Review Tour: Purple Method by Victoria Milne

Series: Standalone

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Diversity: LGBTQIA+ (m/m, f/f, f/f/m),

Trigger Warnings: cheating, drug use, overdose,  homophobia, hate crime, suicide

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Cover: It’s… purple-ish I guees

Links: Goodreads, Giveaway

Description: An up-and-coming heavy metal singer and a martial artist desperate to join a top MMA gym must decide how hard they’re willing to fight—for their dreams and each other.

Max Diaz is firmly in the closet, and as unbearable as that’s becoming, he can’t risk his only remaining family—his brother, Tony—or his band Purple Method’s chance to make it big.

Rick Bernstein dreams of rising in the ranks of the MMA circuit and securing a training career at a top gym, but with rejections coming thick and fast and his financial future in dire jeopardy, starting a relationship is the last thing on his mind—especially with someone who isn’t out.

But when Purple Method returns to Elfinbrook after a six-month tour, one kiss changes everything. Now Max and Rick face decisions that will change both of their lives forever.

Review: I had a hard time getting into this book.

But something made me read on – pretty sure it was the metal scene.

The first half of Purple Method lacked feelings for my taste. I couldn’t grasp the characters’ personalities and I honestly was a little bit bored. I couldn’t deal with the nonchalent way a homophobic crime and a suicide that was caused by homophobia was handled.

Still, Max grew on me, Rick grew on me – especially Tony grew on me. How did he manage that? I was nearly disgusted at the beginning my him!

I felt uncomfortable by quite a few themes in this book – mainly the suicides and forcing someone into the closet or out of the closet – but those are personal tastes, I guess. What I really like is how even though there was foreseeable drama, it is handled in a healthy way that we need way more of in media.

I enjoyed how the book doesn’t only take place on stage and at the gym; we get to experience more of the main characters lifes.

Last Words: Still won’t read it again, I fear.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy through Signal Boost Promotions in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

Make sure to check out the other stops, too!

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Review: Give up the Ghost by Jenn Burke

Series: Not Dead Yet (book 2)

Genre: Paranormal, Romance

Diversity: LGBTQIA+ (m/m, demisexual character),

Trigger Warnings: none

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Cover: I love how we’re getting to see the same models

Links: Goodreads

Description: The bigger they are, the harder they maul.

Immortal not-ghost Wes Cooper and his vampire partner, Hudson Rojas, have it all—rewarding private investigation work, great friends and, most important, a love that’s endured. But ever since Wes sent a demon screaming back to the beyond, his abilities have grown overpowering and overwhelming. He’s hiding the fact that he’s losing control the best he can, but it’s hard to keep anything a secret for long when your partner’s a former cop…and especially when your partner’s a former cop who wants to move in together.

When all hell literally breaks loose in Toronto and superstrength ghosts are unleashed on Wes and his friends, he and Hudson are thrown into a case unlike any they’ve seen before. To save the city, Wes needs to harness his new power…and find some answers. But when he gets them, the solution to fix it all could mean losing everything.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

This book is approximately 79,000 words

Review: My notes mainly consist of “yes!”, “oh goooood noooooo!” and “my baby!”

Give up the Ghost was emotionally hurting me, but I liked every second of suffering. A few times I was nothing more than a ball of insecurity and stress and then a few moments later I had to make sure I didn’t grin like a mad person while reading out in public – spoiler alert: I did grin like a mad person while reading out in public. I have no regrets.

I didn’t think it was possible but I ended up falling in love with the characters even more. How is that possible? How is my heart supposed to contain its joy and pain when we finally get the third book? I barely survived the second one.

It’s so hard telling you about the things I love about Give up the Ghost because I want to you be hit by them the same way I was. But totally come yell to me about it when you’re reading it! Especially when you get to the awesome treat Jenn Burke gifted all ace spec people with!

I so enjoy Wes and Hudson’s relationship and how it develops with its realistic ups and downs – especially their communication is a huge plus for me and I simply love how much love and acceptance Hudson offers.

Seriously, this book i just so amazing and I can’t tell you why because spoilers! Argh!

Last Words: This review has been heavily edited because otherwise it there would be too many exclamation marks and too heave usage of the word “love”.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy through the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

Review Tour with Giveaway: Their Bounty by K.A. Merikan

 Series: Four Mercenaries (book 1)

Genre: Dark Romance, Contemporary, Erotica

Diversity: LGBTQIA+(m/m, m/m/m, m/m/m/m, m/m/m/m/m, polyam*), albinism

Trigger Warnings: I had to skim read so better ask someone else.

Rating: 1/5 Stars

Cover: In my eyes it’s got more taste than the book itself

Links: Goodreads

 

Description:— Taken. Prized. Possessed. Loved. —

Clover is an orphan and has led a tough and chaotic life. No stability. No money. No friends. He trusts no one.

His already miserable life takes a nosedive when he ends up in the hands of a human trafficking gang. Someone has placed a request for a young albino man, and Clover is to become the property of a mysterious buyer who will stop at nothing to satisfy their depraved desire. Clover’s fate seems sealed until four bounty hunters appear to take out his captors and accidentally save him.

The four mercenaries want to move on, but when Clover pleads for protection, they offer it to him at a price. In the beginning, the arrangement is all kinds of shady, but as he gets to know the four men who’ve taken him on a wild ride, his developing feelings might become as dangerous as the elusive buyer.

But can a relationship with four such different men even work? Men who kill for a living? Men so full of contradictions?

Tank. The massive ex-soldier eager to be Clover’s Daddy.
Pyro. Wild, tattooed, with a filthy mouth and an itch for violence.
Boar. Ginger, bearded, a big teddy bear who can turn into a grizzly.
Drake. Dark and dangerous, with a tongue as sharp as his knives.

Can these men provide him with the love and security he craves? Or has Clover made the worst mistake of his life?

*

THEIR BOUNTY is a dark gay harem contemporary romance, book 1 in the “Four Mercenaries” trilogy. The story contains scenes of explicit violence, offensive language, morally ambiguous characters and lots of scorching hot, emotional, explicit scenes.

Review: Oh Sheesh.

This was not what I was hoping for. I don’t request books I think I will hate. But I ended up hating it.

The idea of Their Bounty is an interesting one and I was curious how everything would be executed and which mercenary I would like best, because I always pick favourites.

In this case you’d better ask me which I hated the less sadly. But I’m not sure how to answer that because I didn’t care for anyone in this book. I might dislike Clover the most though?

Waaay back when I reviewed a book in which the MC got aroused even though he was traumatized by seeing someone murdered and this reminded me so much of that book? But I struggled on hoping for it to become better. It didn’t for me. I guess the sex scenes could work for you if you’re not like me – meaning I gotta like the characters in order to enjoy those scenes. Since I didn’t like the characters… You get the picture.

I like dark romances and if you’re following my blog you know that just recently a dark romance series landed a spot on my favourites shelf so it’s not that I can’t deal with at times questionable themes. There still has to be a believeable spark for me, something I can feel, something that is, well, good? Not in the morally sense. But something that makes me feel something good.

You know what? I give up. I can’t say anything nice, I really tried to but my notes on this book are just “FFS”, “yeah sure”, “read the marked parts”, “what the fuck”, “fucking Clover again”.

Last Words: But hey, there are quite a few other reviewers taking part in this tour so you’ll probably learn what’s to love about this book. You just won’t learn this from me.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy through Signalboost Promotion in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

Not sure if Their Bounty is something you’d like? Luckily there’s a giveaway you can enter in order to read it for free!

 

Review: Shadows You Left by Jude Sierra & Taylor Brooke

Series: Standalone

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Diversity: LGBTQIA+(m/m, demirom character, bisexual character, non binary minor, polyam* minor

Trigger Warnings: addiction, drug use, overdose, violence, possible eating disorder

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Cover: It makes me sad but in a good way.

Links: Goodreads

Description: ERIK

The white picket fence.
The happily-ever-after.
That life was never meant for him.
For years he’s been bouncing from city to city—from one cage fight to another.
That’s his outlet. That’s pain Erik can control.
But in Seattle, everything changed.
River’s an artist.
He’s a pretty boy.
He does yoga.
Someone so soft shouldn’t be intrigued by Erik’s rough edges.

RIVER

His life was quiet. He had a simple routine.
Designing tattoos, avoiding drama. Well, mostly.
Then Erik comes along—scarred and dangerous, shrouded in mystery.
A mystery River can’t resist trying to solve.
Maybe a secret as dark as his own.
Neither of them expected a relationship so complicated, so intense.
Neither of them expected…each other.
Erik and River are both trying to escape a shadowed past.
But the thing about shadows is: the faster you run, the faster they chase you.

Review: It’s so rough but so poetic at the same time.

I suspected I’m in for a treat when I received this book. A tough-to-swallow-but-so-worth-it-treat. I was right – only I didn’t know how tough as well as how worth it would be.

Mind the content warnings, dear readers (also yay for content warnings though I’m not surprised those two authors gave warnings for their book).

I was not able to read Shadows You left in one go – but I didn’t want to do that anyway. Instead I enjoyed it while taking reading breaks to just let everything sink in. To let my mind work through the words and emotions. To experience everything.

Shadows You Left is no book you read for a nice distraction; it is a book that makes you suffer and feel your own demons rise to the surface, but while it does make you feel your darker parts it takes you by the hand and leads you through everything back to safety.

Last Words: This is one of the heaviest books I have read in my life but it is heavy in the best of ways and I can’t wait to go on this journey again.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy through the NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Prisoner of Shadows by Sam Burns & W.M. Fawkes

Series: Lords of the Underworld (book 2)

Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance

Diversity: LGBTQIA+ (m/m, f/f minor pairing)

Trigger Warnings: none

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Cover: I don’t know but his intense look makes me laugh

Links: Goodreads

Description: For more than five thousand years, Prometheus has been chained in the underworld. Every day, an eagle tears out his liver. Every night, he heals. When Hermes releases him in a gambit to save himself from his father’s wrath, Prometheus must adjust to a world that’s forgotten him. Hunted by the twins, Artemis and Apollo, he finds help in an unexpected place.

Julian Bell is a vampire lost. He left his Louisiana home in 1936 and hasn’t settled since. Ten years ago he followed his best friend to New York, but the country they came to wasn’t the America he left. After losing his friend, he found himself unmoored in a strange land. As he nears his hundredth birthday, he’s realizing how truly alone he is.

When Prometheus and Julian’s paths cross one fateful night, they find in each other a safe path through the shadows.

Review: It started with ‘the fuck am I reading?’

And then it got so much better. Seriously at the beginning I was considering to dnf it because Prometheus was so… one dimensional and stiff and just not… I didn’t get him at all. For someone who didn’t know anything about modern stuff he read so modern? An naive in a rather annoying way.

So I was really happy when the story shifted to Julian, because at least then it was starting to be fun.

And then. Then they met and I thought ‘okay, fine, this will be a story I read once and then be done with it. At least I’m not wasting my time.’

And then. Then I looked up and had somehow read over 60% without noticing how time flew by? Prisoner of Shadows really grew on me and I ended up enjoying it so much! It was really surprising to me – but a very nice surprise. Also: Fuck yeah consent! Fuck yeah being drunk means not being abe to really consent to something.

Fuck yeah other Gods’ appearances. I didn’t feel Apollo in this though but that is a totally personal opinion. I did feel the way how the greek Gods had to adapt to modern way of living and try to still get worshipped.

Last words: I don’t know if the greek pantheon is one that is really popular and say, the norse is not or if I just always stumble upon these stories? In a way they are all in a way the same but Lords of the Underworld (or at least this one because I haven’t yet read the first one) manages to have its own unique and charming tidbits. Also: Kinda what you’re used to but with a surprising spin that I really liked.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy through Signal Boost Promotions in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

Make sure to stop at the other tour stations, too! And try your luck at the giveaway for the chance to win the ebook of book 1 Prince of Death!


 

Review: Deliverance by Lila Mina

Series: Temper (book 3)

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Erotica

Diversity: LGBTQIA+(f/f, polyam relationship, m/f/f), mental health (PTSD), POC (Japanese)

Trigger Warnings: rape

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Cover: Yukiii

Links: Goodreads

Description: Pure joy and sweet bliss mingling with utter horror and heartbreaking agony: pristine snow turns red during the first hours of the New Year in the snowy countryside of Nikko.

Harrowing sacrifice allows a battered Lana and her mournful companions to begin a new life as a family. Healing is a slow process, though, and Lana battles with herself to understand her new identity and family dynamics.
But true deliverance and peace will come only when she confronts her real enemy.

DELIVERANCE is the third book of the TEMPER saga and concludes this trilogy. It contains explicit material and is only suitable for adults. 

Review: Diamond in the dirt.

Every once in a while you come across a book that sounds kinda interesting but you don’t know if you should really read it. Being a book blogger gives me the privilege for that I am very grateful that I am able to receive ARCs for free. Before reading Deference I didn’t know if I would end up enjoying it.

After reading Deliverance the Temper series has a place between my most beloved book series. So much so that just owning the eARC is not enough and I will buy all the paperbacks as well. I don’t have a lot of books in two versions…

How could that happen? The writing is amazing, I love all the characters, and the way japanese mythology is interwoven into the story is so well done. If I could wax poetic I’d do it now.

I want and I need to especially point out that the whole temper series is diversity at its best and Deliverance has one of the best polyam relationships I have ever read. I can’t tell you about all the amazing things that are going to happen, but you might be blushing, you might be moved to tears, you will be more than entertained. And then you read that there will be a sequel!

Last Words: Sequeeeeel

Disclaimer: I received a free copy through the author  for an honest review. Thank you.

Review: Reverb by Anna Zabo

Series: Twisted Wishes (book 3)

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Diversity: LGBTQIA+(trans* character, pansexual character, aromantic minor character)

Trigger Warnings: stalker

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Cover: Rock Goddess? Oh yes.

Links: Goodreads

Description: The tougher they are, the harder they fall.

Twisted Wishes bass player Mish Sullivan is a rock goddess—gorgeous, sexy and comfortable in the spotlight. With fame comes unwanted attention, though: a stalker is desperate to get close. Mish can fend for herself, just as she always has. But after an attack lands her in the hospital, the band reacts, sticking her with a bodyguard she doesn’t need or want.

David Altet has an instant connection with Mish. A certified badass, this ex-army martial arts expert can take down a man twice his size. But nothing—not living as a trans man, not his intensive military training—prepared him for the challenge of Mish. Sex with her is a distraction neither of them can afford, yet the hot, kink-filled nights keep coming.

When Mish’s stalker ups his game, David must make a choice—lover or bodyguard. He’d rather have Mish alive than in his bed. But Mish wants David, and no one, especially not a stalker, will force her to give him up.

Review: You can’t prepare yourselves for Mish!

I don’t even know where to start… I love the Twisted Wishes series and I love every single book of it. Mish was a favourite right from book one and that status grew and grew so I was really excited for her to get her own book. And what a book it is. It’s not a short read but it felt that way because there was not one second of boredom and the story took you along for a wild ride without asking you if you were ready.

I’m trying to find something I can tell you about without spoilering you because you really have to experience the drama, the laughter, and the connection between Mish and David as well as the whole band too.

Sooo… I really enjoyed getting to know David? And Marley. Marley is the best.
The great thing about this series is how the other characters are not forgotten about. There is so much band love and love for music between the lines. And the little tidbits of the other pairings made me enjoy Reverb even more.

After finishing it I ended up rereading books one and two and I really want to own them in paperback too.

Last Words: I need more…

Disclaimer: I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

Play it again by Aidan Wayne

 Series: Standalone

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Diversity: LGBTQIA+(m/m, asexual character, bisexual character, aromantic minor character), mental health (anxiety), disability (blind character)

Trigger Warnings: non-explicit verbal abuse

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Cover: It’s very… blue?

Links: Goodreads

Description: The videos are fun.

But it’s the host who has him coming back for more…

When Seattle-based blind YouTuber Dovid Rosenstein finds Sam Doyle’s Let’s Play channel, playitagainsam, he’s instantly captivated by the Irish gamer. Everything about Sam is adorable, from his accent to his personality, and Dovid can’t get enough of his content.

Dovid’s glowing shout-out on Don’t Look Now, his own successful channel, sends Sam’s subscriber numbers skyrocketing overnight. He has more comments than he can read. And while the sudden surge in popularity is anxiety inducing, Sam decides it’s only right to dedicate his next episode to Dovid…which soon leads to a heart-pounding exchange of DMs.

They may have never met in person, but Dovid’s never felt this close to anyone before. What they have feels worth exploring—no matter the distance. But is it possible to already be in love with someone who’s half a world away?

Review: The cuteness!

This book is so cute from beginning to end that I just felt so good while reading it. If you’re ever looking for a comfort read, this is it. Don’t expect me to be very coherent about this because it’s so fluffy I can’t believe it.

I can’t recommend reading it when you have to stop in the middle of it and, say, work, but other than that, GO FOR IT!

I know a lot of people have criticized there isn’t going on much in this book and while it is rather slow and not in your face about it, there are so many important scenes that I love. I love all characters, I love the author’s writing style, I love the relationship and I finally get a cute long-distance romance with an ace love interest? Oh yes please. I’m judging every last one of the reviews which are criticizing the “missing sexiness” btw. 

I don’t know a lot about the YouTube or the let’s play scene but it was so interesting to read about and I never felt lost once. Aside from the lovely romance I love how Aidan Wayne manages to subtly but not subtle hint at the ways society keeps people with disabilities from living life the way they want to. I might have an invested interest in this both because of private life as well as work life so I was very pleased about that.

Last Words: All the fluff!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

Review: Dread by Lila Mina

 Series: Temper (book 2)
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Erotica
Diversity: Japanese characters, mentally ill characters (PTSD), LGBTQIA+ (f/f, f/f/m, polyam characters)
Trigger Warnings: mentions of miscarriages, mentions on sexual harassment, mentions of physical assault
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Cover: I love it even more than the first one?!
Links: Goodreads

Description: An unexpected discovery leads Lana, Honda and Yuki to rethink their relationship. Meanwhile, shapeless and mortal danger looms on the horizon, forcing Honda to finally confess to Lana why he chose her.

To her horror, their boundless thirst has cursed roots, and they have no choice: only together will they stand a chance to defeat the heinous monsters stalking them and put an end to the spiraling madness engulfing them.

Desperate to protect her most precious treasure against timeless forces bent on destroying them, Lana takes a radical decision in relation to Yuki and attempts to let go of her traumatic past.

As a terrible storm gathers above their heads, the time for secret is over. The trio must come out clean with the powerful heads of their families if they want a chance at a real future together.

Review: It lives up to my hype.

If you have read my review of Deference you know how much I loved the first book. And even though I didn’t want to I was so very, very hyped for the second one. I worried a little about being disappointed though because how should it top the first one?

I worried for nothing. Lila Mina manages to not just capture me the way she did with the first book I fear she will never let me go again. And that’s not just because I love and adore and respect and maybe fear Yuki so much.

There was one thing I criticized in my review of Deference and while I still think that drama could have happened in a different way, I get why that had to happen. ominous much? You’ll know what I mean when you read Dread.

On to the things I love and want you to know about:

  • GOOD BPD REP! Sorry for screaming but that little scene hit me so hard in the best of ways
  • I might have blushed
  • so many great strong female characters
  • keeping of own personality and opinions
  • the whole story, but especially the paranormal/mythological aspects and
  • HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS! plus handling conflicts in a healthy way. No drawn out drama here because people don’t open their fucking mouths

I have to elaborate on that last point here. Especially with BDSM fiction it is easy to glide into the the-dom-controls-everything-and-is-never-questioned-because-he-is-the-dom slide. But it’s not romantic or healthy to have him control every little thing especially without consenting to those things first.

Seriously if Dread wasn’t what it is I would love to have minors read it to gain some new perspectives on how conflicts in relationships should be handled. Sadly and at the same time luckily (because I quite enjoy a well-written erotica) it is what it is and so I’ll only recommend it to sex-positive and sex-neutral people of age.

Last Words: Reading Deliverance will kill me in the best of ways – I am sure of that.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy through the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

Review: Know Yourself by Irene Smit and Astrid van der Hulst

 Series: Standalone
Genre: nonfiction
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Cover: Fitting.
Links: Goodreads
Description: Incisive questions can inspire self-reflection, spark ideas, and, best of all, reveal surprising truths. From Flow, the champions of meditating on life’s simple pleasures, here’s a book of 165 creative questions, some sweet, some silly, some unexpectedly provocative, that will open the mind to deeper self-knowledge. There are no “right” answers—the point is simply to stay curious and stay open to learning about oneself or a friend, partner, or roommate.

There are questions to prompt memories: How many homes have you lived in? To fuel a fantasy life: Which historical event do you wish you could have seen with your own eyes? To tap into your sense of adventure: What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done? To remind you to live in the present: What were the three best things that happened today? To celebrate your strength: When have you stood up for yourself?

A signature Flow book in its mindful theme and charming, colorful aesthetic with vibrant patterns and hand-lettering, Know Yourself is a pleasure to browse through and share.

Review: I’m so happy journaling is become more popular because it can really help you sort out yourself – regardless of if you’ve got mental health problems or not. And sometimes it’s a nice way of looking back at good memories too.But sometimes there is no inspiration and you’re sitting there, staring at the blank page… and nothing happens. Of course you can start writing how you don’t know what to journal about and sometimes there’s something opening up inside you through this. But do I want to start my entries every so often this way? I do not.

Also there are themes one should journal about but shys away from because they are painful or you don’t want to know what conclusion you will come to so you just don’t start working on them at all.

And then some issues you just don’t think off at all.

And this is where Know Yourself comes into play. Usually I’d be like “yeah well… there are lots of good prompts online that you get for free.” But in this case… you not only get interesting prompts but the pages are so beautifully designed… they could be used for wall decoration or in your planner – if you use one. Also it’s less work gathering prompts if we’re honest.

Last Words: I may be tempted to get the print copy as well…
Disclaimer: I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.