Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Love you so Sweetly by Tara Lain

Dreamspinner Press
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-you-so-sweetly-by-tara-lain-10756-b

Blurb:
Reading his future in a glass of sweet tea.

The youngest son of one of America’s richest families, Remy Merced is so busy trying to save his family company from collapse, he’s never taken time to figure out if he’s gay, much less if he’s happy. Then his meddling mama hires him an assistant who’s everything Remy thinks he doesn’t want. Cute Harper Treadwell, from rural Arkansas, is a brilliant business prodigy… and openly gay. His wit and charm could confirm Remy’s suspicions about his own sexuality almost instantly—if they weren’t both already partnered.

When Remy’s girlfriend and Harper’s boyfriend get a little too friendly, Remy finds that the path to happiness requires a long drive in an old Prius, a growing appreciation for small towns, and a whole lot of sweet tea. But before they can forge a future—they have to let go of the past.

Review:
As Remy is dealing with the problems of his company and his life Harper is thrown into the mix and turns Remy’s world upside down. Remy has many questions running through his mind, and it looks like Harper could answer more than a few of them. While the two work together to find a way to fix the problems at work their emotions begin to take over. There is a strong attraction between them that neither man can deny. I enjoyed the way their relationship takes shape. Both men are dealing with their own identities and must find themselves before looking towards a future with each other but when misunderstandings pull them apart Remy must make a hard choice and decide if he will follow his heart or be miserable for the rest of his life. Both Remy and Harper are strong men and with the support of their family and friends they begin to fight for a happy ever after that they deserve.
This is a fast paced and captivating story that pulls you in right from the start and has you believing in love. The author has written another enjoyable story with great characters for this series.

Number of stars out of 5: 4



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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Lucifer’s Litigator By: T.J. Nichols

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/lucifers-litigator-by-tj-nichols-10820-b

Blurb
To save his soul, he’ll have to fix his one regret—the love that got away.

The summer between the end of school and the start of what came next was full of sun, surf, and sex. For Will McLeod, that meant Tom, his first male lover. He knew the romance had an expiration date and would end when Tom joined the Army, but that didn’t stop Will from falling in love.

Tired of being looked down upon for being poor, Will became a lawyer—but not just any lawyer. He litigates for the gods as they gamble with the lives of those desperate enough to make deals. His job is to make sure they don’t slip free. He has more money than he knows what to do with, but he’s fast running out of soul.

Twenty-five years haven’t dimmed the candle Will holds for Tom, and when they meet again, he has a chance to put things right. Back then, Tom wasn’t ready to fight for them. Now the decorated soldier is willing to get his hands dirty, but will he be a match for the forces trying to keep them apart

Review
What a great concept. With the title and the blurb I gathered that Will was trapped in a job he no longer wanted. What I wasn’t expecting was the role Lucifer plays in the story. Will’s one regret was Tom, his first love. The story hangs on what that regret was. Neither of them knows for certain and it can’t be spoken about. I liked the flashbacks giving the reader an insight that the characters were just starting to remember and whilst we reading the story may be able to identify the significance Will and Tom don’t always get it away. I got invested in both Will and Tom. Wanting both f them to succeed and beat the odds against all the obstacles put in their way. There is a happy ending although I would have loved an epilogue just to leave me feeling everything works out well for them.

4 of stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Secrets We Keep by Rick R. Reed

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-secrets-we-keep-by-rick-r-reed-10761-b

Blurb
Jasper Warren is a happy-go-lucky young man in spite of the tragedy that’s marred his life. He’s on a road to nowhere with his roommate, Lacy, whom he adores, and a dead-end retail job in Chicago.

And then everything changes in a single night. Though Jasper doesn’t know it, his road is going somewhere after all. This time when tragedy strikes, it brings with it Lacy’s older, wealthy, sexy uncle Rob. Despite the heart-wrenching circumstances, an immediate connection forms between the two men.

But the secrets between them test their attraction. Will their revelations destroy the bloom of new love… or encourage it to grow?

Review

Warning…There is a suicide in this book so that may be a trigger for some….

Just from reading the blurb I had a feeling this was going to be an emotional read. Jasper and Rob meeting happens during a dark time. They spark is there between them but Rob lives in Palm Springs and Jasper is in Chicago. The two strike up a pen pal relationship where the attraction between the two grow even more. Both men have secrets in their past that eventually come to light. I enjoyed this book a lot. I’ve always thought that romances that bloom from tragedy were special. The issue I had with this book was the last few chapters felt rushed and the big reunion fell a little flat. Regardless, I still recommend this book. It was a beautiful read!

4 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: JP Barnaby and Rowen Speedwell By: A Pocket full of Stardust

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-pocketful-of-stardust-by-jp-barnaby-and-rowan-speedwell-10651-

Blurb
Noah Hitchens loves the New York City life he worked hard to build. But when his father dies and leaves him a bankrupt bookstore in their sleepy Georgia hometown, Noah knows he has to save it. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know anything about business. He finds unlikely help in Henry, the man who owned Stardust Books before his 1966 murder, and Kyle St. James, a shy but kind-hearted out-of-towner with a past almost as mysterious as Henry’s.

Kyle came to Aster, Georgia, looking for redemption. On the run and out of hope, he’s just trying to get on with his life. Then he meets Noah, a ghost, and a big sloppy lab named Jake who redefine his idea of living. But his past is closing in, and when it finds him, they could lose everything

Review
I found this to be a sweet and quirky story. Noah has a highly pressured job in New York which he loves. He is settled until he gets the call that no one wants to get. His father died suddenly. I didn’t expect it but I got quite emotional at this point. I was reading around the time of year my own father died a few years ago. And I really didn’t expect it to trigger me but it did. Having said that Noah’s grief was expressed beautifully I felt for him and the position he was in sorting out his father’s affairs. The quirkinesses comes when Noah comes across Henry. Once Noah gets over the shock Henry helps him understand the book business.
Kyle is sweet and shy but he has a secret that he is desperate to keep. Noah just takes Kyle as he is and as their friendship grows so does their feelings for each other. As his past catches up with him and aspects of Noah’s past affect his business the story races to their happy ending.
Despite my personal emotional state I found this to be a very lovely story and recommend it.

4 of stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Four by Tia Fielding

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/four-by-tia-fielding-10643-

Blurb
A Love by Numbers Story When unlikely attraction blossoms between a twentysomething genderqueer tattoo artist and an older, small-town veterinarian, both are forced to face their pasts for a chance at a loving future. Four years ago Padraig Donovan lost his husband, the only man he’d ever been with. Now his life consists of the work he loves, a big empty house, and the possibility of a lonely future. Kaos’s experiments with makeup landed him in the hospital at the hands of his disapproving ex. With nowhere else to turn, he flees to Acker, Wisconsin… and runs into a sexy widower and the kindest man he’s ever met. Padraig and Kaos know there’s something worth exploring between them, and as they raise a puppy and deal with the ups and downs of their respective jobs, they fit into each other’s lives in ways they never expected. Being with Kaos—who is so different than the guys he’s always been attracted to—opens up an exciting new world for Padraig. But can he convince Kaos to trust another man with his body… let alone his heart

Review
This is a slow and steady story about two men who have suffered in their life. Because of this the story contains triggers which are sensitively dealt with. I like that this is not a story where finding ‘the one’ means all is cured. Both Kaos and Padraig work work hard at building their relationship. Bonding over the care of a cute puppy. I think that because the story is so steady where there’s no drama or misunderstandings it took me a while to get into it. When I did I found it easy reading and fell for Kaos’s determination and Padraig’s gentleness. Kaos has found a place where he can be himself and found acceptance. Padraig is ready to let go of his husband who died four years ago and move on. Not having read the first book, Ten, I thought the town of Acker was portrayed very well. There are a lot of characters that I assume were introduced in Ten, especially Makai and Emil with secondary parts. I think Four can be read as a stand alone story.

3.5 of stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: The CEO Christmas Manny by: Angela McCallister; Narrated by: John Solo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-ceos-christmas-manny-by-angela-mccallister-10040-

Blurb
Anything but business as usual.
Billionaire CEO Nic Price lives for his job. With sales down and grumbling from the board of directors – including Nic’s permanently dissatisfied father – the last thing Nic needs is distraction from the new manny, whose freewheeling approach to childcare is outlandish…and who makes Nic feel things he’s never allowed himself to feel.
Ex-teacher Sasha Lindsey is all about fun – that’s the reason people love him, so he has to be. After a bad break-up leaves him jobless and homeless, the live-in manny job with Mr. Price seems like a windfall. But his chemistry with Nic is off the charts, and he can’t afford another workplace romance disaster.
Can Nic leave his dominance in the bedroom and open his heart to the best thing that’s ever happened to him? Or will Sasha’s leap of faith backfire and ruin his chances at the family happily-ever-after he’s always dreamed of?

Review
I have so many mixed feelings about this audiobook that it’s been hard to focus them for this review. First I should say that I liked it. I enjoy Manny stories and on several levels this ticks a lot of boxes for me. But I found it hard to connect with Sasha and Nic. They’re similar in that they both have hateful parents and are driven in their chosen profession. Both of them are compassionate people but Nic’s demanding father has driven the compassion down to a very low priority in his life. Nic’s niece and nephew need attention from their uncle but is get a series of nannies. Sasha’s compassionate nature has meant he’s been taken advantage of in the past. which has left him with no home or job, until he becomes a Manny to Lucy and Ben. I enjoyed the slow burn story but did feel there was some unnecessary angst. Nic’s self centred attitude caused unnecessary pain to Sasha. Poor Percy (Nic’s friend and assistant) is left with the dirty work. I’d love to see Percy have his own story. Nic does eventually come to his senses and has a happy ending with Sasha. I would have loved an epilogue where Nic’s father suffered for his actions but alas it was not meant to be.
Jon Solo is an excellent narrator. The emotional ups and downs he gives emphasis and the overall tone he uses make it a more compelling listen.

4 of stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Hate You Drink by: NR Walker

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45549981-the-hate-you-drink?from_search=tru

Blurb
Erik Keston, son of the Keston Real Estate empire, knows what it takes to be successful. Despite his inherent wealth, he holds his own. He works hard, he’s grounded, he’s brilliant. He’s also secretly in love with his best friend.

Monroe Wellman lost his parents three years ago and never grieved, never recovered. Inheriting the family company and wealth means nothing, and his spiral of self-destruction is widespread and spectacular. Dubbed Sydney’s bad boy, he spends more days drunk than sober, and the only person who’s stuck by him through it all is his best mate.

But when Monroe hits rock bottom, Erik gives him an ultimatum, and his entire world comes to a grinding halt. It’s not until the haze lifts that Monroe can truly see what he’s been searching for was never in the bottom of a bottle. It’s been by his side all along

Review
Addiction is a difficult issue for me to read about. If it’s not done well I feel the author has not taken the nature of addiction seriously. That is definitely not the case here. NR Walker gives us a heart rending story that shows the empty despair within addiction, for the addict and the ones that love them. I felt I was living through it with Monroe and Erik. The level of angst was not as high as I thought it would be after reading the blurb and I think it is a great story because of that. The emotions are there without handwringing angst which meant I could focus on the story. I am thankful that this is not a magic cure story but one that acknowledges alcoholism is a life long disease. One that they are facing together but to do that Monroe has hard work to do before they can have their happy ending. This was where the tissues came out, I’m a sucker for a happy ending.

4 of stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Coming Soon: String Boys by Amy Lane

May 28

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/string-boys-by-amy-lane-10521-

Blurb

Seth Arnold learned at an early age that two things in life could make his soul soar—his violin and Kelly Cruz. In Seth’s uncertain childhood, the kindness of the Cruz family, especially Kelly and his brother, Matty, gave Seth the stability to make his violin sing with the purest sound and opened a world of possibility beyond his home in Sacramento.

Kelly Cruz has loved Seth forever, but he knows Seth’s talents shouldn’t be hidden, not when the world is waiting. Encouraging Seth to follow his music might break Kelly’s heart, but he is determined to see the violin set Seth’s soul free. When their world is devastated by a violent sexual assault and Matty’s prejudices turn him from a brother to an enemy, Seth and Kelly’s future becomes uncertain.

Seth can’t come home and Kelly can’t leave, but they are held together by a love that they clutch with both hands.

Seth and Kelly are young and the world is wide—the only thing they know for certain is they’ll follow their heartstrings to each other’s arms whenever time and fate allow. And pray that one day they can follow that string to forever… before it slices their hearts in two.

Review

From the moment I started this book I knew it’s going to be an Amy Lane classic. Full of feels and emotional highs and lows. I felt like I was privileged to be an onlooker on Seth and Kelly’s life. The turbulence that the Cruz family goes through broke my heart. The story pulledon my heart strings. Growing up along sideSeth, Kelly and Mattie being with them as they struggled through life and learned what loving that special person is all about.In this story we get the whole journey of friends to lovers, the hate and family rife as well as unconditional love. Seth has a unique talent for the violin and Kelly wants that to grow. There are a lot of times when school and other circumstances mean Seth and Kelly can’t be together but friends and family are there to get them through and hold on tight. I cried and cheered within moments of each other many times when reading this book and probably will again when I reread it. If you like angsty stories that also fill your heart with joy I can’t recommend this book high enough. If you are still unsure about this book I would suggest that if you are a fan of Amy Lane’s Bonfires and Crocus books then this one would suit you as well.

 

6 of stars out of 5



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Review

This was – has for me to review. I love Amy so much but this did not inspire me.

I was prepared for angst central and there was a bit – but I honestly was never attached to the characters in such a way that I felt it.

Perhaps it was just my frame of mind when I was reading it, but I just didn’t see these guys in the same light as some of her other couples.

First, they spend a ton of time away from one another but still visit so it was kinda – meh – on that front.

The family is both hard to love and so full of pain that I didn’t really get roped in to their drama.

The romance ends on a very bland note and I didn’t get the sense of relief that I usually do with her angsty stories.

It was good and interesting but not my favorite.

3.5 of 5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Chained (Bureau #4) by Kim Fielding

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44769520-chained

Blurb

An agent for the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs? That’s the best job in the world. And it’s enough for Terry Brandt, who doesn’t need personal relationships complicating his life. His newest assignment puts him undercover, investigating a Hollywood agent who may have some evil tricks up his sleeve.

Edge is not the man he appears to be. Although he’s a member of the Hollywood agent’s security staff, his true situation is darker and deeper than that. Ordered to seduce the new prospect, Edge finds himself caught in conflicting loyalties.

Haunted by their pasts and tied up in secrets, neither Terry nor Edge can afford to allow passion to interfere with duty. And with danger dogging them, it’s impossible to envision a future together.

Review

I’m coming into this series a bit late in the game, but I’m absolutely hooked now. I always love the atmosphere and writing style in Kim Fielding’s stories, this one was no different.
She has written this paranormal story from a very original angle, mythology-wise, than we usually get, with a different power-balance.

I really loved enigmatic Edge and seemingly naïve Terry together. They’re drawn to each other, but can they trust each other? Their feelings get quite intense quite fast, but it absolutely works.

There’s such a sense of hopelessness and sadness when we read from Edge’s point of view. His world is so small, his life limited to existing, surviving even, and he sees no way out for him or his brothers. I loved his interactions with Terry, the unexpected connection they feel and how it starts to slowly, dangerously, change Edge’s view of his life.

The mystery about all the goings-on at the mansion, and even at the Bureau, is very well-written and keeps the reader on his toes. Loved the suspense and the surprises the author had up her sleeve at the end!

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


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Review
I have not read the previous books in the Bureau series but in my opinion it’s not necessary as this story stands on its own. Terry Brandt is undercover trying to find out how a Hollywood agent can guarantee fame and fortune. What he didn’t know was that he would find so much more. My heart went out to Edge being singled out from his brothers and abused by the boss. Even though there is very little back story for Edge got more more invested in him but not so much Terry. That might be because I thought Edge was in a Stockholm syndrome situation. Terry is the only person, apart from his brothers, to show him kindness both as a dog or a man. But it is dangerous for Edge to get too close. I liked how this story was set 1989 with all the references to the music and social situation at the time. This story has intrigued me so much that I’m tempted to read or listen to the first three books, available in an omnibus edition.

Number of stars out of 5 3.5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Coming Soon! Cash by Garrett Leigh

January 22!

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43188699-cash?from_search=tru

Blurb
Cash is a car mechanic with a secret. Head down, sleeves up, he hides from the past as much as his shattered heart, until a reluctant stumble into a Tottenham bar ends in the one night stand of his dreams.

Hunt saboteur Rae can’t believe his luck when he wakes up the next morning. Cash is gorgeous, and the hottest hook up he’s ever had. He doesn’t expect to see him again, until a twist of fate lands him on Cash’s doorstep a few months later.

United by a cause that’s broken Cash before, they are drawn together. They have more in common than they ever imagined, but with Cash haunted by the past, and Rae so tangled in the present, it’s not long before love isn’t enough to keep them alive.

Review
I wouldn’t say this was a romance story more a statement story, if there is such a thing. The emphasis is on fox hunting and the lengths the saboteurs go to to prevent foxes being harmed. I’ve never really known much about the hunt or that despite being illegal now it still goes on. Although it doesn’t surprise me. I did feel a bit conflicted in thatI don’t agree with the actions on either side but as part of this story it works so well. Rae and Cash’s relationship is complicated. Cash’s past is troubling him and makes it a rocky journey for them. Rae is caught up in his life with the saboteurs that he is single minded. The angst ebbs and flows throughout the story which kept me hooked. I wanted to know if they were going to have a chance. I was happy with the happy for now ending. It feels right.
I didn’t realise there was a previous book, Lucky, Lucky and Dom’s story. I am intrigued by them. I am also interested in the next book Jude.

4 of stars out of 5


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