Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Miracle on Three Kings Day by Beth Laycock

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2018-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-warmest-wishes-10067-b

 

Blurb

Levi’s family knows he needs to find a way out of his funk and be a part of the world again. His brother, Jesse, invites Levi to join him in sunny Spain for the holidays, but a delay at the airport finds Levi at Jesse’s home while his brother is stranded in Scotland. Luckily Alejandro—Alex—is on hand with a key, a friendly smile, and a willingness to keep Levi company. He might even manage to draw Levi out of his shell for some mutual flirting.
Levi surprises himself when he accepts an invitation to spend New Year’s Eve with Alex at Alex’s café, but is he ready for more when it means jumping back into life feetfirst? Besides, with an ocean between them and Alex hiding a part of his life that Levi isn’t sure he can handle, they’ll need their own Three Kings’ Day miracle to stay together.

Review
Levi seems a likeable chap, who has suffered from the death of his father, which has subsequently caused him to have problems with his writing career and close himself off from life.
He arrives in Spain to find his brother is still stuck in Scotland and so heads to the café to collect a spare key from the brothers best friend, Alex.
From that meeting friendship and flirting follow all gearing towards Three Kings Day, a traditional Spanish holiday.
This story was okay, but nothing really happened. Even the ending came upon me suddenly, with nothing definite set for the future of these characters. Both Alex and Levi are quite bland, no highs or lows expressed, although each has a backstory that was lightly touched on and could have made them more interesting. Maybe if this was expanded to more than a short story it would have been more engaging.

2.5 of stars out of 5

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

 

Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Santa on the Beach (Warmest Wishes) by Crystel Greene

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2018-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-warmest-wishes-10067-b

 

Blurb

The sexy Santa and the virgin dad….

Single dad Mario, twenty-one, has finally won shared custody of his five-year-old son, Sammy. They’re spending Christmas at a Tenerife resort to celebrate. The children’s swimming instructor, Josie, is sexy and fun, and Mario can’t stop dreaming about him. But Mario has no clue how to talk to a hot guy.

With his suntan, Speedos, and rippling abs, Josie seems to be the typical jock. He’s super sweet too, and everyone loves him. But he only has eyes for the fire-eyed little dad who looks like his son’s older brother and won’t stop policing the swimming class.

Sammy would like to be a king in the hotel’s nativity play. But he’s too afraid to go anywhere without his dad.
Mario would like a holiday romance with Josie, or even a little more, but between building his tech company and trying to do his part as Sammy’s father he has missed out on a lot and is too inexperienced to know where to begin.

Luckily Santa might have just the thing for everyone on his list..

Review

Santa on the Beach is such a sweet, heartfelt little story.

Mario is a 21-year-old father who finally got custody of his young son Sammy and they go to the Canary Islands for Christmas. At first Sammy shows no interest in participating in any of the kid’s activities but he agrees to participate in the swim lessons. There they meet swim instructor Josie. Josie unknowingly brings both father and son out of their shells. Mario is my favorite type of character, devoted father who is also awkward and shy and just wants to be loved. Josie has wanted Mario from the first moment he saw him. He is so sweet towards Sammy as well. I wish the story had an epilogue of some sorts but maybe there will be another story somewhere down the line.
4 stars

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest ReviewReviewed by Aerielle

 

Release Day Review: Saving Hannah by J.P. Barnaby

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/saving-hannah-by-jp-barnaby-10051-b

Blurb

Thomas Aberthol’s luck has run out. His daughter, Hannah, needs a miracle he can’t deliver. A hacker with a felony record, Thomas has little chance of finding work that will provide the care she needs. Out of money, out of options, and out of hope, he throws himself on the mercy of someone he never thought to see again.

Even after ten years, Aleksander Sanna still dreams of that drunken kiss. A perfect moment in time when Thomas wanted him. In his world of elegant code and high finance, the picture he holds of Thomas torments him in the dark of night.

Their worlds collide as Thomas interviews for the job he so desperately needs with the company Aleks inherited from his father. Thomas doesn’t get the position, but Aleks offers him a completely different kind of proposal, one suited to Thomas’s unique talents… one that will change the course of both their lives.

Review

This is a second chance at love story, with a little bit of out for you mixed in, though that’s not the focus of the book.

Our two main characters, Thomas and Aleks, used to be best friends in college and they developed deeper feelings for each other as well, though these were left unspoken. Thomas wasn’t ready to face that particular truth about himself and basically made a run for it. Things happen, not all of them good, and ten years pass before life throws them together again.

Aleks has never forgotten Thomas, and when he finds himself in a unique position to help Thomas and his little girl, who’s battling with leukemia, he grabs it with both hands. He needs Thomas’ expertise too, to help him find out what happened to his father, so they strike a mutually beneficial bargain. I very much liked what the author came up with here, and how she handled it.

Aleks and Thomas are a great pairing. I very much enjoyed watching them find their way back to each other. Aleks’ devotion and big heart instantly made me like him a great deal, and it hurt to see how alone he was “pre-Thomas”.
Thomas is a father first and foremost, but he’s not had it easy. He feels so guilty about his past and how that impacted his little girl. Hannah is always at the forefront of his mind. He’s caught between a rock and a hard place, but bravely soldiers on. I could really relate to his struggles.

This is very much a story about finding family, with Aleks embracing Hannah from the very first moment. Swoon. Way to go, Aleks!
Hannah’s a dear, such a brave young girl, and reading about her battle with her illness was heartbreaking. I think the author did a great job in describing the desperation and helplessness that Thomas and his mother have no choice but to endure, though those are luckily offset by the heartwarming moments the three of them, and later Aleks too, share and the support they find with each other.
Thomas’ mom is great, looking out for her son and understandably apprehensive about the risks he takes for both Hannah and Aleks.

As the story unfolds, this new little family is threatened from an unexpected corner, and we get more of an action-filled story, bringing suspense and tension that I hadn’t seen coming. So this book has a little bit of everything in it, combining a deeply emotional storyline with a crime/action subplot.

All in all, I found this to be a very enjoyable, surprising read.

Number of stars out of 5: 4


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Release Day Review: The CEO’s Christmas Manny (Beyond the Boardroom #1) By Angela McCallister

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-ceos-christmas-manny-by-angela-mccallister-10040-b

Blurb
Anything but business as usual.

Billionaire CEO Nic Price lives for his job. With sales down and grumbling from the board of directors—including Nic’s permanently dissatisfied father—the last thing Nic needs is distraction from the new manny, whose freewheeling approach to childcare is outlandish… and who makes Nic feel things he’s never allowed himself to feel.

Ex-teacher Sasha Lindsey is all about fun—that’s the reason people love him, so he has to be. After a bad break-up leaves him jobless and homeless, the live-in manny job with Mr. Price seems like a windfall. But his chemistry with Nic is off the charts, and he can’t afford another workplace romance disaster.

Can Nic leave his dominance in the bedroom and open his heart to the best thing that’s ever happened to him? Or will Sasha’s leap of faith backfire and ruin his chances at the family happily ever after he’s always dreamed of?

Review
I love stories where the single parent falls for the governess/manny, and even more so when it’s a holiday romance. The Sound Of Music is one of my favorite Christmas movies, so I’m all for aloof, closed-off workaholics who could use a little help reconnecting with their family and desperately need someone to love and be loved by in return. So okay, the kids are already teenagers and the single parent is their uncle and not their father, but the magic is still there.

Sasha is very much a people-pleaser, a warm-hearted, giving person. Not only by nature, but also out of necessity as he fears that people will not want him around otherwise, which was quite sad. He needs someone to love him even when he’s not being all that upbeat and to really see him.
It seems unlikely that uncle Scrooge could be the one to give him that, but there’s more than meets the eye to Nic as well. Though Nic definitely has some issues that need dealing with and shackles to throw off before he can be there for Sasha, or Lucy and Ben, for that matter. He makes some pretty awful mistakes along the way, unfairly blaming Sasha and pushing him away when things start going south with his business and his parents from hell. Not well done. Luckily, he has Lucy and Ben to talk some sense into him, as well as his friend, Percy.

I really like slow-burn stories like this one and I loved seeing the connection form between Nic and Sasha, the feelings that grew stronger alongside their physical attraction. I also enjoyed the scenes with Lucy and Ben, who are an integral part of the story and not just part of the décor.

This was a well-written, heartwarming romance, the perfect read for the season.

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 Review:

I enjoyed this story- it’s a mix of hurt/comfort, mild angst balanced with dashes of humour and heat.
Nic is a workaholic, only because he feels the need to live up to his parent’s expectations (I disliked them ☹). He has custody of his niece and nephew, but because he’s so busy with work, he emotionally neglects them leading to them acting out. After the kids drive away the last nanny, Nic hires Sasha – (assuming Sasha is a ‘she’) – sight unseen. Sasha is sort of an unconventional nanny – for one, he’s really a very well qualified teacher in math and other subjects and for another, he has ‘think-out-of-the-box’ ideas for approaching learning.
When both men meet there is an instant attraction, both fighting it for different reasons.
I was a little surprised at how quickly they gave in to their initial lust and mildly peeved at Nic for blowing hot and cold with Sasha. When Nic blows cold the final time, all hell breaks loose, leaving Sasha pretty much out in the cold.
What I appreciated is that even when Nic gets Sasha back, it’s not all sunshine and roses – he really has to prove to Sasha that he won’t bail when things get tough, nor will he shy away from Sasha’s issues.
I really enjoyed the story – the kids were nice and Percy (Nic’s best friend) was a good secondary character – I hope he gets a story ☺

4 stars out of 5


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Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story The Night Sky Festival by S.A. Stovall

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2018-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-warmest-wishes-10067-b

 

 

Blurb

Photographer Zach is happy to pack up his gear and head to the Mojave Desert over the holidays. Ever since his ex-husband filed for divorce a day before Christmas, it’s safe to say this isn’t Zach’s favorite time of year.

Fortunately, he stumbles upon a town where the residents seem to agree. The good people of Baker would much rather celebrate the possibility of extraterrestrials as they dance under the stars in their unique “Night Sky Festival.” The locals are interesting, to say the least, and they want Zach to join them.

But is Zach ready to let go of his holiday bitterness? And if so, whose invitation should he accept: the cute cashier, the burly single dad, or the sexy fun-loving cop?

Review

I really could not get into this story, it felt unfinished and ended abruptly. The writing was fine and there were a few funny moments, I liked the characters but the story just progressed oddly. Zach is a very grumpy man but as soon as he meets the first man in the little town of Baker he starts feeling different. After a painful divorce two years prior he could not think about men as attractive, but the men of Baker seem to have other ideas. That in itself was a fun concept, but then he meets two more men and is oddly attracted to all of them and they all hit on him strangely too. I thought it had something to do with the theme of aliens in the town and maybe have a bit of a paranormal theme going on, but it never really got clear. I was just confused because in the end I never understood why he chose one men out of the three, as he shows the same kind of attraction to all of them. It was too unfinished and confusing to me.

Number of stars out of 5
2

 

 

 

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Time to Celebrate the Holidays: The Law of Miracles by KC Wells

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42759300-the-law-of-miracles?from_search=true

Blurb
The sequel to A Christmas Promise…
Joshua Trant is doing his best to support his son Micah and Micah’s partner Greg as they approach the trial of Greg’s attackers. This was never going to be easy, especially as Greg wants them prosecuted for a hate crime, but County Attorney Alexander Rycliffe assures them he’ll do his utmost to make sure the perpetrators are held accountable for their actions. Joshua hopes that whatever the outcome, Greg will be happy. What he’s finding more difficult to deal with, is the way he’s feeling about Alex. Joshua has loved two people in his life – Hayden and Rachel – and lost them both. The chance of him being lucky a third time is so slim, the thought doesn’t even cross his mind, until Love – and his kids – give him a push in the right direction…

Alex knows what it is to have loved and lost, and he thinks he’s done with men. Then Joshua Trant walks into his life. Alex soon learns there’s more to Joshua than just a handsome face, and the men finally have what both of them need – a friend. But as the months go by, it becomes obvious to everyone concerned that their friendship has the potential to develop into something deeper – if they let it.

One man who thinks he’s had his chance at love.
One man who has to let go of a past betrayal and learn to trust again.
And both are about to be shown Christmas is indeed a time of miracles. All you have to do is believe

Review
Seriously what’s not to love about two older guys finding love. Both of them have their own baggage that they have to come to terms with over this wonderful slow building romance. And that’s what I love about KC Wells stories, there’s real life but with a lot of hope and magic. Alex and Joshua start by becoming friends helping each other out, cooking and companionship I suppose. Each of them believing they are done with love only to find love hadn’t finished with them yet. It was great that everyone else could see it but they couldn’t. I loved the slow build it let me get to know and come to love Joshua and Alex. Joshua being so happy he managed to cook meatloaf for the kids endeared me to him right from the start along with Alex’s humour about having two titles. The two of them together making a white chocolate cheesecake, made me smile. The length of time before they even kissed was well worth the buildup. There is so much more to the story, good times and bad, bittersweet moments. It’s one I will definitely read again and become a Christmas favourite
I know this book is a sequel, and it can certainly be read on it’s own but I would wholeheartedly recommend reading A Christmas Promise first.

5 of stars out of 5


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Release Day: Trex or Treat by Tara Lain

release day review

Dreamspinner Press
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/trex-or-treat-by-tara-lain-9979-b

Blurb

Josh Harris is all dad all the time. A busy college professor and devoted single father, Josh tries to be happy with only his son for company. But then Bradley “Trex” Trexler moves in across the street with his stepbrother, Bogo, and takes advantage of their empty home, making it into a haunted house for Halloween.

 

 

Review
This is a short, cute Halloween story and it’s really entertaining.
Tara Lain is great giving us interesting characters that you can get involved with really quickly, which is obviously a bonus in a short story.
Josh reads as a great parent in need of some companionship and Ernie is the most adorable and energised boy. The attraction between Josh and Trex shines through and it’s an enjoyable read. I love how involved both men are with their boys but also take the time to be with each other. I found this to be an enjoyable little story that was quick to consume but also touched the heart.
I definitely recommend this quick, Halloween romance. Always a winner with a Tara Lain story!

Number of stars out of 5
4


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Recent Release: The Coercion of his Mate by Charlie Richards

Extasy books

http://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2104-5-the-coercion-of-his-mate/charlie-richards/?search=The%20coercion%20of%20his%20mate&sub_category=1

Blurb

Out of the Cage: A simple errand to the city causes a wolf shifter to bump into his future…if he’s strong enough to coerce his mate into embracing it.
Gracen Robicheaux felt his petition to fight for the beta position of the Stone Ridge, Colorado wolf shifter pack was a sign from the gods. After over two hundred years, he could finally openly express his desire for a male mate. When Gracen runs into the human Lance Coracans, he changes his opinion. The gods are laughing at him. His worst fear has come to pass—kids. Lance has a very young daughter for whom he’s fighting for custody. Still, Gracen reminds himself that Lance is his mate. Embracing change will be worth it. However, between an injured babysitter, a sick daughter, and pack challenges, their missed and rescheduled dates are piling up. Can Gracen convince Lance that he really is serious? Or will finding out he’s a wolf shifter be the straw that sends Lance running?

Review:
Gracen has left his old pack and come looking for a place in the Stone Ridge pack. He longs for a pack that he does not have to hide his true self from and no more bigotry to deal with. As he waits for the chance to join the pack he begins putting down roots and to his surprise he finds his mate on a trip to buy supplies. Coincidence brigs these two men together but is that enough. What will Lance do when he finds out just what Gracen is hiding.
Gracen and Lance’s story is a sweet and sexy read. The two men are instantly drawn towards each other and begin a tentative relationship. I enjoyed watching Lance and Gracen find their way to a happy ever after. The attraction that the two feel begins to deepen as they spend more time together but when Lance learns what Gracen has been hiding from him is it enough to save the bond that they have begun to build? The romance between Gracen and Lance is sweet, and they are on fire in the bedroom.
With the help of friends and pack the two are able to work towards happiness. Not only do we get a look at the different sides of Gracen and what a good man he is, but we also get to see the pack circle around and Lance and Gracen when they need it most. The author has built a wonderful world with strong characters and I was quickly immersed in their story and engaged all the way to the end.

Number of stars out of 5: 4


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Time to Get Paranormal: Exhale (Flesh & Bone Book 1) by Joel Abernathy

 

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39678549-exhale?from_search=true

Blurb
Two men haunted by the same ghost…

Falling for “the other man” in my marriage was never part of the plan. Then again, according to Nicolae Ursache, I am the other man, and human wedding vows don’t apply. Not to werewolves.

Nicolae is a smug, arrogant alpha male stereotype–and I do mean alpha in the literal sense–but when the same people who killed my wife kidnap my teenage daughter, he’s my only chance at getting her back. The fact that Nicolae was my wife’s rightful mate means that we share a mutual interest in bringing Ellie home, but I never could’ve imagined how he planned to do it.

I will do anything to protect my daughter. Even if it means becoming the plaything, or worse, of the man I loathe most.

This dark shifter romance contains material suitable for adult audiences only. It is a standalone with full resolution.
**NOTE: There is no mpreg in this universe. 18+ readers only.**

Review
A fantastic shifter book, adding a human to the shifter world when Jack’s daughter is taken and his dead wife’s mate appears offering to help get her back.
The shifter aspect is slowly introduced to Jack with both him and Nicholae despising each other straight away because of their shared history with Francesca (wife and mother). It has darker parts in this story compared to other contemporaries, their treatment of humans for example.
The two MC’s are strong and well developed in their own ways, though we only read from Jack’s POV. There are several secondary characters that come in and provide support and an outlet for Jack through his adaption to their world, and I like how they give everyone him relief from his struggle with learning a new world and working his way through a tumultuous relationship with Nicholae. Their relationship builds naturally which was great to read, not just a sudden adoration for the one offering to save his child.
Ellie is a great character, working and learning through her new found heritage, but also like a regular teenager, butting heads with her dad. Nicholae is a complicated man and it takes a while to learn what side he actually comes down on. He’s well written and he comes into his role as mate well with Jack. Jack, as well as learning about this whole new world, knows he’s ill from his years working in the coal mine so has that to contend with as well. Considering it all, he deals well and again is well written, giving his thoughts and feeling towards people and events clearly. Andrei is adorable and would love to see him in another story, maybe his own.
Definitely recommend this book for shifter fans and those liking a darker aspect to their books.
I received an ARC and am happily giving a review

Number of stars out of 5
5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Audiobook: Full Plate by Kim Fielding Narrated by Kenneth Obi

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-full-plate-by-kim-fielding-9767-b

Blurb

Opposites come together for a spicy surprise.
Bradford “Tully” Tolliver has everything—money, a great car, a beautiful condo, and a promising career as one of Portland’s hottest young lawyers. Sure, he puts in long hours and has no social life to speak of, but who needs romance when corporations pay top dollar for his expertise? He hesitates when a colleague asks if her cousin can live with him, but the arrangement will last less than a year, and then the cousin—Sage Filling—will return to his tiny hometown.
But Sage is handsome and intriguing, and his cooking makes Tully swoon. Sage has obligations back home, though, and Tully has offers he might not refuse from a persistent—and very wealthy—ex. Since Tully and Sage each have a full plate, can they make room for a side of love?

Review

I’m not a big chef nor a big lawyer fan, but I’m totally a big Kim Fielding fan!

I’m also a Portlander so I absolutely loved all the trivia and locale references of PDX!

This was a low heat, slow burn romance. A Misunderstanding for these pair of Opposites was at it’s center and it was generally sweet and an easy listen.

While I was a bit underwhelmed by the beginning I thought the ending made up for it!

I’m not blown away by the narrator. He does a solid job but didn’t “wow” me, though he’s easy enough to listen to that he’s not distracting and it’s a good way to experience this – especially if you want to go hands free.

3.5 of 5 stars


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