Shelly’s Favorites of 2016

What an amazing year for romance. I read some really good ones this year including a couple historicals.

If you’re a fan of Lisa Kleypas’s historicals and haven’t read her Ravenels series, you’re missing out. This was a new to me author and I couldn’t have been more pleased with Marrying Winterborne, book 2 in the series. Rhys and Helen’s romance was a sweet, fun and well told story about choosing what’s good for you in spite of what society says.

Each of the past few years, M.Q. Barber’s put out a story that I’ve really liked and this year was no exception. Finding their Balance is book 5 in her Neighborly Affection series and continues the story of Henry, Jay and Alice. Well worth the read in you’ve followed that series but I wouldn’t recommend as a stand alone.

I waited for Grace Draven’s book 2 in the Wraith Kings series, Eidolon, patiently. I wasn’t sure it would be worth it because I’ve been disappointed before but this one was absolutely worth the wait. Jen loved it too.

If SEALs are your thing, Embattled Road should be right up your alley. It’s the prequel to JM Madden’s Lost and Found series and it’s good short but good.

I’ve read everything put out by Christine Wenrick and when Leaving Lily Behind came out I was never so happy. It’s book 3 of the Men of Brahm Hills series continuing the saga of good versus evil, Dhampirs, vampires, humans and all things that go bump in the night. It’s tightly woven with the series just in case you’re tempted to read as a standalone.

One of my favorite writers is Allyn Lesley. She’s one of these authors who can pen a tale about an anti-hero and make you fall in love with him. Deeper, book 2 in her Descent series is no exception to that. Noah is no saint and Avi knows it.

Happy reading folks!

Honorable mention goes to:

Angel 6.0 – Concubine by Travis Luedke
A Bad Bit Nice by Josie Kerr
Happily Ever All-Star by Sosie Frost
The Devil’s Bedpost by Lena Hart
Falling by Allyn Lesley
Sucker Punched by Kelley Martin

Review: An Accidental Gentleman by MQ Barber

accidental gentlemenReviewed by Shelly

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Her Shirtless Gentleman. Rob and Nora were a fun couple to read. And as much as I loved book 1, the 2nd book in the series, An Accidental Gentleman, fell completely flat for me. I’m a Barber fangirl, and when I started reading this I immediately didn’t care for the heroine, Katherine ‘Kit’ Runyon. I can’t say that I found Brian Hendricks to be much of a hero either. I thought this might be like HSG in that it was a slow build and I would eventually feel the love but, yeah, I never did. [Read more…]

Review: Finding Their Balance by MQ Barber

finding their balanceReviewed by Shelly

Be warned, this is a fan girl review, so there’s a high chance I’m going to be a little bit giddy and rambly. I’ve read all 4 previous stories in this series and while I could probably recommend this as a standalone, I’m not going to, because this is a continuation. The story of the three main characters – Henry, Jay and Alice – is told in a traditional over-arching storyline. Each story builds on the last and there’s very little, if any, retelling. That’s one of the big pluses for me, the ability to fall right back into the lives of these three. [Read more…]

Shelly’s Favorite Books of 2015

I had a very good read from a new to me author, Serena Akeroyd. Menage Material, is the first in her La Belle sans Le bete series and was an absolute winner. It’s a menage (m/m/f) erotica set in France and tells the tale of a CEO, his botanist American wife and their cancer curing scientist lover.

Click to purchase: Menage Material
[Read more…]

Review: Her Shirtless Gentleman by MQ Barber

her shirtless gentlemanReviewed by Shelly

It took me a while to write this review after reading this story, only because it’s a pretty simple concept, but the journey for Rob and Nora is complex yet satisfying. I know you‘d most likely appreciate words from me versus the finger gestures and emoticons that I had during and after reading. Unlike many romance stories, this time it’s the hero who’s sure of the relationship and what he wants and expects. There’s no wishy washy non-sense about his way of life and not wanting to build his own family and all that jazz. Rob’s in his mid to late 30’s and while his siblings are all married and have children, he’s been waiting for that ‘one’ and when he finds her, he’s got one job – don’t chase her off. That single thing is harder than he ever anticipated because his ‘one’ is still getting over the crap that her ex-husband put her through. [Read more…]

Review: Becoming His Master by MQ Barber

becoming his masterReviewed by Shelly

Answering many of my questions about Henry and Jay’s start, this is a solid complement to Henry, Jay and Alice’s story in the first three stories in the Neighborly Affection series. Since the first book in the series, I’ve been a M. Q. Barber fan and will read anything by this author because I like the way she writes – a lot. This is m/m and although I don’t currently read that category I read this because 1) I expected good writing 2) I wanted to get the background scoop on Henry and Jay. [Read more…]

Shelly’s Favorite Books of 2014

2014

This is the year of series for me. All of my faves this year are part of a series, which is not something I’m used to. I think we all know how rare it is to find multiple books within a series that are as good or better than their counterparts.

healing the woundsHealing the Wounds by M.Q. Barber (Pub date: 06/02/2014)

This was my only A+ book all year long. It’s a ménage with BDSM written all over it, but the writing made me like what these characters were feeling – happy, sad, anxious, fearful – the gamut of emotions were all there. The 3rd in MQ Barber’s ‘Neighborly Affection’ series picks up the story of Henry, Jay and Alice. This takes us right to club where Jay and Henry met and we see a glimpse of time when Henry saved Jay from a guy who claims he’s a Dom. There’s a lot of crying, talking and soothing of emotions in this one which was one of the many things that made me enjoy it so much. [Read more…]

Review: Healing the Wounds by M.Q. Barber

healing the woundsReviewed by Shelly

I miss Henry, Alice and Jay already. This is by far the best in the Neighborly Affection series – there was nothing else I could ask for. It’s unquestionably going into the re-read pile so maybe after I read it a few more times, the traumatic (yes, I said it) separation anxiety that I’m having will somehow subside. Dear readers, if you’ve not read any of the others in the series I can’t express to you how much I think that you should. You’re missing Barber’s fresh take on the dynamics of creating and maintaining a triad relationship. Keep in mind that this isn’t a stand-alone and if you’re not familiar with Henry, Alice and Jay’s history you’re most likely going to become frustrated and I do not want that, so go get the first 2 in the series. [Read more…]

Interview with M.Q. Barber

playing the gameby Shelly

Hi Folks, I discovered MQ Barber’s work last year and since then I’m head over heads for her Neighborly Affection series. After a tad bit of stalking I got her to do an interview. Enjoy!

Shelly: Who’s your favorite author? What about your favorite menage story – that’s not your own of course?

M.Q.: The closest thing I have to a favorite author right now is probably fantasy writer Jim Butcher. He writes characters I get emotionally wrapped up in and stories with a lot of intrigue, action, and humor.

You’ll laugh, but I don’t have a favorite ménage story yet. I have a to-read list that gets longer every time I see a review or a recommendation for a book that sounds interesting. [Read more…]

Review: Crossing the Lines by MQ Barber

crossing the linesReviewed by Shelly

The second in Barber’s Neighborly Affection, this story picks up where the first story left off. This is not a standalone so I’m strongly suggesting that you give the first one a read before digging into this one. When I got the copy, I was gluttonous in my consumption. I couldn’t help but read it in one sitting. Then it took me a little time putting my thoughts together because I had to get over my expectations of where I saw the story going. Barber doesn’t magically turn this into flowery prose. Instead it’s kept pretty much in the same vein as the first story. [Read more…]