Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Doctor’s Orders (Copper Point Medical #3) by Heidi Cullinan

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-doctors-orders-by-heidi-cullinan-10703-b

Blurb

Once upon a time Nicholas Beckert was the boy who stole kisses from Jared Kumpel beneath the bleachers. Now Jared’s a pediatrician and Nick is the hospital CEO who won’t glance his way. But everything changes when they’re stranded alone in a hospital elevator. Ten years of cold shoulders melt away, and old passions rekindle into hot flames. Once out of the elevator, Jared has no intention of letting Nick get away. He wants a full, open relationship, which is a step further than Nick is willing to go, and it looks like the same arguments that drove them apart in high school might resurface. Jared’s determined not to let it happen again. He won’t order Nick from his shell—he’ll listen to what he needs to feel safe. Maybe this time he can prescribe his lover a happily ever after.

Review
The Doctor’s Order was a great conclusion(maybe?) to the Copper Point Medical series. There’s been a certain amount of tension between the two main characters, Jared and Nick, throughout the previous two books and we finally get their story. I loved the elevator scene and how that seemed to get Nick to finally prioritize his life and how Jared fits into it. This book was the steamiest book of the series but still pretty tame considering this is a Heidi Cullinan book.
I’ve really enjoyed the variety of characters this series has featured, and I sincerely hope that we get to see more from them in the future.

4.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: On Shaky Ground By Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/on-shaky-ground-by-andrew-grey-10532-b

Blurb
Martin Graham built his business from the ground up with hard work and intuition. Due to a degenerative eye disease, he’s learned to rely on his other senses to feel out the competition. To realize his dream, he just needs to broker one last deal… and finally secure an assistant.

Brock Littleton is desperate for money—desperate enough take the job no one else wants: assistant to demanding, fussy, intensely private Mr. Graham.

Everything about Brock gets under Martin’s skin in ways he never expected, making him realize a successful business isn’t the only component to a happy future. But as Martin’s deal comes together, one of the prices could be the relationship with Brock that Martin is just starting to believe could be real.

Review

This was another good story by Andrew Grey. I really enjoy the fact that he doesn’t shy away from writing bout characters that have disabilities or illnesses. This was a pure feel good romance. The chemistry is there between Martin and Brock but it’s very low key. Aside from a little kissing and light groping there is very little steaminess to this story. Even though this story lacks physical intimacy there is plenty of emotional intimacy. My only complaint about this story was that most of it was a build up to the two MCs revealing their feelings and then the story was over. You really can’t go wrong with anything by Andrew Grey.

4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Seeking Solace By: Ari McKay Narrated by: John Solo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/seeking-solace-by-ari-mckay-10550-b

Blurb

Series: The Walker Boys, Book 3

All hands on deck for a shipboard romance – with a secret.

Like his cousins, Devin Walker aspires to be a chef, but he wants to indulge his wanderlust while feeding his customers, and working a cruise ship seems like the solution. Since he can’t find an opening in the kitchen, he’s happy to start out in a position behind the bar.

While on board Poseidon’s Pearl, Devin is assigned to shepherd a visiting executive. Paul Bailey is quiet and unassuming, and the car accident that cost him his leg also shattered his confidence. He doesn’t think he’s attractive to other men anymore, and Devin is eager to show him just how wrong he is. Paul has a surprising secret that might sink their passionate affair before it even leaves port.

Review

I very much enjoyed the main characters of this story. Devin came across as an outgoing, joyful young man with a bright and intelligent personality. Paul, on the other hand was closed and reserved but with good reason. Both men are dealing with baggage from past relationships. Vacation romances tend to be a bit unrealistic to me, but Ari McKay threw in a couple of wrenches to make our guys work for their happy endings. There is a little drama due to a misunderstanding and lack of communication, but it is resolved fairly quickly and without much angst. The ending was a bit rushed, but I’m used to seeing that with Dreamspun Desire stories.

John Solo did a good job with the narration of this story. He doesn’t have quite the range of “voices” as other narrators, but he reads with such intensity that I can help but like him.

Overall, this is a solid story with a good narration, that I recommend to anyone looking to a fun, light story.

4 Stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Stable Hill by Jodi Payne

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/stable-hill-by-jodi-payne-10474-b

Blurb
Will three men from very different backgrounds find a home and a future together?

After losing his husband to cancer, Oscar Kennedy has his hands full with their four girls, the house, his job, and his mother-in-law. When he loses his father too, keeping Stable Hill, the old horse farm where he grew up, becomes impossible. Oscar hires Jeffrey Stokes, a slick-looking real estate broker with a roll-up-his-sleeves work ethic, to get it on the market.

Russell White manages the day-to-day at Stable Hill. Russ had loved Oscar’s dad like a father, and took on even more responsibility when the old man fell ill. He is shocked and saddened by Oscar’s decision to sell.

All three men have a stake in Stable Hill, and it’s not long before they start to invest in one another too. But their complicated relationship doesn’t make having to sell Stable Hill any easier. Will the fragile triad they’re building last when the farm that brought them together is gone?

Review
I liked the set-up of this story and really wanted to fall in love with it, but I didn’t really get there.

I had a hard time believing in the strength of the relationship between the three men, mostly because of Oscar. He is at times quite self-absorbed and not as aware or as careful of Russ’s and Jeffrey’s feelings as he should be. He also has quite a mean temper on him, and I didn’t care for his angry outbursts, even taking into account the difficult choices he has to make.

The issues and worries all three men face are very realistic though, a definite plus, and I liked that they weren’t able to magically fix everything because of love, but I didn’t feel as if they actually grew stronger trying to overcome all these issues together.

One of the things I did really like in this book were its secondary characters, especially Rose, and everything to do with Oscar’s family, including how Russ and Jeffrey find their place with them.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 3.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Why We Fight By TJ Klune

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/why-we-fight-by-tj-klune-10447-b

Blurb
Do you believe in love at first sight?

Corey Ellis sure doesn’t. Oh, everyone around him seems to have found their happy ending, but he’s far too busy to worry about such things. He’ll have plenty of time for romance after he survives his last summer before graduation. So what if he can’t get his former professor, Jeremy Olsen, out of his head? It’s nothing more than hero worship. And that’s the way it should stay.

Except bigender Corey—aka Kori—is interning at Phoenix House for the summer, a LGBTQI youth center. A center that recently hired an interim director until someone can be found to fill the position permanently.

Because life is extraordinarily unfair, the director just so happens to be a certain former professor, now turned current boss.

Desperate to keep things professional as he and Jeremy grow closer, Corey makes a major mistake: he turns to his friends, Paul Auster and Sanford Stewart for help.

But Paul and Sandy have some ideas of their own….

Set in the summer of 2016, Why We Fight is a celebration of queer life and being true to oneself… no matter the cost.

Review

Why We Fight was beyond amazing! This is TJ Klune at his finest. This series has long been a go to reread for me. Like most of his books there are a bunch of little Easter eggs hidden throughout this story. The characters are so outlandish but yet still so real.
At long last we finally get Corey/Kori’s story. We find out more about their past and the difficulties of going through the foster care system. We briefly met Corey/Kori’s love interest Jeremy at the end of Until You. Both are completely oblivious to how the other feels. I really enjoyed getting to see the Tucson crew from Corey/Kori’s perspective. They really do have a unique view on things. I am very sad to see the end of this series but I loved every minute of this book.

6 stars beyond amazing


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 
Review:
This is a fitting end to this fun, touching, hilarious series. It’s about love and the family you make (and keep).
This is Corey/Kori’s story – and it’s perfect. There’s so much I want to say about how much I loved the book – the shenanigans starting off with Corey and Nana at a spa (with Paul’s mum and dad in tow). Then there’s Corey/Kori falling over his feet, (sometimes literally), when talking to Jeremy (his crush); the machinations of Sandy/Helena while trying to ‘help’ Corey/Kori’s love life. The kids at the youth centre were great characters. Let’s not forget Paul and Vince, who are unable to keep their hands off each other … hilarious! Charlie and Robert; so sweet together. Through it all, TJ Klune blends in a thread of hope, family, friendships and the forging of bonds – new and old.
For those who have followed the series from the beginning, you will love this ☺

5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Elements of Retrofit (Thomas Elkins Series Book 1) NR Walker narrated by Nick J Russo

audiobookreview

Audible link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Elements-of-Retrofit-Audiobook/B07QNS22VB

 

Blurb

Book one in the Thomas Elkin series
Generation versus generation, traditional versus contemporary, these men are about to learn a lesson in architecture and love. Can they prove that the old and new can be the perfect design?
A successful New York architect, Thomas Elkin almost has it all. Coming out as gay and ending his marriage before his fortieth birthday, he needed to start living his life. Now, four years later, with his relationship with his son back on track, and after a few short-lived romances, this esteemed traditional draftsman thinks he knows everything about architecture, about life.
Cooper Jones, twenty-two years old, is about to take the architect world by storm. Talented, professional, driven and completely infuriating, Cooper is the definition of Generation Y.
Starting an internship working with Thomas, Cooper is about to knock Tom’s world off its axis. Tom can teach Cooper about the architecture industry, but Cooper is about to teach Tom what it means to live.

Review
(Book previously reviewed)

Thomas Elkins got married young to a woman he mostly loved, they had a wonderful son but then Tom realized as he got older that his love of men could no longer be denied. He got divorced, moved out and moved on.

Now, he lives his life as a rather famous architect in a lonely apartment in NYC, neither miserable nor happy.

One day his son brings home a friend, a very cute, very interested and interesting friend. Eye-ball messages may have been exchanged, but really, Tom thought nothing of it. He’s 22 years older than the guy for Pete’s sake!

When that friend, Cooper, ends up being Tom’s new intern, trouble really starts showing up.

Cooper is 22, trying to make the best impression he can on an icon in the industry who also turns out to be his friend’s father and a super-hot-newly-out-gay-guy!

Cooper doesn’t back down from a challenge and when he notices the looks Tom inadvertently sends his way, not to mention the fact that the two can talk for hours without missing a beat, and the fact that he’s smokin’ hot… he decides to go for it.

What happens next is the two men making room in their lives for a less-than-usual relationship, in a dangerous-for-them environment.

Tom is afraid he’s too old. Cooper doesn’t know what a real relationship even looks like. Tom is scared that Cooper might be using him for his prestige. Cooper is worried he’ll never measure up or be thought of as an equal. Both are afraid of getting caught by their friends and family.

In the end (part one that is) they decide to dive in and make a go of it because what they feel is too wild and amazing to dismiss.

**

This is the first series I read by NR Walker. I have to admit that I avoided it for a long time mainly due to the name. It felt – stodgy. When I read the blurb I was worried it was going to be a very weird father figure type romance due to the tremendously large age gap.

BOY was I wrong. NR Walker is an amazing writer. Her stories simply flow off the page and into your heart. She creates these REAL characters with heart, and flaws, and compassion and fears and then shows us how they can grow/change/heal in the new relationships they forge.

Tom is kind of … boring. He doesn’t take a lot of chances in the personal department and has gotten lackadaisical at work. He’s… comfortable.
Cooper comes along and messes that right up!

Cooper is young, but way older than his years. Sure, he messes up and acts his “age” sometimes, but for the most these two guys are really well suited and never did I feel like there was a father figure vibe whatsoever.

The sexual chemistry between them is scorching hot, but has elements of realism too. The boundaries they set and the expectations.

All in all I absolutely loved this book (and series) and am happy to promote the new cover!

Audio

I am SOOOOOOOO glad she chose Nick Russo for this. He did an amazing job and he’s such an easy and wonderful narrator to enjoy. His voice is just the right amount of gravelly and sultry and snarky when needed.

I thoroughly enjoyed his interpretation of one of my favorite NR Walker books and can’t wait for the next one!!!

6 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Impacted! (Bay Area Professionals #1) by Mickie B. Ashling

Dreamspinner
Impacted! by Mickie B. Ashling | Dreamspinner Presshttps://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/impacted-by-mickie-b-ashling-10355-b

Blurb

On his way home from vacation, Scott Gregory, a closeted sub, hooks up with the gorgeous Red, a flamboyant Dom, for a thrilling one-off at a BDSM bar. They part ways after a satisfying scene… but meet again when Robin Kennedy—Red—arrives at his new job as a dental hygienist and discovers one of his two bosses is Scott.

Robin and Scott embark on a journey of exploration into their kinkier sides and discover they’re more than compatible—they’re a perfect match. But keeping employer/employee and Dom/sub separate at the office presents difficulties, and to make matters even more complicated, the owner of the dental practice is an acknowledged homophobe.

They fall in love, but Robin chafes at all the secrecy, refusing to live in the shadows. Scott isn’t as brave; he’s desperate to protect his job and his future. Will they be able to find some middle ground… or will their entire relationship fall apart because of fear?

Review

This is such a steamy book. Wow. I enjoy ready D/s and BDSM books. You can tell the author knows what they’re writing about regardless if research or personal. Scott and Robin (Red) have a hot first meet and a very amusing second….first meet. The chemistry between them is amazing. Good humor here and there. The situation with having a homophobe boss sucks for the two and is something that unfortunately still happens. Especially since Scott has had to be in and out of the closet in his past before. The POV shifts threw me sometimes when it went to the secondary characters. Not something I’ve encountered in a book before, but I see where there was a need, yet would have been perfectly fine if left out. The BDSM scenes and details of the D/s dynamic were exciting to read. It was also nice reading the parts where they made things as a non D/s couple, not letting their roles limit the experiences together. Ron was an absolute prick and I despised his narrow-mindedness. Heart went out for Scott and Robin and held out hope for the two. Excellent read and will definitely read the next book in this series.

Number of stars out of 5

5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

young adult, Little to no angst, Part of a Series, Gay, Scorching, Homophobia, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), 5 star, Dreamspinner, m/m, Rebecca C, BDSM, Pain, slave/master, S & M, Boss/employee, Closeted, co-workers to lovers, Medical, pining, Reconcilliation, Friends to lovers, Hidden Lovers, Humor, Hurt/comfort

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: No Quick Fix (Torus Intercession #1) by Mary Calmes

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44349918-no-quick-fix

Blurb

A retired SEAL is about to face his toughest assignment yet. As a nanny…

Fixer. Bodyguard. Advocate. Brann Calder is expected to play all these roles and more as a member of Torus Intercession, a security firm guaranteed to right what’s wrong. In the military, catastrophe was his specialty. Five months out of the service, Brann is still finding his way, so a new assignment might be just what he needs. Unless it includes two things sure to make a seasoned, battle-trained veteran nervous: life in a small town, and playing caretaker to two little girls.

Emery Dodd is drowning in the responsibility of single fatherhood. He’s picked up the pieces after losing his wife and is ready to move on now, hopeful that his engagement to a local patriarch’s daughter will not only enrich his community but will grant his daughters some stability too.

The only thing standing in Emery’s way is that he can’t he seem to keep his eyes—and hands—off the former soldier he’s hired to watch his girls until the wedding.

Emery’s future is riding on his upcoming nuptials, but being with Brann makes him and his family feel whole again. Too bad there’s no way for them to be together.

Or is there?

Review

Ho Hum. That’s what my overwhelming feeling from this was, unfortunately. 

First, the MCs don’t get together til almost the 75% point and I was frustrated and bored. Emery is engaged to a WOMAN for most of the book, and though they don’t cheat – it’s not awesome either.  

Like in other books of hers, the two MCs are fairly recognizable in Calmes stories and they don’t diverge much here. For example, Mary loves to give us these “unsuspecting” heroes and then show us their heroism – in this case Brann.  Emery is the super nice guy everyone in town loves but who doesn’t suspect it himself and is surprised by the adoration.

I don’t want to sound too harsh, but I’ve been a Mary fan for a long time and lately she just hasn’t wowed me with her work. Her characters feel like repeats and their trajectory to love is the same path with slightly changed scenery.

There are some reviewers out there who point out some Mary-isms – I’m not cool enough to keep track of that stuff – but when I do see those reviews I think – Oh Yeah – that’s SO TRUE! The very specific designer clothes, the pea coats, the waggling brows, the fact that the women all love the MCs to the point of being ridiculous… it’s all in here.

The cover by Reese is gorgeous and I was absolutely compelled by the blurb, but it just didn’t pan out for me.

For devoted fans of the author or maybe for folks new to Mary – this one will appeal. Otherwise… maybe not.

3 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Doctor’s Secret (Copper Point Medical #1) by Heidi Cullinan

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41219382-the-doctor-s-secret?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

The brilliant but brooding new doctor encounters Copper Point’s sunny nurse-next-door… and nothing can stand in the way of this romance.

Dr. Hong-Wei Wu has come to Copper Point, Wisconsin, after the pressures of a high-powered residency burned him out of his career before he started. Ashamed of letting his family down after all they’ve done for him, he plans to live a quiet life as a simple surgeon in this tiny northern town. His plans, however, don’t include his outgoing, kind, and attractive surgical nurse, Simon Lane.

Simon wasn’t ready for the new surgeon to be a handsome charmer who keeps asking him for help getting settled and who woos him with amazing Taiwanese dishes. There’s no question—Dr. Wu is flirting with him, and Simon is flirting back. The problem is, St. Ann’s has a strict no-dating policy between staff, which means their romance is off the table… unless they bend the rules.

But a romance that keeps them—literally—in the closet can’t lead to happy ever after. Simon doesn’t want to stay a secret, and Hong-Wei doesn’t want to keep himself removed from life, not anymore. To secure their happiness, they’ll have to change the administration’s mind. But what other secrets will they uncover along the way, about Copper Point… and about each other?

Review

This story reminded me how much I loved Heidi Cullinan stories so I had to go back and listen to Carry the Ocean. Gah. I love that so much!

This is more along the lines of her Love Lessons series. It’s very light and though it could have some dark moments, the author mostly skims over those. Hong-Wei’s family is actually amazing and rather than doing what you might imagine – they do something a bit different.

The hospital administration is probably the worst villain in this and they seemed to act as they should once faced with the opposition.

I applaud the science and medicine in this. Either Heidi is in the field or knows someone – because if felt very authentic.

I didn’t give this 5 stars because I wanted more tension and resolution between our MCs. It was just a bit too easy and I wasn’t as involved in their romance as I was the whole thing going on with Hong-Wei and his family and career.

In the end, I can’t wait for books 2 and 3 to come out because I already love those characters!

4.5 stars of 5 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Release Day Review: My Fair Brady By K.C. Wells

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/my-fair-brady-by-kc-wells-10232-b

Blurb

A spur of the moment invitation changes two lives.

Jordan Wolf’s company runs like a well-oiled machine. At least until his PA, Brady Donovan, comes down with the flu and takes sick leave. Then Jordan discovers what a treasure Brady is and who really keeps his business—and Jordan in particular—moving like clockwork. So when Jordan needs a plus-one, Brady seems the obvious choice to accompany him. After a major shopping trip to get Brady looking the part, however…. Wow.

Brady has a whole new wardrobe, and now his boss is whisking him away for a weekend party. Something is going on, something Brady never expected: Jordan is looking at him like he’s never seen him before, electrifying Brady’s long-hidden desires.

But can the romantic magic last when the weekend is over and it’s back to reality?

 

Review

Jordan leads an extremely well-organized life thanks to his very efficient personal assistant Brady. Jordan never realized how much Brady did for him until one day Brady fell ill and started missing work. After spending time nursing Brady back to health Jordan started feeling the beginning of attraction. Brady has been in love with Jordan almost since the beginning of working for him. When Jordan asks him to come with him to a party as a “fake boyfriend” he jumps at the chance. The sparks fly between these two men. My Fair Brady was a sweet angst free read that I highly recommend.

4.5 out of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review