When Love Comes Back (When the Mission Ends #5) by Christi Snow

He was her biggest mistake.
She was his biggest regret.
Once upon a time Felicia Parks and Gage Winston were each other’s everything. But one drunken night, Gage ruined it all and broke Felicia’s heart.
That was a long time ago and they’ve both moved on, never expecting to see one another again.
But as the new wing commander at the local Air Force base, Gage finds something on this assignment that he never expected…his first love.
The problem…she’s in love with someone else.
Fate can be a lover’s best friend, but karma can be a vengeful enemy….
And a dangerous obsession threatens it all.

Oh, this was a scary one going in. From the description I just knew that Felicia and Gage needed to be together. I was prepared to be all in and want their HEA from the beginning… it would have been so much easier if Steve had been a jerk and all Felicia needed to do was see the light and dump him – but he wasn’t. He was a great guy and he deserved to be loved, he just wasn’t the right guy for Felicia… and that kinda sucked. So, in case you’re wondering, Christi Snow gets to hold onto her #EvilAuthor title just a little bit longer.

Actually, all the characters in When Love Comes Back were great. I loved Gage’s kids and having Felicia’s best friend around to bounce her feelings off gave an alternate perspective that really added to the story. Getting POVs from both Felicia and Gage helped a lot as well. There were also flash backs that shed some light on what happened in Gage and Felicia’s past. It also proved that as much as Gage screwed up, he wasn’t the only one who made some mistakes and hasty decisions.

When Love Comes Back had everything that I’ve enjoyed in the other books in the When the Mission Ends series. Romance, a little bit of danger and characters who are really easy to fall for. It can most definitely be read as a stand alone, but I’ve been a fan of this author’s writing since prologue in the first book in this series, so of course I’m going to recommend that you start at the beginning with Operation: End Game – you can thank me later 😉

When you finish When Love Comes Back, make sure you read the author’s notes at the end. There are a couple of characters in this one that I really want to see more of. You know those characters that kind of jump off the page and demand to be heard? Or the ones that really need an HEA of their very own? Yeah, I’m really looking forward to what comes next 😉

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Found at the Jazz Club (Found #3) by Christi Snow

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…or does it?
Emily Hodges went to Vegas for her best friend’s wedding. She was NOT looking for a husband. Been there, done that, never doing it again. She has enough scars on her heart, and doesn’t need or want any more.
Brady Gresham went to Vegas to find his musical voice again. Instead he found an inspiring muse in the form of Emily. But right now his musical career is his focus. He’s too young to want or need to be tied down.
Somehow their drunken get-together turned into a wedding that neither one of them can remember or explain.
Waking up married was never part of the plan, but you know what they say about best laid plans…

I love Christi Snow’s Found series. Emily’s been around since the very first book… Found at the Library. I was kind of surprised (mainly because Found has been a M/M series up until now), but totally excited about the fact that she was destined to find her HEA in the series. I know some readers read only one or the other genre in romance, but I’m not one of them. Not only because my taste is eclectic, but it’s kind of refreshing to mix things up. After all, love is love, so why should only the guys have all the fun? 😉 Besides that, I fell in love with Christi Snow’s writing when her series were strictly M/F – I was thrilled when she started writing M/M romance. I pretty much know that whatever she writes I’m going to love, regardless of who the characters are. ❤

So, how was the romance between Emily and Brady? Everything I expected and then some. Emily was just a little broken and seeing all her friends find their HEA wasn’t helping. She was beyond happy for them, but she knew she’d never have what they had. When she met Brady, she had no idea who he really was. There wasn’t a lot of time to exchange details about themselves. One minute she was drowning her sorrows with the guy playing the piano after her best friend’s wedding and the next, she woke up with a supreme hangover and a wedding ring.

Brady wasn’t exactly keeping his true identity a secret, but after spending the evening with Emily, he finally got his music mojo back. That’s pretty much all he had on his mind.

Emily finally tracked him down, although she still didn’t remember much. When she found out that Brady had a serious girlfriend it was kind of a relief. She wasn’t good at relationships, period. But once they connected again, the attraction was hard to ignore.

I loved these two together, but there was a lot in their way. The age thing bothered Emily a lot more than it did Brady, but she didn’t want him to have regrets. His only regret would be losing her – he just had to convince her of that, before it was too late.

The supporting characters were great (as usual). Speaking of which, I adored Brady’s family. There was a little bit of suspense, a LOT of smexiness and yeah, there were tears. Lots and lots of tears. Enough tears that I may or may not have referred to the author as evil on more than one occasion and I may or may not forgive her for what she put the characters (and readers) through by the end of Found at the Jazz Club. She wears her #EvilAuthor crown with pride though and makes no apologies. Needless to say, I can’t wait for the next book in the Found series. There are some loose ends (and totally broken characters) that need to be fixed sooner rather than later.

Shiver (Texas Paranormals #2) by Christi Snow

A year ago Corey Abbott’s life entered the realm of the bizarre when he discovered the things that go bump in the night are real. But working for the local vampire council didn’t prepare him for were-deer shifters.
Nine months ago Dare Buckley’s herd abandoned him. Now, he’s slowly going mad from Lyme disease…something that doesn’t hurt normal deer, but for were-deer is fatal.
On one snowy, sleet-filled night, the two collided…literally.
This Christmas two men find love in the most unexpected place…a lonely, desolate highway.
It’s definitely not your typical meet-cute, but it’s a twist of fate that would even make Santa happy.

Short, but not too short. Sweet, but not sappy. A little bit of magic, more than a little heat. Shiver was the perfect holiday PNR read. Just enough to make me want more 😉

Corey was a little broken after his less than subtle introduction to the paranormal world. He loved his new job that pulled him even deeper into the world he knew nothing about a year ago. There was still something missing though. He didn’t expect to find it after hitting a deer on a snowy night, but that’s exactly what happened when he literally ran into Dare.

Dare was alone and sick and destined to stay that way. There was something about Corey that changed that though. He was drawn to him almost as soon as he saw him, but giving into that attraction would doom Corey to the same fate.

A lot happened in Shiver in a short amount of time, but it really didn’t feel rushed. I liked the little twists the author’s spin on her paranormal world. I also enjoyed catching up with Zack and Nash, even if it was a brief encounter.

I read the first book (Smolder) in Christi Snow’s Texas Paranormals series as part of the Children of the Night anthology. Corey was introduced in the first book, but you could easily read Shiver as a stand alone. Smolder does set up the world for Texas Paranormals though, plus it features a couple of pretty steamy vampires 😉 It’s also good to know that there is hope for more books in the series if there’s enough interest. So, no pressure or anything, but if you happen to read this one and like it, be sure to let the author know because I kinda sorta want this series to continue for a while 😉

Snowcroft Restoration (Snowcroft Men #4) by Christi Snow

Two years ago, Law Wyman went undercover for an FBI investigation that went sideways. It cost him both the love of his life and his sanity. The nightmare still haunts him, and so does some unfinished business…Ian Mayne, the son of the man who ruined his life.
Two years ago, Ian had to face the truth about how his father spent a lifetime torturing and trafficking LGBTQ teens. Ever since, Ian has done everything he can to make up for his dead father’s many sins through his law enforcement job. Too many paid in horrific, horrible ways at his father’s hands while Ian kept the truth about his own sexuality hidden.
Law is doing all he can to save Ian, but Ian has no idea about Law’s history with his dead father. When the truth comes out, it could cost them both everything.
Two men…both horrifically haunted by what happened. Is it possible they can find healing together? Only if they have the courage to face their demons and each other…

I can’t tell you how long I’ve been waiting for this book. Law has been breaking my heart since the beginning of the series. In Snowcroft Lost, Law lost the love of his life. In Snowcroft Safehouse, readers spent time getting to know him even better and in the process he broke my heart even more. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m kinda glad that we had to wait for Law’s HEA. It gave both Law and Ian a chance to not only find themselves, but each other. (That doesn’t mean that Ms. Snow has been totally forgiven however… her #EvilAuthor status is still in good standing.)

I never got as attached to Ian as I did to Law, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t feel for him. He had suffered totally different losses, but they were just as haunting – which left him just as broken. His need to pay back for his father’s sins took him away from Snowcroft on a mission to save a friend.

Which brings us to the fact that this book had two parts. The first was away from Snowcroft, where Ian went on a solo undercover operation to find a missing friend and Law went to offer his support – whether Ian wanted it or not. Even though Ian barely knew Law and his history, Law wasn’t in the dark at all. He not only wanted to help Ian, he was attracted to him. That attraction only grew the closer they got to each other and given the circumstances they were thrown into, closeness was inevitable.

These two had a few emotional obstacles to get around, but they were so good together, their HEA was inevitable. I knew better (knowing this author) than to relax once they finally made it back to Snowcroft in the second part of Snowcroft Restoration. It was great having them back in familiar territory though, especially since they were surrounded by family and friends. There were still some emotional hurdles, but I loved watching their plans unfold and the ‘restoration’ begin.

Danger, heat, emotion, humor and a strong sense of family. This series pretty much has it all. I’m really, really happy that their is more to come and the introduction of some new Snowcroft residents is guaranteed to keep things interesting. I can’t wait to see what Christi Snow has in store for readers next. ❤

Children of the Night – A Rainbow Railroad Anthology

Children of the Night is an anthology of M/M themed Vampire stories written by 4 separate authors. All proceeds benefit the Rainbow Railroad, which you can find out more about by following the link.
I’ve personally only read books by one of the authors in this anthology, but even so, I read them all. Below each description, you’ll find my individual reviews and ratings.

Wishing and Hoping by Tinnean
It’s finally the day of Ioan’s eighteenth birthday, and all that he’s been waiting for will finally be his—including the love of the man he’s secretly been in love with all these years. Everything is perfect. Until the love of his life shows up to his birthday party with a wife.

I really liked the premise of this one, but I kind of got lost in the writer’s style. There was nothing really bad about it, but it didn’t have the kind of flow that I’m used to. Beyond that, I loved getting to know Ioan, his family and the true love of his life. ❤

Lamb to the Slaughter by Joanna Chambers
There is very little Lucien enjoys more than the hunt of young men: beautiful, innocent, eager to learn all that a mature man like Lucien might be able to teach them…

Oh, this was a good one – and that’s pretty much all I’m going to say because anything else would give the story away. Enjoy!

Smolder by Christi Snow
All Zack wants is to be left alone. When Marissa, his boss, calls with orders that he take care of a new vampire in her area because she can’t, he’s absolutely certain this assignment is going to go any way but well.

Smolder was one of my favorites in the Children of the Night anthology. I’ve read pretty much everything that Christi Snow has written and she hasn’t disappointed me yet. From contemporary to paranormal, her witty, somewhat broken characters always draw me in and few are quite as broken as Zack. The only complaint that I have about Smolder was that it wasn’t quite long enough. I’d love more of Zack and Nash.

Lilac and Leather by Maris Black
Halloween night, and Matt would prefer to be anywhere but in an over-crowded club, especially when an old lover shows up, and he finally has to admit he’s gay. But the night takes a turn for the strange—and hot—when he meets the beautiful, mysterious Nicky…

I really liked Lilac and Leather, but I wish it would have been just a little bit longer. The story had a neat little twist, but I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t say much more. There were just a lot of loose ends at the end that I really, really, really wanted tied up. So many questions! So many…. 

Intertwined Hearts (Snowcroft Men #3) by Christi Snow

Three people who’ve given up on love…
Hudson:
After a brutal, late-night attack in his restaurant left Chef Hudson Richmond too traumatized to even enter his restaurant again, he escaped to Snowcroft. Now he’s trying to find a new normal when the reality of his world is a man’s touch makes him sick and his dream has become his nightmare.
Leigh:
Leigh Vaughn lives in a man’s world running Vaughn Construction with her brother, Jamie. She’s tried to be feminine and failed over and over again. Growing up with only her brother, father, and construction crews to guide her, Leigh has no idea what a feminine wile is, much less how to deploy them. But when Jamie and Trevor begin to research finding a surrogate to carry their baby, she knows this is something she can do. Hell, it’s not like those parts are getting used for anything else.
David:
When this small town came looking for a new police chief, David Warner jumped at the chance. After a traumatic betrayal by his partner on the police force, he’s burnt out and jaded. And his love life has been even more depressing than his work life. He’s made one true connection in the last five years, but she disappeared without a trace the next morning.
Three people who have given up on love, may just find a new beginning where they least expect it…in Snowcroft. But love is only supposed to happen in twos. How can they make it work with three intertwined hearts?
Trigger warning: This book features story-lines that involve past assaults and betrayals, but has a guaranteed HEA for three people who couldn’t deserve it more. male/male/female.

I have absolutely no idea where to begin with this book… First, I gotta be honest here, menage is not my ‘go-to’ when I’m looking for a romance. However, when the situation is right and it’s either recommended by a reader I trust or written by an author I’ve learned to trust, I’m perfectly willing to spread my eclectic branches out just a little bit farther. Intertwined Hearts fell into many of those categories for me. First, it was written by one of my favorite contemporary authors; second, I’ve already started the Snowcroft Men series and I had absolutely no intention of missing even one book centered around these characters.

I’ve been reading M/M romance for a while now and I can’t tell you how excited I was when I found out that Christi Snow was going to venture into writing books in this genre. She and I read A LOT of the same books so I not only trust, but look forward to her recommendations. I fell in love with her story telling when I began her When the Mission Ends series. Now, I have no doubts about picking up either anything she recommends or writes. As cautious as I am about my menage books, I had absolutely no reservations about Intertwined Hearts because I knew that these characters were in very capable hands and would be treated well. Trust me when I say that if any characters deserved kind, loving care, it was definitely Hudson, Leigh and David.

I can’t tell you how much I loved these characters. On the surface, Hudson was the most ‘broken’ of the three, but after spending time with each of them, it was easy to see how much they needed someone to help put them back together. Leigh longed for a real relationship that she had convinced herself she wasn’t built for. David had been betrayed by his partner so he had trust issues that compounded him being able to make a true connection with anyone. Jamie and Trevor (Snowcroft Lost) had no idea what they were doing when they inadvertently brought these three together – in David’s case, anyway. Bringing Hudson into Leigh’s life was purely intentional. 😉

The healing that took place between these three characters was amazing to watch unfold. I don’t want to spoil the “process” for anyone else, but Christi Snow handled the pain and fear with the loving care that I expected. Oh, did I mention that there were tears? Yeah, there were and I’ve ALMOST forgiven this author for the hope, followed by the despair that I didn’t see coming… My heart broke for these characters more than once, but as promised in the description, the healing happened. This story wouldn’t have been nearly as believable if it would have been easy.

Hudson, Leigh and David are the center of Intertwined Hearts, but the supporting characters are just as important. Jamie and Trevor are both adorably and annoyingly protective. Even characters that I didn’t care for in the beginning started to grow on me. Then there were Law and Ian. Their story is next and I have to say (and I may or may not have said… more than once) this one is a long time coming. If I didn’t know better I’d swear that Christi Snow has enjoyed torturing her readers with the wait for Snowcroft Restoration throughout this series. 😛

Found at the Bookstore (Found #2) by Christi Snow

After suffering a traumatic brain injury the final football game his senior year in high school, Ryder Garrett’s life was never normal again. Most days he’s happy when he can remember the way home. There’s no room in his life for romance or love, which means he’s destined to die a virgin.
Stig Minton doesn’t remember what virginity felt like. Twelve years older than Ryder, he’s been around the block too many times to count and has the scars to prove it…both physically and mentally.
But as these two men come together to help with a wedding, they forge a friendship, a friendship they both desperately need. As their relationship evolves, feelings go deeper. But is it stupid to risk this new—and, yes necessary—bond in pursuit of something that’s doomed to fail?
They both think they’re too broken to make this work. But what if they’re wrong?
Two broken souls may just be able to find reparation in one another.

I loved Found at the Library, the first book in Christi Snow’s Found series. I walked away from Tommy and Max’s HEA already looking forward to Stig and Ryder’s story. I wasn’t disappointed. At all.

You can read Found at the Bookstore without having read Found at the Library, but both characters were introduced in the first book. Ryder is Tommy’s brother and Stig is not only one of Max’s closest friends, but his ex. Stig is one of those characters that are larger than life. Ryder is the exact opposite, definitely not Stig’s type. Yet, there’s something that draws Stig to Ryder. At first it’s just concern for Ryder’s safety, but it grows into much more without either one of them realizing it.

At first glance, it’s obvious that Ryder is broken, both physically and emotionally. What shouldn’t have surprised me was that Stig was broken in his own way. He hid it well… until he couldn’t, especially from Ryder. They were there for each other when no one else was.

Things aren’t easy between Ryder and Stig, but given where they both were emotionally, it shouldn’t have been. Stig made some bad choices. At least one of his decisions trying to keep Ryder safe was heart breaking, but I couldn’t get mad at him for it. The thing is that his actions were tearing him apart almost as much as they did Ryder. Those chapters were hard to read, but they made me fall in love with him even more.

There was a lot to love about Found at the Bookstore and not just Ryder and Stig. Spending time with Tommy and Max was great and there were a couple of new characters introduced that I’m really hoping readers get to know better. Their stories are just begging to be told and I may or may not have already hinted to the author about the need for this to happen. You’re welcome ❤

A recurring theme in this series so far has been art. Those who both create it and appreciate it. It’s also a series full of characters who are continually proving that “Doing Epic Sh*t” isn’t just an engraved statement on keepsake – which is just another reason why I recommend reading both books in this series.

 

Believe in the Wish by Christi Snow – Bout of Books 19 Review

I buried my twin sister six months after she found out she had cancer. Her funeral was three months ago. Today is our birthday and it started with delivery of letters from her.
It seems she didn’t trust me to move on after her death. She knows me too well. But how can I go on when my other half is just…gone? That’s not something I can recover from with a snap of my fingers. But I also can’t ignore her instructions even though I’d be perfectly content to cuddle up with my buddy, Johnnie Walker, and call it a year.
She has a list of things for me to do and there are rules attached.
There’s one major problem besides the fact it’s been three months since I left the house. I have to do all these things with her jerk of an ex, Hawk Simmons. He abandoned her shortly after she found out she was sick. If that wasn’t enough to make this a really bad idea, the fact that he makes an appearance in all my nighttime fantasies probably does.
I don’t think I can do this, but I owe it to my sister’s memory to try.

Note to self: When an author tells readers that they cried every single time they did a read through of the book you’re about to read, PAY ATTENTION!

So yes, I obviously knew what I was getting myself into before I picked up Believe in the Wish and I read it anyway. Why, you might be asking yourself? That’s simple. Even though Christi Snow promised tears, I’ve read enough of her books to know that they would be worth it. Regardless of how much she puts her characters through, she manages to put them back together and most importantly, leaves both them and the readers who fell in love with them, with a sense of hope. I had to keep that in mind through almost every chapter of Believe in the Wish… consider yourselves warned.

Ethan was introduced to readers first and his grief was all consuming. He had no idea how to go on without Emma but thankfully, Emma knew expected that and found a really creative way to help him after she was gone. Ethan just couldn’t understand why she chose Hawk to be the one to help him through his grief.

To be honest, I was afraid in the beginning that Believe in the Wish would only be told by Ethan’s POV. That would have been okay, but I literally sighed with relief when the first chapter labeled ‘Hawk’ popped up. Things aren’t always what they seem and Hawk’s POV only revealed little by little what was really going on, but those glimpses made me fall in love with him. It also helped readers realize that he was almost as broken as Ethan.

Ethan’s grief wasn’t a quick fix and it shouldn’t have been. For every step forward he made, he seemed to stumble back at least two more. This book was an emotional roller coaster full of love, tears, tragedy, anger, grief, betrayal and hope… it took a while, but it’s important to know that they both finally got there, but not on their own. Which brings me to the supporting characters. I loved Miller, Katya, Dix and even Slade almost as much as Hawk and Ethan. (I may or may not be hinting to the author that one, if not all of these characters are begging to have their story told… 😉 ) One of the most amazing characters in Believe in the Wish was Emma. The love and devotion that she had for both Ethan and Hawk was inspiring.

So, pick up Believe in the Wish armed with plenty of tissues and an open heart and mind because those tears were really worth it in the end.

Joshua (Male Model Chronicles #3) by Christi Snow

joshuaDecember is the time for romance, twinkling lights, and roaring fires in the fireplace. It’s also time for the annual Holiday Fantasy Lingerie show. This year, the show has a masculine twist with the introduction of male models who were once soldiers.
Joshua Scott Brown has made quite a name for himself as a male fitness model since he got out of the Air Force. But nothing prepares him for the media circus that occurs after he catches one of the female lingerie models during the live show, preventing her from a ten foot fall. Now the lingerie company wants to turn that media coverage into holiday profit by pairing him up romantically with the model. Unfortunately, he only has eyes for Autumn Layne, the publicist who keeps pushing him into another woman’s arms.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1My only complaint about Joshua is that it was short and sweet. Well, the short part, not the sweet part. My first thought when I started reading this last installment in Christi Snow’s Male Model Chronicles series was how absolutely adorable Joshua was. He was funny, sweet and not exactly comfortable in a room full of half-naked women. He was also totally infatuated with Autumn from the first moment he saw her.

Autumn was strong, hard working and deserved far more credit for everything she did than she received. She was crazy about Joshua but was determined not to rock the boat with her sister because of misplaced guilt. I admired her for her loyalty almost as much as I disliked her sister.

As is this author’s style, she didn’t make things easy for this couple. There was danger, a little bit of mystery, plenty of heat and a meddling overbearing relative thrown into the mix. I’ve almost forgiven said author for all she put these two through, almost. 😉

I’m sorry that this series is over, but I’m sure that Christi Snow has more in store for readers to fill the void. In the mean time, I may have to go back and get reacquainted with Justin and Lance.

DragonFlyRating4

Rejecting Destiny (Through the Veil #3) by Christi Snow

rejectingdestinyShe has one final chance to embrace her destiny or lose it all.
Twenty years ago Bethany Harris fell in love with Aaron Vaughn, but then she shattered his heart. When the Veil fell two years later, she became the leader of the Western States. She wasn’t ready for the job, but she stepped up and did it. She couldn’t have done that without Aaron’s friendship and support.
Since then they’ve become lovers in the physical sense, but Bethany continues to keep her distance. She lost the right to Aaron’s love a long time ago.
Now things have changed. What once defined their world may no longer be true. With the turmoil that follows, Bethany must lead her people into a terrifying new era. She’s reeling and doubting herself more than ever. But when Aaron brings home her biggest challenge, it may be one too many.
To succeed she has to face her biggest fear…trusting the strength of the relationship between her and Aaron, or else risk losing it all. She could lose her job, her people, but most of all the man she’s loved almost her whole life.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Oh Bethany and Aaron… readers may not have learned much about these two up until Rejecting Destiny, but this book definitely made up for that.

I have to warn you, this one made me just a little bit teary… well maybe more like a lot teary. Which kind of took me by surprise. Not that I didn’t already know that Christi Snow was capable of making me shed a tear or two. She’s proven that more than once. Let’s just say she pulled at all my vulnerable heart strings in this one. I think the real reason I was caught off guard was because as emotionally distant as Bethany seemed, I didn’t expect her to break my heart, but she did… big time.

On the other hand, having Aaron break my heart came as no surprise at all. I loved him from the beginning. So, how did these two break my heart? There were so many little twists, turns and surprises in Rejecting Destiny I don’t want to spoil it for you. Just know that every tear was totally worth it.

Beyond what was going on between Aaron and Bethany, there was a lot going on in the Western States. Changes were happening that no one could explain. People were shaking things up and pulling strings while forces were at work that were totally unexpected. Some were positive and the jury’s still out on the others.

Oh, and for the record, I sorta fell in love with a couple of new characters along the way and I’m hoping that readers will get to know them a lot better. Needless to say, I can’t wait for the next book in the Through the Veil series.

DragonFlyGreen4-5