Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Review: Under His Protection by LaQuette

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/under-his-protection-by-laquette-10368-b

Blurb: They can escape their enemies, but not the desire between them.
Prosecutor Camden Warren is on the fast track to professional nirvana. With his charm, his sharp legal mind, and his father as chief judge in the highest court in NY, he can’t fail. Nothing can derail his rise to the top… until an attempt on his life forces him to accept the help of a man he walked out on five years ago.

Wounded in the line of duty, Lieutenant Elijah Stephenson wants to ride his new desk job until retirement—not take a glorified babysitting gig with more risk than it’s worth… especially not protecting the entitled lawyer who disappeared after the best sex of their lives.
The threat against Camden’s life is real, but their passion for each other might prove the greatest danger they’ve yet to face.

Review: An enjoyable suspense story, with a second chance romance.
Camden, (an assistant district attorney (ADA)) and Elijah, (a policeman recovering from a sting gone bad) met on a blind date 5 years prior. Both had a great time, but Cam was/is on a career path that does not include dating a cop.
Fast forward to the present. Cam is a target of a fringe group and guess who’s assigned to protect – (and *serve*) – as they are holed up together☺).
The attraction is still there, but both men have to get over the past hurt, especially Elijah. They do so relatively easily, which is refreshing.
The story is well written, interesting and with a lot of heated moments. The secondary characters, mostly Elijah’s family are fun; Cam’s parents, not so much (I’m glad Cam made his own decision in the end).
Overall, it’s a good, quick read. I would definitely ready more from this (new to me) author.

3.75 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Fire and Obsidian (Carlisle Deputies #4) by Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fire-and-obsidian-by-andrew-grey-10431-b

Blurb
Can a couple be more opposite than a thief and a cop? Or do they have more in common than they think?
Mattias stole to survive. He was damn good at it. But there’s no such thing as a victimless crime, and when he saw how his theft hurt people, he resolved to change. Now he works as a consultant, and while helping to investigate a rash of burglaries, he crosses paths with James.
Police Officer James Levinson doesn’t trust thieves, and that includes Mattias. James’s father stole to support himself, and James knows firsthand how that can destroy lives—it inspired him to go into law enforcement. Mattias is no different, from what he can tell… at first.
As they work together, Mattias and James realize there’s something deeper between them than just the physical attraction neither can deny. Given time, they might even grow to trust each other—unless the case they’re working on dredges up pasts both would rather forget.

Review

I very much enjoyed this new book in the Carlisle Deputies series and I loved the connection between Mattias and James. They really bring the opposites attract magic! I loved the humor and chemistry the MC’s shared and I think it’s great that it wasn’t too easy for them to fall in love. The trust issues are real and don’t magically disappear after the first kiss. There’s also a very well-written, Big Misunderstanding, that really amps up the emotional intensity of the story. I’m not usually a fan of this type of thing, but the author made it work beautifully.

One thing I’ve come to expect in an Andrew Grey romance is for one or both of the MC’s to get a raw deal when it comes to their parents. Here it’s both. Poor guys. I especially felt bad for James, because his father puts him in an untenable situation, morally and emotionally.

This is a really well-written story, a wonderful combination of romance and suspense.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Doctor’s Secret (Copper Point Medical #1) by Heidi Cullinan

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41219382-the-doctor-s-secret?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

The brilliant but brooding new doctor encounters Copper Point’s sunny nurse-next-door… and nothing can stand in the way of this romance.

Dr. Hong-Wei Wu has come to Copper Point, Wisconsin, after the pressures of a high-powered residency burned him out of his career before he started. Ashamed of letting his family down after all they’ve done for him, he plans to live a quiet life as a simple surgeon in this tiny northern town. His plans, however, don’t include his outgoing, kind, and attractive surgical nurse, Simon Lane.

Simon wasn’t ready for the new surgeon to be a handsome charmer who keeps asking him for help getting settled and who woos him with amazing Taiwanese dishes. There’s no question—Dr. Wu is flirting with him, and Simon is flirting back. The problem is, St. Ann’s has a strict no-dating policy between staff, which means their romance is off the table… unless they bend the rules.

But a romance that keeps them—literally—in the closet can’t lead to happy ever after. Simon doesn’t want to stay a secret, and Hong-Wei doesn’t want to keep himself removed from life, not anymore. To secure their happiness, they’ll have to change the administration’s mind. But what other secrets will they uncover along the way, about Copper Point… and about each other?

Review

This story reminded me how much I loved Heidi Cullinan stories so I had to go back and listen to Carry the Ocean. Gah. I love that so much!

This is more along the lines of her Love Lessons series. It’s very light and though it could have some dark moments, the author mostly skims over those. Hong-Wei’s family is actually amazing and rather than doing what you might imagine – they do something a bit different.

The hospital administration is probably the worst villain in this and they seemed to act as they should once faced with the opposition.

I applaud the science and medicine in this. Either Heidi is in the field or knows someone – because if felt very authentic.

I didn’t give this 5 stars because I wanted more tension and resolution between our MCs. It was just a bit too easy and I wasn’t as involved in their romance as I was the whole thing going on with Hong-Wei and his family and career.

In the end, I can’t wait for books 2 and 3 to come out because I already love those characters!

4.5 stars of 5 


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Wrong Way Home – Criminal Delights: Taken by K.A. Merikan

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42622237-wrong-way-home—criminal-delights

Blurb

— ONE WRONG TURN. ONE RIGHT MAN. —

Colin. Rule-follower. Future doctor. Witness to murder. Captive.
Taron. Survivalist. Mute. Murderer. Captor.

Like every other weekend, Colin is on his way home from university, but he’s taunted by the notion that he never takes risks in life and always follows the beaten path. On impulse, he decides to take a different route. Just this one time. What he doesn’t realize is that it’s the last time he has a choice.
He ends up taking a detour into the darkest pit of horror, abducted by a silent, imposing man with a blood-stained axe. But what seems like his worst nightmare might just prove to be a path to the kind of freedom Colin never knew existed.

Taron has lived alone for years. His land, his rules. He’d given up on company long ago. After all, attachment is a liability. He deals with his problems on his own, but the night he needs to dispose of an enemy, he ends up with a witness to his crime.

The last thing Taron needs is a nuisance of a captive. Colin doesn’t deserve death for setting foot on Taron’s land, but keeping him isn’t optimal either. It’s only when he finds out the city boy is gay that an altogether different option arises. One that isn’t right, yet tempts him every time Colin’s pretty eyes glare at him from the cage.

*
“When Taron looped the heavy metal collar around the slender neck and closed the padlock, his body throbbed with the excitement of knowing he owned this boy.
Was it wrong? Yes, yes it was.
Was it so, so good? Definitely.”

Review

This is an incredibly intense, dark romance, and I absolutely loved it. The darkness doesn’t come solely from the violence in the story, nor Colin’s abduction, but is in large part also a psychological and emotional darkness and that’s what makes this story so gripping. I love that the authors constantly kept the reader on their toes! The story is unnerving and unpredictable and just such a compelling read.

Taron has a really skewed view of reality and is trapped in a solitude of his own making. He’s completely unprepared for Colin and how the other man will change his life. The bond that slowly, ever so slowly, develops between Colin and Taron is profound and deeply emotional, if rooted in a rather difficult, highly unusual and quite frightening situation.

This is definitely something else. Very different from anything I’ve read before. I loved the original ending and where the MC’s ended up. The way to their HEA is fraught with violence, captivity and manipulation, but it also has lots of cats, quiet camaraderie and a scorching hot physical connection.

Definitely recommend!

 

5 stars

 


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Coming Up for Air by Amanda Meuwissen

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/coming-up-for-air-by-amanda-meuwissen-10421-b

Blurb

It’s not easy being someone’s fairy tale.

Leigh Hurley is making a name for himself among thieves and criminals, even if it isn’t the life he would’ve chosen. He shouldn’t have screwed over the Moretti brothers, though. It landed him in the river with weights on his feet. But somehow he’s escaped certain death. The last thing he remembers before waking on the riverbank is a beautiful face and a soft kiss.

Then, Tolomeo turns up naked at Leigh’s apartment.

Tolly comes from a race of killers—merfolk who drown humans for fun. But Tolly is different, and when he sees a human in trouble, he offers a kiss, granting the man the ability to breathe underwater… and himself the ability to walk on land, at least until the next full moon. The ancient laws state that if he is given a vow of love by the one he kissed, he will be able to keep his legs. If not, he will be put to death when he returns to the water.

But love is not something Leigh offers easily… and Tolly has a secret of his own.

Review

This was a wonderful fairytale retelling! There were some unique twists on the original that gave added depth to the story as well as a really delicious dose of angst.

Instead of a prince we get a low-level criminal trying to survive a conflict between two gangs, while also attempting to stay on the right side of the law, or rather, out of sight of the law. This gives the story a grittiness and complexity it otherwise wouldn’t have had and really ratchets up the tension level. Leigh is so kind and obviously meant for better things than thieving or worse, but he doesn’t see a way out of that kind of life.

Tolly saves Leigh from drowning and firmly believes Leigh is the one for him, risking his life on the strength of that conviction. I loved Tolly’s quaint way of interpreting certain words or expressions. He’s super endearing, sweet, protective, self-effacing… and he has a secret.

True love never did run smooth, and it doesn’t for Tolly and Leigh either. At one very low, low point, the emotional anguish and despair of the MC’s actually brought tears to my eyes and I started to panic about their chances of getting to their HEA. Cruel author!

This was an amazing, well-written story. The secondary characters were great and really helped build a world around the MC’s, especially Alvin and Cary, but also all of Leigh’s friends from his apartment building.

I hope Amanda Meuwissen will try her hand at other fairytale retellings, because this one was incredible!

 

Number of stars out of 5: 5

5 stars

 


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Uncategorized

Recent Release: Moved By You by Ann Lister

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44020092-moved-by-you?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

Vance: He’s angry and bitter over the direction his father has chosen for him in the family business – and in his life. He may have been born into money, but Vance always saw his journey as something less grand. He’s desperate to follow his real passion which is metal sculpture, created with nothing more than scraps he pulls out of junk piles, a blow torch, and a sweat. But he lacks a critical element to make that happen: the spine to stand up to the man who moves him around like a pawn on a chessboard. He needs something – or someone to give him the motivational push to take back control of his life.

Kyle: He’s drifted through life with a massive chip on his shoulder. He doesn’t mind being a city bike messenger, but he knows his body won’t allow him to do that forever, and riding for a living isn’t his calling in life. But with no clear plan B in place, he needs to keep his day job – for now. The other problem? He loathes the privileged people he delivers to, despises what they stand for, and how they look down at him as if he was worthless. The only thing more prominent than the grudge he holds against them is his pride. Everything changes when a company owner’s son hits him with his car, which puts both rider and driver on entirely different paths in their lives.

But is this a path they can both take together, or will egos and societal privilege create too many obstacles to overcome?

Moved By You is a 67,000 word MM novel with an enemies to lovers theme, and an HEA.

Review

This was a good enemies to lovers story with a fair amount of steam. Nothing really made it stand out for me as far as stories go and it will probably fall under the category of “don’t really remember much about it” within a few days of having read it. If anything I didn’t really care for the MCs or their relationship much so I wasn’t terribly attached to their HEA.

Fans of the author and the trope will enjoy it but I can’t say it stands out for any reason beyond that.

3 of 5 stars


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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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Recent Release: Galen’s Redemption By Parker Williams

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/galens-redemption-by-parker-williams-10363-b

Blurb
A Links In the Chain Story

A rich man is about to set foot into an unknown world, while a Good Samaritan fears he’ll have to close the charity he’s spent his life building. Poised to lose it all, they might find what they need most in each other.

Son of a wealthy importer, Galen Merriweather lives to broker deals, and he’s damn good at it. But it’s getting harder to ignore the kind of man his father is—a man who would pay Galen’s brother’s lover to leave… a man who’d demand Galen retrieve a quarter-million-dollar check from a struggling homeless shelter.

Robert Kotke knows the money is too good to be true, but it’s a godsend that could help so many people. Still, he hands it over when Galen shows up. But he isn’t done with Galen yet, and he’s going to challenge everything Galen ever believed.

Galen will face an impossible decision: the redemption he’s come to realize he wants, or the life he’d always dreamed of.

Review
Galen’s Redemption is the second book in Parker William’s Links In the Chain series. While this can be read as a standalone, I think its best enjoyed if book one Lincoln’s Park is read first.
The title of the book sums up the story perfectly. Galen is looking for redemption. He spent his whole life trying to please his domineering and abusive father. This has caused a major rift between Galen and his brother Lincoln. Galen has run himself ragged trying to please an unpleasable man.
Robert is the opposite of Galen. He has given his life to help others. He runs a homeless shelter that is barely surviving. Through Robert, Galen learns what family really is.
I’m a big sucker for redemption arc’s. This is very much a slow burn romance but seeing these two men come together for their HEA was simply divine. I loved every word of this story!!
5 stars


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Recent Release: Midnight Flit (The Carstairs Affairs #2) by Elin Gregory

Good Reads

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43714501-midnight-flit

Blurb: Miles Siward and Briers Allerdale return for another thrilling Jazz Age adventure.
“Silk stockings on expenses.”
Miles’s aristocratic mother has information of importance to the British Government and he must escort her home from Bucharest immediately, but their plans go violently awry and Miles and Lady Siward find themselves on a train to Belgrade – where Miles’s lover is posted. Since their pursuers are looking for a man and a woman, might two women slip past them unnoticed?

“Is anyone on this train who they say they are?”
Briers doesn’t know whether to kiss Miles or punch him but is delighted to accompany him and his mother on their journey. All he has to do is keep an eye open for their enemies – but who exactly are they; the enormous Russian, the sinister priest, the handsome jazz pianist, or maybe the winsome young movie star? And his mother-in-law might just be the most terrifying of all!
All aboard for the ride of a lifetime, with a cast of characters you’ll never forget!

Review:
Briers, Miles and Millie back with a bang! This time they’re in Eastern Europe. It all starts with Lady Siward (Miles mother) getting some sensitive information that endangers her life. Miles is sent from London to accompany her home, ostensibly for a visit to the doctor. As they prepare for their journey home, they’re attacked and end up seeking refuge with Briers.
Briers has been on assignment in Budapest and is relieved to have his lover safe. But the adventure doesn’t stop there – all 3 (4 if you count Millie☺ ) have to make it back to London – alive.
This is such a good story, the historical and social settings well researched, down to the way people spoke and addressed others. I really loved it and as a history buff, I learnt a few more things about that era.
The relationship between Briers and Miles is still strong, although Briers does have a tendency to underestimate Miles (but only because he cares!). And let’s not forget Pritchard, he’s definitely a good egg!
Looking forward to reading about their next adventure.

5 stars out of 5


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Categories
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Recent Release: Copper Creek (Sawyer Ferry #3) by Cate Ashwood

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44600188-copper-creek?from_search=true

Blurb:
Frankie:
My life sucks.
After spending a year jobless and on the edge of becoming homeless, I’d officially reached a level of desperation that, even if I wasn’t completely broke, retail therapy couldn’t fix.
While Sawyer’s Ferry, Alaska, is the last place on earth I’d ever want to visit, when my best friend, Holden, begs me to fly out and plan his wedding, I can’t say no. What I didn’t expect was to stumble into the administrative chaos at Copper Creek Brewing—or its too-hot-to-be-legal owner.
Clearly the man needs my help, and I’m willing to go above and beyond.
Way beyond.

Barrett:
I am screwed.
Six months after my assistant up and quit, I’m not any closer to finding a replacement, and things at the brewery are starting to fall apart.
And then in walks Frankie. He’s not the typical guy you’d find in these parts, and he brings with him a world of confusion. Because as much as I need his help, I can’t seem to keep my eyes—or hands—off him.
He’s supposed to be getting my life in order, but instead there’s a chance he could turn everything upside down.

Review: I was so looking forward to Frankie’s story and I was NOT disappointed! He is a fabulous character with a heart of gold, and funny as heck! I really liked Barrett as well, he was a bit gruff at first, but in the face of all the fabulousness that is Frankie, he couldn’t help but soften up. The romance between the two men was well developed, I especially loved the trip to Juneau and the spa.
The story is an easy read, very little angst, but so much fun!

4 stars out of 5


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