Release Day Review: Gabriel and the Devil by Robert P. Rowe

release day review

Dreasmpsinner

 https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/gabriel-and-the-devil-by-robert-p-rowe-10074-b

Blurb: Flirting with the devil can lead to a helluva good time.
Gabriel is a regular angel. The former altar boy plans to graduate from college, become an accountant, get a good job, find a wife, and live a faithful Catholic life.

But one Halloween night, the devil pops in out of nowhere, challenges everything he believes, and heats up Gabriel’s lonely life.
Marcello is full of the devil. He’s lusted after Gabriel forever, but what he really wants is Gabriel’s eternal soul. Still, his mischievous sense of humor, along with his tricks and jokes, leads to a misunderstanding that could condemn him to hell on Earth. Only the truth will let these souls find true love and happiness.

Review: Overall, this was a fun read – the good, religious boy and the not so good, devilish tempter. I thought the story was cleverly done – without giving the twist away – there is a bit of sleight of hand that works quite well.
My biggest complaint is how quickly Gabriel fell for Marcello; one moment he’s resisting Marcello’s tempting ways and almost as quickly, he’s fallen in lust/love. This is a story that could have been longer in order to fully stretch out the fantasy and fun. But the ending is nice, complete with a satisfying epilogue.

3.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

Time to Celebrate the Holidays: Grumble Monkey and the Department Store Elf audiobook by B.G. Thomas narrated by Donald Tursman

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/grumble-monkey-and-the-department-store-elf-by-bg-thomas-1071-

Blurb
Kit Jefferies, a part-time department store Christmas elf, is an artist who loves life and his family. Unfortunately, his car dies at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere as he is heading home for Christmas. Enter Nick St. George.

Nick is a very unhappy man—he’s achieved his professional goals only to find the rest of his life bleak and empty. Deciding there was only one way to make everything right, he is on his way to San Francisco on a dark mission, and even the horrible sleet storm that blocked his path won’t deter him. That’s when he found Kit.

At first, Nick is pretty sure rescuing Kit was a big mistake. Kit’s personality is just too, well, effervescent. But as the miles go by, Kit begins to bring light to his dark heart. It might even be bright enough to illuminate a Christmas miracle

Review
The story was part of the 2013 Dreampinner Press “Heartwarming” Advent Calendar.
Nick is such a grump, love him. He is trying to get to San Francisco before Christmas Day when he meets Kit at a rest stop. He is so dismissive and judgmental of Kit. Nick is so angry at the world and takes it out on Kit. Kit seems to be everything Nick despises about being gay. Kit and his positive attitude gets through to Nick. Although I had my suspicions Where the story was heading to it was still bit of a surprise. On seeing the cover picture I thought the story would be humorous but I don’t think it gets there. Nick and Kit’s story has a happy for now ending and overall left me feeling thoughtful rather than buoyed up in Christmas spirit.
The narrator gives some attempt to voice the characters but it does sound more like Donald Tursman is just reading the story. If you don’t listen closely it’s hared to distinguish which character was speaking. Initially there was a hollow sound to the recording but either that got better or I got used to it.

3 of stars out of 5 for the story
2 of stars out of 5 for the narration

Reviewer Name: MaryD

Purchased by reviewer

 

 

 

 

Audiobook: Fire Balls (Balls to the Wall #2) by Tara Lain Narrated by Nick J Russo

audiobookreview

 

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fire-balls-by-tara-lain-8126-b

Blurb

A Balls to the Wall Romance

Renowned artist Rodney Mansfield stands five foot six, has pink hair, six earrings, a black belt in karate—and a desperate yearning for firefighter Hunter Fallon. But Rod, the Runtback of Notre Dame, knows he’ll never land the beautiful “straight gay” guy, so Rod musters his altruism and helps his more masculine friend Jerry attract Hunter. As if a broken heart wasn’t enough, Rod saves Hunter from a firehouse homophobe—humiliating Hunter in front of his dad!

Hunter lives a dream life—his father’s dream. While he’d like to teach literature in college, read poetry in the sun, and find a strong guy to top him, he fights fires for his dad. Hunter hates flamboyant guys like Rodney. So why can’t he resist him? Maybe it’s time to admit this is one flame he has no desire to put out.

First Edition published by Etopia Press, 2012.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

Though this is the second book in the series, they are absolutely okay as standalones. I do like watching the progression, however, as each new couple (or triad!) meets and we see them in future stories.

Rod is the artist who painted David – if you read book one. He’s very flamboyant and he both loves and hates this about himself. He’s also not very tall, but he’s super tough and a black belt in Karate.

There’s a lot to this story that I love: I love Rodney. He’s a great character. Self assured. Charismatic. Colorful. Stereo-type defying. Hunter is unique as well. I love that Rodney helps Hunter but that it’s Hunter’s family who helps him the most.

What I didn’t love: the first two times Hunter and Rodney are together physically felt both like cheating and a little less than consensual. I don’t mean rape – while Rodney probably could hurt Hunter physically , he would never – but more mentally. I didn’t like that it was clear Hunter wasn’t mentally in a good place to make decisions, he was dating Jerry, and he didn’t want to want Rodney. I didn’t feel good about how Rodney sort of “seduced” him… it’s hard to explain but it clearly wasn’t something both men were on the same page about and it left both men feeling bad after it happened.

So, I’m conflicted about the rating, because I love Rodney and appreciate so much about the story, but that aspect really brought my appreciation of this story down. I’m going to go with 3 of 5 stars and leave it at that.

(I’m not sure if anything changed from the first edition to this one, but I’d read the original and couldn’t tell a difference, but it’d been a long time ago.)

3 of 5 stars

Audio

Nick J Russo is one of my favorite narrators ever, so it’s not unreasonable that I loved this just as much as any of his other narrations.  He is so good at giving everyone unique voices and handling the sometimes awkward phrasing that the author has chosen.  

I always know if Nick’s narrating I’ll be entertained and that the book will be undoubtedly elevated beyond just the reading of the material.

Recommended in this format!

5 of 5 stars for the narration

Overall

4 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Time to Celebrate the Holidays: The Law of Miracles by KC Wells

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42759300-the-law-of-miracles?from_search=true

Blurb
The sequel to A Christmas Promise…
Joshua Trant is doing his best to support his son Micah and Micah’s partner Greg as they approach the trial of Greg’s attackers. This was never going to be easy, especially as Greg wants them prosecuted for a hate crime, but County Attorney Alexander Rycliffe assures them he’ll do his utmost to make sure the perpetrators are held accountable for their actions. Joshua hopes that whatever the outcome, Greg will be happy. What he’s finding more difficult to deal with, is the way he’s feeling about Alex. Joshua has loved two people in his life – Hayden and Rachel – and lost them both. The chance of him being lucky a third time is so slim, the thought doesn’t even cross his mind, until Love – and his kids – give him a push in the right direction…

Alex knows what it is to have loved and lost, and he thinks he’s done with men. Then Joshua Trant walks into his life. Alex soon learns there’s more to Joshua than just a handsome face, and the men finally have what both of them need – a friend. But as the months go by, it becomes obvious to everyone concerned that their friendship has the potential to develop into something deeper – if they let it.

One man who thinks he’s had his chance at love.
One man who has to let go of a past betrayal and learn to trust again.
And both are about to be shown Christmas is indeed a time of miracles. All you have to do is believe

Review
Seriously what’s not to love about two older guys finding love. Both of them have their own baggage that they have to come to terms with over this wonderful slow building romance. And that’s what I love about KC Wells stories, there’s real life but with a lot of hope and magic. Alex and Joshua start by becoming friends helping each other out, cooking and companionship I suppose. Each of them believing they are done with love only to find love hadn’t finished with them yet. It was great that everyone else could see it but they couldn’t. I loved the slow build it let me get to know and come to love Joshua and Alex. Joshua being so happy he managed to cook meatloaf for the kids endeared me to him right from the start along with Alex’s humour about having two titles. The two of them together making a white chocolate cheesecake, made me smile. The length of time before they even kissed was well worth the buildup. There is so much more to the story, good times and bad, bittersweet moments. It’s one I will definitely read again and become a Christmas favourite
I know this book is a sequel, and it can certainly be read on it’s own but I would wholeheartedly recommend reading A Christmas Promise first.

5 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

Recent Relase: Handy Harry by Erin M. Leaf

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26850546-handy-harry?from_search=true

Blurb

Reclusive artist Rufus Ward’s house needs repair, but he hates demolition and dust. However, when handyman Harry Hande rings his doorbell, Rufus lets him in. He’s everything the famous painter likes in a man: young, sexy, and somewhat confused about his sexuality. Rufus thought he was done with dating, but Harry is hot enough to push him from loneliness into love.

Harry’s sensible demeanor disguises desperation. His brother is a jerk and he needs to move out, but his fledgling business isn’t quite ready to support him. Rufus is supposed to be just another client, but when they meet, all of Harry’s preconceived notions of attraction are demolished. Lust launches him into the dare of a lifetime. Will letting Rufus draw him nude destroy him, or will his true nature come out?

Review

This would totally have gotten all the stars had it been longer. I LOVED the GFY thing and the reclusive artist meets hot handy man thing but everything moved so fast L

I know this is erotica but there was enough there to make it more substantial – Erin Leaf is really good at character development – so I was hoping for more.

However, as far as fantasy “quickies” go – this is a winner! We get a bit of hot smexy times, some gay virgin sex and a lot of self discovery.

If you’re in the mood for something hot and fast – this is for you!

4.25 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Honest Review

Steamy Romance: Curious by R.G. Alexander

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25030645-curious?from_search=true

Blurb: Are you Curious?

 

Jeremy Porter is. Though the bisexual comic book artist has known Owen Finn for most of his life—long enough to know that he is terminally straight—he can’t help but imagine what things would be like if he weren’t.

Owen is far from vanilla—as a dominant in the local fetish community, he sees as much action as Jeremy does. Lately even more.
Since Jeremy isn’t into collars and Owen isn’t into men, it seems like his fantasies will remain just that forever…until one night when Owen gets curious.

Review: This is one is one of my favourite ‘friends to lovers’ story. Both men are somewhat strong willed, alpha types who have been best friends since childhood. Owen is straight and in the D/S lifestyle while Jeremy is bi and crushing on his friend.
After witnessing a threesome involving Jeremy, Owen decides to explore his curiosity about what it’s like to be with a man. He and Jeremy explore together – Owen shows Jeremy the ropes, so to speak (smile), and Jeremy shows him that loving a man is beautiful.
The steamy scenes between the 2 men are really hot!
There is a large, supportive family (Owen’s), who have always welcomed Jeremy – they round out a really good story and start to a really good series.

4 stars out of 5

Copy purchased for review

 

 

 

 

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

 

Time to Go Dark: Circle by Garrett Leigh

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35894093-circle

Blurb
I love him…but he’s forgotten why.

A lot can happen in six years, and Ash and Pete have seen their world flipped upside down more times than most. Being parents to Pete’s young nephew wasn’t in their plan, but life happens to them and they roll with the punches. Or at least they did, until new heartache rocks their hard-won happily-ever-after.

Ash loves Pete as much as ever—more, in fact—but Pete battles alone with a burden that weighs heavily on his heart. Ash is no stranger to dark clouds, but the secret Pete keeps from him is a storm that could break them.

Despite the fierce love that once buoyed them, they’re both drowning until a new friend throws them a lifeline. His wisdom offers insight—for better or worse, real love is rarely a smooth journey. For Ash and Pete to come full circle once more, they’ll have to hit the road and chase it

Review
This story brings a conclusion for Ash and Pete. It’s six years on from the end of Rare and it doesn’t look like life has settled very much for them. For as much has changed since the ending of Rare essentially they are still the same with Pete working a lot. I loved that Jed and Max from Only Love appear in this story. Jed provides a stabling influence on both Ash and Pete at time they need help. Pete has lost his way and Ash doesn’t know how to help him. For all his success with his art Ash is still insecure and doubts himself without Pete. Pete is pulling away from him and he doesn’t know how to help. Their lives are more busy and full of family now. But the hard won level of trust and communication is suffering. A brilliant emotional roller coaster of a story. This is a terrific conclusion to the series. They get their happy ever after, perfect.

4 of stars out of 5

 

Purchased by reviewer

 

 

 

 

Time to go Dark: Slide audiobook by Garrett Leigh Narrator: Michael Lesley

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/slide-by-garrett-leigh-5714-

Blurb
Don’t look back. Don’t you ever look back…

Shy tattoo artist Ash has a troubled past. Years of neglect, drug abuse, and life on the streets have taken their toll, and sometimes it seems the deep, unspoken bond with his lover is the only balm for wounds he doesn’t quite understand.

Chicago paramedic Pete is warmth, love, and strength – things Ash never knew he could have, and never even knew he wanted until Pete showed him. But fate is a cruel, cruel mistress, and when nightmares collide with the present, their tentatively built world comes crashing down.

Traumatic events in Pete’s work life distance him from home, and he doesn’t realize until it’s too late that Ash has slipped away. Betrayal, secrets, and lies unfold, and when a devastating coincidence takes hold, Pete must fight with all he has to save the love of his life.

Review
This is quite an intense story, quite dark and angst.To say Ash has had a hard life would be an understatement. We don’t know what has happened but from the anxiety and phobias Ash has it must’ve been bad. In a way it was better not to know, the focus was on the relationship developing between Pete and Ash and how they deal with them. In the past Ash turned to drugs to block out the overwhelming feelings but when we meet him he is clean and works as a tattoo artist. Pete is a wonderful character. He sees so much in his job as a paramedic but this never dulls his warm loving nature to those he cares about. There are twists and turns and I wondered when these two would ever get a break. Garrett Leigh has built an excellent world. I was drawn into their lives and never wanted to leave. I liked the sensitive way Ash’s mental health is handled.
Michael Lesley’s narration is excellent. He gave Ash and Pete their own voices and personalities. This is one of those that has been given a new dimension with talented narration.

4 of stars out of 5

Purchased by reviewer

 

Release Day Review: The Eager Boy by Sean Michael

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-eager-boy-by-sean-michael-9546-

Blurb

Eight months ago Robin Secoya left his lover and master, Stack Lobond, because he didn’t believe Stack really cared about him. He was sure that for Stack, any warm body would do, and Robin wasn’t willing to be just a warm body anymore.

A chance meeting at the Iron Eagle Gym brings them back together, and old feelings aren’t far from the surface. They decide they can’t pass up a second chance at romance. But this time, it isn’t just Stack’s demanding career as a big-cat vet putting strain on their relationship. Robin also has a new job that takes up a lot of his time.

Will their kinky love affair crash and burn a second time, or can they find the balance that will allow the passion between them to flourish

Review
Robin feeling lonely and unable to get his Master, Stack, to listen to him left. He never stopped loving Stack and after a chance meeting (or maybe not such a chance considering his Master still went to this Gym!) they get together. There is a lot of kinky loving happening in the first 50 pages but rather than enjoy it I kept asking myself where is the communication in this, nothing has changed for Robin. They’ve given into lust and longing for each other. Rather good BDSM scenes as always. By the end I realised the reconciliation was all in the actions by Stack making an effort to change his way and by Robin sticking with his job. They come to an understanding and become able to see the other persons view. I was a little surprised by the end, it seemed abrupt, not quite a natural ending but fitting.
Sean Michael’s stories are never very deep, everything is kept light and very kinky. There could have been so much more angst and drama in this story but it’s not this writers style. Even knowing that I still wanted more substance from this story. I’m always drawn to his work but I think need to be more realistic in my expectations in future and enjoy the simplicity of it.

3 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review