Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Forever (#Hunt&Cam4Ever #8) by Adira August


397 pages

Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

Blurb

....turn around...


“Lieutenant?” Woodward was there as if he’d materialized out of the lush greenery beyond the strip of grass. “Did you injure your left arm?”

Hunter looked down at his hand on his arm.

“Have you been feeling light-headed at all?” Wood asked.

“Yes,” Cam answered for him.

“Oh, God.” Avia started to rise.

“Please stay where you are,” Wood said, pulling his open collar aside, revealing a mic he spoke into. “I have a code xray ten at bungalow seventeen. Direct evac to Oceanside, cardiac teams in place asap.”

Cam was on his feet looking to Woodward for instructions.

“Get his I.D. and any medications he’s on.”

Cam shoved the chair back and ran for the door.

“I’m sorry. Don’t leave me,” Hunter’s voice was thick. A tear slid down from the outside corner of one eye.

Sirens sounded in the near distance.

Avia was next to his chair with her arms around his shoulders. “He’ll never leave you, Hunter, he just went to get something.”

Panicked, Hunt tried to rise. “No! I don’t need it. Don’t let him go to the store!” He knocked the table over trying to get up, to follow Cam.

Woodward caught him as he slumped to the floor.

.................from Shadow Men, Hunt&Cam4Ever Book 7

This is what happened next.

"...forever's gonna start tonight..."

 

Review

““This isn’t a future”, she told him. It’s a crossroads.”

O.M.G.

Hunt&Cam4Ever has been a favourite of mine ever since I read On His Knees. From that very first (short) installment, Hunter Kane and Camden Snow were unforgettable and edged into my mind. In fact, I started that very first review the exact same way I’m starting this one and, in all fairness, OMG is a perfect fit for the whole series.

This book is the culmination of everything that’s gone before. It answers remaining questions and reveals truths I wasn’t even aware I’d missed so far. It rounds things off in the most perfect fashion and yet, it was the toughest, most heart-wrenching story in the series.

Before I say anything else, let me repeat the words I ended my review of Shadow Men with: whatever you do DO NOT READ FOREVER UNTIL YOU’VE FINISHED SHADOW MEN. In fact, now that I’ve read Forever, I’ll go one step further and urge you to make sure you read all previous books before you even think about starting Forever. Without knowing everything there is to know about Hunter, Camden, Hunter’s team, and all the other characters who featured in the earlier stories, you won’t get the significance and beauty of everything that unfolds here.

Mind you, you’ll want to prepare yourself before you open this book. Guard your heart and be prepared for pain. The first third (approximately) of this story all but broke me. I never thought I’d see Hunt and Cam as shattered and insecure as they were in this tale. On the other hand, now that I have seen it, I have to admit it was inevitable. They had to break before they could become everything they always were, individually and together.

 Grief. It’s such a small word.

That encompasses sadness, fear, anger, guilt, deep loss, reality that shifts beneath your feet.”

There’s a lot of pain in Forever. Old pain, almost forgotten pain, pain denied, and fresh pain. And while this pain is important and something our heroes must go through, it’s not what this story is ultimately about. The real purpose of this story is what’s on the other side of that pain, on what remains when the sharp edges of grief have smoothened, on what emerges after it seems like everything is lost.

In one way this is the story of Cam and Hunter doing what they should have done from the start and certainly before they got married. They’re communicating, discovering each other in different, not sex- or work-related ways. It’s beautiful, emotional, at times warming my heart at others all but breaking it.

In another way Forever is about Cam and Hunt being honest with themselves before they’re (able to be) honest with each other. They have to open themselves up and dive into the depths of everything they’ve more or less successfully pushed into the far recesses of their consciousness before they can emerge together, better, stronger, and closer than they’ve ever been—even if I thought they couldn’t possibly get any closer than they already were.

Just because Hunt is out of the running, doesn’t mean that his team doesn’t have a nasty and tricky murder to solve. Just like his team members, I initially had a hard time coming to terms with that. Hunt was such a central and vital part of their earlier investigations that it was hard to imagine how they would manage without him, whether they even could function without him. But I guess they, and I, had to learn a lesson too. Hunt and Cam have grown over the course of the eight book series, but so have those who work with Hunt. His influence may not be direct in this book, but enough of it rubbed off on his co-workers for his intuitive and at times unorthodox style to bring them to the (rather horrifying) solution this time too.

The sex scenes in this book are as hot, powerful and breath-taking as always. They are (how shall I put it) less prominent in Forever, though. The sex, their scenes, were never the problem. You could say they were the only thing about Hunt & Cam not in need of re-examination. The scenes in this story were perfectly placed though since they happened just when Hunt, Cam, and I needed them most.

Honestly, I could go on Forever (pun totally intended) about this book, Hunt and Cam, and the series as a whole. If you want to read more of my fan-girling about these stories, you could check out my previous reviews. The following link will take you to my post about Shadow Men. Near the end of that review, you’ll find links to all other gush-fests, some of which include excerpts as well as character interviews. Enjoy!

Before I finished Forever, I feared that this might be my last encounter with Hunt and Cam. I’m very happy to report that I worried about nothing. There’s more to come and while it may be a little while before we meet again, I rest assured in the knowledge that Hunt and Cam will be back.

“That’s everything I want: to get through to the end of every day and still find ourselves together.”


Thursday, 25 February 2021

Shadow Men (Hunt&Cam4Ever Book 7) by Adira August



 

Blurb (taken from Amazon and Goodreads)

 

DARKNESS FALLS, EVEN IN PARADISE...


“I said, no.”

“I’m sorry, I can’t accept that.”

Hunter gave Ben Hart an incredulous look. “Accept it or don’t Hart, I’m not leaving Cam right now.”

The billionaire put his hands into his pockets and looked around Cam’s yard—an unimproved clearing to the edge of the woods. Above the jagged line of the canyon rim, a lone raptor circled lazily. “I don’t like calling in favors, but if that’s what it takes…”

“If you ‘call them in’ they aren’t favors. And before you explain exactly what happened, why do you need me? If it’s a police matter, Hawaii has police departments. The locals aren’t meeting your high expectations?”

Hart’s indigo eyes flashed fire. “Remember who you’re talking to, Detective.”

“Remember I don’t work for you, Hart.”

Benedict Hart and Hunter Dane faced-off. They were both big men, both men who had killed, and both motivated by the same thing.

“Don’t fight me on this, Hunter; I'm protecting my family.”

“So am I, Ben. Either tell me what the hell is going on or leave. Cam and I are still on our honeymoon.”

Something desperate flickered across Ben Hart’s face. “I’ve done a lot for you, Hunter. And for Cam. You think I can’t hurt you? And hi—”

WHAM!

One billionaire facedown on the redwood table.

“Hunter!” Cam was on the patio, in sweatpants and nothing else. He crossed swiftly to the table. “Let him go before one of his bodyguards takes you out from the woods.”

Hunter didn’t move. “He threatened you.”

“Then he’s scared s**tless about something money can’t fix."


 

A 72k word police procedural, the seventh in the Hunt&Cam4Ever BDSM-MYSTERY series. This is the book the author calls "The hardest book I ever wrote." This is an ending no one was expecting.

AN ASTONISHING TWIST IN THE EPIC LOVE STORY~ A HIGH SEAS DEATH ON A BILLIONAIRE'S YACHT


"No matter how hard you fight the darkness
every light casts a shadow;
The closer you get to the light
the darker that shadow becomes."
Plato

 

Review

Shadow Men is the 7th Hunt&Cam4Ever book in a series I have been in love with from the very first chapter in the very first book. And if I adore the stories, I’m even deeper in love with these two wonderful, strong, gorgeous, complicated, and incredibly sexy men. Right from the start the dynamic between Cameron and Hunter fascinated me. The way they developed both separately and together was at least as intriguing as the mysteries they solved together. Both murder and romance had and have me on the edge of my seat. As far as their relationship is concerned, I’m more on edge now than I’ve been at any point during their story.

 [If you’re curious about my thoughts about the earlier books in this series, you can find them all by following the links you’ll find here:

The Interrogation: https://helenasheat.blogspot.com/2020/04/the-interrogation-hunter-dane.html

Links to all earlier books: https://helenasheat.blogspot.com/2019/11/fractured-men-hunt-6-by-adira-august.html ]

This story then. It should have been their honeymoon and, five days into their marriage, everything is not all sweet and easy love. How could it be given who Cam and Hunter are? But, their honeymoon is supposed to give them the opportunity to learn about each other, to smooth out a few ruffles. Until billionaire Domenic Hart strong-arms them into investigating a mysterious death on board his luxury yacht.

The mystery, as always, was flawlessly plotted, full of twists and turns. The setting means this is a traditional mystery with a limited number of suspects almost with a locked room atmosphere. The possible motives appear and are dispelled until only one solution remains. So far so fabulous but also, more or less, straight forward.

Not so straight forward is the effect of the investigation on Cam, on Hunt, and on their relationship. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what about the way they were together bothered me, but I read their interactions with a growing sense of discomfort, hoping against hope I was wrong. Except that I wasn’t. I can’t say anything else, but the way this story ended scared and all but broke me, just as it all but broke Cam and Hunt. Both the plotting and pacing were just about perfectly executed, keeping me rooted in the story, pushing me from page to page with my heart in my mouth and tension coursing through my body.

Not that it was all heavy, ominous, and heart breaking. Far from it. In fact, there’s something about married Hunter and Cameron that reminds me of Eve and Roarke in the In Death books. And I mean that in the best possible way. It has to do with learning how to be together when it is forever or, in Eve’s terms’ learning the marriage rules’. And while neither of them has done it before, it appears to be Cam who’s finding their new way of being together harder than Hunter.

Of course, the (sex) scenes in this story are intense, hot, and just as unforgettable as the two main characters are. But, while I enjoy those scenes, they are not my main reason for reading this series. What has me hooked is the combination of intriguing mysteries and two equally intriguing characters. Over eight books, Cameron and Hunter have become a part of my life. I think of them as real people, two guys I might meet some day. They’ve gotten under my skin and I suspect and hope they’ll continue to live there.

Tomorrow Hunt&Cam4Ever book 8 releases. The author warns readers to NOT read book eight unless they’ve read #7. When I saw that I rolled my eyes. I mean, who would want to read a series of books out of order anyway? But, while breaking that rule may mean a reader gets less enjoyment out of a story than they would have done with knowledge of the full preceding story, situations in which a sequel should not be touched under any circumstances without familiarity of what happened before are few and far between. In this case however, I fully agree with Adira August. I strongly advice anybody who hasn’t read the Hunt & Cam stories yet to start with the first book and work their way through this series in the correct order. But, as the author says, whatever you do DO NOT READ FOREVER UNTIL YOU’VE FINISHED SHADOW MEN. I have no way of knowing what will happen in the next book, but the ending of this book indicates that it will be very emotional as well as the culmination of everything we think we know about these two men and everything we still need to learn. Needless to say, I’ve got my copy pre-ordered.

Is it tomorrow yet?

Sunday, 31 January 2021

HOLD SAFE – Biker Daddy Bodyguards #3 by Sue Brown


Blurb

Mo is content with the quiet life. Once upon a time he had his happy ever after, but that ended. Now he’s being asked to guard an ego-driven businessman who has no idea how much danger he’s in. He should say no.

A successful CEO, Joseph is used to most people saying yes. He’s not convinced ‘yes’ is in this bodyguard’s vocabulary. Every decision he makes, Mo vetoes. Joseph is furious. He’s the one in charge. Isn’t he?

They are dealing with escalating danger and increasing tension between them. Joseph is convinced he’s a Daddy. Mo knows Joseph is a boy. Will Mo keep Joseph safe and show him his true place?


Excerpt

The room went silent.

“Remember you’re a Holden. Never let another man tell you what to do.”

His father’s words rang in Joseph’s ears as they had done since he had sat an eight-year-old Joseph down in his study and told him that one day he would be the head of a great empire.

Yet he’d sat like a kid, his cheeks flaming, because some yeti off the mountains had ordered him to. He knew he’d made a huge mistake. He’d lost face in front of a room full of alpha men. He could see that in the smug expressions in the room. Now he’d have to work twice as hard to regain the power.

He was the client, the top dog in the room. Correction. He should have been the top dog. He was the billionaire; they were merely muscle. So why did he feel like a kid playing dress up in his father’s shoes?

 

 Buylinks: Universal link | Amazon US | Series link

 Price: $3.99

 


Review

Aahhh. Just what the doctor ordered. A grumpy older Daddy, a younger, very bratty billionaire oblivious to the fact that he’s a boy. Snarky remarks fly while Mo tries to keep Joseph safe and Joseph pretends that he’s in charge, rather than Mo until proximity and the men’s true natures take over and slowly but securely and sexily push them together.

The combination of mystery, tension, heat, and romance is just about perfect in this one. I successfully guessed who was out to kill Joseph, but that didn’t take any fun or suspense out of the story. Quite the opposite in fact. Being fairly sure where the danger was coming from meant I could focus all my attention on Mo and Joseph finding their way to each other and establishing their dynamic. Since their developing relationship was glorious, that was time well and very satisfactory spent.

This was the second Biker Daddy Bodyguards book I read. For some reason, I missed the second book. I guess I’ll have to make up for that oversight in the not too distant future. For now, all that remains is for me to highly recommend this book and this series. You won’t regret spending a few afternoons with these magnificent Daddies and their beautiful boys.

Click here for my review of the first book in this series: Hold Firm

 


 

Author Bio

Cranky middle-aged author with an addiction for coffee, and a passion for romancing two guys. She loves her dog, she loves her kids, and she loves coffee; in which order very much depends on the time of day.

Come over and talk to Sue at:

Newsletter | Bookbub | Patreon | Her website | Author group – Facebook | Facebook

 Email: sue@suebrownstories.com

 

Giveaway

The prize is a $20 Amazon GC 


Saturday, 30 January 2021

Hold Firm (Biker Daddy Bodyguards #1) by Sue Brown


I have no idea why I didn't post this review last year, seeing how I finished the book last September but, better late than never I guess.


Blurb

“Am I here as his bodyguard, his fake boyfriend, or his Daddy?”

The minute Quinn lays eyes on the bratty boy hunched in the chair, spitting fire and ice at him, he knows why he’s been chosen for this assignment. He doesn’t want to take the job but the boy’s life is in danger. Could Quinn turn him away?
Cade doesn’t want a bodyguard at his back 24/7. He works hard and parties harder. But this man isn’t the usual rent-a-suit. He’s six foot five of solid muscle, hard eyes, and a voice which makes Cade want to beg for his attention.
To the world, Quinn is Cade’s bodyguard. To their friends, Quinn is Cade’s boyfriend. To the suspect, Quinn is Cade’s Daddy…

Quinn can’t help thinking this won’t end well.


Review

I've been a huge fan of Sue Brown's books for some time and I have to say, she hit it out of the ballpark again with Hold Firm. Quinn is the most delicious be it somewhat reluctant, Daddy while Cade takes being a brat to new heights. But there are reasons. Reasons for Cade's behaviour, and reasons why Quinn tries to keep his distance. Their journey from professional relationship to intimacy had me in turns on the edge of my seat and hot and bothered. And, talking about the edge of my seats, as if these two men, who were clearly made for each other, and their coming together weren't captivating enough, there's danger lurking in the background, waiting for the right moment to strike. I'm delighted this is only the first book in this series. Bring me the next Biker Daddy Bodyguard, please. 


Buy link: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Whiskey Kisses by Anna Martin

 


e-book

70 pages

 

Blurb

 

In a small town about an hours' drive outside Dublin, there’s a whiskey distillery.

Jim has worked in the distillery as its business manager since he returned to his home town after getting his degree. Whiskey is a slow business and rural life is quiet, but Jim takes it in his stride. That is, until the handsome and mysterious Mr Aiden Rooney moves into a room above the local pub and sets off a flurry of gossip.

Aiden’s an artist, and his devil-may-care attitude is a revelation to Jim. But he still lives in a small town in rural Ireland, and he’s not even sure if he wants to be out and proud. The choices they make could change everything, if only Jim dares to follow his heart.

 

Review                   

 

This is a charming little story with just the right amount of soul-searching vs. easy, simple, and beautiful love. There’s a spot of instant attraction, a not completely issue free coming out, and some small-town pettiness, but overall it’s an angst-free and delightful read. Of course, the fact that this tale is set in Ireland, was a huge added bonus.

Quite a few things made me smile. The spoken language that once or twice feared a little in the ‘begosh and begorrah’ direction. Or the fear of being outed because the town is small, rural, and conservative (the story was published in 2017, two years after the marriage equality referendum) but the same place providing food deliveries.

But, that’s me reading as someone who lives in a tiny, rural, Irish town. The descriptions and dialogue in this book would be perfect for any reader who has never been to Ireland. In fact, they were so good it made me think about how I describe things in my own stories, what my dialogue may or may not sound like to readers. I don’t rule out that my fear of stereotyping the Irish results in me making them bland metro-nationals (is that a thing?).

Long reflection short: Whiskey kisses is a wonderful read if you find yourself with an hour or two on your hands and feel like spending them in Ireland in the company of two interesting and sexy men.

Saturday, 2 January 2021

Normal People by Sally Rooney

 


266 pages

Blurb

Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in the west of Ireland, but the similarities end there. In school, Connell is popular and well liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation – something life-changing begins.

Normal People is a story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find they can’t.

 

My thoughts

I’m conflicted about this book. I liked it enough to read it over two days, and it kept my attention from start to finish. At the same time, the story, or rather, Marianne and Connell irritated me more or less from start to finish. I guess I expected more from a book that follows two young people over the course of four years. More growth, more self-awareness, and some sort of resolution. I prefer books where main characters develop and where my feelings about them are allowed to change along with that development. As it was, I felt there was probably a whole second book waiting for Connell and Marianne; one in which they finally reveal all of themselves to each other and come to some sort of real decision about who they are to and with each other.

On the other hand, the story and, more specifically, Marianne and Connell fascinated me, but in a car crash sorta way. Even after finishing the book, I can’t get away from the feeling that they were bad and good for each other in equal measure.

The style in this book bothered me. I’m not a fan of omitting quotation marks in dialogue. And while I have nothing against diving into characters’ heads and following their thought processes, this book felt heavy on introspection. Of course, the issues between Connell and Marianne can mostly be boiled down to lack of sufficient communication (which happens to be a pet-peeve of mine) and I guess that refusal to talk made the introspection essential to get their personalities on the page.

My biggest objection to this story is that while the blurb appears to hint at some sort of (happy) conclusion to Connell and Marianne’s ‘will they – won’t they’ relationship it is almost as if the book doesn’t conclude at all. In fact, while it is true that both of them have grown (should I say, ‘have come of age’?) over the course of the book, their relationship (such as it may be) hasn’t developed at all. This is most definitely not a romance, even if a lot of the story is about relationships. On a more detailed level I also had issues with how Marianne’s wish to submit was treated; as if it was something weird, something to be frowned upon, shameful even, be it that her realisation that submission didn’t have to involve pain went some way towards reducing my discomfort.

Overall, this was a captivating, although not always enjoyable, read. And I have to admit that I’m scratching my head about the fast number of literary prizes it was nominated for.

 

 

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Cabin Fever by Roe Horvat




Also available in Kindle Unlimited

Blurb

Michael Bourgeon is a talented artist, young and gorgeous, a stinking rich heir from a well-connected family. He’s the infamous libertine behind the most extravagant parties in Manhattan, and his exploits often lead to juicy tabloid stories. Enjoying his wealth and freedom to the fullest, Michael has the world at his feet.

Until someone tries to kill him. Repeatedly. After a security breach among his own staff, he has run out of options where to hide while the FBI hunts the killer.

A high-profile private security expert, the gruff and controlling Vincent Nowak, is supposed to provide the miracle solution. And while Michael struggles with nightmares and anxiety due to the looming threat, Vincent becomes not only the ultimately reliable protector, but a wonderful distraction, too…

A small cabin in the woods, a cocky brat with a soft heart, his gruff, controlling bodyguard, and weeks of tension in a confined space.

Gay erotic romance, a boy and his bodyguard, hurt/comfort, rough sex, pain, punishment, and of course, sweet love…

Based on the original short story “Yes Daddy”.

Review

“By taking what I wanted, I gave him what he needed”

If you’ve been keeping an eye on my reviews, I could probably limit myself to stating “Roe Horvat went and did it again” and you’d know exactly what I meant. But that would be very lazy on my part, and not much fun for you, so I’ll expand just a little.

For starters, let me say that Roe Horvat went and did it again. 😊

Seriously though, I turn to Roe’s book for well written, sexy love stories featuring captivating characters and yes, Cabin Fever fits that description perfectly.

Michael (Mikey) and Victor are just about perfect for each other. And each man realizes that they could be exactly what the other needs, right from the start. All would have been perfect if it wasn’t for the fact that the only reason they are cooped up together is the threat on Michael’s life. Victor is there to keep him save and doesn’t need or want distractions, especially not of the sexual kind. Except…

Except that the body wants what the body wants and needs often speak louder than sense. Therefore, it isn’t long before Victor is all too aware that Michael needs a Daddy while with every passing day they spent hidden away in isolation, Victor’s urge to give Michael exactly what he needs becomes stronger.

When they do give in to their mutual attraction, sparks fly. Hot sparks. Kinky sparks. Brutal sparks and, eventually, tender sparks. What follows is nothing short of a sex-fest. Victor and Michael push boundaries, talk dirty, and enjoy each other’s body in every way imaginable. And yet, don’t make the mistake of assuming that this book is nothing but sex. Relationships grow in a variety of ways and between Victor and Michael, much of the growth is created during their sex scenes. Victor learns what Michael needs only to discover it matches exactly what he desires to give. At the same time Michael finds peace of mind, for the first time in months, in his surrender to Victor’s dominance. Not that Victor is always the stronger, more stable personality in this growing relationship. When push comes to shove and he might lose the one person he can’t imagine living without, Michael shows he’s strong enough to force Victor to admit that which he’s been trying to deny for too long.

I loved the hint of suspense that loomed over the story from the start and for once, I didn’t mind the tiny amount of angst. In fact, it worked so well for me I found myself cheering Michael on all the way.

If you like your engrossing stories with a liberal dose of kinky scenes, an enticing Daddy-boy dynamic, a hint of suspense, and an uplifting and sweet happy ever after, you really need to go and one-click Cabin Fever.