Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook BDSM Book Boss/employee Chef class difference College/University Contemporary Established Couple Fantasies Gay Heat Index m/m May/December May/December Mid level angst Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat

Personal Entanglement (Thorne and Dash Book 2) Audiobook by Silvia Violet Narrated by Greg Boudreaux

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Audible Link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Personal-Entanglement-Audiobook/B01MSAJHZR/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1486006518&sr=1-1

Blurb

Several months ago, Thorne hired Riley as an escort. They fell hard for each other and ultimately made their relationship personal rather than professional. Every moment they spend in bed is pure bliss, but good sex can’t solve all their problems as they struggle to make things work between them. Thorne convinces Riley to move in with him, but their differences in age and income weigh more heavily on Riley once they share a home.
If that weren’t enough, culinary school is turning out to be a disappointment for Riley rather than a dream come true, and he’s considering the daunting prospect of starting his own business.
Thorne wants to swoop in and fix everything, but Riley keeps refusing Thorne’s money or advice, feeling like he’s losing control over his own life.
Thorne and Riley will have to rely on their love for each other to help them find the balance between independence and entanglement.

Review

This is the sequel to Professional Distance reviewed here: https://openskyebookreviews.com/professional-distance-thorne-and-dash-book-1-audiobook-by-silvia-violet-narrated-by-greg-boudreaux/, and it must be read in order. Therefore, I’m assuming you have ☺

In the end of book one, Riley and Thorne had admitted their love for one another and a desire to see one another as boyfriends, and that Riley would give up his escort business. Book 2 finds them deciding to live together and facing a world as “equals”.

What I loved about this was how “real” a lot of their squabbles felt. Neither man had experience with a permanent relationship, and they were in very different places in their lives. It’d be strange if they didn’t run into stumbling blocks now and again. But… instead of ignoring them, for the most part they talked them out (though they did tend to resort to sex a lot of the time, too.)
I also loved how Riley finally convinces Thorne to learn to back after Thorne teaches him about sailing. It was symbolic of opening themselves up to new experiences and trusting the other to guide them.

Granted, this is acknowledgedly erotica, but – to me – there is a LOT of sex in this and after awhile I began skimming. It was just overwhelming. I’m also not a big fan of the BDSM type stuff – not the tying up and control stuff – but the spanking and the whip… that was a bit much for me. So… in the end, I liked this a lot and really enjoyed seeing where our guys are headed and am definitely looking forward to book 3 – but I’m not as crazy about it as I was book 1.

3 of 5 stars

Audio

I’d had the book on my kindle for awhile and kept meaning to get to it, but I was really glad I’d waited and experienced this as an audiobook. Greg did another fantastic job and really helped to make this feel even more “real” with his amazing narration.

5 of 5 stars

Overall, for both book and audio 4 of 5 stars

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Categories
3 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level artists Bi-Sexual Book coming of age Contemporary Dreamspinner Exploration Fantasies Gay Gender Fluid GFY/OFY Heat Index Homophobia Insta Love m/m May/December Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan Music/Rock Star Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words)

Seven Minutes by Grace Kilian Delaney

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/seven-minutes-by-grace-kilian-delaney-7854-b

 

32930685Blurb

Can love be found in seven minutes?

Heavy metal singer Stone Manson never acknowledged his attraction to men. But when he meets sexy cross-dresser Devon at a party and spends Seven Minutes in Heaven with him, he can’t deny his reaction. His confusion leads him to mess up—big time—with Devon, but after some soul-searching, Stone decides to do whatever it takes to show Devon he’s worth the risk.

Devon’s got a thing for hot, tattooed rock stars—just not the sexually conflicted and closeted ones. Stone’s persistence has Devon warming up to the idea of the singer in his bed, and maybe even in his life, until a threat emerges from Devon’s past. Now it’s Devon’s turn to trust Stone or both their lives could be in jeopardy.

 

Review

This is a short story that tries to accomplish a lot in a few pages. That’s a tough job to do and I don’t think this really does all it sets out to do.

I liked the juxtaposition of the tough guy/ heavy metal singer and the ultra femme cross dresser. That really worked. It was great having Stone take time to research “sexuality” and just come out and ask Devon’s opinion and preferences. I appreciated the honesty in that.

What didn’t work for me was their insta-relationship which moved from a kiss to forever without much time actually spent together. There’s a lot of time in this short story with our MCs apart and not nearly enough with them together.

The side stories with Devon’s family and Stone’s best friend detracted from the time that should have been spent on relationship building – IMHO.

The writing was good, but the characters all felt a bit immature and I wasn’t sure of their ages. Stone has been in a long-term relationship and has an ex-wife and is clearly older than Devon but his maturity is on par with Devon.

If you look at this like a slightly long-winded fantasy sequence with a small “message” regarding sexual identification then I’d say it works. If you want to see a well-drawn short story about two men meeting, exploring their sexuality and falling in love, I think this falls a bit short.

3 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Categories
5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Alternate World Angst Level Audiobook Author Provided Book class difference coming of age Enemies to Lovers Fantasies Fantasy Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Hidden Lovers High but not hopeless Humor Insta Love m/m Magic Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Paranormal Witches/Warlocks/Wizards

The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland Audiobook by Joe Cosentino Narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

untitledBlurb

Cinder, a poor and beautiful young man who designs clothing, makeup, and hair for his stepmother and stepsisters, offers his clothing and slippers to a naked stranger in the woods, who turns out to be none other than Prince Charming. Follow Cinder and Prince Charming in this twist on the classic Cinderella tale as they discover their inner strengths and find their very own happily ever after.

Enjoy The Naked Prince and three other reimagined tales from Fairyland, each with a unique spin on stories we all know and love, including The Golden Rule, where 18-year-old Gideon Golden, after being thrown out of his home in Fairyland by his homophobic parents, breaks into the cottage of three burly men on Bear Mountain.

In Whatever Happened To…? friction ensues between a celebrity with a growing appendage and a reporter who has a thing for giants.

And in Ice Cold, young Gaelen must save his love, Kieran, after a handsome but evil prince freezes Kieran’s heart and bewitches him into being the prince’s slave.

Review

OMG! This is hysterical. It is 100% silly! No holds barred – just laugh out loud – SILLY!

Joe Cosentino has made an absolute hodge-podge of all the fairy tales – EVER- and mixed and matched them into a collection of fairy tales with an erotic gay slant.

Add to this Joel Leslie’s great and many voice selections and you have a truly hysterical and really fun listening experience.

I think the Naked Prince was my favorite, but they are all really wonderful.  All the euphamisms for condoms and lube were ridiculously funny and the many puns were well placed.

While I’m sure this was funny as a book, it is absolutely HYSTERICAL to listen to. I absolutely think this is the best way to enjoy this tongue-in-cheek collection of fairy “fairy” tales!

5 of 5 stars

Copy Generously Provided by Author for Honest Review

Audible Link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Naked-Prince-and-Other-Tales-from-Fairyland-Audiobook/B01M667L7A

Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Bi-Sexual Book coming of age Contemporary Dreamspinner Enemies to Lovers Exploration Fantasies Gay Heat Index High but not hopeless Homophobia Hurt/comfort m/m Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Part of a Series Scorching/high heat

First and First (Five Boroughs Book 3) Audiobook by Santino Hassell Narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/first-and-first-by-santino-hassell-7665-b

 

o-first-and-firstBlurb

 

Caleb Stone was raised on the Upper East Side, where wealth and lineage reign and “alternative lifestyles” are hidden. It took him years to come out to his family, but he’s still stuck in the stranglehold of their expectations. Caleb knows he has to build his confidence and shake things up, but he doesn’t know how, until he meets Oliver Buckley.

Oli is everything Caleb isn’t – risk-taking, provocative, and fiercely independent. Disowned by his family, Oli has made his own way in the world and is beholden to no one. After a chance encounter on New Year’s Eve, Caleb is smitten.

As Caleb sheds the insecurities that have held him back for years, he makes bold steps toward changing his career and escaping years of sexual repression. But for Caleb to take full control of his life, he has to be brave enough to confront his feelings and trust Oli with his heart.

Review

By now, if you’ve been following along in the series, which is definitely not required but is always recommended, you’ll know that Caleb was David’s ex and he was kinda douchey in book two. He’s a bit tightly wound and has a bit of a self-esteem problem, some of which David contributed to.

This is his story and Santino manages to not only help us to understand why he acts the way he does, but for us to really feel for him and (at least for me) to see David in a dramatically different light. (I kinda didn’t like him in this story * gasp!)

Oli is probably the exact opposite of Caleb and a bit of a dick, too. He doesn’t believe in monogamy and fights his feelings for Caleb til literally the 92% point of the story. So be prepared for that.

This is a long-ish book and while I thought it was really good, the last third sort of dragged for me (relationship wise). I was psyched to see Caleb standing up for himself and finding his rightful place with his family and becoming the man he wanted to be (or at least admitting the man he was was pretty alright!), but, I was OVER Oli being so standoffish about things and wanted them to just cut to the chase.

I think, had I been reading this, I’d have skimmed a bit here and there in the places things seemed to drag, but listening it was harder to do that. (The narration is stellar so it wasn’t a hardship or anything, merely noteworthy.)

There is a lot of dirty talk, ménage situations, Oli has sex with other people even after they’ve hooked up, so if those are triggers for you – be aware. In the end, they end up HEA and I don’t think it’s giving away too much to say it’s not a ménage or even an open relationship – so for romantics like me – I was very satisfied.

I think the thing that would have made this a 5 star book for me, would have been to see more into Oli’s brain. It’s told from Caleb’s POV and he is pretty depressing in the beginning, but does a lot of growing in the story. I wanted to know more about Oli’s feelings, because, honestly, he has to do some pretty significant growing too, and I wasn’t always sure how far along he came. Since the couple is only admitting to being a couple in the last few pages, we don’t have time to see how he manages to actually be in a relationship with only one person, after professing that it’s not his thing for the entire rest of the book.

We get to see a little of the other couples, but not much, and – like I said earlier – they aren’t painted in a rosy light – which I appreciated. Caleb had his reasons as did David for what they did and it was good to see the other side of the coin.

In the end I thought this was a great addition to the series and much better than I had thought it was going to be. Caleb is an interesting character and it was great watching him unfurl.

4 of 5 stars

Audio

I love Michael Ferraiuolo’s take on the various “accents”. He doesn’t go over the top, but does add some subtle changes here and there. He does a nice Raymond and I loved Aiden as well. Caleb’s voice fit him as did Oli’s. He is great with pacing and emotions and was easy to listen to and absolutely added to my overall enjoyment.

5 of 5 stars

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Categories
3.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary Established Couple Fantasies Fated Mates Gay Heat Index Humor Insta Love Little to no angst m/m Misunderstanding Morgan Paranormal Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat Shifter Short Story 1-20 pages (1-5k words)

Fun and Games (Omega Wolves #4) Willa Okati

30293073Blurb

 

Captaining a fishing boat’s long, hard work, and when Sullivan brings his catch to the fishmongers he has his mind set on a strong ale and a hot meal in a quiet, family establishment where he’s not likely to lose his wallet or his life.

The Fisherman’s Friend looks like just the place, but once Sullivan sets his gaze on Ari, he knows he’s found a lot more than he was looking for — and exactly what he needs. For there’s no scent on earth quite as alluring to an Alpha male as that of an Omega in heat.

 

Review

At first I was super mad and a little shocked by this story. All the others have been so romantic and I was disappointed that book four would veer so wildly. So… without ruining the surprise just let me say that it DOESN’T veer at all. It’s still quite sweet and falls in line with the rest of the series nicely. In fact, it’s a really cute story that I enjoyed probably as much or more than the rest of the books.

I don’t want to tell you more – it’s a cute surprise – but I did love how it plays out and I think fans of the series will too.

(I think the price point is off, however, this should be a 99 cent book, not a $2.99 – it’s 21 pages.)

3.5 of 5 stars

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