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.

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.

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.”

 

Noah Can’t Even

Noah Can’t Even by Simon James Green: Review by Lost in a Book

Noah Can't Even (Noah Can't Even, #1)

Blurb:

Poor Noah Grimes! His father disappeared years ago, his mother’s Beyonce tribute act is an unacceptable embarrassment, and his beloved gran is no longer herself. He only has one friend, Harry, and school is…Well, it’s pure HELL. Why can’t Noah be normal, like everyone else at school? Maybe if he struck up a romantic relationship with someone – maybe Sophie, who is perfect and lovely – he’d be seen in a different light? But Noah’s plans are derailed when Harry kisses him at a party. That’s when things go from bad to utter chaos.

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2.5 Stars

*sigh*

It’s me…

*cranky face*

I went into Noah Can’t Even with the preconceived notion that it would be a coming of age read with sexual discovery, lots of humor, sweet and steady relationship progression, and with touching moments interspersed throughout. See? My fault for having so many assumptions

What we actually get is Noah being a nerdy high schooler that thinks there are certain things he can do that would make him a tiny bit more popular and wash away the embarrassment that his parents’ actions have caused (Totally fine). He has one person in his corner, Harry, his best friend (Still working for me). Noah is also insanely dramatic and chaos follows in his wake.

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As the blurb mentions, Harry kisses him at a party but that takes for-freaking-ever. This isn’t really a coming of age romance. It’s more about Noah navigating high school and being a 15 year old that’s clueless about life, his family, and his sexuality. Most of the story is about Noah navigating a shitstorm of events that just. won’t. quit.

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Was it funny? Sure, there were funny parts. But it was also stressful. The bullying, the parents, Noah, etc., all became OTT. There weren’t enough funny parts to counteract the never ending drama that was Noah’s life, IMO.

I didn’t give up though. I was still rooting for Noah. I wanted to see something lighthearted and positive come out of it for Harry and Noah. They get their HFN (I think?) but of course it doesn’t come with total bliss. There’s a life circumstance cliffhanger for Noah that…

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Whatever. It wasn’t my cuppa but YMMV.

Salt Magic, Skin Magic

Salt Magic, Skin Magic by Lee Welch: Review by Lost in a Book

Salt Magic, Skin Magic

Blurb:

Lord Thornby has been trapped on his father’s isolated Yorkshire estate for a year. There are no bars or chains; he simply can’t leave. His sanity is starting to fray. When industrial magician John Blake arrives to investigate a case of witchcraft, he finds the peculiar, arrogant Thornby as alarming as he is attractive. John soon finds himself caught up in a dark fairytale, where all the rules of magic—and love—are changed.

To set Thornby free, both men must face life-changing truths—and John must accept that the brave, witty man who’s winning his heart may also be about to break it. Can they escape a web of magic that’s as perilous as love?

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4.25 Stars

Well, Well, Well. This is a captivating (and a tad gruesome) read. Sign me up for immediate membership into Lee Welch’s fan club. I’ll patiently await my official VIP card, please and thank you.

Lord Thornby is trapped on his father’s estate. Still. After being kept there somehow for well over a year, the days are bleeding together and he’s barely keeping a hold on his sanity. Thornby’s father and step-mother arrive back in town and there’s an increase in the already peculiar happenings taking place around the Yorkshire estate. Luckily, John Blake shows up to investigate some unexplainable magical happenings.

Thornby and Blake have an immediate dislike and are forced to work with each other to make sense of what is holding Lord Thornby hostage. Their dislike changes fairly quickly and a necessary companionship is formed. They have great chemistry, entertaining banter, lots of heat, and are frequent passengers on the orgasm express. Apparently danger turns them on…

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Salt Magic, Skin Magic is a historical paranormal romance that is very well done. I was enthralled from the very beginning and didn’t want to stop until the end. Once the plot picked up, I was on edge until the end. There are many PNR/fantasy elements taking place. Some of them made sense and other elements weren’t fully explained and left me wondering if it’s slightly lacking world building is setting up another book? I’d definitely read it.

I wanted to give it more stars but I needed more at the end. There’s a HFN but where do they go from here? That could be me just being picky but I didn’t feel completely settled at the end. Still, very enjoyable and definitely recommend.

Copy provided for honest review.

August Book Highlights

This blog post will differ from our normal review posts. Sometimes the TBR list gets tackled faster than I can write reviews and sometimes real life jumps in the way.  When this happens, I’ve decided to start something new and post a compilation of books that I’ve really enjoyed lately but couldn’t quite write “real” reviews for. Here are 5 books I’ve read/listened to recently and really enjoyed.

The Rebuilding Year (The Rebuilding Year, #1)

The Rebuilding Year by Kaje Harper
Reviewer:
Lost in a Book
Format:
Kindle
Rating:
 4 Stars
Initial Thoughts: Low relational angst but higher plot angst. I’m not a fan of ex/custody drama and this had it in spades. That’s just my preference and the main reason I went with 4 and not 5 stars but YMMV. Well written, enjoyable, and definitely recommended

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, #1)

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Reviewer:
Lost in a Book
Format:
Audio through Audible
Rating:
 4.5 Stars
Initial Thoughts: This book is amazing and the audio is perfection. I took off 1/2 a star because I’m a greedy wench and wanted more of them together. I can’t write a review that even comes close to tackling this book so I’ll point you to Cupcake’s review.

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Captive Prince (Captive Prince, #1)  Captive Prince: Volume Two (Captive Prince, #2)  Kings Rising (Captive Prince, #3)

Captive Prince Series
Reviewer:
Lost in a Book
Format:
Audio through Audible
Series Rating:
 5+ Stars
Initial Thoughts: ERMAHGHERD!!!! 5++++++ Stars. This series. The audio. Amazing!

 

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The Understatement of the Year (The Ivy Years, #3)

The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen
Reviewer:
Lost in a Book
Format:
Audio through Audible
Series Rating:
 5 Stars
Initial Thoughts:  Once again, I didn’t review this when I read it before. *shrug* But, it’s one of my favorites and the audio did NOT disappoint. Teddy as a narrator can do no wrong in my book but Christian Fox held his own. This will definitely be an audio I revisit when I’m in a slump. Definitely recommended.