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: Don’t by Jack L. Pyke Narrator: Dan Calley

audiobookreview

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43832948-don-t?from_search=tru

Blurb
“Don’t… bleed for me.” ~ the Unknown.

Saying Don’t around Jack Harrison always did lead him into dangerous grounds on London streets. But now someone knows Jack’s head inside and out, and they’re about to twist all perception and lead him into an underground depravity that nearly sent him down in his youth. As Jack slips further into a dark psychological minefield, only two men offer different paths back to sanity: Gray, a man who knows Jack’s every dark thought, and Jan, the first man to show Jack a “soft lad” approach to head and heart. But with deadly games and ghosts bleeding through into Jack’s reality, it’s a fight to see who out of the three of them will survive long enough to find a way out of the vicious game played by someone known only as… the Unknown.

Review
Just finished and I’m missing Dan Calley‘s wonderfully smokey voice that’s smooth for Grey and rough for Jack. Perfect. I am a fan of this series. I love this psychological thriller with all the suspense and the twists and turns the story takes. Jack is a salt of the earth Londoner, tough but fair with a soft side for those he cares about. He falls for Jan and didn’t mean to pull him into the other part of Jack’s life. That of a Master Sub to Grey. Grey is a man of power and mystery.
Dan Calley is a new narrator to me but with him narrating it they all sound like I imagined they would. Jack is dark and gravelly, Grey is strong sure and smooth with Jan sort of in between. The narration suits the story so well that for me it’s like experiencing the excitement of the book all over again. I wish I could give more than five stars.
Now I’ve got to be patient and wait for Antidote to come out.

6 of stars out of 5



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Categories
adult - 18+

Recently Released: Home Improvement By: Tara Lain

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/home-improvement-a-love-story-by-tara-lain-10627-b

Blurb
Romance on Aisle Sixteen—opposites attract amid the hammers and screws of the home improvement store.

Gabe Mason became a father at seventeen, and his daughter, Ellie, is the most important thing in his life. But being the parent the courts demand means Gabe has given up most of his dreams—education, making furniture, a gay social life—to be a model dad with a steady, reliable job in a home improvement store. Life’s predictable until Jerry, a shy, eccentric guy in a hat and sunglasses, begs Gabe to oversee the renovation of his run-down mansion.

Gabe loves the house and the work, and Jerry’s pretty lovable too, but when Gabe discovers Jerry’s secret identity, he fears their passion could overturn both their lives forever

Review
Sweet cute story. Gabe’s focus has always been on his daughter. He maintains a steady job but no social life. Gabe’s daughter Ellie is an old soul, she is much more mature than her age and looks out for her Dad. Jerry wants a quiet life. He comes across as a shy, awkward introverted character but it’s more the situation than his true nature. I loved the slow blooming attraction between Gabe and Jerry. The way they met is lovely. The fun they have together is delightful to read. Ellie supports them all the way. The only things standing in their way is the attitude of Gabe’s ex wife and the secret Jerry is keeping. Jerry’s secret comes out in an interesting way and from there it all comes to ahead. The story ends with a happy ever after and a contented smile on my face.

4 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: A Dom and His Gentleman (Club Whisper #4) by Xenia Melzer

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-dom-and-his-gentleman-by-xenia-melzer-10578-b

Blurb

Silver fox Curtis is everything baker Andrew could want in a sub, and their chemistry is off the charts. But as a wealthy and successful gallery owner, Curtis intimidates Andrew and challenges his dominant nature. Can Andrew get used to a sub with a much higher social status?

British noble Curtis Morris has all but given up on finding his perfect Dom when he walks into a bakery and meets Andrew Granger—smoldering hot, new to Miami, into the lifestyle, and with kinks that align perfectly with Curtis’s own.

Andrew grew up poor and doesn’t know if he can handle a sub with so much more money, even if he’s insanely attracted to Curtis. To make matters worse, Curtis’s preferred club, Whisper, is far beyond Andrew’s financial means. Still, Andrew doesn’t want to lose Curtis to his own hang-ups, not when Curtis is far from the elitist snob Andrew expected. But Andrew keeps messing up, and with Curtis’s rich ex visiting with the hopes of winning him back, he and Curtis will need all the help they can get to make their romance of opposites work out.

Review
Whilst I enjoyed this book it’s not my favourite out of the series. This is a gentle romance without the angst or frustration I usually feel because the characters don’t talk to each other. Here Curtis and Andrew do talk out their problems. Andrew takes time to examine the issues he has over Curtis having more money than him. Maybe it was too nice and that sometimes I need a bit more angst to ramp up the tension. The scenes between them are hot, I mean sex-hd.xxx scenes hot. Taking time to know each other’s preferences. Their kink is not pain and it’s great to read of a Dom who is not all macho but has doubts and is not afraid to voice them. I don’t know if it’s too nice for me, I can’t pin point why I didn’t take to this story like I did the others. I enjoy the series and the brief catch up with characters from previous books but it’s not necessary to read them to enjoy this book.

3 stars out of 5


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Review

This is a competently written story with a diverse cast of secondary characters and it has some very nice moments between the two MC’s, Curtis and Andrew. On the whole, though, I remain unconvinced and slightly unimpressed.

My main problem with this book is Andrew. I can understand him being somewhat insecure but his hang-ups about money are out of proportion, to say nothing about his struggle to overcome his seemingly ingrained ideas of (toxic) masculinity. He doesn’t handle either of those issues well at all and it directly impacts how he treats Curtis, not once, not twice…

Curtis and Andrew go from an awful first date to I love you’s at breakneck speed and I just couldn’t believe it. It felt forced. Things also get too melodramatic for my taste once Curtis’s ex, Jasper, makes a reappearance.

Number of stars out of 5: 3


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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+

Audiobook: Rocking the Cowboy by Skylar M. Cates Narrated by Colin Darcy

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/rocking-the-cowboy-by-skylar-m-cates-9800-

Blurb
Opposites who go together like country and rock ’n’ roll.

Long before he was a superstar, Remy Sean had a secret crush on Jed Riley. But Jed sees Remy as a spoiled pop rocker and an extension of his father’s control. Still, Jed is willing to let Remy hide from the press on his ranch—but only as a way to get his father out of his life and business for good.

Used to being admired and fawned over, Remy keenly feels the sting of Jed’s dismissal. Can he make Jed see him as more than a pain in the ass? Or is Jed too tangled up in his ranch to see past his old hurt?

Jed doesn’t believe someone desired by so many fans could want him, a simple cowboy. But Remy is determined to change Jed’s mind and steal his heart….

Review
Opposites attract stories have always been a favourite of mine. I love the way seemingly insurmountable obstacles are overcome and bridges built bringing a couple together. Even better that it’s a Cowboy and a Rockstar with a history. This story is a wonderfully easy listen. The Ranch is Jed’s whole life. His father walked away for the glitz of the music industry and Jed has to keep the ranch afloat without interference. Remy feels burnt out and has no inclination to write songs. When Remy gets to the Ranch it reawakens the unrequited love he felt for Jed as a teenager. It’s lovely how they grow to care and love for each other. Jed puts others himself, making decisions he thinks are for the best but he doesn’t actually find out first if that’s what they want. This leads to misunderstanding and nearly risking everything he has with Remy. Until Remy realises what is happening and sorts it out. There’s great chemistry between them and I was happy for the happy ever after ending.
Colin Darcy does a great job narrating this story, he gives right voices to Jed and Remy brining out their personalities. And the secondary characters of Jed’s father and family are portrayed really well. All the characters are believable and he pitched his tone just right for the mood of the story. I’ll watch out for others narrated by him.

4 of stars out of 5 for the story
4 of stars out of 5 for the Narration


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Categories
adult - 18+

Release Day Review: Helix by Anna Martin

release day review

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/helix-by-anna-martin-10255-

Blurb
When high school student James has trouble with his truck, Dylan, who is studying to be a mechanic, comes to the rescue. James thinks he hides his immediate attraction well, but is happy to be wrong when Dylan asks for his number. Since James is new to romance, they take things slowly, and because Dylan is in college, James keeps the budding relationship secret from his overprotective dad.

Across town, Mark, a teacher and single father to James and his sister, Frankie, meets Steve at a bar for what both believe will be a quick hookup. Mark doesn’t see any reason to tell his kids about Steve or press Steve for details about Steve’s adopted son…. It’s just sex between them. Isn’t it?

Two very different love stories grow side by side, each hidden from the other. But all of that changes at a family barbecue, when Mark decides it’s time for his kids to meet Steve and for him to meet James’s boyfriend, who none of them realize is Steve’s son, Dylan. The inevitable explosion means the two couples have some explaining to do to soothe the hurt feelings of their families—and lovers.

Review
The blurb attracted me to this story. I was intrigued as to how the two couples would react when they found out about each other. From previous experience of Anna Martin’s work I was confident that it was not going to be some parody. I loved reading about two very different love stories growing at the same time. Each from a very different perspective. The mature couple with their previous experiences and issues and the younger pair with their own very different but no less important aspects to a building relationship. There was the innocence and gentleness of James and Dylan’s as opposed to the passionate intensity between Steve and Mark. Each couple looking for something different. It was also interesting reading the near miss meetings between the two pairs.
The very different parenting styles were interesting and I could see the pitfalls coming. Thank heavens for Frankie or I wonder if Mark and James would have built the bridge between them so easily. It surprised me how much of an unreasonable ass Mark became, there really is no fool like an old fool.
The epilogue rounded things up beautifully.
I think this book would work really well as an audiobook.

4 of stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

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


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