Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Running With Scissors By LA Witt Narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Running-with-Scissors-Audiobook/B07N7Y711Q?qid=1549302973&sr=1-5&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_5&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=G56K1FPHDPT38GMSD558&

Blurb

Eighteen months ago, drummer Jude Colburn made the biggest mistake of his life when he walked away from his band just as they were on the brink of success. Now, he’s got a second chance. The band’s bassist just quit, and Jude plays bass almost as well as he plays drums. The other band members aren’t thrilled, but they are desperate.

Running with Scissors needs him, but there’s one condition: no hooking up with bandmates. That’s what ruined things eighteen months ago, after all. Jude’s on board, but no one warned him about the drummer who replaced him. A.J. Palmer is shy and unassuming . . . until he hits the stage. He gets Jude’s attention from the first beat, and suddenly that “no hookups” rule isn’t so easy to follow.

Keeping secrets on a tour bus isn’t easy either, and it’s only a matter of time before the band catches on. When everything hits the fan, Jude has to choose: a second chance at the career he’s always regretted leaving, or a shot at the man of his dreams?

Review

So I will admit that I mostly skimmed this book.

I LOVE the idea. LOVE the author. LOVE the cover. But I didn’t love the outcome.

Jude left his band high and dry and when he returns he’s told absolutely no hook-ups will be tolerated with other band members. So of course… he and AJ find themselves having to hide their developing love for each other and that causes lots of strife and on again/off again angst. Turns out Jude had a “thing” with another band member and there are unresolved feelings between the two to this day.

I didn’t really like Jude all that much and kinda felt AJ was a bit wishy-washy. So their “passion” was just as uneventful for me. In fact, I thought the most passionate thing in the book was the violent reaction to the hook-up the other band members had rather than the love between our two MCs. (The women in particular were pretty screechy.)

I was kinda hoping for this “super shy on the tour bus” guy to become this totally “hot and madly passionate” guy with his beau but it was kinda luke-warm instead. Usually LA Witt is full of hawt and sexy love scenes sometimes a little on the kinky side, but this was pretty white bread.

I think, had I not had high expectations because of my fandom for the author I wouldn’t have felt as let down, because it is still a “good” book, just not as great as I’d come to expect. (As you can tell from my previous review of Static – I am a big fan of this author.)

So, with that… I give it a fair 3 of 5 stars.

Audio

I think Michael Ferraiuolo adds a LOT to this story. He gives it more depth and makes it more engaging. I really think this is the best way to enjoy this story and recommend it in this format the most.

5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

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


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

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


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
3 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Book Dreamspinner Gay Gay Homophobia m/m Mid level angst Mild/low level heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Standalone

Coming Soon! The Spy’s Lovesong By Kim Fielding

October 2!

 

 

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-spys-love-song-by-kim-fielding-9882-b

Blurb
For a singer and a spy, love might be mission impossible.
Jaxon Powers has what most only dream of. Fame. Fortune. Gold records and Grammy awards. Lavish hotel suites and an endless parade of eager bedmates. He’s adored all over the world—even in the remote, repressive country of Vasnytsia, where the tyrannical dictator is a big fan. The State Department hopes a performance might improve US relations with a dangerous enemy. But it means Jaxon’s going in alone… with one exception.
Secret agent Reid Stanfill has a covert agenda with global ramifications. Duty means everything to him, even when it involves protecting a jaded rock star. Jaxon and Reid’s mutual attraction is dangerous under Vasnytsia’s harsh laws—and matters get even worse when they’re trapped inside the borders. Romance will have to wait… assuming they make it out alive.

Review

This absolutely pains me to say, because I am a huge fan girl of Kim Fielding – but this absolutely did not work for me.

It was well written.

It had interesting characters.

The setting was unique and well described.

The premise was also unique and TIMELY!

But the romance fell absolutely flat for me. 🙁

There was little steam – which is fine – but it can help bring a couple closer in the reader’s mind and it wasn’t there. Most of the time I didn’t get the feeling the couple thought they’d make it out alive much less together and even by the end I was scratching my head at how these two could possibly work in the real world.

So much of this was about the machinations of the “spying” and the evading police etc that I didn’t get to feel our MCs really grow as a couple.

Another disappointment for me was the lack of musicality in our musician. Though he had his moments I didn’t like him “before” – aka slutty rock musician – and I didn’t get to see enough of him “after” to make that opinion change.

As for Reid – I wanted to shake him! He frustrated me over and over and I never felt close to him and I never saw closeness between him and Jax.

So… while I’m sure others will love this – Kim is an amazing writer so it’s only appropriate that they do! – it didn’t work for me unfortunately.

2.75 rounded to 3 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
3 stars adult - 18+ Bi-Sexual Book Bullying Gay Gay Hurt/Abuse Little to no angst m/m Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Pride Publishing Re-Release Scorching/high heat Sorel

Recent Review: Rocked Hard by Morticia Knight

Pride Publishing Presents

https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/rocked-hard

Blurb

Can the touch of a rock god last forever?

Legendary alt rock singer, Aubrey King, is making a comeback after many years out of the spotlight. Rumors of his sexuality have always dogged him, and while he’s never come out publicly, his reasons for leaving the industry had nothing to do with his fear of discovery. What matters to him is the music. That’s his truth, and so far, his only real love. He aches to find someone to share his life with, but his propensity to fall fast and hard—along with chasing men he knows can never be his—has left him all alone.

Rock journalist Bryan Gallagher was first turned on to rock music at the age of twelve when he became obsessed with Aubrey’s band, Falling in Stereo. His friends, and even girlfriends, would sometimes tease him that he was hot for Aubrey. But it was all about the music and nothing else—at least that’s what he’s always told himself. When he’s approached about helping Aubrey write his memoir, it’s not only a dream assignment, but an exciting opportunity to work closely with his idol.

When Bryan meets Aubrey, the electric heat between them is unnerving. He’s further confused by how intense Aubrey’s attraction toward him is and how deeply they connect over their shared obsession of music. While Bryan struggles with uncertainty regarding his own sexuality, he also has to navigate through the perils of working with a lover and keeping their relationship a secret.

But Bryan’s biggest struggle of all might be determining whether declarations of true love from a rock star can ever be trusted.

Review by Xanthe
What a great story! I fully enjoyed the characters and the story line of this book from Morticia Knight.
Aubrey King is our rocker looking to make a comeback and has taken on Bryan Gallagher, rock journalist, to write his memoirs. Aubrey has always known he’s gay but the Rock and Roll life that he used to live never allowed him to be open as to who he truly was and he has never had anyone worth coming out for
Bryan, unlucky in love is about to meet and write for his inspiration for writing about the rock world. He’s been a fan since he was a boy and this is his ultimate dream come true. Though things take a turn he wasn’t expecting with some flirtation coming from Aubrey. Having never been attracted to a man before Bryan’s not quite sure how to handle things.
Moving forward with the project, both men become much more than they could have ever expected and big decisions have to be made for both of them.
This, for me, was an absorbing read. Constantly wanting to know how things are developing with both the MC’s and the life that they are moving towards. Aubrey’s lifestyle and person is a bit different to what Bryan was obviously expecting and I love when a character is sent off kilter in that way. Exploration between the two moves quickly and is hot(!) though Aubrey is very keen to point out that any and everything is going to go at the pace that Bryan wants, refusing to hurt or push him in any way. Bryan takes his time with thinking about the changes cropping up in his life since meeting Aubrey, even his interactions with others become interesting.
My only niggle with this book is the speed at which things happen in the beginning. I understand instant attraction and getting to know each other but for someone who has never experienced it with another man, it didn’t really ring true. However, Aubrey is such a lovable guy you can’t help but fall for him and how he expresses his feelings. Both he and Bryan bring out some of the best lines about the other man, just making you awwwww at them both.
There’s quite a bit of drama separate to but also impacting their relationship. It’s interesting to read how both men want to deal with things and the resulting changes it has on both of them.
I love some of the secondary characters we have – Rudy, tour manager and Jimmy, bassist, are the two guys to be truly relied upon, and Ed the man you love to hate. Bryan’s mother is adorable and I would have loved to have gotten more interaction with her and both men.
I’d definitely recommend this book!

Number of stars out of 5
5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Sorel

I’m not quite sure what it was about this book, but it didn’t seem realistic enough to me and instead of feeling pulled into the story, I felt like quite detached from it.

Both Aubrey and Bryan were likeable enough characters, but from the very first meeting the whole relationship felt slightly off, even false. Maybe it is because I am not a big fan of insta-love and this was very, very instant.

As a character Bryan came across as very grounded and down to earth, but way too excepting of his attraction and very fast relationship with Aubrey. From never showing any interest in a man, to jumping into bed with one within a couple of days of their initial meeting, just doesn’t ring true.

As for Aubrey himself, at times I found his childlike quality towards love and commitment far too sugary and implausible. Even with the explanation we were given, the insecurities he displayed seemed more like a teenager than a rock star of 42 and had me pausing in annoyance on more than one occasion.

Overall, it was an easy, readable book, but it just didn’t grasp my attention like a good book should.

3 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Bullying Dreamspinner Gay Gay Hurt/Abuse m/m Mild level angst Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) PTSD Rebecca Scorching/high heat Standalone

Recent Release: Rocking the Cowboy by Skylar M. Cates

Dreamspinner Press:

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

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

This book title really got my attention. A good opposites attract story can be great to read. Jed is the hardened cowboy and farmer and Remy is the rock star spoiled playboy. Remy is used to people falling at his feet in awe and Jed is used to being by himself and not getting his hopes up. Jed was extremely rude in the beginning since to him, Remy was just a means to an end and an inconvenience. Remy had an incident that has left him with panic struggles. I feel for him on a very personal level. The struggles were very well portrayed. Jed and Remy started out rough around the edges despite an attraction. There’s cute banter, self-esteem moments, snark, shameless flirting, hot cowboy, and some steamy bedroom fun. I greatly enjoyed reading this wonderful book.

5 out of 5

 

Received by publisher for my honest review

 

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Dreamspinner Gay m/m Mary D Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Standalone

Coming Soon! Don’t let Go by Andrew Grey

August 7th!

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

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 always feel happy and contented when I finish a book by Andrew Grey and Don’t let Go is no exception. It’s an interesting concept where both main characters have hidden identities. Both of them know the pressure of touring and being in the spotlight. And both of them have reached a point in their lives, for different reasons, where something has got to change. It made it such a pleasant read that both Zeke (Hy) and Robert (Avery) are not looking for love but welcome it completely when it comes into their lives. They initially meet as a one night stand, a diversion because neither recognises the others professional persona. By fate or coincidence they meet again, on Zeke’s family ranch. From there on love grows and life is idyllic until real life and other people intervene. There are bitter sweet moments as well as hot scenes between them which round the story off perfectly. I fell in love with both Zeke and Robert and whilst they have ended in happy ever after place I wouldn’t mind visiting them again too see how they’re getting on.

4 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review