New Holiday Releases by Joe Cosentino Out Now!

THE FIRST NOEL, Bobby & Paolo’s Holiday Stories Book 3
a short e-book novella by JOE COSENTINO, published by Dreamspinner Press

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Each Christmas has marked a milestone in Bobby and Paolo’s love story. But will this year be their last noel? It’s no surprise Bobby isn’t feeling much holiday spirit—not when he suspects his husband, Paolo, might be interested in his new business associate, the incredibly handsome Noel. On top of that, Bobby’s father is hanging up his Santa suit at the department store due to health issues; and worst of all, Geoffrey’s birth mother, funded by antigay extremists, is threatening their family. She’s trying to take away Bobby and Paolo’s adopted son, but she’ll have to face their supportive friends, family, and pastor before she can tear Geoffrey from the only real home he’s ever known.

With so many challenges in their path, the December grooms will need an extra helping of holiday magic this year. Rumor has it Santa’s on his way to spread some holiday cheer.

Buy Links:

Dreamspinner      Mybook      Kobo     iTunes      B&N

And

THE BOBBY AND PAOLO HOLIDAY STORIES
(A Home for the Holidays, The Perfect Gift, and The First Noel)
a paperback anthology by JOE COSENTINO, published by Dreamspinner Press

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The holidays are a magical time for everyone, but they hold special meaning for young lawyer Bobby McGrath and fashion designer Paolo Mascobello. Their whirlwind romance begins one December on the Isle of Capri, where they meet and fall in love, and each holiday season adds a new building block to their life together. Celebrate with Bobby, Paolo, and their colorful friends and family as they marry and start a family. Happily ever after doesn’t always come easy, but with love and the spirit of the season, miracles can happen and Christmas wishes can come true.

Buy Links:

Dreamspinner      Mybook     B&N

Praise for the Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories:

“I adore the character of Bobby…the heartwarming family moments…The vivid and almost lyrical descriptions that Joe Cosentino uses when Bobby is arriving on Capri or sightseeing all over the island with Paolo…the love the author has for Capri and the people there flows off the page in every word he has written…when you finish reading this story, you will want to book your own flight to Italy and boat to Capri.”
~Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

“I was there with Bobby and Paolo, feeling the sun on my face and the warm swell of the sea as I walked barefoot on the sea’s edge, the author’s brilliantly descriptive words took me to that beautiful place where Bobby and Paolo fell in love.”
~Three Books Over the Rainbow

“Joe Cosentino’s holiday novella, A Home for the Holidays, delivers in every way that a romantic, feel-good story should. Every book I read by this author continuously pulls me in and wraps me up like a warm blanket.”
~Kathy Mac Reviews

About the author:

Joe Cosentino has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, Charles Keating, and Jason Robards. As a bestselling author, Joe was voted 1st Place Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author, and 2nd Place Favorite LGBT Romance Author by the readers of Divine Magazine. He has also won many Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions. For Dreamspinner Press, Joe wrote the heralded In My Heart series: An Infatuation & A Shooting Star; the popular Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories: A Home for the Holidays, The Perfect Gift, and The First Noel; and the raucous The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland. That was followed by Holiday Tales from Fairyland, Tales from Fairyland Book 2. His famous Nicky and Noah mystery series includes Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, and Drama Fraternity. The scorching Cozzi Cove series (NineStar Press) are Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings, which were followed by Cozzi Cove: Happy Endings. Finally, Joe’s mainstream Jana Lane mysteries (The Wild Rose Press) are Paper Doll,Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, and Rag Doll. Releasing next year are more Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Castle, Drama Dance, Drama Faerie, and Drama Runway. Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. He loves to hear from readers at:

Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JoeCosentinoauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeCosen

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino

Amazon: Author.to/JoeCosentino

 

 

 

Boy Shattered

Boy Shattered by Eli Easton: Review by Lost in a Book for @BMBR

Boy Shattered

Blurb

Brian
You’ll make it out of here, Brian. I swear.
I had everything—school quarterback, popular with girls, and my dad was proud of me. I told myself it didn’t matter no one knew the real me. And then I nearly died. Landon saved my life. He’s the bravest guy I know. He came out a few years ago, proud and fierce, and he ran into gunfire to help others. Me, I’m a mess. Can’t even stand to be in a room with the curtains open. But here’s the thing about losing it all: You get a chance to start over and be someone new. Only how can I move on when the two shooters who attacked our school were never caught? And why do I feel like I’m still in the crosshairs?

Landon
Will you kiss me?
When I came across Brian Marshall,the hottest guy in school, dying on the cafeteria floor, I did what anyone would do. I tried to save him. His request surprised me, but I figured he needed comfort, so I kissed him on the forehead. When he survived and came back to school, he was broken in body and mind. He still needed me, and soon we were unlikely besties. But what I saw at school that day woke me up. I want to demand action on gun control, lead protests, raise my fist. I’ll tear the world down if I have to. And if I can get the man of my dreams and save the world at the same time? I’ll take it. Only I didn’t understand that the horror at Jefferson Waller High wasn’t over.

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3.25 Stars

Wow.

I think I need a minute month to process. I tip toed into this book. The subject matter is hard and hits pretty close to home. So yeah, hesitant AF is an understatement.

Before I start discussing the book, I want to provide insight on the rating. My rating has nothing to do with the quality of the writing. It has a lot to do with personal preferences and an immense dislike for politics. If I had access to the foreword prior to requesting the ARC I would have known that politics play a huge role in not only the main crisis, but also in the lives of one of the MCs. Politics make me ragey and I get enough of it in RL that I can’t fully enjoy my escape with books when it’s there too. Politics definitely have a place in this book and I knew going in that there would be some politics around gun control but this went beyond that and anything MAGA makes me want to poke my eyes out. It’s more of a personal preference and not a knock on the content.

My first reaction when I saw that Eli went there…
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You know… the place that has so much sadness, anger, hopelessness, and bloodshed. These tragedies have brilliant students rising to fight for their lives when their fallen classmates can’t. The shooting in the story happens within the first few chapters with the POVs switching between Brian and Landon. We get a window into the soul crushing panic each boy feels as they try to make a decision on which hiding place will hopefully keep them alive and then the direct aftermath when they realize what monsters are capable of.

Landon (out and proud senior) closely resembles the brave students we see on the news fighting for gun control. Brian (closeted junior and quarterback) has many hurdles beyond the shooting that make day to day life a struggle, especially his asshole dad. However, he becomes obsessed with finding out who was responsible for the shooting. Both boys find comfort in each other while the storm rages around them. The relationship isn’t the main focus, has low heat/off page interactions, and thankfully included very minor angst on their way to a HEA. The story dynamic worked with the tragedy taking center stage.

This is a very angsty read. When the administrator came over the speaker to announce an active shooter, it took me back to my days in the classroom when we had non-drill “code reds.” I felt like I was right back in my classroom trying to find places for my students to hide. I like angsty stories but I don’t think this is a book written for enjoyment?.?. IMO it’s more of a thought provoking experience on a topic that has been hitting the nightly news on the regular. It’s hard to digest at some points but Easton does a commendable job touching on this topic. Boy Shattered really drives home that the tragedy isn’t over when the students are buried and the school reopens.

Besides the politics not working for me, the wrap up of all the storylines is a little too pretty. There was so much build up and then it’s all solved quickly with the nitty gritty details happening off page. Trigger Warnings: School shooting, death, PTSD, and homophobia If you like angst and politics don’t send you running for the hills, this may be your cuppa. Recommended.

Copy provided for honest review.

Slow Bloom

Slow Bloom by Anah Crow & Dianne Fox: Review by Lost in a Book

Slow Bloom (Slow Bloom #1)

Blurb:
Ricky Talbot, fresh from his first year at university, is looking to have a perfect summer. He gets to work for the man he’s had a crush on for years and spend the rest of his days in the pool, training for the swim team. Jack Corson, on the other hand, is a suburban hermit with a tangled past. Jack’s a lot more experienced than Ricky, cantankerous and more than a little anti-social. When an unexpected one-time encounter between the two of them turns into more, Ricky and Jack must see if they have what it takes for love to bloom despite all of their differences, the distance between them while Ricky’s away school, Jack’s past and Ricky’s parents. Can their slow-blooming love come to fruition?

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4.5ish Stars

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<— Actual footage of me needing an ice bath repeatedly while reading this little gem.

It was hot AF.

Jack and Ricky together…

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Ricky is home for the summer after his first year at university. He’s very much in the closet at home and spends most of the time working on his neighbor Jack’s *ahem* yard. On one unfortunate day, the lawnmower breaks and Ricky with his tan skin and swimmers body catches the eye of his years long crush, Jack. Fortunately, they decide on a different way to work that still produces a sweat.

After this rendezvous, they go back to normal until Ricky gets in a bind and turns to Jack for help. And sex. Lotssss of sex. Here’s the deal, the sex is hot, happens in copious amounts, and *may* have forced me to skim around 75% to the end because there had been so much sex up until that point that I got the picture. Vividly. But, Slow Bloom is really more than just sex. Ricky is mature for his age and while still in college, he and Jack are realistic with expectations. They communicate desires, feelings, and aren’t shy with affection. Jack is insanely sweet and patient as he shows Ricky how pleasurable sex and intimacy can be when you trust your partner.

It isn’t all cupcakes and rainbows as Ricky has to come out to his parents and take a stand for being in a relationship with a much older man. For those that require monogamy throughout with their MC’s, you may struggle with this. They aren’t exclusive but it worked for their relationship while Ricky is in college. They have intimacy and a connection that develops slowly which left no doubt about their relationship. They crave each other and work at getting closer against all external or self made obstacles thrown their way.

And… did I mention there are manties?????

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Definitely recommended.

New Release by Keira Andrews

 

 
Buy Links:Amazon US |Amazon UK Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

 
Length: 30,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Design
 
Blurb
 

Mall Santas aren’t supposed to be hot.

Hunter Adams is hopelessly adrift after college. He’s still a virgin, can’t find a real job, and has no clue what to do with his life. In desperation, he returns to his humiliating old job as an elf at the Santa’s Village in his hometown’s dying mall. The Santa on the job is an unexpectedly sexy lumberjack, twice Hunter’s size and age. He makes Hunter feel very naughty—too bad he’s grumpy and intimidating.

Years after the tragic death of his partner, Nick Spini has his beagle and long, hard days on his Christmas tree farm. That’s plenty. But he can’t refuse a loyal friend’s plea for help and finds himself filling in as Santa at the local mall. Despite Nick’s attempt to stay aloof, the beautiful, anxious young man playing elf brings out his long-dormant daddy instincts.

When a surprise blizzard traps them alone in Nick’s isolated forest home, their attraction burns even brighter. Will they surrender to the sizzling connection between them and find the release and comfort they crave?

Santa Daddy is a holiday gay romance from Keira Andrews featuring an age gap, steamy m/m first times, daddy role-playing and light spanking, Christmas romance feels, and of course a happy ending.

 

Author Bio
After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and paranormal fiction and — although she loves delicious angst along the way — Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said:

“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Lone Wolf

Lone Wolf by Anna Martin: Review by Lost in a Book for @BMBR

Lone Wolf

Blurb:

Jackson Lewis isn’t a typical werewolf. He isolates himself in a small town outside Spokane and dedicates himself to making his business—Lone Wolf Brewery—a success. If it leaves him little time for romance, he’s okay with that. His soul mate could be out there somewhere, but he isn’t actively looking.

So he’s in for quite the shock when he literally bumps into his soul mate—Leo Gallagher, an adorable, nerdy, vibrant music therapist who’s Jackson’s polar opposite.

But he’s human. And a man.

Jackson is straight—or at least he’s always assumed so. Though he can’t deny his attraction to Leo, it’s a lot for both of them to deal with.

While Jackson and Leo figure out what their future might hold, they face prejudice from both the human and werewolf communities—including a group of fanatics willing to kill to show humans and werewolves don’t belong together.

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DNF

I tried… realllllllllly tried. I picked this book up many times over the span of a week and struggled page by page and couldn’t make a dent. This may be another it’s not you, it’s me but just know it was absolutely not my thing and here’s why…

It’s unlike any shifter book I’ve experienced which didn’t turn out to be a positive. I like unique reading experiences but this was so out of the typical realm of “soul mates” shifter style that I was scratching my head a lot. Right away STRAIGHT Jackson knows that Leo is his soul mate and Leo understands that there’s a connection between them. Does Jackson get all possessive? Growly? Protective? Ecstatic at finding his mate?

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Their meeting is cut short and what happens from here are a bunch of meetings at random places so they can take it slow and get to know each other. Huh? I like the getting to know you part of a book and they don’t have to jump on the orgasm train right away (or at all). But their meetings read like job interviews and not shifter soul mates. Each time is very awkward and I didn’t understand why being mates was part of this story if they weren’t going to act like it. *sigh*

Did you know Jackson is straight? Not Bi. Not Gay. Straighttttttttttt. He even states that he would be perfectly happy finding a woman to marry and “get on with his life” (EVEN KNOWING HE HAS A SOUL MATE). Because he’s straight. It’s worth mentioning because Jackson makes it clear repeatedly and in all the ways it can be stated. He probably used the Rosetta Stone to speak it in every language. #StraightAF

There’s a lot going on. It’s sort of like the kitchen sink was thrown in and the focus, chemistry, heat, and connection fell to the wayside. Maybe it picked up at the end? I wasn’t compelled to find out. Not recommended but as always, these thoughts are my own and YMMV.

Copy provided for honest review.

Crocus

Crocus (Bonfires #2) by Amy Lane: Review by Lost in a Book for @BMBR

Buddy listen with R.

Crocus (Bonfires, #2)

Blurb:

Saying “I love you” doesn’t guarantee peace or a happy ending.

High School Principal “Larx” Larkin was pretty sure he’d hit the jackpot when Deputy Sherriff Aaron George moved in with him, merging their two families as seamlessly as the chaos around them could possibly allow.

But when Larx’s pregnant daughter comes home unexpectedly and two of Larx’s students are put in danger, their tentative beginning comes crashing down around their ears.

Larx thought he was okay with the dangers of Aaron’s job, and Aaron thought he was okay with Larx’s daughter—who is not okay—but when their worst fears are almost realized, it puts their hearts and their lives to the test. Larx and Aaron have never wanted anything as badly as they want a life together. Will they be able to make it work when the world is working hard to keep them apart?

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3.25 Stars

“Saying ‘I love you’ doesn’t guarantee peace or a happy ending.”

That’s for damn sure when it comes to Crocus and all of the drammmmmmmmaaaaaaaa that took place.

Just a little house keeping before we get started- If you haven’t read the first book in the series, Bonfires I recommend that you do. This isn’t a standalone. At all. If it’s been more than a month since you’ve read the first book, I HIGHLY recommend you revisit your notes/review/etc… because this jumps right into Aaron and Larx’s chaotic life. So many names were dropping and I couldn’t pick them up right away. Thank goodness I had R along for the buddy reading ride and between my old review and her character maps, we were able to sort it out. I think.

As I mentioned, we jump right into the Aaron/Larx household. Everything is going pretty well considering they still have the pregnant daughter, blended family, dangerous job, and a safe haven for the lost and lonely kid thing going on.

As the blurb mentions, Larx has some students that find themselves in trouble and both Aaron and Larx play roles in trying to get them to safety. The troubled student story line has serious implications on Larx and Aaron’s safety, sanity, and sex life. One of my issues with the story is that there’s a TON going on. There were already lots of continuing characters with their own baggage and Crocus adds many more along with doubling the drama. On one hand, the MC relationship has very mild growing pains as they are an established couple living together. They are able to be steadfast with the comfort of being partners while each having their own moments to be vulnerable. On the other, their coupledom was so far from focus that I’m not sure what I would classify this as. They had some sexy moments slipped in but I wanted more of them as a couple and less when life gives you lemons type of angst.

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Have you ever read a book where the good characters are insanely good and the bad are really fucking bad? No room for gray?  That’s how Crocus read to me. The kids, Larx, and Aaron are PERFECT. Even in their worst moments, they’re so respectable, likable, and teaching life lessons like a boss- especially the kids. The bad characters are absolute assholes (which is probably not harsh enough). The other characters are very likable but a tad too perfect. I know there are loads of readers that will love this because reading is definitely an escape. Sometimes though, I want a tad bit of realness. If you’re gonna lose your shit, lose it epically. Pretty please, for me.

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Nick Russo did a decent job narrating but another edit for the audio would help. There are inconsistent character name pronunciations along with some character voice missteps that could use tightening up. My narration complaint about Aaron’s “voice” in book one seems to have been adjusted for this book or it’s the exact same and I’ve been desensitized by increased exposure. Either way, the voices were more enjoyable.

Let’s talk triggers. There should be trigger warnings for rape on a minor (not detailed on page but important to the story), homophobia, depression, abortion, racism.

If you adored the first, Crocus will probably read much the same for you. I’m in the minority with my rating, YMMV. It’s written well with likable MCs who get their HEA. This will be the end of the Larx and Aaron road for me but I’d read Kellan’s story.

Copy provided for honest review.

Forged Alliances Release Blitz

Forged Alliances by Katherine McIntyre out NOW!

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Buy Links:

Totally Bound      Goodreads      Amazon

Sierra and Dax’s alliance is already rocky. He’s a cocky wiseass, and she doesn’t put up with bullshit. So, when a mating bond appears between them, it threatens to send them both running.

Sierra Kanoska fought hard for her position as wolf alpha of the Red Rock pack, and intruders in her territory receive the full brunt of what her claws, fangs and smarts can accomplish. So, when Dax Williams, de facto alpha of the Silver Springs pack, pays an unwelcome visit, Sierra’s ready to toss him out. However, the pack elders sabotaged Dax’s fight for alpha against his brother, driving him from his lands. Sierra hates underhanded crap like that, so she agrees on an alliance.

As they work together, she witnesses an alpha who wants to do right by his pack, not just a cocky wiseass. Their growing attraction blazes hot, but the moment she and Dax lock lips, a mating bond emerges. Sierra sure as hell isn’t ready to share that intimate connection with a stranger and the thought of forever sends Dax running.

Before they can talk, the Tribe commanding the East Coast shifters arrives to settle the dispute. Dax and his brother’s punishment for their pack’s civil war is a free-for-all on their lands. Not only does he have to defeat his brother, but any challenger in the region. Despite Dax and Sierra’s initial resistance, his wily charm relaxes her control-freak tendencies while her steadfast support bolsters his strength. Yet every new opponent places their newfound relationship under siege—one misstep, one wrong blow in the ring, and Dax could leave in a bodybag.

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Excerpt:

Sierra was spoiling for a fight.

She slammed into the Beaver Tavern’s door shoulder first, amber light spilling on her, and the scent of tobacco threading through the air when she entered. Wooden planks creaked under her boots from her tread as she quick-stepped to the oaken bar on the opposite side. Three things lit her match without fail—abusive assholes, idiots who didn’t use their turn signals and unannounced shifters moving in on her territory.

Inside, her beast snapped at its confines, begging her to shift, to take to the woods and keep running, never turning back. Except leaving wasn’t an option, not since she’d become alpha of the Red Rock pack years ago. Sounds of the bar in full swing washed over her, from the shouts and laughs of the regulars to the clunks of heavy pint glasses hitting the tables.

“Sierra, what’s up your ass?” Jeremiah called over from a table as a lazy smile reached his hazel eyes. Her Red Rock pack filled the whole bar, since humans kept their distance from predominantly shifter areas, and in this part of Pennsylvania few would come strolling in.

She flipped him the middle finger. “Shut it, Streaky,” she called back, garnering a couple of laughs from the pack. After Jer had gotten caught buck-ass naked, stumbling out of at least three different tents at the last Fourth of July party, the nickname had stuck. Sierra beelined to where Raven operated the taps, dispensing dew to this loud and crazy lot. Sierra’s body brimmed with unspent tension. Fight, fight, fight pounded through her, an untamable urge, and her wolf prowled inside her, restless. As alpha, her rank heightened her tether to the beast, already one step away from primal.

“Shot of whiskey,” she growled, needing to regain control. Needing the reset before she engaged with her pack. Raven blinked at her, those deep-set eyes warm and welcoming as she reached for the bottle of Jack. Strands of the bartender’s thick black hair drifted over her shoulder as she passed the drink over.

“Boss, go for the whole thing,” she said with an amused smile. The bottle hit the counter with a thump, reminding Sierra of the massive inventory piling up in the back. The day she’d won the title of alpha, she’d also earned herself ownership of this dive.

“Thanks,” she muttered before unscrewing the cap and taking a swig. The amber liquid sloshed around the bottle, burning once the whiskey hit her lips. She soaked in the bliss, in the five-second distraction from the territorial urges pushing her toward an aggression-fueled pissing contest. Her skin prickled, hackles raised from her earlier run—from the note that had turned this day from sunshine-speckled to hellish.

She sucked down another swig, the burn of alcohol spreading through her before she returned the bottle to the counter. One deep breath, then two, and she started to feel normal again. The beast snarled but backed down. Sierra plopped onto one of the worn leather stools and leaned forward, elbows digging into the polished oak counter. Her tank top was glued to her chest and her thick obsidian locks plastered to her cheeks and her neck. The sweltering heat that swept the region wasn’t helping her mood in the slightest.

A hand snaked out in front of Sierra to tug the bottle away as the seat beside her creaked.

“Need to go a couple of rounds?” Finn asked, his dark eyes dancing with amusement at her barely contained rage. “Whatever’s got your wolf snapping is hitting the rest of us too. I’m assuming a summer squall’s brewing.” The beta of her pack dominated the stool, tall, with the lithe muscle of an MMA fighter—fitting, since he taught kickboxing classes six days a week. He’d been her sparring partner for years, and even as a teenager, the bastard had played dirty, sand in the eyes and all.

“Storm’s ready to touch down,” Sierra muttered, slumping onto the counter. When it came to her pack, she made calls without hesitation—every member from the eldest to the littles had complaints, problems to solve or disputes and fights she managed. However, this problem was in a whole different category. “We’ve got new neighbors, and they’re of the pain-in-my-ass variety.”

“Neighbors like us?” Finn asked, beckoning Raven. She sauntered over, eyebrow lifted at being summoned that way. He tilted his head toward the taps, and she rolled her eyes before pouring him a pint. Sierra withheld her smirk, entertained by watching big dominant guys like Finn getting sassed back. All those powerful wolves didn’t make dating easy though, especially being alpha. As much as the guys liked to talk the talk of handling a woman more dominant than them, few could walk the walk. She swallowed age-old bitterness of the lesson she’d learned the hard way.

Before she could respond to Finn, the door of the bar creaked open, drawing her attention.

She hadn’t even turned around before her wolf started yanking at the chain, begging to come out. The scent hit her nose at once, not the familiar one of her Red Rock pack, but this unfamiliar one that brushed her fur the wrong way. Claws pricked out from her nails before she could stop herself, and she wasn’t the only one. A low growl emerged beside her as Finn picked up the foreign scent.

“Mislabeled the sign,” a cocky voice called from the door. “Should read ‘Doggie Daycare’ with the number of pups packed into this place.” The man’s eyes twinkled at his less-than-funny joke, and an amused grin spread on his face. He walked in with a graceful stride, the liquidity of his movements betraying his kind, as if a cat could ever disguise its nature. Chairs squeaked as folks leaped up, teeth bared and claws out as her Red Rocks prepared to rush the intruder. A blonde chick and a long-limbed toothpick of a guy strode in behind him with similar refinement to their movements.

Sierra barely controlled herself as she forced her claws back into place. Out of everyone, she had to rein in her beast because she carried the responsibility of an entire pack on her shoulders. “You’d figure with so many pups under one roof, a kitty cat wouldn’t be stupid enough to wander in.”

“Oh, you know, curiosity and all that.” His white teeth gleamed against his tanned skin. “You folks give the warmest welcomes to newcomers.”

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Author Information:

Strong women. Strong words.

Katherine McIntyre is a feisty chick with a big attitude despite her short stature. She writes stories featuring snarky women, ragtag crews, and men with bad attitudes—high chance for a passionate speech thrown into the mix. As an eternal geek and tomboy who’s always stepped to her own beat, she’s made it her mission to write stories that represent the broad spectrum of people out there, from different cultures and races to all varieties of men and women. Easily distracted by cats and sugar.

Author Links:

Website      Goodreads      Facebook      Twitter      Facebook      Amazon      

September/October M/M Highlights

I’m baccccccckkk!! It was a hell of a few months but we made it and although I didn’t have a ton of reading time, I managed to knock a few back. I’m overwhelmed by the idea of trying to write back log reviews… so I’m not. Here are some of the M/M (I’ll be making another M/F post later) reads I (Lost in a Book) enjoyed during my moving craziness.

Glitterland (Glitterland, #1)

Glitterland by Alexis Hall

4.25 Stars

Format: Audio

Narrator: Nicholas Boulton

Thoughts:

This was a pleasant surprise. I’ve had Glitterland on my TBR for a while but not my “real” TBR. You know… the ever expanding list that I may one day get to. It was my lucky day when I saw this on audio and wasn’t annoyed by the narrator. Actually, Nicholas Boulton kicked ass with the narration and kept me hooked on Ash and Darian’s story. His voice… highly enjoyable.

This is one of those books I wanted to highlight like crazy but couldn’t audio. It says a lot that I went and purchased the Kindle version.

I love that the MCs weren’t magically fixed just because they were together, especially Ash. Their journey has a realistic portrayal that not all days are good days and some days are really bad… but by being together, they can enjoy the good days and not be alone during the bad and worse.

Trigger Warnings: Depression, Bi Polar, Mentions of suicide attempts

Definitely recommended.

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Love Lessons (Love Lessons, #1)

Love Lessons by Heidi Cullinan

4 Stars

Format: Audio

Narrator: Iggy Toma

Thoughts:

Sugarrrrrr. I think I got a cavity. Snarky Walter and Disney movie loving Kelly are adorable. The lead up to the first Kiss… so damn good. It’s lead ups like this one that prove the first kiss can be WAY hotter than many sex scenes I’ve read.

There’s not much relational drama once they get past the initial hurtles and the characters have some issues to rally around that keep the plot moving.

The narration by Iggy Toma was enjoyable. His “voice” for Walter fit the snark that was always present.

Recommended.

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The Mating of Michael (Sex in Seattle, #3)

The Mating of Michael by Eli Easton

4 Stars

Format: Audio

Narrator: Michael Stellman

Thoughts:

Wow, I love Easton. The Mating of Michael has a much different feel than all the other books I’ve read from her. James and Michael are insanely sweet together even if James can be super moody. James has serious issues to overcome and although Michael doesn’t fix him, he shows him that there’s more to life than his limitations. He shows him that he matters, he is desirable, and lovable. They have a sweet HEA with some relational angst.

The narrator does a good job of bringing Michael to life. I appreciated his “voice” that gave the feel of sweet, patient, and understanding.

Recommended.

Band Sinister

Band Sinister by K.J. Charles: Review by Lost in a Book for @BMBR

Group read with fellow Unicorns, Adam and Chelsea

Band Sinister

Blurb:
Sir Philip Rookwood is the disgrace of the county. He’s a rake and an atheist, and the rumours about his hellfire club, the Murder, can only be spoken in whispers. (Orgies. It’s orgies.)
Guy Frisby and his sister Amanda live in rural seclusion after a family scandal. But when Amanda breaks her leg in a riding accident, she’s forced to recuperate at Rookwood Hall, where Sir Philip is hosting the Murder.
Guy rushes to protect her, but the Murder aren’t what he expects. They’re educated, fascinating people, and the notorious Sir Philip turns out to be charming, kind—and dangerously attractive.
In this private space where anything goes, the longings Guy has stifled all his life are impossible to resist…and so is Philip. But all too soon the rural rumour mill threatens both Guy and Amanda. The innocent country gentleman has lost his heart to the bastard baronet—but does he dare lose his reputation too?

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4ish Stars

Whoa! Anyone else have to reread the title page on this one just to make sure it was a KJC book? No murder? No angsty relational and/or time period peril? This is insanely lighthearted compared to her previous writes. It’s practically fit for teenage consumption if you throw a chasity belt on it. (Is that still a thing?) I couldn’t help comparing the feel of Band Sinister to her others and I think the Grinch KJ Charles’ heart has increased in size.

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Ok, so I’m a huge fan of KJC whether we are chasing antacids with alcohol just to get through the angst/death or this spoon full of sugar featuring Sir Phillip Rookwood and Guy Frisby. The blurb does a great job setting the stage for this story so let’s get this party started.

Rookwood and Frisby dislike each other greatly. It’s more of a my family has had awful interactions with yours and your family has ruined my family type dislike and not really between the two men. Unfortunately during that time period, past family shame is enough to cloud the rest of the generations. Much to Rookwood’s dismay, Frisby’s sister (Amanda) is injured on his property and will be recovering there for at least a fortnight. Guy is devastated about his sister’s injury and beside himself with the idea of staying in the same location as the Murder. Well, he is until the men of the house begin to seem actually human; kind, compassionate, sociable, and spirited.

Frisby becomes aware of Sir Phillip’s preferences and that sets off a sexual awakening long suppressed. Phillip is like a blood hound and is on the trail as soon as Frisby begins to question what he desires. The men get to know each other as Amanda heals and Phillip volunteers to teach Guy in all things pleasure.

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There’s some heat along the way with the MCs and the added spice of the other men in the house having the propensity to share. Throw in some family drama, town drama, a very lively Amanda, KJC’s trademark humor laced with snark, a HEA, and Band Sinister is an entertaining, low angst read. I have to mention that Amanda is a kick ass female character and I highly enjoyed when she was on page.

It took a bit of a time getting in the groove. Due to the slow start, I liked the second half more than the first. It was another enjoyable read by one of my favorite authors. I think I prefer the Tums and alcohol compared to the low angst sweetness but I can’t wait to read Corvin’s story and see him brought to his knees. I’ll definitely continue on if this is a series. Recommended.

Copy provided for honest review.

 

What If It’s Us

What If It’s Us by by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera: Review by Lost in a Book

What If It's Us

Blurb:

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

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3.5 Stars 

The ending…

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and…

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I don’t even know what the hell kind of ending that was. So warning, it’s not a HFN/HEA. I can’t explain much more than that without giving spoilers. Just know I am pissed and sad and maybe everything in between. (#Dramatic) Where TF was my warning about it not having a HFN/HEA? I don’t think every story has to have one BUT I don’t want to read the ones that don’t. *sigh* Sorry, I’m still emotionally ragey AF.

Anyway, Arthur is a 16 year old student “interning” at his mother’s law firm in New York City. He has a happenstance encounter with a cute boy while out running errands but unfortunately, they get separated before details are exchanged. What follows is a series of events using social media and missed connections as two teenagers humorously follow signs from the universe in hopes that they will be reconnected.

I love Arthur and Ben. They’re so completely different and really develop this amazing connection. Arthur is like this excited little puppy who is super extra all the time. Ben always says that Arthur has zero chill and that’s correct. His excitement is contagious and he naturally brings out the best in people while also drawing everyone together. Ben’s a bit more rough around the edges and while he usually has the best of intentions, his execution leaves much to be desired. They don’t have much time but the young love consumes them.

“It’s weird, because even I know that two weeks are nothing. So why do two weeks with Ben feel so earth-shattering?”

There were a few things I really liked about What If It’s Us:
~The anticipation- The path to reuniting had me on the edge of my seat. I was so ready for an epic moment. (Even if the moment didn’t live up to my imagination the build up definitely worked for me).
~NERDS!!!!!- The nerdiness is on a whole new level and I loved every bit. I may have added 1/2 star for all the HP references. *shrugs*
~The support system- I adored the friends surrounding the MCs. They are supportive, loving, funny, and real. Dylan. Oh Dylan, he made me giggle.
“Right. Okay. If you’re not going to speak from the dick, I think you should speak from the heart. That seems like the next logical step.”
~The parents. *dreamy sigh* Both sets of parents are amazeballs and love/support their kids as parents should.

If you’re looking for a spiced up Y/A (is that a thing?) then this isn’t for you. Everything takes place off page besides kissing. There are some jokes but nothing explicit between the main characters is written. This worked well with the story and the maturity (and age) of Arthur and Ben. The focus is more about building their connection.

Was it perfect? nope. The first half seemed a little draggy to me at times. It got to the point that I was skimming instead of reading because things were taking forever. There were some story lines that seemed random IMO.  I could *maybe* see they were added as another way to show that it’s important to accept someone as they are? Did I mention the ending?  I’m also still peeved about that. Reallllly f’n peeved.

The writers are very talented and I was invested. I loved the characters but I can’t move past where they left off. Especially when it’s unknown if a sequel will follow.

sad.gifI don’t know if I’d recommend this. Maybe yes? Because Arthur and Ben are great. Maybe no, if you’re the type of reader that needs closure. YMMV. If I pretend the ending had a HEA, I could give it 4 stars.

”But Arthur? I barely know him. I guess that’s any relationship. You start with nothing and maybe end with everything.”