LAST YEAR I WAS READING…(November 23, 2022)

Here are the rules:

Take your current read and compare it to what you reading this exact time last year. Which one do you like better? What is different about the books? Any special facts/things you want to make note of or bring attention to?

This meme was created by Reading Marie. It’s a great meme because it’s nice and easy to do.

This Year I Am Reading…

Will an innocent prince forced into marriage choose passion?

Sheltered in the palace with his books, Jem’s life is peaceful. Even if he’s lonely and yearning for romance, the big, strong men he wants don’t crave small, timid princes.

Then he’s forced to marry a mysterious barbarian.

Jem must do his duty—even if it means being stuck with Cador, a brute who dismisses him as weak. Even if it means a fake marriage in name only for the sake of their homelands. Even if he must leave behind everything and everyone to journey to a forbidding island of ice and stone.

Even if there’s only one bed.

Alone with this wild—yet tender?—man, Jem discovers desire that burns hotter than he ever imagined. Can two strangers learn to trust, or will dangerous lies tear them apart?

Wed to the Barbarian by Keira Andrews is a gay romance fantasy featuring enemies to lovers, an age gap, forced proximity, first times, and of course a happy ending (eventually). This is the first action-adventure romance in the Barbarian Duet and must be read before The Barbarian’s Vow.

Bookshop: US
Amazon Buy Links: Kindle | Audiobook
Amazon UK Buy Links: Paperback | Audiobook

Cheese-tastic cover!

This is Keira Andrews take on the classic bodice, or in this case, breeches-rippers. The story is entertaining enough and made even better by the always fantastic narration of Michael Ferraiuolo.

However, two scenes were flat-out gross. One is Gem masticating live worms to feed abandoned baby birds. Hurrah for commitment, but blech! Because apparently, our poor pampered prince has not heard of mortar and pestle. Second is our poor prince licking Cador’s cum off the floor. Humiliation kink is so not my thing.

Last Year I Was Reading…

Adam Mulvaney lives a double life. By day, he’s the spoiled youngest son of an eccentric billionaire. By night, he’s an unrepentant killer, one of seven psychopaths raised to right the wrongs of a justice system that keeps failing.

Noah Holt has spent years dreaming of vengeance for the death of his father, but when faced with his killer, he learns a daunting truth he can’t escape. His father was a monster.

Unable to ignore his own surfacing memories, Noah embarks on a quest to find the truth about his childhood with the help of an unlikely ally: the very person who murdered his father. Since their confrontation, Adam is obsessed with Noah, and he wants to help him uncover the answers he seeks, however dark they may be.

The two share a mutual attraction, but deep down, Noah knows Adam’s not like other boys. Adam can’t love. He wasn’t born that way. But he refuses to let Noah go, and Noah’s not sure he wants him to.

Can Adam prove to Noah that passion, power, and protection are just as good as love? 

There are no multiple pairings or sharing. Ends in a very HEA.

Trigger Warning: Mild police violence. Scenes are not graphic.

It’s all about survival. Not love. Isn’t it?

Exposed is a 132k action/adventure story featuring two men who couldn’t be more opposite.

Bookshop: US
Amazon Buy Links: Kindle | Audiobook
Amazon UK Buy Links: Paperback | Audiobook

Unhinged is the book that started all the madness. I fell head over heels for the Mulvaneys right from the get-go, and I can’t believe we’re almost at the end. Maniac is releasing soon!

My 4-star review here.

Today we have a historical romance and a contemporary romance. The two books are opposites in many ways but with many similarities too. They both have a force proximity element. In the current, through forced marriage, while last year’s had the MC spending time with the love interest to protect him. They also both feature sexual kinks and BDSM, with the couples starting as enemies.

The current plays on the size, class, and cultural differences between the MCs. Last year’s tackles crime with focus on psychopathy and how it affects the person’s relationships, both romantic and familial. Both books have characters who can yield various weapons to fight and kill, sometimes with their bare hands.

The current book is Wed to the Barbarian, a classic tale of the nerdy wallflower forced to marry a stranger to save his kingdom. Gem is a bookworm and a bird enthusiast, naive, timid, small for his age, and a virgin. To his horror, he had to marry the hulking son of the chieftain from Ur, the long-lost island recently reunited with the mainland. Cador wasn’t pleased with his shrinking violet of a husband and tolerated him long enough for his father’s grim plans for the young prince to come to fruition.

Not a very auspicious start for a royal wedding. Poor Gem was promptly whisked away to the desolate land of Ur before he barely had breakfast. He had to learn the culture while trying to stay out of the way of his gruff husband. One day, he was bored and decided to try some self-entertainment, in the middle of which Cador happened to walk in. You know what happens next.

I’m at the rather gross part where Gem was licking body fluids off the floor. I had to stop because it was just disgusting. I’m hoping the story would swerve into a more hygienic territory, though I can still say the rest of the plot was enjoyable.

Unhinged is last year’s book that completely blew me away. It introduces the lovable and psychotic Mulvaney boys and their adoptive billionaire father, Thomas. First to fall is Adam, the model, and a big baby. He fell for the son of the man he killed. Noah was tracking Adam to avenge his dad. Little did he expect the revelations about his late father and that Adam would be his most ruthless protector against the men his father was in cahoots with.

Loved the idea of billionaire vigilantes who are also psychopaths. Adam and Noah made their relationship work spectacularly, which was almost impossible given that psychopaths can’t feel or love like the rest of us. Adam’s obsessive possessiveness is the yang to Noah’s pathological neediness. They’re one of the most unforgettable couples in MM romance for me!

Between hunky barbarians and hot psychopaths, wild hearts and savage love sweep one away, but mad obsession and dark need make one stay.

I’m ending the post with a book I’m looking forward to reading.

An oblivious prince wishes for his knight in shining armor. His knight has been under his nose all along, will he claim him before it’s too late for them both?
As deeply as he craves his own fairy tale happily-ever-after, resort owner Cody Prescott doesn’t have time for a relationship. That doesn’t stop him from crushing on most men on Piedras. Luckily for him, they’re emotionally unavailable or already taken, so he doesn’t have to worry about getting attached.

Wade Buckner, the island’s handiest handyman, is tired of waiting for Cody to wake up and realize Wade is the man for the job. He’s ready and willing to rescue Cody from just about anything, even questionable hotel guests.

The Harvest Feast is the kick-off for the resort’s one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary and they have a full house. But something sinister is afoot at the resort, something that even his knight might not be able to rescue Cody from.

Are they trying to kill him, put him out of business, or both?

#grumpy-sunshine #FamilyHistory #OnlyOneBed

The Real Thing, book five in the West Coast Forensics series, is dual POV and follows Cody and Wade all the way to their happy ending. Can be read as a standalone but might be better enjoyed if you start with Real Trouble, first in the WCF series.

Amazon: US | UK

Cody is the hapless owner of Piedras Island’s landmark hotel. Also, the poor man is perpetually unlucky in the love department. Can’t wait for his luck to turn, and about time too!

What were you reading this time last year?

(I hope it’s as riveting as Morticia’s book)

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