Gabbi Reviews: How to Save a Life by Eli Easton

Title: Howl at the Moon, Book 4: How to Save a Life

Author: Eli Easton

Publisher: Eli Easton

Pages: 283

Characters: Rav and Sammy

POV: 3rd

Sub-Genre: Series, Shifter Romance

Kisses: 5+

Blurb:  

Rav Miller looked into the terrified, intelligent eyes of the chocolate Labrador on death row, and knew he’d do anything to save him. When the dog, Sammy, escapes and heads to Mad Creek, Rav follows. Mad Creek. The town had become legendary in Rav’s mind after he’d met that bizarre group last year. Rav dismissed his crazy suspicions back then, but when he arrives in Mad Creek, he knows it’s true. Dog shifters exist, and apparently they all live in the California mountains. It’s enough to blow a bad boy’s mind.

Sammy has something in common with Rav—neither one of them trusts people. After Sammy’s abuse as a dog, he particularly dislikes tough-looking men like Rav. But when Sammy gets a chance to work with rescued dogs at the new Mad Creek shelter, his deep compulsion to help others overcomes his fear. Rav and Sammy bond over saving strays. If they can each find the courage to let someone else in, they might find their way to love.

Sheriff Lance Beaufort doesn’t like humans moving into Mad Creek, especially not the tattooed and defiant Rav. When Rav starts a rescue shelter, the town thinks he’s wonderful! But Lance isn’t fooled. He doesn’t buy Rav’s innocent act for one second. How much does Rav know about the quickened? What is his game? And why did he have to show up now, when Lance and the other town leaders are overwhelmed by all the new quickened pouring in?

Rav knows how to save a life. But can he save an entire town? Can he rescue Mad Creek? 

Review:

The Howl at the Moon series by Eli Easton has been a favorite of mine since the first book, How to Howl at the Moon was released. There is something very unique and special about all the characters in this series and I have to admit, I eagerly await each and every new story in this series.

Like the other three previous books, I immediately fell in love with the heroes AND all of the secondary characters in this story. I couldn’t help but totally be enamored with both Rav and Sammy and the story they had to tell. 

The special thing about this book *this series in particular* is the strong emotional connection between the two heroes. Both men have had a difficult, hurtful past that they have to work through before they can truly come together as a couple. Through each other, they learn to trust, fall in love and truly form an unbreakable bond and friendship between them. Watching them develop such a special relationship made this a happy-heart read for me. Like the other books, I loved this couple and the Mad Creek townspeople and I can not wait to see what Ms. Easton has in store for us next.

The Howl at the Moon series needs to be read in book order. This way you can truly fall in love with each and every character and witness how much they grow, right along with the townspeople of Mad Creek.

The Howl at the Moon series books are:

How to Howl at the Moon

How to Walk Like a Man

How to Wish Upon a Star

How to Save a Life

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to purchase How to Save a Life by Eli Easton

The Prisoner by Kol Anderson


Title: Broken, Book One: The Prisoner
Author: Kol Anderson
Publisher: Self Published
Pages: 99
Characters: Aaron, Vincent, Sebastian
Sub-Genre: BDSM, Violence
Kisses: 4


Blurb:

Aaron Taylor has been working at an escort company for the past six months. Just when life seems to have gotten better and he is beginning to think that he has a grasp of this line of work, his handler sends him to a new client. Vincent Greene looks like he might just be Aaron’s best client yet but he doesn’t know the extent of Vincent’s cruelty.

Review:

Aaron is working as an escort and is trying to better his life, he has clients on a regular basis but there is one special one Sebastian whom he has special feelings for.

Sebastian knows Aaron is special but he is married to Eric who has been cheating on him, Sebastian cares for both men.

Aaron has a meeting scheduled with a new client Vincent and it all goes so wrong. Vincent beats and drugs Aaron who passes out and wakes beaten and locked in a cell.

Vincent has big money clients who will pay for a personal sex slave, and plans to train the beautiful Aaron to be that slave.

Aaron is raped, tortured and turned into a drug addict he tries to commit suicide and is not allowed to die.

Aaron tries to hang onto to memories of Sebastian and the hope that he will be rescued!

Vincent is starting to have feelings for Aaron but continues having him raped and tortured, a client has already paid for Aaron and Vincent must deliver him.

Sebastian cannot get Aaron out of his mind and just knows foul play is involved. He contacts a friend of his who is a cop to find out what has happened to Aaron, and he finally tells his husband Eric what is going on, Eric is very angry but decides to help locate Aaron.

This story is very well written and is the first part of a ongoing story. As you can tell, there is a lot going on, but the author did a good job at keeping this reader’s attention. I must give a few words of warning to our readers, there is a lot of violence in this book. There is a rape and the hero is tortured so this content might make you uncomfortable.

Reviewed by: Cheryl

A Little Too Broken by Brad Vance


Title: A Little Too Broken
Author: Brad Vance
Publisher: Brad Vance Erotica
Pages: 152
Characters: Jamie McAllister and Tom Nolan
POV: Third Person
Sub-Genre: contemporary, first time
Kisses: 4.5


Blurb:

When Jamie walks through the door of the Humane Society, it’s not just an animal who needs rescuing that day. Tom is there to adopt another service dog into the Canine Comrade Corps, but it’s Jamie his heart goes out to. But each man turns away, walks away, from the potential pain, the rejection, the knowledge that it’ll all end in tears…

Jamie knows damn well that the HIV he contracted from an unfaithful lover has put him out of the dating game forever in the small town of Santa Vera. Tom lost his legs in Afghanistan, and got new ones, yeah, but with a side order of PTSD to go, he thought grimly. The real problem is that only now does he realize he’s gay, now that the revelation would be just one too many things to put his family through, after everything else they’ve had to deal with.

So both men grin and bear the loneliness, put their feelings on a shelf, even as Jamie’s volunteer stint at CCC turns into friendship and, despite their resolve, something more…

Review:

In this novella, Jamie McAllistar and Tom Nolan have been dealt a rough hand in the deck of life. Still, they are trying to move on with life – Jamie, who works for an AIDS Care Clinic is HIV positive and Tom, who is in charge of the Canine Comrade Center, lost his legs in Afghanistan and has PTSD. The two meet at the Human Society where after talking with Tom, Jamie decides to volunteer his Saturdays at the Center doing paperwork.

Both men are incredibly lonely – and although there is an attraction, they hesitate to reach out, each afraid the other would be turned off by their disability. As a friendship grows, a romance slowly blossoms. They accept themselves and the love they have, but what about Tom’s close knit family?

The author, Brad Vance, is new to me. I applaud the way he handled the delicate subject manner. He did a wonderful job delivering important information like all the garbage returning Veterans have to go through, what little our government does for our vets, and the health insurance problem that people who are HIV Positive have – without getting too preachy. The issue with PTSD was spot on as well as the isolation and loneliness one goes through when surviving a life-changing situation.

The author breathed life into these characters. We know their desperation, their hopes and their regrets. To watch this relationship grow and develop, despite each one’s baggage, was realistic and touching. The plot was interesting and not predictable. The dialog was real – I could actually hear the characters use the slang and the one liner zings.

Despite awkward scene changes (no little ‘**’ to alert the reader) and the occasional head-hopping within a scene, this novella was an absolute joy to read. I’ve already recommended it to several of my friends.

It is my hope to read more by Brad Vance.

Reviewed By: Dawn

The Gentleman and the Rogue by Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon


Title: The Gentleman and the Rogue
Author: Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon
Publisher: Amazon
Pages: 238
Characters: Sir Alan Watleigh, Jem
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Historical Romance
Kisses: 5




Blurb:

Lad from the streets meets lord of the manor. Both men’s lives will be changed forever. When Sir Alan Watleigh goes searching for sex, he never imagines the street rat he brings home for one last bit of pleasure in his darkest hour will be the man who hauls him back from the edge of the grave. Despite his harsh life in the slums of London, Jem is a bright, cheerful young man. He’s also witty, irreverent, glib, and makes Alan laugh–a rare occasion since war time trauma and the death of his family have made the man a ghost of his former self. A single night of meaningless sex turns into an offer of permanent employment. Jem acts as Alan’s valet, but offers him so much more than polished boots and starched cravats. Just as the men are adjusting to their new living arrangement, news about a former soldier under his command sends Sir Alan and Jem on the road to save a child in danger. The journey brings them closer together as they travel from lust toward love. They rescue the girl from the clutches of an insane surgeon, who is as interested in experimenting on the vulnerable human spirit as he is on physical bodies. Alan realizes his love for Jem when he nearly loses him, but is Alan’s love strong enough to risk society discovering the truth about him? And is he strong enough to finally accept his sexual desires?

Review:

I’ve read several books by the writing team of Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon and I’ve loved every one of them. They have a knack of writing humanly flawed, likeable heroes that live and breathe off of the written page. Also, their historically set novels are so descriptive, that it’s easy to pictures these characters back in a time where homosexuality was considered a criminal offense.

Lord Alan has been living with the nightmare of survivor’s guilt. As a captain that has both mental and physical ailments from the war, Alan is determined to end his misery and commit suicide. But before he does, he decides to hire a prostitute for one last night of physical bliss. When Alan spots Jem on the street, he hires him for the night. What Alan doesn’t expect is how much he likes Jem as well as the physical and emotional connection he surprisingly feels for him. Jem’s zest for life and spunky disposition brings laughter and life back into his world, and because of it, Alan decides to live and hire Jem as his valet in hopes that Jem will continue to bring light into his very dark world.

Both of these characters were unique and special men. Alan’s depression had basically taken over his life, but as he gets to know Jem, he once again finds hope and forgiveness in his heart. Jem makes him want to live again, and in all honesty, I was glad. Alan is a noble, likeable man who has survived a lot. I thought him to also be compassionate and very loyal to those he cared about. I thought he literally blossomed under the care of his sweet Jem, and loved watching him find reasons to wake up every morning.

Jem is an adorable character! He’s bawdy, spunky, smart and has a wicked sense of humor that I kept me laughing along with him. Because of Alan’s trust, friendship and love for him, Jem becomes more confident and proud of the man he is becoming. I loved the way these two men loved each other. I loved the men they became because of their love for each other and I found myself really rooting for them to find their way in a sometimes unforgiving world.

There is also an emotionally charged back-story that really kept me sitting on the edge of my seat. Jem and Alan set off to rescue a girl (you’ll have to read why) and are faced with some a lot of abuse and violence. I didn’t think it was over the top, but it might disturb some readers. I thought it was extremely well-written and thoughtfully told. Like the two heroes, the secondary characters really brought something special to the book and all around it’s a strong and well-thought out read.

The Gentleman and the Rogue is a beautifully written story full of action, suspense and romance. I can’t wait to read more from these authors and will be actively looking for more books written by them in the future.

Reviewed By: Gabbi

BUY LINK

Male Seeking Male by Kathleen Lee


Title: Male Seeking Male
Author: Kathleen Lee
Publisher: Self-Published, Amazon
Pages: 29
Characters: Greg, Jack
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Kisses: 4


Blurb:

He was just looking for experience. What he got was an unexpected romance.

When Greg’s best friend places a personal ad on his behalf, he doesn’t know whether to be angry or grateful. Though bisexual, he’d only ever been with a woman. But when his sexy neighbor across the hall answers his ad claiming to offer the experience Greg seeks, Greg jumps at the chance. Jack’s first sexual experience was a painful one, and he vowed to never hurt anyone the way he’d been hurt. So when Jack sees Greg’s ad, he knows he can give the man he’s secretly lusted after what he wants and leave him with fond memories. But as things heat up in the bedroom, a trust builds in their hearts. Now they must see past their differences and future plans or lose a once in a lifetime love.

Review:

I’ve never read this author before, but I have to say I enjoyed the fun, fast-paced storytelling ability Ms. Lee has. I was in the mood for a quick and sexy read, and Male Seeking Male was a good choice for me.

Greg is appalled when he finds out that his best friend, Rachel, has placed a personal ad for him. Although Greg’s experience has been mostly with women, he’s made it no secret that he’s attracted to men too. After the initial shock over the personal add, Greg decides to give it a shot. He knows he’s ready and willing to date men and secretly hopes that there might be someone out there that will be interesting and nice enough to date.

Jack has lived across the hall from Greg and Rachel for some time. As an EMT his schedule is different than theirs, so he rarely sees them. So much so, he’s surprised when he overhears them arguing over the personal ad that Rachel placed in the paper for Greg. Jack is thrilled when his finds out that Greg his interested in dating men and decides to answer Greg’s ad. To his delight, Greg answers him and soon they start dating. But neither man is really prepared by the deep feelings that start developing between them and Jack must overcome his fear that Greg will leave him for a woman, as well as, some of his own personal hurts and issues from his past.

I really liked this book. I liked both Greg and Jack and it was easy for me to hope that they’d find a way to be together. The sex between them is sizzling hot and also tender and they have a good solid chemistry between them. I do wish the book had been longer. I did feel like the story was a little too rushed and there were times I wanted them to communicate more than they did. But for a short story, I thought Male Seeking Male was a good, solid read and I’m looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Reviewed By: Gabbi

BUY LINK

Storm Surge by Cait Miller


Title: Storm Surge
Author: Cait Miller
Publisher: Smashwords
Pages: 60
Characters: Kelly Clarkson, Adam Campbell
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Kisses: 4.5


Blurb:

Kelly Clarkson lives life just the way he wants. No one in L.A. looks twice when he wears a little eyeliner, paints his nails or tries a new colour in his hair. People expect that of a makeup artist and hair stylist. But when his life crashes down around him, Kelly has nowhere to go but Port Clef.

Home.

Adam Campbell is a loner, a man not to be trusted, a killer who escaped justice. At least, that’s what the gossips say. Kelly, however, has never been one to bow to peer pressure. He sees something different in the eyes of this brooding stranger and knows it’s inevitable.
A storm surge is coming.

Review:

I’ve never read anything by Cait Miller before. After reading Storm Surge I have to say I really liked this author’s descriptive storytelling ability as well as her unique and interesting characters.

After a bad breakup with his boyfriend, Kelly must leave LA and return to his hometown, Port Clef, to start over. Kelly is nervous about returning home. Between his out and proud attitude and his bright colored hair and nails, he knows the small town might not accept him. On his way home Kelly gets caught up in a storm and is rescued by a sullen and mysterious stranger, Adam.

Although Adam makes it no secret that helping Kelly and allowing him to stay at his home for the night is an inconvenience, there is a burning attraction between them that will not be denied. Despite Adams best efforts, Kelly is intrigued of him and in turn, Kelly’s friendly disposition and zest for life awakens Adam’s soul.

But there is a reason why Adam is standoffish and tries to push Kelly away. Will Kelly be able to push past Adam’s self-inflicted boundaries and find a way to his heart?

I really liked this book a lot. Both characters are interesting men who have to deal with their own insecurities and fears for them so they can have something special between them. Kelly must decide if he can be himself in a town who isn’t always accepting of his out and proud lifestyle and Adam must learn to forgive himself and take a chance on love if he wants Kelly in his life. I liked how both characters did some personal growth throughout the story and really liked watching them come to terms with their attraction and feelings toward each other.

The only reason why this is not a five star read for me is: I wish the book had been longer. In the end, I felt like their story was rushed a little bit and I admit, I wanted to read more about them. I would have enjoyed really seeing them work at making their relationship a loving, solid one. But in the end, I really enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to reading more books written by this author. I do hope she revisits these characters again because I would love to read more about them.

Storm Surge is part of a multi-authored series called The Sweet Spot. Although I haven’t read the other books in this series, it can definitely be read as a stand alone book.

Recommended!
Reviewed By: Gabbi

BUY LINK

Three By Moonlight by J Nelson Aviance


Title: Three By Moonlight
Author: J Nelson Aviance
Publisher: J Nelson Aviance
Pages: 67
Characters: Multiple Characters
POV: 1st
Sub-Genre: Paranormal
Kisses: 2.5




Blurb:

Three By Moonlight: A collection of werewolf tales is a collection of three stories, each following the struggles of their hero as they navigate a world of werewolves and magick, one often hostile to their continued breathing, much less their man on man relationships.

Brennen juggles having a boyfriend, being a newly minted teenaged witch, and his first encounter with the werewolves in his home town.

Duke, on the other hand, is not just a mage, but also the mate to the sexy and powerful alpha of the local pack. So what does it take to keep even a small part of his life normal?

Justin ran away from home when his drunk father nearly beat him to death. Now, after being rescued from the streets and addiction by the handsome werewolf Aiden, he returns home to reconnect with his sister and brother, but has to deal with the lingering emotions for his former lover, a local bruiser named Mickey.


Review:

Brennen and the Wolf

A sixteen-year old witch, Brennen, lives with his Grandmother, a witch for hire. A wolf pack killed a human, and the Grandmother is hired to eliminate all traces of the crime so that the supernatural world isn’t exposed. Brennen and his boyfriend Mason tag along to learn the trade. Then the wolves have a problem with gays, and attack.

The same problem plagues all the short stories in this anthology. We get a meaningless glimpse into these people’s lives and the world filled with supernatural beings. When the story starts, we get descriptions of what’s happening, but not showing. By the end, we’re none the wiser. This story in particular had no point to it whatsoever, just a bigoted attack on teenager gay boys by adult wolves. The ending is abrupt, and we’re given nothing. Disappointing and silly to the point of gagging.

Werewolf Troubles

Duke works in an office with the pack he’s a part of, being the mate of an alpha, Eyulf. Then a small band of poor, uneducated wolves from the hicks show up and try to challenge Eyulf’s leadership—while simultaneously having a huge problem with gay wolves. Again. Duke is a mage, so he can hold his own.

This theme of wolves hating gays gets old fast. Were there no other themes to choose from? Again, we’re given a useless glimpse into the fascinating life of supernatural beings—and left without anything concrete to enjoy. And the romances in this anthology are like an afterthought, with no real connection between the heroes, no passion, no love that we’re shown, not even a kiss, so this isn’t even an erotic romance—or romance of any kind. It’s all about the heated words between the heroes’ pack and bigoted other pack. No point, yet again. Forgettable.

Love Lost And Found

Justin was hurt badly by his father, so he left home, became a hustler for bad guys, and was saved by a werewolf, Aiden. Now Justin returns home to help his family. He reconnects with an old closeted fling, Mickey, when they’re attacked by the bad guys wanting Justin back to his hustling. But Justin has some magical powers of his own.

The trouble with these short stories is that, while the writing is very good, these are too short to form any kind of connection with the characters. And just when we start understanding the world created here, the story ends. It’s frustrating to the extreme. Any of these would have worked wonders had they been made into full novels, with depth of plot, world, and heroes. As is, this story is another one without anything substantial to connect with. We don’t get to know what happened in Justin’s past or why he’s come back home, let alone who the bag guy is, and again the romance between Justin and Aiden is like it was slapped on at the last minute. So disappointing because this writer could write exciting, fascinating stories if he went for longer storytelling. But… There are far better werewolf anthologies out there than this.

Reviewed By: Susan

BUY LINK