Categories
Angst Level Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Fan Art Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse Karrie Jax m/m Music/Rock Star Mystery New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Scorching/high heat vampire

Stygian by Santino Hassell

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6830

StygianLGBlurb

Jeremy has been isolated and adrift since the death of his brother. Most people just see him as the skinny emo kid who wears eyeliner and plays drums. No one gets him. Nobody tries. He thought the indie rock band Stygian would become his anchor, but—lost in their own problems—they’re far from the family he sought.

Still, hoping to get close to Kennedy, the band’s enigmatic guitarist, he follows Stygian to northern Louisiana for a summer retreat. They had planned to spend six weeks focusing on new music but things go awry as soon as they arrive at the long-deserted Caroway mansion. Tempers flare, sexual tension boils over into frustration, and Jeremy turns away from the band to find a friend in his eerily beautiful landlord Hunter Caroway.

Kennedy suspects there’s something off about the creepy mansion and its mysterious owners, but Jeremy thinks he’s finally found somewhere he fits. It isn’t until Kennedy forces the Caroway’s secrets into the light that Jeremy realizes belonging sometimes comes with a price.

Review

Jeremy lost his brother to suicide. Since then he hasn’t been the same. The guys in the band, Stygian, are his lifeline. But they hold a thin thread. Watts, his brother’s friend, is mostly an asshole, totally self absorbed and hateful. He’s screwing around with Quinn, a trusting, open soul who knows he’s being used but can’t help himself. Then there’s Kennedy. Kennedy has entranced Jeremy since they first met.

The band takes a hiatus to Louisiana to work on their next album. Watts decides the atmosphere to be found in a haunted ante-bellum mansion in the swamps is just what they need for “inspiration”. Nothing about the house feels “right”, especially not the brother and sister, Hunter and Laurel who live nearby and who are the house’s owners.

When emotions run high, Jeremy flees into the woods. There he meets with Hunter, a stranger who somehow feels more connected than he should. He wants to run to Kennedy, but Kennedy fights their attraction.

A girl dies, Quinn starts acting strangely and Watts continues to spiral downward. Kennedy and Jeremy connect, but is it going to last? Will Hunter drive them apart? What is the deal with the locked rooms in the house?

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This is a dark, dark story. Gritty and dirty. The emotions aren’t sugar coated and there are a lot of deep, dark, angsty moments between all the guys in the band.

At times this felt more like a horror story than a romance, but the emotional connection between Jeremy and Kennedy is real and strong.

I can’t tell you what it is, but there’s a twist having to do with Hunter and Laurel. They aren’t who they seem to be. When the climactic moment hits it’s somewhat shocking in its brutality but countered by the love that gets shown between Kennedy and Jeremy.

We leave on a tenuous HFN and I believe there’s more to this story…

If you are a fan of dark, haunted love stories this will be right up your alley. Angst? New Adult drama? This has it in spades. Emotional musicians and a mystery in the swamp? You betcha!

4 of 5 stars

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Categories
adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary Cop/Crime Dreamspinner Enemies to Lovers Gay Heat Index Hidden Lovers Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level steam/heat Mystery Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series second chance at love

Head On by John Inman

HeadOnLGBlurb

When Squirt saves troubled Gordon from a terrible fate, Gordon finds a new light to follow and a new purpose to life.
At twenty-six, Gordon Stafford figures his days are numbered. At least he hopes they are. Wearied by guilt and regret stemming from a horrific automobile accident two years earlier in which a man was killed, Gordon wakes up every morning with thoughts of suicide. While the law puts Gordon to work atoning for his sins, personal redemption is far harder to come by.
Then Squirt—a simple homeless man with his own crosses to bear— saves Gordon from a terrible fate. Overnight, Gordon finds not only a new light to follow, and maybe even a purpose to his life, but also the possibility of love waiting at the end of the tunnel.
Gordon never imagined he’d discover a way to forgive himself, and in doing so, open his heart enough to gain acceptance and love—from the very person he hurt the most.

Review
Gordon had it all going for him. He was on top of his game, awards and money, living the life he’d always imagined, when one bad decision takes it all away. One night, driving home drunk and texting, Gordon hits a car and kills a man. He ends up spending a year in jail and serving 2 more years in community service. But that isn’t enough. His guilt is slowly overwhelming him and what guilt leaves behind alcohol takes. Every day he contemplates taking his own life, and it is by the barest of threads that he continues on living.
Until one day…
One day Gordon meets a tow-headed angel of a man, Squirt, in need of rescuing. Later Squirt, returns the favor and saves Gordon, in more ways than one.
Squirt has his own demons and together he and Gordon go about saving each other with a love so sweet and pure it brings tears to your eyes.
They have some pretty significant hurdles to over-come, but when they do, all that’s left is a love story you will remember a long time.
This book will be a book that you read and read again. It is so amazingly touching. The guilt that Gordon hangs on to seems insurmountable. How can you bounce back from taking another life? His depression is deep and palpable. But through Squirt’s eyes, we can see how there is light at the end of the tunnel, and with enough love, even something as devastating as death can have a silver lining.
John Inman’s writing is crisp and clear and his ability to draw you into his character’s emotions is excelled only by his ability to tell their compelling story.
I loved how no small gesture went without affecting something or someone later on. It was a little like the Butterfly Effect in that one small thing ended up with a ripple effect that amounts to a tsunami.
In the end I was touched, happy and sad all at the same time, but I was so glad I had read the book and taken the journey.

I highly recommend this book and give it 5 of 5 stars.

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Dreamspinner Provided for honest review

http://www.amazon.com/Head–John-Inman-ebook/dp/B00LNEO4QS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407994446&sr=1-1&keywords=head+on

Categories
Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary Cop/Crime Dreamspinner Established Couple Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index Hidden Lovers Homophobia Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse m/m Mystery Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat

Dirty Deeds (Book 4 Cole McGinnis Series) by Rhys Ford Narrated by Greg Tremblay

dirty deedsBlurb

Sheila Pinelli needed to be taken out.
Former cop turned private investigator Cole McGinnis never considered committing murder. But six months ago, when Jae-Min’s blood filled his hands and death came knocking at his lover’s door, killing Sheila Pinelli became a definite possibility.
While Sheila lurks in some hidden corner of Los Angeles, Jae and Cole share a bed, a home, and most of all, happiness. They’d survived Jae’s traditional Korean family disowning him and plan on building a new life – preferably one without the threat of Sheila’s return hanging over them.
Thanks to the Santa Monica police mistakenly releasing Sheila following a loitering arrest, Cole finally gets a lead on Sheila’s whereabouts. That is, until the trail goes crazy, and he’s thrown into a tangle of drugs, exotic women, and more death. Regardless of the case going sideways, Cole is determined to find the woman he once loved as a sister and get her out of their lives once and for all.

Review

In this, the fourth book, Cole and Jae are finally a couple. They’ve said the ILYs, they are living together, and they are making it work. FINALLY.
There are still hurdles for them, mostly in dealing with some loose ends from Cole’s past, namely his ex-partner’s wife. She shot Jae in the last book and is still out on the run. They need to catch her because she won’t rest until Cole pays and Cole can’t afford to lose Jae – he won’t make it.

Bobby is starting something up… he’s hinting at it and we find out more about it in book 5 (See review here: http://kimichanexperience.com/dirty-audiobook-cole-mcginnis-5-rhys-ford-narrated-greg-tremblay/) .

**
I loved this book so much! It’s so refreshing to see our lovers together and so openly expressing their feelings. All the secondary players come out to play including Ichi and Claudia and Bobby (of course).

Jae and Cole’s chemistry is off the charts and Greg Tremblay does an absolutely amazing job of delivering AGAIN on the audio.  I can only say it so many ways, but he is a true voice actor and that is so rare for our genre.  He stands out with a few as one of the very, very best.

For fans of the series this is an absolute must and I have to say – if you haven’t tried the audio version of a beloved book before – try this series. It is pure magic!

6 of 5 stars

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Copy purchased for review

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Dirty-Deeds-Audiobook/B00MMJARE6/ref=a_search_c4_1_8_srTtl_s?qid=1443760134&sr=1-8

Categories
adult - 18+ Angst Level Contemporary Gay Hidden Lovers Hopelessly Crying m/m Mild/low level heat Mystery NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words)

Stranger on a Shore by Josh Lanyon

stranger shoreBlurb

Twenty years ago young Brian Arlington, heir to Arlington fortune, was kidnapped. Though the ransom was paid, the boy was never seen again and is presumed dead. Pierce Mather, the family lawyer, now administers and controls the Arlington billions. He’s none too happy, and more than a little suspicious, when investigative journalist Griffin Hadley shows up to write about the decades-old mystery. Griff shrugs off the coldly handsome Pierce’s objections, but it might not be so easy to shrug off the objections of someone willing to do anything to keep the past buried.

Review

Josh Lanyon always give us solid writing, interesting locales, fascinating mysteries and real, charismatic MCs. Stranger on the Shore holds true to this pattern. In fact, in this book we have all that, plus a slight homage to “The Great Gatsby” that he acknowledges early on in the story.

This feels like a classic “who-done-it?” with bitchy cousins, mysterious servants, suspicious accidents and a vaguely un-trustworthy lawyer, all working together to keep the young, idealistic reporter from getting his story.

I enjoyed getting to know all of the side-characters and imagining their role in the mystery. They were cloaked with an old school intrigue and bathed in old money which made for a delightful, rich reading experience.

The romance between Griff and Pierce was slow building but ended in a somewhat startlingly happy note in a short amount of time, but was, neveretheless, very sweet. The mystery plays out very well and the ending is just fantastic.

I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to any Gatsby fans, Lanyon fans, and really, any mystery fans who like a touch of romance thrown in for good measure.

I give it 4.5 of 5 stars.

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Copy provided by publisher for honest review

To buy
http://www.amazon.com/Stranger-Shore-Josh-Lanyon-ebook/dp/B00I15VL86/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406066836&sr=8-1&keywords=stranger+on+lanyon

Categories
Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Contemporary Cop/Crime Dreamspinner Established Couple Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index Hidden Lovers Homophobia Hopelessly Crying m/m Mystery Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Scorching/high heat

Dirty Laundry (Book 3 Cole McGinnis Series) Audiobook by Rhys Ford Narrated by Greg Tremblay

DirtyLaundryAUDLgBlurb
For ex-cop turned private investigator Cole McGinnis, each day brings a new challenge. Too bad most of them involve pain and death. Claudia, his office manager and surrogate mother, is still recovering from a gunshot, and Cole’s closeted boyfriend, Kim Jae-Min, suddenly finds his teenaged sister dumped in his lap. Meanwhile, Cole has his own sibling problems—most notably, a mysterious half brother from Japan whom his older brother, Mike, is determined they welcome with open arms.
As if his own personal dramas weren’t enough, Cole is approached by Madame Sun, a fortune-teller whose clients have been dying at an alarming rate. Convinced someone is after her customers, she wants the matter investigated, but the police think she’s imagining things. Hoping to put Sun’s mind at ease, Cole takes the case and finds himself plunged into a Gordian knot of lies and betrayal where no one is who they are supposed to be and Death seems to be the only card in Madame Sun’s deck.

Review

I am late to the game as far as Rhys Ford goes – for whatever reason I had not read anything by her – despite the fabulous reviews, etc. DAMMIT! Is all I can say – she is fantastic! I started with the Cole McGinnis series and I am so psyched that I have all the others ahead of me to read! If you are reading/listening to Dirty Laundry you are probably well versed in the world of Cole and Jae – an amazingly sweet love story between a reluctant Korean man and a kind of goofy PI/ex-cop set in LA. You could read each book as a stand alone, Rhys does a good job of catching you up on the basics of each of her characters, but the story is far more rich when read as part of the series in order.

There is so much good to say about this series and this author – it is hard to choose where to start. First Rhys is an amazing writer. She does an amazing job of describing LA, the characters, their emotions, the Korean/Japanese culture in America – everything. She is lyrical and poetic, touching and sweet. She is a joy to read because all that she writes is so rich and detailed without being overdone and excessive.

Second, the love story. Oh man… so wonderful. Jae and Cole are so sweet together and in this book we get to see their relationship really gelling and it is not only tender and romantic but the smexy scenes – HOT! Those two can really “get it on”, but the tenderness is what does it for me. I just want to love on Jae and tell him it will all work out, but Cole does a pretty good job of that.

Third, the mystery. Ok this is the hard part. Here the reading vs listening raises its head a bit. Without paying close attention to the mystery it can be easy to lose some of the threads. The unfamiliar words, the quirky characters, the variety of places… can be difficult while listening (for me – clearly a visual vs auditory person). It is easier when I’m reading to follow more closely – I just substitute my own name for the Korean and it somehow works. But – like the first 2 books the mystery is exciting and the people are hilarious and you don’t see it coming til the end. I LOVE how every other adventure has at least one moment when “and then the shooting started”. This makes me crack up. Cole is like this superhero who is impervious to bullets, and poor Jae has to keep patching him back together.

Fourth, the characters. Ichiro – Delicious! I know from sneaking a peek at the next book that Ichiro becomes more and more involved and I am so happy to see that! What a great new addition! I loved learning about Mad-dog and Mike, I wanted to kill Barbara and Cole’s dad, Tiffany is growing on me and Bobby – like always- is proving to be the best friend a guy could have. Oh, and don’t forget Claudia- so good Cole has someone to mother him.

I can’t recommend this author or the series any more – 6 out of 5 hearts.

Audio

Greg Tremblay gets it.

He just gets it.

If you have the kindle version, you can read along and listen at the same time – don’t ask me why I did this, but I did. Maybe to help with some of the Korean words? Anyway. What I learned was that Greg will sometimes go off script – just a little. He clearly understands the dialog and the story so much he can extemporize a little – it’s as if he is these guys! And – somehow – he can do Cole AND Jae spot on, though they are such different people. Amazing! Like the radio stars of old, he is a true actor.

His reading of the smexy scenes will make you absolutely melt. It almost feels a little … invasive. It’s like you’re listening at their door, he’s so convincing. He does such a thorough job of adding in emotion and texture to his reading. He knows his vocabulary in English, French, Korean, Japanese, no easy feat. (Nothing annoys me more than a narrator who doesn’t know how to pronounce things, isn’t that their job?) He even has an amazing singing voice! (We saw this in Dirty Kiss with Scarlet). I just love his take on the story and am so glad he did all three books and I am hoping he will be doing book 4.

This is one of those books where I can honestly say I loved the audio version more than the written. Why? Greg Tremblay. He ACTS out this book for you, helps through the unusual words, and gives depth and timing to the emotion in the book. I absolutely recommend this book, this narrator and this author.

Greg Tremblay’s reading of the smexy scenes will make you absolutely melt. It almost feels a little … invasive. It’s like you’re listening at their door, he’s so convincing.

6 out of 5 stars

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Copy provided by Dreamspinner

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Dirty-Laundry-Audiobook/B00L3FJEBM/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_srTtl_s?qid=1443746459&sr=1-2

Categories
Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Contemporary Dreamspinner Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index Hidden Lovers Homophobia Hopelessly Crying m/m Mystery Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat

Dirty Secret (Book 2 Cole McGinnis Series) by Rhys Ford Narrated by Greg Tremblay

dirty secretBlurb

Loving Kim Jae-Min isn’t always easy: Jae is gun-shy about being openly homosexual. Ex-cop turned private investigator Cole McGinnis doesn’t know any other way to be. Still, he understands where Jae is coming from. Traditional Korean men aren’t gay-at least not usually where people can see them.
But Cole can’t spend too much time unraveling his boyfriend’s issues. He has a job to do. When a singer named Scarlet asks him to help find Park Dae-Hoon, a gay Korean man who disappeared nearly two decades ago, Cole finds himself submerged in the tangled world of rich Korean families, where obligation and politics mean sacrificing happiness to preserve corporate empires. Soon the bodies start piling up without rhyme or reason. With every step Cole takes toward locating Park Dae-Hoon, another person meets their demise-and someone Cole loves could be next on the murderer’s list.

Review

Jae and Cole are trying to make a go of their relationship while still hiding things from Jae’s family.

There is another mystery, this time involving the fabulous Scarlet, whom we met in book 1. There’s a missing person and lots and lots of Korean people involved. (I highly recommend the audio version for help keeping track of all these people!)

What makes this book special is the deepening relationship between Jae and Cole. It. Is. Intense.

Their blossoming love is amazing to watch unfold and Rhys is the consummate story teller using rich language and evocative phrasing to add to their deep commitment to each other.

Greg Tremblay does amazing work with the narration, giving all the characters unique voices and creating the absolute PERFECT mood for both the mystery and the love story. A better narrator for this series could not be conceived!

I love this series so much and I think book two really hooks the reader into the love affair between Jae and Cole.

6 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Dirty-Secret-Audiobook/B00K6N4ZI4/ref=a_series_c2_2_saTtl_s?ie=UTF8&pf_rd_r=0QZ6D25DSB5ZEYRWZ6X2&pf_rd_m=A2ZO8JX97D5MN9&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=series-detail&pf_rd_p=1374482202&pf_rd_s=center-2

Categories
adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Contemporary Cop/Crime Dreamspinner Gay Heat Index Hidden Lovers Homophobia Hopelessly Crying m/m Mystery Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat

Dirty Kiss (Book 1) Audiobook by Rhys Ford Narrated by Greg Tremblay

DirtyKissAudLGBlurb:

Cole Kenjiro McGinnis, ex-cop and PI, is trying to get over the shooting death of his lover when a supposedly routine investigation lands in his lap. Investigating the apparent suicide of a prominent Korean businessman’s son proves to be anything but ordinary, especially when it introduces Cole to the dead man’s handsome cousin, Kim Jae-Min.

Jae-Min’s cousin had a dirty little secret, the kind that Cole has been familiar with all his life and that Jae-Min is still hiding from his family. The investigation leads Cole from tasteful mansions to seedy lover s trysts to Dirty Kiss, the place where the rich and discreet go to indulge in desires their traditional-minded families would rather know nothing about.

It also leads Cole McGinnis into Jae-Min’s arms, and that could be a problem. The death of Jae-Min’s cousin is looking less and less like a suicide, and Jae-Min is looking more and more like a target. Cole has already lost one lover to violence he’s not about to lose Jae-Min too.

Review:

Cole was a police officer who lost his lover and his job to a murder.  (It’s way more complicated than that, but you’ll have to read/listen to the entire series to get the full extent of the story.  You don’t find out here, but you get dribbles and drabbles along the way, piquing your interest.)  He’s now a private investigator, on a job.  He meets Jae-Min at the house of one of the people he’s investigating and is instantly attracted.

Jae is Korean, he can’t be gay.  But he is.  That is a huge deal for him.  He’s attracted to Cole but he knows for the sake of his family he has to push him away.  Cole won’t let that happen.

The mystery in this book is: Jae’s cousin committed suicide – or did he?  There is a lot hidden in Korean society and it’s up to Cole to dig through all the secrets to find the truth.  Of course, in the meantime he gets hurt too, but he seems to have 9 lives – like Jae’s cat!

We get to meet most of the characters we will grow to love throughout the series including Cole’s brother Mike, his assistant Claudia, his BFF Bobby and Jae’s bestie Scarlet.  The mystery gets solved and the beginning of the romance between Jae and Cole begins.

Though the mystery takes up the bulk of the story, to me, the romance is the main thrust of this book and the entire series. Watching Jae-Min and Cole learn to be a couple is the best part of this series. The funny side characters (some of whom get their own stories later on) are an added bonus.

I loved this book and the entire series and also gave it a 5 of 5 stars.

Audio version:
This is a case where the audio version is so amazing as to sometimes surpasses the written word. Greg Tremblay totally gets what Rhys is writing and he “performs” the story, not just reading it.

There are times, and I have said this before, where you feel like you are listening at the door, or listening to a movie soundtrack, instead of a simple narration.

It is supremely excellent.

Each character has a distinct and unique voice, and Greg even has a great singing voice.

I give the audio version a 6 out of 5 stars because it is Rhys’ words performed so excellently by Greg that together, the combination surpasses the book as an experience.

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Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.amazon.com/Dirty-Kiss-Book-1/dp/B00IX3FOKM/ref=tmm_aud_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=undefined&sr=1-1