How to Run with the Wolves

How to Run With the Wolves by Eli Easton: Review by Lost in a Book

How to Run with the Wolves (Howl at the Moon #5)

Blurb:

Zeus loves his job on the new Mad Creek Search & Rescue team, and his inner Saint Bernard is finally being used to his full potential. When he sees a mysterious and wild-looking quickened—a dog shifter—at an earthquake site in Alaska, Zeus is compelled to investigate. Zeus falls hard for the primal beauty of Timo and of Alaska itself. Both call to his deep canine soul. But the Quimmiq pack’s laws are as harsh as the Alaskan winters, and Timo is out of his reach.

Timo’s pack of dog shifters left their Inuit village generations ago and have lived wild ever since. Not trusting the “one-skinned,” and with their numbers dwindling, the Quimmiq are on the verge of extinction. Timo is shocked to discover a whole group of “two-skinned” working as a rescue team, and he is particularly fascinated by Zeus, a gentle giant. He senses what Zeus feels for him… but it’s forbidden.

Can Mad Creek save this lost quickened clan? Perhaps—if they can learn how to run with the wolves.

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4ish Stars

I’ve gotta say that I adored being back in Mad Creek for some friendly dog shifter living. All the old favorites make their appearances while the “main” romance is between Zeus and Timo.

Zeus is a Mad Creek native that moved for a bit and then found his way back… except that it’s too crowded. Luckily he gets on the search and rescue team for Mad Creek and ships out when needed to find trapped people or animals. Zeus finds himself in Alaska after an earthquake to help find missing people and this is where he meets Timo. The majority of this story plays out in Alaska while Timo and Zeus become friends and eventually something more. Zeus is at peace in Alaska with the openness and Timo wants to keep him in his pack- not only because he wants something that’s his but he hopes that Zeus has answers that will help his pack survive.

The relationship between Zeus and Timo isn’t front and center. They have a slowwwwwwwwwww realization about what pulls them together but become closer by the end for a HEA. The main focus of the story is about Alaska and Timo’s pack, the Quimmig and not the romance and relationship building. Easton makes note that there will be a spin-off series with the characters introduced as part of the Quimmig pack.

How to Run With the Wolves ends more abruptly than I like and I absolutely wanted more of them together at the end because it took *so* flippin’ long for Zeus and Timo’s epiphany to actually happen.

I love Mad Creek and all the people in it. I also like the idea of an Alaska spin-off and will definitely continue on the Easton Shifter Train. Recommended.

Copy provided for honest review.

Family Camp

Family Camp (Daddy Dearest #1) by Eli Easton: Review by Lost in a Book

Family Camp (Daddy Dearest, #1)

Blurb:

When Geo signs up for Family Camp, he envisions nature hikes, s’mores, and a chance to win over his recalcitrant new foster kids, Jayden and Lucy. He’s tried to become a dad for so long, and he hopes the three of them can be the family he’s always wanted. What he doesn’t anticipate is the prickly and gorgeous camp counselor who constantly comes to his rescue.

Travis spends a week every year at Camp Evermore, the camp his adoptive parents own. As a pro baseball player, his presence guarantees a full campground and excited campers. He has one rule: never, ever mess around with anyone at camp. His profession demands he stay in the closet. But one sweet and funny new dad is about to test all his resolve.

Sparks fly for Geo and Travis, and not because of the nightly campfire. Having been a foster kid himself, Travis is drawn to Geo’s sincerity and big heart and to his kids. The four of them just fit. But will this be a summer romance? Or can they find a way to be a family long after Family Camp is over?

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4 Stars

Where can I sign up for Family Camp? The premise sounds fun, the activities are right up my alley, and the scenery seems top notch with the hot AF professional baseball player… nature.

Geo signs up for camp to spend more time with his new foster kids, Jayden and Lucy and everything seems to be going wrong. The kids aren’t bonding how Geo dreamed they would and his car runs out of gas on the way to camp. He’s saved by a tall drink of water (Travis) that has the ability to be as warm as hot chocolate or as cold as ice.

Travis is on his way to his family’s camp and stops to help Geo out with a tank of gas. Travis connects with the kids right away and of course, it helps that he has an adorable dog. He’s a professional baseball player that looks forward to camp week every year and this year has the added frustration/bonus (depending on the minute) of Geo and his adorable kids.

Travis and Geo hit it off right away with a flirtatious vibe until Travis ices Geo. Once they get to camp, feelings move pretty quickly. It wasn’t insta-love but there were heart eyes and some china patterns being picked out in their head.

”Only Geo wasn’t sure it wasn’t already too late, that Travis hadn’t already claimed a piece of his bleeding heart.”

That’s after three days but I just shrugged it off because for once, I wasn’t annoyed by the not insta-love but insta-clinger scenario. It’s maybe a *tad* too sugary sweet but I like Travis and Geo together and they didn’t drive me up the wall with OTT-cheesiness. They have some chemistry and heat but there isn’t a sexfest at a *family* camp. Their hearts are in the right place and Travis sees Jayden and Lucy as the treasures they are. Travis and Geo have an itty bitty misunderstanding but after that it’s smooth sailing during camp week if you don’t count the being firmly locked in the closet bit.

Jayden and Lucy add depth to the story as they are foster kids with heartbreaking backgrounds. They give Geo a run for his money but we get to see the walls come down and the relationships built between Travis, Geo, and the kids left me all gooey inside.

Family Camp is a super sweet, low angst read where men come together, families bond, and new families are created with love, humor, and acceptance. It’s packed with feels that leave you warm and fuzzy. Recommended.

Copy provided for honest review.

Falling Down

Falling Down by Eli Easton: Review by Lost in a Book

Falling Down

Blurb:

Josh finds himself homeless at eighteen, but he has a plan. He’ll head north on the bus to New England and spend October there for his mother’s sake. She always talked about going to see the fall leaves someday. And when the leaves are done and the harsh winter comes, Josh plans to find a place to curl up and let go. It will be a relief to finally stop fighting.

Mark spent his life trying to live up to the tough swagger of his older brothers until he pushed himself so far against his nature that he cracked. Now a former Marine, he rents a little cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where he can lick his wounds and figure out what to do with the rest of his life. One thing was clear: Mark was nobody’s hero.

Fate intervenes when Josh sets up camp under a covered bridge near Mark’s cabin. Mark recognizes the dead look in the young stranger’s eyes, and he feels compelled to do something about it. When Mark offers Josh a job, he never expects that he’ll be the one to fall.

The snow is coming soon. Can Mark convince Josh that the two of them can build a life together before the flurries begin?

Trigger Warning: Suicidal thoughts

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3 Stars

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Mark- 24yo, in the closet, former Vet, lives in a New Hampshire cabin for many reasons including trauma witnessed in Afghanistan, lives away from family that do not know he’s gay, and a handyman working odd jobs in a new city.

Josh- 18yo, homeless, ran away from his stepdad after he found out he was gay, mother’s passing and being homeless sent him spiraling into severe depression which led to suicidal thoughts and planning of his own passing.

Josh has the perfect place in mind to end it all, to peacefully slip away into a blanket of snow in New Hampshire. He finds the idyllic bridge and pond that he day dreamed about with his mother and makes his way there. Mark finds him sleeping under this bridge and coaxes Josh to eat and help him paint a large house while he’s in town. Josh reluctantly agrees but he has time since the leaves haven’t fully turned colors and there’s no snow to help him follow through with his plan… yet.

Josh seemingly comes back to life as he brings the old Victorian house back to life with each stoke of the paint brush (or sprayer). Mark offers Josh a place to stay while he’s working on the house. Both men grow closer each day and become intimate while in close quarters as they claw their way to an HEA with many bumps along the road.

I liked Mark and Josh… I think? Mark more than Josh. I didn’t fully believe their chemistry when they first get together. To me, it seems more like convenience and Josh finally being fed, warm, and well rested that led to these supposedly intense feelings. The lead up to the *big moment* and the actual event seems to be just a means to an end.

Josh needs help and although this isn’t the case of magic peen to the rescue, I wish Josh got a little more help than a “couple/few months.” I mean, he was suicidal, came up with a plan, started executing his plan… *shrug*

I listened to the audio for Falling Down and Michael Stellman did a pretty good job conveying Josh’s voice. The other voices were hard to distinguish at times. There were also random noises throughout like something clanking on the recording desk or movement in the studio. The first I noticed began in chapter four and then here and there throughout. The transitions between the end of the chapter and then saying the next chapter (ex. Chapter 6) is way too fast with zero breath making it seem like a run on sentence. On the opposite end, the transitions between POV in the same chapter were way too long and interrupted flow.

I adored Ms. Fisher because everyone needs a fully accepting grandmotherly figure in their lives and she fit the bill. I liked this story but it surely wasn’t love. Trigger Warning for suicidal thoughts. Recommended to fans of Eli Easton.

Copy provided for honest review.

 

Family Camp Blitz & #Giveaway by Eli Easton Out Now!

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited. 
 
Length: 219 pages
 
Cover Design: Reese Dante
 
Blurb
 

When Geo signs up for Family Camp, he envisions nature hikes, s’mores, and a chance to win over his recalcitrant new foster kids, Jayden and Lucy. He’s tried to become a dad for so long, and he hopes the three of them can be the family he’s always wanted. What he doesn’t anticipate is the prickly and gorgeous camp counselor who constantly comes to his rescue.

Travis spends a week every year at Camp Evermore, the camp his adoptive parents own. As a pro baseball player, his presence guarantees a full campground and excited campers. He has one rule: never, ever mess around with anyone at camp. His profession demands he stay in the closet. But one sweet and funny new dad is about to test all his resolve.

Sparks fly for Geo and Travis, and not because of the nightly campfire. Having been a foster kid himself, Travis is drawn to Geo’s sincerity and big heart and to his kids. The four of them just fit. But will this be a summer romance? Or can they find a way to be a family long after Family Camp is over?

About the Daddy Dearest series

The Daddy Dearest series will consist of stand-alone contemporary novels focusing on single gay dads who find hot romance. Expect laughs, sweet and sexy slow-burn romance, and lots of family feels!



Excerpt
Sixth inning. Geo was ready for the game to be over. It was fucking hot on the ball field, all open and exposed, the sun baking down. And he was also not sure how much more Travis-watching he could take—him with his silky burgundy gym shorts and a sweaty Camp Evermore green shirt stretched over those muscles. His long legs were tanned and well-defined from hours at the gym.

Those thighs could fucking crack walnuts. Dude.

Damn, but that was one fine-looking man. Geo knew he should lay off, though. Travis had made himself clear.

Only he hadn’t. At all. One minute, Travis seemed into him him. He sought out Geo’s company, like the way he kept coming by the cabin at night. And the next minute, he’d put distance between them, ignoring Geo or closing himself off behind a granite-like expression and those eye-hiding shades. And Travis had laid a clear line in the sand. Not at camp. Not gonna happen.

Yup. That was fine. Sure, Geo hadn’t been mutually attracted to a guy that hot in ages. Or ever, really. But Geo hadn’t come to camp to fool around. He had other priorities.

It did make him wonder though. Bridget had said Travis wasn’t out. A quick Google search last night had confirmed that. In fact, Geo had been shocked to discover there’d never been an out baseball player in the major leagues. Like, in the history of American baseball. Which was tragic. No wonder Travis was in the closet. It had to suck monkey balls living like that. Especially with all the women who threw themselves at him constantly. There were a dozen women on the sidelines right now that looked ready to have his babies. That had to be weird for a gay guy. Didn’t it?

Geo himself was always super uncomfortable when women came on to him. He felt compelled to blurt out “I’m gay!” in the first five minutes. It was just too weird otherwise.

Then again, Travis’s love life was none of Geo’s business. Maybe the guy was bisexual. Maybe he liked dating women just fine.

Jayden came up to bat. Geo focused on his son, clapping hard. “Come on, Jayden! You’ve got this!”

Jayden took a wide stance beside the plate, both hands gripping the bat, choked up a little. Travis had spent a few minutes with Jayden at the start of the game, showing him how to stand, and Jayden copied him exactly. The kid was a great mimic. He’d been nervous at first, tense and defensive. But by now he just looked focused. He stared, narrow-eyed, at Frank as Frank pitched an easy ball.

Geo loved that about this game, that everyone tried to give the kids easy wins, and no one took the competition seriously.

Jayden hit the ball hard. It flew through the air a short ways then plonked to the ground and skipped along fast. It was heading right down the center line, though a bit more towards third base and Travis’s side of the field.

“Go Jayden! Go!” Geo shouted. He went after the ball. In his peripheral vision, he saw Jayden round first base and keep running.

Travis was going after the ball too, dodging low. He scooped it up. He was going to throw it to third base, keep Jayden back on second. Geo couldn’t let that happen.

He dove in front of Travis, crowding him, holding an arm out to block Travis from throwing the ball.

Travis snorted, bemused. “What are you doing? You’re on my team.” He backed up, trying to get away from Geo.

“Blood before bros, man,” Geo said with fake seriousness. He kept up with Travis, step for step, grabbing Travis’s right arm in a firm grip so he couldn’t raise the ball.

“Stop it!” Travis laughed. “Dork. That’s not legal.”

“Don’t care.”

They took three steps back, like they were dancing. Geo held Travis’s right arm, staring him down. Travis met his gaze, a goofy smile on his lips. Back and back they stumbled. Suddenly, Travis got a sparkle in his eyes. He wrapped his left arm around Geo’s waist and picked him up, swinging him around so he ended up behind Travis.

Geo was still finding his feet as Travis drew back his arm and sent the ball sailing.

Right to home plate. But Jayden got there first. Umpire Cindy made the motion with her hands, safe.

Geo laughed and raised his arms in triumph. “Yeah, baby! Great job, Jayden! Home run, whoo!”

Then he realized everyone was staring at them. On the sidelines, there were a dozen cameras raised, filming.

Oh. Er. Hmm. Geo wiped his face, feeling sheepish.

That’s when a piercing scream rent the air.

About Eli

Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, and organic farmer, Eli has been a m/m romance author since 2013. She has over 30 books published.

Eli has loved romance since her teens and she particular admires writers who can combine literary merit, genuine humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, bulldogs, cows, a cat, and lots of groundhogs.

In romance, Eli is best known for her Christmas stories because she’s a total Christmas sap. These include “Blame it on the Mistletoe”, “Unwrapping Hank” and “Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles”. Her “Howl at the Moon” series of paranormal romances featuring the town of Mad Creek and its dog shifters has been popular with readers. And her series of Amish-themed romances, Men of Lancaster County, has won genre awards.

Her website is www.elieaston.com

You can email her at eli@elieaston.com



a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Unwrapping Hank

Unwrapping Hank by Eli Easton: Review by Lost in a Book

Unwrapping Hank (Unwrapping Hank, #1)

Blurb:

Sloane loves a good mystery. He grew up as the son of two psychiatrists, so he finds most people tediously easy to figure out. He finds his way to Pennsylvania State University, longing for a rural experience, and ends up being lured into joining a frat by Micah Springfield, the hippest guy on campus.

Nothing in Sloane’s classes is as intriguing as Hank Springfield, Micah’s brother and fellow frat house member. Hank looks like a tough guy—big muscles, tatts, and a beard—but his eyes are soft and sweet. He acts dumb, but he’s a philosophy major. He’s presumably straight, but then why does Sloane feel such crazy chemistry whenever Hank is around? And why does Hank hate Sloane so much?

When Sloane ends up stuck on campus over Christmas, Micah invites him to spend the holidays at their family farm in Amish country. It’s a chance to experience a true Americana Christmas–and further investigate the mystery that is Hank Springfield. Can Sloane unlock the secrets of this family and unwrap the heart hidden inside the beefcake?

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4.5 Stars

I read a holiday book and LIKED it. No, I REALLY liked it. I don’t usually get along with holiday reads and avoid them like the plague. So thank you Eli for making my grinch heart grow a bit this year (even though this came out yearssss ago).

Oh Sloane. 😍 He’s sweet, sophisticated, well traveled, and practically grew up with a PhD in psychiatry due to his parents both having one and analyzing him on the regular. The best thing is that he isn’t pretentious about his background and he’s also not afraid to be himself and act his age. He’s attending college in Pennsylvania and joins a frat where he meets Micah and his mysterious brother, Hank. Micah loves solving mysteries and Hank, with his standoffish mercurial behavior became number one on his list.

Hank is Micah’s brother and where Micah’s a hipster, Hank is macho, tattooed, and hides his intelligence behind a dude-bro persona. Hank is crotchety where Sloane is easy going. Hank tries to avoid Sloane until he’s stuck with him at his family’s house over Christmas.

The Christmas holiday gives Sloane the perfect opportunity to fully *ahem* unwrap the mystery that is Hank Springfield.

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Hank and Sloane are fabuuuuuulous and highly entertaining together. They have a snarky front that is practically foreplay even if they don’t realize it. The relationship development isn’t rushed and we get to feel all warm and fuzzy at the perfect pace as they find a way to HEA-ville. You know what else? The Christmas element was tastefully done throughout to where I didn’t feel like I was rode hard and hung up wet by Santa, the elves, and reindeers. I wish there were more pages though because I’m greedy. What’s going to happen with Micah? Does he already have a story and I just don’t know about it? I could have read another hundred pages about Sloane and Hank. *dreamy sigh*

This was such a comfort read that I may have to revisit yearly to get my dose of Christmas cheer. It provides the feel of sitting by the fire with hot chocolate, cozy blankets, and hot ass smexy times (though refreshingly, it isn’t a gratuitous sex-fest). Definitely recommended.

P.S. I forgot to mention I listened to the audio. Tristan Wright is the narrator and he did a great job bringing these personalities to life.

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.

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.

Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride

Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride by Eli Easton: Review by Lost in a Book

Synopsis: 

Being a fugitive in the old west shouldn’t be this much fun.

The year is 1860. Robby Riverton is a rising star on the New York stage. But he witnesses a murder by a famous crime boss and is forced to go on the run–all the way to Santa Fe. When he still hasn’t ditched his pursuers, he disguises himself as a mail order bride he meets on the wagon train. Caught between gangsters that want to kill him, and the crazy, uncouth family of his “intended”, Robby’s only ally is a lazy sheriff who sees exactly who Robby is — and can’t resist him.

Trace Crabtree took the job as sheriff of Flat Bottom because there was never a thing going on. And then Robby Riverton showed up. Disguised as a woman. And betrothed to Trace’s brother. If that wasn’t complication enough, Trace had to find the man as appealing as blueberry pie. He urges Robby to stay undercover until the danger has passed. But a few weeks of having Robby-Rowena at the ranch, and the Crabtree family will never be the same again.

Damn, what a kerfuffle. If only Trace can get rid of the fugitive while hanging on to his own stupid heart.

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4.25 Stars

Wow!! This book took me by surprise. I mean, it’s Easton so I knew I would enjoy it, but that cheeky cover (which I love) and blurb had me expecting something completely different than the depth that’s provided in Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride. This story is packed with feels, has extremely endearing characters, with loads of sweetness, sassiness, love, and humor. While much of the plot is known, I’m not going in-depth because there are things that deserve self-discovery as you read and fall in love with Robby, Trace, and the rest of the Crabtree clan.

Robby is an actor in New York that has the unfortunate luck of witnessing a murder at the hands of a crime boss. He hops on the earliest wagon caravan heading to Santa Fe in hopes of ditching killers that want to take care of the last witness. Robby’s bad luck continues and the men follow the caravan all the way to Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has just enough time to throw on a dress, bonnet, gloves, and acquire the sweet accent of new and improved, Miss Rowena Fairchild.

Trace Crabtree is the sheriff of Flat Bottom and makes his monthly trip to Santa Fe for some supplies and a quick tumble with the local barber to meet his physical needs. Poor Trace isn’t able to get off  because he has to save Rowena from getting manhandled by the gangsters. One thing leads to another and Rowena is on her way to meet her betrothed and his family all while Trace is aware that she is actually a he and supposed to marry his brother.

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Very soon after Rowena meets the Crabtree family, Trace shows up and wants answers on why Robby is hiding. They decide to keep Rowena’s cover until the danger passes. Rowena’s not a shrinking violet and digs into the family dynamics immediately. She has perfected the art of challenging the status quo without fully ruffling feathers. The family bring her *mostly* into the fold right away and come to depend on her. It’s amazing how I started off thinking one way about the family and slowly but surely falling for the gruff Crabtrees and the way Pa-Pa is handled with care while being pushed to change. I fell in love with each member of the family and the insane feels that came with them.

Speaking of love, the romance between Trace and Robby is swoon-worthy. They have heat but it isn’t just about sex. There’s a connection forged through stolen moments. They talk, laugh, and enjoy just being together. Trace and Robby are complete opposites that complement each other perfectly with Robby’s fierce personality to Trace’s gentle badassness. It’s always refreshing when both MCs are able stand strong separately yet become indestructible together.

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This is set out in the Wild West but it didn’t overshadow the story. There is crime, shootouts, sheriffs, etc., yet the setting enhanced a story being told about love, family and acceptance. The start was a tad bit slow for me but picked up around 25ish%. Trace and Robby get their HEA with a glorious epilogue. *dreamy sigh* I really enjoyed this romance and want to be adopted into the Crabtree family. Definitely recommended.

Copy provided for honest review.

Release Blitz & Giveaway: Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride

 
Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Design
 
Length: 65,000 words approx.
 
Blurb
 

Being a fugitive in the old west shouldn’t be this much fun.

The year is 1860. Robby Riverton is a rising star on the New York stage. But he witnesses a murder by a famous crime boss and is forced to go on the run–all the way to Santa Fe. When he still hasn’t ditched his pursuers, he disguises himself as a mail order bride he meets on the wagon train. Caught between gangsters that want to kill him, and the crazy, uncouth family of his “intended”, Robby’s only ally is a lazy sheriff who sees exactly who Robby is — and can’t resist him.

Trace Crabtree took the job as sheriff of Flat Bottom because there was never a thing going on. And then Robby Riverton showed up. Disguised as a woman. And betrothed to Trace’s brother. If that wasn’t complication enough, Trace had to find the man as appealing as blueberry pie. He urges Robby to stay undercover until the danger has passed. But a few weeks of having Robby-Rowena at the ranch, and the Crabtree family will never be the same again.

 

About Eli
Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, and organic farmer, Eli has been a m/m romance author since 2013. She has over 30 books published.

Eli has loved romance since her teens and she particular admires writers who can combine literary merit, genuine humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, bulldogs, cows, a cat, and lots of groundhogs.

In romance, Eli is best known for her Christmas stories because she’s a total Christmas sap. These include “Blame it on the Mistletoe”, “Unwrapping Hank” and “Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles”. Her “Howl at the Moon” series of paranormal romances featuring the town of Mad Creek and its dog shifters has been popular with readers. And her series of Amish-themed romances, Men of Lancaster County, has won genre awards.

In 2018 Eli hopes to do more of the same, assuming they reschedule the apocalypse.

Her website is www.elieaston.com

You can email her at eli@elieaston.com

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Desperately Seeking Santa

Reviewed for @BMBR

3.5 Stars

Want a feel good, low drama holiday read? This fits the bill with its fluffy, low angst, and likable characters. I liked it, but it didn’t blow my elf socks off like Easton typically does. While many readers may want a feel good, easy peasy holiday romance, I’m all gimme my angst, kindle combusting steam and then seal it with sweetness. *shrug*

Gabe Martin, college senior and aspiring journalist has been assigned to cover the annual Elks Christmas Charity dinner that benefits St. Mark’s Children’s Home. After some research, Gabe decides to turn his story from puff piece to an investigative article on revealing the Santa that has a hidden identity yet brings much joy to the children at this dinner.

Now, I sure do hope you have read Superhero by Easton because it’s awesome and we’re treated to Owen and Jordan being secondary characters in this story. Jordan invites Gabe to Owen’s wrestling match and he begrudgingly accepts. Apparently the idea of skin tight singlets on fit wrestlers wasn’t that appealing… until he sees Mack “The Mountain” McDonall.

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Mack is a 285lb wrestler that’s straight muscle and stirs up an urgent need to learn all about “mountain climbing.” Gotta watch out for that high altitude and proper hand holds/placement. Maybe throw a carabiner in, too. *bites fist*

“That’s not a man, that’s a zip code.”

Yassssss… tell me more.

I was giddy with anticipation for Mack and his ability to pick up huge men off the ground. I was already dreaming about the *ahem* possibilities of someone that big and strong connecting with another man. Except, Mack wasn’t his wrestling persona. Don’t worry, I dig gentle giants too. He was shy, quiet, reserved, smart, and kept his head down to get through school and move on to the next stage. He wasn’t dealt the best hand at life but he is doing his part to make a difference.

Gabe and Mack are officially introduced when Jordan attempts to set them up. It’s all going swell until Mack retreats at Gabe’s mention of investigating Santa’s identity and using it for his article. The night ends quickly but it doesn’t stop Gabe from tracking Mack down. They form a tentative friendship and it slowwwwwly progresses. It grows as much as it can when both men are still tentative and hesitant to take it further. Much of the story shows their developing friendship with some real UST thrown in. An actual relationship doesn’t happen until the last 20% of the book which brought out my *disappointed face*. Gabe and Mack were opposites but likable characters and while I appreciated the foundation they built leading up to that moment when it all changes, I wanted more. More relational connection. More assertive in their wants. More of them together as they transitioned to boyfriends. And yes, I’ll say it, more heat.

One little oddity for me was the integration of Spanish. I’ll warn you that I took Spanish in high school for a few years and only came away with saying “No, I don’t have gum in my mouth” and “can I go to the bathroom.” Clearly, I’m not the expert on it and definitely wasn’t a model student either. However, Gabe embraced his Spanish side but stated that he wasn’t a proficient speaker due to his father not allowing it. Yet, there were many times throughout where Spanish words were thrown in. I have seen this in a few other books but it didn’t seem as forced as it did in this one. Mi Mama, dios, joder, etc., were all thrown in randomly and pulled me out each time. Again, not an expert on language integration and I look forward to some of my fellow reader’s thoughts on the authentic-ness of the placements.

All in all, this was a sugary sweet, low angst, holiday read with a HEA. If that’s what you’re looking for, I’d recommend it.

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

Copy provided for honest review.