Greetings, everyone! Many thanks to Mary once again for allowing me to bring another edition of Booyah Books to all of you. We've got another great and varied selection of titles that make our top choices for Book of the Month in August. Whether you've read all of them, some of them, or none at all, I hope you'll find a book or two on the list that you loved as much as we did, or will consider adding to your TBR lost to love in the weeks to come.
Tina – Bliss by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau – “The amazing skill with which Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau develop these characters and let them reveal and see just the tiniest glimpses of truth, which enable them to realize all may not be as it appears, is a beautiful thing. I loved Rory and Tate! I wanted to see them triumph over the evil and prove that appearances ARE deceiving.
The secondary characters are as loveable and loathsome as they are intended to be. Rory’s boss is just the polar opposite of what he initially appears to be. It is rare that a bad guy is written to be as bad as this one and doesn’t read like too much of a caricature. This man felt real, and I wanted him to get the same treatment he had inflicted on so many others.
Bliss had all the ingredients in just the right measurements to make a delicious read. I read it in one sitting and would happily have had more. Riptide Publishing is keeping its stellar reputation alive by continuing to publish great quality, well-written books by amazingly talented authors. This is one I strongly recommend for everyone.”
Full Review & Buy Link HERE
Jackie – Names Can Never Hurt Me by Wade Kelly – “Wade Kelly did a fabulous job with this story, and I loved most of the characters by the end of the book. The ones I didn’t like weren’t meant to be liked, and I loved how she made these characters unlikable but realistic. Once Nick realized which friends were good for him and which ones were leading him down the wrong road, he had a decision to make and some serious soul searching to do. I completely believed the struggle he went through, and I believe he is well on his way to redemption. I don’t think he has finished his journey, but for this story I believe he did all he could.
Out of all the secondary characters in this book, Corey Parrish was my absolute fave. I will just be devastated if Ms. Kelly doesn’t give Corey his very own HEA. If anyone earned one in this book, it was Corey.
I would highly recommend this book, and I double dare you not to love it!”
Full Review & Buy Link HERE
Lynn – Once Broken by Kol Anderson – “As with season one, this first story in season two starts out with a bang and keeps on going. I can’t say it enough times, Mr. Anderson has a way with bringing you into his stories and captivating you with his technique of emotional storytelling. I’m not gushing too much, am I? Well, it’s how I feel, not apologizing for it. I am in awe of this author.
We meet Carter, who we briefly met at the end of Season One. He becomes another victim in Vincent’s dark, vicious world and, unbeknownst to Carter, Aaron’s ‘replacement’. The brutality and torment Carter goes through is atrocious. The author brings us into the depths of Carter’s mind. We feel his pain, confusion, and fear. We see the horror that is Carter’s life now. Instead of the author focusing on the torture used in training the slave in Aaron’s story, the author fast forwards to what happens after that. He takes us to the brothel where the sex slave victims are at the mercy of others with their sick perversions. If the training wasn’t bad enough, the brothel itself was on a whole other level of abuse. What really left me with chills – now it was crystal clear – this isn’t just a handful of sickos. This was a lucrative, no holds barred, successful business made possible by the kidnapping and deprogramming of innocent people against their will. I was also left thinking, can this be happening right now in the real world? How are they getting away with this?”
Lana – Pride and Modern Prejudice by AJ Michaels – “Pride and Modern Prejudice is loaded with superb supporting characters. The originals are all here and give an extra life to the story. Now, back to Liam and Darcy! The sexual chemistry between them was palpable. While Darcy is gay and makes the first move thinking Liam is too, Liam is straight but feels this connection to Darcy. Thinking his emotions are hate and anger but realizing that it’s lust and attraction instead. Liam comes to grips with his sexuality. Darcy, ever the gentleman, steps back and let’s Liam make his own conclusions. There is no sex in this book, which made me very disappointed. LOL. It’s only alluded to that they spent the night together. There are, however, a couple of hot kisses that will leave you hot and bothered. I guess the author wanted to stay true to the original and leave it at that. But boy, the sex between Darcy and Liam would have been Hot. Darcy, the more experienced lover, showing Liam all the ins and outs!
I love Pride and Modern Prejudice!! Get it, and don’t be prejudiced because it’s an old fashioned story. It’s worth it.”
Sammy – Filthy Acquisitions by Edmond Manning – “Edmond Manning’s story, Filthy Acquisitions, is an act of forgiveness written in the guise of a sweet, innocuous story. When Keldon comes face to face with someone he really wants to be worthy of, his past roils up within him, forcing him to look closely at not only how he normally becomes a chameleon, taking on any and all characteristics to please his lover, but that he has stooped to doing a job so heinous he can barely stomach it.
Filthy Acquisitions takes aim at the feelings of longing and self-doubt within us all and exposes them to the light. But this is not a harsh, condemning illumination; rather, it is the softer glow of forgiveness and its residual warmth. Through a clever little story, Edmond Manning speaks to that place inside us that has acquired that little bit of filth, and assures us that those who love us can look beneath it and see who we really are and, in doing so, help us free ourselves from being shackled to guilt over past mistakes. It is a story that says we must learn to love ourselves for there is so much within each of us that is worthy to be loved. I highly recommend it to you.”
Chris – Breaking Free by Cat Grant – “This book is actually the prequel to Guarded. In this story you get not just Robert and Renee’s complete story, but see Jase and Eric’s story and how Jase became a Dom. The focus, though, is on Richard’s transition to Renee, how those choices affect both Robert and Renee, and ultimately, are they able to work through their issues. Cat Grant handled what is a very hard decision in any person’s life with a great amount of care and a healthy dose of reality.
Instead of just showing that making the decision to transition from one sex to another was all lightness and roses, she showed that it’s not and that it affects not just the person transitioning but everyone around them. Jase didn’t see anyone other than Renee when Richard started transitioning in just the clothing aspect. Robert, on the other hand, took it very badly. He could only focus on the gender aspect at first. Being a gay male, now in a relationship with a woman, well, that wasn’t who he’d intended to be with the rest of his life. In his mind he entered into a long term relationship with Richard, and he loved Richard with his whole heart and soul. Renee wasn’t Richard, even though she’s actually the most important part of Richard.”
Taz – Crimson Mate by Nikki McCoy- “This book was an amazing read, one I couldn’t put down, although I had to because I would have otherwise been incredibly antisocial. The immediacy of the action was palpable throughout the story. Each scene dripped with emotion and visceral description. It was as if Ms. McCoy wasn’t present at all, not even as an author. The characters lived on the page, and I could feel and experience their emotions as if I were there.
The world-building was phenomenal. Simple, yet elegant. Similar to our own world, I could imagine living alongside these races, not even knowing they were any different than me. But the rules governing each and the history of their conflict was seamless, enough detail woven in to keep us firmly rooted in the challenges these characters faced.
The sex was jalapeño-hot, but also emotional, just the way I like it. The need and desire radiated off the two main characters, although both showed remarkable restraint for fear of hurting the other.”
Jules – A Forbidden Rumspringa by Keira Andrews – “I don’t want to say too much about the story itself – you can read the blurb, and I hate to give stuff away – however, I will say that while talking to a friend about what I was reading, I dubbed it #AmishAngst. Now, don’t let that scare you, folks…One person’s angst is another person’s Dr. Seuss…But, man what a ride this book was. Honestly, just the lives that these guys have to lead is exhausting enough without any extra complications. Add in having to hide their relationship from everyone, when there are so many prying eyes, and that they both have reason to question the beliefs and morals that are all they have known for their entire lives, and you have the makings of a pretty intense drama.
I do want to talk a little bit about Isaac and David, though. Individually, they are very different. Where Isaac is naïve and timid, David is much more worldly and aware of what he wants out of life. Where Isaac is just learning and trying to understand his sexuality, and how he is going to reconcile all the feelings he is having, David has no question about the fact that he wants Isaac. Ordnung be damned. Together, though…Together they are strong and sure and beautiful. They are so wonderful together – and, damn are they sexy! – I couldn’t get enough of their love and support of one another.”
Kim – Dirty Secret (Audio) by Rhys Ford – “Greg Tremblay is Cole McGinnis! Since there’s seemingly no rush to make a movie of Dirty Secret, this audio version is, by far, the best route to my imagination, and to how the scenes should play out. Mr. Tremblay also gets a well done for Jae’s fabulous voice characterization, as well as his narration of the secondary voices. I’d also like to add that there were parts of the story that had me sad, tense, shocked, amazed, and, at one point, gagging. Sorry, I’m a sympathetic vomiter. Even though it was funny as all hell, Rhys and Greg, you did too good a job of describing that particular part of the story.
I love both the book and audio versions of Dirty Secret, but I truly enjoyed Greg’s performance. Bravo! ::hand clapping to a standing ovation::
I’d rather give the audio version of Dirty Secret a 10 Star rating, but I’ll have to settle for a 5 Star rating instead.”
Kathie – When Love Takes Over (Audio) by Jacob Z. Flores – “Jacob Z. Flores’ When Love Takes Over was well worth the time and money when I first read it in book form back in August of 2013, and now it’s out on audio (July 2014). If you loved the book, I believe you will not be disappointed. Jacob and TJ bring you into Zach and Van’s lives. And the magic of P-Town does change lives and gives us, the listener, a Happily Ever After. Sigh………
#mamacass, #daisyduke, #marypoppins, #lizadoolittle, you just have to read the book or listen to the audio to see why I included the hashtags.
And now on to Jacob’s Chasing the Sun, the second book in the Provincetown Series! Same narrator so it’s going to be good!”
Full Review and Buy Link HERE
Traci – Double Up by Vanessa North – “This book takes you on a journey of love, heartache and possible heartbreak. The characters are forced to deal with their biggest fears and demons without destroying their new found love. There were several characters I fell in love with in this book. Of course, the first was Ben, he was my favorite. I loved the way he loved. It was unconditional, and he put everyone’s life and feelings ahead of his own (which almost bit him in the butt). Next was Eddie, owner of the shop, flaming queen, wealthy man, ex-lover of Ben and still best friend to him. His character was hilarious and his friendship to Ben was beautiful. Tina, transgendered ex-wakeboard professional who used to be on the circuit with Ben and her dog, was another favorite in the story. (I wish the author had given more of Tina’s backstory. The little that was described seemed like its own possible book). Amber (bisexual Double-up queen) was cute, and I would love to see a book develop with Tina and Amber. Dave grew on me as the book progressed, but I tend to fall for the underdog, so Ben took the prize.”
Lisa – Resurrection Man by KZ Snow – “Resurrection Man is not the story of the knight in shining armor who storms the gates of Elijah’s castle to rescue him from his own demons. This is the story of a man who quietly enters Elijah’s life and simply by being there, makes Elijah want to rescue himself. This is where K.Z. Snow takes a novel that could have been filled with overworked stereotypes and tired clichés, and transforms it into the story of a young man who has faced some of the worst life has to offer, and gives him the courage and strength and power to rise from the wreckage of his circumstances and, yes, his own choices, to want to live for himself, to be the sort of man who can stand on his own two feet while standing beside Michael as his partner, and to live for the sake of lifting up those who are even less fortunate than himself.
If there is anything at all typical about this book, it’s only that it’s written in a style that’s quintessentially K.Z. Snow. Every sentence brings the story to life, there’s not a superfluous word or scene throughout the narrative, nor is there a single moment in Resurrection Man that feels gratuitous or disingenuous.”