Didn’t work for me unfortunately

Alpha Barman (J.T.'s Bar #1)Alpha Barman by Sue Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2.5*

This is one of those books where I can’t put my finger on just what it was didn’t work for me but there was definitely something.

I didn’t feel the chemistry between the two main characters at all, the plot made little sense and was over and done with by 80% only for a new threat to appear out of nowhere and the rest of the supposed special ops team felt under developed.

There’s a massive lack of action for a book that’s supposed to be about a team of highly trained alpha males and the ex veteran customers are written like they suddenly forgot all their training.

The only real sex scene happens almost at the end of the book and it’s practically over as soon as it begins. There’s also some interesting punctuation throughout which detracts from the narrative and the book could have done with being tightened up a bit to get rid of stuff which felt like filler.

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

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Slow burn deliciousness from Anyta Sunday

Scorpio Hates Virgo (Signs of Love, #2)Scorpio Hates Virgo by Anyta Sunday

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There’s slow burn and then there’s slow burn and then, beyond both is Scorpio hates Virgo. Because really, Scorpio and Virgo might just be absolutely perfect for each other.

Just like the first in this series, the UST is absolutely delicious, oozing out through every encounter between Percy and Cal.

The chapter dictionary definitions, like with Cal’s T-Rex T-shirts, echo the humour which floats alongside the interactions between these two and help to ease the narrative along while not much happens.

The background characters, again crossing over with book one, bring to life this wonderful setting where everyone knows each other and the neighbours look out for each other like it’s a 1950’s sitcom.

Percy took me a while to warm up to but then, once I could see why his outside was so bristled, it became clear just what a beautiful character he was. Cal, though, Cal I loved from the start, with his clear gaze and his biting wit and his love of family.

The Gnomey element of the book was absolutely fantastic, what a clever way to bring background and depth to the plot.

But, I still felt bits of the story could have had more work and elements were left unresolved, like what would happen with Frank, were Champney and Mr Rossiter a ‘thing’ and who was Josie’s baby daddy?!

Overall though, this was another gorgeous romance from Anyta.

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

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Series: Signs of Love #2
Release Date (Print & Ebook): September 1st, 2017

For more of Anyta’s stories, check out her website: http://www.anytasunday.com.
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Loved this sweet and supportive romance

Out of the ShadowsOut of the Shadows by K.C. Wells

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

KC does sexy and downright dirty so well but she also has a real deft hand with the lighter touch and this latest addition to the Dreamspun Desires is on form.

Low on angst, low steam, high emotional connections, good romance and a supportive bunch of secondary characters make Out of the Shadows a really sweet read.

I felt for Christian but Josh proved to be the perfect foil to draw him back into the land of the living eight years after a horrific accident had left him isolated.

It’s perhaps a little bit long and didn’t need quite as much relationship build up before they got together, but I’m glad there was some good development as they moved from acquaintances to friends to lovers.

Most of the steamy stuff happens towards the end and is well done, with a lot of care given to show how Josh had helped Christian to see himself again.

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

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American Gothic in book form – creepy and perfectly weird

Insight (The Community #1)Insight by Santino Hassell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As I said in my update, this book is like American Gothic, the famous painting which looks ordinary on the surface but the more you examine it, the stranger it gets.

Santino’s incredible world building skills are in full force for this edgy suspense story which mixes in the romance element without ever fully giving in to that particular trope’s usual formula.

There’s no miscommunication, no odd little hiccup at 70% to allow the couple to reunite, instead there’s a strangely subdued relationship developing between Nate and Trent while around them, stranger things happen.

I clocked the likely villain fairly early on but not anything on how the plot would develop and the final denouement was a quiet surprise in how it came about.

There is an element of cliff hanger to this one in so much as the storyline continues into book two but this opening novel does also wrap up what’s been happening with Nate and Trent and puts them into a pretty steady and secure relationship.

Steam levels are appropriately low, which works for the nature of the narrative but there is a nice connection when they do occur.

I enjoyed it but, unlike other Santino stories, I don’t think I’d be likely to read it again.

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Another solid romance from Avery Ford

A Marriage ResolutionA Marriage Resolution by Avery Ford

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Like all her books, there’s light angst, a little bit of steam and a generally sweet romance thrown together with the usual trials of life to make a good solid read.

While there’s nothing out of the ordinary in this one, it has some cute moments and the epilogue is a lot of fun. I’m not sure the side plot with Vincent really worked though, it all got cleared up a bit too easily and quickly for it to seem believable.

However, I liked that Owen decided on his own it was time to move on and that Ethan was too good to let him go.

I’m also ignoring the espionage twist, that was ridiculous and could have been left out altogether imho.

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Cute romance with an adorable dog

Crushed (Foster Puppies Book 1)Crushed by A.R. Steele

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2.5* There’s a lot of good things in this book. It’s fairly low angst, it has a cute dog and her litter of puppies, it has a tinge of sadness to stop it being overly sweet and it has a lovely epilogue.

I liked Harley, he was simple in his ways, no manipulation or falseness in his character, he knew what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to let it out. Tynan on the other hand, took some warming to. He was repressed and closed off and not particularly nice for a while.

Eventually though, he found the inner strength to be himself and do what made him happy. They made a sweet pair and I did find the relationship development believable.

Steam factor is on the low side, a lot happens off page or fades to black but there are also times when they come together and it felt organic and emotionally connected.

But there’s loads of gay stereotyping goes on in this book which made me roll my eyes a lot. Also there’s no actual story narrative, not a lot happens other than an act of dramady which felt out of place.

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Nice later life romance

Silver FoxesSilver Foxes by Grant C. Holland

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a nice gentle later life romance which also doubles as a second chance one as college friends Byron and Gage reconnect at their 30 year reunion.

There’s not a lot of plot to this one, it’s fairly low in both angst and steam but it’s a sweet read with a nice story narrative and a couple of hot men finding love second time round.

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