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Recent Release: Burden By K.C. Wells

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/burden-by-kc-wells-10399-b

Blurb
A Love, Unexpected Tale

They never knew what hit them.

A hooker with a heart, falling for a Vice cop? This is no Hollywood movie, and if they want a happily ever after, it’s not going to be easy.

Detective Randy Michaels is back with Vice, working to help NYC crack down on its prostitution problem. When he suspects Jesse Bryant of soliciting, Randy is torn between duty and his knowledge of what put Jesse on the streets. Jesse is clearly struggling, and he isn’t the only one. Recent events have forced Randy to question his sexuality, and a shocking encounter with Jesse plunges him into a crisis of conscience.

Jesse didn’t think his life could get any worse. His family cut all support, his education is on hold, and he’s surviving the only way he knows—selling himself on the streets. Of all the people who could have offered him a helping hand, why did it have to be Randy?

Two men carrying their own personal burdens: How long will it take them to realize that what they really need is each other?

Review
Burden is the second book in the Love, Unexpected series. To be fully enjoyed book one Debt should be read first, since events and characters from that story show up frequently in this one.

Randy is a vice cop in New York City who spent over a year working undercover at an illegal brothel. It was there that he met Jesse, who causes him to start questioning his sexuality. Jesse is a young vivacious man who starts working at the brothel to help pay for his education. When the club gets busted Jesse agrees to testify but this causes his parents to withdraw all support. With no other job prospects, Jesse is forced to return to selling his body. Randy and Jesse start to hang out after the trial and feelings start to grow between the two.

Burden was extremely well written. KC does an amazing job at conveying the characters feelings. This story had good flow with very little angst. The romance and chemistry between Randy and Jesse was scorching!! I highly recommend this one!

5 stars


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adult - 18+

Audiobook: How Not to Sin Lovestrong, Book 3 By: Susan Hawke Narrated by: Michael Pauley

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/How-Not-to-Sin-Audiobook/B07PW3WP78?ref=a_listener__c3_listenProd_1_1&pf_rd_p=1659cc9b-c59a-44b6-81d1-7aeca54f1a09&pf_rd_r=B5Q7ACKVMH7G0MSJCDGQ

Blurb

One regular guy who happens to be a preacher….

Reverend Dr. Gabe Samson doesn’t think he’s better than any of the people in his church, so please don’t put him on a pedestal. While he’s never hidden the fact that he identifies as bisexual, he’s never acted on it either. Gabe isn’t happy to learn that the sole reason he was hired to pastor the LGBT-friendly church was that the ruling elders wanted a safe poster child for inclusivity – in other words, they wanted the rainbow flag without letting it fly.

Plus one easygoing, new-age kinda guy….

Seth Thomas owns Holistic Healing, a metaphysical shop and yoga studio. He’s never really been a relationship kinda guy, but only because he hasn’t met the right man yet. Seth is laid back and goes with the flow. When fate drops a hot preacher in his lap, why wouldn’t he accept the gift?

Equals a pair of men who click from the start.

The two men find it almost too easy to get together, especially Gabe, who is fully embracing his bi side for the first time. Nothing in life is simple though. While Gabe and Seth are busy falling in love, they face an anti-gay hate group, a divided church, and a ruling elder who is hell-bent on sowing discord. Between Gabe’s patient wisdom and Seth’s snark, the pair fight the growing drama with the strongest weapons in their arsenal: love and humor.
©2019 Susan Hawke (P)2019 Susan Hawke

Review

I loved the book just from reading the synopsis. A pastor and a metaphysical healer?!?! Not a typical pairing but it works for Gabe and Seth. The book is hot and sweet without being too over the top. I really enjoyed seeing Gabe portrayed as more than just a pastor. While this book is fairly easy going there is a lot of religion (one of the main characters is a preacher after all) it didn’t feel preachy. The main drama of the story surrounds the fact that Gabe is a bisexual preacher.

Michael Pauley is doing a great job with this series!! While he doesn’t have the vocal library of a lot of narrators (a few characters sound a bit too similar) I love his energy when he’s narrating! He makes the story flow easily even when the subject matter isn’t the easiest to hear.
4.5stars for story 5 for narration

4.5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Wicked Games (Queen City Rogues #2) by Aimee Nicole Walker

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44390881-wicked-games?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

Ryder Jameson and Lucien Clarke have a complicated past: Ryder conserves art; Lucien steals it. Their love-hate relationship spans six years and two continents and has endured multiple heists. Hoping to restore his tarnished reputation and heal his jilted heart, Ryder returns home to Cincinnati. When Lucien suddenly reappears in Ryder’s life, the ancient Shang Dynasty artifact isn’t the only prize he wants to claim.

Something more sinister than stolen art is stirring. Ryder and Lucien must join forces to untangle a web of secrets, lies, and treachery bigger than either of them expected. Trust won’t come easy, but they’ll need to rely on each other because pulling the wrong thread could lead to their death.

Is it fate that keeps bringing Ryder and Lucky together, or are they merely pawns in someone’s wicked games? Will they play for keeps this time or become collateral damage?

Wicked Games is a second-chance romance filled with passion, humor, and intrigue. It’s the second book in the Queen City Rogues series but can be read on its own. Wicked Games contains mature sexual content intended for readers 18 and older.

Review

This was a very gripping story, both the romance and the action plot. I did feel there was a bit too much focus on the suspense plot involving Lucien’s mysterious “employer” and the subsequent danger they find themselves in because of it, where I’d have preferred it if instead the author had taken more time to develop Ryder’s and Lucien’s relationship.

They have a lot of history, off page, and to my mind, they got over their trust issues and heartbreak a bit too fast, leaving too much unspoken when they get back together. This is not to say that things aren’t intense between them, and even at times quite moving as well. I loved how Lucien/Lucky called Ryder “Love” all the time, even when they are still at odds.

I really liked the secondary characters and the banter and flavor they brought to the story. Carmen, Dev and Percy stood out the most and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of them. I’m curious to see where the next book in this series will take us.

m/m, contemporary, action/crime, second chance at love, opposites attract, misunderstanding

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review

I loved Wicked Games so much. This is a story full of all sorts of emotions, drama and suspense. At first, I thought there was going to be a lot of back and forth fighting between Ryder and Lucien before they “made up” but that wasn’t really the case here. After reuniting for the first time there is an explosive scene between the two men (super hotttt). I loved all the references to Romancing the Stone and they play off of Carmen Sandiego.

These two men go on their own adventure to achieve their own happy ending. Aimee Nicole Walker is an amazing storyteller!

While this is a part of the Queen City Rogues series there is actually very little interaction with other characters from the series and can easily be read as a standalone but do yourself a favor and the first book Broken Halos for a little more build up to this one!
5 stars


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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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Release Day Review: Dirty Laundry by Heidi Cullinan

release day review

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/dirty-laundry-by-heidi-cullinan-10335-b

Blurb
A Tucker Springs Novel
Sometimes you have to get dirty to come clean.
When muscle-bound Denver Rogers effortlessly dispatches the frat boys harassing grad student Adam Ellery at the Tucker Springs laundromat, Adam’s thank-you turns into impromptu sex over the laundry table. The problem comes when they exchange numbers. What if Adam wants to meet again and discovers Denver is a high-school dropout with a learning disability who works as a bouncer at a local gay bar? Or what if Denver calls Adam only to learn while he might be brilliant in the lab, outside of it he has crippling social anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder?
Either way, neither of them can shake the memory of their laundromat encounter. Despite their fears of what the other might think, they can only remember how good the other one feels. The more they get together, the kinkier things become. They’re both a little bent, but in just the right ways.
Maybe the secret to staying together isn’t to keep things clean and proper. Maybe it’s best to keep their laundry just a little bit dirty.

Second Edition
First Edition published by Riptide Publishing, January 2013.

Review
Dirty Laundry is the third book in the Tucker Springs series. Each book can be easily read as a standalone. Compared to the first two books in the series this one has been tweaked quite a lot making the flow a lot better then the original release.
The two main characters, Adam and Denver are both very different but complex characters. Adam is a self-proclaimed “Bug Guy” who suffers from anxiety and severe OCD which prohibits him from really having any relationship. Denver seems to be really self-assured in the beginning but then later in the book we find out a lot about him. He doesn’t see Adam’s quirks as strange and doesn’t treat him any different because of his mental illness.

This book is HOT!!!!!! It starts of with a bang and just goes up from there! This book contains mild BDSM elements like spankings, gags, bondage and punishments. Heidi does a great job at showing us a guy who NEEDS bondage and punishment and doesn’t just want to play with it. The characters were written in away that they just come alive in this book. The character disabilities were written and dealt with in a very touching way. Heidi herself is very open about what she struggles with on a daily basis and you can easily see this in her characters. I cannot recommend this book enough.

5 Stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Upside Down by N.R. Walker

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44292759-upside-down?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb
Jordan O’Neill isn’t a fan of labels, considering he has a few. Gay, geek, a librarian, socially awkward, a nervous rambler, an introvert, an outsider. The last thing he needs is one more. But he when he realises adding the label ‘asexual’ might explain a lot, it turns his world upside down.

Hennessy Lang moved to Surry Hills after splitting with his boyfriend. His being asexual had seen the end of a lot of his romances, but he’s determined to stay true to himself. Leaving his North Shore support group behind, he starts his own in Surry Hills, where he meets first-time-attendee Jordan.

A little bewildered and scared, but completely adorable, Hennessy is struck by this guy who’s trying to find where he belongs. Maybe Hennessy can convince Jordan that his world hasn’t been turned upside down at all, but maybe it’s now—for the first time in his life—the right way up.

Review
I enjoyed this book immensely!! It was engaging and funny and surprisingly sweet. I loved Jordan’s personality and the way his mind worked. I must admit that I enjoyed the chapter’s that were in his point of view versus the chapters in Hennessy’s. Not that his chapters were boring or anything, but Jordan is just hilarious, and Hennessy is a bit more sedate, although he has his moments.
This is an amazingly sweet and fluffy love story that I cannot recommend enough!
5 stars


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Review
This book was incredibly sweet, with the humor I liked so much in Walker’s ‘The Weight of it All’ and dealing with the subject of Asexuality in a wonderful eye opening way. I think the thing that makes this story so good it how much you don’t really need sex to feel the romance, longing and passion Jordan and Hennessy feel for each other. Jordan is one of the funniest characters I’ve read in a long time, and he had me laughing more times than I can count. Their relationship is so sweet, and gently brings some of the lesser known sexual identities in the romance genre. Walker showed the struggle Asexuals face in our overly sexualized world. Angus and Merry were some of the most amazing side characters I have ever seen and I wish we could get their story someday.
This book makes you feel so good, while still having emotional depth and dealing with serious themes. Leaves you smiling and a gooey happy pile of emotions. Just a wonderful read through and through.

Number of stars out of 5
5


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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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Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Mating of Convenience Second Chances, Book 1 By: Ann-Katrin Byrde Narrated by: John Solo

audiobookreview

https://www.audible.com/pd/Mating-of-Convenience-Audiobook/B07N8HYTH6?ref=a_lib_c4_libItem_9_B07N8HYTH6&pf_rd_p=ae76b2bb-e63d-4a67-b357-dab3dee05ca1&pf_rd_r=QAYDWY42QXAKVE3F90J3&

Blurb
Money problems? Marry your best friend!
Nathan and Raphael were friends first, then lovers, then…nothing when Raphael left to pursue his dreams of becoming a tattoo artist. But only one year after Raphael makes it out of his small-town home, bad news descends on him. His useless father has gotten their family into debt so deep , it would take 1,000 years to dig them out. With his siblings on the brink of becoming homeless, Raphael turns to his estranged but wealthy grandmother for help and receives a deal: If he settles down and marries, he’ll free his siblings of the debt.
When Raphael asks Nathan for a favor – to enter a marriage of convenience – Nathan agrees. After all, he’s doing it so he can start his own pet shop, right? Wrong. Nathan just can’t say no to the man who used to be his best friend – the man he’s still secretly yearning for, even as he’s doing his best to hide that fact. After all, he knows better now than to fall for Raphael again.
Haunted by the loss of their past relationship, Raphael regrets breaking Nathan’s heart. Scars from the past are never easy to heal, though, and the more time he spends with his new husband, the harder it gets for Raphael to deny the sparks that Nathan ignites in him. Except, this is just a pretend relationship, isn’t it?
While this audiobook is part of the Oceanport Universe, knowledge of that series is not required to enjoy this story.

Review
I really enjoyed this audio for the most part. The only issue I had was with all the secondary characters, I felt a bit lost, and I have read all the Oceanport books too. This is a solid friend to lovers/second chance at love story. We have soft spoken and easy-going alpha Nathan and the omega Raphael who while he loved Nathan, he felt he had to give him up so Nathan could eventually have his dream family. This book was a fairly easy listen but there was a difficult scene dealing with miscarriage that may be a trigger.

John Solo has long been a favorite narrator of mine. I loved all his voices, he keeps the story moving at a nice pace. He is a master of his craft!
4 stars for story and 5 stars for narration


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Categories
adult - 18+

Release Day Review: Freckles by Amy Lane

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/freckles-by-amy-lane-10285-b

Blurb

Carter Embree has always hoped to be rescued from his productive, tragically boring, and (slightly) ethically compromised life. But when an urchin at a grocery store shoves a bundle of fluff into his hands, Carter goes from rescuee to rescuer—and he needs a little help.

Sandy Corrigan, the vet tech who helps ease Carter into the world of dog ownership, first assumes that Carter is a crazy-pants client who just needs to relax. But as Sandy gets a glimpse into the funny, kind, sexy man under Carter’s mild-mannered exterior, he sees that with a little care and feeding, Carter might be Super-Pet Owner—and decent boyfriend material to boot.

But Carter needs to see himself as a hero first. As he says good-bye to his pristine house and hello to carpet treatments and dog walkers, he finds that there really is more to himself than a researching drudge without a backbone. A Carter Embree can rate a Sandy Corrigan. He can be supportive, he can be a hero, he can be a man who stands up for his principles!

He can be the owner of a small dog.

Review

On the “super, sugary, sweet and lite” side of the Amy spectrum we have Freckles! It’s about a man whose entire life begins on the day a punk kid gives him a puppy of his own and he meets an aspiring Veterinarian named Sandy.

This is just plain feel-good, sweet, no angst, lots of laughs fun. There’s a bit of smexy times, but really, even that is “lite”. Sandy knows what he wants and just goes for it and so does Carter.

Amy tells us this is based on real people she knows from her own pet-owning experience and it shows. Though there are a couple of “inaccuracies” here and there, it’s a wonderful look at new puppy ownership and finding one’s own place in the world.

Personally I was cringing every time Carter left little Freckles alone – I kept picturing tragedy and mayhem upon return (since no crate!) but our Amy let little Freckles live on in relative peace ☺

This is a sweet vaguely Thanksgiving story that fans of the author or people just looking for something fun to read will absolutely adore.
Highly Recommended.

4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review
Amy Lane has a fantastic writing style, lyrical and flowing that just grabs you from the start. In the same way Freckles the tiny puppy is thrust into poor Carter’s helpless hands, the reader is also thrown into this whirlwind of a romance, under the watchful eye of one itty bitty white fluff of a dog.
This book is funny, Whitty, and charming, it flows beautifully and the changes Carter goes through after meeting Freckles and becoming a doggy daddy are relatable and endearing. This is a book about evolving, growing as a person and becoming more than one, family and friends.

If you are looking for a sweet, fun read with some heat and lots of puppy love this is the book for you!

Number of stars out of 5
4.5


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Release Day Review: A Model Escort by Amanda Meuwissen

release day review

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-model-escort-by-amanda-meuwissen-10283-b

Blurb

What’s the value of love?

Shy data scientist Owen Quinn is brilliant at predictive models but clueless at romance. Fortunately, a new career allows him to start over hundreds of miles from the ex he would rather forget. But the opportunity might go to waste since this isn’t the kind of problem he knows how to solve. The truth is, he’s terrible at making the first move and wishes a connection didn’t have to revolve around sex.

Cal Mercer works for the Nick of Time Escort Service, one similar to the escort olbia services and others that exist around the world. He’s picky about his clients and has never accepted a regular who is looking for companionship over sex-but can the right client change his mind? And can real feelings develop while money is changing hands? Owen and Cal might get to the root of their true feelings… if their pasts don’t interfere.

Review

A Model Escort was a fairly decent read. The story flowed really well. I enjoyed the connect Owen and Cal had. I’m usually a little skeptical about these types of stories….sometimes they are just another retelling of Pretty Women, but Model Escort isn’t. Neither man is looking to be saved by the other. Owen reaches out to Cal’s escort agency mainly because of loneliness. Cal is in his early 40s and seems to be burning out, he decided to accept Owen as a client to try and mix things up. Both men are surprised by the connection they end up making. There’s some drama built up by an ex-boyfriend and an ex client, I wish that was drawn out a little more but instead it was resolved within a few pages. The only thing I didn’t like was Owens job. I had no clue what the heck he was actually doing job wise and the beginning of the story was a bit confusing but other than that I enjoyed this book.

3.5 stars


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