Review of On Point by Annabeth Albert

On Point (Out of Uniform #3)On Point by Annabeth Albert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Had you asked me a while back, if I liked military men in romances I would have said: not really. I rarely seek them out, and yet, here I am reading and loving the third book in Annabeth Alberts Out of Uniform series and eagerly awaiting the fourth one.

On Point is a best-friends-to-lovers story. A theme I greatly enjoy when it’s done right and boy, does Ms Albert do it right! So much buildup and tension between the two, so much awkwardness and angst everywhere else but the bedroom. Because Ben and Maddox are dynamite in the bedroom, even if they find it hard to find the balance outside of it.

The start of the book is Ben and Maddox on a mission, which goes wrong, interspersed with flashbacks from the last couple of months, where their decade long friendship has taken a turn for the weird. Even though I am not normally the biggest fan of the “I almost died, so I need to take a chance on this”-trope, it worked really well here. The intensity of the experience and the aftermath of it made sense and was engaging.

This is very much a relationship driven story, with angst, hurt and comfort, which will leave you turning the pages and sighing happily at the epilogue – I even got a bit teary, I was so happy for them!

All of these books can be read as standalones, but they are all great, so don’t cheat yourself out of some great books. Happily awaiting the next in the series.

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*

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Review of An Unnatural Vice by K.J. Charles

An Unnatural Vice (Sins of the Cities, #2)An Unnatural Vice by K.J. Charles

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4-4.5 stars

The second installment in KJ Charles’ Sins of the cities series is a wonderful enemies to lovers story, with two completely opposite men clashing on every page, with a great deal of angry sex to follow, but also some fantastic character growth.

Each book revolves around a new couple, but the overall mystery story arc continues, so you really need to read the series in order to get the full picture.

Justin Lazarus is know as “The seer of London”, a complete fraud and charlatan, he has no issue with manipulating and tricking people in grief, when he pretends to speak to their loved ones ‘behind the veil’. Justin knows no guilt for his actions, quite the opposite, if someone is stupid enough to pay him to lie to their face, why shouldn’t he?

When Justin is set opposite to Nathaniel Roy, whom we met in book one, the arch bishops son, a trained barrister and investigative journalist, with a strict moral code, who lost the love of his life in a freak accident, sparks fly.

The two suffer an instant mutual dislike and also a fierce mutual attraction. When the ongoing mystery and drama of the late earl’s bigamy and lost heir bring them together over and over again. The attraction wins over the dislike.

Nathaniel and Justin are great together. Everything about them is opposite. Their upbringing, their moral codex, their thoughts about friendship, love and humanity as a whole. It leads to a fascinating tale of opposites and enemies to lovers.

The plot thickens in the mystery too, and although I guessed who the lost heir was right off the bat, there are still a lot of things left unsolved for the next book. I cannot wait to read it! Warmly recommended.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley.com, for my reading pleasure.

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Review of Starting from Scratch by Jay Northcote

Starting from Scratch (Housemates, #5)Starting from Scratch by Jay Northcote

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a free ARC of this book from the author, for my reading pleasure. This has in no way affected my review.

I love the Housemates series. Fun, lighthearted, hot and thoughtful NA series, and they just keep getting better, book by book. This story is Ben and Sid’s story. We met both of them briefly in book 4, but you do not need to read any of the others in the series to enjoy this book – although why would cheat yourself out of that treat?

I read romance for the sake of romance. I am not too concerned with the gender pairing or how many participants are in the romance, as long as it is a good story with a happy ending, I’ll read it!
However, I have been following Jay’s own personal journey, and have a person in my own circle who is also transitioning, so transgender characters in romances do hold a bit of special interest to me. This is by far the best romance with a transgender MC, I have read so far! So much more focus on the mental issues of transitioning, and not just the physical ones.

Ben has a great supportive network in his family, thank god, and when he finds the courage to come out to his friends, he luckily finds nothing but support there as well.
We get to see things from Sid’s point of view too, which I thought was great. Because yes, you would have thoughts and questions in your mind, if the person you were interested in turned out to be transgender, it’s human nature.

Due to its subject matter – and maybe the importance of the subject to the author – this is not as lighthearted a read as many of the others in the series, but it is still a great NA story, with a super sweet and steamy love story between its pages. Warmly recommended.

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Review of Losing Control by Riley Hart

Losing Control (Broken Pieces, #3)Losing Control by Riley Hart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this audiobook from www.openskyebookreviews.com in exchange for an honest review.

Well, this was painful. Ben, our protagonist, is suffering from severe PTSD both after a recent kidnapping, which ended with murder, as well as his childhood memories of his older sister taking her own life.
He is spinning desperately out of control and into depression when we meet him. He is not working, not eating and not sleeping. All he does is drink, write letters to his ex-lover, and fuck strangers in clubs, or rather he tries to fuck strangers, except that his dick is not really co-operating any longer.
He meets Dante on such a night in a club, a mysterious stranger, who refuses to have sex with him and who takes him out for a drink, except that that drink turns out to be coffee, not alcohol. The relationship between Dante and Ben is not healthy, anyone can see that, but it does manage to keep Ben alive, something I was not certain was quite possible at the early stages of the book. Dante basically blackmails Ben into eating and sleeping, if he wants contact with him.

This book is not a happy book. It is not a light read. It is full of darkness, angst and drama. I have no idea how it compares to the two others in the series, as I have not read them, but it is not a read for a day when you want light hearted and romantic. There is no romance here. There is only desperation and need.

I would have liked more from Dante’s point of view. We spend all of the book in Ben’s head – which is not a nice place to be – but Dante is also a very broken man, and it would have been nice to see the world and their relationship through his eyes. Also I would have liked more emphasis on the relationship after they hit the wall and started coming back to life. We leave Ben and Dante in a very good and hopeful place, but my romantic little heart would have liked more assurance, that they would be ok, both as individual people and as a couple.

I had not read the first two books in this series, but didn’t feel the lack of back story was a problem at all, not until the very ending, where we were treated to glimpses of people who I had no idea who was, but that was all on me, not on the author.

Despite it’s dark and angsty feel, I am intrigued enough that I would probably go back and read the first two in the series, to get Tristan’s story too.

The narration of this book was lovely and flowed nicely. The narrator did separate voices for each character and you were never in doubt as to who was speaking. Jack DuPont was a new to me narrator, but I enjoyed his voice and his narration and would definitely buy something narrated by him again.

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The Housemates series by Jay Northcote

Jay Northcote has a new book coming out next week!  Book 5 in the Housemate series. A steamy fun New Adult series that I can warmly recommend.

Housemates_banner_5

I will be reviewing book 5 next week for the release date, until then you can see my reviews of some of the other book in the series or hurry up and buy those books in preparation for book 5, even if every book in the series work well as a standalone.

Housemates Series on Amazon

Review of When it All Falls Down by Tanya Chris

When It All Falls DownWhen It All Falls Down by Tanya Chris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blurb: Maybe Charlie should have waited until he graduated high school before coming out, because since that revelation there’s been a growing distance between him and his friends. Charlie’s tough, though. He doesn’t mind eating lunch alone or watching his former gang interact with their new best buddy. What he does mind is seeing Drew Lavoitt suffer the same fate.

Drew didn’t come out. As far as he, or anyone else knows, he’s straight. What Drew did is accidentally hit and kill a little girl. Now the boy who was voted Most Popular, and who Charlie has maybe had a crush on since eighth grade, faces financial ruin, expulsion, and the fear that if he’s not everything, he’s not enough.

Popularity, wealth, acclaim—these things are easily lost. In each other’s arms, Drew and Charlie find something that can’t be taken from them. Together the two build a foundation on which they can re-create their lives.

——-

I am not a big reader of YA or High School romances, mainly because I need the happy ever after, like a junkie need a fix, and I cannot believe in a happy ever after when the characters are that young. However, this was so much more than a High School romance, this was a coming of age story filled with heartache and tragedy, but also hope and friendship, and so I will warmly recommend it.

Tanya Chris is a new author to me, but I will be looking up her other books, as this was very well written and engaging from the start. The story flowed nicely and the characters were sympathetic and likeable.

The only reason this book does not get 5 stars is the fact that I felt that the teenagers acted a tad too mature most of the time, everyone were just a little bit too nice and understanding and embracing of one another – a tad too after school special, really. And while I do understand why the author made those choices (without the sympathetic side cast, this could have turned into angst fest 2017) it just felt a tad too idealistic to ring true.

I received a free review copy of this book from the author and have reviewed it for www.openskyebookreviews.com

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Review of From Top to Bottom by Kevin Klehr

From Top to BottomFrom Top to Bottom by Kevin Klehr

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received and ARC and reviewed this book for the Open Skye Book Reviews blog.

Is there such a thing as erotic comedy? Because if there is, this must fit in that genre. Tony, a dedicated top, is curious about bottoming and decides to advertise for likeminded tops, for a little self help group. Butch and Ford reply and the three embark on an adventure of ass and cake.

This is primarily erotica, a smorgasbord of dick and ass, of rimming and blowing and fucking, in different locations and with different partners. We start out with the self help top to bottom group in Tony’s apartment, but quickly relocate to orgies in clubs and saunas.

The lack of length means that we get very little back story or real plot in the book, this means that we never really get to know our main characters or what drives them, which is a pity, because they all had interesting facets, that I would have liked to have known more about. Tony is a dedicated man child, pushing thirty, without any close friends, who only works part time, because that leaves him more time to fuck strangers, Butch is a bear in a very unhappy open relationship who loves to bake, Ford is a cheat, who actually has a supportive boyfriend when it all comes down to it!
I wanted to know more! I wanted their back stories and their characters to grow, but alas, this was erotica. A fluffy steamy bite sized snack, not a full length character driven novel.

I thought the dialogue felt a bit wooden and stiff and to be honest: cheesy porny, and I hate to be a prude, but the complete lack of any sort of safe sex throughout the story, regardless of location and partners bothered me immensely, even for an erotic short, I couldn’t get over it.

But aside from that, it worked well as an erotic short with a few funny light hearted bits to lighten the mood in between sex scenes. However, thinking of the cringe worthy conversation I had with my father about still liking girls, even if he had just stumbled upon my google image search on cock rings, I cannot imagine how anyone could have the kind of conversations Tony has with his father and not die of embarrassment. But that is probably just me.

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