Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Love has no direction by Kim Fielding

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-has-no-direction-by-kim-fielding-11492-b

Blurb

A Love Can’t Novel
Yet another series of poor decisions lands Parker Levin back in his mother’s house, working at her coffee shop, and feeling like a failure. Then he learns his ex-boyfriend has died by suicide and things go from bad to worse. When he meets a handsome stranger, he doesn’t have much left to lose.
Ten years ago Wesley Anker made a grave mistake. Since then he’s lived in near isolation, supporting himself by making custom furniture and only rarely connecting with other people. When he attempts to make amends, he encounters Parker, a beautiful and colorful young man, and he agrees to Parker’s impulsive request to join him.
Together, Parker and Wes find quick friendship and fierce attraction. But Wes’s past demons haunt his footsteps, and Parker’s struggle to plan a future has him stumbling through life. Then they uncover evidence that suggests Parker’s ex’s death might not have been a straightforward suicide, and every path seems to lead to dead ends and destruction. Can Parker and Wes find their way to lasting love when the route is hidden?

Review

I loved book one in this series. In general, I love Kim’s characters and her ability to tug at our heart strings – especially since she uses “regular joes” instead of billionaires, or rock stars, etc.

I didn’t love this. I was frustrated by the fast way the two hooked up and was really frustrated by the ending.

I wanted there to be MORE – something more profound and something more concrete. Instead I felt like this was a very watered down story which more or less ambled along until it stumbled to the end.

I’m sure some of my bias is that I didn’t really like the ambiguity we’re left with surrounding the future – but even with that aside – the romance just fell a bit flat for me and I was never quite convinced of it’s longevity.

In any case, Kim is a great writer and the story itself is well written – I just wasn’t so sure of the overall impact it left behind.

3 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Digging Deeper (Interlocking Fragments #2) by Michele Notaro and Sammi Cee

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48846687-digging-deeper

Blurb

Hendrix~

One minute, I’m on patrol with my partner. The next, I’m waking up after being in a coma for weeks and my whole world has changed. On the bright side, my twin brother tells me he’s moving home after being gone for almost ten years, and I couldn’t be happier. Plus, I woke up. That’s definitely a positive. On the other hand, they don’t know if I’ll ever walk again, my brother’s dating my best friend, and I’m starting to obsess about my brother’s best friend … yeah, like that’s not a disaster waiting to happen. How’s my brother going to feel if I admit I’m bisexual after all these years? After watching him struggle alone?
And am I really thinking about Gavin, the man I’ve resented for keeping my brother away all these years? But I can’t take my eyes off of him, especially when his brown eyes seem so sad and haunted.

Gavin~

Following my best friend to Baltimore was an easy decision since he’s the only family I have, and finding a physical therapist job was a bonus. But now I’m afraid of being a burden to him and his new boyfriend, so I’ve been keeping to myself. The loneliness is seeping back in, and the person that’s been helping is the last one I’d expect. Hendrix has always hated me, but the more I help him recover, the more of him shines through, and I begin seeing him in a different light. He’s always been my best friend’s grumpy, twin brother, but now he’s the straight guy I can’t stop thinking about, the one I can’t stop checking out, and the one I can’t have. Not that I even want anyone after everything—my baggage is too heavy for even me to deal with, let alone someone else… but that doesn’t stop me from daydreaming about him.

With Hendrix harboring family secrets, and Gavin’s painful past still bleeding like an open wound, can these two men find a way to help each other dig deeper? Or will they hide from their truths and forsake the potential staring them right in the face?

Digging Deeper is the second book in the Interlocking Fragments series, but is a standalone novel. Each book in the series will feature a different couple, but the couples will show up throughout the whole series. This is a contemporary romance intended for 18+.

Review

I mostly agree that this is a standalone, however, you’d miss out on a LOT of back story if you only read this – and – since book one was so good – I’d recommend reading them both – in order!

This is a recovery story – for both our MCs. Mostly Hendrix, but Gavin has his healing to do as well.

I loved the way these two played off one another and their chemistry is scorching!

If you enjoyed book 1 you’ll love this and if you’re a fan of tough love and inspiring HEAs this is the story for you.

Highly recommended!

5 stars



Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: First Impressions by Jay Hogan

Dreamspinner

 https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/first-impressions-by-jay-hogan-10864-b

Blurb:
Auckland Med.: Book One
Michael:

Two years ago I made a mistake—a big one. Then I added a couple more just for good measure. I screwed up my life, but I survived. Now I have the opportunity for a fresh start. Two years in NZ. Away from the LA gossip, a chance to breathe, to rebuild my life. But I’m taking my new set of rules with me.

I don’t do relationships.
I don’t do commitment.
I don’t do white picket fences.

And I especially don’t do arrogant, holier-than-thou, smoking-hot K9 officers who walk into my ER and rock my world.

Josh:

One thing’s for certain: Dr. Michael Oliver is an arrogant, untrustworthy player, and I barely survived the last one of those. He might be gorgeous, but my daughter takes number-one priority. I won’t risk her being hurt again. I’m a solo dad, a K9 cop, and a son to pain-in-the-arse parents.

I don’t have time for games.

I don’t have time for taking chances. I don’t have time for more complications in my life.
And I sure as hell don’t have time for the infuriating Dr. Michael Oliver, however damn sexy he is

Review

Enjoyable enemies-to-lovers story with a bit of suspense.
Josh is a policeman with a young daughter. He’s estranged from his family except for his sister. Michael is a trauma doctor who seems to be under a bit of stress.
Both men are polar opposites – Josh is the relationship type, Michael, not so much. The first few times they meet, they are definitely not impressed with each other. Josh comes off as an arrogant, somewhat judgy person, Michael decides he’s going to needle Josh any way he can.
Their relationship evolves from antagonistic to a more passionate relationship, especially when each man decides to accept the other as is. There is a bit of a separation (which I didn’t like – hate the non-communication plot).
The other supporting characters, including Josh’s daughter are also well written.
The crime/mystery sub-plot is interesting – we get to see another side to New Zealand that’s not shown on travel shows ☺ Throw in Josh’s homophobic family and there is more than enough to keep one engaged in the story.

4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Nothing Special (Nothing Special #1) by AE Via Narrated by Aiden Snow

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Nothing-Special-Audiobook/1977343716?qid=1558200171&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=6J2HAQW83XBT0M88B7V8

Blurb

Cashel Godfrey is big, tattooed, and angry, so people typically keep their distance. Fresh out of the police academy no one is looking to partner with the six foot four beast. When Cashel scanned the orientation room, he wasn’t expecting sexy hazel eyes to be locked onto him. Eyes of the gorgeous Leonidis Day.

Leonidis is charming, witty, hilariously sarcastic, and the only one that can make Cashel smile. He’s an out and badass detective, but when Cashel saves his life in a raid that turns deadly, he sees something in the big man that no one else does…something special.

Warning: Two sexy narcotics detectives. One with a serious hot spot for big gun-toting men, the other that yields a cannon; so be ready for the obscene sexual bang when these two come together.

Review

So you can tell from the description that we’ve got two cops, super alpha, super sexy who are already friends. What Leonidis (Day) doesn’t know is that Cashel (God) has some secrets… including his sexuality.

Day is out an proud but God seems to be all straight.

There is lots and lots of sexual tension between these boys and a bit of pain. Cash’s family thinks he killed his father and now won’t speak to him.

And of course there are bad guys doing some bad things that put everyone at risk. Pushing God and Day into each other’s arms.

So – yeah – there are some other issues. Homophobic jerks on the squad and a young guy who steals to help his mama and a weird sexual tension between the aforementioned homophobe and… Some of this made the story a little wonky but if you set that aside and focus on the relationship (especially the sex) it’s a pretty sappy, sweet and HOT story.

I definitely think the author got better as the series progressed in terms of writing and plotting, but I still love this story and re-read it often. I just loved how crazy for each other these two guys get and how willing they are to be vulnerable to each other.

I was able to easily overlook some of the stuff that didn’t exactly make sense or seem at all close to reality for the sake of the “lurve” these guys shared.

Another warning – there is a scene at the end – kind of random- where they all “share partners”… some people are really put off by this. It was pretty hot, if you ask me, and definitely didn’t make me feel like “cheating” since all of them were together – but be warned – it’s in there!

So I highly recommend this book to lovers of two alpha males going at it, sometimes silly dialog, over the top sex scenes and really sappy love stories.

 

Audio

Aiden Snow is new to me but he is definitely someone I’ll be looking for in the future!  He does a terrific job and really knows how to represent these characters whom I’ve had in my head for what feels like years!  I’ve read and re-read this book several times, so the guys sort of have their own place in my head and an imagined sound as well. I think Aiden really captured their personalities and helped to cement them more permanently in my head and heart. 

Highly Recommended!

4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Review: Under His Protection by LaQuette

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/under-his-protection-by-laquette-10368-b

Blurb: They can escape their enemies, but not the desire between them.
Prosecutor Camden Warren is on the fast track to professional nirvana. With his charm, his sharp legal mind, and his father as chief judge in the highest court in NY, he can’t fail. Nothing can derail his rise to the top… until an attempt on his life forces him to accept the help of a man he walked out on five years ago.

Wounded in the line of duty, Lieutenant Elijah Stephenson wants to ride his new desk job until retirement—not take a glorified babysitting gig with more risk than it’s worth… especially not protecting the entitled lawyer who disappeared after the best sex of their lives.
The threat against Camden’s life is real, but their passion for each other might prove the greatest danger they’ve yet to face.

Review: An enjoyable suspense story, with a second chance romance.
Camden, (an assistant district attorney (ADA)) and Elijah, (a policeman recovering from a sting gone bad) met on a blind date 5 years prior. Both had a great time, but Cam was/is on a career path that does not include dating a cop.
Fast forward to the present. Cam is a target of a fringe group and guess who’s assigned to protect – (and *serve*) – as they are holed up together☺).
The attraction is still there, but both men have to get over the past hurt, especially Elijah. They do so relatively easily, which is refreshing.
The story is well written, interesting and with a lot of heated moments. The secondary characters, mostly Elijah’s family are fun; Cam’s parents, not so much (I’m glad Cam made his own decision in the end).
Overall, it’s a good, quick read. I would definitely ready more from this (new to me) author.

3.75 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook Bad Attitude by KA Mitchell, narrated by Chet Daniel

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

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: Story previously reviewed.
https://openskyebookreviews.com/release-day-review-bad-attitude-by-ka-mitchell/

Chet Daniels is new to me. He did a good job with overall narration – the entitled tone for Gavin and a more down to earth tone for Jamie, (although not a ‘Balmer’ accent as my Baltimore-born spouse will tell you). Mr. Daniels did have a curious way of transitioning between dialogue and non-dialogue parts. It wasn’t bad, just something I noticed.
I enjoyed the narration and I think it’s a good way to experience the story.

4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook Review: P.S. I Spook You by S.E. Harmon Narrated by Noah Michael Levin

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/ps-i-spook-you-by-se-harmon-8565-b

Blurb
SSA Rain Christiansen used to be the agency’s golden boy. It just takes one moment of weakness, one slight, tiny, itty-bitty paranormal sighting, and all of a sudden he’s the agency’s embarrassment. His boss gives him one last chance to redeem himself—go down to Brickell Bay, play nice with the local police, and leave the ghost sightings behind. Rain is determined to do exactly that, even if it kills him.

Cold-case detective Daniel McKenna’s latest investigation is going nowhere fast. Five years earlier, high school student Amy Greene went missing after leaving her part-time job and was never seen again. Daniel is glad to finally have the FBI help that his department requested, even if it does come in the form of his ex.

It doesn’t help that Rain is pretty sure he’s falling in love with Danny all over again—if he ever stopped. Add to that the frustration of seeing ghosts at every turn while he works a case that’s stalled in its tracks, and Rain is starting to wonder if second chances and happy endings are just for fairy tales

Review
I reviewed the book when it came out and I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or bad that I didn’t remember the story at all. Good in the sense that I was able to come to it fresh, but bad that it obviously was not memorable in the least. Having said all that I completely enjoyed this story which was mixture of ghost and reluctant medium with a good dose of second chance romance. Paranormal stories have always intrigued me. This one was about Rain both coming home and coming to terms with his powers. The ghosts, particularly one called Ethan, are hounding him to help them find peace and cross over. However returning home means meeting with his ex Danny. Rain never got over Danny despite being the one to break up with him. Rain and Danny do get their happy ever after but for me it felt like the medium side of his story was just beginning. I would love a second book, or even a short story about how they are getting on. Especially as Rain’s family are wonderfully quirky characters and would certainly make the story very interesting. But at this stage I doubt a sequel will be forthcoming. I mustn’t forget the mystery side of the story which turns out to be a murder. This kept me guessing until near the end when it all fell into place.
I’ve not listened to anything by Noah Michael Levine before. He has a smooth voice very easy to listen to and absorb into the story. He acts out the story line well ensuring all the characters stand out with their own voices and personalities. Overall a good listen but I’m not sure if it’s going to stick in my mind.

Number of stars out of 5
4 out of 5 for both the story and narration


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Book Dee Dreamspinner Gay Hurt/Abuse Mild level angst Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal PTSD Scorching/high heat Standalone vampire

Release Day Review: Long Black Cadillac by BA Tortuga

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/long-black-cadillac-by-ba-tortuga-9892-b

Blurb: When cop-turned-vampire-hunter Vance is sent to eliminate a bloodsucker from the Louisiana swamps, he figures it’s just another day at the office.
But he has no idea what he’s getting into.

Clay is no ordinary vampire, and the spark he lights in battle-scarred Vance is anything but average. Clay should be the enemy, but Vance is powerless to fight something that feels so right… and so damn good. In Clay’s expert hands, Vance might realize he’s misjudged vampires and that donating a little blood can be sexy as hell.

Clay might even ride to the rescue and save his new love when Vance’s mission goes south and Vance becomes the hunted instead of the hunter. Along with his human familiar, a crazy Cajun named Remy, and the enigmatic older vampire Gryphon, Clay must get to Vance before it’s too late. Then they can find the man who betrayed Vance and take their revenge.

But faced with lies and motives darker than they ever imagined, they’ll have to wade through blood and fight their way to a happily ever after….

Review: I think I can officially say I am a fan of BA Tortuga. Her characters are fun, colourful, quirky and loveable. And just when I figured her stories are familiar and comfy, she dispels that notion with Long Black Cadillac ☺
This is a zany, fun, sometimes tender romance between vampires and a crazy Cajun while being hunted by a vengeful colonel-like character. There are a couple of brief ménage pairings, but they are part of a natural progression of the scene and are not repeated.
To be honest, I found the first few of chapters a bit confusing/chaotic – events told in the 3rd person, complete with their inner musings; but as I got to know the characters the story progression made more sense.
Vance is employed by the Colonel and is given an assignment to make a vampire, Clay, move out of an area. When they meet, it’s instant lust, even though Vance tries to fight Clay and the attraction. It was interesting how Clay knew that Vance could be dangerous to his health, but still felt compelled to seduce and keep Vance. There is a lot of fun banter between the 2 men which becomes funnier with the introduction of Remy, Clay’s man Friday (and sometimes lover). Remy has a wry sense of humour – the way he comes up with Boo as a nickname for Vance is funny.
While Clay and Vance are dealing with their feelings and trying not to exclude Remy – all the while working on why the Colonel wants Vance gone – another vampire lands on the scene with Remy in his sights. Gryph, the new vamp is drawn to Remy, much like Clay was to Vance. The posturing between the 2 vamps is another fun interaction.
There are twists to the story, but in the end we get a really good story of 2 couples who eventually ride off after the sunset ☺
This is definitely a book I would love to listen to as an audiobook, especially if voiced by Dorian Bane!

4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+ Audiobook Audiobook Month Gay Ghost Homophobia Mid level angst Mild/low level heat Monthly Theme Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal

Audiobook Month: The Bone Orchard by Abigail Roux, narrated by Nick J Russo

 

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/The-Bone-Orchard-Audiobook/B076HCC2S9?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_13&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=5DJ273RTFPQ44P0Q23A7&

Blurb: After leaving a trail of terror and death in his wake, the notorious “Missouri” Boone Jennings finally meets his match in San Francisco when US marshal Ambrose Shaw catches up to him. The story of his capture, and the marshal’s bravery, has already become legend back east by the time Pinkerton inspector Ezra Johns gets off the train from New York City to testify in the murderer’s trial.

When Ambrose is unable to give witness to the evils he’s seen, Ezra becomes their lone hope for putting Jennings in a noose. But if Ezra thinks that’s his biggest problem, he’s got plenty to learn about life – and the afterlife – in the spirited West.

Fortunately, Ambrose is there to assist, and more than happy to oblige Ezra – in the courtroom or the bedroom. He spent his life bringing justice to the Wild West, and if he has a say in it, that’s how he’ll be spending his death too.

Review: A romantic ghost story with a bit of a twist; very well narrated by Nick Russo.
I enjoyed listening to Nick Russo’s characterisation of Ambrose as a gruff, older lawman and Ezra, as the younger inspector. Mr. Russo has a way of making an ordinary person or scene seem larger than life – I really forgot that I was not actually watching a western on the telly. He brought the characters to life, making a short story very enjoyable.
The story itself is engaging and the link to the present day, with some members of the Sidewinder team, was a treat.

4 out of 5

Copy Purchased for Review