Category Archives: Reviews: LGBTQ+

Nick and Jared conclude an overall excellent hospital-set series

The Doctor's Orders (Copper Point Medical, #3)The Doctor’s Orders by Heidi Cullinan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am so conflicted with this book! There were parts of it I loved the best out of all three in this series, others I felt like banging my head against a wall.

A lot of it frustrated me, Nick was – for me anyway – a character I found difficult to get a handle on because I simply couldn’t get with him over his behaviour when it came to both Jared and also his dependency on his family.

Now, I totally get his fears about coming out being overly complicated with his fears about racism and the pressures he felt in living up the legacy of his father, but – imho anyways – the behaviour of his mum and Grandma was so out of odds with how they’d been in the rest of the series that I was scratching my head at times.

Jared, I loved Jared though. I hadn’t realised by his appearances in the other two books, just how much he was hurting and feeling alone as his two best friends paired off. There’re hints of a past with Nick but this book throws everything on the table.

I liked the way Heidi brought them back together, I liked how elements of the book’s overall plot regarding the hospital were used, I loved seeing Nick in his CEO role going out and kicking ass. I rolled my eyes a couple of times at the multitude of pop culture references, which felt more present than usual.

It’s political, as expected from this author, but I didn’t think it was as overtly so as book one (although my friend Dani felt this was the most outwardly political), I think for me it was because the homophobia and racism were so integrated with Nick’s fears that it didn’t feel preachy like book one had done at times.

This one’s definitely the steamiest of the lot, and I am glad about that, as things had been a bit of a damp squib in the second book (even though that remains my favourite) but the relationship between Nick and Jared absolutely needed those encounters to be on page.

Overall though, I have thoroughly enjoyed this whole series, the setting is excellent, the world building brought to life this small town and it’s community hospital with ease and the six characters at the heart of the books were utterly believable and their romances quite charming.

#ARC kindly received from the author via the publishers Dreamspinner Press in return for an honest and unbiased review.

Get your copy here: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-doctors-orders-by-heidi-cullinan-10703-b

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Xin and the Agent is a perfect adventure romp romance

46642777._SY475_Black Sky Morning by Hanna Dare

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Xin and Jonathan Gray is a match made not quite in Heaven but in the inky black reaches of deepest space and it’s brilliant.

The rakish bounty hunter and the Commonwealth Agent couldn’t be more different if they tried but deep down, both are lost and looking to find meaning as they traverse the vast universes which make up this fantastic series.

Their paths have been converging since book one but here they finally clash in an epic tale of survival and intrigue on a long lost planet in the furthest corner of the galaxy.

I’ve loved each book in this series, with their mix of Farscape space adventures and Anne McCaffrey’s sentient ships, found family and men filled with honour fighting for lost causes and a new future.

For most of this book I had no clue where the narrative would take me and it was awesome as each twist was revealed.

I’m really hoping there’s going to be a final book to wrap it all up as I’m getting a feeling Agents Abrams and Digby might have secrets of their own too and I want to know if Ebba ever finds Novalie.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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The Sidhe are fully explored in this excellent slow burn paranormal romance

44662243The Marked Prince by M.A. Grant

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, that was good, even better than the exceptionally good series opener for me and absolutely jam-packed with everything I want in a fantasy novel.

It’s no secret to anyone who follows my reviews what a massive fan of this genre I am, and one of the overlooked gems for inspiration is Irish Mythology.

MA Grant has firmly established her world’s heritage in the legends of the Sidhe (Irish Fae) and this instalment focuses its gaze on the Summer Court of the Seelie.

I love the Fae, they’re my favourite paranormal inspiration and the Seelie/Unseelie in particular have such a wealth of stories that it’s a challenge to create something new but with a deep foundation in the mythology.

With this narrative we get a glorious and, at times, viciously cruel tale of the Unseelie High Prince Sláine and his captivity at the hands of the Summer Court’s High Princess.

There’s a huge plot twist which I absolutely loved and which fits so perfectly with the character of the villain inhabiting that role that I cheered even though he’s an absolute bastard because it so brilliantly exposes the trickster part of his history.

The romance, like book one, drives the narrative but in an incredibly subtle fashion, it’s what underpins everything without ever being the direct focus.

I loved Sebastian. He’s conflicted, hesitant and desperately naive but also so brave and compassionate and kind.

His friendship with the man he doesn’t know is Sláine trapped behind a Thrall and mask is slow burning but compelling and I loved how their dedication and devotion to each other grew throughout.

The book goes in directions I’d never have guessed and I loved that it surprised me from start to finish.

#ARC kindly received from the publishers Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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A glorious return to the world of the Mad Creek quickened

46155038._SY475_How to Run with the Wolves by Eli Easton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m pretty sure Eli Easton is a quickened and she’s just giving us a peek into her world because there’s no other way that she’d be able to capture the inherent characteristics of individual dog breeds and then convert them into human traits which match perfectly.

Also, I hadn’t realised quite how much I’d missed Mad Creek until she said there was a fifth book coming and, believe me, this was so worth it as not only do we get a wonderful slow burn romance between husky Timo and Saint Bernard Zeus, but we get confirmation of a spin-off series featuring the Alaskan Qimmiq two skinned (and I’m really hoping I know who the first two paired off are going to be!)

Not a thing was out of place for this story, the strange culture shocks for both shifters as they saw how the other lived, the slow awakening of love, the conflicts and confusion each man felt when their worlds were so different and how they could possibly be reconciled.

The threat to Timo’s pack, which was being squeezed by not only Mother Nature but also the nature of human/shifter genetics, which drove the plot was a great tension builder and worked well.

I won’t go into details because the way Eli unfolds this story is so wonderful that it would ruin everything for people to not see everything open up just as beautifully as the landscape of the Innuit ranges north of Anchorage.

It’s gorgeous, I’m so glad we’re back in this world.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

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Another wonderful interpretation of Greek mythology from this pair

46751657._SY475_
Patron of Mercy
by Sam Burns & W.M. Fawkes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

That was my favourite of three exceptionally good paranormal romances which shone a light onto the lesser known inhabitants of Greek Mythology’s Underworld.

I’ve always been a fan of Thanatos, (the actual God of the Dead, not the Marvel villain 😁 ) and I’ve never been a believer of the bad rap that Hesiod gave him …has a heart of iron, and his spirit within him is pitiless as bronze.

To me, he’s more the ever dutiful representation of the spirit which takes us to our eternal rest, or to the Elysian Fields if you’re a Greek Mythology fan, and not some hideous skeletal embodiment ready to scare us into our graves!

To pair him with the accidentally immortal Glaucus was a move of genius on the parts of Sam and Waverly because he’s a capricious character, one who has no single origin myth but a number of different mixed tales all of which involve him losing his mortal state when he inadvertently ate a magic herb.

Here, he’s a sort of piratical type, wandering the oceans and doing deeds for Gaia, the Earth Titaness, while wishing he’d not been so afraid of dying that he’d rejected his lover Thanatos after a number of years.

The slow rapprochement between the two is handled beautifully, as they’re forced back into each other’s orbit by the fall out of events in the previous two books. This does, however, work as a standalone but you’d be missing out on two cracking good paranormal romances.

With a secondary plot that wouldn’t have been out of place in an Indiana Jones film, the tensions ramp up towards an inevitable confrontation which had unexpected consequences and an ending which had me smiling so much my face hurt!

The Epilogue is wonderful, as this whole series has been, and I was very delighted to discover there will be more from this pairing.

#ARC kindly received from the authors in return for an honest and unbiased review

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I fell big time for Max with his hidden vulnerabilities

Out in the Field
Out in the Field
by Lane Hayes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Very definitely my favourite in a series of quite excellent new adult sports romances.

Max is a study in contrasts, he’s kick ass on the baseball diamond but so vulnerable in his own life because of his fears over coming out.

Phoenix is the perfect foil for him, out but still not secure in his ability to find someone who truly wants him for himself and not just as a side attraction.

The sparks flew when they met in the previous book, but I loved how this friends to lovers romance, coupled with a friends with benefits element, rolled gently into love almost by accident.

I loved Max’s family as well, they were supportive of his baseball career but also cared deeply for him as their son, just as it should be but sadly isn’t always.

Christian and Rory are also on hand to dispense some good advice and a few home truths and the narrative takes no ridiculous dramedy moments or overly angsty directions.

It’s exactly the right mix of spicey, steamy and sweet too. Another great addition to the series.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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A great start to this new series from Morgan Brice

Treasure TrailTreasure Trail by Morgan Brice

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another excellent paranormal/urban fantasy opener to a new series set within the expanded worlds of Morgan Brice.

This one links into both the Badlands series, and into two of the series’ written under her Gail Z Martin name and it has just enough of a faint hint of there being more to come to leave me desperate for more.

Lightly paranormal in the majority of the book, the mystery is anchored in an investigation into corruption decades past in a small shoreside town where ghosts aren’t just things that go bump in the night but very much actively seen and spoken about and included in the town’s tourist selling points.

I loved Erik and Ben, their relationship sparked very quickly into love but there’s definitely an element of soulmates which made it a bit more workable within the timeframe for me.

The suspense itself is similar to those which take part in the Badlands series, involving mystery objects, ghostly encounters and long cold police investigations and I really liked the vibe of this new setting.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

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