Alice Winters-How to Vex a Vampire

Alice Winters is one of my favorite MM authors. She writes a damn good story, with fantastic worlds, but that’s not all. She also writes the most ridiculous, funny, charming characters. And How to Vex a Vampire fits right in with the rest of her books. I laughed my ass off while I was reading it, because it’s really impossible not to.

As you can tell from the title, this is a PNR/UF kinda thing. So, here’s our story. Finn is a human homicide detective. He walks into a crime scene, and Marcus points out that he shouldn’t be there. That’s because the vic is a vampire, and the Vampire Related Crimes department of the police is supposed to handle it. But Finn has a plan. He knows that they need to have a new person in their department, and he wants to be that person. There is a very young vampire there, and he nearly attacks the human analyst doing work, which means there’s suddenly an opening. Finn basically begs the head of the department, Brooks, to let him have the job, and he gets it. It helps that Brooks has known Finn for a long time, having been a friend of his adoptive father. So, he knows Finn’s history and abilities.

Poor Marcus, who is a very old vampire, gets stuck with Finn as a partner. It really annoys Marcus, and he does what he can to try to scare Finn off, which doesn’t work the way that he really wants it to.

Finn is just totally ridiculous and incredibly charming. He’s one of those people who never meets a stranger and knows that everyone loves him. He just can’t imagine it being any other way. And then the fact that he’s positive that you love him kind of makes it so that you do love him. He wears you down and grows on you. Or you just get too damn tired to fight him off any more. Either way, it works. But the thing is that Finn is just as smart, talented, and competent as he thinks he is. Which is almost too bad for him, because, well, that just gives him more fuel for his ego. Which really doesn’t need any more fuel. And you could almost think that he would be insufferable, but he really isn’t. He’s just this guy that you really just kinda want to take care of and be friends with. But you also want to snark at and with him.

The snarkasm is heavy in any of Alice’s books, but it’s never really mean. It’s just the way that the characters communicate.

I can’t wait for the next book in the series, and I hope it comes soon. Of course, I can’t wait for the next book in any of her series, and I definitely recommend them to everyone.

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I’m dying to find out more about Finn’s history and why certain things happened.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

2019 Round Up-Top 10 Redemption Books Pt. 1

So, redemption books. Redemption, according to Miriam Webster, means the action of being saved from a sin, evil, or error. And that’s sorta how I see it when it comes to redemption books. For me, a redemption book means that the main character was a really bad guy, hurt the other main character, did something evil, but over the course of the book or books, in some cases, they redeemed themselves. They end up fixing their fuckup, making amends, changing, whatever. I mean, these are the books where the hero dumps the heroine in the most evil way possible, demolishes her life, thinks about killing her, burns her house down, steals her dog, and is just a rotten motherfucker. But, over the timeline of the book, he realizes that he done fucked up, he’s miserable about it, and he’s gonna make it better, somehow. Doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s going to be a good guy or anything, because yeah, that’s not necessarily it works.

Of course, not all redemption books are that drastic. Look at the movie Groundhog Day. Bill Murray starts as an ass, but over the period of the movie, he starts to realize that he’s an ass, and works to make himself better, at least when it comes to Andie MacDowell. So, there are going to be some books where the redemption is more like that.

Just in case you were wondering how I came up with the books on my various lists, some of them I remember from when I read them. But I wasn’t kidding when I said I’ve read over 800 books this year. Sometimes titles slip my mind, so I look at my yearly challenge on GR and look at all the books I’ve read this year, and go oh yeah! Gives me just the nudge I need.

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Nicolina Martin-Absolution

So, I told you yesterday when I was talking about the book Redemption that you should expect to see Absolution. This is the second book in the duet, and the 6th book in the Russo series. It is the continuing story of Kerry and Christian, and in this one, we get to see Christian come back and redeem himself when it comes to what he did to Kerry. I mean, he tried to kill her in Redemption, and it did all kinds of terrible things to her mental health. And then when he accidentally finds her, after she has run far, far, far away from him, he’s really furious with her, and she’s scared AF. But, he manages to redeem himself and turn back into the Christian I loved when I first met him in Ruin. Actually, I think he’s even better than he was then. He’s more rounded and more human. Of course, I think it’s also a little bit of a redemption for Kerry too. She went through hell, and was able to come out through the other side of it and end up stronger.

Alice Winters-A Villain For Christmas

A Villain For Christmas is in a shared theme series of books. They all have a snowglobe in them somehow, they are all MM, and they are all about Christmas in some way. Because it’s an Alice Winters book, there is a lot of humor, snark, and ridiculousness in there. The reason that I’m counting this as a redemption book is because the titular hero, Landon, AKA Leviathan, is a supervillain, who was raised by a family of “super”villains, and who has the hugest crush on the biggest superhero of the city, August, AKA Chrono. Landon is never evil, really, but there is a redemption arc for him to go on. It’s a really fun book, and I really want Alice to write more in this world.

India R Adams-Ivy’s Poison

Yup, this is India’s 2nd time on my round up lists. I liked Ivy’s Poison so much that I bought a signed copy of it. It’s part of the Cavalieri Della Morte shared world. It’s kind of an Arthurian retelling, if Arthur had a Round Table of assassins instead of knights. This is the story of Bors and Ivy. Bors had to go assisinate the pres of an MC, who just happens to be Ivy’s dad, but instead he gets taken prisoner and tortured by Ivy. I consider this a redemption story for both of them because they are both in a bad place at the beginning of the book and they each go through their own journey to get to a better place and redeem themselves, as well as the journey they go through together. I will warn you that there are some difficult moments in this one, especially in chapter 1, so you may want to be careful when you read it. It is a fantastic book, and it’s the first one of India’s books I read.

Jane Henry-King’s Ransom

King’s Ransom is the latest book in Jane’s Bratva Ruthless Doms books. It’s also a Daddy book, and that’s a good place for Jane. This is the story of Stefan and Taara. Stefan is a character that we’ve run across in the series before, and I really liked him. He’s a head honcho, and makes a lot of things happen. Taara is his housekeeper and has wanted him for years. Here’s what makes it a redemption story for Stefan, IMO. Things happen, and Taara gets herself into a place where she is basically Stefan’s captive, and it just turns really bad. My heart broke for her, and I hated Stefan for a minute, but things worked out and he got his head out of his ass.

Laura Thalassa-War

I debated whether or not to put War on this list. After all, he’s less a person than a personification, but decided that it was a redemption story of sorts. It’s the same with Pestilence, which is the first book in the Four Horsemen series. I can’t wait for the next ones. These books are so good. So, the way that the story works is that years ago the 4 rode out to Earth, and then they disappeared. The Pestilence showed up and killed many, many, many people, and he disappeared. Now War has shown up in the Middle East, doing what he does best. Miriam lived in Jerusalem, and caught War’s eye, and he took her for his wife. The reason that I put this in the redemption list is that while all this is going on, War changes from who he was, a personification of the divine, to something that is both less and more than that. I think that it works well that way.

OK, come back tomorrow for part 2. I hope that everyone has a safe and happy New Year’s Eve, or had, depending on where and when you read this. I’ll probably be asleep by 10, because I have to be up at 4 tomorrow. Happy New Year, and may this coming year and decade lead to better things.

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2019 Round Up-Top 10 MM Books Pt. 1

I’ve read MM for years, but this year, it seemed to ramp up even more. It ramped up enough that I’m giving it its own Top 10 list this year. Remember, these are in no particular order.

K. Webster-Wicked Lies Boys Tell

Once a year or so, K writes an amazingly, overwhelmingly emotional book that rips you apart and puts you back together. Her books My Torin and The Day She Cried fall into this category. So does Wicked Lies Boys Tell. This is a friends to enemies to lovers kind of story with some coming of age tossed in. The relationship between Penn and Cope is beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time. I will fully admit that there were times that I cried during this. K really just knows how to create characters that break me down and stick with me for a while.

Nicky James-Long Way Home

Long Way Home was beautiful and devastating. It’s the story of Gavin and Owen. They were high school sweethearts, but when they turned 18, they ended up being split up, and the story spans many years of their lives. We get to see what happens to each of them. It sounds like it could be nothing but a heartbreak, but I promise that it’s not. It really is a beautiful story. It was the first Nicky James book that I read, but not the last.

Susan Hawke-How to Heal

Susan Hawke is also Susi Hawke, but she writes contemporary under this name. Her first series was the Lovestrong series, and How to Heal was the last book in that series. It’s a great series, with a lot of humor and love. There is also a lot of pain, especially in this book. This is my favorite book in the series. It’s a hurt/comfort, redemption, Daddy/boy kind of book, and it works so perfectly together. Clark had been a bully in the first couple of books, but this one takes place several years later, after he has changed, but he still thinks that he has to pay a penance for what he did. His journey is a hard one, but a beautiful one. I have all these books signed, and I ARCed most of them. How to Heal is also the book I’m currently listening to in my car when I’m alone. I’ve read it at least 2xx this year.

Lucy Lennox-Wilde Love

Lucy Lennox has two main series that she’s written. They are the Made Marian and the Forever Wilde books. The two series are interconnected. Marian came first, but I read the Wilde books first and I fell in love with Grandpa and Doc, because it’s totally impossible not to. I, like all of Lucy’s readers, was desperate to find out all of their story, and thus Wilde Love was born. I own both an e and an audio copy of this. I took a mini-vacation this year and listened to this on my drive. It starts with when the guys first meet, during Vietnam while they were both serving, and runs through the current day. There are so many beautiful little moments in here and so many heartbreaking ones at the same time, and sometimes they are the same moments. This book made me just love Grandpa and Doc so much more.

Alice Winters-The Hitman’s Guide to Making Friends and Finding Love

I laughed hysterically the whole time I read The Hitman’s Guide to Making Friends and Finding Love. Leland is a hitman, no really, a real hitman, and Jackson is the PI who is trying to help catch him. Leland is so fucking snarky and may or may not have a gun fetish. I mean, honestly, Alice writes a damn good story that keeps you interested, while letting you laugh at the most ridiculous stuff possible. I swear that Leland just has no filter at all, and it’s glorious.

Tune in for part 2 tomorrow!

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Alice Winters-The Hitman’s Guide to Making Friends and Finding Love

Oh my ducklings, have I got the most wonderful treat for you today. It is the most ridiculously wonderful and wonderfully ridiculous book I have read in a while. I was initially attracted to it because of the title, I mean, The Hitman’s Guide to Making Friends and Finding Love, what’s not to like about that? But once I started reading, I just couldn’t put it down. I laughed until I cried more than once. My poor long-suffering husband gave me funny looks. I’m definitely going to have to read more Alice Winters if this is the way that all her books are.

Leland is known as the Sandman. He’s a notorious hitman, and he always leaves a little note with his kills. Right now, he’s staking out a house so that he can kill a scummy human trafficker. Then, he sees a guy jump over a fence, get his pants caught on the fence, and dangle, bare-assed, for the world to see. Leland pretty much decides he’s in utter love, right then and there. So, he does what any self-respecting assassin does, and leaves a love note on his car.

Jackson is a very by-the-books PI. He was in the military and now he has his own PI agency. Right now, he’s trying to find the guy who is a terrible human trafficker. The father of one of the girls that want missing hired him. Jackson also works with the police, when he can, and the local police chief is his friend, in fact he sees him as a father figure. So, when he goes down to his car and sees a note from the Sandman, the first thing he does is talk to Henry. He tells him that he thinks he might have a lead on the scuzzball, and then shows him the note. Henry warns him about the Sandman and says he might be a target. Well, he totally is a target, but Leland doesn’t want to shoot him with his gun, if’n you know what I mean.

Leland and Jackson are so funny together. Jackson works so hard to ignore Leland no matter what. Leland just flirts heavily with Jackson. Of course, his way of flirting involves doing things like shooting a soda can sitting next to Jackson when they are both on a stakeout or breaking into the backseat of Jackson’s car, surprising him and sticking his finger in Jackson’s ear. Leland is really like that 10 year old kid who likes you, but he isn’t quite sure how to let you know, so he’s just terribly awkward and over the top. But funnier. Much funnier. So much funnier.

Of course, this book isn’t all fun and games. There are serious bits. People get hurt. Things happen. There’s a bad guy who has to be stopped. There’s a relationship to build and vacuum cleaners to kill.

I just loved this book so much, and I’m really hoping that there are going to be more in the series, because it really was a perfect mix of humor, love, action, suspense, ridiculousness, and wonderfulness. Just a great book. I’m going to have to check into more Alice Winters books to see if this is her typical touch, because if it is, I’m going to enjoy myself a lot.

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OMG, the family reunion is just soooooo funny. Jackson’s mom really got what she deserved there. I never liked her, the bitch.

OK, that’s all for today. Go check it out. I guarantee that you will laugh. Happy reading!