Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Captain and the Best Man (Captivating Captains #4) by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48424754-the-captain-and-the-best-man?from_search=true&qid=M83lWfSYYb&rank=19

Blurb:

Review: While I enjoyed the story overall, I did find it to be a little sweet and slightly improbable – but hey, we read to escape mundane reality and this does it well.
When Guy and Josh meet, there is pretty much an instant attraction between them. They flirt and banter almost immediately, which is fun. When it turns out that they are bound for the same place, they are all over each other, and this is where the story became a little less fun for me. To me they were a little over the top in expressing how attracted they were to each other – Josh especially – there was a lot of ‘how handsome the captain is’, ‘how capable the captain is’ (just a lot of ‘captain’ awe).
The family drama added a welcome bite to the saccharin sweetness of the story.
Overall, the story held my interest and was a good to spend a couple of hours.

3.5 stars out of 5

Copy generously provided by author

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: Get Lit by K. Fielding

Dreamspinner

Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/get-lit-by-kim-fielding-11590-b

Blurb: Uri Kessler is a bit of a klutz. Recently divorced from a guy he married too quickly and yearning to have a holiday that feels special, he decides to make Hanukkah candles. The results are literally a blazing disaster. But Uri’s mishap helps him get to know Oscar Cortez, his sexy new neighbor, and the two men instantly hit it off. While Uri finds himself drawn to Oscar, he’s also afraid to make a mess of their budding relationship. It’ll take a small miracle to make things work between them.

Review: A nicely written story of a mishap leading two men to the beginnings of a relationship.
Uri and Oscar are very nice characters – simple, but three-dimensional. The author does a good job of blending the season’s celebrations by having each man help the other gather the things needed to celebrate their different traditions.

3.5 stars out of 5

Copy generously provided by author

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: His Hart’s Command by A.E Via; narrated by Aiden Snow

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audiobooks.com/audiobook/nothing-special-vi-his-harts-command/392780

Blurb:
Lennox Freeman (Free) is one of the best hackers in the world which has caused him to spend most of his life on the run. Never able to put down roots, he couldn’t trust anyone not to take advantage of him, even his own family.

Ivan Hart has lived and bled one creed all of his life: To Serve and Protect. His intense focus and determination in law enforcement has led him to finally commanding his own team. He’d worked hard to put together a squad of badasses capable of backing up a very dangerous team of detectives. Being God and Day’s last line of defense came with a lot of responsibility that he took very seriously.

After his divorce was final Hart turned right around and remarried his job. He had his good friends there in the office with him every day, so it was easier to ignore the few quiet hours he spent at home alone each night. He’d settled well into his new routine and was comfortable with it. Then God decided to disrupt everything by hiring another tech specialist for his department. A man whose brains, trendy looks, and voice would leave Hart tongue-tied and captivated at their first introduction.

Review:

I love this series in audio! Aiden Snow has been the perfect narrator for this series.
This is Free’s story (we first meet him in NS V). He’s a former hacker (with a heart of gold) who’s had a difficult childhood, so he’s a bit skittish around really big, burly men. But for some reason, he’s enamoured with Ivan Hart. Ivan, for all his big size, is a gentle soul. Both these men were made for each other.
Their journey to being a couple is so sweet, both men dancing around each other, but when the do get together – damn! They are so hot *phew*.
As mentioned before, Aiden Snow does a great job with the narration. He has a gorgeous voice, so well suited for the growly, alpha men that dominate the story. He has been great for the series so far . The only (minor) observation is that there is not that much distinction between most of the men –except for God, Day, Tech and Free, but the story is well written enough that you always know which character is talking. His accent for Free was great! As a Brit, I had been a little wary that he wouldn’t get it right, but it sounded great, especially since it was supposed to be a slight accent.
Great story (4 stars) with excellent narration (5 stars)!

Overall: 4.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: The Great Aerodynamcist by A. Nybo

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-great-aerodynamicist-by-a-nybo-11535-b

Blurb:

Thinking he’s up to the task, droll Irishman Donnell, who is new to Australia, has almost completed assembling a model steampunk flying machine for his nephew’s Christmas present. Then an accident involving a parachute, some superglue, and his mouth lands Donnell in the emergency room with two of his fantasy men… only one of whom is real.

Review:

Such a fun, short story! It managed to pack in quite a bit of humour and a bit of heat in fewer than 40 pages 🙂
Donnell and Charlie are wonderful men, both sweet with great senses of humour. I loved that there was a bit of a crush going on before they actually meet, it gave a bit of depth to their subsequent romance.
My only complaint is that I wish this could have been a longer story, as the couple were a delight.

4 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: The Carpenter’s Prince by J. Ellis

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-carpenters-prince-by-jayce-ellis-11568-b

Blurb:

Sean Edwards would do anything for his nephew, including designing the props for a children’s version of the Nutcracker. He’s ready for the long nights and weekends in the workshop—they’re part of the job, especially given the short notice. The insanely sexy head ballerino is completely unexpected, however.
All principal danseur Keni Jackson wants is to surpass last year’s performance, blow people’s socks off, and cement his place in the studio. The last thing he needs is something to shatter his carefully held control—like a cuddly carpenter who favors jazz over Tchaikovsky.
Sean and Keni are drawn to each other, but not everyone is a fan of their relationship. When Keni’s position is threatened, they have to decide whether to walk away for good, or if what they’ve found is worth fighting for.

Review:

Very nicely written story. The characters were well-defined characters and there was quite a bit of emotional depth to the story, despite its brevity. Keni and Sean worked well together, both trying to be the others anchor.

3.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest 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


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Bite (Anthology) by Clare London, Ruby Moone, Sue Brown, Joanna Chambers

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48272713-bite?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Vampires old and new, strong and sensual, with desires both predatory and protective. Their attraction is fierce and fascinating, and their love is eternal. We believe they deserve a very special kind of man—and their own happily ever after.
Four best-selling authors bring you their own take on the vampire lover’s story.

In Out of Time by Clare London, the ancient vampire Ambrus tries to protect Edward, a newly-turned young man, hoping to bring him comfort, acceptance of his fate, and eventually love.

In Christmas for a Vampire by Ruby Moone, grief-stricken vampire, Ellis Davenport, faces a miserable, lonely life when it seems the love of his life prefers death to eternity with him.

In A Tale Told in Darkness by Sue Brown, Lee comforts his lover with the tale of Brook, a vampire who falls for his neighbour Michael. When the young man is pursued by someone far more dangerous, only Brook can save him.

In Lamb to the Slaughter by Joanna Chambers, there is very little Lucien St. Villiers enjoys more than hunting for beautiful young men who are eager to learn all that Lucien has to teach them.

Review: Four well written, vampire-themed novellas in one collection.
Here are my thoughts about each story (in no particular order).

A Tale Told in Darkness (Sue Brown)
This is a story in a story. The main story, (with Lord Brook and Michael), has a bit of suspense, but a satisfying end. Brook, the vampire, meets his neighbour, Michael (human and is his fated mate). However, someone seems to be stalking Michael, and when he disappears, Brook has to find out who and why.
Nice little mystery here.

Lamb to the Slaughter (Joanna Chambers)
This was definitely a tale of the hunter being the hunted ☺
Lucien, our undead person, is a love/feed them and leave them creature. Until he meets Marcus, who gives him a run for his money. I enjoyed the twists in this story.

Christmas for a Vampire (Ruby Moone)
This story was a bit sad. Set during the winter holidays, Ellis is heartbroken that his lover, Quinn doesn’t want the same things he does. The holidays remind Ellis of his lost love. Liked the story overall.

Out of Time (Clare London)
Younger Edward as not had an easy life (or afterlife after being turned). Ambrus, an older vampire offers to help Edward. Ambrus travels through time, not forming any connections with anyone … until Edward. The story of how Ambrus helps Edward overcomes his resentment against his situation, (as a reluctant vamp), spans several decades. Sweet story with a touch of angst.

All 4 stories were enjoyable, there were a couple I wished had been a bit longer, but all were entertaining.


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Something Wild By Anna Martin

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/something-wild-by-anna-martin-10842-b

Blurb
The South Pacific Archipelago is home to a tiny island community of around three hundred scientists… and twenty thousand dinosaurs. As a paleogeneticist, Kit Sterling leads a team studying the dinosaurs to unlock the unanswered questions of evolution.

But there is something more dangerous than dinosaurs on the islands.

Head ranger Logan Beck discovers evidence of poachers, while rumors of a black market for dinosaur leather swirl around the community. Kit and Logan haven’t always gotten along professionally, though that has nothing to do with their attraction to each other. So when they’re thrown together to save an injured infant dinosaur, their professional disdain turns into a clandestine romance.

With not just the injured dinosaur at risk, but all of the precious dinosaurs on the islands too, Kit and Logan have to figure out how to balance their budding romance without letting their careers go extinct.

Review
There was a lot I liked about this story. The world building was fantastic. I also really liked the two main characters, Kit and Logan. Even though they have known each other for years, they are pretty awkward around each other due to secret crushes. They end up rescuing and rehabbing a baby dino that they name Dizzy. She is a wonderful secondary character, even though she is a dinosaur. She plays an important part in the story. Where the story fell flat, was the whole issue with poachers. The resolution to that problem was a bit lackluster. The ending also felt a bit rushed. This was a fun read for dinosaur and romance lovers!

4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 
Review: Another ‘feel good’ pick me up story from Anna Martin  Bonus points for the dinosaurs and their descriptions; (I’ve always loved dinosaurs and although these were fictional animals, they were a pleasure to read about).
The MCs, Logan and Kit, are really just grown up nerds living their dream. Both men work at the dinosaur research island – Logan in the field, Kit in the lab – and each one has a crush on the other. They eventually bond over rescuing a baby dinosaur, Dizzy.
This is another well thought out, well written story, including the adventure, suspense and descriptions of the island and New Zealand.
The other characters – Leilani, Kit’s mums and Dizzy – were all great additions to the story.
This was an interesting, scientific (though mostly fictional), fun story with a solid storyline that left me with a satisfied feeling 

4 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Nova Praetorian by N.R Walker; narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Nova-Praetorian-Audiobook/B07WS2N77M?qid=1569968539&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=Q1QT0RJF87DG33HJCM8E&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb: Quintus Furius Varus is one of the best lanistas in Rome. Tall and strong in build, fearsome in manner, and sharp of wit, he trains the best gladiators bound for the arenas of Rome. When Senator Servius Augendus seeks personal guards, he attends the Ludus Varus for purchase of the very best. He puts to Quintus an offer he cannot refuse, and Quintus finds himself in Neapolis, contracted as a trainer of guards instead of gladiators.
Kaeso Agorix was taken from his homelands of Iberia and delivered to Rome as a slave. Bought by a senator to be trained as a guard, his fate is handed to the man who would train him. Absent free will, Kaeso knows his life is no longer his own, though he soon realizes the gods have favored him when he learns his new master has a kind heart.
Quintus and Kaeso forge a bond that far exceeds the collar at Kaeso’s neck, and together, they discover the senator’s move for promotion has an ulterior motive. Thrown into a world of politics and conspiracy, of keeping enemies close, they move against time to save Rome before traitors and the gods themselves see to their end.

And in doing so, see the dawn of the nova praetorian – the new guard – rise.

Review:
Story already review previously
https://openskyebookreviews.com/?s=nova+praetorian

A historical romance from one of my favourite historical periods – Roman times, coupled with an absolutely epic performance by Joel Leslie! What’s not to love?? ☺
This story is a product of is time – one of the MC’s is a slave, there is blackmail, political back-stabbing and political villainy; but there are shining moments, like the fairness of Quintus, the affection and bond between Quintus and Kaeso and the backdrop of general Roman life (which appealed to my inner history geek ☺

The narration was nothing short glorious! Joel Leslie is one of the best audiobook performers in the business. He has the knack of knowing how to channel the characters, first by getting the right accent, then their personalities and then their emotions. This is all tied together in the overall tone of the story – in this case, a more somber tone – since some of the topics are serious.
Throughout Joel Leslie’s performance I could visualise the gladiator training area, I could ‘see’ the villas of the senators, feel the decadence of the time. I could also feel the treachery, and the love and affection between the 2 MCs.
This is a well crafted story, with a tour de force performance by Joel Leslie!

Narration: 6 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: I’ve Got This by Louisa Masters

Dreamspinner

Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/ive-got-this-by-louisa-masters-10788-b

Blurb:
A Joy Universe Novel

Derek Bryer loves his life. His job as an assistant director at Joy Universe, the second-largest theme park complex on the planet, makes him indirectly responsible for bringing joy (pun intended) to millions of people. So what if none of his relationships are that close? Everyone he meets loves him.
Except Trav Jones. For some reason, the visiting Broadway performer would rather Derek just go away. He appreciates Derek’s work ethic, though, and after Trav steps up when Derek desperately needs someone to fill in for his sick staff, Derek seizes the chance to convince Trav he’s not such a bad guy.

Falling in love while distracted by a murder at the park, food poisoning, and colleagues placing bets on their relationship won’t be easy, but between the two of them and with the magic of Joy Universe, they’ve got this.

Review: I loved Derek and his running commentary on things going on in his life and around him. He had a slyly snarky tone which made the overall story fun to read. The story is also told from Trav’s POV, so we get to understand why he’s the way he is.
Derek is somewhat of a workaholic, driven to excel at his job. He’s well-liked by all, so he’s pretty shocked when he meets one person who doesn’t (like him). On top of that, there’s a murder to solve and half the entertainment at the resort have fallen ill.
Trav is not impressed by Derek –at all ☺ But when Derek needs help, he offers his services and helps Derek out of a bind. As both men work together, they get to know each other – Derek loosens up about being work-driven and Trav learns to trust Derek.

This is a really good story with nicely developed characters, the humour (Derek ‘talks’ to the reader, breaking the 4th or 5th wall (I forget!)) and some description of the inner workings of a theme park. I would have like a bit more about the murder as an ongoing thread through the story, but as a romance, this was a really good story! I hope Dimi, (the PA), gets a story – I liked him ☺

4.5 stars out of 5


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