Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: The Great Aerodynamcist by A. Nybo

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-great-aerodynamicist-by-a-nybo-11535-b

Blurb:

Thinking he’s up to the task, droll Irishman Donnell, who is new to Australia, has almost completed assembling a model steampunk flying machine for his nephew’s Christmas present. Then an accident involving a parachute, some superglue, and his mouth lands Donnell in the emergency room with two of his fantasy men… only one of whom is real.

Review:

Such a fun, short story! It managed to pack in quite a bit of humour and a bit of heat in fewer than 40 pages 🙂
Donnell and Charlie are wonderful men, both sweet with great senses of humour. I loved that there was a bit of a crush going on before they actually meet, it gave a bit of depth to their subsequent romance.
My only complaint is that I wish this could have been a longer story, as the couple were a delight.

4 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: The Carpenter’s Prince by J. Ellis

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-carpenters-prince-by-jayce-ellis-11568-b

Blurb:

Sean Edwards would do anything for his nephew, including designing the props for a children’s version of the Nutcracker. He’s ready for the long nights and weekends in the workshop—they’re part of the job, especially given the short notice. The insanely sexy head ballerino is completely unexpected, however.
All principal danseur Keni Jackson wants is to surpass last year’s performance, blow people’s socks off, and cement his place in the studio. The last thing he needs is something to shatter his carefully held control—like a cuddly carpenter who favors jazz over Tchaikovsky.
Sean and Keni are drawn to each other, but not everyone is a fan of their relationship. When Keni’s position is threatened, they have to decide whether to walk away for good, or if what they’ve found is worth fighting for.

Review:

Very nicely written story. The characters were well-defined characters and there was quite a bit of emotional depth to the story, despite its brevity. Keni and Sean worked well together, both trying to be the others anchor.

3.5 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Escape (Rebellion #1) by Annabelle Jacobs

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47185989-escape?from_search=true

Blurb

This isn’t the life Cole dreamt of, but what choice does he have?

With his twenty-third birthday behind him, Cole Moreton now faces the shifter compatibility test which will decide his future. Testing positive means joining a pack and eventually taking the bite. Unfortunately, with enviable skills in self-defence and hand-to-hand combat, the kind of packs interested in him aren’t any he’d want to join.

Logan has been a member of the McKillan pack for most of his life. Pack is family and loyalty is everything, but when the shifter government turns out to be no better than the oppressive humans before them, he questions everything.

Right from their first meeting, Logan knows that a life with the McKillan pack isn’t right for Cole, but with his alpha taking a keen interest in Cole’s skills, Logan’s hands are tied. Mutual attraction builds between them, but acting on it is futile—helping Cole will put their lives at risk and an end to any future they could’ve had.

Review

Annabelle Jacobs excels at world-building and she has yet again imagined an incredible, even if a bit scary, shifter universe. Wolf packs rule England through (abuse of) power and coercion, equality between humans and shifters seemingly an impossible dream.

This is very much a suspense driven story, action-filled and brilliantly paced. The romance storyline builds up slowly in a threatening environment that isn’t conducive to it, still the growing emotional bond and passionate chemistry between Cole and Logan is unmistakable and enthralling.

Cole is determined not to be forced to join a pack or change into a shifter, but his choices, as those of every human, have been taken away. He finds help, unlikely and unexpected, in Logan, the very shifter send to recruit him. There’s no insta-love or mating instinct in this universe, so no easy or quick trick to make the MC’s fall in love. They actually get to know each other first before falling head over heels in love. I love how determined and brave Logan is, how respectful of Cole’s wishes even in extremely dire circumstances. Cole is also a wonderful MC, adapting to new circumstances with alacrity and very courageous himself when it comes down to it.

We leave Cole and Logan on the brink of a dangerous future, ready to face all the challenges and possible heartbreak that comes with fighting for a better world… The start of a rebellion.

I can’t wait to see what’s next for them and their friends!

 

Number of stars out of 5: 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Nothing Special by Jay Northcote

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46368624-nothing-special

Blurb

When Noah’s insecurity threatens their fledgling relationship, can Sol convince Noah that he’s enough?

Noah thinks he’s nothing special. Average height, a bit on the skinny side, and cute but rather geeky, he’s relentlessly ordinary. He certainly doesn’t expect to be noticed by Sol, the gorgeous dark-haired stranger Noah usually sees on his commute home.

When a friend persuades Noah to take a big risk in a bid to get Sol’s attention, things turn out better than Noah dared to hope. But Noah doesn’t believe he’s interesting or sexy enough to hold Sol’s attention.

As Sol tries to get closer, Noah tries to protect his heart by pulling away. If their relationship is going to survive, Noah needs to accept that Sol sees him very differently to how Noah sees himself. Because to Sol, Noah is something very special indeed.

Review

This was a very entertaining, easy read about two really sweet, drama-free guys. After some mutual pining and longing looks in the train, Noah and Sol get together in the cutest way thanks to Metro and a little prodding from Noah’s best friend. They seem to fall in like/lust/… maybe even love with heartwarming ease. Things are shaken up a bit near the end, though, with Noah’s insecurities attempting to put a brake on a good thing. Loved how the author did that and so unexpectedly upped the emotional stakes in this story. The epilogue was the cutest ever, so romantic!!
Recommend.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Spark in the Stars by Foster Bridget Cassidy

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/spark-in-the-stars-by-foster-bridget-cassidy-10559-b

Blurb:
A case of mistaken identity could lead to love for an aloof starship captain and a brilliant if underappreciated mechanic from the sticks—if they can survive the dangerous mission assigned to them.

Ginnovi Oshwald just needs someone to give him a chance. He can keep anything running, despite the “spark” his body produces that sometimes wreaks havoc with electronics. Gin gets his chance when Captain Lian Hartford comes to Tallahassee in search of a mechanic. The trouble is, he’s looking for Gin’s sister. But since he only has a name to go by, Gin tells a little white lie. What could go wrong?
Lian loves his ship and his work as a diplomat but has difficulty connecting with others—only partly because of his mixed human and alien heritage. Something about the eccentric mechanic intrigues him, though, and their easy friendship could become more… if they live long enough to broker peace between humanity and a hostile race while pacifying a crew that thinks Gin belongs in prison.

Review:
It’s an interesting read at the start especially when Gin is mistaken for his sister and the dialogue switches between his and his sister’s name – I liked that, once I got used to it ☺
However, the story got to be a little confusing to me; how did Temina know what ship her brother was on? Then there were the secondary characters, they had been introduced but I had a hard time keeping track of many of them – Doc was also called Mother, but I wasn’t sure if she was really Lian’s mum and Pip turned out to be a deity.
Gin and Lian were likeable characters, but I didn’t feel that they any chemistry together.
It’s a good story, just not for me.

3 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Come Back Around by BA Tortuga

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/come-back-around-by-ba-tortuga-10588-b

Blurb:
Can two divorced dads get a second chance at a redneck wedding?

When Reid Porter agrees to be his best friend’s man of honor, he never considers that his ex, Mateo, will be there too. Which is ridiculous, because Jennifer is marrying Mat’s brother. Reid would never let Jen down, though, so he finds himself at the Leaning N Ranch with his two daughters and a whole lot of baggage about seeing Mat again.
Mat loves his baby brother and would do anything for him, including face the love of his life, whom he’s sure has moved on. When he and Reid come face-to-face after more than two years apart, they realize they’ve never let go. Now they have to do what they never could before—balance work, home, and children, while finding a way to come back around to each other’s love.

Review:
This was a comfort read – it gave me the warm fuzzies reading how a divorced couple found their way back to each other. One of the things I enjoy about Ms. Tortuga’s stories is how there is a cast of characters that make the story larger than life – in this case – Mat’s mum and dad, Mat and Reid’s daughters, even the groomsmen. There are characters from a previous Leaning N book (Stoney and Ford) – but one doesn’t have to have read their story to enjoy this one.
As the blurb says, both men are going to have to bury their differences as their sibling (Mat’s) and best friend (Reid) are getting married. As soon as they see each other again, the love they never lost rekindles. Sure there are some doubts and yes, they need to hash out why they got a divorce, but they are sure that their love for each other and their kids will see them through this time.
A sweet story!

3.5 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+

Audiobook: The Athlete and the Aristocrat by Louisa Masters; narrated by Seb Yarrick

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-athlete-and-the-aristocrat-by-louisa-masters-10068-b

Blurb:
Sometimes love takes balls.

Newly retired championship footballer Simon Wood is taking on his next challenge. His plan for a charity to provide funding for underprivileged children to pursue football as a career has passed its first hurdle: he has backers and an executive consultant. Now it’s time to get the ball rolling.
Lucien Morel, heir to the multibillion-euro Morel Corporation, is shocked—and thrilled—to learn his father has volunteered him as consultant to a fledgling football charity. Better yet, the brains behind it all is heartthrob Simon Wood, his teenage idol and crush.
Although Simon and Lucien get off on the wrong foot, it’s not long before they’re getting along like a house on fire—sparks included. But with the charity under public scrutiny, can their romance thrive?

Review: It’s an OK story –I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had read The Bunny and the Billionaire (the MC’s of that book popped up a bit in this story). I liked Simon and Lucien, they were very good together. The relationship between both men developed from a friendship that very soon evolved into mutual attraction. However, Simon, while bisexual, has never been out in public with a man.

I liked the premise of the story, (establishing a charity for underserved kids), allowing one to see the inner (good) qualities of both men.

Seb Yarrick is a solid narrator – he doesn’t have a whole lot of range, though he did a passable job with Lucien’s (French) accent. I liked listening to him, (definitely made the book more enjoyable for me). To me, he’s more of a ‘comfy’ reader, one I would listen to again.

Story: 3 stars
Narration: 3.5 stars

Overall 3.25 stars rounded to 3 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Release Day Review: Ramen Assassin by Rhys Ford

release day review

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/ramen-assassin-by-rhys-ford-10582-b

Blurb:
When life gives Kuro Jenkins lemons, he wants to make ponzu to serve at his Los Angeles ramen shop.
Instead he’s dodging bullets and wondering how the hell he ended up back in the Black Ops lifestyle he left behind him. After rescuing former child star Trey Bishop from a pair of thugs in the middle of the night, he knows it’s time to pick up his gun again. But it seems trouble isn’t done with Trey, and Kuro can’t quite let go… of either the gun or Trey Bishop.

Trey Bishop never denied his life’s downward spiral was his own fault. After a few stints in rehab, he’s finally shaken off his Hollywood bad-boy lifestyle but not his reputation. The destruction of his acting career and his relationships goes deep, and no one trusts anything he says, including the LAPD. When two men dragging a dead body spot him on a late-night run and try to murder him, Trey is grateful for the tall, dark, and deadly ramen shop owner he lusts over—not just for rescuing him, but also for believing him.
Now caught in a web of murders and lies, Trey knows someone wants him dead, and the only one on his side is a man with deep, dark secrets. Trey hopes Kuro Jenkins will stick around to see what the future holds for them once the dust settles, but from the looks of things, neither of them may survive to find out.

Review: I really enjoy the way Ms. Ford weaves the character of a city, a piece of furniture or other everyday things like birds, smells, tastes into the story. This latest story is no exception. The city of LA, even the seagulls were featured characters ☺
Trey is a washed up child actor. He’s gone through rehab a few times and this time aims to keep on the straight and narrow. However, fate has other plans for him.
Kuro is ex-covert ops (not assassin). Forced to ‘retire’, he’s opened a ramen shop. When he rescues Trey from a violent situation, Kuro finds himself falling back into his old way of life.
Overall, I enjoyed the story but it didn’t feel as tight or as well put together as some of Ms. Ford’s other stories (rushed maybe?). A few things didn’t work for me – the continued hostility of Trey’s family, esp. Kimber; the arc of Kuro’s former mentor coming out of retirement, (possibly continued in the next book?). I felt that the feelings between Kuro and Trey developed a little too quickly – yes they had been eyeing each other prior to them actually meeting – but I really didn’t buy their chemistry. Since this is the first of the series, I hope to see their relationship get more attention and really feel their connection. And I’d like to see Trey’s family situation improve, at least a little.

Story: 4 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Larry Boots, Exterminator by John Inman

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/larry-boots-exterminator-by-john-inman-10514-b

Blurb:
Kenny Long is living a new life. Blinded in an accident, he has taken control of his unexpected reality the best way he can, and it’s working out better than he hoped. Of course Larry Boots doesn’t know any of that. All he sees is a beautiful man sitting on a park bench. Larry has a few problems of his own: His mother. His job. The lack of romance in his life. His job. In the course of that job, Larry strikes up a friendship with Kenny. The next thing he knows, he’s so head over heels in love, even his mother doesn’t seem so bad. Of course his career is still a problem, but he’s working on that. Hopefully he’ll have the problem resolved before the man he’s being paid to murder succeeds in murdering him first. And before the man he loves finds out he’s a cold-blooded killer.

Review: This is a fun story, despite some of the darker elements related to Larry’s line of ‘work’ ☺
Larry, as the title suggests, gets rid of unsavoury things. Unsavoury people, if one is to be accurate. He stumbled into this line of work by accident, but as long as he’s needed, he’ll do it. That is, until he finds a reason to quit, in the form of Kenny.
Kenny is blind, but that doesn’t stop Larry from falling for him. When the two men strike up a conversation, Larry is intrigued by how self-sufficient Kenny is. As they get to know one another, Kenny has to navigate meeting Larry’s mum (she’s a hoot), his 2 dogs and Larry’s odd hours. When one of Larry’s marks hits a little close to home, Larry has to decide what is more important to him.
There were some dark/sad aspects as to why Larry is an exterminator, but these were deftly interwoven with the humour and romance of the story. I really enjoyed it. It’s a good, lighthearted story that I enjoyed a lot.

4 stars out of 5


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