About afgypsysoul

I have always loved to read. My first memory of reading is winning a stuffed animal turtle for reading the most books in my 2nd grade class. I am a retired Air Force Officer who has traveled around the world with my kindle! I love anything with a romance. I'm a big fan of paranormal romance, urban fantasy (as long as there's a little bit or romance), romantic suspense, contemporary romance and M/M. I have over 1000 books on my kindle that I haven't read yet and somehow I keep adding more. I never leave home without my kindle and I love reading challenges. I currently live in Phoenix with my husband and two kids. I also have two wonderful dogs a lovable pitbull and a cute dachshund. I'm still hoping my kids will pick up my love for reading!

Wicked Kiss Review

34845188 I am a big fan of Rebecca Zanetti and I love this series! This is the 4th book in the series Realm Enforcers and I recommend you start from the beginning to get the full effect of the characters and past interactions.

This book centers around Adam Dunne. I’ve been looking forward to this book, having read the previous ones and knowing that Adam is the serious brother. In this book, Tori has been kidnapped by the Coven of Nine since she became aware that paranormals exist. Adam saves her by agreeing to mate with her and ensure she keeps their secrets. Forced relationships don’t always work for me but I really enjoyed it in this book. Tori is a very forceful personality and she wants little to do with Adam since she only knows him as part of the gang responsible for dealing the drug Apollo.

This is an action packed, fast paced book with a hot romance (although I did get a bit tiered of Adam withholding sex until Tori would admit “she was his”). I loved the cameo’s from some of the characters from The Dark Protector Series (although it is not necessary to have read that series to enjoy this one). There was plenty of suspense, drama and intensity along with hot sex and a fun romance. The secondary characters were a great addition and I’m looking forward to Bear’s story! Although I will admit to be a bit disappointed that my two favorite characters (Garrett and Logan) weren’t in this book!

Bottom Line: Another fantastic book in the Realm Enforcers Series that will keep you up at night turning pages to see what happens next while fanning yourself to cool down during the intense sex scenes!  This book will release on 4 July!

 

Deep Burn Review

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Deep Burn is book #2 in the Station Seventeen series but can easily be read as a stand alone book.

I love a good fire fighter story and I also like reading about females that are in male dominated roles and flourish so I was looking forward to this book. I’ll be honest though, it took me awhile to really like Shae. She was just a bit too reckless, impulsive and had very little respect for the rules (even in a job when they are obviously necessary for the safety of everyone). I wish that when she got in trouble for breaking the chain of command she would have given it a little more thought and accepted some responsibility and demonstrated that what she did was wrong instead of instantly justifying her behavior. I didn’t necessarily like her “well it all worked out because I’m a good firefighter” attitude. However, I really liked her interactions with Capelli and her acceptance of his past and non-judgment did a lot to win me over. So although her recklessness bothered me a bit her loyalty and honesty won me over and by midway through the book I was a fan of Shae.

I also really liked Capelli and found him an interesting character and I loved that he wasn’t the typical alpha male hero. He was a very logical, nerdy type hero and I found his role as tech and surveillance fitting and compelling. I also enjoyed watching him loose his completely rational thought process when confronted with his attraction to Shea.

The romance between Shea and Capelli actually worked which was surprising given how completely different these two characters were. The sex scenes were hot and I believed the emotional entanglement between them. I was actually surprised that Capelli didn’t have more of a moderating effect on Shea and vice versa and yet they do balance each other.

The suspense was interesting and it kept me reading to see how it would all play out. Although the identity of the villain was known from the beginning I still found myself on the edge reading to see how they would outwit him.

Overall, intriguing characters, a compelling romance and a great mix of suspense and romance. I look forward to more books in the Station Seventeen series.

4.5 Charms for this firefighting romance!

Back to You Review

33983712Back to you is my first book by author Chris Scully but it won’t be the last! The writing was evocative and was one of the best at making the reader visualize and feel the setting. From the opening scene of Alex driving into his hometown I was hooked on the writing style.

Alex is returning to his hometown when he receives a call from his older sister that his dad is dying and wants to see him. Alex agrees to return although he is reluctant and is looking more forward to seeing his childhood best friend Benji then his family. Ben was not only Alex’s best friend but also the first boy to ever kiss him. Alex resents his absent, alcoholic father and isn’t close to his sister who defends their father. The book’s pace is a bit slow in the first part and Alex and Benji don’t spend much time together nor do they talk much for the first half of the book. Alex was planning on writing about his homecoming but is quickly caught up in the mystery surrounding Benji’s older sister who disappeared shortly before Alex left town. She was considered a runaway but about a week before Alex returned her car was found and the case was reopened. Initially Ben doesn’t want Alex looking into the case but eventually gives in when he realizes Alex doesn’t want to let it go.

Back to You is written in Alex’s POV and is essentially his journey not only home but also to reconcile his childhood, his relationship with his family and where Ben fits into his life. Alex isn’t always easy to like and he has let his childhood view of the past color the present. I enjoyed seeing Alex’s eyes open that the past wasn’t quite all that he thought it was and seeing him navigate the relationship with his sister and his father.

The dynamics of Alex’s family were realistic, heart breaking and complex. Although we didn’t get Ben’s POV the dynamics between his mother who spent all of her energy wrapped up in the past and trying to find answers about her missing daughter to the detriment of Ben were also realistic and heart breaking. While both men had complicated family relationships they handled them in completely different ways.

The suspense was engaging and there were plenty of red herrings thrown in to lead the reader astray with just enough clues to lead to the possibility of guessing the truth or at least part of it. I wasn’t as engaged with the romance as I was the suspense and the family dynamics. However, I was very engaged with the growth of Alex’s character and his discovery that the truth he had held to was distorted by his youth and the secrets he was unaware of.

So while I found the pace a bit slow and the romance a bit disappointing the evocative writing and the complex relationships and character growth along with a interesting suspense made up for it.  Released 12 Jun 20117.  4 charms!

M/M Monday

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WOW! I couldn’t put this book down and stayed up until 3am to finish it. It’s a great mix of political intrigue, double agents, espionage, a plot to murder the president and then add into that a fantastic M/M relationship, passion, emotion and some steamy sex scenes and a book doesn’t get much better!

I loved how Jack and Ethan’s relationship grew. Jack is the newly elected President and a widow of 15 years. He’s alone in the white house since he had no children when he was married and having trouble settling into his job and the isolation he feels. Ethan is the head of his secret service detail and he knows that it’s imperative not to get involved with the protectee in any form. No friendships, no investment – a distance must be maintained. However, he truly likes and respects Jack and sees how he is struggling to acclimatize. So he offers to work out with him in the mornings and slowly breaks his rules as he forms a friendship with the president. There is a lot of political intrigue in this book and lots of scenes and dialogue about world events and politics but it never overshadows the relationship between Jack and Ethan. Of course Jack and Ethan don’t overshadow the suspense either. In fact, I thought it was a perfect mix. Not only that I wasn’t sure who the bad guy was and that rarely happens. There was a ton of action and the book had me on the edge several times! Bottom line: wonderful characters, moving romance, fantastic political intrigue and edge of your seat suspense. This was my first Tal Bauer book but I’m going to go buy the next book in this series as soon as I post this review!  Definite 5 charm book – I highly recommend this one!

 

Talen Review

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It was so fun to re-visit with Talen and Cara the first couple in the Dark Protectors Series. It’s been 25 years since they met and mated and while they still love each other they have to figure out what happens now that the war is over. Talen is still an alpha and after Cara being sick for so many years his protectiveness is in overdrive and Cara doesn’t want to be treated like someone who is fragile. It also turns out just because the war is over doesn’t mean all the danger is.

This short book was so much fun and I loved seeing a realistic glimpse of Talen and Cara 25 years later. They still adored each other and the sex scenes were hot but what I really loved was that it was realistic. Everything wasn’t perfect and there were things they needed to work through together. I also loved seeing Logan and Garrett who I absolutely adore. The last scene with the boys and Talen and Cara had me laughing out loud. I wouldn’t read this as a stand alone but if you’re a fan of The Dark Protectors don’t miss this little gem.  4 it was great to read about them again charms!

Smolder Review

29972988Smolder is the first book in the Firefighters of Montana Series and was a very enjoyable book that has me looking forward to the rest of the series. Tracy Solheim is a new author to me but I really liked her writing style and I loved reading about the smoke jumpers.

This book centers around Sam who is a former Army Ranger with a complicated past, a lot of guilt and a very dangerous job. Laurel is the daughter of ranch owners and horse trainers who at one time competed with horses but once she became pregnant with a extreme snow boarder’s child and ended up a single mom her life changed dramatically. Now her life revolves around her son and trying to be safe and make smart decisions. She has no place in her life for a man with a dangerous job but the attraction between the two is fierce.

At right around 150 pages this book packs a lot of story, emotion and romance into a short amount of space but never makes you feel like you are missing anything. The pacing is superb, the storytelling is compelling and the romance is both steamy and emotional. I thoroughly enjoyed the secondary characters and was given just enough information about both horse training and smoke jumpers to be entertained and informed but never bored. Both characters were likable and had very strong personalities. There was a good mix of action, suspense and romance and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more!  4 Charms for this smoldering book!

M/M Monday

18194121There were things I really liked about this book and a few that I just didn’t connect with as much and one or two that just didn’t work as well for me. But overall I did enjoy it.

This book takes place after a group of men have been kidnapped and tortured for 5 months. The experience is really told throughout the book in flashbacks and nightmares and through a few counseling sessions. This actually worked really well because it broke up the really dark and intense torture/prisoner scenes and I think reading them non-stop would have been too much. Cam and Austin were thrown into a cell together and although they initially didn’t get along over time they formed an intense bond. When they returned home they had trouble readjusting to their lives and only felt okay when they were with each other. Cam and Austin were able to comfort each other and encourage each other to talk through what had happened not to mention they truly understood what the other went through since it was a shared experience.

I had a hard time believing anyone’s wife could be so cold and cruel and the author really made Austin’s wife a villain. I think I would have preferred it if they just couldn’t work through the adjustment or came to the realization that they just wanted more from marriage (since it’s obvious they don’t have a very good one). I didn’t see the need for Austin’s wife to be so awful although I suppose it made it way easier to justify Austin cheating on his wife.

The physical relationship between Austin and Cam was done well and I believed the chemistry and need the two felt for each other. Although I couldn’t help think that the connection might not be realistic in the long run and more due to the trauma they had shared. I liked the story but I never felt really connected to either character although I certainly felt bad for them and wished them a happy ending. So in the end while I liked this one I didn’t love it.  This one got 3 charms for me.

M/M Monday

33976926Heels Over Head is a stand alone M/M sports book by Elyse Springer that I really enjoyed. This is a book where the two characters are completely distinctive. Although it takes quite awhile to warm up to Jeremy you can’t help but feel for the guy and his intense desire to get his family to care about him and respect him and his sport. Brandon is easy to love and is a wonderful character that you definitely had me rooting for him.

Jeremy is a diver who is training for the Olympics. He’s been training for 15 years and it’s the most important thing in his life. This is not something he hides and he’s very up front that diving is the only thing in his life that he cares about until he meets Brandon and even then diving is still the most important thing for almost all of the book. Jeremy has convinced himself that if he can just win an Olympic medal his family will respect/care about him and so he lives for this. Brandon has a ton of raw talent but he’s never really seriously trained and winning doesn’t mean much to him. He’s proud of who he is and lives an easy going life style. His family disowned him when he came out at the age of 18 and so he is very independent.

This book takes place over 24 months. The first few months it’s hard to like Jeremy but stick with it and it will be worth it. Brandon does the heavy lifting in this relationship as he slowly breaks through the shame that Jeremy has placed on himself and teaches him that he can take diving seriously and still have a little fun. Brandon’s easy going, fun and compassionate personality is opposite of Jeremy’s very structured, rigid and sometimes selfish personality. Although we start to see Jeremy soften throughout the book.

Normally I roll my eyes at a character that has never really even kissed anyone else but with Jeremy’s all consuming drive and his deep shame for being attracted to men it was very easy to believe. The sex scenes between the two were sweet and yet very hot – I really loved them.

The secondary characters added a lot to the book. I liked the fact that the coach was really a father-like figure although none of the athletes realize how much. Val’s side story with her struggle to deal with her Olympic parent’s expectations added a lot and I loved her – she was a really good friend to both men. Even Brandon’s best friend Aaron added to the book. Then of course there was Jeremy’s family who I absolutely hated and they were so dismissive of Jeremy’s status as an amazing athlete that it was almost OTT. I wanted so much for Jeremy to stop caring whether he had the approval of his family but I also understand just how much a child will do to get the love/acceptance of a parent.

I was completely invested in the story between Brandon and Jeremy and although I think Brandon forgave Jeremy a little easily I can also understand why he did. Jeremy was so emotionally/socially stunted that the overtures from him were a much bigger deal then they would be from someone who wasn’t. Surprisingly enough I even enjoyed learning about all the diving and it was obvious that the research was done on the sport. There was just the right amount of technical information without becoming overwhelming or boring.

I really wish this book had an epilogue.  Four charms for this sports centered M/M book that was released today 5/29/17.

M/M Monday

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3.5 Stars. One Night with Rhodes is the 4th book in the One Night Series but is easily read as a stand alone (I haven’t read the previous books). Overall, its a sexy, enjoyable but angst-filled book. This was my first Eden Finley book and I really enjoyed it. I’ll definitely be looking to see what else she has written.

This book covers a six year time span and I have to admit I was a little confused at first. I thought maybe I was dealing with flashbacks (turns out I wasn’t) and the first few chapters I kept having to go back and look to see if it was Garrett’s or Blair’s POV I was reading. Once I figured out the timeline and got to know the characters a bit better so that I could tell which POV I was reading I settled into a really good book.

The relationship between Garrett and Blair is definitely a slow build, very complex and full of angst. Blair is bisexual and not completely comfortable with his sexuality although he does come out to his friends and family in the beginning. However, his family thinks it was just a phase. He only had the one boyfriend and when he dumped Blair right after he came out he hasn’t had another relationship with a man. His friends didn’t really say anything to him about his “coming out” so in essence it was like he went right back into the closet. Garrett is very deep in the closet and doesn’t want anyone to know he is gay and in fact has trouble even admitting it to himself. When Blair’s boyfriend breaks up with him he goes to his best friend Hunter’s only to find he isn’t home and so Hunter’s older brother Garrett takes him out to help him forget about it for awhile. The two share a very hot kiss and then Garrett pulls back and shuts Blair out. Garrett is an emotional mess and has a lot of deep seated fears and guilt that he hasn’t dealt with. Blair sees this and wants to help Garrett as much as he can. He’s always had a bit of a crush on him but mostly he knows that Garrett doesn’t have anyone he can talk to about his sexuality so he wants to be that guy for him. However, the chemistry between the two is off the charts and more often than not they end up hooking up and then Garrett gets scared and runs away.

Normally, the constant hook-up and run away would drive me insane and to a point it did but not as much as I expected. I really felt for both Garrett and Blair and the emotional roller coaster they were both on. I really liked that there was a friendship between the two men and I got caught up in the emotional pull of this book. The book lagged just a bit in the middle and the final resolution seemed a little rushed but I believed the HEA and was very happy to see how it all works out for the men. The secondary characters were enjoyable and although there were a lot of backstory relationships going on with those characters it didn’t take too much away from the main characters. I thought the sex scenes were sexy and very well done.

I enjoyed this book and the characters were likable. I’ll definitely look for more M/M books from Eden Finley.  Worth rounding up to 4 charms.

 

Wilde Horses Review

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4.5 Stars. Wilde Horses is the 4th book in the Born to Be Wilde Series but can easily be read as a stand alone. In fact, this is my favorite of the series and I really enjoyed the characters, the romance and although the villain was obvious to me I did enjoy the suspense as well.

Both Eden and Blake are wonderful characters with great chemistry! I LOVED that this couple actually communicated with each other and they trusted each other. No silly relationship drama but two mature characters who were realistic and likable. Eden and Blake come from very different worlds so the author kept me wondering how they would make everything work out. The suspense (although I thought the villain was obvious from the beginning) was done well and there were a few other suspects thrown in to keep things interesting and to add some drama to the plot.

The pace of this book kept me engrossed reading from one situation to the next with the perfect amount of action, tension, and romance. Overall, a very enjoyable and entertaining book that I recommend!  I’m going to round up and give this book 5 charms.