Kay Elle Parker-Dance For Me

So, Kay Elle Parker gave us a wonderful new book today. It’s called Dance For Me, and it’s the start of a new series, Club Avalon, about a BDSM club and the D-types who inhabit the club.

So, we start with Boadicea. Her best friend, Liam, works at Club Avalon, and he wants her to come perform at the stage. She’s a dancer, and Braun Fitzpatrick, the club’s owner, wants to have someone perform at the bar/social area, to entertain the members a couple of nights a week. Bodie could really use the job, she’s so far down on her luck that being flat broke would be an improvement. (Not that I’ve ever been there or anything.) But, sex club and deviancy. She has some serious issues with sex, and the whole idea of BDSM is just so foreign to her. (She has some serious issues subscriptions, and the idea of BDSM is not a good thing for her at this particular time.) So she is talking to her friend Liam, and he says something that is really insulting to her, and she walked away, even with the big amount of money that she’s being offered.

A month later, she’s out dancing on the street for money, and a man comes up to talk to her, and she walks away from him. When she gets home, she discovers a huge roll of money, a bracelet, and a note that says he misses you. He meaning Liam. So, she shows up at the club, and has words with both Liam and Braun.

So, I adore the name Boadicea. If you don’t know your history, she was a queen of a tribe back in the day in England, and the Romans did her and her family dirty. Really, really fucking dirty. So, she went out and did something about it. She chased the Romans out in her section of England for a while. Sadly, though, it didn’t last.

I think the name is perfect for our Bodie. She is fierce and she fights. If someone says something that hurts her, she will fight them. If someone hurts her friend, she will go and completely fucking fight them. I mean, she won’t just read you or cuss you up one side and down the other, she will fucking break your nose. The problem is that a part of that fight is her defense mechanism. If she gets hurt, scared, threatened, whatever, she’s going to get mad and fight you. That’s a really common reaction among with people and especially people who have been through some shit. And she has been through some serious shit.

Bodie has a really sweet center, you just have to get through a whole lot of barriers, walls, minefields, and barbed wire to get there. And really, with her history, I don’t blame her for having all those barriers up. I think that she’s done really well to get herself to where she is now.

Now let’s talk about Braun. I genuinely like Braun. I think that he’s a good man, and he has a very strong protective streak, a good heart, and he honestly wants to help people. He doesn’t seem to have any kind of ulterior motive when it comes to Bodie. He just wants her because she’s her, and not just because she’s hot or anything. It’s because she’s her. And he proves that to her. I think that he does really well with navigating the boobytraps in Bodie’s brain. There was only one time when I got mad at him. I understand why he did what he did, I just thought that it was not good thing to do, or at least, not good at that way.

I love the assembled cast, Jasper, Loki, Connie, Atticus, and Liam. Liam and Bodie have known each other for 20 years, and are very best friends. Everyone else is new to her, and they are all pretty good people. I can’t forget to add in Anarchy. I’m looking forward to knowing more about her.

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I hate, hate, hate Bodie’s parents. I want to run them over with a Matilda tank. Then back up and do it again. And again. And maybe again. Then light the remains on fire, with napalm and white phosphorus. Yeah, I might not like them very much.

So, that’s it for this one. I can’t wait for the next one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Natalie Bennett-Periculum

Periculum is Natalie Bennett’s newest book. It’s the first book in a new series, and the first two books of the new series, called Devil’s Playground, are a duet, so you have a bit of a cliff at the end of this one.

So, Liliana, usually called Lana, is on a vacation with her two best friends, Gracelyn and Melantha. At the end of their trip, they hop on the shuttle with a bunch of other people so that they can go to the airport to get home. Four guys get on the shuttle too. One of them really catches Lana’s attention, and she is somehow really drawn to him.

But then, instead of ending up at the airport, the shuttle gets rerouted, and then crashes. That’s when the group gets a spooky message, and they have to try and figure out what’s going on. That’s when we actually meet the guys. The leader is Ciaran, there are twins Charon and Kyrous, and the 4th guy is Maverick. The guys kind of take over the lead, and they seem like they might maybe know a little something. I mean, there isn’t any point in time when they say they know what’s happening, it’s just a kind of air that I got from them.

Anyway, Ciaran and Lana have some chemistry, but it feels like that chemistry may be nitro and glycerin, and they butt heads a lot while they are trying to figure out what’s going on.

I’m not entirely sure that I totally like either Ciaran or Lana. I don’t dislike them, really, and I can’t really come up with any reason why I don’t particularly like them. They are both pretty sociopathic, although I think Lana has at least tried to pretend to be “normal” or have socially acceptable emotions or reactions. I’m pretty sure that Ciaran doesn’t give a flying fuck about anything acceptable or “normal”.

There is definitely something devious, evil, dark, and dangerous going on. I can’t wait to find out more about that.

There aren’t any spoilers down below, because I don’t have anything I want to put under there. So, go check it out!

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2019 Round Up-Top Ugly Cry Books

I don’t know if there are going to be 10 or not, so this is probably just going to be a 1 part post. For me, an ugly cry book is different from a book that makes me cry. There are some books that will give me tears because there is something sad going on, a break up, a death, so on and so forth. Generally, they last for a couple of minutes, and they are just tears running down my face. An ugly cry is just that, really ugly. Full on tears, snot running out of my nose, sobs, the whole 9 yards. These are the reads that make my husband ask me if I’m OK. He’s learned to accept the answer that it’s just an ugly cry book. So, here are some of the books that made me ugly cry this year. There are some that I’ve already mentioned on other lists that gave me ugly cries, Nicky James’ Long Way Home and Eva Dresden’s Broken, so they are just getting Honorable Mentions here. So, let’s get on with the ones that made it, shall we?

***Full disclosure: I may earn a commission from Amazon from any purchase made from a link in this blog.***

Nicolina Martin-Redemption

Redemption is part of Nicolina’s Russo Saga, and is its own Duet with Absolution. (Expect to see that one show up tomorrow or Wednesday.) Anyway, no matter what the title says, there isn’t a lot of redemption going on in this book. This is the story of Christian and Kerry. Kerry is just a nice, sweet woman who happened to be working at a childcare center where a mobster’s son went. When she asked him a question, he sent Christian after her. When we first met Christian, in an earlier book, I really liked him. I didn’t by the end of this book. In fact, I downright fucking hated him. When Nicolina read my GR review on in, she asked me what my ugly cry moments were, and there were moments, not just a moment. Because it is a duet, it is a cliffhanger, but the second one is already out, so there’s that.

Addison Cain-Ravaged Captive

Ravaged Captive is the 4th book in Addison’s Wren’s Song books. They are Omegaverse and RH. All of the books have made me cry, but this one really made me cry because everything started to really fall apart. Caspian, Toby, and Kieran are at each other’s throat, Wren has been tossed out and thought dead, and the doll is in the way. I think that it was the addition of the doll that really got to me. I expect that the next one will also give me an ugly cry. Sooooooon.

Anna Wineheart-The Pretense

Anna is one of my favorite MM Omegaverse authors, and I’m lucky enough to be able to ARC her books. All of her books have some strong emotions in them, but The Pretense was just loaded with it. It’s a second chance, pretend boyfriend kind of story. It can be read as a standalone, but if you read all the Men of Meadowfall books in order, you’ll enjoy it more. They are all interconnected. There is one very particular moment that gave me a seriously ugly cry. There are some other spaces where I got teary, but this one particular scene was so hard, so heartbreaking that it really stuck with me, and made me ugly cry hard.

India R. Adams-Blue Waters

Blue Waters wasn’t published this year, but this was the year that I read it, so it counts to me, and since it’s my blog, that’s all that matters. This is the first of the Tainted Waters series that feature Whitney, Link, and Crash. All of the books in the series have made me full on ugly cry, but I’m just going to go with the first one here. It’s not a very long book, but it is very intense. Everything builds on the things before, but you do get a second to catch your breath in between. The entire series is worth reading. I don’t know that I would recommend reading them back-to-back, because of the intensity, but I would definitely recommend reading them.

B.B. Blaque-FTW

FTW doesn’t mean for the win here. It’s outlaw MC slang that means Fuck the World, and that is pretty much what happens here. This is the 3rd book in BB’s Masters MC series, and it is dark. I fell in love with Colt, Tuesday, Kash, and Barely when I read their books the first time, and I was really looking forward to this one. Let’s just say that it wasn’t a happy book. There were terrible, terrible things that happened, and I was devastated. BB will have GFY, Go Fuck Yourself, out soon, and I can’t wait.

OK, there they are, the Top 5 ugly cry books from this year.

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2019 Round Up-Top 10 MM Books Pt. 1

I’ve read MM for years, but this year, it seemed to ramp up even more. It ramped up enough that I’m giving it its own Top 10 list this year. Remember, these are in no particular order.

K. Webster-Wicked Lies Boys Tell

Once a year or so, K writes an amazingly, overwhelmingly emotional book that rips you apart and puts you back together. Her books My Torin and The Day She Cried fall into this category. So does Wicked Lies Boys Tell. This is a friends to enemies to lovers kind of story with some coming of age tossed in. The relationship between Penn and Cope is beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time. I will fully admit that there were times that I cried during this. K really just knows how to create characters that break me down and stick with me for a while.

Nicky James-Long Way Home

Long Way Home was beautiful and devastating. It’s the story of Gavin and Owen. They were high school sweethearts, but when they turned 18, they ended up being split up, and the story spans many years of their lives. We get to see what happens to each of them. It sounds like it could be nothing but a heartbreak, but I promise that it’s not. It really is a beautiful story. It was the first Nicky James book that I read, but not the last.

Susan Hawke-How to Heal

Susan Hawke is also Susi Hawke, but she writes contemporary under this name. Her first series was the Lovestrong series, and How to Heal was the last book in that series. It’s a great series, with a lot of humor and love. There is also a lot of pain, especially in this book. This is my favorite book in the series. It’s a hurt/comfort, redemption, Daddy/boy kind of book, and it works so perfectly together. Clark had been a bully in the first couple of books, but this one takes place several years later, after he has changed, but he still thinks that he has to pay a penance for what he did. His journey is a hard one, but a beautiful one. I have all these books signed, and I ARCed most of them. How to Heal is also the book I’m currently listening to in my car when I’m alone. I’ve read it at least 2xx this year.

Lucy Lennox-Wilde Love

Lucy Lennox has two main series that she’s written. They are the Made Marian and the Forever Wilde books. The two series are interconnected. Marian came first, but I read the Wilde books first and I fell in love with Grandpa and Doc, because it’s totally impossible not to. I, like all of Lucy’s readers, was desperate to find out all of their story, and thus Wilde Love was born. I own both an e and an audio copy of this. I took a mini-vacation this year and listened to this on my drive. It starts with when the guys first meet, during Vietnam while they were both serving, and runs through the current day. There are so many beautiful little moments in here and so many heartbreaking ones at the same time, and sometimes they are the same moments. This book made me just love Grandpa and Doc so much more.

Alice Winters-The Hitman’s Guide to Making Friends and Finding Love

I laughed hysterically the whole time I read The Hitman’s Guide to Making Friends and Finding Love. Leland is a hitman, no really, a real hitman, and Jackson is the PI who is trying to help catch him. Leland is so fucking snarky and may or may not have a gun fetish. I mean, honestly, Alice writes a damn good story that keeps you interested, while letting you laugh at the most ridiculous stuff possible. I swear that Leland just has no filter at all, and it’s glorious.

Tune in for part 2 tomorrow!

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Posy Roberts-Socks For an Otter

Posy Roberts is a new author to me, so a new author to the blog. But I really wanted to write about her newest book, Socks For an Otter, because it really just gave me the feelz.

Before we get into the story, I need to tell you that there are no real otters in this story. Instead, the otter in the story is a gay man. There are a lot of terms that people use to describe various types of gay men. The only two we need to worry about right now are otters and wolves. But first, we need to understand bears. Yeah, I know, all these terms. So, bears are the big, hairy, cuddly gay men. They like beer, wear flannel and plaid, you know the kind. Think lumberjack. That’s the surface level description. Then you have otters. Otters are basically bears-lite. They are generally leaner and less hairy. A wolf is somewhere in between an otter and a bear, but they are more aggressive than bears are. But not aggressive in a bad way. Now that we know that, we can talk about this story.

Sebastian, Bash, is a young, homeless gay man on the streets of Washington DC. He has been homeless for nearly a year now, and it hasn’t been easy. He was born a rich boy. He had all the money ever, all the privilege, and was basically brought up to be decorative. Then his father kicked him out, without a cent. No friends, no money, no nothing, Bash ends up on the streets. He left NYC to go to DC because he thought the weather would be a little better, but this winter is showing him that he’s wrong. It wouldn’t be so bad, except the city just did a huge sweep and trashed a lot of stuff, including the tent that he had worked so hard to get. Now, it’s freezing, a huge storm is coming in, he’s starving, he doesn’t have a warm coat, his shoes are falling apart, and on his way into the food pantry, he ran into some asshole who is donating blue crabs, of all things.

Louis grew up on Chesapeake Bay. Sometimes quite literally on the bay. His father was a water man, and he would go out and help his father fish. On this snowy night, at Christmas time, he has just left his parents’ home with a whole buttload of crabs that his father caught. Louis has kept as many as he can eat, but he still has a lot, so he decides that he will take them to the food pantry where he often donates and volunteers. He does a lot of work with the homeless and low income population as a volunteer, plus for work, he helps to create policy around those same things. On his way into the pantry, he runs into a guy because he was busy looking at his cell phone. The guy kinda yells at him, but Louis, for some reason, invites the guy to come to dinner at his house. They both end up in the pantry, through different routes, and are introduced to each other. Eventually, Bash gets convinced to go to Louis’ house for dinner.

One of the things that really got to me about this book is that it doesn’t glamourize homelessness. Nor does it gloss it over. We get what I think is a realistic look at homelessness, especially when it comes to being a single, gay man. There aren’t a lot of shelters that have space for single men, and there are a lot of shelters where queer people just aren’t safe, for whatever reason. And we get to see that from Bash’s POV.

Louis, for all of his knowledge and volunteer work, learns things from Bash, things that he would’ve never really thought of before. Like that there are a lot of things that get donated to shelters and food pantries that aren’t as helpful as they could be. And the fact that one of the number one things that shelters and other agencies look to be donated are socks. Which is where the title of the book comes from. Never, ever underestimate the power of a nice, warm pair of socks. They don’t have to be fancy, or have patterns on them, but a nice new pair of socks can be heaven. If you want to ever donate anything, socks, underwear, and toiletries are totally awesome, especially the sample or travel sizes. Or, you can totally use Bombas, who donate a pair of socks for every pair of socks purchased.

Part of the reason that this book gave me so many feelz is because my family was homeless when my son was a baby. My husband, infant son, and I spent his first Christmas in a family shelter. We lived there for several weeks, and then lived with my MIL. Being homeless is scary, and we were lucky enough to be in a shelter and not have to worry about living on the streets during a nasty winter, and it was nasty that year.

Anyway, I really like Sebastian. He learned a lot of things, but I don’t think that he really let what happened turn him really bitter, which could’ve happened, easily. I mean, no, he wasn’t all sweetness and light about it, but he didn’t turn hateful. He did turn guarded and walled himself off a lot, but yeah, who wouldn’t be when they were basically thrown away.

Louis has a really good heart. When he made mistakes, he did it because his heart was in the right place and he really wanted to try to do his best, not because he was a clueless idiot just fumbling around. And he tried really hard to not make those mistakes again. He learns from those mistakes and takes those lessons and goes on to do better.

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Javon had a good heart, but I think his implementation could’ve used some work.

I hate Bash’s dad.

OK, that’s all there is to say about this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Raisa Greywood-Bastard’s New Baby

So, Raisa has walked away from dark and intense for a minute and gave us some short and sassy. Not sweet though. There is some angst and drama, but it’s pretty lowkey, making Bastard’s New Baby a truly enjoyable read.

So, Jackson McKenna is running his family’s business, but he’s being forced into having to get married. The thing is, he really doesn’t want to get married. He’s pretty sure that he won’t ever be able to find the kind of woman he wants to have. You see, he’s a Dom, and he wants to have a woman who is smart and beautiful, but also is kinky AF. As he’s thinking about this, after a night of debauchery, he gets a message from his mom, which he reads while he’s driving, and he nearly runs down a woman.

Meanwhile, we have Siobahn O’Malley (pronounced shhh-vaughn). She lost her sister and brother-in-law in an accident not too long ago, and she’s now been appointed guardian to her baby nephew, Andy. Oh, and his $2mil trust fund. The problem is that she has to keep fighting for custody against Dan’s parents, because they want the trust fund, and not so much the baby. In the tiny town they are in, the inlaws have some pull, and they are managing to keep up at it. Part of the problem is that Siobahn isn’t married, and the evil cow inlaw smears her around the town, to make her look unfit. Today, Siobahn has an important job interview at McKenna, so she dresses to the nines, and gets a ride to town for her interview. As she is crossing the road, she almost gets run down by some idiot who ran a red. Sound familiar?

Jackson really truly earned his name as a bastard, because he totally was. I mean, damn. First, he almost ran Siobahn over, then he accused her of being homeless, and then he tried to apologize, while trying to blackmail her into marrying him. I wasn’t sure if I was going to actually like him for a minute. He had some serious condescension going on. I would’ve smacked the total everloving shit out of him, because he totally deserved it.

I adore Siobahn from the very first time we met her. She’s strong, fierce, protective, and very canny. She’s very smart and she doesn’t let anything slip by her. Jackson tries to put stuff over on her, and she catches him on it. He’s like, oh, I need you for this reason. She’s like newp, try again. I love that she calls him out on stuff. He needs it, because he really is a cocky bastard. He thinks that he is God’s gift to everything, and well, someone needs to tell him that he isn’t.

And Mandy, I loved watching Siobahn knock that bitch back. Mandy really did try to punch out of her weight class.

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Jackson, oh Jackson. You are kinda stupid sometimes.

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

Lili Zander & Lee Savino-Draekon Warrior

So, Draekon Warrior is set in Lee and Lili’s Draekon world, but it isn’t a prison planet story. We’ve mated off all those women, and now we’ve moved to the rebellion part of the story. It turns out that another ship left Earth with another 10 women. And this is going to be their series.

Alice was one of those women. Instead of going to the fabulous alien planet she was supposed to go with her 9 friends, she ended up as a prisoner of evil Zorahn scientists. The women had been broken into pairs and spread through the universe. Alice ended up with Tanya, being tortured daily for 7 months. Alice kept fighting and fighting, even though fighting means that she gets beat and hurt even worse. Tonya, meanwhile, has pretty much completely shut down altogether, and is just going through the motions and listening to what the scientists tell her to do. It doesn’t save her from being tortured, but it does keep her from getting beat as much as Alice does. One day, the routine changes. Alice and Tonya are sold, drugged, and dragged away.

The rebellion has heard about these human women who have been stolen away, and they are determined to rescue all ten of the women. They have a secret weapon. Well, make that 5 secret weapons. They are Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth. They are 5 of the first 6 original Draekon. Not just, you know, early generations, but numbers 2-6 of the original creation. They were born and bred to be warriors. They are big, smart, vicious, cold-blooded killers. They have also been kept in stasis for a thousand years. The stasis tubes were found by archeologists and the rebels claimed them. So Rahit’vi and the rest of the powers that be in the rebellion decide to wake up our guys so that they can go find the women. So, each of the guys goes off to find a pair of women.

Second is sent after Alice and Tonya. But Second has a secret that no one else knows. He named himself. Kadir ab Usora, Warrior born from the Light. None of the 6 were given names, and if anyone found out that he had named himself, he would’ve been severely punished. He has never told anyone his name, not even his brothers. At least, no one until he meets Alice when he rescuing her, and she punches him in the jaw, breaking her wrist. But Kadir was impressed.

I really like the story here. I mean we’re getting a lot of adventure in this one. We’re also learning new things about the Draekon. I mean, we thought we knew all about them, but these guys are changing all the rules. For one thing, they aren’t mating in pairs. For another, they don’t have to wait to mate to be able to switch to dragon form.

One thing I really like about Alice is that she always sees Kadir. She never sees him as Second. He is always Kadir and she sees the truth of him. Everyone tries to tell her that he’s a crazy, crazed killer and he’s on the edge and very possibly suicidal. But none of them have really spent more than just about 2 seconds with Second, which means they haven’t taken the chance to know him. And the rebels forced our guys to go out and search for humans by injecting them with a long acting poison. Which, you know, kinda makes them no better than a lot of the other people who have been around. That means a whole lot to Kadir. There’s never been anyone who has done that for him.

Kadir really is a good guy. He’s got a really good heart and is incredibly honorable. He feels a lot of responsibility. I really like him a lot.

 

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First interests me, but not necessarily in a good way.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Go check out all the books and enjoy them all. Happy reading!