Will Love Help Them STAY LUCKY? A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a contemporary M/M romance from Leta Blake. STAY LUCKY is a standalone single dad and second-chance romance set in a small town. This was originally published in Ms. Blake’s pen name (Halsey Harlow), but is now being re-released in her own name.

About the book
A second chance to build the family of their dreams…

Grant long ago gave up on a relationship with Leo Garner. After all Leo left him for a movie star, and who can compete with that? But now, Leo’s back with his adorable, genius daughter in tow, leaving Grant consumed by three important questions:

1) Did Leo come home looking for a fresh start without the movie star?
2) Does he want a do-over with Grant too?
3) Why else would Leo be hanging around Grant’s hospital so much anyway?

The attraction between Grant and Leo is undeniable, and soon their affection reignites as well. But will their luck hold out through health scares and family drama so they can find their happy ending at last?

My Review:
Dr. Grant Anderson has a bad bedside manner and even worse personal temperament. He’s moody, mean and delights in making nurses and underlings cry–because he’s a surgeon, and plainly put, an asshole. He’s never really had any lasting relationships, and he’s not about to start up with the last man who touched his heart, Leo Garner. Six years ago, Grant and Leo were really starting to get serious, but then Leo’s high school sweetheart Curtis Banks swooped in from Hollywood and convinced Leo to give him another chance. Grant won’t admit it to anyone, let alone himself, but he was heart-broken.

It wasn’t hard to keep up with Leo’s escapades with Curtis–they were all over the tabloids. Including Leo’s heart transplant a couple of years ago, and what looks to be a permanent separation. Finding that Leo and his daughter-niece Lucky have relocated back to tiny Blountville, North Carolina is frustrating to Grant. But, learning that Leo’s on dialysis for transplant-related kidney failure gets Grant all charged up again. Leo’s tentative about reconnecting; he’s not sure how long he has left even though he’s barely thirty. He adopted Lucky from his younger sister Hannah–who happens to be both a flighty drug addict, and a perfect match as a kidney donor. If only she could be coaxed into donation.

This story is told in a series of flashbacks over the course of several months, from the night prior to the surgery to the point of Grant and Leo’s reconnection: ten months before surgery. Grant’s caustic personality causes precocious 6 year-old Lucky to take him to task for making nurses cry. Grant’s intrigued by the fearless girl, even before he finds out she’s Leo’s. Lucky’s got a well-tuned BS meter, and she can tell that blunt and brash Dr. Anderson will be brutally honest, no matter what. Their rapport grows from this understanding, and Grant takes to spending time teaching Lucky to play chess while waits for Leo’s dialysis appointments. While Curtis doesn’t want to let Leo and Lucky go, he’s never been the emotional support Leo needed–and their sex life was mutually unsatisfying.

With Grant, Leo’s able to find not only peace but satisfaction. Yet, as Leo’s health continues to fail, Grant’s need to fix his lover becomes consuming. Leo’s extended family is on the case, too, tracking down Hannah and helping her get clean and sober so she can help her dear brother. There are plenty of setbacks and moments of extreme pain. And, I’m not talking about the kink Grant and Leo get up to!

I liked this one, though it’s not my fave book from this author. Grant’s obnoxious bedside manner reminds me a lot of Dr. Patrick McCloud of the Will and Patrick series, and there are some other parallels to that set of stories. Lucky is more cute than I expected, given the author’s notes. The romance is cautious on Leo’s side, given his history and health issues. Grant’s far less tentative than I expected him to be, and he’s got all the right answers for Leo’s sexytimes needs, which surprised me. His history seems more than a bit murky, and I could see this character being a precursor to Patrick, for that reason. Patrick had a lot more page time to reveal his secrets to the reader–and was a lot more complex, as a result. Grant comes off as a jerk for so much of this story, it’s hard to remember that he’s been wounded by Leo before.

Without question, however, I was charmed by the reconnection romance, and I was glad to find the happy ending is solid and strong. Grant was definitely all-in from the moment he relaxed and let Lucky sneak into his heart–to join Leo–and his tenacity and passion are given without reserve. It’s sweet, a bit spicy and has tons of feels for Leo, Grant and Lucky.

Interested? You can find STAY LUCKY on Goodreads and Amazon.

About the Author:
Leta Blake is the author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

You can find out more on her website, Patreon, Facebook and twitter.

EIGHT SIMPLE RULES FOR DATING A DRAGON–A Throwback Thursday Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a throwback Thursday review of an adult paranormal romance from Kerrelyn Sparks. EIGHT SIMPLE RULES FOR DATING A DRAGON is an adventure for an outcast elf trying to save her dear friend’s child from a marauding dragon. It’s the third book in a series, but read fine as a standalone.

About the book:
From the brilliant imagination of Kerrelyn Sparks comes a bold new fantasy romance series in which passion and magic collide. Behold the Embraced…

Gwennore has a talent. An Elf able to track down the cause of an illness and heal it, she’s a valuable asset to her people. When the kidnapping of a young girl thrusts Gwennore into the very heart of the realm of the dragons, she discovers not only a place of power and magic, but also a haunted land, plagued by an ancient curse that all but ensures extinction to the royal family. But when she meets the smoldering General Silas Dravenko, they strike a bargain—save the country from its cursed illness, and he will return the kidnapped girl. She’s been raised never to trust a dragon, but never did making a deal with the devil feel so good…

Silas has no way of curing the family he’s loyally served for years. But when a beautiful elf, long considered the enemy of the dragons, comes bursting into his world, Silas is awakened to passion and desire in a way he’s never felt before. But can he trust a sworn enemy to save the very existence he holds dear? And can their love survive those that threaten to tear them apart?

My Review:
Gwennore is an outcast elf living on a remote Isle of Moon with other women who were also outcast for being born on the eclipse of the planet Aerthlan’s twin moons. These “embraced” women seem to hold the key to peace and prosperity of the four kingdoms of Aerthlan. They have made a bit of a society, and two of her “sisters” have recently found love.

While celebrating one of the two feast days of Moon, a child of one of Gwennore’s adoptive sisters is kidnapped by a marauding dragon, and she demands that the dragon who was chasing the first bring her in pursuit to save her “niece”. Gwennore’s journey is frightful, but she lands safely in Norveshka and immediately learns of the strife at court. It seems the queen of Norveshka is gravely ill, and thinks her dead daughter is still alive–she’s had the dragons off stealing replacement “princesses” which is what the dragon had been doing. General Silas Dravenko has been trying to prevent such occurrences, knowing it threatens the peace between nations, and he’s eager to return the little girl to her parents–who happen to be the monarchs of a neighboring nation. He’s not so eager to return Gwennore, however. Not only does he find her very attractive–a novelty for Gwennore as she’s been an outcast her whole life–but Gwennore’s ability to find the source and cure of a disease is especially appealing. Perhaps she can find a cure for the disease the Queen suffers.

It doesn’t take long to find out the Queen is being poisoned, but how, and by whom? Posing as a lover to the general, Gwennore is in a good position to stay close to the queen, and help her recover. In the meantime, Silas and Gwennore are steadily falling for one another. This is dangerous, because the elves are staunch enemies of the dragons of Norveshka. Having been raised on Moon, however, Gwennore doesn’t have any prejudice against the dragon land, or its people. And Silas knows this. He also expects she won’t stick around once she learns the heart of the long-held secrets in Norveshka. As a member of one of the three “cursed clans” Silas has shifter abilities he’s not eager to share with the class–or an elf who might become a sympathizer to Norveshka’s enemies.

It’s a bit of a slow burn romance, and there’s not much sensuality on the page. I liked the themes of overcoming prejudice, and fighting for what’s right, even when it’s uncomfortable and unappreciated. Having started in the middle of the series, I didn’t feel like I missed much, as this romance for Gwennore was really contained and explored in only this story–all the other “sister” characters had side parts. We get a decent amount about Sorcha, as she is an “Embraced” from Norveshka–Silas’ born sister in fact. I wondered if she would star in the next book, but I haven’t checked on that just yet.

For me, it was a fun read. I think I had two major issues: the anachronistic dialogue and baby talk. The world here seems lush and lively, a bit old-fashioned and steeped in lore and mystery. But, the common use of English slang would snap me out of the fantasy. And, the girl who’d been dragon-napped spoke with that ear-grating, nerve-stretching lispy-talk that I can’t tolerate. Having had four kids with varying phoneme emergence, I just get stabby about making kids sound like eenie-weenie-babies, and that’s how her dialogue sounded as I read it. I was glad she didn’t stay on the page long. I’d definitely read on in the series.

Interested? You can find EIGHT SIMPLE RULES FOR DATING A DRAGON on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo. I read a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Kerrelyn Sparks apparently has issues with reality. After writing more than a dozen books about vampires, she has now completely gone off the deep end and wound up on another planet. But how thrilling that she can share this magical new world with her readers! Although she is best known (so far) for the Love at Stake series, which has hit as high as number 5 on the New York Times list and 22 on the USA Today list, she hopes her readers will love The Embraced as much as they did her merry band of vamps and shifters.

To learn more about her paranormal, historical, and upcoming out-of-this-world fantasy romances, please visit Kerrelyn on Facebook, Twitter, or her website.
Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Finding Love MAINLY BY MOONLIGHT–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary M/M paranormal romance from Josh Lanyon. MAINLY BY MOONLIGHT is the first book in the Bedknobs and Broomsticks series, and I absolutely couldn’t resist it for that fact alone. I loved that children’s story as a kid!

About the book:
A gay high-society wedding. A stolen book of spells. A love-threatening lie. Can a witch avoid a murder rap without revealing the supernatural truth?

Cosmo Saville guiltily hides a paranormal secret from his soon-to-be husband. Thanks to a powerful love spell, uncertainty threatens his nuptial magic. But when he’s arrested for allegedly killing a longtime rival, he could spend his honeymoon behind bars…

Police Commissioner John Joseph Galbraith never believed in love until Cosmo came along. Falling head over heels for the elegant antiques dealer is an enchantment he never wants to break. So when all fingers point to Cosmo’s guilt, John races to prove his fiancé’s innocence before they take their vows.

As Cosmo hunts for the real killer among the arcane aristocracy, John warns him to leave it to the police. But with an unseen enemy threatening to expose Cosmo’s true nature, the couple’s blissful future could shatter like a broken charm.

Can Cosmo find the lost grimoire, clear his name, and keep John’s love alive, or will black magic “rune” their wedding bells?

Mainly by Moonlight is the first book in the sexy Bedknobs and Broomsticks romantic gay mystery series. If you like spellbinding suspense, steamy fun, and a dash of paranormal, then you’ll love Josh Lanyon’s charming tale.

My Review:
Even though he hasn’t practiced his magic in a couple of years Cosmo Saville is a powerful witch. Duc of Westlands and second behind his mother in the succession line to the Abracadantes craft tradition, Cosmo’s just not that into all the traditions. It’s easier for him to blend into the non-magic world if he doesn’t use his magic for everyday tasks, and he’s mostly successful with the exception of portal traveling–that’s just plain practical magic, so he can avoid traffic and what-not. Cosmo owns an antique shop in San Francisco and he discovers a grisly murder of a competitor in his field–who’d revealed he’d found an ancient grimoire. Cosmos barely escapes the scene, but is definitely under suspicion.

He inadvertantly encounters Police Commissioner John Galbraith as they duel for the top bid on an antique bed with craft markings. John, an avowed non-believer in all magical arts, wants it as a whimsical gift for his younger half-sister Jinx, who fashions herself a “witch,” though Cosmo can detect no craft within her. John is rather rude to Cosmo, and his friend thinks it a lark to put a love enchantment on them. Soon, they run into one another more and more frequently, and each time the tension is more of the sexual than avaricious kind. It’s not long before they both fall head over heels, and that’s when Cosmo learn the truth about the love spell–only John’s already proposed and the wedding is mere weeks away. Cosmo hasn’t even told John about his abilities in witchcraft–how can he possibly explain about the love spell?

Also, it seems that John’s intervention is the only thing keeping Cosmo from being arrested for murder–so, will he throw Cosmo to the wolves if he thinks Cosmo enchanted him? For all the complicated twists, there’s a lightness, and a hope to the story. Both Cosmo and John never thought they would fall in love, and yet their hearts and minds are so in tune. Their sexual chemistry is another kind of magic, though, and it’s bound these men tighter than their impending marriage vows.

This is by turns taut and whimsical. The mystery is meant to develop over at least three stories, so we get some immediate resolution to Cosmo’s current problems but new issues are on the horizon to keep the major plot arcs in motion. John’s mother, to whom he is very close, is a bigoted, magic-hating woman, and her antics upset Cosmo and his mother. Cosmo’s mother is unhappy about this marriage, because it means Cosmo is further distancing himself from the “craft” realm. Keeping all the magic antics from John’s consciousness is difficult, and upsetting to Cosmo, especially when there’s a witch seeking revenge casting spells at Cosmo. I like the storyline, and the characters. It’s fun start to a series, with mismatched lovers who may just turn out to be star-crossed.

Interested? You can find MAINLY BY MOONLIGHT on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Josh Lanyon is the author of over sixty titles of classic Male/Male fiction featuring twisty mystery, kickass adventure and unapologetic man-on-man romance.

Her work has been translated into eleven languages. The FBI thriller Fair Game was the first male/male title to be published by Harlequin Mondadori, the largest romance publisher in Italy. Stranger on the Shore (Harper Collins Italia) was the first M/M title to be published in print. In 2016 Fatal Shadows placed #5 in Japan’s annual Boy Love novel list (the first and only title by a foreign author to place). The Adrien English Series was awarded All Time Favorite Male Male Couple in the 2nd Annual contest held by the 20,000+ Goodreads M/M Group. Josh is an Eppie Award winner, a four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist (twice for Gay Mystery), an Edgar nominee and the first ever recipient of the Goodreads Favorite M/M Author Lifetime Achievement award.

Josh is married and lives in Southern California. Catch up with Josh’s new on her website, Facebook or twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Wrapped Up in IRON & VELVET–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a recently re-released contemporary F/F paranormal mystery/romance from Alexis Hall. IRON & VELVET is the first book in the Kate Kane Paranormal Investigator series, and I was really intrigued. I’ve only read M/M romance from this author before, including FOR REAL, LOOKING FOR GROUP, and WAITING FOR THE FLOOD and PANSIES. This mostly-girl showdown is smart, sassy and little bit sexy.

About the book:
I like my women like I like my whiskey: more than is good for me.

Name’s Kane, Kate Kane. I’m a paranormal private investigator, which is like a normal private investigator except—and stop me if you’re having trouble following this—more paranormal. This business comes with a few basic rules: don’t start drinking before noon, don’t get your partner killed, don’t sleep with the woman who killed him.

Last year I broke all of them.

The only rule I didn’t break was the one that said don’t work for vampires. But then a dead werewolf showed up outside the Soho shag palace of Julian Saint-Germain—a bloodsucking flibbertigibbet who’s spent the last eight centuries presiding over an ever-growing empire of booze, sex and hemoglobin.

I shouldn’t have taken the job. The last thing I needed was to get caught in a supernatural smackdown between a werewolf pack and a vampire prince. Even if the vampire prince was dangerously my type. But what can I say? I was broke, I’m a sucker for a pretty face and I gave up on making good decisions a long time ago.

My Review:
Kate Kane is a take-no-shit PI who totally drinks whisky for breakfast. Her specialty is in paranormal cases, and she’s particularly suited to this being half-Fae. Her mum is the Queen of the Wild Hunt and Kate can draw on her mother’s strength and power when necessary. She’s had a bad year, what with her ex-girlfriend murdering her investigation partner and then getting locked up for it. She’s desperate for a little cash, though, which is why she agrees to investigate the suspiscious death of a young werewolf at the Velvet, a vampire-owned hedonism bar.

Julian St. Germain is one of the four vampire princes–despite being female. She was once a nun on a mission to kill paranormal creatures, but a lot happens in 800 years. While Julian is strong, ancient and powerful, she also doesn’t want to risk a war breaking out all over London between the vampires and werewolf clans, and Kate seems like a sexy morsel who could solve the mystery and satisfy Julian’s…appetites. While Kate normally stays away from bedding vampires–and clients–there’s an undeniable pull between them. Also, Kate is definitely a master at bad decisions.

This is a fun and engaging read with a lush paranormal subculture set into London’s urbanity. I loved the class between the contemporary and the historical physical spaces here, which plays a counterpoint to Kate and Julian’s deepening attraction. There are so many intriguing characters, from the female werewolf alpha, who is a lingerie model who wouldn’t kick Kate out of bed for eating chips, to a genderqueer vamp ready to wreak havoc in stiletto heels, or a female golem who just wants to be useful, but not in a sexual way. Plus, the intricate politics of the different paranormal entities is vast and shrouded in arcane traditions only immortal beings could remember.

A second murder and a direct attack on Julian leads Kate, plus an unlikely collection of vamps, werewolves, and mages, into the bowels of London. They also probe Julian’s ancient history to find what could be stalking her. Wow, was the culprit not pretty. The pacing was brisk and Kate’s deadpan narration was spare and self-deprecating. I think I nearly wet myself coming across one of Kate’s million epitaphs–she mentally composes one each time she’s in deep crap with little chance of survival–so, like 7 a day while on the case. They are almost like tiny refrains, bringing humor in at the darkest moments.

The resolution brings some tragedy, but Kate survives to fight again, and she’ll need Julian’s protection if she’s going to make it any longer in this world. After all, Kate’s a “Beloved daughter,” and doesn’t particularly care to be “Sorely missed.” There’s a dash of sexytimes here and there, while Kate and Julian learn about one another, and try to figure out who could be hunting Julian. It felt like enough, and I didn’t want the romance to slow down the investigation, so I’m glad it didn’t.

Interested? You can find IRON & VELVET on Goodreads, Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Alexis Hall was born in the early 1980s and still thinks the 21st century is the future. To this day, he feels cheated that he lived through a fin de siècle but inexplicably failed to drink a single glass of absinthe, dance with a single courtesan, or stay in a single garret. He did the Oxbridge thing sometime in the 2000s and failed to learn anything of substance. He has had many jobs, including ice cream maker, fortune teller, lab technician, and professional gambler. He was fired from most of them.

He can neither cook nor sing, but he can handle a 17th century smallsword, punts from the proper end, and knows how to hotwire a car. He lives in southeast England, with no cats and no children, and fully intends to keep it that way.

Catch up with him on his website, twitter and Facebook.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Operating Beyond MALICE–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m excited to share a release day blast for a YA thriller with romance elements from bestselling author Pintip Dunn. MALICE sounds like a fast-paced read that I’m excited to check out.

About the book:
What I know: a boy at my school will one day wipe out two-thirds of the population with a virus.
What I don’t know: who he is.

In a race against the clock, I not only have to figure out his identity, but I’ll have to outwit a voice from the future telling me to kill him. Because I’m starting to realize no one is telling the truth. But how can I play chess with someone who already knows the outcome of my every move? Someone so filled with malice she’s lost all hope in humanity? Well, I’ll just have to find a way―because now she’s drawn a target on the only boy I’ve ever loved…

How about a little taste?

Before I know it, I’m a foot away from the basketball court. The players are taking a break, and Bandit stands at the edge of the concrete, taking long pulls from a water bottle. Up close, his brilliant hair looks almost purple, and his T-shirt sticks to his back in sweaty patches, hinting at his solid muscles.

Now what? Do I clear my throat? Tap his shoulder? Going for broke, I do both at the same time.

He turns and lifts his eyebrows, as though wondering how a mere mortal such as myself dares to approach him. He’s tall—really tall. Almost a head above my five feet five. His jaw is chiseled, his shoulders broad. I’m so close that I can feel the heat rising off his body.

My brain scrambles. I forgot to check if I had any food in my teeth! Did I brush my hair this morning? Put on clothes?

Okay, so clearly I’m not naked, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what I’m wearing. Please don’t let it be the navy T-shirt with the faded splotches on the shoulder, from when I accidentally added bleach instead of detergent to the laundry.

I glance down. Jeans and a white tank top—my favorite shirt because it has Lin-Manuel Miranda’s autograph. More than passable.

“I, uh…” My entire vocabulary chooses that moment to flee.

His lids lower, and he looks at me, decidedly bored. “Yes? Can I help you?”

Three, four, five of his basketball friends angle their towering bodies toward us, probably wondering what the interruption is about.

Sweat gathers at the nape of my neck, and electricity hums along my skin. The Voice is about to zap me again. I just know it.

“Running out of time,” the Voice pipes up, as if on cue. “Tell him.”

Say the words and be done with it. Say the words. Say. The. Words.

“I love you,” I blurt. “That is all. Goodbye.”

I wheel around, ready to sprint, when a hand snags my arm. His hand.

“Wait a minute,” Bandit says, his eyes 2 percent less bored. “Are we in third grade? Do you want to give me a note asking if I love you back, so I can circle yes or no?”

My cheeks burn hotter than the sun assaulting my skin. Hotter, even, than the flames that got me into this mess.

I could really use that alien abduction right about now.

The object of my supposed affection smirks. “We can skip the note. Can’t say I blame you for falling for me. I mean, I’m a lovable guy. But have we actually met?” He lowers his voice. “Outside of your wildest dreams, that is.”

My Review:
Alice and her brother Archie are a junior and a senior, respectively, at a prestigious gifted high school. Their mother walked out several years ago and Archie and their father are both certified geniuses, not like Alice. She’s smart, but pragmatic–her talents lay in graphic arts like photography. Their dad runs a pharmaceutical research lab, and spend very little time with Alice and Archie’s a bit of a loner–having trouble making friends is one of his issues. Alice “mothers” him the best she can, and loves him dearly, but he’s a bit on the depressed side, and often the butt of pranks from his peers.

Alice is at school one day when she’s assailed by a painful voice in her head. It’s her own voice, speaking to her from the near-future warning her that there will be a deadly virus unleashed in the next decade that decimates the population. She must stop the Make of the virus, not, before that person can develop enough research to lead to this disaster. In the future, Alice goes by the nickname of “Malice” and it seems she’s closely connected to several students from her school that she’d never befriended before: ultra-popular Bandit, super-smart Cristela, Archie’s bestie Zeke, and she’s got an odd connection to the school bully and her brother’s personal tormentor Lee. Any of these people seem likely candidates to grow into the Maker of the virus. Adding more trouble for Alice, and she tries to unravel the identity of the Maker, her absentee father reconnects with his old college lab partner, Charlie, a sketchy scientist with a grudge who meets nearly all of the likely candidates at a banquet where Archie and Cristela are being honored.

The pacing of this story is really tight, with plenty of tension surrounding the Voice, and the intentions of Malice. Though Alice suspects it, she doesn’t learn until much later that other actors are talking to their “past” selves, in the way Malice informs her, and their agenda is not always to stop the Maker. It’s a deep game and Alice doesn’t know who to trust, but she’s really banking on Bandit, as he seems to be the most trustworthy. Also, she knows through Malice that Bandit plays a really big role in her future-life. There are lots of spins and twists, with Alice trying to build bridges between herself, her tiny family, Bandit and Cristela. Her natural protectiveness at points fosters and harms Archie, but her resolution to find a way to stop the Maker without killing leads to a new possible future, and one she hopes includes Bandit.

I enjoyed the story, and it’s many turns. I’ll admit I was dubious about her odd family from the start, but I was glad to have a plausible explanation for what seemed an avoidable dysfunction. Archie’s bullying situation was deeply troubling, and I know it was intended so, but the lack of action bothered me, especially as Alice often had a front-row seat to his plight. In all, Alice, the not-so-bright-as-her-genius-peers ends up saving the day with good old-fashioned love. I’m not sure if that’s a commentary on the sociopathic nature of intellectuals, on the ingenuity of the common person, or a moralistic stance on the heart being more intuitive than the brain. Her banter with Bandit was amusing, and I got how his brashly antagonistic flirting was more endearing than off-putting. It’s a fun and interesting start to what could possibly be the love of her life.

Interested? You can find MALICE on Goodreads, AmazonBarnes & Noble Kobo, Book DepositoryiTunes, Books-A-Million , and Google.

About the Author:
Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B., and received her J.D. at Yale Law School.

Pintip’s novel FORGET TOMORROW won the 2016 RWA RITA® for Best First Book, and SEIZE TODAY won the 2018 RITA for Best Young Adult Romance. In addition, her books have been translated into four languages, and they have been nominated for the following awards: the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire; the Japanese Sakura Medal; the MASL Truman Award; the Tome Society It list; the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award; and a Kirkus Reviews Best Indie Book of the Year. Her other novels include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, THE DARKEST LIE, GIRL ON THE VERGE, STAR-CROSSED, and MALICE.

Catch up with Pintip on her websiteFacebookTwitterInstagram, and Goodreads.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Managing the MONSTER OF THE WEEK–A Review

Hi there! Today, I’m sharing a review for a paranormal-type YA gay romance from F.T. Lukens. MONSTER OF THE WEEK is a sequel to THE RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR MEDIATING MYTHS AND MAGIC is about a high school senior who takes a part-time job so he can save money for college. But, his new job comes with all sorts of weird, and he’s soon caught up in disaster after disaster.

About the book:
Spring semester of Bridger Whitt’s senior year of high school is looking great. He has the perfect boyfriend, a stellar best friend, and an acceptance letter to college. He also has this incredible job as an assistant to Pavel Chudinov, an intermediary tasked with helping cryptids navigate the modern world. His days are filled with kisses, laughs, pixies, and the occasional unicorn.

Life is awesome.

But as graduation draws near, Bridger’s perfect life begins to unravel. Uncertainties about his future surface, his estranged dad shows up out of nowhere, and, perhaps worst of all, a monster-hunting television show arrives in town to investigate the series of strange events from last fall. The show’s intrepid host will not be deterred, and Bridger finds himself trapped in a game of cat and mouse that could very well put the myth world at risk. Again.

My Review:
Bridger Whitt is a high school senior with mere months to graduation. He’s dating an almost-hero, Leo, and a fab job helping intermediary Pavel Chudinov to help keep cryptids (think sasquatch), myths and magic folk from being noticed by humans. IN this he’s aided by his human bestie Astrid, Elena the werewolf, and a pair of pixies, Nia and Bran, and now his familiar “Marv” (aka Midnight Marvel) who looks like a kitten, but is not. Marv was a gift for his 18th birthday. Though Bridger and Leo have been dating a few months, they’re both still “unicorn-friendly” which means they’re virgins, because a unicorn will not approach a person who is sexually impure.

Bridger has been raised by his mom, but his absentee father has inexplicably returned and wants to build a relationship now that Bridger’s about to head off to college. It’s shady, but Bridger is used to the weird. What he’s not used to is having a reporter hanging around his tiny town of Midden, Michigan. Summer Lore is the host of the “Monster of the Week” show, and though she seems to be rather bored of doing her bit, she’s still an investigative reporter. It’s not long before Summer is trailing Bridger all over town, and trying to find out what happened when Bridger nearly drowned last term–in a rare and unexpected merpeople attack. While Astrid and Bridger try to diffuse this situation, some of his classmates are vying for the TV camera attention.

Summer’s aggressive tactics may be freaking Bridger out, but Pavel’s not that worried. Well, he puts Summer on warning, but Bridger knows it’s a matter of time before she’s at him again. Prom’s coming and Bridger and Leo are in the running for Prom Kings–which is a situation Leo’s dad has trouble understanding. But that’s not the worst thing. No, the worst thing is Summer trying to pry cryptid secrets from Bridger, even if she has to steal them…

This is as sweet and funny a story as the first book in the series. Bridger is an awkward and compassionate character and all his friends are interesting and cool. There’s some really troublesome issues surrounding Pavel’s position and Bridger’s status as his assistant–because of Summer’s interference. I loved getting to see Prom with a dash of magic a la magic portal, and graduation that becomes a bit of a showdown, what with the clashing guests. Bridger barely makes it to graduation, thanks to an out-of-control myth, but ends the book happily, in a lightly less unicorn-friendly state. It’s all tender and YA appropriate, and a book I’d read over and over. The one part I’m sad over is it seems that we’ve reached the end of this series! Otherwise, highly recommend.

Interested? You can find MONSTER OF THE WEEK on Goodreads, Interlude Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo.

About the Author:
F.T. wrote her first short story when she was in third grade and her love of writing continued from there. After placing in the top five out of ten thousand entries in a writing contest, she knew it was time to dive in and try her hand at writing a novel.

A wife and mother of three, F.T. holds degrees in psychology and English literature, and is a long-time member of her college’s science-fiction club. F.T. has a love of cheesy television shows, superhero movies, and science-fiction novels—especially anything by Douglas Adams.

Connect with F.T. on her website, Twitter, Tumblr and on Goodreads.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Becoming ALL BOY–A Review

Hi there!Today I’m sharing my review for a recently published transgender New Adult romance from Mia Kerick. ALL BOY is a coming of age and coming out story for a transgender teen living life on his terms. I have enjoyed many books by this author, including LOVE SPELL, THE WEEKEND BUCKET LIST, and THE ART OF HERO WORSHIP.

About the book:
Seventeen-year-old Callie Canter knows all about screwing up—and being screwed over. After her so-called boyfriend publicly humiliated her senior year, taking a fifth year of high school at Beaufort Hills Academy is her second chance to leave behind a painful past. But her need for social acceptance follows, and going along with the in-crowd is the difference between survival and becoming a target. Staying off the radar is top priority. So, falling for an outsider is the last thing on Callie’s “to-do” list. Too bad her heart didn’t get the memo.

With his strict, religious upbringing and former identity far away in Florida, Jayden Morrissey can finally be true to himself at Beaufort Hills Academy. But life as a trans man means keeping secrets, and keeping secrets means not getting too close to anyone. If he can just get through his fifth year unnoticed, maybe a future living as the person he was born to be is possible. Yet love is love, and when you fall hard enough, intentions crumble, plans detour, and secrets are revealed.

From multi-award-winning author Mia Kerick, comes a powerful, timely, and life-changing novel, which follows two teenagers nursing broken hearts and seeking acceptance, and who together realize running away isn’t always the answer.

My Review:
Callie Canter is at an exclusive prep school trying to finish her his school diploma now that she’s in a healthy place. In her hometown she’d been a victim of partner abuse, with a controlling, demeaning boyfriend whose constant criticism led to body issues, and whose release of a nude video completely humiliated Callie. She’s not sure about this new school, but she’s determined to use her therapy-gained emotional management skills to get past the crap she otherwise would have folded under. She’s got a great new roomie, and her soccer skills have garnered the attention of the kind of guys she’d usually dated: built jocks with more quips than thoughts. Except, those are the types of guys she’d been abused by in the past.

Instead, she’s really drawn to Jayden Morrisey. He’s thin and lithe, and funny and so smart! Why does Jayden live off campus and work, though? It’s peculiar, and intriguing. Jayden’s always standing up for Callie, and she likes that he’s not aggressively sexual, that they have a connection that is intellectual and emotional rather than only physical. Naturally, this makes Jayden a target for the suitors Callie’s attracted. He’s not big enough to stand up against the bullies, and the more he antagonizes them the more the threats ramp up.

Jayden has a big secret, it’s his first time living on his own, in his own skin–transitioning in dress and manner into the man he’s always been on the inside. He’s attracted to Callie, but he has a lot going on, not least of which is his hyper-conservative family who can’t understand why he didn’t accept the full-ride softball scholarship at a Christian college. This first taste as living authentically is an amazing experience, and Jayden considers coming out to Callie. But the guys chasing Callie aren’t willing to let her go–and make moves to “unmask” Jayden before he can discuss it with Callie.

I liked how authentic the relationship between Callie and Jayden felt, as well as the fast friendship she has with her roomie. Jayden’s got a hot mess to unravel, and he thinks it’s best if he does it off campus. While not ideal, Jayden heads home, and it’s up to Callie to make amends. That raises other issues that Callie must manage for herself, namely her dependence on others to define her self-image. Throughout the story, Callie’s insecurities in herself dictate her actions and inactions. That’s right, Callie’s lack of action cause Jayden great harm, and she has to mount a road-trip to help Jayden get justice. I liked how it turned out, even if I was disappointed by Callie for a large chunk of the book. The resolution is a heart-warming experience, with Jayden and Callie finding the refuge they needed to make their way into the world in healthy and positive ways.

Interested? You can find ALL BOY on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

About the Author:
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty-two years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships, and she believes that physical intimacy has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.

Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Where to find Mia online: Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!