Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Stable Hill by Jodi Payne

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/stable-hill-by-jodi-payne-10474-b

Blurb
Will three men from very different backgrounds find a home and a future together?

After losing his husband to cancer, Oscar Kennedy has his hands full with their four girls, the house, his job, and his mother-in-law. When he loses his father too, keeping Stable Hill, the old horse farm where he grew up, becomes impossible. Oscar hires Jeffrey Stokes, a slick-looking real estate broker with a roll-up-his-sleeves work ethic, to get it on the market.

Russell White manages the day-to-day at Stable Hill. Russ had loved Oscar’s dad like a father, and took on even more responsibility when the old man fell ill. He is shocked and saddened by Oscar’s decision to sell.

All three men have a stake in Stable Hill, and it’s not long before they start to invest in one another too. But their complicated relationship doesn’t make having to sell Stable Hill any easier. Will the fragile triad they’re building last when the farm that brought them together is gone?

Review
I liked the set-up of this story and really wanted to fall in love with it, but I didn’t really get there.

I had a hard time believing in the strength of the relationship between the three men, mostly because of Oscar. He is at times quite self-absorbed and not as aware or as careful of Russ’s and Jeffrey’s feelings as he should be. He also has quite a mean temper on him, and I didn’t care for his angry outbursts, even taking into account the difficult choices he has to make.

The issues and worries all three men face are very realistic though, a definite plus, and I liked that they weren’t able to magically fix everything because of love, but I didn’t feel as if they actually grew stronger trying to overcome all these issues together.

One of the things I did really like in this book were its secondary characters, especially Rose, and everything to do with Oscar’s family, including how Russ and Jeffrey find their place with them.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 3.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Eye of the Dragon by BA Tortuga

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/eye-of-the-dragon-by-ba-tortuga-10438-b

Blurb:
The Wildcatters: Book Two
Graduate student Cameron is on the trail of an ancient Chinese artifact, a ruby with a history. When he meets adventurer Poe in Mexico, he spills the beans on his quest, and Poe sees dollar signs as well as the hottest professor he’s ever met.

They head off to the salt flats and mountains of Utah, searching for a lost wagon train from the eighteen hundreds. What they find is danger beyond normal comprehension and a stone that drives men to insanity.

Soon Poe’s only concern is saving Cam, but to do that, he’ll need help from some old friends and a few new ones. When it becomes too late to turn away from their quest, Poe and Cam put themselves and their friends in deadly peril. It will take every bit of their talents and courage to make it through and survive the Dragon’s Eye.

Review: This was an OK story. The blurb drew me in, but the execution wasn’t quite there (IMO). There was quite a bit of sex (never thought I’d complain about that!), almost to the point that the plot hardly took off. When Poe and Cam weren’t horizontal, the adventure story – searching for the Eye of the Dragon – was fun. There was a bit of magic with the things the Eye could do.
I liked Poe – a rogue with a good heart and sweet Cam, who was able to hold his own with Poe and Poe’s friends. I love BA Tortuga’s books, but this one was not one of my favourites.

3 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Mage on the Hill by Angel Martinez

Dreamspinner

Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-mage-on-the-hill-by-angel-martinez-10435-b

Blurb: The Web of Arcana: Book One
A young magic user who wants desperately to live. A jaded recluse who has forgotten what living means. They’re each other’s only chance.

Toby’s wild magic is killing him. The mage guilds have given up on him, and it’s only a matter of time before he dies in a spectacular, catastrophic bang. His only hope is an exiled wizard who lives in seclusion—and is rumored to have lost his mind.

The years alone on his hilltop estate have not been good for Darius Valstad. After the magical accident that disfigured him and nearly drowned Pittsburgh, he drifts through his days, a wraith trapped in memories and depression. Until a stricken young man collapses on his driveway, one who claims Darius is his last chance. For the first time in fifteen years, Darius must make a choice—leave this wild mage to his fate or take him in and try to teach him, which may kill them both. The old Darius, brash and commanding, wouldn’t have hesitated. Darius the exile isn’t sure he can find the energy to try.

Review:
I really liked this book! The story is well written, fun and very interesting.
Toby has ‘wild’ magic and is about to be placed in mage hospice and left to die. However, Toby has other plans for his fate, leading him to escape and seek help from Darius, an outcast mage.
Darius has been living as a recluse and has very little in the way of social skills, which by no means deters Toby.
These two men are polar opposites – one chatty, the other not; but both men work so well together – well, after Toby wore him down! There is a lot of humour, a bit of adventure and romance. The romance is slow, in that it sneaks up on both men without them realising it – it’s rather sweet.
I liked Darius’s friends and hope there will be more books in this world.

4.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: From a Jack to a King By: Scotty Cade Narrated by: Kenneth Obi

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/from-a-jack-to-a-king-by-scotty-cade-9718-b

Blurb

New York Times best-selling mystery writer Bay Whitman leads the life of a celebrity – at least on the surface. In public, he’s self-assured and in control. Women hang on his every word, while men envy his confidence and swagger. But in reality, Bay is a loner. He’s shy and introverted, and his life consists of sitting in a dimly lit room writing his famous Jack Robbins mystery novels. His one vice – gambling. Winning an escort in a poker game will change Bay’s life in ways he never imagined.
Matthew “King” Slater is one of the hottest tickets in gay porn. He spends his days in front of the camera and his nights as a highly paid escort to the rich and famous. Deep down, he craves romance and a real connection, but his past makes it hard to separate the needs of his body from those of his heart. For now, it’s easier to think of sex as just a job. But while doing a shoot in Vegas, King is hired for a tryst at a famous hotel and casino, and his handsome client might blur the line between work and play.

Review

This was a fail for me. I didn’t enjoy the MCs – I wanted to like Bay as a geek/loner and King as the confident opposite but it felt forced and not at all realistic. Which is fine – but not what I was after. I thought the self help stuff was interesting and unique from a “romance novel” standpoint but I didn’t connect with King and as a result I didn’t find his story compelling.

I think others have enjoyed this but I couldn’t get behind the characters so I wasn’t attached to their relationship.

I found the narration to be only ok, nothing to make me want to keep listening when the story wasn’t enough.

I think a lot of this is personal preference versus poor writing or bad narrating. None of this jumped out at me and had it not been on my review list I’d have stopped reading/listening.

2.5 of 5 stars overall


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: How not to break by Susan Hawke

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44181697-how-not-to-break?from_search=true

Blurb

Take one former SEAL with a healthy dose of regret…

Nick St. Cloud is living with shame from the one time he let his lust override his sense of honor. He’s haunted by the memory of when he made love to his best friend’s eighteen-year-old son. The tragic accident that happened that same night has only compounded his guilt. A decade later, he’s doing his best to be there for Charlie’s son, but anything more than that just wouldn’t be right… would it?

Plus the younger guy who he’s tried to forget…

It’s been ten years. Ten long years. Does Shaw Michaelson feel bad about having seduced his dad’s best friend? Umm, maybe? Although he could’ve done things differently, Shaw can’t find it within himself to be sorry for the hottest night of his life with the one man he’s never been able to forget. The man he’s patterned every subsequent relationship after… yeah, Shaw totally has a type.

Equals a pair of men who deserve a second chance at a first time.

The two men are living in an uneasy peace within the same small town and circle of friends, being careful not to let the other get close enough to open old wounds. All their walls fall when a stalker begins terrorizing Shaw, sending him running to the one man he knows will keep him safe.

Review:
Nick and Shaw are two men with a past and that past has turned both of their lives upside down. Each man has dealt with the aftershocks of one single night in a different way. Nick tries to keep his distance but still wants to protect Shaw from any danger, yet Shaw cannot seem to get over the pain of Nick only seeing him as a child and ignoring the sparks that they have together. When a new and more dangerous threat targets Shaw the two must put aside their differences and work together to keep Shaw safe. Soon the sparks that never went out between them build into an inferno and they must look the fire in the eye and make some choices before it is too late.
Nick and Shaw’s book is a beautiful read full of emotions. I loved seeing both men find a way to get through the struggles that they have and fight for their love. As the two spend more time together they find that they must realize that the past is just that the past. Nothing can change the past, but they must begin to heal by letting go of the hurt and finding the strength to look towards the future. Shaw and Nick are both strong men and learn to help each other heal. With the help of wonderful friends, they work to figure out who is the danger to Shaw is and how to deal with them. I enjoyed seeing everyone pull together to keep Shaw safe. The love and devotion that Shaw and Nick have shows through in all that they do and makes this not only a hot read but also a wonderful romance.

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

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


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

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


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
Uncategorized

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


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
Uncategorized

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


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
Uncategorized

Recent Release: Eleventh Hour by Elin Gregory

Good Reads

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30820566-eleventh-hour?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Borrowed from the Secret Intelligence Service cipher department to assist Briers Allerdale – a field agent returning to 1920s London with news of a dangerous anarchist plot – Miles Siward moves into a ‘couples only’ boarding house, posing as Allerdale’s ‘wife’. Miles relishes the opportunity to allow his alter ego, Millie, to spread her wings but if Miles wants the other agent’s respect he can never betray how much he enjoys being Millie nor how attractive he finds Allerdale.

Pursuing a ruthless enemy who wants to throw Europe back into the horrors of the Great War, Briers and Miles are helped and hindered by nosy landladies, water board officials, suave gentlemen representing foreign powers and their own increasing attraction to each other.

Will they catch their quarry? Will they find love? Could they hope for both?
The clock is ticking.

Review: This is a really good book! I enjoyed it immensely. It is a historical (1920’s), romantic thriller – set mostly in London. It has many of my favourite themes – wit, banter, authentic period references and situations, a bit of cloak and dagger spy situations and a straightforward romance.
Briers and Miles work for British Intelligence (pre-MI6). While Briers is more of a field agent, Miles is the desk jockey, a linguistics expert. Miles has an additional talent – he can convincingly impersonate a woman. Unfortunately, this talent has not always earned him the respect of his peers. When both men are paired together to foil an anarchist plot, both men soon find themselves falling for each other.
There are a few bumps along the way – Briers tendency to treat Miles like a delicate flower, for one – but Briers soon learns that Miles/Millie are both made of sterner stuff. There is a lot of subtle humour throughout the story, even during some desperate times.
This is a well written, fun story and I am looking forward to reading the sequel.
I loved this book!

5 stars out of 5

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review