The length of this one may put readers off but the slow burn is worth it


Untouchable by Ruthie Luhnow & Kay Simone

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s a 4* for me simply because of the length, I felt the same situation arose over and over (the internal monologuing and second guessing of the other person’s thoughts and feelings just got a bit wearing for me personally).

But, that aside, the rest of this book is a beautifully written exploration of how two completely different and disparate people can actually turn out to be perfect for each other and just “understand” how the other one ticks and know how to comfort and support them.

Both Kay Simone and Ruthie Luhnow have written books I’ve previously 5*ed and thoroughly enjoyed and I thought this collaboration between the two of them highlighted and showcased each of their great writing skills for both a sense of place and in the beautiful language used.

It’s written in first person present, which can be a little difficult to get your head around and is one of the reasons for me that the first quarter of the book just felt like it was going on forever with very little happening.

However, once Harp and Parker actually admit to their blossoming feelings, the pace kicks up a gear and we start to see some real character development as Harp gets over his insular nature and Parker begins to stand up for himself and not feel quite so unworthy. Both men have suffered from the slings and arrows of life so it’s joyful to see them start to open up to each other.

There are hurdles along the way though, and this means there’s a lot of angsty and only a little steam – which actually makes sense given the unique natures of each individual man.

I love a good May to December and Harp is almost two decades older than Parker (who is 26), which again leads to a whole other level of anxiety and insecurities and what I liked about this story is that the relationship didn’t all of a sudden remove all those characteristics.

Both men remained anxious at times, insecure at times, fearful and with all their hang ups, but they also grow and adapt, learn to be flexible and rely on the other.

I think this will appeal to readers who enjoy a slow burn, it is glacial at times, but because of the quality of the writing, it’s something you (generic) can live with as it marches on to what’s a bit of a swoony epilogue.

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


This book drew me in and I was lost in Jason, Chase and Shade’s story

rule-of-thirdsRule of Thirds by Aidan Wayne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t know where to start with this one or what to say really other than, if you’re looking for a hot menage, this isn’t your book.

I’ve never read this author before but I absolutely will be keeping an eye out now because this book was stunning. A character-driven exploration of the terrors of PTSD and trauma, nothing cured by magic dick.

No one recovers, Jason and Shade (oh God, how much did I fall for Shade), still suffer trauma. They don’t reach their best self, but they do become a better self.

The concept of AI becoming sentient independent beings is also superbly explored. Chase and Shade are not constructed AI, both had their awareness birthed through circumstance.

Shade has been badly treated, Chase is his rescuer, his love, his partner, together they offer companionship in the form of a home help essentially. Jason is so deeply traumatised he fears himself.

To watch these three begin to break barriers and for Jason to open up to touch and to emotion really was beautiful. Theirs is a long, slow, at times painful journey, but it’s absolutely worth the pay off.

There’s no steam in this and it totally works for the narrative. There is a lot of communication, a lot of learning to rely on others, an element of of assumed belief of what’s going on off page between Shade and Chase, then later with Jason too.

There is, however, lots of love. It’s shown in a myriad of ways, from Chase’s baking, to Shade’s loyalty and to the gentle kisses that start to bring Jason joy.

Imho there’s been a lot of research into PTSD and the various ways it can manifest gone into this book. I believed in these guys and I loved reading their romance.

#ARC kindly provided by the publishers DSP, in return for an honest and unbiased review.

Get your copy here at DSP: 

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Lots of positives in this debut read from a new to me author

Our Stage (Weldstone Harbor, #1)Our Stage by James T. Prince

My rating: 3.75 of 5 stars


I have lots of thoughts about this book, most are positive and I enjoyed reading a new author who clearly has a lot of talent.

I do have a couple of negatives, the main one being that, for me, the book went on too long without the narrative justifying it.

There was a fair bit of repetition about David’s anxieties and what he was feeling (and while it’s never said, I think it’s fairly clear he’s either demisexual or gray ace) and Louis’ inability to clearly state his feelings left me a bit frustrated at times.

Also, the big misunderstanding element, in this case a missing letter, was a neat way to bring tension but when combined with all the other angsty things which were going on, again just felt a bit forced.

But the positives did make up for these two issues which will probably not be a big deal to other readers. The writing style is nice and clean, the setting is very well described and brought to life, the secondary plot was handled well and with a lot of sensitivity, and David and Louis were both uniquely fascinating in their own right.

#ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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These teens aren’t overly dramatic which gives a sweet romance

Room for RecoveryRoom for Recovery by D.J. Jamison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I don’t often read Young Adult, mostly because ‘teen drama’ is so long ago in my own past I find it exhausting to think about what I was like as an 18 and 19-year-old and don’t really want to consider it anymore!

However, I made an exception for this one as it was connected to the Hearts & Health series which I’ve enjoyed and because it was about Beau and Wade.

And I have to say, I enjoyed the vast majority of it and it dealt sympathetically with some quite serious subjects and kept a realistic tone throughout.

Both Beau and Wade are believable characters, they act their ages and aren’t some uber teenagers who know every thing and have shedloads of stuff and things.

Wade’s fears were justified and understandable, as was his behaviour, even if it was uncomfortable to consider that level of internalized pain and Beau really was the perfect foil.

I’m looking forward to finding out more about Dr Casper in the next one and it was nice to catch up with Trent & Xavier and Paul & Zane briefly.

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

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Wonderful opener to this new werewolf series from Rhys Ford

38306645Once Upon a Wolf by Rhys Ford

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This is a novella length which means Rhys Ford has a lot of work to do in both establishing the world building for the start of a new series but also giving the reader a fully rounded romance with the main characters here. I think, in the main, this is achieved and achieved well.

I liked the twist on the werewolf trope and the way in which she approached the set-up for what’s going to be a connected set of characters and I liked both Gibson and Zach, the romantic pairing. I loved Ellis, Gibson’s brother, who is really the main focus of this whole story.

The setup for the meet/cute was a brilliant way to open up the book, full of action and giving the reader lots of questions from the off but there was also a fair bit of time when not a lot happened and perhaps a bit too much of the book’s narrative was handed over to the two men dealing with Ellis and his predicament.

I would have liked a bit more actual romance between the two men, their attraction is obvious but we get nothing on page until almost the end of the book and even then, it’s more of a casual reference to the fact they’ve been getting it on. I don’t necessarily need graphic sex scenes but I would like to have an indication that there’s a physical relationship as well as the friendship!

The language, as expected from this author, is beautifully lyrical, descriptive and making full use of all the flowery emoting that is the norm. This book is also very funny as well and I know a few friends have quoted one of the scenes which was a highlight for me too:

Zach’s elbow got caught on his sweatshirt, and Gibson nearly kneed him trying to get his pants down. One of their plates landed on the floor, either hit by Gibson’s foot or possibly Zach’s underwear when it flew off of Gibson’s finger as he twirled it around. There was a brief scramble toward the fireplace, as it appeared one of the couch’s throw pillows was headed straight for the flames when thrown off to make room…

All in all this was a success for me and now I’m wanting to know more about this world, where Ellis goes next, what happens with Pat and more about the fabulous couple Ruth and Martha.

Also – how fabulous is this cover?! I’m not usually one for being attracted to a book just because of the cover, I like to go on the blurb usually, but this one absolutely caught my eye on Dreamspinner’s website when I first saw it.

#ARC kindly provided by the publishers Dreamspinner Press in return for an honest and unbiased review

Pick up your copy of Once Upon A Wolf at Dreamspinner Press.

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This urban fantasy series just gets better and better!

WatHcover (1)Wolf and the Holly by Sam Burns

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another superb addition to this urban fantasy series sees us finally finding out about Jesse and why he seems determined to ignore the path his alpha wolf status brings him.

There’s some more great world building, a bit more exploration of how magic works in Rowan Harbour and a lot of new plot elements laid down which will be picked up later in this series.

And, speaking of series, it was good to hear there will be more of Jesse and Sean as well as Devon and Wade, and that Fletcher will be the third subject of the author’s focus in book three.

It’s difficult to review this excellent series without giving too much away, but the same other worldly, ethereal and magical atmosphere runs through this one as it did in book one.

This has a HFN but one which will clearly become a HEA later in the series. I can’t wait to find out more now about Fletcher and discover who is going to be his mate!

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

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Release Blitz: Not All Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks by Rebecca Cohen

Length: 45,613 words
Cover Design: Brooke Albrecht

Neither of them wants to fall in love, but getting exactly what they don’t want might be the best thing to ever happen to them.

Mark hopes his boredom with his current job will be alleviated by a short stint in Basel, Switzerland. When he meets Steffen, who struck out on his own from an old-money family to establish an IT firm, Mark expects some fun, great sex, and a clean break when his job is done.

The arrangement is perfect for Steffen, who has been content with casual after a betrayal—and has a taste for British men after attending university in the UK. But as they explore the city’s rich history and traditions, Mark begins to see Steffen as much more than a tour guide with benefits. If he isn’t careful, the trip meant to break the lull in his career might end up breaking his heart instead….


Mark had two and a half months left in Basel, and the idea of several weeks of no strings attached sex was as exhilarating as it was nerve-racking. It was the kind of offer his younger self would’ve jumped at—but he wasn’t that man anymore, and he wasn’t sure he could be again. “I wouldn’t say reticence.”

“No? Then perhaps my English is rusty, as I do not have a better word for it.”

“Okay, you’ve a point. But you have to understand that it’s not every day that an attractive man states so bluntly that he wants to fuck me.”

“Then the men in the UK are stupid. Or you are not mixing with the right type of men.”

Steffen wasn’t completely wrong. The truth was he had spent his university days shagging about, enjoying the writhing mass of bodies in the clubs and gay bars. At the time he’d loved the anonymous and varied encounters, but then he’d decided he needed to grow up and join the adult world. Suit, tie, steady job, and long-term boyfriend, with cozy Friday nights in and dinners for two, not body shots and glory holes. “I gave up clubbing after university. These days I don’t go to the type of places where men go to keep things casual.”

Steffen seemed to consider his response before replying. “So it would be the fleeting nature of our encounters that would bother you?”

“Possibly. I suppose my needs changed, and I wanted more than the emptiness of another hollow shag.” It felt like an important admission, something he’d never talked about before, but it needed to be said to explain why he wasn’t dragging Steffen out of the restaurant and back to his lodgings. “The only one-night stand I’ve had in the last ten years turned into a yearlong relationship. I hadn’t planned it. It just sort of happened.”

Steffen waved a piece of veal in his direction. “I cannot give you permanence.”

“I’m not asking for it,” Mark added quickly, and he meant it.

“What I am hearing is you are not against the theory of enjoying a few weeks of fun before you return home. But equally, I am not convinced you are fully in favor either. If you do not wish this, we will finish our dinner, shake hands, and depart as friends. You are not beholden, either way.”

Steffen wasn’t offering an anonymous shag. It wasn’t thanks for the fuck, now fuck off, but instead something in the middle. Mark’s love life had been in the doldrums since John left, ostensibly because Mark’s job had eaten away any free time and John had decided enough was enough. He didn’t have any more free time now, and that wasn’t going to change, which would no doubt annoy any new boyfriend, so why not take Steffen up on his offer? He picked up his wine and took a sip of liquid courage. “Throw in being my personal tour guide of the city and I’m in.”

Steffen offered up his wineglass in a toast. “I plan to give Basel Tourism Office a run for their money.”

Mark copied and took a sip of his wine. Never had agreeing to sleep with someone felt so formal, borderline making a business deal. But somehow it didn’t feel wrong; instead it was as though he was entering something that didn’t require constant renegotiation. He would know where he stood with Steffen. Sex, hopefully very good sex, if he was lucky, and he suspected Steffen’s experience might make up for his own rusty skills and help polish them up nicely. “Let’s hope I don’t find you lacking—I’d hate to leave a terrible review on TripAdvisor.”

“Oh, there are plenty of people who can attest to my abilities.” Steffen waggled his eyebrows. “I will give you my personal guarantee that you will not find me wanting—in any capacity.”

Mark skewered the last piece of meat. “You’re certainly not lacking in confidence.”

“Have you only just noticed?”

Author Bio

Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and young son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.


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