Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Romancing the Rough Diamond by: Clare London

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/romancing-the-rough-diamond-by-clare-london-10775-

Blurb
Trust is the most precious jewel of all.

When Mayfair jewelers Starsmith Stones wins the commission for a gay royal wedding, CEO Joel Sterling is recommended to the brilliant young designer Matt Barth—only to discover Matt’s the man with whom he shared an anonymous and passionate kiss on the celebration night.

Disenchanted with the commercial jewelry industry, Matt nowadays prefers muddy archaeological digs to designing. Openly resentful of Starsmith’s hostile takeover of his family’s firm, he is horrified at the realization he’ll be working with the man who engineered that deal—but the opportunity to create something fabulous and unique for the royal couple is too tempting to refuse.

Working as a team reignites the spark between Joel and Matt. But when betrayal from within Starsmith threatens both the project and Joel’s confidence, will they have built enough trust to keep their newfound love as precious as the royal jewels?

Review
I liked the premise of this story that enemies become co-workers and then lovers. Despite his animosity towards what Matt sees a soulless corporation taking over his family business he can’t miss this opportunity to be involved in something so special. Joel is not the heartless business man Matt thinks he is. I love how their shared passion for creating beautiful jewellery brings them together. This is a heartwarming book. Full of wonderfully British characters. Matt is so pig headed in the beginning you know that when he falls for Joel it’ll be with his heart and soul. And so it is. He makes a brilliantly daft gesture. Made me laugh at the situation he got himself in. So happy that Joel and Matt get their happy ending in this feel good story.

4 of stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Arrangement – A Homestead Legacy Story By: Alex Jane

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47326511-the-arrangement?from_search=tru

Blurb
Gabriel Webster’s pack is in trouble. His father’s failing health and his mother’s untimely death mean that the vultures are circling. It won’t be long before his family’s assets are stripped and his pack disbanded. When an offer of help arrives in the form of a marriage of convenience, he has little choice but to accept.

The arrangement would be the perfect solution, if not for one thing. Gabriel is to marry Nathaniel Hayward, the Alpha who was badly injured in the accident that killed his brother ten years before—and the man Gabriel has been in love with for as long as he can remember.

Trapped in a business arrangement masquerading as a marriage—in a strange, empty house with a damaged husband who barely tolerates him — isn’t what Gabriel expected from life.

But sometimes the last thing we want is the beginning of something more.
And an ending can be the start of something beautiful

Review: This is an enjoyable story with likeable characters and a good story line.
My only complaints are that there is not made of the shifter life and very little description of the century (19th) in which the story occurs (these are my personal peeves and they don’t detract from the overall story).
Gabriel is ‘heir’ to a failing pack when he receives unexpected help from his late brother’s best friend, Nathaniel. Nathaniel, an alpha who was injured in the same accident that killed Gabriel’s brother, carries both emotional and physical scars. He proposes a marriage of convenience with Gabriel, who agrees (he has harboured a crush on Nate for a while).
The ‘arrangement’ starts off with Nathaniel keeping his distance, being generally aloof and cold towards Gabriel. But Gabriel perseveres, drawing the stubborn man out of his shell. The men grow closer and things start to work well between them, but there a still few things that need to settled before the men get their HEA.
An enjoyable story!

 



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Review
What a wonderful addition to the world Alex Jane created with the Homestead series. An arranged marriage to save the Pack it’s not what Gabriel wants but it must be done. I love how the story slowly weaves in reconciliation and emotional healing for both Gabriel and Nathaniel. A second chance at love for them. It takes time for Gabriel to begin to understand Nathaniel and why he behaves the way he does. There is a gentle sweetness about the Homestead series which has been carried on in this book. I love that there is a small cameo part for Thaddeus and Samuel. The world Alex Jane creates is so vivid. a pleasure to read

5 stars out of 5



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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Come Back Around by BA Tortuga

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/come-back-around-by-ba-tortuga-10588-b

Blurb:
Can two divorced dads get a second chance at a redneck wedding?

When Reid Porter agrees to be his best friend’s man of honor, he never considers that his ex, Mateo, will be there too. Which is ridiculous, because Jennifer is marrying Mat’s brother. Reid would never let Jen down, though, so he finds himself at the Leaning N Ranch with his two daughters and a whole lot of baggage about seeing Mat again.
Mat loves his baby brother and would do anything for him, including face the love of his life, whom he’s sure has moved on. When he and Reid come face-to-face after more than two years apart, they realize they’ve never let go. Now they have to do what they never could before—balance work, home, and children, while finding a way to come back around to each other’s love.

Review:
This was a comfort read – it gave me the warm fuzzies reading how a divorced couple found their way back to each other. One of the things I enjoy about Ms. Tortuga’s stories is how there is a cast of characters that make the story larger than life – in this case – Mat’s mum and dad, Mat and Reid’s daughters, even the groomsmen. There are characters from a previous Leaning N book (Stoney and Ford) – but one doesn’t have to have read their story to enjoy this one.
As the blurb says, both men are going to have to bury their differences as their sibling (Mat’s) and best friend (Reid) are getting married. As soon as they see each other again, the love they never lost rekindles. Sure there are some doubts and yes, they need to hash out why they got a divorce, but they are sure that their love for each other and their kids will see them through this time.
A sweet story!

3.5 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: In His Sights by L.A. Bryce

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43680948-in-his-sights?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

Meet two men who need each other’s help but don’t realize it until it’s almost too late.

Noah is gay and terrified someone might find out. So much so that when he was blackmailed with pictures of himself with another man, instead of coming clean, he left his SEAL team without a word.

The other man is openly gay Mason, a former Marine and now part of the FBI’s Joint Terrorist Task force. It takes eight years after their first meeting in the desert for a chance event bring the two men together again. Now Noah must decide if he’s ready to accept who he is or if it’s easier to cut and run. Can they navigate the obstacles in their path to build a relationship? And why does the thought of that scare them more than investigating a group of terrorists?

Review

This book involves Mason, FBI and Noah, a former SEAL. There is an instant attraction. The way Noah struggles with his sexuality is something that some readers can relate to. It was a shame he was blackmailed. His “hot and cold” with Mason was frustrating, but understandable. Mason lives with guilt for not being able to catch the people responsible for terrorist attacks that affects him personally. The two meet in a bar, had seen each other briefly years ago, and grew close. The book has humor, mystery, action, and some steamy mm scenes. Both go through a lot in the book. It’s not a cutesy and sweet romance, there’s many aspects to the book. Some surprises packed in the book also. Highly enjoyed reading.

Number of stars out of 5

4.5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Mating of Convenience Second Chances, Book 1 By: Ann-Katrin Byrde Narrated by: John Solo

audiobookreview

https://www.audible.com/pd/Mating-of-Convenience-Audiobook/B07N8HYTH6?ref=a_lib_c4_libItem_9_B07N8HYTH6&pf_rd_p=ae76b2bb-e63d-4a67-b357-dab3dee05ca1&pf_rd_r=QAYDWY42QXAKVE3F90J3&

Blurb
Money problems? Marry your best friend!
Nathan and Raphael were friends first, then lovers, then…nothing when Raphael left to pursue his dreams of becoming a tattoo artist. But only one year after Raphael makes it out of his small-town home, bad news descends on him. His useless father has gotten their family into debt so deep , it would take 1,000 years to dig them out. With his siblings on the brink of becoming homeless, Raphael turns to his estranged but wealthy grandmother for help and receives a deal: If he settles down and marries, he’ll free his siblings of the debt.
When Raphael asks Nathan for a favor – to enter a marriage of convenience – Nathan agrees. After all, he’s doing it so he can start his own pet shop, right? Wrong. Nathan just can’t say no to the man who used to be his best friend – the man he’s still secretly yearning for, even as he’s doing his best to hide that fact. After all, he knows better now than to fall for Raphael again.
Haunted by the loss of their past relationship, Raphael regrets breaking Nathan’s heart. Scars from the past are never easy to heal, though, and the more time he spends with his new husband, the harder it gets for Raphael to deny the sparks that Nathan ignites in him. Except, this is just a pretend relationship, isn’t it?
While this audiobook is part of the Oceanport Universe, knowledge of that series is not required to enjoy this story.

Review
I really enjoyed this audio for the most part. The only issue I had was with all the secondary characters, I felt a bit lost, and I have read all the Oceanport books too. This is a solid friend to lovers/second chance at love story. We have soft spoken and easy-going alpha Nathan and the omega Raphael who while he loved Nathan, he felt he had to give him up so Nathan could eventually have his dream family. This book was a fairly easy listen but there was a difficult scene dealing with miscarriage that may be a trigger.

John Solo has long been a favorite narrator of mine. I loved all his voices, he keeps the story moving at a nice pace. He is a master of his craft!
4 stars for story and 5 stars for narration


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Escaping Mortality (The Escape Trilogy Book 3) by Sara Dobie Bauer

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43206768-escaping-mortality?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Their ocean journey was successful, and Andrew and Edmund found an Elder just in time. As they wished, Edmund is now a vampire like Andrew. They have eternity together, but first, they must visit Edmund’s ailing mother in the English countryside with their flock of immortals, including the Elder, who has taken an ominous liking to his new creation.
When they arrive at Edmund’s family estate, his sick mother and her loathsome best friend await them. While ducking religious curses, Edmund struggles to harness an unexpected power gifted him by the Elder. Andrew fears for his beloved as Edmund becomes more and more monstrous—but vampires have always been monsters, haven’t they?
A battle is coming, for Edmund’s heart and his soul, and Andrew will lose neither. He escaped island exile and a near tragedy at sea to be with Edmund, the beautiful young sailor he loves. Andrew will do anything to keep Edmund by his side, but his most dangerous adversary may be Edmund himself.

Review:
This is the final book of the trilogy, and it is a fitting end to the story.
Andrew and Edmund have left New Orleans to find an Elder (Brien) who will make him immortal. They find and Elder (Brian) who turns Edmund, but not without some hidden consequences.
As the group (Felipe, Michelle and others), continue on their voyage to England (to see Edmund’s dying mother), they realise that Brien has given Edmund some extra powers. This includes the ability to control things and eventually, people; making Edmund more powerful – (a fact that will have dire consequences later).
When they get to England, we learn more about Edmund’s background, inheritance and his past relationships. Eventually, he finds out that he is indirectly responsible for his mum’s illness.
Again, the one thing constant throughout the stories is the love Edmund and Andrew have for each other. Ultimately, this is what sees them through trials they encounter with Brien and others.
In the end, both men get their eternal get their HEA. I loved the epilogue; definitely a treat to see he vamps well into the future ☺
This was a really good story. Loved it from the first to the last book.

4.5 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Is It Over Yet? by L.A. Witt

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43184087-is-it-over-yet?from_search=true

Blurb

Rhys Powell and Derek Scott are divorcing. Mistakes have been made, lines have been crossed, and there’s no going back. Both men are exhausted and ready to move on.

But their daughter is getting married soon. In the name of not putting a damper on her wedding, Derek and Rhys agree to keep the divorce on the down-low and show up as the happy couple everyone still believes they are.

And between a roller coaster of a road trip and the love and joy surrounding the wedding… Derek and Rhys just might remember why they fell for each other in the first place.

Are they only kidding themselves? Or can a rekindled spark really light the way to forgiveness?

Review

This was a difficult book to get through. Not because it was bad, because it wasn’t. It is actually a very good story but the anguish the two men, Rhys and Derek are going through just ripped through me. The couple have decided to end their marriage after one of the men cheated, but when their daughter’s wedding approaches they decided to try to pretend that everything between them is ok. The forced proximity of the drive to the wedding and the wedding itself really brings things into focus for both men.

The cheating occurs before the book starts and is only mentioned in conversations. The character who cheated, didn’t try to hide what he did but came clean right away. He doesn’t excuse what he did and readily accepts all the anger that is flung his way. It’s obvious to the reader that Rhys and Derek still love each other but there is so much anger still lingering between the two. The real question through the whole book is “is love enough”?

5 Stars


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Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Aerielle BDSM Billionaire Book Dreamspinner Gay Gay Little to no angst m/m Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Pain Part of a Series Scorching/high heat slave/master

Audiobook: A Dom and His Writer (Club Whisper #1) by Xenia Melzer Narrated by Richard L Walton

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-dom-and-his-writer-by-xenia-melzer-8973-b

Blurb
Life is perfect for Richard and Dean. Richard is a wealthy and successful businessman who also owns a BDSM club, and Dean is a best-selling author and sub to Richard. They’re young, happy, and in love. The future is bright….
Until tragedy strikes and an accident claims Dean’s beloved sister. Dean finds himself the guardian of a three-month-old infant, and soon he’s trading in his leather fetish gear for diapers and drool bibs. But little Emily is all that remains of his family, so how can he abandon her?
It’s not what Richard signed up for. As much as he tries to be supportive, he never wanted kids and misses having his partner to himself. Suddenly the life he imagined for them is gone, and he’s not sure their relationship can survive the upheaval. But fate isn’t through with Dean, and when misfortune strikes again, will he be able to turn to the man he loves? A final crisis will determine if they can pull together as a family or must face facts and part ways.

Review

This was a new author and narrator for me. I really enjoyed the story for the most part and eventually the narrator grew on me. Richard is the typical billionaire Dom we see in a lot of novels. He’s arrogant and very sure of his relationship with his sub Dean. The story starts out with them celebrating their 5 year anniversary. These are obviously two men very much in love. While Richard is away on business Dean finds out that his beloved sister passed away in a car accident and that she made him the guardian of her 3 month old daughter Emily. When Richard finds out he tells Dean that they shouldn’t raise her but he backs off when he sees that hurts Dean. Dean is determined to Emily since she is all he has left of his sister. While Dean goes into child raising willing to learn everything he needs, Richard just stews in his jealously. He spends a good part of the book mentally complaining that Dean choose the baby over him and that he doesn’t need his Dom any longer. Dean sees that Richard is struggling with accepting the baby and he tries to still be the perfect sub but unfortunately raising a baby is harder then he thought.
I had big issue with Richard for most of the story. He comes off as very selfish, only thinking about himself. He even throws a tantrum after Dean safewords during a scene. Needless to say he eventually comes around and proves to be a great protector to both Emily and Dean. I cant wait to start the next book.
Both audio and book get 4 stars

4 of 5 stars

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Categories
3 stars adult - 18+ Book Dreamspinner Gay Gay m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal vampire

Release Day Review: Twice Bitten by Rayna Vause 

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/twice-bitten-by-rayna-vause-9731-b

Blurb

With a new species of vampire stalking the streets, the stakes are high. But that’s not the only reason hearts are on the line.

Danny Reynolds thought Kieran McCade was the one—true love and hot lust forever—until Danny found out Kier’s bloody secret and ran away screaming. Months later, Danny is facing his own paranormal crisis, and he needs Kieran’s help, but are there enough ways to apologize for breaking a vampire’s heart?

Nothing about Danny’s transformation is normal—not the attack that led to it, and not the symptoms Danny’s plagued with—but being in close proximity to Kieran is even worse than becoming a thing that goes bump in the night. Danny and Kieran aren’t the only things threatening to bump each other off, though. Secret organizations and clashing vigilante agendas want to get their hands on Danny. His only hope is to find a fix for his problem before he’s either captured or his abnormal transition starves him to death.

Danny and Kieran might have a real chance to repair their broken romance… but only if they keep Danny alive!

Review

These are hard reviews for me to write… when a story really impacts me – one way or the other – I have an easy time expressing how I feel about it. If I loved it – I have much to gush about. If I hated it – I have much to rant upon. But when I simply didn’t feel moved by it… I don’t have much to say.

The writing isn’t bad. The characters seemed ok, but I didn’t feel any connection with them. Some of this is definitely personal preference: I don’t like when the paranormal is “known” and I don’t like “reconciliation” stories so that’s two strikes against this story without the author having done anything “wrong”. Those are just things that don’t appeal to me.

When I read the blurb I was looking for maybe… humor? Drama? Angst? Some of that is there, but there isn’t much humor and – for me – that might have edged this from a “meh” story to something that grabbed me.

However, I am not the author and this isn’t my story. So, all I can do is report on my feelings and let you know that it was an okay vampire story wherein society knows about the paranormal and two lovers are reunited after a vampire attack.

As always, I recommend reading other reviews, but this was a 2.75 star story for me. Not bad, just not gripping.

I’d definitely be willing to look for more from this author in the future, but maybe with a more specific look at the blurb next time.

Rounded to 3 of 5 stars

Morgan - Signature-small

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Categories
3.5 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Established Couple Gay m/m Mary D Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Purchased

Audiobook: Leaning into Always by Lane Hayes Narrated by Seth Clayton

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Leaning-Into-Always-Audiobook/B07773JHRN?qid=1530503341&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=RDN95195QDGESTGSF51G&

Blurb
Life is good for Eric Schuster. He owns a highly successful tech company, has a great group of buddies, and he’s about to marry his best friend, the man of his dreams. Eric is pleasantly surprised to find the transition from friends to lovers has been easier than he thought. But after running into an overly friendly ex-boyfriend on an impromptu trip to their shared hometown, Eric realizes things are about to get complicated.

Zane Richards is a quintessential California surfer dude turned professional sailor. His laid-back approach has helped him navigate difficult times in his life. Eric may not share his easy-going mindset but Zane knows without a doubt Eric is the one. However, carving a future together may require confronting a piece of the past Zane thought he’d left far behind. Both men will have to decide if they’re willing to risk what they know for a chance to lean into always.

Review
This story is only a few months on from the end of Leaning in Love. Eric is not trusting his relationship with Zane. He never had a solid romantic connection with Nick and they both knew they were not each other’s forever guy. He can see this with Zane and he wants it so much but what if it doesn’t last? I liked this story better than the first because once they accepted their attraction the hard bit comes next the belief in what they have. This has never been a problem for Zane but it’s a real test for Eric. Zane is so sure of his feelings that he is blind to reality. Especially when it comes to an old lover. He thinks Eric is just jealous.
I got on much better with Seth Clayton’s narration in this story. Zane had a more gravelly voice which helped to distinguish him from Eric. Also I think the story held my interest more. I think it helped that I listened to it straight after the first book.

3.5 of stars out of 5

 

Purchased by reviewer