2019 Round Up-Top 10 MM Pt. 2

As a totally off-topic notification, I’m now an Amazon Affiliate, and any qualifying purchases can give me a commission. 

If you missed the first part of this list, go check it out here. And now, on to the second part of the list.

AJ Sherwood-Jon’s Downright Ridiculous Shooting Case

Jon’s Downright Ridiculous Shooting Case is a totally fun title, and it’s a great book. Before you read the book, you need to make sure that you read the trigger warnings, because they are hilarious. This is the TW and tags from this one.

“Trigger Warnings:
Your average cop show violence and criminals

Tags:
Companionable snark, Flirting, Kissing, Jon needs a hug, Donovan gives the best hugs, Getting together, Self-esteem issues, Explicit content, Anal Sex, Romantic Sex, Random shooting, Which Donovan isn’t happy about, Donovan is a gentleman, Sort of, Jon just makes it REALLY REALLY HARD Okay?, Bisexual character, Public displays of affection, Muscles, Communication, Healthy relationships, The fluff might kill you, Supernatural elements, Modern with Magic, Feels, All the Feels, Mostly accurate medical stuff, Multiple electronics died in the creation of this story, blame Jon”

Anyway, I would probably put this in the urban fantasy because it has a heavy paranormal side. Jon is a psychic who has some serious strong powers. He helps to solve crimes for the police and for anyone who hires the agency he works for. He is in need of an anchor, someone who can help him shield. He also needs a bodyguard, which is where Donovan comes in. This is a slow burn, but a good one. There are also 2 direct sequels, and a spinoff novella. So worth reading.

Adara Wolf-Blue Storm

Adara tends to write on the heavier end of kink and dub/noncon. Blue Storm does dabble into that side of the pool, but not as much as some of her other books. In this one, people have some basic magic, which lets them know their true names, which protects their souls. Then, there are the Nameless, who don’t have magic, and have to be bound as slaves, and named as their owners or they basically splinter into painful pieces. Blue Storm was named by his owners, and the book is about his struggle with his name and with what his owners want.

Barrie Farris-Ingenious

Ingenious is a dystopian story. The way that it works is that women have taken over the world and currently run it. Men rise and fall by the women that they marry and if they can breed children. Enter Quiggs who is a bloody genius, Einstein and DaVinci mushed up together. There is great world building in here, and the relationships between Quiggs, Max, and Beau are really interesting. I am eagerly waiting for the next book, but it is taking its own sweet time.

Susan Hawke-How Not to Tuck

How Not to Tuck is a novella in the Lovestrong series. This is the story of Larry, AKA Honey Combover, a drag queen we meet in the first book. Mama Honey is hilarious, especially when it comes to the descriptions of her tuck failing and her python. Yeah, it’s just that big and that funny. For an even better description, and one that goes on for several pages, check out How Not to Blend, the first book in the series. It’s a quick read, and one that’s just a lot of fun to read.

K Webster-The Glue

Yup, The Glue is K’s second appearance on this list. And this one isn’t technically an MM book, it’s an MMF, but I’ve decided that it counts. This is one of K’s taboo treats, starring Aidan and married couple Vale and Vaughn, one his boss, the other his professor. Like all of the other taboo treats, it’s a standalone, but it is all interconnected with other books. I loved watching Aidan figuring out who he was and what he wanted. It’s a very sexy story, and I am always looking forward to K’s new books.

champagner-1071356_1920

Charlie Godwyne-Equinox

I get ARCs from all over the place, PR companies, authors, Booksprout, and various teams I’m on. I get almost all my MM ARCs from LesCourt Author Services. I love working with LesCourt because I get a chance at a huuuuuge selection of ARCs. Also, the team is just awesome. So, why the big shout out to LesCourt in this post? Well, because without the ARC opportunities I get from them, I would likely not have found Equinox by Charlie Godwyne. And that would’ve been a total loss, because this book blew me the fuck away.

So, here’s our story. It takes place in Augarten, which is a huge park in the second district of Vienna. It’s a real place, with an amazing history, including morning concerts by Mozart and Strauss, and you should definitely go read more about it. I did. And Charlie is from Vienna and wanders around Augarten on the regular, and it’s incredibly obvious that Augarten is a place they love so much.

There is a man who wakes up in the garten, right at the base of a tree. He thinks that trees are talking to him. He can see the magic of the garten, the trees, the sky, and everything, and starts to see all kinds of things. He passes out again and wakes up to a priest praying over him. He was praying to High Archangel Gabriel to protect our first man.

When the first guy starts to talk to the priest, he realizes that he has no clue who he is. He has no memory, doesn’t know his name, nothing. So, the priest decides to call him Gabriel. Turns out that the priest’s name is Solomon, and the head of his order had a dream and sent him out to find Gabriel. Apparently, Gabriel lit up all kinds of magical and spiritual warning systems when he showed up in the garten.

Solomon takes him to the woman who runs part of Augarten, who ends up letting Gabriel stay there, as long as he’s willing to work. Solomon tells him that he’s going to help Gabriel do everything he can to help him get his memory back. Meanwhile, Gabriel does everything he can do to help out at Augarten and starts to make friends. Solomon teaches him to meditate, sings Latin prayers over him, takes him to appointments, and shows up regularly. Then there’s Florian.

Gabriel runs into Florian one night at the garten, when Florian is praying. He worships Welsh gods, and prays in Augarten. Gabriel hears him, and the language sounds familiar to him. This ends up with them being friends.

We also have Ian, who is really important to Gabriel and Solomon. We learn a lot of things from Ian. Of course, he knows so much he doesn’t share. The asshole.

Charlie is a debut author. This is their first book. And it’s not often that a debut author writes something that is so incredibly mindblowing. The book is very cohesive, and the world is incredibly detailed. There is a very tricky mix of time periods, to the point where you aren’t exactly sure what the time period is, which is fabulous. There is also a big mix of spirituality, religiousity, magicalness, and realism. Charlie managed to put it together seamlessly. It all fits in together easily, like that’s the way that the world really works and the way that the world really should. All of our main characters have that mix inside of them, in their own particular mix, and they each have their own way to express that and express that mix. That spirituality is a huge part of the book, but it’s not shoved in your face or anything. It’s just part of the ebb and flow of the book and the book would be lesser to take that part out of it.

This is a slow burn, a pretty slow burn. I love how the romance builds up the way that it does. If the romance had been just jumped into, I don’t think it would’ve worked as well, because Gabriel needed a better understanding of himself. The slow burn was necessary, and it works perfectly for this one.

I really, truly, deeply hope that Charlie Godwyne has an Augarten #2 in the works, because I’m dying to find out more.

augarten-2744996_1280

Ian’s angelic ass is sitting on so many secrets. I really want to know what all he knows. I have suspicions about him that I’m not telling.

OK, that’s all for this one. I can’t recommend it enough, I really can’t. Go check it out. Happy reading!

Raisa Greywood-Wicked Fire

Raisa has gone back to her magical world of dragons, Sidhe, mages, and two-natured. I have been looking forward to Wicked Fire because I wanted to find out more about Drako and Morgaine, and this book let me do that, for sure.

So, for those who don’t remember, Morgaine is an ancient mage who has a hardon for the Archer family. She has done all she can to kill the entire family, down to Lily, who has 3 powerful husbands, including Myrddin, Morgaine’s old friend and teacher. Morgaine talked to a crazy dark elf named Teran and managed to get him to hold Lily prisoner. He did horrrrrible things to Lily.

For her pains, Morgaine ended up trapped in a stone, sentenced to be there until it turned into dust. She had no contact with anyone, although the king of the light elves would give her stuff every 10th anniversary. That included books, laptops, TVs, and radios. She could watch the world go by, but she couldn’t interact with it. It was a quiet existence, but not a terrible one, at least once she had the books and computer. She spent a lot of time researching and learning, which she loved. But then, there’s an earthquake, which destroys her prison. She gets picked up by a pair of elves, who tell her that the light king and the dark queen are going to give her another chance for redemption. She has to go kill Teran, who has escaped. And oh yeah, she has to do it without her magic, and if she fails, she dies. Meanwhile, she has to go from Cornwall to London in 6 hours to catch her flight. Now, Morgaine has been locked up in a stone for over a century, so trying to get from here to there is really hard for her. But, she manages to make it to New York, where she sees Lily and her husbands, who, of course, want to attack her.

So, Drako is the last dragon on Earth. He was bound to Myrddin for centuries, and now he’s bound to his many-times granddaughter, Lily. He’s a living tattoo on her back, but all he needs is a little magic, and he can be free. When Morgaine shows up, he tells Lily to free him, and he’ll handle Morgaine. After all, he doesn’t like her much either, since she killed all of his Archer descendants because Fergus wouldn’t leave his wife for her, or at least, that’s her story. So, Drako gets his freedom, and he takes Morgaine to his hoard. He says that he’s not interested in her, but he’s not about to trust her at all, because he knows that her story about having to get Teran is all bullshit. He figures that she only wants to get to Teran so that they can work together.

You know, finding out more about Morgaine made me really like her. I didn’t like her all that much in other books, mostly because she was cast as a villain in those books. But, her story makes me look back at her actions in the other books, and say ooooohhhhh, that’s why she did this. It was shitty, but it could’ve been worse, and I totally understand it now. I really like her now. This book gave her an excellent redemption arc, but really, I think that her redemption may have started much earlier. I’m going to have to go back and reread everything all at once, just so I can doublecheck.

I have liked Drako, but there were times in this one when I got really mad at him. I don’t know how much of why I got mad at him is the fact that he isn’t just out of touch, but that he’s hundreds and hundreds of years out of touch or how much he is acting on preconceived notions. I mean, yeah, he was there with Myrddin and Lily all those many years, but he spent a lot of that time kind of sleeping, and didn’t pay as much attention as he could’ve, so he’s still working on old behaviors. I can understand why he treated Morgaine the way he did at first, but when he started seeing stuff in her that was contrary to what he thought he knew, he just decided that she was lying and didn’t believe her or do anything to actually help.

I think that a lot of people failed Morgaine from the very beginning. I totally understand why she acted the way she did in the beginning. Even with being as strong as she was, she was innocent, trusting, and vulnerable. Everything could’ve been so different if she hadn’t been failed as she was.

There was one particular part that absolutely broke my heart and left me ugly crying.

standing-stones-4414684_1920

Yan was fascinating. And I’m really hoping that we’ll get a story of Yan and Omer, because I’m pretty sure that would be totally awesome. And Feather’s story too.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Ilona Andrews-Sapphire Flames

Sapphire Flames is the latest book in Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series. While it is a continuation of the overall series, it is not a continuation of Nevada and Rogan’s story. This one is the first book that focuses on Catalina, the oldest of Nevada’s younger sisters. She is a Prime talent, but not one that most people are aware of. She is classified as a siren. In other words, she is going to draw you to love her. And you want to love her to death. Her family are all immune to her because they love her just for who she is. Turns out that there is another person who is immune to her. But don’t worry, we’ll get to him shortly.

SF takes place 3 years after Wildfire, the last Nevada/Rogan book, and there have been a lot of changes in Dallas and House Baylor. Nevada is no longer the Head of the House, but Catalina is instead. And Catalina has taken some epic lessons from Rogan’s mother, which is really good, since their 3 safe years are over now. Catalina knows that people are going to be coming for them, since they are a brand new house, and they are going to be looking for weaknesses. She doesn’t really talk about her power much because of the way it works, and her records are all sealed. To top all that off, she is trying to keep the detective agency going without ending up as a vassal house to anyone and still adhering to the rules that her parents set out back when they started out. That’s what gets them into the case that they are in right now.

And then, there is Alessandro. He is Italian and gorgeous. He was part of the trials that Catalina had to go through in order to be declared a Prime. He came to the warehouse to try and get her to go with him on a ride, which she turned down. But that doesn’t stop her younger sister and cousins teasing her about him. Of course, that’s only payback, if you ask me. They did the same thing to Nevada, so what goes around comes around, you know? Alessandro has his own motivation here, and no one knows what’s going on, including Catalina. They do like each other though, so it’s really interesting to watch.

I like Catalina. We get to see all kinds of sides to her in this. She changes a lot, depending on what needs to happen and who she needs to be at the time. She’s a chameleon, but she’s what House Baylor needs at the moment. Nevada would never be able to do the things that Catalina has to do for the House. It’s not that I think that Nevada is weak or anything, I just don’t think that she has the same core that Catalina does, which is what is going to make it possible for her to make painful decisions, and ones that might come right up to the line that her family has drawn over the years.

I am up in the air about Alessandro. There’s a lot of saying about revenge, and I think that several of them will fit in here. I’m looking forward to seeing how the thing between the two of them is going to work.

Nothing under the pic today either. Go check this one out, and in fact, read everything written by Ilona Andrews. I can’t recommend the books enough. Happy reading!

dallas-1271744_1920

Kallista Dane-Fire Born

Once upon a time, there was a virgin queen. No, it wasn’t Queen Elizabeth I of England. No, her name was Melisandre, Queen of the World of the Seven Stars, and heroine of Kallista Dane’s latest book, Fire Born. This is the first book in the Queen of the Seven Stars series, and since it’s a reverse harem with 5 guys, I’m predicting at least 4 more books to come. Works for me.

So, Melisandre has just learned that her father has died, and at the tender age of almost 18, she’s now planning her coronation. Her vizier, who she sees as almost an uncle or grandparent, comes in, kicks her butt out of bed and tells her to suck it up because they have to go see the Oracle the day after the coronation, and her people need her to be Queen and not a lump in the bed. Of course, Meli doesn’t like that, but that was Antonius’s goal. He’s gruff, blunt, and acerbic, and she pretty much loves the old man. However, everyone knows that Oracles aren’t real, so she’s willing to humor him.

Meanwhile, in a cave, an old woman calls Drayke to her. She encourages him to walk through the fire. Melisandre is watching, in her dream, and she sees him walk through the fire and thinks that he’s dead. Right up until he burst out of the flame as a dragon. Now, I love this because drake is another name for dragon. I love things like that.

When Meli finally gets to the Oracle, she finds out that she is going to have to fight the Lord of Darkness, and to do that, she’s going to have the help of 5 mates. The dragon, the warrior, the mystic, the wizard, and the rogue. So, yeah, pretty much a D&D party. She’s going to have to train to fight so that she can lead the fight, otherwise the darkness will take over her world.

Six years later, Melisandre has been training, and she and Antonius have been studying the prophecy and the things that her ancestors have written about it. Now, the Oracle summons Drayke and tells him that it’s time for him to go to Melisandre and to start to fulfill his part.

I really like Melisandre. I think that she’s a avery strong woman. Kallista tends to write strong female characters, at least I think so. Melisandre is going to very much be the heroine in the story in more ways than one, I think. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens as she goes to find more of her mates and as they all learn to interact with each other and how to share their lives together. I’m pretty excited for the rest of the books to come out. I’m hoping that Kallista doesn’t keep us waiting for too long.

abstract-active-ash-235807

If there’s anything I’ve learned from Disney, it’s that you don’t trust the viziers, so I was kinda worried about Antonius there for a minute, but then he started sexing up the Oracle, so I stopped worrying about him overly much. I want to think that he and the Oracle are part of the group that trapped the bad guy in the first place, but I’m probably not right, but wouldn’t that be awesome?

I’m really interested to see how each of the guys is going to adjust to being added into the mate group. I mean, Drayke may be the only one who gets to spend any one-on-one time with Meli. Unless she goes off on a quest with each guy separately and then they get all get together at the end, but I don’t see how that would work very well. guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

That’s all I have to say today. Go on over to King Zon and take a look at this one. You won’t regret it. Happy reading! And don’t forget that we have giveaways coming up on the FB page this weekend!

Ilona Andrews-Iron and Magic

Ilona Andrews is a husband and wife team, Ilona and Gordon Andrews. They write one of my all-time favorite urban fantasy series, the Kate Daniels series. The last book in that world comes out later this year. I’ve had it on pre-order for nearly a year. That’s how much I love this series. So, when they announced that they were writing a story around Hugh D’Ambray, I was excited, because it meant that we would get more of that world, but also I was interested to see how they would take one of the baddies from Kate’s world and make him likable in any way. I have an interesting relationship with Hugh. I both hate him and love him. Hate him because he wants to hurt my Kate and love him because he’s a great bad guy. Horrible things have been happening to Hugh lately, and I wanted to see how well he could manage them. Well, let me tell you, I was not disappointed at all. Iron and Magic was all that I could’ve wanted and even more.

So, here’s where we start. Hugh is drinking himself to death. He’s been abandoned and all he can do is drink to try to feel better, to try to forget, to try to feel anything. The remaining leaders of his Iron Dogs track him down and tell him that he needs to man up, stop drinking, and help them. The Iron Dogs are being hunted, are hiding, running, and starving. When Hugh is sober enough to listen to them, they decide that they need a base, and one of his advisors has found one for him.

Deep in Kentucky, Elara is queen of her castle. She watches over her people to make sure that they are OK and does everything she can to keep them that way. But when Roland’s Legatus keeps trying to buy her castle, she knows that she needs an army to fight him. She doesn’t have an army, but Hugh does. Hugh doesn’t have a base, but she does. It’s a perfectly incovenient marriage made in purgatory.

When I say marriage, I speak literally. In order to bring everything together, they marry to seal the deal, just like alliances have been made over thousands of years. It doesn’t mean that they love each other or that they even like each other. As long as they are married, it’s all good.

The female characters written by Ilona Andrews are generally strong, fearsome, devious, and delicious. See Kate, Nevada, Andrea, Aunt B, etc. Let’s add Elara to that list. She is very strong, both as a character and as a magic user. She knows who she is, what she is capable of, and what she will do in order to keep her people safe. That makes her even stronger, in my opinion. She’s very smart and tends to have plans within plans. She doesn’t let her right hand know what her left hand is doing, or let Hugh know everything she knows. Elara is definitely going in my favorite female characters list.

Hugh is different from the Hugh D’Ambray we know and loathed/loved in the previous books. He’s rebuilding himself, and figuring out who he really is and what he really wants to do. Elara makes him think certain things through and figure certain things out, which I didn’t even see until Elara shoved them in Hugh’s face, and then I was like damn, how’d I miss that.

Their marriage is like a crazy monkey knife fight sometimes. It’s awesome to watch. I can’t wait to see where it is going.

erawan

Oh so many things that I could say down in my lovely spoiler section. Hmmm… What shall I say?

I need to know more about Elara. She’s hiding so much. Who and what is she?

OMG, Erawan. That was fucking awesome. Just so fucking awesome.

Hugh and Roland. Wow!

I want to see Hugh and Kate and Curran get together and talk somehow. I think that would be epic. Especially after the epiphanies that he’s had.

OK. That’s all for this one. If you love Kate Daniels, urban fantasy, sword and sorcery books, this is a must have. Go check it out. It’s available at all the booksellers. Happy reading!

Katie Douglas-Bound to the Highlanders

Dear Katie Douglas, can I move to Glenaesh? I promise that I have no problem with 2 gorgeous Highlanders wanting to be my husband. I’d even be willing to sign up for a sexy Londoner. I promise that I will take good care of them.

So, as you may be able to guess, we’re looking at Bound to the Highlanders by Katie Douglas today. This is the second book in her menage series that takes place in Victorian era Scotland, in a small Highland village called Glenaesh. The village is near the sea, so there are a lot of fishermen. There are also a lot of hunters. These are both very dangerous occupations. Because of that, the people in this village have developed a tradition of 2 men marrying one woman. That way, if something happens to one of them, then the other will be able to take care of their wife and any children.

Glenaesh is close to the spirit world, and the way that the marriages are made is that on Midsummer’s Eve they have a huge dance. Everyone shows up. Towards the end of the evening, the children all leave and the magic starts. People are drawn into the circle to dance and their spirits are bound together with the other people in their marriage. That’s what happened in Fiona, William, and Graham.

Fiona’s family came from the village but her parents moved to London and away from the village and looked down on the traditions. But her parents are now dead, so she moved to her aunt and uncle’s house. Her aunt explained the traditions of the village to her. After being there a month, her aunt also talked her into going to the dance. Fiona was told that as long as she didn’t go into the circle, it would be fine. She’s all fine with that, since she just sent Martin a letter in London, inviting him there and hoping that he would ask her to marry him.

William is a hunter. He’s considered a little weird in the area. He’s quiet and stays out in the woods as much as possible. He has a little house out there. He has a sad family history and he doesn’t want a wife because of that. So when Fiona, slightly under the influence, talks to him, he is surprised.

Graham is the go-to man in the village. He fixes anything that breaks down, and in his spare time, he invents things. He hasn’t really wanted a wife either. But what the 3 of them doesn’t mean a whole lot when it comes time to dance. The music draws them into the circle and the dance ties them together. Only, Fiona also feels a tendril that goes out from where they are down and away toward London. Makes you wonder about other people, now doesn’t it?

Oh, William made me so mad at first. OK, so did Fiona and Graham. Yeah, none of them expected this thing to happen, but he walked away from it. I get that neither of the men wanted a wife let alone one that they had to share, but I don’t get why they didn’t at least expect that it could happen, considering the village’s traditions. But, I’m glad that Fiona got some time with both William and Graham before anyone else may or may not have shown up and gotten involved.

775af3c4c841746effd0f4d3ea07438d

Oh, when Martin showed up, I got mad at Fiona for leaving with him, but I have a feeling that he wasn’t going to give her a whole lot of choice in it. OTOH, marrying him in a church and having married Graham and William in the circle means all bases are covered. Pretty sure that no one else is going to be able to walk into that marriage at all. LOL.

I’m looking forward to finding out about the wolves, because I know that there is something. I didn’t miss the little bit about Fiona seeing the wolf change from a wolf to a man who looked like Frazer for a moment. So, we’re going to have to see about that, won’t we?

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. You should definitely go and read this one. Happy reading!