Review: Branded by Flames by Sean Michael

img_0321I’m still recovering from how HAWT this dragon-laced romance was. My fingers were burning and as long as you like kink in your stories (and lots of it), I recommend this one!

Shae is an artist who sculpts dragons, and when the new neighbors call the cops for welding in his front yard, he’s not in a good mood. Until he catches sight of a sexy firefighter.

Jake is a dragon, and he sees signs that Shae just may be the submissive he needs. Things get complicated quickly when Jake realizes the man has his family’s crest emblazoned on his body and with it, his dragon name – Jakob-meine.

What follows is an erotic adventure about finding love in unexpected places and being able to accept – and celebrate – in one’s true self.

The beginning of this book starts slow for me. Their interactions seem disjointed and a tad awkward. About a quarter of the way through, however, things heat up.  I like how Shae is a mature hero (a silver fox, if you will), and he makes Jake work for it. The plot has just enough backstory to keep it moving and more than enough internal conflict to keep me turning pages. And again, there’s kink on top of kink. I’ve read my share of kink, ya’ll, and even I had my brows shoot up a time or two.

Now, onto a few downsides. Something I’ve noticed in Sean Michael’s other books is the dialogue isn’t very realistic.  I can’t picture men saying some of these things, and I skimmed over certain parts that brought me out of the story.

One other point I find important is that Shae, in particular, morphs into a different character in my head. Shae is an older human male. By the middle of the story, I began picturing a young buck who is shy and uncertain. Granted, lots of changes come about, but I missed the confident, older tone he exhibits earlier in the book.

That, however, was the extent of my complaints. So, if you want your erotica EROTIC, pick this book up, stat! The shaky beginning dissipates, and Jake, the dragon, is to die for. I will definitely pick up the next book in this series. These dragons are too hot to miss!

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Review: Seeds of Eden by A.P. Watson

NOTE: Seeds of Eden is book one in The Concilium Series. It ends on a cliffhanger where book two will continue.

I’ve been on a scavenger hunt to find something inventive and unique – a story line that dares to take a concept and explore it. That’s exactly what Seeds of Eden by A.P. Watson gives us as she mixes two starkly different genres: romance and horror.

33033879Evey is an average high school senior. Well, if one doesn’t count the recurring nightmares where she watches a boy with blue eyes be murdered again and again. Or, that said boy appears in her class claiming she’s way more than average.

Conrad has watched – and loved – his lady for centuries, and when the past comes calling, he takes up his mantle once more. But the war waits for no one, and Evey races to get her memories back and save the ones she loves.

Though the book had a rough start for me, around the 20% mark we start seeing the action, and I must say, this author can write the gory aspects to perfection! And again, how often do you see a book that’s horror and romance? The mixture just worked for me. The mystery casually reveals itself in raw and gritty fight scenes, and then the romance would come in with Evie and Conrad – sweet and poignant – and tie everything together.

The romance portion is relatively clean and super cute, a welcome transition from other books where the physical attraction becomes the primary focus. Instead, we see love in all its forms – obsessive, romantic, familial. They’re all jam packed into this biblical re-imagining.

Now, there were some times when the conversation wasn’t believable. I also found Evey is too trusting or too quick to agree. At one point in the story, Conrad decides something that affects them both, and Evey says “ok.” No discussion follows. I grew up in a family with seven women. No decision, whether heated or not, ever ends with a simple, “ok.”

But the amount of pressure this girl is under…whew! I admire Evey and major snaps for keeping her cool and not flinching when trouble knocks at her door. So, if you’re like me and looking for something out of the box – something different –  I’d pick up Seeds of Eden.

It checks the box.

**Received a NetGalley arc in exchange for an honest review**

3.5 Stars!

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Review: Finding Your Feet by Cass Lennox

As a librarian, I have made it my mission to diversify our shelves and read outside of my norm.  I ran across Finding your Feet by Cass Lennox as I browsed Netgalley, and fell in love with the premise as well as the characters.

Evie Whitmore meets an ace like her on Tumblr and travels to Toronto.  She accidentally auditions for a dance competition between two queer dance studios. The problem? She doesn’t dance. The kicker? Her partner is the enigmatic Tyler Davis.images

Tyler is a transgender teen who has been burned hard. He doesn’t want to teach a newbie to dance. Especially one he’s attracted to. That’s not even considering the one week timeline and the fact they are up against the premiere dance studio in Toronto.  What he doesn’t expect is Evie with her sharp wit and take-no-prisoners attitude.

Soon, it’s all they can do to separate their emotions when  dancing brings them so close together.

Evie was a refreshing character for me. She’s tough, and even though she hasn’t found the acceptance she needs from her family, she demands it of Tyler. It’s the kind of girl he needs, especially after the number his ex did on him. Evie just gets him.

…knowing that people came in a variety of genders and that sometimes people had to make physical changes to transition to their true gender was one thing; remembering it and applying it when looking at people—interrupting the socialized, automatic need to identify everyone’s presented gender—was another.

Their connection is immediate, an inexplicable attraction  that Tyler can’t deny, especially as his routine challenges them both to let go of their past.

She’d liked that he trusted her to handle him that way. No guy had ever asked her to lift him except as a dare. Tyler had been excited about it; he’d lit up as soon as he knew she was strong.

It had been quite a while since she’d spent time in another person’s space like that.

Tyler broke my heart throughout this book. The one woman he thought he had loved – that he had shared the intimacy of dancing with – drained his self-confidence. He has such fears that Evie will find him lacking in some way.

Which is ridiculous because when they dance together – talk and laugh and take selfies with Godzilla (Read the book ;)) – he’s so much more. Equal parts playful and serious; a leader, but a follower; confident but shy. It’s a combination that grabs Evie’s attention and doesn’t let go.

“See how easy you move now?” he pointed out.

She turned to face him, blushing but smiling. “Yes, I got it. Thank you for letting me vent. You’re good to talk to.”

Pride filled his chest. “Girl, I had so much therapy when I was younger, I should be charging you for this. Dr. Davis’s patented dance therapy.”

She stroked her chin thoughtfully. “I see, I see. I’m indeed grateful, Dr. Davis. Is this first consultation free?”

Ha. “Hey now, nothing’s free in this world.”

“Then how should I pay you, Dr. Davis?”

“For starters, you can stop stealing the lead.”

She dipped him. “Never.”

Which leads to the great and diverse cast of characters that Lennox brings to the stage – a true representation of what makes us human. Different and yet similar, all at once. Tyler is transgender, half black/half white. Evie is asexual. Gigi – Tyler’s best friend – is a homosexual male. And that’s simply naming a few characters.  Their dynamics together make them such a great and supportive group. I loved them all.

At first, I was confused on all the various players. There are a LOT of names and identities thrown out, so I had to reread to make sure I got everyone’s relationship – past and present – to the other. But seeing as I haven’t read book one in the Toronto Connections series, this librarian plans to make up for the oversight immediately.

I highly recommend this sweet and touching book which is guaranteed to pull at your heartstrings.