Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The Harder He Falls by Lynda Aicher, a pre-release review

The Harder He Falls by Lynda Aicher

Pages: 224
Date: May 31, 2016
Details: No. 1 Kick
            ARC received from NetGalley

The blurb:

Expert whitewater-rafting guide Grady Kelley lives for that rush of adrenaline: at work, as the newest employee of a Portland-based outdoor-adventure sports company, and off the river, where liaisons with anonymous men keep him satisfied. Grady prefers no drama and no strings attached, but when tragedy strikes, fate leads him to Micah Swaine. He’s hot, masculine, distracting—and offers the kind of deeper connection Grady has sworn off, no matter how badly he craves it.

Working at a leather bar, Micah meets a lot of guys, but Grady’s different—and he seems to feel the same way. The trouble is, anything beyond casual sex is too risky for Micah. He’s got secrets he doesn’t know how to share, secrets that would make any relationship a battlefield. No man, even one as compassionate as Grady, would stick around for that kind of trouble. And yet, as physical desire melts the walls they’ve put up, Micah and Grady discover that trusting each other is the most exhilarating adventure of all.

My thoughts:

“I want you, Micah. I want everything you offered and was too late to take. I want to give you my power and make you take it. I want to wake up in your arms and hold you when you’re lost. I want…all of it. But I have no fucking clue why you’d ever want me.” – Grady

How do you forge a relationship when both men involved are convinced they’re not good enough for the other? That is basically the crux of this wonderful story.

Grady has so much to deal with. His upbringing haunts him, an earlier relationship has him distrusting BDSM, and he blames himself for his cousin Finn being in a coma. Closing himself off from others and running from anything that even looks like intimacy or connection is the only option he sees for himself.

Micah…oh Micah. I fell hard for this man. The after effects of the coma he’s been in, appear to limit his life in numerous ways. But despite all the obstacles his condition creates for him, he forges ahead, first to create a life for him and then to support a man who is about to fall apart. Grady may not know it, but he needs Micah like he needs air. But Micah needs Grady just as much.

The attraction between these two men is obvious from the moment they meet and the one constant between them. For reasons he can’t quite explain to himself, Grady allows himself to let go of some of his self-imposed restrictions and his resulting coming together with Micah is a thing of beauty.

“Tangling with Micah was the ultimate rush of danger. He was flying free with no crash helmet or safety pads. Reckless. Stupid. Risky. But he had nothing to lose—except his pride.” – Grady

I loved how the tense moments between these two men were not misunderstandings, huge fights or shouting matches. When these two found themselves on opposite sides, they were met with compassion, understanding and patience from the other. They don’t try to keep their distance from each other because they don’t trust the other; it is because they don’t trust themselves to be what the other needs…deserves.

“Everyone has something that sucks in their life. It’s all about learning to deal with it and moving on.” – Micah

I’ve been rambling again, and you know what that means. J I adored this story. I fell hard for Micah and couldn’t help hurting for Grady. Their story held me spellbound. And I can’t wait to read the rest of this series. I want to know the stories of the other men at Kick and I need poor Finn to get his own story and happy ending.

“None of us are lily white and issue free. Relationships are about loving someone despite their shit. Maybe because of it.” – Dane

This book will be released June 7, 2016. 

Buy Links:            Amazon         Amazon UK             

Sunday, 29 May 2016

The Prisoner by Kol Anderson

The Prisoner by Kol Anderson

Original cover
Pages: 300
Date: May 29, 2016
Details: The Broken Series Season 1
Own / Paperback

The blurb:

Aaron Taylor is a rent-boy. 
The Dream everyone wants to come true. 

Vincent Greene is the client from hell. 
The man who wants to make sure that dream ends up BROKEN. 

Just when Aaron thinks his life is beginning to make sense, his handler sends him to a new client. Vincent Greene looks like he might just be Aaron’s best client yet, but what Aaron doesn't know, is that under Vincent's alluring facade, lurks a heart capable of extreme cruelty. 

My thoughts:

And then there are those books which leave you thinking ‘what the fuck did I just read?’ and ‘how the fuck am I going to write my thoughts down?’

To start with the first question, what I just finished reading is best described as non-con, dark erotica in the strictest sense of the word. These three stories feature abduction, cruelty, torture, and rape all inflicted upon Aaron, a character so nice and innocent, despite his rent-boy status, it breaks your heart experiencing the events mostly from his perspective.

I could go into lengthy details about the sort of horrors Aaron encounters but I’ll refrain. I’m fairly sure that readers who are drawn to books like this one will have a pretty good idea what to expect. I’d much rather write about another aspect of this story, one that took my breath away. For me, if this story is anything, it is a testament to the mind’s determination to stay alive. And in order to keep its ‘owner’ safe, Aaron’s mind comes up with almost convincing constructions and lies in order to prevent him from just giving up and dying, although he does come close.

The dynamic between Aaron and Vincent, the man who abducts and subsequently ‘trains’ him, is frightening due to how plausible it all is. I know there’s a good word and psychological explanation for everything I read: Stockholm Syndrome. I realise it’s not something the author has invented, but the way in which he describes the process and makes it happen on the page is stunning. Aaron’s emotional journey is vivid, real and very logical. And THAT is what makes this book such a shattering read. It is impossible not to like Aaron and fall for him, which makes having to watch his journey, as he’s slowly broken into pieces which may never slot back into their original settings, all the more heartbreaking.

Hardly any character in this book is exactly who or what they appear to be when the story starts. Some who at first appear heartless and cruel will turn out to have feelings after all, and others, who at first glance seem to be nothing but bystanders suddenly turn up centre-stage. And that’s all I can say about that without resorting to spoilers.

I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to read and appreciate this book. I’ve tried starting a dark series before and haven’t found the courage to go back to where I stopped reading yet. The Prisoner has me convinced that I should probably try again. This story captured me from the first page, be it in a car-crash sorta fashion. In fact I’ve one-clicked ‘Season Two’ of this series just now, because I have to know what will happen next; especially considering the bombshell the author dropped in the last few pages.

To summarise: The Prisoner is a captivating read but only if you enjoy and can stomach dark erotica. (And it appears I had less problems writing my thoughts down that I feared I might have J)

New edition

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

The Children's Home by Charles Lambert

The Children’s Home by Charles Lambert
Pages: 202
Date: May 23, 2016
Grade: 4.5
Details: Copy received from Aardvark Bureau
             Reading Group Read

The blurb:

Morgan Fletcher, the disfigured heir to a fortune of mysterious origins, lives on a sprawling estate, cut off from a threatening world. One day, his housekeeper, Engel, discovers a baby left on the doorstep. Soon more children arrive, among them the stern, watchful David. With the help of Engel and town physician Doctor Crane, Morgan takes the children in, allowing them to explore the mansion…and to begin to uncover the strange and disturbing secrets it holds.

Cloaked in eerie atmosphere, this distorted fairy tale and the unsettling questions it raises will stay with the reader long after the final page.

My thoughts:

Those who regularly read my reviews won’t be surprised to hear me say I enjoy a book that takes me by surprise and leaves me thinking about what I’ve read long after I’ve finished it. The Children’s Home may well be the most surprising, thought provoking and also baffling book I’ve ever read. In many ways this book reminded me of poetry in that both the story and the way in which it is told leave almost everything open to interpretation by the reader. I can’t help feeling that this book will tell a slightly different story to each individual reader. And judging by the reviews I’ve seen, not everybody enjoys that. Fortunately, I do.

To me this book read as a study in contrasts. The tone of the story is observational, descriptive and distant, as if none of the events described are of any great importance. At the same time those same events are shocking and often gruesome. I have no doubt most of this story would have horrified me if it had been told in a more direct way. As it was the horror of what I’d read only sank in slowly, often after I had already moved on in the story. Since I’m not a huge fan of horror stories, the distance worked very well for me.

Did I fully understand this story, its implications or its message? No, I am sure I did not. For me this read as a dark fairytale set in a world not unlike ours but definitely not as we know it. I picked up on a clear and harsh outcry against the way children all too often get used and/or neglected. I liked the Narnia-like mystery of where the children came from and would be going, and it was impossible to miss the World War II references. On the other hand, there were at least as many instances of things I didn’t understand or couldn’t place, and I have no doubt a lot of metaphors went straight over my head. The resulting sense of mystery didn’t frustrate me however, quite the opposite in fact. It left me with a sense of wonder, with questions and possible answers to ponder. And, as I said at the start of this review, I do like a book that makes me think and keeps on intriguing me even after I’ve finished reading the last sentence.

This is the third book I’ve read by Charles Lambert and I have to say I’m mightily impressed with his versatility. I can’t wait to see what he may come up with next.

If you like your stories straightforward and easily explained, this probably isn’t the book for you. However if you, like me, enjoy a book that is unlike most other novels, a story that keeps you thinking long after you’ve finished it, I highly recommend The Children’s Home.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Throwing Stones by Robin Reardon

Throwing Stones by Robin Reardon

Pages: 406
Date: May 19, 2016
Details: Copy received from the author
            Young-Adult Title

The blurb:

What if you fell in love with a Pagan?
And what if you were both gay? What would happen next? 

In this paranormal romance, something is drawing seventeen-year-old Jesse Bryce toward the community of Pagans who live in "the village," just outside his rural Oklahoma town. Maybe it's that he has a crush on Griffin Holyoke, a tall, dark-haired boy with a tree tattooed all up his back. Or maybe it's that the Pagans accept Jesse for who he is, unlike his family—or his church, where he hears that being gay is a sin.

After a man from the village is murdered while trying to prevent an assault on a girl from the town, Jesse's confusion at the town's unsympathetic reaction inspires him to set a mission for himself: to build a bridge of acceptance between the town and the village.

As Jesse defies his parents and continues to visit the village, he witnesses mysterious rituals that haunt him with their beauty and intensity. And he falls in love with one enigmatic, mercurial Pagan who opens his eyes to a whole new world.

This first-person story explores what can happen when we make conclusions about others based on too little information, or on the wrong information. Whether we're misunderstanding each other's religions or each other's sexual orientation, everyone benefits from learning the truth. And everyone benefits from forgiveness.

My thoughts:

“You can’t see gay. You can’t see fear. But you can’t see joy either. And you need love. Life’s full of things you can’t see, so you need love to figure out which ones to trust.”

This is one powerful book and I’m not quite sure where to start with all the thoughts I have so I guess the beginning—as in the title—is as good a place as any. J

Throwing Stones is a most appropriate title for this book. In the bible it says: ‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone’. And stones are being cast in this book, both literal and figuratively, except that of course none of those throwing—or any other character—is without sin, because who is? But that does immediately raise another question; because what exactly is a ‘sin’? Is Jesse a sinner because he’s gay? Not to his own mind, not according to some people he meets, but his family and others in his Christian community have a hard time not seeing him as such. And then there’s the Pagan community living in the Grove; are they sinners because they do not subscribe to the Christian tradition, or are they just different believers? And there are other, more subtle and more or less unaddressed examples of possibly sinful behaviour in this book. These concepts and the way they are dealt with certainly offer the reader, both young and old(er) with plenty of food for thought.

Of course stones are also what will gain Jesse access to the Grove, what will bring him together with his love interest, as well as the objects that sustain his long-time friendship with Brad through tough times.

And while I’m on the subject of stones; I would say this is a book about building bridges. Jesse, once he’s outed himself as gay feels very marginalised. His interest in the people who live in what the people in his town refer to as the Village, only takes him further away from the family and community he’s grown up with. His otherness could so easily have made him withdraw into himself, but brave Jesse does the opposite, he reaches out to those who are also other. Isn’t it funny how it is often those who are or have been marginalised, bullied, or abused who stand up for the rights of others in a similar situation?  And bridges, especially those meant to bring opposing sides together, are more often than not build one stone at a time.

Of course Jesse’s motives for bringing the Grove and the town together aren’t all selfless and altruistic. He definitely has a stake in the outcome of his ‘meddling’. And along the way he grows up and learns a few valuable lessons.

“Whatever people show you up front, they reveal themselves slowly, over time, and you get to see who they really are only if you chisel patiently away around them, protecting yourself with gloves and goggles as necessary, trusting that behind the hard surface you can’t see through is a core of something with special properties. Sometimes you’re disappointed, and you can’t find that precious core, and you don’t know whether you’ve used the wrong tools or looked in the wrong place, or if there wasn’t anything brilliant in there at all. But you have to try. And if you’re patient enough, if you trust enough, you’ll find it.

It is exactly the fact that Jesse wasn’t perfect, or totally selfless that made this such a wonderful read. In fact very little, if anything, in this book is either completely black or white. If this book has a message, and I think it does, it is that people are inclined to turn against that which they don’t understand. Often out of fear rather than mean-spiritedness. If common ground can be found between those on opposite sides, the distance between them may be bridged, as Jesse finds out time and again.

Jesse is a recognisable and wonderfully portrayed teenager. He wants to do what’s best but just hasn’t got the ability to always see the bigger picture and, in typical teenage fashion, gets frustrated when those who can see more curb his enthusiasm or appear to hold him back. I’m so glad the author didn’t shy away from portraying the teenage obsession with relationships and sex. While there is nothing overly graphic in this book and Jesse’s intimate moments with Ronan are not described in detail, they are both steamy and totally endearing. And then there were the few more romantic moments between Ronan and Jesse that took my breath away.

“I think of you then, and a lot of other times, too. (….) And when I do, I burn. It hurts, and it’s the best feeling, all at once. And I’d rather burn like fire than lose the way I feel about you.” – Ronan

The blurb calls this a paranormal novel, and I guess that’s right. Inexplicable things do most certainly happen. However, these are presented as almost unremarkable, just something that is, rather than something to shock the reader. In fact, a lot of what might read as paranormal to other readers felt all too ‘normal’ to me.

Overall this was an inspirational and fascinating story. Jesse wormed his way into my heart as the story progressed and now, hours after finishing the book, I still find myself thinking about him. Throwing Stones combines a gripping story with some valuable life lessons without ever pushing a message down the reader’s throat. I’m mightily impressed.

Buy-link: Amazon

Thursday, 19 May 2016

The Guy with the Suitcase by Chris Ethan Re-Release Blitz

The Guy with the Suitcase by Chris Ethan

Pages: 208
Details: #1 Once Upon a Guy
E-book / Own

The blurb:

Pierce is homeless. 
Young and strong-willed Pierce has been living in the streets of New York City for six months, since his parents kicked him out of their perfect, Christian, suburban house. Pierce is gay. And he is suffering the consequences for being true to himself. 

Rafe is homeless. 
He is also sick. Impressionable, but far from innocent, Rafe ran away from home almost a year ago. His sickness is slowly killing him. But Rafe is not a hopeless case. He has learned to get by. Nights of paid passion turn to sheltering warmth from the imminent New York winter. 

And then there's a suitcase. Pierce's suitcase, which holds secrets from everyone including its owner. 

When their worlds collide, their lives intertwine and when the world seems bent on bringing the two souls to their knees, fate has other plans for them. 

Caution: Contains adult language, New York City streets, tough life choices, sexual tension, stubborn brutes and swoon-worthy romance. 

My thoughts:

This book is not for the faint of heart. Pierce and Rafe are put through far more than their fair share of shit before they get to their happy ending. In fact, so many obstacles are thrown in their way it is a minor miracle they survive it all, never mind find their way to happiness.

When these two young men first encounter each other it is anything but a good start. I think it is safe to say that after that first ‘meeting’ it’s a minor miracle they end up as friends at all. That first meeting is also a good indicator of what the first few months they spend together will be like; tough, hostile and often hopeless with initially far more downs than ups. But neither man is willing to just give up. While the hopelessness of their situation as homeless youths threatens to bring them down more than once, they persevere. Especially Pierce refuses to let the system win.

As the reader you are aware, almost from the start, that these two guys are not only attracted to each other but also meant to be together. Pierce and Rafe take longer to come to that realisation though; mostly because the two of them are just not
point of skimming over passages just to get to the part where they do talk again. Not so in this book. For these two men it made sense not to talk to each other about their feelings considering how it was being honest with their families which landed them on the streets in the first place.

I loved the message I found in this story; perseverance pays. It may take a while but continuing to fight does lead to results for Pierce and Rafe. I liked these two young men together, fighting the system and beating it. And I loved that amid all the ugliness, cruelty and indifference they encounter, they also met good souls, friends and charity.

The ending was somewhat fairytale-like and I’m not sure the story needed it, since these characters were always going to make it. But, I’d come to care about Rafe and Pierce enough to not begrudge them their miracle.

Overall this was a touching, at times heartbreaking, but ultimately uplifting story. It portrayed human kindness and perseverance with as much care for detail as it did the horrors of living on the street, getting the balance exactly right for this reader. I’m looking forward to seeing what this author will offer us next.

Buy links:

About the author:

Chris Ethan is a book whore. He enjoys selling his feelings for money and other pleasures and is blatantly unashamed to do so for as long as he breathes. Chris Ethan is also a persona for Rhys Christopher Ethan, author of fantasy and sci-fi. He uses Chris Ethan to share stories of adult queer romance with those who need it. Before you delve into his books however, be warned. He likes putting his characters through shitstorms and hates anything conventional. But then there's that darned happy-ever-after. Also, he likes swearing. Deal with it!

Website        Facebook       Facebook Author Page        Twitter         

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Debt by K.C. Wells a pre-release review

Debt by K.C. Wells

Pages: 254
Details: ARC received from Author

The blurb:

Two months after Mitch Jenkins had the rug pulled out from under him when his two-year relationship came to an abrupt end, he is still hurting. A colleague’s attempt to cheer him up brings Mitch to a secret “club.” Mitch isn’t remotely interested in the twinks parading like peacocks, until he spies the young man at the back of the room, nose firmly in a book and oblivious to his surroundings. Now Mitch is interested.

Nikko Kurokawa wants to pay his debt and get the hell out of the Black Lounge—where he is forced to not only have sex, but sometimes suffer abuse to please clients. Earning his freedom isn’t proving easy, especially when he starts attracting interest. Life becomes that little bit easier to bear when he meets Mitch, who is nothing like the other men who frequent the club. And when Mitch crawls under his skin and into his heart, Nikko figures he can put up with anything. Before long he’ll be out of there, and he and Mitch can figure out if they have a future together.

Neither of them counted on those who don’t want Nikko to leave….

My thoughts:

I’m writing this review from memory. I was fortunate enough to be one of the beta readers for Debt and my thoughts below will be based on everything I thought and, more importantly felt, when I read the story. It’s not that I don’t want to re-read the book, or even that I doubt I will re-read it (and that’s saying something since I rarely revisit books, no matter how much I loved them the first time). No, this is a case of me wanting to share the love without having to wait until I have time to fit that second read in.

Under almost all other circumstances writing a review for a book I’ve read months ago would be an impossible ask. I read too much, I write my own stories and as a result details about characters and story-lines tend to fade into the background after a few weeks. The same cannot be said for Debt. That story and those characters are etched on my memory, still as vivid as they were the moment I finished reading the last chapter.

You know (at least I hope you do) how sometimes a character shows up on the pages of a book, starts telling you his story, and in the process works his way into your heart and takes up residence there? That is exactly what Nikko did in Debt. He’s as strong as he’s vulnerable and as honest as he’s loyal. I defy anybody to read/meet him and not fall hard and fast, just as Mitch did.

To say Nikko went to hell and back in this story would be an understatement. Most of the horrors he endures are off page, but just knowing about them was enough to shred my heart. But Nikko is resilient; he has a rare sense of self for one so young and clings to it with all his might. Of course, Mitch’s frequent visits mean Nikko has something to look forward to while he endures the horrors bestowed on him. Mitch is his light in the darkness, his focus when the nightmare threatens to get too much to bear.

Mitch was an interesting character in that while he is a good bit older than Nikko he at times almost appears more juvenile and insecure. I loved this. Debt could so easily have been a predictable tale of an older, more experienced man rescuing the younger, more innocent victim. That however is not the story this book tells. This is a story of two men facing a nightmare together, overcoming the obstacles in their way and finding a way to make the seemingly impossible work.

As always K.C. Wells brings us wonderful secondary characters as well as memorable protagonists. Mitch’s family and the way they interacted with each other was wonderful. I especially liked that the author kept the family’s reaction to Nikko’s tale realistic without turning it into a major drama.

Well written, at times heartbreaking, often touching, very sexy, and with an unforgettable storyline and characters, Debt is without a doubt one of my favourites among K.C. Well’s amazing books.

Pre-order / Buy links

Amazon         Amazon UK              Dreamspinner           Are

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Werewolvees of Chernobyl by K.A. Mericka and L.A. Witt: a Release Day Review

Werewolves of Chernobyl by K.A. Merikan and L.A. Witt

Pages: 214
Date: May 4, 2016
Details: ARC received from the authors

The blurb:

--- Being kidnapped by two werewolves is an adventure after all, right? Right?! ---


If Quinn wants to get the best photos for his travel blog, no gate is too tall, and no ‘do not enter’ sign actually means he won’t go in. What he finds in a hidden exclusion zone by Chernobylblows his mind. Mutants? Monsters? He doesn’t know, but he is bound to find out when not one but two of them break into his hotel.
Too bad the rules and attitudes they have toward sex don’t match Quinn’s at all.


Born with a disabled hand, smaller than the other werewolves, Dima is the lowest of the low in his pack, but when he meets the loveliest human he’s ever seen, he knows his luck has changed.
The last thing he expects though is his beloved friend Nazar turning on him once Dima’s affection for Quinn deepens, and he refuses to be mounted by Nazar anymore.


Nazar is a high ranking soldier in his pack, but in his powerful body hides a gentle soul, and all he wants is to escape the pack with Dima. But once Dima claims Quinn as his, secrets Nazar has so far kept hidden rear their ugly head.

The werewolf language doesn’t have words to describe what they crave, so Quinn might be the only one to help them solve the puzzle of the desires that go against the rules of their pack.

My thoughts:

--- Being kidnapped by two werewolves is an adventure after all, right? Right?! ---

Adventure is one thing to call it, I guess. Of course you could also say it is unimaginable or even that it is a life changing event. For snarky, independent and disobeyer-of-rules Quinn it turns out to be all three. Having said that, being captured by two werewolves turns out to be far less scary or horrific than Quinn or the reader might have imagined. Dima and Nazar, the two werewolves who kidnap Quinn, are anything but monsters. They are definitely a different species from Quinn, and completely out of touch with the world, but after the initial shock wears off, they turn out to be anything but fearsome. They are in fact, loving and caring creatures in need of someone to help them recognise and embrace their most inner and secret desires, and it turns out that Quinn is exactly the right person to not only strengthen the life-long bond between these two werewolves, but also the third they need to make their union—or should I say pack?—complete.

This was a fun, action and sex packed, thrilling read. The story races forward so fast that there were one or two moments when I wouldn’t have minded a bit more detail or explanation. On the other hand, I was incredibly curious about how it would all work out for our trio and couldn’t read fast enough in order to find out.

Quinn, Dima and Nazar all touched my heart, be it all for different reasons and all three of them turned out to be a lot more than they appeared to be at first glance. Quinn’s ‘devil may care’ attitude was rather attractive and created a wonderful contrast with the rather strict rules under which the two werewolves lived in their pack. Dima and Nazar were both adorable. My heart hurt for them when it became clear how pack rules forced both of them to pretend to be what they really weren’t and their journey to becoming who they were meant to be was wonderful to behold.

The sex in this book is off the charts hot. Whether it is the three of them together, or any combination of two of them, they set the (e)reader on fire. And yet, no matter how rough it might get, there was always this tender and caring undertone.

I thoroughly enjoyed this exciting romp and treasured every minute of the journey from insta-lust to happy ever after. Yes, there were one or two moments when I raised my eyebrows and wondered whether or not what I read made sense in the context of the story, but I can’t say those spoiled the fun for me. Any reader who enjoys a thrilling, sexy and touching paranormal adventure could do a lot worse than read Werewolves of Chernobyl.

Buy links:   Amazon                 Amazon UK

Monday, 2 May 2016

Illuminate the Shadows by Isobel Starling

Illuminate the Shadows by Isobel Starling

Pages: 157
Date: April 25, 2016
Details: #1
            ARC received from author

The blurb:

“A Scotsman and an Englishman fall in love… After the most amazing week of his life, at Dunloch Castle on the banks of Loch Ness, in Scotland. The charming, mysterious Samuel Aiken has turned Declan Ramsay’s life upside down. Declan has experienced a remarkable change. He has come to terms with the fact he is bisexual, and he has fallen head-over-heels in love with his boss’s son Sam. 

However, falling for his boss’s son was never going to be an easy path to happiness, mainly because the boss in question is multi-millionaire property tycoon and former MI5 operative, Sir James Aiken. 

Sir James is repulsed by his son’s homosexuality, and so discovering that his employee Declan Ramsay- the man he installed to run his luxury property rental empire- is in a relationship with Sam, does not go down well. 

The lovers cannot hide from the looming presence of Sir James Aiken for long! Soon enough James makes his move, and Declan finds out what he will have to endure to stay with Sam, and what he will have to give to feel worthy of Sam's love.” 

My thoughts:

Not too long ago I read As You Wish the wonderful and charming prequel to Illuminate the Shadows and thoroughly enjoyed the story. It was very hard not to fall hard and fast for Sam and Declan. So when I heard their story would be continued in a novel length adventure, I was over the moon.

Illuminate the Shadows did not disappoint. Sam and Declan are still as charming and as in love as they were in the first book. These two men are clearly made for each other and it was wonderful to read how much they care. The fact that they’re also incredibly hot together only added to the fun.

But, just like As You Wish, this story was more than ‘just’ two men falling for each other—hard. There’s a constant danger lurking in the background, and even Sam, who’s been up to his neck in the covert operations business for years, doesn’t always know exactly what’s going on. Poor Declan on the other hand is facing a crash course in the business of spying and the dark side connected to Sir James’s practices. Just as well our Scotsman has one or two surprises of his own up his sleeve, even if they are almost as big a shock to him as they are to others.

If you enjoy a story that doesn’t contain a boring paragraph, with two hot protagonists and as many heart-stopping as laugh-out-loud-funny moments— if you like to be swept up in a story you’ll want to finish in one sitting, you should pick this book up. Personally I’m looking forward to the next title, Return to Zero, coming early June.

Buy links:

Amazon         Amazon UK    ARe    Kobo   Smashwords   I-tunes

If you wish is currently free on All Romance:

About the author:

Inspiration strikes at the strangest of times.  Born in Germany, Isobel Starling spent most of her twenty-year professional career making art.  She relocated to the UK and, faced with the dreaded artist’s creative block, Isobel started to write and found she loved it more than making art.
Isobel’s first novel “Schonling” was a best seller in the GLBT-Bisexual genre on the ‘All Romance ebooks’ site.  She has just completed her sixth book, and signed French translation rights for novella “As You Wish”. 

She adores the M/M genre and enjoys writing about wounded souls and the complexities of personal relationships.  Despite not having found proof yet, Isobel believes in love at first sight and endeavours to give her men a thrilling journey and a satisfying ending!

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