Mixed feelings with this not quite romance story

The Truth About GoodbyeThe Truth About Goodbye by Russell Ricard

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a tough one for me to review because it took a while to really get into the story and to find the unique selling point which made me want to carry on reading it.

Sebastian’s use of Broadway and other musicals references to highlight his inner dialogue was a bit wearing at times and, at others, perfectly in keeping with the emotional dissonance he was feeling over moving on from his husband’s sudden and quite sadly tragic death.

I also wasn’t sure why it was set in 2008 to be honest, even with the time lapse jump at the end to be able to include the USA’s decision to allow same sex marriage.

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Superb world building in this shifter series

Wolves of Black Pine  (The Wolfkin Saga #1)Wolves of Black Pine by S.J. Himes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this romance, so much brilliant world building brought an interesting take on the shifter trope, and the long slow burn while Luca and Kane were apart made their relationship even more delicious.

This is a long book but, unlike some other reviewers, I never felt it was dragging or had too much unnecessary detail. I found the mythology and the mystery fascinating as were the different types of wolfkin and their abilities.

Luca/Ghost was a wonderfully expressed character, his internal POV changing in tone as he grew and between his wolf self and human self.

Kane was also fully fleshed out, the secondary characters surrounding both MCs bringing added depth. I can’t wait to read book two next week!

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Truly scrumptious friends to lovers romance

Adam's Song (8 Million Hearts, #1)Adam’s Song by Spencer Spears

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fabulous friends to lovers romance which – like toffee sauce down the side of an ice cream sundae – brings a little drizzle of sweetness to a sharp bite.

While this is truly sweet at times, there is also an edge to the friendship between Adam and Ben which is caused by quite realistically depicted anxieties and fears on the part of Adam and a slow dawning that his feelings for his best friend might be a but more from Ben.

There is a proper slow burn to this one too, it’s a long book but every bit of the story felt necessary and earnt its place in the narrative.

When the smexy times come they just add the sprinkles on top as Ben fully embraces his newly developing feelings. Virgin sex is handled with care and with plenty of emotionally driven feelings.

The world building is excellent too and I’m looking forward to finding out more about the secondary characters which help prop up the narrative in this one.

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

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Another superb book to add to the Protectors cannon

Redemption (The Protectors, Book 8)Redemption by Sloane Kennedy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t know how Sloane Kennedy does it. She consistently turns out books in this series which not only pack an emotional punch but which suck you into a unique exploration of MM romance.

While there are commonalities, this is a series after all, the relationships all have a unique element and experience which means you never feel like you’re reading a rehash.

In this one the trauma and suffering is almost too much but Sloane also knows just how far to push the reader before it would go into unpleasant territory.

I felt for Levi so much. What’s sadder is that there will be people out in the “real” world who have suffered in similar ways. The way his story and romance with Phoenix plays out is believable and realistic. It takes time to build up trust and it can be shattered so easily.

I loved this pairing, they were gentle, kind and supportive of each other and I loved that they talked! No annoying miscommunication between them to cause any dramady.

The crime element is well done, tight plotting keeps the tensions high until the explosive conclusion. I absolutely adore these books. The sneak peak at Vincent’s story left me begging for more.
And yet again the book is graced with an amazing cover from Jay Aheer featuring Wander Aguiar photography.

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Quirky not quite paranormal romance

The FinderThe Finder by J.E. Lorin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a quirky mixture of a little bit not quite paranormal and a little bit of a detective thriller sandwiched around a lovely sweet and supportive romance.

While the identity of the baddie was a little bit telegraphed, it didn’t take away from the tension and I did like the sneaky little twist with one of the victims.

There was some clever world building and a nice set of secondary characters. An Epilogue would have been good just to clear up some minor loose ends as I’m not sure if this is a stand alone or not.

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Best one yet with a delicious second chance romance

Urgent Care (Hearts & Health #3)Urgent Care by D.J. Jamison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this one, there’s something truly delicious about second chance romances, especially when the ground work is laid down for the separation being down to circumstances or misunderstandings.

Here we have two men reconnected more than a decade later, one wondering if he made the right decision not to go to college and the other absolutely knowing he should never have walked away.

I liked the premise behind Trent’s realisation he should never have left Xavier under the circumstances in which he did. Acceptance that you turned your back on love and screwed up is a favourite trope when it’s done well like here. I also liked that Xavier accepted his part in their separation too by not confessing his money fears at the time.

Their new romance was a lovely slow burn with lots of conversations as well as red hot sex and it worked very well.

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