Angus see that he really is better off without his ex. That he is fun and amazing and not what his ex made him feel. The entire story was an entertaining read from start to finish. I really liked how Reece made his interest in Angus known. I though it was a creative way to do it.

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The Boy Next Door by Kate McMurray: Release Day Review

boy next doorsynopsis

Life is full of surprises and, with luck, second chances.

After his father’s death, Lowell leaves the big city to help his sick mother in the conservative small town where he grew up. He’s shocked to find himself living next to none other than his childhood friend Jase. Lowell always had a crush on Jase, and the man has only gotten more attractive with age. Unfortunately Jase is straight, now divorced, and raising his six-year-old daughter. It’s nice to reconnect, but Lowell doesn’t see a chance for anything beyond friendship.

Until a night out together changes everything.

Jase can’t fight his growing feelings for Lowell, and he doesn’t want to give up the happy future they could have. But his ex-wife issues an ultimatum: he must keep his homosexuality secret or she’ll revoke his custody of their daughter, Layla. Now Jase faces an impossible choice: Lowell and the love he’s always wanted, or his daughter.

First Edition published by Loose Id LLC, 2011.

Title: The Boy Next Door
Author: Kate McMurray
Release Date: July 22, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

deanna review

This is only the second book I’ve read by Kate McMurray. I was really hoping to enjoy this one as much as I did Put in the Field, I wasn’t disappointed. This is a great story.

Lowell return to town after the death of his abusive father so he can help take care of his aging mother. He buys a house right next door to his elementary school friend Jase.

Jase is recently divorced, raising his daughter on his own because his ex-wife is a flake. Their marriage ended because Jase couldn’t hide the fact he was gay any longer. Now he’s drowning in guilt over a failed marriage wondering if he even deserves happiness.

As soon as Jase and Lowell reconnect the sparks fly. The two embark on something they haven’t defined, whether it’s friends with benefits or a full fledged relationship.

Jase’s ex-wife puts serious pressure on him to stop seeing Lowell stating she doesn’t want it to corrupt her impressionable daughter. Jase is torn between doing what his ex wants and doing what he wants.

As a last ditch effort to hurt Jase, his ex kidnaps their daughter. Emotions are running high and Jase gets into an argument with Lowell and says some things he doesn’t mean.

Jase needs to get his daughter back and fix his relationship with Lowell, only then will he be truly happy.

The storyline was great! It loved at a fast pace and I couldn’t put it down. Once Jase’s daughter was kidnapped nothing else matter, we ordered take out. I couldn’t put the kindle down long enough to cook dinner.

I love that Kate didn’t gloss over the glamorous life of a single parent. The scheduling conflicts, last minute sitters, and stolen moments between Lowell and Jase were true to form.

There were a lot of great characters in this book. I hope this is the start of a new series because I need to see what is going on with Neal and Russ. Also, a story about Detective Brown and his firefighter would be interesting.

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Match Point by Leigh Carman: Release Day Review

matchsynopsisTwo stubborn men.

One is a rude jerk. The other, the life of the party.

It was hate at first sight.

Pro beach volleyball players Finn Callahan and Dexter Savage have been rivals since college. While Finn always comes out on top on the court, Dexter’s carefree and fun-loving personality earns him scores of adoring men and women. And as much as Finn fights to deny it, there’s another reason for the tension he feels when Dex is around. Hate wasn’t the only thing he felt when he first laid eyes on his opponent.

When they’re forced to team up, the two men must bury their differences—on and off the court—if either of them is going to succeed professionally.

Title: Match Point
Author: Leigh Carman
Release Date: July 20, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

deanna review

I really enjoyed this book. I have read a lot of sports books that were just ok, a lot of sports action and sex but little to no story. This book is a perfect mix of sports and storyline.

Finn and Dex hate each other both on and off the volleyball court. When Dex ends up needing a partner his coach suggests Finn. The two will need to put their differences aside and play together to keep winning.

I was blown away at the amount of emotion I felt for Finn after just two chapters. The writing really conveyed his loss with believable emotion.

The two MC’s were both likeable characters with great backstory. The plot moved along at a steady pace and kept me on my toes. Both Dex and Finn have pasts to overcome and by working together they do just that.

This was a great start to a new book series. I can’t wait to get my hands on book two.

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Not A Game by Cardeno C : Release Day Review

not a gamesynopsis

An accidental meeting and a misunderstanding lead to a life-altering connection.

A new job, a new city, and hopefully a new life. When chubby gamer Oliver Barnaby receives a job offer from the best boutique game developer in the country, he leaves his family and his less than spectacular existence in Oklahoma without a second’s hesitation. Determined to change more than his career and his geography, Oliver implements a plan to finally land a boyfriend. Step one is improving his skills in the bedroom.

A life that looks perfect on paper, but feels empty in reality. Attractive, successful, charismatic Jaime Snow has a life other people envy. His already booming business is growing. He isn’t lacking in friends. And he has no trouble finding a date. But there’s an emptiness in Jaime’s heart and a hole in his life that only the right man can fill.

An accidental meeting, a misunderstanding, and falling in love. When Oliver and Jaime end up at the same bar at the same time, they each see something they want in the other. Going to bed together that first night is easy. Building the lifetime relationship they both desperately crave will require trust, time, and a little misunderstanding.

denise review

If you want an angst filled, nail biter of a story, Not A Game isn’t the book for you. However, if you want what I think is Cardeno C‘s specialty, a romance set in the real world, with characters that you can relate to, then this book is a great choice!

Oliver is a chubby game developer who decides to move across the country to start a new job, and a new life, and decides to press the reset button on his love life by getting lessons on loving from a male escort. In walks Jamie, and they begin a misunderstanding that Jamie is loathe to correct until he can figure out how to do it and keep Oliver in his life.

I really enjoyed getting to know Oliver, and all his quirks. Everything was a numbers game for him, down to figuring out the number of people attending a party. Logic and forthright understanding was how Oliver worked through his life. If he could quantify it, or explain it rationally, then he could understand it, and move on. However, if it made no sense, then his nerves ballooned, and he would shut down. This was so true to how many people deal with every day life situations. It was just one more reason to love the character of Oliver.

Jamie was so sweet and loving, caring for Oliver as much as he could, showing him how important he was, and how attractive he found him. He let Oliver know that his size was desirable to him, not a turn off, emphasizing it when Oliver needed it most. Jamie showed himself to be the boyfriend that Oliver needed and wanted.

I would have liked to see a bit more of a conflict, to see how these men dealt with issues that needed resolution. There were a couple things that I thought needed to be resolved, for Oliver’s comfort level to be where he needed it to be to be comfortable in his relationship with Jamie. However, a sweet read like this doesn’t necessarily need conflict to be enjoyable, and leave the reader wanting the HEA that came at the end.

And of course, we have a great setup to see what is ahead for Jack, as he ventures back into the world of dating after 8 years of a broken heart. Looking forward to that, because CC will no doubt give us what we are craving.

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Lock and Key by Z. Allora: Release Day Review

lock and key

synopsis

Rejected. Heartbroken. Devastated.

Zack Davis wanted to serve only one man, Andrew Nikeman. He was denied because Andrew thought he was too young and because their brothers were together. So Zack crushed his submissive tendencies and focused on being the perfect Dom, giving every sub he played with something he couldn’t have.

After years of denying his submissive side, Entwined’s charity auction “Are you Dom Enough to be a sub?” gives Zack an excuse to get a little of what he’s always craved.

Andrew doesn’t know when his infatuation turned into more, but it kills him to see Zack with a constant parade of submissives. He’d refused to jeopardize his brother’s relationship or become Zack’s regret; however, Zack isn’t a kid anymore, and his brother’s relationship is unbreakable. Now Zack’s popularity and success as a Dom might ruin Andrew’s dreams of collaring him, but he can’t wait any longer to confess his feelings or he risks losing the man he loves forever.

Title: Lock and Key
Author: Z. Allora
Release Date: July 15, 2016
Category: BDSM, Contemporary
Pages: 300

deanna review

I really got into this book. I love a story told over a long period of time and this one spans years.

Zack has been in love with Drew since the moment he saw him. Drew brings out Zack’s submissive side and he longs to give himself to the older man. Drew thinks Zack is too young and since their brothers are dating he doesn’t want to rock the boat.

Zack finally gets up the courage to tell Drew what he wants and he is rejected instantly. Zack and Drew both belong to the BDSM club Entwined and Zack decides if he can’t be Drew’s sub than he will be the best Dom anyone has ever seen and help subs find what he never can.

For two years Drew watches Zack grow and mature in Entwined. The easy friendship the two had is now awkward and uncomfortable. Entwined is hosting a charity event “Are you Dom enough to Sub for a night?” Zack decides the cause is worthy and he is willing to see if anyone can offer him what he was hoping for with Drew.

When nerves get the best of him Zack decides to wear a blindfold during the charity auction. Drew decides he will win Zack no matter the cost, the two spend an explosive weekend together. Both of them try to withhold their feelings and expectations which leads to each of them misunderstanding what the weekend means to them.

Once they collectively pull their heads out of their asses they realize they were meant for each other. But just because the are now together doesn’t mean the communication needs to stop. Zack is terrified to put himself out there again after Drew’s initial rejection and Drew incorrectly assumed that Zack needs to take it slow. It will take their brothers to help keep them on the right path to happiness.

I really enjoyed this story. The BDSM books I have read recently have been all sex and very little plot, but this was the exact opposite. Don’t get me wrong, there was sex. Really hot sex, but the story was well thought out and moved along at a steady pace.

There were a ton of supporting characters and sometimes my feeble brain confused them. This book wasn’t listed as part of a series or the first in a spin of series but all the supporting characters already have their own books. You don’t have to read those stories to enjoy this one. I’m off to read about some of those other books.

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Last Mechanic Standing by L.A. Witt: Release Day Review DSP

last mechanic

synopsis

Everyone at Jim Irving’s garage is gung ho about Wrench Wars, a new reality show featuring mechanics. Everyone, that is, except talented mechanic Chandler Scott, the sole employee who has refused to sign the contract. The rest of the mechanics are pressuring him too, because without Chandler—and his volatile interactions with his boss—no one’s getting on the show.

Chandler’s one ally is Jim’s son, Mark, who’s being forced to work for his dad until he pays down his student loans or finds a better job—and who’s been Chandler’s secret lover for a while.

Then a playful tryst in the garage blows up in their faces, giving the network ammo to blackmail Chandler by threatening to out Mark to his father. Now Chandler is backed into a corner, and Mark needs to decide how far he’s willing to go to protect the man who’s been sharing his bed… and may have stolen his heart.

Title: Last Mechanic Standing
Series: A Wrench Wars Story
Author: L.A. Witt
Release Date: July 6, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: TBC (Novella)

denise review

I was surprised by this one. And I’m not sure why, because every single time L.A. Witt hits the mark for me. She has an incredible ability to not only create characters that I care about, but to put them in situations that are challenging in ways I can’t always understand, and make them fall in love, still giving me my HEA.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy a book about a reality series, and men that are mechanics, but I really did. Chandler was an honorable man, willing to stand up for his reputation, and not allow himself to be bullied into doing something he had no desire to do. But his downfall was being in love with Mark, who not only needed the show, but needed his job under the crushing student loans he had. Blackmail, however, only ever hurts people and clearly it does nothing but hurt these two men.

I loved though, that they found a port in the storm of this reality show in each other. They didn’t turn on each other. Instead, they turned to each other when they needed to be centered, and to feel safe. That was refreshing. It showed that their relationship could stand the difficult challenges that come with a work romance, in a highly stressful situation. They supported one another, and didn’t allow others to pull them down.

Every read by L.A. Witt is one in which I am continually surprised, not because she is not a fantastic writer, but because she makes me care about characters that I might not have ever thought of as one’s I would connect with.

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Anthony by J.P. Barnaby: Release Day Review DSP

anthonysynopsis

Aaron Downing worshiped his mother. She saved his life. She did everything for him. But Anthony Downing has a different perspective. He sees the woman who tossed him into a basement for eight long years and forgot he existed. When Anthony decides he’s done being invisible, he packs up and heads for Detroit to stay with his Internet friend Jay, but fate intervenes.

Brendan Mears lost everything the day the man with a gun came into his father’s store. Now, he’s tethered to a business he can’t manage and a brother who resents him.

Different in all the ways that matter, Anthony and Brendan struggle to overcome their psychological obstacles, until a crushing betrayal sends them running for cover and each other.

Title: Anthony
Series: A Survivor Story
Author: J.P. Barnaby
Release Date: June 27, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

paula review

This is definitely a book you want to read with a box of tissue. Anthony and Brendan were two heartbreakingly beautiful characters. The author did a wonderful job of making me feel their pain and root for them. Anthony was so neglected and felt so invisible in his own home that he was dying to get out. I really like how he kept trying to make things better in his life. He may not have always done it in the best way but he tried. Then he met Brendan. Brendan survived something very traumatic but it wrecked him. However, as the story progresses we see these two slowly but surely begin to help put each other back together. The story was well written and the characters were believable. Start to finish this was an amazing book.

4-pieces-of-eye-candy

 

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A Dandelion for Tulip by R. Cooper: Release Day Review

dandeloiosynopsisDavid is in love with Tulip, a kind and unusually quiet fairy in his social circle. But everyone knows Tulip doesn’t date humans. David tells himself he is happy to be Tulip’s friend, because he doesn’t believe a fairy could love him and Tulip has never tried to “keep him”—as fairies refer to relationships with humans.

Fairies are drawn to David, describing his great “shine,” but David knows only too well how quickly fairies can forget humans, and thinks he’s destined to be alone. He can’t see his own brilliance or understand how desperately Tulip wants him, even if Tulip believes David can do better.

But exhausted and more than a little tipsy at a Christmas party, David makes his feelings too obvious for Tulip to deny any longer. Because of a past heartbreak involving a human, Tulip is convinced someone as shiny as David could never want a “silly, stupid fairy” in his life. Now, if he wants to keep David, he’ll have to be as brave as his shiny, careful human.

Title: A Dandelion for Tulip
Series: A Being(s) in Love Story
Author: R. Cooper
Release Date: June 24, 2016
Category: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, High Fantasy
Pages: 200

paula review

I really enjoyed this book. I haven’t read any Fae books before so it was something new for me to try. The whole thing was just really cute. David and Tulip were very endearing characters. I thought R. Cooper did a good job keeping me interested in the story. While there was some angst it was pretty lighthearted. The interactions between David and Tulip were very sweet. This is the sixth book in this series and I wasn’t lost even though I haven’t read the other five. That being said the book was good enough for me to want to read the previous ones so I will be picking them up. For me there wasn’t a lot of depth in the book, it was simply light and entertaining. R. Cooper did a good job of creating realistic characters(as realistic as you can get with a fairy in the story) that you could connect with.

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Practice Makes Perfect by Jay Northcote: Release Day Review and Excerpt

PracticeMakesPerfectsynopsisGetting experience with the guy next door seems like a great idea—until the lines blur.

Dev, a geeky first year physics student, has zero sexual experience and he’s determined to change that ASAP. After a bad time in halls of residence, he’s starting the summer term with different housemates and a new plan of action.

Ewan lives in the house next door to Dev. He’s young, free and single, and isn’t looking to change that anytime soon. When awkward circumstances throw them together, Ewan offers to help Dev out in the bedroom in return for maths tutoring, and Dev jumps at the chance.

They work their way through Dev’s sex-to-do list, but what starts as a perfect no-strings arrangement gets more complicated as their feelings for each other begin to grow. If they’re going to turn their lessons in lovemaking into something more permanent, they need to work out how they feel about each other—before they get to the end of Dev’s list.

 

Title: Practice Makes Perfect

Author: Jay Northcote

Publisher: Jaybird Press (self published)

Length: 54,000 words

Genre: Contemporary gay romance

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

Release Date: Wednesday 22nd June 2016

Series info: #3 in the Housemates Series but it may be read as a standalone

 

excerpt

Sitting on his bed, Dev yawned, his full stomach making him sleepy. He stared at his phone as he contemplated calling home but decided he couldn’t face it tonight. He loved his mum, but she did tend to bang on. Once she got him on the line, she’d end up talking for ages and asking him a million questions he was too tired to answer. Instead, he sent his mum a quick text.

All moved in, everything’s good. I’m shattered now so I’m going to have an early night. I’ll call you tomorrow.

She replied within seconds as though she’d been waiting for him to call.

Okay sweetie, glad you’re settled. Sleep well xxx

He picked up his notepad and crossed off phone home. Texting counted. He also crossed off everything else on his list for today. That was Saturday done.

Dev set his notepad aside, opened his laptop, and pulled up his lists app. He liked his notepad for day-to-day organisation; it gave him a certain satisfaction to cross out the things he’d done and to get to the end of the day with all the tasks completed. But for longer-term planning, he kept his lists on his Mac, synced to his phone.

For the first time in six months, Dev could breathe again. Finally he had a safe place where he could get back on track and look to the future. He began to type.

Things To Do This Term

Make some friends

Learn to cook

Research sex stuff

Join Grindr

Get some experience

Find a boyfriend

He stared at the words on the screen and sighed. That seemed like a lot of things to aim for. But it was good to have goals, right? Jez and Mac seemed really nice, so hopefully Dev was already on his way to achieving the first objective. And that bloke Ewan… Dev’s mind conjured up the image of the flame-haired hunk who lived next door. Ewan had been friendly.

Maybe there was potential there too.

Heather's Review

 I absolutely adore the Housemates series by Jay Northcote. When I saw the announcement of Practice Makes Perfect, I seriously started bouncing around like a kid in the month of December. I wanted it. Right. Flipping. Now.

Dev is just a bit obsessed with his lists. I’m pretty sure he has a bullet point on his list to make a list, because otherwise he doesn’t get the same sense of satisfaction. There were times this obsession got a bit tiring, but it was still cute.

After seeing one of the worst ever Grindr profiles, Ewan jumps in to basically save Dev. I’m not typically a fan of this motivation, but it was cute. It worked. And I loved how Ewan helped Dev get the experience he wanted without trying to rush him into anything. Again, should’ve been awkward, but it wasn’t.

Overall, Practice Makes Perfect was a great weekend afternoon read. It wasn’t overly angsty, it wasn’t so steamy you’d blush if you read it at the pool or beach. It was just a good, fun read.

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Housemates

 

meet the author

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.

She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.

 

www.jaynorthcote.com

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