Lauren Dane’s Brown Siblings

Laid Bare (Brown Siblings, #1)Laid Bare by Lauren Dane

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So with the new book Laid Open coming out in October I decided to pick this one up again. I have to say I loved it just as much as I did the first time around (I am a huge fan of this series as well as this author). I can not get enough of Todd and Ben…oh and Erin too, LOL!

Erin Brown is in a band, with tattoos and piercings she’s fierce, outgoing and comfortable in her own skin. She knows what she likes, what she wants and she is not ashamed. She won’t apologize for who she is.

Todd Keenan is a cop. He is respectable and straight laced. He listens to country music, drives a truck and likes soft women. But he’s not happy, not really. He has a hidden dark side, just a little bit of kink he wants to keep hidden.

Erin sets her sights on Todd and soon the two have a hot but too short relationship. The problem is Todd can’t bring himself to accept the person he is when he is with Erin. He has ideas of the person he should be and even if it’s not as exciting he is determined to be that man. Erin knows he will not be happy repressing his true desires but she is not going to push him on it.

Ten years later Todd has come back to Seattle from Boston. He is no longer a cop and is divorced. He runs into Erin and immediately all of his feelings for her resurface. Todd is not the same guy he was when he left and he is determined to get back with Erin now that he can admit what he wants. Unfortunately Erin is not the same person she was ten years ago either. She has suffered an unimaginable tragedy in her life and is not as fierce as she used to be.

Together the two build a new relationship where they can be their true selves and don’t have to make apologies. They were meant to be together, it’s obvious to all those around them but there is just something that can make them even better. Ben.

Ben Copeland and Todd Keenan have been best-friends their whole lives. They grew up together, their families intertwined. They were both cops and now the two run a successful security business along with Ben’s younger brother Cope. It’s only natural that he would spend so much time with Todd and Erin. It’s only natural that he would grow close to Erin, they have so much in common and they get along so well. There just seems to be some sort of connection between them, not to mention his connection with Todd.

Soon the three discover that things are so much better, so much hotter when they are all together. Can they have a relationship where it’s not just Todd and Erin but Todd, Erin and Ben? The better question is how can they not? It’s Easy for Erin to let Ben in, but can Todd?

I can’t wait for Laid Open!

(Originally posted September 29, 2012 @ Macy J Reviews)

Brown Siblings by Lauren Dane

Avoiding Commitment

Avoiding Commitment (Avoiding, #1)Avoiding Commitment by K.A. Linde
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is hard, so so hard. I have a love hate relationship with this book. It is definitely a book that stirred up a lot of different emotions in me. Part of me feels as if I should take some time before I write a review but the other part of me thinks I should just get it out of the way so I don’t have to think about it again until the 2nd book comes out in December.

Lexi meets Jack one night at a club after secretly admiring him at a local coffee shop she used to study her freshmen year in college. Soon the two have become close and seem to be flirting around a possible relationship at least in Lexi’s eyes. Unfortunately things don’t work out the way Lexi would have liked.

Six years later Lexi is going to law school in New York and she get’s a phone call from Jack -who she has not spoken to in a year and a 1/2-asking if she can come back to Atlanta and meet his current girlfriend Bekah. Bekah wants Jack to finally commit to her and she feels the only way to figure out why Jack has such a hard time with the idea of marriage and commitment is to speak with his past girlfriends.

Lexi is apprehensive and refuses to help Jack but her friend Chyna talks her into going to see Jack and Bekah in hopes that it will give Lexi the closure she needs so that she can finally get on with her life. So Lexi embarks on a trip to Georgia to tell Bekah the nature of the relationship she and Jack had.

The book takes us through not only her trip to Atlanta but also allows us a look at the past so that we can see what transpired between Jack and Lexi over the past six years. From when they first met to all of the lies, betrayals, lust and even love they endured.

During all of this Lexi has to come to terms with her true feelings about Jack, about herself and about the arrival of a new potential love interest, who just happens to be the brother of Jack’s girlfriend Bekah. Ramsey is everything that Lexi tries to avoid. Rich, cocky and a bit secretive but he also exhibits a side of himself so different from what she would have ever imagined and that appeals to her on some level.

In the end she has to decide whether or not what she and Jack share is just destructive and should remain in the past or if it is something that was meant to be. Can he be everything she has always wanted? Or is he just the same manipulative philanderer he always was?

First let me start by saying how I felt about the characters. (Potential Spoilers)

Lexi Although I truly liked Lexi and feel she was a victim to Jacks constant manipulations I have to admit she pissed me off on more than one occasion. I would have hoped she would have been smarter than she was, she’s going to law school for crying out loud (of course people always say you are either street smart or book smart). She should have thrown Jack to the curb years ago. Every time he fed her bullshit about how much he loved her and how she was the only one who understood him, I wanted to puke. How could she not see that he was never going to change? He cared about one person and one person only, himself. Lexi was beautiful, intelligent and extremely outgoing. She could have any guy she wanted if she could have put Jack behind her. Too many times she threw away potentially good men for scraps that Jack threw her way (Spencer and Clark). Lexi needed to stop thinking with her body and start thinking with her mind.

Jack I hate him. Hate! Hate! Hate! Every single time he opened his pretty little mouth he spewed more and more lies. With every relationship he wanted his cake and to eat it too. He couldn’t let Lexi go, let her have a life with out drama, so he just kept stringing her along while he dated his “perfect” girlfriends. Jack cared about himself and what he wanted not those around him.

Ramsey Wealthy, Cocky, Rebellious and Hot! I loved him. He truly seemed to have feelings for Lexi and cared about her. For all of his faults he seemed to want to protect her. He seems to be the one who can give Lexi something she needs and that is to be the center of someones world. He may seem like he’s the opposite of what she wants but if she would just give him a chance.

I definitely recommend this book but be ready it will make you mad at times.

The Boy Who Sneaks In My Bedroom Window

The Boy Who Sneaks in my Bedroom WindowThe Boy Who Sneaks in my Bedroom Window by Kirsty Moseley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I not really sure how to rate this one. On one hand I am leaning towards a 4 star because although there were many different things that frustrated me about the story I was still entertained, sometimes that’s all I really want. On the other hand there were so many reasons why this book should only get 2 stars. In the end I settled on 3.

The reasons I disliked this book:
*Editing. There were a lot of editing problems that really had the potential of ruining the story, however I generally overlook these things when I know that the author is self-published, new, etc…
*You could tell the author was British but location of book was the USA. Unfortunately there were too many instances in which the characters said something that would never be said by an American, especially an American teenager.
*Where were the parents? Adults? These kids were basically living lives without any adult supervision what so ever. I know they are 16 and 18 but still, parents don’t generally let kids behave the way these kids did. Example: (view spoiler)[Jake and Amber grew up in an abusive home at the hand of their father who not only physically and mentally abused them and their mother but also sexually abused and attempted to rape Amber. After Jake and Liam beat the father up and force him to disappear, Jake and Amber’s mom get’s a job that forces her to be away three weeks a month leaving Jake and Amber to their own devices. Every Friday night Jake and Liam throw a huge party at Jake and Ambers home where there is drinking going on and their house just happens to be next door to Liam’s house (close enough that Liam can see into Amber’s window when they are kids and see that she is crying on her bed). Not once do Liam’s parents say anything about these parties. (hide spoiler)]
*This is mentioned in more than one review but it needs to be said again. Amber has suffered sexual abuse and can not stand to be touched by anyone other than her mother, brother and Liam yet she still proceeds to have a sexual relationship with Liam with very little hang ups.

Now, when I push all of those things aside and stop trying to be overly critical I found myself enjoying the story. I read it in a day and didn’t want to put it down. I found parts in which I was laughing out loud and others in which I had to smile. If you are looking for something to just entertain you, I think this book fits the bill.

I definitely think it would have been an even better story without the added drama. Keep the back story about the abuse and the father being run off and then focus more on Liam trying to get Amber, finally landing her and then their relationship and her healing process. I even wouldn’t have minded more on the bet. I found this to be the funniest part of the entire book.

I feel as if we could have done without (view spoiler)[ The father’s return and his new family, Amber getting pregnant and then losing the baby and Liam being arrested (hide spoiler)]. I think I would have loved this book then.

Four Corners

Since childhood, Jake, Adam, Kyle, and Brendan have been teammates, best friends, brothers. Then one day, when they were twenty-five, Adam disappeared without a word, devastating his friends—none more so than Jake, who had secretly loved Adam since they were teenagers.

Now, five years later, Adam is back, and he has his mind set on Jake. But those years of anger, hurt, and confusion are a lot to overcome, and Jake doesn’t find it easy to forgive. He isn’t sure they’ll ever fit together the way they did. Jake, Kyle, and Brendan have moved on with their lives, but Adam’s high-profile career keeps him in the closet—the same place he’s been for years. Still, his apologies seem sincere, and the attraction is still there. Jake desperately wants to give him a chance. But first he has to find out why Adam left and if he’s really back for good.

A Whole Different World of Shifters

Pack of LiesPack of Lies by Vanessa Vaughn
185 pages Published by Ravenous Romance ISBN13 9781607773399 My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Out hunting on his own and as far from the rest of the pack as he can get Marcus, the Alpha is hit by a car. Jack and his friend Ivy are on their way home from a party and accidentally hit what they think is a man or an extremely large animal. When Jack get’s out of the car to check on the victim he is brutally attacked by a wolf and almost killed. Ivy manages to pull Jack into the car, getting bit in the process and get’s him to the hospital.

Throughout the stay in the hospital and the days after Jack and Ivy experience differences in their bodies physically, mentally and emotionally. They are not sure what is happening to them until they are confronted by the pack who claim they are watching them to see if they are going to be one of them. If they do not turn at the full moon or do not join the pack they will be destroyed.

Marcus and Jack are inexplicably drawn to each other. Marcus may be the Alpha of his pack but he is by no means the biggest,strongest or even the most powerful in the pack. None the less he is their leader and he hides some pretty big secrets about himself for fear that he will lose his position to his rival Julian. He can not show the rest of the pack how much he wants Jack to become one of them and how much he wants to claim him as his own.

Marcus and Jack face many challenges as they wait for the first full moon. Marcus has to watch his back around everyone in his pack, Julian who wants his position, the “Twins” who want to be the mate of the Alpha and anyone looking for an excuse to challenge his authority. Jacks friend Ivy is embracing the change too much and Jack begins to realize maybe he has never truly known her. And what happens if anyone finds out what they mean to each other?

I am confused on how I feel about this book. Part of me really liked it, it was darker than most of the shifter books I have been reading. Ms. Vaughn gives a very different take on werewolves and that’s always exciting. I couldn’t put it down. At the same time I have to say that there were so many things I really didn’t like, the biggest being the ending. We are just left hanging essentially. I want to know what is next for these characters, what happens now? Is there going to be a 2nd book?

Kaje Harper’s Take on Shifters

Unacceptable RiskUnacceptable Risk by Kaje Harper
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

First I have to start by admitting that I do in fact tend to “judge a book by it’s cover”. The cover is the first thing that attracts me to a book, if I don’t like it I tend to not take the time to actually read the blurb to find out about it or the reviews to see the reception it got. So I passed this book up time and time again because I just was not a fan of the cover. Wow! How glad am I that I finally decided to check it out? I loved this book.

I have been reading a lot of shifter books lately and I have to say I was starting to feel like they were all the same. It is almost as if there is a template for what M/M shifter books are supposed to be. Don’t get me wrong I have enjoyed most of the ones I have read. Still with that said sometimes I find myself asking “haven’t I read this before?”. I didn’t have any of that with Unacceptable Risk.

Ms. Harper’s take on werewolves was different and I liked it. The character’s were different in the way they were portrayed. Simon who is a werewolf is not the Alpha, he’s not the strongest member of the pack. Simon finds himself constantly on the outside, struggling to be tolerated by others. He is constantly having to face other wolves challenging him. This is a nice change to me because it makes him more real I think. So many times I feel that authors try and make their character the strongest, most confident person, as if trying to show the reader just because he’s gay doesn’t mean he’s weak. But as an avid reader of M/M I don’t need this to always be pointed out to me. I want realistic characters and that means sometimes they are going to be just average. Not every character has to be an “Alpha”.

The other thing I really liked was the fact that Paul was not just completely accepting of everything that was happening. He wasn’t sure about being with another man, he had never considered himself gay or bi. He didn’t just take one look at Simon and say “Okay yep let’s jump into bed and spend the rest of our lives together”. He also had to digest the whole werewolf thing and what it meant and that was not easy.

I can’t wait to read the second book in this series.

Horrible Title, Great Book!

I'll Be Your Drill, SoldierI’ll Be Your Drill, Soldier by Crystal Rose
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can’t believe I put reading this one off for so long because I absolutely loved it! This book is so funny at times my husband actually had to tell me to stop laughing so much (as if I could). I was hooked from page one and actually pouted as I finished the last page.

Ryan is great! Funny, snarky, strong and endearing. Some of his humiliating moments had me cringing and covering my face, I could feel his embarrassment for him. I loved how we saw him grow from a boy his first day at basic training to the strong, competent and respected soldier and man he was at the end.

Phillip, well I have to say I loved him the whole time too. He didn’t so much as change from the beginning to the end of the book as much as we just got to know him better. We saw the soldier and then we met the man.

I have to say I loved all of the secondary characters as well. They made the story what it was and it would not be the same without any of them.