Sunday, April 30, 2017

April Reigned with Some Awesome Reads!



Cheers, friends, and welcome to our April Book of the Month Picks and Giveaway! We read some great stuff last month and are so excited to share our faves with you. So, without further ado, here they are, April’s best!

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BenThe Worst Werewolf by Jacqueline Rohrbach – “The voice in this piece was fantastic, specifically Garvey’s, a desperate half-breed werewolf. He’s a self-proclaimed monster who desires nothing more in life than to fall in lust with, chase, and eat his prey. It’s a sort of simple existence I think most humans can relate to on a primal level. Most animals enjoy eating, and Garvey seems to relish in the hunt. Some may call it sadism, but I’ve seen cats play with birds before they eat them. I will admit the outlook looks rather bleak when you’re the bird….

A sizable amount of this story was also spent on a main character not mentioned the blurb, specifically a sort of Liberace-style alpha werewolf named Lavario, who was rather pathetically lonely (things quickly become not good for him). He’s also the ‘worst werewolf’ the title refers to, so it’s doubly interesting he’s not mentioned. I do have suspicions there will be more than one worst werewolf in this series, but that’s just a guess.”

CassieLord Mouse by Mason Thomas – “I enjoy high fantasy. Throw me some wizards or elves or dragons or whatever, and I’m fine with it; though, I know that’s not the case for everyone. And even I can get a bit overwhelmed by the weird, un-pronounceable names, crazy-detailed maps, and knotty political tangles that seem to be the bread and butter of typical high fantasy fare. That being said, Lord Mouse might be the most accessible high fantasy book I’ve come across yet.

Mouse isn’t anything special, really. He’s not magic; he doesn’t have a best wizard friend or ride a magical unicorn into epic battle against denizens of the deep. He’s just good with his hands and works hard at his trade, for reasons of his own. Through the course of the story, he does bump up against a bit of magic—because that’s the world he lives in—but by and large, the true trappings of high fantasy don’t impact his day-to-day much. And, they don’t have much to do with this story. It’s actually really refreshing—high fantasy for the normal guy.”

MaryannDevour by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott – “I have to mention that I liked Hollis from the very first book, Shiver, and he continued to make appearances in Shatter and Torch as well. I’ll always consider Mel as one of the Unbreakables; she broke our hearts and wherever she is, I’m sure she’s watching over her Unbreakable family.

The writing team of Drake and Elliott never failed to keep me wanting more throughout the Unbreakable Bonds series, and they saved the best for last. The series includes some of the most well written lines, filled with overwhelming emotion, and there’s also the humor to give readers time to breathe. This fourth and final novel takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. The action, suspense and danger kept me on edge, never knowing where the enemy was going to strike next. No matter how many bumps in the road this amazing group of characters faced, they always had a strong sense of camaraderie. And, with some of the surprises in Devour, and for the series’ secondary characters, we are sure to see some spin-offs.”

KimBeauty, Inc. by Tara Lain – “I found Magnus adorable with his crush on Belle. The man just won me over with his lack of confidence, shyness and why he felt he didn’t deserve any happiness for himself. I almost cried when I found out how he got the scars on his face.

As for Belle, my first impression was that he was a demure geek, but he surprised me. That once he had Magnus to himself, he proved that he was a hot and passionate lover when it came to convincing Magnus that he was quite smitten with him. There are a couple of smoking hot sex scenes that made my drive during my commute a bit distracted.

I’d like to thank Tara Lain for introducing me to Kale Williams. I love how this man has narrated this series. He really does bring the characters to life. And, I hope if the series continues that he’s the man to narrate it.”

JulesNecessary Medicine by M.K. York – “There were so many things that worked for me in this book. First and foremost, the characters are wonderful. Neil’s mentor, Pete, is so much fun. Pete and Eli are good friends, too, so that gives lots of opportunities for Neil and Eli to be thrown together. Neil’s buddies, Mark and Kristi, also kick ass. The three of them were so great together, and their banter was hilarious. There was some drama with Mark, which was a significant part of the storyline at one point, that I felt sort of dropped off, and then reappeared and was tidily resolved a bit quickly, but that was a minor beef. Another major part of the storyline that I thought was so cool was a Diversity Initiative the hospital was trying to get off the ground, on which Neil and Eli worked closely together. A very interesting and deserving subject, that I’m glad the author spent so much time on.

I know I already mentioned it, but I love how realistic the book comes across. Obviously, the author knows what she’s talking about, as her bio says she’s a med student herself, but it definitely feels authentic. And, I enjoyed the medical stuff a lot. I didn’t find it tedious or boring whatsoever. I saw some early reviews wherein people were unhappy with the heavy load of medical information in the book, and the amount of time given to Neil’s experiences as a med student; the issue seeming to be that the romance suffered because of it, that it wasn’t a romance at all because they don’t truly get together until late in the book.  I wholeheartedly disagree. To me, the content and pace were great, and the love story was beautiful. And, the ending was sooo good!  I had a huge lump in my throat when I finished.”

LindseyWe Are Fallingwater by Xavier Mayne – “I adored Arlo and Trent, how their relationship evolved, and the slow burn it took for them to be together. Their friendship seems to shed boundaries as they connect emotionally and intellectually. Their banter, from someone looking in from the outside, could have been viewed as risky and definitely outside of what most would consider normal. But I enjoyed the humor between the two. Cara and Arlo are amazing people. Their marriage is one of mutual respect for one another, and, ultimately, they cared about what would make the other happy. As Arlo and Trent’s relationship grows from friendship to a bromance of epic proportions—and then more—Arlo’s feelings for Cara do not change. Though Arlo recognizes Trent has begun to occupy a place in his heart, it doesn’t happen by way of pushing Cara out. What Trent provides differs from what Cara provides to Arlo. He needs them both, for different reasons. This is where the waters get pretty turbulent, as all parties begin to recognize what is happening and are trying to figure out ways to be what each other needs, without crossing lines and hurting others. Not so easy to do.

I have deep respect for the author on how well-crafted Cara’s character was throughout this book. Her personality, how she interacts with those around her, her personal strength and integrity, her ability to logically look at a situation and what is best for everyone, and admit her own feelings openly was a breath of fresh air. Cara and her siblings’ conversations provided a ton of comic relief during the really difficult times of trying to figure out how it would all work; they literally had me laughing out loud and getting weird looks from the husband.”

SadonnaWinter Ball by Amy Lane – “At first Richie and Skipper are a little bit nervous, but damn, everything just feels so right. They really can’t seem to be just “friends” after they sleep together. Neither has ever been with a man before, but they can’t help feeling that this is the way things are supposed to be. Sure, there are issues that crop up, but it seems like Richie and Skipper are just going to have to figure out a way to deal with them, because there is no way they can give each other up.

I loved the way Skipper wanted to protect Richie from his rotten family. It’s not like Skipper has had a great life either, and he understands Richie’s reluctance to give up on his family—or, at least his dad—but at some point, he can’t just stand by and watch Richie get taken advantage of anymore either.

There are also some great supporting characters in this story, particularly Mason and Carpenter, from Skipper’s work. The soccer team is a bunch of good guys as well. This “family” that Skipper and Richie have made turns out to be the best, and they all look out for each other.”

CarrieGoodnight My Angel by Sue Brown – “Cal and Josh’s struggle to grow closer together is made difficult when they are constantly being pulled into agency business, being shot at, blown up, or even run over can take the place of your personal life – especially when it is your job to discover who is behind it all. The romantic in me appreciated the warmth between our main characters, the way Josh constantly took care of Cal, and the fierceness with which Cal loves Josh. Every time they used the pet names Charlie and My Angel when speaking to each other, my heart warmed to these characters all over again. We needed these moments of closeness to happen between these two men, these snippets of alone time on the page, because both of these men are alpha independent individuals. I almost wished there was a moment of computer dialogue reminiscent of book one, but that’s my nostalgia talking. The groundwork of their relationship is established in book one with the Charlie’s Angels references, and it was endearing to have them continue on into this storyline.

A HEA is hinted at in this installment with declarations of love and talk of little black boxes. Cal tells Josh often that he will ask, and Josh retorts with he will say yes. But agency business is still coming first for them, and I really hope book three is a love story between these two men.”

SammyLight Up the Dark by Suki Fleet – “I have hemmed and hawed over the writing of this review. This novel by Suki Fleet will not be everyone’s cup of tea. In many ways, it is a horror novel—a scary, mysterious story and an unusual tale of romance that nearly doesn’t come to fruition. In other ways, it is a tale of abuse, of unimaginable torture inflicted, and of life threatening despair that is thankfully, slowly reversed for only some of the survivors in this tale. Still, in another view it is a story of redemption, of survival and of rebirth—but at a terrible cost to the ones who manage to crawl back into the light from the deep, dark place they had been hidden in. No, this novel will not be for everyone, and it is most certainly not without some flaws, but I can honestly say that the incredible breadth and scope of this story overcomes any of those minor problems one can find, and the breath-taking way in which this author composes paragraph after paragraph outweighs any plot weaknesses.

First, let me stand in true rebellion and tell you that if you are looking for a synopsis of this story, you will have to read the author’s blurb for I am not going to even attempt to summarize this 300-plus page book, primarily due to the fact that in doing so I will give much too much away—and this one is indeed something you must discover firsthand. Take my word for it that this story is a taut psychological thriller that has more twists and turns than any other horror/mystery you have ever read before. Secondly, I am going to focus on what works in this book—for that, we must start with the five main characters, one of which is the mansion itself…”

LisaLoose Cannon by Sidney Bell – “As Sidney Bell begins filling in the details around the opening scene of this novel, we’re introduced to Church and the crime for which he’s served a five year sentence. And soon after, we meet Tobias and Ghost, two Woodbury Boys who not only figured prominently in Church’s story but will continue to shine as this series moves forward, I’m sure—something for which I probably don’t need to declare that I’m chomping at the bit, in a daily internet-stalking-for-details sort of way.

When Church’s sentence is served and it comes time for him to start a new life—serving parole, becoming a productive member of society, keeping his nose clean—he loses one safety net but knows that in spite of what happened between them five years before, Miller will still be there to catch him. At least, Church hopes so. And God, thus begins such a beautiful and poignant love story that just… guh. Left me incapable of moving on to another book until I’d spilled out all my love for this one right here on the page. Church and Miller advance and then retreat, Miller tries and then fails, tries and fails more, and in the midst of it all is life doing its best to sabotage Church’s efforts to walk the straight and narrow. He just wants to be a better man than his father, just wants to be the kind of man who’s worthy of Miller, doesn’t want to live down to his father’s expectations. And Miller? Miller just wants to be the kind of man who isn’t attracted to Edgar-Allen Church. But if Miller won’t come to Church, Church will come to Miller.”

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And that does it for this month. Until next time, happy reading!

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The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway