Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Book Dee Dreamspinner Gay Gay Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level angst Mild/low level heat Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Part of a Series PTSD Shifter Standalone

Audiobook: Once Upon a Wolf by Rhys Ford, narrated by Derrick McClain

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/once-upon-a-wolf-by-rhys-ford-9694-b

Blurb: Gibson Keller’s days are fairly routine: wake up early, get some work done, drink lots of coffee, and take care of Ellis, his older brother, stuck in wolf form after coming home from the war. It’s a simple life made up of long runs on two legs—or four—and quiet evenings…. Until Ellis chases a handsome man off a cliff and into the frozen waters beside their cabin, changing Gibson’s life forever.

For Zach Thomas, buying an old B&B is a new start. Leaving behind his city life, he longs to find peace and quiet, and hiking the trails behind his property seems safe enough—right up to the moment an enormous black wolf chases him into a lake, nearly drowning him. Discovering werewolves are real astounds him, but not as much as the man who rescues him from the icy water, then walks into Zach’s heart as if he owns it.
Loving a werewolf—loving Gibson with all his secrets—has its challenges, but Zach believes their love is worth fighting for, especially since his heart knows the big bad wolf is really a prince in disguise.

Book previously reviewed https://openskyebookreviews.com/once-upon-a-wolf-wayward-wolves-series-by-rhys-ford/

Review: I enjoyed the story and was looking forward to listening to Derrick McClain narrate. He gives a good performance, his cadence and inflections gave a sense of urgency and tension at the very beginning of the story – where Zach is running from the wolf (Ellis). I almost forgot that Ellis was ‘playing’ with Zach, I was so worried!
With Mr. McClain one gets a nuanced performance, making the narration very easy and pleasant to listen to. I had no trouble knowing who was speaking.
All in all, it’s a very good start to a new series to read and listen to.

4 out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Author Provided BDSM Book Dee dub con/non con Gay Gay m/m Mild level angst Monthly Theme Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Scorching/high heat Steamy Romance

Steamy Romance: Upending Tad Bundle: Volumes 1, 2, 3 by Kora Knight, narrated by Michael Pauley

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Erotica-Sexuality/Upending-Tad-Bundle-Volumes-1-2-3-Audiobook/B07BK7PMJX?qid=1529772928&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=ZB0H3JG0CN3JRA6BKM35&

Blurb:
Volumes one, two, and three of the Upending Tad series.

Loser Takes All

Tad’s weekend started out like any other; hitting a college frat party with a handful of buddies. But just as the evening hits its peak, things get up-ended fast. Ditched by his drunken, trolling friends, Tad winds up getting hustled by three jocks playing poker. Now, he’s forced to pay his dues in the most outlandish of ways by spending an hour with his victors’ favorite flogger, Scott. But the guy’s tantalizing torture quickly proves to be the least of Tad’s worries and the kickoff to a night of raw, shocking lust. Experience the graphic, minute-by-minute account of that hour spent at the hands of Tad’s insatiable tormentor. Addicting chemistry lights the stage as Scott ignites Tad’s reluctant desires into a frenzy of forbidden need.

Test of Endurance

The last time Tad saw Scott, the ripped physical trainer left him with quite a lot to think about. At his wit’s end, he seeks Scott out, voluntarily, on his own terms. Will the completely different setting offer what he’s seeking; proof that their exchange’s unexpected turn was just a random mishap? Or will being in Scott’s presence suggest something different….

Sideline Submission

Round two with Scott hadn’t been what Tad expected, but it did end up providing a few important realizations. That crazy first encounter was definitely more than mere male hormones. Which meant he felt a true attraction to the guy. Something that explained his defenselessness against Scott’s smoldering charms. So Tad had resolved to cope with his findings the only logical way he knew how: purge the guy from his system by staying away for good. Unfortunately, that proved way more uncomfortable than he’d anticipated. So when Scott unexpectedly seeks him out, Tad’s too drained to fight his turmoil any longer. He agrees to hang out, not knowing Dom boy Max will end up part of the deal.

Story review:
College student, Tad loses a bet and has a choice of a broken limb or a flogging at the hands of a Dom – (some friends these guys are!). Anyway, Tad chooses the Dom and his world is ‘upended’ from that experience. Scott is a caring, engaging man; a personal trainer who also happens to be a Dom.
Tad has always thought he was straight, but his experiences with Scott changes all that. Books 1 through 3 follow Tad on his sexual awakening with BDSM and gay love with Scott as his very capable trainer. I know this aspect of the book would of fit nicely in a BDSM porn video on websites similar to https://www.porn7.xxx/. The story is not BDSM heavy which I liked, (not a fan of BDSM in general, but a good story helps me deal). There is a lot of heart and hope for the 2 men to get their HEA (Tad struggled with being thought of as gay in the beginning).

Narration:
What a ride! Michael Pauley did a great job of portraying Scott and Tad.
I really enjoyed listening to Michael Pauley’s portrayal of Tad and Scott – they were just as I imagined when I read the books. He did a great job of conveying the MC’s emotions – Tad’s apprehension and Scott’s sexy confidence.
It’s such a well crafted story that, I will likely continue the series, despite the fact that I generally avoid BDSM-based stories.
Definitely a very good listen.

4.5 stars out of 5

Copy Provided for Review

 

 

 

 

Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Audiobook Month Book Dee Gay Hurt/Abuse m/m Mild level angst Monthly Theme Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Purchased Scorching/high heat

Audiobook Month: The Long Way Home by Z.A. Maxfield, narrated by J.F Harding

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Long-Way-Home-Audiobook/B01MQGGZ71?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_4&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=4GVDMJXBB991JR8MT96Z&

Blurb:
Ever since the accident that cost him his job on the Seattle police force, Kevin Quinn has been living with psychic abilities he refers to as the ‘gift that keeps on taking’. His attempts to use his talents to help the police have been met with limited success. Yet, when teenage boys start going missing from the beach cities of Southern California, Kevin gets on a plane.
Connor Dougal has every reason to believe all psychics are fakes and charlatans. He’s still numb from the disappearance of his first love, a boy who went missing 10 years earlier. Everything he aspires to is a direct result of that tragedy, even the acquisition of his detective shield. The irony of having to babysit Kevin Quinn is not lost on him.
These two suspicious men must develop trust and respect for one another to solve the case and, on the way, maybe fall in love.

Review:
A good story with great narration.
Kevin is a reluctant psychic (the ‘gift’ manifests after an accident). He’s asked to work on a missing persons case where he meets Connor. Connor is assigned to assist Kevin in the investigation; at first they don’t get along, but very quickly they develop a rapport which leads to a mutual attraction. As they grow closer, the mystery of the disappearances unfolds. There is quite a bit of wit and humour in the story that kept me engaged throughout.

Story: 4

Audio:

JF Harding was really good! This was my first time listening to him after which I bought a couple more books that he’s narrated. His pacing, inflections and timing was spot on for the characters. The subtle humour and wit of the prose was nicely voiced and he portrayed the dynamics and chemistry of the 2 MC’s very well.
Definitely a story I will listen to again.

5 stars out of 5

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars


Copy purchased for review

 

Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Audiobook Month Dee Gay Mild level angst Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat

Audiobook Month: Finley by Ella Frank, narrated by J.F Harding

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Long-Way-Home-Audiobook/B01MQGGZ71?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_4&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=4GVDMJXBB991JR8MT96Z&

Blurb:

It’s time to come home, Finn.

It’s been seven years since Daniel Finley left his hometown in Florida for the hustle and bustle of Chicago’s city life.
Since then, he’s worked hard for his position at the prestigious law firm Leighton & Associates, even when it’s caused distance and isolation from his family and friends. But that’s all about to change.

On his 30th birthday, he receives the one thing he never dared hope for. Something that was promised to him years earlier – a note. One simple sentence from the man he’s never been able to forget.

Six words will forever change the course of their lives.

Brantley Hayes has it all. Or so he thinks. When he first made the decision to take a job down in Florida, his family thought he was crazy. But, after years of living in the quiet beach town, he finally feels a sense of community. He’s surrounded himself with friends who are like family, has a job he loves, and owns a spectacular beachfront property that is his sanctuary.
Yet he still feels unfulfilled, as if a piece of the puzzle is missing, and he knows exactly which piece it is. On an impulse, he follows through with a promise he made years earlier. A promise to call home the one he sent away.

Nothing is as simple as it seems.

After years of separation, the former lovers are reunited, but Brantley wasn’t expecting to encounter the high walls now guarding Daniel’s heart.
Daniel may not be the same person he was when he left, but he knows that the first step to healing is the note in his hand..

Review:

I loved the story and its link to the Temptation series (one of my all-time faves to listen to).
Daniel Finley (Fin) is the cocky lawyer who helps Tate get a big settlement after an accident case. But before he became a cocky lawyer, he was a cocky law student who had his eye of one of his professors – Brantley Hayes. The story goes back and forth between the past and present, starting with Daniel coming home to face the man who sent him away. It was fun to see how the relationship between Fin and Brantley developed and grew over time while he (Fin) was still a student.
Note: The teacher/student aspect is quite well done – I didn’t once think that the relationship may not have been appropriate.
When Brantley decides that Fin would be better off finishing his degree at a better university, Fin doesn’t take the advice well, but leaves anyway. Fast forward to the present – he’s grown up and is prepared to ‘love’ Brantley and leave him. Happily their past chemistry makes it hard for them to walk away from each other. Like I said, I loved the story.

5 of 5 stars

Audio 
Charlie David narrates and while he is quite good, I wasn’t overly fond of his performance here. One of my issues is that there was very little distinction between the 2 MCs. There was slightly more of a difference with the 2 secondary characters- Derek and Jordan. Overall, it wasn’t a bad performance, just not one of my favourites, (it didn’t stop me from buying the audio for Derek and Jordan’s story).

Narration 3.75 of 5 stars

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

 

Categories
3.5 stars adult - 18+ Bi-Sexual Book Dee Dreamspinner Gay Gay Little to no angst m/m Mild/low level heat Standalone

Release Day Review: Speed Dating the Boss by Sue Brown. Cowboys and Angels: Book One

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/speed-dating-the-boss-by-sue-brown-9705-b

Blurb: Will a mix of privilege and blue collar be a recipe for love… or disaster?

Dan’s pretty satisfied with his job at the working-class bar Cowboys and Angels. He enjoys his simple life, his apartment, and his cat, but he could do without the fights that break out in the bar, his boss’s meddling daughter, Ariel… oh, and a brutal, unrequited crush on his straight alpha boss, Gideon.

When Dan’s friend prepares to tie the knot, everyone insists that Dan needs a date for the wedding. Before he can protest, Ariel arranges a gay speed-dating event at the bar with Gideon as a participant. The unforeseen revelation that Gideon is bisexual raises Dan’s hopes, especially when Gideon announces that he wants to accompany Dan to the wedding. Could Gideon really be interested in Dan?

When Dan needs someone most, Gideon offers his unconditional support, and with genuine commitment, he shows Dan the kind of man he really is. Teaming up to save the wedding from a hungover groom and intolerant parents, can Gideon convince Dan they’re the best match since beer and pizza?

Review: I liked this simple, low drama and somewhat slow burn romance.
Dan has been crushing on his boss, Gideon, ever since he started working for him.
Gideon is a widower with a college age daughter. Dan assumes his boss is off limits and works on trying to get his business degree to become a manager.
I liked how clueless he was when Gideon hints that he may actually like Dan more than the normal boss/employee relationship – it made the slow burn romance a bit more realistic. Gideon was such a nice guy – he didn’t push, just continued to take care of Dan in little ways that eventually, even Dan had to admit that there could be the beginnings of a relationship.
It’s a good story, likeable secondary characters, except for Ariel – she needed to grow up.
Good story, I am looking forward to reading the next book.

3.75 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
3.5 stars adult - 18+ Book Dee Dreamspinner Gay Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Stalker/Abusive Ex Standalone

Release Day Review: The Best Worst Honeymoon by Andrew Grey

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-best-worst-honeymoon-ever-by-andrew-grey-9640-b

Blurb: How can heartbreak turn into happily ever after?

Tommy Gordon is all set for happily ever after—until heartbreak strikes when his husband-to-be leaves him at the altar. In a bid for distraction, his best friend, Grayson Phillips, suggests he takes advantage of the luxury honeymoon anyway! But the last thing Tommy wants is to go alone, so he invites Grayson and his son, Petey, along.
Beautiful Bonaire lends itself to romance, and along with close quarters, relaxing on the water, and a matchmaking kid, Tommy and Grayson soon find themselves closer than ever… and considering more, much to Grayson’s delight. But before they can plan the best best honeymoon ever, dark clouds descend in the form of Tommy’s ex and a sting from paradise that could ruin everything.

Review: Another simple, sweet Andrew Grey story.
This is an ideal “at the beach” read. Tommy and Grayson have been friends for a long time. When Tommy is jilted on his wedding day, Grayson is the shoulder he leans on through the ordeal, (along with a supportive family).
The story doesn’t break new ground in the ‘jilted at the altar’ and ‘best friend to lover’ tropes, but the story flows nicely. Even though I knew that ‘the ex shows up with regrets for breaking it off’ portion of the story was coming up, I wanted to see how it would play out. The 2 MCs had their own (real life) issues, but they worked them out drama-free.
Overall, this is a sweet, uncomplicated romance, best enjoyed with a nice glass of *whatever you like to drink* ☺

3.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Audiobook Month Book Dee Fantasy Gay Gay m/m Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Monthly Theme Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Part of a Series Purchased Shifter vampire

Audiobook Month: Romancing the Werewolf by Gail Carriger, narrated by Peter Newman

 

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Romancing-the-Werewolf-Audiobook/B078K5WJG1?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_2&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=8ZH17MSQJCPY15NZDW8P&

Blurb: Gay werewolves in Victorian London? Why yes, yes there are.

Biffy, newly minted Alpha of the London Pack, is not having a good Christmas. His Beta abandoned him, his werewolves object to his curtain choices, and someone keeps leaving babies on his doorstep.

Professor Randolph Lyall returns home to London after 20 years abroad, afraid of what he might find. With his pack in chaos and his Alpha in crisis, it will take all his Beta efficiency to set everything to rights. Perhaps, in the process, he may even determine how to mend his own heart.
This sweet romance is full of unexpected babysitting, holiday decorations, and no small amount of pining.

Review: I had read a couple of the Parasol Protectorate books (M/F). While I liked them, I didn’t keep up once I discovered the wonderful world of MM ☺
I decided to try this on a whim and found it to be really good. It works well enough as a standalone if you’re familiar with that world. It’s wasn’t hard to follow even though it continues the 2 MC’s story from an earlier (unread) book, (possibly from the aforementioned series).
The narrator is a new man, (get it? Peter Newman … sorry, couldn’t resist), to me. The narration was good, entertaining. He was quite good at distinguishing the characters. He uses an echo effect to differentiate when Biffy is thinking. The effect took some getting used to, but I liked it – it suited the overall performance.
I hope there will be more of Biffy, Lyall and the pack, especially if the narrator is Peter Newman.

4 out of 5

Copy Purchased for Review

 

 

 

 

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Book Dee Dreamspinner Gay Gay Little to no angst m/m Mild/low level heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Standalone

Release Day Review: His Leading Man by Ashlyn Kane

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/his-leading-man-by-ashlyn-kane-9598-b

Blurb: He wrote a comedy. Fate directed a romance.

Drew Beaumont is bored of the same old roles: action hero, supervillain, romantic lead. He’s not going to let a fresh gay buddy comedy languish just because they can’t find him the right costar. No, Drew bats his eyelashes and convinces everyone that the movie’s writer should play Drew’s not-so-straight man.

Aspiring writer Steve Sopol has never had a screenplay optioned. Now one of Hollywood’s hottest properties wants to be in a movie Steve hasn’t finished writing—and he wants Steve as his costar. Turns out the chemistry between them is undeniable—on and offscreen.
Drew swore off dating in the biz, but Steve is the whole package: sharp, funny, humble, and cute. For Steve, though, giving in to the movie magic means the end of the privacy he cherishes. Will the credits roll before their ride into the sunset?

Review: Really cute story. I like it when the blurb and cover matches the story ☺
The story is short, but well fleshed out. Drew and Steve were really good together. Their budding friendship-to-attraction-to-relationship developed slowly and realistically. The secondary characters also add to the overall story, especially Rita (the dog). The movie plot is woven into the story and sort of becomes a ‘character’ of the over arching story (made me want to see the film actually made!).
Definitely a story that I will re-read!

4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
3.5 stars adult - 18+ Book Dee Dreamspinner Gay Gay Little to no angst m/m Mild/low level heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Rugby Sports Standalone

Recent Release: Blindsided By T.A. Chase, Devon Rhodes

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/blindsided-by-ta-chase-and-devon-rhodes-9591-b

Blurb

A Men of Sports Story
Love can hit you hard before you even see it coming….
When rugby player Liam transfers to Melbourne, he’s blindsided by his attraction to the hottest lifeguard on the beach. Luckily Matty knows mouth-to-mouth….
Liam’s left his friends and family—everything comforting and familiar—back in Canberra. He knows it all comes with the job, adjusting to a new city and a new team, but he’s lonely. Maybe it’s time to find something outside his career to fulfill him.
Working as a lifeguard and being by the ocean is Matty’s dream come true. The big, blond, blue-eyed hottie new to his beach catches his attention right away. When he runs into Liam again at the pub, he takes the shy league player under his wing and into his group of mates, and they become fast friends.
But when they go from friends to lovers, the emotions that come with their deepening romance catch them both off guard. Can two men without any experience at relationships navigate their way to steady ground?

Second Edition
First Edition published by Totally Bound Publishing, December 2013.

Review

The story, a friends to lovers slowish burn story, is well written. The 2 MCs and the other characters are well developed and likeable, well maybe not Korey ☺
Matty and Liam are sweet and fun, apart and together. When they meet, the chemistry is there, but neither man knows if the other is into guys. As they decide to be friends, it slowly dawns on both of them that they fancy each other. The progression to lovers was smooth and pretty much drama-free, which I really liked.
There were a few things that didn’t work for me (personal peeves): the spelling was US for most of the words, including mum- I kept having to reread the beginning to make sure that it was set in Oz. The other is that there wasn’t much distinction to location- it was easy to imagine that they were at a beach in Melbourne, Florida and not Melbourne, Australia. As I said, these are my pet peeves and not enough take away my overall enjoyment of the book.

3.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
3 stars adult - 18+ Book Dee Dreamspinner Fantasy Gay Gay Little to no angst Mid level steam/heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Standalone

Release Day Review: My Fair Captain by J.L. Langley

release day review

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:
I liked the premise of the story – almost a reversal of the female Georgian/Victorian romances; in this case, it’s the male virtue (snicker) that needs to be protected.
However, the main story got lost in too many threads.
The story starts with Nate fighting a duel. He is wounded, but kills his opponent, requiring him to flee his home planet. Fast forward 18 years later, Nate is now a captain in the IN and has a son called Trouble (aka Jeremy). Nate is tasked to investigate a situation involving a weapons cache, so he’s sent undercover to another planet where he meets the prince of the realm, Aiden.
On Aiden’s planet, the men are treated like Regency misses until they are of age; the society is based on a class system and is very male-oriented, going so far as to ensure that upperclass males have a preference for other men only. The 2 MC’s meet when Aiden has a mishap, leading to an instant attraction. Their romance plays out the same way a MF regency romance would (which I liked).
The story starts to falter when it tries to tie up the mystery of weapons cache – new characters are introduced but not fully explained, like the valets and their involvement. The whole premise for the weapons was glossed over in a few lines (and not to my satisfaction).
Then there’s Trouble and his backstory. I couldn’t get a grip on his age- sometimes he was written as a precocious youngster, then he seems like an older adolescent, (especially when he swore!). The circumstances of his birth, his current status were a surprise, but his eventual acceptance of being betrothed to a prince seemed a little far-fetched.
Overall, I liked it and will look for the next book in the hopes that the story line is better organized and fleshed out.

3 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review