Gabbi Reviews: Anthony by Catherine Lievens

Title:  Council Enforcers, Book 2: Anthony

Author:  Catherine Lievens

Publisher:  eXtasy Books

Pages: 119

Characters:   Anthony, Rob

POV:  3rd

Sub-Genre:  Shifter, Series, Romance

Kisses:   4.25

Blurb:

Sometimes being in the wrong place at the wrong time isn’t that bad after all.

Anthony is so clumsy he might as well have invented clumsiness. He has daily encounters with the ground and walls, but he manages to stay mostly healthy—at least until he literally falls on his face into a meeting organized to plan Kameron’s death.

Rob just came back from a three-week mission in the jungle, and the only thing he wants to do is sleep. Of course, that means Kameron calls him of all people to protect Anthony. He hadn’t expected Anthony to be his mate, and it makes up for the lost sleep.

Rob has his work cut for him defending Anthony from walls and the men plotting against Kameron, but it’s not his only problem. Anthony is reluctant to believe Rob is here to stay, and Rob isn’t sure he’ll ever be able to convince him. Will Anthony finally see the truth in Rob’s words, or will problems find him before he can?

Review:

Anthony by Catherine Lievens is the second book in the Council Enforcers series and I have to admit has been my favorite so far. As the series continues, I am enjoying the continued world-building Ms. Lievens’ has created, as well as, the banter and camaraderie these characters share between them.

Anthony’s story basically begins pretty quickly after Daniel’s story ended. Anthony expects to move in with Daniel and Bran as soon as their house is completed. Though he is excited by finally moving out of his parents’ house, Anthony is troubled by both possibly being the fifth wheel in his best friend’s newfound relationship and just being an all-around burden to others.

If they gave out awards for clumsiness, Anthony would receive an Oscar. Between tripping over his own feet and stumbling into walls and trees, Anthony has earned the reputation for being a klutz. Though Anthony knows this to be true, this still hurts him. He doesn’t believe he is worthy of love and he has a negative outlook on his own future. I admit, I immediately liked Anthony and found myself truly rallying behind him. I wanted him to see the warm and loving person he was and enjoyed watching him come to the realization that with Rob’s patience and love, he truly was worthy of many good things in life.

Like Anthony, Rob is an easy man to like. I enjoyed watching his feelings for Anthony grown and liked how he truly looked out for Anthony without taking away Anthony’s dignity in any way. It was nice to see Rob work through Anthony’s worries and mistrust of achieving anything good in his life. I liked these two men together and truly enjoyed the story they had to tell.

Anthony is a fast-paced book with plenty of sweet and sexy moments that will give you warm and fuzzy feelings for this couple as you read their story.  I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series and definitely interested in what Ms. Lievens has in store for us next.

The Council Enforcers series in book order are:

Daniel

Anthony

Even though Anthony could probably be read as a stand-alone book, I recommend reading the first book in the series, Daniel first. The dynamics between Daniel, Anthony and the men they fall for is definitely one not to be missed.

Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to purchase Anthony by Catherine Lievens

Gabbi Reviews: Daniel by Catherine Lievens

Title: Council Enforcers, Book 1: Daniel

Author: Catherine Lievens

Publisher: eXtasy Books

Pages: 123

Characters: Daniel, Bran

POV: 3rd

Sub-Genre: Shifter, Series, Romance

Kisses: 3.5

 

Blurb:

Sometimes being nosy isn’t such a bad thing.

Daniel knew going to look for shifters with his best friend Anthony wasn’t a good idea, but he never expected it to end like it did. Now he has a new job with Kameron Rhett, the Gillham pack alpha, and he loves it. He enjoys being around shifters, and even more being away from his house and his alcoholic father.

Bran Morris’ first meeting as the head of the council enforcers takes him to Gillham. Kameron needs to make a decision about coming out to the town, and Bran is supposed to help with it. He never expected to meet his mate, not after losing his wife and child thirty-six years before.

Daniel and Bran hit it off right away, but when Daniel’s father becomes a problem, Daniel doesn’t know what to do. Should he live his life and be with his mate, or should he stick with his father to be sure the man doesn’t hurt himself? What would happen to his relationship with Bran if he chooses his father?

Review:

Daniel by Catherine Lievens is a sweet shifter story and a good start to the new Council Enforcer series. Daniel is a fast-paced, quick read that will leave you anxious to read the next book in the series. Catherine Lievens writes interesting shifter stories. Each character is intriguing within their own right and I like the chemistry her heroes share between them.

Daniel is a likable man, but for a thirty-plus-plus- old man, he is a little lost. Daniel doesn’t have a lot in life that he can count on. His father is an alcoholic whom Daniel believes he must look after, though his father is an verbally abusive man. Over the years, Daniel has had his best friend, Anthony to rely on. Together they have forged an unbreakable bond and friendship that I really enjoyed reading about.

Daniel is basically lonely and longs to find a man he can call his own. He is surprised when he meets Bran and quickly feels the pull of the mating bond between them. Realistically, Daniel knows that Bran will never leave him and even come to love him, but because Daniel has been hurt and disappointed so much in the past, it takes some convincing on Bran’s part for Daniel to see that their love is worth fighting for.

I liked this story but it was a tad bit predictable. There is definitely a formula to most shifter books, but Ms. Lieven’s does a good job at writing characters that are both intriguing and yet uncomplicated. This book, in particular, was a guilty pleasure to read. It was easy to get wrapped up into Daniel and Bran’s life. Because of Daniel’s disappointments and abusive father, he is a bit naïve and even a little immature at times, but he is an easy character to like. I enjoyed watching Bran convince Daniel of their bond without taking Daniel’s choice of what he truly wants out of life (with or without Bran) away from him.

Even though I really enjoyed the story, I wish it had been a little more fleshed out in places. Bran has a lot of patience, and in the end, ended up being my favorite character in the book. He is a solid, sexy hero whose determination and perseverance to have Daniel in his life was a very sweet thing to read.

Daniel is the first book in the Council Enforcer series and is a spin-off of the Gillham and Whitedell series by Catherine Lievens. Daniel is written well enough that you don’t have to read the other two series to know what is going on. I’ve read many of Catherine’s other books and enjoyed them, so you should check them out if you are looking for a good way to spend the afternoon reading.

Recommended.

Reviewed By: Gabbi

 

Click HERE to purchase Daniel by Catherine Lievens

Gabbi Reviews: Out of the Cage by Catherine Lievens


Title: Free Shifters, Book 1: Out of the Cage
Author: Catherine Lievens
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Pages: 141
Characters: Emmett, Levin
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Shifter, Series
Kisses: 3.5

Blurb:

Can a man who’s been a prisoner all his life ever be truly free?

The only thing Emmett has known his entire life is the zoo. He was born in captivity, taken away from his mother when he was twelve, and has lived alone in his cage for the past twelve years.

Levin is a free shifter. He was born free, and he’s made saving shifters under human control one of his missions in life. The lucky ones are locked in zoos for human entertainment. The unlucky ones are in labs, being tortured and killed.

Emmett and his best friend are rescued from the Colorado Zoological Park just before the park plans to get rid of Emmett for not being able to breed. Emmett has trouble adapting to life outside the cage, but Levin is there for him, helping him every step of the way. It’s confusing and scary, but Emmett has never felt so safe—yet so out of place.

Levin and Emmett must find a way to fit together as they deal with a jealous ex and Emmett tries to become a true pack member. When one of the kids runs away, not even Levin listens to Emmett when he says he can help. Will Levin manage to rescue the pup before it’s too late? What will happen when Emmett decides to disobey Levin’s order to stay put and gets hurt in the process?

Review:

Out of the Cage by Catherine Lievens is the first book in the Free Shifters series. I admit that after I read the blurb, I was real anxious to read this book. I suspected that both this series and story would be different than most of the shifter books that I’ve read before. In many ways I was right. The circumstances behind the lives of these characters, as well as, the struggle they have to survive made this an interesting read.

The main reason why I liked this book was the relationship between Emmett and his best friend, Keating. Both men were rescued from the zoo together and because they were best friends to begin with, I really enjoyed the banter and chemistry these two shared together. It was obvious that Keating, in particular, really cared and looked out for the much smaller and shyer and very naive Emmett. As the story progressed, I truly felt their affection for each other and since I enjoyed their friendship so much, it made the story flow well.

Though I enjoyed Emmett and Keating’s relationship, I also liked the romance between Emmett and Levin, too. I liked the way Levin took Emmett under his wing, and for the most part, was patient with him. Levin is a good alpha. He’s fair and definitely looks out for his clan. I enjoyed watching Levin and Emmett’s relationship developed and appreciated how much they truly seemed to like and respect the other. They were a good fit and will make a strong couple as time goes by.

My only issue with the story was that I didn’t like many of the secondary characters at all. The clan itself is unusual because they are secluded from civilization. Because of this they work hard and in my opinion, are quick to point fingers and blame others for their own faults. As a general rule, I thought they came off as mistrusting and mostly unlikable but I hope as the series continues and as stories are told, the clan will become better people as a whole.

I’m looking forward to Keating’s story…BUT I have a feeling his relationship will be a menage/threesome romance and since I’m not a fan of those, I might not be able to read it…darn it!

Out of the Cage is a solid start to what looks to be an interesting series. I know fans of this genre and fans of Ms. Lieven’s will enjoy it as much as I did.

Recommended.

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to purchase Out of the Cage by Catherine Lievens

Gabbi Reviews: Backstroking with a Tiger Shark by Charlie Richards


Title: Beneath Aquatica’s Waves, Book 1: Backstroking with a Tiger Shark
Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Pages: 84
Characters: Tortelion Muenster, Kane Cornshun
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Shapeshifter, Paranormal, Series
Kisses: 5

Blurb:

World of Aquatica: When a human takes a dunk in a shark tank, he discovers a world he never knew existed.

Tortelion, Tort to his friends, is a tiger shark shifter. He spends his workdays awing human audiences with a few aquatic parlor tricks. To him, it’s a pretty good gig. Plus, the people who come to World of Aquatica learn about his kind…well, tiger sharks of the non-shifter variety, anyway. A day that starts the same as any other suddenly takes a turn for the better when a mishap sends two humans tumbling into his tank. Blood in the water tells Tort that one of them is his mate. Joining those taken to the doc’s office as a witness, Tort learns his mate is Kane Cornshun, a busy human graphic designer only visiting the area to see his sister and her kids for a few days. Tort has very little time to woo his unsuspecting mate. Can he convince Kane to give up his life and join him at Aquatica?

Review:

I’m always in the mood to read something different. I’ve read and reviewed many shapeshifter romances, so when I came across the blurb for Backstroking With A Tiger Shark by Charlie Richards, I KNEW I had to read it immediately.

The story itself fascinated me. Who would ever dream of mating with a tiger shark…or have a tiger shark want to mate for life with anyone? I admit that I quickly became so engrossed with this story that I read it without stopping from start to finish. Not only is it a fresh take on a well-loved genre, I totally fell for the unique and interesting heroes and secondary characters of this story.

The backstory behind Tort and the other shapeshifters is a unique one. He and other ocean shapeshifters take refuge and work at World of Aquatica. By day they entertain the clueless masses and by night they are able to live free as aquatic shapeshifters. For over a hundred years, Tort has lived a pretty interesting life but when he saves his mate from drowning, Tort knows his live will never be the same.

Kane is just in town to celebrate his nephew’s birthday and to spend some quality time with his sister. Being pushed into a tiger shark tank and surviving wasn’t in the cards of his to do list. But when he meets the handsome and very attentive Tort after the accident, there is something special and unique about Tort that Kane cannot figure out.

I loved this book. I loved that it’s a quick and satisfying read without taking itself too seriously. Sometimes we just need to read for sheer entertainment and this book is just what the doctor ordered. Backstroking with a Tiger Shark is truly an addictive read from beginning to end. Fun and sexy, Tort and Kane’s story is a deliciously captivating read and a fantastic start to the Beneath Aquatica series. I can’t wait to read the next installment to see what Ms. Richard’s has in store for us and her characters next!

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to purchase Backstroking with a Tiger Shark by Charlie Richards

Gabbi Reviews: Fallen Angel by Jeff Erno


Title: Fallen Angel
Author: Jeff Erno
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Pages: 129
Characters: Trey Palmer, Jeremy Banks
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary
Kisses: 4.5


Blurb:

Their love, forbidden yet beautiful, hardly stood a chance of surviving a place like this.

Trey Palmer killed his stepfather three years ago, stabbing him repeatedly with a butcher knife, and now he’s facing life behind bars. He doesn’t deny what he did, nor does he regret it. But he’s plagued with flashbacks of a torturous childhood in which he was abused by this man he finally extinguished. In prison, Trey employs a strategy of avoidance. He becomes a loner and a workaholic, steering clear of the gangs and their drama. His life changes one day, however, when a new cellmate arrives.

Jeremy Banks, also in for murder, decries his innocence. With his long hair and angelic face, he’s too pretty for a men’s prison. Though at first annoying and mouthy, Jeremy begins to wiggle his way into Trey’s heart, and Trey starts to wonder if maybe the kid really is innocent. He truly does seem like an angel. Their feelings for each other evolve, blossoming into something forbidden yet beautiful. But how can a love like theirs last in a place like this?

Review:

Fallen Angel is the first book in the Life without Parole series by Jeff Erno. I admit, I was hesitant to request this book to review. Why? Well, in all honesty, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about reading a romance set in a prison setting. I’ve watched enough prison shows to know that life behind bars is NOT a pretty one, so I wasn’t sure if I would like this book or not. One thing I DO like is Jeff Erno’s stories. Mr. Erno writes thought-provoking romances that aren’t always wrapped up in a nice pretty bow. It’s because of my trust in this author’s work that I decided to give this book a shot.

I’m glad I did.

I’m not going to kid you…this wasn’t an easy read for me. I guess it’s the feeling of impending doom I couldn’t shake why reading this story. From the beginning, we are met with Trey who is unrepentant for killing his pedophile, abusive father. Because of his insistence to keep his sister and mother from experiencing more grief, he pleads guilty and gets life without parole. That’s right, Trey has no desire to fight for freedom and balks at his family for still working to earn him his freedom.

Trey keeps to himself. He’s been incarcerated for three years and has learned the ins and out of the prison system. He isn’t there to make friends. He just wants to do his time, be left alone and go about his day to day existence.

On the other hand, Jeremy is just arriving at prison for being committed of a crime he didn’t do. Alone and afraid, Jeremy is thrown into a world full of violence and corruption. He is quite naïve as to prison politics and who to trust. When he becomes cellmates with Trey, its Jeremy’s innocence that draws Trey to him.

There is a lot going on in this novel. Mr. Erno builds the world of prison life as well as the politics the inmates live with in a very frank and realistic fashion. Along with Jeremy, we get to meet a cast of characters who aren’t as they seem. As Jeremy learns about these men, so do we and it’s not always a pretty sight.

One of things I really liked about this book is the slow buildup between Trey and Jeremy’s relationship. I enjoyed watching them become friends and become close. It was good to see both men begin to really open up to each other and learn to rely on one another as well. Of course, just when the book was really getting interesting, it ends…so now I’m anxious to see what happens to these two characters next.

If you are looking for a happy ending, this doesn’t really have one, but it does end sweet *in a Trey and Jeremy kind of way* and I enjoyed it. I admit, I still have that doomed feeling even after finishing this book. Why? Because I have a feeling both of these men will probably have some heartache ahead of them, but I trust this author and I’m interested in seeing what is in store for us next.

Jeff Erno proves once again that he is the master at writing gripping, thought-provoking stories that will live with you long after you finish reading the book.

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to purchase Fallen Angel by Jeff Erno

Gabbi Reviews: The Great Unicorn Hunt Begins by Stephani Hecht


Title: The Great Unicorn Hunt Begins
Author: Stephani Hecht
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Pages: 78
Characters: Charlie, William
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Paranormal, Shapeshifter, Series
Kisses: 3.5




Blurb:

Charlie is a happy Unicorn. He has a place to live, all the sugar he could ask for, friends, and he’s safe. Or, at least he was until some Vampire put a billion dollar bounty on his head. Not wanting to put his friends in danger, Charlie leaves and makes a run for it on his own.

Ever since William was cursed with immortality, he knew he’d never be able to find someone to love. But one look at Charlie challenges that thought and sends William’s life spinning.

Will William be able to rescue Charlie? Or was their love doomed from the very beginning?

Review:

The Great Unicorn Hunt Begins is the second book in the Little Monsters series by Stephani Hecht. I admit that I haven’t read the first book in the series, but after reading this one, I plan to rectify that soon.

One reason I liked this book was the classic humor that Ms. Hecht writes. She has a very creative mind and builds the paranormal world(s) her characters live in a way that is both unique and easy to follow. I really enjoyed the world of these not so common monsters that we normally see in this genre. I found myself laughing out loud from the banter William had with his sister Lliassa as well as with Charlie. I also enjoyed the attraction between William and Charlie and quite frankly, was enamored with Charlie *who is the unicorn* himself.

I liked how Charlie wasn’t one to be pushed around. When he finds out there is a bounty on his head, he is able to defend himself and basically doesn’t take any crap from anyone. I thought he and William were a good match. William’s determination to protect Charlie *even when he doesn’t want to protected* was fun to read and I understood why William was basically enamored with Charlie from first sight.

There is also a lot of action in this book that kept this reader wondering what was going to happen next. I found myself really liking some of the secondary characters and I’m anxious to see what Ms. Hecht has in store for us next. I do wish the story had been fleshed out a little more. I thought the last few chapters was washed over and the ending felt rushed to me.

If you are looking for a creatively written romance with plenty of action along with heroes who are both unique and sexy, The Great Unicorn Hunt Begins is definitely for you. Ms. Hecht has definitely started an interesting and unique series filled with memorable characters that readers will fall in love with.

Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to purchase The Great Unicorn Hunt Begins

Patrick Reviews: Over the Rainbow-An Anthology in Tribute to the Victims of Orlando

Please NOTE: All proceeds of the sale of this book will go to the victims of the Orlando Shooting

Title: Over the Rainbow-An Anthology in Tribute to the Victims of Orlando
Published by eXtasy Books
Length: 315 pages
Genre: Gay Fiction/HEA
Rating: 5 kisses out of 5

Blurb:

Until we meet again on the other side of the rainbow.
We all woke up to the terrible news on Sunday 12th June, 2016, of the horrific attack in Orlando, and not only did it affect the LGBT community, it also outraged the world.
So many of us felt powerless as we watched the horror unfold upon our screens, but Patricia Strehle had a remarkable idea, one that would galvanize an entire community into action. Patricia brought a group of people together with the idea of creating a book, an anthology, and donating all the proceeds from its sale to the families affected by this terrible tragedy.

Over The Rainbow is the result—stories contributed by so many wonderful authors from all over the world. These stories are meant to inspire, to warm the heart, to bring a smile or a gentle laugh to help guide us all through the darkness, and to remind us that we all inhabit this world together, that we need to be kind, and that sometimes, we just need to follow that yellow brick road hand in hand.

All sales proceeds from this Anthology will go to the following Charity:
https://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund

Review:

This charity Anthology has a little something for everyone, including poetry. The totality of the stories will make you cry and laugh out loud as one baby managed to make me do. The range of stories includes a little BDSM, along with many love stories where the man gets the man in the end. One story includes the addition of a female, spicing things up for the two men involved.

What moved me as well is the number of authors from Great Britain and Australia. The events in Orlando have resonated around the world as much as the terror attacks in Paris or Belgium. I recommend this as a great way to contribute to the funds for the Orlando victims and their families. I extend my personal appreciation to the authors who contributed to this work.

Reviewed by Patrick St. James

Click HERE to Purchase Over the Rainbow