Saving the Seal Baby Daddy – Katie Knight

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Author: Katie Knight
Pages: 251

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When Maria Blanchard asked Navy Seal Trevor Daniels to father a child with her, no strings attached, Trevor had no idea just how explosive his chemistry would be with the fiery woman who had been a wallflower during their high school years. He vowed never to contact her again after the positive pregnancy test. A year later, when one of Trevor’s dark ops missions ends with the death of his captain and suspicions aimed at him, Maria’s the only investigator he knows who can help him crack the case.

Maria Blanchard had been raised to be a proper Southern Belle, an archetype so wrong for her she’d retreated into books during her high school years. When the police academy finally gave her the guts to be the strong woman she’d always desired, she realized she didn’t need anyone to achieve her dreams. Not to get her dream job, and certainly not to get her dream baby. Still, when her childhood crush agreed to father her baby, she hadn’t expected her heart to open along with her legs.

When Trevor shows up on Maria’s doorstep in need of her help, he calls in his favor. However, being wanted for a military crime means that Maria won’t just be helping Trevor, she’ll be harboring a fugitive, and the father of her child. Unable to say no, when her pride and her heart are screaming yes, Maria agrees to help Trevor one final time before they break ties.

But as their bond grows stronger and love ignites, it becomes a rush to save Trevor’s life before they lose out on a future they could only dream of.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book covers in the romance genre are usually meant as a bait. I do not mind that at all, it’s just part of the game. I’m much more against weird titles that do not make any justice to the book. Saving the SEAL Baby Daddy screams all the worst things for the genre that I can imagine; but, actually, the book is much better than the nightmare going on on my head before starting the story.

In this book we meet Trevor, a young SEAL soldier who is being wrongly accused of his captain’s death. Luckily for him, he knows a great private investigator, Maria, and asks for her help so they can clear up his name. So far, nothing special. The twist is, Maria’s daughter is also Trevor’s daughter. The daughter he swore to stay away from…

Let’s begin with the part that has suprised me: the investigation to prove Trevor’s innocence. With that title, I was expecting that part to be almost like an afterthought. Something to mention now and then between bouts of sex. Thankfully, it has much more weight than that, which makes the book a lot more enjoyable. Is there romance? Of course. Are there sex scenes? You bet! Is all well balanced with good timing? YES! And that, sadly, is a rara avis in the “fast processed” kind of book.

Even though I liked the story, it didn’t satiate my hunger for it. The ending is nice (the good guys win, in case you were wondering…); but, during the investigation, several clues are dropped that suggerst the issue was much bigger than expected. That it must go pretty high in the food chain. They caught the small fish, solved Trevor’s problem and they moved on… I have the feeling the real bad guys are still at large. And that saddens me a little.

My biggest issue with this book are the characters. I will start with Maria. I only have this one book to judge her, but I can’t picture her in good light. She is a fraud. We are told she is the ultimate private investigator, but the only thing she does is calling friends to do the real work… Thankfully she doesn’t take all the credit, but I wouldn’t be surprised otherwise. I didn’t like her as a PI, but as a mom she is even worse. A single parent is like a superhero. No way around that. Most of them are single parents not by choice, so when Maria took the step to become one she did something really brave. But then, her stupidity took the best of her. Rising a daughter by your own means is a nice life goal, but you have to always think about the kid first. Writing a contract to ban the father and his family for ever seeing your daughter (when you have a good relationship with them) is one of the most selfish things I have ever read. Why do you do that to youself and, more importantly, to your own kid? Under any circuntansces you should have a kid on your own just to make a point no one really cares about…

And the fact that Trevor goes along with that doesn’t help to make me like him. We are told he is the sweetest, most honorable, most loyal, the most of the most guy on our planet. But somehow he doesn’t think twice about signning a contract to renounce of his daughter. That doesn’t scream honorable, precisely. The author tries to save the day telling us that Trevor stalked his daughter through social media, but that only makes things worse. Do you care or not? Make up your mind!!

All that situation is a plot mess and, if that part were the main focus, the book would have been very forgettable and with a much lower mark. That’s why we have always been told that we should not judge a book by its cover or, in this case, by its title.

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2019 – Book Gallery

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Can’t Text This – Teagan Hunter

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Author: Teagan Hunter
Series: Texting #3

Pages: 342

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“Hi Monty. Wanna see my python?”
That’s how I ended up in the bathroom of some dive bar with a stranger.

Me, Monty Andrews, the quintessential virgin girl next door.

I was so out of my element, but there was no denying our explosive attraction, even via text.

Commence Operation Bang Each Other Out of Our Systems, because that was all it was–unfinished business.

I had no intention of falling back into the sheets with the tattooed, muscly, dirty-in-the-best-kind-of-way single dad over and over again…but I did.

Everything was going great–until we discovered I was his son’s teacher.

After reading a book that drained me emotionally (in all the good meanings), picking a Romantic Comedy by Teagan Hunter was exactly what I needed. I know there are many big names in that genre thar are hugely acclaimed, but, in my humble opinion, Teagan is the new Queen of that genre. Her style is a hurricane of fresh air that has given me new hope for a genre I thought it was stuck.

This time we meet Monty (or Montana), a teacher whose strict upbringing has made her a bit shy in the relationship department. On the other hand, we have Robbie, a single-parent thar may look like a bad boy, but he is far from one. They meet at a bar, Monty’s alcohol level makes her more open-minded and end in the bathroom where they exchange much more than a few kisses. After that, Monty ran… Will she be able to get over the initial shame and have some fun? Will Robbie be able to drop his womanizer behaviour and court her properly?

Even though I love the whole book, the first half is much stronger than the second one. The sense of humor in those first text exchanges are an amazing source of laughter that leaves the reader in serious need of medical attention. My whole body hurt due to the convulsions from the bursts of sincere laughter that I had every minute. I love Teagan’s sense of humor. It is just perfect for the Romance genre. The banter is crazy fun, full of surreal exchanges and perfectly used sexual innuendos. Those last tend to make me cringe in other books (where everything is shaped like a penis…), but in this one they just enhance its comedic side to a very high level.

My only complaint about the book is that is rather uneventful. The fact that Monty is the teacher of Robbie’s son was there in the blurb, but it doesn’t appear in the story until much later (about 70%). That was a bit disappointing, because it could have been a nicer and longer drama if it were presented earlier. By the time the characters find that bit of info, they were so invested in each other that the solution to the issue was easier than expected. I may not have liked that, but it’s not big enough to be a problem for the enjoyment of the book. The superb banter distracts the reader from any possible shortcomings of the story.

Teagan is not only a Master Joker, she is also really great creating characters and given them a special voice. I always fall in love with them and the male counterparts are sure candidates for my list of book boyfriends. Robbie is not an exception. Not only he is the epitome of Eye Candiness (even though I would prefer less ink…), he is a good humored guy, with a golden heart and a great father. A self-made person who is a the perfect role model for everyone who doesn’t believe in second chances. If you are willing to change your life, just do it. I also love his mischievous ways around Monty and how naturally charming he is (it doesn’t feel forced at all). And he is just the right amount of cocky to enhance his sexiness. No wonder Monty found him so infurating!! He may not be perfect, but it is hard to find something wrong about him… *sigh* Book boyfriend!!!

Not long ago I was told by the author that this saga is not called Text. That Goodreads got that wrong somehow. Sadly, the saga continues unnamed, which drives the freak organitzational nerd inside me a little mad. So I’ll keep using the wrong name until there is something official or I could lose my mind (I’m weird that way). The same day I discovered the truth about the wrong name, I also learn that the next book in the saga is also the last, so reading the fourth one is going to feel like a goodbye for really good (and insanely hot) characters. I will need to check more of her works to fill the hole they are going to leave…

EDIT: Finally, the saga has been officially named Texting!!

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2019 – Book Gallery

Easy Going – Erin Nicholas

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Author: Erin NIcholas
Series: Boys of the Big Easy #0.5
Pages: 56

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A sexy, New Orleans bartender with a panty-melting grin and a panty-dropping drawl.
A little jazz.
A few beignets.
And ONE hot weekend…

Yep, just one.

Supposedly.

It seems I haven’t started enough sagas already, so I wanted to add one more to see the following books yelling at me for not paying them enough attention. I can’t help myself, though. Goodreads is for me like a candy shop for a kid (although I also share that feeling…). This short story was free on Amazon, so it was perfect as a starting point. Too bad the story itself is rather forgettable.

Here we meet Gabe, the über sexy male specimen who is the owner and bertender of a popular bar in New Orlenas. On the other hand we have Addison, a businesswoman from New York, who is visiting a mutual friend in New Orleans. Gabe has been dreaming about her since some accidental texting between the two of them and now she in his bar…

I now the word easy is right over there in the pretty title. but I was not expecting that adjective to be so notorious in such a short story. Just a couple of words between them and everything is rolling. If that were all of it, then I wouldn’t have any issue. But this is supposed to be the prologue for the next book where the relationship between Gabe and Addsion should develop. But… is there really anything else to tell? They have already met, they have already flirted, they have already have sex and they have already missed each other savagely. That is usually the end. I thought the following book would have a bit of drama due to Gabe being a single parent and maybe Addison wasn’t OK with it. But she is also a single parent, so I can’t see how any real drama can develop from that situation.

This story is too much for such little room, but that is not the main problem of it. I need to talk about the huge elpehant in the room that every single one in the bar ignores and it’s pretty insulting. I’m talking about the mutual friend of Gabe and Addison: Elena. She is also friends with Logan (Gabe’s brother) and a couple of firefighters that are usual customers. All of them are at the bar the night Gabe and Addison meet each other. And all of them take part in a pretty rude and childish game that a so-called friend doesn’t deserve. All of them treat Elena as if she were an idiot, treating her like the kid in the adults table. And no one cares!! It is so annoying! Addison even lies to Elena to avoid spending the weekend with her… I know maybe I should not take the situation like that. That everything was done in good spirits and without real malice. I beg to defer, though. Friends shouldn’t behave like that under any circunstances.

And Gabe should at least think a little bit about his son, don’t you think? I bet he barely sees him due to a crazy schedule, but he is incapable of sparing a thought about him and he is 100% focus on Addison. Let the mother and the uncle take care of him… Pretty mature… And don’t make me start about his speeches during sex!! What was that?? How can anyone talk so much just seconds before the climax?? I guess at that point I was so pissed due to Elena’s situation that I was seeing red every step of the way…

I want to end with a positive note: the cover is amazing! I love the colourful title and the guy doesn’t hurt the eye, either.

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2019 – Book Gallery

You’re the One – Lia Jordan

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Author: Lia Jordan
Series: Reckoning on ice #1
Release day:  March 19th 2019
Pages: 208

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With just one puck, my life went from complicated to damn near perfect

I’ve had my fair share of bad nights and the anniversary of my sister’s murder is always one of them. Every year, I just pray for something to take the pain away and help me forget. This year, my prayer was answered.

It’s opening game night and the antidote to my pain just stepped onto the ice: An angel with long brunette locks and crystal blue eyes, picked from the crowd to try to score on me, the goalie. The second I lay eyes on her, I’m determined to have her. I’ll even let the puck pass me; let her score now just so I’ll be the one who ends up scoring later. Once that puck hits the net, I’m hooked. She shows me there’s more to life than I’ve ever known, but all good things come to an end and I never saw this one coming…

Can I let go of my past so I can have her and her daughter in my future?

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Here you have a little bit of information about myself that you haven’t requested: I hate roller coasters. I’m incapable of stomaching the constant ups and downs of that invention from Hell. With this book I have had the same feeling. One moment it was there, going strong for a 5-star review and suddenly it starts falling witthout any hope of getting up again.

In this book we follow Trevor, a famous hockey player who is nurturing a void in his heart since the death of his sister. And Lauren, a single mother going through a tough period where bills are getting too big for her income. The hand of Fate made the path of both of them to cross with an irregular first impression, but Trevor took up the quest of sliding a puck through Lauren’s goal and there is nothing stopping him… (I have no clue about hockey; so, sorry if my attempt of poetry was absurd)

I must admit that the first 60% or 70% of the book is very enjoyable. I was absolutely in love with the dance between the main characters. You can tell that Trevor is not used at all to deal with feelings deeper than a quicky in the back of a bar, so his extravgant attempts of courting Lauren are endearing. It was a pretty risky move the author took, because it could totally look like the hockey player was buying Lauren’s affection. I honestly think he is clueless and that is just his sloppy way of trying to show his love. The fact that she resists him every step of the way is a big plus for the well-being of the story. I love this kind of slow dances in Romance novels, where the main characters just take their time to get comfortable with each other before dropping their clothes.

Another detail I love about the book is Trevor’s cutish way of struggling with the demon in his shoulder. You know, the little fella in his head who just wanted to grab Lauren as a caveman and took her to his lair since day one. That little demon he has been listening to for far too long. So it was great to read how he made the effort to mute the demon in his shoulder to start taking advice from the angel in the other one. Always a pleasure for the reader when a bad boy gets smitten by love. His patience, his eagerness to be better, his relationship with Chloe, his constant grin and his fit body should have granted him a position on the book boyfriend list… But everything implodes dramatically.

I was devouring the book. Incapable of putting it down. Everyday after work I just wanted to get home to reunite with Trevot and Lauren. But then… Chapter 32 happens. That chapter is the equivalent of the Order 66 from Star Wars. It must have been some kind of hidden code to change the characters and story drastically. The beloved characters become very fast some of the most hideous ones. Trevor, who was perfectly charming until then, becomes a cold, mean, cruel, possessive, annoying guy who has no business in the story. Lauren’s behaviour also takes a turn for the worst seeking some really unhealthy exchanges with his so-called lover. It gets so bad, that the happy ending we get is pure smoke. I can’t believe in that couple any longer. I have the feeling they are jus pretending…

After that chapter, there are many details that unnerve me and made the reading a very unpleasant moment of my day. After that milestone, the book becomes something ugly with many dramas pretty bad handled. I couldn’t see any good way to end the torture; so, when everything is solved almost effortless, I couldn’t get along with it. The sex scenes are also affected by the before mentioned change in the storytelling. During the first chapters, the slow cooked meal was the perfect setting for really interesting and hot encounters. But after that infamous chapter… Plain horrible to read.

I have yet to decide if I will read the following books. Colt and Nathan are cool characters, but so was Trevor. Oh, well. I believe in second chances, so I guess I will take a look at them to test the waters.

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2019 – Book Gallery

Wildcard: Volume Three – Missy Johnson

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Author: Missy Johnson
Series: Wildcard #3
Pages: 110

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She’s hiding something from me and I need to know what it is.
I’ve done so many things I never thought I’d do for this woman and it kills me that she’s lying to me.
How can I make her see that she can trust me?
Do I want to know the truth?
Sometimes things are easier when they’re left unsaid…

With this third part of Wildcard I finish a saga I started a long time ago. This is part of my let’s-finish-them resolution. Already December and this is the first one I have finished… about 50 more to go. Obviously, the resolution will still be active in the following years (and possibly in other lifes, if you believe in such things).

The second part ended with Scarlett hiring a hitman to take out her ex-boyfriend and with Ryder paying to the later a lot of money to leave Scarlett and Jake alone. There are too many secrets boling and, to put the cherry on top, Jake is again very sick…

Finally, the big bad secret of Scarlett is out in the world to be properly dissected. And yes, it was as bad as the author makes us believe during the previous books. It’s a crime she comitted willingly in order to get rid of Tony, her ex-boyfriend. It ended badly: rape. That is why she is so scared of letting Tony tell anyone. Scarlett doesn’t want to give Fate the chance to pull her apart from Jake. Hiring a hitman is a bit extreme, but the love of a mother is boundless…

Buuut, for some reason I still don’t understand, the author ignores the hitman bluntly. I mean, he is mentioned now and then, but he never fulfills his mission. I know some lowlifes beat him to it, but… shouldn’t he return the money? Or at least say something? I have no idea if he had any intention of doing it. Was he a conman? If that is the case… was Scarlett’s friend on it? I know it’s stupid, but I feel there is a whole book out there that for some reason wasn’t told.

Apart from that, I must repeat myself in my adoration towards Ryder. I feel so comfortable reading his point of view. He is such a nice guy with a cocky sense of humor that adds many layers to the enjoyment of the book. Once again, his interactions with Callie are the best part. I’m going to miss this guy like crazy, although he has a couple of huge missteps: the breaking and entering into Scarlett’s house to sort through her things and impersonating her to exchange some messages with Scarlett’s friend. With any other guy, it would be the end of my love for him. With Ryder, even though I don’t like it a tiny bit, I know it comes from a good place. He is worried sick about her and he doesn’t have the experience to deal with such emotions. He was a colder than ice jerk and he barely knows what to do with the warm sensation in his chest… So, yeah, big mistakes are bound to happen. Good to know he is a really fast learner.

Missy could have skipped the usual ending of a Romance Book: the I-barely-know-you-but-here-you-have-an-engagement-ring ending. It made me cringe a little bit, but if I’m being honest, it wasn’t as bad as in other books. I guess I can forgive Ryder even the most repetitive mistake of the Romance genre!!

According to the prmotions at then end, there is a book starred by Callie. Too bad it doesn’t say the title. I’ve lookng through Missy’s book, but I haven’t been able to find it. There is a fair chance of meeting Ryder in that one…

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2018 – Book Gallery

Wildcard: Volume Two – Missy Johnson

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Author: Missy Johnson
Series: Wildcard #2
Pages: 75

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I’m so fucking pissed off that she would do this to me.

I really thought we had something, but instead, I’m left feeling like an idiot.

All I want to do is go back home and forget the last few weeks ever happened, but I’m stuck in this stupid country teaching tennis to spoiled rich kids who care less about playing than I do.

All I want to do is forget about her.

But things are never that easy, are they?

I got the first volume of Wildcard for free in Amazon a long time ago. I loved it. The main characters were very fun to read. I purchased the next two volumes, but I forgot about them until now. Now, Wildcard is a single book; but I will read them as they were originally released. Let’s review the second one!!

If you don’t remember (I barely did), the first one ended with a massive cliffhanger. Scarlett was kissing his ex in front of Ryder. Obviously there must be something else behind that act, but the tennis player is pretty angry and jelous. Jelousy that only grows bigger in the second book when Scarlett avoids him for a while. Later we learn that the ex is blackmailing her, so Ryder puts on his best white knight armor to protect her.

This book, as the previous one, is very simple and easy to read; but Ryder is such a great character that the time invested is worthy. Granted, it’s a short book; so no much time is needed to finish it. His arrogance and cockiness drive everyone crazy in many senses, but it’s so much fun for the reader! You can tell that deep down he has a really big heart and that he cares for the wellness of the people around him. His coaching lessons are the best part of this second volume… Has he found a Nemesis?? And the banter with Josh!! It’s kind of heartwarming to read a couple of guys that are rivals in the tennis court, but best friends out of it.

Ryder’s jelousy attack doesn’t last long and Scarlett is capable of explaining to him what her ex is trying to accomplish. He helps her as best he can, but Ryder is not a warrior; so Scarlett has a plan B that I guess we will see in motion in the third volume. Will Tony accept Ryder’s money or will he face the hitman? By the way, how can Scarlett afford to pay the hitman and not her ex? It’s the same amount of money.

I’m also worried about Scarlett’s son. He is in the hospital due to some breathing issues… I hope he is OK. It must be hard for Scarlett to keep away from her son in order to protect him from his father. That reminds me of the secret she is still hiding… What is that thing so terrible that his ex is using against her?? Will that put in danger her relationship with Ryder once again? The player is having some trouble trusting her…

I also need to mention that the three books have some really nice stock photos as covers. The simple composition is perfect. Too bad the are so many words all over it…

The cliffhnager of this book is not as big as the one in the first volume. I wouldn’t even call it a cliffhanger. Anyway, I need to know how this will end; so I hope to read the third volume this year.

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2018 – Book Gallery

At Attention – Annabeth Albert

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Author: Annabeth Albert
Series: Out of Uniform #2

Pages: 304

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Lieutenant Apollo Floros can ace tactical training missions, but being a single dad to his twin daughters is more than he can handle. He needs live-in help, and he’s lucky a friend’s younger brother needs a place to stay. He’s surprised to see Dylan all grown up with a college degree…and a college athlete’s body. Apollo’s widowed heart may still be broken, but Dylan has his blood heating up.

It’s been eight years since the teenage Dylan followed Apollo around like a lovesick puppy, and it’s time he showed Lieutenant Hard-to-Please that he’s all man now—an adult who’s fully capable of choosing responsibility over lust. He can handle Apollo’s muscular sex appeal, but Apollo the caring father? Dylan can’t afford to fall for that guy. He’s determined to hold out for someone who’s able to love him back, not someone who only sees him as a kid brother.

Apollo is shocked by the intensity of his attraction to Dylan. Maybe some no-strings summer fun will bring this former SEAL back to life. But the combination of scorching desire and warm affection is more than he’d expected, and the emotion between them scares him senseless. No fling lasts forever, and Apollo will need to decide what’s more important—his past or his future—if he wants to keep Dylan in his life.

The first book of this saga, Off Base, was one of the first books I reviewed here and I LOVED it! I know is hard to equal or exceed what that first Out of Uniform story meant for me emotionally, so I’m not going to be too harsh with the second book. It doesn’t deserve any kind of venom. The second part is stil very good and I can’t wait to keep reading the series. Well, I will wait… I don’t like getting an overdose with sagas.

This time we meet Apollo, a 34 years old widow with two little girls and a huge house to take care. And we meet Dylan, the twenty something years old and younger brother of Apollo’s best friend. Both of them are openly gay, so we are not in the same Zack and Pike situation. It’s a trickier one, though. Apollo’s mother is about to travel abroad for several weeks and he needs help with the kids and the house. And Dylan needs a place to stay near his new job as summer camp teacher. So Dustin, Dylan’s brother, thinks the best idea is that his brother should live in Apollo’s house; so he can help the Lieutenant. The catch: Apollo’s is still mourning his husband and think his love and sexual life is over. And Dylan has had a long standing crush for his brother’s best friend that needs to take out of his system.

There is a lot of fun flirting coming from Dylan that makes Apollo uncomfortable, at least at first. Sooner rather than later he starts craving his new roommate. It’s a bit sad to see how he struggles with those moments. Somehow Apollo thinks he is being dishonest with Neal, his dead husband. The age difference doesn’t help at all and it’s the hot potato thrown in every single chapter. Maybe the author insists too much about that. It even seems that Dylan only wants to con Apollo into a relationship so that he can feel like a big man. I know that is not what Annabeth wanted to tell us, but sometimes that is what I get… And the soldier is a bit stubborn about that difference, too… It’s not such a big gap!! Stop looking at you as a 60-years-old man!!

That issue is so big during the whole book that I don’t truly believe the happy ending. Maybe that is because the author takes a huge leap with the last chapter. The proposal is totally anticlimatic and waaaaaay too soon. Those two need to talk a lot more before commiting to something like that. That end is the worst part of the book.

One of my favourite parts is the way Apollo finally deals with Neal’s death. There were moments along the book were Annabeth almost makes the mistake to convert Neal in some kind of villain, but thankfully she doesn’t go there full force. That would be sad and wrong. Apollo can fall in love with a new person and still love his former husband… It’s  human. We are capable of loving un unlimited amount of people. The way Apollo accepts that, talking with Neal aloud and expressing his feelings… Hands down, that is the best part of the book!!

I’m also have to point out that the sex scenes are really good. When Apollo discovers the power of a mirror… That was a hot read!!

The author also uses this book to introduce the next one: Ben & Maddox. I have the feeling their book is going to be a fun one!! Or maybe I’m totally wrong. I’ll read it sooner or later. This year if everything goes according to plan.

 

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2018 – Book Gallery