The Alpha King by Victoria Sue-Narrated by Joel Leslie: Audiobook Review with Giveaway

The Kingdom of Askara has been torn apart by conflict for centuries, where humans exist as subservient beings to their werewolf masters. Legend says it will only be able to heal itself when an Alpha King and a pure omega are mated and crowned together, but a pure omega hasn’t been born in over a thousand years. Luca is an Alpha-heir eagerly awaiting the choosing ceremony on his 25th birthday and the gifts granted by whichever omega he mates. His small pack is destitute due to the decisions of its ruling council, but being only an Alpha-heir, he has no authority to challenge them. Not until now – this moment he has waited a long time for. Kit grew up as a street-rat, an unlicensed human who would never be more than a slave for whichever master owns him. Then one day he came across a young Alpha-heir, attacked and dying of poison, and found out their fates were suddenly entwined. Luca needs to take over his pack and save his people. He cannot afford to be distracted. But when he meets Kit, he develops abilities indicating he is not just a pack Alpha, but the King his world has needed for a thousand years. Is Kit really the cause of Luca’s newfound power, the true mate he needs? How is it possible when the young man isn’t even a werewolf, and as merely a human, a mating is not only forbidden, but for Kit, a sentence of death?

Amazon

Audible

 

This is a great Alpha/Omega book. The characters and the landscape are described in such detail that you can picture it unfolding right before your eyes.

Kit, a human slave has seen it written in the stars that his mate is a powerful Alpha, however unlikely that may be. Luca, the alpha in question is ready for his choosing ceremony so he can take a mate when he finds the young man who saved his life all those years ago.

Realizing that Kit is his mate and a human leaves Luca reeling. Luca must scramble to understand what is going on and keep Kit safe at all cost. Their world is in turmoil and it is up to the new Alpha King and his human Omega mate to make it a better place for all of them.

The story was amazing. The narration was stellar. Joel Leslie made me feel every emotion the characters were feeling. Every time Luca did something stupid I wanted to punch something. When Kit was devastated, I wanted to cry for him. I haven’t come across too many audiobooks that have made me feel this much.

If you enjoy Alpha/Omega or MPREG stories you can’t go wrong with this one.

5 pieces of eye candy

Victoria Sue is giving away an Audible copy of The Alpha King (US or UK). Just tell us whether you have read mpreg before and what intrigues you about it.

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

The Palisade by Rosalind Abel: Release Day Review

Confident businessman Joel Rhodes sees the small California town of Lavender Shores as nothing more than a business transaction and a final stepping-stone to the position he’s been working towards his entire life. It was supposed to be nothing more than one night in town to close the deal, and sleeping with one of the local men, no matter how gorgeous, meant nothing more than a few hours of fun. Andrew Kelly is perfectly content with the life he has in his hometown. So much so, that the only thing missing is someone to share it with. Going to bed with a tourist was never meant to be the answer to his dreams, just a beautiful distraction. He could get back to looking for Mr. Right the next day. Both Andrew and Joel’s worlds are turned upside down when a few hours of pleasure gets extended to a couple of days. Even that shouldn’t be a big deal. You can’t fall in love in such a short time, that isn’t how it works. However, if destinies collide, a few short days may be all it takes to find your soul mate. Even so, when secrets and motivations get tangled, destiny may do nothing more than leave two hearts in pieces.

Amazon – Kindle Unlimited

 

I was not prepared for this story… I think it came at a time when I needed the romance of it, the sweetness. It was so incredibly sweet.

Joel needed to go to Lavender Shores to secure some property for his father’s business that he’s trying to get ahead in. When you think of a pompous, egomaniacal, selfish, jerk… that’s Joel’s father. I hated it for him so bad because he seemed like a genuine person. Not in the beginning, he was your typical fly-by-night, workohoic, player type. Nothing was important but his career and getting ahead. That ended when at the bar of the B&B he was staying at, he made eyes with Andrew

Andrew is one of the descendants of the founding families in Lavender Shores. Content with the life he has, he was always hopeful of someone moving to town and giving him his happily ever after, but… it just wasn’t likely to happen. That is, until he makes eyes with Joel. Everything happens in warp speed with them and although, I don’t mind an insta-love story… this one was so much more than that. This was like destiny or fate shoved them together and it’s just the way things were supposed to be. Nothing felt forced or too fast, it all felt amazingly right and romantic. Isn’t that ridiculous? (in the best way)

Of course, I knew what Joel was hiding from Andrew and every time he was forced to change the subject or omit the truth, my heart broke for the inevitable. Because I wanted Andrew to have all that he wished for and I knew how much he loved Joel, even in such a short time; this author’s way of making you believe it, was unreal. I cried for him and hoped for him and it killed when things didn’t work out the way he wanted.

I also felt so sorry for Joel. I couldn’t even imagine and I hated his dad. I wish we’d have gotten to see him put his dad in his place, though we did get the cliffnotes, so it was almost as good.

I loved Andrew’s family, especially his dad. His brothers and best friend though, were also amazing. I can’t say this was low angst, because it was a little bit, only because I was constantly waiting for that other shoe to drop. But, we get our happy ending, and more importantly, so does Andrew and Joel and it’s perfect. Sickeningly sweet and perfect and I loved every second of it. I cannot wait for Gilbert’s story, I just know it’s going to be just as heartbreaking.

5 definitely deserved pieces of eye candy from me on this one.

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Aftercare by Tanya Chris: Quick 5* Review

Aayan Denir knows Garrett Hillier was once a high-powered defense attorney, and—thanks to a leaked photograph—he knows Garrett is sexually submissive, which makes him ideally qualified to defend Aayan’s brother from the charge of murdering his sub. Aayan would do anything to protect Syed, even if he doesn’t understand how Syed could hurt someone he loves. He could never hurt Garrett. He only wants to take care of him—love him, serve him, cherish him. And maybe torture him. Just a little.

Garrett probably shouldn’t be dating his client’s brother. Right? And what’s the use in a confirmed sub dating a guy who doesn’t want to be a Dom anyway? The important thing is to get Syed cleared of the discriminatory murder charge he’s facing. Aayan is a distraction. But for the first time in the three lonely years since Garrett’s husband died, he’s feeling hope, ambition, and desire. Can he give up the pain he craves to find the love he needs?

As Syed’s trial date looms, Aayan and Garrett explore what a BDSM relationship means for them, and what they mean to each other.

Amazon – Kindle Unlimited

First, I have to say… I’m not a big fan of D/s… Nothing wrong with it, of course, it’s just not my thing. In saying that, I really, really enjoyed this story!
Aayan’s brother Syed is being accused of murdering his long-time partner, Jamie. Nobody is listening to his plea’s of innocence because he’s also a Dom and Jamie was his sub. To the police and the prosecutor, they only see that Syed hurt his lover, nothing else… I can see where people would see that, but… people form their own opinions that they nothing about… I do it too, so… I could see the reality of it. Meanwhile, Aayan is fighting the attraction he and Garret have to one another, because Garret is also a submissive and Aayan has a problem with that due to his religion and personal morals, I guess. I could also see where he was coming from… Wanting something but not believing it was okay to have.

I loved how Aayan loved Garret and how he wanted to take care of him, even from the beginning. He wanted to be everything to him, because he’d fallen in love with Garret, before he’d even met him. It makes sense….just read it and you’ll see. I’ve seen some reviews call it, creepy. I thought it was romantic LOL maybe I’m creepy, too!

So, in this story, we have Syed maintaining his innocence, because he loved his partner.
Aayan trying to be what Garret needs him to be.
Garret trying to be okay with moving on from the husband he lost from cancer a few years prior and getting back into dating and then being thrust into this intense, lust-filled relationship with Aayan… sigh… there’s a lot going on, but I promise it’s worth it! Once I picked it up, I honestly couldn’t put it down. Really, REALLY good read!

And the ending… for those HEA seekers, like myself… I loved that ending. I’d love to read more about these two, or even a couple of the side characters… Like Syed or the other attorney Dashiell… maybe even together 😛

5 pieces of eye candy from me… 5 well deserved pieces!

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

On Point by Annabeth Albert: Release Day Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

TitleON POINT

Series: Out of Uniform, Book 3, but each book is a stand-alone HEA w/ a new couple in each book

Author: Annabeth Albert

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date: June 5, 2017

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 78,000 words

Genre: Romance, contemporary romance, military romance, SEALS

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Never fall for your best friend…

Pushing thirty, with his reenlistment looming, decorated navy sniper Maddox Horvat is taking a long look at what he really wants in life. And what he wants is Ben Tovey. It isn’t smart, falling for his best friend and fellow SEAL, but ten years with Ben has forged a bond so intimate Maddox can’t ignore it. He needs Ben by his side forever—heart and soul.

Ben admits he likes what he’s seen—his friend’s full lower lip and the perfect muscles of his ass have proved distracting more than once. But Ben’s still reeling from a relationship gone to hell, and he’s not about to screw up his friendship with Maddox, too.

Until their next mission throws Ben and Maddox closer together than ever before, with only each other to depend on.

Now, in the lonely, desperate hours awaiting rescue, the real challenge—confronting themselves, their future and their desires—begins. Man to man, friend to friend, lover to lover.

The rain pelted down as he made his way up the ridge, thick sheets that obscured his vision and made the terrain slippery and treacherous. Overhead, a large black bird with a colorful beak swooped in, almost sending Ben skidding into a ravine.

He whistled low, a deliberate pattern, one of the team’s signals. He repeated the sound as he approached where Maddox was supposed to be. An answering signal came from a dense thicket of green vegetation.

“It’s me. Hold your fire,” Ben called as he slipped into the mass of trees and roots. The plants here were nothing like the ones back home—giant heart-shaped leaves and bright rubbery flowers that almost looked bird- or insect-like. The trees had massive, visible roots covered with moss, and were connected by thick vines that could easily be mistaken for a deadly snake.

Below him, he could see the encampment, SEALs scurrying around. The injured hostage and Issacson, their wounded radio man, were carried out, which had to mean the chopper was close. Time to haul ass. “Maddox?”

“Here.” Maddox slid out of the shadows, rifle at the ready, just as Ben had expected. “Com’s down for you guys too?”

“Yup. Chopper’s coming in. LT sent me to bring you in. No time to waste. Issacson took a bullet, but he’s stable, and one of the hostages is in bad shape. Possible hostiles escaped, but Rogers and company are hunting them down.”

“Got it. Lead the way.” Maddox let Ben take point as they made their way down the ridge. They had to skirt the edge of a steep drop, every muddy step cautious even as they needed to make haste.

Crack.

Whoosh.

Two things happened at the same instant—gunfire broke out above them and a chopper approached, engine noise making it hard to track the source of the shots. But Maddox was already on it, crouching low, rifle ready. Another shot whistled over their heads and Maddox returned fire. They both left the trail and headed into the brush, intent on finding the hostiles.

The chopper circled low, then went back up. Fuck. The chopper was struggling to land in the encampment clearing, which meant the next pass was critical. Still staying low and gun ready, he inched forward. No more gunfire had followed Maddox’s, but that didn’t mean he could let his guard down for a second.

The chopper circled again, but the terrain had shifted and Ben could no longer see the encampment beneath them.

Fuck.” Maddox never cursed, so Ben whipped his head around just in time to see Maddox slipping off the poor excuse for a trail.

Ben scrambled on his stomach, stretching out an arm, trying to catch Maddox. “Grab on.”

“No. Don’t—” Maddox didn’t get the sentence out before they were both tumbling down the muddy incline, heading straight for the ravine that lay between them and the encampment. Ben tried to slow their descent but his attempt to grab at some vines only resulted in the foliage following them down.

Maddox screamed, a legitimate yell that chilled Ben to his boots because Maddox never lost composure. Ever. Ben had once watched Wizard put sutures in Maddox’s scalp while Maddox hummed, never dropping his tune.

Ben grabbed for him again and— Pop. Ben’s arm pulled at an unnatural angle, caught up in a tree root and not Maddox’s strong grip as he’d intended. He wrenched loose but the damage was already done, and still he slid, mud carrying him faster, rocks and vegetation raining down after them.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.” Ben’s arm and shoulder were on fire and he was still moving, sliding, nothing working—

Boom. The bottom of the ravine arrived without warning, a muddy bog that sucked him down, but it was hardly a soft landing, rocks and plants poking at him. His arm had him cursing, eyes watering. He’d seen Rogers dislocate a shoulder last year in the grinder obstacle course, and at the time he’d rolled his eyes at how Rogers had carried on. He had a sick feeling that he’d done the same or worse to his shoulder, and he got the urge to cry and howl.

“Oh fuck.” His stomach heaved and he barely made it to his side before he threw up from the pain. He turned his head and almost lost his guts again. Maddox lay a few feet from him, leg at an unnatural angle, blood dripping from his head, helmet nowhere to be seen. Not talking or cursing.

Clawing at the rocks with his good arm, Ben pulled himself closer, looking for the telltale rise and fall of Maddox’s chest—and not seeing it.

“You are not fucking with me,” Ben growled. “Mad? Come on, man.”

Still nothing, not even a ghost of movement across Maddox’s pale lips. Terror, nothing Ben had ever known before, froze his veins, made him lightheaded from more than just the fall. He refused, utterly refused to live in a world where Maddox wasn’t okay.

“Maddox. Horvat.” He shook his shoulder, cursing under his breath. No, no, no.

Whoosh. A chopper—the chopper—flew overhead, much too far to spot them down this ravine, and heading away from them.

Sputter. Maddox let out a mighty cough. It might have been the most beautiful sound Ben had ever heard, because it meant Maddox was here, that he was fighting, and Ben started to laugh with relief until Maddox spoke. “Heck. They’re leaving us.”

Sigh… Maddox and Ben…
I knew I would love them… I mean, the falling for your best friend thing? It’s confusing and heartbreaking and stressful, especially when you’re living together like these two were.
Ben, after a terrible breakup and the effect that his mother leaving him when he was a child, had one him; wasn’t in a place where he thought he’d ever settle down. He had his career, his best friend and any pick of a willing guy. He was set right? But, a few threesome type-not quite threesomes with his best friend had things weird between them and it was rough….Cut to something terrible happening in the field, leaving them both near death… it put things into perspective for both of them.
For Maddox, he was tired of living to make everyone else happy. His family didn’t accept him, and man were they terrible. My heart truly broke for him, it seemed like nobody stuck around for him… Nobody but Ben… With Ben, he was faced with almost losing Maddox and he just couldn’t have that… thus, an experiment ensues.
I hated that Maddox felt like all the time that the other shoe was going to drop….and I hate that for the same, but different reasons, Ben did too and he used that to push Maddox away. I just wanted Maddox to have someone there and love him for how great he was. Watching him get hurt over and over again was excruciating and I just wanted him to find his happy and I knew it was going to be with Ben… I was just waiting for Ben to pull his head out…
Of course, if you’ve read any book in this series… of course, he does and we get the most beautiful ending. I almost cried there at the end, with Ben… He wasn’t always good with words or emotions, but he hit the nail on the head at the end. All the angst and back and forth is well worth it in the end.
I loved Ben’s family… well, his dad and step-mom that is. I loved their friends and getting to catch up with Apollo and Zach… I love how this series portrays the military branches being so accepting of its LGBT members and I just love seeing someone like Maddox finally get his happy.
It was truly another amazing addition to an already amazing series. I loved it so much and I can’t wait for more… I really hope there’s more!
5 pieces of eye candy from me!

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Annabeth’s Angels Facebook Group

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Past the Breakers by Lucie Archer: Release Day Review, Guest Post and Giveaway

Casey North lost everything when his restaurant burned to the ground: his hopes, his dreams, his reason for living. With nothing tying him to LA, he packs up and moves back to his hometown of Land’s End. He takes up residence in a beach house and attempts to shake the depression he’s fallen into after his life collapsed. There’s just one tiny problem: the ghost haunting his kitchen.

Myles Taylor wasn’t always trapped in the Between. One minute, he was about to propose to his boyfriend of five years as they sat out on their surfboards, and the next, he woke up on the beach to find his long-dead uncle walking toward him. After his shock fades,he must learn to navigate his new reality as he searches for a way to move into the Great Beyond. But first he must deal with the man who’s invaded his territory.

With Myles tied to the beach house and Casey unwilling to leave it, the two must learn to cohabitate as the lines separating them begin to blur. They grow closer than either expected, but what will become of them once Myles finally escapes the Between?

Title: Past the Breakers
Author: Lucie Archer
Release Date: May 15, 2017
Category: Paranormal: Ghosts/Spirits
Pages: 220

Amazon

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Hey guys! Thanks for having me. On a previous tour stop, I did a top 5 list of surf destination from Myles’s POV, and to avoid Casey feeling left out, I thought I’d offer up one for him as well. Since he’s a chef, I asked him for a list of his favorite foods, and here’s what he said. (*Warning: you may not want to read this on an empty stomach.)

Casey North’s top 5 Favorite Foods (in no particular order):

  • Lobster

Casey can’t remember the first time he had lobster, but he imagines it left quite an impression. They didn’t eat it much growing up, but he always requested it for his birthday or special occasions. Most kids probably preferred pizza or hot dogs, but he likes to think he was born with a sophisticated palate. He’s eaten it so many ways from bisques to lobster mac and cheese, but nothing beats cracking into a freshly cooked lobster tail, dipping it in a rich butter sauce, and going to town.

  • Fish

Fish has a special place in Casey’s heart, particularly Pacific halibut. He has fond memories of going down to the pier with his father on Saturday mornings, casting a line, then taking home their catch of the day to prepare and cook. It’s one of the few happy memories he has of his father and something that helped form his love for cooking. And it’s healthy, blah, blah, blah, but the deliciousness helps to mask that.

  • Cheese burgers

This should be self-explanatory. Nothing beats a big, juicy burger piled high with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, fried onions, and a nice dollop of mayo—side of fries optional. He loves making his own at home and likes to experiment with different meats, cheeses, and unique flavor combinations, but the best burger he ever had was in New York at this greasy spoon, hole-in-the-wall, all-night diner whose name he was too drunk to remember.

If he ever found the place again, he doubts it would live up to the legacy it left on his taste buds. Yum!

  • Mango

He doesn’t know when mango cemented itself as one of his favorite foods, but he loves to cook with it. Its sweet and succulent flavors compliment fish really well, so mango salsa heaped on top of grilled halibut makes his mouth water just thinking about it.

  • Ice Cream – Mint chocolate chip

This one needs no explanation, but he does have a fond memory of tiptoeing out of his room one night to sneak himself a bowl only to find his sister Rachel with a spoon of it showed in her mouth and a look on her face that could only be described as deer in the headlights. They made a habit of late-night ice cream socials until their mother walked in on them and grounded them both. But it was worth every delectable spoonful.

I rarely give 5 pieces of eye candy ratings anymore. The book has to leave a strong mark on me, be a book I would re-read, and hit me in the feels right from the get go (at least that’s usually how the 5* books go). The book does not have to be perfect. It can have editing errors. It can have little things that aren’t completely resolved. It can even challenge my basic sense of reality. However, if it doesn’t make that indelible impression, then it isn’t a 5* read for me.

Past the Breakers is the first one in recent memory for me. I have loved “ghost story” type romances since I read Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Devereaux back in, *cough cough*, well, a very long time ago. 🙂 Something about a love that transcends space, time, the physical plane, and our normal take on what is real and what isn’t always has been. Finding a book that can do that, and do it well, that’s even more rare. Lucie Archer‘s book did this for me.

First, I love that Casey was going through such a hard time. Overweight, without a job, or even his passion of cooking as a balm, he was so depressed and anxious, it was a wonder that he was able to be open to hearing Myles. Yet he was, and Myles came at a time when Casey needed his companionship, his focus and his love the most. Casey allowed himself to fall in love, despite all the odds against him falling in love with a ghost.

Meanwhile, Myles…talk about heartbreaking! What should have been the best day of his life, proposing to his boyfriend becomes the worst day when he dies and is stuck in the Between. He does get to see the most important man in his life, his uncle, from time to time, and that in itself was heart-wrenching, because you could see the bond they had had when Joe was still alive. And Myles finds himself falling in love with Casey, despite all the odds, as well.

When I read books like this, I try not to anticipate how it will play out, or what the ending will be like (because my rule is it has to be an HEA or I don’t read it!), but I admit I found myself a touch scared that this wouldn’t turn out as I hoped. Not because I didn’t think they would fall in love, but because I didn’t want the ending to be too easy, or weird. It wasn’t. It had my HEA, and even better, it was well thought out. It could happen. You never know what is out there in the world beyond our sight.

I truly loved this book. I loved their relationship. I loved how Casey grew and blossomed with Myles’s love, and how he was able to overcome his depression simply by working through it, finding a loving path to move forward on. I even loved how things ended with Uncle Joe, because I will admit, I had more than a few tears flowing at certain points in the book, but Uncle Joe’s love for his boy? That got me crying again.

This book worked for me on so many levels that even the relatively easy resolution of the bad ex-boyfriend didn’t bother me. I wanted to know more about Casey and Myles, James could go jump in a lake as far as I was concerned. 🙂

Pretty easy 5 pieces of eye candy for me

Lucie Archer is a student of the universe who is obsessed with the stars, in love with beaches, and crazy about dudes falling in love. She tells stories of romance, love, and life, with a little bit of passion thrown in for good measure. Because what’s life without a little pop and sizzle?

When she’s not writing, she can be found tending to her garden, playing with her four-legged children, or procrastinating. Although, she spends a lot of time fending off random plot bunnies that threaten to derail her WIP’s.

Website & blog: www.luciearcher.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/writerluciearcher

Twitter: www.twitter.com/Lucie_Archer


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Believe in the Wish by Christi Snow: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post, Review and Giveaway

TitleBelieve in the Wish

Author: Christi Snow

Publisher:  Self-Published

Release Date: May 11, 2017

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: ~55,000 words

Genre: New Adult, enemies to lovers, forbidden love, twins, contemporary romance, mourning death

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I buried my twin sister six months after she found out she had cancer. Her funeral was three months ago. Today is our birthday and it started with delivery of letters from her.

It seems she didn’t trust me to move on after her death. She knows me too well. But how can I go on when my other half is just…gone? That’s not something I can recover from with a snap of my fingers. But I also can’t ignore her instructions even though I’d be perfectly content to cuddle up with my buddy, Johnnie Walker, and call it a year.

She has a list of things for me to do and there are rules attached.

There’s one major problem besides the fact it’s been three months since I left the house. I have to do all these things with her jerk of an ex, Hawk Simmons. He abandoned her shortly after she found out she was sick. If that wasn’t enough to make this a really bad idea, the fact that he makes an appearance in all my nighttime fantasies probably does.

I don’t think I can do this, but I owe it to my sister’s memory to try.

This is a stand-alone male/male contemporary romance novel.

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Building suspense without danger

The very nature of the style means that the reader is always wondering what’s going to happen around the next corner.

But when it came to this book I wanted to try my hand at suspense of a different sort.

No, there’s no danger or hidden attacker in this book.

What there is instead…*author cocks an eyebrow*…are some unanswered mysteries about how these two characters ended up in this situation.

Emma loved her twin brother Ethan.

That was never in question, so he just assumed that when she died he would inherit her half of their home and business.

That wasn’t the case.

Why would she require him to jump through all these hoops?

Impossible hoops.

Hoops like having to play nice with her asshole of an ex, Hawk.

Hawk is another mystery in this story.

The book is told from both Hawk and Ethan’s point of view, but it takes a while for the reader to see things from Hawk’s side of things. That was done on purpose.

I want the reader to question what exactly Emma was thinking here.

Emma knew she was dying.

She knew Ethan wouldn’t handle that well.

In the months leading up to her death, she made a plan.

A plan to make sure Ethan lived even when she didn’t.

 

 

And that’s all I’m going to say…

Happy reading.

Beware! The review ahead may just sound like a commercial for Believe in the Wish or for Christi Snow or for both. And I don’t care.

Let’s start with Christi. She is an author that definitely writes from her heart. She is an avid reader (one of the two or three blogs I watch religiously), and writes her characters with heart. AND, she doesn’t write the same character, just in a slightly different situation. She writes complex characters, that you have to invest time, and emotions into figuring out their motivations, their wants and needs, and where they will be going next. I love the depth of her writing, and I soak it up every single time one of her books hits my e-reader. (Example, she sent me this arc…I forced myself to finish what I was reading, then dropped everything to read this next). Read anything and everything from Christi and you will have a happy ending, and enjoy yourself along the way.

Now, the book. I read the blurb, and knew immediately that my heart was going to be ripped out. How could you not? And right from the first paragraph you see what a mess Ethan’s life has become since Emma died. They were everything to each other, and when she died, well Ethan felt he should have died instead. Watching his struggle, even in the first chapter, was difficult. He had taken grief to a level that is difficult to fathom, and the reader couldn’t help but bleed along with him. Then to find out that his sister had “betrayed” him and hadn’t really left him the house and business without stipulations. That’s a pain that can’t be measured.

As we move through the book, we find, of course, that Emma has a plan, and if Ethan and Hawk go along with her plan, Ethan will get what he had expected at the end. However, first Ethan has to walk through the fires with Hawk, and learn that maybe not everything with Emma was as open as Ethan had thought. The bitterness Ethan experiences with Hawk is what one would expect in that situation, and even when they have fun times, Ethan feels guilty because he has always wanted the man than Emma loved.

There was so much guilt tied up in Ethan’s feelings, and the author portrays is so beautifully. Guilt is a complicated emotion, and when Ethan enjoys himself with Hawk, he feels guilty. When he realizes that Emma is dead, and he is alive, he feels guilty. All these emotions that are wrapped up in how he feels about the two people he cared about the most, and getting past that isn’t easy. It takes time and patience, and maybe some smoldering hot kisses from a sexy man. 😉

The rawness of all the emotions Ethan portrays was difficult to read sometimes. You will cry. Grab tissues, and keep them handy. Christi does an amazing job of giving the reader just enough information and emotion to catch you and drag you in, while forcing you to hold on to all that, and wait to see what comes next in Emma’s plan.

I absolutely loved this book. If a book can make me cry, smile, laugh, and give me a happy ending, it is going to be a thumbs up. But when the author can make me believe that all these emotions are coming from a living, breathing human being, that’s a keeper and a re-read. Without question, one of the best reads I’ve had this year. The book hangover was worth every precious second. (And there was a bonus happy little note in there about Found At the Library, another Christi Snow fave of mine, that made me giddy!)

5 pieces of eye candy

Katya ended her call and promptly pushed the ‘away’ button for receiving phone calls. “I’m sorry. No more calls. They may not think so, but they can survive without me for an hour or so while we have our chat.”

Ethan’s stomach rolled over. That brought them to the question of the hour…chat about what? But he was almost afraid to ask at this point. Instead, he redirected. “Do you have your own firm, or do you work for someone else?”

She raised an eyebrow at him, but with a slight tilt of her head she must have seen something in his expression because she answered, “I own my own firm. When I graduated from law school, I went into a partnership that was later dissolved when I bought my partner out. It’s all mine now, which keeps me very busy.”

He grimaced. “And that’s further complicated by hermits like me who refuse to answer phone calls or mail deliveries. Sorry about that.”

“No.” She shook her head. “It’s time for you to stop apologizing. This is a hard time for you and that’s okay. To a certain extent, that’s the way it should be…”

She hesitated for a moment. “At least for a little while. You’re allowed to grieve. But Emma knew this would be an issue for you, so she made plans.”

“What kind of plans?”

Katya reached into her briefcase and pulled out a file. She reached inside and pulled out an envelope that she handed to him. On the front was his name, written in Emma’s handwriting. Suddenly it was hard to breathe.

“What is this?” he whispered.

“The first of your instructions. You need to open and read it.”

He didn’t want to. He didn’t know why, but he really didn’t want to. “I’d rather wait until I’m at home.” At his house, if he fell apart, he could do it without witnesses.

She shook her head kindly. “No, that won’t work. She was very specific in how she wanted this all to go. I need you to open it now.”

Ethan swallowed against the huge lump in his throat as he tried to find air to breathe. His heart pounded in his chest. Surely, everyone around them could hear that.

“It’s okay,” she said softly. “I promise.”

“That’s where you’re wrong.” He glanced up at her. “It’s never going to be okay again.” His voice cracked.

She lowered her lids, and her lips compressed into a tight line as if his grief was too much for her.

His hands shook as he turned the envelope over, lifting the sealed flap. It had to be his imagination, but he could have sworn that he smelled a faint whiff of the strawberry lotion Emma always liked to wear.

For just a moment, he shut his eyes and tried to calm down his emotions going haywire. He didn’t know whether to be angry that she’d done this to him, sad that she wasn’t here to tell him whatever information this letter held, or scared at whatever Emma had cooked up for him.

Throughout her life, she’d kept him hopping. As the exuberant, outgoing twin, she’d always dragged him into trouble when all he’d wanted to do was stay home. In that regard, this whole scheme of hers was very apropos.

He took a deep breath and pulled out the single sheet of paper and unfolded it. At the very first words on the paper, his eyes filled with tears.

Happy Birthday, baby brother.

He glanced up in disbelief at Katya. “It’s May fifteenth?”

At her silent nod, he gazed down at the paper in his hands, his eyes filling with tears. It was their twenty-fifth birthday. The first birthday he’d ever celebrated without her. She’d only been twenty-four when she’d died. How unfair was that? To her. To him. To the world that missed out on everything she had to offer it.
Emma’s handwriting wavered in front of his eyes, but he continued to read, not knowing what else to do. His other option—sobbing in the middle of the restaurant—would be mortifying.

I’m sorry I’m not there to go out partying with you. Remember when we were little and you didn’t want to share your birthday with me? Now you get your wish.

He’d been a horrible person. The tears overflowed his eyes. He’d made that wish more years than he even wanted to remember. How selfish was that? How could he have wished for a life without her in any way? She’d been his light.

Katya shoved a tissue into his hand.

Right. He was in public. Time to get it together.

My bad. It was probably too soon for a joke like that.

I love you, Ethan.

I know I didn’t say that enough—you know emotional displays and I didn’t mix—but beyond anything else that happens over the next few weeks, KNOW THAT. I love you, and if I could have figured out a way to stay, I would have…for you.

But God obviously had different plans for me, so now I’ll just have to content myself with being your guardian angel for the next seventy-five years. I’ll have your back, bro. I promise.

And in the interest of having your back, that’s why Katya is here.

I know you. You’re stubborn, and right now, I imagine that you’re more than a little sad. I get that, but that doesn’t mean you stop living. My death means you have to live twice as much because you have to do it enough for both of us. I’m counting on you.

But, again, I know you, so I’ve enlisted some help from my friends just to get you going.

Make a Wish, Ethan. Believe in it. It’s time to live.

~Emma

When Ethan finished reading, he took several deep breaths. The sobs had welled in his throat, and it was all he could just to hold them inside.

“You okay?” Katya asked.

“Yeah.” His voice sounded husky, but he’d managed to say the word, so he figured that for a win.

“Then it’s time for step two.”

He looked up just as she held a flaming lighter to the candle on top of a cupcake. She pushed it in front of him. “Make a wish and blow. All you have to do is believe.”

As he sat there, looking at the flickering candle, it occurred to him at just how sad this was. His twin was dead, and he was at some bizarre birthday celebration with someone he’d never even met before. Even from the grave, Emma was working to pull him out of his shell.

So he closed his eyes and blew as he made his wish.

I wish I wasn’t so alone.

But when he opened them, nothing had changed. He was still sitting in a restaurant with a woman he didn’t know, mourning the twin sister who’d died. Not that he expected a miracle, but Emma wanted him to believe.

Believe.

How was that even possible? She’d been the one who believed in the magic of things like wishes and fairy tales. What had that gotten her? She’d died before she’d even had the chance to live. What kind of magic could he possibly believe in with that kind of reality?


As an avid reader her entire life, Christi Snow always dreamed of writing books that brought to others the kind of joy she felt when she read. But…she never did anything about it besides jot down a few ideas and sparse scenes.

When she turned 41, she decided it was time to go after her dream and started writing. Within four months, she’d written over 150,000 words and hasn’t stopped since.

She’s found her calling by writing about sexy, alpha heroes and smart, tough heroines falling in love and finding their passion. She’s truly living the dream and loving every minute of it.

Her tagline is… Passion and adventure on the road to Happily Ever After. She’s loving this adventure!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Google+ | Instagram

Tour Schedule

5/11 ~ Hearts on Fire Reviews

5/11 ~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

5/12 ~ MM Good Book Reviews

5/13 ~ Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

5/14 ~ Dog-Eared Daydreams

5/15 ~ Happily Ever Chapter

5/16 ~ Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy

5/16 ~ MM Book Escape

5/17 ~ Book Reviews Janisf & Leisha

5/17 ~ BFD Book Blog

5/18 ~ Dirty Books Obsession

5/19 ~ Reviews for Book Lovers

5/19 ~ Love Bytes Reviews

5/20 ~ Bayou Book Junkie

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To Touch You by Cardeno C. Release Day Review


“His name is Salvatore Rossi. He’s a vampire. And he’s my true mate.”

By not relying on anyone except himself, Salvatore Rossi escaped a dead-end existence and reached the height of corporate success. But just when he has everything he always wanted, fate throws Salvatore a challenge he can’t solve alone and a young wolf shifter comes to his rescue.

Since childhood, Yoram Smith’s family was certain he would grow to become Alpha and save their beloved pack from its slow demise. When the time comes for a new leader, Yoram is forced to juggle his duty to care for a splintering pack with his duty to care for an absent mate, and his own strength suffers.

Being turned into a vampire didn’t alter Salvatore’s life philosophy: if you don’t rely on anyone, nobody can let you down. But when the boy who saved his life becomes a man who needs his help, the icy vampire must find his humanity.

Title: To Touch You
Author: Cardeno C.
Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC
Genre: Gay romance paranormal (shifter/vampire)
Series: Mates (each book is a standalone about a different couple)
ISBN: 9781942184690
ASIN: B072KY67NL
Cover Artist: J.K. Hogan
Release Date: May 4, 2017

Word count: 66,181
Page Count: 260

 

Amazon
Goodreads

 

I have been waiting for another Mates book for probably close to two years now and hot damn was it worth the wait.

Salvatore Rossi is on the fast track with his career. He has no time for friends, family or relationships. Then a chance meeting with a 7 year old boy in an alley in Miancarem sets his life on an entirely different course. His only salvation is choosing the long life of a vampire over the decidedly shorter life of a cancer riddled human.

Yoram Smith is a strong wolf, and he’s known since he was seven years old that he has a true mate out there. He’s even met the man, but as the years go on and Yoram grows into an alpha wolf he begins to wonder if his mate will ever come to him. 27 now, he hasn’t seen his mate in a decade with no signs of the man. He feels like he’s about to come apart at the seams now that he’s the Alpha and he’s being pulled in a million directions with no relief in sight.

Salvatore has made it a point to stay away. He doesn’t do any kind of relationship and he doesn’t understand the “true mate” thing everyone keeps telling him about. What he does know is that the pull to be near Yoram is getting harder to deny. When he can’t take it anymore he makes the trip from Vegas to Miancarem. He doesn’t expect to find his mate about to unravel at the seams. The stress of juggling pack needs with his own needs are wearing him down.

Sal and Yoram will need to work together to get the pack to embrace change and their relationship while learning to trust each other with their own needs.

This book was amazing. When Sal and Yoram were apart my heart was breaking for Yorry. You could feel the despair and hopelessness hop off the page at you. It made me want to throttle Sal for being so damn stubborn. Once they got it together, hot dog the chemistry was off the charts. If this is where the Mates series ends, it was a great story to end with.

“I’ll gladly give up forever to touch you.”

How does your heart not melt?!?

5 pieces of eye candy

Author Website: http://www.cardenoc.com/en/book/to-touch-you

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Until Forever Comes by Cardeno C: Quick Review and Giveaway

A sensitive wolf shifter and a vicious vampire challenge history, greed, and the very fabric of their beings in order to stay together until forever comes. Plagued by pain and weakness all his life, Ethan Abbatt is a wolf shifter who can’t shift. Hoping to find an honorable death by joining his pack mates in a vampire attack, Ethan instead learns two things: draining his blood releases his pain and his wolf, and he has a true mate – a vampire named Miguel.

Over four centuries old, strong, powerful, and vicious, Miguel Rodriguez walks through life as a shadow, without happiness or affection. When a young shifter tells Miguel they’re true mates, destined to be together, Miguel sends him away. But Ethan is persistent and being together comes so naturally that Miguel can’t resist for long. The challenge is keeping themselves alive so they can stay by each other’s side until forever comes.

Amazon

 

I love this shifter series and each book keeps getting better and better.

Ethan is the weakest wolf in the pack. His whole life he has suffered from weakness and chronic pain. He goes out with his pack to attack a coven of vampires hoping to at least die honorably so he stops being a burden to his family and his pack. The night doesn’t go as planned and Ethan discovers while he is pretty seriously wounded the process of releasing blood helps relieve his pain. He also finds his mate, a 400 year old vampire named Miguel.

Wolf shifter blood is poisonous to vampires, but oddly Miguel feels a pull to feed from Ethan. When Miguel discovers that they are mates he sends Ethan back to his pack. Ethan won’t take no for an answer, deciding that the fates made him with too much blood so that he could sustain his mate.

Miguel tries to keep distance between them, but the pull is too strong. Now Ethan and Miguel will need to work together to protect Miguel from a few rogue vampires and to help Ethan leave his pack and start a new life with Miguel.

I love the characters in this one. Ethan is a sweet as Miguel is vicious. They are the perfect balance to each other. I love that Miguel can be so caring and loving with Ethan and in a second turn into a vicious fighter the next.

The story is well developed and entertaining. This is my favorite book in the series. The audiobook is well done as well.

 

Pieces of Candy: 5

Cardeno C is giving away winner’s choice of any of the first three books in the series. Leave a comment and let us know your favorite thing about shifter/paranormal books.

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Wake Me Up Inside by Cardeno C: Quick Review

A powerful Alpha wolf shifter and a strong-willed human overcome traditions ingrained over generations and uncover long-buried secrets to fulfill their destiny as true mates.

Regarded as the strongest wolf shifter in generations, Alpha Zev Hassick is surprised and confused by his attraction to his best friend. His very human, very male best friend. A male shifter has to mate with a female shifter to keep his humanity, so shifters can’t be gay. Yet, everything inside Zev tells him Jonah is his true mate.

Maintaining a relationship with the man he has loved since childhood isn’t easy for Jonah Marvel, but he won’t let distance or Zev’s odd family get in their way. When unexplained ailments begin to plague Jonah, he needs to save his own life and sanity in order to have a future with Zev.

Zev and Jonah know they’re destined for each other, but they must overcome traditions ingrained over generations and long-buried secrets to fulfill their destiny.

Amazon

 

I love a good shifter book and this one takes the cake.

Zev has grown up being groomed to be the Alpha of his pack. A very powerful Alpha at that. Shifter lore states a wolf mates with another wolf of the opposite sex. It’s the way it has always been, so Zev is very confused when he is attracted to his male, human best friend Jonah. Something deep down tells Zev that Jonah is his mate.

Jonah and Zev have grown up together, been best friends forever so it only seem natural that things would progress romantically. Jonah is determined to keep their relationship strong, even when he’s away at college. When Jonah is plagued with weird ailments that can’t find a reason for, he tries to stay away from Zev until he can figure out what’s going on. In the end he runs to Zev because they are always stronger together than apart.

Together Zev and Jonah work to uncover what could be going on and discover that the Fates are never wrong and Jonah was made just for Zev.

Sigh. I love this story. Their connection is so beautiful,so pure and full of happiness and love. I have read this story so many times, their aren’t many authors that can pull off this level of chemistry and make it seem so effortless.

The story itself is entertaining and I couldn’t put it down. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve read it, each time is like the first time.

 

Pieces of Candy: 5

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Unsteady by Melissa Collins: Release Day Blitz and Double Review with Giveaway

Micah Hudson and Jude MacMillian were both lonely teenagers. One the new kid and one the target of relentless bullying, they quickly became friends. But when friendship grew into more, the relationship was too much for either to handle. As their tenuous bond was tested, everything tumbled down, leaving them lonely once again.

A decade later, Micah is on the brink of losing his will to live. Beyond exhausted from lying to everyone, including himself, Micah thinks of the one person who knows his deepest secret. Desperate and alone, Micah makes the only decision he feels he has: he must leave. But his need for closure depends on one thing.

Can Jude make room in his Unsteady life for Micah once again?

Amazon

 

I love this series.. I already knew, from the other two stories, that it was going to be a tearjerker for me. It was…

Micha and Jude… let’s discuss.

After losing his mom, Jude and his dad hit a rough patch… one turned to food while the other turned to alcohol and, it just seemed that they both just got so lost that they didn’t know how to find their way back. The bullying in this, made me sick to my stomach and I hated that the bully just got away with being terrible. I hate when that happens… Fortunately, the new kid, Micah, was Jude’s saving grace. Not only did he befriend him and help him in so many ways, he became Jude’s best friend….

Micah had his own baggage, mainly with his father. He was a jerk plain and simple. You won’t like him, I’ll point that out right now. But I feel like, he was the biggest part of why Micah was the way he was. Even though I’m not a fan of the going back and forth from past to present… it worked here. We needed it, for the story to work, but I was broken hearted by the time we made it back to the present.
After losing touch for ten years, knowing that their friendship was well beyond friendship and that they loved each other so much….it was hard to see Micah as anything other than the strong one like he had been when they were younger; but the tables turned and now Micah needed Jude to be the strong one.
And he was….

Things are great with them for a while, though I wanted to reach in and slap Micha upside the head for keeping so much from Jude. I knew it was going to end badly when all the secrets came out, there was no way around it. I did understand why he kept the secrets, but I hated that he did…for everyone involved. (I mean, I have to just leave that there, cuz I don’t wanna spoil it)

This is truly a second chance romance and if I have ever needed two people to work out like they did.. it was these two. Their chemistry and passion and love for each other was evident from the very beginning and it never quit. I wanted to cry for them several times and just say “you have to work out! You just have to!”…. In all fairness, I knew they would… but it was a rough road getting there.

I loved this story… I loved the hurt/comfort and the realness of each character and… sigh… I just love them as a couple. It’s hands down, an excellent addition to an amazing series, although it’s a standalone and you don’t technically need to read the other two… you just should… just because they’re amazing too. But this one… easy 5 stars….Don’t miss it.

Pieces of Candy: 5

WOW – When the Prologue has you in tears, slightly sobbing, you know you are about to read a book that is going to tear you apart but you’re not sure if you are going to be put back together. Unsteady lived up to its name especially after such a passionate and powerful prologue.

Micah was introduced in On Higher Ground (Dax & Bec). There was something very intriguing and mysterious about him. I squealed when I heard he was getting a story.

Unsteady is somewhat of a 2 part story as Jude and Micah were best friends back in high school. In a previous book of hers (Let Love Live) part one was the past while part two was the present. With Unsteady it is mixed together and I have never seen an author do this with such effortlessness as Collins does. You will never feel lost or feel like it is not part of the story. There are not many “flashbacks” and each one is valid and added at the precise spot it should be. It gives it an endearing quality to see what happened to separate 2 people who were so in love with each.

Micah has secrets….TONS of secrets but he is also feeling dejected so he finds solace with the only person he has ever loved…..Jude. Collins writing is off the charts remarkable and the story flows with simplicity. It’s hard to find a writer than creates such a broken character a
nd does it with dignity and pride.

I fell in love with Collins writing back in 2014. Even though I know her stories will leave me needing tissues and lots of wine I will always read what she writes. Her love of writing shows in the stories she shares with us and they will hit you in the heart and take up residence there – For that alone I adore her.
If you are looking for a well-developed story with 2 broken souls, some sexy romance and a bit of unsteady issues (<- – – see what I did there…lol) – Than this read is for you. If you don’t like to cry or get sentimental while reading than pretend I didn’t state that (I tend to get emotionally over some topics) and give it a try.

A HUGE thank you to Melissa Collins for writing a heartfelt and beautiful story of 2 misplaced souls finding each other again. I am now naming you the QUEEN of prologues – No one has ever made me shed a tear with in the first 3 pages. Kudos to you on such an astounding book.

PS: That is one drool-worthy cover and it represents Micah and Jude to a T

Pieces of Candy: 5

FAVORITE LINE: And with each day, it’s more and more difficult to capture those fleeting seconds of peace. They only come at night when I relive the soldiers dying in my arms. Envious of their peace,eventually the dreams became increasingly morbid. It was no longer a comrade taking his last breath, but me.

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Melissa Collins Author Page

Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.

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This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.