4 Stars, Amber Allure, DJ Manly, Genre Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Maryann

Review: On Bryson by DJ Manly

Amazon

Amazon

Title: On Bryson

Author: DJ Manly

Publisher: Amber Allure

Pages/Word Count: 39k Words

At a Glance: On Bryson makes for a fast paced, action packed, murders and secrets crime story.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: A few years ago, Soren became involved with the wrong man, and all he wanted to do was get away from a life connected to the mob. But now, here he is yet again, right back in that world, running a nightclub called The Sand Dune for the Gambini crime family. Never does he expect to meet the love of his life there, let alone that the man who comes into his nightclub is a cop on a rampage trying to discover who shot his cousin.

But now that Sergeant Bryson Accurso’s at The Sand Dune investigating, Soren’s been given orders to “be on him” at all times. And after one look at the sexy lawman, Soren immediately realizes his orders will be far too easy for him to follow…and he intends to follow those instructions to the letter.

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Review: Sgt. Bryson Accurso is like a dog with a bone. He just can’t leave Sidney Gambini, drug lord, alone. His cousin Rickie was shot at his place of business, owned by Gambini’s godson, and Bryson is sure Sidney Gambini’s behind a lot of the events going on. Even though the shooter has been caught, Bryson finds it all suspicious and takes time off to strike out on his own to solve the crime. Bryson is very dedicated to his Italian/Irish family. With the loss of his mother, he has close ties with his father, Aunt and Uncle, and I loved the caring and rhetoric between Bryson and his father, who thinks everything is unnatural.

Soren’s character is sort of sad in a way. He came from a strict family environment, and was kicked out by his father at a young age. Soren was swept off his feet by Marco Gambini, which became yet another downfall for Soren. Soren is hot on Bryson’s heels, at Sidney Gambini’s orders. But Soren is hiding a secret from both Gambini and Bryson.

Bryson and Soren are just the best characters, they seemed destined to be a couple, though there are some snags along the way that kept them apart. I really liked Bryson’s character. DJ Manly gave him a really fun sense of humor.

On Bryson makes for a fast paced, action packed, murders and secrets crime story, with a touch of humor. For being a short story, it had a good plot and enough going on to hold my interest.

TNA_Signature_Maryann

 

 

 

 

You can buy On Bryson here:

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Amazon US

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3.5 Stars, Genre Romance, Loose Id, Willa Okati

Review: Best Laid Plans by Willa Okati

Title: Best Laid Plans

Author: Willa Okati

Publisher: Loose Id

Pages/Word Count: 209 Pages

At a Glance: A free-wheeling rom-com that has dueling, convoluted love stories, conniving best friends, and a resolution that leaves a smile.

Reviewed By: Sadonna

Blurb: Teddy and Jefferson get along like a house on fire. Literally. Jefferson’s a serious-natured soccer star, and Teddy was born to party till the wheels come off. Oh, they might have jerked it a few times thinking about each other, but they’ll burn this mother to the ground before they ever get along. The only thing they have in common are their friends–Jefferson’s buddy Emmett, and Teddy’s BFF Noelani. Emmett’s just blown all his savings on a house near campus, and he needs tenants to help make the monthly payments. That’s where Teddy and Jefferson come in. Hey, anything’s better than the dorms.

So far so good. Until Noelani’s former fiancé Beau–also Emmett’s former best friend–rolls back into town. Panicked over the return of their old feelings for the rough-riding badass, Noelani and Emmett decide the only sensible ‘save’ is to get married. Of course. Teddy and Jefferson both know that’s a bad idea, and that those two are going to need their friends more than ever. That means only one thing: no choice but to raise the white flag and join forces.

Pros: free rein for sexual hijinks in the name of ‘getting along’. Cons: Easier said than done.

Despite it all, Teddy and Jefferson are also discovering that they have more fun fighting with each other than they would kissing anyone else. Maybe–maybe–they’re falling in love. But when Beau reveals the real reason for his return and everything turns topsy-turvy for everyone involved, is their new alliance strong enough to save the day?

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Review: I am a fan of Willa Okati’s writing and have read several of her stories in vastly different genres. This is the first romantic comedy I have read by her, and I really enjoyed it.

Jefferson and Teddy are about as different as two guys can be. Teddy is a flame-haired, flamboyant party boy. Jefferson is a serious student and soccer player. They have two things in common – their friends (and romantic couple) Noelani and Emmett, and they are both into guys. When there are two rooms available to rent in the off-campus house that Emmett has just purchased, they also end up being housemates.

They definitely get on each other’s nerves. No matter what Jefferson says, Teddy takes it as an insult or a dig at his sexuality and self-expression. Jefferson can’t for the life of him understand why Teddy is ALWAYS mad at him. But they both like the living quarters and want to support their friends.

Noelani has had a rocky road and a really tough time after her former fiancé took off and left her. She and Teddy are a team, and they definitely have each other’s backs. When Emmett, Noalani’s ex’s best friend, woos her, she returns to old herself and is once again happy. Teddy wants to make sure she stays that way, and Jefferson wants to make sure that Emmett is happy as well.

Just when things are starting to get into a pretty smooth rhythm, the ex, Beau, returns. This throws Noelani into a panic and sets off a chain of events that might lead to the breakup of Noelani and Emmett, and sends Teddy into an absolute rage. In order to thwart any ideas Beau has of coming between their friends, Jefferson and Teddy make a pact to stop him. And hey, if there’s a friends with benefits kind of arrangement to go with it, then so much the better. Turns out there is a lot of stress that needs relieving. ;)

I don’t want to get too spoilery, but Jefferson and Teddy try to work their way through the mess that seems to be stirred up with Beau’s return. Nobody is quite sure what his motivations are or what his real goal is in making his unexpected return. Let’s just say that there is definitely a surprise in store for every single one of these characters. And, it seems that there have been a lot of plots and machinations going on behind the scenes that many of the characters are oblivious to throughout the book.

This is a really cute story, and Jefferson and Teddy are fun characters. We feel for Jefferson as he really struggles with trying to figure Teddy out. We empathize with Teddy’s prickly demeanor since he’s definitely been on the receiving end of some pretty unfair assumptions and certain biases. Noelani and Emmett are good supporting characters that definitely provide a different layer to the story. And Beau is an enigma that we don’t really understand until well into the story. I definitely recommend Best Laid Plans for those looking for an entertaining and funny story with some tension thrown in for good measure.

 

 

 

You can buy Best Laid Plans here:

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4.5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Narration Rating - 4.5 Stars, Renae Kaye, Reviewed by Karen

Audio Review: Shawn’s Law by Renae Kaye – Narrated by Casey Hunter

Title:  Shawn’s Law

Author:  Renae Kaye

Narrator: Casey Hunter

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Run Time:  6 hours and 19 minutes

At a Glance:  All of the crazy shenanigans that happen around Shawn due to “Shawn’s Law” were brought to life wonderfully with Casey Hunter’s narration.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb:  Shawn is single, twenty-nine, the full-time carer of his Alzheimer’s-stricken mother, and a frequent victim of Murphy’s Law—although his family calls it Shawn’s Law. Other than caring for mum, his day consists of painting nude men and spying on the guy who walks his dogs along the street every day at four o’clock. When Shawn takes a spectacular fall on his front steps, who is there to witness it other than the man of his dreams?

Harley doesn’t believe in Shawn’s Law—but he soon changes his mind.

The two men make it through a memorable first date and Shawn’s sexual insecurities to begin a relationship stumbling toward love. But when Shawn’s Law causes Harley to be injured, Shawn is determined to save Harley’s life the only way he knows how—by breaking up with him. Not once, but twice. Throw in a serial killer ex-boyfriend, several deadly Australian animals, two dogs called Bennie, a mother who forgets to wear clothes, an unforgiving Town Council, and a strawberry-flavored condom dolly, and Shawn’s Law is one for the books.

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Review:  Shawn’s Law is one of those feel good, happy, laugh out loud stories, and when I read it I loved it! I was so happy when I saw the audiobook come up for review.

Casey Hunter is a new narrator to me and after listening to Shawn’s Law I will definitely be happy to listen to more by him. Right from the beginning I was sucked back into Shawn and Harley’s story.  All of the crazy shenanigans that happen around Shawn due to “Shawn’s Law” were brought to life wonderfully with Casey’s narration.  The difference in the character voices were distinct enough that I was able to know who was speaking at any given time without it being stated.

The only thing I can think of that may be an issue or distraction for some people is that the story is set in Australia, but the narration has no Australian accent, so there are times where there are words or phrases that are definitely Australian, but the voice doesn’t go along with the words, and until something was said or a place was mentioned, I would forget that it was even set in Australia. For me this wasn’t really an issue, I don’t think that it took anything away from the story, but I could see how some people might not like it.

This is the second of Renae Kaye’s books that I have listened to on audio, and I am a big fan of both. I would definitely recommend Shawn’s Law!

TNA_Signature_Karen

 

 

 

You can buy Shawn’s Law here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

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4.5 Stars, Alex Carreras, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed By Carrie, Wilde City Press

Review: The Sangre Series by Alex Carreras

Title: The Sangre Series

Author: Alex Carreras

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count: 201 Pages

At a Glance: Read this book, enjoy this book, but don’t take this book too seriously – enjoy it with a smile.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: THREE STORIES – ONE BOOK

In the city of Sangre, Florida, vampires and humans coexist happily until one ancient and powerful vampire decides to mess up the entire thing. The hairdressers at Everlasting Salon who service vampires and humans alike decide to face the threat that lands on their doorstep enlisting the barbers across the street for a fight to the finish. Chaos ensues when fists fly, but it’s not all bad when old flames reunite and new relationships take root and grow. Between the clandestine meetings and vigilante justice, the vampires find love in unexpected companions, hoping to get some TLC along the way.

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Review: Sangre Series: Buzz and Blow, Shave and Shimmer, Fade and Fluff

Welcome to Everlasting, the happening beauty salon for the undead, located in the seaside town of Sangre, Florida. Sangre is a sanctuary city for vampires, the city opening its proverbial doors to peaceful coexistence with the immortals. Everlasting is located right across the street from Killer Kuts, a barbershop full of oh-so-bad good guys. The shop is owned by Jerrod, and he and his two employees, Asher and Tory, work on giving their clients looks to die for. The three short stories in this book are about them.

Buzz and Blow: Asher Riots has been at Everlasting for years. “Have you always been a hairdresser? Niko asked. “As long as I can remember,” Asher answered honestly. “My parents were hairdressers and they apprenticed me. Beauty is in my blood, warm or cold.”

Not as ancient as Jerrod, he still worked on the hair of Marie Antoinette, so his age is nothing to scoff at. Men have come and gone for Asher, but he has never found his one true love. Niko is the owner of Killer Kuts and is longing for peace, finally, in his life, and a good man to share it with. His search for a quiet life has led him to Sangre.

Asher and Niko’s story is the first in the book and sets the stage for the others that follow. These are lighthearted stories at the core and even though they have to defeat ancient evil to get a HEA, it happens and all is well for a time.

Shave and Shimmer is about Tory and Ray. Tory is your quintessential vampire twink, and Ray is a haunted soul trying to recover from the loss of his last boyfriend. Tory and Ray, on the surface, don’t have much in common except that “Ray had always preferred the opposite of his stature. He preferred someone he could curl tightly into his chest and kiss the top of his head, a pint sized hunk.”

This is a story about fighting your own demons and coming out on top, with the help of a really good man who’s not afraid of hair gel or a little—maybe a lot—of shimmer.

Fade and Fluff is about Jerrod and Kairon. First loves for centuries after they were turned, they have gone their separate ways, coming back together intermittently through the course of time to reconnect and remind each other why they can’t seem to live without each other. They have a can’t-live-with-him/can’t-live-without-him kind of history. The ancient evil rears his ugly head in this story also, because, yeah, the really bad guy is never dead the first time around, and Jerrod and Kairon are forced to put aside all the petty differences and work together and defeat the evil. The moral of Fade and Fluff is that love can truly last forever.

These are lighthearted books created with humor and not much angst. Yeah, these couples have to overcome obstacles, but that is not the story. The story is the men and their HEA. Read this book, enjoy this book, but don’t take this book too seriously – enjoy it with a smile.

TNA_Signature_Carrie







 

You can buy The Sangre Series here:

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C.C. Dado, Dreamspinner Press, Giveaways

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Imposter in Zebra-striped Briefs Blog Tour With C.C. Dado

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The Novel Approach welcomes author C.C. Dado today, on the Imposter in Zebra-striped Briefs blog tour.

It takes a sense of humor to come up with a title like that, so I asked C.C. to chat a bit about that. And, there’s also a chance for you to enter to win and e-copy of the book by clicking on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck!

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Hi Lisa,

I would say my humor is self deprecating but lighthearted. For me romance has never been, eyes catching across a crowded room, followed by sexy dancing. It’s more like tripping and smacking my face on the ground in front of the guy I’ve been secretly eyeing all night. With me it’s awkward romance, where they can’t help but fall for you because you’re so unintentionally adorable. As far as the zebra-stripes, no big story there, it was just what I pictured in my head when I wrote the scene.

Thanks for having me,

C.C. Dado

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CC Dado CoverBlurb: When recent college graduate Nathan Harris makes a life-changing move out from under his mother’s thumb and into his own place, he is determined to take some risks. He is tired of not being good enough, tired of allowing his fears to control him.

What he thought would be an exciting adventure ends up being one jaw-dropping mishap of embarrassment after another, leaving him with a life he doesn’t even recognize anymore.

His once boring, lonely existence has been replaced by a brownstone filled with colorful friends, a rough around the edges, tattooed bad boy best friend, and a stripper for a boyfriend who’s not even sure he’s gay.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

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Author BioAbout the Author: I write painfully awkward, usually embarrassing, romance because long confident gazes followed by sexy dancing never happens to me.

I am a native of the Pacific Northwest, and will probably never leave since I’m a hypochondriac sundae, with claustrophobic sprinkles, and a cherry of anxiety on top. I read and write to relax my mind and I love getting lost in someone else’s story, even if it is only for a little while.

Follow C.C. Dado On Twitter

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THE GIVEAWAY

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Ethan Day, Reviewed by Jules, Romantic Comedy, Wilde City Press

Audio Review: As You Are by Ethan Day – Narrated by Jason Frazier

Audio Gem

Title: As You Are

Author: Ethan Day

Narrator:: Jason Frazier

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Run Time: 5 Hours, 51 Minutes

At a Glance: In a word – FABULOUS.

Reviewed By: Jules

Blurb: Operation Danny….

That’s all bartender and recent college graduate, Julian Hallowell has had on his mind for the past year. Julian may have no idea what he wants to do with his life, but he definitely knows he’s in love with the boy next door: the one in the next room to be exact, his roommate, Danny Wallace.

Danny owns a used textbook store just off campus, and while Julian has done his level best to make Danny fall for him, all his hard work appears to have been in vain. Danny doesn’t seem to view Julian as anything other than that–a roommate and friend. So when new guy in town Andy Baker asks him out on a date, Julian can’t think of a good reason to say no.

Julian has already instituted a Reverse Operation Danny plan, which he’s positive will purge all thoughts of love and lust for his roomie out of his head. He’s ready to move on and start looking for his next Mr. Right, and Andy just might fit the bill.

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Review: In a word – FABULOUS. Jason Frazier’s performance of Ethan Day’s As You Are will blow you away. And make no mistake that it is a performance. There is no droning or awkward narration here. Jason’s performance is a tour de force, including at least eight different voices, and covering the entire spectrum of emotions.

We can’t give ALL of the credit to Frazier, though; he had some pretty fantastic material to work with after all. As You Are is hilarious. I can’t tell you how many times I laughed out loud, or simply realized I had a goofy grin on my face while listening. I’m sure my fellow commuters had a chuckle at my expense on more than one occasion as I made my way to and from work. It’s not just a funny book, however. There are also many poignant and touching moments to go along with the biting social commentary and awesome pop culture references.

A huge part of what makes this book so good are the characters themselves. They must have been so much fun to perform. I couldn’t possibly adore Julian more, and while, of course, he and Danny are front and center, I also got a huge kick out of Julian’s best friend Gabby, as well as Julian’s mother, Delilah Hallowell. I love, love, loved me some Delilah.

There are so many memorable moments in this audio it’s difficult to highlight just a few – and I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will tell you there is a football game in the park that is pee-your-pants funny, and if you weren’t completely in love with Julian before his ‘sobbing while watching Anne of Green Gables’ moment, you will be afterward. There is also a hysterical dinner party scene, as well as some absolutely blush-worthy sexytimes. I’m not kidding when I tell you I had to fan myself while listening to parts of this book. Jason Frazier’s voice is like butter, people! Butter!

I highly recommend this one. As a general rule, I’m not a big fan of audiobooks, but Jason Frazier has converted me. Full stop. I fear he has ruined me for other narrators, though, so he had better keep getting gigs! ;)






You can buy As You Are here:

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Audible.com

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