Release Day Review: Educating the Professor by Sean Michael

release day review

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/educating-the-professor-by-sean-michael-10150-b

Blurb

Kenneth Brannigan is a small-town history professor. He’s happy with his life, loves the classes he teaches, and lives in a tiny apartment in a converted house with his best friend, Tim, next door. He’s still recovering from a bad breakup and is content to stick to his comfortable routine. It’s Tim who insists he come to the Queer Alliance’s Rainbow Mixer.

At the mixer, Kenn meets David Burgundy, a new-to-town TA who is working on his masters. Dave is drawn immediately to Kenn and is thrilled when Kenn offers to show him the best pizza place in town. One meal leads to two, which leads to Dave and Kenn spending most of their free time together… and Kenn loosening his self-imposed rules regarding dating and sex for some kinky fun.

Kenn’s ex isn’t going to just let Kenn be, though, and the happier Kenn is with Dave, the less the ex likes it. Will Kenn continue to run away from his past, or will his relationship with Dave help him face it head-on?

Review

This was a cute and sweetly kinky romance story. I thought it would have a bit of a May-December vibe going, because one MC is a professor and the other a TA, but both characters are more or less the same age and interestingly enough it wasn’t the professor dictating the rules in the relationship. Role-reversals like that are like catnip to me, loved that.

Kenn and Dave are drawn to each other from the first, but Kenn has secrets he doesn’t think he can share with his new friend/lover. So he tries to keep his distance and protect both their hearts, but he’s no match for Dave’s gentle persistence and understanding. To say nothing of the startling chemistry they share.
Kenn has a truly awful ex that doesn’t seem to know how to stay in the past where he belongs. It was great to see Kenn, eventually, stand up to that controlling jerk though. The BDSM part of the story certainly added spice, though it remains more on the level of their playing the occasional scene together rather than a 24/7 D/s lifestyle romance.

Definitely an enjoyable read.

Number of stars out of 5: 4


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Recent Release: Escaping Mortality (The Escape Trilogy Book 3) by Sara Dobie Bauer

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43206768-escaping-mortality?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Their ocean journey was successful, and Andrew and Edmund found an Elder just in time. As they wished, Edmund is now a vampire like Andrew. They have eternity together, but first, they must visit Edmund’s ailing mother in the English countryside with their flock of immortals, including the Elder, who has taken an ominous liking to his new creation.
When they arrive at Edmund’s family estate, his sick mother and her loathsome best friend await them. While ducking religious curses, Edmund struggles to harness an unexpected power gifted him by the Elder. Andrew fears for his beloved as Edmund becomes more and more monstrous—but vampires have always been monsters, haven’t they?
A battle is coming, for Edmund’s heart and his soul, and Andrew will lose neither. He escaped island exile and a near tragedy at sea to be with Edmund, the beautiful young sailor he loves. Andrew will do anything to keep Edmund by his side, but his most dangerous adversary may be Edmund himself.

Review:
This is the final book of the trilogy, and it is a fitting end to the story.
Andrew and Edmund have left New Orleans to find an Elder (Brien) who will make him immortal. They find and Elder (Brian) who turns Edmund, but not without some hidden consequences.
As the group (Felipe, Michelle and others), continue on their voyage to England (to see Edmund’s dying mother), they realise that Brien has given Edmund some extra powers. This includes the ability to control things and eventually, people; making Edmund more powerful – (a fact that will have dire consequences later).
When they get to England, we learn more about Edmund’s background, inheritance and his past relationships. Eventually, he finds out that he is indirectly responsible for his mum’s illness.
Again, the one thing constant throughout the stories is the love Edmund and Andrew have for each other. Ultimately, this is what sees them through trials they encounter with Brien and others.
In the end, both men get their eternal get their HEA. I loved the epilogue; definitely a treat to see he vamps well into the future ☺
This was a really good story. Loved it from the first to the last book.

4.5 stars out of 5


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Audiobook: An Unlocked Mind (Secrets book 2) by K.C. Wells and Parker Williams narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/an-unlocked-mind-by-kc-wells-and-parker-williams-10272-b

Blurb

Rob Daniels is determined to prove to himself that his brother Alex got it wrong. Alex believes he found love through BDSM; Rob is certain that’s not possible. He even makes several visits to a London club to prove his point. But when he attends the grand opening of Secrets, Rob gets a shock, one that has him fleeing, vowing never to return—until he does… and runs into the brick wall that is Dom Vic Prentiss. As first meetings go, theirs is a disaster.

The more time he spends around Rob, the more convinced Vic becomes of two things—one, something is eating away at Rob, and two, he’s looking for something. Every instinct tells Vic to help him, but trying to unlock the secrets hidden in Rob’s mind requires a key. All Vic has to do is find it. Because maybe then he’ll get to see the real Rob, the man who’s scared to let go….

Review

The Secrets series soars to new heights with this one and to me it really stands out from the other books in the Collars and Cuffs & Secrets universe. I enjoyed reading all the books in these two series, but a couple of them resonated with me more than others and An Unlocked Mind is absolutely joining Dom of Ages at the top of my list.

Rob makes for a very unlikely sub with his cocky attitude, which he never loses, and that’s definitely part of why I adore him so much. The vulnerability he hides behind his bravado and the guilt he struggles with for how he treated his brother tugged at my heartstrings so much. I love the way Rob grows throughout this story, trying so hard to redeem himself, though sometimes stumbling along the way. I’m a sucker for redemption stories, especially of characters who messed up for MC’s from previous books in a series, so Rob was an unexpected treat for me!

Vic is the perfect match for Rob and at times almost too amazing and insightful. I loved seeing such a strong and outwardly tough looking guy be so caring and gentle, oh the magic of a Dom written exactly right. He’s there for Rob even when they barely know each other (or even like each other yet), no strings attached. I also adored him for not being too hung up on “the way things are usually done” and being open to it when Robs steps up to steer their relationship forward. The only thing that could have made this better for me was if Vic had also had a bit more of a growth arc himself. Apart from his love for Rob, he’s pretty much the same guy at the end as he was at the beginning of the book.

I loved seeing Jarod and Eli again, and I especially liked the burgeoning friendship between Jarod and Rob, which gets off to a rocky start because of the awful way Rob treated his brother Alex, who’s one of Jarod’s closest friends. We get the start of a new group of friends here and I hope their circle will continue to grow. Because I need the stories!

Narration: Joel Leslie did a truly wonderful job and I hope he’ll get to do the entire series. I very much enjoyed his performance, as I always do. He takes such care with the accents and has a great take on all the characters, main and secondary. I also love the consistency he can bring to the voices throughout the series. I cannot imagine Jarod or Eli sounding different all of the sudden from how they were in Dom of Ages, for example. That would not be a good thing. At all.

Number of stars out of 5: 5


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Audiobook: Stranger in a Foreign Land by Michael Murphy, narrated by Colin Darcy

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/stranger-in-a-foreign-land-by-michael-murphy-9679-b

Blurb:
Losing his old life and finding a new love.

After an accident stole his memory, the only home American businessman Patrick knows is Bangkok. He recovers under the tender ministrations of Jack, an Australian expat who works nights at a pineapple cannery. Together they search for clues to Patrick’s identity, but without success. Soon that forgotten past seems less and less important as Jack and Patrick – now known as Buddy – build a new life together.

But the past comes crashing in when Patrick’s brother travels to Thailand looking for him…and demands Patrick return to Los Angeles, away from Jack and the only world familiar to him. The attention also causes trouble for Jack, and to make their way back to each other, Patrick will need to find not only himself, but Jack as well, before everything is lost….

Review:
Story 3.5 out of 5: I have mixed feelings about the story. I liked the premise – an amnesiac who’s stranded in a foreign land, he creates a new life and gets a new love. But, I just couldn’t really get invested in the characters. Patrick is a businessman, (not sure what his business was), he has a good sense of humour (as evidenced by his monologues ☺). Then he has an accident and loses his memory and identity. He’s soon befriended by Jack, an Australian who won’t (can’t?) go back home. Both men become friends, slowly turning into a mutual attraction and romance. Then Patrick’s past comes back in the form of his brother. He’s forced away from Jack and he doesn’t handle the separation well. The men eventually get back together, but the story ends rather abruptly. An epilogue would have been great to tie everything together.

Narration 3.5 out of 5: I enjoyed the narration and I think it’s a good way to experience the story. Colin Darcy does a good job distinguishing between the characters, however, accents are not his forte – (his Oz accent sounded more Texan? to me).

Overall: 3.5 stars out of 5



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Recent Release: Werewolf’s Bravehearted Mate By Alice Cain

Good Reads

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/915865

Blurb

Alec Grison is more than happy with his current identity as an inner-city cop. He doesn’t need or want to remember the past, the betrayal, or the resentment he still carries two hundred years later. But when one of the men on his team is arrested, Alec can only wonder at the irony as his actions to protect the arresting officer bring his own family back into his life.

Angelo Hansen is a gay man fighting for his place in a straight man’s world. He’s a cop, and a damn good one, but getting some of his coworkers to remember that fact is a daily irritation. Arresting someone while off duty is not unusual, but when that someone turns out to be a fellow cop there’s no way it’s going to be good for Angelo’s career.

He’s very surprised, and more than a little suspicious, when Alec Grison—deliciously sexy, hard-boiled Swat Team leader and direct supervisor to the man Angelo arrested—steps in to support Angelo against the rest of the department.

But when unusual things start happening and secrets he never wanted to know are accidentally revealed, can Angelo trust Alec Grison is telling the truth when he can’t even trust his own eyes?

Review

The new Alice Cain is wonderful! It’s a little bit longer than her previous stories (https://www.goodreads.com/series/126439-lupinville) It’s very well-developed.  The characters have a lot more depth and  yet the romance is stil the central part of the story. I am really looking forward to the next book in this series!   

 

Highly recommended!

4.5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook Bad Attitude by KA Mitchell, narrated by Chet Daniel

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/bad-attitude-by-ka-mitchell-9505-b

Blurb

Saving lives never used to be this complicated.

Gavin Montgomery does what’s expected of him by his wealthy and powerful family—look good in a tuxedo and don’t make waves. When a friend takes a leap off a bridge, Gavin tries to save him, only to fall in with him. At least at the bottom of the river he won’t feel like such a disappointment to his family. But he’s pulled from the water by a man with an iron grip, a sexy mouth, and a chip on his shoulder the size of the national deficit.
Jamie Donnigan likes his life the way it is—though he could have done without losing his father and giving up smoking. But at least he’s managed to avoid his own ball and chain as he’s watched all his friends pair off. When Montgomery fame turns a simple rescue into a media circus, Jamie decides if he’s being punished for his good deed, he might as well treat himself to a hot and sweaty good time. It’s not like the elegant and charming Gavin is going to lure Jamie away from his bachelor lifestyle. Nobody’s that charming. Not even a Montgomery….

Review: Story previously reviewed.
https://openskyebookreviews.com/release-day-review-bad-attitude-by-ka-mitchell/

Chet Daniels is new to me. He did a good job with overall narration – the entitled tone for Gavin and a more down to earth tone for Jamie, (although not a ‘Balmer’ accent as my Baltimore-born spouse will tell you). Mr. Daniels did have a curious way of transitioning between dialogue and non-dialogue parts. It wasn’t bad, just something I noticed.
I enjoyed the narration and I think it’s a good way to experience the story.

4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

Audiobook: Tracker Hacker by Jeff Adams Narrated by John Solo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/tracker-hacker-by-jeff-adams-10196-b

Blurb

A Harmony Ink Press Title

Codename: Winger One

Theo Reese is just an average high school student with a passion for hockey and an uncanny talent when it comes to computers… at least on the surface.

What his teammates, fellow students, and even his boyfriend don’t realize is that Theo leads a double life. When he’s not putting up his facade of normal, Theo is working as an agent for Tactical Operational Support, where his technical genius is more than just a hobby. At sixteen he is responsible for helping agents in the field and keeping the TOS network secure.

It’s a secret he has to keep—from everyone.

But secrecy becomes even harder when a hacker compromises the system TOS uses to track its agents and Theo’s dad goes missing. Theo must find him and stop the hacker, which means leaving the comfort of his computer screen and venturing into a very real and very deadly world.

And if that’s not enough to deal with, all the secrecy is really putting a strain on Theo’s love life.

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Review

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Theo aka Winger is a 16-year-old technical genius. After hacking his parent’s phone, he finds out that they are a part of a covert organization. The organization brings Theo on board for a sort tech support role. Aside from that Theo seems to be a normal teenager. He plays hockey and has an adorkable boyfriend named Eddie. Theo struggles with keeping his two lives separate, especially with Eddie and I have a feeling that there will be a big blow up later on in the series.

The story was fast paced, and it held my interest the whole time. While I had trouble following some of the more complex technical lingo. Jeff did a good job explaining what was going on. I also enjoyed that hockey played a role throughout a good portion of the story. I eagerly look forward to reading the next book in the series.

John Solo did a great job with the narration. He has a great range and was able to give everyone a distinctive voice. One pet peeve of mine with YA audios are that the characters sound too old but John succeeded in portraying younger sounding voices for the teenagers.

4 stars



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

Audiobook: Fire and Granite (Carlisle Deputies #2) by Andrew Grey Narrated by Greg Tremblay

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fire-and-granite-by-andrew-grey-10191-b

Blurb
The heat is growing from the inside, but danger is building on the outside.
Judge Andrew Phillips runs a tight ship in his courtroom. He’s tough, and when he hands down a sentence, he expects to be obeyed. So when a fugitive named Harper escapes and threatens his life, Andrew isn’t keen on twenty-four/seven protection… especially not from Deputy Clay Brown. They have a past, one that could cause problems in their careers.
But with Clay assigned to Andrew and the two of them together every minute, there’s nowhere to hide from their attraction—or from the fact that there’s much more than chemistry blooming between them. As the threat intensifies, Clay knows he’ll do anything it takes to protect the people who are taking their places in his heart: Andrew and his young niece and nephew.

Review

Story:
This was a nice mix of suspense and romance with the two MC’s, Andrew and Clay, being forced to spend time together in dangerous circumstances.
Clay is called upon to protect Andrew from an escaped prisoner who’s bent on getting revenge on the judge who sentenced him to prison. To make matters even more dire, Andrew is also confronted with a family emergency and has to take care of his young niece and nephew while trying to stay out of harm’s way.
Clay and Andrew started off on the wrong foot, but they both quickly realize that they misjudged one another. I loved that the moment they start getting closer, they make it clear that “feelings” are involved and that it’s about matters of the heart, not just physical chemistry. So sweet!
The more action-filled and suspenseful part of the plot was well written and thought out, keeping me on edge throughout the story. The twist at the end caught me by surprise.
A big thank you should also go to Petey, Clay’s amazing and brave little Corgi, for being the best wingman ever and helping to keep his humans out of trouble!

Narration: Greg Tremblay is such an amazing narrator! I loved what he did with this story and the characters. His voice has such a warm and pleasant timbre and he did a wonderful job with all the voices, including those of the women and children. He really knows how to bring out the emotions of the characters. There was one scene in particular, a conversation between Andrew and his sister where he brought tears to my eyes with his performance. Brilliantly done.

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Release Day Review: Place Setting (States of Love) by Claudia Mayrant

release day review

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/place-setting-by-claudia-mayrant-10094-b

Blurb

Cameron Dunlop has lived in the Lowcountry town of Summer Corners, South Carolina, his whole life. He loves his home, but his little town in the Deep South doesn’t offer much in the way of dating options.

Chef Gray Callahan has enjoyed success in the kitchen, but his last relationship sunk like a bad soufflé. When plans for his sister’s wedding go awry, it provides the perfect excuse to pack up and go home, where he can help out as he decides how to start his life over.

Gray’s path crosses Cameron’s, and he realizes together they might have all the ingredients to save the day—with maybe enough left over for something sweet just for the two of them.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Review

This short story was such a sweet story to read. Gray relocates back to his small hometown and meets Cameron, who had a high school crush on Gray. There’s a pretty instant attraction. I like how quickly they worked together and the interest didn’t drag out. I enjoy reading cute stories like this where most works itself out with minimum trouble. The “Stick Shack” scene was cute and hot. Was happy Gray was able to pull through for his sister. I would LOVE to read a continuation of this book. Hope more in this series are made.

Number of stars out of 5

5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Coming Soon! Making it Better by Lyss Em

January 21

Blurb
“You still mess me up after all this time, Luc.”
“Not my problem.”

Court’s forceful brand of dominance pushes Lucan’s buttons like nothing else, but he can’t forget how badly Court hurt him in the past. Their romance six years ago was heady, intense, and sizzling—and left Lucan with deep emotional scars. When he runs into Court at a fetish party, the spark is still there. But so is the pain.

For Court, Lucan is the mindfuck he never got over. He still doesn’t know why Lucan ended things, and when he sees Lucan in the flesh again, the desperate need to dominate comes rushing back. Court would do anything to have a second chance, but he won’t let Lucan mess with his head and break his heart again. Or so he tells himself.

“I’ll do it all right for you this time if you just teach me.”

When Lucan agrees to show Court how to be a good Dom, the two headstrong men toe a delicate line between restraint and uncontrolled passion. Will the same sick love that consumed their past destroy their future?

Making It Better is a standalone enemies to lovers, second chance, contemporary, BDSM romance with an HEA ending.

Review
My first thought starting this book was that Lucan and Court just don’t listen to each other. This is either going to be great or repetitive. Well I thought it was great. It’s not the kind of second chance story where they meet again and all their previous issues disappear. No, both Lucan and Court have to work at making it right. Lucan confronts his insecurities and comes to terms with the nature of his kink. Court has to understand where things went wrong the first time they were together. The journey they go on and the trust they build makes a great story. not to forget the kinks. The BDSM is very well handled and shows a good view of safe sane and consensual. There is a level of violence within some of the play and blood play which may be a trigger for some.

4.5 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review