Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: Crochet My Heart by Carol Pedroso

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2019-advent-calendar-homemade-for-the-holidays-full-set-11522-b

Blurb
Accountant Tristan plans to make a ton of crochet items for his local LGBT charity to sell at their holiday fair. His only problem? He can’t crochet.

Fortunately, the community center offers a class, and it’s taught by Charlie, who is gorgeous and sexy and seems interested. At first. Can grandmotherly fellow classmate Ivy guide the clueless men to each other, or will it take something more serious to help them see the possibilities?

Review

Crochet My Heart was a fun, sweet, little holiday romance. For being a novella, this story has everything I look for in a book. There is a great meet-cute, awkward conversation, plenty of pinning and longing looks and even a little drama. The main characters, Charlie and Tristan were well thought out and the cast of secondary were all enjoyable as well.
I recommend this story for all crochet and holiday story addicts !
4 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: Finding Yuletide Karol by L.A. Merrill

Dreamspinner:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2019-advent-calendar-homemade-for-the-holidays-full-set-11522-b

Blurb

Fifty years ago, during the Vietnam War, Lee Elbridge fell in love with an Army cook nicknamed Yuletide Karol, but they haven’t seen each other since.

Now, led by a clue in an old cookbook, Lee sets off on a road trip to find his lost love. He arrives on Karol’s upstate New York farm to find preparations for a handfasting in full swing, and is mistaken for the wedding planner’s assistant. As Lee is roped into folding hemp napkin goats and mashing fresh sweet potatoes, he is welcomed by Karol’s large, eccentric family of witches and pagans. When Lee and Karol finally get a moment alone, Lee tells him the truth, but it will take more than a little Yuletide magick to bring them together again after almost a lifetime.

Review
This was an amazing read! Lee’s is suffering through another work Christmas party, when he is given an old cookbook, which just so happens to contain the one thing he has always wanted….the last name of the man he fell in love with 50 years ago. He, then embarks on a quest to find this man.
I haven’t read a novella in a long while, if ever that touched me as much as this one did. Finding Yuletide Karol is an absolutely beautiful story.
5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Heartward by Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/heartward-by-andrew-grey-10879-b

Blurb
He doesn’t know that home is where his heart will be….

Firefighter Tyler Banik has seen his share of adventure while working disaster relief with the Red Cross. But now that he’s adopted Abey, he’s ready to leave the danger behind and put down roots. That means returning to his hometown—where the last thing he anticipates is falling for his high school nemesis.

Alan Pettaprin isn’t the boy he used to be. As a business owner and council member, he’s working hard to improve life in Scottville for everyone. Nobody is more surprised than Alan when Tyler returns, but he’s glad. For him, it’s a chance to set things right. Little does he guess he and Tyler will find the missing pieces of themselves in each other. Old rivalries are left in the ashes, passion burns bright, and the possibility for a future together stretches in front of them….

But not everyone in town is glad to see Tyler return….

Review
Another winner by Andrew Grey!!!

Heartward is a wonderful story. I adored the characters in this story. Tyler has come back to town to try and make a home for his young son Abey. After taking his father’s position on the town council, Alan is determined to help improve life in town for all members of the community. Alan and Tyler weren’t friendly as kids but when they reunite as adults the attraction is mutual and luckily neither let their past hold them back. I absolutely loved the story surrounding Tyler’s son Abey. I was happy to see Geoff and Eli from the Love Means…series show up. There is a little drama in the background in the form of Tyler’s boss who may or may not be up to no good.

I highly recommend this heartwarming story!!

5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Yuletide Treasure (Goddess-Blessed #3) by Eliot Grayson

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48470441-yuletide-treasure

Blurb
There’s not enough Yuletide spirit in the world to fix this holiday disaster…

Eben Sypeman’s world is falling apart. It’s two days before Yule and his business partner is dead, leaving behind empty accounts and looming bankruptcy. And if that isn’t bad enough, his patron goddess is irritated with him. It seems she’s tired of his tendency to mince words and avoid conflict. She’s insisting—quite forcefully—that he start being totally honest with everyone, including himself. Divinely enforced honesty couldn’t have come at a less opportune time, especially when his clerk’s tall, dark and distractingly handsome son enters the picture.

The last thing on Tim Pratchett’s mind is romance. All the former soldier wants is to fill in for his sick father at work and recover from his war wounds in peace. But there’s something about the grumpy Eben that confounds and entices him in equal measure. Their timing couldn’t be worse. They’re complete opposites. And yet…none of that matters when he’s with Eben.

But if Eben and Tim have any hope of finding their very own happily ever after, they’ll have to survive a dickens of a truth curse and the machinations of a trickster goddess—all while searching for enough yuletide treasure to save them all.

A joyous, relaxing Yule indeed. Bah, humbug.

This is an M/M romance with explicit scenes, a voyeuristic pagan goddess, and an odious nephew. Despite any other possible similarities to A Christmas Carol, there are neither ghosts nor geese, but readers can expect a happy ending and at least one use of the word “dickens.”

Review
Yuletide Treasure is very, very loosely based on Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. Meaning that there are some similar phrases and an appearance of a “ghost” who is a god or patron of some sort.

Eben is a man barely holding it together. His business partner recently died and with his death Eben found out that their import business is all but bankrupt. His clerk is ill and when Eben sends him home to rest his son Timothy shows up to work in his place. Insert some awkward conversations, a meddling ghost-god, an anti-lying curse and search for missing money.

This was a charming, quirky little story that I enjoyed very much.
4 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Captain’s Flirty Fireworks By Eleanor Harkstead & Catherine Curzon

Pride Publisher

https://www.pride-publishing.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=70762

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48269895-the-captain-s-flirty-fireworks?from_search=true

Blurb

When a hunky fireman and a gorgeous gold medalist meet on Guy Fawkes Night, sparks are sure to fly!

For fireman Rob Monteagle, this Guy Fawkes Night seems like it’s going to be anything but fun. After all, who wants to spend the noisiest night of the year saving careless cats from trees or rattling a fundraising bucket at Longley Magna’s annual bonfire, the pride of the village’s bad-tempered old retainer?

For Ollie Tresham, the night isn’t looking any better. He might have won gold in the Olympic showjumping ring yet he’s still expected to meet the public at his dad’s charity fireworks extravaganza. But when a rogue rocket heads straight for the showjumper, it takes a quick-thinking fireman like Rob to save the day.

As the flames of the bonfire smolder, Rob and Ollie’s night is just getting started. And it’s sure to go with a bang!

Publisher’s Note: This book is related to the Captivating Captains series.

Review
I have read a few other books in the Captivating Captains series and have enjoyed them all…. this one…not so much. This story is written well. I loved how descriptive the authors are. My biggest issue with this novella, is nothing really happens. The two main characters meet up, have a drink and make plans to meet up again later that night. They end up running into each other later and one MC thinks the other is mad at him and ends up skipping the date. He’s pouting at home when the other shows up, they “make up”, spout off a lot of bad fireman puns then its two years later and they are married. I don’t mind instalove stories or novella’s, but I want a little more story line. I just could not get into this story.

3 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Best Man (Close Proximity #1) by Lily Morton

GOOD READS

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48316789-best-man

Blurb
Zeb Evans doesn’t do messy.

The product of a disorganized and chaotic childhood, Zeb likes order and control, and as the boss of his own employment agency he can give that to himself. Life runs along strict lines and he never mixes business with pleasure. Everything in his life lives in neat, alphabetized boxes. Until Jesse.

Jesse Reed is Zeb’s complete opposite. He’s chaos personified. A whirling cyclone of disorder. He’s also charming and funny and a very unwanted distraction.

Which is why it comes as a complete surprise to Zeb to find himself asking Jesse to pose as his boyfriend for a few days in the country at a wedding.

Zeb doesn’t do impulsive, but as the time away progresses, he finds himself increasingly drawn to the merry and irreverent Jesse. But can he bring himself to break the hard-won lessons he’s learnt in life? And even if he can, how could Jesse be attracted to him anyway? He’s so much older than Jesse, not to mention being his boss.

From the bestselling author of the Mixed Messages and Finding Home series comes a warm and funny romance about one man’s fight for control and another man’s determination to circumvent it.

This is the first book in the Close Proximity series, but it can be read as a standalone.

Review
This book was a fun, sweet read…everything I expect from Lily Morton!!
I loved all the pining in this book. Both Jesse and Zeb have mutual crushes on each other but don’t act on it for years!!! I don’t always like fake boyfriend stories, since they all seem the same, but Lily weaved a lot of humor into this story so this one standout. There are some wonderful side characters introduced in this story, hopefully they all get their happy endings too!
Cannot recommend this one enough!!!

5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Ground Zero (Zero Hour #1) by Aimee Nicole Walker

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48217288-ground-zero

Blurb
Ground zero, noun: the center or origin of rapid, intense, or violent activity or change.

Heat, humidity, and homicide are things veteran detective Sawyer Key expects to encounter on his first day with the Savannah Police Department, but the hostile reception from his new partner catches him by surprise. Sawyer isn’t a stranger to heartache and recognizes that Royce Locke is a wounded man who’s reeling from a devastating loss. Relentless and patient in all things, Sawyer is determined to make the new partnership work.

Savannah, Georgia is known for her quirky people, oak trees draped in Spanish moss, and antebellum architecture. Beneath the Southern charm and hospitality, festering hatred and violence is soaring with the summer temperatures. Locke and Key find themselves at the epicenter when their first case involves the death of a former shock jock who appears to be the victim of vigilante justice.

Opposites in nearly every way, the two detectives set aside their differences to take back their city and restore law and order. From this reluctant truce, an intense attraction grows that will either tighten or shatter their tenuous bond. Falling for his partner spells inevitable disaster, but Sawyer’s always been a sucker for wounded things. Sawyer could be the key to the life Royce has always wanted, if he’s brave enough to trust him. The fuse is lit, the clock is running, and the zero hour is upon them. Tick tock.

Ground Zero is the first book in the Zero Hour series, which follows Locke and Key’s investigations and evolving relationship. Ground Zero has a happy-for-now ending with no cliffhanger. It contains mature language and sexual content intended for adults 18 and older.

Review
What an amazing read!!! I adored everything about this book. It’s a bit more somber than what I’m used to from Aimee’s books, although there are some humorous moments. Both of the main characters are dealing with loss…Sawyer(Key) is dealing with the death of his husband and Locke(Royce) is dealing with the death of his partner. Locke is confusing at times, his past and issues remain a mystery for most of this book, although there is some light shed towards the end. I enjoyed the investigations that went on during the story. I was a little disappointed with the end of the big conflict though. This is a great slow burn story. Highly recommend this one!
5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Tallowwood by N.R. Walker

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47997473-tallowwood?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb
Cold cases, murder, lies, and an unimaginable truth.

Sydney detective August Shaw has spent the last decade of work solving cold cases. Since the death of his boyfriend eight years ago, August works alone, lives alone, is alone — and that’s exactly how he likes it. His work is his entire life, and he’s convinced a string of unsolved cold-case suicides are linked to what could be Australia’s worst ever serial killer. Problem is, no one believes him.

Senior Constable Jacob Porter loves his life in the small town of Tallowwood in the middle of the rainforests in northern New South Wales. He runs summer camps for the local Indigenous kids, plays rugby with his mates, has a close family, and he’s the local LGBTQIA+ Liaison and the Indigenous Liaison Officer.

When human remains are found in the camping grounds at Tallowwood Reserve, Jake’s new case turns out to be linked to August’s cold cases, and Jake agrees they’re not suicides at all. With Jacob now firmly in August’s corner, they face one hurdle after another, even when more remains are found, they still can’t seem to gain ground.

But when the body of a fellow police officer turns up under the same MO, it can’t be ignored anymore. August and Jake must trace the untraceable before the killer takes his next victim or before he stops one of them, permanently.

Review
Tallowwood is one of those rare books that completely sucked me in! Once I started this book I could not stop! Like most of NR Walker’s stories, you never really know what you are getting into.
After the loss of his boyfriend, August has shut himself off from the rest of the world. He immerses himself in solving cold cases. Jake, on the other hand is almost the complete opposite. Jake and August come together to try to prove a string of suicides are actually murders. The slowly unfolding case matches the pace of the budding relationship between Jake and August. Both men end up learning a lot from each other.
The mystery part of this story was fantastic. After reading hundreds of mysteries, I can usually figure out the “bad guy” before the big reveal but this one had me guessing until the end.
This was an intense story full of mystery, life, death and romance. I recommend this to everyone!!!
5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Twice Baked by Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/twice-baked-by-andrew-grey-10815-b

Blurb
When the pickiest eater in America is tapped to judge a cooking competition along with his chef ex-boyfriend, will it be a recipe for a second chance… or disaster?

Luke Walker’s humor about foods he can’t stand made him an internet celebrity and his blog, The Pickiest Eater in America, a huge hit. He plans to bring that same lighthearted comedy to the show—but he won’t be the only host.

Meyer Thibodeaux might be a famous chef, but he’s solemn, uptight, and closeted. He’s also Luke’s ex. As different as they are, the sparks between Luke and Meyer never really went out, and as they work together, each begins to see the other in a new light, and the passion between them reignites, hot as ever. But secrets, gossip, and rumors on the set could sour their reunion.

Review
Another enjoyable story from Andrew Grey. Luke and Meyer attempted a relationship in the past but Meyer’s refusal to be out caused the relationship to fail. Fast forward a few years and Luke is asked to be a judge on a popular cooking show, that Meyer just happens to also be a part of. You can pretty much guess the rest of the storyline. There is a little awkwardness between the two as they struggle with seeing each other again. Throw in a little drama from an unknown source. The only surprise in this book was the reveal of the “bad guy” totally not who I thought. This isn’t the most original of stories but it was enjoyable never the less.

4 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Secrets We Keep by Rick R. Reed

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-secrets-we-keep-by-rick-r-reed-10761-b

Blurb
Jasper Warren is a happy-go-lucky young man in spite of the tragedy that’s marred his life. He’s on a road to nowhere with his roommate, Lacy, whom he adores, and a dead-end retail job in Chicago.

And then everything changes in a single night. Though Jasper doesn’t know it, his road is going somewhere after all. This time when tragedy strikes, it brings with it Lacy’s older, wealthy, sexy uncle Rob. Despite the heart-wrenching circumstances, an immediate connection forms between the two men.

But the secrets between them test their attraction. Will their revelations destroy the bloom of new love… or encourage it to grow?

Review

Warning…There is a suicide in this book so that may be a trigger for some….

Just from reading the blurb I had a feeling this was going to be an emotional read. Jasper and Rob meeting happens during a dark time. They spark is there between them but Rob lives in Palm Springs and Jasper is in Chicago. The two strike up a pen pal relationship where the attraction between the two grow even more. Both men have secrets in their past that eventually come to light. I enjoyed this book a lot. I’ve always thought that romances that bloom from tragedy were special. The issue I had with this book was the last few chapters felt rushed and the big reunion fell a little flat. Regardless, I still recommend this book. It was a beautiful read!

4 stars


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