Review: Livingston (Trenton Security #1) by J.M. Dabney

He was the Beast without the escape clause.

Francis “Liv” Livingston was a beast. No matter if he wore a perfectly tailored suit or if he was in his tactical gear, people avoided looking at him. He was always first to volunteer for the jobs only a person with a death wish wanted. Tomorrows weren’t guaranteed. His boss had come to him and told him he needed him for a job. Linus knew the jobs he liked, but when he opened the file, it all went to hell.

Beauty was only skin deep.

Fielding Haskell made his way in the world on his looks. He’d earned his first film role before he could read a script. He didn’t want the fame. He wanted to go to college. He wanted a man who didn’t look at him and see how pretty he was. Unfortunately, a so-called fan only cared how attractive he was, and it earned him a personal bodyguard and a vacation. He looked forward to the break until he met the man in charge of his safety and wondered if the danger he left was worth dealing with a sudden attraction to a man who was colder than ice.

I’m going to start this off with some warnings and information that I wish I had prior to diving in. This read is full of Daddy kink. The MCs and secondary characters are all part of the lifestyle and it's a huge element of the story. There’s also a fisting scene that isn’t super graphic but worth noting. There are triggers for abuse, stalking, and mentions of prior suicide attempts.

Still here?


Daddy kink and fisting aren’t my kinks of choice but I still somewhat enjoyed this read. Both Fielding and Livingston were very likable with heartbreaking backstories that had me cheering for them along the way.

Livingston was born into an environment where “love came in shades of blue and black, fading to a deceptively pretty purple and a sick greenish-yellow.” After a horrific childhood ripe with abuse and time in the military, he works for a security company. Livingston lives his life waiting, hoping for it to end. He’s scarred from head to toe on half his body and accepts that he’ll never find someone that will look past his beastly exterior.

Fielding is a 23 year old actor that has never truly lived. He’s beautiful and on a very short leash with zero freedom. Fielding is starved, denied relationships, micromanaged, and has a keeper 24/7. No chocolate for two years? *gasp* #fuckthatnoise! He also has a very aggressive stalker which is how he’s placed in the care of Livingston, his new bodyguard.

Both men are broken and hesitant to reach for more. They are immediately attracted to each other but Livingston has a difficult time getting past his hangups and the 15 year age gap to move on. Things obviously heat up for the men and Livingston gets his boy while trying to suss out a stalker. They have a few bumps in the road while Livingston tries to do what’s right. Eventually they get their Daddy/boy situation resolved for a predictable HEA.

Here are my issues: I felt like I was entering a story that had already started. There was a lack of depth and shortfalls in character and plot development. Many things are rushed, especially the Daddy/boy dynamic without being fully realized. I *think* it’s due to the fact that the secondary characters already had their stories told. However, this is supposed to be a standalone and the first of a new series. A little warning about reading order would go a long way for clarity. I didn’t read the other books by this author and therefore can’t speak on whether it would have provided the foundational depth that Livingston is lacking.

As I mentioned above, I was still able to find pieces to enjoy. The stalker storyline held my attention and I was invested in the outcome of Livingston and Fielding. This story isn’t for the squeamish but I’d recommend it to those that have already read the previous books about the secondary characters.

*skips off to eat chocolate*


Release Blitz + Giveaway: Rended Hearts by Riza Curtis

Celebrate the release of Rended Hearts with author Riza Curtis and Signal Boost Promotions! Learn more about the witch/shifter mate romance today! Enter in the $10 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Length: 35,000 words approx.


After a life on the run, witch Gabriel just wants to enjoy having a home. He’s perfectly happy pottering around his garden and using magic to quietly help people. Then the Alpha of the local wolf pack is attacked by a member of the local coven, and everything changes. There’s no love lost between the witch and the wolves, but Gabriel saves the life of the Alpha in an attempt to keep the peace.

Simon finds his mate in the witch that saves his life, but the coven is coming for Gabriel, and they don’t care who gets in their way...


“That’s better.” Simon couldn’t help his own smile after seeing Gabriel’s joy. His face was flushed pink from laughing, and he looked radiant in the soft light of the clinic.

“What is?”

Simon took a chance and moved closer. Gabriel’s eyes widened as he startled, but he didn’t seem alarmed. “Seeing you smile.”

Gabriel flushed a deeper red, a hint of confusion displayed on his face.

Simon took another step closer so that he was face-to-face with a flustered Gabriel. He brought his hand up to gently touch the side of the Gabriel’s face. His skin was softer than Simon had thought possible.

“Are you—” Gabriel broke off the sentence and moved back. Simon dropped his hand immediately. He didn’t want to make Gabriel uncomfortable.

Gabriel glanced at Simon and took a hesitant breath. Simon tried to look reassuring.

“Forgive me if I’m wrong, but you’re flirting with me? Why?”

Simon chuckled. Gabriel was adorable. “Because I like you.”

Gabriel frowned before glancing away. He didn’t seem satisfied with the answer.

“But wolves have mates,” he interjected.

Simon’s eyes widened momentarily. He hadn’t thought Gabriel would know about mates, but maybe this would be a good thing—maybe Gabriel would be more receptive, more understanding about the situation.

“Why do you think I am flirting with you?” Simon asked, dropping his voice to no louder than a whisper, soft and alluring.

Gabriel inhaled sharply, and his eyes widened. “Surely not?”

Simon didn’t know if that was positive or negative, but he couldn’t take it back now. He nodded, moving closer and crowding Gabriel against the wall.

“Don’t you feel it too?” he asked. “My mate?”

Author Bio

Riza began writing stories at a young age to the a?n?n?o?y?a?n?c?e? delight of anyone she could b?u?l?l?y? persuade to read them. Now somewhat older, if not wiser, things haven't really changed.

Riza lives in England where they enjoy adding extra letters to words, tea, and discussing the weather (it's always raining). She has a FdSci in Manufacturing Engineering and is currently working towards her BEng. When she's not writing, studying or doing her day job, Riza is obsessed with target archery and enjoys shooting barebow.

Twitter: @rizacurtis



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Review: A Matter of Courage (Hong Kong Nights #2) by J.C. Long

Winston Chang has spent much of his young life admiring the Dragons who have kept his area safe and fought off the gangs that would bring violence to their area. Now that he’s an adult, he wants nothing more than to join the Dragons and live up to those standards.

The opportunity presents itself when his passion and knowledge of cars is just what the Dragons need. One of their own has been killed and his death seems linked to his involvement with the illegal racing scene known as the Dark Streets. Winston is needed to infiltrate the scene and find out who is responsible and why.

Steel has always been Winston’s best friend, and Winston has always been there to get him out of trouble. Just as the stress in Winston’s life reaches its peak, the relationship between Winston and Steel begins to change in ways neither of them expected.

Will Winston and Steel be able to find the courage to face not only the unknown killer stalking the Dark Streets racers but also their growing feelings?

I’m not sure I will ever learn, since this happens to me frequently, but for readers out there, don’t be a dummy like me… read book one first!!

Winston and Steel have been friends since childhood and are secretly pining for each other. Steel hasn’t approached Winston because he’s afraid it will ruin their friendship. Winston hasn’t approached Steel because he doesn’t think Steel feels anything for him and has accepted that friendship will be all they have. It’s just that their time together seems to become more intimate, which leaves Winston feeling confused, and Steel feeling like he is messing up.

I liked both characters on a general level. I don’t know if these two appear in the first book (I will be reading it to find out) so I’m not sure if their backstory is shared in any way there, and this is where I felt slightly disconnected. I vaguely understand Steel has some issues but those issues didn’t quite add up for me when he was trying to stay away from Winston. It sort of made sense with the information provided, but I felt like I was missing some context.

Winston was a sweetheart, and a big part of this story is him trying to get in with The Dragons. He felt he had proved himself and didn’t understand why he wasn’t a part of the inner circle yet. He says yes to a potentially dangerous underground street racing gig to try and get information on a murder that is connected, in the hopes it elevates him to an official position.

There is some basic mystery/suspense in this story. I enjoyed trying to figure out who the killer was. It wasn’t overly complex, and was secondary to the overall story arc, but it was a bit of fun (if that’s your thing).

I would have liked more depth to the relationship between Steel and Winston. It felt a bit surface level, but convincing enough. I mentioned backstory because I didn’t feel their friendship was shown enough in this story. They appeared to be quite disconnected at the point this story starts, and for childhood friends, that was problematic for me.

The setting was also problematic for me. I didn’t really get a feel for the area this group of people were in, and this may be because I was silly and didn’t read book one first, or maybe not. I would have liked to be shown more of the setting.

Overall this was enjoyable, if light, and easy to read. I’d recommend it to readers who need something low angst and enjoy friends to lovers.

A review copy was provided for an honest opinion.

Release Blitz: His Truth by Riley Hart

The His Truth release blitz visits BMBR! Celebrate with author Riley Hart and Vibrant Promotions! Learn about the second chance romance today!

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RELEASE DATE: 03.29.18
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COVER DESIGN: X-Potion Designs
They were only kids when they met for the first time. Leo Mancini was the son of a judge. Roman Cipriani the son of a criminal. So different, yet as they shared stolen kisses and secret moments, they fell in love. One day they would run away together, have the future they deserved, because no one loved Leo like Roman did, or Roman like Leo did. But before they could make their dreams come true, their future was viciously stolen and their lives changed forever.
Roman has spent the last twelve years repressing the trauma in his past, trying to pretend it didn’t exist, until even he believed his own lies.
Leo won’t let himself forget what happened because he doesn’t ever want to be that person again. He won’t become the man his father wanted him to be or the guy who gets hurt when he lets someone in.
But in that split second when their eyes meet again, everything changes. Despite Leo’s anger and Roman’s denial, the connection they shared as teens is still there, too powerful to deny. Now, when their moments don’t have to be stolen, they cling to what they’ve always craved—each other.
Roman and Leo aren’t kids anymore, though—they can’t lock themselves away from the world and pretend nothing exists but each other. A trauma like Roman suffered doesn’t just go away, but now that Roman accepts his truth, can the two of them escape their demons before they destroy Roman and Leo a second time?

It was close to ten when Roman’s phone rang. His pulse kicked up, and when he saw Leo’s name on the screen, he fumbled ridiculously picking it up. It was Friday night, so he’d assumed Leo would be at work. He hadn’t expected to hear from him. “Hello?”

“Hey, Tough Guy. What are you doing?” Roman wasn’t sure why, but his pulse sped again at the old nickname. He listened but didn’t hear music or anything in the background. “You didn’t have to work tonight?” he asked.

“I’m on break. I borrowed the keys to someone’s car, so I’m sitting in it. Needed some quiet. How was work?”

“Work was work. I had too many meetings and a few unhappy clients.”

“Sounds like your day was about as good as mine.”

They were quiet for a few moments. Roman wasn’t sure what to say. There was something different about Leo right now, but he couldn’t put his finger on what it was. “What did you do today?” he finally asked.

“Nothing important.”

Leo’s words sounded like a lie. No, he knew they were a lie. He’d always been able to tell when Leo was having a bad day or wasn’t being truthful with him. “I don’t believe you.”

There was a soft chuckle on the other end of the line. “I never could lie to you. I went to see my parents. It was a shitty day. I don’t want to talk about it. Where are you?”

Curiosity almost made him refuse to answer Leo’s question, but somehow he knew now wasn’t the time to talk about it. That wasn’t what Leo needed. “Lying in my bed.” At ten on a Friday night. He really needed to get a life. What would Leo do after work tonight? Would he bring someone home with him? The thought made Roman’s gut churn, but it wasn’t as if he had any claim on Leo. They hadn’t discussed anything.

“Have you done what I told you to do?” Leo asked, confusing him.

“What was that?”

“Finger yourself. Get to know your body.”

Roman immediately tensed up and hated himself for it. There was nothing wrong with masturbating. He’d jerked off too many times to count. Most people did, but this was different.

“Do it for me now, Ro,” Leo said, obviously not needing Roman to answer him.

“What? No.”There was a voice in his head telling him it wasn’t a big deal. Phone sex. People did it all the time. He felt like a novice when it came to being sexual. He’d worked hard to please Amy or other women he’d been with, but he wasn’t the kind of man who had phone sex or anything like that.

“Yes. You can do it. I don’t have much time, though. Let’s see…If I can make you come before I get back to work, what do I get?”

Roman didn’t answer. The truth was, he couldn’t imagine putting a finger up his own ass while he was on the phone with Leo.

“The only way to move forward is to let go of the past.”Leo’s words burst through his thoughts. They were true, another truth Roman needed to accept.

“Are you wearing anything?” Leo asked.

“Just my underwear.”

“Take them off for me. You have such a beautiful body. I couldn’t stop looking at it the other night.”

It was clearly a distraction, but…fuck, Roman thought maybe he wanted this too. Wanted to let loose and just do the kinds of things people dating did. He didn’t want to think about things that hurt or things that were hard, and he knew Leo didn’t either.

Roman did his best to turn his brain off, took a deep breath, and pulled his underwear down his legs. He kicked out of them and then pushed the blanket down so he was completely bare in the middle of his bed. “Okay, they’re off,” Roman told him, realizing he really wanted to do this. “How should I lie?”

Riley Hart Logo 2

Riley Hart is the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s a hopeless romantic, a lover of sexy stories, passionate men, and writing about all the trouble they can get into together.
She loves reading, flawed characters, and hanging out with her husband and children, who she adores. She and her family live in Southern California, soaking up the sunshine while also missing seasons. Not a day goes by that she isn’t thankful she gets to wake up and do what she loves.
Life is good. Riley also writes young adult and new adult under the name Nyrae Dawn.
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Review: The Witch Stone (Court of Ash and Stone #1) by Jasmine Hong

One of the unfortunate truths in life is that if someone dumps a war on your doorstep in the small hours of the morning, well, you’re kind of stuck with it. Especially if that war comes in the form of a mostly naked man and he just happens to be one of the most powerful beings in the city.

And your ex.

Another unfortunate truth: No matter how poorly things ended, you’re going to wind up scraping him up off the cement and dragging him in off your doorstep. And, of course, that’s when the real trouble begins.

4 Debut Hearts!

I don’t really know what I just read, but I surely enjoyed what I got!

Extremely rich with imagination, this is a complex world of magic and hierarchy, full of court politics, different dimensions, and constant power struggles taking place.

From what I can glean, Cal is from a very powerful matriarchal and magical family. He’s not as valued because he’s male, but that all changes when his ex shows up on his doorstep with a stone of power indicating that the current court of the city is dead. Now, he’s been tasked by the stone itself to find the new lord that will help keep the city running and safe, but there's all sorts trying to prevent that from happening.

This was reminiscent of complex urban fantasy that constantly will keep you on your toes. You’ve got demons, emissaries, clan feuds, and a goddess of mischief, all vying for their piece of the pie as the raw loose power tries to find a balance through Cal and company.

This was fast paced, with so much info thrown at you making you want to know more instead of throwing your hands up in frustration. There’s not a straightforward romance here - yet - but the promise of some delicious push pull has been set in motion. I’m definitely impressed and intrigued by what a mere 103 pages brought to the table and honestly, the next installment can’t come soon enough!

Thank you to the author/publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Audiobook Review: Leaning Into the Fall (Leaning Into #3) by Lane Hayes

Nick Jorgensen is a quirky genius. He's made a fortune in the competitive high tech field with his quick mind and attention to detail. He believes in hard work and trusting his gut. And he believes in karma. It’s the only thing that makes sense. People are difficult, but numbers never lie. In the disastrous wake of a broken engagement to an investor’s daughter, Nick is more certain than ever he isn’t relationship material.

Wes Conrad owns a thriving winery in Napa Valley. The relaxed atmosphere is a welcome departure from his former career as a high-rolling businessman. Wes’s laid-back nature is laced with a fierceness that appeals to Nick. In spite of his best intention to steer clear of complications, Nick can’t fight his growing attraction to the sexy older man who seems to understand him. Even the broken parts he doesn’t get himself. However, when Wes’s past collides with Nick’s present, both men will have to have to decide if they’re ready to lean into the ultimate fall.

Listening Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
Narrator: Nick J. Russo

Reviewer: Shee Reader

The story starts slowly with getting to know Nick, and then the awful day he took the wine back to the winery where we meet Wes. It took me a while to warm up to both the men (and even Russo’s narration) but warm up I did! I ended up loving both men and was quite tearful at Nick’s growing up and coming out story. The fact that both MC’s were three dimensional characters with plenty of flaws and human nature was such a source of joy to me, and made it all the easier to lose myself in the story. The main thrust of the tale was the two men falling for each other and working towards a healthy relationship. There were bumps in the road, some form outside the relationship, but some from the men themselves with was so relatable that I loved it. Another great feature if the story was the lovely network of strong friends and healthy relationships.

The narration was quite superb, with lovely characterisation, Nick isn’t my favourite narrator ever, but he does a lovely job with this book.

The writing is engaging, easy to get lost in, funny at times and able to bring a tear. With the high quality HEA, all in all this is an enjoyable book. I will be getting the other book is the series as I loved this one so much!

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Hug It Out by Davidson King

Hug It Out is officially released! Celebrate with author Davidson King and Vibrant Promotions! Learn more about the contemporary romance today! Enter in the eBook giveaway: you could win either Hug It Out or Snow Falling!

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RELEASE DATE: 03.29.18
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Riordan Darcy has spent the last fourteen years building a name for himself as a notorious assassin. He travels the world taking the lives of some of the worst humanity has to offer, leaving his signature on every victim.
Riordan becomes unhappy and withdrawn from the world after a job goes horribly wrong and he makes the decision to get out of the life he was forced into, so long ago. When his meddling, older sister gives him a birthday gift that’s impossible to refuse, his plans to leave his life of crime take a backseat when he’s forced to protect the life of a veritable stranger.
When professional hugger and TLC provider, Teddy Harris, is offered a month-long companionship contract, he’s hard pressed to turn it down. Cuddler by day and a video game reviewer by night, Teddy’s need to make people feel loved and cared for is what drives him. When he meets Riordan Darcy, professional challenge and personal temptation collide, making it nearly impossible for him to endure a whole month with the gorgeous, enigmatic man without falling head over heels in love.
When a mole is discovered within Riordan’s organization, relationships are compromised, and people’s lives are in danger. Time isn’t on their side, and they discover answers can’t always be found by hugging it out when someone is hell-bent on eliminating each and every one of them. Can Riordan and Teddy survive long enough to fall in love, or will they die trying?

“Cupcakes?” Riordan asked. I’d been unable to sleep the night before and found myself in the kitchen at 3:00 A.M. baking.

“Yep. Chocolate vanilla swirl. The frosting is blue because it’s what I had left over after Delly’s birthday cake.” I placed them on the kitchen table and searched for plates.

“I see. But why cupcakes?” He sat at the table and I laughed when he poked at the cupcakes like they were foreign objects.

“It’s a birthday present. Birthdays are best when there’s cake of some sort. I like cupcakes better than cake because they portion my intake.”

Riordan chuckled. “I imagine sugar would have you climbing the walls.”

“I don’t eat a lot of sugar for many reasons, but I always make exceptions for birthdays.” Riordan watched with interest as I plated the cupcakes.

When his was in front of him, he dipped his finger in the frosting and sucked. Sweet mama mia.

“You okay, Teddy? You froze there for a minute. You also didn’t answer my question.”

Question? Oh. “I’m good. Just tired. What’s your question?” Sitting down, I began nibbling my cupcake, desperate for something to occupy my thoughts other than Riordan’s lips, tongue, and sucking.

“I said it’s not my birthday today so whose are we celebrating?” Riordan devoured half the cupcake in one bite.

“Yours. I realized I didn’t know exactly what day your birthday was on, so I thought I’d celebrate it today.”

He nodded as he ate the rest of the cupcake. “You could have just asked me.”

The blue frosting on Riordan’s lips taunted me. I wanted to kiss them clean. I had to stop. “I could have, but where’s the fun in that?”

His smile was mischievous. “So, you don’t want to know?”

I wasn’t sure what he was up to. I had quickly come to realize he could be sneaky at times. “I like mystery. I think it’s…”

“August tenth,” he interrupted.

“God dammit!” I slapped the table in mock frustration. “Now I’ll have to make more cupcakes on your birthday.”

Seeing Riordan laugh made me happy. I could tell he didn’t do it a lot. Or he hadn’t done it in a while.

“You’re off the hook, Teddy. Thank you for the cupcakes.” He gestured toward the door where I knew the box I had brought was sitting. “Are those your consoles?”

“Yeah. Let me take them up to the guest room. It won’t take long to set them up. I had a great idea for after.”

Riordan didn’t look like this was exciting news, but I imagined most of his life was balanced between being paranoid and being cautious. “What sort of idea?”

“A surprise, of course.”

“You and your surprises,” he grumbled, but I didn’t think he minded.

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Davidson King, always had a hope that someday her daydreams would become real-life stories. As a child, you would often find her in her own world, thinking up the most insane situations. It may have taken her awhile, but she made her dream come true with her first published work, Snow Falling.
When she’s not writing you can find her blogging away on Diverse Reader, her review and promotional site. She managed to wrangle herself a husband who matched her crazy and they hatched three wonderful children.
If you were to ask her what gave her the courage to finally publish, she’d tell you it was her amazing family and friends. Support is vital in all things and when you’re afraid of your dreams, it will be your cheering section that will lift you up.
Twitter: @DavidsonKing11


Tag Team Review: Ever After by Riley Hart & Christina Lee

As next in line for the Evergreen crown, Prince Merrick Davendall’s future involves ruling, marriage, and producing an heir of his own. But he’s long been tormented by desires that are far from princely. Especially when the beautiful Cassius is promoted to be his new valet, and Merrick is struck by a longing like never before—a longing to know him far beyond royal and servant.

After his father’s passing, Cassius Havendale’s sole duty is to provide for his family. A promotion to serve a pampered prince is something he endures only for their sake. Surely Prince Merrick has no understanding of the true suffering of the common people, nor could he possibly understand what it’s like to desperately desire something he cannot have.

Except the prince is not at all what Cassius imagined. Kind, humorous, and caring to those in need, he also shares Cassius’s affinity for the arts. In fact, Merrick understands his deepest vulnerabilities in a most remarkable way.

As their affection deepens, the underlying tension between them becomes unbearable and they’re unable to ignore it any longer. But when the queen prepares a lavish ball with all the eligible ladies in the land in attendance, Merrick must fulfill his obligations to his country, and Cassius has the needs of his family to consider. They’ve long known their stolen moments would have to come to an end, but are they ready to give up one another and the idea of a happily-ever-after?

***PLEASE NOTE: EVER AFTER is a romantic fairy tale—minus the magic—that features one compassionate prince, one brooding valet, and plenty of angsty, forbidden love. It’s loosely based on a certain treasured fairy tale in a wintery make-believe setting that wouldn’t be considered contemporary but also isn’t based on any specific time period and doesn’t play by any traditional rules.

3.25 Average

Lost in a Book - 3.5 Hearts

I had some serious grabby hands for this book. Before I cracked it open, many of my happy boxes were checked; Historical, fantasy, fairy tale spin off, difference in stations, and an interesting cover. While it didn’t live up to the excite I had going into it, it was still ridiculously sweet, with some enjoyable moments, and likable MCs.

Prince Merrick is the crown prince and his parents are trying to wife him up and knock her up so he can ensure the line of succession. He’s a dreamer and an artist with a kind heart and an affinity for men. Merrick is also loyal and squelches his desire while focusing on duty to his family, throne, and the people in his kingdom. He’s also pretty successful at keeping everything under wraps until he needs a new valet and the gorgeously intriguing, Cassius is chosen.

Cassius is under employ at the palace and moves up the ranks quickly. He’s a hard worker that focuses on providing for his family after the passing of his father. He’s enamored with Prince Merrick and helping him dress and bathe doesn’t help his attraction in the slightest.

Both men are around the same age and develop a solid bond. They understand the demands of duty and the implications of their sexuality for those around them. Especially in a time when it’s frowned upon. Their sense of duty delays a connection beyond friendship. Every After is a slooooooow burn that is full of attraction and stolen moments that were innocent- yet full of potential. Once they break the proverbial seal…yowza. They were also adorable while content to just be together in silent companionship. There wasn’t much angst other than the obvious difference in station and sexuality that led to an easy HEA.

The first 3/4 of the story had me back and forth on my enjoyment levels. All the suitor situations dragged on with the force feeding of eligible women. The pace and plot picked up around 75% causing my enjoyment level to increase. I’m just a bit confused about the historical elements. It went back and forth between trying to use Valet/Prince customs and language to then got lost and became more modern communication/convienences on the next page. I’m assuming that’s where the fantasy elements came in which requires much suspension in “reality?” Around 85% there were finally some of feels that I wish were available throughout. They left me happy but also disappointed at the missed opportunity for the rest of the book.

Let’s talk about the females in this story… LOVE them. They were written with backbones, strength, fire, loyalty, and compassion. It’s always refreshing whether in M/M of M/F to have strong characters without the need to prop one up by demeaning or short-changing another.


Overall, this book has a sweet setting, sweet MCs, sweet romance, sweet families, sweet, sweet, sweet. That’s not a bad thing and many will absolutely connect with these adorable men and their plight. I would have liked more cohesive historical elements, more action (not that kind…) to shake up the monotony, and more feels. Still, a pleasant read and recommended for those that are looking for low angst with a ginormous helping of cheesy sweetness.

R *A Reader Obsessed* - 3 Hearts

To be honest, I’m a bit torn about how I feel about this story. I can see how this could appeal to many and also, I can see how some might be not as enamored.

Prince Merrick has a lot of responsibility weighing on him. He’s to inherit the throne and needs to find a wife because most importantly, he needs to provide an heir. Funny that. Too bad he doesn’t fancy women. At all. However, Merrick knows his duty and he resigns himself to his fate, but it seems that his new valet Cassius, through no fault of his own, won’t allow Merrick to just easily fall in line and accept what he’s honor bound to do.

Cassius on the other hand, has a pretty big chip on his shoulder, having had to struggle his whole life to help support his family by working very very hard. Now, more than ever since his father has passed away, he must not jeopardize his new job as he’s the sole provider for his sick mum and two younger sisters. Cassius wants to hate Prince Merrick on principle, but as he gets to know him, he can’t help but admire all that the prince does for his people and see a caring man who’s just as trapped as he is.

I have to give credit because this is a thoughtful rumination on class differences and the weight of responsibility on both these men. It is realistic in the evolving relationship between a prince and his servant where crossing the social lines is unheard of and not condoned. The attraction and feels are organic, and the inner turmoil these men go through was heartfelt.

However, this has brought home the fact that I have a tough relationship with historicals (though this is very historical-lite in its fictional setting) which always encompasses MC’s who have to be in the closet, and it just makes me a complete nervous nelly and my overall enjoyment is quite affected. Plus, for some reason the idea of a fairy tale really appeals but ultimately, it never enchants me as much as I’d like it to. Despite my personal qualms, I'm sure many will love this very romantic story about two disparate individuals who have nary a chance at finding their happy ever after with each other. This is light in the overall angst thankfully, as well as having some good steamy scenes, but perhaps because of its fairy tale connotations, this clashed with its more contemporary leanings and thus, it felt disjointed and a bit underwhelming to me.

Regardless, Hart and Lee are typically consistent wins, and if you’re familiar with that and agree, I don’t think readers will be disappointed.

Thank you to the authors/publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Audiobook Review: Mad About the Hatter by Dakota Chase

This isn’t his sister’s Wonderland….

Henry never believed his older sister, Alice’s, fantastic tales about the world down the rabbit hole. When he’s whisked away to the bizarre land, his best chance for escape is to ally himself with the person called the Mad Hatter. Hatter—an odd but strangely attractive fellow—just wants to avoid execution. If that means delivering “Boy Alice” to the Queen of Hearts at her Red Castle, Hatter will do what he has to do to stay alive. It doesn’t matter if Henry and Hatter find each other intolerable. They’re stuck with each other.

Along their journey, Henry and Hatter must confront what they’ve always accepted as truth. As dislike grows into tolerance and something like friendship, the young men see the chance for a closer relationship. But Wonderland is a dangerous place, and first they have to get away with their lives.

Listening Length: 7 hours and 8 minutes
Narrator: Joel Froomkin

I loved, loved, loved this audio-book! Not only did I love it, but I could only listen to it when my 14 year old daughter was around as she overheard part of it and loved it too. it's a thing to be treasured, I think, a story that crosses generations and enjoyed by different age groups. The Harry Potter books are a great example of this, and whilst this book is very different from Harry Potter it has that same generational appeal.

A sequel to Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass, Dakota Chase captures the eccentric nature of Carroll's writing whilst retaining a fresh uniqueness that is all her own.

Many familiar characters appear as Henry, Alice's younger brother, falls into Wonderland and starts his own adventure. The voices of the previous characters feel very authentic despite the new aesthetic to this story, the burgeoning romance between Hatter and Henry. Caterpillar, the Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire cat, Tweedle-Dum and Dee and of course Hatter are all completely recognisable as Carroll's character's but they aren't tired flagging copies, they are just right to bring this story to life.

The adventure was fun, the narration excellent - in fact I have only one point of dislike about the book. When Henry and Hatter come back into our world, it is a modern day world and this felt out of sync to me. I also wished that Henry and Alice had remained English rather than becoming American - but that's the English in me coming out! These two points would have retained a little bit more truth to the story, but neither were enough for me to knock off a heart.

If you like quirky well written stories then please, please read this one. Actually - the narration is so good, don't read it listen to it! One of my top audiobooks for narration and content, definitiley and all time favourite.

A copy of this audiobook was given in exchange for an honest review.

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Souls for Sale by Asta Idonea

Celebrate the release of Souls for Sale with author Asta Idonea and IndiGo Marketing! Learn more about the demon filled paranormal and enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title:  Souls for Sale
Author: Asta Idonea
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: March 26, 2018
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 51600
Genre: Paranormal, LGBT, humor, demons, angels, nerds-geeks, artists, hell

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When demon Saul persuades comic book artist Tom to sign over his soul in exchange for a night of passion, little does he know what lies in store. Demons can’t fall in love—or so he’s been told—but he finds himself smitten and attempts to destroy the contract, desperate to save Tom from an eternity of torture.

With Saul and Tom forced to run, a showdown between Heaven and Hell ensues as the angels and demons argue over who owns Tom’s soul. But does either party have a stronger claim than Saul?


Souls for Sale
Asta Idonea © 2018
All Rights Reserved


It’s tough being a demon in this day and age. Times are hard and souls just aren’t what they used to be. I should know; it’s my job to collect them. Or try to, anyway. What I wouldn’t give to go back to the good ol’ days when you could buy a soul as easily as an apple at the marketplace. And I mean a proper apple, plucked straight from the tree that morning. None of this modified, refrigerated crap that passes as fresh fruit nowadays.

I know what you’re thinking. Trust me; I’ve heard it all before. You’re wondering how it could be so hard to get someone to sign away their soul in an age when everything can be obtained for a price, when everything is for sale. Actors, bankers, politicians. You’d think rich pickings; am I right? Well, you’d be wrong.

Problem is that no one believes anymore. Picture this: I walk up to someone and offer to grant them anything their heart desires in exchange for their soul. Now, in times past they’d either tremble in fear and drop to their knees, praying to the guy upstairs (my cue to leave), or they’d tremble in fear for a moment and then sign on the dotted line. Simple. Everyone knew where they stood. But if I were to try that today, most people would laugh in my face and walk off, or else they’d look uneasy and slink away from the ‘deranged lunatic’ as soon as possible. Hell, I miss the fear.

The faith is gone, you see, supplanted with technology, gizmos, and gadgets. An age of information. Everything you want, obtainable at the press of a button. What is there to long for anymore? What is there worth selling your soul for that you couldn’t get another way? Sure, you still have the old standards, the favourites—riches, power, and sex—but as I said, the belief is sadly lacking.

Every passing year it gets harder and harder to fill my quota. I have the boss breathing fire down my neck—both metaphorically and literally—and damned if I know how to get around the problem. It’s not just me. My colleagues are equally exasperated. It won’t be too much longer until it’s impossible to sign up even one new soul to burn in everlasting Hell. Then what’s a conscientious, hard-working demon to do?

Anyhow, I guess it’s about time I introduced myself. The name’s Saul. Yeah, I know, but it’s not like I picked it. We get what the boss dishes out, and I drew the short straw that day. Guess he was in one of his funny moods. I’m here today following a mark. I’m actually pretty stoked I found this guy, as he’s shaping up to be the most promising potential soul-seller I’ve seen in several months. Hey, try saying that three times fast! The trick now is not to rush things, not to push him too hard or too fast.

Oh, here he comes. See if you can pick him from the crowd. No? Hard, isn’t it? Everyone looks the same these days. It used to be so much easier to tell a sinner from a saint. Now the line is so blurred it barely exists at all.

But I digress. Just wait a moment… There! See the guy heading into the pub? The one in the Marvel T-shirt? With the blond curls? That’s our man. Bit of a stereotype of a comic-book nerd, isn’t he? Unlikely to sell his soul, you think? Well, we’ll soon see.


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Meet the Author

Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.

Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!

As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theater, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel, all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing. She is never found too far from her much-loved library/music room.

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