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My Top Reads and Audiobooks ~ October – December

This time last year I signed up for the Goodreads Challenge.

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I more than doubled my original goal and read over two hundred ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks in that time.

I’ve read some fabulous stories and discovered several new authors this year.

Here’s my recommendations from the last quarter, as always, in no particular order:

eBooks

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Bitter Legacy by Dal Maclean

Falling Down by Eli Easton

Leo Loves Aries by Anyta Sunday

With the Band by L.A. Witt

Crying for the Moon by Sarah Madison

Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles by Eli Easton

Robyn: Forced to be their Sister by Sadie Sins (taboo)

The Portrait and Black Dog by L.M. Somerton

Home is Where You Are by Alex Jane

Needing a Little Christmas by Silvia Violet

Fair Chance by Josh Lanyon (ARC)

So This is Christmas by Josh Lanyon

Audiobooks

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Between Sinners and Saints by Marie Sexton

The Downs by Kim Fielding

A Kind of Romance by Lane Hayes

Stygian by Santino Hassell

Smoke and Mirrors by Charlie Cochet

A Matchless Man by Ariel Tachna

Commitment Ranch by B.A. Tortuga

Professional Distance by Silvia Violet

Stay With Me AND So Into You by S.E. Harmon

Spook Squad AND The Persistence of Memory by Jordan Castillo Price

Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles by Eli Easton

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 CHECK OUT ALL THE BOOKS I READ HERE

on Goodreads.

Here’s my post for recommended reads from January to March.

Here’s my post for recommended reads from April to June.

Here’s my post for recommended reads from July to September.

HAPPY READING!

AND HERE’S TO

A HAPPY

2017

Review ~ What It Looks Like

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Title: What It Looks Like

Author: Matthew J Metzger

Release Date: August 20 2016

Length: 80,615 words

 

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Eli Bell is the only son of a police chief inspector and a forensic scientist. He’s grown up wonky in a world that only deals with the straight and narrow — and his new boyfriend isn’t helping.

Rob Hawkes is six feet of muscle, tattoos, and arrest warrants. A career criminal and a former guest of Her Majesty’s Prison Service, he’d rather hit Eli’s parents than sit down to dinner with them. One wrong move, and Rob could destroy Eli — and his family — without a second thought.

But this isn’t what it looks like.

Rob’s not in control here — and Eli’s the one to blame.

 

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4.5*

 

The fabulous writing style and the emotionally absorbing story pulled me in right from the start. What it Looks Like is a thought-provoking and informative read that made me consider whether the author had drawn upon personal experience to inspire the characters and their situation. The whole story felt real, with plenty of raw, gritty emotions. We are shown the mind and body of a person transitioning and the difficulties facing them, at home, in the wider world, and in forming a sexual relationship.

I particularly liked how the story begins with an already established relationship and we discover the issues confronting them, both individually and as a couple.

The story could easily have been sub-titled ‘Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover’.  Eli and his family are dealing with his transitioning and Rob being on the scene has made the home situation worse. Eli’s father in particular is prejudiced and stubborn regarding Rob, not necessarily because of the transitioning, but because he can’t see Eli’s boyfriend as anything other than a criminal who is bound to re-offend. He isn’t only thinking of his son’s well-being, but also his professional position in the police force. Plus he is still adjusting to treating Eli as a son rather than a daughter. Eli’s parents might feel they were acting out of love for their child, but they are not responding how Eli wants them to. Rob reacts negatively to this prejudice and non-acceptance of him, which in turn perpetuates the belief that he is a thug.

Through all these arguments and shouting matches we see a person torn between the people he loves, wanting them to accept each other, and to make the situation more harmonious. Yet at the same time, Eli is often angry and stubborn and determined to do things his way. He tends to put Rob first in his life because he’s head over heels in love with him, and that only exasperates the situation.

Rob is loud and angry and yobbish. He comes across as a thug to those who don’t know him well. His tough life has hardened him, yet he is capable of love and affection. He loves Eli for who he is on the inside rather than what he looks like. He  likes the book and is not been put off by the fact that the cover doesn’t quite match what’s inside just yet. Indeed, he loves the whole person and has readily accepted Eli from the start.

This is a complex story with several unexpected twists in the plot and character dynamics. There’s plenty of emotion and anger throughout, which on the whole felt genuine. It’s a realistic and gritty story, where  life is not all chocolates and roses. Nor is it a rose-tinted look at relationships. The story is about working through problems and sorting out how they can be together, even if family members or some members of society object. Rob might be a criminal but he is more than that. Eli might be trans but he is more than that.

I loved that the characters appear real, with plenty of flaws and shortcomings. I particularly liked bad boy Rob and his brother, Danny, and how they accepted and defended each other and Eli. Rob might have been a criminal, but he loved Eli no matter what and was willing to support him. There’s some great banter and humour that goes on between the three of them, which helps to lighten the story.

The hot sexual relationship was a surprising element. These guys are young and kinky and I never quite knew what they were going to try next. There are D/s aspects to some of their scenes, where one of the partner relinquishes control, to the extent that safewords are firmly in place.  We also see Rob and Eli’s softer side when they are not fighting. The cuddling and showing of affection help balance the story and made the love seem real.

There were a couple of things that made me pause when reading. Yes, there are strong emotions and arguments with lots of swearing throughout, but it’s not gratuitous. I felt it was part of their situation and true to the characters. Having said that, I thought one or two of the arguments were rather contrived for a specific purpose, including one that led to a BDSM scene. There’s also a little hypocrisy in Eli’s character. He’s trying to train Rob not to lose his shit and then Eli reacts to a situation just as Rob would have done. Also Eli jumps to a certain conclusion about Rob that leads to a fall out. He’d been trying to show his family that Rob is no longer a criminal, yet at the first hint of real trouble he immediately doubts his lover.

I know the story had to stop somewhere and we’re given a HFN ending in the epilogue with plenty of hints to how things would go. But I really would have liked to see what happened next for Eli and how that affected his relationship with Rob.

Overall, a highly recommended and incredible read with some superb writing. Be prepared for strong emotions and arguments with lots of swearing, plus some D/s sex and control scenes.

 

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  Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books

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Add to Goodreads here.

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Matthew J. Metzger is the front for a British-born author dragged up in the south of England as part of a typical nuclear family with three kids, a mortgage, and no dog because a dog would get hair on the carpet. A brief escape to the north to study focused his writing from daydreaming rambles to his first novel, Our Last Summer. It is unquestionably better than the dissertation he produced at the same time for his university degree, but probably not as inventive as the excuses he provided for missing classes so often.

Matthew has since returned to the London area, and therefore lives mostly on the public transport. He suspects that his next few pieces will probably involve homicidal characters on the London Underground.

For more information, please visit matthewjmetzger.wordpress.com.

 

My Top Reads and Audiobooks ~ April – June

 Back in December I signed up to the Goodreads Challenge.

Not having done this before and not knowing how many books I’d read in a year, I entered a nice round number of one hundred. I intended to include the ebooks I’d read as well as the audiobooks I listened to. I thought an average of two a week would be achievable. To my surprise and delight, I achieved the challenge and I’ve now increased my total to one hundred and fifty books.

In no particular order, here are my recommended books from the last three months

eBooks

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Blood and Milk by N.R. Walker

 Debt by K.C. Wells

Beautiful Thunder by Louise Lyons

Rustic Moment by Nic Starr

Bryan and Jase by A.D. Ellis

Sporting Chance by Alexa Milne

Picked Fresh by Posy Roberts

After the Snap by Peyton Miller

Always Another Side by Annabelle Jacobs

Return to Zero by Isobel Starling

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Audiobooks

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Love, Like Water by Rowan Speedwell

Shifting Gears by Riley Hart

Frog by Mary Calmes

Helping Hand by Jay Northcote

Knight of Ocean Avenue by Tara Lain

The Right Time by Lane Hayes

A Kind of Truth by Lane Hayes

The United and the Divided (Tooth and Claw #3) by L.A. Witt

Plus I’ve listened to Josh Lanyon’s outstanding Adrien English series again.

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Check out the books I’ve read so far.

I’d love to hear about some of your favourite stories.

Here’s my post for recommended reads from January to March.

My Top Reads and Audiobooks ~ Jan – March 2016

 Back in December I signed up to the Goodreads Challenge.

Not having done this before and not knowing how many books I’d read in a year, I entered a nice round number of one hundred. I intended to include the ebooks I’d read as well as the audiobooks I listened to. I thought an average of two a week would be achievable. To my surprise and delight, I have passed the half way mark already at only a quarter of the way through the year. So, I thought I’d recommend some of the ones I’ve enjoyed so far.

Here are some of my favourites:

eBooks

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 I’m so glad I discovered the Glasgow Lads series by Avery Cockburn.

I love her writing, the characters, the plot lines, the lovely ‘feels’.

Each story is superb.

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 The Law of Attraction by Jay Northcote

 Spencer Cohen Book 1 by NR Walker

 Rustic Melody and Rustic Memory by Nic Starr

 The Mermaid Murders by Josh Lanyon ( I also re-read Winter Kill.)

Chasing Shadows by Annabelle Jacobs

As the Leaves Fall by RJ Jones

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Audiobooks

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I’ve been listening to some of Kim Fielding’s stories and enjoyed them immensely:  The Tin Box, Brute, Housekeeping, and The Night Shift are all fabulous.

How to Walk Like a Man by Eli Easton

Violated by Jamie Fessenden

Ethan, Who Loved Carter by Ryan Loveless

The Half of Us and Johnnie by Cardeno C

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Check out the books I’ve read so far.

I’d love to hear about some of your favourite stories.

My Top Reads and Audiobooks of 2015

In no particular order, these are some of my favourite reads and audiobooks of the year.

Reads

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The Brothers Bishop by Bart Yates

An Infatuation by Joe Cosentino

Rock | 500 Kisses to Steal a Heart by Anyta Sunday

The Last Nights of the Frangipani Hotel by Bey Deckard

Like a Lover | Passing Through | What Happens at Christmas by Jay Northcote

Submitting to the Darkness | Make Me Soar | Dom of Ages by K.C. Wells

Grif’s Toy | Brothers LaFon by Joseph Lance Tonlet

Quillon’s Covert by Joseph Lance Tonlet and Louis Stevens

Gamble Everything by Cari Waites

The Altered series by Annabelle Jacobs

Cover Me | Trust Me | Search Me by L.A. Witt

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Audiobooks

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Good Bones by Kim Fielding

THIRDS series by Charlie Cochet

PsyCop series by Jordan Castillo Price

Collars and Cuffs #1 and #2 by K.C. Wells

Mask by Teodora Kostova

Beneath the Stain | Chase in Shadow | Dex in Blue | The Locker Room by Amy Lane

On Dangerous Ground series | In Sunshine or in Shadow Anthology |

Adrien English series | A Ghost of a Chance by Josh Lanyon

How to Howl at the Moon by Eli Easton

The Given and the Taken by L.A. Witt

He Completes Me | Walk With Me by Cardeno C

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Waiting on my Kindle or my to-read list for 2016

On my Kindle ~ Professional Distance by Silvia Violet, Broken Pieces by Riley Hart, Werewolves of Brooklyn by Brad Vance, The Klockwork Kraken by Aidee Ladnier,  Memories of the Heart by Felice Stevens, IM by Rick R Reed, Always by Kindle Alexander, Frankie and Al by Sue Brown, Belonging by Alexa Land, Sporting Chance by Alexa Milne, the Fated Dates series by Abraham Steele… this list is almost endless.

On my Wish List ~ How to Walk Like A Man by Eli Easton, Don’t series by Jack L Pyke, Cronin’s Key series by N.R. Walker, Secret of the Manor by Taylin Clavelli, Weight of Dust by Louis Stevens, Buried Bones by Kim Fielding, Dance with Me by Heidi Culinan, A Matter of Time by Mary Calmes, Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell, Dreaming of Snow by Teodora Kostova, Gemini by Chris Owen, and more shifter stories.

Audiobook Wish List ~ More books by Amy Lane, Cardeno C, Kim Fielding, Mary Calmes and anything by my favourite narrators—Nick J Russo, Sean Crisden and Alexander Collins/Mark Westfield.

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I’d like to thank my friends, followers and readers for your interest in my posts 

and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

May 2016 be filled with joy, peace and happiness, as well as plenty of wonderful reading.

Love and best wishes from

Lily xx

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