Thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
Q: how do you typically react when you’re angry? I have to wallow & coach myself before I share my feelings & I usually end up somewhat proud & somewhat embarrassed later 🤣.
Rebekah Weatherspoon’s A Thorn in the Saddle has such a great MC combo: a giant, bald, reserved hero who can take over the dance floor & a fierce, smart, knows who she is heroine who can wipe the floor with the hero or anyone else when she’s mad enough to do so.
Jesse Pleasant is one of the three Pleasant Brothers & the main one who feels the weight of responsibility for their luxury dude ranch & the family he loves.
The book basically opens when Jesse punches the man on top of his grandmother when he walks into her home unannounced, only to realize that the event is entirely consensual & very much welcomed, & the man in question is none other than his grandmother’s secret lover & Lily-Grace LeRoux’s father.
Lily-Grace is NOT happy with Jesse & she lets him know. It is so much fun. But then, even though she’s just visiting, she & Jesse begin sharing emotional things with one another & eventually strike up a sex lessons agreement.
This book has a lot to offer: considerations of toxic masculinity, anger management, & sexual insecurity, vitiligo rep, family loyalty. Jesse has some emotional work to do & he does it, going to therapy & considering why he acts in the angry ways he sometimes does.
& Lily-Grace? She is a star. Great with numbers, a talented go-getter who’s also patient & understanding & an advocate for the people she loves.
I have a quibble with a couple parts of their relationship development but A Thorn in the Saddle is sexy & entertaining & so are its MCs.
4 ⭐️. Release date: 10/26.
Thanks to the author for the complimentary ARC & the promotional materials. All opinions provided are my own.
Homeless and jobless, Fenn Todd has nearly run out of hope. All he has left is his longing for horses and the strength of his own two hands. But when he’s cheated into accepting a very ugly sackcloth horse, he’s catapulted into a world of magic, politics and desire.
Fenn’s invited to stay at the black tower, home of the most terrifying man in the realm: Morgrim, the court sorcerer. Morgrim has a reputation as a scheming villain, but he seems surprisingly charming—and sexy—and Fenn falls hard for him.
However, nothing is as it seems and everyone at the tower is lying about something. Beset by evil hexes, violent political intrigue and a horse that eats eiderdowns, Fenn must make the hardest choices of his life.
Can a plain man like Fenn ever find true love with a scheming sorcerer?
One of my fave bookish things is when one of my *favorite* authors recs another—it’s like a homing beacon—so when I saw that KJ Charles & Cat Sebastian had recommended Lee Welch I was aquiver with excitement.
Seducing the Sorcerer pairs a nomadic, often drunk man who’s very nearly without hope with a court sorcerer with a real bad reputation. Or at least that’s how things start out.
One day horse-lover Fenn Todd—aforementioned man nearly w/out hope—inadvertently strikes a deal w/ a cheat who gives him a fake, pathetic-looking horse in place of the real one he promised him. Fenn, who’s a former groom, is furious & also very disconcerted when during the night the horse becomes real & flies him to the home of Morgrim, supposedly wicked sorcerer. Duh duh duhhhhh.
If you like your fantasy marvel-ous, w/ lonely characters who choose to do the hard things for the good of others & who also share urgent steamy moments bc they just can’t wait, you might enjoy Seducing the Sorcerer. The story is inventive & entertaining & has a good twist, but I would have liked a little more development of one aspect of the plot.
I’m always on the lookout for fresh fantasy with kissing & now Lee Welch is on my list of authors to watch.
Where To Get Your Copy.
Universal buy link: https://books2read.com/u/bOJJQ9
Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09CTQ5RLH/
Barnes & Noble (Nook): https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seducing-the-sorcerer-lee-welch/1140028706
The ebook is up for preorder now and will be released via many online booksellers.
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58526936-seducing-the-sorcerer
About Lee Welch.
Lee Welch lives in a house on a hill in the windiest city in the world, Wellington, New Zealand. She shares the house with her partner, two kids, two cats, a dog and quite a lot of spiders. Lee studied ancient history at Auckland University and creative writing at Birkbeck, University of London. By day, she works as an editor and business communications adviser for a large government department. By night, she writes escapist romances, usually with magic in them.
Find Lee Here:
Website + newsletter sign up: https://leewelchwriter.com/
Twitter: @leewelchwriter - https://twitter.com/leewelchwriter
Read on for a summary, my review, & about the author. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
The sexy Navy chief and his best friend’s adorkable little brother…
It’s petty, but Naval Chief Derrick Fox wishes he could exact a little revenge on his ex by showing off a rebound fling. His submarine is due to return to its Bremerton, Washington, home base soon and Derrick knows all too well there won't be anyone waiting with a big, showy welcome.
Enter one ill-advised plan…
Arthur Euler is the guy you go to in a pinch—he's excellent at out-of-the-box solutions. It's what the genius music-slash-computer nerd is known for. So when he finds out Derrick needs a favor, he’s happy to help. He can muster the sort of welcome a Naval Chief deserves, no problem at all.
Except it is a problem. A very big problem.
When Arthur’s homecoming welcome is a little too convincing, when a video of their gangplank smooch goes enormously viral, they're caught between a dock and a hard place. Neither of them ever expected a temporary fake relationship to look—or feel—so real. And Arthur certainly never considered he'd be fighting for a very much not-fake forever with a military man.
I’d like to take this opportunity to declare my love for best friend’s sibling romance & its many variations & Annabeth Albert’s Sailor Proof does it so well.
Derrick Fox—a Navy man who works & lives in a submarine—wants to make his ex jealous by staging a fantastic kiss at the dock when his sub returns. His best friend arranges for his brother Arthur—a man Derrick remembers meeting years earlier—to be that man.
When Derrick sees Arthur again at the dock he likes what he sees. He really likes how he kisses.
Arthur, a musician for video games, can see his own appeal for going along with a fake dating situation, even after (maybe especially after) his Navy-loving family invites Derrick to come with him to their family reunion.
Tropes abound in this one: best friend’s sibling, fake romance, only one bed. There are interesting sibling dynamics & tension, especially as Derricks starts to see how his best friend treats the man he’s starting to have feelings for & how his treatment contributes to Arthur feeling overlooked in his own family.
Sailor Proof’s emphasis on the importance of home, its softness, the open communication between leads at the end, it’s all lovely. More of this, please!
Get Your Copy Here.
About Annabeth Albert.
Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a Pacific Northwest romance writer of many critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance series. To find out more, check out: www.annabethalbert.com. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content.
Connect with Annabeth Albert Here.
Facebook Fan Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/annabethsangels
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the complimentary ARC (& the publisher for the free hard-copy). All opinions provided are my own.
Q: how do you feel about spiders 🕷 🤣?
The Lights on Knockbridge Lane is the third book in Roan Parrish’s emotional & sexy Garnet Run series & also the third book that makes it sound freaking delightful to live in small town Wyoming.
After divorcing his husband Mason—who decided he no longer wanted to be a parent—Adam Mills has returned to Garnet Run with his brilliant daughter Gus.
Their mysterious & handsome neighbor Westley Mobray is a recluse, his papered-over windows & nocturnal habits a source of speculation for their neighborhood.
But when Gus basically barges in on Wes’s life, the three of them start tentatively spending more time together—often working on making Gus’s holiday lights dreams come true—& one night Adam & Wes kiss.
Roan Parrish highlights so much of what makes people special: their kindness, their desire to connect, their vulnerability & insecurities.
Wes has feelings that sometimes leave him frustrated & a difficult family situation, both of which he understands better through his relationship with Adam & Gus, something he is aware of.
This book is cozy & warm with three people reaching out to form a family & lots of happy tears shed. If you’re looking for a holiday found family, single parent romance with some heat, The Lights on Knockbridge Lane is truly sweet.
4 ⭐️. Release date: 09/28
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
📺 Q: have you ever been on tv?
[Review CW: I’m sharing some of my own mental health experiences.]
Several years ago I learned the word Obsessive & how it was one that could be used to better understand myself & the seemingly endless refrain of thoughts I couldn’t let go of—irrational or not.
Alison Cochrun’s lovely The Charm Offensive has a funny Bachelor-type premise that’s sometimes satirical, sometimes appreciative. It also focuses on mental health—on OCD & depression in particular.
Mental health rep matters—especially in romance—because everyone deserves unconditional love & acceptance *&* because the way characters and their struggles are written can change not only what readers think about things they haven’t personally experienced but what they have.
Charles Winshaw is a hot nerd & the latest star of Ever After. He’s also not doing so well as a dating tv star. He’s only there as a publicity stunt so he can get a job back in the tech world he once rocked.
Dev Deshpande is an utter romantic who believes he’s actually helping people find HEAs as producer on the show. He’s assigned to be Charlie’s handler & help bring him out of his awkward shell for viewers.
But somewhere along the way Dev’s overtures help Charlie feel more comfortable with him & also with others…& Charlie’s newfound confidence & awareness of his feelings for Dev give him the strength to reach out to Dev in return.
Often sprinkled with moments of humor—especially in the beginning of the book—Cochrun takes on dating shows & contestants & cargo shorts & puzzing & it doubtless had my lips quirking.
As the book progresses & Charlie opens himself up more emotionally, I wanted more of Dev’s reticence to be explored & for there to be more time with him settled into his feelings & for them to be settled longer together. The ending feels somewhat rushed.
But the consideration of mental health in this book, of OCD & depression, is valuable & touching, & the realizations both Charlie & Dev come to about the actions & risks they need to take for ultimate happiness are hard-won & admirable.
The Charm Offensive is not a light read but it is one that can speak to a lot of people. I’m really looking forward to Cochrun’s next read!
Give me that HEA, please.
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