Uncomplicated Choices by Cara Dee: Random Review

When life gave you lemons, you learned who stayed and made lemonade with you. Or something to that effect. And the day Ellis Hayes kidnapped me—or, he borrowed a yacht and didn’t know I was on board—he’d definitely been handed too many lemons.

We faced a dilemma when I woke up hungover in the middle of the ocean. He needed to get the hell out of town to do some soul searching and decide whether or not to divorce his wife, and I needed to get back on land because humans didn’t belong on the water. There was also better cell service on land, and I had my four-year-old daughter on vacation in Paris to check in with.

Then I remembered I wasn’t a complete tool. Ellis wasn’t doing all right, and we were practically family. I had to stay and make lemonade with him. Of course, me being me, seemingly un-dateable and complicated, I had to develop feelings for him, too.

 

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The first book I ever read by Cara Dee was Aftermath, a book about two men who survive a five month kidnapping, only to find that they need and want only each other. (If you haven’t read that book, I highly encourage you to. It is truly amazing. In fact, I may need to go re-read it now that I am reminding myself of it. 🙂 )

Anyway, since that was my first book of Cara’s, I had some idea how strongly she writes from a character’s perspective. The character’s are not often living their “normal” lives, but some sort of different existence that makes falling in love, possibly with the “wrong” person a challenge, yet it feels so right.

Uncomplicated Choices is another such book. I’ll put this right out front, and this could be a spoiler…Ellis is married, to a woman, at t the time that he and Casey begin their relationship. However, it works in this book. I didn’t AT ALL feel like Ellis was cheating on his wife. It worked in this story, because Ellis is trying to find himself, outside of a marriage that went sour so long ago.

Casey was really a fantastic character. First, he was snarky AF. I loved that. He was snarky when he was speaking to Ellis (or anyone else for that matter), and he was snarky in his head. It worked for him. He was able to find the humor in so many situations that others would not, and I absolutely loved that about him. He was a great father, and it was as obvious how much he loved his daughter. She was the light of his life, and didn’t care who knew that, or if that was a stereotype that didn’t match what he “should” be doing.

Both men work on themselves throughout the book, even as they work on finding a relationship that works together. Ellis began the book being “elusive”, yet along the way was able to learn to talk through his feelings, and communicate with Casey as their connection grew. Casey, meanwhile, needed to learn that he was loveable, despite all the bad experiences he’d had with people thinking he was not worthy. Seeing these two men connect with each other, while connecting with their own thoughts and feelings made for a reader experience that went above “falling in love with someone else”. They were able to fall back in love with themselves, as well.

My one issue with the book was that although it was “mostly” a stand alone book, there were periods where I was lost. People were introduced or mentioned that likely had a previous book in this series, or possibly a book ahead that I had no knowledge of, and there was little explanation. This left me wondering if this was a necessary mention, or just a one off comment that would not come up again. Several people I had to infer who they were based on the people who were in the room, and still wasn’t sure I knew who they were. Although this happens often in books in a series, usually there are some descriptions as to how they fit in to the situation to help the reader understand in the event they hadn’t read the previous books. This didn’t happen with several of the characters who were not even in place in the book, but merely brought up in conversation. This did not detract from my enjoyment of the story of Casey and Ellis, however, it did leave me wondering if I was missing a big piece of a story.

All in all a well done book, by an author that I just love to read. 4 pieces of eye candy.

 

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Road to the Sun by Keira Andrews: New Release Review

A desperate father. A lonely ranger. Unexpected love that can’t be denied.

Jason Kellerman’s life revolves around his eight-year-old daughter. Teenage curiosity with his best friend led to Maggie’s birth, her mother tragically dying soon after. Insistent on raising his daughter himself, he was disowned by his wealthy family and has worked tirelessly to support Maggie—even bringing her west on a dream vacation. Only twenty-five, Jason hasn’t had time to even think about romance. So the last thing he expects is to question his sexuality after meeting an undeniably attractive park ranger.

Ben Hettler’s stuck. He loves working in the wild under Montana’s big sky, but at forty-one, his love life is non-existent, his ex-boyfriend just married and adopted, and Ben’s own dream of fatherhood feels impossibly out of reach. He’s attracted to Jason, but what’s the point? Besides the age difference and skittish Jason’s lack of experience, they live thousands of miles apart. Ben wants more than a meaningless fling.

Then a hunted criminal takes Maggie hostage, throwing Jason and Ben together in a desperate and dangerous search through endless miles of mountain forest. If they rescue Maggie against all odds, can they build a new family together and find a place to call home?

Road to the Sun is a May-December gay romance from Keira Andrews featuring adventure, angst, coming out, sexual discovery, and of course a happy ending.

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Little secret of mine: I am a total sucker for single dads. Like single, single. No mom or partner in the picture at all for whatever reason. Especially if they became fathers young. Like Jason. He was determined to make it work and he is. And now he is on a vacation of a lifetime with his daughter. So I was a little in love with him from the start.

I digress. I really enjoyed this story of a heartbroken man, thinking he was too old to find happily ever after and the single dad who is so busy working and giving his daughter a decent life that he doesn’t even consider a happily ever after.

This story is told in alternating POV’s of the main characters and once or twice from the POV of Jason’s daughter Maggie. I personally really like alternating points of view, and I feel that it was really well done. I never had to flip back to remind myself who was telling the story at any point.

While there was “insta-love” and the plot was a little far fetched, I didn’t mind that so much. The action and suspense that happened was well done and took the story forward for me.

There was a tidy happily ever after, but this book needed that. It didn’t need to be drawn out more for the sake of filling pages. And it had one of my favorite things- an epilogue a few years in the future.

A quick, easy read with some page turning points. Put this in your TBR pile.

 

Pieces of Candy: 4

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Their Life As They Live It (Persepctives #4) by A.M. Arthur: Exclusive Excerpt and New Release Review

Bernard “Bear” Henson is a blessed man. He is happily married to the love of his life, he co-owns a successful business, and his grown son is desperately in love with a wonderful partner. But Bear knows all too well how precarious that happiness is, so he lives every day with love in his heart and gratitude for everything he has—especially his husband Richard Brightman. Richard has been HIV-positive for thirty years and every new day is a gift.

When Richard becomes unexpectedly ill and is rushed to the hospital, Bear braces for his beautifully constructed life to come crashing down. A hard-won life full of ups and downs, illnesses and setbacks, love and anger, and a lot of regret for how certain things went down. Certain things involving Bear’s alcoholic ex-wife Debbie and the start of Bear’s relationship with Richard. But the past can’t be changed, only remembered and studied.

As Richard fights for his life, Bear reflects on the last thirty years of their entwined lives. College days, his shotgun wedding to Debbie, his unexpected feelings for Richard, and the proudest moment of Bear’s life: the birth of his son Gabriel. Bear’s life with Richard is woven with love, heartache, regret, joy, and everything else in between. They’ve overcome every obstacle that’s come their way, and they’ll overcome this new illness, too. Period. Bear simply isn’t ready to live his life without Richard in it.

Note: This is the fourth book in my Perspectives series, and while it can be read as a standalone, readers will have a much richer concept of these characters if you’ve at least read book two, The World As He Sees It. Warnings for spousal abuse (not between the two heroes) and cheating.

 

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….1990

Certain things were impossible to forget: the way it felt when you broke your leg falling out of a tree at age eight; your first real, meaningful kiss; a spanking so harsh you really could not sit comfortably for the rest of the night. Along with those things, Bear could now file the sight and sounds of a woman giving birth.

Eighteen hours in labor, six of which Bear had tried to sleep away in an uncomfortable chair, so he could be there for everything. He was eager to meet his daughter or son. They’d both agreed to wait and be surprised—one of the few things they’d agreed on in the last nine months. Ever since she verified yes, she was pregnant for real, and then yes, he was the father, their lives had been a series of dramatic compromises.

“You can keep sucking your boyfriend’s dick if I get to name the baby.”

“Go see your boyfriend whenever, but you come home to our bed every night.”

“Miss this appointment because you’re with him, and I’ll disappear with your kid.”

Mostly Bear was compromising and it kept him trapped between two worlds: the world of raising his child with Debbie and the world of loving Richard. It stressed him out, and even while Richard had adjusted to his meds and started gaining weight, Bear was losing weight. Not sleeping. Working himself to death to provide for his family—and according to Debbie, he never, ever did enough.

But then she was finally in labor, and she was pushing. Bear let her squeeze the shit out of his hand, while he watched a head of dark hair emerge, sticky and wet, followed by a perfect little face. Shoulders and arms. And then the baby was out, nether parts hidden by scrunched up legs.

“It’s a boy,” the doctor announced. “A very healthy looking baby boy.”

Bear’s heart surged with more love than he thought possible at the sight of his perfect son’s squirming body, the sound of his cries. The nurse let him cut the cord, and then the boy was taken away to be cleaned up. Bear watched every single movement, every action, desperate to hold his son in his arms.

He looked down at Debbie, who was quietly crying. And not happy tears. He knew her well enough. Those were…unhappy tears? She’d been hoping for a girl, but their son was perfect. No need to cry.

“All right,” said the nurse holding the baby. “Mom?”

Debbie shook her head no. Undaunted by her odd reaction, Bear held out his arms. The nurse gently deposited the most perfect human being on the planet into his arms. The baby’s eyes were shut, but he emitted soft, smacking sounds. Tiny fingers grasped for something. Bear took in every single detail of the bundle in his arms.

“He’s beautiful,” Bear said. “My God, he’s perfect. Debbie, you did good.” He couldn’t look away from his son, while the doctor dealt with the afterbirth and a few stitches for tearing. That had to suck balls.

“Have you discussed names?” the nurse asked.

“A little,” Bear replied. He was so happy to have this precious baby in his arms, he didn’t care what name Debbie came up with. “It’s Debs’s choice.”

Still a little teary, Debbie said, “Gabriel. His name is Gabriel Aaron.”

“Gabriel Aaron,” Bear repeated. “It’s just about perfect, Debs. You wanna meet him?”

She wiped her cheeks, then nodded. As gently as he could, Bear eased his precious burden into Debbie’s arms. She still looked troubled, but who couldn’t smile at that pretty baby? “He looks like you,” she said.

“You think?”

“I do. He’s our son, Bernard. Our son.”

“Yeah.”

“Ours.” Her sharp tone caught his attention, and then it pissed him off.

He’d left her room twice since they arrived, both times to call Richard and give him an update. Gabriel was biologically Bear’s, but Bear was in love with Richard, and he wanted to share as much of this experience as possible with the man. He wanted Richard to meet his boy as soon as he could, and Debbie knew it. No matter what compromises Debbie demanded from Bear, Richard would be a part of his son’s life.

“You okay for a while so I can make some calls?” Bear asked. “Little Gabriel’s got two sets of grandparents who want to know he’s here.”

“Yeah, we’re fine.”

Bear pressed a supportive kiss to her sweaty forehead, and a loving one to Gabriel’s, then went in search of the nearest pay phone. He had plenty of change in his pocket in anticipation of today’s announcement. And he did exactly what he said he’d do: called her folks first, with all the vital information. They weren’t the nicest or most supportive people in the world, and he understood why Debbie had wanted to get away. But they mostly liked him, because he took care of Debbie, and they took the news well.

The official story they’d given the family was her first “pregnancy” had miscarried, but she’d “miraculously” gotten pregnant again a few months later. Everyone bought it, and it kept the complicated reason private. Waiting on Debbie hand and foot had also kept the particulars of their relationship—and likewise, his relationship with Richard—a secret from Bear’s family. They’d been proud of him for stepping up and marrying her, like any good Catholic would, but they’d breathe fire and brimstone if they ever found out about Richard. His parents and brother Pete would turn on him, and Debbie knew it.

She knew it, and she manipulated the hell out of him.

Bear’s parents were thrilled with the news. His father, especially, loved that there would be another Henson to carry the family name. They promised to pass the news to his brother. Then Bear made the third, but most important phone call.

“I have a son,” he said the moment Richard picked up the phone.

“Oh, baby, I’m so happy for you.” Richard whooped over the line. “How long have you been at the hospital? You must be exhausted.”

“I am but it’s okay. It was worth it to see Gabriel born.”

“Gabriel. It’s a lovely name.”

“It’s perfect. He’s an angel. I can’t wait for you to meet him.”

“I can’t either, as long as his mother allows it.”

Bear growled. “She doesn’t get a say in this. You are going to meet my son.”

“I look forward to it. You sound completely worn out.”

“I’ll get some sleep soon, I promise. I needed to hear your voice, tell you the good news.”

“It’s amazing news. You’re going to be a great father, Bear, I know it. You have so much love inside of you.”

“You’d be a great dad, too.” Bear didn’t dare voice the nebulous future he’d entertained more than once: him and Richard together, raising Bear’s child as a couple. Happy, the three of them.

Richard coughed softly. “Even I wasn’t gay, that wouldn’t be possible anymore.”

“Hey, medicine is advancing every day. Someday they’ll find a cure, I know it.”

“I hope so. For now, love your son. Support your wife. I love you.”

“Love you back.”

Bear reluctantly hung up, and his quarter clunked down with all the others. He could probably waste time making a few more calls, but the most important people knew. The gossip grapevine would take care of the rest. His boss said to take all the time he needed, but as soon as he got Debbie and the baby home and settled, he had to go back to work at the gym.

For now, he returned to the delivery room to bask in the amazing thing that was his perfect, beautiful son, Gabriel Aaron Henson.

Oh how I loved this book.

First, I have pretty much loved ALL of AM Arthur’s books. She has several different series but they all live in the same world and there is always a bit of cross over. Which I just think it so fun. Second, I have wanted Richard and Bear’s story for a long time. As the dad’s to the main character in a previous book AND the owners of a gay club frequented across series- I wanted their story. And we got it.

Richard and Bear’s story is told in a series of flashbacks while Richard is in the hospital recovering from an illness. This could have felt abrupt and forced, yet it is seamless. We go all the way back to the beginning- when they first met and became college roommates. Some of the flashback stories are long, some not so long. But all of them perfect.

And those flashback stories gave *me* some serious 80’s flashbacks.

Their romance that began as a friendship was so beautiful. I am kind of a sucker for older characters who have been together for a long time and have been through a lot. And boy did they go through a lot. Nothing was overly dramatic or for shock value. It was swoony without being saccharine, and sexy without being raunchy.

When you know that there is a happily ever after because you’ve seen it in other books in the series, but can’t wait to read it and see what happens- that is a good book and a great story.

 

Pieces of Candy: 4.5

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I Do or Dye Trying by Aimee Nicole Walker: Release Day Review

Newly engaged Josh Roman and Gabe Wyatt know the road to happily ever after won’t be easy, but the two men are certain their biggest challenges are in the rearview mirror. However, life in Blissville is never what it seems and all signs point to dangerous curves ahead.

Josh and Gabe refuse to take a detour because everything they’ve dreamed of is within reach, not even when professional and personal revelations threaten to wreck their plans. It should be the happiest time in their lives, yet neither man can shake the feeling that something sinister waits around the next corner.

Buckle your seatbelts and hang on for the ride because Josh and Gabe are committed to saying “I do” or die trying.

I Do, or Dye Trying is the fourth book in the Curl Up and Dye Mysteries series. These books need to be read in order as the storyline unravels throughout the series. They contain sexually explicit material and are intended for adults 18 and older.

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What a great wrap up to the series! Admittedly, I felt the first two books were super cute and fluffy. Even with the mystery elements to them. Those things didn’t stop me from enjoying those books though. And while this last installment was still cute and fluffy, it was utterly satisfying.

The whodunit was wrapped up with a why they did it. A baby was born. Even a fairly insignificant crime in a previous book was ‘solved’. Josh’s best friend Chaz finally comes clean about what he has been doing. And it all ended with a wedding…..

There was still quite a bit of sex in the book, but I don’t think as much as previous. At least more fade to black sex scenes I think. Because yes, I do think there can be too many sex scenes filling up a book.

The relationship between Gabe and Josh really matured. I love that Ms. Walker doesn’t fall back on the cliche “get in a stupid fight, break up and wallow, apologize and get back together” thing. They argue and have disagreements like every couple. And sometimes they need to go to their corners to take some time to think, but it is never the over the top break up scenario.

All of our favorites are there. Chaz and Meredith, Adrian and Dr Dimples. All of the secondary players get nice page time without distracting from the main story at all. As in life, their friends just add to the dynamic.

And get ready to laugh when our favorite Dirty Bird gets a friend.

Now that Gabe and Josh have gotten their happily ever after, I am practically salivating waiting for Chaz and Dr Dimples to get their story.

 

Pieces of Candy: 4

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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?

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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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Olive Juice by TJ Klune: Release Day Review with Giveaway

32993007synopsis

It begins with a message that David cannot ignore:

I want to see you.

He agrees, and on a cold winter’s night, David and Phillip will come together to sift through the wreckage of the memory of a life no longer lived.

David is burdened, carrying with him the heavy guilt of the past six years upon his shoulders.

Phillip offers redemption.

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jennifer

What a vague blurb, eh?

I didn’t care… I knew who wrote it so I was like.. of course, I’m gonna read it and of course, I’m gonna love it! I wasn’t disappointed… Surprised? Absolutely, I was not prepared for this book. Not one bit.
I went into it knowing it was about David and Phillip. Knowing that they’d been through something traumatic together and that was about it…And oh, boy, did they. The worst thing imaginable as parents.

This story is the epitome of overwhelming sadness and how one copes with it. How easy it is to be angry when your grief is so profound that you don’t know what else to do but lash out or blame yourself to feel better. Or to feel worse… because you feel as if you deserve it, which is what David did

He carried everything on his shoulders and because he was drowning is his own grief, he forgot that he wasn’t the only one suffering. Pain will make you do that, though, won’t it?

My heart broke for both of these guys. Literally, I was a sobbing lunatic through the majority of this story. I wanted so badly for them to get the answers that they were looking for, but like life, sometimes it isn’t all fairytales and roses. If you’re lucky, you won’t have to go through those hard times alone and I was glad that they had each other and even when they were lost, that they found their way back to each other because they’d already lost so much I didn’t want them to lose anymore.

Sigh… It was a heartbreakingly tragic read, but so well worth it. You’d be a fool to pass this one up.
And even though he made me cry….again… like, ugly, psychotic looking, Farrah from teen mom, ugly face cry… I loved it.

5 pieces of eye candy

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Devour by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott: Pre-Release Review and Giveaway

Ian Pierce is the chef and part owner of the hottest restaurant in Cincinnati, his chosen family is full of happy relationships, and the scruffy, snarky cop who has been haunting his dreams is one step closer to being in his bed. But everything comes crashing down when the past he narrowly escaped nine years ago comes to a deadly head.

Hollis Banner was enamored of Ian at first sight. He’s kept his distance, knowing the gorgeous, self-confident man is out of his league. Yet there’s no standing aside when Boris Jagger escapes a raid. Jagger’s world has been nearly destroyed and this time, the crime boss is coming after Ian and his friends personally.

Hollis will do whatever it takes to keep Ian safe as they escape to a safe house with a couple of Ian’s overprotective friends. And Ian finds himself in a race to unlock painful memories—memories containing information that could take down the very last of Jagger’s illegal operations forever.

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**SIGH** I really didn’t want this series to end. I fell in love with Lucas, Snow, Rowe and Ian in Shiver (book 1). The series name definitely fits the friendships of these 4 men – there is nothing that will tear them apart and they will always have each other’s backs. I am a sucker for series that is revolved around a group friends and with each book you see how strong their bond is. With this series, you get the bond of friendship as well as the bond with their partner and I will forever love these 4 and the man they claim as their own.

Devour is book 4 in the Unbreakable Bonds Series and is best read in order as the storyline continues through all 4 books. I’ve been waiting, what feels like a lifetime, for Ian and Hollis’s story. I was a little worried about Hollis when he showed up in Torch (book 3) and was undercover. Ian holds a special place in my heart for what he has been through. In the previous books we only had a glimpse of what is early life was like but with Devour we finally are able to get the whole picture. You will definitely shed some tears – some happy and some gut wrenchingly sad.

Drake & Elliott are a duo team but you will never know there are 2 separate personalities writing this series. They write as one and it shows in how well composed the plot is. The story picks up where Torch left off. There are a lot of unknowns with Lucas leaving, Jagger out to get Ian and the rest of the group trying to pick up pieces to keep their family together. Devour is a thrilling rollercoaster of emotions. The suspense was throughout the whole book and I loved every minute of it despite my heart pounding the entire time. The book flowed with gripping ease you will not want to stop reading.

Drake & Elliott have given us another phenomenal read. It wasn’t always hearts and flowers but in the end they gave us an ending so wonderful I was fighting back the happy tears. This series will be a re-read for years to come. I am hoping they make a spin off series with the secondary characters we have come to love ***cough cough…Sven and Geoffrey**

A huge thank you to Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott for creating a gripping series for me to love.

5 pieces of eye candy

FAVORITE LINE: He got it. The sweet message that Ian was so subtly sharing – Rowe had his back no matter what. Over the past year, he’d marveled at his tight-knit family Ian was a part of. He’d never seen such a group of men so devoted to each other, willing to give up anything and everything for one another’s safety and happiness.

We will be giving away two copies of Devour (or any book in the Unbreakable Bonds series) on release day. Tell us about your most unbreakable bond, person, place or thing.

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Gasping For Air by TS McKinney: Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

How far will Trystan go to win the heart of the man he loves? All the way.

Trystan Matherly is conceited, arrogant, and rich. He has plenty of money, athletic ability, and gorgeous looks to keep the men forming a long line just to be with him. Choosing his next lover has been as simple as down-selecting to the hottest candidate.

Until Dakota.

With his sad eyes, full lips, and perfectly sculpted swimmer’s body, Dakota is justthe kind of lover Trystan wants. After only one look, he knows he has to have him. Too bad Dakota seems to be totally oblivious to all his charms.

Dakota Jacobson is lonely, tired, and depressed. He’s at Alabama Temple to complete his degree, not to put up with idiots. He works diligently to be as invisible as possible. He doesn’t need friends and he sure doesn’t need lovers…especially not football titans that think they rule the world. Nope; been there, done that.

Until Trystan.

With his sexy eyes, arrogant smirk, and muscled physique, Trystan is just the kind of lover Dakota never intends to have…again. Too bad Trystan refuses to allow him to be invisible.

In the Series:

Touchdown (Game Series #1)

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Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2pGiJSs

Okay… So, where to start….

First, let me start by saying that I was not aware when I came into this that it was a 2nd book. I didn’t read the first one, but fear not… it didn’t take anything away from the story for me. I did okay, keeping up even though we see the friends who were in book one… I could still follow along.
So, okay, now, we have Trystan, a.k.a. Tank, football extraordinaire/cocky jock/big man on campus/every stereotype of all those things that I just mentioned all rolled into one. Sometimes, I found him kind of charming, but mostly I found him overcompensating and obnoxious. The dialogue… oh help me, the dialogue… it was not for me.

What I did like about this story is that it touched on some pretty tricky stuff and I thought the way in which Dakota handled some things were a bit ridiculous, but everyone handles things in their own way and I could commend him for calling up that backbone when he needed it. He was determined not to be taken advantage of again, he was determined to not show weakness and he had a little mouth on him when it came to Trystan. Which was awesome, because it was very apparent, nobody ever nay-sayed him before, lol.

Now, Dakota had a past and it was a sad one. He was the victim of kidnap, torture and rape. And I’m trying really hard to understand why the person behind said kidnap, torture and rape was only on an ankle monitor and not rotting his life away in prison or better yet, dead. Sorry for the spoiler there, but I really wish I’d had one at the time so I could’ve skipped over that whole part… I actually had to skip some pages when Evan was talking to Trystan. I couldn’t handle it… I’m not one of those TRIGGERED, kind of people, but… I have to admit, it triggered alright. It made me physically sick to my stomach. I couldn’t hang, y’all, I couldn’t hang. I was not at all sad to see the justice handed down to him although I would’ve liked to have seen him tortured and raped for the rest of his life, in prison… but… I guess we can’t always get what we want.

I also liked the supportive parents, that was an added surprise that I wasn’t expecting but really liked. Towards the end, it got a little mushy and I found myself rooting for these two to make it. Even if I did roll my eyes towards the end where Dakota was being all sacrificial and trying to keep Trystan away… I was like, give it up, kid… he’s not going anywhere, you literally can never tell him what to do because he’d never allow it. This was the only time I was glad about it.

So, overall… not my favorite, but I feel like it’s because it’s just a little too young adulty for me. I didn’t care for the dialogue or the unrealistic situations… The rest, wasn’t so bad.

Pieces of Candy: 3

T.S. McKinney lives in East Tennessee with her high school sweetheart/husband and all the countless dogs she picks up from deserted country roads. Her professional career has been in business but her heart has always belonged to the fantasy world found in books.

Creating wicked worlds where one can meet the perfect hero – and then do anything to him that you want – has been a hobby that has brought her plenty of hours of fun and naughty entertainment.

When not working, reading, or writing, she loves to spend time with my family and forcing them (because they don’t really have another choice) to allow me to redecorate their houses…and listen to my naughty…sometimes sadistic stories.
Social Media Links:

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Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9822373.T_S_McKinney

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author-TS-McKinney-608447679285321

Publisher Author Site: http://www.darkhollowspress.com/ts-mckinney

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tsmckinney1

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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.

A Day Makes by Mary Calmes: Release Day Review with Giveaway

34568448synopsisMob enforcer Ceaton Mercer has killed a lot of people in a lot of different ways – he stashed the last two bodies in a toolshed belonging to a sweetheart marine researcher in an idyllic island community – but he’s really not such a bad guy. Over time he’s found a home of sorts, and he even learns he’s found a place in the hearts of the people he works with…at least enough so that they won’t put a bullet in his head because he’s outlived his usefulness to the boss.

But he never thought he’d find one day could change his life, and he’s about to discover how wrong he is.

Because in a single day, he meets the man who looks to be the one, the love of his life. It’s an improbable idea – a man who deals in death finding love – but it’s like it’s meant to be. That single day gets weirder and troubles pile up, forcing Ceaton to take a hard look at his dreary life and accept that one day can change everything, especially himself. His future might be brighter than he expects – if he can stay alive long enough to find out.

Title: A Day Makes
Author: Mary Calmes
Release Date: April 19, 2017
Category: Mystery/Suspense
Pages: 200

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jennifer

First… I just gotta say that I would’ve begged for this book without knowing anything about it. I knew who wrote it and that was enough for me. I have read and re-read every book by Mary Calmes and there are even a few that I’m obsessed with… Okay, more than a few, a lot… a whole lot.
In saying all that, let’s get into why this one was amazing.

First, we have Ceaton. Former Marine, now hired “enforcer” for a pretty scary dude. He, along with the three guys he works with, are technically bad guys… but are they really bad guys if they only go after bad guys? It’s easy to overlook the morally questionable things that they do because, it’s for the greater good, right?

I absolutely adored the family loyalty between Ceaton and the men who stood at his side. Their banter was cute and familial and I loved them all. I was a little upset that some people were able to turn on each other at the drop of a hat, but his brothers… they were ride or die. Ceaton needed that, he deserved it.

 
So, okay, once his boss has little use for him; he sends him on a dummy mission to protect a family member of someone he does dealings with. That’s where he meets Brin. You will fall in love with Brin, just accept it now. Like, Jory Harcourt or Ian and Miro, or Stefan, or Aaron, or Landry or Professor Quells… or any of the adorable men that these badasses fall for… It’s inevitable. He’s smitten immediately, has been since the day he laid eyes on Ceaton. He’s sure and confident and although this is the insta-type love that Mrs. Calmes has perfected, it really doesn’t feel rushed, because we go through so much with Ceaton before we even get to meet Brin.

I was flipping through pages of this book so fast, I was sucked into the action of it. The betrayl and heartache and hopefulness. I gasped and EFFED and whaaaaaat… several times… I was that on edge. It all played out like a movie and I feel like I need a cigarette after finishing and I quit almost 2 years ago! It was that intense. Intense but amazing and the ending was beautiful and something I DID NOT see coming at all but was fist bumping as it all played out….

What an amazing read. No spoilers, no cliffhangers and the cutest HEA. I would love, love, love to read more about these two and their extended family. Fingers crossed.

5 well deserved pieces of eye candy from me!5-pieces-eye-candy1giveaway
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Louder Than Words by Siryn Sueng: Release Day Review

34663806synopsisDerrek is a local teacher in Clearwater, Florida. He frequents a nearby coffee shop before work every morning, where he finds himself enraptured with a young barista, Alex. But Alex never seems to notice him, even when he’s handing Derrek his morning coffee.

After weeks of hiding in his corner under the pretense of working, Derrek finally gains enough courage to ask Alex on a date. He’s crushed when all he gets for an answer is complete silence. He thinks it’s the end, until he finds out that Alex has a disability that has paralyzed his vocal cords.

Sign language is Alex’s way of communication, and it’s something that Derrek knows little to nothing about. With renewed determination, Derrek asks Alex to teach him sign language. Derrek wants to be able to talk to Alex, to tell him how he really feels, and find out if Alex feels the same.

But more than anything, he longs for a relationship that goes deeper than just words alone.

Louder Than Words is an 18,000-word novella.

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jennifer

Hmmm, okay…

So, first… I understand that this is a novella, so, of course, it’s going to be short…. but it ends so abruptly, like literally, in the most random place, I thought for sure there would be another page or two or something, but nope… it just ended. This is my first story by this author, so I’m not sure if that’s the norm, but it took me a bit by surprise in this one.

Other than that, though… it was a cute story. Alex is a barista at the coffee shop that Derrek frequents everyday… sure for coffee but also because he’s smitten with the cute barista with a tongue ring and dark hair. Although he kind of botches his attempt in asking him out… Derrek’s obnoxious (and he seriously, ridiculously obnoxious), co-worker helps him out in asking him out again… That’s when he realizes that Alex doesn’t speak.

Alex, is adorable… tattoo’s, piercings, adorable smile… got me swooning over here! Derrek is a little cheesy but he’s sweet in a “clueless” kind of way. I didn’t take either of them for being particularly experienced but once they got comfortable with each other, they settled into a pretty cute relationship.

When asked to help a new fellow co-worker to learn sign… Alex and Derrek agree, since Alex had also taught Derrek and was a good teacher. However, it didn’t go quite as planned and the kid seemed like kind of a jerk. He’s with the abrupt ending though so don’t get used to him…. I wonder if they’ll be another book or another story involving any of them… I wouldn’t mind reading more about them… like I said… Alex was adorable and well worth the read of this short story…

3.5 pieces of eye candy

3.5-pieces-of-eye-candy1

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