Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Sticky Fingers by Davidson King

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50665726-sticky-fingers?from_search=true&qid=w97pllIB6p&rank=1

Blurb
When the desperate needs of his family must come before his dream of finishing his degree, Kyle, feeling both guilt ridden and heartbroken, knows what he needs to do. But when his help isn’t enough, a shady idea offered by his even shadier friend proves the only saving grace.
Mergers, acquisitions, and philanthropy consume Maddox’s days and nights prompting an overdue visit to his best friend’s luxury resort. Finally enjoying some R&R, he meets an adorable botanist working there for the summer. But a surprise visit from his ex and a shocking theft from his suite turn Maddox’s trip into chaos.
Trusting his gut, Maddox strikes a deal to help Kyle make up for his sticky fingers. But when his heart gets involved and his ex refuses to let go, Maddox’s plan starts to unravel. A summer of romance, deceit, and greed have both men navigating emotional waters, leaving them to wonder if true love and their happy ever after will come to pass.

Review

I felt like this book was really rushed, much of it was just too silly and the plot evolved fast with not enough believability to me. The beginning especially, felt to me like there was a need to get characters into a certain position in the plot and there was little care into how they got there. Kyle was too gullible in an annoying way, and the issue with his parents needing money felt like just a thing thrown in there. The story has a bit of Beauty and the Beast vibe, Kyle is indebted to Maddox who manipulates everything on a gut feeling to set Kyle up in his mansion to pay off his attempted theft. Maddox was very immature, at one point Kyle tells him “your acting like a 5 year old” and I couldn’t help but think how true that was, and not just that part of the story. There is also a bit of a thrilling twist, but it was very obvious to me what was going on and was a bit too cliché in my opinion.
I don’t know what it was about it, but towards the last 30% I was skimming most of the pages to just get it over with. Some parts where funny, but I am sad to say I was disappointed with this book.

Number of stars out of 5
2.5



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Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: Angels Sing (Daddy Dearest #2) by Eli Easton

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48979969-angels-sing?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=exeFJVJDDE&rank=2

Blurb

Jamie Bailey has not had such a wonderful life. He gave up his dreams of Harvard at 18 to raise his sister’s unwanted baby, and later a prized job to help a sick friend. Now the father of six-year-old Mia, and assistant manager at Raven Books, Jamie’s dreams are dashed once again when Uncle Billy admits what dire straights the bookshop is in.

Stanton Potter, son of the most notorious businesswoman in Bedford Falls, loves his job teaching at the local elementary school. But he’s less than thrilled when he is forced to put together a Christmas pageant with first-graders, including Mia Bailey.

When Stanton meets Jamie, angels sing. Jamie’s gender-bending fashion sense, and sweet aura, have Stanton suffering through the worse crush he’s had since he was a teen. But can there be any hope for them when Jamie and Mia’s lives are about to be uprooted?

This Christmas, its Jamie’s turn to receive a little help from heaven.

Review

This was AMAZING!  Eli did it again!  I adored this!  It was sweet with such a lovely Christmas-miracle twist that I was in tears!

 

I loved Stanton.  LOVED him.  He was adorable and he was equally matched with Jamie.  The two of them together are like cotton candy ice cream!  Just sweet as can be!  Mia is fun and keeps the story from getting maudlin and I loved Stanton’s mother and her input as well as her relationship to Mia.

 

This is fun, sweet, sexy, and adorable.

 

Highly, highly recommended!

5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Book: Reindeer Games (Ace’s Wild #6) by N.R. Walker

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48572398-reindeer-games?from_search=true&qid=JmiKhEZws7&rank=1

Blurb

Reindeer Games Definition: activities to exclude outsiders

Industrial-art student Leif Caldwell and his best friend win tickets to the hottest party in town, the annual masquerade Christmas gala at the upmarket nightclub, Evoque. Not a gig they could ever afford to attend or buy costumes for, so Leif makes their masks. Given the holiday theme and the play on words, he makes a set of striking reindeer antlers and intends to have the night of his life.

Vintage Ridge’s resident millionaire and owner of Evoque, Russ Quarrington, hates the holiday season because it reminds him of everything he’s lost. All the money and success in the world can’t fill the void in his heart, and this year he’s particularly bereft. With the gala looming, his personal assistant insists Russ attends and that he wear a mask that offers anonymity, and hopefully find some festive cheer. Bored with the guys in town and tired of men only wanting him for his money, he reluctantly agrees.

But when Russ sees a mysterious man with a magnificent reindeer antlers and mask, he’s instantly intrigued. Even when their masks are removed, Leif has no idea who Russ really is, and what Russ discovers is a man who understands him. And for the first time ever, a man who doesn’t want what Russ has. This time, it’s Russ who wants what Leif has, what money can’t buy.

Russ and Leif are about to learn that sometimes Reindeer Games are the only games worth playing.

Reindeer Games is a 42,000 word novella.

Review

Reindeer games is a very cute story. It’s a novella, taking place over the holiday season but not necessarily a Christmas story. I loved the art and the imagery discussed in the story.  The family stuff was sweet.  And the smexy times were hot!   It definitely built enough around the emotions to be very satisfying emotionally – as are all Walker’s stories. I really loved that both parties had some growing to do – one surrounding their art the other surrounding family and acceptance. I love that families come in all sorts sizes and make up. Highly recommended. Five stars.  —My only small complaint was that with all the art – the cover is pretty uninspired 🙁 

5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Love and Linguistics by Tara Lain

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-and-linguistics-by-tara-lain-10895-b

Blurb

In his neighborhood, El Martin stands out, and that can be life threatening. Against the odds, he’s managed to graduate high school and then master IT. Now he’s desperate to get a good job to free his drunken dad and himself from the control of gang leader M2 and the drugs he sells. But with his piercings and his slang-ridden speech, El looks and sounds like a Bronx gangbanger, and potential employers won’t give him a second look. So when El hears about Henry Fairhaven, PhD, linguistics researcher and wealthy New York socialite, El takes his life in his hands to escape from M2 and ends up sleeping in the stairwell at Henry’s building, hoping to learn how to speak.

To Henry, who wants to prove himself as a scholar and not merely a rich dilettante, El isn’t only the most beautiful man he’s ever seen—he’s also the key to getting a paper published on Henry’s ground-breaking linguistics methods before a competitor beats him to the punch. But Henry doesn’t tell El the truth, and El thinks Henry’s helping him because he cares.

El’s dreams collide with Henry’s ambitions at the elegant Met Gala, where El captivates a prince of Silicon Valley. But the real collision comes when M2 tracks El down and Henry has to choose between the validation he craves and a future with the man he’s come to love.

Review

Delightful m/m retelling of My Fair Lady with some darker elements added to the plot, bringing a sense of danger and tension to the story that isn’t there in the original.

El Martin is an amazing character, very driven to make something of himself, hardworking and just the sweetest, unassuming guy underneath the tough boy exterior he’s trying to shed.
Henry is very much the oblivious scholar, too focused on his paper & career to take into account the feelings of actual people like El. He’s quite smug and a bit of a snob, but when he falls in love, he falls hard and it’s easy to forgive him for his imperfections.
I liked how the relationship between El and Henry was written, the misunderstandings and the mutual longing. The secondary characters were great too and it was wonderful to see El gradually making new friends and even a new life for himself.

All in all, an enjoyable, sweet read.

Number of stars out of 5: 3.5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Drawing the Prince (Stars from Peril #3) by Kim Fielding

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/drawing-the-prince-by-kim-fielding-10806-b

Blurb

Painting themselves a life together will be a royal ordeal.

Small-town boy Cal Walters doesn’t know whether he owes his phenomenal success as an artist to talent or to his connections to famous people. Doubt leaves him secluded—until a lost bet lands him on yet another blind date. But this one is different.

To Teofilo Vabriga-Kastav, playboy prince of the tiny nation of Porvunia and passionate art lover, Cal’s paintings are as intriguing as Cal himself. When Teo invites Cal to his country for an art competition, a whirlwind romance sweeps them up. But it can’t last—loyalties and obligations bind them to lives that are worlds apart.<

Cal and Teo might’ve found their perfect complements in each other, but to hold on to their happiness, they’ll have to get creative.

Review
This was an easy, quick read where our artistic Cinderfella gets his prince, is not saddled up with a stepfamily, horrible or otherwise, and goes on to live the dream in a slightly oversweet HEA.

I’ll confess that I’d hoped for a bit more tension and emotional depth in the story. I liked the book fine until it neared its ending and the MC’s came to the final hurdle to overcome, where things went a little downhill for me. The obstacles Teo and Cal ultimately faced shouldn’t have been as insurmountable as they made them out to be, which made me feel at least one of them wasn’t completely committed. I wasn’t impressed with the solution the author came up with either, which felt more than a little implausible, even for a book with a made-up country and royal family. I also didn’t entirely understand what initially caused Teo and Cal to be so drawn to each other, with Teo especially going out of his way to win Cal over.

The story had its moments though and will certainly do great for someone in the mood for something romantic and mushy to dream away by.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 3


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Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: The CEO Christmas Manny by: Angela McCallister; Narrated by: John Solo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-ceos-christmas-manny-by-angela-mccallister-10040-

Blurb
Anything but business as usual.
Billionaire CEO Nic Price lives for his job. With sales down and grumbling from the board of directors – including Nic’s permanently dissatisfied father – the last thing Nic needs is distraction from the new manny, whose freewheeling approach to childcare is outlandish…and who makes Nic feel things he’s never allowed himself to feel.
Ex-teacher Sasha Lindsey is all about fun – that’s the reason people love him, so he has to be. After a bad break-up leaves him jobless and homeless, the live-in manny job with Mr. Price seems like a windfall. But his chemistry with Nic is off the charts, and he can’t afford another workplace romance disaster.
Can Nic leave his dominance in the bedroom and open his heart to the best thing that’s ever happened to him? Or will Sasha’s leap of faith backfire and ruin his chances at the family happily-ever-after he’s always dreamed of?

Review
I have so many mixed feelings about this audiobook that it’s been hard to focus them for this review. First I should say that I liked it. I enjoy Manny stories and on several levels this ticks a lot of boxes for me. But I found it hard to connect with Sasha and Nic. They’re similar in that they both have hateful parents and are driven in their chosen profession. Both of them are compassionate people but Nic’s demanding father has driven the compassion down to a very low priority in his life. Nic’s niece and nephew need attention from their uncle but is get a series of nannies. Sasha’s compassionate nature has meant he’s been taken advantage of in the past. which has left him with no home or job, until he becomes a Manny to Lucy and Ben. I enjoyed the slow burn story but did feel there was some unnecessary angst. Nic’s self centred attitude caused unnecessary pain to Sasha. Poor Percy (Nic’s friend and assistant) is left with the dirty work. I’d love to see Percy have his own story. Nic does eventually come to his senses and has a happy ending with Sasha. I would have loved an epilogue where Nic’s father suffered for his actions but alas it was not meant to be.
Jon Solo is an excellent narrator. The emotional ups and downs he gives emphasis and the overall tone he uses make it a more compelling listen.

4 of stars out of 5


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.

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: A Dom and His Gentleman (Club Whisper #4) by Xenia Melzer

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-dom-and-his-gentleman-by-xenia-melzer-10578-b

Blurb

Silver fox Curtis is everything baker Andrew could want in a sub, and their chemistry is off the charts. But as a wealthy and successful gallery owner, Curtis intimidates Andrew and challenges his dominant nature. Can Andrew get used to a sub with a much higher social status?

British noble Curtis Morris has all but given up on finding his perfect Dom when he walks into a bakery and meets Andrew Granger—smoldering hot, new to Miami, into the lifestyle, and with kinks that align perfectly with Curtis’s own.

Andrew grew up poor and doesn’t know if he can handle a sub with so much more money, even if he’s insanely attracted to Curtis. To make matters worse, Curtis’s preferred club, Whisper, is far beyond Andrew’s financial means. Still, Andrew doesn’t want to lose Curtis to his own hang-ups, not when Curtis is far from the elitist snob Andrew expected. But Andrew keeps messing up, and with Curtis’s rich ex visiting with the hopes of winning him back, he and Curtis will need all the help they can get to make their romance of opposites work out.

Review
Whilst I enjoyed this book it’s not my favourite out of the series. This is a gentle romance without the angst or frustration I usually feel because the characters don’t talk to each other. Here Curtis and Andrew do talk out their problems. Andrew takes time to examine the issues he has over Curtis having more money than him. Maybe it was too nice and that sometimes I need a bit more angst to ramp up the tension. The scenes between them are hot, I mean sex-hd.xxx scenes hot. Taking time to know each other’s preferences. Their kink is not pain and it’s great to read of a Dom who is not all macho but has doubts and is not afraid to voice them. I don’t know if it’s too nice for me, I can’t pin point why I didn’t take to this story like I did the others. I enjoy the series and the brief catch up with characters from previous books but it’s not necessary to read them to enjoy this book.

3 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review

This is a competently written story with a diverse cast of secondary characters and it has some very nice moments between the two MC’s, Curtis and Andrew. On the whole, though, I remain unconvinced and slightly unimpressed.

My main problem with this book is Andrew. I can understand him being somewhat insecure but his hang-ups about money are out of proportion, to say nothing about his struggle to overcome his seemingly ingrained ideas of (toxic) masculinity. He doesn’t handle either of those issues well at all and it directly impacts how he treats Curtis, not once, not twice…

Curtis and Andrew go from an awful first date to I love you’s at breakneck speed and I just couldn’t believe it. It felt forced. Things also get too melodramatic for my taste once Curtis’s ex, Jasper, makes a reappearance.

Number of stars out of 5: 3


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Anthony, Earl of Crofton by Rebecca Cohen

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45285747-anthony-earl-of-crofton

Blurb
A tale set in Stuart England, where the king’s life depends on his most loyal of subjects.

Anthony Redbourn, Earl of Crofton, delights in his reputation as a charming rogue. Life is never quiet at the court of King James I, especially with his good friend and secret lover, Sebastian Hewel, by his side. As an actor with the celebrated King’s Men, Sebastian has his own admirers, but neither man has eyes for anyone else.
When a plot against His Majesty is uncovered it threatens Anthony and Sebastian’s charmed lives, and they are dragged into the political intrigue and the race to save the king from danger. Fear that a traitor is linked to the King’s Men leaves Sebastian and Anthony with no choice but to stage a very public dissolution of their friendship, so Anthony can be free to be the patron of a new rising actor, and Sebastian can be the prodigy of another noble.
It is a dangerous game they are playing to expose the plotters and still find a way to meet in secret, as Anthony is adamant that they will not sacrifice the love they have fought so hard to win. They will do whatever it takes to protect the king’s life, and their commitment to each other.

Review

First off, I have not read any other the connecting stories in this series, so I felt a bit lost in places. However, I did like the main characters Sebastian and Anthony. I found Sebastian and Anthony to be a charming couple. There is an interesting mystery plot involving the King that I enjoyed. This book really reminded me of the Harlequin Romances I used to read when I was younger. I think this book would be better enjoyed if the previous books are read first.

3.5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: The Nerd and the Prince By: B.G. Thomas Narrated by: Seb Yarrick

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-nerd-and-the-prince-by-bg-thomas-9866-b

Blurb

Prince Charming is the man next door.
Small-town business owner Jason Brewster has big dreams: world travel, adventure, and, most of all, a passionate romance worthy of a fairy tale. But he doesn’t believe fantasies can come true…. Until Adam moves in next door. He’s handsome, cultured, European, and, best of all, interested in Jason. It’s like something out of the stories Jason loves.
But Adam – whose real name is Amadeo Montefalcone – has a secret. He’s royalty, prince of the small country of Monterosia. Only he doesn’t want to rule, and especially doesn’t want the loveless marriage waiting for him at home. So he ran away in search of true love. With a man. And with Jason, he finds it. But Adam can’t run forever. The truth will come out. If Jason can forgive Adam’s deception, they might find their happily ever after.

Review

The love story is soooo cute and has such a wonderful ending! I loved all the mythology references and I thought the steam level was just right.
I enjoyed this immensely and highly recommend it!
4.5 of 5 stars
Audio

The audio was ok. The accents weren’t good but he tried. In general I think this is better read than listened to, but it wasn’t a terrible way to go if you have no choice.
2.75 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

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



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