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Book Review - Barely Regal by E. Davies

Barely Regal (Rosavia Royals, #5)Barely Regal by E. Davies
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The final chapter of the Rosavia Royals and they saved the naughtiest boy for last.

This book has themes of Daddy-boy link and mild Bondage and discipline.

A bratty boy prince needs: a firm but fair Daddy.

Prince Renford - Wren -van Rosavia is the youngest of the princes and, quite honestly, a brat. Barely 19, Ren is given the title of Commander of Roses by his father and it feels like a slap in the face. All his brothers are doing important work - learning to run a country, in the military, working on trade alliances, but what job does he get? Royal rose picker.

The only person who seems wholly on his side - and constantly in his thoughts - is Wren's Valet Thom Pierce. Thom is 16 years his senior and his firm hand and authoritative demeanor have always fascinated Wren. And as he got older those personality traits called to something in Wren's psyche like nothing else. Nobles and dignitaries his age did nothing for him, no matter how much his parents tried to make a match for him. And Thom saw in Wren the submissive tendencies and need for a firm hand that appealed to Thom's Dominant nature like no other.

But the scandal that would come from a prince and his commoner valet kept Thom from acting - the impropriety of it was unimaginable. But that didn't stop Wren because Wren decided he wanted Thomas and would stop at nothing to get him. However, as the Royal Ball approaches and all eyes are on the Royal family, scandal is the last thing they need, especially with an nasty paparazzi, a vindictive footman and Wren's older brothers causing enough scandals of their own.

But the heart wants what the heart wants and Wren and Thom are willing to fight for their relationship, no matter what others might think of it. In Thom's hands Wren is finally free and with Wren in his arms Thom is finally content.

This was a lovely final book in the series. All in all the five books were highly entertaining and a fun read.

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Book Review - In His Court by Max Rowan

In His Court (Rosavia Royals, #4)In His Court by Max Rowan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Move over James Bond, meet Benedict, Prince Benedict.

Best Rosavia Royals yet!

The crown jewels have been stolen mere weeks before the historic anniversary ball celebrating the 500th year of Rosavia's nationhood and specialist six of the Rosavia secret service has a vested interest in retrieving the missing national treasures - one of the missing coronets is _his_, after all.

4th son of the ruling monarchs, Prince Benedict van Rosavia has spent a lifetime creating an image of a lazy playboy in order to hide the fact that he has been groomed since childhood to one day take over Rosavia's Intelligence Agency from his aunt Geraldine, the king's sister. Currently he's the country's answer to a certain British super spy.

Enter Felix Wright, a child prodigy- 4 university degrees before the age of 20, a genius whose intellect left him isolated and bullied as a child but also had him head hunted to take over the Quartermaster position as head of R&D for the agency. He's also got a pretty low opinion of the monarchy in general and wastrel princes in particular.

But opposites attract and while working together to retrieve the crown jewels and save the royal family from humiliation as well as possible destabilization of their country, Benedict and Felix realize that each could be what the other has been looking for.

This was definitely my favourite of the series, but I do have a soft spot for handsome spies and nerdy-chic r&d specialists.

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Book Review - Throne Together by Zoe Dawn

Throne Together (Rosavia Royals, #3)Throne Together by Zoe Dawn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Third Rosavia Royals book focuses on the 3rd son - Prince Julius. This book has a slightly different trope - best friends since birth and family expectations that they'll end up together. A tale of two royal families if you will.

Julius has grown up with Prince Dante of Thedes. Dante went to boarding school in Rosavia with Jules and Jules went to university in Thedes with Danny. They were inserparable until their last day of university when they did something neither one could forget. They 'experimented'.

Four years later Dante is back in Rosavia for the 500th anniversary ball as well as to broker an arts and tech deal between his country and Rosavia. Rosavia's head of the arts and tech deal? Why it's Julius.

The two mend their fences and realize they really did love each other but Dante's father's machinations and a nasty paparazzi reporter who has it in for the Rosavian royal family keep causing problems and raising doubts until the two men have to decide what - and who - they really want in their lives and then take a stand.

Still very much enjoying this series. Three down and two princes to go!

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Book Review - Reign or Shine by H.J. Welch

Reign or Shine (Rosavia Royals, #2)Reign or Shine by H.J. Welch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The 2nd of the Rossavia Royals books centres on the 2nd son and 2nd in line for the throne, Prince Cassander. It is also a lovely, tropy prince of a guy and a sweet but hesitant commoner - this time from America.

Cassander is the 'responsible' child of the family, the one always picking up the slack and rescuing his brothers. He's the one their parents call to 'fix things'. But Cas is tired of being the go-to guy for when his siblings screw up. He's tired of fixing their mistakes and covering for them. He's tired of being the stand in. So when things get too much he escapes into the city and puts on a hoodie and sunglasses, ditches the royal life and pretends to be a commoner called Cas.

Matty Doyle has never set foot out of NYC but he's come to Rosavia because his sister is sick - fighting a reccurance of breast cancer - and her daughter is an archery prodigy who won a placement in a highly specialized summer program in Rosavia. So Matty stepped in, stepped up and escorted his niece to a foreign country. It also helped him get his mind off a bad break up and his own self doubts and poor sense of self worth.

But their luggage gets lost and his neice doesn't have a bow - or clothes and he's trying so very hard to keep it together. Enter his knight in shining armor - Cas 'Rosavia' to save the day and take Matty under his wing and show him the delights of Rosavia while Matty's neice spends her days hitting targets. Little does Matty know Cas is an actual, honest to god _prince_. Until they're discovered and Matty's Cas is revealed to be Prince Cassander.

This is another love conquers all story and another sweet, funny read. Highly reccomend the whole series.

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Book Review - Up For Heir by Stella Starling

Up for Heir (Rosavia Royals, #1)Up for Heir by Stella Starling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

OMG this was super adorable and such a happy little hea type of royal person falls in love with a commoner trope that I am totally here for it. Throw in the gay for you trope and it was all that and a bucket of chicken.

Crown prince Leopold (Leo) of Rosavia, unrepentant rebel royal and playboy extraordinaire, categorically and vehemently dislikes being told what to do. So when his royal parents present him with a list of perfectly vetted and acceptable women and is told to pick one to marry within a month he.... does the exact opposite of what he's told to do. Quite by accident.

Edvin Blom is a junior librarian at the Royal library and has just had his heart shattered by his ex - who also works for the library - after using Edvin shamelessly to put together an exhibition for their royal patron, the 2nd in line for the throne Prince Cassander. But when the crown prince shows up instead of Cassander and then makes googoo eyes at Eddie's teenaged sister Eddie doesn't even think before he steps between his sister and the lethal lothario... and instantly catches Leo's eye. Not even Edvin's stutter bothers the crown prince. In fact Leo wants to be Eddie's _friend_ for some onknown reason and keeps finding reasons to spend time with Eddie when he has a royal ball to attend and a bride to choose and eventually an entire country to run.

Leo doesn't know what hit him when Eddie steps between Leo and the younger man's sister, but he knows it's important. As they spend more and more time together something about Eddie is just _right_ and soon Leo realizes he doesn't want a bride, he wants a groom and he sure as fudgesicles doesn't want a properly vetted personage to be his spouse - he wants Eddie. Leo finally has something - someone - to fight for and he's determined Eddie will be his.

The world was lovely, a slightly skewed version of our world with a country called Rosavia that sounds lovely (if a little too much into rose flavoured everything and _blueberry_ pizza). The characters were believable and plot line - wihle tropy - one that really kept me interested.

All in all a great read!

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Book Review - When I First Saw Red by Kasia Bacon

When I First Saw Red (Soldiers and Mercenaries #2)When I First Saw Red by Kasia Bacon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First time reading this author and this series. Luckily for me the book was stand alone and the author took care to ensure new readers were able to understand the plot without having read the first book.

I thoroughly enjoyed the world building and attention to detail the author gave. The entire world of this series came alive for me with the author's words. I also loved how the view of the world changed depending on which character we were seeing through the eyes of. When it was Red the world was more lyrical and poetic - even when he was being crass. When it was Lázhien it was written in plainer language and was beautiful in it's sparseness.

The story concept was captivating. The idea of two-souled beings made me think of a fantasy version of two-spirited people. The idea of struggling against a preordained fate a powerful concept as was the concept that fate often stepped i for a reason.

All in all I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it.

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Book Review - Shared by Four - Xya Olsen

— feeling sleepy
Shared by Four (Mortal Mates, #1)Shared by Four by Xya Olsen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First time reading this author and it was an enjoyably brainless little read.

The idea of a gay harem fic has always interested me but I've yet to find one that ticks all my boxes. This one somewhat did that.

Over all the story was well thought out. I had no idea it was a continuation of a previous series but it makes sense given I was a little confused by a lot of things in this book. The story seemed to speed through the plot at a breakneck speed, barely touching on it before moving on to a new point. Maybe it was because a lot had been established in the previous series but for those new to this world, like me, a little more explanation would have been great.

I have to say, I did find the MC a little lackluster compared to his mates, but all in all it was a nice read.

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Book Review - Looks Can Be Deceiving by Quinn Ward

Looks Can Be Deceiving (The Lodge #2)Looks Can Be Deceiving by Quinn Ward
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I start this review by saying I haven't read the first book so there are some things that I didn't understand at first. This is also my first time reading about this particular genre of bdsm - the Daddy/boy dynamic.

We first meet the Daddy MC - William - a man who likes to be in control, who likes to take care of others, of being useful, of being needed. But he is also afraid of having ties, after a lifetime of regimented service in the military he wanted to not be bound by anyone or anything.

The second MC - Corey - the boy - is a single father who shares custody of his daughter with her mother and to say their relationship is contentious is putting it mildly. This is where I start having problems - the mother is made out to be an absolute nightmare, dropping in without warning, dropping her daughter off when she needs a break, always expecting Corey to pick up her slack. She's basically a flighty, irresponsible, selfish child raising a child.

The story was a good one - single father, working 2 jobs, burying a side of himself for fear of being discovered by the vindictive ex (although this really doesn't play out in the end). Enter William, friend of the owner of the kink bar Corey is a part time bartender at. William is given all sorts of responsibility over the bar and staff despite having no investment in the club beyond his friendship.

William notices a need in Corey and uses a new playroom opening to help Corey explore the little side of his personality. In the course of doing so they fall for each other.

All in all I found it an easy read but I did have problems with the way the mother/ex was portrayed and how Corey was so terrified of being discovered despite that never really being a thing beyond the mention that the ex's parents didn't approve of Corey.

If this sort of a trope and genre is your thing then go for your life, it was, in the end, a happy ending and a good story.

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Book Review - Chaos Moon by Richard Amos

— feeling love
Chaos Moon (Four Moons, #2)Chaos Moon by Richard Amos
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the very first sentence this book was a raucous, butt-kicking romp of violence, mayhem, supernats and romance. Loved it so much that I basically did an all-nighter to read it!

This book takes up shortly after First Moon (Book 1). Akira's best friend has betrayed him, his father has lied to him about his brother (now melded to said former best friend who happens to be the poor sod's mother) and Aki is having to deal more and more with Colin the c**t of an ex. Oh and his precious katana's are stuck up on the moon thanks to said former bestie (Mama Rita) going nuts, sacrificing weres, using illegal magic and creating an uber monster of herself, her son and a bunch of demons. The _only_ good thing is that he's got a new bestie, and roommate - Gabriel, his dad's Beta, and a sexy fine wolf. And he still has time to bake.

Except Mama Rita wants to rule the world, have revenge on Aki's dad and thereby on his entire family including Aki's unborn sibling, and basically wants to make the world hell. And Aki is still number 2 on her sh!t list, after dear old dad. So Aki is being hunted, his dad is being an uberdouche, Colin the c**t is always in his face and Gabe is... sexy fine and it's messing with Aki's brain. Oh and then there are the dreams... the thrice damned dreams.

This story is a non stop action adventure that ends with Aki and Gabe going off to Japan on an epic quest to stop Mama Rita's insanity (complete with his dad's blessing - for once). There is action, adventure, romance, kick-assery, douchbaggery and everything in between.

Can't wait for Book 3!

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Book Review - Gearheart by Maia Strong

GearheartGearheart by Maia Strong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Steampunk meets romance meets lgbtq romance!

I have been a huge fan of Steampunk forever so when I saw there was an lgbtq book I jumped at the chance to read it. I wasn't disappointed.

The story was a good one, the world building was phenomenal. I loved the re-imagining of the world and North American maps. And being a Canadian I loved seeing Canada represented ;-)

The main characters were believable and I felt for them. The tertiary characters were delightful, the villain was a perfectly horrible person. The book itself was a slow build, something that sometimes made it seem to slow the whole book down, but all in all it was a good, solid read.

The plot was engaging, the ending was a happily ever after on multiple fronts. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable read.

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Book Review - How To Steal A Thief by AJ Sherwood

How to Steal a Thief (Unholy Trifecta #2)How to Steal a Thief by A.J. Sherwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So I LOVE AJ Sherwood's books. To date she hasn't written a book I don't like and this one is no exception.

Ivan... oh Ivan. In this second installment of The Unholy Trifecta we get to learn more about Ivan while getting to revisit Ari, Carter, Remi and Kyou. It's yet another fun filled romp but with a touch more mayhem this time around - I mean, it's _Ivan's_ book after all. That man is a fun-filled lollipop triple dipped in chaos.

In this book Ivan is bored so he takes a job which is boring just to alleviate the boredom. Until it's not boring at all. Steal a stamp. That was the job. Break into an apartment and steal a stamp. But the apartment he broke into belonged to med student Aiden Stalworth who'd already had almost everything - including the stamp - stolen from him by his greedy uncle despite him being the one who was supposed to inherit it. Cue Ivan's Robin Hood complex.

But then the criminal world starts showing up in New Orleans, all after the same stamp and now Ivan and his team are protecting Aiden from some really bad dudes while running a scam to get Aiden's inheritance back from his greedy uncle and somewhere along the way Ivan falls hard for Aiden - and Aiden falls right back.

This book was a fun filled romp of crazy men, nasty relations and Remi being adorably bad-ass. Also, her tee-shirt fu is _on point_. Just sayin'.

Next up -Kyou. Squee!

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Book Review - Double Down by R. Cayden

Double Down (Bad Boy Security, #3)Double Down by R. Cayden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A mercenary with a mysterious past. A bodyguard, ready to fight. And beautiful Lawrence, just trying to have a good time.

Raiden doesn’t expect much danger from his new bodyguard gig. He’s a fighter, but this rich kid just needs someone to keep him out of trouble. Watching Lawrence wriggling his hips and flirting with other men stirs up feelings Raiden didn't expect. He tries like hell to resist temptation, but when a suspicious stranger keeps crossing their path, Raiden smells danger, and it sends him over the edge.

Being a mercenary on the black market in New York means that Cash doesn’t have much time for hookups, let alone relationships. So why does his heart skip a beat when he starts a new gig, trailing the son of a corrupt CEO? Sure, Lawrence is an angel with sparkling eyes, but Cash has a job to do, and a secret vendetta driving his every action. At least Lawrence has a hot bodyguard with a temper. It makes the game of pursuing the kid twice as fun…

Lawrence knows that no one wants to hear a poor little rich boy story, especially not from the son of a powerful, corrupt CEO. Instead, he buries his demons, gives the money from his trust fund to charity, and spends his days partying with friends. But when his bodyguard comes swinging at his new crush, Lawrence’s life spirals out of control.

With corrupt billionaires and crime bosses hot on Lawrence’s trail, will Raiden and Cash be able to put their explosive differences aside in time to save him?

Double Down is an M/M/M bodyguard romance and the third book in Bad Boy Security. It can be read alone, but is best appreciated as part of the series. Enjoy!

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Book and Audible Review - The Kings Dragon by W.M Fawkes and Sam Burns

The King's Dragon (Fire and Valor #1)The King's Dragon by W.M. Fawkes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Listened to the audiobook and wow, mind blown. It's like a Game of Thrones where one's sexuality doesn't matter but the machinations of dragons and deranged kings do.

Lord Tristram Radcliffe, the cousin of the new king, Reynold, has a secret. He's half dragon in a country that despises dragons. He knows if his secret is ever found out he will be banished - or worse. But the new king, his cousin, is becoming more and more unhinged and Tristram will do everything in his power to protect the king's son and the king's sister - but at what cost?

Bet Kyston is the King's shadow - Reynold's most trusted assassin. He too has a secret - a secret attraction to Tristram. A secret he keeps close to his vest because he's the king's dirty not-so-secret secret and Tristram is all that is good and noble and golden.

There are power plays for the throne, and another dragon in the throne room vying for the king's attention. But secrets have a way of coming out, and madness knows no friend or family member. Lines are drawn - what way will Bet Kyston go - loyalty to the king he owes everything too, despite knowing the king is mad, or will he choose a truly noble man with a noble cause?

The audible book by Lessa Lamb and Greg Boudreaux was fantastically narrated and kept me completely captivated. Can't wait for their reading of book 2!

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Book Review - Variable Onset by Layla Reyne

Variable OnsetVariable Onset by Layla Reyne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another masterpiece by Layla Reyne!

This is a standalone law enforcement thriller with some delicious romance in it as well.

A serial killer that has eluded the FBI for decades has made their reappearance - but there may be a copycat at work as well. It will take the combined efforts of a Quantico instructor and expert in forensic genealogy and a undercover operative, both of whom have a past together, to save the victims before it's too late as well as catch the serial killer - possibly killers!

I admit I love the silver fox instructor/younger agent angle of this story and I love the background story Layla has woven for the two of them. I almost love the over arching plot almost as much - Dr. Fear, dayam, that is some interesting take on a modern day serial killer and his methodology. I also have to give Layla kudos on how well thought out and researched this book was.

All in all, very impressed by this book - this is another fine example of why Ms. Reyne is one of my go-to reads.

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Book Review - The Charms of Death by Richard Amos

The Charms of Death (Jake & Dean Investigations, #2)The Charms of Death by Richard Amos
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jake and Dean!!! OMG I've been waiting for them to come back. The Christmas novella was only enough to whet my appetite for these two bad-assed boys!

As usual, Richard Amos has continued to expand his universe, and what a universe it is. A blend of the fantastical and practical. It's our world, just through a looking glass darkly. Throw in some magic, murder and mayhem and blend with a loving, committed couple trying to live their best lives and raise their daughter and you have a book that is... dare I say it? Pure magic!

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Book Review - The Earl and the Executive by Kai Butler

The Earl and the ExecutiveThe Earl and the Executive by Kai Butler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First time reading this author and I was impressed.

This book was a delightful combination of regency romance with sci-fi fantasy. I admit it, I cut my romance novel teeth on Harlequin's and regency romances and graduated into sci-fi fantasy so this brought back some lovely nostalgia of my reading journey, ending up with lgbtq romances which are my current day go to.

The plot was full of pure regency tropes with a sci-fi and lgbtq twist that throws things on their head a bit, and I wasn't disappointed by them at all.

The bookish younger brother (Tiral Oican) inherits a title after the hedonistic and foolish older brother dies mysteriously - after squandering the family fortune. The beautiful and highly intelligent younger sister was secretly doing 'mannish' things like managing the estate - primarily agriculturally based - and in order to save the estate the new earl must now marry and marry well... which means he must venture to the capital planet and attend a 'season' trolling for a spouse.

Enter the rake (Destzev Laft) - the handsome man with no intention to ever get caught in a marriage trap, one who happens to be ridiculously wealthy and the head of a truly impressive business consortium. He had come to the capital planet and had been rejected and humiliated by the 'ton' and took those lessons to heart, ruthlessly building up his business into the most sought after in the system. And he hid his true identity when he went out, using a false name, in order to avoid all the marriage minded mama's and social climbers.

A launch party for Zev's company's newest flyer is a must attend event, even for Zev himself, though he comes as his alter ego, Zev Yuls, and immediately finds himself captivated by the obviously new to the scene Lord Gret (Tiral). Playing up his alter ego - a man known for taking lovers for a season, spending lavishly and never settling down (it is implied he is a kept man) Zev engages Tiral in conversation and both become fascinated with each other. Upon leaving the soiree, Tiral is warned by other members of the peerage to avoid Zev lest he want his reputation ruined before he acquires a spouse.

This sets off a series of events - Tiral asking Zev for tutelage in the arts of flirtation wooing and finding a spouse - even as Tiral's appearance amongst the ton turns slightly more sinister as threats are made, his house is broken into and other dangerous events happen, all revolving around his deceased brother's death.

As with all good regency romances, the rake falls for the ingenue and the ingenue realizes his money and title mean nothing without the rake, even as danger pushes them together before pulling them apart.

Over all a fun little read, and just what I needed for a distraction.

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