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    REVIEW: King’s Virtuous Son by Ki Brightly & M.D. Gregory

    The Kings of Men MC: King’s Virtuous Son – Ki Brightly & M.D. Gregory

    The “Innocent” Twin
    Hunter Tanner is a prospect for the Kings of Men MC. The club president, King, shocked Hunter with the news that he is Hunter’s biological father. King was the only man who had ever kept Hunter safe, and he’d taken King’s attention the wrong way—only to be devastated to learn they were related. Now he’s pissed off. Hunter’s identical twin, Forrest, offers him a chance to get away from New Gothenburg, so Hunter takes a vacation to stay at the Exotic Virtue in New York City.

    The Irish Mobster
    Jamie Shannon is a simple Irishman. He enjoys working, and sometimes killing, for the Killough Company, and he believes in going after anything—or anyone—he wants. Jamie has long had his eye on a particular blond man who works at the Exotic Virtue, and an opportunity presents itself when he sees him looking down in the dumps next to the pool. Jamie doesn’t hesitate to swoop in and try to kiss him better.

    Two Blood-Spattered Worlds, One Heart
    An explosive night with Jamie leads to a fight that sends Hunter racing back to New Gothenburg. Jamie doesn’t hesitate to follow his man. To get Hunter back, he’ll have to navigate not only King’s temper when he shows up unannounced to talk to his upset son, but both Hunter and Jamie still have dangerous obligations. Is there any way they can truly be together, or were they doomed to only one hot night from the start?


    I picked up Kings of Men MC because I was curious about MC romance. I’m not a fan of motorcycle clubs because I don’t find the typical biker image appealing. In Kings Of Men, most characters are cardboard cut-outs of large bearded tough guys who drink and fuck too much and probably have questionable hygiene. So, not my thing.

    The only reason I chose this series is that it belongs in the same world as The Killough Company, a series I enjoyed. So far, most of my experience with the KOMMC books was meh, with some DNFs, except Book 1, King’s Killer.

    King’s Virtuous Son is a standout and the best book in the series. It’s the 7th book and best read after Book 6, King’s Undercover Fed, and The Killough Company Book 2, The Professional. The rest of the KOMMC can be read in any order.

    First, the main characters, Jamie Shannon and Hunter Tanner had fully fleshed-out personalities that I immediately liked. I also gave a big hoorah when it became apparent that their relationship was that of equals. For the majority of KOMMC, the power dynamics are mostly skewed towards the biker, the love interest relegated to the bitch seat so to speak. Jamie and Hunter switch! Always a bonus.

    Hunter is the virgin twin of Forest Broussard, the MC in The Professional. Hunter has daddy issues because not only did King abandon them years ago, he didn’t even bother to tell him he was his father. And that he has a twin. King is an idiot!

    Hunter’s a bit naïve and shy but brash enough to make some daring, if sometimes dumb decisions, and knows his way around guns. He’s always determined to earn his place, whether in an MC or the mob. No shortcuts, no sleeping his way to the top. Hunter was a quiet side character majority of the series, but when it’s his time to shine, he’s spectacular! Our boy’s pretty badass when he wants to.

    Jamie’s quite the charmer! He is in charge of negotiations for the Killough Company. I felt like he was some sort of a gallant knight sweeping the virgin biker prince off his feet. If this were anime, he would be surrounded by sparkles. I adore him and his exquisitely soft touch and infinite patience in handling Hunter’s inexperience.

    Theirs is my favorite first-time-sex scene because it perfectly captured the swirl of emotions, and that the virgin doesn’t always have to be the bottom. Compared to the other books where the connections don’t go far beyond the physical, Jamie and Hunter connections felt deeper and more convincing as they develop trust and partnership.

    The family drama, crime fiction, and action suspense mesh fabulously well with the romance. They don’t feel like afterthoughts, like in other installments, but solid storylines that continue the overarching thread of the series in a way that kept me interested in the New Gothenburg/Killough Company world. I’m picking up the next book, that’s for sure!

    King’s Virtuous Son is about a young man coming to terms with his family, his virginity, his life as a biker, his past mistakes, and his future at a crossroads. Part coming-of-age, part fairy tale, 100% biker badass, 100% Irish charm.

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

    Soundtrack: Ride
    Artist: Clans
    Album: Chapter Three


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    KING’S VIRTUOUS SON

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    SERIES REVIEW: Haven Hart Books 1-7 by Davidson King

    ***Long post. you can skip to the end for the tl,dr version if preferred

    Never judge a series by its spin-off is a lesson I learned from Haven Hart.

    I read Joker’s Sin series first, and I’m sad to say, I wasn’t too impressed. I didn’t bother with Haven Hart after that. Then on a whim, I decided to pick up Snow Falling, since heck, Joel Leslie and Philip Alces were narrating, and these two are always fantastic. Plus, I was also in the mood for some mafia romance.

    I ended up binging the entire series! That GOOD!

    These are not-so-mini reviews of the seven books in the main Haven Hart universe. The books should be read in order.

    Snow Falling: A man with a dangerous past and a man with a dangerous future find love amidst murder and mayhem. But with Snow’s life being threatened at every turn, will Christopher’s best be enough to prevent Snow Falling?


    I didn’t have much expectations going in. I thought it would be the usual mafia romance. Little did I know, I would be completely charmed by the delightful titular character, Snow. This ray of sunshine also charmed a houseful of mobsters, especially the boss, Christopher Manos.

    Snow saved Simon, Christopher’s 8-year-old nephew, from a dire fate, putting himself in grave danger in return. Christopher offered the homeless Snow protection and a place to stay, hiring him as Simon’s companion.

    It was a joy to watch the much-feared mob boss, Christopher Manos, become simply Chris. I loved how he was drawn to Snow without seeming to realize it. He instinctively let him take the lead, and it was so endearing that Snow didn’t even realize how much power he had having the Christopher Manos in his corner. Our boy asked for so little, and here was Chris, ready to give him the world!

    It’s a fabulous book to open the series. It showed a glimpsed of Haven Hart from its underbelly. It touches upon some dark themes, but still relatively lighter than the other books. The plot had many surprising twists and dark secrets to uncover. I was completely riveted!

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

    Soundtrack: Naked
    Artist: Jaymes Young
    Album: Feel Something


    Hug It Out: 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.

    So I tried reading this a couple years back, but I wasn’t feeling it. I was a bit skeptical (and admittedly judgey) about Teddy’s job. Like seriously, a professional hugger? I don’t even like hugging my relatives.

    Second time’s the charm because past the first couple of chapters, I got the hang of it. It’s a cute story of an assassin who was gifted with a professional hugger. He didn’t know what to do with him, so he ended up falling in love.

    I wasn’t as interested in the romance as I was with Riordan’s organization and his co-workers. He works for Black, an enigmatic and intimidating Thor of a man, who suddenly discovered somebody plans to launch a hostile takeover of his assassin company. Riordan and a few other trusted assassins work to uncover who was behind it.

    This installment introduced many of the characters who star in the succeeding books. The plot is as suspenseful and more action-packed. It also hinted at the presence of the nameless, faceless, hella mysterious heir to the Haven Hart founding family via the presence of Poe. He is an artist Snow befriended, and also the Hart heir’s representative. I was dying with curiosity!

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

    Soundtrack: Bullet Holes
    Artist: Gregory Alan Isakov
    Album: Evening Machines


    A Dangerous Dance: Bill and Mace’s traitorous hearts draw them closer together no matter how hard they fight the inevitable. With the lives of their loved ones hanging in the balance, they find themselves in the middle of a dangerous dance.

    This is an enemies-to-lovers story of Bill, Christopher Manos’s underling who became Snow’s best friend, and Mace, an assassin from Black’s organization. They were forced to work together.

    I didn’t expect Bill to get his own book. He was a goon from the Russian mob who threatened Snow. He had been given a second chance by Christopher after Snow asked to spare his life. He was mostly in the background, so I was surprised that he was suddenly Snow’s best friend.

    Mace was more memorable because he’s a flashier character. That’s all I’ll say about him because he and Bill weren’t that interesting. However, both are great as secondary characters.

    Their story felt very much like a mid-series book. It picked up the threads from the previous book and ended in an HFN. Not so satisfying but understandable given how things went.

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

    Soundtrack: Born Killers
    Artist: Selebrities
    Album: Lovely Things


    From the Ashes: Unknowingly sharing the same goal—burying their own pasts deeper than the fires of hell can reach—Black and Quill are unaware that jumping into that fire will do more than ignite their feelings, it could lead to their own demise.

    I was excited about this because Quill piqued my interest when he first appeared in Book 2. I was thrilled he’s paired with Black because they’re total opposites.

    Quill is the colorfully tattooed smallish barista who latched on to Black and flirted every chance he got. Black is this grumpy giant who couldn’t understand why Quill, 20 years his junior, was interested in him. After the events in Book 3, he hired the young man to do deliveries.

    At first, the story was cute and amusing with Black trying to fend off the relentless Quill. Then things took a darker turn when it was revealed Quill was a victim of domestic abuse. Black was in full protective mode because he took such crime personally.

    Why he takes it personally was a story so tragic and horrific it triggered my anxieties. And I’m normally the type of reader who’s barely ruffled by blood and gore scenes. The author didn’t make it too graphic, it was just that terrible. You can feel how heartbreaking it was for Black to talk about it. Also, the scene where Quill was being hunted had me holding my breath. I was so terrified for him!

    My heart went out to Black and Quill! I am so glad this is romance, and the happy ending is guaranteed, or else I would be completely devastated.

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

    Soundtrack: Born In Flames
    Artist: In This Moment
    Album: Mother


    Snow Storm: The city of Haven Hart rests under the heel of Christopher Manos. Snow has found a home, a family, and the love of one of Haven Hart’s most powerful men. When Christopher and Simon are kidnapped, Snow risks everything to find his family. Snow calls in every favor he is owed, risking his life promising favors in return, all to save his family and the man he loves.

    This installment returns to Christopher, Snow, and now teen, Simon. The happy couple wants to celebrate Simon’s birthday. Chris promised his nephew the two of them would go camping so that they could spend some quality time together. En route, they were ambushed and kidnapped.

    Manos family skeletons were unearthed when Christopher came face to face with their kidnappers. The lengths Snow would go through to save his family knew no bounds. He even went so far as break his friendship with Poe by asking him to do the unthinkable, betray the Hart heir.

    This part was particularly juicy because I was hungry for crumbs about the Hart heir. Poe guarded his secrets like a dragon guarding his hoard. I’m so tempted to skip to the 7th book!!!

    Anyway, Snow was wonderfully brave and smart, even if he had to hurt Poe in process. Thankfully, they reconciled later on. With Black’s help, Snow hatched a clever rescue mission. This book also has a mid-series feel to it, bridging the past events to the present and laying down the seeds of things revealed in the next book. It’s not as dark as the previous book but still very gripping!

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

    Soundtrack: Find You
    Artist: Ruelle
    Album: Rival


    Triple Threat: Lee, Jones, and Ginger deal with dangerous situations and mounting stress daily working for the most powerful assassin organization in the world. All of those things seem like a walk in the park compared to the friction that sparks between them. When all three are assigned to the same job, ignoring the heat from the inferno of desire becomes impossible.

    Lee, Jones, and Ginger are Black’s people. Jones is the muscle and Lee’s best friend, while Ginger is the recruit. Lee is a hacker who went to the dark web to track down human traffickers who were running an auction. Then they discovered Ginger’s brother being sold and rushed to save him.

    This is a road trip poly romance running alongside a vigilante mission to take down the human trafficking ring. It had Jones and Lee pretending to be buyers while Ginger worked in the shadows since his close resemblance to his brother would give them away. They had to follow instructions and codes to various locations before they could retrieve their “merchandise.”

    Given the stomach-turning crime tackled here, the author did a good job keeping things from becoming too disturbing. The plot brings various arcs together and edges closer to the finale. I love how things are starting to fall into place. At the same time, it had me asking burning questions!

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

    Soundtrack: Bloom
    Artist: Murder By Death
    Album: The Other Shore


    Raven’s Hart: Haven Hart stands on the edge of good and evil. Having balance between the two is the only thing keeping the town from crumbling to the ground. For years, one man has been charged with maintaining that balance. Poe. The air of mystery surrounding Poe is one of necessity. Poe will need the help of his friends to fight the ultimate battle; not just save Haven Hart but everything and everyone he holds dear to him.

    Finally, Poe’s book!!!!

    I will not say much about the plot. All you need to know is that it’s so worth it to read the first six to get to this! My jaw dropped to the floor at the revelations. And that’s just in the opening chapters!

    I was also floored to know the true measure of the weight and heartache Poe carries. This guy is holding Haven Hart together single-handedly. And doing it while barely holding himself together. It’s a wonder he’s still standing, the poor man! Poe is amazing!!!

    Davidson King definitely saved the best for last! Haven Hart was never the same after this!

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

    Soundtrack: You
    Artist: Tally Hall
    Album: Good & Evil

    The Haven Hart series is about family. The good ones, the ones people found, and the ones they’d rather forget. I loved how the main characters were so alive and real, I felt like I knew them personally. Their stories moved me, scared me, amused me, made me feel like I’m part of their lives. Their stories are a delicate balance of good and evil, much like the city that gave the series its name.


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    Haven Hart Boxset 5-7: US | UK

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    HAVEN HART BOXSET 1-4
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    REVIEW: Fractured Souls by Ava Marie Salinger

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    Fallen Messengers: Fractured Souls – Ava Marie Salinger

    Humans are dying in San Francisco. The most shunned angel on Earth may very well hold the key as to why…

    When Cassius Black moves to San Francisco for a fresh start, the angel’s hopes of staying below the radar of the supernatural organizations that oversee the otherworldly and magic users in the city are dashed when he stumbles across a dead body in the sewers. His grim discovery soon puts him in the sight of the Argonaut Agency and Francis Strickland, the bureau director who knows his darkest secrets. 

    Morgan King and his team of Argonaut agents have been hunting for the culprits behind a series of gruesome killings that have rocked the city all summer. Killings that bear sinister hallmarks of sacrificial rituals where the victims’ souls have been ripped from their bodies. When Fate brings Cassius in Morgan’s path, he realizes the angel everyone likes to call The Devil may very well be the only person who can help them track down the murderers.

    Morgan and Cassius soon find themselves chasing down a sect of black magic sorcerers and cross paths with a mysterious warlock whose actions evoke disturbing echoes of an incident from Cassius’s past. As rumors of a potential plot to tear the Nether reach their ears, Cassius and Morgan must work together to defeat their common enemy and save the city from destruction, all while fighting their growing attraction for one another.

    Fractured Souls is the first novel in the MM urban fantasy romance series Fallen Messengers. If you like action-packed paranormal adventures with romance and snark, then get this pulse-pounding book today and enter a world you won’t want to leave!


    If I make a list of books I’d love to see as a movie, Fractured Souls would definitely be on it. This book delivers the action-packed paranormal adventure it promised.

    Fractured Souls is the first book of Fallen Messengers, an urban fantasy/paranormal series set in a world after The Fall. There was a huge rift, and all manner of magical and mythical creatures now walked the earth. Four major organizations are in charge of keeping supernatural creatures in line.

    The world-building is exceptionally detailed without overwhelming or bogging down the pace. I loved this world of the Fallen the author created. It’s incredibly fascinating to read about beings from the deepest pits of hell and from the highest hierarchies of heaven.

    I liked the writing as well. It flowed smoothly and briskly, but major credit is also due to narrator Alex Kydd’s masterful delivery. He did an awesome job bringing the characters to life and made going through the info-dumps a breeze.

    The story is told in the POVs of the angel, Cassius Black, a much-feared pariah in the supernatural world, and cocky Argonaut agent, Morgan King, also an angel. They were forced to work together to solve the mystery of the ‘fractured souls’ and prevent another rift from happening. The bigger mystery here is who or what exactly are Cassius Black and Morgan King?

    I liked Cass from the get-go. As the story progressed, it became apparent that Cass was so much more powerful than he already was. It was also revealed that while he is the most reviled and hated creature on earth, the unassuming man is actually a self-sacrificing cinnamon roll worthy of the highest sainthood. This is the guy who secretly saved the world and continues to do so as we speak. That he is a bit of a tsundere only added to his appeal.

    I didn’t like Morgan at first. Probably still don’t like him 100%. He was a pushy asshole. He kinda redeemed himself when it became clear he wasn’t taking any of the shit people throw at Cass, and he’s going to break the neck of the next person who is mean to the poor angel. I’ll go easy on him since he has Cassius’ back, and they’re great as a team.

    Not sure I’m totally onboard with Cassius and Morgan’s romance. Their chemistry didn’t come across as strongly as I would have liked. Although, the story did a good job building up the mystery relating to their true identities and their connection. I’ve read other reviews extolling the virtues of Victor, Cass’s demon ex. I prefer an angel-demon merger, so I couldn’t help wishing this was their story instead.

    The rest of the cast drew me in almost immediately. They are from Morgan’s team. I enjoyed the banters and their various personal connections to each other. My favorite part was how they took Cassius to their fold after knowing his innate goodness and became his biggest allies.

    The coolest part of the book is the fight scenes. Oh hell yeah! You get mind-blowing displays of powers from various supernatural creatures. From angels and demons to witches and mages, no one held anything back. I think it would look super mega fantastic on screen!

    It did feel a bit too Son Goku, the way Cass’s and Morgan’s powers kept leveling up and up and up. And up. But it didn’t dampen the experience because the scenes was all friggin’ AMAZING!!! And I adore Cass and enjoy seeing him so badass. Also, I love superhero movies and superpowers, so I was living for everything!

    Fractured Souls is an action-packed series opener, where the fallen walk the earth and demons rise from the pits of hell. It got all the snark and romance, magic and mayhem you could ever ask for. All in all, fascinating, entertaining, and hella spectacular!

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

    Soundtrack: A Thousand Shards Of Heaven
    Artist: Lunatic Soul
    Album: Fractured


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    US | UK

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    FRACTURED SOULS

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    REVIEW: The Solnyshko Duet by Ashlyn Drewek

    I grabbed this series on a whim because I like the word ‘solnyshko.’ I was glad it was the weekend because I ended up reading until 5:00 AM. I finished the first book in one sitting. This duet is just sooo good.

    Now this might not be most people’s cup of tea. This comes with a list of warnings, from homophobia to graphic violence and PTSD. Things get nasty, even horrific, at some points. So please do head the TWs.

    Beyond all that darkness, this is a story of ‘two broken people who found each other,‘ according to the author’s notes. It all started with a kidnapping…


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    The Solnyshko Duet: The Kidnapping Of Roan Sinclair – Ashlyn Drewek

    Roan Sinclair’s life is perfect, just ask anyone. Set to graduate college and bound for grad school at Georgetown, Roan’s life has been all planned out for him. Except, he doesn’t want it. Dedicated to his music, he dreams of a life free from his parents’ expectations. Those dreams are gone the minute he’s kidnapped by a group of Russians, led by the tall, dark, and broody Sasha — a man ripped straight from Roan’s fantasies. Determined to make it out alive, Roan will do whatever is necessary to secure his freedom, even if that means seducing his captor.

    Aleksandr Vassiliev doesn’t care about anything except surviving in a merciless world. Known as the Wolf of Verkhoyansk, Sasha’s reputation for brutality is far-reaching and well-deserved. When a bank robbery goes wrong, he’ll do whatever he can to fix it — including kidnapping the bank owner’s son. Instead of complying like he should, Roan defies Sasha at every turn. Worst of all, he makes Sasha want things he can’t have, things that are a death sentence for men like him. Things like Roan Sinclair.

    Content warning: This book contains references to alcohol/drug use, sexual assault, graphic violence, self-harm, ethnic and homosexual slurs, and a lot of profanity. Reader discretion is advised.


    Roan Sinclair is a poor little rich boy trapped in a gilded cage. Music is his passion, but his banker dad blackmailed him to take a business major. He has one year to go before he leaves for business school.

    Aleksandr ‘Sacha’ Vassiliev is a feared, ruthless killer, not a bank robber and certainly not a kidnapper. But when a bank heist had gone wrong, a heist they didn’t fully understand why they had to do, he and his fellow bratva members were forced to change tactics. They kidnapped the banker’s son instead.

    It wasn’t the most ideal meeting, to say the least, but right from the get-go, Roan got under Sacha’s skin. Given his environment, the Russian is deeply in the closet. But he pinged Roan’s gaydar, and our boy used it to his advantage.

    One of the things I really loved about the books was the writing. There were no long paragraphs, and it’s very easy to read. The prose is straight to the point. Just 3-4 sentences per paragraph, yet they conveyed everything the reader needs to know. You feel the emotions jumping off the page. The graphic bits were written to show the nastiness without being gratuitous.

    Thawing the cold, dead heart of a man like Sacha is an impossible feat. Our boy Roan not only brought it back to life, but he became the center of Sacha’s universe. I was completely riveted to their journey, swept away by a tide of emotions. The story is devastating, painful, and, as mentioned, quite dark. But the lighter moments when they come is as heart-warming and bright as the proverbial solnyshko the duet is named after.

    It ends with a HFN but this is one of the best Stockholm Syndrome romances for me!

    Rating:
    5 Stars – absolutely perfect

    Soundtrack: Captivate You
    Artist: Marmozets
    Album: The Weird And Wonderful Marmozets


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    The Solnyshko Duet: The Vengeance Of Roan Sinclair – Ashlyn Drewek

    After a lifetime of death and suffering, Aleksandr Vassiliev finally has everything he could ever want — the most important being someone to share his future with. Somehow a spoiled American named Roan gave Sasha a reason to see life could be more. Except, that’s where the fairytale ends. He’s not surprised Roan hasn’t been the same since his attack, but with every day that passes, Sasha sees less and less of the boy he fell in love with. He would do anything to get his Solnyshko back, but old enemies from Sasha’s past might end up costing him everything, even Roan.

    Roan Sinclair used to have it all. Now? He’s a shell of his former self. No longer the rich, carefree college guy who brought a Russian criminal to his knees, all he’s trying to do is recover from an assault that nearly killed him. Roan knows he should be grateful to be alive… but he’s not. He’s humiliated. Ashamed. Most of all, he’s angry. He hasn’t forgotten the part his dad played in everything that happened and when he threatens Sasha’s freedom, Roan takes a page from the Russian’s playbook. Maybe vengeance will piece him back together. Maybe then Roan can move on and get to the happily ever after he so desperately wants with the Wolf of Verkhoyansk.

    Content warning: This book contains references to alcohol/smoking, ethnic and homosexual slurs, sexual assault, mental health issues including PTSD and depression, on-page torture, and a lot of profanity. Reader discretion is advised.


    The second book picks up on the aftermath of the very traumatic events of Book 1. Roan is not in a good place, and Sacha is at his wit’s end. He does everything he thinks would help Roan, but the younger man isn’t taking it well.

    Here we have the major presence of Misha, Sacha’s boss, who is also sort of a friend and Misha’s nephew, Ilya. Sacha hired the young man to be Roan’s bodyguard. The easy going man provided a normalcy in Roan’s life during these troubled times.

    Misha has intrigued me since Book 1. He offers Sacha advice on his Roan situation. Where Sacha is a grumpy mofo, Misha is all easy smiles. But make no mistake, they are both wolves. I am so thrilled the bratva boss is going to have his own book!

    I struggled for a bit in the first part because going through Sacha and Roan’s rocky patch wasn’t a pleasant experience. It was angsty and raw. Communication isn’t their strongest suit, and you can really feel how bad they were struggling. All of these is worth going through just to get to the part where Roan smiles and Sacha declares, his sun is back!

    And that’s when we get to the vengeance portion of the story. Roan wants revenge for what his father did, and a ghost from the past is out to get Sacha. I really enjoyed this arc because it felt happier and lighter despite the gruesome bratva business.

    Sacha and Roan evolved to become the power couple they were meant to be. The pace here was also smoother and faster, and there was more action. Characters from the author’s other series popped up, the very mysterious Leander and his flamboyant husband, Bennet. I must investigate these two.

    Both books go through suspenseful, brutal climaxes where the piper is paid in blood and gore. But this time, the ending is a solid and very satisfying HEA. It was such a sweet and uplifting conclusion that sensation of relief was very palpable. I couldn’t ask for a better one for Sasha and Roan! Sometimes all you need in life is a new lease and some sunshine.

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

    Soundtrack: Who Needs The Sunshine?
    Artist: The Heavy
    Album: Great Vengeance And Furious Fire


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    The Kidnapping Of Roan Sinclair :US | UK
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    REVIEW: Thick As Thieves by Lucy Lennox

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    Thick As Thieves – Lucy Lennox

    Julian:

    I’ve been in love with my best friend since forever. Okay, fine. Like, kindgergarten. It started out platonic, obviously, but then became… nope. Still platonic. The problem is that Parker Ellis has been straight since forever. And that makes it difficult to convince him the two of us are meant to be together.

    And now there’s no point. All is lost. He’s gone and gotten engaged to his high-school sweetheart which means I have to grin and bear it while pretending to be the happy, supportive best man while he prepares to commit his life to a woman I can’t even fault. She’s great. We’ve all been friends forever. I know he’ll be happy with Erin, just not… just not as happy as he could be with me.

    Parker:

    I’ll admit. Sometimes I press the easy button. Like when Julian Thick had offered me half his sandwich back in grade school after noticing I didn’t have any food. Or when I’d needed a date to homecoming in tenth grade and Erin told me she was it. Or when I’d used the one thing that came easy to me, skiing, to get my college tuition paid for. Or when Erin had showed back up in my life six months ago and told it was time to marry and start a family…

    But for the first time in my life I’m facing something that’s not at all easy. It’s my wedding weekend and I’ve just been left at the altar. Not only that, but when my best friend whisks me away to drown my sorrows in a snowy cabin in Aster Valley, I accidentally discover Julian’s been keeping secrets. Big secrets.

    The kind of secrets that lead to hot experimental kisses in front of a blazing fire, tentative physical exploration in a way I’d never imagined before, and the kind of intimate, true confessions I’d never even dreamed of between me and the one person who’s always been my true home.

    But after twenty-plus years of thinking of Jules as my friend without benefits, is it truly possible to change who we are to each other? There’s no easy button this time, but I’m willing to do the work. I only wonder if Julian is ready to trust I really mean it.


    This outstanding contemporary romance series makes another stop in the idyllic town of Aster Valley with this deliciously pine-y childhood friends-to-lovers tale.

    Thick As Thieves is about lawyer Julian Thick being hopelessly in love with his best friend, Parker Ellis, since kindergarten. As these things usually go, Parker is spectacularly oblivious to Jules’ more than friendly feelings for him.

    Now Parks has been dating their other friend, Erin, on and off for years. They’re finally going to tie the knot. On the day of the wedding, Erin ghosted. Ever the loyal friend, Jules takes Parker to his secluded cabin in Aster Valley to console him. The very cabin he intended to be his wallowing hole where he drinks his feelings to oblivion and gets over Parks once and for all.

    This is where things heated up because Parker is coming to realize his feelings for Julian, not just now but since the beginning, has always been something more. This, after fending off a Grinder hook-up who turned up at the cabin. One sent to Jules by their well-meaning a.k.a. meddling friends.

    I love all the Aster Valley books. This one is as fabulous as the rest. It is a great example of why the friends-to-lovers trope is so squee-tastic. There are a million takes on the trope, but Lucy Lennox still made it fresh, exciting, and HELLA SWOONY!!!

    Jules and Parks have known each other all their lives so the chemistry is pretty much a given, but no less fantastic. Their relationship felt comfortable and solid as friends. Their transition to boyfriends happened very naturally. There was a sense of rightness to it as things clicked into place. There’s something so beautiful about two people who are always meant to be together fulfilling that destiny and finding their HEA.

    My heart went out to Julian. He practically endured everything for his best friend. Parker is a doofus for not recognizing his feelings for his best friend for that long. But when he realized he was in love with Jules, he was all in, 101%. They’re amazing together!

    Hands down, my favorite part was the contract. Young Jules and Parks signed a piece of paper with the words “You and Me. Always” written on it. Unknown to Parker, Jules held on to that piece of paper for decades. That scene where he discovered it, I was as blown away as Parker! It was just sooo sweet and so Julian!

    Much later, cheesy sappy guy that he is, Parker amended the contract. And blew Jules away.

    One of the themes is how safety nets could become bad habits. This is shown through Erin, who wants to be adventurous, but returns to Parker again and again because she feels comfortable with him. She is not evil. Mostly, she’s a confused person who doesn’t take responsibility for her actions and doesn’t know what she wants from life.

    Here’s the thing with this series. I’ve come across real vile villains in many books, but I have never been affected by any of them. Here, the antagonists are ordinary people who are merely unlikeable, yet their scenes make me feel so bad they take me out of the story. The author really knows how to get under the readers’ skin.

    It happened again with Erin’s scene. Parker had a long overdue talk with her. I know it was needed for closure and clearing the way for Jules. But it went on for so long. It was repetitive and just plain tiresome. I felt so bored I nearly dropped the book. I held on because I was rooting really hard for Jules and Parker, and they’re close to the finish line.

    Overall, Thick As Thieves is a fulfillment of a promise backed by 20 years of memories, unrequited feelings, and loyal friendship. It’s heartwarming, sweet, cheesy, and a damn good reason to stay in Aster Valley, always.

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

    Soundtrack: Always Forever
    Artist: Cults
    Album: Static

    P.S.

    Thick As Thieves can be read as a standalone but why miss out on the other charming men of Aster Valley?
    Witness a dreamy rock star romance in Winter Waites.
    Meet the sassy chef and his adoring football player in Right As Raine.
    There’s an adorkable bumblebee in need of a knight in shining motorbike in Sweet As Honey
    A starstruck sheriff clashes with a trouble magnet in Hot As Heller


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    THICK AS THIEVES

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    REVIEW: Moonstruck by Onley James

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    Necessary Evils: Moonstruck – Onley James

    Atticus Mulvaney is the eldest son of eccentric billionaire, Thomas Mulvaney—a role he takes very seriously. Atticus takes everything seriously. Like his brothers, Atticus is a psychopath, raised to right the wrongs of a broken justice system. Unlike his brothers, he’s not very good at it.

    Jericho Navarro is no psychopath, but he is a vicious killer. Like Atticus, he also has a secret life. To most, he’s just a mechanic. But to a ragtag group of social misfits, he’s Peter Pan, teaching them to eliminate those who prey on the weak with extreme prejudice.

    When Atticus and Jericho come face to face over a shared enemy, their accidental meeting ends in an explosively hot hookup neither can forget. But they have nothing in common. Atticus is a buttoned-up closeted scientist and Jericho is a man on a mission, determined to find and punish those responsible for the death of his sister. Still, Jericho can’t stay away. And, truthfully, Atticus doesn’t want him to.

    As Jericho’s mission begins to bleed into Atticus’s life, two separate but equally brutal families will need to learn how to fight together to take out a common enemy. But no amount of brute force can show Jericho how to scale the walls of a psychopath’s heart. Can Jericho convince Atticus that, sometimes, the couple who kills together stays together?

    Moonstruck is a high heat, intense psychopath romance with an HEA and no cliffhangers. It features a fumbling, sexually confused maniac and the dominating, unapologetic gang leader who can’t stop tormenting him. As always, there’s gratuitous violence, very dark humor, more killers than you can count, and enough explosive chemistry to level a city block. This is book three in the Necessary Evils series. Each book follows a different couple.


    More Mulvaney madness today. Couldn’t get enough of this crazy family!

    Moonstruck is the 3rd book of Necessary Evils, a series about a family of serial killers meting punishment to fellow monsters. The family was founded by Thomas, a billionaire and a genius psychiatrist, who adopted seven boys, Atticus, August, twins Asa and Avi, Archer, Aidan, and Adam. They were carefully selected and trained to be highly accomplished individuals in various fields by day and deadly vigilante killers by night.

    Now August might be my favorite Mulvaney, but I have a soft spot a mile wide for my grumpy Atticus. He was the first to be adopted and, therefore, felt pressured to make Daddy Mulvaney proud.

    Atticus tries so hard to be perfect but always felt like he’s coming up short. Like his brothers, the man is an over-achiever. He is both M.D. and Ph.D. The thing with Atticus, trained killer that he is, the man actually hates killing (because it’s unsanitary). And by his brothers’ accounts, isn’t very good at it.

    On one of his assignments, he stumbles upon another killer, Jericho Navarro, in what was perhaps the most perfect meet-cute for a pair of murderers ever! Bossy mechanic Jericho promptly latched on to the grumpy ginger, recognizing the man’s submissive nature from the get-go. Gives him the most adorable nickname you can give a psychopath, “Freckles“.

    “I’m not letting you go, Freckles. I’m just not. You can call it a business arrangement, an affair, a kidnapping, some kind of midlife crisis. But whatever you call it, you’re mine. And I protect what’s mine.”

    I’m not a fan of dirty talk and, man, Jericho has a mouth on him! Other than that, it was a lot of fun watching Atticus’ prickly submissive nature meshed with Jericho’s affectionate dominance. It’s not just Atticus’ submissiveness. Jericho was also quick to recognize and appreciate everything good about his man.

    “Do you think I want anybody else? Nobody compares to you, Freckles. You are this weirdly perfect combination of impenetrable and vulnerable and I can’t fucking get enough of it.”

    The family’s reactions to their relationship were one of the best parts. Atticus’ brothers could be such asshats sometimes, so watching Jericho defend his Freckles gave me great satisfaction. He even called Thomas out for his treatment of his eldest son. Jericho goes declaring he wants to be Atticus everything, including be his proxy killer. And sure enough, he holds true to it. As Thomas puts it, Atticus found himself a good one!

    I was so happy for my favorite grumpy ginger getting his HEA. Atticus’ special ability is mimicry. He’s used to mirroring other people, but he rarely gets to be himself. I loved how he took the courage to embrace his truth and proved he could be just as good as his brothers.

    The scenes where Atticus eats granola bars while complaining about his paper not being front page in JAMA, and Jericho, fresh from a kill Atticus gifted him with, soothing his prickly man, is most definitely a very Mulvaney brand of endearing. It pretty much screams TRUE LOVE Murder Husbands-style. This is a trope I couldn’t get enough of, and watching these two serial killers falling in love is like the best thing ever!

    Atticus slipped his thigh between Jericho’s, snuggling closer to tuck his head against his chest. “I know. I don’t like killing, but I’d kill for you, too.” Jericho’s stomach fluttered. “I know, Freckles. I know.”

    Also, Atticus and Jericho cuddled and watched Labyrinth!!! ☆*:.。. o(≧▽≦)o .。.:*☆

    The story is part romance and part mystery. The mystery involved Jericho’s missing sister. I wasn’t as invested in this as I was with the other books. It wasn’t as strongly delivered compared to the first two books.

    Also, the series started dark but is leaning more towards steamy and humorous in this 3rd installment. I would have preferred a bit more darkness to offset that, the way the 2nd book, Psycho, perfectly balanced fluff, steam, and dark. 

    The case was, however, a great way to bring everyone together. All hands were on deck to solve it, including Jericho’s crew of young killers. These guys are awesome! They need their own spinoff. Jericho’s brother, Felix, will have a thing with Avi. So excited for the twins! Just a teensy bit disappointed they won’t be sharing. The plot also spent time building up Aiden and Thomas’ story. Hoo boy, I am beyond excited to see how this works!

    Moonstruck continues the wonderful and worthwhile tradition of giving the Mulvaney brothers their HEA. Atticus and Jericho’s relationship might have started with murder, but it certainly breathed new life to a mimic who learned how to be himself and found his perfect match in a man who was his opposite.

    The story is equal parts a very swoony insta-love romance, a riveting found family saga, and a crime procedural handled by vigilantes who love to get their hands dirty. I might not be completely over the moon about everything, but I definitely love this book to bits!

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

    Soundtrack: Every Other Freckle
    Artist: Alt-J
    Album: This Is All Yours

    P.S.

    The Mulvaney tradition starts with the youngest, Adam the supermodel serial killer, and his feisty person, Noah, in Unhinged. It continues with the psycho and the psychic, August and Lucas, in Psycho.


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    REVIEW: Egotistical Puckboy by Eden Finley & Saxon James

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    Puckboys: Egotistical Puckboy – Eden Finley & Saxon James

    EZRA

    Partying, dudes, and hockey. What more could a gay NHL player want?

    If it weren’t for Anton Hayes, my life would be perfect.

    Not that he affects my life in any way. At all. That would imply I care what the winger from Philly thinks of me.

    Which I don’t.

    Not even a one-night stand with him can thaw his misplaced animosity toward me.

    He says I’m the one with the ego, but he can talk. He rivals me for most egotistical puck boy in the league.

    I hate him as much as he hates me. Even if I crave a repeat.

    ANTON

    When it comes to hockey, I’m all about the game.

    I’ve worked for years to be one of the best in the league, and l’ve done it without splashing my orientation all over the tabloids.

    My hockey image is one I’ve carefully cultivated, and after one night with Ezra Palaszczuk, I risk it all.

    He’s cocky, obnoxious, and has an ego bigger than Massachusetts. And okay, maybe he’s the sexiest man I’ve ever known.

    We’ll never get along. Not when we sleep together. Not even when my possessive streak awakens.

    That doesn’t stop us from falling into bed together over and over again.


    Hockey romance is my most-read MM sports romance. I don’t know what it is about these hockey players that makes them so shippable. Being gorgeous specimens of humanity, I guess. I barely know anything about the sport. Mind you, I hate sports, but the way these hockey romances play out, I’m almost tempted to watch some games.

    Egotistical Puckboy by author duo, Eden Finley & Saxon James, is the opener of the new hockey series, Puckboys. It’s a spin-off of the authors’ CU Hockey series.

    Our egotistical puckboy is hockey royalty, Ezra Palaszczuk. He’s an openly gay troublemaking manwhore who never shuts up. Or so it seems. A closer look reveals a man who wants affection but fears rejection. As unlikely as it seems, he’s also an inspiration to aspiring queer athletes. Spend time with him, you’ll notice how he subtly goes out of his way to make people happy.

    Ez’s rival in the ice and in ego is top athlete Anton Hayes. Anton has a good boy image. He’s grateful for his privileged upbringing and he’s committed to giving back. Anton’s is so serious about it, he even has secret volunteer gigs nobody, not even his team, knows about.

    The man also likes control and has a possessive streak. He doesn’t like to share. He’s still partly in the closet, with only family and teammates knowing he’s gay. He doesn’t want his orientation made public because he doesn’t want to be defined by his sexuality.

    By all accounts, the two hated each other. Then one very drunk evening, Ezra was rescued by Anton from being beaten by angry fans. Feeling responsible, he takes Ezra into his apartment to sleep it off. The idiot took it upon himself to provoke his rescuer. The two ended with a hatefuck, and then continued hooking up, right until Anton was traded into Ezra’s team. And that’s when they start catching certain inescapable feelings.

    I like my enemies-to-lovers story to be intense. This one has the right level of intensity that makes this trope so delicious. I live for the snark and banter! The romance was executed brilliantly, the transition very organic and so very satisfying.

    Ezra, holy heck, the mouth on the guy! There were times when he was almost too much. Even during sex, he wouldn’t shut up. At some particularly exasperating statement, I even thought, man, that is such a boner killer.

    Anton has no problems matching Ez snark per snark. I enjoyed how he challenges the other man and keeps him on his toes. He saw through the ego and the bluster and recognized Ez’s vulnerability and innate goodness. And I loved how he accepts Ezra for who he is all the way.

    Ezra is mine.

    I groan at the thought.

    At doing what no one else has ever done.

    The thing is, I don’t want to rein him in. I don’t want to change him. He’s light. He’s attention. People are drawn to him and his larger-than-life personality. I want to wind him up and watch him fly, then be the safe place where he can land. The one he always comes back to.

    My favorite thing about these two is that they may trade in one-upmanship and sarcasm but when real issues come up, they take time to communicate properly. They talked about everything from the get-go, from how their hook-ups should go down, to going exclusive, to Ez’s family issues, to Anton’s coming out. Ez inspired Anton to embrace his truth. Attaboy!

    I struggled with a few other books but when I picked this up, I was riveted for hours. I was immediately drawn to the characters, even the supporting ones. I loved the Queer Collective! They’re a group of queer NHL players who banded together. Most of these guys are from the CU Hockey series.

    Rivals/enemies-to-lovers hockey romances always bring to mind that famously steamy rivalry between the cocky Russian and the polite Canadian. Happily, after a couple of chapters, comparisons to that other book faded. Egotistical Puckboy is sufficiently different to set itself apart. It’s fun, sweet, low-angst, and very swoony! It made me laugh and smile.

    Let these puckboys show you a good time too!

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

    Soundtrack: Catching Feelings
    Artist: Mathew V
    Album


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