Omega’s Future (Mated to the Alpha #8) – Wolf Specter & Rosa Swann

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“That first night made me fall in love with you like nothing ever had before.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. We’ve made it to the end of Mated to the Alpha with a fluffy little epilogue to tie everything up. It starts out a week after Levi’s birth with Ethan and Max bringing their baby boy home and dealing with the media. Then it jumps to three years later with a look at how everyone is continuing to be happy and in love. I was perfectly happy with this ending. I’m actually a bit sad that the story is over, but I think it ended in a good place. Ethan and Max are deeply in love and they seem to be doing well within their pack and the world at large. Toddler Levi is adorable and I wish we’d gotten to see more of that. There was a lot more dealings with Ethan’s family than I was expecting, but we got good closure with that so I can’t complain much. After having read the entire series I can say that, while some parts were a bit boring and the overall writing could’ve been better, I ultimately enjoyed the read. Max and Ethan are a great couple and their love was sweet even if their situation was a bit of a mess at times. I think I would’ve liked the series better if it had been written as one long novel, it might have flowed better that way. Omega’s Future was a good epilogue to the story and I’m really sad to see it end.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) Ethan is finally allowed to leave the hospital, a week after Levi is born. Though it’s not as easy as just stepping outside, it seems. The media have surrounded the hotel to see the new fathers.

Jump to three years into the future and meet toddler Levi and Ethan and Max who are getting ready to add even more people to the family.

Omega’s Future is the eighth and last story in the Mated to the Alpha series. This series contains an innocent human, a sexy alpha, naughty scenes and Mpreg (male pregnancy).

 

[available for purchase at Amazon.ca and Barnes & Noble; also available as part of the full Mated to the Alpha collection x x x x]

 

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Omega’s Baby (Mated to the Alpha #7) – Wolf Specter & Rosa Swann

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“It’s only a soft sound at first, but then raises in volume. A baby’s first cry.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. Cute is a very good word to describe Part 7 of Mated to the Alpha. At long last it’s October and time for Ethan’s pregnancy to be over. We’ve skipped straight from the wedding in Part 6 to the day of the birth of Max and Ethan’s child. There has apparently been a few things happening since the wedding, mostly concerning Ethan’s family. He’s been getting to know his father and aunt better, and his cousin Elias (Evie’s son with her Alpha mate) now works for Max and seems to live with Max and Ethan. Max and Ethan are still in love with each other and are excited for their baby to be born. The whole focus of this part was the birth of the baby (which is not told in any sort of graphic detail, and probably not totally accurate) and his first day of life. Max and Ethan are both enamoured with their new son, and reading about them with him is very cute indeed. The writing still isn’t the greatest, which dampened my enthusiasm a bit, but the emotions were all there. So now Max and Ethan’s family is finally complete, and it’s adorable. Total no-angst new family fluff and I am all here for it.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) It’s the end of the summer, October has just started and Ethan is trying to make light of his heavy situation.

When he wakes up Max in the middle of the night… They will have to face their most stressful night of their lives.
But in the end, it is all worth it when they hold their beautiful baby.

Omega’s Baby is the seventh story in the Mated to the Alpha series. This series contains an innocent human, a sexy alpha, naughty scenes and Mpreg (male pregnancy).

 

[available for purchase at Amazon.ca and Barnes & Noble; also available as part of the full Mated to the Alpha collection x x x x]

 

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Daddy, Daddy and Me – Sean Michael

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“Like the gay version of Mary Poppins?”

 

In a word: Read the thing. First of all, most of this is stupidly adorable. There are a few other things going on, but the main drive of the story is Jeff and Donny falling in love while caring for Jeff’s two adorable children. The grand majority of the scenes are either Jeff and Donny being cute with the children, or Jeff and Donny being stupidly cute together (while also having sex, there is quite a bit of sex). There are a few dark parts to the story, like the fact that Jeff and his older son are still trying to get over the loss of the children’s mother, who died in a house fire a few weeks before the story starts; and Jeff being hounded by his asshole ex who turns out to be a psycho. But the overall tone of the story is light and fluffy. Jeff, who was technically only meant to be a sperm donor and function in the children’s lives as their godfather, is in way over his head with these two babies he suddenly has care of. His lifestyle as a single dad who works long hours means that he needs to bring someone in to help with childcare, that’s where Donny comes in. Donny is a gay nanny who has been turned down for every childcare job he’s applied for so far, which sucked at first but really ends up turning out for the better. Jeff and Donny don’t waste much time in falling head over heels in love with each other, and they quickly move from ‘employer and employee’ to ‘family’. A lot of this is slice of life stuff with Jeff and Donny taking care of the kids and falling for each other. Actually one problem I did have was that I felt that Jeff and Donny got together too soon and then I got anxious every time they had cute romantic scenes together because it felt like it wouldn’t last. The story didn’t seem to be going anywhere so I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Some conflict and drama did pop up later in the story, which did save things. I really did like Jeff and Donny’s relationship, and their relationships with the children. Most of the story is complete fluff, which isn’t really everyone’s thing, but it’s pretty inoffensive and fun. Some of the darker aspects of the story were a bit unexpected and more serious than I was expecting, but they do make for a nice break from all the rainbows and sunshine. Definitely recommend if you enjoy cute stories about easy romances and cute children.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) When Jeff agreed to be the sperm donor to his best friend Beth, he never expected a tragedy to leave his newborn and three-year-old motherless. Beth’s loss has totally thrown his life into chaos: his lover has left him, his house isn’t anywhere near childproof, and his boss feels the restaurant has been patient enough with Jeff’s time off.

Donny has always known he wanted to work with kids, and he just finished his degree in early childhood education. He didn’t count on the prejudice he’d face as not only a male nanny, but a gay one at that. Job-hunting has been frustrating to say the least, so when he knocks on Jeff’s door and is greeted by the sounds of things breaking and a pair of screaming children, he thinks maybe he can begin this particular interview with a trial by fire.

Becoming the nanny to Jeff’s children might be a dream come true for Danny and exactly what Jeff needs, but are either of them ready to really be a family?

 

[available for purchase from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.ca, Chapters, and Barnes & Noble]

 

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The Teddy Bear Club (The Teddy Bear Club #1) – Sean Michael

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“Dev laughed again, and Aiden decided he really liked the sound of it, bright and full of life.”

 

In a word: Maybe read the thing. This book probably won’t be for everyone. It’s very sweet and fluffy and very kid-centric. I was drawn to the story because of the summary, but the summary turned out to be a bit inaccurate. Most of the story is complete fluff and the minutia of daily baby care while Aiden and Dev’s romance kinda just falls into place. There is some drama with Dev’s mother, but that ultimately never comes to anything and more or less seemed like a waste of time. Though it was an entertaining break from all the child care fluff (seriously, if you don’t like reading about children in your romances you won’t like this book, like, at all). Really, everything of substance in this story doesn’t come to much since most of the focus remains on Aiden and Dev coming together and merging their families (probably a bit quick, but whatever, Dreamspun). Aiden and Dev getting together happened very easily, like there was pretty much no angst surrounding that. It was welcome, unnecessary relationship drama just for the sake of it can get pretty annoying, but also there wasn’t really anything in there to fill that gap. Aiden and Dev took care of their children together with very little fuss, they were always fairly upbeat and positive, and everything was just really overly cute. They had no obstacles, and when the closest things to obstacles did show up it ultimately came to nothing. It was a nice change to read a romance where the couple didn’t have to fight for every little aspect of their happiness, but it was also pretty boring to read a romance where every interaction was written out as a series of steps. There were whole sections of the story where one scene went on for pages because it was full of step-by-step actions and bland dialogue. Sometimes Aiden’s oldest daughter had some cute interactions, and Aiden and Dev’s friends could be pretty funny, but everything was mostly bland (even the sex scenes got a bit long). The thing with Dev’s mother was really a non-issue and a bit of a let-down considering how she was built up. Though I will say that it was a nice change to read a story like this (with an evil grandparent demanding custody of a child they don’t actually have rights to) where the current parent/guardian doesn’t just roll over and accept a ton of abuse in the name of keeping the peace (this seems to be a thing with Harlequin romances, of which the Dreamspun Desires books resemble). Also the fact that we never get much closure with Dev’s sister and her situation was a bit disappointing. Anyway, the biggest problem this book has is that it’s kinda boring and over-padded with minutia. Definitely avoid this if you aren’t a fan of children in romances.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) Two lonely men. One perfect family.

Aiden Lake adopted his institutionalized sister’s two daughters, and he’s a good dad. He works nights on websites and gets in his adult time twice a week at the Roasty Bean, where he meets with other single gay parents.

Devon Smithson wants to be a good dad now that his sixteen-year-old sister asked him to babysit her newborn… three months ago. But he’s overwhelmed with the colicky baby. An invitation to the daddy-and-kid gatherings at the café is a godsend. The pot is sweetened when his friendship with Aiden develops into more—maybe even something that can last.

But the mother who kicked Dev out for being gay wants to get her claws into the baby, and she doesn’t care if she tears Dev, Aiden, and everything they’re building apart in the process.

 

[available for purchase from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.ca, Book Depository, Chapters, and Barnes & Noble]

 

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A Heart for Robbie – J.P. Barnaby

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“Daddy loves you so much, and I’m going to make it all better. I promise.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. This was a heavy read. Holy shit. I knew going in that this book involved a very sick child and a lot of serious medical situations, but I had no idea that Robbie was only a newborn. Like, sick children in general is depressing, but just the image of a teeny tiny newborn having to go through all the pain Robbie has to go through is especially hard to read about. This book really has two distinct aspects to it: the first, and major, one is baby Robbie’s fight for survival and how his single father Julian deals with it all; the second is Julian’s romantic relationship with insurance coordinator Simon. Although Julian and Simon’s relationship is important in the grand scheme of things, and also involves Simon’s journey in coming out of the closet for the first time ever, Robbie’s care and illness definitely comes across as the more involved part of the story. The stakes certainly seem higher for it, anyway. The romantic aspect of the story starts out very slowly. The story starts with Robbie’s traumatic birth and the focus mostly stays on Robbie and Julian for a while. There are some chapters from Simon’s point of view but they mostly focus on his strained relationship with his mother and his fears over coming out, because Julian and Simon don’t really cross paths at first. Once Julian and Simon really start connecting, though, their relationship becomes more prominent in the story and the two plotlines start meshing together. This book can be a bit of a heavy read, but pretty much all of that comes from Robbie’s medical issues and how Julian and his family deal with them. Simon has some drama on his end with his fear of coming out and the homophobia he deals with, and the threat to his job if it comes out that he’s dating a patient’s father, but the relationship itself actually is surprisingly without much conflict (there isn’t even a third-act breakup). This read was very emotional and suspenseful, but I really enjoyed it. Maybe don’t read it if you need a pick-me-up, but it’s still good. Julian and Simon are great, Robbie is sweet, and the ending didn’t ruin anything for me.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) Waiting for someone else’s child to die so yours can live is the worst kind of Hell

Celebrated Young Adult author Julian Holmes pits the heroic characters in his Black Heart series against all different kinds of monsters. But when a critical heart defect threatens his son’s life, he finds he has no champion. No amount of books, classes, or practice can prepare Julian for the fight to save his beautiful son’s life.

Suddenly there are hospitals, transplant lists, and the nightmare of insurance red tape to navigate. In the midst of his trouble, Julian meets Simon Phelps, the insurance coordinator for Robbie’s case. Simon lives so deep in the closet he might never find his way out, but he dreams of exactly what Julian has. Then one night, drunken need and desperation brings them together, and a new fight begins.

 

[available for purchase from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.ca, Book Depository, Chapters, and Barnes & Noble]

 

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The Boy Next Door – Kate McMurray

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“Jase looked at Lowell then, straight in the eye, and Lowell felt something crackle between them. That surprised him.”

 

In a word: Maybe read the thing. I really wanted to like this one. I did like the premise of two childhood friends reconnecting as adults and falling in love, but I feel like this particular story had a bit too much conflict for my liking. A lot of conflict that didn’t have much in the way of resolutions, which didn’t help any. I’m always a fan of some angst with a happy ending, and I did like that aspect of the story, but I did find myself getting annoyed at the two leads. Well, I shouldn’t say both leads, I was more annoyed with Jase than I ever was with Lowell. My main problem with Lowell was that I thought that he tortured himself too much over Jase. Jase is a very scared man. The community he lives in seems to be fairly homophobic, and his ex-wife is both homophobic and bitter so she’s an extra stressor for him. All Jase seems to want to do is to do his job, raise his daughter, and make as few waves as possible. He’s only really starting to come to terms with the fact that he’s gay, but he’s spent so long hiding it because of fear and self-loathing that he’s having a hard time with it. Pretty much all the relationship conflict between him and Lowell comes from this, and it gets really annoying when Jase runs hot and cold with Lowell and Lowell seems to just take it. Outside of all that drama there were also a few subplots going on, and none of them really got any concrete resolutions. That was a real disappointment because time was devoted to those but they ultimately didn’t go very far. I don’t know if there’s a sequel that continues the story, but if there isn’t the ending to this book is just a bit disappointing. Really, I spent a lot of the story annoyed with Jase and feeling bad for Lowell, which didn’t really make for an enjoyable read. It was fine to start with, with the angst and whatnot, but I think it all just dragged out for too long and I was tired of it all by the end.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) Life is full of surprises and, with luck, second chances.

After his father’s death, Lowell leaves the big city to help his sick mother in the conservative small town where he grew up. He’s shocked to find himself living next to none other than his childhood friend Jase. Lowell always had a crush on Jase, and the man has only gotten more attractive with age. Unfortunately Jase is straight, now divorced, and raising his six-year-old daughter. It’s nice to reconnect, but Lowell doesn’t see a chance for anything beyond friendship.

Until a night out together changes everything.

Jase can’t fight his growing feelings for Lowell, and he doesn’t want to give up the happy future they could have. But his ex-wife issues an ultimatum: he must keep his homosexuality secret or she’ll revoke his custody of their daughter, Layla. Now Jase faces an impossible choice: Lowell and the love he’s always wanted, or his daughter.

 

[available for purchase at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.ca, Book Depository, Chapters, and Barnes & Noble]

 

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Two Man Station (Emergency Services #1) – Lisa Henry

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“This is a two-man station. If things turn to shit, it’s just us.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. This is the first book in a brand-new series by Lisa Henry, and I am very excited about the whole thing. The setting is the small, remote town of Richmond in the Australian outback. The main characters are the town’s two police officers: Sergeant Jason Quinn, and newcomer Gio Valeri (who is new to the town, not to policing). The plot is somewhat non-existent. This is very much more of a slice-of-life story, focusing more on the characters and setting than any sort of plot. Though there is a clear direction in the story, things move along and develop, it just doesn’t do it with a defined chain of events. This might not be some people’s thing, but I enjoyed it. I really liked Gio and Jason, and I enjoyed reading about what they had to deal with while policing their town. Jason’s son Taylor was a lot of fun, and Sandra from the police station was also pretty entertaining. Gio and Jason’s romance gets off to a slow start, since Gio’s background – the reason he wound up in Richmond in the first place – doesn’t make it easy for Jason to trust him; not to mention the fact that he’s still not completely over the death of his wife and his struggles with being a single parent. Gio’s background, the real one that no one else really knows about, makes it hard for him to trust Jason, or anyone else really. Despite everything, they still do manage to get close, though there really is a lot for them to work through before they can be functional together. This book is mostly character development and random happenings – although domestic violence is a consistent theme, so there is a specific chain of events for that happening in the background – and the story of two men trying to find a second chance at happiness while dealing with their own problems. I had a hard time putting this one down and ended up reading it in less than a day. The descriptions of life in the Australian outback (which is completely alien to me), and wanting to find out just what made Gio and Jason tick really grabbed my attention and made me interested. I’m not sure if either Jason or Gio will be appearing in future series installments, but I’m really excited to see what’s coming next.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) Gio Valeri is a big city police officer who’s been transferred to the small outback town of Richmond with his professional reputation in tatters. His transfer is a punishment, and Gio just wants to keep his head down and survive the next two years. No more mistakes. No more complications.

Except Gio isn’t counting on Jason Quinn.

Jason Quinn, officer in charge of Richmond Station, is a single dad struggling with balancing the demands of shift work with the challenges of raising his son. The last thing he needs is a new senior constable with a history of destroying other people’s careers. But like it or not, Jason has to work with Gio.

In a remote two-man station hours away from the next town, Gio and Jason have to learn to trust and rely on each another. Close quarters and a growing attraction mean that the lines between professional and personal are blurring. And even in Richmond, being a copper can be dangerous enough without risking their hearts as well.

 

[available for purchase at Riptide Publishing, Amazon.caBook Depository, Chapters, and Barnes & Noble]

 

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