When He Beckons – eARC Review

Title: When He Beckons
Author: Halli Starling
Series/Number: N/A
Genre: Romance
Age: Adult
Publication Date: December 28, 2022
Themes: MM Romance, Older Characters, Chance Meeting, Hiking, Getting Caught In The Rain, Novella, Quirky Characters, MC in their 30’s, MC in their 40’s, Cats, Book Talk

Synopsis:

A charming – but slightly strange – accidental first meeting at a skate park. Opposites attract. And technically…one works for the other one.

Zan has a fast mouth and a lot of technical know-how, so dating hasn’t always been easy. He’d set aside any notion of a romantic life to work and spend as much time outdoors as possible. Biking, canoeing, skiing, you name it. He’s never tried skateboarding, even though he stops by the skate park near the trail where he bikes to watch boards – and sometimes people – flip, or crash hard.

Instead of skater-watching, Zan meets Deacon. Deacon’s odd and interesting, and it turns out, the head of the small indie press of which Zan is a huge fan. Rochester Press puts out the weird and erotic, the dark and mischievous, and finally meeting the head of the press is great. Maybe not so great – Deacon has just hired the printing company Zan works for, and now Zan’s in charge of all the new jobs.

It’ll be fine.

Except Zan (and his big mouth) immediately asks Deacon out on a date. And Deacon accepts. There’s no fraternization clause in Zan’s contract, or Deacon’s. It should be fine.

A high-heat, quirky novella about two people who would never seek out a date via online platforms or at speed dating. But their weird seems to compliment each other.

Thank you to the author for an eARC of this book.

Alright, I’m not going to lie to you. I have loved everything I’ve read from Starling so far. I am already excited for anything new that gets released and backlist titles.

But, I won’t gush too much because then it will just become incoherent screaming and I think I do that enough. Alright. When He Beckons. For starters I was hooked immediately. We enter the story at Zan and Deacon’s first meeting and it’s the weirdest, flirtiest things I’ve ever seen. I adored it. The further we get into the story the more it just seems like these two clicked immediately. Like that feeling when you meet someone for the first time and you know you’ll just hit it off with them. Like their weird perfectly matches your weird. That’s what Zan and Deacon had and that’s what I loved about them. Their chemistry was immediate, but it didn’t feel forced. They had time to actually get to know each other and explore their feelings for each other before making any moves past planning a date.

I really loved that these were two men in their 30’s and 40’s, that were well established in their lives and happy with what they do and how they live. They weren’t trying to change each other or themselves, they were just looking for someone who could appreciate them and what they appreciated. I really liked how the two of them opened up to each other about their interests and that those interests overlapped. But it never felt like they were perfect either. Some stories have characters that their interest overlap and they click really well, but it doesn’t feel real. Like there’s not enough differences between them to feel like real people. Zan and Deacon felt like real people to me. They felt like people I could meet out in the world and they would be just how they were in the book. A little eccentric, but fun and sweet.

The only downside to this book was that it wasn’t like a million pages longer. I mean, honestly, it’s one of those books that’s warm and soft and I could just curl into and read hours and hours of, if that existed. I do think that (though I would have happily read more) the ending was perfect and I will definitely be going back to this novella when I need a soft story with some spice thrown in.

Rating: 5/5 stars

In The Event of Love – eARC Review

Title: In The Event of Love
Author: Courtney Kae
Series/Number: Fern Falls #1
Genre: Romance
Age: Adult
Publication Date: August 30, 2022
Themes: Second Chance Romance, FF Romance, Bisexual MC, Christmas Tree Farm, Christmas, Small Town, Returning to a small town, Family struggles, Financial struggle

Synopsis:

With her career as a Los Angeles event planner imploding after a tabloid blowup, Morgan Ross isn’t headed home for the holidays so much as in strategic retreat. Breathtaking mountain vistas, quirky townsfolk, and charming small businesses aside, her hometown of Fern Falls is built of one heartbreak on top of another . . .

Take her one-time best friend turned crush, Rachel Reed. The memory of their perfect, doomed first kiss is still fresh as new-fallen snow. Way fresher than the freezing mud Morgan ends up sprawled in on her very first day back, only to be hauled out via Rachel’s sexy new lumberjane muscles acquired from running her family tree farm.

When Morgan discovers that the Reeds’ struggling tree farm is the only thing standing between Fern Falls and corporate greed destroying the whole town’s livelihood, she decides she can put heartbreak aside to save the farm by planning her best fundraiser yet. She has all the inspiration for a spectacular event: delicious vanilla lattes, acoustic guitars under majestic pines, a cozy barn surrounded by brilliant stars. But she and Rachel will ABSOLUTELY NOT have a heartwarming holiday happy ending. That would be as unprofessional as it is unlikely. Right?

Thank you to Kensington Publishing Corp. and Edelweiss for an eARC of this title

I absolutely adored this book. In The Event of Love is the sweet and cozy holiday romance that warms your heart and makes you feel like cuddling up in front of a fire with a mug of hot chocolate. It was so sweet to see these two characters overcome their history, their fears, and their own hang ups about themselves and each other.

I really enjoyed seeing how the second chance romance developed and how the two main characters worked through their histories together. I also really enjoyed how the romance didn’t feel rushed. It was obvious that there were still feelings between them, but the time it took for them to open up and trust each other again. It didn’t feel like they were rushed into opening up and trusting each other again, so it felt more realistic that they were hesitant at first and were unsure of how things would go between them.

There were a few things that I didn’t like in this book, but they were honestly personal preference and came down to certain situations that just don’t do it for me, but that I can totally see other people loving.

I loved watching them grow and seeing the magic of the holidays bringing them together. It was such a sweet story and I would highly recommend it.

Rating: 4/5 stars

How To Bite Your Neighbor & Win A Wager – Review

Title: How To Bite Your Neighbor & Win A Wager
Author: D.N. Bryn
Series/Number: Guides For Dating Vampires #1
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Age: Adult
Publication Date: October 6, 2022
Themes: Vampires, Bisexual Man Character, Gay Main Character, Mental Illness, Parent Death (off page), Consent, Slow Burn

Continue reading “How To Bite Your Neighbor & Win A Wager – Review”

Stray – eARC Review

Title: Stray
Author: Lee Colgin
Series/Number: Outcast Mates #3
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Age: Adult
Publication Date: August 25, 2022
Themes: Shifters, Vampires, Goblins, Incubi, MM Romance, Magic, Age gap, Paranormal

Synopsis:

Leonas is a cranky panther shifter set in his ways. He handles security for an exclusive brothel and takes the safety of the staff at The Twig and Berries seriously, to the extent of sacrificing his personal life in favor of work.

When the young vampire messenger Jeno shows up with heart eyes and disturbing news, Leonas is taken aback. Who is this curious youth and why is he hitting on Leonas of all people? More importantly, when is he leaving? Because Leonas has no time for romance.

Though Jeno is running from a dark past, he can’t help but to stop in his tracks for Leonas. The grumpy cat shifter might be prickly on the outside, but inside? Well, Leonas is prickly there too. He needs someone like Jeno to escape the lonely trap of his own making.

Will Jeno escape the snare of Hungary’s notorious opium slingers? Can Leonas break the chains of his past? Together, they stand a chance, but suffering alone is all they’ve ever known.

Thank you to Gay Romance Reviews for an eARC of this title.

I have discovered that I really enjoy low stakes fantasy romances and this was no exception. I really loved reading about Leonas and Jeno and their relationship. There wasn’t a lot wrong with this book, it was light and fun, and sweet in all the right places. There was a bit of a mystery and tension between the characters as their histories and feelings clashed, but it was more soft and sweet than anything. I liked seeing Leonas struggle with his feelings for Jeno and see how the two worked to have a relationship even with their differences.

I would definitely want to read the other books in this series. I really liked how it was a low stakes story that took place in a cool fantasy world. It’s definitely a world that I want to know more about. I really enjoyed the all the little hints of lore and world building. I’m not someone that needs tons of world building in a story if the plot doesn’t focus on the world building or things going on outside of the characters relationships.

Overall, this book was really fun and I would definitely read more in the series. This is the second book I’ve read from Lee Colgin and I would absolutely be reading more in the future.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Moonlight Love and Witchcraft – eARC Review

Title: Moonlight Love and Witchcraft
Author: Vaela Denarr and Micah Iannandrea
Series/Number: N/A
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Age: Adult
Publication Date: July 1, 2022
Themes: Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, Magic, Friendship, LGBTQ+ rep, Ace rep, Nonbinary rep, low stakes, Romance, Polyamory

Synopsis:

“I love you. And I need you like the blood in my veins. Without you I wouldn’t be me.”

A werewolf and a vampire with an unbreakable bond. A cute witch fleeing her home for a crime she may or may not have committed. A burning desire for something more between them.

Years after becoming a vampire, Logan is finally on track to their goal: Making it big in the music industry with the support of their band and their girlfriend Kay, protector of the local supernatural community. For all its issues, with her by their side, Logan’s life is perfect. But when a new girl comes to town, Nemo, everything abruptly becomes much more complicated and Logan can’t ask Kay for help anymore. Because to do that, they’d have to admit to her that they’ve fallen for someone else…

Nemo, having fled her home for a crime she totally didn’t commit, finds a welcome distraction in Logan’s friendship. But her thoughts quickly become haunted by them and their gorgeous girlfriend…

As Kay realizes that what’s going on between Logan and Nemo exceeds the bounds of friendship, she has to make a choice: Keep her partner all to herself, or encourage them to explore their feelings, and explore her own. To let love make them one, or perhaps tear them apart.

Thank you to the authors for an eARC of this book.

Alright friends, this book was everything. It was soft and warm. It was a cozy sweater and hot chocolate on a cold winter night. It was just adorable. I started it thinking I was getting a low stakes urban fantasy story, and I was not wrong. It was longer than I had anticipated but that wasn’t a downside at all. It was absolutely a slow burn, but I adored watching Logan, Kay, and Nemo interact ang get to know each other. I loved seeing the three of them navigate their feelings for each other and just get into some really cute situations.

This was one of those books that from the very beginning I knew I was going to love it. Sometimes when I’m reading a book I get this weird tingling in my chest. It almost feels like I’m going to cry but I’m not. It’s when a story just hits me so deeply and I just feel so at home in the book that even 20 pages in I know I will love everything about it, or at least it would be very hard for me not to love it. That’s what happened with Moonlight Love and Magic.

I don’t even know what to tell you because it was just so sweet and soft. I loved the way queer identities were normal and completely accepted. I loved the found family vibes and all the ways the friends cared for each other and supported each other.

If you love some fantasy and magical elements, with soft slow burn romance this is the book for you!

Rating: 5/5 stars

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