Release Day Review: Gateway to Love by Sarah Hadley Brook

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/gateway-to-love-by-sarah-hadley-brook-9915-b

Blurb:

Ten days to finally make the leap from friends to lovers…. Craig and Mitchell have been friends for years, but each of them reached a point where that camaraderie became… more. Mitchell’s kept his feelings close to his chest. So has Craig, but now that they’ve graduated from UMKC, he knows it’s his last chance to show Mitchell they’re meant to be before their careers take them to opposite sides of the country. He insists they can’t leave Missouri behind without one last adventure. Mitchell agrees to a road trip to visit all the touristy spots and say goodbye to their home state. As they spend their days and nights together, buried feelings rise to the surface and hope blossoms. When their journey ends with a dance beneath the Branson stars, will they find love and a future together at the end of the road? States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Review:
Another road trip story, this time it’s about two young men who want to see if they can define their feelings for one another, while taking in the sights of Missouri. All, before they go their separate ways after graduation.
Craig and Mitchell are best friends, recent college graduates. Unbeknownst to each other, each man is secretly in love with the other.
From the beginning you can see that these 2 have a great affection for one another – Craig only calls Mitch ‘Mitchell’; likewise Mitch only lets Craig get away with calling him ‘Mitchell’ (and he secretly loves it!).
As they travel together, layers of feelings are peeled away, slowly exposing how they feel about each other. And as the story develops, one also gets to sightsee with them.
When they finally figure out how they feel about each other, they still have to figure their future – they both have accepted jobs on opposite coasts. Hint: This is handled sweetly at the end and with the epilogue.
Overall, this a nice story with an undercurrent of humour and charm throughout, making it an easy, pleasant read with minimal angst.

3.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to get Scared: Abercrombie Zombie by KZ Snow

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11719825-abercrombie-zombie?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Dead folks are the best friends of Quinn McConnell and Hunter Janz. Dead folks pay the bills for this team of psychic mediums . . . but just barely. To make it into the financial comfort zone, they need to outshine their competition.

Quinn needs even more than that. He’s been infatuated with his partner for the nearly three years they’ve been together, and if he can’t either get over his crush or make something happen with Hunter, they’ll have to split up. Sexual tension and unrequited love can wreak havoc with a psychic’s reception.

Salvation comes hobbling along in the form of a well-dressed but ravaged-looking man who can clearly see and converse with the dearly departed. Why? Because, he claims, he has something in common with them: He’s also been dead. The zombie who calls himself Dustin DeWind needs the psychics’ help in finding the man who made him what he is. In return, he promises to steer them toward the often elusive spirits that are their stock in trade.
But something more goes on when Quinn and Hunter forge an uneasy alliance with Dustin DeWind. It seems he’s also nudging them toward each other.

Review:

A totally different take on zombies – well, this zombie anyway.
The blurb gives the bones of the story, but it doesn’t prepare you for the murder/mystery, subtle humour, some pop culture references or the life lessons you get out of the story.
The humour and some of the pop culture are intertwined; the zombie is called Dustin DeWind – I didn’t know it was the name of a song, instead I thought it a tongue-in-cheek reference to zombies being dead (dust to dust …). Still thought it was amusing☺.
The way Dustin became a zombie is different, which makes him a different type of zombie – one that doesn’t eat brains – for starters ☺
When Dustin meets up with Quinn and Hunter, Dustin inadvertently stirs up a mini drama between the 2 psychics, especially with Quinn who’s been in love with Hunter for some time. Quinn has managed to keep it to himself until circumstances change to bring those feelings up front. The way the unrequited love angle is handled really well – hardly any angst, but you feel Quinn’s hurt.

When all 3 men get better acquainted, it turns out they all need each other – and this is the meat of the story. I was pleasantly surprised by the way the story evolved, and because the story is so unique, it’s best you read it to see how it progresses and ends.

I really enjoyed it.

4 stars out of 5

Copy Purchased for Review

 

 

 

 

 

Release Day Review: Long Black Cadillac by BA Tortuga

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/long-black-cadillac-by-ba-tortuga-9892-b

Blurb: When cop-turned-vampire-hunter Vance is sent to eliminate a bloodsucker from the Louisiana swamps, he figures it’s just another day at the office.
But he has no idea what he’s getting into.

Clay is no ordinary vampire, and the spark he lights in battle-scarred Vance is anything but average. Clay should be the enemy, but Vance is powerless to fight something that feels so right… and so damn good. In Clay’s expert hands, Vance might realize he’s misjudged vampires and that donating a little blood can be sexy as hell.

Clay might even ride to the rescue and save his new love when Vance’s mission goes south and Vance becomes the hunted instead of the hunter. Along with his human familiar, a crazy Cajun named Remy, and the enigmatic older vampire Gryphon, Clay must get to Vance before it’s too late. Then they can find the man who betrayed Vance and take their revenge.

But faced with lies and motives darker than they ever imagined, they’ll have to wade through blood and fight their way to a happily ever after….

Review: I think I can officially say I am a fan of BA Tortuga. Her characters are fun, colourful, quirky and loveable. And just when I figured her stories are familiar and comfy, she dispels that notion with Long Black Cadillac ☺
This is a zany, fun, sometimes tender romance between vampires and a crazy Cajun while being hunted by a vengeful colonel-like character. There are a couple of brief ménage pairings, but they are part of a natural progression of the scene and are not repeated.
To be honest, I found the first few of chapters a bit confusing/chaotic – events told in the 3rd person, complete with their inner musings; but as I got to know the characters the story progression made more sense.
Vance is employed by the Colonel and is given an assignment to make a vampire, Clay, move out of an area. When they meet, it’s instant lust, even though Vance tries to fight Clay and the attraction. It was interesting how Clay knew that Vance could be dangerous to his health, but still felt compelled to seduce and keep Vance. There is a lot of fun banter between the 2 men which becomes funnier with the introduction of Remy, Clay’s man Friday (and sometimes lover). Remy has a wry sense of humour – the way he comes up with Boo as a nickname for Vance is funny.
While Clay and Vance are dealing with their feelings and trying not to exclude Remy – all the while working on why the Colonel wants Vance gone – another vampire lands on the scene with Remy in his sights. Gryph, the new vamp is drawn to Remy, much like Clay was to Vance. The posturing between the 2 vamps is another fun interaction.
There are twists to the story, but in the end we get a really good story of 2 couples who eventually ride off after the sunset ☺
This is definitely a book I would love to listen to as an audiobook, especially if voiced by Dorian Bane!

4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Audiobook: My Fair Captain by J.L. Langley narrated by Joseph Morton

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/my-fair-captain-by-jl-langley-9628-b

Blurb: When Intergalactic Navy Captain Nathaniel Hawkins goes undercover to investigate the theft of an IN weapons stash, the mission raises painful memories from his past. Using a title he fled nearly two decades earlier, Nate once again becomes the Earl of Deverell, heir to the Duke of Hawthorne, in order to navigate the ins and outs of a Regency world. But planet Regelence—where young lords are supposed to remain pure until marriage—has a few surprises for Nate, not least of which is his attraction to Prince Aiden.

A talented artist, Prince Aiden Townsend isn’t interested in politics and the machinations of society gentlemen, and he adamantly rejects the idea of marriage and a consort. Aiden wants the freedom to pursue his art and determine his own future. But the arrival of the dashing and mysterious Deverell awakens feelings of passion and longing the young prince can’t deny.

As Nate uncovers a conspiracy reaching far beyond the stolen weapons, his future is irrevocably altered by the temptations of a life he never thought he could have. Drawn into the web of intrigue, Aiden is in danger of losing his life… and his heart.

Review:

Book reviewed previously: https://openskyebookreviews.com/release-day-review-my-fair-captain-by-j-l-langley/

Joseph Morton (new to me), had a nice voice. He didn’t attempt to ‘act’ out the different characters. Unfortunately, it also made the narration rather emotionless (to me); any emotion portrayed by the characters was delivered in the same (mono)tone.
Ovearll, the narration was okay – it was more reading, (which isn’t bad), than performance, but I liked it enough to get through the book. I will likely listen to the narrator again.

3 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Time to Get Paranormal:The Alpha’s Widower Audiobook by Susi Hawke Narrated by: Drew Bacca

 

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Alphas-Widower-Audiobook/B07F216KGY?qid=1535304112&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=03DB94DQSBSYGC0C7QPZ&

Blurb
Series: MacIntosh Meadows, Book 1

What’s a guy to do when his straight best friend proposes a fake marriage? Just say…yes!
Laurie Adams looked like he had it all, but his marriage was a sham, a Mr. Wrong chosen for all the wrong reasons. When his husband dies, Laurie has no time to mourn the cheating bastard, and his in-laws have decided Laurie isn’t fit to raise his children, and they’ll do anything to take them from him. He’s lost his husband and his faith in people, but he won’t lose his children, too. So he runs back home to the small farm town he’d left behind a decade ago.
Dean MacIntosh should be the perfect alpha for anyone, but all around town he’s known as Mr. Not-Quite-Right, the last man a woman dates before she finds her real Prince Charming. It should bother him, but it doesn’t. So when his childhood best friend comes running home for protection, Dean has no problem stepping in.
Except when Dean offered to fake marry Laurie, he never expected the wedding kiss to feel so sweet, and he begins to question the sexuality he once took for granted. From an awkward wedding night to an even more awkward honeymoon, Dean and Laurie find their affection runs deeper than either of them ever guessed. And maybe now is Dean’s chance to be somebody’s Mr. Right.
This audiobook contains mpreg, adults adulting in fun and sexy ways, and probably more potty-mouth language than should be used in an audiobook with kids underfoot. Eighteen-plus listeners only please.

Review: This is an enjoyable ‘friends to fake marriage to real marriage’ story! Laurie and Dean were such sweethearts and the supporting characters were great, especially Kade, whose story is now on my list to read.
Laurie goes back to his childhood home to get away from the memory of his unfaithful husband and horrid in-laws. He falls back into the friendship he shared with Dean, even though he’s always had a crush on Dean. Dean, for his part, has always considered himself straight, but when issues arise where Laurie’s kids could be taken away, Dean steps in to marry him. The way the 2 men explore their feelings for each other is sweet and funny, with the right amount of mild misunderstanding. There’s even a bit of a mystery which adds to the story.

The narration is very good – Drew Bacca is new to me. I liked his work so much that I got the next audiobook in the series (also very good).
He had different voices for the characters, had good pacing and projected the humour, sweetness and other emotions of the characters well. I was entertained!
I’m still a newbie to this trope, (mpreg, non shifting shifters), but I really like it so far.
This is another one of those stories that the audiobook is a really great way to experience the story. I loved it!

4.5 stars out of 5

Copy provided for review

 

 

 

Time to Get Paranormal: Grabbed (Team A.L.P.H.A. #1) by Susi Hawke and Crista Crown

 

Good reads link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39857782-grabbed?from_search=true

Blurb

Team: A.L.P.H.A.:Six battle-hardened alphas with one goal—to save any omega in peril

Preston Tierney, the omega son of a prominent senator, has been taken by a secret group with an ax to grind. Party boy Preston was just out looking for a good time until he was grabbed—plucked right from a party in the middle of a crowd. When he wakes up, he finds himself caged like an animal in a remote cabin far from home.

Noah Perkins is a strong alpha who leads his unit with a strong hand—and a great sense of humor. The last thing he expected when he went to free the sassy little thing in the cage was to scent his own fated mate.

Noah and his crazy crew must free Preston from captivity—from his kidnappers, and again from a source much closer to home than they would’ve imagined—while Noah tries to figure out how to tame his bristly omega and truly embrace the team’s motto: Accept, Love, Protect, Honor—Always.

This is the first in a new series, but can definitely be read as a stand-alone novel. You can expect to find naughty, knotty scenes of steamy passion, along with a lot of potty-mouth language and some violence. No jackals were harmed in the writing of this book—unless they kinda deserved it. HEA definitely included, intended for 18+ readers only. Seriously, would you expect anything less from Susi Hawke and Crista Crown?

An MM Mpreg Romance

Review: I really enjoyed reading the book – the story line was interesting, unique even. Party boy omega, Preston, is kidnapped and rescued by Noah, an alpha and his team, also called Team A.L.P.H.A. The team consists of 5 members of closely knit alphas. The insta-love and misunderstanding tropes are well represented, but not long drawn out.
Even though it’s a fated mate, mpreg trope, it’s a unique story. The banter between the characters is fun and the supporting cast well fleshed out. Definitely will be reading the rest of the series.?

I don’t think I’ve listened to Peter B. Brooke before, but I’d likely listen to him if he narrates the rest of the series (hoping for more audio :)) I’d rate the narration a 3.5/5.
He does a really good job distinguishing the characters, but his cadence was a little ‘off’, (to me), on the non-narrative parts. I got used to it, helped along by an interesting story. There were some points where I thought the narration didn’t convey the emotion of the characters – when one MC was surprised, the narration tone didn’t reflect that.
Overall, I really liked the book and the narration was OK.

Story 4; Narration: 3.5 stars out of 5

Copy provided for honest review

 

Audiobook: Cowboy in the Crosshairs by BA Tortuga narrated by Dorian Bane

audiobookreview

 

Dreamspinner Presents

 

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/cowboy-in-the-crosshairs-by-ba-tortuga-10011-b

 

Blurb: Once upon a time, a prince lived in a magical kingdom called Turquoise, New Mexico.
Well, really, TJ is a small-town police chief. Every Friday he holds court in the diner with the local holy roller, the art colonists, and the horsey people. But the Benes, who own the rodeo company, keep to themselves. TJ knows, because he was once hot and heavy with the oldest Bene son.
When Wacey Bene gets trampled by a remuda and comes home to heal, he’s none too happy to run into TJ, or his two little boys and their momma. The story might end there—if it wasn’t for some pesky bastard trying to kill Wacey.
The law steps in, and the townsfolk are cross about somebody messing with one of their own.
But once the bad guy is put away, can TJ and Wacey make their place in this wild and eccentric town a permanent one?

Review: Book originally reviewed here:
https://openskyebookreviews.com/release-day-cowboy-in-the-crosshairs-by-ba-tortuga/

I was really excited to listen and review the audiobook – Dorian Bane rocks the narration IMO! (Note: I’m a UK transplant so I don’t really know if Texans/New Mexicans really sound like that).
Mr. Bane conveyed the humour and the emotions of the characters very well.
He had very distinct voices for almost all of the characters, except for Wacey and Tank; they sometimes sounded a little like each other (to me). However this wasn’t much of an issue because I still knew which character was which, depending on the situation.
This is one of those stories that the audiobook is a really great (or better) way to experience the story. I loved it!

4.5 stars out of 5
Reviewer Name: Dee


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Release Day Review: To Love Again by Andria Large

release day review

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/to-love-again-by-andria-large-9853-b

Blurb:
Jack
Leaving was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. He would have killed me if I stayed, though. I couldn’t have done it without Warwick’s help. Not only did he give me the out I needed, but also a safe place to live. With my ex looming around every corner, looking for the chance to get his hands on me, I received the best gift ever—a month in England—and I took it!

Warwick
England was supposed to help Jack get away from his ex and find himself again. I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with him there. Especially when I knew he might stay… indefinitely. With my busy schedule as an ER doctor, an ocean between us, and the trust issues his abusive ex inflicted, the chance of a successful long-distance relationship is close to zero. Loving Jack may be the one thing I can’t fix.

Review:

Wow! For a short story, it packed quite a bit in.
Jack has been taken to the ER by his boyfriend, (read abuser), after sustaining injuries from a “fall”. It is not hard to guess what really happened as Warwick, the ER doctor, correctly assesses.
Warwick is a UK transplant working as an ER doctor in Baltimore. When meets Jack, he is immediately drawn to him, first as a healer and then something more. He tries to help Jack get away from the abusive situation, but as is so often the case, the victim is too afraid to leave. Despite that, he gives Jack a way to contact him if he should ever need help. Sadly, Jack does need the help and he finds the courage to get away to safety, to Warwick.
The subject of domestic abuse is not light, but it was portrayed in such a way that it didn’t make the story depressing. Instead, it focused more on how Jack dealt with the aftermath of abuse – adjusting to not having to cower, not having to ask permission to do things, or having to ask what to watch on the box or what to eat.
The attraction between the 2 men developed naturally. Some may wonder why Jack would be attracted to anyone after just coming out of an abusive relationship, but that relationship had soured several months ago, so it made sense.
Diandra, Warwick’s and Jack’s family round out the characters and made a good support group for Jack.
I really liked the story – some parts were a little rushed, (the MCs overall relationship and the end), but it’s really a bright (vs dour) read given the subject matter.

4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

Release Day Review: Wanted – Bad Boyfriend by TA Moore

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/wanted-bad-boyfriend-by-ta-moore-9824-b

Blurb: Island Classifieds: Book One

His mother. His best friend. The barmaid at the local pub. Everyone is determined to find Nathan Moffatt a boyfriend. It’s the last thing Nathan wants. After spending every day making sure his clients experience nothing but romantic magic, the Granshire Hotel’s wedding organizer just wants to go home, binge watch crime dramas, and eat pizza in his underwear.
Unfortunately, no one believes him, and he’s stuck with lectures about dying alone. Then inspiration strikes. He needs the people in his life to want him to stay single as much as he does. He needs a bad boyfriend.

There’s only one man for the job.

Flynn Delaney is used to people on the island of Ceremony thinking the worst of him. But he isn’t sure he wants the dubious honor of worst boyfriend on the entire island. On the other hand, if he plays along, he gets to hang out with the gorgeous Nathan and piss off the owners of the Granshire Hotel. It’s a win-win.

There’s only one problem—Flynn’s actually quite a good boyfriend, and now Nathan’s wondering if getting off the sofa occasionally is really the worst thing in the world.

Review:
This is a fun, sweet and offbeat story of two men that aren’t really honest about their attraction to each other.
Flynn is the island’s resident ‘bad boy’ – when in reality, he’s a bit of a loner and doesn’t bother to correct the rumours and assumptions the islanders make.
Nate is sort of the opposite – a nice guy who’s moved back in with his mum to look after her.
Nate feels that his mum and best friend (Max) are giving him grief for not having a boyfriend, so to shut everyone up, he decides to ‘date’ bad boy, Flynn. The relationship is only supposed last a few dates then they’ll break up. However, they don’t figure in the fact that they are really attracted to each other.

I enjoyed the banter and their internal musings were very funny. TA Moore has self-deprecating down to a fine art! While most of the humour is subtle, there is one laugh out loud scene with a kid! (so funny). I found the quotes at the beginning of each chapter to be a clever way of showing what people thought of Flynn, Nate and people in general.
The overall development of their relationship flowed well but sometimes, I wanted to bang the MC’s heads together whenever either of them would do something to distance themselves from their obvious attraction.
With a bit of drama from the best friend (Max) and Max’s dad, this is a really good story.
Definitely recommend as a fun, well-paced read.

4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Audiobook: Love In Spades by Charlie Cochet narrated by Greg Boudreaux

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Love-in-Spades-Audiobook/B07DVXHWYT?qid=1533496916&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=TYTM725DP8RVAEG66PZY&

Blurb:

When the cards are stacked against you, the Kings will even the odds.

Ex-special forces soldier Anston “Ace” Sharpe is fighting a different battle these days – one involving the world of private security across the state of Florida. As part owner of Four Kings Security, Ace and his fellow Kings tackle everything from armed transport and investigations to cyber intelligence and executive protection. Cocky, fearless, and brash, Ace isn’t afraid to take risks.

After years of working alongside his father, Colton Connolly is ready to take the helm at Connolly Maritime, but his father’s retirement is put on hold when Colton begins receiving death threats. If that isn’t bad enough, his father signs a contract with Four Kings Security to provide Colton with round-the-clock protection, despite his adamant refusal. Colton’s life has been turned upside down, the last thing he needs is a shadow, especially in the form of infuriating, sexy-as-sin Ace Sharpe, who seems to be on a mission to drive Colton mad.

Sparks fly the moment Colton and Ace meet on a sultry night club dance floor. But getting involved with a client, even one as fiery and beautiful as Colton Connolly, is a line Ace is unwilling to cross. Colton might be attracted to Ace, but he’s been burned before. He might be willing to put his life in Ace’s hands, but not his heart.

As the Florida nights heat up, so does their passion, and Ace and Colton are faced with a difficult choice – take the plunge and risk it all, or play it safe and walk away?

If Ace can keep a deadly threat from robbing Colton of a future….

Review:

Book 1 of a new contemporary series.
It’s a good story; I definitely liked it enough to think about reading the next book in the series. But holy smokes, Greg Boudreaux made this a ‘must listen to’ audiobook! If he narrates the rest of the series – it’s going to be a ‘must get the series on audio’ deal. I see at least 3 more audiobooks in my future ☺
So, we have the 4 Kings – a group of men that served together (Special Forces) that have set up a security firm.
First, we meet Ace and King – and Greg Boudreaux does a wonderful job of introducing ‘hell bent for leather’ Ace and solid King. As we get to meet the other ‘Kings’ – Red, Lucky – Greg gives them all their unique sound and character, not mention the accents and the Spanish – Mr. Boudreaux is truly talented! He sounded authentic and spot on.
At first, I really didn’t like Colton, he read like a spoilt brat, definitely not like a mature man about to take over a multimillion dollar company. But with the narration – I felt a little more sympathy for him – Mr. Boudreaux didn’t make him sound like a petulant child, instead Colton sounded more like an adult being told what to do without his input (and who likes that?).
I highly recommend experiencing the story as an audiobook – Greg Boudreaux is one of those voice performers who can elevate any story to a masterpiece.

6 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review