Categories
5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Audiobook Author Provided Dee Gay Gay m/m Mid level angst Monthly Theme Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Scorching/high heat Steamy Romance

Steamy Romance: Hush by Tal Bauer narrated by Joel Leslie

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Hush-Audiobook/B07CJXNKWB?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=7P7G86KQTKY2WQ1DW2PZ&

Blurb:
Federal Judge Tom Brewer is finally putting the pieces of his life back together. In the closet for 25 long years, he’s climbing out slowly, and, with the hope of finding a special relationship with the stunning Mike Lucciano, US Marshal assigned to his DC courthouse. He wants to be out and proud, but he can’t erase his own past, and the lessons he learned long ago.

A devastating terrorist attack in the heart of Washington, DC, and the capture and arrest of the terrorist lead to a trial that threatens to expose the dark underbelly of America’s national security. The Russian president is gravely injured and fixated on revenge, while a gay Russian dissident is arrested and put on trial in Judge Tom Brewer’s courtroom. As Russia beats the drums of war and the United States struggles to contain the trial before it races out of control, secrets and lies, past and present, collide in his courtroom, before his bench.

With the world’s attention fixed on Tom and this case, secrets from his past explode during the course of the trial, which place him at the very center of the case and make him the only man who can try to stop the world’s slide into war.

Review: I am a big fan of Joel Leslie (no secret there) and while I thoroughly enjoyed his performance and the story, I didn’t think that the 2 were a good fit … (as I type this I fully expect to be black-balled from several FB groups ☹ ).
Let me explain. Hush is part romance, part thriller – the first half, the romance is where I think Joel Leslie excels – he captures the tentative way Tom comes out of his 20+ year stint in the closet for Mike, the almost comical way Mike and Tom dance around their feelings and the comic relief of Kris, (Mike’s best friend). When the thriller/drama part of the story begins, it took me a bit to get used to hearing Joel Leslie outside of a humourous, romantic setting. However, once I got caught up in the ensuing events, especially trying to figure out who was pulling the strings, it got easier to accept his narration.
As mentioned before, Joel Leslie gives a very good performance and the story is very good. I just need to remember that artists grow into other roles and I need to grow along with them ☺

5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Audiobook Month Book Dee Gay Hurt/Abuse m/m Mild level angst Monthly Theme Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Purchased Scorching/high heat

Audiobook Month: The Long Way Home by Z.A. Maxfield, narrated by J.F Harding

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Long-Way-Home-Audiobook/B01MQGGZ71?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_4&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=4GVDMJXBB991JR8MT96Z&

Blurb:
Ever since the accident that cost him his job on the Seattle police force, Kevin Quinn has been living with psychic abilities he refers to as the ‘gift that keeps on taking’. His attempts to use his talents to help the police have been met with limited success. Yet, when teenage boys start going missing from the beach cities of Southern California, Kevin gets on a plane.
Connor Dougal has every reason to believe all psychics are fakes and charlatans. He’s still numb from the disappearance of his first love, a boy who went missing 10 years earlier. Everything he aspires to is a direct result of that tragedy, even the acquisition of his detective shield. The irony of having to babysit Kevin Quinn is not lost on him.
These two suspicious men must develop trust and respect for one another to solve the case and, on the way, maybe fall in love.

Review:
A good story with great narration.
Kevin is a reluctant psychic (the ‘gift’ manifests after an accident). He’s asked to work on a missing persons case where he meets Connor. Connor is assigned to assist Kevin in the investigation; at first they don’t get along, but very quickly they develop a rapport which leads to a mutual attraction. As they grow closer, the mystery of the disappearances unfolds. There is quite a bit of wit and humour in the story that kept me engaged throughout.

Story: 4

Audio:

JF Harding was really good! This was my first time listening to him after which I bought a couple more books that he’s narrated. His pacing, inflections and timing was spot on for the characters. The subtle humour and wit of the prose was nicely voiced and he portrayed the dynamics and chemistry of the 2 MC’s very well.
Definitely a story I will listen to again.

5 stars out of 5

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars


Copy purchased for review

 

Categories
adult - 18+ Audiobook Gay Hurt/Abuse Mild level angst Scorching/high heat

Audiobook Month: The Long Way Home by Z.A. Maxfield, narrated by J.F Harding

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Long-Way-Home-Audiobook/B01MQGGZ71?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_4&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=4GVDMJXBB991JR8MT96Z&

Blurb:
Ever since the accident that cost him his job on the Seattle police force, Kevin Quinn has been living with psychic abilities he refers to as the ‘gift that keeps on taking’. His attempts to use his talents to help the police have been met with limited success. Yet, when teenage boys start going missing from the beach cities of Southern California, Kevin gets on a plane.
Connor Dougal has every reason to believe all psychics are fakes and charlatans. He’s still numb from the disappearance of his first love, a boy who went missing 10 years earlier. Everything he aspires to is a direct result of that tragedy, even the acquisition of his detective shield. The irony of having to babysit Kevin Quinn is not lost on him.
These two suspicious men must develop trust and respect for one another to solve the case and, on the way, maybe fall in love.

Review:

A good story with great narration.
Kevin is a reluctant psychic (the ‘gift’ manifests after an accident). He’s asked to work on a missing persons case where he meets Connor. Connor is assigned to assist Kevin in the investigation; at first they don’t get along, but very quickly they develop a rapport which leads to a mutual attraction. As they grow closer, the mystery of the disappearances unfolds. There is quite a bit of wit and humour in the story that kept me engaged throughout.

Story: 4 of 5 stars

Narration:JF Harding was really good! This was my first time listening to him after which I bought a couple more books that he’s narrated. His pacing, inflections and timing was spot on for the characters. The subtle humour and wit of the prose was nicely voiced and he portrayed the dynamics and chemistry of the 2 MC’s very well.
Definitely a story I will listen to again.

 

5 of 5 stars

 

Overall: 4.5 stars out of 5

Copy Purchased for Review

 

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Author Provided Gay Gay High but not hopeless Homophobia Hurt/Abuse m/m Mary D Mid level steam/heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Older MCs Part of a Series

Recent Release: Love’s Magic by Janice Jarrell

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40098122-love-s-magic?from_search=true

Blurb
You’ll fall completely in love with the characters who inhabit Love’s Magic. Meet Colin Campbell, a handsome, dynamic, over-the-top sexy Irish police officer who refuses to allow love and intimacy to touch his heart. As a result, no one was more surprised than he when his normal ‘love-um-and-leave-um’ attitude hit a brick wall named Joshua Abrams.

Unlike Colin, Joshua is, steady, introverted, and longing for commitment. Although head over heels in love with Colin almost from the moment they met, he knows this love can only lead to heartbreak.

But Joshua Abrams hadn’t merely stepped over the indelible line Colin had drawn between his heart and the dangers of real love, he had burned through it like hot lava. The freedom-loving Colin never expected to fall in love and certainly had no clue how to handle it. Consequently, when his hot Irish temper created a horribly destructive explosion between them and Joshua flees to his home in Illinois without a word or a forwarding address, Colin found himself lost and adrift.

His struggle to overcome his pride and Irish ego and seek out the love of his life will touch your heart!I hope you’ll check out Love’s Magic and meet Colin and Joshua for yourself. These two charismatic men personify the idea of ‘opposites attract’, but their love story will touch your heart.

Meet David Gardener, Professor of Revolutionary War History and madly in love with his partner Nate Reese.
Both men were incredibly happy until Nate was attacked on the Tog in a brutal on-campus assault.

Nate coped with his trauma by joining an activist group devoted to changing university policy on such attacks. David is devastated by the attack, but can only see disaster for Nate’s career if he pursues this militant course. Frightened of the potential consequences he is reluctant to support Nate’s efforts while Nate, feeling abandoned by his partner, sees David’s aversion to his involvement as indifference to the trauma he suffered.

Both men have valid points of view, but peace between them will require one of them to care more about being happy than he does about being right. Will the love they share be enough to see them through the complex and divisive issues with threaten not only their relationship, but the university they both love? Read Love’s Magic and find out!!

Review
Quite a debut novel. It’s the story of two couples, one already in a relationship and one that starts in this story. We get a synopsis of how David and
Nate met and started at the beginning of the book, which helped set the scene. The story switches from one couple to the other, both dealing with very different issues. Their stories become connected when Nate is attacked. I’ll admit I was a little concerned at first to be switching between the two couples but the whole concept totally works. I think it helped that both couples were so completely different. It’s two romance stories wrapped up together, very cleverly written. The issues being dealt with and the outcomes were also very realistic. No quick fixes, or convenient plot twists. Just genuine sounding situations and reactions both to the attack’s on campus and their relationships with each other and colleagues. If you are intrigued by the blurb I would recommend this unique book a try.

4 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Book Dreamspinner Gay Gay m/m Mary D Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Older MCs Standalone

Audiobook: Hell and Back by Dirk Greyson
Narrated by Dorian Bane

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/hell-and-back-by-dirk-greyson-8979-

Blurb

Seventeen years ago, Forge Reynolds fell in love… and had his heart broken. When Staff Sergeant Gage Livingston was brought into Forge’s Army field hospital, temporarily paralyzed, Forge sat with him, read his letters, answered his mail, and formed a connection he thought would last. But Gage was sent home, Forge transferred to a new post, and his letters to Gage went unanswered.

Now in the middle of a bitter divorce, Forge is sick and tired of his husband’s manipulation. He’s almost ready to make any sacrifice to get closure—then he finds Granger murdered execution-style in their home. Forge had no idea about Granger’s illicit activities, but the killers don’t believe that. They think Forge has something they want, and they’re coming after him.

When Forge’s lawyer arranges for professional protection, the last face Forge expects to see is Gage’s. Can he even contemplate a second chance for them after almost two decades, or will hoping only lead to more heartache? Before they can explore the possibilities, they must figure out what information Granger had—that others are willing to kill for—or that possible heartache could become a certainty

Review
Dirk Greyson always provides a well paced story and this mystery was no different. I loved the reconnection between Forge and Granger. It didn’t feel contrived and developed as naturally as it could considering the circumstances under which they meet again. The mystery of what Gage was involved in that led to his murder kept me guessing. I had my suspicions but I liked how the story led to so many possibilities. That along with the romance made it for a very enjoyable story.
Wow Dorian Bane has given Forge such a ruff smokey voice that felt a bit too harsh for me at times. I have listened to a few books narrated by Dorian before but the voice he has given to Forge sounded quite harsh on his vocal cords. Granger’s voice was more mellow and the tone I’ve heard in his other work. There we good characterisations of the other characters, particularly Harvey. One measure I use for Male narrators is how well they portray females. In this case it was extremely well done with both female characters having their own distinct voices.

4 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Beth Jumper Dee Dreamspinner Gay Gay m/m Mid level angst Mild/low level heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Standalone

Release Day Review: A Little Side of Geek by Marguerite Labbe

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-little-side-of-geek-by-marguerite-labbe-9611-b

Blurb

When opposite worlds collide, it’s anyone’s game.
Proud geek and comic book artist Morris Proctor wants nothing more than to live in semi-seclusion with his devil cat and gamer friends. Despite what his well-meaning family thinks, he’s perfectly content with his status quo. The last thing he needs is to date another non-geek hell-bent on changing him.
Then he meets his adorkable new neighbor, Theo Boarman, who doesn’t know Star Trek from Star Wars, but who tempts him like no other.
Theo has spent the last year recovering from the loss of his parents and trying to play both roles for his teenage brother, while working to keep the family restaurant afloat. Dating is the last thing on the menu, especially with a man who thinks the height of dining is shoving a packaged meal into the microwave.
But if Morris gives him one more shy smile or flaunts that kilt he wears so well, Theo will be forced to convince him that a hot summer fling is just the recipe to let off a little steam.
When that fling gets serious fast, Morris has to decide if he’s willing to give his heart to Theo on the chance that they’re a perfect mix.

Review by Beth
This is a story that slowly sucks you in. It is both a story of falling in love and healing from tragdy. A story about family both blood and found.

Marguerite does a wonderful job laying out the story to tease us into all of what life can throw at us and how we work our way through it. This is not a hot and heavy, all sexy times book. This is how life really does happen. An ebb and flow of side stories and romance as it happens over a summer. The author shows us that it’s not all fireworks and spotlights. I think she did a fabulous job.

The MC’s are well thought out and multidimensional, but I really liked the character of Lincoln. This is Theo’s younger brother and he really does carry a third of the story. Teenage angst, insecurities and dealing with loss at an early age, Lincoln is as well developed as Morris and Theo.

I liked this story, I liked how comfortable it felt, how realistic it was and I quietly got to root for things to work out between Morris and Theo.

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Review by Dee

I absolutely loved this story for its simplicity. That is not to say that there was no depth to the romance, no, just the opposite. All the characters were well developed, even the secondary ones. The story is also funny and heartwarming.

Morris, a simple soul who loves his geekiness, has been through relationships where the boyfriend has tried to ‘improve’ him. Needless to say, he’s a bit gun-shy about relationships. Theo, his new neighbour, has recently lost his parents, co-owns a restaurant (with his sister) and is the legal guardian of his younger brother. With all that’s going on, Theo is not in the market for a romance.

They decide to embark on a ‘fling’, but before they know it, they’ve wormed their way into each other’s lives and hearts.

What I really like about the story is that there was a realistic look at friendships, family, dealing with tragedy and finding what makes one happy. There was no real drama, no prolonged misunderstandings.

I honestly loved how the relationship between the 2 men just flowed and grew, with the addition of their families blending into the mix.

Highly recommend. This will definitely go on my re-read list!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Book DA Dark Romance/ Bad Boys Gay High but not hopeless Hurt/Abuse Mary D Mild/low level heat Monthly Theme Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Older MCs Part of a Series PTSD Purchased Stalker/Abusive Ex

Time to go Dark: Ash by Jack L. Pyke

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38719560-ash?from_search=true

Blurb

 

“You up for that, hm, Ash? A lesson from an old soul to youth? From me… to you?”

Ash Thomas and his gameplay with other men is vicious, cruel. Better to fuck someone over than be the one who’s on the floor, fucked up, right? But his latest cruelties are about to catch the eye of the Wraith, someone who’s been brought up to play professionally in the shadows. For Ash, beauty and rage aren’t the kind of sins to win him any favours anymore. Life and lessons of the heart never did come easy, especially when they’re about to walk in off the darkened streets, bringing bloodied footprints in their wake.

Review
Jack L. Pyke’s Don’t series is a wonderfully dark psychological series. All the characters have so many facets, complex lives. I would say that to enjoy the series it’s best to start at the beginning. This book, Ash, brings in new players. Ash comes across as cruel and thoughtless. Only after his own enjoyment as does his mate Chase. As the story progresses we learn another side to Ash which explains his behaviour. I’m still not sure if I like him though. Raif is where the story starts to link into the series. He is a MI5 operative (as is Grey one of the central characters to the Series). He decides to teach Ash a lesson but gets drawn to him as well. At the same time he is made aware of some gruesome murders and is on surveillance for another case. BDSM is an important aspect to all the characters, so if that’s not your cup of tea steer clear.
This book does give you a taste of the nature of the series and Jack L. Pyke’s style. And on the face of it you don’t need to know the details of the previous stories to enjoy this one. However, it is a prequel to book 5 where all the previous characters have a part and I anticipate it would be difficult to follow if you haven’t. Also nothing is resolved in this story, it is just setting the scenes. Book 5 continue from the end of this one.
To be honest if this is your kind of book you probably already know about this series, if it’s got you intrigued don’t wait bring the series to the top of your tbr list.

4 of stars out of 5

 

 

 

Purchased by reviewer

 

 

 

Categories
3 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Audiobook Dreamspinner Gay Gay Little to no angst m/m Mary D Mid level steam/heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series

Audiobook: Day and Knight by Dirk Greyson Narrated by Andrew McFerrin

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/day-and-knight-by-dirk-greyson-2231-

Blurb

As former NSA, Dayton (Day) Ingram has national security chops and now works as a technical analyst for Scorpion. He longs for fieldwork, and scuttling an attack gives him his chance. He’s smart, multilingual, and a technological wizard. But his opportunity comes with a hitch—a partner, Knighton (Knight), who is a real mystery. Despite countless hours of research, Day can find nothing on the agent, including his first name!

Former Marine Knight crawled into a bottle after losing his family. After drying out, he’s offered one last chance: along with Day, stop a terrorist threat from the Yucatan. To get there without drawing suspicion, Day and Knight board a gay cruise, where the deeply closeted Day and equally closeted Knight must pose as a couple. Tensions run high as Knight communicates very little and Day bristles at Knight’s heavy-handed need for control.

But after drinking too much, Day and Knight wake up in bed. Together. As they near their destination, they must learn to trust and rely on each other to infiltrate the terrorist camp and neutralize the plot aimed at the US’s technological infrastructure, if they hope to have a life after the mission. One that might include each other.

Review

With Day and Knight you have a classic Cop/PI/Agent partnership. Older jaded agent gets partnered with a younger more enthusiastic agent and then the spark returns. Andrew Grey, writing under the pen name Dirk Greyson, gives us a great light entertainment story with Day and Knight. It is a good first book in the series setting the background for both Dayton and Knighton. I enjoyed the slightly antagonist way they interacted with each other. It gives a frisson to when they actually do get together. The investigation side of the story is also good, fairly straight forward find the bad guys and da with them. There is a little teaser angle to thread through to the following books. It follows the formula, nothing unexpected. As I mentioned before a good light entertaining story.
I’ve only listened to Andrew McFerrin once before. He has quite a good style. There is good characterisation coming through, especially Knight’s grumpiness and Day’s upbeat personality. The accents where needed are fine. Overall an enjoyable audiobook.

3 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Hurt/Abuse m/m Mary D Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Stalker/Abusive Ex Time to Laugh

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

 

 

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