Posts Tagged With: emotionally damaged

Book Review: Testing the Waters by Skylar M. Cates

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Testing the Waters
Author: Skylar M. Cates
Series: Shelby Beach #2
Heroes: Zane & Jordan
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 240 pages
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: February 12, 2020
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: What if the right person could change everything?

Random hookups, saying “yes” to whatever, Zane thinks adulting should be easy. His childhood was a hard enough mess. After a health scare, however, Zane reevaluates his life and starts anew. When Zane meets Jordan, everything he secretly desires is finally in front of him. But Jordan Shelby’s family practically owns the town of Shelby Beach. Why would Jordan take a guy like Zane seriously?

Jordan only wants swimming lessons, so hiring Zane might have been a huge mistake. Even if Jordan resists Zane for now, the mere sight of the beautiful trainer fills him with yearning. Swimming isn’t Jordan’s only anxiety. Being nonbinary, Jordan’s dating life—hell, his life in general—isn’t always clear. Can he really trust Zane with his body? His heart?

Testing the Waters is a romance with a gender-fluid MC, a hurt/comfort trope, and a guaranteed happy ending.

Although it is in the Shelby Beach series, Testing the Waters can be read as a standalone. Note: Please look inside the copyright page for mentions of potential triggers.
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Categories: 3 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: The Rivalry by Beth Bolden

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: The Rivalry
Author: Beth Bolden
Heroes: Heath & Sam
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 458 pages
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: March 9, 2020
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: The first time NFL quarterback Heath Harris meets Sam Crawford, it’s just them, a luxury yacht and a few days of fun in the sun. Sam turns out to be nothing like Heath expects. He’s kind and funny and irreverent—and also unbelievably, shockingly sexy. For three short, glorious, life-changing days, there are no rules.

The second time they meet, Sam has just been traded to Heath’s team, and instead of lovers, now they’re rivals. Heath has spent the last five years working desperately to be the best quarterback the Riptide could ever need, but when injuries threaten to derail his career, Sam is right there, standing on the sideline. Ready to take over, and ready to ruin everything Heath has given his life for.

Rival. Enemy. Teammate. Friend. Lover.

As their orbits collide, sparks fly, and Heath struggles to find the right label and the right box to shove Sam into, hoping to keep him contained. But Sam—and Heath’s feelings—refuse to cooperate.

Sam might not be just one of those things, he might be all of them, and so much more. Continue reading

Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Book Review: Prodigal by T.A. Moore

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Prodigal
Author: T.A. Moore
Series: Lost and Found, #1
Heroes: Morgan & Boyd
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 242 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 11, 2020
Available at: DSP & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Fifteen years ago Sammy Calloway disappeared on his way home from school. Now he’s back… or is he?

Boyd Maccabbee has spent his life second-guessing his actions on that fateful day. What if he’d done something differently? Maybe Sammy would have made it home safe and never become Cutters Gap’s most tragic famous son. Or would it have been Boyd who was never seen again? When the police find new evidence on the disappearance, Boyd hopes to finally get some answers.

The last thing Morgan Graves needs is to be dragged into some old case about a missing kid. He doesn’t know why police hit on his DNA, but he’s not Sammy Calloway. He thinks he’d remember being kidnapped.

He knows he’d remember firefighter Boyd.

Drawn into the complex web of suspicion, grief, and anger that has knit Cutters Gap together in the years since Sammy’s disappearance, Morgan struggles to hang on to himself when everyone already assumes they know him.

And somewhere, the truth about Sammy Calloway is waiting. Continue reading

Categories: 3.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Dead Man Stalking by T.A. Moore

Reviewed by Susan65

Title: Dead Man Stalking
Author: T.A. Moore
Series: Blood and Bone #1
Heroes: Took & Madoc
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 260 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 10, 2019
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Agent Luke Bennett proved that humans could rise just as high in the ranks as their vampire colleagues—until a kidnapper held him captive for a year and turned him without his consent.

Now he’s Took: a reluctant monster afraid to bite anyone, broke, and about to be discharged from his elite BITERs unit.

When an old colleague suggests he consult on a BITERs case, Took has little to lose. The case is open and shut… but nothing is ever that easy. As he digs deeper, he discovers a lot more than one cold case is at stake, and if he wants to solve this one, he’ll need the help of the BITERs team. Even if that brings his old commander, Madoc, back into his life. Continue reading

Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Published in 2019 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: But by the Grace of Dog by A.F. Henley

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: But by the Grace of Dog
Author: A.F. Henley
Series: Four-Legged Friends #1
Heroes: Thom & Justin
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 145 pages
Publisher: JMS Books
Release Date: November 27, 2019
Available at: JMS Books & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Thom Baron has been struggling with social anxiety his entire life. He’s taken the medications, gone to the therapists, followed the programs, and concluded his best life is a solitary one. When he comes across a dog in obvious need at his local market, it rekindles the desire to have some company around. It may come with a dishevelled coat, a notched ear, and a refusal to respond to anything but its given name “Ugly,” but it could still be a friend.

However, Thom’s new fur buddy has no such need to keep to itself and immediately befriends the man Thom has secretly coveted since he moved in — Justin, Thom’s gorgeous, bright-eyed neighbour. No matter how Thom tries to evade the man, the dog keeps drawing them back into each other’s lives, and it doesn’t take Thom long to recognize it’s simply pursuing the demands of Thom’s own heart. With the dog giving him the courage to try, Thom reaches out to return the love being offered.

Until a stranger shows up insisting the dog is his and demanding its immediate return … a loss Thom knows will take all of his efforts and newfound confidence with it.
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Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2019 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Audio Review: Fighting Instinct by Mary Calmes

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Fighting Instinct
Author: Mary Calmes
Narrator: Tristan James
Series: L’Ange #2
Heroes: Arman & Linus
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 13, 2015
Available at: Dreamspinner Press, Amazon and Audible
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Only a privileged few know L’Ange’s head of security Arman de Soto is a shifter, and even fewer know he’s been systematically killing off a pack of werewolves. The reason for this vengeance is a secret Arman trusts with no one, quite the opposite of his obvious longtime pursuit of the château’s overseer, Linus Hobbes. Despite Arman’s reputation as a loner, the only thing he needs to complete his life is Linus. Predator and prey just don’t mix—but Arman won’t give him up.

Linus has lived alone for more than seven years, sheltered at L’Ange under an assumed name and hiding secrets of his own, including his terrifying attraction to the most dangerous man he’s ever met. Arman knows Linus should be afraid of the predator stalking him, but Linus is still drawn to him like a moth to a flame, no matter how much he tries to deny his instincts. It’s not until Linus’s past and Arman’s crusade exposes their secrets and opens L’Ange to attack that Arman realizes waiting any longer is a risk he just can’t take. So he’ll have to take his quest to the source of the threat in a gamble to protect L’Ange, Linus, and any future they might have together. Continue reading

Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Audio Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Yuletide Treasure by Eliot Grayson

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Yuletide Treasure
Author: Eliot Grayson
Series: Goddess-Blessed #3
Heroes: Eben & Tim
Genre: M/M Historical Fantasy
Length: 130 pages
Publisher: Smoking Teacup Books
Release Date: November 8, 2019
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: There’s not enough Yuletide spirit in the world to fix this holiday disaster…

Eben Sypeman’s world is falling apart. It’s two days before Yule and his business partner is dead, leaving behind empty accounts and looming bankruptcy. And if that isn’t bad enough, his patron goddess is irritated with him. It seems she’s tired of his tendency to mince words and avoid conflict. She’s insisting—quite forcefully—that he start being totally honest with everyone, including himself. Divinely enforced honesty couldn’t have come at a less opportune time, especially when his clerk’s tall, dark and distractingly handsome son enters the picture.

The last thing on Tim Pratchett’s mind is romance. All the former soldier wants is to fill in for his sick father at work and recover from his war wounds in peace. But there’s something about the grumpy Eben that confounds and entices him in equal measure. Their timing couldn’t be worse. They’re complete opposites. And yet…none of that matters when he’s with Eben.

But if Eben and Tim have any hope of finding their very own happily ever after, they’ll have to survive a dickens of a truth curse and the machinations of a trickster goddess—all while searching for enough yuletide treasure to save them all.

A joyous, relaxing Yule indeed. Bah, humbug.

This is an M/M romance with explicit scenes, a voyeuristic pagan goddess, and an odious nephew. Despite any other possible similarities to A Christmas Carol, there are neither ghosts nor geese, but readers can expect a happy ending and at least one use of the word “dickens.”
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Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2019 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: The Reluctant Husband by Eliot Grayson

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: The Reluctant Husband
Author: Eliot Grayson
Series: Goddess-Blessed #2
Heroes: Tom & Mal
Genre: M/M Historical Fantasy
Length: 168 pages
Publisher: Smoking Teacup Books
Release Date: June 7, 2019
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Is their marriage a blessing…or a curse?

Tom Drake wants nothing to do with his patron goddess. Her blessing has always been little more than a cruel curse. But when he finds himself disowned, disgraced, and on the verge of homelessness, he knows he can no longer afford to ignore her demands. He must marry. Sadly, his one marriage prospect is a pragmatic, stubborn man who only seems to value him for his blessing…and his body…

Mal Leighton will stop at nothing to save his beloved cousin’s life, even if it means marrying Tom—and using him for his blessing—to do it. Theirs would be a mutually beneficial marriage of convenience. Love was never part of the equation. He’ll just have to somehow learn to ignore his overwhelming attraction to his dangerously charming and seductive new husband.

As weeks pass, Tom and Mal find there’s often a fine line between love and desperation, passion and pride—and what exists between them is infinitely more complicated than their simple marriage of convenience was ever meant to be. Can they set aside their painful pasts and misconceptions to take a chance on the love match they never expected to find?

This is an M/M romance set in an alternate-universe Regency. It contains the ideal number of carriages, duels, and redeemed villains, but beware of pagan goddesses who like to micromanage. It is the second book in a series, but it can be read as a standalone. Tom’s previous dastardly deeds can be found in The Replacement Husband.
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2019 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Tears of Life by Shea Balik

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Tears of Life
Author: Shea Balik
Series: Druid’s Curse #7
Heroes: Mingus & Oluf
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 188 pages
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: October 13, 2019
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Mingus had one true love in life, animals. None of them were off the list, although, if he were completely honest, his favorite was his cat, Pretty Baby. He never imagined one day he might have to put someone else first. Not just anyone, but the man who has stolen his heart.

For centuries Oluf has dreamed of finding the one destined to be his. He’d even anticipated the need to woo him by becoming a chef. After all, according to his mother, the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach. What he hadn’t expected was that he would come in second to a cat with sharp claws, who seemed to enjoy using people as her personal scratching post.

As Mingus, Oluf, and their friends get closer to Samhain, the Fae will try to stop them using everything at their disposal. It means finding a way to work together, even if it takes shedding a few Tears of Life to do so. But in the end, will the fate of the human world come down to a cat?
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2019 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Book Review: Mastering the Flames by S.J. Himes

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Mastering the Flames
Author: S.J. Himes
Series: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #4
Heroes: Isaac & Constantine
Genre: M/M Urban Fantasy
Length: 394 pages
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: October 4, 2019
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: The fourth book in the hit urban fantasy series shifts focus to the remaining Salvatore brother in this slow burn romance…

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Guilt-ridden after the massacre of his family, Isaac Salvatore turned to binge drinking to escape the pain. Now twenty-four years old, Isaac is a recovering alcoholic woefully out of practice in the magical arts, leaving his fire affinity hanging on the edge of disaster. After a month of rehab, he returns to Beacon Hill and his family, determined to remain sober, learn to control his magic, and figure out a plan for his life that doesn’t involve drinking.

Constantine Batiste is the oldest, most powerful vampire in the city. Born in ancient Gaul, the bastard son of a Celtic king, his long life has been shrouded in tragedy and horrors. Recent mistakes have left him wary and determined to guard his clan from all foes. When two of his clan members fall victim to an ancient evil, he summons the Necromancer of Boston for aid. Accompanying his older brother to the Tower is the handsome young fire mage once wounded by Constantine’s arrogance, and their encounter reignites an attraction that burns within both Constantine and Isaac.

The answer to who is targeting the vampires of Boston is buried in the dark, early days of Constantine’s transition to an immortal life. Isaac finds himself saddled with a painful insight into the evil cutting a swath through the supernatural population of Boston. While his brother, Angel, takes over the hunt to find and stop the threat to the city, Isaac struggles to find a balance between helping his brother and finding his own purpose and place in the world, free from his brother’s shadow.

Falling in love wasn’t part of his plan, but mastering the flames that burn between him and Constantine soon becomes the most important thing in his life, even as an ancient evil seeks to destroy them.

Mastering the Flames is the fourth book in The Beacon Hill Sorcerer series and is not a standalone. The series should be read in order for maximum enjoyment and understanding of the plot and characters. The Content Advisory is on the Copyright Page and can be seen by downloading a sample or using the Look Inside feature. 130k words.
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Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2019 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment