Recent Release: Borrowed Heart By Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/borrowed-heart-by-andrew-grey-10304-b

Blurb

Robin, the recipient of a brand-new heart, knows he can’t give it to just anyone….

Robin’s been through his share of upsets recently, from heart transplant surgery to a brutal breakup. But his experiences have taught him life is short, and he’s ready to seize the day and start anew. A job at Euro Pride Tours is just the kind of adventure he’s looking for. He gets to see the world and live a little, but love isn’t on his radar screen. He isn’t sure his heart can endure that again.

Johan might’ve disappointed his family by striking out on his own, but when he meets Robin, he has no intention of letting him down. Each man is just what the other needs to feel whole again, and while Johan might not be the man Robin originally thought he was, he’s exactly what the doctor ordered to make Robin’s borrowed heart beat faster. As the tour through Germany progresses, they grow closer, but when Robin’s ex joins the tour, he could bring their blossoming love to a dramatic halt.

Review

I am a huge fan of Andrew Grey. His books have always been such a comfort for me and Borrowed Heart didn’t fail me. The blurb is a little misleading. Yes, Robin did receive a heart transplant however it was quite a few years ago. He states in the book that average life expectancy for a heart transplant recipient isn’t very long, like 10 to 12 years. His ex, Mason broke off their relationship because of this fact (supposedly). Robin moves to Germany for the summer to lick his wounds and to live his “borrowed” life to the fullest. His latest tour is being driven by Johan and the sparks fly. Like a lot of Andrew’s books, the dreaded ex shows up on the tour and is up to no go. I liked how a few of the tour members also got little side stories. While the tour travels through Germany and the surrounding area, we get to learn more about Robin and his fears. Johan spends most of the time, reassuring Robin that he’s worth being with, no matter how long they will have. My only criticism about the book is that I wanted to know more about what happened with the ex. Otherwise it was a good, sweet story!

4 stars



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Recent Release: Unfamiliar Waters By Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/unfamiliar-waters-by-andrew-grey-10081-b

Blurb

With the pressures of the job bearing down on him, police officer Garrett Wreckley needs a vacation—in fact, he isn’t given a choice in the matter. Since the water has always soothed Garrett’s soul, he heads to the Caribbean, hoping some time alone sailing on the open water will help him pull himself together.
But even though he’s taking a break from law enforcement, Garrett can’t get rid of his cop’s instinct so easily.

He meets Nigel, a young man as innocent as he is beautiful, who grew up sheltered from the world, exploring the beaches and tropical forests with only the company of his aunt, his brother, and the wildlife and sea creatures he befriended.

As sweet, passionate love blooms, their time in paradise feels too good to be true… and Garrett’s gut and training tell him that might be the case. As he investigates, he quickly realizes everything is not as it seems. Will his snooping destroy not only their romance, but everything Nigel believes about his life?

Review

Once again Andrew Grey has knocked it out of the park with this one. Garrett is dealing with the grief of losing his long-term partner and this is causing him trouble with his work as a cop. After nearly shooting an unarmed man, Garrett is forced to take a vacation. He heads out to sail around the Caribbean. After setting anchor on a small island he meets Nigel.

Nigel has spent the last decade living on the island with his younger brother Jules, aunt Phyllis and caretaker Fairfield. Garrett is attracted to Nigel’s innocent view of the world. Garrett knows that there is something not quite right with Nigel’s situation and he is determined to protect Nigel and Jules at all costs.

One of the things I love best about all of Andrew’s books is the feelings his characters emote. You can practically feel Garrett’s pain throughout the first part of the story. The descriptions of the tropics made me want to go book a trip immediately. The relationship between Nigel and Garrett was so sweet and tender. I highly recommend this one!

5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Release Day Review: Dirty Laundry by Heidi Cullinan

release day review

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/dirty-laundry-by-heidi-cullinan-10335-b

Blurb
A Tucker Springs Novel
Sometimes you have to get dirty to come clean.
When muscle-bound Denver Rogers effortlessly dispatches the frat boys harassing grad student Adam Ellery at the Tucker Springs laundromat, Adam’s thank-you turns into impromptu sex over the laundry table. The problem comes when they exchange numbers. What if Adam wants to meet again and discovers Denver is a high-school dropout with a learning disability who works as a bouncer at a local gay bar? Or what if Denver calls Adam only to learn while he might be brilliant in the lab, outside of it he has crippling social anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder?
Either way, neither of them can shake the memory of their laundromat encounter. Despite their fears of what the other might think, they can only remember how good the other one feels. The more they get together, the kinkier things become. They’re both a little bent, but in just the right ways.
Maybe the secret to staying together isn’t to keep things clean and proper. Maybe it’s best to keep their laundry just a little bit dirty.

Second Edition
First Edition published by Riptide Publishing, January 2013.

Review
Dirty Laundry is the third book in the Tucker Springs series. Each book can be easily read as a standalone. Compared to the first two books in the series this one has been tweaked quite a lot making the flow a lot better then the original release.
The two main characters, Adam and Denver are both very different but complex characters. Adam is a self-proclaimed “Bug Guy” who suffers from anxiety and severe OCD which prohibits him from really having any relationship. Denver seems to be really self-assured in the beginning but then later in the book we find out a lot about him. He doesn’t see Adam’s quirks as strange and doesn’t treat him any different because of his mental illness.

This book is HOT!!!!!! It starts of with a bang and just goes up from there! This book contains mild BDSM elements like spankings, gags, bondage and punishments. Heidi does a great job at showing us a guy who NEEDS bondage and punishment and doesn’t just want to play with it. The characters were written in away that they just come alive in this book. The character disabilities were written and dealt with in a very touching way. Heidi herself is very open about what she struggles with on a daily basis and you can easily see this in her characters. I cannot recommend this book enough.

5 Stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Audiobook: Wanted – Bad Boyfriend by TA Moore narrated by Michael Mola

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/wanted-bad-boyfriend-by-ta-moore-9824-b

Blurb: Island Classifieds: Book One

His mother. His best friend. The barmaid at the local pub. Everyone is determined to find Nathan Moffatt a boyfriend. It’s the last thing Nathan wants. After spending every day making sure his clients experience nothing but romantic magic, the Granshire Hotel’s wedding organizer just wants to go home, binge watch crime dramas, and eat pizza in his underwear.
Unfortunately, no one believes him, and he’s stuck with lectures about dying alone. Then inspiration strikes. He needs the people in his life to want him to stay single as much as he does. He needs a bad boyfriend.

There’s only one man for the job.

Flynn Delaney is used to people on the island of Ceremony thinking the worst of him. But he isn’t sure he wants the dubious honor of worst boyfriend on the entire island. On the other hand, if he plays along, he gets to hang out with the gorgeous Nathan and piss off the owners of the Granshire Hotel. It’s a win-win.

There’s only one problem—Flynn’s actually quite a good boyfriend, and now Nathan’s wondering if getting off the sofa occasionally is really the worst thing in the world.

Review:
Book reviewed earlier. https://openskyebookreviews.com/release-day-review-wanted-bad-boyfriend-by-ta-moore/
This is a story set in the UK, so I was surprised (and disappointed) that the narration was done in an American accent. Once I got over that, I settled into listening.
Michael Mola did a good job with the character voices, capturing the sarcasm, humour and much of emotions of both MCs. Unfortunately, I had imagined the characters with English accents, so that took away from my enjoyment.
Otherwise, it’s not a bad way to experience the book.

Story: 4 stars out of 5
Narration: 3.5 stars out of 5
Reviewer Name: Dee



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Recent Release: Upside Down by N.R. Walker

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44292759-upside-down?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb
Jordan O’Neill isn’t a fan of labels, considering he has a few. Gay, geek, a librarian, socially awkward, a nervous rambler, an introvert, an outsider. The last thing he needs is one more. But he when he realises adding the label ‘asexual’ might explain a lot, it turns his world upside down.

Hennessy Lang moved to Surry Hills after splitting with his boyfriend. His being asexual had seen the end of a lot of his romances, but he’s determined to stay true to himself. Leaving his North Shore support group behind, he starts his own in Surry Hills, where he meets first-time-attendee Jordan.

A little bewildered and scared, but completely adorable, Hennessy is struck by this guy who’s trying to find where he belongs. Maybe Hennessy can convince Jordan that his world hasn’t been turned upside down at all, but maybe it’s now—for the first time in his life—the right way up.

Review
I enjoyed this book immensely!! It was engaging and funny and surprisingly sweet. I loved Jordan’s personality and the way his mind worked. I must admit that I enjoyed the chapter’s that were in his point of view versus the chapters in Hennessy’s. Not that his chapters were boring or anything, but Jordan is just hilarious, and Hennessy is a bit more sedate, although he has his moments.
This is an amazingly sweet and fluffy love story that I cannot recommend enough!
5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Review
This book was incredibly sweet, with the humor I liked so much in Walker’s ‘The Weight of it All’ and dealing with the subject of Asexuality in a wonderful eye opening way. I think the thing that makes this story so good it how much you don’t really need sex to feel the romance, longing and passion Jordan and Hennessy feel for each other. Jordan is one of the funniest characters I’ve read in a long time, and he had me laughing more times than I can count. Their relationship is so sweet, and gently brings some of the lesser known sexual identities in the romance genre. Walker showed the struggle Asexuals face in our overly sexualized world. Angus and Merry were some of the most amazing side characters I have ever seen and I wish we could get their story someday.
This book makes you feel so good, while still having emotional depth and dealing with serious themes. Leaves you smiling and a gooey happy pile of emotions. Just a wonderful read through and through.

Number of stars out of 5
5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Recent Release: Stallion Mage- Wild Foal (Stallion Mage book 3) by A.O. Spade

GoodReads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44177708-wild-foal?from_search=true

Blurb

As new mates, Alvarr and Laren grow closer, and when Alvarr shares the secret of his pregnancy with the stallion leader, Laren reacts with joy… but also with worry. Winter has taken hold of their land and shows no signs of stopping. The stallion shifters have less and less to eat, even when Alvarr’s earth magic is able to provide some sustenance.

They also have different ideas about the future. As a mage close to Nature, Alvarr knows the answer is to bring the tribes together, but he doesn’t want to challenge Laren’s leadership, nor burden him with the impossible task of making the other stallions follow him.

But as these questions loom over them, the biggest remains. How will Alvarr give birth to a baby? In the absence of healers and mares, there is no one to provide guidance through this unknown event.

Review

Stallion Mage – Wild Foal continues on with the final scene of book 2 in this series, where we left Alvarr severely wounded after being saved by Laren from an attack by Thane and Nassor. Laren has finally accepted that Alvarr is his mate, but he has an even bigger surprise still coming his way. Once Alvarr figures out how best to broach the subject, that is.

It was great to see them get the time to enjoy each other and learn what it means to be fated mates, in between trying to survive the rift, the harsh winter and the strife within their own tribe. I loved the scenes where they reconnect with the mares and the new discoveries they made while they were there.

I had hoped the shifters would have learned more about their history and former way of life, maybe even spend more time in their human shape but that was not the case. The story doesn’t yet cover that much ground and instead focuses on the healing of the rift between the mares and the stallion tribes.

I’m as impressed as before with the mythology and the universe the author created in this serie. I think it holds potential for still more stories.

We take our leave of Laren and Alvarr when they’re in a happy place and hopeful for the future, but with still a lot to discover and re-build.

shifter mpreg, m/m, fantasy, historical, fated mates

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Recent Release: Hell to Pay (Hellhound Champions #2) by Macy Blake

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44153603-hell-to-pay

Blurb

As a hellhound beta, Solomon has no complaints. Life is fine. His pack and his goddess-given duties as a protector of the human realm are enough. So what if he’s a little bored and a smidge lonely? Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. When his alpha’s mate suggests he pull his head out of his ass where one of their human pack mates is concerned, Sol cooks up a scheme to break through the wall between him and Cody, but it comes at the worst possible time.

Cody is convinced the bar he works in is run by a group of elite mob enforcers. Nothing else makes sense. The funny thing is: he doesn’t care. They treat him well and he’s come to consider them family, but like any family, there’s always someone who stirs up trouble. For Cody, that’s Solomon, the bouncer who is constantly glaring at him from the back of the bar. Something is going on, but Cody has a new distraction in the form of an anonymous online lover who knows how to push all the right buttons.

A magical attack causes havoc for their pack, dragging Cody into a world he didn’t know existed. His new family is involved in a much more dangerous life than he could ever have imagined. Hellhounds and humans must join together to stop a terrifying creature hell bent on raining destruction down on them. Solomon and Cody must step up and fulfill their destinies, or risk losing the one thing they desire most: each other.

Review

I was waiting for this book! It (mostly) didn’t disappoint.

The pairing isn’t exactly Fated Mates, so that was less appealing – but that’s about all. There is a lovely May/December feel to this, with a lot of hot smexy times and some very sweet feelz and Growls (lol)!

This didn’t have the same resonance as book 1, not as big of a pay off, if you will, but it was still really good.

If you enjoyed book 1 I’d recommend this too. I think you could read it as a standalone but it’s full of characters from book 1 and from the other series as well so I think it’s better read in a series.

4 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Retro Review: Hell on Earth (Hellhound Champions #1) by Macy Blake

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42359596-hell-on-earth?from_search=true

Blurb

Protector. Boogeyman. Hellhound. Meshaq has been called it all. As alpha of the hellhounds, his goddess has tasked him with protecting the secrets of the supernatural world. He’s the police of other creatures and the enforcer of the goddess’s rules. If his duty leaves him lonely and longing for a mate and a larger pack, well, the goddess knows the secrets of his heart and she will grant them if it is her will.

Drew Metcalf is a man on the run. When he finds himself in a biker bar surrounded by leather wearing giants, he thinks he’s a goner. But there’s something different about the man slinging drinks. He makes Drew feel safe, something he hasn’t felt in a long time.

When Drew and Shaq’s worlds collide, a different kind of magic happens. Shaq doesn’t understand why he’s so drawn to the human whose life is shrouded in mystery and danger. What Shaq does know is that Drew needs his protection. Magical forces are at work, beginning a battle that will require all of Shaq’s skill as the goddess’s champion. With a terrifying threat looming, Shaq and Drew are in danger of losing more than their hearts.

Review

I had thought I’d already reviewed this – so I apologize for it’s being so late.

This is a really terrific series by an author that was new to me. (I did go back to the author’s first series – this is a spinoff of that series – but it’s a ménage thing that I don’t care for so I didn’t pursue reading it – however others have said they loved it too.) I love when the newb human stumbles into the world of paranormal and this is that in spades.

Shaq is awesome and when Drew finds out just how important he is to Shaq it’s even better!

This is a great new world (or spinoff world) and if you’re a fan of Fated mates, shifters, hot smexy times with a fair amount of magic and adventure – you should check this out. I don’t believe this is mpreg – but you could check for sure if that bothers you.

Highly Recommended!

4.5 stars

Copy Purchased For Review

Coming Soon: Heated Rivalry (Game Changers #2) by Rachel Reid

March 25

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41735449-heated-rivalry?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

Nothing interferes with Shane Hollander’s game—definitely not the sexy rival he loves to hate.

Pro hockey star Shane Hollander isn’t just crazy talented, he’s got a spotless reputation. Hockey is his life. Now that he’s captain of the Montreal Voyageurs, he won’t let anything jeopardize that, especially the sexy Russian whose hard body keeps him awake at night.

Boston Bears captain Ilya Rozanov is everything Shane’s not. The self-proclaimed king of the ice, he’s as cocky as he is talented. No one can beat him—except Shane. They’ve made a career on their legendary rivalry, but when the skates come off, the heat between them is undeniable. When Ilya realizes he wants more than a few secret hookups, he knows he must walk away. The risk is too great.

As their attraction intensifies, they struggle to keep their relationship out of the public eye. If the truth comes out, it could ruin them both. But when their need for each other rivals their ambition on the ice, secrecy is no longer an option…

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

This book is approximately 66,000 word

Review

This blew me away!

I loved this so much!

I gotta tell you – I was leery. This is a new author to me and though I’m a huge hockey fan – I’m wary of people who don’t know their stuff. I also don’t really love books where the romance has already started before you start reading. But…
First, the author knows her stuff! From World Juniors, to the Olympics, to the NHL and the major rivalries – she’s got it down! It took me a long time to figure out the nuances of the NHL system – it’s not a straightforward thing – and it’s definitely hard to explain – but she does it!

Second, as I said yesterday, the fact that she re-names our current NHL teams just lets us fall into the already understood world of team rivalries and playoff pictures and beards! Well done!

I will say that I’m not super in love with the fact that our MCs have off page sex with other people, but given the 8 year (?) time span, it’s rational and it’s not done in a way that is really all that bothersome to the romantic in me. But I do warn those of you who will hate that aspect.

Ilya is bi-sexual and Shane isn’t (I think he’s actually demisexual but he doesn’t label himself that way.). In any case the two of them are hysterical as rivals and it carries to the bedroom for some very hot smexy times.

I thought the way Shane handles his attraction to Ilya was one of the most “realistic” ways I’ve seen enemies to lovers handled. I’ve always thought that if a guy is struggling with his own sexuality to fall into bed with a guy (especially if he’s not drunk or has some other excuse) would be hard to do without some recriminations/shame etcetera.

Ilya, too, did a fantastic job with his own feelings and in the end I just melted at the way these guys found a way to be together.

I highly recommend this to fans of sports romance, hockey, enemies to lovers, Russian MCs (yum!), sweet HEAs and hot smexy times.

5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Retro Review: Game Changer (Game Changers #1) by Rachel Reid

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40601927-game-changer?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

New York Admirals captain Scott Hunter takes his pregame rituals very seriously. In this case, it’s not just a lucky smoothie he’s craving—it’s the man who made it.

Pro hockey star Scott Hunter knows a good thing when he sees it. So, when a smoothie made by juice bar barista Kip Grady precedes Scott breaking his on-ice slump, he’s desperate to recreate the magic…and to get to know the sexy, funny guy behind the counter.

Kip knew there was more to Scott’s frequent visits than blended fruit, but he never let himself imagine being invited back to Scott’s penthouse. Or kissed with reckless abandon, never mind touched everywhere all at once. When it happens it’s red-hot, incredible and frequent, but also only on Scott’s terms and always behind his closed apartment doors.

Scott needs Kip in his life, but with playoff season approaching, the spotlight on him is suddenly brighter than ever. He can’t afford to do anything that might derail his career…like introducing the world to his boyfriend. Kip is ready to go all-in with Scott—but how much longer will he have to remain a secret?

Review

First I want to say “How did I miss this when it first came out????”
I’m a huge hockey fan and I’ll tell you I get really annoyed when authors don’t know the sport or do a crummy job integrating the sport with the romance.

Rachel Reid does neither.

I read book 2 first, because that’s what I’d requested but I immediately turned around and read this because it was that good!

I can’t say if this one or that one is better because they are so different.

In this we have a “good boy” but closeted and another pretty “good boy” but out who meet. Kip has no real knowledge of hockey and doesn’t even recognize Scott as the star he is.

The author does a terrific job of giving us the regular NHL cities with probable NHL teams with different names. It allows her to lean on our own knowledge of the city and the fan base and the experience without having to infringe on rights or create an alternate world.

I was very impressed by this and her knowledge of the sport.

The romance is really sweet with some smokin’ hot smexy times and the sweetest HEA ever!

I really can’t say enough about this!

If you like Cinderfella stories, hockey, sports romances, coming out stories and sweet love stories – this is for you!

5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

(tomorrow I review book 2!)