Categories
4 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Gay m/m Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Military Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series PTSD second chance at love

Audiobook: Late in the Day by Mary Calmes Narrated by Greg Tremblay

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/late-in-the-day-by-mary-calmes-8993-b

Blurb

Second from The Vault
Terrence Moss. Conrad Harris. Gold Team Leader. Darius Hawthorne. The Vault. Juggling all these names would bother some, but for Darius, it’s business as usual. When he closes a chapter in his life, he leaves a name—and the people associated with it—behind. He’s managed to keep a few colleagues, even fewer friends, and no companionship through his forty-plus years… but that’s now changing.

The newest chapter of his life is bringing serious change: a stable home, a recovered identity, an unlikely family, and now a chance encounter with the one man Darius ever loved: Efrem Lahm. The reasons they parted are still valid, and there’s no way they can trust each other. But Efrem has already decided he won’t let Darius go… and Darius will have to decide if he wants to take a chance with his heart this late in the day.

Review

(Reviewed here previously by Dee)
This is a difficult review for me because I really wanted to love this book. Note: this is all on me. For one, I have not read ‘A Day Makes’ and so was unaware that this book was in the same universe (hitmen, vaults). And, to make matters worse, I have not yet read ‘Mine’. While this book could be read as a standalone, I would recommend reading either (or both) of the other books mentioned.
Darius is chosen to be the new Vault.
The story continues with Darius helping to get someone out of danger and relocate to a new life in Boston. As he is working on this, he is suddenly face to face with his old love, Efrem Lahm.
The story didn’t work for me – it started at some time in the present (?) with Darius dealing with closing down mob ties. Then it jumped to the past where Darius recalls how he became the Vault. Then fast forward some months later; he is suddenly in the custody of Homeland Security, where he reconnects with Efrem.
Also, Darius and Efrem do not get a lot of time together – the book seemed to revolve around all the other characters. Both MC’s do not get together again until two-thirds of the book.
Again, if I had read the other books, especially ‘A Day Makes’, the writing style would have made more sense.
It’s a good book, one that I’ll re-read once I’ve read the other books.

3 stars out of 5

Review by Morgan

Well, I’ve read everything by Mary Calmes and my review isn’t that different from Dee’s. On the one hand this was a great story for those of us who love to catch up with our favorite characters and love seeing them interact with other characters we love. For that I’d give this a full THUMBS UP! That was a ton of fun and I loved it!

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

I hope this isn’t a spoiler but I’ll assume some of this is….

In any case, I didn’t necessarily buy in to the love story and that dropped my rating down significantly.

3 stars out of 5

Audio

Well of course, Greg Tremblay is amazing and he absolutely did this story right. He handled all many and varied voices and accents and “characters” really well and he’s so much fun to listen to. Definitely worth the listen even if this wasn’t my favorite Mary story.

5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

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Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Book Contemporary Cop/Crime Gay Gay m/m Mary D Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Mystery Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Part of a Series Purchased second chance at love The one that got away Time to Laugh writer

Time to Laugh: Somebody Killed His Editor Audiobook by Josh Lanyon Narrated by Kevin R. Free

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Somebody-Killed-His-Editor-Audiobook/B00B29YVJ4?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_11&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=TP4H6VXN8VT08ZQ7M5QD&

Blurb
For sixteen years reclusive mystery writer Christopher (Kit) Holmes enjoyed a very successful career, thanks to the popularity of elderly spinster sleuth, Miss Butterwith, and her ingenious cat, Mr. Pinkerton. But sales are down in everything but chick lit, and Christopher’s new editor doesn’t like geriatric gumshoes. It’s a pink, pink world for Mr. Holmes.

At the urging of his agent, Christopher reluctantly agrees to attend a mystery writers’ conference at a remote Northern California winery. But no sooner does he arrive than he discovers the pajama-clad body of a woman in the woods. If nearly two decades of mystery-writing are anything to go by, the woman doesn’t appear to have died a natural death.

With a storm in full force and a washed-out bridge making it impossible for law enforcement to come to the rescue, it’s practically like all those classic murder mysteries in isolated country manors that Christopher has been penning for sixteen years! If only Miss Butterwith was on hand. Or even Mr. Pinkerton

Review

There is a lot of situational humour in this story. We first meet Christopher stuck in a storm getting soaked in his new designer clothes to improve his image, on his way to meet an editor and stumbles across a body. For the length of the book, told from Christopher’s point of view, he is stuck on a literary retreat with a number of other crime/mystery writers. To make matters worse he doesn’t want to be there. The irony of his situation is very amusing. Not to mention Christopher’s droll sense of humour. I liked how his prickly relationship with J.X, they go so hot and cold and the miscommunications between them had me longing for some frank discussions but that would’ve spoiled the tension.
I liked Kevin R. Free’s narration. He gave me a great sense of sarcastic Christopher and exasperated but amused JX. The large cast of secondary characters were also handled really well. Each with their own unique characteristics coming through. I liked it so much I downloaded the second two books straight away.

5 of stars out of 5

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Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Asexual Book coming of age Contemporary DA Demi Friends to lovers Gay Gay High but not hopeless Hurt/comfort m/m May/December May/December Mild/low level heat Military Morgan NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series PTSD second chance at love Single Parent Standalone Unrequited Love

Coming Soon! Squared Away (Out of Uniform #5) by Annabeth Albert

 


April 16 by Carina Press

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37544729-squared-away

Blurb

In the wake of tragedy, SEAL Mark Whitley rushed stateside to act as guardian to his sister’s three young children. But a conflicting will could give custody to someone else—someone Mark remembers as a too young, too hot, wild party boy. Even after six years, Mark can’t shake the memory of his close encounter with Isaiah James, or face up to what it says about his own sexuality.

Isaiah’s totally over the crush that made him proposition Mark all those years ago. In fact, he’s done with crushing on the wrong men altogether. For now, he’s throwing himself into proving he’s the best person to care for his cousin’s kids. But there’s no denying there’s something sexy about a big, tough military man with a baby in his arms.

As the legal details get sorted out, their long-buried attraction resurfaces, leading to intimate evenings after the kids are tucked in. A forever future is within reach for all of them, if only Mark can find the courage he needs to trust Isaiah with his secrets—and his heart.

Review

I don’t think this is too much of a spoiler and I think people would want to know and I think you should read this regardless – but… Mark is Gray Asexual.

Definition: From AVENwiki. Sexuality is not black and white; some people identify in the gray(spelled “grey” in some countries) area between asexual and sexual. People who identify as gray-A can include, but are not limited to those who: do not normally experience sexual attraction, but do experience it sometimes.

This story was very touching, emotional and sexy despite it’s non-traditional characters. I was really rooting for the two of them and it made every physical encounter that much more resonant for what it meant to each man.

The family stuff gets in the way – and that too felt really “real”.

There were times when the story lagged and there were times when I wanted the guys to just “figure it out “ already – but for the most part this was a well-paced, very well-developed love story. (I have only a limited tolerance for angst and there is a fair amount in this.)

Highly recommended- esp for the HEA!

(I don’t think you need to have read the others in the series to appreciate this book.)

4.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
3 stars Contemporary Dee Dreamspinner Friends to lovers Gay Gay Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort lawyer m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) second chance at love Standalone young adult

Friends to Lovers: Summer Ride By Susan Laine

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/summer-ride-by-susan-laine-9480-b

Blurb

High school best friends Toby Billings and Jim Maverick went their separate ways after graduation. Five years later, they meet by chance. Toby needs a ride, and Jim offers to give him one.
During a journey across several states, with stops at roadside diners, state parks, and cheap motels, small talk turns to serious discussions of lives that didn’t turn out the way either of them dreamed. Their choices are catching up to them, and neither is on an innocent summer vacation. Renewing their friendship will mean painful admissions and secrets coming to light. Yet they discover they have more in common now than they ever guessed, and going their separate ways at the trip’s end won’t be easy.
After aimlessly wandering the country, all roads lead back home. But first they must decide what home means.

Review

 This is the story about two young men who reconnect with each other on a road trip; they discover more about each other (and themselves) than they bargained for.
Toby and Jim had been best friends, but lost contact, (for unclear reasons), after high school. Toby meets Jim again at a bus terminal and agrees to go on a road trip with Jim. During the journey they find out that both of them a.) seem to be running away from their current problems, b.) they are both gay and c.) they are still attracted to each other (they had secretly crushed on each other in school).
As their trip progresses, both men have to make decisions that will ultimately affect their future, including their HFN/HEA.
While YA stories are not my favourite theme, I liked the story. It was nicely written and held my interest, especially since there were no other character interactions in the book.

3 stars out of 5

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Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Author Provided Book Closeted Contemporary Gay Gay Homophobia Hurt/Abuse long distance love Mary D Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Older MCs pining Reconcilliation second chance at love Stalker/Abusive Ex Standalone The one that got away

Recent Release: Second Wind by Aimee Nicole Walker

Chasing Rainbows Press LLC:
https://www.amazon.com/Second-Wind-Aimee-Nicole-Walker-ebook/dp/B079QKNW5L/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1519412275&sr=1-2&keywords=second+wind+aimee+walker&dpID=51dMu2nORZL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=src

Blurb
Second wind: a new strength or energy to continue something that is an effort. After an amicable divorce, Lincoln Huxley is ready to embrace the sexuality he repressed for more than two decades. Rush Holden is no longer willing to settle for closeted men or those who don’t share his dreams of marriage and fatherhood. A chance encounter on a lakeside pier is the second wind they both need. Or will it just be a painful reminder of all they had lost?

Second chance: an opportunity to try something again that failed one time. Rush and Lincoln have shared a lot of firsts—friendship, young love, and heartbreak. Cruel reality forced the two men to choose paths that took their lives in different directions. Twenty-six years later, they get a second chance to fall in love with each all over again. Can it really be that simple, or will the same issues ruin their happiness a second time?

Happily ever after: to live happily for the rest of one’s life. Rush and Lincoln know that love and life can’t be defined by words alone. Patience, commitment, and the determination to do whatever it takes will be the only way the two men achieve their happily ever after.

Review
We meet Rush and Lincoln when they are going through difficult times in their current relationships. During this time both of them recall events during their childhood when they were friends and were each other’s first love. This sets the scene perfectly for me. I understood the struggles and longings both of them were going through. So when they actually do meet again falling in love and lust felt so natural in the story. Such a beautiful twist of fate and timing. Lincoln has finally accepted who he is and Rush has learned from past mistakes. They both needed to be at this point in their lives for their second chance to be their forever. This is the kind of story that made me wonder where it was going whilst reading and sigh with content at the end. Aimee Nicole Walker I applaud you for such a wonderfully written story.

4.5 of stars out of 5

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Categories
3 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Beth Jumper Book Contemporary Cop/Crime Dreamspinner Gay Gay m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Misunderstanding Mystery Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) second chance at love

Audiobook: Flight or Fight by Dirk Greyson Narrated by Mark Westfield

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/flight-or-fight-by-dirk-greyson-9316-b

Blurb

Life in the big city wasn’t what Mackenzie “Mack” Redford expected, and now he’s come home to Hartwick County, South Dakota, to serve as sheriff.
Brantley Calderone is looking for a new life. After leaving New York and buying a ranch, he’s settling in and getting used to living at a different pace—until he finds a dead woman on his porch and himself the prime suspect in her murder.
Mack and Brantley quickly realize several things: someone is trying to frame Brantley; he is no longer safe alone on his ranch; and there’s a definite attraction developing between them, one that only increases when Mack offers to let Brantley stay in his home. But as their romance escalates, so does the killer. They’ll have to stay one step ahead and figure out who wants Brantley dead before it’s too late. Only then can they start the life they’re both seeking—together.

Review

A love story and a mystery all rolled up into one story! 

Let’s start your new life with a murdered woman on your front porch. Brantley just wanted a fresh start.  Mack doesn’t know this new guy in town, but everything points to Brantley at first.

The two men start looking for clues and then after Brantley needs a place to stay he ends up at Sheriff Mack’s house. The attraction between the two men builds to where of course they end up in bed. So between trying to solve the mystery and realizing that the attraction between then is past the mild heat stage we are lead through carefully placed clues. Just don’t assume you know all the answers right away.

 

I really liked Mack’s dad! Throughout the story his soft humor and acceptance moved the story along nicely. 

Story 3.5 of 5 stars
Narration 

Mark Westfield 

I wasn’t impressed with Mark’s narration. It seemed to me to be more monotonous than anything. I always keep going enough to get immersed into the story so that I can ignore what I don’t like about a narrator. So even though I enjoyed the story, Mark didn’t put it over the top for me.

Narration 2.5 of 5 stars

Overall 3 of 5 stars

 

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Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Animals/pets Book Contemporary Cop/Crime Cowboys Dee Dreamspinner Gay Gay Humor Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort m/m Mild level angst Mystery Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Scorching/high heat second chance at love Stalker/Abusive Ex Standalone

Release Day: Cowboy in the Crosshairs by BA Tortuga

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/cowboy-in-the-crosshairs-by-ba-tortuga-9336-b

Blurb: Once upon a time, a prince lived in a magical kingdom called Turquoise, New Mexico.
Well, really, TJ is a small-town police chief. Every Friday he holds court in the diner with the local holy roller, the art colonists, and the horsey people. But the Benes, who own the rodeo company, keep to themselves. TJ knows, because he was once hot and heavy with the oldest Bene son.
When Wacey Bene gets trampled by a remuda and comes home to heal, he’s none too happy to run into TJ, or his two little boys and their momma. The story might end there—if it wasn’t for some pesky bastard trying to kill Wacey.
The law steps in, and the townsfolk are cross about somebody messing with one of their own.
But once the bad guy is put away, can TJ and Wacey make their place in this wild and eccentric town a permanent one?
Review: I’ve come to expect a nice, low angst read with lots of humour and heart from BA Tortuga – and this did not disappoint. The mystery of who’s trying to harm Wacey is icing on the cake ☺
One of the things I like about Ms. Tortuga’s MC’s is that when they decide that they’re in to each other, they go for it – no misunderstandings – they just try to work out the details to make it work. This story is no different. TJ and Wacey were an item years ago, but TJ decided he couldn’t live openly as a gay man and broke it off with Wacey. Fast forward several years; their initial reunion is not friendly, but as the 2 men have to deal with who is trying to harm Wacey, they rekindle their love affair slowly, but surely.
As usual, the secondary characters are fun, especially Wacey’s siblings Lacey, Kacey and Macey.
I really enjoyed it.

4 stars out of 5

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Categories
4 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Aliens Alternate World BDSM Beth Jumper Book Boss/employee class difference Dancer Gay Gay Hurt/comfort m/m Mid level angst Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Pride Publishing Race/Species Difference Scorching/high heat second chance at love vampire

Recent Release: Blood Dance by Samantha Cayto

Pride Publishing
https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/blood-dance

Blurb
What lurks in the dark is not always a monster. Sometimes it’s your deepest desire.
A thousand years ago, Alex captained an alien ship that crashed on Earth. Stranded, he has tried to keep his men together while forging a new life. He’s locked into a never-ending war with mutinous crewmembers that makes unsuspecting humans collateral damage. That humans mistake them as vampires is all to the good. Humans are still not ready to learn aliens live among them. Alex has finally found some peace running a private club, but the memories of a human, loved and lost, keeps him alone.
Quinn Cooper was kicked out of his family when he came out as gay. Having travelled to Boston, he takes a job in Alex’s club. His boss and the men around him are large, scary and hard to ignore—as is his instant attraction to Alex. Becoming involved with the boss is always tricky. There’s something about Alex, however, that’s too sexy and compelling to ignore.
Knowing that seducing the vulnerable and virginal Quinn is a bad idea, Alex tries to keep his distance. He’s also trying to protect the boy and everyone else when the traitorous crew once more stirs up trouble. Alex’s and Quinn’s growing attraction leads Quinn closer to the frightening truth of whose bed he shares, while putting him in unfathomable harm’s way. Alex has to find a path forward to end the alien war for good or risk losing another love.

Review
Can many of our beliefs in the supernatural really be aliens who have infiltrated our world? Not as farfetched as belief in vampires. Quinn stumbles into a BDSM club in answer to an ad for go-go dancers. New in town, as well as homeless and hungry he immediately catches Alex’s attention. Unfortunately he shows up just as an opposing group of aliens are starting to pick at the life this group has made for themselves.

The world building goes on through the whole story. Bits and pieces revealed in the form of explaining the story and later informing Quinn. The romance between Quinn and Alex seems to happen quickly, I think the story only spans a few weeks, yet by the end there are declarations of love. The writing was good, the story kept my interest all the way through, and the sexy times were hot! There was mention of men being able to get pregnant, but it didn’t happen in this story.

This ended with a HFN, and left it for more stories to come, both with Quinn and Alex as well as the other alien members of the group. There will be an overall storyline so the books should be read in order as they come out.

Rating 4 of 5 stars

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Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Bi-Sexual Closeted co-workers to lovers Enemies to Lovers Enemies to Lovers Friends to lovers Gay Gay Hockey Homophobia Hurt/comfort m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series pining Purchased Reconcilliation second chance at love Single Parent Sports The one that got away

Enemies to Lovers: Poke Check (Harrisburg Railers #4) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey

GoodReads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35907068-poke-check

Blurb

One scorching summer in each other’s arms could never be enough.

Stanislav “Stan” Lyamin is happy playing for the Railers. The towering goalie is well-loved, respected, and making a home for himself even though that home only contains him, his cat, and his growing Pokemon trading card collection. Stan prefers it that way. He’d given his heart to a man in a secret affair, and that man walked away, leaving Stan shattered. Now Erik is back in his life, and he has the same tumultuous effect he had on Stan’s heart as before. This time it’s not just a kissable mouth and sweet blond curls that Erik has brought to Harrisburg, there’s a soon-to-be ex-wife and a precious baby. Despite the vow Stan made to hate Erik forever, he’s now finding it harder and harder to turn away.

Erik Gunnarsson’s dream had always been to play in the NHL, he just never imagined he’d land a contract with the Railers. Who would have thought that fate would put him on the same team as Stanislav Lyamin; the man whose heart he’d callously broken?

Secrets and lies had defined their summer relationship, and the choice that Erik made to end it all haunts him still. In the middle of a messy divorce and with a baby in tow, Erik finds himself back in Stan’s life. Now all he has to do is be the best dad he can be, prove to the team that he deserves the chance to stay on the roster and try his hardest to get Stan to forgive him. Is it possible to persuade a man who hates you to give love a second chance?

 

Review

 I thought this was adorable!

Stan is one of my favorite characters – not just in this series – but in general! He’s so sweet, and funny, and sincere!

I kinda wanted Erik to have to work harder for Stan’s forgiveness but I think that’s just Stan, too.

There is a lot of internal dithering in this that probably doesn’t need to be there, but I appreciated the insight into Stan’s mind.

This was really funny as well as super sweet and the smexy times were great, too!

I wanted a bit more hockey and a bit less angst, but it was still a great addition to the series and is probably tied with first for me as my favorite so far!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
3.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Bullying co-workers to lovers Contemporary Dreamspinner Enemies to Lovers Enemies to Lovers Friends to lovers Gay Gay Heat Index Homophobia Hurt/comfort lawyer m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Misunderstanding Monthly Theme Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series second chance at love Standalone

Enemies to Lovers: Swann’s Revenge by Shira Anthony

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/swanns-revenge-by-shira-anthony-9268-b

Blurb

Can a swan make peace with his ugly duckling past?
Chubby geek Jimmy Zebulon’s heart broke the day his high school crush, Danny Parker, looked on as his teammates tormented Jimmy. Fifteen years later, Jimmy is long gone, and from his ashes has risen Graham Swann, a movie-star-handsome law firm owner. Graham thinks Jimmy and his past are long forgotten—until attorney Dan Parker shows up for his first day of work.
Getting injured playing college ball was the best thing that ever happened to Dan. It turned his future in a better direction and allowed him to emerge from the closet that trapped him.
Graham wants to believe his childhood dream can come true, but he can’t bring himself to tell Dan who he really is—and their pasts might ruin any chance for a happily ever after….

Review

We have a big case of “if these two guys would talk to each other all their problems could be fixed”. This is one of my huge pet peeves as a writing tool and it made me kinda crazy here.

I loved the components – geeky guy goes chic, boss/employee dynamics, fighting for the underdogs in the real world, single fatherhood, sizzling chemistry… but the main drive for the story was a Big Misunderstanding and those aren’t my favorite. At all.

Shira Anthony is a great writer, so her characters are well-developed, the style is fluid and easily engaging and the sexy times are really hot. But… why wouldn’t the two just talk?!

So… if you don’t mind that hurdle, you’ll love this!

3.5 of 5 stars

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