Categories
adult - 18+

The Captain and the Baker (The Captivating Captains #7) by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54451031-the-captain-and-the-baker?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=3fYNEGJETN&rank=1

Blurb
When a hot-tempered TV chef and a mild-mannered baker meet on the rugged Cornish coast, they’ve got the perfect ingredients for a red-hot snack.

Sweary and stressed celebrity chef Jake Brantham is the captain of several floating restaurants. When he’s sent to the idyllic village of Porthavel to turn a pirate ship into the next gastronomic sensation, it’s the last place on earth he wants to be.

Locryn Trevorrow is the bakery king of Cornwall. From the humble pasty to a wedding cake fit for a mermaid queen, there’s nothing he doesn’t know about the art of baking. He lives in a cosy world of gingham and ganache, but at night he goes home to his smugglers’ cottage alone.

When he’s adopted by a lost kitten, Jake soon discovers that there’s more to Portavel than cream teas, lobster pots, and the annoyingly fastidious Locryn. As the village prepares for the wedding of its favourite young couple, Jake and Locryn find themselves as unlikely matchmakers for two locals who’d given up on love.

Torn between the call of Hollywood and the kisses of Locryn, will Jake choose a mansion in Beverly Hills or a cottage on the Cornish coast?

Review
The Captain and the Baker was another delightful read in the Captivating Captains series. I am obsessed with cooking shows and competitions, add in British humour and this book had everything I like.
The main characters, Loc and Jake are complete opposites. I loved all the banter between these two. My only negative about this book was that it was told from only one point of view, I really would have loved to get some scenes from Loc’s view. Otherwise this is a fun, quick read.
I highly recommend this book!!
4 stars



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Categories
adult - 18+

Finding Armando by Joe Cosentino

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/finding-armando-by-joe-cosentino-11671-b

Blurb

Found At Last: Book Two

An investigative adventure in search of an elderly man’s first love brought Theo and Jamison together. Now they’re called to put their sleuthing skills to use once again and reunite Pocono resort manager Asher with his lost love, Armando. But the hunt through rural Pennsylvania won’t be easy with Jamison’s younger brother locking horns with the resort’s assistant manager and a shocking offer from the sous chef, Grace.

Review

Finding Armando is a story of found family, love and friendship. This is the second book of a series and not having read the first book I felt like I was dropped into the middle of an ongoing story but I still enjoyed this one. All of the characters, major and minor were very well written. Armando and Asher’s story was heartbreaking at times but they managed to pull through and get their happy ending.
I definitely recommend reading the first story first for better enjoyment!

4 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: Crochet My Heart by Carol Pedroso

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2019-advent-calendar-homemade-for-the-holidays-full-set-11522-b

Blurb
Accountant Tristan plans to make a ton of crochet items for his local LGBT charity to sell at their holiday fair. His only problem? He can’t crochet.

Fortunately, the community center offers a class, and it’s taught by Charlie, who is gorgeous and sexy and seems interested. At first. Can grandmotherly fellow classmate Ivy guide the clueless men to each other, or will it take something more serious to help them see the possibilities?

Review

Crochet My Heart was a fun, sweet, little holiday romance. For being a novella, this story has everything I look for in a book. There is a great meet-cute, awkward conversation, plenty of pinning and longing looks and even a little drama. The main characters, Charlie and Tristan were well thought out and the cast of secondary were all enjoyable as well.
I recommend this story for all crochet and holiday story addicts !
4 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: Finding Yuletide Karol by L.A. Merrill

Dreamspinner:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2019-advent-calendar-homemade-for-the-holidays-full-set-11522-b

Blurb

Fifty years ago, during the Vietnam War, Lee Elbridge fell in love with an Army cook nicknamed Yuletide Karol, but they haven’t seen each other since.

Now, led by a clue in an old cookbook, Lee sets off on a road trip to find his lost love. He arrives on Karol’s upstate New York farm to find preparations for a handfasting in full swing, and is mistaken for the wedding planner’s assistant. As Lee is roped into folding hemp napkin goats and mashing fresh sweet potatoes, he is welcomed by Karol’s large, eccentric family of witches and pagans. When Lee and Karol finally get a moment alone, Lee tells him the truth, but it will take more than a little Yuletide magick to bring them together again after almost a lifetime.

Review
This was an amazing read! Lee’s is suffering through another work Christmas party, when he is given an old cookbook, which just so happens to contain the one thing he has always wanted….the last name of the man he fell in love with 50 years ago. He, then embarks on a quest to find this man.
I haven’t read a novella in a long while, if ever that touched me as much as this one did. Finding Yuletide Karol is an absolutely beautiful story.
5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Yuletide Treasure (Goddess-Blessed #3) by Eliot Grayson

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48470441-yuletide-treasure

Blurb
There’s not enough Yuletide spirit in the world to fix this holiday disaster…

Eben Sypeman’s world is falling apart. It’s two days before Yule and his business partner is dead, leaving behind empty accounts and looming bankruptcy. And if that isn’t bad enough, his patron goddess is irritated with him. It seems she’s tired of his tendency to mince words and avoid conflict. She’s insisting—quite forcefully—that he start being totally honest with everyone, including himself. Divinely enforced honesty couldn’t have come at a less opportune time, especially when his clerk’s tall, dark and distractingly handsome son enters the picture.

The last thing on Tim Pratchett’s mind is romance. All the former soldier wants is to fill in for his sick father at work and recover from his war wounds in peace. But there’s something about the grumpy Eben that confounds and entices him in equal measure. Their timing couldn’t be worse. They’re complete opposites. And yet…none of that matters when he’s with Eben.

But if Eben and Tim have any hope of finding their very own happily ever after, they’ll have to survive a dickens of a truth curse and the machinations of a trickster goddess—all while searching for enough yuletide treasure to save them all.

A joyous, relaxing Yule indeed. Bah, humbug.

This is an M/M romance with explicit scenes, a voyeuristic pagan goddess, and an odious nephew. Despite any other possible similarities to A Christmas Carol, there are neither ghosts nor geese, but readers can expect a happy ending and at least one use of the word “dickens.”

Review
Yuletide Treasure is very, very loosely based on Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. Meaning that there are some similar phrases and an appearance of a “ghost” who is a god or patron of some sort.

Eben is a man barely holding it together. His business partner recently died and with his death Eben found out that their import business is all but bankrupt. His clerk is ill and when Eben sends him home to rest his son Timothy shows up to work in his place. Insert some awkward conversations, a meddling ghost-god, an anti-lying curse and search for missing money.

This was a charming, quirky little story that I enjoyed very much.
4 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Mr. Right Now by Annabeth Albert

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48481844-mr-right-now?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=gmVbM2DFaa&rank=1

Blurb
He’s Mr. Right Now, but for how long?

When Russ suffers a Thanksgiving disaster, his gorgeous neighbor Esteban is there to save the day. And after an innocent mix-up leads to the former Hollywood hottie playing the role of Russ’s date, Russ thinks scoring Esteban as his fake boyfriend is a huge win. The newly discharged marine is healing inside and out and could use some holiday cheer.

For his part, Esteban is intrigued by his big, bad neighbor. He likes how his matchmaking cat brings out an unexpected caring side of Russ. Desire flares as the reasons to continue their ruse pile up for both men.

And pretending feels so good. From chocolaty kisses to late night cuddles, their burgeoning friendship is getting cozier and cozier. But as the end date for their little deception looms, all the real feelings they’ve tried to ignore come tumbling in. Each must decide whether they have what it takes to ring in the New Year as a couple.

Mr. Right Now is a stand-alone holiday novella with sweet, low-angst feels, spicy love scenes, and foodie inspired, quirky Oregon romance with a military flavor. Happy ending guaranteed with no cliffhangers!

Review

This is the perfect Fake relationship trope story, I like that they stumble into it and not plan in as a scheme of some sort. Russ and Esteban have this easy friendship that gets better the more time they spend together. I also enjoyed how, despite them making plans to ‘break up’, they keep getting pushed back, until they realize this had become much more then pretend.
Russ was my favorite character, he’s doing some big life changes and I could relate to that. He’s going after his dreams, figuring out what he wants, and that includes Esteban. Never giving up and going for it even when it’s out of his comfort zone. He inspires me to dream nigger, do better.

They are both well rounded characters for such a short story, with specific interests, tastes and personalities. Annabeth puts her unique touch into every story, with military heroes I always enjoy reading about. Also, there was just enough heat to keep satisfied, even though I would love more, but in a novella you have to balance every story component.
Sweet HEA, Romantic with just the right amount of taste for more, Mr. Right Now is the perfect Christmas Romance to bring a smile and warmth to your heart this holiday season.

Number of stars out of 5
3.5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Slow Birth by Leta Blake (Heat of Love book 2.5)

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47898759-slow-birth?from_search=true

Blurb

Jason and Vale are back in this side story set in the Heat of Love universe!

A romantic getaway turns dramatic when an unexpected heat descends on Vale, leaving Jason with no choice but to act. The resulting pregnancy is dangerous for Vale and terrifying for Jason, but with the help of friends and family, they choose to embrace their uncertain future. Together they find all the love, joy, and heat they need to guide them through!

While this story follows the characters from Slow Heat, it will be most enjoyable if read directly after Alpha Heat, as it takes place contemporaneously with that book.

Review
It was great reading Vale and Jason’s pregnancy story from their prospective, as in book #2 in the series they are already pregnant. This brings new light to the events that take place in Alpha Heat and has just the right amount of angst we are used to from Leta with the smoking hotness of Vale and Jason who will not be deterred by a growing belly.
Having gone through pregnancy and birth (almost 5 months ago) this novella struck a chord with me. It deals with very deep emotional changes brought on by pregnancy, and the physical ones too. I was moved at times and found myself echoing Vale and Jason’s fears and hopes. Birth is such a shock to the body, soul and relationship. Leta, while still keeping this an erotic romance full of heat, managed to capture some of the real-life essence of motherhood (or should I say Paterhood?) in their tale. I have always admired Leta’s writing, and if you like this series you will love this tale of hope, love and humanity in its most basic form.

Number of stars out of 5
4


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Captain’s Flirty Fireworks By Eleanor Harkstead & Catherine Curzon

Pride Publisher

https://www.pride-publishing.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=70762

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48269895-the-captain-s-flirty-fireworks?from_search=true

Blurb

When a hunky fireman and a gorgeous gold medalist meet on Guy Fawkes Night, sparks are sure to fly!

For fireman Rob Monteagle, this Guy Fawkes Night seems like it’s going to be anything but fun. After all, who wants to spend the noisiest night of the year saving careless cats from trees or rattling a fundraising bucket at Longley Magna’s annual bonfire, the pride of the village’s bad-tempered old retainer?

For Ollie Tresham, the night isn’t looking any better. He might have won gold in the Olympic showjumping ring yet he’s still expected to meet the public at his dad’s charity fireworks extravaganza. But when a rogue rocket heads straight for the showjumper, it takes a quick-thinking fireman like Rob to save the day.

As the flames of the bonfire smolder, Rob and Ollie’s night is just getting started. And it’s sure to go with a bang!

Publisher’s Note: This book is related to the Captivating Captains series.

Review
I have read a few other books in the Captivating Captains series and have enjoyed them all…. this one…not so much. This story is written well. I loved how descriptive the authors are. My biggest issue with this novella, is nothing really happens. The two main characters meet up, have a drink and make plans to meet up again later that night. They end up running into each other later and one MC thinks the other is mad at him and ends up skipping the date. He’s pouting at home when the other shows up, they “make up”, spout off a lot of bad fireman puns then its two years later and they are married. I don’t mind instalove stories or novella’s, but I want a little more story line. I just could not get into this story.

3 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Coming Soon: Barricades By Dem Had

 

May 24

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/barricades-by-dem-had-10478-b

Blurb

They were raised to hate each other, but love has other plans.

When introverted bookworm Orestis escapes his homophobic parents and abusive home for a night out with friends, he meets artist Emir, and the passion between them is instant and explosive. But Orestis is a Greek Cypriot and Emir is Turkish, and neither society nor their families will accept their love. If they want a romance that lasts beyond one fiery, forbidden night, they’ll have to face the backlash.

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

Review
I had high hopes for this story. I was really intrigued by the description. From the very beginning I had a hard time with this one. I get that this is a novella so the pace is faster than a full length novel but honestly this took me forever to finish. I didn’t like the writing style and couldn’t connect with either of the characters. The main thing I disliked about this book was ***spoiler***one of the characters repeated cheats on the other. Cheating is a big turn off for me.
I’ve enjoyed other books in this series but this one just wasn’t for me.

2 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Chained (Bureau #4) by Kim Fielding

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44769520-chained

Blurb

An agent for the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs? That’s the best job in the world. And it’s enough for Terry Brandt, who doesn’t need personal relationships complicating his life. His newest assignment puts him undercover, investigating a Hollywood agent who may have some evil tricks up his sleeve.

Edge is not the man he appears to be. Although he’s a member of the Hollywood agent’s security staff, his true situation is darker and deeper than that. Ordered to seduce the new prospect, Edge finds himself caught in conflicting loyalties.

Haunted by their pasts and tied up in secrets, neither Terry nor Edge can afford to allow passion to interfere with duty. And with danger dogging them, it’s impossible to envision a future together.

Review

I’m coming into this series a bit late in the game, but I’m absolutely hooked now. I always love the atmosphere and writing style in Kim Fielding’s stories, this one was no different.
She has written this paranormal story from a very original angle, mythology-wise, than we usually get, with a different power-balance.

I really loved enigmatic Edge and seemingly naïve Terry together. They’re drawn to each other, but can they trust each other? Their feelings get quite intense quite fast, but it absolutely works.

There’s such a sense of hopelessness and sadness when we read from Edge’s point of view. His world is so small, his life limited to existing, surviving even, and he sees no way out for him or his brothers. I loved his interactions with Terry, the unexpected connection they feel and how it starts to slowly, dangerously, change Edge’s view of his life.

The mystery about all the goings-on at the mansion, and even at the Bureau, is very well-written and keeps the reader on his toes. Loved the suspense and the surprises the author had up her sleeve at the end!

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


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Review
I have not read the previous books in the Bureau series but in my opinion it’s not necessary as this story stands on its own. Terry Brandt is undercover trying to find out how a Hollywood agent can guarantee fame and fortune. What he didn’t know was that he would find so much more. My heart went out to Edge being singled out from his brothers and abused by the boss. Even though there is very little back story for Edge got more more invested in him but not so much Terry. That might be because I thought Edge was in a Stockholm syndrome situation. Terry is the only person, apart from his brothers, to show him kindness both as a dog or a man. But it is dangerous for Edge to get too close. I liked how this story was set 1989 with all the references to the music and social situation at the time. This story has intrigued me so much that I’m tempted to read or listen to the first three books, available in an omnibus edition.

Number of stars out of 5 3.5


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