Book Review: Splintered Lies (In the Shadow of the Wolf #3) – Diane Adams, R.J. Scott

Splintered LiesWe met Joe Christie and Nick Alexander from the first book as the two shifters under Rob’s team. This was actually a total surprise for me when I found out that Joe’s the MC here and is going to do the nasty with Nick. I’m like – okay – he’s like super straight and has got a baby on the way right? It turns out that they actually have history together – deeper than being best of friends.

With the death of his wife and baby, Joe’s life was only consumed with grief and anger. When new information about his family’s death comes to light, his first instinct was to put the law into his own hands.

Trying to get at the bottom of this case muddled with murder and betrayal, Nick will do everything for Joe and fight the people who want to kill them both.

This has got to be my favorite in the whole series. The backstory given regarding Joe and Nick’s past was beautifully presented and quite bittersweet at that. It really hurts to see that one person you loved the most suffering. And it also hurts when you feel that other person will be happier with someone else – only, it wasn’t quite the case here. It was a whole case of misunderstanding, suppressed feelings, respect and just getting through life.

As they say though, love moves in mysterious ways. Although it moves in such a dick way, killing Joe’s family in the process – their love somehow will always be on top. I loved seeing Joe’s vulnerability here and felt his suffering all throughout. It’s also nice that Nick just kept on waiting and never loses patience. I guess that is what’s beautiful about their love for each other – it was solid, pure and it’s always there.

I loved that we get to see more of the whole gang as we go through Joe and Nick’s story and although this last book was written 3 years ago, I’m still hopeful that we’d get to see more of these characters. There’s more to the story especially now that we’ve got a new character. Was it Corbin? Not sure about the name but there surely was an opening for the next book to happen.

This I would say though, as a whole – this series was exceptional. It’s very easy to read and the characters are very easy to like. You’d definitely want to read this one!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Published July 19th 2013 by Love Lane Books (first published September 29th 2012)

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Book Review: Broken Memories (In the Shadow of the Wolf #2) – Diane Adams, R.J. Scott

 

Broken Memories[Book 2 of In The Shadow Of The Wolf Series]

Sam Harrison almost didn’t make it if not for the help of Jamie (from the first book) and was left near “broken.” He doesn’t remember anything from his former life and only has nightmares that gave him trauma in shifting from human to wolf.

This is what Doug McKenna does not understand. He’s always been an Alpha and has little respect for the weak ones. With Sam near broken and helpless, he find himself looking out for the other guy and realized that he’s exactly what the guy really needs.

Okay, so I loved Doug from the first book but I didn’t get his sudden change of attitude. Yes, he was very parental over Jamie when the latter was still rooming with him but I thought he’s a chill and fun shifter. It’s like a new Doug altogether in this book. Of course, there was a “reason” behind this but it felt off if you’re going to compare the Doug from book 1 and the Doug this book.

As a whole though, I thought the story was solid and has continuity. I wished there’s more information about Sam and it’d been more fun if there’s more blood bath in here. Nonetheless, this was a great second book and I couldn’t wait to read the next book!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Published July 5th 2013 by Love Lane Books (first published November 25th 2011)

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Book Review: Shattered Secrets (In the Shadow of the Wolf #1) – Diane Adams, R.J. Scott

Shattered Secrets[Book 1 of In The Shadow of the Wolf Series]

At first, I didn’t get Rob’s revulsion towards having a relationship with a “different species” (werewolves), not even an intimate one-time contact would do for him. When he met Jamie at a club and had a very hot one night stand with him, he was affronted when he realized that the other guy was a “shifter.”  He’d gone all Rambo and kicked the other guy out. His reasoning all throughout the story doesn’t really make sense that with not having equal strength / power in a relationship. That was pretty lame, really.

As Rob got promoted to a special police force specializing wolf/human cases, a kidnapping of young werewolves used for sex trade landed on his desk revealing secrets that he thought he already had knowledge of especially since his best friends are actually werewolves. When he faced Jamie again, he found himself going back and forth with his prejudices and fighting off his feelings but in the end, he knows that he’s got to do something about it to keep his lover alive.

Don’t get me wrong though, I loved the story as a whole but I just don’t like Rob’s prejudice towards the werewolves. It was like rejecting a whole bunch of people who are in love with shifters. He’s not perfect yeah but he comes off through the first part of the book like a big effin prick. Jamie on the other hand reminds me of Jessica, the baby vamp from True Blood if you’re familiar? He’s that cute and his maturity level isn’t there yet in my opinion. He’s what you call in the shifter world, a late bloomer but yeah – his characterization was cute and charming but isn’t a strong one. I guess his character simply balance out Rob’s dick thoughts regarding human-shifter relationships.

The supporting characters here were great especially Doug. I initially thought that it’d be some kind of a love triangle but was glad that one didn’t pan out. The whole “breaking” thing was new for me and that was the most interesting part of the book and I loved that it’s at least something new to offer the readers of this genre. It’s not so bad, it’s really not so bad.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Published June 21st 2013 by Love Lane Books (first published August 27th 2011)

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Book Review: Our December (The Making Of A Man #1) – Diane Adams

Our December[Book 1 of The Making Of A Man Series]

At fifteen, Alex Ross knows that he’s gay and he’s scared. When he meets twenty year old construction worker Jared Douglas, he started to think that the gay thing isn’t so bad at all.

With Alex’s tender age – Jared knows that he needs to keep their intense mutual attraction in check. This became easy for Jared when Alex’s father ships him off to prep school. He expects the younger guy to forget him and find a boyfriend of his own age but he didn’t expect that it’ll hurt. When Alex returns home for Christmas and just turned 16, Jared knows that what they have is something special that they won’t be able to suppress any longer.

This story totally just made me all mushy deep inside. It made me think of that first love, that first kiss and it made me melancholic as well for some reason. I loved how their age gap was such an issue since Alex was still a minor – it was quite refreshing because this time, it’s not just about the age gap – it’s about the maturity of the other character that became the concern of the relatively “older” guy.

I loved that there was no sex scene involved in it. I loved the respect that Jared bestowed to Alex and his parents. I also adore Alex’s best friend! It’s always nice when you also fall for the best friend in the story and I was so happy to find out that he’s got his own story as well!

I cannot wait to read the second installment of this beautiful, tender love story!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Published October 5th 2013 by Love Lane Books (first published December 25th 2010)

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Book Review: Sandpipers’ Secrets – Jade Archer

Sandpiper's SecretsBrody moved halfway across the country to start a new life but it’s difficult to feel hopeful when you’re a meal away from starvation and about to get kick out from your place. He found his luck when Sandpiper’s restaurant was in need of a kitchen hand. With this development, Brody was finally able to breathe a little until his attention was focused to his two new hot bosses.

Lark and Zak have been partners for years and knows everything about each other. They loved each other but there’s still seemed to be something missing to complete what they have. When they hired their new kitchen hand, things started to get hot and dawn some realizations. Each of them keeps a secret and this may either get them closer or drive them apart.

I actually enjoyed reading this ménage story. I mean, I’m really not big of a fan of such premise but when the story is beautifully written then I’d definitely enjoy it, regardless. This story is good. There’s enough charm from the each man and I’d say that the story was pretty solid despite its unnecessary conflict at the end. I mean, the author could simply leave it without the whole “gun” thingy. That was a bit forced but I guess it’s tolerable.

For some reason, I find the sex scene lacking in sparks. The minimal descriptions made the intimate side of their relationship bland which I thought should be part 50% of these kind of story especially in the genre (that’s just for me though *wink* *wink*)

I still enjoyed it nevertheless and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for polyamorous / ménage stories.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Published January 24th 2011 by Total-E-Bound

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Book Review: Witness – L.A. Gilbert

WitnessBLURB: Ben Jenkins is a down-to-earth cop leading a quiet life in a big, empty house. Visits to the gay bars scratch an itch, but they don’t really satisfy, and though he’s used to the quiet, he recognizes that the empty feeling plaguing him of late is loneliness. It takes a police cruiser and a ten-speed to bring him together with Reece Withers, a bike messenger and photographer who’s still waiting for his big break to arrive. Ben’s pretty sure what he’s feeling is love, but they both have old hurts that need to heal before they can live and live well… together.

Okay, so I finally read all the published works of L.A. Gilbert so far and I’m just really impressed with everything she has written. The Coil, Kieran and Drew, Ghost On My Couch and this one are just simply sublime! I loved her way of telling stories and this one just totally touched my sappy side.

I’m first to admit though, that I didn’t get the significance of the book’s title. The whole story was simply a narration of both men as they go through life and how they found love. There was really nothing extraordinary about it but somehow, it makes you feel so good after reading the whole thing. I was trying to think if the title pertains to the last part of the story when they went overseas or simply just about witnessing each other’s kindness and just love for life. I really want to understand the title but regardless of this, I just totally enjoyed reading it and I sure wished that Ms. Gilbert will write more of these stories in the future.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Published April 30th 2010 by Dreamspinner Press

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Book Review: Jurassic Heart – Anna Martin

Jurassic HeartThis is the fourth book I’ve read from the author and again, I’m duly impressed by her unique writing style. I loved her very realistic approach towards her characters and the natural flow of her stories from start to finish.

Here, we have Dr. Nick Eisenberg, a paleontologist summoned to Alberta to assist a team who thinks they have discovered bones of a velociraptor. If there is one thing that interest Nick more than anything else, it is prehistoric animals’ esp. dinosaurs and this project once more ignites his passion to dig even further. What he didn’t expect to find getting in the way is eco-conservationist Hunter Joseph who opposes the way their team was destroying the landscape of the place. Despite their differences, mutual attraction ensues and they have to figure out how to “co-exist” without trying to kill each other – that is before someone after Nick does the job.

I just loved how Anna Martin spins stories around her characters. Jurassic Heart has that easy vibe that lets its reader enjoy the story without unnecessary drama and excessive characterization. With story development similar to her novels Tattoos & Teacups and Cricket, I knew I just have to read all of her works! I absolutely adore her style!

I loved Nick’s character – there’s something so human about him (like Rob of Tattoos and Henry of Cricket) that you could easily relate with. Halfway through the story, I’ve to say though that I was more in love with Nick’s bestfriend Boner than Hunter. Nick has great chemistry with Boner and I just adore their easy relationship. With Hunter, I loved how Nick doesn’t use much of his brain – I mean, I loved how he’s trying to keep his emotion in place but he’s also going with the flow at the same time. I loved that kind of relationship. I was sorely disappointed though that Boner ends up getting engage with Raven – yeah, yeah, I’m a jealous bitch. LOL

The little action at the end was anti-climactic at least for me since I was already expecting the person behind the attacks. The ending was great though I was expecting maybe more about the development of their relationship – like some sort of weddings or babies or something but yeah – I enjoyed a hell lot of it regardless. Another beautiful story from Anna Martin. Thank you!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Published December 27th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press

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Book Review: Cricket – Anna Martin

CricketBLURB: New York native Henry Richardson needs a change. His boyfriend just dumped him, and his business has fallen victim to the economy. But is jumping on a plane after a surprise phone call taking things too far?

The promise of a new opportunity drags Henry away from the city to a tiny village in the English countryside and an enormous manor house his great-grandmother wants to bequeath him. As an experienced wedding planner, he sees the potential in renovating the dilapidated building and using it for events. All he needs is to find some local businesses to provide the essentials.

That’s how Henry meets Ryan Burgess, the shy but hardworking owner of an organic farm. The spark between them sizzles slowly while work on the house continues, but Ryan is deeply in the closet and unwilling to take the last step. They finally find something that clicks in cricket, something that Henry, a former amateur baseball player, is surprisingly good at. For him, cricket helps bridge the gap between England and New York—but unless Ryan can find something to span the divide between his sexuality and his fear, their relationship doesn’t stand a chance

***

This book is one of my favorite reads from last year along with her novel Tattoos & Teacups. There’s just something about her writing style that lured you further with her story and her characters. Cricket is one story that I’ve always reread since my first time getting ahold of it. The sceneries, Henry and Ryan’s character, the dialogues! It’s just perfection! Much as the same way Tattoos & Teacups was written – the author employed both realism and metaphorical description to develop the story. I loved the frankness of Henry’s character here. There was no pretention in it – just one solid characterization. There was also an overflowing charm from Ryan’s character. His hidden desires, the underlying sexual tension between him and Henry and just the way his personality resonates with the things he’s experienced was just amazing! The story was vivid, charismatic and all too British that it feels like you need to experience it yourself.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Published July 1st 2013 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 30th 2013)

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Book Review: The Devil Will Do – Heidi Cullinan

The Devil Will DoBLURB: In a land unforgiving of indulgent, dangerous sex, merchantman Eryn does his best to keep his desires in the dark…until the plight of a beautiful prince leads him out of the shadows and into adventures both sensual and terrible.

Capture, curse, and torture litter Eryn’s road to true love, along with carnal delights beyond his most wicked imaginings. His strengths and limitations are exposed—and the hard truth, that nothing holds him back more than the monster of self-loathing in his heart. Prince Wyn might be everything he’s dreamed of in a man—and master—but before Eryn can accept the exquisitely wicked affections of his one true love, he must first save himself…from himself.

This novella was originally published under the title Sweet Son and has been significantly revised. [s]

I loved Heidi Cullinan’s books! Ever since I’ve read Nowhere Ranch, I was hooked by her stories – her writing style was just absolutely superb! I haven’t read the novella Sweet Son so I’ve nothing to compare this with so I’m looking at this book as a fresh story which I believe is the main idea why it was revised ^_^

This was a fairly quick read. There’s not much of a dialogue in it – probably 60 percent of it was narration. I’ve this title in my head after reading this story = The Do’s And Don’ts of BDSM – Mastering the Submissive You. LOL. Seriously though, it’s exactly what the story is about in a fairy tale form. I didn’t get attach with a single character, didn’t think the story was that original but like every fairy tale, I went along with it and was glad that it had at least a happy ever after. Is it a story about acceptance? Self-love?  Freedom? I honestly can’t give a hundred percent yes but it would really depend how you would look at it and if you’re into this stuff at all. Unfortunately, I wasn’t so it didn’t really work for me at all.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Published February 4th 2015 by Wilde City (first published July 2010)

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Book Review: Sleigh Ride (Minnesota Christmas #2) – Heidi Cullinan

Sleigh RideBLURB:The way to a man’s heart is on a sleigh.

Arthur Anderson doesn’t want anything to do with love and romance, and he certainly doesn’t want to play Santa in his mother’s library fundraising scheme. He knows full well what she really wants is to hook him up with the town’s lanky, prissy librarian.

It’s clear Gabriel Higgins doesn’t want him, either—as a Santa, as a boyfriend, as anyone at all. But when Arthur’s efforts to wiggle out of the fundraiser lead to getting to know the man behind the storytime idol, he can’t help but be charmed. The least he can do is be neighborly and help Gabriel find a few local friends.

As their fiery arguments strike hotter sparks, two men who insist they don’t date wind up doing an awful lot of dating. And it looks like the sleigh they both tried not to board could send them jingling all the way to happily ever after.

***

Although I liked the first book better, I find this installment of Minnesota Christmas more solid. I was maybe hoping from the first book that Arthur will end up with his best friend Paul but I guess, we’ll have to wait for Paul’s story next.

Gabriel Higgins here was all kinds of adorable especially when he’s doing the storytelling with the kids and that scene with the Doll? Damn’ I think I was about to tear-up reading that.

There’s just a tinge of BDSM here and I’m glad that nothing more extreme add up into that knowing that Arthur’s a big BDSM aficionado (sorry for the term).

As a whole, there’s the usual flare of sexy scenes and D/s characters usual from Heidi Cullinan and I loved that there was no major conflict to worry about between our main couple. It’s a great follow up and I’d definitely get hold of the next one in the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Published November 11th 2014 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

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