Release Day Review: The Alpha’s Claim by Holley Trent

The Alpha's Claim
The Alpha’s Claim by Holley Trent
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: May 15th 2017
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Blub:
Jim West, the New York Coyote pack alpha, has successfully defended his territory from external threats for almost fifteen years. Pack politics may be a pain in his ass, but his command has never been doubted, his authority never questioned.

Until Teddy, an argumentative pancake-house server, challenges more than his patience. The lithe, pretty human calls to Jim’s baser instincts. He knows instantly Teddy is his mate – but the timing couldn’t be worse. Tension within his pack is growing, and adding a human mate to the mix could spark an uprising, with Teddy as the target.

Teddy’s smart mouth may heat Jim’s blood, but with a full moon only days away, getting Teddy to let down his guard and accept him – the man and the beast – is his main priority.

There’s no fighting the pull of a mate, but learning his lover is a literal predator might make Teddy run right into the danger Jim’s desperate to control.

This book is approximately 45,000 words.

Buy Links: Carina Press

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Release Day Review: Half by Eli Lang

Half
Half by Eli Lang
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: February 13, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, M/M

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blub:
Living between worlds has never been comfortable, but it’s where I’ve always fit: between human and fey, illness and health, magic and reality.

I’ve spent the last six years looking for a cure for the nameless sickness eating me up. If I believed there was one out there, I would keep searching. But there isn’t, so I’ve come back home, where my past and present tangle. Come home to live . . . and to die.

But my father insists I meet Kin. He’s a healer, and determined to help, even though I’m not so hopeful anymore. But Kin isn’t what I expected, in any way. He sees me, not my illness. He reminds me of what it’s like to be alive. And I can’t help falling for him, even though I know it isn’t fair to either of us.

Kin thinks he has the cure I’ve been looking for, but it’s a cure that will change everything: me, my life, my heart. If I refuse, I could lose Kin. But if I take it, I might lose myself.

Buy Links: Riptide Publishing

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Release Day Review: Thick & Thin (THIRDS #8) by Charlie Cochet

Thick & Thin (THIRDS #8)
Thick & Thin (THIRDS #8) by Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 1, 2016
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, M/M

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Blub:
Sequel to Smoke & Mirrors

In a matter of days, Dex has been kidnapped, tortured, killed, revived, become half Therian, offered the chance to become a spy, and accepted a proposal to marry his jaguar Therian boyfriend, Sloane Brodie. It’s been a lot to take in, and although Dex is still trying to wrap his head around everything that’s happened, he knows he has to move forward.

After the events of Smoke & Mirrors, Dex and Sloane find themselves in one of the most frightening situations of all: revealing the truth to their Destructive Delta family. When the dust settles, nothing will ever be the same, and it’s up to Dex to prove that in the face of change, the one thing that will always remain the same is family.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press

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Review: Blood of the Sphinx (Virgin Kings #1) by J. Johanis

Blood of the Sphinx
Blood of the Sphinx by J. Johanis
Publisher: Independent
Release Date: December 21, 2016
Genre: Paranormal, Dark

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blub:
“The blood of the sphinx runs through my veins,” Sasha said as he inspected the warrior standing at attention before him. “It’s what makes my family line so potent—what gives us the power to make or break a man.”

Son of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar, Sasha is the king of kings. He’s the pharaoh, and he’s supposed to be the most powerful man in Egypt, but he’s convinced there’s something wrong with him. Maybe he’s in heat or maybe he’s just cursed, but no pharaoh should have such an insatiable need to be mated by another man. Even worse, the man he desires has never shown an inkling of interest in him.

When the young pharaoh finds himself the sole ruler of Egypt and under siege by the Romans, he has to find a way to deal with the desires consuming him or all will be lost.

*Historically inspired dark erotica. Contains graphic violence and non-con.

Editor: Jason Bradley
Cover: Indigo Forest Designs

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Review: Bane (Strain, #2) by Amelia C. Gormley

Bane
Bane by Amelia C. Gormley
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: September 21, 2015
Genre: Military, Dystopia, Science Fiction

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blub:
The weapon that nearly destroyed humanity may be their only salvation.

Rhys Cooper’s unique immunity to all three strains of the virus that nearly annihilated humanity has brought him the unwanted attention of Clean Zone scientists. They’ve summoned him for testing—ostensibly in the hopes of finding a vaccine—but Rhys’s partner, Darius Murrell, has good reason not to trust any government. He and his comrades in Delta Company were unwitting test subjects for Project Juggernaut, the military experiment that gave them superhuman abilities and unleashed the pandemic. Doubting the government’s intentions, Delta Company refuses to let Rhys go alone.

Fear of infection has kept Zach Houtman and his lover Nico Fernández apart for a decade. They meet rarely, just long enough to coordinate their spying on the head of the government’s virus research division. Secretary Littlewood is a vicious predator, and they suspect he’s trying to acquire the strain of the virus that would make him superhuman. To stop him, they need the perfect bait: Rhys.

For Rhys, helping them might cost him his relationship with Darius—or his life. For Zach and Nico, even if their plan succeeds, they still face the ultimate question: can infected and uninfected people ever live together safely?

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Review: Secrets of Neverwood (Secrets of Neverwood #1-3) by Libby Drew, Diana Copland, G.B. Lindsey

Secrets of Neverwood
Secrets of Neverwood by Libby Drew
Publisher: Carina Press
Published Date: June 30, 2014
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary, Romance

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blub:
Three foster brothers are called home to Neverwood, the stately Pacific Northwest mansion of their youth. They have nothing in common but a promise to Audrey, the woman they all called mother—that upon her death, they would restore the house and preserve it as a home for troubled boys.

But going home is never easy.

Cal struggles to recover from past heartbreak, while Danny fears his mistakes are too big to overcome. Devon believes he may never break down the barriers that separate him from honest emotion.

On the path to brotherhood, they discover the old mansion holds more than dusty furniture and secret passageways. Audrey’s spirit still walks its halls, intent on guiding “her boys” toward true love, and an old mystery stirs up a new danger—one that could cost the men far more than just the house.

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Release Day Review: The Night Screams by Devon McCormack

The Night Screams
The Night Screams by Devon McCormack
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Release Date: July 28th 2016
Genre: Abuse, Young Adult, Romance

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Blub:
Running naked through the woods, Cal flees the sadistic man who abducted and tortured him. When he stumbles upon a convenience store, he breaks in to steal food. A young store clerk, Jake, confronts him, and they get into a fight that ends with Cal being knocked unconscious. He wakes in the home of Jake’s Uncle Gary, the owner of the convenience store. Realizing Cal needs help, Gary tries to communicate with him, but despite Cal’s efforts, he can’t bring himself to speak. Instead, he writes down his experiences. Horrified by the perverse cruelty Cal endured, Gary takes him to the police, who track down his tormentor.

Abandoned by his parents before his abduction, Cal doesn’t have anywhere to go, so Gary and his wife eagerly welcome him into their home. He feels fortunate to be with such caring people—something he’s never had before. Despite their help, he still can’t find his voice, and he wonders if he ever will. And Jake certainly isn’t making things any easier. It’s clear he doesn’t want Cal to be part of their family. But the more Cal gets to know him, the more he realizes Jake might be the very person who can heal the deep wounds left by his horrifying past.

Buy Links: Harmony Ink Press

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Review: Road of No Return (Sex & Mayhem #1) by K.A. Merikan

Road of No Return: Hounds of Valhalla MC
Road of No Return: Hounds of Valhalla MC by K.A. Merikan
Sex & Mayhem #1
Publisher: Acerbi & Villani ltd.
Release Date: July 17th 2014
Genre: Abuse, Erotica, Dark, GFY Contemporary, Romance

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Blub:
— Don’t talk to strangers. —

Zak. Tattoo artist. Independent. Doesn’t do relationships.

Stitch. Outlaw biker. Deep in the closet. Doesn’t share his property.

On the day of Stitch’s divorce, lust personified enters the biker bar he’s celebrating at. Tattooed all over, pierced, confident, and hot as hellfire, Zak is the bone Stitch has waited for life to throw him. All Stitch wants is a sniff, a taste, a lick. What follows instead is gluttony of the most carnal sort, and nothing will ever be the same. Forced to hide his new love affair from the whole world, Stitch juggles family, club life, and crime, but it’s only a matter of time until it becomes too hard.

Zak moves to Lake Valley in search of peace and quiet, but when he puts his hand into the jaws of a Hound of Valhalla, life gets all but simple. In order to be with Stitch, Zak’s biker wet dream, he has to crawl right back into the closet. As heated as the relationship is, the secrets, the hiding, the violence, jealousy, and conservative attitudes in the town rub Zak in all the wrong ways. When pretending he doesn’t know what his man does becomes impossible, Zak needs to decide if life with an outlaw biker is really what he wants.

As club life and the love affair collide, all that’s left in Zak and Stitch’s life is mayhem.

WARNING Contains adult content: a gritty storyline, sex, explicit language, violence and torture

POSSIBLE SPOILERS: Themes: Outlaw Motorcycle Club, organized crime, homophobia, family issues, coming out, first gay relationship, tattoo, piercing

Genre: contemporary homoerotic romance

Length: ~ 100,000 words (Standalone novel, no cliffhanger.)

Buy Links: Amazon

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Pre-release Review: Against the Rules (Boundaries #2) by A.R. Barley

Against the Rules
Against the Rules by A.R. Barley
Boundaries #2
Publisher: Carina Press
Expected Release Date: June 6, 2016
Genre: College, Contemporary, Romance, BDSM

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blub:
Kelly O’Connell’s out of control

An RA at Halton University, he spends his off nights at a club, hoping to find what he’s looking for in rough sex with strangers.

Until one night the play gets a little too rough. An isolated room, a dangerous situation…and an unexpected rescue.

Ian Rankin knows what Kelly wants—a true Dom, someone who will protect him instead of using him, someone who can take him to the edge without pushing him into unsafe territory.

Ian knows just what Kelly needs, and he’s the only man who can give it to him.

There’s only one problem: Kelly is a student, and Ian is a teacher.

Buy Links: Carina PressAmazon

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Review: Complementary Colors by Adrienne Wilder

Complementary Colors
Complementary Colors by Adrienne Wilder
Publisher: Adrienne Wilder
Release Date: June 19, 2014
Genre: Dark, Contemporary, Mental Illness, Abuse

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blurb:
My sister Julia manipulated my life into a prison to keep me silent about our dirty family secret. Her greed made me a slave and circumstance left me with no way to escape.

Trapped, the only way I could silence the nightmares driving me to insanity was to wrap them in color, hold them with shadow, and stitch them to negative space with line.

But no matter how bright the pigments, no one could see my confession.

Except for Roy Callahan.

I thought he was just another nameless one-night stand in a long line of many.
But I was wrong. Roy could see past the façade of my life and through the veil color over the canvas. He could see what the world couldn’t.

And with him I’d find the courage to tell the truth about the boy.

The boy who kissed me.
The boy who loved me.
The boy whose name I couldn’t remember.

Musings:
I can’t began to describe how amazing this book is. It’s raw, depressing, gets to the nitty gritty, hopeful, and doesn’t tip toe around the issue. It’s mental illness, but just one aspect of a illness that most people would rather ignore and write off as not a real disease, behavior problems, or some other nonsense.

You really gotta read it to get the full effect. The characters, Paris and Roy, are extremely strong. To see things that only you can see and to have someone actually look past what others cross to the other side of the street for and believe and love you enough to help you is a blessing. And Adrienne Wilder writes this out beautifully. There is no magical crazy fix, no ‘you just haven’t met the right person’, no ‘just take this one pill and you’ll be normal’. It was real life, everyday mental issues, complete with abusive caretaker, who should be shot.

Now I don’t know how Adrienne knows or who she knows who knows, but somehow she hit this right on the head. Definitely recommend for those strong enough to venture through it.

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