Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Splintered by Tal Bauer

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44669567-splintered?from_search=true

Blurb
Everything in Ben’s life was perfect. He had it all. The good career. The perfect partner, Evan. The happy home. They were even talking about turning the extra bedroom into a nursery.

But things start to splinter.

Evan begins missing time, not knowing where he was or how he got there. Terrors in the night rip them both from sleep, and Evan’s suddenly violent outbursts cost him his job and his reputation.

And voices in his head turn from whispers to screams, commanding him to act.

To turn on Ben.

How far will Ben go to save his partner’s life? How far is too far?

Should he have just… run away?

Review
I love Tal Bauer’s writing. The first part of the book is suspense the second is supernatural thriller. This story begins at a tense time between Ben and Evan which was conveyed so well that I felt uncomfortable. I never do well witnessing fights between people and this story starts with Ben thinking it’s the end of his relationship with Evan. The tension is palpable. Ben’s description of his feeling of dread as ‘an ice cream scoop to his guts’ is so evocative. But Evan is hiding his own problems and they are a lot more terrifying than possibly splitting up. As the situation between them increases the tension builds the story becomes a fantastic thriller. No matter how unsettling I just can’t stop reading. I felt like I wanted to read peeping through my fingers. As you can tell I’m not a horror fan but this story was compelling. I am happy with the ending and I’m so glad I read it during the day and not before bed.

number of stars out of 5. 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Falling Down by Eli Easton Narrator: Michael Stellman

audiobookreview

Audible:

https://www.audible.com/search?keywords=falling+down+easton&ref=a_typ_t1_header_search

Blurb
Josh finds himself homeless at 18, but he has a plan. He’ll head north on the bus to New England and spend October there for his mother’s sake. She always talked about going to see the fall leaves someday. And when the leaves are done and the harsh winter comes, Josh plans to find a place to curl up and let go. It will be a relief to finally stop fighting.

Mark spent his life trying to live up to the tough swagger of his older brothers until he pushed himself so far against his nature that he cracked. Now a former Marine, he rents a little cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where he can lick his wounds and figure out what to do with the rest of his life. One thing was clear: Mark was nobody’s hero.

Fate intervenes when Josh sets up camp under a covered bridge near Mark’s cabin. Mark recognizes the dead look in the young stranger’s eyes, and he feels compelled to do something about it. When Mark offers Josh a job, he never expects that he’ll be the one to fall.

The snow is coming soon. Can Mark convince Josh that the two of them can build a life together before the flurries begin?

Review
Oh boy the emotions this book pulled out of me. I had not read falling down before listening to it so it was completely new to me. The empty sorrow Josh is feeling is so well conveyed that I felt for him. It’s a bit disconcerting starting to cry whilst listening on train. I wanted to console Josh and encourage him not to give up. This to me Illustrates the power of Eli Easton’s writing. As soon as Mark saw Josh I was keen for them to meet and get together. They both have things they have to come to terms with and the story is about how they do this together without realising that they are actually helping each other. Just working and being with each other They start to see things differently. This comes hurtling to a head towards the end when circumstances make Mark understand how much Josh means to him.
I liked Michael Stellman’s narration he connected me to the emotions of both Mark and Josh. Making them feel real. The only problem I had was with the production. There are gaps between chapters I kept checking the to see why it had stopped but it hadn’t it was the long gap. This pulled me away from the story. But on the whole I enjoyed it, despite the heartbreak.

4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Exploring Limits by Nicki Bennett and Ariel Tachna

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/exploring-limits-by-nicki-bennett-and-ariel-tachna-10299-

Blurb

We could always share him….

After failing to capture the attention of their bicurious costar singlehandedly, Kit and Devon team up to seduce Jonathan, who plays King Arthur in the new miniseries Camelot.

The chemistry between the three actors is off the charts, and it brings out the adventurous side in all of them. Things heat up in the bedroom as the trio explores the pleasures of dominance, submission, bondage, toys, and anything else they can find to get the most out of their secret time together.

But a gay ménage presents problems without easy solutions—especially as they work closely together on set. For their threesome to survive and evolve into a true committed relationship, they’ll all have to test their physical and emotional limits.

This volume includes newly edited and expanded versions of the novellas:
Exploring Limits
Stretching Limits
Refining Limits

Review
I read these books along time ago when they were three separate books and I wanted to see if they tightened them up by putting them in two volumes. As I remembered it was a case of what felt lightning quick into very hot scenes. From this the physical attraction was evident but how was the relationship side between Kit, Devon and Jonathan going to be developed? Especially as Jonathan was supposedly straight, not even questioning. During these scenes they get to know each other in the context of what turns each of them on, rules of play, toys, role play etc but the book feels and reads like a series of hookups. I went in looking for more because as hot as it sounds I don’t think I can cope with 300 plus pages of sex. The pace changed about half way through when more BDSM comes into the picture but there’s still more sex than story.

I finished the book but It was slow going for me but that’s just my tastes it could very well work for you. I hope that the relationship side comes more to the front in the second book

2 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Release Day Review: Wild as the West Texas Wind Author: Jackie North

release day review

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43787252-wild-as-the-west-texas-wind?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Blurb
Soulmates across time. Two hearts that were meant to be together.

In present day, Zach takes a road trip to Trinidad to find information on a missing friend.

In 1892, Layton Blue, outlaw, longs for hearth and home even as he treasures his life of freedom.

A freak rainstorm washes Zach’s car into a ditch, sending him back to the year 1892. Searching for help, alone and on foot in the middle of the nowhere, he crosses paths with the famous Ketchum Gang. Now the gang’s prisoner, Zach’s fate is to be sold at a seedy auction for whores.

Layton is put in charge of making sure Zach does not escape, but as the chemistry between them grows, Layton finds himself wanting to help Zach.

Can Layton overcome years of being on the run? Can Zach accept help from an outlaw?

A male/male time travel romance complete with fast rides across the desert, campfires beneath the stars, cool water in the desert, wild rescues, and true love across time

Review
It’s not often that I read late into the night because I had to finish a story, but this is one of them. I wasn’t sure going in whether I would connect to an outlaw as the main character but I needn’t have. Layton is a sweet caring man caught in a situation where he is making the best he can out of what life has given him. The main characters from the previous books are mentioned but they do not play a major role and their context is explained so well in the story I didn’t feel I was missing something not having read it. Although I will do now because I want to know more about them. The relationship between Layton and Zach feels like enemies to lovers but it’s not that’s only on Zach’s part given the circumstances he finds himself in. Back in time stranded and in the clutches of an immoral gang. His only hope is to find Laurie. In the last section of the story the pace picks and I was rooting for them. I just wish there was an epilogue a glimpse into the future but maybe that’ll be in the next book.

5 of stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Release Day Review: Familiar Demon By Amy Lane

release day review

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/familiar-demon-by-amy-lane-10187-b

Blurb
Familiar Love: Book Two
For over a century, Edward Youngblood has been the logical one in a family of temperamental magical beings. But reason has not made him immune to passion, and Edward’s passion for Mullins, the family’s demon instructor, has only grown.
Mullins was lured into hell through desperation—and a fatal mistake. He’s done his best to hang onto his soul in the twisted realm of the underworld, and serving the Youngblood family when summoned has been his only joy. Edward concocts a plan to spring Mullins by collecting a series of items to perform an ancient ritual—an idea that terrifies Mullins. He can’t bear the thought of losing Edward and his brothers to a dangerous quest.
But every item in their collection is an adventure in brotherhood and magic, and as Mullins watches from the sidelines, he becomes more and more hopeful that they will succeed. When the time comes for Mullins to join the mission, can he find enough faith and hope to redeem himself and allow himself happiness in the arms of a man who would literally go to hell and back—and beyond—to have Mullins by his side?

Review by Mary

When I started Familiar Demon I wondered if I should have read (or listened) to Familiar Angel first but its not necessary. It became clear as I continued that everything was to be explained. Although I think I will listen to it because I liked the characters.

This is the story of Mullins a demon and Edward a familiar. Their friendship and love has spanned more than a century. There are a lot of twists and turns involving gods and elves and all manner of other mystical creatures. Which gives the story a good pace. During the search for ingredients needed in the spell to free him Mullins tells his story. Explaining to Edward how he ended up in Hell and it only endears him further.

With the help of his family Edward manages to gather almost everything he needs to release Mullins from Hell. Into this story comes characters from some earlier books set on Greens Hill, the Little Goddess Series, and they form a key part of the story. I am tempted to look into them.

There are some aspects that didn’t seem clear but maybe they are destined to be explained in the next book. I wouldn’t say this is one of my favourite books by Amy Lane but is different and if you like fantasy it might be right up your street.

 

3 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Morgan

I bet I’m going to be in the minority again. Sigh.

This was just too complex for me. I had such a hard time understanding what was going on with all the Green’s Hill people and the “sphincters of hell” kept bringing me out of the story. I also did not understand the Other at all and the end result was this hodge podge of fantasy that just didn’t make me feel like I was as “in” the story as I wanted to be.

I adore those 3 boys. I loved the Angel story from book 1 and by comparison I was underwhelmed with the connection between Edward and Mullins.

There was just too much going on and I’m sad to say this just didn’t work for me as well as many of Amy’s other books did.

Now, that being said, it was still an Amy story – so parts of it were still really good – but parts of it felt discombobulated and rushed – but that could just be me. I have read the Green’s Hill stuff – once – awhile ago – and maybe if it was fresher in my mind – but I didn’t care for it – one of the MCs dies! – and it wasn’t one of Amy’s best – IMHO.

So – for fans of Amy, for fans of her Green Hill, and for fans of Familiar Angel this will definitely be a must read – but if you aren’t in one of those categories you might be terribly confused.

3 of 5 stars



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Release Day Review: Eye of the Beholder by M.D. Grimm

release day review

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/eye-of-the-beholder-by-md-grimm-10154-

Blurb
Is it better to risk it all… or never know what could have been?

After surviving an abusive childhood, Vulcan remade himself upon arriving in Los Angeles, California. He became a blacksmith for the paranormal community and strives to earn the respect of the vampire covens and werewolf packs that call LA home. He also prevents the pain of loss by keeping everyone at arm’s length.

But he never planned on meeting a former Roman soldier by the name of Marcus Cassius Vespillo. Something sparks between them and turns into a friendship he never considered possible. He can’t deny his intense attraction to the intelligent, courteous, ancient vampire. And it scares him.

Though Vulcan is wary of seeking more with Cassius, an attack leaves him at death’s door and forces him to reexamine his priorities. But Cassius has his own secret, one that promises tragedy and loss. And if that wasn’t enough, a slayer arrives in the States, one with a bloody connection to Cassius… and Vulcan himself

Review
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The world building is great. Only a few humans know that vampires, werewolves and gouls exist. Those who do work for them in someway. The story started by setting the scene for Vulcan then jumped forward. Cassius is a wonderful character. A very ancient vampire who falls madly in love with Vulcan. Theirs is a slow paced love story and it needs to be slow to get the most from the building romance. Due to his past Vulcan is hesitant to get involved with anyone let alone an ancient vampire. Running alongside the romance is a mystery one that climaxes just as Vulcan let’s Cassius past his defences. All in all I loved the new take on this trope. The epilogue is a wonderful ending.

4 of stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Don’t let Go by Andrew Grey; Narrated by Jeff Gelder

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/dont-let-go-by-andrew-grey-9792-

Blurb
Avery Rivers is a country music sensation, selling records by the millions and playing to sold-out crowds. But behind that persona is Robert, a burned-out musician cracking under the pressure. He’s unable to write any new songs, and he wants out of the business—at least for a while. He changes his appearance and finds honest, hard work in Jackson, Wyoming. Maybe getting to be a regular guy for a while will get him past his block.

Hy Whitely was a championship bull rider until he watched his best friend thrown in the arena and decided the rodeo circuit was no longer the place for him. He wants to be plain old Zeke for a while, and when he returns to his family ranch, he bumps right into Robert—a one-night stand from his last rodeo appearance who is now working there as a ranch hand.

The heat between the men could sear the grass off the range, but each one is hiding a secret. Robert and Zeke, the men behind the public images, fall in love, but can they hold on when Avery and Hy are pulled back into the spotlight

Review
I remember reviewing the book when it came out and saying how much I enjoyed it. Well that hasn’t diminished at all. I love the concept of two people who both had secret identities, neither realising the other is someone famous. Both of them living in the moment enjoying each other’s company. Both Zeke (Hy) and Robert (Avery) have reached a turning point in their life and need to make a decision. Although it does seem in their heart they already knew what they wanted it just took meeting each other to make it happen. Their idyllic life is put in jeopardy when Robert is identified as Avery but the family and friends rally round to protect him.
I’m not completely sold on Jeff Gelder’s narration. To me it sounds flat and not paced very well. He does provide some level of characterisation that suits the characters making them distinct. The story kept me listening though.

4 of stars out of 5 for the story
3 of stars out of 5 for the narration
Overall 3.5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Release Day Review: Home and Heart by Sean Michael

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/home-and-heart-by-sean-michael-10058-b

Blurb
Is it possible to find the heart’s home twice in a lifetime?
Six years ago, Sawyer Burroughs’s life fell apart. His soul mate and husband of four years died of cancer, and he fell into depression… and a bottle. It’s taken six years, but he’s turned his life around and is ready to start again on the other side of the country.
In his new apartment, he’s welcomed by his young and carefree neighbor, Derek, from across the hall. Derek is eager to make Sawyer feel welcome and even offers him a place to stay when Sawyer arrives ahead of his furniture.
The upstairs neighbors are just as friendly, and soon Sawyer finds a place with the friends-with-benefits threesome. He’s not the shy, vanilla lover they think he is, though, and he’s hiding more than a pair of nipple rings. As it happens, the guys have kinky secrets of their own, but for four men to make a BDSM relationship last, they’ll have to figure some things out.

 

Review

Second chance romance where Sawyer finds not just one man but three. Reading the blurb I thought yes, bring it on. Then I started reading and well it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Sawyer has left his old life behind and wanted a completely fresh start. The first day in his new apartment he meets Derek. Derek sort of takes him under his wing and looks after Sawyer. It wouldn’t be a Sean Michael story if sex didn’t appear and it sure did. Started a few pages in and kept up a relentless pace. Twos, threes and fours. A Dom, Luke, and I suppose the best way to describe Derek as a trainee Dom, a brat, Benny, and Sawyer who is all sub. Luke figures out what Sawyer needs and helps Derek provide it for him. There is a great dynamic between the four of them. Sawyer is ready for a change and Derek, Luke and Benny are just what he needs. As the story progresses I understood there are two couples in the dynamic. They played together but also strengthened their relationship apart. Mostly it is the building of Sawyer’s relationship with Derek but occasionally Luke and Benny. They were already in a relationship when the story started. I particularly liked that Luke is teaching Derek to be Sawyer’s Master whilst strengthening his Dominance over Benny. My take on it is that it’s two couples who play together rather than a ménage. I never thought I’d say this but I would’ve liked less sex and more on the story between the four of them. It feels like only a third of the book is about the relationship between each other, the rest is sex, hot hot sex but it’s exhausting.

 

3 of stars out of 5



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Time to Celebrate the Holidays: Grumble Monkey and the Department Store Elf audiobook by B.G. Thomas narrated by Donald Tursman

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/grumble-monkey-and-the-department-store-elf-by-bg-thomas-1071-

Blurb
Kit Jefferies, a part-time department store Christmas elf, is an artist who loves life and his family. Unfortunately, his car dies at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere as he is heading home for Christmas. Enter Nick St. George.

Nick is a very unhappy man—he’s achieved his professional goals only to find the rest of his life bleak and empty. Deciding there was only one way to make everything right, he is on his way to San Francisco on a dark mission, and even the horrible sleet storm that blocked his path won’t deter him. That’s when he found Kit.

At first, Nick is pretty sure rescuing Kit was a big mistake. Kit’s personality is just too, well, effervescent. But as the miles go by, Kit begins to bring light to his dark heart. It might even be bright enough to illuminate a Christmas miracle

Review
The story was part of the 2013 Dreampinner Press “Heartwarming” Advent Calendar.
Nick is such a grump, love him. He is trying to get to San Francisco before Christmas Day when he meets Kit at a rest stop. He is so dismissive and judgmental of Kit. Nick is so angry at the world and takes it out on Kit. Kit seems to be everything Nick despises about being gay. Kit and his positive attitude gets through to Nick. Although I had my suspicions Where the story was heading to it was still bit of a surprise. On seeing the cover picture I thought the story would be humorous but I don’t think it gets there. Nick and Kit’s story has a happy for now ending and overall left me feeling thoughtful rather than buoyed up in Christmas spirit.
The narrator gives some attempt to voice the characters but it does sound more like Donald Tursman is just reading the story. If you don’t listen closely it’s hared to distinguish which character was speaking. Initially there was a hollow sound to the recording but either that got better or I got used to it.

3 of stars out of 5 for the story
2 of stars out of 5 for the narration

Reviewer Name: MaryD

Purchased by reviewer

 

 

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Make a Circle by Elliot Joyce

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2018-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-warmest-wishes-10067-b

 

Blurb

Pagan punk musician Lucas is fully prepared to spend this Yule with the rest of the band and his beautiful bass guitar when Oliver, his boyfriend of almost a year, asks if he wants to join the rest of the Han family for their annual winter celebration. It comes as a shock since Ollie has gone to great lengths to keep the two apart, and Lucas always assumed he was the reason. Since they’re planning to be together long-term, Lucas can’t say no to meeting Ollie’s parents, but he better brush up on his manners and his Mandarin because this is going to be a holiday season like no other—and it has some surprises in store for both of them.

Review

I liked this story. I wasn’t 100% sure I got the message, if there was one. The story centred around family and acceptance but in my naivety I thought Oliver has already been accepted by his family, well that was the impression I got from the way they treated him. It was more the case that the older members of his family were having a hard time breaking habits and kept speaking without thinking. I know that is hurtful but it doesn’t come across as malicious in the story. It’s not just that Oliver is gay there is another aspect his family had to understand and accept. I don’t want to give it away because it is an important part of the story. His family is big and loud with the usual family drama. Lucas is worried about fitting in because he doesn’t speak mandarin. For this reason he doesn’t realise that they liked him straight away. Just like with Oliver though the family members were thoughtless and did not think to include him in conversation by switching to English which left him feeling on the outside.

Overall it is a lovely story, with a warm family welcome for Lucas, even though he had to hear that through Oliver. Just a snapshot of a holiday moment in this couple’s relationship.

3 of stars out of 5

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review