Categories
3.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Anna Anthology BDSM Bi-Sexual Book Christmas coming of age Contemporary Dreamspinner Friends to lovers Gay Handyman Heat Index Homophobia m/m m/m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat New Year's Eve Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Older MCs Politics S & M Standalone Thanksgiving

Dreamspinner Year 9, Greatest Hits by: Anna Martin, Kim Fielding, Grace R. Duncan, Sean Michael, Michael Murphy

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/dreamspinner-press-year-nine-greatest-hits-8436-b

Blurb:

Enjoy a selection of the greatest hits of gay romance published by Dreamspinner Press combined into one exclusive volume: by Anna Martin: Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me, a story of a boy who he wanted to marry his best friend at age six, and the journey that finally gets them there; by Sean Michael: The New Boy, a romance between a shy photographer new to the scene and an experienced model and Dom; by Grace R. Duncan: Beautiful boy, about a Dom with a hurtful past and the sub who shows him love again; by Kim Fielding: Rattlesnake, where a drifter on a quest finds hope and a home; and by Michael Murphy: The President’s Husband, in which the first openly gay president and first husband of the United States must deal with the pressures of their demanding new jobs.

Review:
This is a great collection of Dreamspinner titles, which I would warmly recommend. It contains something for everyone and I very much enjoyed reading it. It contains 5 full length novels by different authors.

Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me, Anna Martin – 3.5 stars
Sweet friends to lovers story about Scott and Evan, who grew up together. We see the boys in different stages of their lives from around 8 years old and up to they are approaching 30. The story is told through 5 time jumps, each containing the story of a kiss. Super sweet story, but a bit too slow for my liking. Still recommendable though.

(Previously reviewed here: https://openskyebookreviews.com/five-times-my-best-friend-kissed-me-audiobook-by-anna-martin-narrated-by-jesse-cota/)

The New Boy, Sean Michael – 2 stars
This one wasn’t for me. The plot is basically a porn movie. A photographer has to take some pictures of fetish models, the models arrive and everyone starts having sex. The photographer is hesitant, but end up being coerced to join.
Sean Michael and I, rarely mesh, so it wasn’t a surprise that this one didn’t really work for me. The sex to plot ratio is too high, and although the sex is hot, and I have no issue with porn, neither in written or movie variety, I appreciate a bit more plot in my romance novels. Also, there’s a big difference between being a Dominant and being an arrogant asshat who believes he knows better than everyone, including his submissive, and Tide is the last type, not the first.

(Link to blurb here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27506896-the-new-boy?from_search=true)

Beautiful Boy, Grace R. Duncan – 4 stars
Hot BDSM sex and internal angsting are the two main ingredients in this story about Mal, who lost his sub to a serial killer and thereby lost his confidence as a Dom, and Kyle, the closeted submissive who is never good enough for anyone. The story is steamy and sweet and I would definitely pick up other books by Ms. Duncan based on this one.

(Link to blurb here:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27266145-beautiful-boy)

Rattlesnake, Kim Fielding – 5 stars
Brilliant slow moving, character driven love story about two middle aged scarred men. If you do not fall in love with Jimmy and Shane, your heart is a hell of a lot harder than mine! I loved this story and will warmly recommend it to everyone.

(Previously Reviewed here: https://openskyebookreviews.com/rattlesnake-audiobook-by-kim-fielding-narrated-by-kc-kelly/)

The President’s Husband, Michael Murphy – 3 stars
This started out interesting, but ended up feeling a bit too trite. The characters were to stereotypical “good” or “bad” and there wasn’t enough communication between the two MCs. They had been married for ten years, I expected more from them as a couple. Also I couldn’t really get on board with the idea that a first spouse could actually continue his work just as before. I would have thought it would have been too much of a security risk. The conflict was a bit over the top and the resolution and ending too rushed. I enjoyed the premise of the story and the writing though, and would try something from this author again.

(Previously Reviewed here: https://openskyebookreviews.com/the-presidents-husband-audiobook-by-michael-murphy-narrated-by-randy-fuller/)

Overall Impression: 3.5 out of 5 stars (each story has separate ratings)

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Categories
3 stars 4 stars 5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Anna Audiobook Author Provided Bi-Sexual Book co-workers to lovers College/University coming of age Contemporary Friends to lovers Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index Humor m/m Mild level angst Mild/low level heat New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Thanksgiving Unrequited Love Valentine's Day Virgin

Author Spotlight: Cardeno C! Walk With Me Audiobook narrated by Alexander Collins Dual Review Anna and Morgan!

audiobookreview

Audible Link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Walk-With-Me-Audiobook/B014JYSDYC/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_srTtl?qid=1492126504&sr=1-2

Blurb

When Eli Block steps into his parents’ living room and sees his childhood crush sitting on the couch, he starts a shameless campaign to seduce the young rabbi. Unfortunately, Seth Cohen barely remembers Eli and he resolutely shuts down all his advances. As a tenuous and then binding friendship forms between the two men, Eli must find a way to move past his unrequited love while still keeping his best friend in his life. Not an easy feat when the same person occupies both roles.

Professional, proper Seth is shocked by Eli’s brashness, overt sexuality, and easy defiance of societal norms. But he’s also drawn to the happy, funny, light-filled man. As their friendship deepens over the years, Seth watches Eli mature into a man he admires and respects. When Seth finds himself longing for what Eli had so easily offered, he has to decide whether he’s willing to veer from his safe life-plan to build a future with Eli.

Review by Anna

(Previously reviewed on this site by Morgan here: https://openskyebookreviews.com/walk-with-me-audiobook-by-cardeno-c-narrated-by-alexander-collins/)
When you pick up a book in the Home series you know what you’ll get: Love at first sight from one partner, whilst the other one will take a little longer to get with the programme, some scorching hot sex scenes and tender love, interspersed with a conflict and topped with a deeply satisfying happy ending.

And in many regards this book does not disappoint. Except on one count: there was no conflict! Eli falls in love with Seth as a pre-teen, it takes Seth many years to acknowledge that he feels the same, but when he does come around, at around 60% into the book, nothing else happens. They are just happy! Which is great for them, I guess, but doesn’t make for a riveting last 40% of the story.
The fact that we had to wait so very long for our MCs to get together also meant, that the intimate scenes were quite few – for a Cardeno C book, at least. And horror of horrors: the author cheated us out of the first time the two did anal, which is just not ok! Seth was a ‘gay virgin’ and Eli had had issues with anal sex in the past, which meant he really didn’t enjoy bottoming much – how can you not give me that sex scene? I actually had to jump back, to make sure I hadn’t missed a chapter, when the narrator suddenly said: “3 years later”.

We follow the two for 13 years, through Eli’s crush, him trying to move on, Seth trying to come to terms with his bisexuality and their ongoing friendship. Which is great, but at 50% I was begging for some action, any type of action really, just something!

Even if I am normally not a fan of the ‘love at first sight’ thing and prefer my MCs to be friends first or at least get to know each other before they spout the magic words, this just went on for too long, with too many mundane details. And too bloody many disastrous weddings for Seth to officiate. The slapstick comedy of the weddings was cute at the beginning, but by the 3rd it was getting tiresome and by the 7th I was kind of really really over it!

However, this is still Cardeno C, so the writing flows nicely, the story is engaging enough, despite the lack of action and the happy ending is very very sweet.

The narrator, Alexander Collins, has a bit of an odd way of narrating, which needs to grow on me every time I hear it. I always start out not liking it, but by the end of the book I am really enjoying him. And I did enjoy the special effects, like ‘phone calls’ and ‘talking from another room’.

3 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Morgan

Eli fell in love with Seth when he was just a teenager attending a Jewish summer camp where Seth was a counselor.
Years later, Seth is now an associate Rabbi at Eli’s father’s synagogue. Eli is now 18 and shameless in his devotion to the new Rabbi.
Seth, who is several years older, doesn’t feel comfortable accepting Eli’s feelings and in fact doesn’t really seem all that attracted to Eli at first.
Over the next few years, Eli both torments Seth with his constant come-ons and frustrates him with is seemingly poor decision making skills regarding sex and love. Eventually, Eli gives up on Seth as a love interest, keeps him as a dear friend, and tries to move on.
Now that Eli has graduated from college and he has moved home to work on his Master’s. He’s spending a lot of time with Seth as a friend and as part of their “wedding team”. (Seth performs the ceremonies and Eli does the music.) Now it’s Seth’s turn to finally see Eli as more than the boy who pestered him for so many years.
Once the blinders come off, it’s a brief trip to convince Eli to give their relationship a try and then a very, very satisfying HEA.
**
This was one of my favorite of the series. I ADORED Eli. He was precocious and snarky, hilarious and blunt, funny and sweet – all rolled into one. Seth kinda bugged me at first. He seemed to either just be oblivious to how hard he was making things for Eli or didn’t care.
But – when Seth finally figures things out – YOWZA – the man did surprise me! He turns out to be quite the experimental and daring lover and I loved their interactions in the bedroom.
I also loved the funny wedding stories and thought it was so clever how each chapter started with an invitation and ended with… well – you’ll see!
Again I really appreciated the glimpse into Jewish culture and loved learning more about it.
Audio

Alexander did another amazing job – talking on the phone, around corners, acting as a jewish mom and dad – LOL. He was funny and sweet at all the right moments. Highly enjoyable!

5 of 5 stars

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Categories
4 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level artists Audiobook Bi-Sexual Book Christmas Contemporary Enemies to Lovers Gay Heat Index Humor m/m Medical Mild level angst Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat Teacher Thanksgiving

Taming Teddy (Made Marian #2) Audiobook by Lucy Lennox Narrated by Michael Pauley

audiobookreview

Audible Link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Taming-Teddy-Audiobook/B01N32KBAO/ref=a_pd_Fictio_c4_1_2_i?ie=UTF8&pf_rd_r=0TWK96P4T2THHXM6NCPE&pf_rd_m=A2ZO8JX97D5MN9&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=detail-page&pf_rd_p=1814705522&pf_rd_s=center-4

Blurb

Teddy: If there’s one thing I don’t do, it’s commitment. You don’t become an award-winning photographer by staying in one place. I’m always on the road, looking for the next shot, the next award, the next hot body. Which is how I end up on Dr. James Marian’s front porch in the middle-of-nowhere Alaska. He’s known as the Wildlife Whisperer, and I want to photograph him in action. He’s reluctant at first, but I can be persuasive.
Soon enough I have him in bed saying yes over and over and over again, but my ability to shoot and scoot is frozen by a Denali snowstorm.
Jamie: I always thought of myself as the marrying type. Until I got left at the altar. Now I have a new motto: never commit and never fall in love. So when a cocky nature photographer decides I’m the key to his next masterpiece, it seems like the perfect arrangement: the hotshot’s only in town for a brief assignment and then he’ll be gone. No commitment, no strings, and no chance of getting my heart broken again.
There’s just one problem: I think I’m falling in love. Now I’m afraid that maybe I’m the marrying type after all. And he definitely is not.

Review

This is shaping up to be a terrific series and I’m so glad I was introduced to it!

I love Teddy! He’s a fantastic character and I thought his introduction to Jamie was HYSTERICAL! The banter these guys share, via text or in person, really made this story for me.  All the little factoids were cute, too.

Much like book 1 – which does not need to be read to enjoy this, FYI –Teddy’s story had a lot of the same issues – both right and wrong – with it that I found in book one. The middle part dragged and contained some extraneous plot strings that I didn’t think were necessary. I also wished that our two MCs – who’d up to that point had spent a lot of time really being open and honest with one another – had continued that trend and we could have avoided the entire Thanksgiving debacle thus skipping about 20% of the story near the end.

On the other hand, the writing is still as light and effortless as before, and the sexy times as hot. There were lots of “feels” and a super satisfying HEA, as well. I do think that the internal monologues of Lucy Lennox’s characters are a bit more “feminine” than I think is realistic, but I think it was tempered a bit in this book and the banter and joking served to make them feel a bit more authentic.

I think I liked this story only a little less than book one because I wasn’t sure why our MCs kept running from the other and I got a bit tired of the back and forth.

I’m excited to move on to Jude’s story – he compelled me right away when we met him in book one! – and I still recommend this series to fans of low angst, high steam and well-written romances.

3 of 5 stars

Audio

Again, Michael Pauley did wonders with his narration. He gave Jamie just the right snark and Teddy just the right growl. There are a lot of characters in this series and I think he’s done an excellent job distinguishing them from one another. His voice is easy to listen to and he really adds to my overall enjoyment of the story.

5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

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Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book coming of age Contemporary Dreamspinner Gay Heat Index m/m May/December May/December Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Older MCs Part of a Series Thanksgiving Widower

Service with a Smirk (At your Service Book 2) by Ariel Tachna

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/service-with-a-smirk-by-ariel-tachna-8035-b

Blurb

Pascal Larocque, a waiter at a high-end Montréal restaurant, knows what it means to love—and he knows what it means to lose. He buried the man he expected to spend his life with years ago. He’s perfectly happy with his solitude, or so he tells his friends. But a chance encounter in a neighborhood bar followed by a run-in at his apartment building turns his world upside down.

Mathias Perras is twenty-four, newly arrived in Montréal, and works two jobs so he can live on rue Sainte-Catherine in the heart of the gay district. During the day, he’s on a fast track to management at the Banque de Montréal. At night, he waits tables at a gay bar down the street. He’s burning the candle at both ends, but it will be worth it when his career takes off and he has the life he’s always dreamed of. When he meets Pascal, one more piece of that dream slots into place. Pascal is everything he wants in a lover: older, self-assured, established in his life and his career. But Pascal doesn’t look at him twice. What’s a boy have to do to get a little action?

Review

Mathias is 24 and Pascal is 48. Their age difference is the main “hurdle” in this lovely story that takes place in Montreal. There are some other “issues” – Pacal’s job and his own self image, his late lover, as well as their mutual schedules – but their age difference is the central issue.

The writing, as I’ve come to expect from this author, is wonderful. In addition to really giving us very full and developed characters, we also get a sneak peek at Montreal – which sounds amazing!

What I loved most about this is the “real” feel the relationship has. Mathias is young and makes “young” mistakes, but he and Pascal don’t run from them, instead they talk about them. Pascal also makes mistakes, thinking he knows what Mathias is thinking when he doesn’t, but again, they discuss it.

The level of steam is good, there isn’t a ton of sex, but what is there is very hot and really moves the story forward.

I loved that these guys took the time to get to know one another before jumping into bed but I never felt the chemistry was lacking.

This is a relationship story and it’s very sweet. I didn’t read book one, and I don’t think I missed anything by not having read it.

Highly recommended!

4.25 of 5 stars

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Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level artists Bi-Sexual Book Contemporary Cop/Crime Dreamspinner Gay Heat Index Humor Hurt/comfort m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Part of a Series Thanksgiving

Love is Heartless (A Love Can’t Novel) by Kim Fielding

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-is-heartless-by-kim-fielding-8031-b

Blurb

Small but mighty—that could be Detective Nevin Ng’s motto. Now a dedicated member of the Portland Police Bureau, he didn’t let a tough start in life stop him from protecting those in need. He doesn’t take crap from anyone, and he doesn’t do relationships. Until he responds to the severe beating of a senior citizen and meets the victim’s bow-tied, wealthy landlord.

Property manager and developer Colin Westwood grew up with all the things Nevin never had, like plenty of money and a supportive, loving family. Too supportive, perhaps, since his childhood illness has left his parents unwilling to admit he’s a strong, grown man. Colin does do relationships, but they never work out. Now he’s thinking maybe he won’t just go with the flow. Maybe it’s time to try something more exciting. But being a witness to a terrible crime—or two—was more than he bargained for.

Despite their differences, Colin and Nevin discover that sparks fly when they’re together. But sparks are short-lived, dampened by the advent of brutal crimes, and Colin and Nevin have seemingly little in common. The question is whether they have the heart to build something lasting.

Review

This is a sequel, but you don’t have to read these books in order. However, Kim Fielding is an amazing author and book one is AWESOME so you should read it anyway!

If you did, you’d remember Nevin as Jeremy’s Detective friend with the attitude. This book runs along at the same time as book one, so all those times we’d see Nevin pop in and out acting a bit mysterious – well, Colin is his mystery man!

The main dynamics are the facts that neither man has any real experience being in a relationship. Nevin because his past has made him develop a really thick shell and he doesn’t let people into his heart easily. Colin has grown up with health problems that have precluded his having the best relationships. The chemistry that the two share is due to the fact that they’re just so opposite one another.

Colin is as sweet as pie and so naïve and open that you want to hug him and wrap him in cotton. Nevin, on the other hand, is almost hard to like. He’s just so grumpy and SO determined that Colin won’t mean anything more than a casual hook-up that he comes across as abrasive and callus when – at heart – he’s really anything but.

There’s a little mystery and that ultimately affects our MCs but definitely doesn’t overshadow the relationship building. There’s a bit of tremendously hot smexy times – I think the hottest I’ve read from this author! – but all of their encounters only move the relationship forward and cement the feelings they’re having for one another more firmly.

Luckily, Colin’s family is really sweet and Nevin’s friends are really supportive. We get to see a little bit of Jeremy and Qay – but mostly we see that relationship developing from the outside and from Nevin’s POV.

I love Kim’s writing – her characters are what make her stories resonate so soundly and we definitely have some amazing characters here – I just LOVE Colin! (I especially love how he’s so open and just tells Nevin exactly how things are – there’s no wondering or prevaricating.) I loved book one a bit more – maybe because Qay was just so broken he grabbed me so firmly by my heart – but that doesn’t diminish how wonderful this is.

Highly recommended to fans of the author, this series and fans of opposites attracting and sassy MCs.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Author Provided Book Christmas coming of age Contemporary Cop/Crime Established Couple Gay Ghost Halloween Heat Index Holiday Humor Little to no angst m/m Mid level steam/heat Morgan New Year's Eve Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Paranormal Part of a Series Thanksgiving Valentine's Day

Psycop Briefs Audiobook by Jordan Castillo Price Narrated by Gomez Pugh

audiobookreview

Audible Link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/PsyCop-Briefs-Volume-1-Audiobook/B01MXZ2WL3/ref=a_search_c4_1_5_srTtl?qid=1482974333&sr=1-5

Blurb

Victor Bayne sees dead people for a living…and he sees them off the clock, too.  After all, ghosts don’t confine their appearances to a psychic medium’s work hours. 

From the macabre to the mundane, from titillating to tender, these PsyCop shorts feature stolen moments between the novels. Get a glimpse of Vic’s life with Jacob between cases, from both men’s viewpoints. Gain new insight on their psychic talents by accompanying them on odd jobs, shopping runs and family visits, or simply enjoy some downtime in the cannery. 

The twenty short works range in length from flash fiction to novelettes, woven together to create a novel-length narrative of Vic and Jacob’s relationship from a fresh perspective. The stories are gleaned from various sources: anthologies, newsletters, and web, with four all-new pieces to tie the collection together and delve deeper into your favorite PsyCops’ domestic life. 

Coffee O’Clock 
Thaw 
Mind Reader 
Stroke of Midnight 
No Sale 
Most Likely To… 
Jock Straps On Sale 
Piece of Cake 
In the Dark 
Let the Chips Fall 
Memento 
Impact 
Everyone’s Afraid of Clowns 
Waiting Game 
On the Road 
Wood 
Off the Cuff 
Locked and Loaded 
Inside Out 
Witness

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

First, the timeline Jordan gives us helps with understanding both the flow and order of these stories.

A Rough Timeline

The PsyCop shorts differ from the main series in various ways: tone, pacing, even subject matter. Some of them don’t fit neatly into a specific slot in the series. Some of them may even contradict small facts from the main books. They’re tangents, really, bits of story that would warp the pacing of a longer book, but things that seemed to be worth exploring.

Coffee O’Clock takes place soon after Among the Living, when Vic’s relationship with Jacob was still tenuous and new. A few months elapsed before Thaw, so it would be set betweenBody & Soul and Secrets. So would Stroke of Midnight, their first New Year’s together.

No Sale is the first story that takes place after they move in to the cannery, so it’s after Secrets and Camp Hell. Most Likely To…, Let the Chips Fall, Off the Cuff and Memento all occur after the move-in. Vic’s baking effort marks their first anniversary together, so Piece of Cake occurred just after GhosTV.

In the Dark, which expands on Jacob’s relationship with Keith, would be their second Halloween together, which puts it between GhosTV and Spook Squad. That would make Everyone’s Afraid of Clowns a future Halloween.

The stories where Vic tangles with Crash happened closer to the beginning of their friendship. Mind Reader would be pretty early, in the Fall just after Criss Cross, but in Jock Straps they’re more comfortable together, so it’s the next Spring, after Body & Soul.

Since Lisa is in town with Waiting Game, it happened during the gap between GhosTV and Spook Squad, which was the longest continuous stretch she was in Chicago.

In Impact, Jacob is beginning to explore his own abilities, so that’s after Camp HellWood and On the Road are set around the holidays of their second winter, and Vic is at ease with Jacob’s family by then, so they occur after Spook Squad, as do Locked and Loaded and Witness.

Inside Out is a prequel set before Among the Living, but it wouldn’t be as interesting to read it chronologically. I think of it as a flashback episode of a sitcom where none of the characters know each other yet; the fun comes from viewing it through the lens of knowing that those ships passing in the night will eventually collide.

These snatches of stories—vignettes and flashbacks, and a few longer meaningful moments that happened when the novels weren’t looking—form a mosaic of Vic and Jacob’s relationship that’s still recognizable as them, but shows the two of them in some new and unexpected colors.

 

Coffee O’Clock 

This is a very cute “morning after” with Vic and Jacob.  I love how little things bother Vic in this one that we see pop up again and again in other stories.  (Like how Jacob is kind of a slob with his stuff!)  We also get to see just how important Jacob is to Vic and how pivotal this time period is for them as a couple.


Thaw 

 This is just a sweet little story about Vic and Jacob being cute with one another and very loving. Also – ice skating!

 


Mind Reader 

I’m not sure what this was about… but I’ll bet it plays out in the future.   A little (weird) interlude between Vic and Crash.


Stroke of Midnight 

 Jacob ends up alone at a New Year’s Eve party at his ex’s house. He’s lucky, though, he ends up with Vic at Midnight.

Very cute and the two of them are so sweet with one another!


No Sale

This is a quick shopping trip where Vic runs into a knife wielding ghost and Jacob shows us how much he trusts Vic.


Most Likely To…

I thought this was a fascinating look through Vic’s eyes at himself and a nice little glimpse of the lengths Jacob will go to to find out more/support his love.


Jock Straps On Sale

As with Crash in general, I’m not quite sure where this was going… but it was funny!


Piece of Cake

Ha!  This is a fun look at Vic and Crash and baking for Jacob!


In the Dark

This was a pretty fascinating look both at how Vic sees himself as compared to the rest of Jacob’s friends and a little bit on morality and moral obligations.  Really interesting.


Let the Chips Fall

Cute story about our boys buying paint.


Memento

I think this is my favorite of all the little side stories.  It is an amazingly sweet look at Vic through Jacob’s eyes and it just GLOWS with his ardor.  He loves Vic so, so much. Fascinating and so touching.

(This was previously released as it’s own audio and I reviewed it here. https://openskyebookreviews.com/memento-psycop-6-2-by-jordan-castillo-price-narrated-by-gomez-pugh/ )


Impact

I like seeing Jacob flexing his psychic “muscle”.


Everyone’s Afraid of Clowns

What an interesting one!  I loved the take on the haunted house and the eventual ghost hunt.  (The castration zone was particularly disturbing!)


Waiting Game

Yes!  One from Lisa’s perspective!  So fascinating.  All the wondering.  Si?  No.


On the Road

Mr. Perfect not being perfect, though still perfectly charming.


Wood

This is a fun “boys will be boys” side trip where Vic and Jacob are easy in their relationship and having fun.  It was a blast!


Off the Cuff

A little bit more “boy humor” with our guys.  🙂


Locked and Loaded

I love both the psychic strength Vic shows here and the love he has for Jacob.


Inside Out

Technically this is a pre-quel to the Psycop series but I strongly recommend reading it after book one and before Thaw, so that’s where I’m going to place it. You’ll have already read book one, so you know Crash, Carolyn, Victor and Jacob.

This is the first time Jacob meets Victor and hears about Crash. So interesting!

 Witness

This was a well crafted short story about a strange training exercise that ends up topsy turvy.  And a little smexy times!

 

For fans of the series, some of these you’ll have already read, so it’s great having them compiled in one convenient package, but there are others here that are new and so much fun to read!

Audio

Gomez Pugh is amazing!

I’m so glad we get a little bit more of Gomez Pugh doing amazing work and bringing Vic and Jacob to life! The end of the series was hard to see, so having these little clips to re-visit was a welcome gift! As I previously reviewed, Memento is still my favorite of the bunch. Jacob and Vic’s relationship is just showcased so perfectly and Gomez does a terrific job of showing us those feelings shared between them. His dry humor is just spot-on for Vic but the warmth in Jacob’s voice also speaks volumes.

I loved having a whole “Lisa” story – I just love that accent! Of course, Crash is wonderful – as usual. And we get the whole host of other amazing voices that we’ve already fallen in love with!

For fans of the series, the author and the narrator – this is a must buy! If you haven’t experienced the joy that is this series – you have to start at book one – but you’ve got a wonderful experience ahead of you!

5 of 5 stars

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Categories
4.5 stars Angst Level Audiobook Book College/University Contemporary Enemies to Lovers Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Hockey Holiday Little to no angst m/m Mid level steam/heat Morgan New Adult Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Purchased second chance at love Thanksgiving

Rivals Audiobook by Jeff Adams Narrated by Derrick McClain

audiobookreview

51udnmfuzul-_sl300_Blurb

Mitchell Turner and Alex Goodman squared off over a face-off dot throughout high school. Their schools were cross-country rivals. Those face-offs were tough on Mitchell because he harbored a huge crush on Alex. High school, and college, are behind the guys and they meet unexpectedly on Thanksgiving Day, once again on the ice. Mitchell is home for the holidays and is thrilled to see his crush all grown up.

Alex asks Mitchell out for coffee to catch up. Could this be the start of something magical for the holidays…and beyond?

“Rivals” was originally released in 2009. This edition has two new scenes.

Review
(Book reviewed here previously)

This is a sweet short story – more of a fantasy really – there’s almost no angst or any real hurdles for our couple to overcome.

It’s merely the story of two old high school rivals meeting again later in life and falling in love.

It’s very sweet and a nice, fun read.
(FWIW the author tells us this was his first published story and it’s very good for being his first!)

Audio

Derrick McClain does another really nice job with this lovely short story! There are no accents or anything to make the two MCs unique, but it’s always easy to tell who is speaking. He’s good with the smexy times and the bit of emotion that we see here. A great way to enjoy this lovely little story!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased For Review

Audible link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Rivals-Audiobook/B01MYPM1RU/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1481779799&sr=1-1

Categories
6 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Christmas Contemporary Dreamspinner Gay Halloween Heat Index Holiday Insta Love m/m Magic Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Misunderstanding Morgan Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Older MCs Paranormal Part of a Series Speculative Fiction Thanksgiving

Krampus Hates Christmas by Andi Van

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Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/krampus-hates-christmas-by-andi-van-7934-b

33001893Blurb

Karl Kringle hates the modern-day Christmas. He was born to be Krampus, but the Holiday Council refuses to let him help his brother Nick—aka Santa Claus—with the Naughty List until he finds his holiday spirit. To meet that challenge, he’s turned human and dumped in a strange apartment.

Lewis Weatherby loves the holidays and always has. Not only do his parents own a pumpkin patch and tree farm, he’s also inherited a Christmas-themed shop. All he wants from Santa is the man of his dreams, and the Big Guy might’ve just delivered. Lewis’s new neighbor Karl is gorgeous, sweet, and has a fantastic sense of humor—if his jokes about being Krampus are any indication.

Soon getting home is less important to Karl than what will happen when Lewis inevitably realizes the truth behind his jokes. He’s finally starting to understand the real joy of the season—now he just has to figure out how to hold on to it.

Review

OMG! I loved this! Talk about taking a different spin on things!

There’s no dishonesty, even though there is a Big Misunderstanding. I loved that as it was such a refreshing change of pace. I also loved that Lewis is older and imperfect. Jer is funny and snarky and a great guy (and I’m so happy for his Christmas Wish to come true!). Noel is HYSTERICAL and so surprising- seeing him with Santa was hoot but also sweet, too. Karl is sweet and loving and yet manages to maintain his “grumpy” stance when appropriate. Watching him with Lewis’ niece was adorable. Lewis’ family is great and the “twist” at the end – SUPERB!

My only complaint was that this didn’t last longer! I wanted to read Noel’s story in it’s entirety but was glad I got the “reader’s digest version” here.   I loved that Santa and Karl weren’t enemies and that all Karl wanted to do was help. Basically I loved everything about this!

I just can’t gush enough about this and sincerely hope you all read this. It’s fun, funny, touching, sweet and full of wonderful Holiday cheer.

(I think the subdued smexy times really fit the scene here and they were just explicit enough. The “Beauty and the Beast” reference really struck home because that’s exactly what I’d been thinking!)

(The cover is awesome too!)

6 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book coming of age Contemporary Heat Index Holiday Hurt/comfort Insta Love lawyer Little to no angst m/m Medical Mild/low level heat Morgan NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Riptide Publishing Thanksgiving

Freckles by Amy Lane

release day reviewRiptide Presents
http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/freckles

 

32471508Blurb

Carter Embree has always hoped to be rescued from his productive, tragically boring, and (slightly) ethically compromised life. But when an urchin at a grocery store shoves a bundle of fluff into his hands, Carter goes from rescuee to rescuer—and he needs a little help.

Sandy Corrigan, the vet tech who helps ease Carter into the world of dog ownership, first assumes that Carter is a crazy-pants client who just needs to relax. But as Sandy gets a glimpse into the funny, kind, sexy man under Carter’s mild-mannered exterior, he sees that with a little care and feeding, Carter might be Super-Pet Owner—and decent boyfriend material to boot.

But Carter needs to see himself as a hero first. As he says good-bye to his pristine house and hello to carpet treatments and dog walkers, he finds that there really is more to himself than a researching drudge without a backbone. A Carter Embree can rate a Sandy Corrigan. He can be supportive, he can be a hero, he can be a man who stands up for his principles!

He can be the owner of a small dog.

Review

On the “super, sugary, sweet and lite” side of the Amy spectrum we have Freckles! It’s about a man whose entire life begins on the day a punk kid gives him a puppy of his own and he meets an aspiring Veterinarian named Sandy.

This is just plain feel-good, sweet, no angst, lots of laughs fun. There’s a bit of smexy times, but really, even that is “lite”. Sandy knows what he wants and just goes for it and so does Carter.

Amy tells us this is based on real people she knows from her own pet-owning experience and it shows. Though there are a couple of “inaccuracies” here and there, it’s a wonderful look at new puppy ownership and finding one’s own place in the world.

Personally I was cringing every time Carter left little Freckles alone – I kept picturing tragedy and mayhem upon return (since no crate!) but our Amy let little Freckles live on in relative peace J

This is a sweet vaguely Thanksgiving story that fans of the author or people just looking for something fun to read will absolutely adore.

4.5 of 5 stars

Highly Recommended.

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Copy Generously Provided by NetGalley for Honest review

 

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Author Provided Book Christmas coming of age Contemporary Friends to lovers Gay Halloween Heat Index Holiday Hopelessly Crying Hurt/comfort Insta Love m/m Mild/low level heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) second chance at love Teacher Thanksgiving Widower

‘Tis the Season by Alex Jane

32500574Blurb

Aaron has spent the past ten months alone. When he meets a sad, yet strangely familiar man on a cold Halloween night, he impulsively invites him home. But the intimate connection they share lasts only until morning. Aaron wakes up alone—wracked with guilt and devastated to have lost his chance.

Or so he thinks.

Thanksgiving brings Aaron another shot at happiness, but letting go of an old love and accepting a new one isn’t as easy as everyone keeps telling him. And by the time Christmas Eve rolls around, it becomes clear that Aaron’s not the only one struggling to let himself love again.

Christmas miracles are all well and good, but it’s going to take more than the Holiday Spirit for Aaron to get his happy ever after.

A story of grief, sadness, and letting it go; and finding love when you least expect it.

Review

Wow, this is NOT what I was expecting!

I guess – the strangely familiar thing – sort of set my expectations for the story to go one way and it definitely went a totally different way. Not bad, just different.

I don’t want to necessarily give things away, but I was surprised by that “twist” if you will and it took some adjusting because I wasn’t as forgiving as “Clarence”.

I loved the direct way the two MCs communicated with each other that first night and the way “George” is just so open with his family and WOW did I love George’s family (I’d love to see Kevin’s story in a full book!).

The smexy times were very low key and sort of matched the tone of this – the feels are what are important here, though the two definitely have chemistry.

If you’re a person who loves “widower” stories – this hits all those buttons – man does it! – but I think it also really moves the couple along at a believable pace. What would have made this a 5 star read for me would have been a bit more exploration of “George’s” situation and a bit more discussion of how George and Clarence got from point A to HEA. It’s kind of over in a blink of an eye – very happily so! – but I wanted to see some of that on page.

It’s a sweet, very sentimental and touching holiday story and I do recommend it.

4 of 5 stars

Copy Generously Provided by Author for Honest Review

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Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Tis-Season-Alex-Jane-ebook/dp/B01MAZGPUY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478103398&sr=8-1&keywords=tis+the+season+alex