Lenni Reviews: “Murder at the Second Chance Ranch” by L.J. Hamlin

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

Looking for a fresh start after being released from prison, Tommy secures a job at the Second Chance Ranch. Hoping only to keep his head down and lead a quiet life, he tries to resist his attraction to Cash and Red; two ranch hands who have obvious feelings for one another as well as Tommy. As the three of them grow closer, a much darker threat emerges as a dead body is found at the ranch.

This story was ok. Our three main leads have distinct and well written personalities but given the short length, nothing feels tight and contained; just underdeveloped. Everyone is just all in love right away and the mystery is very basic, more of a frame to hang the three way relationship on to. One good point I feel the need to mention is how the cops don’t immediately demonize Tommy because he’s an ex-con. It would have been so easy to use that trope and thankfully it wasn’t. A bit of a hollow experience overall. 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Rise Again” by L.J. Hamlin

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

Arkady is a rising star, the bad boy of ballet until a freak accident destroys his leg; ending his career. His physical therapist, Prisha, recommends he befriend Cade, an artist with a handicapped arm. Their attraction quickly becomes more than friendship but the freak accident wasn’t an accident at all and whoever tried to kill Arkady hasn’t given up.

When I read the description from the book, I did not expect a killer. I expected Arkady’s struggles to recover from his injuries and face his vastly altered life. Even so, that struggle is there and given its short length, perhaps going with a killer as the main plot was a good idea.

That being said, I liked main leads who aren’t perfect, chiseled gods among men and they have real human flaws and scars. They are normal people just different. Their relationship is still instalove but that’s alright. They work even if Cade is a little too chill with someone trying to kill his new boyfriend. A quick fun read. 3.8 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Velvet Claw” by L.J. Hamlin

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

Dr. Evan Kidd is a brilliant researcher specializing in finding cures for mysterious diseases. When he is called upon to find out what is ailing several children in a small village, he is more than happy to help. But the village is inhabited solely by Felis, a cat/human shifter species and most are not fond of humans due to terrible discrimination. A Felis bodyguard is assigned to Evan; a hulking, brooding male with a major chip on his shoulders about humans AND doctors named Rene.

Rene may not be happy about babysitting Evan but the doctor’s earnest and hardworking nature has him more intrigued by the human as he feels he should be. But as the mystery around this illness unfolds, their taboo attraction is the least of the danger surrounding them.

While the premise seems awesome and the world building is interesting, the pacing seemed clunky and there were a lot of places where an idea or concept would be stated two times in two different ways in one paragraph. The redundancy completely threw me out of the book. Maybe this is because I got a galley and there’s more editing that needs doing? I hope so…

Overall, this book is just ok. The sex scenes and romance elements were alright even though they felt overused. The best bits to me were the parts concerning the illness itself and even there, I feel more could have been explored. 2.8 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Paint a Story on Your Skin” by L.J. Hamlin

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*I was given this book in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

Mike, a gallery owner in his forties, puts out a call for local artists to be in his next show. His first candidate is the much younger Tommy, who is not only talented but attractive. Mike believes himself far too old for a twenty-one-year-old but Tommy isn’t about to let that stop him.

We got another one that’s too short for its own good, folks. It took me a minute to get used to the third person present tense point of view but I felt like I could have gotten more story and the age difference could have been a more important plot point – aside for Mike’s personal insecurities. The story sorta drops in, does what it wants, then ends. A pity, really, since there were some interesting elements that deserved more exploration. Gotta give it a 3 out of 5.

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