Release Day Review: Lover Behind Enemy Lines By Liv Olteano

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents


A Dreamcatchers Tale
True mates, together at last.
Claw—fearless leader of Seattle’s Team 32—has faced many dangers during more than a century and a half as a dreamcatcher. Yet nothing has ever scared him more than his obsession with Nathan Gallagher. Tormented by visions and dreams about the man ever since he first laid eyes on him, Claw now has to deal with living under the same roof with the object of his most ardent desires. And Nathan is so much more than a simple crush.
Brother of the caster who’s been plaguing Team 32’s area and less-than-willing houseguest of the team after a strange break-in attempt, Nathan may hold the key to finally apprehending his sister and putting a stop to the havoc she’s wreaking on Queen Anne…. Meanwhile, Nathan’s wreaking some havoc of his own on Claw’s heart.


These stories in this series are just so…. Almost there for me – LOL. I love the blurb. I love the premise. I love the magic/paranormal stuff – but the romance always leaves me a little empty.

Claw has SUCH potential – he’s old, powerful, pining for a lost love… he meets a guy who shares an incarnation with his previous lover – this should be a slam dunk! But… he waffles and wavers and honestly Nathan is braver than Claw and far less ridiculous.

I didn’t find Nathan’s motivations to be always logical given his family history and I found Claw to be tedious in his reluctance to explore what is obviously there with Nathan.

The Spaga continue to be a mystery – both easy and hard to defeat – and the big boss at the end – way too easy… but still enjoyable as side stories go.

I give this a solid 3.5 stars – more than average but not terrific.

Recommended for fans of the author/series. I’d not read these as standalones – I think you need to read them all in order.

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Recent Release: The Wilderness (Lavender Shores book 8) by Rosalind Abel

Good Reads Link:

Will Epstein had it all—playboy good looks, wealth and prestige, and a gorgeous fiancé to costar with him on a reality television show. But that was years ago, before he was abandoned at the altar on national television. In the aftermath, Will’s world crumbled, leaving him humiliated and lost.
Andre Rivera married his first love and lived a dream life until tragedy stepped in. His wife’s sudden death left him devastated and struggling to build a life for his young daughter. Being a pilot offers Andre a sense of freedom from Lavender Shores, but he feels trapped and unable to move forward.
A shared sense of loss fosters a surprising friendship between Will and Andre, giving them both the salvation they need. But when feelings cross the lines of friendship and secrets are revealed, Will and Andre have to confront their own fears.
Amid the gold of a Lavender Shores autumn, Will and Andre must grasp their chance at love… before it slips away.

I always love stories where both the MC’s are a bit older and have already lived and loved… and lost, before finding each other. The emotions seem more deeply felt somehow. This book took that to a whole new level.

Will and Andre have both known way too much sadness in their lives. Seeing them finally find love and happiness (again) was wonderful, but not easy. I might have shed a few tears along the way.

These two men were not meant to be friends, and they certainly weren’t meant to be lovers.
After a disastrous first meeting, they become fast friends, finding comfort and acceptance with each other. I love the strength of their friendship and how it slowly turns into far more, though only Will has caught on about that at first. Andre is blind to his true feelings quite a bit longer, because he still struggles with the guilt of moving on after his wife’s death.

Will outwardly has it all, but he’s so unsure of his own worth, constantly searching for approval from others. I love how he was able to work through all that after all, and became his own man.
Andre is a great father, and it’s always clear that he and his daughter, Katniss, are a package deal.
The author makes it a point to show that Will gets this and loves Katniss as well, which I find very important. And super endearing!

As always the subtle literary references and the beautiful descriptions and imagery used by this author make this book, like all the others in the Lavender Shores series, an absolute joy to read.

Number of stars: 6 of 5 stars!


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Friends to Lovers: Faith & Fidelity (Faith, Love & Devotion #1) by Tere Michaels

Good Reads Link


New York City Vice Detective Evan Cerelli has lost his wife, the only person he ever loved and slept with. He’s trying to get on with his life, build a life for his children. Former Homicide Detective Matt Haight is a ladies’ man, all sex/no commitment. He’s depressed, having a midlife crisis, and not sure where his life is headed.

The two find friendship in the bottom of a shared bottle. When the friendship turns to love, it shakes two straight men to the core and flips their lives inside out. Kids, families, careers that are not gay-friendly — can all the love in the world overcome the obstacles to faith and fidelity?



This is one of my all time favorite friends to lovers books because it’s two “straight” guys who really just fall for one another, regardless their sex. They need one another and besides the obvious sexual tension, they really make a deep, emotional and lasting connection.

It’s one of the most tender love stories I’ve read.

Of course, book one is really the tip of the ice berg but it’s a great start!

My only complaint is that the audio for this series is so bad. I’d have loved to listened to this over and over, but I really can’t recommend the audio at all.

Oh well. It’s a wonderful book to read!

5 of 5 stars


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Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook: Hexslayer (Hexworld #3) by Jordan L. Hawk Narrated by Tristan James


Audible Link

Horse shifter Nick has one rule: never trust a witch.

Nick has devoted his life to making his saloon a safe haven for the feral familiars of New York. So when a brutal killer slaughters a feral under his protection, Nick has no choice but to try and catch the murderer. Even if that means bonding with a handsome Irish witch.

Officer Jamie MacDougal came back from the war in Cuba missing part of a leg and most of his heart. After his former lover becomes one of the killer’s victims, Jamie will do anything to solve the case.

Nick comes to Jamie with a proposal: after making a temporary bond, they will work together to stop the murders. Once the killer is caught, they walk away and never see one another again.

It sounds simple enough. But the passion that flares between the two men won’t be so easily extinguished. And if Nick can’t learn to trust his witch, he stands to lose everything—including his life.

(Book reviewed here previously)

I love this series by Jordan L Hawk! It’s not my typical style, so that’s a surprise in itself, but Jordan is an amazing writer so it’s not really a surprise at all.

This series takes place in the past, with a lot of magic and is in a world where shifters (familiars) and witches are part of the main population. In fact the witches are the police and pretty much everything is run with some form of magic – but – it’s still a very harsh world and magic doesn’t necessarily preclude technological advances. It’s fascinating!

We’ve met Nick before, but you don’t have to read these books in order (necessarily) to read this one. However, I do recommend it, not only because they are so good, but because it gives a lot of background.

In this story – Nick – who hates witches – for a variety of reasons – must bond with one in order to help the ferals (unbonded familiars) who are his passion.

Poor Jamie is a “war hero” with a hole in his heart the size of New York. He can’t help but be attracted to Nick even though everything in him screams to stay away.

This is a wonderful enemies to lovers romance, with a mystery and a lot of action. We also get some social commentary and a look at how society manages “the good of all at the price of one”.

The “monster” at the end of this nearly broke my heart – but it was a wonderfully sweet and happy ending. I love these guys together and I think this just might bump book one out of line as my favorite in the series.

I literally laughed and cried and held my breath while reading this – if you’re a fan of the series or the author you won’t want to miss this. If you’ve never read anything by the author I’d suggest this series as it’s wonderful and not as long as some of the others, but I’m sure you’ll want to move on to those as well!

Highly Recommended!

5 of 5 stars


What can I say about Tristan James that I haven’t before? He’s just so damn good! He’s got this amazingly sensual voice, a terrific Irish accent, a great sense of timing and wonderful emotional depth to his voice that makes stories like this magical.

I loved reading this story but listening is absolutely the way to go. It’s like being given an inside look into this world and being able to listen in on their lives.

Tristan absolutely NAILS Nick’s voice and his “horse” mannerisms!

Highly recommended!

6 of 5 stars


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Copy Purchased for Review

PS by Caraway Carter

Beaten Track Presents

Looking back, it was kind of crazy to put a down payment on a fallen-down train depot I’d never actually seen, in a state I’d never actually been to, and use it to build a life with a guy I’d never actually met, but love makes people do crazy things. If you’ve ever been in love, you know what I mean.

But before the plane had landed, I found out that Sam – the guy I’d met online and had been talking to for four years – wasn’t really Sam. He wasn’t even a guy.

I already own the little train depot, and I can’t go back to my old life. And Fairville is such a lovely welcoming town. Did I mention James? He’s made sure that I’ve had a really warm welcome.

All I want is to build a great little bookstore, and have a relationship based on humor, honesty, and hardbacks. I see some tough choices ahead of me.

Or maybe I don’t have to choose..

I haven’t read anything by Caraway Carter before and my first impression of this book is that it is a very positive story. In the beginning we find out that Gus was a victim of catfishing and I wondered where the story was heading. It’s certainly not a theme I have read before. Caraway Carter handles this emotive situation quite well by not letting Gus dwell on what might’ve been. The line that struck me the most was from chapter one “she didn’t believe a guy could be so lonely as to sell everything he owned”. With these few words the Author helped me understand Gus and the whole premise for this story. Gus is a sweetheart. He chooses to see the silver lining rather than bemoaning about the situation he finds himself in. To be honest I was a bit torn over this story. I liked it a lot but in a fairytale kinda way where everything works out fine and the people are friendly and lovely. Part of me wanted some drama and angst over the catfishing angle, but that would be an entirely different book. This book is about the bright side of life and finding love at the same time. An absolute feel good book. I will be looking out for other work by this author.

What helped me quite a lot with visualising the building was Caraway Carter posting a link to the inspiration for the Train depot on his Goodreads page and Facebook page. If you do read this story I recommend checking it out

4 of stars out of 5


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Midlife Crisis by Audra North

Riptide Presents


Cam McGhee grew up like any other small-town Texas farm boy: he played football, went to church every Sunday, and married his high school sweetheart. But thirty-five years after he said “I do,” Cam finds himself nursing a beer in a gay bar, thinking about what might have been.

Dave Montoya is confident, self-assured, and cautiously single. But when he meets shy, uncertain, and clearly-still-not-out Cam in a coffee shop in Austin, his reservations about getting seriously involved again disappear. Cam is everything he’s looking for in a partner . . . almost, anyway.

No matter how much Dave wants him, and how good they are together, Cam can’t bring himself to fully embrace the life he was meant to live. After all, when his secret finally gets out, he faces the very real possibility of losing everything that kept him going for the first fifty years of his life, just like he’s feared for so long. But with a little faith—and a lot of love—his dream of living fully, truly, as himself might finally be within reach.


Cam has lived in the closet for all of his adult life, he didn’t even have a nightlight. Small, all black Texas town, married, 2 kids and a thriving business. After his wife passes and his son is available to run his business Cam decides to at least try a small taste of what it might be to kiss a man and relocates temporarily to Austin, TX.

Dave is at the point in his life where he can work if he wants to but doesn’t need to. He has been openly gay most of his life.
A chance meeting in a coffee shop and the sparks between them fly. They get together slowly and develop strong feelings along the way

This story is really about coming to terms with Cam’s sexuality. On telling his children and making the choice to finally live his life as he really wants to. His children’s reaction and his reaction to that. It is well told and well developed for the length.

4 of 5 stars


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Tender with a Twist (Rainbow Cove #2) by Annabeth Albert

Amazon Link

One kinky wood carver. One younger chef looking to try new things. A series of lessons that bring both men more than they bargained for…

Curtis Hunt has made a name for himself as a chainsaw wood carver, winning national competitions and operating a small business in Rainbow Cove, Oregon. As winter whittles away his tourist traffic, his goal is just to survive the season and try to not get lost in grief for his dead lover. It’s been two years, but he’s sure he’ll never be over the love of a lifetime. However, his body has a certain restlessness that he doesn’t quite know how to calm.

Logan Rosner knows a thing or two about restlessness. It’s what drove him to Rainbow Cove to be a chef at a bar and grill run by his friends. And it’s what drives him to a single sizzling encounter with the local legendary lumberjack. Both men get far more than they expected and learn that first impressions aren’t always accurate…

But when Logan proposes a series of sexy lessons, Curtis must decide how much he’s willing to risk. He knows he can’t afford to get attached to Logan’s good cooking, his easy smiles, or his caretaking, but he keeps going back for more, even as deeper emotions become involved. Soon, Curtis must decide whether to risk his heart again or risk losing Logan for good.

What’s not to like about a baby Dom and a recalcitrant Sub. Loved the push and pull between Curtis and Logan from the start. Logan knows what he wants he just hasn’t been able to find anyone who will play with him. Curtis on the other hand had been in a long term relationship and is very reluctant to get involved again, despite needing the release kink gives him. I really got invested into Logan finding his style and Curtis learning that he doesn’t need to push everyone away. He is just beginning to think of Logan as more than a convenient play date when guilt over Troy holds him back. There is no time frame for grief but other people keep voicing their judgement on their new relationship. I liked how the initial connection between Logan and Curtis built into something more solid. Even in the first few D/S scenes I could believe in them as a couple. Curtis for all his cantankerous ways needs someone to be there for him although he would never admit that. I think it’s the same with Logan, he needs someone in his life but never realised it. To many people want to smother him. His over protective parents can’t see any other way but their way for their only child. His friends also seem to think he needs looking after. Even Curtis was judgmental towards him in the beginning. The D/S side of their relationship is portrayed very well. It is just in the bedroom and doesn’t impact upon the rest of their lives. If you can accept some pain kink I urge you to consider reading this book. There is much more to the story. It is wonderful tale of finding yourself and coming to terms with loss. They deserved their Happy Ever After ending.

I haven’t read the first book in the series, Trust with a Chaser, and I didn’t feel I was missing anything vital to this story. The characters from the first book are mentioned but don’t play a significant role in this storyline.

5 of stars out of 5


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His Convenient Husband by Robin Covington

October 9, 2017

Entangled Publishing


NFL football player Isaiah Blackwell lost his husband three years ago and is raising their teen son alone. He lives his life as quietly as his job allows, playing ball to support his family but trying not to draw unwanted attention. His quiet life is shaken up when a mutual friend introduces him to Victor, a visiting principal ballet dancer who is everything Isaiah is not.

Brash, loud, and gender fluid Victor Aleksandrov has applied for political asylum to avoid returning to Russia, where gay men are targeted and persecuted. He’s been outspoken about gay rights in his home country, and if he doesn’t get asylum, going back to Russia is a death sentence.

Their one-night stand turns into a tentative friendship, a relationship they both agree is temporary… until Victor’s denied asylum. Isaiah can’t offer Victor a happily ever after, but he can propose something that’ll keep Victor in the US and safe… marriage He just doesn’t expect his new husband to dance away with his heart.


This was a bit more substantive story than I’d originally pictured. First, Isaiah is still pining for his dead husband, so that colors his “now” quite a bit. Second, Victor’s stance against Russia is a bit more political than just a story hurdle. Third, Victor’s “outness” is mirrored by Isaiah’s son’s own desires and it becomes something between father and son as well as between the two husbands.

On the one hand I wish Victor had been more Russian – besides his name there wasn’t a lot about him that felt like he was in fact from another country.

It sounds silly, but Isaiah and Evan and Ian – these names were all so easy to get confused over. I’d have chosen differently.

Victor and Isaiah’s chemistry was good and the difficulties facing their marriage was handled well. I did get tired of Isaiah’s reluctance after awhile, but I was glad when he finally does acknowledge that risk is part of loving.

Evan was awesome and Ian bugged me a lot – but maybe that’s just his job? I never warmed up to either MC as much as I wanted to and as a result I wasn’t that enthralled with the book. It was pretty good, but not great.

I’d recommend this to fans of bi-racial couples, “must get married” trope, opposites attract and single parent romances.

3.5 of 5 stars


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Unbreak My Heart Audiobook by K-Lee Klein narrated by Nick J Russo


Dreamspinner Presents

2nd Edition
Brett Taylor’s world collapsed three years ago when he lost the love of his life. Almost as bad as the grief is the advice he’s starting to get from everyone and their brother, telling him it’s time to move on. They’re flat-out wrong. He left his career as a musician and escaped to his ranch because he needs the peace and quiet, and he’s doing just fine. He doesn’t want anyone invading his memory-filled, booze-fueled solitude.
JT Campbell’s world has been defined by his parents’ money, status, and his own empty relationships, until he’s desperately sick of it. A quest to find something meaningful leads him to Brett’s failing ranch. It’s supposed to be a brief stay. JT never wanted to be anyone’s savior or compete with the ghosts of lovers past. Still, he can’t help wanting this gruff and grieving man.
JT’s mind knows it’s a bad idea, but his heart keeps pushing him to find out what lies beneath Brett’s rough and broken exterior. Brett’s not going to make it easy. JT can only be patient, keep his sense of humor, and hope for the day he may be allowed far enough into Brett’s world to unbreak his heart.


The main thing I enjoyed about this was the narration. Nick J Russo is an amazing narrator and he did a terrific job giving all the really emotional and angsty story a good voice.

First, I have to say that I have a limited tolerance for angst in the first place. Some here and there to give a story drive is ok – for me- but a lot tends to make me discouraged and isn’t something I seek in a story. (I know tons of folks love it – but I’m not one.) IMHO Brett is overwrought about something that doesn’t seem like as big of a deal as he makes it out to be. On top of that, he’s still pining for Walt, his dead lover, and that gets tedious quickly.

I had a really hard time even liking Brett. He felt too whiny and was kinda selfish and manipulative. All in all he was mostly a jerk to JT and he didn’t really ever resolve that to my satisfaction. (Spoiler/) He HIT JT! For looking through some papers! That was a really bad move and I’m not sure he apologized enough for that. (/spoiler )

Although JT seemed like a great guy, I doubted his sanity in his infatuation with Brett.

There were parts of the story that held a lot of promise: the ex-music star, the ranch, the May/December factor – even some of the angst and sadness. But… It was just toooo much angst and hang wringing they went on for pages and pages (hours and hours). The two MCs spent so much time waffling back and forth – will I, won’t I, I miss Walt, I was terrible to Walt, I’m too old, he’s too young, he won’t love me, he can’t love me… and on and on!

I just got worn out!

If this had been edited to about half the total content and the story progressed a bit faster this would have been a 5 star read for me.

I’d be interested in the follow up book, just to see if Brett comes around and is a decent partner for JT but I’d be leery of being sucked into more drama.

2.75 of 5 for the book

(I seriously LOVE the new cover though! Delicious!)


Nick J Russo kept me in this! If it weren’t for him – if I’d been reading this – I’d have either skipped to the end or stopped reading. Nick’s excellent narration kept me involved and I was able to stick it out. He really gives Brett some quality emotions and I thought he interpreted JT really well, too.

I think listening is the way to go, as far as experiencing this story!

I’m not sure I “recommend” this – but if you have a high tolerance for angst – you might really enjoy this audiobook. Be prepared for a lot of pining, however, and some people are not so keen on that.

5 of 5 for the narration

Overall 3.5 of 5 stars


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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Collars and Cuffs Volume 2 by Parker Williams and KC Wells

Dreamspinner Presents

The Collars & Cuffs club has room for all types of men to find healing and love. In Damian’s Discipline, Dom Damian Barnett welcomes damaged Jeff into his home after Leo and Thomas save him from the streets. Jeff may not be a submissive, but Damian may be able to offer him the structure he needs to rebuild his life. In Make Me Soar, self-proclaimed “pain slut” Dorian Forrester is chasing the ultimate high into dangerous places. When he goes missing, Alan Marchant is determined to show Dorian that there are better way to fly.
In Dom of Ages, Eli has found his perfect submissive in Jarod, but their age gap has Jarod waiting for the other shoe to drop. A visit to Collars & Cuffs gives the struggling couple hope that their relationship just might stand a chance. And in Endings and Beginnings, barman JJ Taylor didn’t expect to find himself drawn to wannabe Dom Darren Fielding, but as the members of Collars & Cuffs face an event that will make them stronger or break them, JJ finds his life going in a direction he could have never guessed.

See excerpt for individual blurbs.



I have read several of the Collars and Cuffs stories over the years, but not in order, and not all of them. This bundle gave me the chance to follow the storyline as the authors intended. As each story progresses you are shown an overall forming of family and support by many of the main characters of the club. All of the Collars and Cuff stories show us that beyond the typical BDSM lifestyle these are very ordinary people.

In Damian’s Discipline, a new story for me we get to see that not all BDSM is the same. Yet there is definitely a need for Jeff to follow rules and live with the consequences of not. Great look into something a little different than a typical BDSM lifestyle.

Make Me Soar, actually shows you what can go wrong in a BDSM setting, or any setting where you walk in with your eyes closed and common sense turned off. I love how Alan was able to see that it wasn’t pain that Dorian needed but simple touch. I also loved how Alan took a very painful memory and turned it into something erotic for Dorian.

Dom of Ages really made me sit back and think about many things. I loved how age never came up between Eli and Jarrod until about half way through the story. As well as the overall acceptance of the established members of Collars and Cuffs.

Endings and Beginnings is JJ’s and Darren’s story. They are both new to the lifestyle and eager to learn and jump right in. Seriously I expected more problems arising with them both being new to the lifestyle but the authors actually told the story well.

Endings and Beginnings is also a tie up of all the continuing stories we have enjoyed throughout the series. With the door left open to continue in another club. It’s such a well written series it’s nice to know we should hear more from the authors as they move to their next storyline.

5 of 5 stars


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