Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Anthology artists Book Christmas Contemporary Dreamspinner Established Couple/Sequel Families/Weddings Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Holiday Little to no angst long distance love m/m Mary D Mild/low level heat Military Monthly Theme Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Standalone Teacher

Holidays: The Puzzle Box (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by C.C. Bridges

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2017-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-stocking-stuffers-9042-b

Blurb
Elementary school art teacher Cole Peters is expecting a lonely Christmas this year while his longtime boyfriend, James Carducci, is on deployment with the Army. However, a box from James contains puzzles that lead Cole on a scavenger hunt through the greatest moments of their relationship. Together with his best friend Liz, Cole works his way through each clue.

The final puzzle could lead Cole to a gift beyond his wildest expectations.

 

Review
This is such a lovely concept for a short story. A series of puzzles that stir memories of moments spent together. Especially since Cole and James can’t be together at Christmas. There is one line in the story that sums it up perfectly for me “I feel like I’m on a tour of the greatest hits of Cole and James’s relationship.”
I finished reading with a contented sigh. Perfect feel good Christmas story. Excellently written giving me the feeling that I had been following their developing relationship for a lot more than just thirty pages. I absolutely recommend this one.

5 of stars out of 5

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Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Anthology Book Christmas Contemporary Dee Dreamspinner Established Couple/Sequel Families/Weddings Finding Family Gay Gay Heat Index Holiday Hurt/comfort Little to no angst m/m Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Standalone

Holidays: Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings(2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by Nell Iris

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2017-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-stocking-stuffers-9042-b

Blurb

Christmas is coming, and young couple Casey and Ellis are very much in love. Unfortunately, they’re also the definition of dirt poor, and they don’t have the money for nonessentials like decorations. Or a turkey. Or gifts. Between the recent death of Casey’s beloved momma and Ellis’s estrangement from his family, all they have is each other.

When Ellis finds the saddest-looking Christmas tree south of the Mason-Dixon Line thrown away outside his workplace and brings it home to Casey, things look up. Life is still a struggle, but wealth isn’t always measured in money, and what seems worthless to others is often invaluable to the people who love it.

Review: Short, sweet story. It even managed to make me sniff just a little. All this in under 50 pages.
Ellis and Casey are a lovely couple. They are both are struggling to make a decent living – but they don’t let their situation keep them from finding happiness with each other. Xmas, being the season when miracles can happen, things start to look up for the pair.
I think the best part of this story is the love and affection these men had for each other and life in general. Definitely a lovely story, one I’d reread.

4 stars out of 5

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Categories
4.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Alternate World Angst Level Audiobook Author Provided Book class difference Established Couple Established Couple/Sequel Fade to black/No Steam Fantasy Gay Gay Homophobia m/m Magic Mild level angst Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Race/Species Difference

Audiobook: Equipoise By: Kim Fielding Narrated by: Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Equipoise-Audiobook/B075Z5F1NX/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1510520444&sr=1-1

Blurb

Ennek Trilogy, Book 3
Ennek, the son of the Chief, and Miner, a former slave, have escaped the totalitarian city-state of Praesidium and remain fugitives. Having defeated two mighty wizards, they begin to realize complete freedom can be as dangerous as absolute power. Now Ennek and Miner must face battles, corruption, and further journeys through lands both new and familiar.
As they grow more secure in their relationship, they learn the greatest challenges sometimes come from very close to the heart and everything of value has a price. With the help of a few allies, they seek equipoise – a balance for themselves and for their world.

Review

First, let me say that the Ennek Trilogy exemplifies the magnitude of Kim Fielding’s immense world-building abilities as well as her gift with writing. She’s created compelling characters in a complex world and given them arduous and evocative hurdles to overcome. I really enjoyed books one and two and this is a lovely third installment that wraps up their journey beautifully.

I love that Miner and Ennek’s relationship is solid and in fact strengthens throughout this book. I love all the magic and usage of powers that we get as well. There were times when things did drag out a bit and there might have been some repetitive moments here and there, but all in all the story moved along at a lovely pace and came to nice ending for our MCs.

Joel Leslie, as he did in book 2, did a fantastic job with giving all these wide and varied characters in the story and I think he brings her world to life in a way that helps to support any of the lagging areas in the story with his own dramatic influence. I think listening to this is the absolute best way to enjoy this series and my only sadness is that he didn’t narrate book one as well.

Highly recommended!

3.5 of 5 stars for the story

5 of 5 stars for the audio

overall 4.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
4 stars Actor/Theatre adult - 18+ Angst Level Book class difference Contemporary Dreamspinner Established Couple Established Couple/Sequel Gay Gay Heat Index Hurt/comfort m/m Mary D Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Older MCs Reconcilliation second chance at love Standalone

Romance Redefined by SJD Peterson

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/romance-redefined-by-sjd-peterson-9099-

Blurb

Opposites attract, but are some differences too drastic for a romance to survive?

On the surface, Benson Howard Winthrop III and Hugh Bayard have a lot in common: they’re young, handsome, and blessed to be one of the wealthiest couples in the country. Surely they have everything anyone could want. But Ben is no longer satisfied with their long-running relationship. Hugh’s need to control every situation is suffocating him, and Ben needs to know if he can make it on his own merits by following his passion.

But Ben’s mother isn’t about to let her son live in a rundown apartment as a struggling actor. She’s determined to get him back to his rightful place at the top of the social ladder—and back with Hugh.

Rekindling their romance will require more than doing what’s expected. Ben and Hugh need to understand and embrace each other’s differences. They’ll have to support each other even when one makes a decision the other doesn’t agree with. For their passionate love to grow, they will need to redefine the meaning of romance… only then can they find true happiness

Review
Whilst reading I kept wavering between thinking that Benson was whiny and just didn’t know what he really wanted to thinking he was justified. He needed to cut his losses if Hugh would not or could not see his point of view and open up. There is also the irony of Ben complaining about his mother when he was behaving just like her and shutting Hugh out. But love is love and Ben and Hugh have a forever love, they just had to understand what each other needs emotionally. Into the equation comes Jason. He is very interested in Ben and romances him in they way Ben has always wanted. But is romance what he really wants or is it for Hugh to change. SJD Peterson’s books always give me pause for thought. In this case Hugh and Ben have everything money can buy but not companionship. Ben feels like he is being controlled and has to leave and make his own life. The story is told from Ben’s point of view and I cannot decide whether this helped me empathise with him or whether it would have worked better knowing what was going on in Hugh’s mind. The love triangle with Jason is needed to spur Hugh on and make him reconsider Ben’s position. I would love for Jason to get his own story. The epilogue does give Ben and Hugh their happy ever after once they realised compromises had to be made by both of them. I think this is quite a good second chance story.

4 of stars out of 5

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Categories
5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Beth Jumper Book co-workers to lovers Contemporary Cop/Crime Dreamspinner Established Couple Established Couple/Sequel Gay Heat Index Humor m/m Mid level angst Mystery Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Race/Species Difference Scorching/high heat Shifter

Tried and True By Charlie Cochet

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/tried-true-by-charlie-cochet-9070-b

Blurb

When THIRDS agent Dexter J. Daley met Team Leader Sloane Brodie, he couldn’t have imagined how slamming into his new partner—literally—would shake both their worlds. Now four years later, they’ve faced dangers, fought battles both personal and professional… and fallen deeply in love. Now their big moment is finally in sight, and they’re ready to stand up together and make it official. Unfortunately, as the countdown to their big day begins, an enemy declares war on the THIRDS….

With their family in danger, Dex and Sloane are put to the test on how far into darkness they’ll walk to save those they love. As secrets are unearthed, a deadly betrayal is revealed, and Dex and Sloane must call on their Destructive Delta family for one last hurrah to put an end to the secret organization responsible for so much devastation.

Dex and Sloane will have plenty of bullets to dodge on the way to the altar, but with happiness within their grasp, they are determined to get there come hell or high water….

Review

Charlie Cochet has ended her series on a huge rush! Nonstop action up to the end! The book starts 3 weeks before the wedding and it’s seems that every time Dex and Sloane turn around they are in a life and death situation. If not them, then it’s someone close to them.

We are taken on a roller coaster of emotions throughout the story, with your heart in your throat action scenes. The chemistry between Dex and Sloane is explosive both in and out of the bedroom. Everything is tied up nicely, with the shocking surprise on who is the head bad guy. We even see a brief scene, where Dex is caught purring. The story concludes with the wedding that is well done and tasteful and leaves the reader with tears in their eyes.

I have to say that Charlie Cochet could not have done a better job of telling the ending of this series. Yet left it open enough that if she wanted to continue it she could.

5 of 5 stars

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Categories
5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Alternate World Angst Level Book Dee Dreamspinner Established Couple Established Couple/Sequel Fantasy Gay Gay Heat Index Historical Humor Hurt/comfort m/m Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Witches/Warlocks/Wizards

Consumption of Magic by TJ Klune

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-consumption-of-magic-by-tj-klune-9026-b

Blurb:
Sam of Wilds faced the Dark wizard Myrin and lived to tell the tale. Granted, the battle left him scarred, but things could be a hell of a lot worse. It’s not until he reunites with Morgan of Shadows and Randall that he realizes just how much worse things could be. Because the scars have meaning and hint at Myrin’s true plans for Sam and the Kingdom of Verania. With time running out, Sam and his band of merry misfits—the unicorn Gary, the half-giant Tiggy, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart, and the dragon known as Kevin—must travel to the snowy mountains in the North and the heart of the Dark Woods to convince the remaining dragons to stand against Myrin. Along the way, Sam learns secrets of the past that will forever change the course of the future. A reckoning is coming for Sam of Wilds, and there is nothing he can do to stop it.

Review:
And the adventure continues! … Let me start of by saying I loved this book. It is still very funny, but there is a serious tone that pervades the storyline; a sense of foreboding that something unpleasant is going to happen– and it does. But the journey, (almost 400 pages), is worth it. We learn more about Randall, Morgan and Myrin and why Myrin wants Sam. Oh, and we meet new dragons ☺
It’s hard to describe the story without some spoilers, so I won’t, just know 2 things – 1. If you’ve invested in the journey thus far, (from The Lightning-Struck Heart), then you’ll love this book and 2. When you finish said book, you’ll want to howl because of the events that happen AND because the story ends on a cliffhanger, (but you know this if you’ve read Destiny).

The gang is still together with some changes– Tiggy shines a bit more, Ryan calls Sam on his bullsh*t a bit more and Prince Justin has joined them on their quest –quel surprise! And let’s not forget Gary and Kevin. They still have that thing where they think Sam is their son. I will leave you with a snippet that made me laugh out loud in public (I may never be allowed back to that shop).

“How much will we get for Sam’s dowry?” Kevin asked Gary. “I’ve never had to sell off one of my children before.” “I don’t know,” Gary said through his tears. “He’s a little defective, so we should probably be up-front that all sales are final.”

PS – How soon will it be appropriate to start clamouring for the audiobook *side eyes author and narrator – you know who you are*

5 out of 5– I absolutely loved it!

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Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary Established Couple Established Couple/Sequel Families/Weddings Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index Karrie Jax m/m Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Monthly Theme Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased

Family: Rebuilding Year Book 3 by Kaje Harper

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Building-Forever-Rebuilding-Year-Book-ebook/dp/B076G4W8WX/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510268825&sr=8-1&keywords=rebuilding+year+3

Blurb

Four years ago, Ryan and John decided they’d wait to get married until it came with full legal equality. Now, thanks to the Supreme Court, that historic moment has finally arrived. But two hundred miles separate Ryan’s hectic residency from John’s busy campus job. With a son in college, a daughter choosing her future, and a rambunctious Irish Setter needing attention, planning a wedding isn’t simple.

Of course, even the most perfect ceremony can’t solve all their problems. What does it take to build forever?

The third book in the rebuilding your series is sounds like it’s the last book felt like last book but there might be more of our guys finally get married that’s the point of the book but they have a bunch to work through and that it was a bit of history you know kind reminding us about that struggle over the Supreme Court case and also a bit of information on how hard it is to be a med student I really love these guys and was happy to see their happy ending.

 

Review

First I’d like to point out that our very own Karrie Jax did this cover!  Woooooot!

The third book in the series.  It sounds like it’s the last book – and felt that way – but I’d love to see more from these guys! 

They do finally get married and it’s so sweet!

We get a bit of the history of their struggle as the Supreme Court makes it’s decision as well as a feel for what a life apart is like for these two guys.

It’s definitely not a standalone but I highly recommend it to fans of the series.

5 of 5 stars

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Categories
5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Established Couple/Sequel Gay Heat Index m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series

Audiobook: Tramps and Thieves (Murder and Mayhem #2) by Rhys Ford Narrated by Greg Tremblay

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/tramps-and-thieves-by-rhys-ford-8846-b

Blurb

Whoever said blood was thicker than water never stood in a pool of it.

Retiring from stealing priceless treasures seemed like a surefire way for Rook Stevens to stay on the right side of the law. The only cop in his life should have been his probably-boyfriend, Los Angeles Detective Dante Montoya, but that’s not how life—his life—is turning out. Instead, Rook ends up not only standing in a puddle of his cousin Harold’s blood but also being accused of Harold’s murder…and sleeping with Harold’s wife.

For Dante, loving the former thief means his once-normal life is now a sea of chaos, especially since Rook seems incapable of staying out of trouble—or keeping trouble from following him home. When Rook is tagged as a murder suspect by a narrow-focused West L.A. detective, Dante steps in to pull his lover out of the quagmire Rook’s landed in.

When the complicated investigation twists around on them, the dead begin to stack up, forcing the lovers to work together. Time isn’t on their side, and if they don’t find the killer before another murder, Dante will be visiting Rook in his prison cell—or at his grave.

Review
Book Reviewed Here Previously

This is a hard one for me to review because there are things that I really love about it and some things that just aren’t my particular taste – I won’t say “not good” because they are good – just not my thing.

Things that I love: I love the characters Rhys has given us and how they’ve grown in these books. Rook is a GREAT character and I absolutely love the juxtaposition of the thief with the cop. In the beginning when he’s describing his feelings as he breaks and enters the house – superb!

I love seeing the bits and pieces from Rhys’ other works scattered throughout the story. And I love the super sweet ending.

Things that I don’t “love” – I’m not a mystery fan so if it wasn’t for Rhys being the author I’d probably skip books like these where the mystery plays such a vital role.

I’m on the fence with this: the descriptions. On the one hand I’m always amazed at how beautiful Rhys’ writing is. She can literally describe something so well you can feel and smell it! But sometimes the descriptions get really bulky and slow down the pace of the story in places that might be better served to move at a quicker pace. I think this is very much personal opinion – but there you have it.

All in all this was a wonderful addition to the series and I really look forward to hearing this in audio format soon (I hope!)!

Highly recommended to fans of the author/series, fans of opposite attract romances, fans of mystery/crime romances and fans of romances with humor.

4.5 of 5 stars

Audio

I really enjoy Greg Tremblay and find his nuances as he narrates to be spectacular.  I love the exasperation and tenderness that you hear in his voice every time Dante talks to Rook as well as the pattern of speech he chose for Rook – somewhat frenetic and fast paced.  Highly recommended

5 of 5 stars

Overall 5 of 5 stars

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Categories
6 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Established Couple Established Couple/Sequel Gay Heat Index High but not hopeless m/m Magic Mid level steam/heat Morgan New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Witches/Warlocks/Wizards zombie

Blood Drop (The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge #5) by Jacob Z. Flores

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/blood-drop-by-jacob-z-flores-8920-b

Blurb

A single drop of blood might hold the key to the fate of the magical world, and Aiden Teine must choose between his bond of love and embracing the power to defeat his enemies.

Aiden’s adjustment to being the first vampyre fae hasn’t been easy, but his ties to warlock Thad Blackmoor prevent him from becoming a monster. With Thad, Aiden has a new family, a new purpose, and a new reason to live—though he’s technically undead. There’s one problem: Aiden’s control over his vampyre is weakening. He must learn what’s triggering his violent reactions before he surrenders to the creature within. To complicate matters, Aiden discovers his transformation might not be complete, and he fears what he will become.

Aiden’s search for answers thrusts him into a frightening world filled with deception, new dangers, and apocalyptic visions. The part destiny intends Aiden to play could alter his relationship with Thad forever. If Aiden, Thad, and the entire magical community are to survive Icarian’s latest scheme, Aiden must interpret the meaning of the prophetic blood drop before it falls and ushers in the destruction of all creation—and the warlock he loves.

Review

 
I think this book may have just jumped the line and became my favorite in the series! I absolutely adored book one and haven’t felt that strongly about the next two – though they are all realllllly good – but this one? Yeah – super awesome and amazing!

It literally has everything a great story needs. Super fantastic magical powers? Check. Super crazy villain? Check. Super romantic story? Check. Unbelievably tense action? Check. Stress and struggle that ends in a way that blew my mind? Check? A Happy Ending? Well…. Mostly check.  Cute nicknames… Your Highness… check!

Jacob clearly leaves the ending up for more stories to come – our boys have evolved quite a bit but there’s a lot of danger in the world so….

In any case – if you’re a fan of this series you will gobble this up! If you haven’t started the series – go do it – this isn’t a standalone. Though I’d call the series YA or NA – it doesn’t feel like that – it just has some younger characters.

Though it’s probably cliché – the ending was my favorite. The epic battle – the sacrifices – the epilogue – I totally cried like a baby.

Highly recommended to fans of the author, the series and to anyone who loves magic!

6 of 5 stars

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Categories
Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Anna Book Closeted Established Couple Established Couple/Sequel Gay Gay Historical Homophobia m/m Magic Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Spooky! Witches/Warlocks/Wizards

Spooky! Drakenwood (Whyborne & Griffin #9) Audiobook by Jordan L Hawk Narrated by

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Draakenwood-Whyborne-Griffin-Book-9-ebook/dp/B071F2SZXL/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1509307515&sr=8-1&keywords=draakenwood

Blurb

Someone is killing members of the old families…and the evidence points to Whyborne.

Widdershins has been unusually quiet for months. But now a mysterious creature from the Outside is on the loose, assassinating members of the town’s old families by draining their blood. Whyborne and Griffin set out to solve the mystery—but as the evidence piles up, the police begin to suspect Whyborne himself is the murderer.

Now Whyborne must both clear his name and stop the horrors the monster threatens to unleash. His only hope: an alliance with his old enemies the Endicotts.

Because something terrible lurks in the Draakenwood, and it will stop at nothing to seize control of the maelstrom itself.

Draakenwood is the ninth book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, where magic, mystery, and m/m romance collide with Victorian era America.

 

Review

One could argue that you already know what this review is going to say, because I basically just repeat myself in every review I do for this series: I LOVED IT! I have no idea how Ms. Hawk manages to be 9 books in to a series and still continues to keep everything fresh, interesting and never ever tiresome or repetetive. I realise that not everyone loves the same kind of books, but truly, regardless of what kind of stories notmally does it for you, this series WILL do it for you. Ms. Hawk is a master! A true storyteller. She blends romance, friendship, family, suspense, the supernatural and historical fiction seamlessly and she never ever drops the ball! Really – we are 9 books in, and every thread that she has ever dangled has been neatly tied or woven deeper into the fabric of the main story arc. How she manages this while still somehow keeping each installment of the series self contained is a complete mystery to me – but she does!

This story picks up after Fallow ended. So many things are up in the air. The Fidelis is still an obvious threat but most of all there’s the impending arrival of the unknown masters, and with them, the end of the world, to worry about. This is a threat so much bigger than Whyborne, even bigger than the maelstroem and Whyborne ends up allying with old enemies to try and find out more, things are getting even more complicated by the arrival of a new police chief in town, who is out to make a name for himself. Widdershins knows it’s own, and this man is not one of them! This story is creepy and intense and it leaves you desperately needing the next book in the series.

I would say: go read it! But you really shouldn’t start here. Go back to the beginning. Start with Widdershins and be happy because you’ll know going in, that you will have 9 brilliant books ahead of you, with more to come!

Number of stars 6 out of 5

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(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)