Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Review: The Charlatan's Conquest by Vivien Dean

The Charlatan's Conquest (Phantom Fixers #1) (Dreamspun Beyond #2) by Vivien Dean
Dreamspinner Press, Goodreads, Amazon, Audible
Novel: 216pgs

3 Pants Off

Blurb: A Phantom Fixers Story

With love and ghosts, the challenge is figuring out what’s real.

Software engineer Cruz Guthrie needs money for his sister’s cancer treatments. He needs it so badly he’s willing to stand in for a ghost hunter friend and investigate a millionaire’s supposed specters. It should be an easy gig—after all, nobody thinks the haunting is real.

Neurological researcher Brody Weber is furious that Cruz would take advantage of Brody’s father. But his mind changes when spirits manifest—and he realizes Cruz genuinely wants to help. When they learn the paranormal activity centers on Brody, Cruz is willing to fight to free Brody from the entities determined to make his life miserable. With a little help from friends and family—both living and dead—they must figure out why Brody is attracting spirits and
how to banish them. Only then can they pursue a future together.


Review

The Charlatans Conquest is the second book in the Dreamspun Beyond series and quite a disappointment for me. I really wanted to like it because ghosts man but failed to wow me… 

Cruz Guthrie has decided to fill in for his ghost hunter best friend. While he isn’t 100% behind the idea he would greatly benefit from the twenty thousand payout that would help with his sister medical bills. He doesn’t like the idea of doing a job that Etienne has already proven the lack of ghosts but the client is sure that he is being haunted and won’t take no for an answer. So spending 2wks doing a house cleansing seems like a money making vacation. What should have been a super easy job comes with some complications when the clients son Brody Weber shows up, and clearly Etienne was wrong because the house is haunted and there is more than one ghost. 

Brody doesn’t want anyone taking advantage of his father and clearly this charlatan is. Pretending he’s a ghost hunter and feeding his father s disillusionment, but Brody has got a secret that makes him a hypocrite and also a tad bit on the stupid side. Brody knows his father isn’t being haunted and he knows the strange happenings have everything to do with him. For someone who deals in neurology his brain is real slow on the uptake.  Now he has to deal with his attraction for Cruz and also realize for all these years his ass has been haunted by some trouble-making possible malevolent ghosts (who knew).  

Now it’s up to Cruz and Brody to figure out how to rid Brody of his hitchhikers while also falling into serious like. Cruz is this sweet family orientated guy who really wants to help Brody and Brody just wants to have a little bit of normalcy. Things are moving forward but first they’ve got to exercise some ghost. 

I wanted to like this a lot more because umm ghost and creepy are my thing but this really failed to spook or keep my interest. The writing was good, and the story was nice but overall I became bored and lost interest. The relationship between Cruz and Brody is hella sweet and Cruz’s friend Etienne offers up some intrigue as to how he started seeing ghost and made it his job, so I’m definitely interested in that. Otherwise there wasn’t much here for me. 

Overall, an alright read but it missed its mark with me….

Monday, May 21, 2018

Review: Point of Contact by Melanie Hansen

Point of Contact by Melanie Hansen
Carina Press, Goodreads, Amazon
Novel: 451pgs

4.5 Pants Off

Blurb:  Only love can heal an impossibly broken heart

There’d forever been a thread running through Trevor Estes’s life—his son, Riley, strong and constant like a heartbeat. But when Riley is killed in combat, everything in Trevor’s life unravels into a mess he doesn’t know how to mourn.

Then Jesse Byrne, Riley’s friend and platoon mate, arrives on Trevor’s doorstep with a box of Riley’s things. Jesse’s all-too-familiar grief provides an unlikely source of comfort for Trevor: knowing he’s not alone is exactly what he needs.

Trevor never imagined he’d find someone who fills his heart with hope again. As the pair celebrate Riley’s memory, their unique bond deepens into something irreplaceable—and something neither man can live without.

But diving into a relationship can’t be so simple. Being together means Trevor risking the last link he has to his son…leaving Jesse to wonder if he’ll ever be enough, or if Trevor will always be haunted by the past.


 Review

Note to Self: The next time you see your GR friends saying how a book made them bawl and breakdown please effing take it at face value and realize that they were actually bawling their eyes out and not playing around.  

This book broke my heart, broke it again, and then broke it one more time while putting it a tiny bit together. Melanie Hansen didn’t come to play with us when it comes to Point of Contact, she really didn’t come to play. 

Trevor Estes is scared, he’s very scared. He’s dealing with the fear of a parent whose only child is in the army and he’s about to do his first deployment. His fear is bone deep and he wants to stop Riley from leaving but when your children grow up they make their own decisions, and sometimes you can’t protect them. So, Trevor will support his baby and send him of with a smile and wave but with a prayer in his heart for his boy to comeback to him, for his boy to comeback to him safe. 

A going away party for Riley and his young friends is the last thing Trevor can give these boys because they are going to fight a war that will make them men far sooner than need be. A hostile run in with Jesse one of Riley’s friends almost brings the party mood to a standstill but there is far bigger things to worry about. Trevor will have to say goodbye to his little boy, the baby he had way too young and a time when it was them against the world. 

The story then gives you glimpses of father and son time apart. Riley’s time in the army and also counting down to D-day (death day). The fact that its coming is there from the beginning. It the author does a thing where you get to know Riley, you get to see him as a son and as a friend and he’s not just the man you’ll know will die. This is also his story and when the moment happens you realize you were never prepared and it will wreck you. I can’t remember the last time I cried for a book like this (well not since Protection by S.A Reid).  

We then move into the after where his dad Trevor and his best-friend Jesse have to learn to live without him. Trevor’s grief is crippling and every word of every chapter made me super weepy. As a mother (or as someone who just loves a person) I can only imagine and also as a mother your mind goes to places that is sobering and running amuck with fear. It was sometimes too much. 

The love story is a slow progress and it never implies that it’s a way to heal. Yes, two men suffering from grief come together to get through it but feelings went and snuck in. They celebrate the life of a loved one and embraces a love so fresh and new. 

Trevor through out the entire book made me sad his love for his son was very real, their connection was beautiful and I just enjoyed reading about their relationship. Jesse, while his first impression was a bad one, you get to know him and eventually fall in love with the man he is and the man that war has shaped. While falling in love with your deceased friends father might not be what he had expected but it was everything he needed. Together they walk the steps to healing and yet Riley remains an intricate part of their relationship.

Seriously, this book had me wrecked and at the time I was upset with myself for reading it because it made me so sad but I’m happy I did read it because it was a beautiful well written story. Point of Contact has filled my quota for emotional reads for the rest of the year, I can’t be out here in the streets with red eyes and runny nose.  

I am irrecoverably wrecked and I will be thinking about this one for a long time. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Review: Cash Plays by Cordelia Kingsbridge

Cash Plays (Seven of Spades #3) by Cordelia Kingsbridge
Riptide Publishing, Goodreads
Novel: 339pgs

4.25 Pants Off

Blurb: The Seven of Spades is back with a vengeance—the vigilante serial killer has resumed their murderous crusade, eluding the police at every turn. But a bloodthirsty killer isn’t the only threat facing Sin City. A devious saboteur is wreaking havoc in Las Vegas’s criminal underworld, and the entire city seems to be barreling toward an all-out gang war.

As Detective Levi Abrams is pushed ever closer to his breaking point, his control over his dangerous rage slips further every day. His relationship with PI Dominic Russo should be a source of comfort, but Dominic is secretly locked in his own downward spiral, confronting a nightmare he can’t bear to reveal.

Las Vegas is floundering. Levi and Dominic’s bond is cracking along the seams. And the Seven of Spades is still playing to win. How many bad hands can Levi and Dominic survive before it’s game over?


 
Review

PLAYED AND LEFT BROKEN AS HELL

Pardon my language for this review because I have feelings. TOO MANY RAGEY FEELING 🤬 

This book… 

This fucking book… 

This motherfucking book… 

I don’t even have the words right now. I feel like love is dead, everything is a lie and I wanna cry over a bag of hot Cheetos and a plate filled with delicious fried foods. 

Cash Plays, the third book in the Seven of Spades ️ series and what a whopping play of crazy, disappointment, and hot man love this is. If you have no clue about this I suggest checking out my review Kill Game and see the delights of this vigilante killer who kills with flair on the crazy street of Las Vegas as a form of justice for those who escape justice form the police. The killer has fixated on Levi Abrams a detective and his partner Dominic Russo a PI. Together they are piano keys being played by a ruthless killer that is always one step ahead. 

Now, the streets of Las Vegas are caught in a gang way and Levi and Dom is smack dab in the centre. The Seven of Spades has been on a killing spree and their crimes is escalating in ruthlessness. The calm killer is gone and the violence is at high level, seems SoS ️ now likes the taste of killing and is basking in the violence. Levi is frustrated that he’s no closer to catching the killer but he’s happy in his relationship and so somethings are looking up. But the thing is when you’re up the only left to do is fall and like playing Pyramid with a deck of cards, it all falls down. 

Dom is on a case to rescue a girl but the case comes with complications and before he knows it, he’s caught with no escape. He’s putting everything he loves in danger but the rush is so palatable and Dom lives for it. He’s ashamed but now he’s trapped and everything is on the line. 

Can I just say…what the fuck man. This book has ruined my entire month or longer until I get the next book. I don’t love it like I did the first two books and that only because of how ridiculous some of the story was. Especially with Dom (slight spoilers ahead). 

This fool is doing his PI case and hears something about a password being involved. He lives in Las Vegas 🤔 ummmm excuse me sir. Why else would you need a password? and while reading I was just like “it’s all over now”. And it really was. Shit spiralled and now I can’t even with anything. 

My love Levi is strong as ever. I love that he’s just so badass, violent, and  destructive. If you didn’t know bad ass is my aesthetic. His relationship with Dom is so pure sometimes that it makes my heart ache and to see it unravel just has me so ragey. I really just want to cry because it’s too pure and…no words. 

The FBI (Fucking Bitch-ass Investigator) agent. I don’t why his ass is there but I hope he’s just there to annoy me. Goodbye Rohan!! 

The action is awesome. I was so entertained through the entire story. It’s like watching a crime drama with a new episode each week. I’m so invested in this story and while I have some idea who the SoS ️ is some new details make the operation so much bigger than anticipated and it literally could be anyone in the police station right now. Like what is happening?? 

The Ending: I’ve already started my fanfic to rewrite, because fuck no!! Dominic sir, please get it together (a bitch is on her knees here 😭). 

Overall, highly entertaining, but Ms. Kingsbridge fun is over. Let’s get it together and stop playing with my emotions. No man shall stray and love will conquer all, pretty please. Cash Plays was the book I needed but I really don’t want. Putting in my request for book 4 pronto!! Another highly entertaining book in a series that is hand down one of my faves ever (little competition). 

A magnet designed as a seven of spades playing card was stuck to his refrigerator, securing a piece of paper on which a message had been scrawled in black marker: YOU HURT HIM, I HURT YOU DON’T PUSH YOUR LUCK

Review: Book #1 Kill Game
Review: Book #2 Trick Roller

Friday, May 18, 2018

Release Blitz & Giveaway: Exploration by Quinn Ward




Length: 65,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Marisa @ Cover Me Darling

Blurb

The reluctant manager of his family’s restaurant, Frankie attempts to live up to the legacy of his father and grandfather. Running a business that isn't his passion and trying to do it without asking for help leaves him turning to less-than-legal means when he wants to surrender control.

Newly divorced, Calvin no longer lives in the closet, leaving him searching for what he most desires- control. So when he finds Frankie on his knees in the back room of a local bar, Calvin sees the sub he’s only ever fantasized about having.

Can Calvin find the confidence to explore his dominant side while showing his younger roommate that submission isn't only about whips and pain?




Quinn writes LGBTQ romance with a kick. Their stories center around the relationship building between the characters, but also shows how compatible they are in the bedroom (or wherever else the urge strikes).

Goodreads Page
Facebook Reader Group
Email Quinn at: quinn(at)quinnwardwrites(dot)com
Website



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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Audiobook Review: Permanent Ink by Piper Vaughn & Avon Gale

Permanent Ink (Art & Soul #1) by Piper Vaughn & Avon Gale
Narration: Kirt Graves Audible, Goodreads, Amazon
Time: 7hrs and 7 minutes

3 Pants Off

Blurb: At twenty-three, Poe Montgomery is going nowhere. He still lives in his father’s basement and spends most of his time tagging with his friends. When an arrest lands him in debt, Poe accepts the front desk job at Permanent Ink, the tattoo shop owned by his father’s best friend, Jericho McAslan. Jericho is nearly twice Poe’s age, but with his ink and prematurely graying hair, he quickly takes the starring role in Poe’s hottest fantasies.

Jericho is known for his ability to transform poorly designed tattoos into works of art, but he was once as aimless and misdirected as Poe. Wanting to pay it forward the way someone once did for him, Jericho makes Poe his apprentice and is determined to keep things strictly professional. Easier said than done when Poe makes his interest—and his daddy kink—abundantly clear.

Jericho can’t resist Poe or their intense chemistry for long. But between the age gap, tension with Poe’s father, and Poe’s best friend calling him a sellout, they’ll need to ensure they’re both on the same page before they can rewrite their rocky start into something permanent.


Review

 PERMANENT FAILURE

I’m going to lead off with this is my first audiobook review so don’t hold it against me. So here goes… 

The Story: 3 Pants Off 

I was very excited to listen this one and I am just sad that it didn’t deliver. 

Poe Montgomery lives the life of a punk ass kid. He’s got crazy artistic talent but he spends his time tagging private property with his best friend. He’s been in trouble before but what he fails to realize that he’s older and a more slip ups will have him serving time. His dad has had enough of getting him out of jail, and getting on his dads bad side is a bad move since he’s basically supporting him.  But Poe is an artiste 👨🎨 and his talent cannot be contained. When his fathers best-friend offers him a job at his tattoo parlour he accepts grudgingly. Poe soon starts to realize that setting a foundation isn’t selling out, and the talent that he has can be used to make many people happy and it’s legal too. 

Jericho owner of Permanent Ink decides to take on his best friends son as an apprentice to keep him out of trouble. What Jericho never expected was to be getting lust filled for the brat, and Poe is strictly of limits because 1, the boy is young enough to be his kid and 2, he’s the son of a friend and that alone puts him in the no fuck zone.  

I was hoping to really like this one a lot. It has some of my fave things. The daddy kink (supossebly), tattooed dudes, and that whole disciplinary type of feel but the story didn’t quite deliver. It wasn’t as hot as I’d hoped and Poe and Jericho lacked chemistry. In the end I just had meh-ish feels. The plotty device with Poe’s best-friend failed to add excitement it only highlighted Poe’s immaturity and that brought down my enjoyment of the story. 

Also Daddy Kink!! Bitch where??? 


The Narration by Kirt Graves: 2.75 – 3 Pants Off 

I think if I had read the book I might have liked it more, because the narration wasn’t working for me. I felt like Jericho needed a stronger voice, something amidst that of a Vin Diesel level; strong and commanding. I have this weird thing with voices and sounds, I get annoyed enough that there are people I just don’t want to hear speak. While I didn’t hate the narration, it wasn’t doing me any favours. I listen to audiobooks when I’m doing errands and such, so I get to enjoy sexy scenes in the outdoors and usually sometimes I be blushing or smirking but for this one I felt nothing. The sexy times was read like the regular stuff and I felt nothing. 

Permanent Ink was a total letdown in the story and for my ears!!! 

SideNote- In a weird way I’m kinda looking forward to book 2 but I think I’ll go ahead and read the book for that one.