Marry Him by Marina Ford

It was meant to be a one-night stand, not “I do.”
Joe Kaminski likes to go with the flow, a good trait to have as a young artist living in London. His laidback approach to life makes him a fish out of water when he’s hired at P&B Designs, a high-powered PR agency. The money’s good, but with his poor planning skills, he doesn’t see it lasting.
Harry Byrne likes his life the same way he likes his PowerPoint presentations: structured. Known for his dynamic personality, Harry suffered a blow when his seven-year relationship fell apart, souring his mood. The last thing on his mind is getting into another relationship, especially with a man who can barely make it to the office on time.
They’re not even supposed to like each other. But five years later, Joe and Harry are getting ready to tie the knot. They should’ve known it was only a matter of time before everything starts to fall apart: obstructive friends, well-meaning but meddlesome family, a hovering ex, international incidents, fires, pregnancies, and an airport chase. It seems their “I do”s were doomed from the start.

My initial response when I finished Marry Him: “Well, that was frustrating, but fun nonetheless. I think I need a break from angsty, miscommunication reads for a little while though….” Believe it or not, I (almost) stuck to that promise 😉

As frustrating as watching all the missteps (mainly by Joe) that happened along the way to their HEA, it was a fun trip. I know some readers were equally frustrated by the fact that much of the story went back and forth between the past and present. It may have been easier to just tell the story chronologically, but since the story took place during a 5 year span, for me, that approach kept things interesting. Just be forewarned…

On paper, Harry and Joe would be labeled the least likely couple to work, but they really complimented each other… eventually. The humor is what drove this story for me. The supporting characters were great, but not always helpful. More often than not, they added to the chaos. A lot of this couple’s problems would have been resolved with just a little bit of communication.

This was my first Marina Ford book, but I seriously doubt it will be my last.

Howling on Hold by E.J. Russell

Sometimes it’s harder to teach a young dog new tricks.
That’s why werewolves embark on a Howling: a three-year rite of passage in which they’re sent to a group residence to wrestle with their wolfy instincts and assimilate into the Wider World. But Tanner Araya’s Howling is almost over, and he could be called back to his remote pack at any moment. His twenty-first birthday might be his last chance to act on his strongest instinct and finally kiss Chase Denney.
Chase is RA at the Howling residence affectionately dubbed “the Doghouse,” and he takes his job seriously. So seriously that when he realized he was developing feelings for a resident, he forced himself to keep Tanner at a distance. But now that Tanner’s twenty-one, he’s not Chase’s charge any longer. They could be friends or—if Chase is lucky—something more. At least until they both return to their home packs for good, as tradition demands.
It would take a miracle for them to get together—especially when the other Doghouse werewolves insist on “helping.”
Warning: Many Frisbees are harmed in this story, forgiveness is not always easier than permission, and the five-second rule does not apply.

The books in this universe created by E.J. Russell are so much fun! Of course, it’s not all fun, because there’s always a hint of danger.

The guys at the Howling residence are there to get a handle on their “wolves” and prepare them to take their place in each of their individual packs. Not all of them are happy about leaving though. Times have changed and a lot of the packs are still living in the past. Tanner is one of those who have no desire to go back, especially since he never really felt like he fit in there to begin with. And then there’s Chase, another big reason why he doesn’t want to leave.

Chase knows he’s not supposed to give into his feelings for Tanner, but the closer Tanner gets to the time when it won’t matter anymore, the harder it is for Chase to hold back.

There were a lot of twists and turns in Howling on Hold that definitely helped keep the pages turning. And that “hint of danger” came from a totally unexpected place.

As much as I loved meeting all the new guys, the cameos from a lot of my favorite characters in the previous series were a real treat. Which brings me to another point – Howling on Hold is probably not the place to introduce yourself to this world. Fae Out of Water is the introduction to this world and Cutie and the Beast is still one of my favorites by this author. 😉

 

Until You (At First Sight #3) by T.J. Klune

Together with their families and friends, Paul Auster and Vincent Taylor request the honor of your company at the celebration of their marriage.
Paul Auster and Vince Taylor just want to have a simple wedding. Really, is that too much to ask?
As the big day approaches, they struggle to keep everything from spiraling out of control. From meddling friends and intrusive family, to a certain drag queen’s idea as to what constitutes a normal bachelor party, Paul and Vince have their work cut out for them.

So, now I can honestly say that I’ve completed TJ Klune’s At First Sight series. We won’t discuss how long it took me or the fact that I didn’t exactly read it in order, or how many times that I started from the beginning to get to this point. The important part is that I’m done and I loved every minute of it. 😉

If you’ve spent any time at all with the Auster clan, you wouldn’t have to read the book blurb to guess that Vince and Paul’s big day would happen without hitting a few snags along the way. Until You may have been short and sweet, but it wasn’t lacking in the wit, charm, humor and most importantly, love that readers have come to expect from books in this series. I adore this family! ❤

Until You was also the perfect lead into Why We Fight. Although the Auster’s story comes to a close with that final book, I have no doubt that this is one series that will remain on my re-read list.

DragonFlyRating5

 

Counter Culture by J.L. Merrow

Customer service has never been this personal.
Robin Christopher, beleaguered retail worker, isn’t having an easy November. His boss is raising stress levels planning a Black Friday to end all Black Fridays, his family doesn’t understand him, and his best friend thinks his new crush is a hallucination brought on by watching too many episodes of Doctor Who.
Archie Levine dresses in Victorian style and divides his time between caring for his young son and creating weird and wacky steampunk gadgets from bits of old junk—when he’s not looking after his mum and trying to keep on good terms with his ex. The last thing he’s got time for is a relationship, but the flustered young man he met while disembowelling a fridge is proving very tempting.
When his mum’s social conscience is roused by a local store with a cavalier attitude to the homeless, former rough sleeper Archie shares her anger. Little does he know that Robin works for that same store. When Archie finds out he’s sleeping with the enemy, things could cut up very rough indeed.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1This is one of those books that keeps you smiling from the start. Both characters are a bit on the quirky side and I found myself falling in love with them both. To make this book even more appealing, the supporting characters are just as lovable and quirky as Archie and Robin. For the record, I’ve come to expect that from J.L. Merrow 😉

Silliness aside, Counter Culture was a real story full of love, devotion and even touched on some tough issues. It was as sweet as the description hints at. There were even a few little twists at the end that I didn’t see coming, but probably should have. Basically, this book was a sweet read with characters I found myself rooting for from the beginning and even more so the more I got to know them.

DragonFlyRating4

 

The Midspring Rebellion by Doreen Heron

MidSpringRebellionThings are amiss in the fairy court, made worse one spring morning when King Oberon’s wife decides to leave him. His decision to gather his thoughts in the human realm lead him into the path, and arms, of workaholic human Nick Chandler. But when Oberon’s throne is threatened, will he be able to retain his kingship and his newfound love?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1This was a quick, fun read.

Nick was the kind of person who liked everything in order. He was also a work-a-holic and didn’t have time for a Fae king literally popping in and out of his life on a whim. But he was also a great diversion from the grief he was almost drowning in after loosing his last boyfriend.

Then there was Oberon. He was dealing with his own issues and nothing was as he remembered from his last trip to earth. He was also a Fae king who wasn’t used to doing things for himself. He had subjects who took care of everything for him. There was something about Nick though that made him want to try.

The time that these characters spent on earth was sweet and fun. Things started to unravel for me a little bit though when all the characters traveled back to Fae.

Midspring Rebellion was still a fun little read. I think it would have been more solid if the second half of Nick and Oberon’s story wouldn’t have felt so rushed. *sigh*

DragonFlyGreen3-5

My Fair Millennial #3 by Elle Hume

I’M LIZETTE CLARY, aka Epic Fail Girl, internet-famous for being an embarrassment. It’s my career, brand, and life. It even landed me an internet-famous boyfriend who wants to get married. I love partying with Tommy. I guess I can’t imagine marrying anyone else.
But the wedding is totally bananas. Between sabotaging ex-editors and megalomaniac in-laws, I def can’t survive without the help of Jason Moon: a Pulitzer-winning photojournalist who saved me from addiction once. Oh, and my former dom. The fact I used to be in love with him isn’t important. He made it clear we’re Just Friends and he’s willing to keep my wedding from becoming one more Epic Fail.
There’s no way that our burning mutual attraction could ever go wrong.

I’M JASON MOON, and I’m about to watch the woman I love marry another man. It’s fine. I’m fine. I’m only worried about the stress sending Lizette back to the loving arms of Jose Cuervo. The only way to help seems to be taking over wedding planning. And why not? She used to be my submissive. We’re still co-editors, partners, and friends. Her wedding will go off without a hitch or I’m not Jason Moon.
Preparing Lizette for one last challenge means spending a lot of time together. Talking to her. Laughing with her. Remembering how my life is better in every way when she’s by my side. I might not be able to let her walk down the aisle when I’m done—even though claiming Lizette as mine will ruin her wedding and her life. I’ve always been the responsible one who makes all the right decisions. Maybe it’s time to make a few big mistakes of my own.

I spent most of My Fair Millennial 3 wonder “what the heck?!?” Granted, that confusion was directed to Lizette most of the time, but Jason got that reaction from me more than his fair share as well. These two were about as opposite as two people could be, but they were also meant for each other – which everyone remotely close to them could see, except for them. *sigh*

It would have been way too easy to expect things to take a turn between Lizette and Jason in this, the final book in the series, but still, I didn’t expect to find Lizette where she was when this book began. I thought she had grown beyond… well… pretty much everything she was before. In some ways she had, but Jason had unintentionally broken her heart, so Tommy was the next best thing. Yikes!

My Fair Millennial 3 kind of snuck up on me. Not that I didn’t love it from the beginning – regardless about how irritated I was with Lizette, but I reached a certain point in the book where it became impossible to put down. A lot of this book was like watching a train wreck about to happen – you knew things were going to blow up and there was nothing you could do to stop it. It was also mixed with the sweet moments between Jason and Lizette that just screamed how much in love they were with each other – just not loud enough that they could hear it.

Obviously, there was a lot to love about My Fair Millennial 3, but there was also a lot to not love – and that list (of characters) seemed to grow as the story progressed. I haven’t been a big fan of Tommy since the beginning of the series, but his family was worse. A few of my other “favorite” characters to “hate” kept popping back up too – some people just never learn. And yeah, some of that was a little over the top, but so was pretty much everything in Lizette’s world. It’s part of her charm 😉

Basically, this series was silly, sweet, at times unbelievable, but mostly just plain fun. I really hope we haven’t seen the last of Lizette and friends. There’s so much I want to know about what comes next. There are so many great characters that I want to get to know better. Puppies to train, babies to name, weddings to plan… but I digress. Elle Hume definitely took me by surprise with this series and I loved every minute of it. ❤

How to Be a Movie Star (How to Be #2) by T.J. Klune

Josiah Erickson wants to be a movie star. The problem with that is so does half of Los Angeles. But he’s on his way, what with memorable roles as a TV show background cadaver and a guy in a commercial for herpes medication. All he needs is his big break. And that break may come in the form of a novelist who goes by the enigmatic name of Q-Bert.
Q-Bert, who is ready to make his directorial debut in a film Josy would be perfect for. Q-Bert, who Josy may or may not have a friend-crush on, and potentially something more. Being demisexual can be confusing.
From the City of Angels to the small mountain town of Abby, Oregon, Josy will give his all to make sure his dreams come true—even the ones he never thought possible.

My initial reaction when I finished How to Be a Movie Star? – Oh Josy, and Quincy, and We Three Queens, and Gus and Casey, and … oh my…
I gotta admit, it wasn’t quite as good as How to Be a Normal Person, but it was close enough to make me fall in love with these characters (and a few others) all over again. *sigh*

How to Be was never meant to be a series. No matter how much readers begged for a sequel to How to Be a Normal Person, the author assured them that there would never be another book that featured Grumpy Gus and friends. It was a one time stand alone – end of discussion. Thank whatever powers that be that these characters were more strong willed than the author expected. 😀

Out of the Three Ironic Amigos (Casey’s friends from LA), Josy was my favorite (and apparently Gus’.) For that reason, I’m really glad that he got his HEA. Then there was Q-Bert. He was adorable and flustered and shy and Josy… was, well Josy – their first meeting was both adorable and a total disaster.

I loved getting to know Josy better and meeting Q-Bert, but spending time with Gus and Casey was great too. Gus was a quirky as ever and Casey was just as devoted. One of my favorite moments was when both Josy and Casey jumped to Gus’ defense when Q-Bert asked a totally innocent question… their reaction was priceless and made me love them both even more.

There’s so much more I could say about How to Be a Movie Star, but honestly, it’s something you just have to experience. From the rest of the Ironic Amigos, to the quirky residents of Abby, Oregon – which of course, include the We Three Queens, it was the perfect sequel that was never meant to be. 😉

 

My Fair Millennial by Elle Hume

I’M LIZETTE CLARY, copywriter by day and Epic Fail Girl by night. I’m an internet meme so notorious that I made a brand out of being human wreckage. Now I’m up for a promotion to New Media Editor at my real job, but there’s a catch: I have to compete with some guy named Jason Moon, a Pulitzer-winning photojournalist taller and more gorgeous than any man I’ve swiped right on.
Jason says he doesn’t want the New Media Editor job, but a project that inspires him. And right now, he seems inspired to help me stop being an Epic Fail. We have to work together for six months either way. What’s the harm in becoming Jason Moon’s pet project?
I’M JASON MOON. Yes, that Jason Moon. It’s been years since I felt inspiration. My last muse destroyed my life when she left it, and I’ve been looking for a new model to relight the fire inside me. Instead, I have Lizette Clary, a party girl who comes to work hungover with a poop emoji purse. She’s brilliant, but the New Media Editor needs more than brilliance. She needs control.
I’ll help her learn to “adult,” so to speak. Lizette’s eager to improve, and by the time I’m done with her, she’ll be a great editor. My plan is perfect except for one thing… I’m starting to feel inspired by a human meme. And it’s not just passion for art.
MY FAIR MILLENNIAL is Pygmalion with Snapchat puppy ears. A hilarious contemporary romance filled with slapstick, sexual tension, and enough 2014 pop culture to leave you swinging from the chandelier.
First in a new series by really good-looking and hilarious author Elle Hume.

So, what do you get when one of your favorite kick a** urban fantasy writers decides to jump into a light version of contemporary romance? A fun romp with an edge… but not too much of an edge. Just enough to keep things fun. 😉

Lizette was a mess. I have to admit, it took me a while to really “like” her. Actually, my opinion of her pretty much matched Jason’s. She seemed to not care at all, had no sense of responsibility and cared about no one but herself and even that was debatable at times. Then I got to know her.

To be fair, I had a hard time getting to know Jason too. He seemed self centered, conceited and compared to Lizette, had a strict work ethic that he wouldn’t budge on… then I got to know him. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

Lizette and Jason took their time getting to a point where they could tolerate each other, but they also tried hard to hide their mutual attraction. That avoidance, cat & mouse game was a lot of fun to watch.

My Fair Millennial didn’t exactly end in an HEA and it almost ended in an HFN – more like a mutual agreement? Needless to say, I can’t wait until Elle Hume releases the next installment in her first romantic comedy 😉

Blasphemy! by T.J. Klune

Blasphemy!
Or,
When he sees Satan stuck in a rut, God provides a little divine intervention, suggesting the Devil get back to basics.
Taking God’s advice, Satan answers a summons to a crossroad on Earth, hellbent on brokering a deal in exchange for the soul of the human who summoned him.
The problem with that is the summoner is a deviant twink named Jimmy who immediately falls in love at first sight, much to Satan’s dismay.
Blasphemy! Where God is a frat bro who wants to get his brother laid, Satan absolutely does not have time for this shit, and Jimmy wants to climb the Devil like a tree.

This book is pure T.J. Klune hilarity – as you can probably tell from the description. That little blurb doesn’t even come close to the LOL! moments that are woven within this short little gem. There is absolutely nothing serious about this one, so if you need a short, funny read to tickle your funny bone, Blasphemy! should do the trick. Enjoy!

Blasphemy! is a freebie that’s available on T.J. Klune’s website. You can read it there or download the PDF or mobi version, but before you do – please read the disclaimer. 😉

Tell Me It’s Real (At First Sight #1) by T.J. Klune

Do you believe in love at first sight?
Paul Auster doesn’t. Paul doesn’t believe in much at all. He’s thirty, slightly overweight, and his best features are his acerbic wit and the color commentary he provides as life passes him by. His closest friends are a two-legged dog named Wheels and a quasibipolar drag queen named Helena Handbasket. He works a dead-end job in a soul-sucking cubicle, and if his grandmother’s homophobic parrot insults him one more time, Paul is going to wring its stupid neck.
Enter Vince Taylor.
Vince is everything Paul isn’t: sexy, confident, and dumber than the proverbial box of rocks. And for some reason, Vince pursues Paul relentlessly. Vince must be messing with him, because there is no way Vince could want someone like Paul.
But when Paul hits Vince with his car—in a completely unintentional if-he-died-it’d-only-be-manslaughter kind of way—he’s forced to see Vince in a whole new light. The only thing stopping Paul from believing in Vince is himself—and that is one obstacle Paul can’t quite seem to overcome. But when tragedy strikes Vince’s family, Paul must put aside any notions he has about himself and stand next to the man who thinks he’s perfect the way he is.

TJ Klune’s books really need to come with a disclaimer… something about uncontrollable laughter followed by tears – sometimes simultaneously. Sometimes within the same chapter and more often than not, within the same paragraph. And for the record, reading it the second (or third…) time around doesn’t change a thing. I fall in love with Paul, Vince and Sandy – and everyone else all over again. Every. Single. Time. 😉

Paul is… well, Paul. There’s really no other way to explain him. His self-confidence and self esteem are at the same level.. zero. It’s not because he has people putting him down – he’s got a huge support system that includes family and close friends who tell him constantly how special he is. You don’t have to spend much time with Paul to realize that he is special and loving and as devoted to those he considers family as they are to him. He just doesn’t see in himself what others see, which is sad. Especially when Vince comes into his life, because there is no way in Paul’s mind that someone like Vince could possibly fall for someone like Paul. He spends the better part of the book afraid that it’s an elaborate prank. There’s no way that it could possibly be real.

Then there’s Vince, sweet, lovable, totally misunderstood Vince. I loved the guy and I loved that Paul saw in him almost from the start (at least after the unfortunate incident with the car) what others didn’t. Just like Vince saw in Paul even more than those who knew him best, Paul saw Vince in a way that no one else did. It became his ultimate goal to protect Vince from everything and everyone who even hinted at the possibility of hurting him in any way. Extreme, I know, but that’s Paul. He jumped first and asked questions later. That trait almost caused him to lose everything… almost.

Tell Me It’s Real was a light read in this author’s spectrum, but there were some parts that were heartbreaking… which is a trait that Mr. Klune sometimes carries to the extreme. Hence, the love/hate – author/reader relationship that I have with TJ Klune. You just never know what type of tears you will be shedding – so have the tissues close by regardless.

Somehow I inadvertently neglected to review Tell Me It’s Real the first time around, so that has now been rectified. Next up is The Queen and the Homo Jock King – which somehow I have no record of reading – but I know for a fact that I did. Stay tuned, because there will be “proof of reading” coming soon. 😉