Review: “Darkest Hour Before Dawn” by Charlie Cochet

TITLE: Darkest Hour Before Dawn
AUTHOR: Charlie Cochet
SERIES: THIRDS
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: L.C. Chase
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense; Sci-Fi; Urban Fantasy; Shapeshifter
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 224 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 25, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 -paperback

  

BLURB:

THIRDS Team Leader Sebastian Hobbs and Chief Medical Examiner Hudson Colbourn are as much in love now as they were nearly seven years ago when a tragic event on the job destroyed their relationship. The two drift together only to be pulled apart time and time again. When Hudson draws the interest of dangerous enemies, both within and outside the organization, Seb wants nothing more than to protect the man who still means everything to him.

As life and death events, an uncertain future, and startling truths draw Hudson and Seb to each other yet again, they must make a choice: trust their love and take strength from what they share, or lose what matters most for good this time.


levilogooptimummFinally!

Since when were we waiting for Seb’s and Hudson’s story? It seems decades…but finally, it’s here…and I loved it! Every single word of it!

We know our sweet Hudson from quite the beginning of this series. He was always present, in the background, in almost every book, if not in all. We knew him as an English bloke, always calm, always with two feet on the ground. But we knew little about his background. Now, in this book, we will find out more…much more. Then with time, we learned that actually, Hudson is Sebastian Hobbs marked mate, but unfortunate events set them apart. Well, actually, Hudson set them apart, and we will learn why.

Even though Hudson decided to go separates ways, he can’t, he just can’t have anybody else in his life. He can’t move on, because…well…Seb is his mate!

The Doc’s relationship with Ninna is straggled too. She’s lying to him about her relationship with Seb’s brother Rafe the oldest of the Hobbs siblings, and it spoils his trust toward his best friend. Hudson is lonely…

Sebastian Hobbs, Team Leader for Theta Destructive, is tired of being apart from Hudson. He’s going out of his mind that he can’t be there 24/7 to protect his mate from the possible threats. Then when he gets called by Lieutenant Sonya Sparks, who offers him an interesting deal, Seb, very Therian like, told her to shove it. He doesn’t want to become a puppet of hers. But the threats are there, Hudson is in danger and the knowledge that his mate is stalked by Wolf, who tortured and almost killed Dex, doesn’t help either.

Events bring them together, events I know you wanna know but I’m not telling you…what?! Me?! mean?! Wow…I never expected from you to hear that…I’m offended!

No spoilers guys, but I promise you, you will not be disappointed. Although tissues needed! So go to your favorite shop and stock yourself with it…you’ll cry…a lot…the book is amazing. The story of these two is the most emotional of the series.

We learn about more characters too like Dom or Wolf. The Hobbs family…and the end…oh my, the end…tissues guys, tissues!

****The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book****

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Review: “A Day Makes” by Mary Calmes

TITLE: A Day Makes
AUTHOR: Mary Calmes
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Reese Dante
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Mystery/Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 19, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 -paperback
  

BLURB:

Mob enforcer Ceaton Mercer has killed a lot of people in a lot of different ways – he stashed the last two bodies in a toolshed belonging to a sweetheart marine researcher in an idyllic island community – but he’s really not such a bad guy. Over time he’s found a home of sorts, and he even learns he’s found a place in the hearts of the people he works with…at least enough so that they won’t put a bullet in his head because he’s outlived his usefulness to the boss.

But he never thought he’d find one day could change his life, and he’s about to discover how wrong he is.

Because in a single day, he meets the man who looks to be the one, the love of his life. It’s an improbable idea – a man who deals in death finding love – but it’s like it’s meant to be. That single day gets weirder and troubles pile up, forcing Ceaton to take a hard look at his dreary life and accept that one day can change everything, especially himself. His future might be brighter than he expects – if he can stay alive long enough to find out.


levilogooptimummAs we used to by now, this is another great story of Mary Calmes that will keep you on your toes for the entire story. There are so many strings that you can’t really guess the outcome of this story…

We will witness the book from Ceaton Mercer’s POV. Ceaton has an interesting personality. His morality, even being a mob enforcer are different from the other bad guys. Oh don’t get me wrong, he’s the bad guy everybody fears. He was a Marine, and after doing the right thing, he finds himself now without anything to do. He was “asked” to leave the Marine Corps, a conflict of interest you might ask but no, just the old, “When I say jump you say how high, Sir,” attitude. Well, Ceaton is not made like that. He’s very good at following orders, though, it soothes him, grounds him.

But then when he’s ready for the next step of his life, he got an offer to become an enforcer for the Serbian mob. We will witness his growth in that society and the bonding with his fellow comrades. Comrades you will come to love, they are funny, fears and they always have each other’s back. He feels like he’s in the Marine’s again. Ceaton is known for his loyalty, but that means nothing when you get suspicious that you maybe planning something. Then when the next step of his life is happening…

If I described Ceaton, I would say he’s like a calm ocean, strong, big and apparently offering you shelter. And what about Brin you may ask?

Brinley storms into his life with a force that disturbs the enforcer’s equilibrium pretty much. From the very beginning, Brin makes a claim on him, talking about their future…only after just one hour of meeting the guy! In Ceaton’s opinion the dude is crazy but deep down he can’t say no to those plans, can’t argue with Brin’s claims of him. He definitely got caught up in this whirlpool called Brin.

I finished this book in a couple of hours. It was a strong, romantic and some tear sharing read. Your heart goes out for Ceaton without reason. He’s calm, gathered and so compassionate. When he’s given up finding the one, is when Brin comes into his life. And in A Day Makes his life turns again in a way that he would never expected…

When I asked Mary last night if she plans to continue this story she said…well, I can’t really say what she said, can I? Yeah yeah, I know…I’m a tease…but that’s why you love me so much, don’t you?!

****The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book****

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Review: “Leap of Faith” by Jackie Keswick

TITLE: Leap of Faith
AUTHOR: Jackie Keswick
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Garrett Leigh
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 125 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 5, 2017
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book
  

BLURB:

Close friends and partners at FireWorks Security, Joel Weston and Kieran Ross know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They have each other’s backs, make a formidable team, and carefully ignore their volatile chemistry.

When Kieran struggles with the aftermath of an assignment gone wrong, Joel is there to help. When Joel is caught in an explosion, Kieran jumps into a burning marina to rescue the man who means so much to him. But they never discuss what’s closest to their hearts, not prepared to risk their friendship for the mere possibility of something more.

Faced with bombs, assassins and old ghosts, Joel and Kieran must find out why they’re targets, who is after them and—most of all—how each would feel if he lost the other. Can they continue as best friends, or is it time to take a leap of faith?


This book was a surprising little page-turner of a story. I was totally captivated from the start and was pretty gutted reading the last page because I wanted there to be more. It was almost everything I could have wanted in a book. There was action, mystery, edge-of-your-seat suspense and romance. A perfect little package really.

Joel Weston is an Army veteran who works for FireWorks Security, which is owned by his dad and uncle. His partner, Kieran Ross, an ex-DEA agent, has worked for the company for the last 4 years. Kieran is suffering from emotional distress after an innocent woman is killed by a suspect who had taken her hostage when he was trying to escape. Kieran blames himself for not being able to save the woman and hasn’t coped well since the incident. Joel’s father sends Joel to keep a close eye on Kieran to make sure he doesn’t come to any harm. Joel decides one of the days at Kieran’s house that enough is enough and Kieran needs to sort himself out, he suggests that they meet up with some other members of their team for lunch and an afternoon of fun. During their day out, the two men are passing the marina when they hear a woman scream and a man shouting. They run towards the commotion and see that the man is holding a child at gunpoint and pulling him towards a yacht in what looks like a domestic dispute. Joel doesn’t hesitate and chases the man on to the boat, almost as soon as he steps onto the yacht there’s an explosion which sends him and a lot of debris flying into the water. Kieran sees this and is consumed by worry and fear for his partner and friend. Without a second thought, he jumps into the water to try and rescue Joel and the young boy.

Kieran has been attracted to Joel for a long time, but has always hidden his feelings for the other man and has no intention of ever acting on them as he doesn’t want to lose or ruin the very close friendship and bond that they have. This brush with death brings out a very protective side of Kieran, and he doesn’t want Joel out of his sight and refuses to leave him on his own, even at the hospital. What Kieran doesn’t realise, is Joel has been having the same feelings and desires for him too, and is also scared of doing anything that would take their friendship to the next stage. The men and their team soon discover that everything is not as it seems, and what they thought was an accident at a marina is actually a complex plot that involves drugs, smuggling, assassination attempts and the cartel.

This book was the first I have read from this author, and I really liked it. It was well written, with a very interesting plot/storyline that wouldn’t be out of place on any well-known TV cop show. I was a little disappointed that sex scenes were short and that there were only a few but as it isn’t marketed as erotica then I guess I can’t really make a big deal of it. What I will say is that the book has an open ending, most questions are left unanswered for what I can only assume will be follow up books, even though it doesn’t state that it’s the first book of a series. It doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, which is good because I don’t think I could have waited in suspense for however long it takes for the next one to be released hehehe. A very enjoyable read and I would definitely recommend it if you like stories with a little bit of action and adventure along with the romance.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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Review: “Royal Service” by LJ Collins

TITLE: Royal Service
AUTHOR: LJ Collins
SERIES: Men in Love and at War
PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
COVER ARTIST: Carmen Waters
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Mystery/Suspense; Erotica
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 178 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 3, 2017
PRICE: : $4.99 -e-book
  

BLURB:

Wherever Berkeley goes, or whatever he does, drama follows. Having recovered from the ordeal of being the victim of an internet scam, his life returns to normal working at a five-star hotel selling VIP vacation club memberships to wealthy clients, and being with the love of his life, Captain Rick. That is until he finds Rick cheating on him with a woman. Feeling sad and lonely, Berkeley is enticed by the prospects of high earnings and a jet setter lifestyle when he’s approached by one of his clients to be a high-class escort.

Whilst he revels in being treated like a prince, he has to accommodate some strange and unusual sexual requests, and before long he’s caught up in a web of espionage between a transport conglomerate and a client who is developing a futuristic technology that will change the future of transport forever. Only Berkeley knows how he’s going to weave his way out of his new-found problem.


This book, is book 5 of the Men in Love and at War series. It may be beneficial to read the other books in the series first to get to know the characters and setting a little better because we’re not given much information at the outset of the story as to who they are or where they’ve come from. I went into this story blind not knowing it was a continuation of a series and although I got through it without any real issues, I feel it would have enhanced my reading experience by knowing what happened to the characters before we got to this point in their lives.

Set in a town called El Sauzal on the island of Tenerife, we meet the main character of the story, Berkeley. After breaking up with his boyfriend Rick, Berkeley, through his job selling memberships to a private vacation club, meets Peter Moore. Peter owns Royal Service which is a high-class escort agency and with some hands-on persuasion, he convinces Berkeley to come work for him. Berkeley’s first client is Sebastian who’s a multimillionaire living in the south of France. Sebastian doesn’t do relationships and whenever he needs some company he enlists the services of Peter’s agency. When Sebastian and Berkeley meet, they find that they actually get on really well and enjoy their time together. Sebastian later requests that Berkeley accompanies him on a trip to South America. During this trip Berkeley discovers that Sebastian has developed a new technology for travel which is similar to teleportation. Sebastian sees this as the future of travel, where someone can be anywhere in the world within seconds. A few weeks later, Berkeley’s asked to go to London to meet a new client who has asked for him. Here, he meets Frederick and straight away there’s a connection between them that is completely different to what he had with Sebastian. With Frederick, he feels more comfortable and relaxed and like he could actually fit in Frederick’s life and be happy. Frederick tells Berkeley that he’s the spokesperson for a group of people in the travel industry and that they know about Sebastian’s technology and want to stop it going further than the stage that it’s at as millions of jobs are at risk. He has been told by his bosses to convince Berkeley to steal the data from Sebastian and pass it on to them so as the research can be discredited.

As a character, Berkeley comes across as quite arrogant and materialistic, he only really thinks of himself and the money. Even though he enjoys being with Sebastian and Frederick and they are paying for his services, he always wants to do things on his terms. The story did flow well, but it was written almost like two halves, the first part where Berkeley becomes an escort and takes us through his experience of meeting new clients and dealing with their often strange requests and then the second part where he becomes an industrial spy and business guru. This had me slightly conflicted about the story because I didn’t know where it was trying to go. There were some twists which added excitement, but there were also some parts that were so cheesy I wanted to cringe. Although everything in this story is wrapped up and finalized, it’s left open for more books in the series to follow, the ending felt right for the story, and I’m happy with how the author completed this little adventure in Berkeley’s life.

In the end, I can’t say I loved the book, but I also didn’t hate it. Maybe if I had read the previous books in the series, I would have been able to connect to this story more, but I was left feeling indifferent. Will I read the other books in the series? The answer is maybe, I wouldn’t rule it out and it certainly hasn’t put me off reading other work by this author because it actually was a good story concept.

***The ARC was provided by eXtasy Books. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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Review: “Jaeger” By Evelise Archer

TITLE: Jaeger
AUTHOR: Evelise Archer
SERIES: Order of the Black Knights
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Paul Richmond
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense, Urban Fantasy
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 10, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 -paperback
  

BLURB:

US Marshal Jaeger Tripp is assigned to the Federal Witness Protection Program. The hurt and destruction he’s seen—along with protecting criminals who are only cooperating with the authorities to keep themselves out of jail—have left him with a bleak and jaded view of both life and people. His current assignment is Wren O’Riley, a computer wizard who witnessed a high-profile cartel hit.

To Jaeger, Wren is the same as any other job. He must protect him long enough to get him to testify at trial, and his personal feelings have no place in his work and must be set aside. But that’s easier said than done. On the run and fighting for their lives, Jaeger and Wren can’t help but grow closer. And Jaeger can’t help seeing beyond Wren’s nerdy exterior to a man who might be just what Jaeger needs to settle his soul and capture his heart—if they survive long enough to get that chance


This is an intense and sexy read. The chemistry between Jaeger and Wren is so intense and realistic. Jaeger has issues because of who Wren is related to and also, he’s there to keep him alive. Wren is very attracted to Jaeger’s type but is holding back why he’s really testifying. I was rooting for these two from the get-go. Their attraction to each other is so exciting.

Then there’s Sac Chase, Jaeger’s boss. His character is just mind blowing. He’s such a money grubbing pig that I wanted to slaughter him myself.

Then with the Chino/Rincon family, they are brutal and have no love for anyone. It doesn’t matter that Wren is their family. They want him dead. This is heart breaking but a reality with families in this line of work. I love how they aren’t very smart especially for some like Jaeger.

Speaking of Jaeger, his leather band on his knife scar is something that was kind of confusing. It keeps burning him and giving him the need to kill. Definitely read the prologue so you get an idea of what’s going on. It all makes sense now. I don’t want to give spoilers, so be prepared…

I was pulled right into this story and had trouble putting it down. This is the fourth installment of Order of the Black Knights, and I’m definitely going to read the first 3.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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Review: “Thick & Thin” by Charlie Cochet

TITLE: Thick & Thin
AUTHOR: Charlie Cochet
SERIES: THIRDS
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: L.C. Chase
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense; Sci-Fi; Urban Fantasy; Shapeshifter
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 95 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 1, 2017
PRICE: $3.82 -e-book

  

BLURB:

In a matter of days, Dex has been kidnapped, tortured, killed, revived, become half Therian, offered the chance to become a spy, and accepted a proposal to marry his jaguar Therian boyfriend, Sloane Brodie. It’s been a lot to take in, and although Dex is still trying to wrap his head around everything that’s happened, he knows he has to move forward.

After the events of Smoke & Mirrors, Dex and Sloane find themselves in one of the most frightening situations of all: revealing the truth to their Destructive Delta family. When the dust settles, nothing will ever be the same, and it’s up to Dex to prove that in the face of change, the one thing that will always remain the same is family.


levilogooptimummWell…well…well… sigh THIRDS! I said it all, right?! There are no more words needed but if this is the first time hearing about this awsomeness of series called THIRDS lemme give you some introduction.
The storyline is placed in a world, where Therians, are common knowledge. Therians are shifters. They are very strong. But the shifting back let them be vulnerable and weak. Therian-Human Intelligence, Recon, Defense, Squadron -or- the aka THIRDS. And this series is about them…

Thick & Thin is book 8 of the series, the sequel to Smoke and Mirrors.

Dex was kidnaped, died and came back as half Therian. Tony, his father, got shot in his chest but he’s recovering. Dex fears every moment of telling his family that he and Sloan are going to join TIN, the Therian secret intelligence. He wasn’t wrong, Cael wants to kill Sloan after he finds out that his brother, Dex died and now, Cael is going to lose him. Tony is outraged, he doesn’t want to hear a word about it. Seems that the mention of Dex and Sloan getting married eases the tension, just a bit.

While Dex talks to his family, Sloan does the same with his family, Ash. Well, he wanted to tell all, but Ash just opens up to him about his feelings, scary feelings, toward Cael. Even though they are together, the love Ash feels toward the cheetah Therian makes him feel vulnerable. Sloan let the other man talk, but he accidentally let it slip out about his and Dex’s engagement. I’m not going to tell you about Ash’s reaction! No Sir…but oh man!!! Well, I see Ash differently now wink, wink.

Dex plans to tell everything to the team, but things, as always with Dex, don’t happen smoothly. They get called for an emergency situation, where Dex is forced to show his fangs and claws, literally. The team is shocked, and more shocked when they find out that they join Tin and they are more shocked that Dex and Sloan are getting married. Hobbs, the sweet Therian tiger, reacts as Dex feared.

Through finding out the name of Letty’s Dimple’s, facing his family and team, they got a message, quite an original one, from Wolf, to keep Hudson alive.

I can’t wait for the next of the series, Darkest Hour Before Dawn, where, finally, we’ll get Seb and Hudson’s story. At the end of Thick & Thin, we get to read the first chapter of the next book.

****The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book****

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