Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Book Dreamspinner Gay Gay m/m Mary D Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Older MCs Standalone

Audiobook: Hell and Back by Dirk Greyson
Narrated by Dorian Bane

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/hell-and-back-by-dirk-greyson-8979-

Blurb

Seventeen years ago, Forge Reynolds fell in love… and had his heart broken. When Staff Sergeant Gage Livingston was brought into Forge’s Army field hospital, temporarily paralyzed, Forge sat with him, read his letters, answered his mail, and formed a connection he thought would last. But Gage was sent home, Forge transferred to a new post, and his letters to Gage went unanswered.

Now in the middle of a bitter divorce, Forge is sick and tired of his husband’s manipulation. He’s almost ready to make any sacrifice to get closure—then he finds Granger murdered execution-style in their home. Forge had no idea about Granger’s illicit activities, but the killers don’t believe that. They think Forge has something they want, and they’re coming after him.

When Forge’s lawyer arranges for professional protection, the last face Forge expects to see is Gage’s. Can he even contemplate a second chance for them after almost two decades, or will hoping only lead to more heartache? Before they can explore the possibilities, they must figure out what information Granger had—that others are willing to kill for—or that possible heartache could become a certainty

Review
Dirk Greyson always provides a well paced story and this mystery was no different. I loved the reconnection between Forge and Granger. It didn’t feel contrived and developed as naturally as it could considering the circumstances under which they meet again. The mystery of what Gage was involved in that led to his murder kept me guessing. I had my suspicions but I liked how the story led to so many possibilities. That along with the romance made it for a very enjoyable story.
Wow Dorian Bane has given Forge such a ruff smokey voice that felt a bit too harsh for me at times. I have listened to a few books narrated by Dorian before but the voice he has given to Forge sounded quite harsh on his vocal cords. Granger’s voice was more mellow and the tone I’ve heard in his other work. There we good characterisations of the other characters, particularly Harvey. One measure I use for Male narrators is how well they portray females. In this case it was extremely well done with both female characters having their own distinct voices.

4 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
3 stars adult - 18+ Book Dee Dreamspinner Fantasy Gay Gay Little to no angst Mid level steam/heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Standalone

Release Day Review: My Fair Captain by J.L. Langley

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/my-fair-captain-by-jl-langley-9628-b

Blurb: When Intergalactic Navy Captain Nathaniel Hawkins goes undercover to investigate the theft of an IN weapons stash, the mission raises painful memories from his past. Using a title he fled nearly two decades earlier, Nate once again becomes the Earl of Deverell, heir to the Duke of Hawthorne, in order to navigate the ins and outs of a Regency world. But planet Regelence—where young lords are supposed to remain pure until marriage—has a few surprises for Nate, not least of which is his attraction to Prince Aiden.

A talented artist, Prince Aiden Townsend isn’t interested in politics and the machinations of society gentlemen, and he adamantly rejects the idea of marriage and a consort. Aiden wants the freedom to pursue his art and determine his own future. But the arrival of the dashing and mysterious Deverell awakens feelings of passion and longing the young prince can’t deny.

As Nate uncovers a conspiracy reaching far beyond the stolen weapons, his future is irrevocably altered by the temptations of a life he never thought he could have. Drawn into the web of intrigue, Aiden is in danger of losing his life… and his heart.

Review:
I liked the premise of the story – almost a reversal of the female Georgian/Victorian romances; in this case, it’s the male virtue (snicker) that needs to be protected.
However, the main story got lost in too many threads.
The story starts with Nate fighting a duel. He is wounded, but kills his opponent, requiring him to flee his home planet. Fast forward 18 years later, Nate is now a captain in the IN and has a son called Trouble (aka Jeremy). Nate is tasked to investigate a situation involving a weapons cache, so he’s sent undercover to another planet where he meets the prince of the realm, Aiden.
On Aiden’s planet, the men are treated like Regency misses until they are of age; the society is based on a class system and is very male-oriented, going so far as to ensure that upperclass males have a preference for other men only. The 2 MC’s meet when Aiden has a mishap, leading to an instant attraction. Their romance plays out the same way a MF regency romance would (which I liked).
The story starts to falter when it tries to tie up the mystery of weapons cache – new characters are introduced but not fully explained, like the valets and their involvement. The whole premise for the weapons was glossed over in a few lines (and not to my satisfaction).
Then there’s Trouble and his backstory. I couldn’t get a grip on his age- sometimes he was written as a precocious youngster, then he seems like an older adolescent, (especially when he swore!). The circumstances of his birth, his current status were a surprise, but his eventual acceptance of being betrothed to a prince seemed a little far-fetched.
Overall, I liked it and will look for the next book in the hopes that the story line is better organized and fleshed out.

3 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+ Audiobook Book Fantasy Gay Magic Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Witches/Warlocks/Wizards

Audiobook: Consumption of Magic by TJ Klune, narrated by Michael Lesley

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner:

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:
Book previously reviewed
https://openskyebookreviews.com/consumption-of-magic-by-tj-klune/

I cannot imagine this series without Michael Lesley. Period.
And just when I wondered how he could top his performance of The Lightning-Struck Heart and Destiny of Dragons, he blows me away with Consumption of Magic! There are a handful of narrators that produce stellar performances all the time, Mr. Lesley is one of them. Most of the time I forgot I was listening to one person! He transitions from one character to the other so seamlessly, it’s hard to remember that Sam, Gary, Justin, Tiggy and Knight Delicious Face (Ryan) are being voiced by one person and not by an ensemble cast of narrators.
TJ Klune has written a fantastic tale, but Michael Lesley, much like Dr. Frankenstein, has brought this body (of work) to life.
Listening to Mr. Lesley perform is the absolute best way to experience this book and the entire Tales of Verania saga.

PS: It was a real treat to hear one of my favourite lines:
“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.”

6 out of 5– Out of this world!


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Beth Jumper Book Dark Romance/ Bad Boys m/m Mid level angst Monthly Theme Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat

Time to Go Dark: Tate’s Torment (Avanti Chronicles Book 2) by Hannah Walker

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28165780-tate-s-torment?from_search=true

Blurb

When a rare day out goes disastrously wrong, the men have to fight for the survival of one of their own. Their actions spark an appearance by the Conclave, leaving the Avanti’s future in the hands of those who choose to destroy them.
Tate will give up everything to save his friends, even if it means losing Dariux and a love he never imagined he would find.
With half the conclave determined to punish the Offworlders, they have to rely on new found friendships. The question is, will it be enough to overcome the trouble that seems determined to take them down?

May your journey be swift and uneventful, may you all get one step closer to your truemates and may good triumph over evil. Remember love conquers all.

Review

This is the second book in the series and it focuses on Tate, the jokester of the group. But he is also the most deadly in his fighting skills. The scene where he is eventually captured shows off his fighting skills, and leaves the reader in awe of his skills

The jokester side of Tate plays out whenever there isn’t a life or death scene playing out. Mostly directed towards Dariux. They are True Mates, which is similar to Fated Mates. But Tate’s jokester side hides a man who is fighting the demons of his past, a man who doesn’t believe he is worthy of love. When they finally get together the words almost steam off the page.

There are subplots weaved throughput this story, with all 6 of the Avanti settling into living on the planet they crashed on. Local politics, adjusting to living with a low tech environment and animals that have as much personality as the humans. This series is an ongoing story overall and each book focusing on a member of the Avanti finding their True mate

5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

 

Categories
3.5 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Beth Jumper Dreamspinner Gay Gay m/m Mid level angst Mild/low level heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words)

Audiobook: Unlikely Hero By Sean Michael Narrated by Jeff Gelder

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/unlikely-hero-by-sean-michael-9501-b

Blurb

When his three-year-old daughter is kidnapped, Eric Wilson doesn’t have many options, and time is running out. With nowhere else to turn, he reaches out to his ex, influential businessman Brock Vencenza, whose money and contacts might be able to save Josie.

Brock never got over Eric’s loss, and he’s more than willing to help when Eric needs him most. Together with law enforcement and private security, they embark on a twisting investigation to find the little girl—and who wants to hurt her and destroy both men in the process. Under the circumstances, confessing he still has feelings for Eric would be inappropriate, but Brock can’t deny what’s in his heart. He doesn’t know if their love can be rekindled or if he can even protect Eric and Josie. But one thing is certain: Brock’s determined to be the hero in reality that he is in Eric’s eyes.

Review
While listening to this story, I got caught up in the tension and then life building between the 3 MC’s, yes there are 3, Eric, Brock and Eric’s daughter Josie. If you don’t like stories with a child prominent in a story give this a pass. The author has written a story where a love story builds while dealing with a crisis of a kidnapping.

While listening I followed along always wanting to know what happens next. The story moves along without a lot of angst, and definitely has you trying to figure out the who, what and why. Josie plays such a big part in the story, kidnapped, rescued and going to live in a new place. But for anyone who has been around a 3 year old you know they can bounce back quickly.

Brock and Eric’s story does leave me with more than a few questions. Or maybe more Eric’s motives. He seems to be convinced that something would happen to him and has incorporated Brock, Daddy B, into Josie’s upbringing, without Josie ever meeting him. Brock is a take charge type and takes it all in stride. And even though he had never considered a child in his life, Josie worms her way in.

So as I said I followed the story through, caught up in the action, but when all said and done had a feeling of it fitting too neatly into all the boxes, relationship, parenthood and HEA.

3.5 of 5 stars

Audio
This is the first book I’ve listened to that was narrated by Jeff Gelder and I can say that he did a good job in my opinion. Timing was good, voices were distinct and the fluctuation of emotions between characters were expressed well.

4 of 5 stars

Overall

3.75 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Book Dee Gay m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Purchased Standalone Time to Laugh

Time to Laugh: Hidden in Darkness by Alice Winters

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38612013-hidden-in-darkness?from_search=true

Blurb: When Felix lands a job taking care of a man recovering from severe injuries, he thinks his life may have just turned around. Anything has to be better than the place he’s leaving. There’s something about Lane that draws Felix to him and makes him question if this place could finally become a home for him. But when someone begins stalking Felix, he is left to question who Lane is and what actually happened to him. Together, Felix and Lane will be forced to see just how far they will go to protect each other. Being chased by cops, kidnapping a man, and breaking into a drug operation seems to be his normal since arriving in Lane’s life. Felix may be out of his element, but one thing he is sure about is that he doesn’t want to leave, even if it costs him his life.

Review:
I really had a lot of fun reading this 🙂 Felix is a snarky, height-challenged man who has a heart-breaking past. Lane is a recently blinded, (in the line of duty), detective. Felix is hired to to be a companion (babysit) Lane, with hilarious and adventurous results!
Be warned- Felix does not treat Lane’s blindness with kid gloves- in fact, some of the things that Felix did to Lane, (like putting the toilet seats up and getting Lane to sit), were funny, and a little mean, (but mostly funny!). I liked that Felix did not pity or patronise Lane, (hence some of the things he said/did).
Both men eventually begin to open up to each other, providing the story with a bit of tenderness and heart.
This is a story to be enjoyed as is – don’t try to analyse how feasible some of the exploits are – just enjoy the ride!

4.5 stars out of 5

Copy purchased for review

 

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Hurt/Abuse m/m Mary D Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Stalker/Abusive Ex Time to Laugh

Time to Laugh: Rhino Ash by Lindsey Black

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36437886-rhino-ash?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb
Ashley Jameson always tries to do the right thing, but that’s hard when your nephew keeps eating crayons, your niece is dressed as a pudding and your obnoxious older brothers crash the church’s Sunday brunch with the guy you’ve been crushing on for five years. Going to work to fight fires is a welcome relief from family obligations, until the Riot Squad arrives to investigate and Ashley once again finds himself dealing with his siblings. Oh … and Finn Hale.

But Finn’s dark past continues to haunt him. As work gets increasingly busy with a string of arson attacks on illegal immigrants, Finn steps in to be the shoulder Ashley needs to lean on, but Ashley struggles to do the same for the man he loves. Juggling family and work can be difficult, but Ashley soon discovers that the real challenge is when it’s not a struggle at all … because you’ll do anything for the ones you love.

Review
This is the second book in a series but can be read as a stand-alone. Although once you read about this crazy family you might want more.
(https://openskyebookreviews.com/fishy-riot-by-lindsey-black/)
If you have read Fishy Riot and loved it you’ll like this book. Ashley is one of the younger siblings and initially get portrayed as simple, but he’s rather complex and hides his vulnerability. His family all mother him which can be very amusing. He has had a long standing crush on Finn Hale. His close friends call him Halesessed. He thinks no one else really knows this but of course that’s not true! Finn doesn’t show it but he is living his life in contrition for past mistakes and actions. He was made to feel this way by his parents and it takes Ashley’s love to make him see there is nothing to feel guilty about. This is a sweet love story about two people coming out of their shell, or self imposed isolation, to find happiness. Along the way there is an investigation into arson and people smuggling, harassment, and a few near death experiences certainly kept me hooked. The antics of the family, especially his niece and nephew had me laughing. I don’t know if I could cope with children like that!

4 of stars out of 5

Purchased by reviewer