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    REVIEW: Dangerous by Charlie Cochet & Macy Blake

    Shifter Scoundrels: Dangerous – Charlie Cochet & Macy Blake

    New Paranormal Romance from Bestselling MM Authors Charlie Cochet and Macy Blake.

    A grumpy lion shifter duke with secrets, a sassy human who knows nothing of the shifter world, and a fiery arrangement neither of them expected.

    Cormac Donegan, Duke of Everard, is all too familiar with the perils of his shifter world, especially as a Dahlia, one of the dragon king’s elite spies. After a mission nearly costs him his life, Cormac is sidelined, healing and grieving his heavy losses. Then a different kind of trouble shows up on his doorstep, a human claiming to be his fiancé.

    When Jason Reaves is nearly killed in a house fire, it becomes clear that someone is trying to murder him. With his already fragile health deteriorating, Jason’s only hope is to call in the debt a stranger owes his father– a favor that promises safety, protection… and marriage.

    Jason’s escape leads him and his service dog, Mouse, to an impressive country estate. He’s expecting the older man who’d made the promise, not his ruggedly handsome son–who happens to be a Duke, as in rich and royal.

    Will this Cinderfella find his happily ever after in the arms of a dashing–if somewhat irritable–duke? Or will Cormac’s secrets prove to be more dangerous than the shifters hunting him?


    Dangerous is the second installment of Charlie Cochet and Macy Blake‘s highly entertaining paranormal series, Shifter Scoundrels. After shocking the ton by bringing a human to the ball in Book 1, Notorious, the Duke of Everard, Cormac Donegan, and his fiance, Jason Reaves, set expectations high.

    And they delivered!

    The plot is an arranged marriage trope between the shifter duke and a human after a pledge by the old duke to Jason’s father years before. I have yet to experience the charms of Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy, but if comparisons between him and Cormac made Jason blush, well, I have to meet the guy ASAP.

    Duke Everard is a black lion shifter whose bite is deadlier than his growl, and boy, does he love to growl. He’s secretly working as a spy, a member of the Dahlias, the king’s eyes, ears, and claws in the kingdom. He’s an honorable man and a stickler to duty. So much so that when a complete stranger showed up his doorstep claiming to be his fiance, with the old duke’s letter in hand promising protection, he was immediately determined to see it through.

    Sad to say, Jason was my least favorite thing here. The man has to learn to shut up. His brand of sunshine and babble failed to charm me. His service dog Mouse, on the other hand, was adorable! Jason has Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), and throughout the story, when his illness manifests, he requires Mouse’s aid as well as the duke’s and his staff.

    But our boy is no damsel in distress. A very admirable thing about Jason is that he’s very good at keeping his head even under extreme pressure. He might hyperventilate and be hypertensive, but our boy can still strategize, helping Cormac in the key parts of his mission. And he won the hearts of the two deadliest Dahlias, Lady Alia and Lady Marmont(?), as well as the rest of society.

    The book delves deeper into shifter world, looking at it through human eyes via the Cinder-fella trope. Cormac is the type who would spoil his beloved Jason rotten, so I wished the authors laid on the luxury and opulence thick. Also, the leap from friends to lovers happened too quickly. We are just told they spent some time together before taking the leap. I wished we were shown these scenes more.

    My gripes aside, Dangerous is another one-sitter. The romance was sweet and heartwarming enough, but like Notorious, it’s the rest of the story and the cast that really made my day. And with storytelling that kept me glued to the book, this sequel is a worthy addition to the magical alt-Regency paranormal world.

    The series over-arching thread overlaps with some events from Book 1. This is a very intriguing mystery of who is behind the murder of the prince. The crimes keep coming, but we barely have clues. I have sworn to see this through the end.

    The supporting cast was a riot, and I loved seeing familiar faces helped saved the day. The plot had most of the action at the last part, and this was full on mayhem and chaos! Thrilling car chases, explosions, and Cormac with the swag of Colin Firth in suit and umbrella.

    Overall, this story of dangerous dukes, sassy humans, and royal shenanigans is well-written, fast-paced, snarky, and super fun! Definitely the talk of the town!

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Danger
    Artist: Olivia Dean
    Album: Messy

    P.S.

    Beau’s book is next!

    Shifter Scoundrels should be read in order. Know who’s who in society starting with Notorious.


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    DANGEROUSKindle | Audiobook

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    One Line Reviews Of Some Books I Read This Year (January – June 2023)

    This is a round up of the books I read on the 1st half of this year that I’m too lazy to do a full review.

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    REVIEW: Aisle Be There by Charlie Cochet

    Runaway Grooms: Aisle Be There – Charlie Cochet

    They say your wedding day is the beginning of your happily ever after.

    But I’m pretty sure they never stood on a sweltering Florida beach getting ready to promise forever… only to change their mind at the last minute and be assaulted by a crustacean while fleeing the scene.

    Once upon a time, I was a respected Navy officer. A guy who made a career out of managing chaos.

    Now, I am the chaos, a groom on the run from my ex-fiance and his dad’s goons. Oh, and the guy driving the getaway car? That would be my ex-boyfriend, Jett.

    Gorgeous. Brilliant. A guy I couldn’t help falling in love with twelve years ago.

    The guy I realize I’ve always loved.

    Did I mention he’s also a famous rock star on a sold-out summer tour?

    This situation has disaster written all over it. But if I can manage the chaos, maybe I’ll get my happy ending after all.


    Readers keenly following The Kings and their friends were teased by the opening scenes of this cute meet-disaster, second chance romance with a fake rock star boyfriend thrown in the mix, in the book Sleight of Hand.

    Aisle Be There runs in the same humorous vein as Four Kings Security and its spin-off, The Kings: Wild Cards. Gage Kingston, cousin to Wade Kingston, aka King, is having the worst cold feet a couple of hours before his wedding to an overdramatic artist/influencer. A hermit crab in his suit finally drove him to run away, only to end up almost causing a tent stage to collapse and being rescued by none other than the rock star Jett Stevens, lead singer of Queen’s Hart. Also his ex.

    I love Charlie Cochet‘s writing, and this offering is chockful of things I enjoy in her books. There’s the wacky found family in the awesome septuagenarian Queen’s Hart members who treated Jett like family. There’s the snark, the crazy antics, and the swoony romance with an adorable ex-military boyfriend in Gage.

    This series is more of a straightforward contemporary romance compared to the action-oriented Kings series. Jett has big shoes to fill after his dad, Hart Stevens, passed away. Passionate and just as talented as his legendary dad, he is, nonetheless, doomed to forever live in the shadow of that legend, dimming his own brilliance in the process.

    Which Gage was quick to observed, having seen Jett at his best in their younger days. And as a good boyfriend, even a fake one at that, did everything he could to make Jett feel like himself again. It had him butting heads with the band manager, Jett’s uncle, a manipulative, money-hungry bastard.

    I had a lot of fun with this book, and being a lifelong rock music fan, I get a kick out of the bands namedropped here and there. Gage and Jett were adorbs! The cameos from the Kings and their friends were the cherry on top.

    However, the story almost lost me at the crucial 3rd arc. I’ll try not to spoil it too much. It’s the part were the evil uncle was driving a wedge between Gage and Jett. He spewed some bullshit about Jett causing the self-sacrificing Gage to run away because of well-meaning crap of not wanting to ruin Jett’s dream. It frustrated me so much I wanted to throw the book.

    First, it is well-established that the uncle is a manipulative bastard who will say anything to keep Jett under his thumb. Jett is aware of this. Had tried several times to fire the bastard, only to be outwitted. Gage is also very, very much aware of this. Plus, he just told himself he’s going to fight for his second chance with Jett. And, even made a note to talk to Jett, especially about his uncle.

    Gage had confrontation with the evil uncle, who went on a villain monologue and told Gage he was bad for Jett’s dream project. Which the singer was supposedly working on for months but Gage had never heard Jett mentioned before. The dork could have recorded that little speech on his cellphone and showed it to Jett. So maybe he couldn’t record the bastard secretly. HE COULD HAVE TALKED TO JETT!!!!!!! ASK HIM ABOUT THE DAMN PROJECT IF IT EVEN EXISTS!!! ARG!!!!

    Instead, the idiot hastily packed his bags and ran away, even after Jett begged him to stay. WITHOUT ASKING JETT ABOUT THE DAMN PROJECT OR EVEN CONFIRMING WHAT THE EVIL UNCLE TOLD HIM. WHO EVERYONE KNOWS IS A LYING LIAR WHO LIES!!!!

    Past this trainwreck, the conclusion won me over again with a grand gesture we could only dream about from our favorite rock stars. So yeah, this rockin’ trip down the aisle ain’t perfect, but it’s still quite a show!

    Rating:
    3.5 Stars – that place between like and love

    Soundtrack: Be There
    Artist: IAMDYNAMITE
    Album: Wasa Tusa


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    REVIEW: Notorious by Charlie Cochet & Macy Blake

    Shifter Scoundrels: Notorious – Charlie Cochet & Macy Blake

    New Paranormal Romance from Bestselling MM Authors Charlie Cochet and Macy Blake. Modern-day Bridgerton with shifter royalty, a snarky fox, and the tiger who refuses to fall for his charms.

    Caspian Drake knows what it takes to get ahead in modern-day shifter society. He is an Earl, after all, and known for his wit, style, and ability to charm the pants off of anyone he chooses. Getting his best friend Brandr, the Prince of the Dragons, in and out of trouble is only one of his many talents. When a horrible attack shakes Cas’s world, he’s forced to pair up with Saphir Vepkhia, the esteemed tiger shifter and former Captain of the Royal Guard.

    Upon retirement, Saphir is granted the title of Baron Archer and, much to his dismay, becomes part of royal society. Years later, when he’s summoned to the palace, the last thing Saphir expects is for the king to request a favor that ties him to the scoundrel, Caspian Drake. Despite his misgivings, Saphir accepts the assignment, knowing it will give him the access he needs to infiltrate the wealthy and powerful while trying not to get outfoxed by the exasperating Earl.

    Forced into a fake relationship by an outdated matchmaking ritual, Cas and Saphir each face the upcoming season with their own agenda. The secrets pile up as the two mates navigate the complexities of a modern world that plays by historic rules. But the closer they get to the truth, the greater the danger–and their attraction to each other–grows.

    With their lives on the line and the very foundations of their society at risk, Cas and Saphir must unravel the mystery, even if it means creating a scandal more notorious than their newfound love.


    I wouldn’t have associated Bridgerton with the paranormal but bless the talented author duo, Charlie Cochet and Macy Blake, for making this combination work. And to spectacular results at that!

    Notorious is Book 1 of Shifter Scoundrels, an alt-universe ruled by a dragon king who created their world based on his favorite human era. As a fan of Bridgerton, I reveled in all the ton intrigue, the ridiculously expensive finery, the amusing rules of etiquette, and of course, the endless balls.

    I initially expected the anachronisms to be cheesy or jarring, but the blending of modern-day Bridgerton and shifter lore was beautifully seamless. Even the fashion was a fabulous mix of historical and contemporary, something I would really love to see on screen. While they behave with Regency manners, they also possess cell phones, cars, and other technology.

    An interesting twist is the outdated ritual where eligible shifters are matched, and a hunt ensues. If they catch their match, the couple is together for the duration of the season. If not, the hunted has the right to turn down their pairing.

    The story opens with a murder, and the king tasked the crown prince’s best friend, Caspian Drake, Earl of Brus. to find the killer. Unknown to the Earl, the king also tasked his trusted friend and former Captain of the Guard, Baron Archer Saphir Vepkhia, to keep him safe.

    The rakish earl and the gruff baron want nothing to do with each other, but they are paired by the matchmakers. Cocky Cas boasts no one has caught him yet. To which Saphir smugly responds, we’ll see about that…

    The romance is enjoyable, but it’s just what could be expected of an enemies-to-lovers + fake relationship story. It’s the rest of the plot and the very entertaining supporting cast that had me hooked. The series is peopled with sharp-witted matrons with deadly tongues and even deadlier secret skills, as well as charming young lords and ladies, both naïve and worldly.

    The first chapter saddened me because the short time he appeared on page, I already liked the murder victim’s character. The first half slowly established the setting and plot. Then it picked up pace with the latter half sweeping me into a whirlwind of antagonistic shenanigans, espionage, murder mystery, action, and adventure. One complaint is how Cas and Saphir missed the very obviously villainous bad guy and instead latched on to the very obviously clueless side character.

    Three interesting characters I’m keeping my eye on are the scarred and mysterious Lord Everard, spacey scientific genius Lord Quentin, and purveyor of gossip and dandy extraordinaire Lord Beaumont. Lord Everard’s book is next. Now this man knows how to make an entrance!

    Notorious is my first Macy Blake, but I’ve read many Charlie Cochet books. One thing’s guaranteed, it’s always going to be fun! This series opener is no exception. It has a plot that takes you on a wild ride, characters you’ll fall for, and deftly executed writing that captures the best of both worlds! It’s definitely quite a catch!

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Catch You
    Artist: Dashboard Confessional
    Album: Crooked Shadows


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    NotoriousUS | UK

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    LAST YEAR I WAS READING…(September 7, 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?

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    LAST YEAR I WAS READING…(December 15, 2021)

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

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    REVIEW: Sleight Of Hand by Charlie Cochet

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    The Kings: Wild Cards: Sleight Of Hand – Charlie Cochet

    Former Special Forces Green Beret, Sacha “Joker” Wilder, is well-versed on the subject of demolitions. As a silent partner of Four Kings Security, Joker spends his days working alongside his brothers-in-arms and his best boy, Chip—a bomb-sniffing Belgian Malinois with sass. Years of military and private security experience have prepared Joker for almost anything, except the explosive attraction between him and Giovanni Galanos.

    When Gio returns from his travels abroad, everyone is charmed by the handsome billionaire philanthropist, but in Joker’s experience, anyone who’s too good to be true usually is. Gio is hiding something, but the more time Joker spends around Gio, the more his walls start crumbling, leaving him exposed and at risk of losing his heart, something he swore he would never do. Love is for suckers, and that’s not him.

    For years Gio has dedicated his life to his charity work, helping people around the globe, but when things go horribly wrong during one particular trip, Gio decides it’s time to come home for good. The desire for family, and a certain ex-Green Beret with a chip on his shoulder, has Gio eager to restart his life Stateside. For all of Sacha’s blustering and griping, no one makes Gio feel safer. If only Sacha could see how right they are for each other.

    Danger lurks in the shadows as someone sets their sights on Gio, and secrets are forced into the light. If Gio and Joker are to have any kind of future together, they’ll have to face difficult truths, because where love is concerned, it’ll take more than sleight of hand to make things work.

    The Kings: Wild Cards series is a spin-off of the Four Kings Security series.


    Among the ex-Special Forces Green Beret co-owners of the Four Kings Security, cybersecurity specialist Jack is my favorite. But my most anticipated story is his best friend, Joker’s.

    Our boy Joker is the group’s wild child. He grabbed my attention from the start. He hates being called by his real name, Sacha. He boldly declared he was never going to fall in love, EVER. He is short of stature, with an even shorter fuse, sloppily dressed, occasionally skips showers yet still managed to be very adorable. Jack might be his brother but his best friend is Chip, his black, bomb-sniffing Belgian Malinois. This lovable duo charmed their way into everyone’s hearts.

    When Gio made his appearance and Joker expressed his dislike of the do-gooding billionaire, I knew right off the bat that what these two have was something special. The author teased us with glimpses of their USTs-filled, long-distanced interactions in previous installments. Gio has always been upfront about his interest in Joker who he calls Sacha. This, despite never having met him face to face yet.

    Now home after a long stint abroad, he was very determined to show his beloved Sacha how good they could be together. Meanwhile, Joker was very determined not to fall for Gio’s considerable charms. Still, the very enticing billionaire has a way of breaking through his walls.

    The magic of Sleight Of Hand was how it brought Gio and Joker together in the most delicious and satisfying way possible even if we already know what to expect. I loved how naturally Gio and Joker fell for each other and the way Joker came to terms with his feelings. This was one of the most enjoyable and well orchestrated relationship progressions I’ve ever encountered. The chemistry was off the charts!

    Joker’s antagonistic approach to Gio stemmed from preconceive notions fueled by trust issues. Despite his best efforts to disliked the billionaire, he was attracted to him. The more time he spent with Gio, the more he realized how truly kind-hearted and sincere about his intentions the other man was.

    Gio is awesome! He is sweet, generous and caring. He is a self-made billionaire who’s always smiling and genuinely enjoys helping people. He has so much love to give. Joker was surprised at how much the billionaire cared for him. Also, the man loved his dog Chip almost as much as he did. So really, our boy stood no chance of resisting.

    I lived for that moment when things fell into place for Joker and he realized, oh fuck, he was indeed in love! With last person he expected to fall for. It was so damn GOOD!

    My favorite part was how the two showed they care. These are men who take action. And their gestures, no matter how grand or small, really showcased the depths of their feelings. Joker, for all his griping about Gio, always made sure the busy man had eaten properly. What Gio did near the end made me a bit emotional. It was a touching tribute that meant the world to Joker.

    The book is mostly romance with bits of action/suspense and mystery to move things along. The bad guy’s identity was very obvious but even with the elements of predictability, the story never felt stale to me. The plot moved fast while still giving Gio and Joker enough time to slow-burn their way towards each other (and make us squee).

    The book is written in that inimitable Charlie Cochet style that’s always humorous, engaging and immersive. There were a lot of ridiculous dialogues and gags. Also, very thorough with details, especially the actions, yet never dragging.

    The best thing about her books are the people and their wonderful dynamics. Joker and Gio belonged to a big family of ex-Green Berets, their boyfriends and their friends. Since the first time I meet this group in Jack’s book, Stacking The Deck, they felt very real to me. The author created such a fabulous cast, every one of them is memorable. And watching them interact with each other is always a treat.

    However, the real star of the show is Chip. I loved all his cute doggy antics! New dog Cookie is also a sweetheart. You need to see how Cookie came into the picture. This part is pure heart-melter!

    Sleight of Hand gave us everything we hoped for for our boys, Joker and Gio. Theirs was a fun, emotional, fluffy, sweet, delicious and happy coming together, with furry friends to light their way and human friends to cheer them on. Well played, Charlie Cochet!

    Rating:
    4.5 Stars – perfection is only half a step away

    Soundtrack: Wild Heart
    Artist: Bleachers
    Album: Strange Desire

    P.S.

    Sleight of Hand is best read after meeting all the Kings, Jack and their fabulous Boyfriend Collective in the sister series, Four Kings Security and The Kings: Wild Cards Book 1, Stacking The Deck.


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     US |  UK

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    SLEIGHT OF HAND

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    LAST YEAR I WAS READING…(June 23, 2021)

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