Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Our October Book of the Month Picks and Giveaway Are All Treats and No Tricks

Cheers, everyone, and welcome to our Spooktacular October Book of the Month picks from your friends at The Novel Approach Reviews! I’m always so grateful to Mary for allowing us to squat in her space each month, so without further ado, here are the books we loved in October. And also, don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the chance to win two eBooks from our picks!

Hiding From Two by Morticia Knight - The Soul Match series has fascinated me since the first book, in the way Morticia Knight combined aliens and BDSM in a way that fit the culture of the aliens without making it seem strange. I enjoyed the first two books that focused on Chris, Nary, and Lasar as they discovered the depth of their connection and how they could manage being three together when a soul match is meant for two Alasharians.

This series also must be read in order because the events from this book directly follow events from the previous book, and it would be incredibly confusing without the background information.

I highly recommend this series, though! It was enjoyable and I cannot wait for the next book!

Recommended by Jennifer

Strike Up the Band by Sam Burns - I had the pleasure to review the prior two books in this series, Straight from the Heartand Sins of the Father. If you have read those reviews, I hope my love for the characters, and mostly cheerful character driven stories, made itself known. So, when Strike Up the Band was made available, you can probably guess I was all over it like a morning cup of coffee or a glass of wine after a hard day.

I had come to expect a certain tone from the previous two books, so imagine my surprise when Sam Burns throws a whopper out there in the first three pages, in an astonishing plot development I never in a million years would have even considered. From the beginning I could already tell this particular book was going to have an entirely different tone than the prior installments. Honestly, it was a complete game changer, so startling I could even say I was gobsmacked, as it was so at odds with everything I had come to expect.

Intrigued yet? You should be.

Recommended by Lindsey

Facing West by Lucy Lennox - Oh my! The chemistry between these two, from hate to love to everything in between, is freaking off-the-charts! Nico and West’s road isn’t a straight one; there is no insta-love here. Lennox creates believable, real world scenarios in her books, and every question you think up, she answers in the dialogue. You WANT these two men to work it out because Nico NEEDS someone to be a champion for him for once. And when West turns all of his love and attention on Nico and really sees the man, whew! ::fans self::

I am soooo looking forward to Felix’s story. Frankly, the setup for it was the perfect hook with a nerdy bookworm who has mommy issues, and a possible Scottish hunk. This book cannot get here fast enough!

Yes, I recommend Facing West; isn’t it obvious? It’s got a feisty rainbow brite of a guy mixed with a hunky cowboy doctor guy who each truly learn to see the other and fall in love.

Recommended by Carrie

We Met in Death by K.A. Merikan - We Met in Death is a dark romance with fast-paced action and a message about always being able to turn your life around.

The main characters did things that can’t be forgiven or undone, but since this is fiction, I’m not going to focus on that. Instead, I’m going to emphasize the fact that they were able to change the course of their lives, and make a new start. Robert, more than Nathan, had a lot on his conscience and, for many years, did awful things. But, he was able to put all that behind him and make something better of himself.

On the night Robert had planned to end his life—because that was the only way out of his current situation that he could think of—he came across Nathan in a cemetery. It was the night Nathan was supposed to die too. But what was to be their last night, turned out to be the beginning. They went through way too much together. They ran and they went into hiding; they broke many laws; they faced betrayal and prejudice. They also witnessed kindness and support from people who seemed the least likely to help them.

Recommended by Ky

Psycho Romeo by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott - Psycho Romeo is a great debut in the Ward Security series by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott, and the cover by Stephen Drake fits the storyline. I have to confess I stayed away from the little excerpts/peeks the authors gave to their group, so I was really surprised. I had a totally different impression of Sven and Geoffrey, and I’m seeing them in a different light now. This is an in-depth look into both of these men’s lives; they had been a big part of the Unbreakable Bonds series. The plot was suspenseful and has a lot to do with social media. Quinn is in the spotlight with his expertise in IT, and I thought the concept of the new app Geoffrey was creating was unique (I don’t know if there is such a thing, but it would be nice to have a site where you can connect with just authors or music artists without all the ads, politics, and miscellaneous noise). When Geoffrey’s stalker becomes a more serious issue, we get a deeper look at some of the other Ward Security team—Royce, Dominic, and Quinn, just to name a few.

Recommended by Maryann

Oscar Down Under: Part One by Jack Ladd - I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Oscar Down Under: Part One when I first began it. It starts out with a lovely prologue which uses surfing as a metaphor for life and love, the different types of waves signifying the different moments and turning points in one’s life. Really beautifully done. Then, in the first chapter, it jumps to the “not-so-distant future” wherein, over dinner and drinks, Oscar is asking someone to consider making their relationship permanent and building a life together. Also engaging and had me wondering what was to come. THEN, in chapter two, we jump back fourteen years to when Oscar was offered a chance to change his life, and jumped on it. Here is where we really begin to get to know our title character. As much as I didn’t know what to expect in the beginning, I became more intrigued and invested with every page I turned.

I’m super interested to see where Jack Ladd is going to take this series. I know he has said that Oscar Down Under is based on true events, and I have to say that it felt autobiographical. It really did feel very real and honest. I absolutely want to know more about Oscar and how he gets from where we leave him in Australia to the not-so-distant future of the first and final chapters in this installment. Go check this one out, folks!

Recommended by Jules

Model Exposure by Lissa Kasey - I am so sad to see Lissa Kasey’s Haven Investigations series end. I have enjoyed these novels, from book one to this, the fourth installment, Model Exposure, thoroughly, and have grown to love Ollie and Kade as I am sure most of the fans of this series will have as well. The love story that Ms. Kasey has created for these two is strong and lasting, and it’s had to be, considering everything these two men have been through on their journey together. Having survived yet another kidnapping by his maniacal father, and finally discovered just who has been behind all the vile acts that had been attributed to Kade all these years, one would think that life would begin to normalize for Ollie and Kade. Both are recovering from trauma—Ollie a stroke that leaves him susceptible to life threatening seizures, and Kade, now an amputee struggling with PTSD and a sketchy memory, at best. The two men deserve a rest, but, unfortunately, life is not done with them yet.

I cannot say more than this: If you have not read the Haven Investigations series by author Lissa Kasey, you are truly missing out. This last book, Model Exposure, is a phenomenal ending to a stellar group of stories, and one I highly recommend to you!

Recommended by Sammy

Hexslayer by Jordan L. Hawk - Jordan L. Hawk is not only an author who strives, and succeeds, to offer readers unique stories set in some sort of fresh-hell mystery and dangerous dramatic arc, but she also continues to deliver those stories through characters who are charming, flawed, cheeky, otherworldly, every so often a bit broken, and manages to make me fall in love with them. I know there are more than a few Whyborne & Griffin fans out there who’ll vehemently disagree with me on this, but I have to say that the Hexworld series is my favorite, hands down, of this author’s overall outstanding body of work.

Hawk makes the setting and atmosphere of this novel come to life, as if it is itself a character that shifts and sets the tone and mood of each scene simply by being present in the narrative. It’s some powerful good scribing when you can ‘feel’ a scene through the author’s choice of words, and it’s one of the things that makes this author’s books so much fun to read—the ability to disconnect from reality amidst the sights and sounds and smells of another world, and then emerge on the other side of it with more characters to love. I always love the animal mannerisms that emerge from the human side of her familiars, as well. It’s such a fun method of layering their characters with distinction.

Recommended by Lisa

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

The Giveaway

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  1. Pictures of You by Leta Blake was my favourite book this month

  2. Ethan, Who Loved Carter was the best book I read in October.

  3. Tramps and Thieves by Rhys Ford!

  4. I read the Rules and Regulations For Mediating Myths & Magic this month and thought it was super cute!

  5. I enjoyed "The Plunge" by Ruthie Luhnow and "Pictures of You" by Leta Blake this month.

  6. My favourite from October is "Off The Beaten Path" by Cari Z

  7. I decided to re-read the Tameness of the Wolf series by Kendall McKenna....so well written! (except book 4)

  8. I finished, at least what's been written, and loved Andrew Q. Gordon's Champion of the Gods series; and I really liked my gay book group's Oct read, a new, award winning historical western, Days Without End by Sebastian Berry.

  9. For October I didn't have a favorite read among the books I did give a read.