Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Deadman’s Hand By: Cindy Dees

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/dead-mans-hand-by-cindy-dees-11680-

Blurb
Temptation, peril, and dirty poker.

Love is a high-stakes game.

When Collin Callahan, British secret agent, goes up against math genius turned surfer bum Oliver Elliot, the battle is epic—and so is the attraction. They’re pitted against each other in an exclusive, ultra-secret—and ultra-illegal—poker match in Gibraltar, but when players start dying and they could be next, they find a common goal: catch the killer before it’s too late.

Evenly matched at poker and romance, they each wrestle personal demons that threaten to consume them as the stakes climb. It’s an all-or-nothing gamble with both life and love on the line as they fight to be the last seven-card studs standing.

Previously published by Dreamspinner Press as Seven-Card Stud by Ava Drake, November 2016

Review
I pondered how to write a 3 * review for a book I really liked. In book 1 Wild Cards Inc provides personal security. In this story their operative Colin Callahan is an inexperienced undercover agent. The story is a mix of suspense, who done it, and thriller. Colin is pretending to be an expert card player in very high stake game. It did keep my at I really wanted to know what happened next. Colin meets Gun (Oliver) and falls for him but can he trust him. I enjoyed the way the story played out up until the end. This is where my review drops. I want to know what happens next. I don’t have the imagination of an author to create the rest of the story myself. I had hoping that since this is a republished series the ending was fleshed out or if not another book is added that gives Colin and Gun’s next adventure bringing down the Consortium. Fingers crossed that happens.


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent release: Love me Daddy by: Elouise East

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53845736-love-me-dadd

Blurb
Will their pasts stop them from striving for a future?

Being homeless makes finding a safe Daddy experience difficult, which is confirmed when Nathan is almost knocked out after calling out the word during a liaison. When Loren steps in to aid him, Nathan is ready to let the strong man take charge. But he won’t ask for what he really needs, not when the reaction could be so extreme.

With many failed relationships in his past, Loren yearns for the perfect boy to cherish, but it’s a fantasy in more ways than one as far as he can tell. Nathan’s vulnerability calls to his protective instincts, but he refuses to cross the line. And then he finds Nathan’s need of him is very real.
When Loren assumes control, it centres them both but as they explore their way through this new dynamic, Nathan needs to learn if he’s going to be Daddy’s good boy or Daddy’s little brat

Review
It was a nice surprise reading a uk based Daddy/boy story. The other aspect that I liked was that Nathan’s little side was about 6 or 7, I would guess. It made a nice change from ABDL. Although I was sceptical about their start. Loren was a Good Samaritan who helped Nathan when he was injured. The part I was sceptical about was leaving a stranger alone in his home. But that could say something about me rather than the story. It is a very sweet story where in essence soul mates meet. The difficult topics of homelessness and what is needed to be done to survive are handled lightly, possibly glossed over. This story has a very light feel good touch. Both Loren and Nathan had given up on meeting someone who would match their kinks. But a chance encounter made all their dreams come true. A chance for a fairy tale happy ever after.

Number of stars 3 out of 5

Reviewer Name: MaryD


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Poker Face by Cindy Dees

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/poker-face-by-cindy-dees-11661-

Blurb
Surveillance, seduction, and extra-dirty politics.

Christian Chatsworth-Brandeis has a problem. A huge one. The US senator he works for has run away with his latest mistress on the eve of a make-or-break fund-raising event, and it’s up to him to cover his boss’s irresponsible tracks.

Stone Jackson, the senator’s new bodyguard, looks enough like the senator that, with some extensive grooming, he might pass for Senator Lacey. Christian and Stone hatch a plan to fool everyone by substituting Stone for the senator, but Miami madness and the incendiary heat between them are throwing obstacles in their way. It’s a race to find the senator and pull off the con of the century before the attraction between them spins completely out of control

Second Edition
First Edition previously published by Dreamspinner Press as Ace in the Hole by Ava Drake, July 2016

Review
I found Poker Face to be a delightful story. I loved the way the hard disciplined body guard caves in to Christian to take on the persona of Senator Lacey. This story could easily have become slapstick comedy but the author controlled the events brilliantly. It was easy to see the events unfolding, wondering where it was going. I was hoping the Senator gets his just deserts after skipping of with his current mistress. I didn’t see the ending coming, wonderful.
The characters are well crafted and totally lovable, even Jack Lacey is the kind of character I love to hate. Throughly enjoyable story.

4 of stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Danny Doormat by Rowan McAllister

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/danny-doormat-by-rowan-mcallister-11698-

Blurb
It’s time to wipe his feet of the idea that he’s not good enough to be loved.

Danny Dorfmann is dependable, no matter what’s going on in his own life. So when widower Asa needs a sitter for his dog, Minion, Danny is the natural choice. Besides, Danny’s had a crush on Asa—a hot architect who’s way out of his league—for years.

Asa is just climbing out of his grief over the loss of his husband and trying to reclaim his life. Love and dating aren’t on his radar, but as one favor turns into another and he spends more time with Danny, romance sneaks up on them.

Friendly adventures gradually turn into something deeper, but a manipulative roommate and interfering family and friends want to douse the slow burn building between Danny and Asa. To keep the chances of a happily ever after going, Danny will have to take a stand—and to hold on to the man of his dreams, he’ll have to stop letting everybody walk all over him.

Review
This is a very slow burn friends to lovers story. I was attracted by the blurb. The story sounded different. It took me a while to get into the story. Danny keeps everything close to himself. Never letting anyone get too close, that is until ASA. I felt for Danny, he seemed to be in the mindset that he was a disappointment to his family. No matter that he’s a kind and caring soul. Asa thought he knew Danny but it takes his friendship with him to realise Danny’s kind nature means he’s taken advantage of. It was lovely to see their friendship evolving and ASA understanding Danny more. And Danny helping Asa find the fun in life, and I must not forget cute Minion a very important part of the family. Overall a very nice sweet story that I was able to get lost in rooting for both Danny and Asa to get together.

3 of stars out of 5


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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: Lucifer’s Litigator By: T.J. Nichols

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/lucifers-litigator-by-tj-nichols-10820-b

Blurb
To save his soul, he’ll have to fix his one regret—the love that got away.

The summer between the end of school and the start of what came next was full of sun, surf, and sex. For Will McLeod, that meant Tom, his first male lover. He knew the romance had an expiration date and would end when Tom joined the Army, but that didn’t stop Will from falling in love.

Tired of being looked down upon for being poor, Will became a lawyer—but not just any lawyer. He litigates for the gods as they gamble with the lives of those desperate enough to make deals. His job is to make sure they don’t slip free. He has more money than he knows what to do with, but he’s fast running out of soul.

Twenty-five years haven’t dimmed the candle Will holds for Tom, and when they meet again, he has a chance to put things right. Back then, Tom wasn’t ready to fight for them. Now the decorated soldier is willing to get his hands dirty, but will he be a match for the forces trying to keep them apart

Review
What a great concept. With the title and the blurb I gathered that Will was trapped in a job he no longer wanted. What I wasn’t expecting was the role Lucifer plays in the story. Will’s one regret was Tom, his first love. The story hangs on what that regret was. Neither of them knows for certain and it can’t be spoken about. I liked the flashbacks giving the reader an insight that the characters were just starting to remember and whilst we reading the story may be able to identify the significance Will and Tom don’t always get it away. I got invested in both Will and Tom. Wanting both f them to succeed and beat the odds against all the obstacles put in their way. There is a happy ending although I would have loved an epilogue just to leave me feeling everything works out well for them.

4 of stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Coming Soon: String Boys by Amy Lane

May 28

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/string-boys-by-amy-lane-10521-

Blurb

Seth Arnold learned at an early age that two things in life could make his soul soar—his violin and Kelly Cruz. In Seth’s uncertain childhood, the kindness of the Cruz family, especially Kelly and his brother, Matty, gave Seth the stability to make his violin sing with the purest sound and opened a world of possibility beyond his home in Sacramento.

Kelly Cruz has loved Seth forever, but he knows Seth’s talents shouldn’t be hidden, not when the world is waiting. Encouraging Seth to follow his music might break Kelly’s heart, but he is determined to see the violin set Seth’s soul free. When their world is devastated by a violent sexual assault and Matty’s prejudices turn him from a brother to an enemy, Seth and Kelly’s future becomes uncertain.

Seth can’t come home and Kelly can’t leave, but they are held together by a love that they clutch with both hands.

Seth and Kelly are young and the world is wide—the only thing they know for certain is they’ll follow their heartstrings to each other’s arms whenever time and fate allow. And pray that one day they can follow that string to forever… before it slices their hearts in two.

Review

From the moment I started this book I knew it’s going to be an Amy Lane classic. Full of feels and emotional highs and lows. I felt like I was privileged to be an onlooker on Seth and Kelly’s life. The turbulence that the Cruz family goes through broke my heart. The story pulledon my heart strings. Growing up along sideSeth, Kelly and Mattie being with them as they struggled through life and learned what loving that special person is all about.In this story we get the whole journey of friends to lovers, the hate and family rife as well as unconditional love. Seth has a unique talent for the violin and Kelly wants that to grow. There are a lot of times when school and other circumstances mean Seth and Kelly can’t be together but friends and family are there to get them through and hold on tight. I cried and cheered within moments of each other many times when reading this book and probably will again when I reread it. If you like angsty stories that also fill your heart with joy I can’t recommend this book high enough. If you are still unsure about this book I would suggest that if you are a fan of Amy Lane’s Bonfires and Crocus books then this one would suit you as well.

 

6 of stars out of 5



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Review

This was – has for me to review. I love Amy so much but this did not inspire me.

I was prepared for angst central and there was a bit – but I honestly was never attached to the characters in such a way that I felt it.

Perhaps it was just my frame of mind when I was reading it, but I just didn’t see these guys in the same light as some of her other couples.

First, they spend a ton of time away from one another but still visit so it was kinda – meh – on that front.

The family is both hard to love and so full of pain that I didn’t really get roped in to their drama.

The romance ends on a very bland note and I didn’t get the sense of relief that I usually do with her angsty stories.

It was good and interesting but not my favorite.

3.5 of 5 stars


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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+

Release Day Review: Helix by Anna Martin

release day review

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/helix-by-anna-martin-10255-

Blurb
When high school student James has trouble with his truck, Dylan, who is studying to be a mechanic, comes to the rescue. James thinks he hides his immediate attraction well, but is happy to be wrong when Dylan asks for his number. Since James is new to romance, they take things slowly, and because Dylan is in college, James keeps the budding relationship secret from his overprotective dad.

Across town, Mark, a teacher and single father to James and his sister, Frankie, meets Steve at a bar for what both believe will be a quick hookup. Mark doesn’t see any reason to tell his kids about Steve or press Steve for details about Steve’s adopted son…. It’s just sex between them. Isn’t it?

Two very different love stories grow side by side, each hidden from the other. But all of that changes at a family barbecue, when Mark decides it’s time for his kids to meet Steve and for him to meet James’s boyfriend, who none of them realize is Steve’s son, Dylan. The inevitable explosion means the two couples have some explaining to do to soothe the hurt feelings of their families—and lovers.

Review
The blurb attracted me to this story. I was intrigued as to how the two couples would react when they found out about each other. From previous experience of Anna Martin’s work I was confident that it was not going to be some parody. I loved reading about two very different love stories growing at the same time. Each from a very different perspective. The mature couple with their previous experiences and issues and the younger pair with their own very different but no less important aspects to a building relationship. There was the innocence and gentleness of James and Dylan’s as opposed to the passionate intensity between Steve and Mark. Each couple looking for something different. It was also interesting reading the near miss meetings between the two pairs.
The very different parenting styles were interesting and I could see the pitfalls coming. Thank heavens for Frankie or I wonder if Mark and James would have built the bridge between them so easily. It surprised me how much of an unreasonable ass Mark became, there really is no fool like an old fool.
The epilogue rounded things up beautifully.
I think this book would work really well as an audiobook.

4 of stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Victorian (Lavender Shores book 9) by Rosalind Abel

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42104359-the-victorian

Blurb
Sexy bartender Seth Marino is the epitome of the allure and sophistication for which the town of Lavender Shores is known. For twenty years, Seth has found contentment and happiness as co-owner of the Blue Blossom Bed-and-Breakfast. Seth’s kind heart, good looks, and humor charm both locals and tourists—except the one person who despises him.

Charley Perez began building the life of his dreams a few years before Seth moved to town. Just as his hard work was about to pay off, Charley saw his hopes for building a restaurant worthy of his abuela’s recipes slip through his fingers when Seth arrived. Sure, maybe Charley has a temper, perhaps he should smile more, but does the whole world have to lay out the red carpet for the slutty bartender while never giving Charley a break?

When Lavender Shores welcomes a star-studded food-and-wine celebration, Seth and Charley are forced to work together, leading to an explosion of anger and passion. Both men find the heat and fire of hatred morphing into an irresistible attraction. But even as Seth sees a different side of Charley, the hurt and anger of the past simmer below the surface, threatening the future. And a lifetime of struggle isn’t easy for Charley, who must find the courage to show his true self in seeking help and reaching for his dreams.

Review

Genius! I think I have a new favorite couple in Lavender Shores.

As enemies to lovers stories go, this one is full on. These characters loathed each other and had done so for about two decades. Their mutual animosity ran so deep, I wondered how they would ever get over that. What could possibly get these men to reevaluate their opinions and start seeing each other in a different light? Not to mention forgive past hurts? Because some of their exchanges were incredibly vicious.

But the author managed it brilliantly, turning from enemies to lovers to hurt/comfort with a twist I didn’t see coming, but which tore at my heart. All at once, it became a very different story. Deeply emotional and heartbreaking.

Seth and Charley are both complex and wonderful characters. Their chemistry is off the charts, but what really got to me the most were the little things like Seth showing up on his birthday to be there for Charley, without any expectations, the tentative hand holding which is so much more revealing than angry sex ever could be… They aren’t the most “conventional” couple, but the love they feel for each other is so strong and true. It was absolutely inspiring. I also loved that it wasn’t an easy thing, for either of them. They are tested from the onset and that made every little step they took closer to each other even more rewarding.

I loved the bond between Charley and Mabel & Sapphire, it was so good to see him have those two in his corner. Same for his connection with Alex, the way he stands up for her and supports her…those were some of the best scenes in the book.

The epilogue was amazing, incredibly touching and romantic while still staying true to who these characters are. The perfect feel-good ending where we leave our MC’s in a happy, hopeful place.

Number of stars out of 5: 5


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