Book Two in the Balance series hit the right notes

Passion Punched King (Balance, #2)Passion Punched King by Lisa Oliver

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this one a bit more than book one because there was a bit more meat to the story rather than just – make angel and demon fall in love (because I didn’t really buy into the Uriel plot or the “find the Gilgamesh potion thingy).

In this one there was plotting in the Underworld to bring a bit more tension and the dynamic between the two protagonists in this one created its own difficulties as they were more diametrically opposed than Raziel and Botis had been in B1.

I also bought the connection between Anael and Zagan, which felt organic and a true partnership once they got over the little hiccup at the start.

I’ve enjoyed both books in the series, I like the alternative look at the whole Heaven v Hell conflict and the balance required to keep the world in existence and I’m looking forward to book three when, hopefully Uriel gets his own happy ever after.

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

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I love Six – not much more to say (other than superb world building as always)

Oversight (The Community, #2)Oversight by Santino Hassell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Six. What an amazingly crafted character he is in a world of excellence.

The plotting, pace and narrative of this one feels quite different from book one, another example if the supreme talent Santino has for creating his unique worlds.

Book one felt all uncertain and a bit slower because Nate himself was unsophisticated and unsure. Here the pace is more frantic and zips along between elements mirroring the journey Holden is taking as he realises The Community isn’t quite what it seems.

The connection between Six and Holden is at once beautiful to read and also strangely haunting as a man dubbed a cyborg for his emotionless state meets one famed for his oversharing.

Tensions abound as the series long story arc expands to include other members of The Community and I hope book three isn’t too long coming to wrap it all up!

#ARC received from the author via A Novel Take PR in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Another powerful New York tale from Santino

Concourse (Five Boroughs, #5)Concourse by Santino Hassell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Ashton first appeared in one of the earlier Five Borough novels at the Liberty X party I knew there was going to be more to him than was shown on the surface.

And I was right, throughout this book I wanted to take Ashton away and wrap him up in bubble wrap and give him a big hug and tell him he was a person of worth.

I don’t think there’s much more emotionally damaging than to be told you’re a failure, an embarrassment, to consider yourself to be useless. That he manages to find a purpose is down to him being encouraged to look within for the strengths he possesses comes, rather appropriately, via a Nunzio cameo.

Ashton also has his rock, Valdrin, son of his nanny, a boxer who loves the thrill of the fight but couldn’t care less if he wins, a pleaser who finds it hard to let things go and do what’s right for him.

Together they have a seriously beautiful friendship which Santino allows to play out in slow burn perfectly. The usual New York setting and cast of supporting characters are also here to bring this world to life.

It is a rare talent to make a book feel like you’re reading about a bunch of real people who decided one day to allow their stories to be told and Santino has it in spades.

I can’t wait to take another trip through the streets of New York with these guys and gals.

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Smoking hot return to Metropolis

Working It (Metropolis Book 2)Working It by Riley Hart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hot, hot, hot, this book is explosive. In Working It Devon and Riley take the reader back to their skyscraper of ridiculously hot men with a beautifully paced story of friends with benefits turning into something much stronger.

I loved book one but this one is even better as I found Hayden and Cody’s relationship a bit less stressy and a lot more of a gentle slide into romance – with the added benefit of some incendiary sexy times. There’s a lot of humour in this one too, the guys laugh a lot together and there’s not as much angsty or dramatic moments.

Hayden was a nicely constructed character, I liked that he wasn’t sure where his life was going and how he was trying to find a new one after breaking up with his ex.
Cody also could have been a one note character, fixated on his pained upbringing, but instead the authors made him an optimistic and encouraging friend to Hayden.

I loved reading their relationship grow slowly as they figured out that the friends with benefits option of their relationship wasn’t enough anymore. Oh and the scene with Finn, make sure you’ve got a) a fan and b) a towel to hand when reading that one. Methinks that sailor boy needs his own story. It’s not easy to write something generally considered “porny” without making it porn but in the hands of these two authors it felt perfectly placed and constructed within the narrative.

The epilogue was all ends up sweet as well. Now we wait for Derek’s story and I’m intrigued as to see how Devon and Riley handle him and stop him from becoming too full on annoying.

Oh, and that cover, where can I get one please?! That’s pretty much my dream guy.

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