Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Book DA Dreamspinner Gay Gay Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Standalone Time to Laugh

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

Morgan - Signature-small

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
3.5 stars adult - 18+ Bullying Dee Dreamspinner Gay Gay Little to no angst m/m Mild/low level heat Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Standalone

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

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Dee Dreamspinner Gay Gay Little to no angst m/m Mid level steam/heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words)

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

 

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Book Dee Gay Gay m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Purchased Standalone Time to Laugh

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

Categories
4.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Audiobook Book Bullying Dreamspinner Gay Gay Hurt/Abuse Little to no angst m/m Mary D Mild/low level heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words)

Audiobook: Taming the Beast by Andrew Grey Narrated by Jack Wesley

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Press
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/taming-the-beast-by-andrew-grey-8936-

Blurb

The suspicious death of Dante Bartholomew’s wife changed him, especially in the eyes of the residents of St. Giles. They no longer see a successful businessman… only a monster they believe was involved. Dante’s horrific reputation eclipses the truth to the point that he sees no choice but to isolate himself and his heart.

The plan backfires when he meets counselor Beau Clarity and the children he works with. Beau and the kids see beyond the beastly reputation to the beautiful soul inside Dante, and Dante’s cold heart begins to thaw as they slip past his defenses. The warmth and hope Beau brings to Dante’s life help him see his entire existence—his trials and sorrows—in a brighter light.

But Dante’s secrets could rip happiness from their grasp… especially since someone isn’t above hurting those Dante has grown to love in order to bring him down

Review by Mary
(Book Reviewed here Previously)

The nature of this beast is in his beastly behaviour rather than appearance. Does such a handsome man hide a hideous nature? I liked that Beau was not ready to accept everyone else’s verdict that Dante was a beast. Both of them have their secrets but Beau has learned that sharing them can make them less scary. After all his name is Clarity it’s only appropriate he can see things clearly. Where as Dante has put himself in his own hell. He has withdrawn from any social contact. The only people who know him are the staff at the house.
I have always liked the way Andrew Grey writes. He has a way of writing a gentle story that has a powerful message. In this story we see a man who by trying to do the right thing is vilified. He believes he doesn’t deserve to be happy. Like all of Andrew Grey’s characters both Dante and Beau are believable everyday people. With secrets and faults that cloud the way they live. You just can’t help but get pulled into their lives rooting for the happy ever after ending. If you are looking for a feel good story I recommend this one.

5 of 5 stars

Review by Morgan

I’m definitely in agreement with most of Mary’s review. I think Andrew Grey is a very straight forward writer and that appeals to a lot of people. I think the allegory and metaphor in this was a little over the top, but it was still very fun and the message absolutely clear.

If you’re a fan of the re-done fairy tale this is for you! If you want a subtle romance – this isn’t it.

4 of 5 stars

Audio

Jack Wesley is a relatively new narrator and I think he does a great job with differentiating voices, expressing emotion and his voice quality is good and easy to listen to.

Highly Recommended.

5 of 5 stars

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Release day Review: Crocus by Amy Lane

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/crocus-by-amy-lane-9524-b

Blurb

Saying “I love you” doesn’t guarantee peace or a happy ending.

High school principal “Larx” Larkin was pretty sure he’d hit the jackpot when Deputy Sheriff Aaron George moved in with him, merging their two families as seamlessly as the chaos around them could possibly allow.

But when Larx’s pregnant daughter comes home unexpectedly and two of Larx’s students are put in danger, their tentative beginning comes crashing down around their ears.

Larx thought he was okay with the dangers of Aaron’s job, and Aaron thought he was okay with Larx’s daughter—who is not okay—but when their worst fears are almost realized, it puts their hearts and their lives to the test. Larx and Aaron have never wanted anything as badly as they want a life together. Will they be able to make it work when the world is working hard to keep them apart

Review
In my opinion you really do need to read or listen to book 1, Bonfires, before starting Crocus. Bonfires is the story of how Aaron and Larx meet and fall in love with all the complications of joining two families. It ends when Larx’s eldest daughter Olivia comes home from college and tells them she is pregnant. This book takes off from that point. We learn that not only is she pregnant she also has Depression. Amy Lane handles this very difficult subject very well. There is no miraculous recovery just because it suited the storyline. We go through Olivia’s struggles to move out of the dark place she is in and Larx’s struggles as a parent to help her. At the same time his rock, Aaron is injured whilst on duty, one of his students is suffering from domestic abuse and is missing in a snowstorm. In amongst this two brothers need his support. There is so much to keep you on edge desperate to know more and wanting everything to work out. I love the dose of reality and practically Amy Lane has in these stories. By the way the book ended I am certain there will be a third book, can’t wait.

5 of stars out of 5

5-stars-small


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Release Day Review: A Dom and His Artist by Xenia Melzer

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-dom-and-his-artist-by-xenia-melzer-9503-

Blurb

Sometimes the perfect man can be found in the most unexpected place….

Martin Carmichael owns a security firm and is part owner of Club Whisper. He’s a Dom in search of the right guy, and when his car breaks down on a lonely stretch of road, he thinks he might have found him.

Artist Collin Malloy is talented, easygoing, but somewhat insecure. Still, he has a big heart and is quick to offer help when he sees Martin in need. To thank him, Martin invites Collin to dinner, where the attraction between them becomes harder to resist.

But what will become of their budding relationship when Martin reveals that he likes his men bound, submissive, and in pain? Is it something Collin can accept… and possibly enjoy exploring? Even if he can, Collin has a secret of his own—a secret he doesn’t even realize he’s keeping

Review
Another winner from Xenia Melzer. I started this book on Sunday morning and finished it that evening, well I had to stop to cook lunch. I was hooked. Martin has to revise everything he had thought about being a Dom after meeting Collin. I really liked that through his guidance of Collin in BDSM and learning about submission Martin learns more about himself. He had been very strict but now it didn’t feel right. Collin is a wonderful character. A free thinker that lets ideas grab him and Martin has to adjust to his new sub. The evolving relationship is the main thrust of the story but running in the background is the betrayal of Collin’s friend and Agent. This shakes Collin’s world as he understands it and needs Martin’s support. The scenes between them are gentle and loving. Martin introduces him to different things taking it very slowly given Collin’s inexperience with sex let alone BDSM. these scenes were lovely to read so romantic and caring. We also get to meet Richard and Dean from book 1 again. It was great catching up with their lives but they are not central and this book can be read on it’s own. Another book in the series is planned and I am looking forward to it.

5 of stars out of 5

5-stars-small


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

o BDSM
▪ Pain
o Exploration
o Gay
o Virgin

• Themes
o artists
o protection/security

• Time Period
o Contemporary

• Trope
o Billionaire Dom
o Cinderella/Cinderfella
o Hurt/comfort
o Secret Identity

Categories
Gay Little to no angst Mid level steam/heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series young adult

Release Day Review: Bad Attitude by KA Mitchell

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/bad-attitude-by-ka-mitchell-9505-b

Blurb: Saving lives never used to be this complicated.

Gavin Montgomery does what’s expected of him by his wealthy and powerful family—look good in a tuxedo and don’t make waves. When a friend takes a leap off a bridge, Gavin tries to save him, only to fall in with him. At least at the bottom of the river he won’t feel like such a disappointment to his family. But he’s pulled from the water by a man with an iron grip, a sexy mouth, and a chip on his shoulder the size of the national deficit.
Jamie Donnigan likes his life the way it is—though he could have done without losing his father and giving up smoking. But at least he’s managed to avoid his own ball and chain as he’s watched all his friends pair off. When Montgomery fame turns a simple rescue into a media circus, Jamie decides if he’s being punished for his good deed, he might as well treat himself to a hot and sweaty good time. It’s not like the elegant and charming Gavin is going to lure Jamie away from his bachelor lifestyle. Nobody’s that charming. Not even a Montgomery….

Review:

Let me start by saying I really liked this book. It’s a curious mix of sweetness, humour (the banter is great), heat and some hardness; not unlike a hard-boiled sweet with a soft centre.
Gavin is a sort of trust fund kid who doesn’t have or seem to work. At first glance, he seems spoilt, self-centred and idle. Then there’s Jamie, a policeman on the marine search and rescue team. He has a ‘bad attitude’ to most people, (a prickly, don’t mess with me vibe). When Jamie saves Gavin from a watery grave they begin a curious hot/cold relationship based on lust and preconceived notions, (the latter based on Jamie’s thinking that Gavin doesn’t do anything except party). Slowly each man finds that there’s more to the other – Gavin is really a sweet young man who cares for others and is a bit lonely; Jamie is not as hard as he makes out to be, in fact he wouldn’t mind having a stable romantic relationship. Their relationship runs hot and cold but they finally get it together.
Although this is the 3rd book in the Bad series (I haven’t read the first 2), it can be read as a standalone (I’m going to get the first 2 books).
My only gripe is that the book ends rather abruptly – I would have loved to see a bit more of them as a couple.

4 stars out of 5

4-stars-small


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Categories
3 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Anna Audiobook Author Provided Book Demons Ghost Heat Index Little to no angst m/f Magic Mild/low level heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Psychic Witches/Warlocks/Wizards

Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead Audiobook by Christiania Miller Narrated by Marie Rose

audiobookreview

Audible Link
https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Somebody-Tell-Aunt-Tillie-Shes-Dead-Audiobook/B00L91UHX4?ref_=a_search_c4_1_2_srTtl&qid=1494787315&sr=1-2

Blurb

A little magic can go a long way — to really screwing up a girl’s life!

Mara is having the worst month of her life. At least, that’s what her cards tell her and they’ve never been wrong. She’s evicted from her apartment, loses her job and is banned from Beverly Hills. So when the tarot cards predict her imminent demise, she uses a little magic to make her world right.

Suddenly, an aunt she’s never met dies, leaving Mara as her sole heir. But when Mara moves into her inherited home, she discovers Aunt Tillie never moved out. She’s still one pissed-off old lady, even post-mortem, and she blames Mara’s magical meddling for her death.

When Mara accidentally releases a demon and awakens the spirit of the most powerful witch in history, Tillie’s ready to kill her — literally. It’s the only way she can think of to save the girl from herself. The witch and the demon, however, have other plans for Mara’s body.

Review

Warning! This review may contain spoilers!
There was the bones of a really good story here, with magic, witches, ghosts and demon possession of other people’s bodies. Unfortunately it was kind of buried under an attempt at what I can only define as chick flick horror comedy?
The first almost 4 hours of this book is dreadfully dull, as we follow Mara through her life in LA, her problems with her landlord, money shortage, going to Wicca fairs, seeing her ominous dreams etc. Then aunt Tillie finally dies and Mara is off to Wisconsin and our adventure starts.
This part of the story was interesting. I loved the story behind the witch house, the house that would protect itself by turning destroyers into plant life, the dead ancestor, the possession of innocent bystanders and the untrained witch trying to save the world.
Unfortunately, there is way too little of the good stuff and way too much of the boring, also there are too many contradictions about the main character, Mara. Her mother left when she was a child – apparently to save her, we never get the conclusion to that bit of story arc, but I presume it will continue in the series onwards – so she was never trained as a witch. A fact that she complains about frequently to aunt Tillie, and yet she somehow knows how to do rituals to switch souls and send the undead to the underworld? That did not make sense to me. Why not cut the boring and mundane parts of the story and use that on educating both us the reader and Mara the witch on the specific brand of magic lore in this universe?
Most of this book would work fine as a YA novel. But there are some graphic sex scenes and some graphic violence in the later parts of the book, that will probably make it more suitable for an older audience. Although there is sex in this story, it is not a romance. The potential love match is spoiled by a demonic possession, so he kind of runs away – understandably so – but again, this is a series, so it is probably not the last we have seen of Paul.

All in all, this could have been great, but ended up only being good. But there may still be potential enough in the ending, that I may continue at a later point with this series.

The narrator did an ok job, but didn’t bring much to the story and there were quite a few glitches in the technical production, where it was clear that parts of the story had been redone as the acoustics were very different for a paragraph and then changed back again.

 3 out of 5 stars

3-stars-small

Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review