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AngylMuses

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A LOVER OF LITERATURE WITH A PENCHANT FOR M/M ROMANCE, LGBT FICTION, SCI FI, FANTASY, PARANORMAL ROMANCE, AND PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING THAT IS A BOOK.

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Knight of Flames
Amelia Faulkner
Inheritance: Complete Season One: A New Adult Urban Fantasy Box Set
Amelia Faulkner
SPOILER ALERT!

Book Review - All Kinds of Tied Down (Marshals #1) by Mary Calmes

All Kinds of Tied Down (Marshals, #1)All Kinds of Tied Down by Mary Calmes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So I admit to being on the slow side getting around to jumping on this bandwagon but boy am I on it now. Wow. This was a phenomenal read!

So where do I begin this review? I know, I'll start with the comparison I made to the bff to get her to try the series - This book is like the original Lethal Weapon movie with all the crazy, none of the suicidal and some HAWT m/m loving. Deputy US Marshals Miro Jones and Ian Doyle have been partners for the last three years. When newly minted Marshal Jones joined the Chicago branch of the US Marshals office he was the envy of the branch - he'd been partnered with 'Captain America' himself, Ian Doyle, former (still in the reserves) Green Beret. Doyle was bad _ass_. Soon, however, people stopped being jealous and started wincing at the number of injuries that Miro was collecting as Doyle's partner - because Doyle did nothing by the book and was a little - well - crazy.

Not that Miro minded in the least, because he trusted Ian with his life. Trouble was, somewhere along the line Miro's partner had gone and wormed his way into M's heart - he was gonzo for his super straight, dating a really great woman until they busted her brother and she broke up with Ian, partner. So Miro consigned himself to being the awesome bestie that he was as well as the guy who always had Ian's back - except when Ian got the call to deploy.

It was during one such deployment that everything went fubar and everything changed. Oddly enough it wasn't Ian who'd been hurt - Miro ended up shot twice and in hospital due to blood loss while Ian came home without injury but not unscathed. Hearing that Miro had been seriously injured while he wasn't around to protect his partner shook something loose in Ian and Miro finally saw the other man's behavior for what it was. Want. Desire. And most of all, need, need to be reassured, to give up control, to know that Miro was there, always there, part of him.

Now they just had to deal with people constantly trying to kill them because -hello, marshals - and figure out how to balance their personal and work live and then everything would be perfect. Oh yeah, did I mention the seriously crazy creepy 'Prince Charming serial killer' sociopath who was obsessed with Miro? All in a day's work for the US Marshals. Unh hunh.

I loved this book from start to finish. Miro was a thoroughly likeable and _fun_ character. Ian was sexy and taciturn with a heart that belongs to Miro. Miro and Ian's coworkers are fully formed and you became invested in their friendships. If I had one complaint, it was Miro's coven - his 4 female besties - were super women and just a little too perfect, but hey, maybe I'm just jelly ;-) The writing is clean, it conveyed the story perfectly with no excess verbiage and unnecessary exposition. The story was fast paced and kept interest. The partnership and then relationship between Miro and Ian was thought out, logical in it's progression, and lovely to read.

I'm already 85% through book 2 and books 3 and 4 are purchased and waiting for me. Good job Mary Calmes. Good effing job.


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Book Review of Deadly Dorian by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott

Deadly Dorian (Ward Security, #3)Deadly Dorian by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG where do I begin with this book? Other than Guhhhhhhhh, that is!

This book is definitely going to be one of my 'read over and over and over again' books. I've enjoyed the entire Unbreakable Bonds/Ward Security books from writers Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliot, some more than others. This may be one of my all time favorites. The only book to beat this is Shattered coz I love me some Snow! But Royce Karras.... oh my GAWD, Royce Karras! That man does _things_ to me! Naughty things.

In Deadly Dorian someone is trying to kill art gallery owner Mark Foster. He was 'accidentally' given peanuts in a meal his housekeeper prepared for him at home and all his epi pens had mysteriously disappeared, his heart medication had been swapped out for placebos and now someone had cut the brakes on his baby - his brand new porsche. Yup someone definitely wanted him dead and the prime suspects were related to him. His life officially sucked. To add insult to injury he had to ask Lucas Vallois for help. He and Vallois had a past and their relationship could be described as 'frenemies', but he needed help and Ward Security was the best in the biz, so that meant swallowing his pride and asking them to protect him.

Enter Royce (sigh) Karras, Ward Security bodyguard, inked bad boy with a rough past and a mangled heart that he protects more fiercely than his clients. But Royce has a type and Marc is it. which works for the protection scheme they come up with. Royce will pose as Marc's live-in boyfriend while Ward Security tries to figure out who's trying to kill the man. Neither expects the heat between them, neither can fight it. But Royce's past is darker and more deadly than Marc knows and soon he's targeted by Royce's criminal family because of his connection to Royce and the fact that he's a wealthy art dealer. So now the men have to fight for their lives on two fronts while they try and figure out if the heat between them will become an eternal flame or leave them in a pile of smoldering ashes.

This book grabbed me from the opening line. And held my attention to the point where I finally looked up at 2:46 am and went 'crap, gotta go to work in 5 hours!' then went back to finish the last few pages because I really couldn't put it down.

Drake & Elliott have a way with words that sucks you in, sinks claws into you, and doesn't let go until you find out how it all ends. The action is fast paced and fraught with tension, the love scenes are high-octane combustion that leaves you panting, the writing style is clean, crisp and makes sure you have all the description and prose you need with as little verbiage as possible. There's a reason why I one-click their books without thought, because I'm always in for a good time when I do and am left with an emotional catharsis as well as the warm fuzzies of a happily ever after.

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Shield by Max Hawthorn - Book Review

Shield (Men of Hidden Creek)Shield by Max Hawthorn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Max Hawthorn has delivered a Five-alarm read!!!

We start the story in Aleppo Syria - okay my interest was piqued right there - a CIA intelligence nerd (read their best hacker) named Fox Walker sent to a war zone to retrieve intel and so very obviously in the DEEP end and out of his comfort zone. He's described as a lithe, lanky redhead, and so very obviously out of place in the desert. Enter Spec Ops Captain Axel Ford, yes that IS his real name, the Green Beret in charge of making sure Fox gets in, gets his info, and gets out alive. Extra smoking HOT Captain Ford, the kind of guy that makes Fox sit up and bark! Except he's military, Fox is CIA and Fox is there to do a job. Things go squirrelly, as things are wont to do, and Fox finds himself getting shot at and blown up but he does get out of there alive, thanks to sexy Captain 'Probably Straight' Ford. But not without some battle scars in the form of unacknowledged PTSD.

Eight years later Fox is still the CIA's best hacker and he's currently in a little town outside of Houston, Texas, called Hidden Creek, trying to track down yet another terrorist - this one of the variety that likes to make things go BOOM - through his data trails. Hot in pursuit of his bad guy who does Fox run into but Captain Axel Ford - now Special Agent in Charge of the local FBI office. And don't the sparks just fly? or was it the building exploding? Turns out they're both after the same guy, Axel's domestic terrorist is Fox's international terrorist.

Axel and Fox find themselves working together yet again, and the heat from the desert country of Syria flares even hotter in good old Texas - everything is bigger there, after all. But they're also working to stop a man with an agenda and a link to Fox's past before he hurts more people. How many more lives are on the line? How many more buildings will he blow up before they find him? And when they do, will they be forced to lay it all on the line, lay their lives down, to stop him just as they're discovering what they have is worth living for.

I thoroughly enjoyed Max Hawthorn's no nonsense writing style. I felt like I was in that tent in Syria, the burning building in Hidden Creek, the speeding car as it was being shot at, in the bedroom when things _really_ combust. Their action sequences were exciting and fun, their writing crisp and clean. Definitely going to read more by this author as it comes out!

Book series blurb:

Welcome to Hidden Creek, Texas, where the heart knows what it wants, and where true love lives happily ever after. Every Men of Hidden Creek novel can be read on its own, but keep an eye out for familiar faces around town!

It's a collection of shared world novels with authors Ed Davis, HJ Welch, Avery Ford, Max Hawthorn, and Ian Lewis. The books are stand alones with HEA that don't have to be read in any particular order.

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Book Review - Zero Day Exploit by Tami Veldura

Zero Day Exploit (The Robin Hood Job, #1)Zero Day Exploit by Tami Veldura
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

White hats, bodyguards and grifters, oh my!

I really enjoyed this book! REALLY enjoyed it. Asher Hunt, aka The Hunter is a white hat hacker with a grey past, but he's trying to stick to the straight and narrow now. Being busted by the FBI and coping a deal made Asher reevaluate his priorities and a broken heart made him reevaluate his loyalties so now he takes legit IT jobs where he hacks a client's security to find the holes in their system. Totally legit right? There's nothing shady about being set up in a mobile hacking center in an RV in the middle of no where with a bodyguard babysitter, is there? Mortgage companies are completely above board right? And Asher isn't noticing that the bodyguard, Connar James is totally drool worthy and just his type. Nope, he's here to do a job - a white hat job; except that it really isn't and their 'boss' is setting Asher and Connar up to take the fall for his shill game.

But Asher's past is closer to his present then he might like and his old friends from The Den, a network of hackers who live in the grey/black zone, might be the only ones who can help him clear his and Connar's names, give back the stolen money, and get justice against the man who tried to play them all.

And where does Connar fit in to all of this? He's a soldier without a mission, a man who lived for war even though he'd left the war behind him. He's a man who played fast and loose with the protection jobs he' taken, skirting the line of legality. So why was a bruiser hired to babysit a hacker? Why were they both being set up? And why was he feeling white hot lust for an annoying geek with horrible taste in music and a scary love of cheap Asian food?

Asher's past and his present collide with a man who could be his future. Now all he has to do is rob from the rich and corrupt, give back to the poor and maybe get what his heart desires in the process.

Tami Veldura's writing is fast, sharp and full of tension. Sie leaves you on the edge of your seat in the fast paced sections and hir attention to detail is phenomenal. Sie can convince you that you're sitting in the room full of hackers and computer geeks or in a boxing ring watching two ex-military men beat each other good naturedly. Very Impressed. Looking forward to the sequel.

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Skim Blood and Savage Verse - Offbeat Crimes #3 Book Review

Skim Blood and Savage Verse (Offbeat Crimes, #3)Skim Blood and Savage Verse by Angel Martinez
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really do like this series. It's just so gosh-darned wonderful and fluffy; like being wrapped in your favorite blanket on a snowy day with your fav hot chocolate spiked with something creamy and boozy.

Angel's 3rd book in the Offbeat Crimes focuses on Carrington Loveless III, the 77th's very own skim-blood drinking vampire as the leading man and the the lead officer for the investigation. And what an unusual crime. Feral books that literally fling words as weapons. But where did they come from, who set them on the loose, and just who is the mysterious Ms. Hunter Green Pea Coat, other than LJ's (Leather Jacket's) love on the lamb. Angel's characters simply come to life with wit, humor, and heart.

We meet Erasmus, shy unassuming library expert on all things Beatrix Potter from fluffy rabbits to dapper ducks. He starts off as Carr's literary consultant on the case and then his friend but Carr has a type, a hot, studly, absolute train-wreck of a type. Enter Heath... the train-wreck waiting to happen. Will Carr be sucked into yet another train-wreck or will he realize that there's something much much better hiding in the shy, literary wings? And how will they catch the feral books and contain them? Who unleashed them on the city? Will LJ and Hunter Pea Coat reunite?

Sooo many questions - read the book to find the answers!



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Blended Whiskey by Layla Reyne - Book Review

Blended Whiskey (Agents Irish and Whiskey, #4.5)Blended Whiskey by Layla Reyne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sweet, romantic, blisteringly hot. What a way to wrap up Aiden and Jamie's story! Layla Reyne does it again!

This was a perfect St. Patrick's Day finale to tie the story of Irish and Whiskey (although I truly hope we'll catch glances of their lives being continued in Layla's upcoming Craft Brew series. The blending of Southern and Irish, of the coming together of Aiden and Jamie's families to celebrate their love, their wedding, was beautiful. Katie writing their vows - over the top romantic; Mel presiding over the wedding - a lovely tribute to Gabe, who we only knew through memories and flashbacks; it was, in the end, a seamless coming together for two guys who overcame some horrific and painful obstacles to get their happily ever after.

Layla gave each major character their own chapter and their own POV and blended them all seamlessly into a lovely wrap-up of the Barrel Proof series even as she gives us a sneak peak of the upcoming relationship of Nic and Cam in Craft Brew. Have I mentioned I can't wait for Craft Brew 1? No? Well I can't wait!

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Book Review - Lime Gelatin and Other Monsters

Lime Gelatin and Other Monsters (Offbeat Crimes, #1)Lime Gelatin and Other Monsters by Angel Martinez
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG I loved this book! It was just so darned cute... and hot... and really freaking adorable!

So I should start my review by saying my bff said 'read these books'. The bff and I tend to like the same books so I said, okay I'll give it a try. So glad I did! The premise of the series is an interesting new twist on both paranormal fics and cop stories.

Philadelphia PD cop Kyle Monroe had a strange encounter with a strange, lime green, gelatine like creature in a back alley that leaves his hands severely scarred and changed forever. That change has him transferred into the 77th precinct, where all the paranormal 'freaks' go. Just one catch, they're all defective.

Just as Kyle is learning to work with his fellow misfits he is assigned a partner - tall, gorgeous, zen and pretty much perfect in every way (including his talent - or so he claims) - Vikash Soren both irritates and attracts Kyle in equal measure. But there's something about his abilities that just meshes well Soren's and produces 'explosive' results - both in their partnership and in their burgeoning relationship.

And they may need that explosive combo to save the city, and possibly themselves, from a mysterious killer that is hunting its prey along the banks of the Schuykill River, leaving strangely mutilated bodies behind and it's presence casting a malevolent pall over the once safe and friendly riverwalk.

Kyle, Vikash, and the misfits of the 77th precinct put everything on the line to save their city from the monsters... and leather jackets with severe attitude.

I have to say I really enjoyed Angel's playful style of writing. It was just a fun, amusing read. The cast of characters she created were so much fun. I can't wait to dive in to book 2.


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Love and Empathy - Scifi style!

His to Hold (Tea and Empathy Book 1)His to Hold by Jessie Pinkham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

spoiler alert ** What an interesting premise! I'm really enjoying this book, but then I'm a sucker for both sci-fi and m/m :D

It's also interesting in mirroring of human rights throughout history. In this future world where humans have populated the stars, empaths started out as test tube creations with no rights who bonded to an 'anchor'. They were tools, much like drones, human tools to be used by politicians and the unscrupulous because when an empath bonded to an anchor they became so invested in the anchor that they would do anything to please them. And humans are nasty and brutish and more than willing to take advantage of that so there was a huge black market to buy and sell empaths for all sorts of things, including as sex slaves.
But as those first generations of empaths had children and the genetic trait was passed on and eventually, humanity was forced to recognize that empaths were human beings with autonomy and not just a tool to be used.

This book starts with an interesting debate on the practice of 'buying' an empath between the main character, Cole, and his friend who happens to be from a wealthy family. The friend's sister is shopping around for an empath, a practice Cole finds disgusting. The friend, being the black sheep of a wealthy industrial family, finds his family's attitude amoral as well. The conversation ends and Cole thinks nothing of it... until approached by another co-worker who overheard the conversation for a private discussion.

The co-worker has a cousin who is an empath in need of an anchor and he wants to find his cousin a _good_ anchor. The very fact that Cole was disgusted by the behavior and had no desire to be an anchor was what brought him to the man's attention. Out of courtesy Cole agrees to meet the cousin, Aiden, and finds himself falling for the other man _despite_ him being an empath, not because he was; and the attraction is mutual. But Aiden is on a timeline. He has to bond to an anchor with months or go mad.

The couple slowly falling for each other, Cole always aware of the ever-looming timeline. He spends his time away from Aiden pondering the weighty responsibility of becoming an anchor but an unscrupulous friend of a friend causes that timeline to speed up drastically when Aiden is kidnapped and an injected with a drug meant to force an empath into bonding prematurely.

It is only when he receives the news that Aiden has been kidnapped that Cole realizes all his worry and self-doubt was unnecessary. He was in love with Aiden, empathy and all. Now he can only hope he gets the chance to tell him.

It was a well-written and thoughtfully thought out book. I love how the rights of empaths mirrored struggles of previous generations - the emancipation of women, the end of slavery and the struggles of segregation. I will definitely be reading book 2!

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Book Review - Knight of Flames by Amelia Faulkner.

Knight of Flames (Inheritance, #2)Knight of Flames by Amelia Faulkner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Knight of Flames is the second of Amelia Faulkner's Inheritance books and dayam, it was even better than the first!

The book takes up almost immediately after Jack of Thorns. Laurence Riley has killed a god, and not just any god, Jack, or Jack in the Green (the god, not Myriam's flower shop), was The Green Man, one of the aspects of Cernunnos, the Celtic god of fertility, life, animals, wealth, and the underworld. But the fight had literally been to the death and Laurence, despite his fast healing abilities, was six weeks in healing. And during this healing the dream Myriam told him about finally came. Turns out Laurence isn't your average run of the mill psychic, oh no, he's descended from Herne the Hunter, and is a demigod. Just another day in the life of Laurence Riley, right? And then there's Quentin.

Quentin has his own demons to struggle with. Jack had used his weakness against him in the fight to destroy the god and to Quentin that was entirely unacceptable. He needed Laurence more than air, more than his own life. Laurence is... everything good and wonderful and wholesome to Quentin so he works with single minded purpose to overcome his fears, control his burgeoning abilities and be worthy of the man who is _his_. That means he needs to conquer his fear of sex, of physical intimate touch. But it's worth it if it means he gets to keep Laurence.

As if that isn't enough on his plate, a chance encounter reveals there are more psychics in San Diego, including one who can control other people through words alone. Well not Quentin, but Laurence definitely. The fact that Quentin is immune is mystery and one that Kane Wilson, one of the new psychic, is most troubled by. Oh and then Freddy, Quentin's twin shows up from home. Quentin's first instinct is flight but that would mean leaving Laurence and that is entirely unacceptable. So he must start to face the fears that chased him from his home and his country head on.

Kane invites Quentin to help teach control the psychic children he's gathered to him. But what is the man's end game? Laurence doesn't trust Wilson, and nor does Freddy. Laurence's visions reveal the man to be a murderer and one with an agenda that includes outing all psychics so it's up to Quentin, Laurence, and Freddy to thwart his end game. But are they playing Kane or is Kane playing them?

And what is Laurence going to do about his urges to hunt down prey? Things never run smoothly in the course of love and for these two men, well they've got a tsunami of troubles coming at them.

Amelia has done an amazing job of building up this world and populating it with rich, powerful, emotionally evocative characters. I get sucked in more and more and I can't wait to see where Book 3, Lord of the Ravens, goes with this storyline!

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Book Review of Jack of Thorns

Jack of Thorns (Inheritance, #1)Jack of Thorns by Amelia Faulkner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jack of Thorns by Amelia Faulkner

OMG this book was sooo good!

I admit I was hesitant to read it at first because there are some themes that, while they aren't triggers, I do find disturbing; drug addiction and child abuse hurt my heart in a major way so I tend to avoid books with them in general. That being said I am SO glad I read this book!

Amelia Faulkner has created such an amazingly rich world and mythos in this book. The premise? What if the old Gods really do exist and interact with humans? What if demi-gods are still being born today? What if you accidentally call down a God that you don't mean to and you find out he's a massive DICK, a user and an abuser to boot? This is the world Amelia creates, a world where Herne the Hunter married a human and now has a line of descendants, demi-gods, with amazing abilities. A world where The Green Man is a great big douchebag of a God who is as flawed as any mortal. A world where men can move things with their minds and demi-gods can make things _grow_ like crazy. It's fantastical and amazing but also gritty and realistic because she makes the characters real and flawed and doesn't shy away from the darkness of addiction and abuse.

The story starts with one of our main characters Laurence (only my mom calls me Bambi!) Riley getting a heroin fix and nearly dying. It was his near death that triggers his 'inheritance', his gifts. Laurence is an addict, he knows it and despairs because he can't resist the white rabbit, whether it's through the marajuana he uses his ability to grow, or the heroin he scores when the need gets too desperate. His visions of the future show him going back to rehab time and again, so his self-loathing only increases, which only increases his need for a hit in a vicious cycle of addiction, overdose, rehab, regret and self-hatred. Until the day Quentin D'Arcy, Earl of Banbury, happens into his life after a chance meeting in a park.

Banbury is on the run from a life of privilege, wealth and family he loathes. Being an aristocrat doesn't protect you from predators, not if they're family members. The peerage protects itself and proclivities are overlooked for the 'greater good'. But Banbury knew nothing else and he was his father's heir so he stayed, he endured and he survived. Until his mother was murdered. Now he's in San Diego, flying under the radar, vowing to not set foot back on English soil until his father does the decent thing by dying. Banbury - or Quentin as Laurence calls him - despises bullies, is ashamed of his body and freaks out at the merest suggestion of sex. Except when Quentin freaks out bad things happen to the weather... and to the people trying to hurt him. Because Quentin can move things with his mind, not that he knows he does it. When Quentin is threatened he simply shuts down, escapes within himself, and his abilities protect him with wild fury.

A tentative friendship blooms between the two psychic's, but Laurence has a stalker ex-boyfriend and he might have accidentally summoned a God to help him sort out his life; a god who is an absolute dick and who will help Laurence for a price - he needs Laurence to 'feed him' by getting sex regularly. Problem is, Laurence is falling for a guy who's fear of sex is potentially lethal, so sex is off the table. Suffice it to say, the God does not react well and very bad things ensue.

In order to survive the wrath of the God, Laurence and Quentin must learn to control their dubious gifts, learn to trust each other, and face their pasts head on. Easy peasy right? Oh hell NAW!

This book had me on the edge of my seat, turning each page with bated breath. I was seduced by the way Quentin talks, my heart broke for Laurence time and again as I watched him struggle with the demon of addiction, and watching their relationship unfurl like a fragile bud and blossom into a beautiful, strong, plant with deep roots was amazing.

I can't wait to dive in to book 2, Knight of Flames, to see what happens to the boys next.

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Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2289293367
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Jack of Thorns

Jack of Thorns - Amelia Faulkner [b:Jack of Thorns|36298554|Jack of Thorns (Inheritance, #1)|Amelia Faulkner|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1506298157s/36298554.jpg|50531847] by [a:Amelia Faulkner|8422672|Amelia Faulkner|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1511357932p2/8422672.jpg]

OMG this book was sooo good!

I admit I was hesitant to read it at first because there are some themes that, while they aren't triggers, I do find disturbing; drug addiction and child abuse hurt my heart in a major way so I tend to avoid books with them in general. That being said I am SO glad I read this book!

Amelia Faulkner has created such an amazingly rich world and mythos in this book. The premise? What if the old Gods really do exist and interact with humans? What if demi-gods are still being born today? What if you accidentally call down a God that you don't mean to and you find out he's a massive DICK, a user and an abuser to boot? This is the world Amelia creates, a world where Herne the Hunter married a human and now has a line of descendants, demi-gods, with amazing abilities. A world where The Green Man is a great big douchebag of a God who is as flawed as any mortal. A world where men can move things with their minds and demi-gods can make things _grow_ like crazy. It's fantastical and amazing but also gritty and realistic because she makes the characters real and flawed and doesn't shy away from the darkness of addiction and abuse.

The story starts with one of our main characters Laurence (only my mom calls me Bambi!) Riley getting a heroin fix and nearly dying. It was his near death that triggers his 'inheritance', his gifts. Laurence is an addict, he knows it and despairs because he can't resist the white rabbit, whether it's through the marajuana he uses his ability to grow, or the heroin he scores when the need gets too desperate. His visions of the future show him going back to rehab time and again, so his self-loathing only increases, which only increases his need for a hit in a vicious cycle of addiction, overdose, rehab, regret and self-hatred. Until the day Quentin D'Arcy, Earl of Banbury, happens into his life after a chance meeting in a park.

Banbury is on the run from a life of privilege, wealth and family he loathes. Being an aristocrat doesn't protect you from predators, not if they're family members. The peerage protects itself and proclivities are overlooked for the 'greater good'. But Banbury knew nothing else and he was his father's heir so he stayed, he endured and he survived. Until his mother was murdered. Now he's in San Diego, flying under the radar, vowing to not set foot back on English soil until his father does the decent thing by dying. Banbury - or Quentin as Laurence calls him - despises bullies, is ashamed of his body and freaks out at the merest suggestion of sex. Except when Quentin freaks out bad things happen to the weather... and to the people trying to hurt him. Because Quentin can move things with his mind, not that he knows he does it. When Quentin is threatened he simply shuts down, escapes within himself, and his abilities protect him with wild fury.

A tentative friendship blooms between the two psychic's, but Laurence has a stalker ex-boyfriend and he might have accidentally summoned a God to help him sort out his life; a god who is an absolute dick and who will help Laurence for a price - he needs Laurence to 'feed him' by getting sex regularly. Problem is, Laurence is falling for a guy who's fear of sex is potentially lethal, so sex is off the table. Suffice it to say, the God does not react well and very bad things ensue.

In order to survive the wrath of the God, Laurence and Quentin must learn to control their dubious gifts, learn to trust each other, and face their pasts head on. Easy peasy right? Oh hell NAW!

This book had me on the edge of my seat, turning each page with bated breath. I was seduced by the way Quentin talks, my heart broke for Laurence time and again as I watched him struggle with the demon of addiction, and watching their relationship unfurl like a fragile bud and blossom into a beautiful, strong, plant with deep roots was amazing.

I can't wait to dive in to book 2, Knight of Flames, to see what happens to the boys next.
SPOILER ALERT!

Pounding Skin - a book review

Pounding Skin (Skin Deep Inc., #2)Pounding Skin by L.A. Witt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pounding Skin wasn't at all what I expected it to be. It was better!

I admit it, I read the premise: hot Navy fighter pilot (afraid of needles) getting a bet gone wrong tattoo and falling for the artist who inked him and went - hot fluff story. I was so very right and oh so wrong. The story - hot as jet fuel on fire! But it was so far from fluff.

LA Witt has written a story that is a study in coming out, accepting yourself, accepting you deserve more in life and how to be true to yourself.

The tattoo artist - Matt - has spent his entire life saying 'I'm not gay'. Except he's bi. And it takes a birthday threesome and then meeting fighter pilot Jon to realize maybe, just maybe, he's been denying himself a lot of joy because of baggage that was dumped on him by a father prone to toxic masculinity and the cruelty of kids labeling him as gay before he'd even realized what sex was.

But Jon has his own issues - he's a self-proclaimed manwhore and proud of it. Jon has always slept around, he was there for a good time, not a long time. His best friend and RIO has been happily married to his husband for 10 years and Jon has never understood the need to settle down and have your wings 'clipped' by stability.

But then he loses a bet and has to get a tattoo as payment. And so he walks into Pounding Skin Inc. and into Matt's life. Matt decides he wants to explore his attraction to men, Jon is profoundly attracted and figures what the hell, he'll teach Matt a few things, they can be f*#k buddies and no strings would be attached. Except one time becomes many and days become months and Jon can't imagine sleeping with anyone but Matt while Matt is realizing that Jon is pretty amazing too and he's never been happier.

But then Nate, who's Jon's RIO and best friend, catches his husband in bed with another man and as Jon watches his friend fall apart all of his own insecurities comes crashing in. He and Matt have a talk about the status of their 'non-relationship' and Matt breaks it off because he says he wants more - and he knows he deserves more. It takes losing Matt and Nate reaming Jon a new one for Jon to realize what a mistake he's made. If heartbroken Nate could still believe in love and finding someone how could Jon walk away from his perfect person just because he was scared of what might be's?

The book has a lot of humor and hot sex, Halloweeen shenanigans, and New Year's revelations. L.A Witt has written rich and believable characters that tug at your heart strings, make you root for them and make you sniffle along with them.

I recommend this book.



View all my reviews

SPOILER ALERT!

Book Review: Out of the Ashes (AKA Where's Alexei's pancakes?)

Where the flaming heck are Alexie's pancakes, woman??? That man deserves pancakes! :D

In all seriousness, Hailey has done it again with this novella. Given how In the Blood ended this book was also extremely needed. Don't get me wrong, I loved In the Blood but OMG the angst, the ouchies, the sheer emotional trauma that Ms. Hailey inflicted on me left me needing this book. Not to say that Out of The Ashes was a cavity inducer or anything.

Out of The Ashes takes place three months after In the Blood finishes and it's an Alexei/Sean centric book because those two boys were left beaten and bloodied at the end of the last one. Sean has just been cleared to return to active duty and Alexei is about to go on his own recertification testing. On the MDF front they've recovered enough from their capture and torture to return to work. On the emotional front? Sean still has nightmares, still feels guilty, and Alexei doesn't know how to convince him that it wasn't Sean's fault. They haven't been intimate since before Boston and both men are fraying at the edges.

On the surface, they're living together, they sleep in the same bed, they love each other more than ever but... knowing that someone from _your_ past hurt your lover in order to hurt you? Sean's guilt is eating him alive. Alexei is trying to be patient, to be an understanding supportive partner. He doesn't blame Sean for any of it and he's committed to _them_. But sometimes the distance growing between them leaves him exhausted.

But once Alexei passes his re-evals there's not time for them to ease back in to work because there's a mission... and it centers around Pavluhkin. Sean's meta ability makes him the ideal person for the mission. Infiltrate a party, retrieve an encoded drive that could link the Pavluhkins to Splice, and get out. The party is in London so Liam Wessex is brought in to act as their contact and way into the party. Alexei is sent along for the ride to test that both men truly are ready to go back into the field.

But as is usually the case with Alpha Team, things go FUBAR FAST! Janssen is at the party and the men have to fight their way out after retrieving the data. A car chase, Alexei setting things on fire, Sean phasing them and a tube ride ensue. Basically normal Alpha Team Chaos. But the end result is that Sean and Alexei finally find their balance and each other again... and Sean finds out that he has a bigger family than he realized, because Alpha Team has his back.

Hailey's characterizations were perfect, as usual, and the book was full of the lovely blend of humor, action, romance and explosions that I've come to associate with Hailey's writing. She is a master of detail and Out of The Ashes is a great example of a well-timed, well thought out plot. I am so thrilled to be able to say I know this author because I expect to see amazing things from her in the future!

But there were no pancakes for Alexei. Sadness :( (Hailey teased us saying Alexei was getting pancakes and then denied us the pancakes if y'all are wondering why I keep referencing pancakes. there's even a hashtag for it now #JusticeForAlexei!) 

 

 

SPOILER ALERT!

Pounding Skin (Skin Deep Inc.)

Pounding Skin (Skin Deep Inc.) - L.A. Witt Pounding Skin wasn't at all what I expected it to be. It was better!

I admit it, I read the premise: hot Navy fighter pilot (afraid of needles) getting a bet gone wrong tattoo and falling for the artist who inked him and went - hot fluff story. I was so very right and oh so wrong. The story - hot as jet fuel on fire! But it was so far from fluff.

LA Witt has written a story that is a study in coming out, accepting yourself, accepting you deserve more in life and how to be true to yourself.

The tattoo artist - Matt - has spent his entire life saying 'I'm not gay'. Except he's bi. And it takes a birthday threesome and then meeting fighter pilot Jon to realize maybe, just maybe, he's been denying himself a lot of joy because of baggage that was dumped on him by a father prone to toxic masculinity and the cruelty of kids labeling him as gay before he'd even realized what sex was.

But Jon has his own issues - he's a self-proclaimed manwhore and proud of it. Jon has always slept around, he was there for a good time, not a long time. His best friend and RIO has been happily married to his husband for 10 years and Jon has never understood the need to settle down and have your wings 'clipped' by stability.

But then he loses a bet and has to get a tattoo as payment. And so he walks into Pounding Skin Inc. and into Matt's life. Matt decides he wants to explore his attraction to men, Jon is profoundly attracted and figures what the hell, he'll teach Matt a few things, they can be f*#k buddies and no strings would be attached. Except one time becomes many and days become months and Jon can't imagine sleeping with anyone but Matt while Matt is realizing that Jon is pretty amazing too and he's never been happier.

But then Nate, who's Jon's RIO and best friend, catches his husband in bed with another man and as Jon watches his friend fall apart all of his own insecurities comes crashing in. He and Matt have a talk about the status of their 'non-relationship' and Matt breaks it off because he says he wants more - and he knows he deserves more. It takes losing Matt and Nate reaming Jon a new one for Jon to realize what a mistake he's made. If heartbroken Nate could still believe in love and finding someone how could Jon walk away from his perfect person just because he was scared of what might be's?

The book has a lot of humor and hot sex, Halloweeen shenanigans, and New Year's revelations. L.A Witt has written rich and believable characters that tug at your heart strings, make you root for them and make you sniffle along with them.

I recommend this book.

Out of the Ashes

Out of the Ashes - Hailey Turner Let me start by saying that I loved this novella. Alexei is most best. Sean is a badass woobie. Where the flaming heck are Alexie's pancakes, woman??? That man deserves pancakes! :D

In all seriousness, Hailey has done it again with this novella. Given how In the Blood ended this book was also extremely needed. Don't get me wrong, I loved In the Blood but OMG the angst, the ouchies, the sheer emotional trauma that Ms. Hailey inflicted on me left me needing this book. Not to say that Out of The Ashes was a cavity inducer or anything.

Out of The Ashes takes place three months after In the Blood finishes and it's an Alexei/Sean centric book because those two boys were left beaten and bloodied at the end of the last one. Sean has just been cleared to return to active duty and Alexei is about to go on his own recertification testing. On the MDF front they've recovered enough from their capture and torture to return to work. On the emotional front? Sean still has nightmares, still feels guilty, and Alexei doesn't know how to convince him that it wasn't Sean's fault. They haven't been intimate since before Boston and both men are fraying at the edges.

On the surface, they're living together, they sleep in the same bed, they love each other more than ever but... knowing that someone from _your_ past hurt your lover in order to hurt you? Sean's guilt is eating him alive. Alexei is trying to be patient, to be an understanding supportive partner. He doesn't blame Sean for any of it and he's committed to _them_. But sometimes the distance growing between them leaves him exhausted.

But once Alexei passes his re-evals there's not time for them to ease back in to work because there's a mission... and it centers around Pavluhkin. Sean's meta ability makes him the ideal person for the mission. Infiltrate a party, retrieve an encoded drive that could link the Pavluhkins to Splice, and get out. The party is in London so Liam Wessex is brought in to act as their contact and way into the party. Alexei is sent along for the ride to test that both men truly are ready to go back into the field.

But as is usually the case with Alpha Team, things go FUBAR FAST! Janssen is at the party and the men have to fight their way out after retrieving the data. A car chase, Alexei setting things on fire, Sean phasing them and a tube ride ensue. Basically normal Alpha Team Chaos. But the end result is that Sean and Alexei finally find their balance and each other again... and Sean finds out that he has a bigger family than he realized, because Alpha Team has his back.

Hailey's characterizations were perfect, as usual, and the book was full of the lovely blend of humor, action, romance and explosions that I've come to associate with Hailey's writing. She is a master of detail and Out of The Ashes is a great example of a well timed, well thought out plot. I am so thrilled to be able to say I know this author because I expect to see amazing things from her in the future!

But there were no pancakes for Alexei. Sadness :( (Hailey teased us saying Alexei was getting pancakes and then denied us the pancakes if y'all are wondering why I keep referencing pancakes. there's even a hashtag for it now #JusticeForAlexei!)
SPOILER ALERT!

Heart2Heart, A Charity Anthology

Heart2Heart: A Charity Anthology - Jeffrey Archer, Chris Owen, William Sloane Kennedy, Alison Hendricks, Lily Morton, Poppy Dennison, Lucy  Lennox, Charlie Cochet, A.E. Wasp, Hailey Turner, Ruthie Luhnow, Leslie Copeland What a fun and entertaining Valentine's read!

So I got the chance to read this book early in order to review the contribution of one of my fav authors, Hailey Turner, but I have to say this - I loved the whole frickin' thing! The premise of the anthology is cute and quirky - a dating app that is debuting for Valentine's Day has some glitches due to a romantic situation that starts the anthology between the app programmer and a window washer. Distracted by the hunky window washer, our cute computer geek might have not been as thorough in his beta testing as he should have been ::wink wink:: and now the app's algorithm is setting up matches that may not be the perfect 'Mr. Right' for the paired person... or is Cupid just working his usual romantic mischief and using this mistake to make the best matches of all?

So let me start with Hailey's story in the Anthology - The Superhero and the NSA Agent. OMG, I have epic geek gurl love for this story! It's Hailey's first foray into contemporary lgbtq2s romance and she description!

The story starts out in a seedy dock area of the Port of Lose Angeles where NSA Agent Shane Parson and his partner Laura Tavers are playing eyes and ears for a joint operation cartel bust that he provided the research and intel on. As they wait for the bust to go down we learn that Shane is a consumate workaholic and hasn't been on a date in FOREVER but his hilarious, ball-busting partner Laura has signed him up for the Heart2Heart dating app without his knowledge and arranged for him to have a date that night - Valentine's day night. Laura, Shane's FBI friend who is leading the bust, and a number of other co-workers are all too happy to heckle Shane and place bets on whether or not he'll make the date while they wait for the bust to go down.

Eventually it does but as can happen, the bust goes FUBAR and Shane ends up in the ER. Where he meets his date, Damian... or should I say "Superman". Damian is a mild mannered law librarian by day and a cosplay superhero volunteer by night. Sparks fly as Shane and 'Supes' meet. The 'good meds' might have helped lower a few inhibitions along the way. The end result of the 'app-tastrophy' is Shane and Damian finding out that despite having nothing in common on paper, they really are the perfect match... thanks to Heart2Heart!

And that is just ONE of the stories in this anthology, y'all! The whole thing is chock-a-block full of hilarious situations and bizarrely perfect pairings that make your heart melt like the most decadent valentine's day chocolate!

Here are some other stories that really had my heart strings tugging and me going 'awwwwwh' as I read them:

- The Tattoo Artist and the Writer by Lily Morton was just so effing sweet - and hot!

- The Magician and the Mortician by A.E. Wasp was another scorcher that had me going awwwwh.

- The Uber Driver and the Phone Sex Operator by Lucy Lennox had me in stitches (and being grateful that we're having a cold snap coz daaaayam son, HOT!)

- The Baker and the Seal by May Archer - shout out Rochester, NY!!! and omg, those two are on FIYAH!


Actually... I could probably list all the stories here because they were all just the perfect romantic and sexy read.

Seriously - read this anthology. You'll thank me!