Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Beth Jumper Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Gay Heat Index High but not hopeless Hurt/comfort lawyer m/m May/December May/December Mid level steam/heat Mystery Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words)

Every Breath You Take by Robert Winter

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/every-breath-you-take-by-robert-winter-8437-b
Blurb
When Zachary Hall leaves Utah for a job in Washington, it’s finally his chance to live as a gay man and maybe find someone special. In a bar he meets Thomas Scarborough, a man who seems perfect in and out of the bedroom. But Thomas never dates. He never even sleeps with the same man twice. Despite their instant connection, he can offer Zachary only his friendship, and Zachary is looking for more.

Thomas is tempted to break his own rules, but years before, he became the victim of a stalker who nearly destroyed his life. Even though his stalker died, Thomas obsessively keeps others at a distance. Despite his fascination with Zachary, he is unable to lower his barriers. Frustrated, Zachary accepts he will never have what he wants with Thomas and soon finds it with another man.

But young gay men in Washington, DC, are being murdered, and the victims all have a connection to Thomas. Once again someone is watching Thomas’s every move. Can it be a coincidence? When the depraved killer turns his attention toward Zachary, Thomas must face the demons of his past—or lose his chance to open his heart to Zachary forever.

Review

Oh I liked this book!

A huge mystery, great secondary characters and a hot sizzle between the two MC’s. The author sets up the story beautifully1

Thomas’ reasoning for one and done completely make sense. Living through a stalking, even after it has ended will leave some very strong emotions and fears. Because of that he has moved and changed his name. What I like about Thomas is that although his actions seem selfish, in actuality he is just plain scared. He has learned compassion and that leads to supporting a friend’s LBGTQ youth center and help in financing a friends dream of owning a bar.

Zachary has just moved from Utah to Washington DC so he can spread his wings and explore what being gay means to him. Of course the first person he comes in contact with is Thomas. He doesn’t like Thomas’ rule but he abides by it. I like that Zachary is portrayed as a strong caring person too. With his wanting to volunteer at his new friends youth center, to if not understanding Thomas’ rules, but willing to live with them.

Again I would totally recommend this read!

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher For Honest Review

Categories
3 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Beth Jumper Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Fated Mates Gay Heat Index m/m Mid level angst Mild/low level heat Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Part of a Series Shifter

Lost Mate by Dirk Grayson

release day reviewDreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/lost-mate-by-dirk-greyson-8427-b

Blurb

Wolf shifter Falco Gladstone Knew Carter McCloud was his mate when they were in seventh grade, but school and foster care system tore them apart. Years later, Falco is second in command of his Michigan pack, serving under an uncle who cares more about his own power then the welfare of their people. The alpha orders Falco to marry and produce offspring—but Falco’s already found his mate, and mates are forever.
Carter’s lonely life is turned upside down when he detects a familiar scent on the wind. The mates might have found each other, but their happily ever after is far from guaranteed. Falco’s commitment to Carter puts him at odds with his uncles plans, and and when on of the alpha’s enforcers starts shadowing the couple, something must be done—something that will either cement their relationship or destroy it once and for all.

Review

I was really looking forward to this book. I loved the premise of finding your mate as a teenager and then losing him for 12 years. And this story did follow along those lines. It was sweet with a little conflict thrown in. But there was so much more that was touched on but not expanded on. The ex boyfriend, who was a brute, an alpha that was a virgin waiting for his mate, the enforcer who was stalking the couple and the uncle who was power hungry. I would have liked to see the Carter’s personality expanded.
For a short, quick read than this was cute and easy going.
3 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher For Honest Review

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Anna Audiobook BDSM Beth Jumper Book coming of age Contemporary DA Gay High but not hopeless Homophobia Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort lawyer m/m Mid level steam/heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased

Losing Control (Broken Pieces #3) Audiobook by Riley Hart Narrated by Jack DuPont Dual Review!

audiobookreview

Audible Link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Losing-Control-Audiobook/B01N1T9YEY/ref=a_search_c4_1_3_srTtl?qid=1491772312&sr=1-3

Blurb
On the surface, Ben seems to have it all: money, influence, good looks. He smiles and jokes in all the right places, but it’s all a façade. Inside he’s a wreck, and it’s only getting worse. With his Congressman father using Ben’s recent kidnapping for his own political agenda, and Ben still struggling to get over the only guy he’s ever loved, he feels like he’s losing his grip on reality and he’s quickly spiraling out of control.

Then he meets Dante, an enigma of a man with as much self-hatred as Ben has. In Dante, Ben finds what he didn’t know he needed: Dante’s control, his power, is the only thing that clears the fog in Ben’s brain. For the first time in his life, Ben has a lover who just might need Ben as much as Ben needs him. When they’re together, the demons from their pasts don’t lurk so heavily on their shoulders.

But Dante can’t fix him. Not when a memory from Ben’s past is haunting him in ways he doesn’t understand, waiting for him to put together the missing pieces in his head…and what he discovers just might have the power to break him for good.

Warning: light BDSM themes and mentions of abuse. (less)

Review by Anna:

Well, this was painful. Ben, our protagonist, is suffering from severe PTSD both after a recent kidnapping, which ended with murder, as well as his childhood memories of his older sister taking her own life.

He is spinning desperately out of control and into depression when we meet him. He is not working, not eating and not sleeping. All he does is drink, write letters to his ex-lover, and fuck strangers in clubs, or rather he tries to fuck strangers, except that his dick is not really co-operating any longer.
He meets Dante on such a night in a club, a mysterious stranger, who refuses to have sex with him and who takes him out for a drink, except that that drink turns out to be coffee, not alcohol. The relationship between Dante and Ben is not healthy, anyone can see that, but it does manage to keep Ben alive, something I was not certain was quite possible at the early stages of the book. Dante basically blackmails Ben into eating and sleeping, if he wants contact with him.

This book is not a happy book. It is not a light read. It is full of darkness, angst and drama. I have no idea how it compares to the two others in the series, as I have not read them, but it is not a read for a day when you want light hearted and romantic. There is no romance here. There is only desperation and need.

I would have liked more from Dante’s point of view. We spend all of the book in Ben’s head – which is not a nice place to be – but Dante is also a very broken man, and it would have been nice to see the world and their relationship through his eyes. Also I would have liked more emphasis on the relationship after they hit the wall and started coming back to life. We leave Ben and Dante in a very good and hopeful place, but my romantic little heart would have liked more assurance, that they would be ok, both as individual people and as a couple.

I had not read the first two books in this series, but didn’t feel the lack of back story was a problem at all, not until the very ending, where we were treated to glimpses of people who I had no idea who was, but that was all on me, not on the author.

Despite it’s dark and angsty feel, I am intrigued enough that I would probably go back and read the first two in the series, to get Tristan’s story too.

The narration of this book was lovely and flowed nicely. The narrator did separate voices for each character and you were never in doubt as to who was speaking. Jack DuPont was a new to me narrator, but I enjoyed his voice and his narration and would definitely buy something narrated by him again.

4 out of 5 stars

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Review by Beth:

Riley Hart has done it again! She tells a story that tugs on your heartstrings, yet keeps you guessing for the whole story. I have to say that as I was listening, I really didn’t understand where the story was going. Ben had always been portrayed as a strong, level headed voice of reason in the previous stories. When in reality he had some serious demons.

I can almost say it was too much angst. I really got to the point where I thought “Where is she going with this?”  However, I do understand the need to have someone else in control for some times in your life and Dante seems to both need it and be willing to give it.

I liked that Dante knew he couldn’t fix Ben. I also liked that even with all of Ben’s problems Dante could not resist him.

I liked how the story ended, not an OMG moment and everyone lives HEA. No there was a 6 month separation with mental health involved. A much more realistic ending to the story.

Narration:

It’s been a week since I’ve listened to this story and what I can say about Jack’s performance is that I didn’t necessarily hear him as I heard the story. He had distinct voices for all of the characters and everything flowed as it should. And really what you want to hear IS the story so I can say a job well done!

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
4 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Author Provided Beth Jumper Book Dreamspinner Exploration Gay Heat Index Historical Length m/m Mid level angst Mild/low level heat Mystery Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Review Copies

Swift for the Sun by Karen Bovenmyer


Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/swift-for-the-sun-by-karen-m-bovenmyer-8308-b

Blurb

Benjamin Lector imagines himself a smuggler, a gunrunner, and an all-around scoundrel. A preacher’s son turned criminal, first and foremost he is a survivor.

When Benjamin is shipwrecked on Dread Island, fortune sends an unlikely savior—a blond savage who is everything Benjamin didn’t know he needed. Falling in love with Sun is easy. But pirates have come looking for the remains of Benjamin’s cargo, and they find their former slave Sun instead.

Held captive by the pirates, Benjamin learns the depths of Sun’s past and the horrors he endured and was forced to perpetrate. Together, they must not only escape, but prevent a shipment of weapons from making its way to rebellious colonists. Benjamin is determined to save the man he loves and ensure that a peaceful future together is never threatened again. To succeed might require the unthinkable—an altruistic sacrifice.

Review
I liked this book. It was well written and all the different story lines were brought together in the end that made sense. I was kept interested throughout the story, to the point that I kept reading – wanting to know what happens next.

Set in somewhere in the 1800’s you have many prejudices towards male couples, and Benjamin has been beaten by his father to drive those thoughts from him. Sun is portrayed as a savage, wearing a loincloth and not speaking very well. But he’s lonely and Benjamin seems to captivate him enough to let him live.  The author gives us a storyline that puts Benjamin into situations he’s not really prepared for.   I was at first thinking “What the hell? How is he getting away with this?”  Then later – “Serves him right!  He should have known better!”    The emotions evoked were all over the place!

You then begin the adventure of these two trying to protect each other. You have good guys, bad guys and characters that seem to change sides as identities are revealed. The story gives you a glimpses of the attitude of the times specifically the Caribbean islands. Pirates and political conspiracy as well as prejudices and acceptance.

I think this story was well written. Once both the 2 MC’s totally commit to each other they present a united front, causing both of them to go beyond their comfort zone, with the line “where you go I go” being repeated more than once to each other.

So history, politics and a love story, how can you go wrong?  I enjoyed it and give it 4 of 5 stars!

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Copy Generously Provided by Author for Honest Review

Categories
4.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Beth Jumper Bodyguard Book Contemporary Cop/Crime Dreamspinner Fan Art Gay Heat Index Insta Love Karrie Jax m/m Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract

A Day Makes by Mary Calmes – Dual Review by Beth and Morgan with Fan Art by Karrie Jax!

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-day-makes-by-mary-calmes-8388-b

Blurb

Mob enforcer Ceaton Mercer has killed a lot of people in a lot of different ways – he stashed the last two bodies in a toolshed belonging to a sweetheart marine researcher in an idyllic island community – but he’s really not such a bad guy. Over time he’s found a home of sorts, and he even learns he’s found a place in the hearts of the people he works with…at least enough so that they won’t put a bullet in his head because he’s outlived his usefulness to the boss.

But he never thought he’d find one day could change his life, and he’s about to discover how wrong he is.

Because in a single day, he meets the man who looks to be the one, the love of his life. It’s an improbable idea – a man who deals in death finding love – but it’s like it’s meant to be. That single day gets weirder and troubles pile up, forcing Ceaton to take a hard look at his dreary life and accept that one day can change everything, especially himself. His future might be brighter than he expects – if he can stay alive long enough to find out.

Review By Beth

 

Give and take.

You have a man who just wants to belong. Thought he had it only to lose it. So he wanders. But he believes in right and wrong. He believes he needs to stand up for the little man. Yet feels like if he turns left instead of right he will lose his life. He is offered a place in a family, with a group of people that have nothing in common but working for the same person and the brotherhood they form and he now has a place to belong. It’s not a comfortable place but the people he is with make him feel a part of something more. Until he’s not. In the end he finds that doing what he believes in, in the first place is what saves him in the end.

The love interest shows up near the end, and he completely sees past the outside, to the man underneath it all. This is not sex every other chapter this is a story about wanting a place to belong, to be recognized for being loyal and to be important to one special person. Not quite a mystery but enough back and forth to keep you wondering. Mary Calmes is a great weaver of words and this story will keep you wondering where it will end up

4.5 stars

 
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Review by Morgan

Man! This was an amazing book. Mary – as always – has given us some fantastic characters and this story is predominately driven by their personalities alone.

I’m having a hard time reviewing it because it has some unique facets that differentiate it from other romances and other books by Mary.

It does have the clueless guy who is too amazing for words but doesn’t know it. It has some dry, witty, banter and extremely loyal friends who stick by said clueless guy – even though he’s surprised at their loyalty.

I love that Ceaton isn’t exactly a “good guy” – he definitely has some wobbly morals, but he also has some firm lines he won’t cross.

Without giving away any spoilers – I will tell you this: Most of the story is NOT about Ceaton and his love interest. He doesn’t meet that guy til near the end and we really don’t get to see them together much or see their relationship develop much at all. If I have any complaints it’s that. I really wanted to see more of his new lover and him together and get to know the lover better. I felt like we just scratched his surface (the lover) and I want to know more!

What looks amazing is that the secondary characters are all ripe for a series – I’m particularly hopeful that Marco ends up in his own book J

Fans of Mary will find some familiar faces and Easter Eggs as she is prone to do and I think they will all be “squeeing” by the end!

Highly recommended for fans of the author, fans of great character driven stories and humor.

4 of 5 stars

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Morgan - Signature-small

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Beth Jumper Book class difference Contemporary Gay Hurt/comfort Little to no angst m/m Mary D Mechanic/Car/Racing Mild/low level heat Misunderstanding NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Riptide Publishing

Wake up call by JL Merrow Duo Review by Mary and Beth!

release day review

Blurb

 South London mechanic Devan Thompson has gone to Porthkennack to track down someone he’s been waiting all his life to know. But Dev’s distracted from his quest by Kyle, a broodingly handsome local of only a few months, who’s already got a reputation as an alcoholic because of his strange behaviour–including a habit of collapsing in the street.

Kyle Anthony fled to Porthkennack to escape from the ruins of his life. Still raging against his diagnosis of narcolepsy–a condition that’s cost him his job as a barrister, his lover, and all chance of normality–the last thing he wants is another relationship that’s doomed to fail. But Dev’s easygoing acceptance and adaptability, not to mention his good looks, have Kyle breaking all his self-imposed rules.

When disaster strikes Dev’s adored little sister, Kyle steps up to the plate, and Dev sees a side of his lover he wasn’t prepared for: competent, professional–and way out of Dev’s league. With one man determined that they don’t have a future and the other fearing it, life after Porthkennack is starting to look bleak for both of them.

 

Review by Mary

Wake Up Call is the first book in a series based around a small Cornish town called Porthkennack. Riptide’s website gives a small synopsis if you would like to get a feel of the town or look up Port Isaac or Porthcurno, that would give you an idea of the landscape. The series is a mix of standalone contemporary and historical stories.

Wake Up Call is a contemporary story.

Devan is alone on a three week break in Porthkennack looking for his birth mother. There are a lot of threads running through this story. At the start of the story Devan seems a bit lost. He befriends Ceri, a local girl, who appears to be in trouble and wants to help her. This story thread peters out and is overtaken by his foster sister needing help. These all run alongside his developing relationship with Kyle Anthony.

Kyle is angry and bitter about his condition, narcolepsy. He is hiding in Cornwall not yet having come to terms with losing his career and way of life. The locals mistakenly assume he is an alcoholic because he has collapsed in town. Dev connects with him and they are drawn together. But they are both hesitant to get too deep for their own reasons.

This is a nice book. There is a lot going on around Dev and Kyle in the story but I can’t decide whether it detracts or just distracted me from them actually getting together. There is a running theme of assumptions in the story, class between Mechanic/Lawyer, sexuality, Kyle’s condition and the behaviour of Mal, Ceri and Tasha all of which are based on limited information and cause hurt and misunderstanding. It is a shame that Dev and Kyle moving in together happens off page but by that stage the story has moved away from Porthkennack.

Overall I think this is a really good book to start the series. It builds the scene and atmosphere of the place all the books are set in.

4 of 5 stars
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Review by Beth

This was a refreshing story. Sure Devan got angry sometimes. His age and situations made it happen, but in general he has such an upbeat personality. Not bubbly, or off the wall but a roll with the upsets, look for the positive no matter what. Sure there was the, does he like me? Am I good enough for him? That comes from him being adopted, put in the foster system and a blue collar job. When faced with someone he likes and they have a medical condition he just goes with the flow. No freakouts, no walking away in disgust or frustration, he truly is concerned and looks up both symptoms and appropriate actions.

Kyle has been broken and given up. Let’s face it, he’s lost his job, boyfriend and home. He allows himself no support from friends or family. He has come to Porthkennack to hide.

JL Merrow has done a wonderful job weaving a story about hurt/comfort. She has introduced plausible issues, plausible solutions and a love story, all tied together. Her characters catch your interest, and make you want to know how it will turn out.

4 of 5 stars

 
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Categories
3.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Beth Jumper Christmas class difference coming of age Gay Historical m/m Mild level angst Mild/low level heat NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Reconcilliation Regency

Return of the Earl by Sandra Schwab

release day review 

Blurb:

On the Continent they call him the Ice Prince, icy of manner, icy of heart. Now, after thirteen years of exile, Con returns home to England and to Harrowcot Hall, a place haunted by memories of a long-lost friendship and past betrayals, a place where all of his dreams shattered and died.

But the past is over and done with, and can no longer touch him — or so Con thinks. He certainly does not expect to come face to face with Bryn Ellison again, the man whom he once loved beyond everything and who repudiated their bond in the cruelest way imaginable.

As snow and frost close in on Harrowcot Hall, Con’s icy demeanour starts to melt while he grapples with old hurts and newly awakened passions. Will he give in to the lure of the past against his better judgement?

Review
When your father is a manipulative, vengeful man and you are still a young man, your views of your reality can be easily mislead.

Con comes back to his estate thinking the worst. He has no desire to be there and cannot wait to leave. Weather keeps him there temporarily but life and interactions he doesn’t expect slowly change his view and understandings.

He is called the Ice Prince but you see him thaw as the story continues. You see him grow up and Bryn though he doesn’t know the whole story is steady and supportive through it all.
The age old he said, they said and gosh “how can I face him after all that happened?” is told in a way that has you hoping it all works out.
I love Regency era books. So many taboo’s and so many more chances to get caught. Servants are everywhere. So when an author finds a way to give the MC’s that ease of getting together you relax and enjoy the story.

 

3.5 of 5 stars

 
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Copy Generously Provided by NetGalley for Honest review

Categories
4.5 stars Actor/Theatre adult - 18+ Asexual Beth Jumper Book Contemporary Friends to lovers Gay Handyman m/m Mid level angst Mild/low level heat Misunderstanding NetGalley New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Older MCs Part of a Series Riptide Publishing second chance at love Trans

For A Good Time Call (Bluewater Bay #17)by Anne Tenino and EJ Russell – Review by Beth!

release day review

Riptide Presents (tomorrow!)

http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/for-a-good-time-call

Blurb

Thirty-seven-year-old Nate Albano’s second relationship ever ended three years ago, and since he’s grace—gray asexual—he doesn’t anticipate beating the odds to find a third. Still, he’s got his dog, his hobbies, and his job as a special effects technician on Wolf’s Landing, so he can’t complain—much.

Seth Larson, umpteenth generation Bluewater Bay, is the quintessential good-time guy, content with tending bar and being his grandmother’s handyman. The night they meet, Seth’s looking for some recreational sex to escape family drama. But for Nate, romantic attraction comes before sexual attraction, so while Seth thinks they’re hooking up, Nate just wants to talk . . . genealogy?

Dude. Seriously?

So they declare a “just friends” truce. Then Seth asks for Nate’s help investigating a sinister Larson family secret, and their feelings start edging way beyond platonic. But Nate may want more than Seth can give him, and Seth may not be able to leave his good-time image behind. Unless they can find a way to merge carefree with commitment, they could miss out on true love—the best time of all.

Review by Beth!

Let me say I love this series! I’ve read most of them so the references to the secondary characters just fits right in.
Seth, who seems to be just drifting along in life, always up to have an itch scratched is suddenly faced with Nate, an asexual character that is sub classified as a grace. Someone who needs the romance before the sex, to put it simply. So when they meet Seth sees one thing and Nate sees something completely different. And off they go from there.
There are a couple of sub stories included, Nate and his relationships with others close to him. Seth and his relationships with his family. And the town founders history and how it all ties up to Seth’s family. So you have a story that keeps you guessing, has angst, has secrets, has control issues and a HEA. In someways it almost seems like there is too much going on. I think one or two of the subplots could have been left out and still been a great story.

4.5 stars of 5 

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  Copy Generously Provided by NetGalley for Honest Review