A Taste of You, Irene Preston

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5star

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first Male-Male (MM) romance story I’ve read. Yes, I’ve read MM erotic stories, but not a romance. I loved it!

Garrett and Giancarlo have been friends and business partners for years, and own a restaurant together. Garrett is the Chef, and creative genius behind the restaurant, and Giancarlo is the business brains. They have a rule they have both followed for years, “No banging the staff.”

There was just the right amount of tension between Garrett and Giancarlo – with Giancarlo having secretly pined for Garrett for years. Garrett is the quintessential ‘bad boy’ – having many different relationships over the years, with none of them lasting very long.

Garrett comes home after a business trip, with another new man, and he’s adding him to their kitchen staff. This event sets up the tension that eventually draws Garrett and Giancarlo together. But, will their attraction be enough for a lasting relationship, or will Giancarlo be another notch in Garrett’s bedpost? Are the friends able to continue as friends and business partners?

Garrett was an interesting character. I wanted to dislike him and his playboy-like tendencies. However, he was vulnerable enough that I was able to find a way to see what Giancarlo sees in him, and found myself rooting for them to find their way to a happily ever after.

The sex scenes were well done. They were not overly descriptive to the point of being erotica, but descriptive enough to be hot, exciting, yet leaving a bit to imagination.

I loved the book. This is a great romance book for anyone who loves hot men and good cooking!

http://www.irenepreston.com/blog/a-taste-of-you/

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Letters from Inside, Teresa Blue

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4star

REVIEW

I received a free copy of Letters from Inside, in exchange for an honest review.

Be warned, there will likely be spoilers in this review.

I enjoyed the story in Letters from Inside more than I thought I would.  I do not usually enjoy stories that involve rape, as the vivid descriptions I’ve read in some books was overly descriptive to the point of nauseating me.  I was pleased to see read that while rape was mentioned, it never got graphic or vivid – it was just enough to let me know what happened.

The story evolves around Jessie, her mother Linda, Carl the inmate who just made parole and Detective Tom Harrington.  Detective Harrington’s sister was brutally raped by Carl, and was convicted and spent time in prison.  We find out in the novel Carl has raped before and had other violent episodes.

Without giving too much of the plot away, we find that Jessie is a teenager whose parents are divorced.  She thinks her father can do no wrong, and is upset her parents are divorced.

Detective Tom involved himself in Linda and Jessie’s life in order to keep an eye on them, and protect them from Carl, unbeknownst to Linda.  As the story evolves, Tom has found a way to insert himself into their lives, and he and Linda begin to develop feelings for each other.  After Jessie runs away, Tom comes clean with Linda and tells her who he is, who Carl is and why he, Tom, is in town.  Linda, while thankful to know Jessie is safe, is angry with Tom for deceiving her.  She leaves him and goes home alone.

Carl does, eventually, come into Linda’s home and try to convince her they should be together.  I don’t want to give the ending away, but I will say I was pleased with the ending.

I thought the quality of the writing, and the storytelling was very good.  Setting up the background of the story was done well, and liked that there wasn’t a huge information dump.

I would have liked to have seen more tension throughout the story between Carl and Linda as well as between Carl and Tom.  Perhaps a little more tension between Linda and her ex-husband.  I am still curious about how Jessie and Carl ended up in communication with each other, so an explanation there would have been helpful.  Overall, I very much enjoyed Letters from Inside and will be pleased to read more from Teresa Blue.

SYNOPSIS

The trenches of parenting can get down right dirty, as single mom, Linda Wheeler is finding out. Her biggest challenge to keep her teenage daughter, Jessica, out of jail. Although community service is hardly a prison sentence, this single mom is about to come face to face a product of the system.

Troubled Jessie blames her mom for breaking up their family and is determined to make her pay. Jessie doesn’t believe her dad is the bad guy her mom makes him out to be and sets out to prove the difference between a good man and the bad. She recruits a prison pen-pal unaware that he’s recently been granted parole. By cleverly signing her mom’s name to the letters, she’s supplied the criminal with a purpose: find the author and claim her for his own.

Carl Jenkins has spent the last seven years as an inmate at Jackson State Prison. Even violent offenders make parole, leaving Detective Tom Harrington furious as the man who brutally raped his sister walks out of prison a free man. Tom vows to see the felon back behind bars where he belongs. But it isn’t long before all eyes turn to a rural farmhouse and a struggling single mom. Jenkins has a new target, and it’s up to Tom to keep them safe, or is history doomed to repeat itself?

Blog Link:
http://teresablue.com
http://tereasa-thingfinder.blogspot.com/

Elite Metal: Eight-Novel Cohesive Military Romance Boxed Set (Elite Warriors Book 1)

5star
Got an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I read Platinum by Rebecca Royce, and tossed myARC and purchased the 8-novel box set. Yup, I enjoyed it THAT much.

Platinum was a sexy, fun read. I loved the humor, the inclusion of pop culture, the Doctor Who references – all the geeky buttons were pushed for me. I enjoyed the fun interactions between Platinum and The Rose. It was a sweet love story. I really liked how Rebecca wrote the sex scenes – it was explicit enough that it was hot, but not so much it crossed over to porn. It was the perfect mix for me.
I really liked the interactions between Plat and Rose, and including his son was a nice touch. Rebecca did a fabulous job of weaving past and present together – I’ve read novels by other authors where it was not always clear where in the story line I was.I plan to read the other 7 in the coming days, and will update my review as I finish them.

Under a Wolf Moon (Multi-Author, Box Set)

4star

I received an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

I have read several other stories by most of these authors. I had not previously read Cara Carnes or Heather Long, but they are both now added to my list of authors to follow.

I am so glad I got a copy of this box set. I love reading paranormal series, so got into all of the stories quickly. I loved the “Wolf Next Door” by Heather Long. She did a great job getting me into the head of both Claire and Tyler, and I enjoyed seeing their love story unfold. The twists and turns were fun, and loved that there was a Happy Ever After.

I have read many, many stories written by Rebecca Royce. I enjoyed reading Eternal and seeing a female hero in this book. Yes, there was a male hero, but Caitlyn ‘felt’ like the main hero to me. I loved seeing her so determined to help end the war, and willing to do whatever it took. When she and Dougal got split up, I thought it was fantastic that she didn’t give up her purpose to do whatever it took to the end the war! I can’t say more, because I’m afraid I’ll give away the ending!

And Princess of the Pack, by Saranna De Wylde? OMG, I fell totally in love with this one. I’ve read other stories by Saranna, but just fell for this. Loved the In Your Face attitude by Marchessa de la Luna – LOVED that character. I sincerely hope to see more of Marchessa, loved her. I enjoyed watching her get to know Antony and Cassius and come to understand the catch of her intended mating, and watch her unravel all the intricacies and find her own solution. It was incredible.

Hell’s Playground by Cara Carnes was amazing! I had a hard time getting into the story, it started a bit rough for me, but once I got past the first chapter I was totally hooked. I loved watching the interaction between Mira and Adrik, especially after she was released from being tortured. I loved watching these two come together, work through their problems and find a solution that worked for them. I will definitely be watching Cara’s website to see if I can find more written about these characters and this world.

Finally, Odd Wolf by Virginia Nelson was a fun read! I loved reading a story with a female Alpha pack leader – don’t see that every day. I also enjoyed the added paranormal aspects of magic via a witch and some other “magical” creatures, and needing to solve a problem that is magical in nature. I haven’t read many paranormal wolf books with the added magical features to it – that was also a steamy romance – it was a great change.

All five of the books had a great amount of steam, and were all great in length for an anthology. If you are on the fence about buying this – do it! They were all fun reads written by talented authors!

Dismantling Evan, Venessa Kimball

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5star

I received an advanced copy, in exchange for an honest review.

What an absolutely amazing book! I have read other works by Ms. Kimball, but this book really blows her earlier works out of the water!

This book touches on mental illness, growing up, high school cliques and bullying. All of these can be very difficult subjects to discuss, but Ms. Kimball has done an amazing job of bringing to life characters I could easily see at my local high school, and caused me to have strong feelings about these characters.

I found myself cheering for the group who were being bullied every time they stood up for themselves, and cussing out the bullies every time they were jerks.

She did a great job of keeping me hooked into the story the entire time, and I was engaged. By the time I reached the climax of the book, I was on the edge of my seat.

The ending left me with some unanswered questions, and I hope she decides to write another book to answer some of my questions. More than the questions, tho, I am so invested in these characters, I am so curious to know how things go for them after the climax.