Friday, June 30, 2017

#PrideMonth Recommended Read - Series Spotlight #3 - Souls of Chicago by Annabella Michaels

In honor on #PrideMonth I wanted to spotlight an #MM Series each week this month. Unfortunately, I missed a week due to being laid up because of surgery. For the last week I choose the Souls of Chicago Series by Annabella Michaels. I heard great things about it and since I was laid up recovering that gave me plenty of time to devour and savor this series AND I had time to get in the new release in this series. SCORE!!! So, to close out #PrideMonth here is my #PrideMonth #ReadProud Recommended Read. However, I just want to say that the LGBTQ Community should be acknowledged, loved, respected and treated just like any other fucking human being every day of the fucking damn year and not just some fucking allotted month we're given to celebrated who we are, who we love, who we support or what's in our hearts. I'm Bisexual. And I'm proud to be bisexual every day not only just in the month of June...... Be kind. Be Compassionate. Read stories of two sexy men. Read this series...............IJS!!!

Title: Feeding the Soul
(Souls of Chicago #1)
Publication Date: June 1, 2016

Giovanni Romero had been dealt his fair share of heartbreak throughout his thirty years, including losing his beloved parents in a horrible car accident. After suffering yet another devastating loss, he decided to chase his dream of opening his own restaurant and was soon the proud owner of Romero’s, a hugely successful and critically acclaimed Italian restaurant, nestled in the heart of Chicago. 

Knowing that one more blow to his heart could destroy him, Giovanni had built walls up around his heart to protect himself. He has created strict rules for himself about the men he sleeps with, which include never exchanging names and absolutely no repeat performances. That is until he meets a young man who he finds impossible to forget. 

After spending the last few years travelling throughout Europe and The Mediterranean, working as an apprentice to some of the world’s top chefs, 23-year-old Caleb Greene was finally moving back home. While he had enjoyed his studies, he couldn’t wait to reunite with his big, crazy, loving family; especially his twin brother, Carter. Most importantly, he hoped to finally begin his career working as the head chef for Chicago’s most prestigious Italian restaurant, Romero’s. 

After a night of celebration with Carter, Caleb finds himself in a rare position, going home with a tall, dark and sexy stranger. Caleb had never had a one night stand before, but there was something about the man that drew him in. Unfortunately, the man insisted they could only be together for one night. 

Unable to get the intriguing young man off his mind, but resolved to let him go, Giovanni is shocked to find that Caleb has been hired as his new head chef. Working in such close proximity to each other, could he keep his carefully erect walls in place and protect his heart or would Caleb have the strength to tear those walls down, setting Giovanni free?

4.5 Stars

This was such a great read. It was sweet, romantic and extremely hot. I absolutely loved the main characters. At first I wasn’t really too fond of Giovanni. I mean, I get it. I understood why he was the way he was. He went through a lot emotionally and was closed off to protect himself from getting hurt again. As more of his story unravels, it’s just inevitable that you’ll end up loving him just as much. Caleb is an absolute sweetheart and I just love the whole Greene family period.

I can’t believe that this was Ms. Michaels’ debut novel. It was very well written and great character development. Not only was I entertained and intrigued by the main characters but by the secondary characters as well. I just couldn’t seem to get enough. There is just enough drama to keep your heart pounding, banter and teasing to have you laughing, sadness that will have you tearing up, romance that’ll have you smiling stupidly and whole lot of sex that’ll have your panties melting <-- my favorite part. ;)

On that note, can we just talk about Ms. Michaels’ sex scenes right quick?! This is some serious hot shit right here!!! Phew! Caleb and Giovanni are amazingly hot together. The story overall was great and I personally think for a debut novel she did an amazing job. I’m only sorry that it took me this long to read it. Seriously this is a must read. Great start Ms. Michaels it takes a creative mind and some serious talent. 

Title: Music of the Soul
(Souls of Chicago #2)
Publication Date: September 27, 2016

Besides his family, music had always been the most important thing in Carter Greene’s life. Having a career in music was everything he had ever dreamed of. That was until the terrible night when he nearly lost everything.

Carter can’t get the image of one particular man out of his mind; the man who found him in his darkest moment. The one who risked everything to save him and the same person who most likely never wants to speak to him again.

Ryan Marshall had led a pretty solitary existence ever since his grandfather had passed away. He spent most of his free time renovating the property he had inherited while avoiding the dating scene. Lately, he found himself longing for someone special; a man he could share his life with.

One fateful night, an emergency call placed Carter in Ryan’s life and the two felt an immediate connection. Unable to stop thinking about him, Ryan decided to reach out, but was disappointed when Carter was not at all what he expected.

Ryan is determined to move on and forget all about the beautiful man he rescued, but he soon realizes that sometimes fate has other plans.

Music of the Soul is book 2 in the Souls of Chicago series and can be read alone or as part of the series. This book contains sexually explicit material and is intended for adults 18 and older.

4.5 Stars

Another great read from Ms. Micheals. This is book two in the Souls of Chicago series and this is Carter’s story Caleb’s twin. This story gets a little more emotional than the first. Carter finds himself in a position where he’s not only struggling physically but emotionally too. I loved Carter and Ryan. Carter was just always so playful, fun, flirty and very kinky but I loved that we got to see more of his vulnerable side. And Ryan. Is there anyone more perfect than Ryan????

Again, the Greene family is just amazing!!! I have a feeling that’s going to be a repetitive sentence in every review for this series if this family continues to be so supportive and amazing. I love the build-up in the relationship and the connection that Carter and Ryan have. What they had was just beautiful and passionate and Annabella waved her magic wand and made all the feels touch me in all the right places.

Another sexy, steamy and well written story from this talented author. I gotz my eye on you Ms. Michaels!! 

Title: Protecting the Soul
(Souls of Chicago #3)
Publication Date: January 17, 2017

For Landon Greene, managing the band Carter’s Creed is more than just a job. It also means being there to keep his brother safe. When someone begins sending threatening letters to Carter, Landon feels overwhelmed with the need to protect him. He’s relieved when new security is added, until he finds out that the person hired to protect his brother is the same man Landon has spent months trying to forget.

Micah Hamilton recently moved back to Chicago to start his own security firm and to be closer to his best friend, Giovanni. He’s ready to leave his past as a Navy SEAL behind and settle into his new life, but his plans change when a friend calls and asks him for a favor. There’s no way Micah can refuse the request, even though he knows it will require him to face the one man he’s vowed to stay away from.

Can Landon and Micah put their differences aside in time to save Carter or will their pride leave him at the mercy of a madman? Will they continue to resist the undeniable chemistry between them or will they take a chance and possibly find the greatest love they’ve ever known?

Protecting the Soul is the third book in the Souls of Chicago series. It can be read as a standalone novel, but is best read as part of the series. This book contains sexually explicit materials and is only intended for adults 18 and older.

5 Stars

Wow!! Ok, now things just got a whole lot more interesting!!!! I was so caught up in this book I could not put it down. I was sitting on the edge of my seat with the whole mystery twist. This author’s talent and creativity continues to shines through with each book and she has definitely gained a new fan here. She has yet to disappoint. Each book just keeps getting better and better.

This book is full of stubbornness, suspense, sexiness, and more Greene family. Landon and Micah are fire together. They are just what each other needs. Emotions are high and the chemistry is off the charts. I so love how Annabella writes her sex scenes, lol. Hotdamn, woman!!! Keep them coming.

But yeah, Annabella pulled out the big guns for this one. I was consumed from the very beginning and only frustrated when it had to end. This had a great storyline and the MC’s tugged on my heartstrings.

Title: Renewing the Soul
(Souls of Chicago #4)
Publication Date: April 4, 2017

Rocko earned and loved his reputation as the wild child of the rock band, Carter’s Creed. His bandmates dubbed him Animal, not only for his skills on the drums, but because he was always looking for the next thrill. Sex, drugs and rock and roll were what he lived for. That was until one night when his wild ways nearly cost him his life. 

As the owner of Golden Entertainment Studios, Lachlan Edwards had a vested interest in his newest clients, the members of the band, Carter’s Creed. He wasn’t surprised when they quickly rose to the top of the music charts, given their talent, but he was concerned with how their drummer, Rocko, seemed to be spiraling out of control. When Rocko seemingly hits rock bottom, Lachlan decides to step in and offer him a chance to recover. 

Will Rocko accept Lachlan’s offer even if it means facing the past he’s tried so hard to run away from, or will it all prove to be too much and send him spinning out of control once again? 

5 Stars

Ok so can I just tell you that Annabella Michaels is fast becoming one of my favorite mm authors! I was crying so hard in this book. This has been the most emotional book out of the series and my heart went out to Rocko and Laclan. This book just gives you all the feels. Annabella does a great job delivering emotions from page to page. I was completely and utterly consumed.

Rocko and Lacklan had my undivided attention and it was well worth the time I devoted to them. Ms. Michaels delivers a beautifully written story. She delivers heartache along the way but slowly yet beautifully, patiently and compassionately she mends it back together. This is a great storyline. There was such great character development. The relationship buildup between Rocko and Laclan was just brilliant. A great addition to the series.

Title: Constructing the Soul
(Souls of Chicago #5)
Publication Date: June 27, 2017

Akio Forrest loved his life. He had an amazing job, great friends, supportive parents and was recently given the responsibility of heading up the Agape House project, the construction of a new facility for the Chicago-based center that helped LGBTQ teens. He knew it would be a huge undertaking, but being able to help more kids in need was something he and all his friends were willing to work hard for. Excited to begin the project, Akio was taken by surprise when he came face to face with strong, sexy and self-assured, Morgan Greene, the new contractor for the job.

Morgan Greene had always considered his life a good one. Born and raised in a small town in Tennessee by two loving parents, he owned a successful construction company. When circumstances in his personal life left him desperate for a change, he decided to leave his home and move to Chicago. The move would allow him to finally, live closer to his favorite cousins while also expanding his business. Never one to shy away from an adventure, Morgan was excited about starting the next chapter in his life. What he wasn't expecting was meeting someone like Akio Forrest. 

Working together to make the Agape House project a reality, Akio and Morgan soon realized that what was happening between them was much more than just a simple attraction. When outside forces bring past hurts and doubts to the forefront, the two men are left to wonder if the foundation they'd laid was strong enough, or if everything they'd worked so hard to build come crashing down around them?

5 Stars

OMG! I absolutely loved everything about this book. I think Akio and Morgan are my favorite. They were just too dang cute. I don’t know what more I can say that will actually do this book and the author justice. She nailed it with this one. Annabella delivers a flawless and beautiful story of love. She pulls us in and captivates us with her beautiful words. She intrigues us and entertains with her enthralling characters. I adore everything about this book and the mission behind the scenes that the family and friends are set out to accomplish. 

Annabella Michaels kudos yet again for another phenomenal read and I can’t wait to see what you have in store next. You always leave me wanting me so much more.

I am married to my high school sweetheart who let’s face it, is a saint for putting up with me all of these years. Together we have been blessed with the chance to raise two amazing human beings and so far we haven’t screwed it up; I’ll let you know for sure later. I am a business owner and spend more time laughing than actually working most days. I love watching movies, cooking, going to the beach and spending time with my family and best friends. I am an obsessive reader who is a complete sucker for a good love story, but loves to feel a broad range of emotions throughout a book. I think real life is hard enough and so my books offer twists and turns, but always with a happy ending.

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