Family Camp: Daddy Dearest Book 1, Eli Easton

Family Camp (Daddy Dearest Book 1) by [Easton, Eli]

Despite the complicated circumstances surrounding Geo and Travis individually, it's the tender and passionate way they can't stay away from one another that simplifies everything to one thing: love will find a way.  Their dynamic is all kinds of goofy, sweet, and sexy, but when you add in the two precious children, I'm done for.  I really liked how the story was kept simple and focused and there weren't a ton of huge obstacles or excess surreptitious villains waiting in the wings to further complicate things.  At its core, it was all about family and love.

I think the most touching thing for me was watching Geo's interactions and expressions with his kids through Travis' eyes.  To see so much yearning, so much love from someone who always wanted a family and despite being single, he chose two troubled children knowing they were always meant to be his was beyond moving.  His dorkiness was eye-roll worthy, but it totally worked in the end because of the kids' ages, but also because it seemed so genuine.  It didn't hurt that it also worked to charm the rugged ball player.

Travis was defensive because of his past and it prolonged his bad attitude toward Geo.  Just when it was on the brink of becoming too much for me, he shoved his foot into his mouth when he confronted Geo and then proceeded to have his eyes opened and his prejudice against the man demolished.  It was a very short confrontation and the resolution was pretty much there and gone in a blink.  Seemed a little odd, but quite a few of their conversations were led by Geo's goofy, adolescent way of verbal expression.

When Travis' big secret came to light it was pretty predictable, but not badly done.  I loved all the support that came from his family and random campers as well as how they all came to his defense even when he wasn't around to see it.  Such a strong family dynamic that I really loved reading.  Geo and Travis had their ups and downs, but with an eye to love and family, it all came together and remained a lighthearted story of family, unconditional love, and using both those things to heal and find the peace of freedom.

*$3.99 on Amazon!
 Family Camp: Daddy Dearest Book 1, Eli Easton

When Geo signs up for Family Camp, he envisions nature hikes, s’mores, and a chance to win over his recalcitrant new foster kids, Jayden and Lucy. He’s tried to become a dad for so long, and he hopes the three of them can be the family he’s always wanted. What he doesn’t anticipate is the prickly and gorgeous camp counselor who constantly comes to his rescue.

Travis spends a week every year at Camp Evermore, the camp his adoptive parents own. As a pro baseball player, his presence guarantees a full campground and excited campers. He has one rule: never, ever mess around with anyone at camp. His profession demands he stay in the closet. But one sweet and funny new dad is about to test all his resolve.

Sparks fly for Geo and Travis, and not because of the nightly campfire. Having been a foster kid himself, Travis is drawn to Geo’s sincerity and big heart and to his kids. The four of them just fit. But will this be a summer romance? Or can they find a way to be a family long after Family Camp is over?

Don't forget the giveaway!


At a Stranger's Mercy: Badge and Bullets Book 1, Brittany Cournoyer

At a Stranger's Mercy (Badge and Bullets Book 1) by [Cournoyer, Brittany]

With a lot of acerbic interactions interspersed with disturbing and grizzly murders, this book was intriguing and dramatic from the word go.  I enjoyed that the main characters weren't caustic and antagonistic out of spite and that when there was fear, it was a real fear expressed in a real way.  There were no unbelievable or unlikely moments of sudden heroism, adrenaline-filled bravery, or blinding passion.  Starting the series strong with a case straight from hell and a tentative bond between two men who have a whole lot of baggage, I was invested right from the start.

Bradley is first introduced as somewhat of a fuddy-duddy with a strict and regimented life that is suddenly thrown into chaos because of one departure from his routine.  I wasn't sure I would like him with all his rigidity, but he grew on me.  He took his safety seriously and aside from one error, he made the best of the situation with intelligence and caution.  I respected that far more than someone who tries to shout their independence from the rooftops in an ill-fated attempt to assert their character "strength".  He's also not a pushover, no matter how fearful he is of his situation.  That's not to say there aren't moments of pouting or sulking, he's only human, but on the whole, he's someone to be admired.  My favorite moment is when he takes Max to task for the situation he ended up in and his utterly fantastic challenge that paves the way for something more between them as the series continues.

Max is more conflicted as a character and we get pretty much nothing about his past.  A past that clearly haunts him, but it's not something we're privy to at this point.  His baggage is hinted at and I'm guessing there's a whole lot of angst that we'll get to experience with him as he strives to meet Bradley's challenge.  All throughout the book he was a paragon of prickish behavior.  He was rude, condescending, brusque, short-tempered, non-communicative, and closed off.  But despite all those negative traits, there's something more to him; something damaged and vulnerable and desensitized to the evil he fights and hunts every day on the job that draws me to him.  There's so much promise for a man who will grow, soften, and find strength in what he might have with Bradley.  I'm really eager to see how he'll achieve that.

I absolutely knew this was going to end with a romantic cliffhanger so I kept that in mind when each page, each chapter held zero passionate moments between the men and I have to say I loved that.  It makes their entire dynamic believable and then as we see them grow in the subsequent books their development will progress organically.  And the notion that the evil wasn't just one person?  There's something big that's going to come and I'm really looking forward to see how that works out too.  Overall, there's so much to enjoy about this story that had a good flow, enjoyable characters, and a suitably suspenseful plot.  I'm definitely in for the next book in the series.

*$3.99 on Amazon!
 At a Stranger's Mercy: Badge and Bullets Book 1, Brittany Cournoyer

Making eye contact with a killer wasn’t exactly how Bradley Danforth had planned to start his day. As an accountant, he craved structure and routine. What he hadn’t anticipated was being part of a real-life murder mystery with him cast in the starring role. 

Death and sorrow were part of Max Donohue’s job description, leaving the detective hardened after years on the job. On his latest case, he’s the one stuck protecting the only witness in a sadistic homicide.

One death becomes two… then three. And soon Max and Bradley find themselves playing a deadly game of cat and mouse. Can Max save Bradley from the clutches of a serial killer? Or will the killer finish what he started?

The Royal Elite Prince Duet, Nana Malone


Second chances and secrets...
Meet a prince who needs both.
April 30: Return of the Prince
May 21: To Love a Prince

  Return of the Prince: The Royal Elite Prince Duet Book 1, Nana Malone
Series: The Royal Elite Prince Duet #1
Release Date: April 30, 2019

They said I’d never come home again…they were wrong.
There is one person worth returning home for. Her. One little problem. She hates me. 
She should, I left her behind.

Now I’m back and I have a score to settle. 
I'll do what ever it takes to to win her back.
Even if it means spilling my secrets.

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 Return of the Prince: The Royal Elite Prince Duet Book 1, Nana Malone
*Pre-order for $4.99
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

To Love a Prince: The Royal Elite Prince Duet Book 2, Nana Malone
Series: The Royal Elite Prince Duet #2
Release Date: May 21, 2019

For her I risked it all, but was it worth her paying the price?
Now that she knows my secret, what will she do to protect it and the crown?

What will I be willing to do to protect her?
That answer is easy…everything.

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To Love a Prince: The Royal Elite Prince Duet Book 2, Nana Malone
*Pre-order for $4.99
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Author Bio

USA Today Bestselling Author, NANA MALONE’s love of all things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense she borrowed from her cousin on a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana at a precocious thirteen. She’s been in love with kick butt heroines ever since.

With her overactive imagination, and channeling her inner Buffy, it was only a matter a time before she started creating her own characters. Waiting for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin, Nana, meantime works out her drama, passion and sass with fictional characters every bit as sassy and kick butt as she thinks she is.

The books in her series have been on multiple Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble best seller lists as well as the iTunes Breakout Books list and most notably the USA Today Bestseller list.

Until that ninja job comes through, you’ll find Nana working hard on additional books for her series as well as other fun, sassy romances for characters that won’t leave her alone. And if she’s not working or hiding in the closet reading, she’s acting out scenes for her husband, daughter and puppy in sunny San Diego.

Want to hit me up? Just email me:
nana@nanamaloneromance.com

Follow Nana...

Black: MM Kitty Play Romance, Quin & Perin

Black: MM Kitty Play Romance by [Perin, Quin]

The premise seemed simple with an undercurrent of emotional conflict.  What we got was far more complicated, more angst, more depth than I thought we'd get.  I'm so glad.  Initially thinking the story would be kinky sexy with a side of emotional struggle, I went into it with a lighter heart than I ended with.  Trials came both at the individual as well as the pair and the feels were heavier than anticipated and I was struck by the vulnerability and difficulties of both men.  Their love was hard-won and well worth the emotional journey to watch them achieve it.

Having the synopsis focus on the kitty play, it seems like that would be the focus of the story.  It's actually one part of it, but it really comes through well with how it's integrated.  Rather than being a necessary sexual act or lifestyle to feel complete on an every-day basis, it becomes a shared kink that's more for sexual and certain personality trait expression that fits in with the life they already live.  I like that it started off as a joke, then a surprise, and then grew into something fun, sexy, and excitingly comfortable.  It was an interesting take that I enjoyed reading about, especially since it was super hot.

Dima and Tony's relationship was a bit of a roller coaster and there was a good mix between Tony's tenderness and persistence and Dima's prickly, offensiveness.  There were huge reasons as to why Dima was the way he was.  There was one surprise reason and it altered their dynamic in a huge way that ultimately made their connection, their struggle to find their way together, and their ending much deeper.  Dima needed him so badly in so many ways that I loved watching Tony's heart slowly break down Dima's defenses until they could make everything they had together work.

There were a few confrontations that I felt were unnecessary because it just made things more complicated, but there wasn't anything so huge that it derailed the story or the relationship.  It was Tony's mellow yet determined nature that saved them over and over again.  Tony's situation with his family was supposed to be an individual focal point but didn't get a lot of attention or resolution.  His grief wasn't really addressed, nor was his relationship with his sister and her boyfriend, Jan.  Jan was inserted as an important side character and yet he seemed so milquetoast during most of his moments.  Everything with Dima and Tony had varied depths, but what surrounded them didn't really enhance that.  Instead it seemed as if the world around them was merely a prop instead of something well-balanced to support them.  Overall, though, I was so caught up in Tony and Dima that I could forgive all that and ultimately enjoyed their story quite a lot.

*$3.99 on Amazon!
 Black: MM Kitty Play Romance, Quin & Perin

“Meow!”

There it was.
The sound that made my knees buckle.
He purred, neck stretched, eyes half-lidded.
With those cat ears, in his hair.
And the tail, that he flicked.

A ray of sun in the drizzling rain. I’d been a traveler, floating adrift, while he’d stayed in one place. How was I supposed to know he’d become my anchor? My light. My everything. But would I ever become his?


No Quick Fix: Torus Intercession Book 1, Mary Calmes

No Quick Fix: Torus Intercession Book One by [Calmes, Mary]

I think I'm hoping really hard for Mary Calmes to write more manny stories because they seem to be my favorites.  First with Frog, and now with No Quick Fix, we are given these fantastic alphamallows who seem to have the perfect natural instinct to bring out the best in a family by connecting with children who need love, understanding, and a straightforward personality.  It doesn't hurt that they also have a special way of bringing together a community either.

So first...there is NO cheating.  The premise makes it seem like that might be an issue and I don't consider it a spoiler to assuage anyone's concerns about that.  This is a much slower burn romance than with many other books by this author and I really enjoyed that it took so long for them to get to that part of their relationship.  It felt right considering their situation and it also gave them time to lay a strong foundation before adding in all that lovely passion.  I do wish we got a lot more background and depth to Emery though.  We don't get anything until the big confession scene and up to that point Emery felt separate despite his efforts to be a good father and constantly touching Brann.  By the end I could connect with him, but it was a long wait to get to that point.

A couple issues I had were pretty basic but not without frustration.  First, the cussing around the kids was uncomfortable for me.  I mean, there's nothing wrong with being casual, being yourself around children, but the more adult language doesn't have to come from you as the caregiver.  A few slips here and there are completely natural and I have no issue with that at all, it's that it became more common as the story progressed and I didn't agree with that.

Second is when the more amorous intentions become known Brann does what a lot of Mary Calmes' characters do and they do a whole lot of running away, talking over the other person, and making unilateral decisions based on their hurt, embarrassment, or disappointment.  While Brann doesn't run from Ursa or his responsibilities, he does a whole lot of it in virtually every other way he can.  Beyond annoying.  It did bring about the distance necessary for Emery to make the important choices, but it doesn't mean I had to like it while it was happening.

Mary Calmes, Amazon Author Page

Some readers might have an issue with how fast everything comes together, how virtually every person falls under Brann's ├╝ber perfect spell despite his intentions, or with how simple the suspense aspect ended up, but honestly I just don't really mind all that too much.  It's a typical Calmes story and I'm not ashamed to say that I love the style.  The confrontation was a bit too full of dialogue and light on believability for the scenario, but as the focus of the story was Brann's role and place in Ursa, I'm glad the more sinister aspect of the story didn't take precedence.  Brann was pretty much universally well-liked by all but the bad seeds, but it worked for the character and the story.  The timeline is a bit truncated, but the setup is that both men, not to mention the entire town, are at the point of needing to make some big changes in their lives so it's like everything is primed and ready for them to be made and to fall in place.  I just think it's a sweet, nice, simple story that works.

My last surprise in this story was the tone.  I've read almost every book this author has published and there's a certain feeling of immediacy, a dire need for everything to happen, and a bit of urgency at the same time as there's some kind of acceptance of the romantic situation and despondency that goes along with it that can be found in just about every single one.  With this story I was shocked and extremely pleased that there was a bit of those feelings, but it all seemed somewhat muted, softer, and more mature.  It was a new subtlety that I'm loving.  I cannot express how eager I am to see if that continues with the rest of the series or any of her other works.

*$3.99 on Amazon!
 No Quick Fix: Torus Intercession Book 1, Mary Calmes

A retired SEAL is about to face his toughest assignment yet. As a nanny…

Fixer. Bodyguard. Advocate. Brann Calder is expected to play all these roles and more as a member of Torus Intercession, a security firm guaranteed to right what’s wrong. In the military, catastrophe was his specialty. Five months out of the service, Brann is still finding his way, so a new assignment might be just what he needs. Unless it includes two things sure to make a seasoned, battle-trained veteran nervous: life in a small town, and playing caregiver to two little girls.

Emery Dodd is drowning in the responsibility of single fatherhood. He’s picked up the pieces after losing his wife and is ready to move on now, hopeful that his engagement to a local patriarch’s daughter will not only enrich his community but will grant his daughters some stability too. 

The only thing standing in Emery’s way is that he can’t seem to keep his eyes—and hands—off the former soldier he’s hired to watch his girls until the wedding.

Emery’s future is riding on his upcoming nuptials, but being with Brann makes him and his family feel whole again. Too bad there’s no way for them to be together.

Or is there?

Quick Reads, Quick Reviews 40

 Meganissima's Amazon Profile


Tiny Dancer: A Cold Case Psychic Spin off Novella (Cold Case Psychic Spin off Novellas Book 7) by [Pine, Pandora]Despite being a novella, this felt like a fully fleshed out relationship based on something solid and not just a supernatural enhancement of insta-love.  When Riordan jumps on stage to dance with his daughters because of stage fright I was just as charmed as everyone else.  His innate strength of character allowed him to push on despite his grief and his lack of pride let him accept help where it was available.  I loved his humility.  And for a loving, supportive partner, there was no man better than Faulkner.  While I had reservations about him before this point, he more than redeemed himself with his stellar care and concern for Riordan as well as his adoration of all the children.  His heart was so obvious in this story that I couldn't help but fall head over heels for him.

The only thing I had an issue with was the four year old speaking like she was seven or eight.  I enjoyed her role and pure childlike acceptance of the supernatural, but it was the age and verbalization capabilities that took me out of the story quite a few times.  I also wish I got a lot more of Faulkner's background, but I liked what we did get.  Overall though, this was a fantastically sweet story that fit in with the parent series and introduced me to new characters to love.  4 stars.
 Tiny Dancer: Cold Case Psychic Spin Off Novella 7, Pandora Pine

Whole Again: A Contemporary Non-shifter Mpreg Romance (Orchard Ridge Omegas Book 1) by [Black, Braylon]It's not every day you get a second chance with your first love, but for Houston and Emmett the embers of attraction and warmth of youthful love spark into a full-blown forest fire.  Except the past holds them hostage and they'll have to decide if a future together is more important than holding on to the pain of the past.  I liked the threads of making amends and embracing your history in order to become the person you were always meant to be.  Those ideas were really well done in this story.

Houston's difficulties with his father were incredibly painful and legitimate reasons for him to leave the town behind.  His shortsightedness when it comes to his situation with Emmett, however, is a bit frustrating.  Emmett's painful past is truly heartbreaking.  His insistence on pushing Houston away at every turn, even when he willingly makes a family with him is beyond annoying.  I had a really hard time taking him seriously after a while because his fierce need to believe in a curse truly hurt Houston over and over again.  They figured things out and I appreciated the way the story ended because it went a long way to soothing my feelings for both men.  With an interesting cast this series holds quite a bit of promise.  3 stars.
 Whole Again: Orchard Ridge Omegas Book 1, Braylon Black

My Maine Man: Book 4.5 (The Johnson Family) by [Martin, Holly J.]When Noah first meets Ned it's definitely lust at first sight, but when they give one another a chance to see beyond the surface, they find something truly special with a partner they'd never expected to find.  I know Ned was a big bully growing up and that he really did some awful things, but if there was anyone who needed redemption and love, it was the big, gruff antisocial lumberjack.  I liked Noah's feisty attitude and positivity too.  Together they could be wonderful.  I truly loved the quiet way Ned went about seeking redemption.  It was his heart, his intent, and his humility all while feeling like he didn't deserve forgiveness that broke my heart and made me love him so hard.

But any time (read every time) the outside world or even the community entered the picture, Noah got on my nerves.  He was wonderful with what he was doing for the Boys & Girls Club and was so open-hearted and generous, but the way he made Ned feel in public was often unfeeling and disappointing.  Noah did come around and I'm glad he didn't get haughty or make Ned grovel because he really was the best match for Ned.  Ned's Grand Gesture was heartfelt and great, but by the end of his speech it felt off because it should have circled back to the purpose behind the event.  It just didn't feel right for the situation, story, and intention behind it.  With Ned's pure soul and Noah's openness to change and the beauty of a town that felt like home, this was a nice story with a very sweet ending.  3.5 stars.
 My Maine Man: The Johnson Family Book 4, Holly J. Martin

Trickster by [Cameron, Nicola]An unexpected mate brings Delaney to his knees and despite all that stands in the way of their mating, he's determined to make Mark his in the most loving way possible.  What I loved about this story was that it was moved along by passion, but it was the forbearance of the lust in favor of the solid connections, the creation of comfort, and the honesty Delaney was determined to have before he gave in that won me over.  Everything happened quickly but it felt more natural than so many other insta-love shifter stories I've read.

I appreciated the villain being a predictable mystery and not overly complicated.  Another awesome point of the story is when Mark uses his brain to find a solution without resorting to making amends and hoping for forgiveness after giving in to coercion.  Using his resources and not going it alone because of threats was admirable and it showed true strength to me.  Mark and Delaney made a great pair with their sweet moments, their intelligence, their chemistry, and their commitment.  This was a surprisingly fantastic read.  4.5 stars.
 Trickster, Nicola Cameron

Love Across Time Books 1-3, Jackie North

Heroes for Ghosts: A Love Across Time Story by [North, Jackie] Honey From the Lion: A Love Across Time Story by [North, Jackie] Wild as the West Texas Wind: A Love Across Time Story by [North, Jackie]


Heroes for Ghosts: A Love Across Time Story by [North, Jackie]A message sends Stanley across a battlefield and across time to end up in the care of Devon, a master's student obsessed with the very battle that changed the course of Stanley's life.  There's an instant attraction on both their parts, but there's a lot of hesitance too.  Devon thinks the young man is off his rocker yet delicate so he'll have to tread lightly when trying to get information from him and to get him help.  Stanley is lost and the kindness of Devon has him thinking of all the ways things are different in the time period he left.  There's a lot standing between them and a possible future; not just the future Stanley was thrust into, but the one they might have together.

Their interactions are pretty much in a bubble.  Stanley's adjustment to modern times isn't exactly believable as it's so smooth.  The love between them would have been a bit more believable if there were a little more emphasis put on the transition from gratitude to love on Stanley's part, and academic interest to love on Devon's.  I'm pretty oblivious to historical facts so I was able to sink into the story without issue.  What I do love is the tenderness that abounds in this story.  I also really like Stanley's personal journey of going back and forth in time to save his men.  This was actually the most captivating part of the story with all the details, the struggles, the interactions, and the re-do's until Fate/Time was satisfied.  As I was reading I could feel the characters' struggles and am pretty sure I'm going to be a big fan of this author's work going forward.  4 stars.
 Heroes for Ghosts: Love Across Time Book 1, Jackie North
 
Honey From the Lion: A Love Across Time Story by [North, Jackie]
Stepping out of your normal life and into an experience doesn't end up like Laurie plans.  There's mysticism that draws his interest and a yearning for a simpler life.  So when he finds himself lost in the snow and at the mercy of a grumpy mountain man, he's left to wonder just what he did to deserve being lost in time as well.  Their story moved along at a much slower pace than I expected, but there's so much in terms of learning about one another, adjusting to harsh living, navigating homosexuality in the time period, and the interactions of their community.  I found that I absolutely enjoyed how detailed their story was, not just the little details, but weaving their story and how they built something solid together.

I would have loved to hear John's POV.  His gruffness as well as his giant heart were so captivating and yet we don't get to hear his wonder, his discovery, his conflict with everything Laurie is.  Laurie's sacrifice and learning of how John would have ended up had he not found a way back to him was achingly beautiful.  I also really, really wanted an epilogue.  There's so much about their simple life and profoundly warm love that was given a vague happily ever after.  I wish there were more.  It's kind of not fair to make me fall in love with these men and to leave me hanging a little.  With an outstanding and richly crafted cast of characters and all the focus on the two men learning to love, I fully enjoyed reading this story.  4.5 stars.
 Honey from the Lion: Love Across Time Book 2, Jackie North
 
Wild as the West Texas Wind: A Love Across Time Story by [North, Jackie]
Where Honey from the Lion wasn't related to Heroes for Ghosts in any way outside of time travel, Wild as the West Texas Wind is directly related to Honey from the Lion.  The time period, the characters, the circumstances they end up in, all of it takes us back to the couple I fell in love with previously.  What I truly loved about this story was the tenderness, the warmth, the tentative way Zach and Layton found their love and future.

There was quite a bit more excitement to this story as there were so many things that could and did go wrong for them.  With Tom's cruelty, the perils of the times, the hesitation on Layton's part as he tried to break free from his fear, Zach's struggles with injustice, I felt so many things so often that I couldn't do anything but enjoy the ride.  And we got to see Laurie and John again =].  This story was more tender, more timid, and more hopeful than the other stories, I feel, and it was a great change of pace to the series.  My only hope now is that Maxton gets his own time-traveling love.  4.5 stars.
 Wild as the West Texas Wind: Love Across Time Book 3, Jackie North