Getting Away With THE SINFUL SCOT–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a historical romance from Maddison Michaels. THE SINFUL SCOT is the 3rd novel in her Saints and Scoundrels series. Trigger warning, this story features a battered heroine, and there are descriptions of beatings, injuries, and murder, though we do not see that on the page.

About the book:
Constance Campbell, the Duchess of Kilmaine, once believed that all she needed in life was a duke. But everything unraveled when she realized her perfect husband was a perfect monster. Now broken beyond repair, she hides her misery behind a perfect Society mask…even from her childhood friend, Alec.

Dr. Alec McGuiness reluctantly finds himself back in Scotland, and checking up on the only woman to ever get under his skin, Connie. After she spurned him many years ago, he knows his humble life as a doctor could never be enough for her. But when the Duke of Kilmaine is murdered in cold blood, with Connie sleeping right next to him in bed, Alec knows he must protect Connie at all costs from those who would frame her for the duke’s murder.

Now on the run, Connie feels a freedom she only ever dreamed about before, and an unexpected attraction to the man who is keeping her safe. But even if they can win her freedom and clear her name, could she ever open her heart up to someone again?

How about a little taste?

Taking a deep breath, she turned around, only to be caught in Alec’s penetrating gaze. She’d forgotten how handsome he was. A strange combination of rugged athleticism mixed with the air of a scholar. But there was also a steadiness to him, a gentle strength, that Connie felt drawn to. This was a man who would have no need to take out his anger on anyone weaker than he. She’d never met a more honorable or honest man.

She cringed with the thought of how badly she’d once treated him. Often ignoring him at assemblies and the like, simply because he hadn’t fawned over her like the other men had.

She’d been a fool.

“Sophie sent you, then?” was all Connie could think to say. She must sound like an imbecile.

“She asked me to check on you.” He paused, staring steadily at her. “So how are you, Lady Connie?”

He was still calling her by her maiden title, and there was something so familiar about him doing so, it reminded her of a time long ago. A time she wished she could escape back to.

Unable to withstand his close scrutiny, she strode over to the hearth and closed her eyes for a second, fighting the urge to cry again. She’d thought her tears from earlier were well and truly dried up.

It would be so easy to tell Alec what had been happening. He would believe her. Probably try to save her, too. But what could he do, when up against the powerful Duke of Kilmaine, whose word was law in these parts? And though she knew Alec could defend himself in a fight, Duncan never fought fairly. Her husband had enough servants and guards around the estate to ensure that Alec would be outnumbered.

No. She couldn’t risk getting him hurt. She’d never forgive herself if he did.

Filling her lungs with a hearty breath, she turned back to face him, and once again, she plastered a serene smile on her face. “Everything is fine. Absolutely fine, in fact.”

But Alec didn’t smile back. Instead he frowned. “Don’t lie to me, Connie.” He strode across to her, until she found herself staring at the crisp white cravat covering his neck.

She gasped softly as his hand gently tilted her chin upward, until her eyes met his. Warring with the frisson of fear from having a man touch her was a giddy sensation fluttering in her stomach. She couldn’t remember the last time anyone had touched her with such tenderness. If ever, actually.

“What’s going on? And I’ll have the truth this time, please.” Alec’s voice was firm, but she could hear the concern in it. It had been so long since she’d felt that anyone cared.

“As I said before, everything is fine, Doctor McGuiness.” She carefully reached up and very deliberately pushed his hand away from under her chin. “And you take too many liberties touching me and calling me by my first name. I am a duchess now. Or have you forgotten?” Perhaps if she sounded condescending, as she’d often done in the past with him, he’d believe her, and go.

“Aye. I’m well aware of that fact.” He stepped back and bowed stiffly. “Forgive me, your grace.”

There was contempt in his voice, and Connie felt her heart sink. He would forever remember her as being a coldhearted shrew, she was sure of that. And though a part of her hated knowing he would, at least he’d be safe.

“You can tell Sophie that all is well.” She was glad her voice sounded steady, when inside she felt like she was shattering into tiny pieces. “Now if you will excuse me, I have duties to attend to.” She inclined her head at him before sweeping past him toward the door.

She extended her hand toward the doorknob when, from behind her, Alec reached over her shoulder and pressed his palm against the wood. Preventing her from opening it and leaving.

“You’re not going anywhere, duchess. At least not until you tell me what the devil is going on.”

My Review:
Constance Campbell, the Duchess of Kilmane, is in mortal danger. Married to a serial batterer who is above the law seemed to be the worst of her problems–but now she’s been set up as his murderer. Dr. Alec McGuinness is a long-time but estranged friend of Connie’s who’s come to check on her welfare and ends up rescuing her from either an asylum or the gallows.

Connie’s brother-in-law thinks she’s guilty, and aims to have her put into an asylum–if only to save her from death. Duncan knew his brother was battering Connie, and knows he’d killed several other women–including his first wife–with his physical abuse. Connie’s sure the only way to save her life is to prove someone else killed her husband, and Alec agrees to assist her investigation. Instead of heading for London where Connie’s brother could protect her from arrest, they travel immediately to Inverness, where they have a chance of finding the truth about the murder of the Duke of Kilmane–even as the bodies pile up around them.

Connie’s a sheltered woman who’s only experience with men was with an abuser. Her friendship with Alec makes him less intimidating, to the point she isn’t flinching when he reaches to offer her aid. As the tension ramps, so does an unwanted attraction. Connie never wants to marry again. As a widow, she can live a less-complicated life on her own terms. If she falls for Alec, she would lose any autonomy she’d gained in this unlikely turn of events. Alec had a youthful fascination with Connie, but was put off by what seemed her gold-digging ways. As a contemporary of the time, he didn’t quite see that Connie needed to marry well, and was groomed to do so throughout her youth. Alec, the younger son of a Scots earl, he had been burned by a social-climbing woman in his early adulthood. Still, being with Connie now, sometimes posing as her husband to avoid suspicion, he can’t discount his renewed attraction. Still, he doesn’t want to get burned again, but he’s definitely losing his heart piece by piece.

For me, this story was REALLY complicated. I know it’s the third book in a series,and I could see the extension of at least one of the previous one, and the set up for the next one–which was a bit of a distraction to the main story. Also, wow, Connie’s husband was an unconscionable maniac–but there were people around his who were just as complicit because they covered his brutal crimes. The investigation lasts days, but the prose was so dense if felt far longer. I was also confused about the timeframe–because Alec and Connie had this history of youth, and they are only two-three years apart in age, yet Alec is now in his early thirties and Connie’s been married four-ish years? She would have been married far longer if the timeline was right.

There were a lot of misdirection, with figurative and literal dead ends. I was not expecting such a body count in my Regency romance, honestly. And, I didn’t understand why so many people even needed to die–or how they were all so overpowered in such grisly fashion. The romance is REALLY slow-burning, which made sense because of Connie’s history of abuse, but what slowed it more was repetition of the characters’ feelings about getting involved. They kept saying how they didn’t want to connect and didn’t give a lot of reasons for why, beyond the barest basic and expected answers. I also found the merry chases to be a bit much. There are so many avenues of investigation, I felt overwhelmed, and some of these experiences seemed out of the realm for a woman of the time. In all, the idiosyncrasies of the plot and the repetition impacted my enjoyment. The characters didn’t always jump off the page into reality for me, and I struggled to connect for that reason. It was an okay read, and I think fans of Regency/historical romance would probably like this one.

Interested? You can find THE SINFUL SCOT on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play.

About the Author:
Indoctrinated into a world of dashing rogues and feisty heroines when she was a teenager, Maddison Michaels is a bestselling, award-winning Australian romance author, who loves to write sexy history with a dash of mystery! Her debut novel, THE DEVILISH DUKE, won the 2019 RWA Australia Historical Romance Book of the year. Maddison lives in Sydney with her gorgeous hubby and daughter, and always starts her day with a cup (or two) of liquid gold… coffee (just quietly, she’s addicted to the stuff)!

Catch up with Maddison on her website, Facebook, twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon, and Bookbub.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Finding the Right Path WHEN IT’S TIME–A #Throwback Thursday Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a Throwback Thursday review for a M/M contemporary New Adult romance from Zane Riley. WHEN IT’S TIME is the third book in the Go Your Own Way series. Lennox is an outspoken and harassed, out-gay, orphaned, black young man who’s a musical virtuoso. In the past year he’s fallen hard for a country white boy, Will, whose family took Lennox in and loved him as best they could. This is their third story including GO YOUR OWN WAY and WITH OR WITHOUT YOU.

About the book:
In the New Adult series that began with Go Your Own Way, Will Osbourne and Lennox McAvoy must now face the challenges of a long distance relationship that will determine their future.

Despite the fulfillment of his childhood dream, Will is suffocating in too-loud, too-dirty, too-busy New York City. Lennox, who has relied on Will for guidance, is thriving in Boston without him. As Lennox embraces his promising new life and rediscovers old family, Will searches for a future of his own that won’t tear them apart.

My Review:
Lennox McAvoy and Will Osbourne are boyfriends who’ve weathered some storms. Will’s family took Lennox in after his grandfather dumped him at a roach motel in Will’s small hometown in rural Virginia. At that time, Lennox had be recently released from juvie, where he went after he injured his own attackers–white homophobes with powerful daddies–in the midst of perpetrating a hate crime on himself.

Lennox has grown a lot in the past years, and especially flourished living with the Osbournes. Will helped Lennox apply for colleges, an it was his encouragement that got Lennox a prime spot at Berklee College in Boston–where he’s got a full music scholarship. Will follows his own path to NYU, to study journalism. It was his second choice after Sarah Lawrence, but he’s sure it’ll turn out great.

Lennox is a bundle of nerves, but he’s a survivor and though there’s an immediate housing mix-up, Lennox rolls with the situation, gaining a great new roomie plus a cast of new compassionate friends. He’s fired up and energized with all the creativity happening around him. If only life in New York was going half as well for Will. His roommate is a turd, and the kids he met at orientation are vapid and shallow, not to mention Will’s late everywhere he goes and gets turned around easily in the subway system. His frustration is only compounded when he learns he’d been accepted to Sarah Lawrence, but a paperwork snafu kept him from enrolling there.

Will and Lennox are determined to make their long-distance relationship work, but as the weeks and months stretch, it becomes harder and harder to keep connected, despite trips between cities. Lennox gets frustrated with the good advice he gets–that he’s not responsible for Will’s happiness. Meanwhile, Will’s anxiety and depression grow until he’s not able to manage behaving civilly and treats loving Lennox poorly. It’s a big change for their relationship dynamic, and each of these young men needs to find a way to care for himself, while still caring about the other. It’s a tricky balance, especially for two so young–they’re both about 19–but they figure it out eventually. Not without some fireworks, however, and some heart-to-hearts that mend those battered fences.

This felt very genuine, and bittersweet, as I read it. I wanted to shake Will sometimes for hiding his true feelings until they couldn’t be shoved down any longer. Yet, I knew that was an authentic response to his growing despondency. Lennox is a rock, and a great guy. I was so glad to see him grow and flourish completely on his own merit. Both of these guys are great, even though they aren’t at their best of times–particularly Will. I was so happy when Will finally found a way to manage his life, and it was so sweet that Lennox supported his new path even though it meant even larger separations. This was a big compromise, but it was clear both men were making it, which was what needed to happen. Compared with the previous books, WHEN IT’S TIME has fewer sexytimes, but the intimacy and compassion are a constant on the page. It’s great read for people who have relationships in flux, or who just want to remember those awkward new beginnings of college life. For me the nostalgia meter was on eleven.

Interested? You can find WHEN IT’S TIME on Goodreads, Interlude Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. I read a review copy made available from the publisher via NetGalley.

Meet the author:
Zane Riley is a transgender writer who wrote his first work of fan fiction in the fourth grade. He is a recent transplant to Vancouver, Washington where he spends his time watching long distance baseball games, hiking, and exploring the musical depths of the internet. His first novel, Go Your Own Way came out in 2015 from Interlude Press.

Catch up with Zane on Goodreads, Facebook, and twitter.

Falling Into ROUGH TERRAIN–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary M/M military romance from Annabeth Albert. ROUGH TERRAIN is the seventh book in her Out of Uniform series that features romances for Navy SEALS stationed in Coronado, California. Having read and loved OFF BASE, AT ATTENTION, ON POINT and WHEELS UP, I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into this new one–and what a different love story this was!

About the book:
The camping trip from hell may be the first stop on the road to happily-ever-after.

Navy SEAL Renzo Bianchi has a soft spot for Canaan Finley, and not only because the man makes a mean smoothie. He’s the first guy to get Renzo’s motor revving in a long time. But when he agrees to Canaan’s insane charade—one all-access fake boyfriend, coming right up—he never expects more than a fling.

Creating a hot Italian SEAL boyfriend to save face seemed like a good idea…until his friends called Canaan’s bluff. Now he’s setting off into the woods with the very man who inspired his deception, and Canaan is not the outdoorsy type. The sparks are already flying when a flash flood separates them from their group, leaving Renzo and Canaan very much trapped…very much alone in the wilderness.

Working together to come up with a plan for survival is sexier than either of them expects. But back in the real world, being a couple is bringing its own set of hazards…

My Review:
Renzo Bianchi is a navy SEAL, code name Rooster, who’s had some hard times finding a good partner. Generously endowed, but with a heart of gold, Renzo is tired of his mediocre sex life. He’s attracted to a man at his local smoothie shop–Canaan Finley–but he’s not sure he wants to try even hooking up; fully expecting disappointment. He has a big and loving family, but a childhood accident still haunts him, pushing to be the best ever son to his parents.

Canaan is a local to the San Diego area, having been born and raised there by his grandparents after his teen mom couldn’t. Canaan spent years touring with a local punk band, and only gave up drumming professionally when his grandma was dying. He now lives with his elderly gramps, and he’s one semester away from graduating with his nursing degree. He works at the smoothie shop to pay his expenses, and he loves the SEAL eye-candy that rolls through, but he’s made Rooster his mission, at least for a hook-up. Their flirtation leads to a nice date, and a chance to hang some more: Canaan’s old band is planning a reunion camping trip in the Grand Canyon and they’ve invited Canaan (and his PARTNER) to come along. Only, Canaan doesn’t have a partner. The chemistry between Renzo and Canaan seems great though, and he tentatively asks Renzo to come along…and pretend to be his boyfriend.

Renzo can tell that one of the bandmates is especially hostile to Canaan, which gets his protective instincts all riled up. That, and their chemistry is really off the charts, especially once they get some alone-ish time. The trip is tense, though, and it only gets worse when Canaan injures his foot, and the weather creates a harrowing situation. Stranded and waiting for rescue, Renzo and Canaan have lots of time to bond, which ramps up their romance.

When the dust settles and they’re back to “real life” Renzo and Canaan are game to give being real BFs a try. It seems to be going great–Canaan has all sorts of tricks for dealing with his enormo phallus. Each man seems to be falling hard, but there are new obstacles. Thanks to the accidents on the trip, Canaan’s old band mates want him to step in and do some local gigs. And, before they’d even met Renzo had applied for a transfer to a base in Virginia–so he could be closer to his family in Philly. Canaan meets the family, and helps Renzo get past some of his emotional hang-ups, so it’s a big issue when Renzo’s new orders come through. I likes how tender this story was, and how cared for Renzo and Canaan made the other man feel. Being inside their POVs helped me see how much each of them wanted to please the other–sacrificing some parts of their own joy or comfort to boost the other. It was so sweet, and bittersweet, with the specter of huge life shifts in the offing.

Expect the resolution to come after a decent break and some serious soul-searching. I liked how they reconnected, and their plans for the future seemed well-considered and realistic. It’s another happy SEAL and his mate–and I really enjoyed it from start to finish.

Interested? You can find ROUGH TERRAIN on Goodreads, Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.

About the Author:
Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.

Find Annabeth online on her website, Goodreads, twitter and Facebook.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

ROPED IN to a Forever Love–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary M/M cowboy romance from AM Arthur. ROPED IN is the second book in her Clean Slate Ranch series that features cowboys, cooks and city slickers–not to mention some actors, finding love with one another. I’ve read and enjoyed several books from Ms. Arthur, including SAVED, HERE FOR US, THE WORLD AS HE SEES IT, and FINDING THEIR WAY, so I was eager to check out this new series.

About the book:
At Clean Slate Ranch, the men are rugged, the trails are rocky and lassos aren’t only used for roping horses…
For Colt Woods, Clean Slate Ranch is home. The dude ranch in Northern California helped him heal from a devastating breakup. So when his ex-Dom, the man who broke his heart, waltzes onto the ranch, Colt doesn’t know how to deal.

A research job at a nearby ghost town brings history PhD Avery Hendrix to Clean Slate. He’s not in town forever, but it doesn’t take long for him to feel the familiar draw to Colt. When they find out they’ll be sharing a cabin on the ranch, it’s all Avery can do to stop himself from bending Colt over a saddle right then and there.

In such close proximity, Colt’s and Avery’s old feelings come galloping back. Soon Colt is doing his master’s bidding again and loving every moment of it. And the pair may be in for the ride of their lives—if the dedicated professor and his rugged cowboy can learn to trust again.

My Review:
This is the second book in a series, and I didn’t read the first one, but I didn’t struggle to get acquainted to this world.

Colt Woods is a ranch manager at Clean Slate Ranch, a northern California dude ranch. He’s been there for years, nursing a big secret and a broken heart and trying to keep his life together. In the first book, Colt revealed his big secret–a terrible work accident that deeply affected his dearest friend Mac, who runs Clean Slate with his grandfather. Colt needs a strong partner to help his manage his guilt and grief, and he had a Dom that he really cared for, Avery Hendrix, back before he came to Clean Slate. Miscommunication between these men had Colt running and Avery feeling abandoned. Now, Avery is at to Clean Slate to help with the historical restoration of the nearby ghost town being managed by Mac.

Colt is really nervous about being around Avery again, and Avery has some reservations, too. He’s been a Dom for many years, but he’d not usually been sexually involved with his play partners. That was an exception he made for Colt, and one he hasn’t made since. Of course, the years of celibacy are a struggle, and so is the chemistry between these two when they are forced to share a cabin on the ranch. Avery is reticent to rekindle anything with Colt, since he’s shy of getting his heart busted again. Plus, he’s only a temporary consultant on the ghost town with a life and job that isn’t super close. Letting Colt into his bed and heart is a recipe for disappointment.

That said, these men can’t fight the need for one another. Colt craves Avery’s skilled, yet loving, Dom persona, and Avery needs to make some connections that will support him in ways his family never has. That’s one thing that Colt gained by joining the Clean Slate crew: a family of colleagues and friends. Reconciling with Mac will go a long way toward keeping those relationships intact.

I really enjoyed this book, with the lush descriptions of ranching life, and the excitement over the ghost town restoration. For Colt and Avery this begins as a bittersweet reconnection story, but the end seems resolved toward happiness and a future for these two. Having read on in the series, I know that Avery and Colt do stick together, so it’s a Happy-For-Now type of read. I’ve been picking up a cowboy romance every couple of months, so expect more reviews of ranch life and love coming down the pike.

Interested? You can find ROPED IN on Goodreads, Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes and Kobo.

About the Author:
A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone’s throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She’s been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn’t been coined yet back then) with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories. A.M. Arthur’s work is available from Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, and SMP Swerve.
When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.

Catch up with Ms. Arthur on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

Out Today! THE SINFUL SCOT

Hi there! Today I’m spreading the word about a new historical romance from Maddison Michaels. THE SINFUL SCOT is the 3rd novel in her Saints and Scoundrels series and features a battered coutess on the run, hunting for the killer of her abusive husband to clear her own name.

About the book:
Constance Campbell, the Duchess of Kilmaine, once believed that all she needed in life was a duke. But everything unraveled when she realized her perfect husband was a perfect monster. Now broken beyond repair, she hides her misery behind a perfect Society mask…even from her childhood friend, Alec.

Dr. Alec McGuiness reluctantly finds himself back in Scotland, and checking up on the only woman to ever get under his skin, Connie. After she spurned him many years ago, he knows his humble life as a doctor could never be enough for her. But when the Duke of Kilmaine is murdered in cold blood, with Connie sleeping right next to him in bed, Alec knows he must protect Connie at all costs from those who would frame her for the duke’s murder.

Now on the run, Connie feels a freedom she only ever dreamed about before, and an unexpected attraction to the man who is keeping her safe. But even if they can win her freedom and clear her name, could she ever open her heart up to someone again?

How about a little taste?

Taking a deep breath, she turned around, only to be caught in Alec’s penetrating gaze. She’d forgotten how handsome he was. A strange combination of rugged athleticism mixed with the air of a scholar. But there was also a steadiness to him, a gentle strength, that Connie felt drawn to. This was a man who would have no need to take out his anger on anyone weaker than he. She’d never met a more honorable or honest man.

She cringed with the thought of how badly she’d once treated him. Often ignoring him at assemblies and the like, simply because he hadn’t fawned over her like the other men had.

She’d been a fool.

“Sophie sent you, then?” was all Connie could think to say. She must sound like an imbecile.

“She asked me to check on you.” He paused, staring steadily at her. “So how are you, Lady Connie?”

He was still calling her by her maiden title, and there was something so familiar about him doing so, it reminded her of a time long ago. A time she wished she could escape back to.

Unable to withstand his close scrutiny, she strode over to the hearth and closed her eyes for a second, fighting the urge to cry again. She’d thought her tears from earlier were well and truly dried up.

It would be so easy to tell Alec what had been happening. He would believe her. Probably try to save her, too. But what could he do, when up against the powerful Duke of Kilmaine, whose word was law in these parts? And though she knew Alec could defend himself in a fight, Duncan never fought fairly. Her husband had enough servants and guards around the estate to ensure that Alec would be outnumbered.

No. She couldn’t risk getting him hurt. She’d never forgive herself if he did.

Filling her lungs with a hearty breath, she turned back to face him, and once again, she plastered a serene smile on her face. “Everything is fine. Absolutely fine, in fact.”

But Alec didn’t smile back. Instead he frowned. “Don’t lie to me, Connie.” He strode across to her, until she found herself staring at the crisp white cravat covering his neck.

She gasped softly as his hand gently tilted her chin upward, until her eyes met his. Warring with the frisson of fear from having a man touch her was a giddy sensation fluttering in her stomach. She couldn’t remember the last time anyone had touched her with such tenderness. If ever, actually.

“What’s going on? And I’ll have the truth this time, please.” Alec’s voice was firm, but she could hear the concern in it. It had been so long since she’d felt that anyone cared.

“As I said before, everything is fine, Doctor McGuiness.” She carefully reached up and very deliberately pushed his hand away from under her chin. “And you take too many liberties touching me and calling me by my first name. I am a duchess now. Or have you forgotten?” Perhaps if she sounded condescending, as she’d often done in the past with him, he’d believe her, and go.

“Aye. I’m well aware of that fact.” He stepped back and bowed stiffly. “Forgive me, your grace.”

There was contempt in his voice, and Connie felt her heart sink. He would forever remember her as being a coldhearted shrew, she was sure of that. And though a part of her hated knowing he would, at least he’d be safe.

“You can tell Sophie that all is well.” She was glad her voice sounded steady, when inside she felt like she was shattering into tiny pieces. “Now if you will excuse me, I have duties to attend to.” She inclined her head at him before sweeping past him toward the door.

She extended her hand toward the doorknob when, from behind her, Alec reached over her shoulder and pressed his palm against the wood. Preventing her from opening it and leaving.

“You’re not going anywhere, duchess. At least not until you tell me what the devil is going on.”

Interested? You can find THE SINFUL SCOT on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play.

Interested in the previous titles? You can find The Devilish Duke here, and The Elusive Earl here.

About the Author:
Indoctrinated into a world of dashing rogues and feisty heroines when she was a teenager, Maddison Michaels is a bestselling, award-winning Australian romance author, who loves to write sexy history with a dash of mystery! Her debut novel, THE DEVILISH DUKE, won the 2019 RWA Australia Historical Romance Book of the year. Maddison lives in Sydney with her gorgeous hubby and daughter, and always starts her day with a cup (or two) of liquid gold… coffee (just quietly, she’s addicted to the stuff)!

Catch up with Maddison on her website, Facebook, twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon, and Bookbub.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

The Climax Nears! IGNITE

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a dragon-shifter romance from Donna Grant. IGNITE is the 15th novel in her Dark Kings series, and really best enjoyed when read in order. Particularly, you should read DRAGONFIRE before this one. Others that I’ve enjoyed include SMOKE AND FIRE, FIRESTORM, BLAZE, and DRAGON BURN, and DRAGON CLAIMED so I’m eager to reach the “climax” of this sexy series.

About the book:
Every inch of him was molded as if from granite…and her blood ran like fire…
For centuries, V has waited to awaken from his doomed sleep and reclaim his destiny. But this Dragon King—one among a legion of legendary warriors sworn to protect the human race from darkness—must first find a way to win back his sword. Wield its power. And try not to fall prey to his own illicit desires.

Claire may possess the beauty and soul of a goddess but V knows better than to mess with a mere mortal. Still, he instinctively knows that Claire is The One who can help him regain the use of his sword and restore his place at Dreagan. But if she learns the truth about who—and what—he really is, her memories of him would be erased forever. How can V love Claire truly, madly, deeply…and protect her from the forces of fire and darkness that could destroy them both?

My Review:
This is a book deep in a series of adult paranormal romances that all feature strong women falling for sexy Dragon King shifters.

Vlad is a Dragon King hailing from the Carpathian Mountains. He possessed a magic sword that enabled him to open bridges to other realms–like where the remaining dragons were sent eons ago when the human population became large enough to become a threat. The sword was lost centuries before and each time Vlad goes looking for it, a catastrophic disaster occurs–like the burning of Rome and the Black Plague. He and Roman, another King recently recovered the sword buried deep in an Icelandic mountain. Unfortunately, Vlad is struggling to hear and feel the magic of his sword. It seems to be gone, and with it any connection to the lost dragons.

Claire is a dear friend and co-worker with Sophie, a mate of another Dragon King. Claire knows about the Dragon Kings, though she isn’t supposed to–the Kings thought they had wiped her memories of being attacked by Dark Fae, but they had survived. Claire is a lady who’s been crapped on by love. And Vlad is a super helpful around the clinic. He’d been admiring Claire for a while, but finally makes a move when he’s despondent about the sword.

Things click, and escalate–because the mates are all being drawn close to Draegan. They are circling their wagons expecting an attack from Usaeil, the Queen of the Light Fae, who seems to pulling the strings of The Others against the Dragon Kings. Constantine, King of all the Kings, has inexplicably gone missing and all the Kings and their mates are on the edge of frustration. It makes for fertile ground for a bond to grow between Claire and Vlad. It’s a lightning strike of love, and it brings it’s own magic–an unheard of pregnancy.

This book really brings the conflict of the overarching series to a fever pitch, while introducing a new couple of fated mates. I liked both Claire and Vlad, and the twist at the end really got me thinking about the lengths Usaeil will go to to have her way…with Constantine. We seem to be nearing the climax of the series, and I’m glad to see how it’s all resolving. I’m eager to read on.

Interested? You can find IGNITE on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play.

donna_grant_newAbout the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. Her latest acclaimed series, Dark Kings, features a thrilling combination of dragons, Fae, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children and an assortment of animals in Texas.

Catch up with Donna on her website, Facebook, twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Tumblr, Audible, and Tantor.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Getting Cozy in TIGHT QUARTERS–A #Throwback Thursday Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary M/M military romance from Annabeth Albert. TIGHT QUARTERS is the sixth book in her Out of Uniform series that features romances of Navy SEALS stationed in Coronado, California. Having read and loved OFF BASE, AT ATTENTION, ON POINT, WHEELS UP and SQUARED AWAY, I knew I’d be in for a thrilling romance.

About the book:
Petty Officer Bacon, a navy SEAL and ace sharpshooter, has been on the front lines of more than his fair share of dangerous ops. Yet when a minor injury relegates him to the beta team, he’s tasked with what may be his riskiest assignment yet: the silver fox journalist he’s babysitting is the hottest, most charismatic man he’s ever encountered.

Award-winning journalist Spencer Bryant may have been named one of Pride magazine’s most eligible bachelors of the year, but he’s not looking to change his relationship status. He’s a consummate professional who won’t risk his ethics or impeccable reputation by getting involved with a source. Even a sexy-as-hell military man. But while Spencer can resist his physical attraction to Bacon, he has less control over his emotions—especially when the mission goes sideways and the two men are trapped alone.

Getting out of the jungle alive turns out to be easy compared to facing the truth about their feelings for one another back in the real world. And whether or not they can build a future is a different story altogether.

My Review:
Petty Officer Bacon is a Navy SEAL tasked with escorting an embedded reporter on their latest mission. He’s not happy about it, especially he’s nervous about maybe spilling info that could incriminate two former SEAL team members, Lowe and Strauss who were the MC’s of WHEELS UP. Plus, it’s never good to be on-mission, but not a part of it. As a chaperone, Bacon’s orders are to bring the reporter back in one piece, even if it means bailing on his team.

Spencer Bryant is out to write another award-winning book to highlight issues with veterans and enlisted personnel not getting the support and care they need. A previous confidante, and friend, for whom Spencer wrote a best-seller, was a retired military man whose PTSD put him over the edge. While on mission, Spencer is humbled by the bravery and camaraderie of the SEAL team–and he’s unwillingly attracted to his handler, Petty Officer Bacon, who seems to not have a first name. While running training exercises, Spencer and Bacon develop a camaraderie of their own–tinted with unrequited sexual tension. Their actual mission deep in the terror cells of the South Pacific goes terribly wrong, however, and Spencer struggles with the guilt of Bacon leaving his men in danger to just save him.

The navy shuts down Spencer’s access to the SEAL teams as soon as he’s brought back to base, yet Bacon knows how to find him before he leaves for the US. They know that the navy won’t be happy about any fraternization, even if Spencer’s no longer embedded–and yet the need for affirmation adds gasoline to their smoldering attraction. It should only be the one night, but Spencer’s thrilled when Bacon reaches out later to tell him that things went better the second time around, and his teammates, though wounded, survived.

This communication brings Bacon and Spencer together in a way each man truly needs–contact that supports, not distracts. On leave, Bacon drives from San Diego to LA to visit Spencer and the sparks are ridiculous. These guys fit together so well, Spencer’s far away life providing Bacon with an emo outlet he hasn’t had since high school. Still, the story Spencer wants to write, feels compelled to write, centers on suicide and depression of veterans suffering PTSD, and it’s a wedge growing between them even as their relationship matures over months from buddies-with-benefits to exclusive boyfriend status. When Bacon finally learns about Spencer’s planned book deal he’s crushed–the SEALs are his family and this could hurt them–would certainly offend them that Bacon is dating a man who trashes the navy and other armed forces. It’s the deal-breaker Spencer expected, but he didn’t think he’d fall for Bacon first…

It’s a little bittersweet, but a brief separation and some counseling on both sides helps each man find a pathway back. Bacon’s connection to an amputee helps him see that PTSD and depression are true killers of his comrades, while a mentor helps Spencer remember that life isn’t just a story–it’s meant to be lived and savored. I liked how they each make amends, with Spencer being present for Bacon just when he needs him, and Bacon coming out and trusting his team to support his love for Spencer. There is a lot of support for Bacon, and he’s happy to life his life in the open. The finale brings the story full-circle with Bacon baring his non-classified secrets and them building a life together.

Interested? You can find TIGHT QUARTERS on Goodreads, Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.

About the Author:
Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.

Find Annabeth online on her website, Goodreads, twitter and Facebook.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!