Time to Laugh: Stay with Me (The PI Guys, #1) by S.E. Harmon

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/stay-with-me-by-se-harmon-2808-b

Blurb:

The PI Guys: Book One
Private investigator Mackenzie Williams’s newest client is everything he’s looking for in a guy—charming, beautiful, intelligent, and successful. There’s only one itty bitty problem—the guy’s not exactly gay. In fact, Jordan Channing is looking for a PI to follow his fiancée. The smart thing would be to thank Jordan for his time, turn Mr. Perfect away (don’t let the door hit you on the rump, thank you very much), and forget he exists.
Of course, Mackenzie has never been accused of doing the smart thing. Being a smart aleck is more his MO. Relationships aren’t up his alley, never have been. So why’s he so inexplicably drawn to his new client?

Jordan has always been the high achiever, a man who lives in a focused, controlled, and carefully constructed manner. But for the first time in his life, he has to admit the impossible—another man is getting his engine running on all cylinders. Despite Jordan’s denial, it’s not long before he can no longer resist the strong undercurrents pulling them together. Now Jordan must decide if he can go against everything he’s ever known to have the only love he’s ever wanted.

Review:

I loved the overall story – GFY done right, but I didn’t like Mac much until half way in. He just seemed a bit childish … but I did like his snark. Mac eventually grew on me, (I ended up really liking him when he popped up in ‘So into You’).
Mac is a PI who is still hurting from being dumped from a long-term relationship. To make matters worse, his ex decided to be with a woman AND the he took the dog. (This creates a funny secondary storyline as Mac schemes to get the dog back.)
Jordan hires Mac to watch his girlfriend for signs of cheating. Mac is immediately attracted to the straight man but knows nothing can come of it. Yet, as they spend time together, Jordan becomes attracted to Mac (and conflicted about his feelings for another man). Mac doesn’t make it easy either and is not without faults – he tends to push people away, he doesn’t believe love is for him and he hides behind his sarcasm. However, they manage to start a relationship but it’s not plain sailing. They have a big fight (both men are to blame), but in the end, they get it together and work it out.
It’s a really good story, once it gets going and by the end, I had a good sized smile on my face ☺

4 stars out of 5

Copy purchased for Review

 

Recent Release: Mason and the Dog Wrangler by CL Etta

Publisher Pride Publishing
https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/mason-and-the-dog-wrangle

Blurb
Sorrow’s grip is relentless until a rambunctious ball of fur and a handsome dog wrangler break its hold.

Four years after his partner died, leaving him to raise their daughter alone, Mason Ford still grieves his loss. Resigned to devoting his life to their little Nik, Mason goes through his days exhausted by the nightmares that keep him from sleeping. When he and Nik meet Jeremy Coulter, dog wrangler extraordinaire, their cozy world is upended. Mason’s attraction to the exuberant man with the teasing smile is unfamiliar and frightening, while Nik’s easy camaraderie with Jeremy is instantaneous.

When Jeremy saves Nik’s life, Mason wonders if he has fallen for the much younger man or are his feelings nothing more than obligation? Is it possible that love at first sight is real

Review
I’m not really sure how I feel about this story. It all seemed so convenient. There is only 39 pages for the author to convey the depth of Mason’s grief and how meeting Jeremy impacts on his and his daughter’s life. It’s been four years since his partner’s death but it reads as though Mason has depression rather than grief. Jeremy is quite a character. He seems to be able to relate well with children and animals, especially dogs. He is immediately attracted to Mason and pursues him. Everything from this point moves at quite a pace and I think the story would have benefited from being a little longer. I’m not convinced by how quick the relationship between them develops and changes. Nice short story though.

3 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

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

 

 

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

 

 

Audiobook: Switched by NR Walker Narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Switched-Audiobook/B0759R5PKV?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=XKAAR7WE7TEJ0TDN6PWE&

Blurb

Israel Ingham’s life has never been easy. He grew up in a house devoid of love and warmth. Nothing he ever did was good enough. The fact Israel is gay just added to the long list of his father’s disappointments.

Then a letter from Eastport Children’s Hospital changes everything.

A discovery is made, one of gross human error. Twenty-six years ago two baby boys were switched at birth and sent home with the wrong families.

Sam, Israel’s best friend, has been his only source of love and support. With Sam beside him every step of the way, Israel decides to meet his birth mother and her son, the man who lived the life Israel should have.

Israel and Sam become closer than ever, amidst the tumultuous emotions of meeting his birth family, and Sam finds himself questioning his feelings toward his best friend. As Israel embraces new possibilities, he needs to dissect his painful relationship with his parents in order to salvage what’s left.

Because sometimes it takes proof you’re not actually family to become one.

Review
(Book reviewed here previously)

WOW. NR Walker has done it AGAIN!

When I read the blurb I was a little leery, not that it wouldn’t be good, not that I wouldn’t enjoy it, but I was worried that this was going to be a story about Israel and his family MORE than about Israel and his new romance with Sam.

But, I should never doubt the master!

NR manages to move the story forward about BOTH Sam and Israel’s family – effortlessly! And I mean that she does it in a way that neither side felt less than the other and instead both seemed to work BECAUSE the other was moving forward.

This is an absolute fairy-tale of a story. Who hasn’t – at least once! – thought about if they were adopted/switched/belonged to another family at one time or another? Well, in this case I think the author gives a very plausible (if vague) reason for it and a way that opened up the story to the crux of the issue, which is how Israel feels and how his parents react.

The sexual tension in the story is WONDERFUL, and the release, even better! I loved these two together and thought they were not only adorable and sweet as a couple but HOT, too.

For fans of the author, fans of friends-to-lovers romances, anyone curious about how it would be to find out you were switched at birth, or anyone looking for a seriously-heart-warming story about finding your family, this is for you!

5 of 5 stars

Audio

What can I say about Joel that I haven’t already… he’s just so talented. He immerses you in the story and you know he’s as moved by what he’s reading as the listener. His relationship with NR Walker is a fortunate one that we all benefit from because she’s an amazing writer and he’s an amazing narrator and their chemistry together is off the charts! He’s the perfect choice for this story.

Highly Recommended!

5 of 5 stars

Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Before You Break by KC Wells and Parker Williams Narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/before-you-break-by-kc-wells-and-parker-williams-9384-b

Blurb

Six years ago Ellis walked into his first briefing as the newest member of London’s Specialist Firearms unit. He was partnered with Wayne and they became fast friends. When Wayne begins to notice changes—Ellis’s erratic temper, the effects of sleep deprivation—he knows he has to act before Ellis reaches his breaking point. He invites Ellis to the opening of the new BDSM club, Secrets, where Wayne has a membership. His purpose? He wants Ellis to glimpse the lifestyle before Wayne approaches him with a proposition. He wants to take Ellis in hand, to control his life because he wants his friend back, and he figures this is the only way to do it.

There are a few issues, however. Ellis is straight. Stubborn. And sexy. Wayne knows he has to put his own feelings aside to be what Ellis needs. What surprises the hell out of him is finding out what Ellis actually requires.

Review

Previously reviewed here.

I loved this book!
This is a spin off or continuation of the Collars and Cuffs series and we get to see many of our favorite characters. Eli and Jarrod have moved to London and bought, updated and reopened the local BDSM club. Wayne introduces Ellis to the club on opening night and from there our story develops.
Wayne is the perfect person/Dom to Ellis. I liked how he was firm but not controlling. So much of Wayne’s Dom personality was integrated into his everyday life and everyone looked to him to guide them through their work situations. When he approached Ellis about starting a dom/sub relationship, he wasn’t heavy handed, he was reassuring and low key about it.
Ellis was a mess. He just wants to keep everyone happy and it was now affecting both his personal and work life, as well as him not taking care of himself. As Wayne and Ellis continue to explore and learn each other, it is probably one of the most caring exploration into BDSM I’ve ever seen.

Audio 

Whatever training Joel had before he got into narration has only helped solidify his place as one of the outstanding narrators in this genre. His ability to do many different accents make the story realistic and his timing and inflection help build the high and low points of the story!
There is never any hesitation to purchasing a book narrated by Joel, as I always know I will get a quality product!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Time to Laugh: The Blinding Light Audiobook by Renae Kaye Narrated by Jonathan Young

Dreamspinner Press
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5211

Blurb

Jake Manning’s smart mouth frequently gets him into trouble. Because of it, he can’t hold a job. Combined with some bad luck, it’s prevented him from keeping steady employment. A huge debt looms over him, and alone he shoulders the care of his alcoholic mother and three younger sisters. When a housekeeping position opens, Jake’s so desperate he leaps at the opportunity. On landing, he finds his new boss, Patrick Stanford, a fussy, arrogant, rude… and blind man.

Born without sight, Patrick is used to being accommodated, but he’s met his match with Jake, who doesn’t take any of his crap and threatens to swap all the braille labels on his groceries and run off with his guide dog unless he behaves.

Jake gets a kick out of Patrick. Things are looking up: the girls are starting their own lives and his mum’s sobriety might stick this time. He’s sacrificed everything for his family; maybe it’s time for him to live his life and start a relationship with Patrick. When his mother needs him, guilt makes his choice between family and Patrick difficult, and Jake must realize he’s not alone anymore.

Review

Renae Kaye has that amazing ability to make you laugh while she tugs at your heart strings.
She’s very “australian” and I love that aspect of her writing, you definitely feel immersed.

I’ve read/listened to this several times by now and I’m always touched by the ending. It’s so perfect. I think Jake’s mom is both OTT and absolutely a real person. We all have those family members who are … atypical… and who march to their own drum. That’s her. While Jake might be a bit too perfect for words – in the end – he gets a Cinderella type reward worthy of his goodness.

Patrick is fantastic. Curmudgeonly and surly at first, only to be completely turned around when his sh*t is thrown back in his face by the mouthy Jake.

Jake’s friends and family are funny and well rounded as characters who add to the story without really detracting from the main thread – and whom later get their own stories! – most of them.

There was an appropriate amount of smexy scenes, not overwhelming and those that were there were definitely hot.

I also liked how the two resolved the issue of money between the two of them. It might not be the most romantic way to do it, but it’s a realistic approach to a sensitive, relationship-breaking subject.

Overall just a really touching, sweet and funny romance.

Audio

On the one hand I think Jonathan Young did a great job with this. I’m not sure what his background is but if I had to guess I’d say he’s American doing an Australian accent? This is based on listening to some of his other audiobooks as well as this one. I wish he’d stuck with the accent throughout instead of going back and forth – but it worked and I bought his accent as used in dialog.

This is a fantastic way to enjoy this story.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Release Day Review: Life’s a Beach By Poppy Dennison

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/lifes-a-beach-by-poppy-dennison-9528-b

Blurb:

Coconut Cove: Book One
Life’s a beach… and then you meet the guy of your dreams.
Flynn Wright’s role on the upcoming teen drama Coconut Cove means a fresh start in the land of crystal water, palm trees, and gorgeous people. The move to the beautiful beaches of Key West, Florida—and away from LA and his conniving ex—is just what Flynn needs.
Meeting sexy bartender Seth is the cherry on top of Flynn’s colorful frozen drink, and he can’t wait to take a taste. But Seth isn’t impressed by Flynn’s Hollywood good looks, nor is he interested in the complications of dating an actor, no matter how hot.
Can Flynn dodge his scheming ex and the eager paparazzi while showing Seth that he is more than a pretty package?

Review

A fun, light start to a new series.

Flynn, an actor who dated his former co-star on a tv series, gets written out of the show when Flynn breaks up with him. Flynn gets a chance to be on another show and while celebrating with his new cast mates, he meets Seth, a bartender. They hit it off quickly, but trouble ensues when Flynn’s ex decides to make trouble.

The story is interspersed with scenes from the tv series and snippets from gossip rags – a little confusing, at first, but a fun way to add to the story.

Flynn is a nice guy, not stuck up and realises the value of being available to fans. Seth is a protective sort, nice and stable. They make a good couple. The story is simple, sweet a nice way to pass a couple of hours. I liked the story and will look for the next book in the series.

 

3.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Buried Passions by Andrew Grey narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents:
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/buried-passions-by-andrew-grey-9537-b

Blurb:
When Broadway actor Jonah receives word that his uncle has passed away and named him the heir to a property in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Jonah’s plan is to settle the estate as quickly as possible and return to his life in New York City. Much to Jonah’s surprise, the inheritance includes the Ashford Cemetery—and its hunky groundskeeper, recent Bosnian immigrant Luka Pavelka.

Jonah soon discovers Luka is more than easy on the eyes. He sees into Jonah’s heart like no man ever before, and his job at the cemetery is all he has. If Jonah sells, Luka is left with nothing. Luka is there for Jonah when Jonah needs someone most, and there’s no denying the chemistry and connection between them. But Jonah has a successful career back in New York. Now he must decide if it’s still the life he wants….

Review: The book has been reviewed previously
https://openskyebookreviews.com/buried-passions-by-andrew-grey/

I jumped at the chance to listen to Joel Leslie narrate and I was not disappointed.
I was not a great fan of the story – for some reason it didn’t engage me as much as Andrew Grey’s other stories – but the narration made me enjoy the story a lot more.
Joel Leslie does a really good job of infusing emotion, humour and heat into the story. He’s a master of accents, so I had no trouble with believing that Luka was Eastern European. His portrayal of Jonah had the right amount of snark, compassion and ultimately, happiness.
Joel Leslie’s narration is always great way to enjoy a book. I ended up liking the story a lot more because of his performance.

3.5 stars out of 5 for the story
5 stars out of 5 for the narration

Overall 4 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Time to Laugh: A Temporary Situation by H.L. Day

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36270848-a-temporary-situation?from_search=true

Blurb

Personal assistant Dominic is a consummate professional. Funny then, that he harbors such unprofessional feelings toward Tristan Maxwell, the CEO of the company. No, not in that way. The man may be the walking epitome of gorgeousness dressed up in a designer suit. But, Dominic’s immune. Unlike most of the workforce, he can see through the pretty facade to the arrogant, self-entitled asshole below. It’s lucky then, that the man’s easy enough to avoid.

Disaster strikes when Dominic finds himself having to work in close proximity as Tristan’s P.A. The man is infuriatingly unflappable, infuriatingly good-humored, and infuriatingly unorthodox. In short, just infuriating. A late-night rescue leading to a drunken pass only complicates matters further, especially with the discovery that Tristan is both straight and engaged.

Hatred turns to tolerance, tolerance to friendship, and friendship to mutual passion. One thing’s for sure, if Tristan sets his sights on Dominic, there’s no way Dominic has the necessary armor or willpower to keep a force of nature like Tristan at bay for long, no matter how unprofessional a relationship with the boss might be. He may just have to revise everything he previously thought and believed in a chance at love.

Review

This is a funny, sweet, low angst story. Tristan is a little too nice to be true, but such a darling. Dominic is snarky, clever and funny.
Dominic made a snap decision to dislike his boss based on an interview given by Tristan. He does his best to be obnoxious to Tristan, but finds that Tristan is genuinely a nice guy. Once the confusion is cleared up, it’s still not smooth sailing to a relationship – Tristan still has a girlfriend to get rid of and Dominic doesn’t believe he and Tristan can be in a relationship. There some great secondary characters- Paul and Martin.
The story is great fun; I’d love to see a story about Paul and the bartender- I’m sure it would be fun ☺

4 stars out of 5


Copy purchased for review