Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Fake Dating the Prince by Ashlyn Kane

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fake-dating-the-prince-by-ashlyn-kane-10555-b

Blurb:
A royal deception. An accidental romance.

When fast-living flight attendant Brayden Wood agrees to accompany a first-class passenger to a swanky charity ball, he discovers his date—“Call me Flip”—is actually His Royal Highness Prince Antoine-Philipe. And he wants Brayden to pretend to be his boyfriend.

Being Europe’s only prince of Indian descent—and its only openly gay one—has led Flip to select “appropriate” men first and worry about attraction later. Still, flirty, irreverent Brayden captivates him right away, and Flip needs a date to survive the ball without being match-made.
Before Flip can pursue Brayden in earnest, the paparazzi forces his hand, and the charade is extended for the remainder of Brayden’s vacation.

Posh, gorgeous, thoughtful Prince Flip is way out of Brayden’s league. If Brayden survives three weeks of platonically sharing a bed with him during the romantic holiday season, going home afterward might break his heart….

Review:
A really fun story, an easy read with very little angst!
This is a fake boyfriend story with very likeable characters – Flip is the crown prince of a small European country. He is unusual in that he’s quite down to earth and is of mixed heritage – his dad, the prince consort is Indian.
Flips travels to Canada frequently, enough to know Brayden. Brayden is usually the flight attendant on Flips flights.
When Flip needs a date to a charity ball he’s hosting, Brayden is happy to assist. Both men get to know each other and find themselves slowly wanting a real relationship.
The story is sweet, with humour. The characters are well developed and while the story doesn’t break new grounds in the fake BF trope, it is definitely distinct with the variety of characters. This is a story I’ll reread if I need an easy, fun read.

3.75 stars out of 5


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Categories
New Adult

Recent Release: Not Gonna Lie (#Lovehim series #4) by S.M. James

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44600013-not-gonna-lie

Blurb

Everyone has their secrets.

Last year Digi walked out on Webcon, on his fans, and on Gram.

Now he’s back determined to give what they had a real shot, but Gram is more prickly than ever, not willing to risk his heart again.

Despite trying to stay out of the spotlight, the anonymous Public Service Announcements draw Digi back in. As the secrets of the internet’s top celebrities are leaked to the world, it’s only a matter of time before Digi and Gram are next.

To get through it, they have to set their rivalry aside.

Will Digi handle the pressure of the bright lights long enough to find who is tearing their world apart? Or will the threat of full exposure be too much for him to handle?

Review

Swoon…Where to even start? This was just such an amazing story! I’m totally in love with this entire series and I’m at a loss to comprehend how it can keep getting better with every new title but it so does!

Each book tackles different issues and diverse characters in the most amazing, sensitive, moving way, always keeping the perfect balance between humor and genuine emotion, lighthearted scenes and angst-filled ones. There are a couple of surprising plot twists and I really liked how the tension built with every new secret that got leaked.

Digi and Gram’s feelings for each other are so intense, even when they’re still “frenemies” so to speak. My heart ached for them throughout the book. Digi is struggling so much with his low self-esteem and his eating disorder, and he remains completely unaware of Gram’s feelings for him for a long time. Gram is so endearing, even hiding as he as behind his snarky attitude and angry outbursts, all the while secretly pining for Digi.

I simply adore Digi and Gram and I was over the moon to get little glimpses of Archie and Yarran as well as Brooks and Darien. I love how all the characters of the different books in the series are connected somehow and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that some of the secondary characters will get their own book in the hopefully near future.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Purchased for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Coming Soon: The Color of Summer by Anna Martin

May 28

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-color-of-summer-by-anna-martin-10509-b

Blurb

Tattoo artist Max Marshall races into his hometown of Sweetwater, West Virginia—and is promptly pulled over for speeding. Max’s luck isn’t all bad, though, because he recognizes the deputy, Tyler Reed, Max’s childhood best friend’s older brother.

Reconnecting with Tyler helps Max settle back in, and it also leads to attraction. But when he tries to explore that connection at the grand opening of his tattoo studio—by kissing Tyler—awkwardness ensues. Max wants more, but has he misread Tyler’s signals?

As a single father raising a six-year-old daughter, Tyler doesn’t have much time to date. He’s ignored his attraction to men for years, but he can’t stop thinking about the kiss he shared with Max. If he can handle the complications of dating in a small town and the possible consequences to his career, this romance could blossom with all the colors of summer.

Review: This is one of those stories that will be reread for a ‘feel good’ pick me feeling ☺
Max returns to his hometown to be closer to his mum. On his way in, the first person he meets is his old crush-turned-deputy, Tyler. As they get reacquainted, Max’s crush rekindles, helped along by Tyler’s interest.
I really enjoyed many things about the story, especially the unhurried way the two men got together, how sweet the supporting cast were, especially Juniper and her uncles. There was even a bit of suspense, which became a catalyst for both men to define their relationship. The story is really angst-free, but there is a depth that left me with a satisfied feeling ☺

4.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review

 

This book started out so good! I loved the idea of this quiet guy reconnecting with his sexuality with a younger more “out there” guy in a small town. Plus tattoos!

At first things were really good, but then it deteriorated rapidly.

Spoilers

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

I was not happy.

Do not recommend.

2 of 5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Wisdom’s Allegiance (The Shifter Chronicles #13) by M.D. Grimm

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/wisdoms-allegiance-by-md-grimm-10511-b

Blurb
Can a loyal and sensual owl shifter couple woo a human mate who’s convinced he’s an ugly duckling?

When socially awkward Dexter Fortis rescues an elf owl blown off course by a storm, he has no idea the bird is a shifter named Orion. Or that his life is about to change.

Orion falls in love with the kind custodian, but he must convince his long-term partner, Talon, that Dexter is just who they’ve been searching for to establish a permanent ménage. Even if they can gently break down Dexter’s walls, they’ll have to contend with a dangerous cult rising in the shifter community and a hidden enemy determined to keep Dexter from them.

Review
Loved this one! So much!

It felt a bit strange to have a story about owl shifters, rather than the more typical bad-ass wolf or big cat shifter, but the author really made it work. I loved how the owls’ characteristics were also present in the MC’s, both in their personalities and mannerisms. Very intriguing and different.

Orion and Talon are an amazing, devoted couple and bringing Dexter into the mix never threatened their feelings for each other, which was lovely. Dexter is very insecure and definitely in need of some love and acceptance. Seeing him blossom and find his place with Orion and Talon was wonderful. I loved every scene between these characters.

Throughout the entire book there’s also a building sense of unease and even danger, with threats coming our heroes’ way on multiple fronts. I really enjoyed the resulting, more action-filled scenes and how they played out.
The world-building was really well done and touches on very current issues, hiding behind the paranormal setting of this story.

This book is part of a series, but can be read perfectly as a standalone.

Definitely recommend!

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Review

I really enjoyed this!  The original couple is one of the first times I can remember in a long time that actually seemed to be doing ok on their own but so clearly benefited from a third that it really felt like a unique “falling in love” for all the parties involved.

In a lot of triad stories I feel like one party is just added in for more “fun” or the original couple is doing terribly and the third is required to “fix” them.  But in this case Talon and Orion were perfectly fine but absolutely benefited from Dexter’s additions to their couple.  

The owl characteristics were wonderful and I loved Orion as a character!  I thought the drama was a bit predictable and not nearly as enjoyable as the love story but it didn’t detract much attention overall.

This was fun, a bit sexy and highly recommended to fans of shifter romance.

 

4.5 of 5 stars

 


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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