Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Borrowed Heart By Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/borrowed-heart-by-andrew-grey-10304-b

Blurb

Robin, the recipient of a brand-new heart, knows he can’t give it to just anyone….

Robin’s been through his share of upsets recently, from heart transplant surgery to a brutal breakup. But his experiences have taught him life is short, and he’s ready to seize the day and start anew. A job at Euro Pride Tours is just the kind of adventure he’s looking for. He gets to see the world and live a little, but love isn’t on his radar screen. He isn’t sure his heart can endure that again.

Johan might’ve disappointed his family by striking out on his own, but when he meets Robin, he has no intention of letting him down. Each man is just what the other needs to feel whole again, and while Johan might not be the man Robin originally thought he was, he’s exactly what the doctor ordered to make Robin’s borrowed heart beat faster. As the tour through Germany progresses, they grow closer, but when Robin’s ex joins the tour, he could bring their blossoming love to a dramatic halt.

Review

I am a huge fan of Andrew Grey. His books have always been such a comfort for me and Borrowed Heart didn’t fail me. The blurb is a little misleading. Yes, Robin did receive a heart transplant however it was quite a few years ago. He states in the book that average life expectancy for a heart transplant recipient isn’t very long, like 10 to 12 years. His ex, Mason broke off their relationship because of this fact (supposedly). Robin moves to Germany for the summer to lick his wounds and to live his “borrowed” life to the fullest. His latest tour is being driven by Johan and the sparks fly. Like a lot of Andrew’s books, the dreaded ex shows up on the tour and is up to no go. I liked how a few of the tour members also got little side stories. While the tour travels through Germany and the surrounding area, we get to learn more about Robin and his fears. Johan spends most of the time, reassuring Robin that he’s worth being with, no matter how long they will have. My only criticism about the book is that I wanted to know more about what happened with the ex. Otherwise it was a good, sweet story!

4 stars



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Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Wanted – Bad Boyfriend by TA Moore narrated by Michael Mola

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/wanted-bad-boyfriend-by-ta-moore-9824-b

Blurb: Island Classifieds: Book One

His mother. His best friend. The barmaid at the local pub. Everyone is determined to find Nathan Moffatt a boyfriend. It’s the last thing Nathan wants. After spending every day making sure his clients experience nothing but romantic magic, the Granshire Hotel’s wedding organizer just wants to go home, binge watch crime dramas, and eat pizza in his underwear.
Unfortunately, no one believes him, and he’s stuck with lectures about dying alone. Then inspiration strikes. He needs the people in his life to want him to stay single as much as he does. He needs a bad boyfriend.

There’s only one man for the job.

Flynn Delaney is used to people on the island of Ceremony thinking the worst of him. But he isn’t sure he wants the dubious honor of worst boyfriend on the entire island. On the other hand, if he plays along, he gets to hang out with the gorgeous Nathan and piss off the owners of the Granshire Hotel. It’s a win-win.

There’s only one problem—Flynn’s actually quite a good boyfriend, and now Nathan’s wondering if getting off the sofa occasionally is really the worst thing in the world.

Review:
Book reviewed earlier. https://openskyebookreviews.com/release-day-review-wanted-bad-boyfriend-by-ta-moore/
This is a story set in the UK, so I was surprised (and disappointed) that the narration was done in an American accent. Once I got over that, I settled into listening.
Michael Mola did a good job with the character voices, capturing the sarcasm, humour and much of emotions of both MCs. Unfortunately, I had imagined the characters with English accents, so that took away from my enjoyment.
Otherwise, it’s not a bad way to experience the book.

Story: 4 stars out of 5
Narration: 3.5 stars out of 5
Reviewer Name: Dee



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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Stallion Mage- Wild Foal (Stallion Mage book 3) by A.O. Spade

GoodReads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44177708-wild-foal?from_search=true

Blurb

As new mates, Alvarr and Laren grow closer, and when Alvarr shares the secret of his pregnancy with the stallion leader, Laren reacts with joy… but also with worry. Winter has taken hold of their land and shows no signs of stopping. The stallion shifters have less and less to eat, even when Alvarr’s earth magic is able to provide some sustenance.

They also have different ideas about the future. As a mage close to Nature, Alvarr knows the answer is to bring the tribes together, but he doesn’t want to challenge Laren’s leadership, nor burden him with the impossible task of making the other stallions follow him.

But as these questions loom over them, the biggest remains. How will Alvarr give birth to a baby? In the absence of healers and mares, there is no one to provide guidance through this unknown event.

Review

Stallion Mage – Wild Foal continues on with the final scene of book 2 in this series, where we left Alvarr severely wounded after being saved by Laren from an attack by Thane and Nassor. Laren has finally accepted that Alvarr is his mate, but he has an even bigger surprise still coming his way. Once Alvarr figures out how best to broach the subject, that is.

It was great to see them get the time to enjoy each other and learn what it means to be fated mates, in between trying to survive the rift, the harsh winter and the strife within their own tribe. I loved the scenes where they reconnect with the mares and the new discoveries they made while they were there.

I had hoped the shifters would have learned more about their history and former way of life, maybe even spend more time in their human shape but that was not the case. The story doesn’t yet cover that much ground and instead focuses on the healing of the rift between the mares and the stallion tribes.

I’m as impressed as before with the mythology and the universe the author created in this serie. I think it holds potential for still more stories.

We take our leave of Laren and Alvarr when they’re in a happy place and hopeful for the future, but with still a lot to discover and re-build.

shifter mpreg, m/m, fantasy, historical, fated mates

Number of stars out of 5: 4


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Retro Review: Hell on Earth (Hellhound Champions #1) by Macy Blake

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42359596-hell-on-earth?from_search=true

Blurb

Protector. Boogeyman. Hellhound. Meshaq has been called it all. As alpha of the hellhounds, his goddess has tasked him with protecting the secrets of the supernatural world. He’s the police of other creatures and the enforcer of the goddess’s rules. If his duty leaves him lonely and longing for a mate and a larger pack, well, the goddess knows the secrets of his heart and she will grant them if it is her will.

Drew Metcalf is a man on the run. When he finds himself in a biker bar surrounded by leather wearing giants, he thinks he’s a goner. But there’s something different about the man slinging drinks. He makes Drew feel safe, something he hasn’t felt in a long time.

When Drew and Shaq’s worlds collide, a different kind of magic happens. Shaq doesn’t understand why he’s so drawn to the human whose life is shrouded in mystery and danger. What Shaq does know is that Drew needs his protection. Magical forces are at work, beginning a battle that will require all of Shaq’s skill as the goddess’s champion. With a terrifying threat looming, Shaq and Drew are in danger of losing more than their hearts.

Review

I had thought I’d already reviewed this – so I apologize for it’s being so late.

This is a really terrific series by an author that was new to me. (I did go back to the author’s first series – this is a spinoff of that series – but it’s a ménage thing that I don’t care for so I didn’t pursue reading it – however others have said they loved it too.) I love when the newb human stumbles into the world of paranormal and this is that in spades.

Shaq is awesome and when Drew finds out just how important he is to Shaq it’s even better!

This is a great new world (or spinoff world) and if you’re a fan of Fated mates, shifters, hot smexy times with a fair amount of magic and adventure – you should check this out. I don’t believe this is mpreg – but you could check for sure if that bothers you.

Highly Recommended!

4.5 stars

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Audiobook: Handle with Care By: Cari Z. Narrated by: John Solo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/handle-with-care-by-cari-z-10360-b

Blurb
A fragile heart needs extra care.

Burned-out social worker Aaron McCoy is on vacation for the first time in years—boss’s orders. Road-tripping to his brother’s wedding with his best friend, Tyler, seems a fun way to spend the mandatory two-week leave, and they set out for Kansas—and a difficult homecoming.

Aaron’s mother was a drug addict, and his adorable younger brother was quickly adopted, while Aaron spent his childhood in foster care. As Aaron mends fences, Tyler hopes to show him that this time, he won’t be left behind to face his problems alone.

Aaron’s opening up to how right it feels to be with Tyler and to the possibility of taking the leap from friends to lovers. But along with the wedding celebration comes a painful reminder of the past. Aaron’s heart is still breakable. Can he put it in Tyler’s hands?

Review

Handle with Care was a sweet, friends to lover’s romance. I found the characters of Aaron and Tyler to be engaging. This is very much a slow burn romance. Aaron has a lot of hang ups due childhood neglect. He allows his work as a social worker to consume him, which is causing him to burn out. Tyler is the opposite. He is full of cheer and his spirits always seem high. Aaron’s reunion with his brother is rocky and the emotions are high. I loved when Aaron finally let go of all his resentment of the past and started to look ahead.
John Solo did a good job with the narration. He has a great range of voices and each character is easy discernable.

4 stars


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Audiobook: Salt Magic, Skin Magic by Lee Welch, narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Tantor Link
https://tantor.com/salt-magic-skin-magic-lee-welch.html

Blurb:
Lord Thornby has been trapped on his father’s isolated Yorkshire estate for a year. There are no bars or chains; he simply can’t leave. His sanity is starting to fray.

When industrial magician John Blake arrives to investigate a case of witchcraft, he finds the peculiar, arrogant Thornby as alarming as he is attractive. John soon finds himself caught up in a dark fairytale, where all the rules of magic—and love—are changed.

To set Thornby free, both men must face life-changing truths—and John must accept that the brave, witty man who’s winning his heart may also be about to break it. Can they escape a web of magic that’s as perilous as love?

Review:

From the very first chapter of this book I was caught up in its intense atmosphere of desperation and mystery. Poor Soren, trapped on his father’s estate by powers unseen and with no way out of his predicament!

Listening to this story wreaked havoc on my nerves, there’s a constant sense of urgency and tension. It reminded me of a Gothic novel of yore, though luckily faster-paced than let’s say the good old Mysteries of Udolpho. The Victorian setting with the broken down manor and romantic moors lends itself perfectly for this type of story. Technical advancements are on the rise, but at the same time it’s far enough into the past to make legends and superstitious tales, even magic, seem plausible.

The writing was beautiful, fluent, gripping and evocative. I loved the attention to historical details, that touch of realism to contrast so wonderfully with the very original magical setting of the story. I adored the references to the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace especially! How awful indeed for Soren to have missed out on that experience.

John and Soren seemed an unlikely match at first, because of the differences in their characters, their station in life and the trust issues they needed to overcome. But they are really great together!
They have amazing chemistry. However, it was the yearning and the tender, vulnerable moments they shared that truly made them stand out to me. What struck me too is that Soren, in large part, is drawn to John because of how kind the other man is.

Narration: This is a suspense-filled story with an eerie atmosphere, which Joel Leslie managed to capture (and enhance) perfectly in his performance. He also did a great job with the accent of the characters, as per usual. I loved how he read John and Soren, making John sound just a bit rougher around the edges than Soren, whereas Soren sounds quite posh, the perfect young English lord.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 5


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Recent Release: In Safe Hands by Victoria Sue

Dreamspinner

Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/searchresults?q=victoria+sue

Blurb: Former helicopter pilot Maverick Delgardo’s injuries ended his Air Force career, leaving him bitter and one drink away from becoming an alcoholic. When his sister asks for his help on a private protection case to babysit a disgraced pop star, Mav reluctantly agrees.
Deacon Daniels, onetime lead singer and idol to his teenage fans, saw his career and reputation ruined when a reporter’s exposé led to a devastating scandal. Without money or a job, a heartbroken Deacon has lost custody of his baby niece. And just when he thinks his life can’t get any worse, a stalker’s threatening messages escalate to murder.
Mav only agreed to one meeting, but his protective instincts kick in, along with an attraction to Deacon. When the body count increases, however, Mav is unsure he is up to the task of protecting Deacon from a killer. But it is too late for Mav to step away, now that he’s lost his heart, and he must find the strength to reassure Deacon and his niece that they are in safe hands no matter the cost.

Review: This is a really good romantic suspense story. I really enjoyed it, especially the fact that I didn’t guess the killer until Mav did.
Mav, ex-military, disabled, bitter and one drink away from becoming an alcoholic – not the most lovable character, right? Wrong – underneath he’s really a good guy who doesn’t know how to handle not being a ‘complete’ man. Once he has a purpose, protecting Deacon, he finds himself. What I liked about his character is that he doesn’t become an ‘Alpha male’ once he gains more confidence – he still worries that he can’t protect Deacon, he worries about dropping Molly; but he does become a stronger person knowing that he can make a difference.
Deacon, he was so nice! I felt bad for all the things that had happened to him, and his horror of a mum! Yikes! But he persevered, didn’t really let life beat him down. He and Mav made a good couple. I enjoyed how their tentative attraction naturally progressed to something more – it’s a sweet romance with none of the cold/hot that could easily be added for ‘tension’. I really appreciated that ☺
The murder/mystery was really good – I liked reading from the murderer’s perspective as well.
Overall, a really good story!

4.5 stars out of 5


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Recent Release: Blue Umbrella Sky by Rick R. Reed

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/blue-umbrella-sky-by-rick-r-reed-10315-b

Blurb

Milt Grabaur has left his life, home, and teaching career in Ohio to start anew. The Summer Winds trailer park in Palm Springs, butted up against the San Jacinto mountain range, seems the perfect place to forget the pain of nursing his beloved husband through Alzheimer’s and seeing him off on his final passage.

Billy Blue is a sexy California surfer type who once dreamed of being a singer but now works at Trader Joe’s and lives in his own trailer at Summer Winds. He’s focused on recovery from the alcoholism that put his dreams on hold.

When his new neighbor moves in, Billy falls for the gray-eyed man. His sadness and loneliness awaken something Billy’s never felt before—real love.

When a summer storm and flash flood jeopardize Milt’s home, Billy comes to the rescue, hoping the two men might get better acquainted… and maybe begin a new romance.

But Milt’s devotion to his late husband is strong, and he worries that acting on his attraction will be a betrayal.

Can they lay down their baggage and find out how redemptive love can be?

Review

I was very intrigued by the blurb but sadly this book did nothing for me. I really struggled to finish it. The two main characters are Milt, who’s husband passed away from Alzheimer’s and Billy, a young man struggling with sobriety. Milt has pulled away from all human contact until a flood forces him into Billy’s orbit. The two men have the beginnings of a friendship going on. Billy admits to himself early on that he was intrigued and falling in love with the lonely man. Milt in the other hand doesn’t want to move on from his deceased husband due to a promise he made to him on the sick bed. The ending seemed very rushed. I think if a few extra chapters of more build up were added I would have liked it more. I also found the frequent jumps back in time to be confusing since there was no notice that it had happed.

3 stars of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Rapid Response (Hearts and Health #8) by D.J. Jamison

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44143237-rapid-response?from_search=true

Blurb

A confused straight guy and a gay hookup artist walk into a bar …

Firefighter Sean Connolly is straight — until one impulsive night changes everything. He tries to dismiss it as a fluke, but when a fire rescue leads him back to the guy who blew his mind, he’s thrown into a chaos of confusion and want. He gives in to curiosity, exploring a new side to himself — not just his attraction to a man, but his desperate need to please.

Paramedic Jace Gillespie is a hookup pro, never letting anyone get too close. When he meets Sean, though, he feels a connection right away. An ill-advised threesome seems to kill a friendship in the making, but when they’re thrown together by work, it doesn’t take long for passion to reignite. Sean calls to something in Jace he never knew was there, and together, they explore a dynamic that fulfills them both.

But as feelings deepen, doubts surface. Sean is in the closet, and Jace struggles to trust his promise that it won’t last forever. With family conflict and his career in the balance, Sean finds it difficult to picture his life without secrecy, but if he doesn’t find a way, he may lose the one person he most wants to please.

Review

This is a really wonderful OFY romance with a delicious dose of the required angst for this trope, but it’s also very moving and filled with deeper emotions. The story is written with D.J. Jamison’s typical sweet and light touch, and has a lot of humor and heartwarming moments in it. Although she doesn’t make it easy for Jace and Sean to find their HEA and there’s sadness and dark times for them to overcome, still it’s always done with a delicate touch and she never errs to the melodramatic side.

There were a couple of cringeworthy moments for our MC’s to endure, that I barely even dared to read, those are so not my cup of tea because I tend to empathize too much with the characters. I could have done without the threesome scene in the beginning, where Jace’s friend, Lena , especially rubbed me the wrong way, both during and after. I found her difficult to like and not at all a good friend to Jace in the aftermath of that particular debacle. Awkward beginnings aside, I really enjoyed Jace and Sean’s story.

I loved the surprising dynamic between Jace and Sean, so refreshing that it’s the built firefighter that longs to give up control. Sean is so giving and caring. I adored him for that. I also loved that he worked so hard to keep his family together and tried to (re-)build bridges for all those he loves. He doesn’t always get it right, however, and some of his decisions were like a train-wreck waiting to happen… the fall-out wasn’t pretty. Jace is every bit as much an intriguing character, longing for love, same as Sean, and discovering new truths about himself as well as their relationship develops.

For those who’ve read the other books in this series, reconnecting with some of the earlier characters will be great fun, but the book can be read as a standalone too.

I very much enjoyed this story. It had an intensity and emotional drive that I really liked.

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: In His Sights by L.A. Bryce

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43680948-in-his-sights?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

Meet two men who need each other’s help but don’t realize it until it’s almost too late.

Noah is gay and terrified someone might find out. So much so that when he was blackmailed with pictures of himself with another man, instead of coming clean, he left his SEAL team without a word.

The other man is openly gay Mason, a former Marine and now part of the FBI’s Joint Terrorist Task force. It takes eight years after their first meeting in the desert for a chance event bring the two men together again. Now Noah must decide if he’s ready to accept who he is or if it’s easier to cut and run. Can they navigate the obstacles in their path to build a relationship? And why does the thought of that scare them more than investigating a group of terrorists?

Review

This book involves Mason, FBI and Noah, a former SEAL. There is an instant attraction. The way Noah struggles with his sexuality is something that some readers can relate to. It was a shame he was blackmailed. His “hot and cold” with Mason was frustrating, but understandable. Mason lives with guilt for not being able to catch the people responsible for terrorist attacks that affects him personally. The two meet in a bar, had seen each other briefly years ago, and grew close. The book has humor, mystery, action, and some steamy mm scenes. Both go through a lot in the book. It’s not a cutesy and sweet romance, there’s many aspects to the book. Some surprises packed in the book also. Highly enjoyed reading.

Number of stars out of 5

4.5


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