Really lovely second novel from Morningstar Ashley

A Different Light (A Begin Again Novel #1)A Different Light by Morningstar Ashley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This second novel from Morningstar Ashley, the start of a new series, is a delight. Although it has a serious act of trauma as a teenager as the fulcrum point, it’s surprisingly light in tone and has a lot of humour.

I loved both Bennett and Mac for different reasons. Bennett’s uptight science nerd may have played to stereotypes but it made sense given his experience as a 16-year-old.

But Mac, he may have looked like the typical tattooed motorcycle riding bad boy, but that was all surface. He was a hard working, humorous and caring soul with a heart that had never stopped beating for his geeky childhood neighbour.

I liked the time and care given to the relationship development between these two. They didn’t rush into bed, there wasn’t an insta love, more Bennett’s realisation of what sat at the heart of Mac’s teasing.

A good setting and secondary characters gave this book a great grounding and I’d like to find out more about them all.

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

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Review Tour: Merry & Bright by Joanna Chambers

 Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | KOBO |
Length: 59,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Natasha Snow

Blurb

 

Humbug

Quin Flint is unimpressed when his gorgeous colleague, Rob Paget, asks for extra time off at Christmas. As far as Quin is concerned, Christmas is a giant waste of time. Quin’s on the fast track to partnership, and the season of goodwill is just getting in the way of his next big project. But when Quin’s boss, Marley, confiscates his phone and makes him take an unscheduled day off, Quin finds himself being forced to confront his regrets, past and present, and think about the sort of future he really wants…and who he wants it with.

Mr Perfect’s Christmas

Sam Warren’s new job hasn’t been going so well so the last thing he’s in the mood for is the obligatory office Christmas party, particularly since Nick Foster’s going to be there. Nick–the guy whose shoes Sam has been trying to fill–seems to take very opportunity to point out where Sam’s going wrong. But when Sam receives an unexpected Secret Santa gift at the party, he’s forced to question his assumptions about his rival. Could it be that he’s been misinterpreting Nick’s actions all along? And is it possible that his reluctant attraction to Nick is reciprocated?

Rest and Be Thankful

Things haven’t been going well for Cam McMorrow since he moved to Inverbechie. His business is failing, his cottage is falling apart and following his very public argument with café owner Rob Armstrong, he’s become a social outcast. Cam needs to get away from his troubles and when his sister buys him a ticket to the biggest Hogmanay party in Glasgow, he can’t leave Inverbechie quick enough. But when events conspire to strand him in the middle of nowhere in a snowstorm, not only is he liable to miss the party, he’ll also have to ask his nemesis, Rob, for help.

December 1 – Valerie Ullmer, Inglorious Bitches, Gay Book Reviews

December 4 – Drops Of Ink, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, OMG Reads, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews

December 6 – Lelyana’s Book Blog

December 8 – Unquietly Me, Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings, Bayou Book Junkie, Padme’s Library, Hearts On Fire Reviews, Au Boudoir Ecarlate

Author Bio
 

Joanna Chambers always wanted to write. She spent over 20 years staring at blank sheets of paper and despairing of ever writing a single word. In between staring at blank sheets of paper, she studied law, met her husband and had two children. Whilst nursing her first child, she rediscovered her love of romance and found her muse. Joanna lives in Scotland with her family and finds time to write by eschewing sleep and popular culture.



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Release Blitz: Merry & Bright by Joanna Chambers

 Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | KOBO | Barnes & Noble

Length: 59,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow

 Blurb

 

Humbug

Quin Flint is unimpressed when his gorgeous colleague, Rob Paget, asks for extra time off at Christmas. As far as Quin is concerned, Christmas is a giant waste of time. Quin’s on the fast track to partnership, and the season of goodwill is just getting in the way of his next big project. But when Quin’s boss, Marley, confiscates his phone and makes him take an unscheduled day off, Quin finds himself being forced to confront his regrets, past and present, and think about the sort of future he really wants…and who he wants it with.

Mr Perfect’s Christmas

Sam Warren’s new job hasn’t been going so well so the last thing he’s in the mood for is the obligatory office Christmas party, particularly since Nick Foster’s going to be there. Nick–the guy whose shoes Sam has been trying to fill–seems to take very opportunity to point out where Sam’s going wrong. But when Sam receives an unexpected Secret Santa gift at the party, he’s forced to question his assumptions about his rival. Could it be that he’s been misinterpreting Nick’s actions all along? And is it possible that his reluctant attraction to Nick is reciprocated?

Rest and Be Thankful

Things haven’t been going well for Cam McMorrow since he moved to Inverbechie. His business is failing, his cottage is falling apart and following his very public argument with café owner Rob Armstrong, he’s become a social outcast. Cam needs to get away from his troubles and when his sister buys him a ticket to the biggest Hogmanay party in Glasgow, he can’t leave Inverbechie quick enough. But when events conspire to strand him in the middle of nowhere in a snowstorm, not only is he liable to miss the party, he’ll also have to ask his nemesis, Rob, for help.

Author Bio
 

Joanna Chambers always wanted to write. She spent over 20 years staring at blank sheets of paper and despairing of ever writing a single word. In between staring at blank sheets of paper, she studied law, met her husband and had two children. Whilst nursing her first child, she rediscovered her love of romance and found her muse. Joanna lives in Scotland with her family and finds time to write by eschewing sleep and popular culture.

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Lots of feels in this gorgeous romance

Locked in Silence (Pelican Bay, #1)Locked in Silence by Sloane Kennedy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sloane Kennedy sure knows how to write stories that creep up on you and wrap sneaky little arms around you waiting for the moment you need them to hand you a tissue.

She’s also brilliant at creating characters who have been bowed but never completely broken and then pairing them with a partner who is perfect at shoring up all those vulnerabilities and giving them a HEA which is both true to their narrative and believable.

This is book one in a new series which is still angsty but doesn’t have the darker side that her Protectors series does and I loved it. Both Dallas and Nolan had been hurt by life but not enough to truly give up and this almost made it a second chance romance as each had had a crush on the other at school.

The small town claustrophobia was also well depicted, as was Nolan’s fractured relationship with his mother, and the way they began to reconnect was believable.

There was less smexy times in this too, surprising for an author who excels at them, but it worked within this romance. Bring on the rest of Pelican Bay. I can’t decide who I want to read about t next, blue haired Isaac, Sawyer the vet or both of them with Dallas’ brother Maddox!

And, as always, a truly beautiful cover.

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Deacon’s Law: R.J. Scott

Cover Design: Meredith Russell
Length: 50,000 words approx.
 
 
Heroes Series
 
A Reason To Stay (Book #1) – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Last Marine Standing (Book #2) – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

How can you trust the man who tried to kill you?

Undercover cop Deacon Shepherd lost everything trying to maintain his cover – the man he loved and the future he craved. He walked away and never looked back because it was the only way to keep Rafael alive.

The last thing he needs is to be dragged back in that world, but an attempt on Rafael’s life is enough to make him risk his heart again.

Rafael ‘Rafe’ Ramirez wakes up in the hospital, the victim of a hit and run. He’s horrified when the first face he sees is that of the man who betrayed him and left him for dead three years before. Witness protection had stripped Rafe of his family and friends, and now it seems his sacrifice to bring his Uncle to justice was for nothing.

Someone wants Rafe dead, and the only way he can stay alive is to go with the murdering drug dealer who broke his heart. But how can he ever trust Deacon, and how can Deacon protect Rafe without falling in love all over again?

Excerpt
 

Rafe opened his eyes, attempting to focus on the ceiling above him. He tried to lift his hand, but it felt as if there was lead in his veins, everything heavy and he couldn’t move. They’d told him he was getting better, so what the hell had happened? Had he relapsed? Why was he convinced that they’d taken him somewhere in an ambulance? That he’d leaned against a leather jacket that smelled of sunshine and soap? He blinked until the ceiling finally coalesced into the tiles he was familiar with.

Only there were no tiles.

Instead, the ceiling was a smooth white, and there were no strip lights, just a lampshade in a curious shade of blue. He blinked again. This didn’t make sense.

But when he opened his eyes, nothing had changed. The ceiling was still white, the lampshade blue, and the drapes at the window matched the shade. The drapes. There were drapes at the window. Confusion morphed into panic and he turned his head to the right to get a better feel for where he was and he saw…him.

Sprawled awkwardly in the chair, his head back, long limbs this way and that, clearly too big for the chair, was a specter from a past that wouldn’t leave him alone.

Deacon.

Intense fear sliced into Rafe.

They’d found him, had him strapped to a bed…was it Deacon who’d tracked him down and driven a car at him? He was paralyzed with a fear that made it hard to breathe, and he yanked at his hand, hoping to escape his restraints, only he wasn’t tied down, there was no rope. Instead his hand came up fast and he rolled sideways. Catching himself and coming off the bed, forgetting the fact that his leg was in a cast and toppling sideways, falling with a crash into a cabinet. He flailed but couldn’t stop himself falling, and he knew this was it – this time he was really going to die.

Deacon was up and at his side in an instant, and Rafe wanted to shut his eyes, wanted to block out seeing Deacon’s face again as he died, but he had to watch. He wanted Deacon to see his fear, and maybe that would stop him; maybe he could make Deacon stop and think.

“Shit, Rafe— Craig,” Deacon said, and reached for him, grasping his arms.

Terror became ice inside him, and Rafe stopped fighting; like a deer caught in headlights, he froze.

“What happened?” A second man stood in the doorway, someone Rafe didn’t know – tall, dark and dangerous-looking. Maybe this new arrival could stop Deacon?

“Help me,” Rafe forced out, looking past Deacon, scrambling to stand as the ice melted and he pushed himself to move.

“He woke up, saw me, and fell out of bed,” Deacon said, and the other man came right in. There were two of them, and there was little Rafe could do to get away. There and then, he screwed his eyes shut; nothing was going to save him now.

But there was no pain, no bullet. Instead, the two men helped him to stand, and then he felt the bed at the back of his thighs and they sat him down.

“Are you okay?” Deacon asked. Even with his eyes shut, Rafe recognized his voice. He would never forget the tone of it, or the coldness of the man who’d tried to kill him. He said nothing.

“Open your eyes,” the other man asked.

No.

“Craig? Rafe? My name is Mac. We’re here to help you.”

But fear was choking him and he couldn’t breathe. “No,” he managed between attempts to inhale enough oxygen not to pass out.

“He’s panicking. What the hell did you do, D?”

“Tried to fucking kill him three years ago, remember?”

Author Bio

RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

mailto:rj@rjscott.co.uk

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Quirky sports romance with a mathematical twist

Improper FractionImproper Fraction by V.L. Locey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked this little quirky not quite a straight up sports romance with its little mathematical twist.

I know nothing about math, so some of the references went a little over my head (okay disclaimer I failed my maths O Level so badly I ended up with a CSE Grade 4 – that’s like a drop of about five levels into failure!) but it didn’t affect my enjoyment.

There’s friends to lovers, there’s a falling out, there’s second chances, there’s a bit of enemies to lovers there’s a lot of humour and a fairly realistic examination of the conflicts both internal and external that LGBTQ+ people go through when living with their sexuality.

O’Malley (yes I was thinking of the cartoon cat too every time I saw it written) and Garrison (of troops, yes that was in my head as well) were a perfect pair though, humorous names aside.

I loved how Mal was brave enough to let Garrison back in again and I adored how sure the baseball guy was that he absolutely was in love with his childhood best friend.

This is a new adult book but written with a believable start to a HEA that I truly could see lasting a lifetime.

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

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Didn’t feel the love in this one sadly

Smitty's Sheriff (Hope, #3)Smitty’s Sheriff by Cardeno C.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I can’t put my finger on just what was wrong with this one but it didn’t work for me. I usually love a May to December romance and this had all the necessary elements on the surface but it left me feeling flat.

Rich was a difficult character to find any empathy with, he came across as a jerk for a lot of the story and he treated Todd like a young child rather than a lover on frequent occasions.

The big hook on their relationship troubles was mis communication and it just totally grinds my gears. A man Rich’s age should know better than to just assume things and as a Sheriff he’s supposed to be intelligent enough to deduce things rationally.

Todd was a sweetie, naive but determined to get his man back, I just didn’t believe in the relationship unfortunately.

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