Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Dragon CEO’s Assistant (Golden Kingdom #2) by Jenn Burke

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-dragon-ceos-assistant-by-jenn-burke-10855-b

Blurb
The heart remembers.

When Aidan Bishop staggers out of the woods, naked and suffering from amnesia, he needs to relearn who he is and where he fits in the world.

His boss, nearly five-hundred-year-old dragon Nassim, head of a successful tech company, hurries to claim his wayward assistant and guide him back into the life he disappeared from. As they get to know each other again, Aidan wonders if their relationship went deeper than employer and employee. But Nassim isn’t telling, and Aidan has a secret of his own… even if he doesn’t know it yet.

Review

I’ve always been a great fan of the amnesia trope, and this one was really well-written. The author had a couple of surprises up her sleeve and I really liked how she built up the mystery surrounding Aiden and Nassim. Aiden especially is quite the dark horse. There’s a trail of crumbs to (mis)direct the reader, which was a lot of fun to search out, trying to connect the dots. As the story built, so did unexpected outside threats to Aiden and Nassim, bringing a new level of tension and suspense to the story.

I’d have liked to have seen a bit more passion and romance between the main couple, but I still very much enjoyed their story. Both MC’s are complex, well-rounded characters and the strength of their bond and emotional connection shone through beautifully. Though this is a shifter story set within a fated mates universe, the mating here involves a degree of conscious choice that is usually lacking in this trope and that made for a nice change.

I loved the world and secondary characters the author created. The interactions between the MC’s and Nassim’s family and co-workers, as well as with the Gryphon court, were a delight and very heartwarming at times.

This was a great read that has definitely left me curious to see what’s next in this series.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Spark in the Stars by Foster Bridget Cassidy

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/spark-in-the-stars-by-foster-bridget-cassidy-10559-b

Blurb:
A case of mistaken identity could lead to love for an aloof starship captain and a brilliant if underappreciated mechanic from the sticks—if they can survive the dangerous mission assigned to them.

Ginnovi Oshwald just needs someone to give him a chance. He can keep anything running, despite the “spark” his body produces that sometimes wreaks havoc with electronics. Gin gets his chance when Captain Lian Hartford comes to Tallahassee in search of a mechanic. The trouble is, he’s looking for Gin’s sister. But since he only has a name to go by, Gin tells a little white lie. What could go wrong?
Lian loves his ship and his work as a diplomat but has difficulty connecting with others—only partly because of his mixed human and alien heritage. Something about the eccentric mechanic intrigues him, though, and their easy friendship could become more… if they live long enough to broker peace between humanity and a hostile race while pacifying a crew that thinks Gin belongs in prison.

Review:
It’s an interesting read at the start especially when Gin is mistaken for his sister and the dialogue switches between his and his sister’s name – I liked that, once I got used to it ☺
However, the story got to be a little confusing to me; how did Temina know what ship her brother was on? Then there were the secondary characters, they had been introduced but I had a hard time keeping track of many of them – Doc was also called Mother, but I wasn’t sure if she was really Lian’s mum and Pip turned out to be a deity.
Gin and Lian were likeable characters, but I didn’t feel that they any chemistry together.
It’s a good story, just not for me.

3 stars out of 5


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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


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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: 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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Categories
adult - 18+

Release Day Review: Stealing His Heart (Connoll Pack series book #1) by Bru Baker

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/stealing-his-heart-by-bru-baker-10269-b

Blurb

Danny’s parents raised him to believe his wolf was a curse. He’s part of the wealthy and powerful Connoll Pack, but only nominally. He abandoned that world to volunteer with supernatural kids, and he isn’t looking for a mate….

Max is a shifter who is also a detective. He’s working a case that could make or break his career. Danny’s caught up in the case he’s on, and he’s also irresistible. They’re a bad match—Max, an Alpha having trouble with his new powers and Danny, who trusts Alphas as far as he could throw one. But they can’t get enough of each other, and they might bond before they even see it coming.

They could be amazing together, but they have to get past a few obstacles—especially since someone close to Danny might be involved in the thefts Max is investigating.

Review
This is a cute shifter romance with a lot of humor and playful banter going around. It’s shifters, so there’s the whole mating thing, which is always fun, but it’s done surprisingly sweetly with a lot of emphasis on learning to know and trust each other, instead of just starting a relationship based on insta-lust and hoping for the best.

What’s a bit atypical in this story is that we get (some) werewolves who aren’t proud of their heritage, and actually look down on their animal half and try to suppress it or ignore it. In most shifter stories that sort of bigoted attitude is usually reserved for intolerant human antagonists and is not internalized by weres the way it is here.
Danny is raised in one such family and has the emotional scars to prove it. He’s used to fending for himself, so it was nice to see Max care for him and help him out. I liked seeing Danny get “adopted” so enthusiastically by Max’s family, which made for some heartwarming moments as well as unexpected revelations.
The mystery surrounding the thefts that Max is investigating is well-written and a nice way to introduce an element of danger and suspense into the story.

Stealing His Heart is the first book in a new series and it is set in the same universe as the Camp Howl series. We get brief glimpses of characters from the first series and references to Camp Howl as well, which I really liked. It’s always nice to see how the MC’s from previous books are faring.

m/m, gay, paranormal, shifter, finding family, fated mates

Number of stars out of 5: 4


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Review by Morgan

I loved this!  I thought this was one of Bru Baker’s better stories!

I love their chemistry, the secondary characters and how their feelings for one another manifest.  I love the “mine/mate” feel to this.

Highly recommended!


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Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Under a Blue Moon (CAMP H.O.W.L. #2) by Bru Baker Narrated by Dorian Bane

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/under-a-blue-moon-by-bru-baker-9642-b

Blurb

Once in a blue moon, opposites find they’re a perfect match.

Nick Perry is tired of helping people with their marriages, so when a spot opens up to work with teens at Camp H.O.W.L., he jumps at it. He doesn’t expect to fall in lust with the dreamy new camp doctor, Drew Welch. But Drew is human, and Nick has seen secrets ruin too many relationships to think that a human/werewolf romance can go anywhere.

Happy-go-lucky Drew may not sprout claws, but he’s been part of the Were community all his life. He has no trouble fitting in at the camp—except for Nick’s stubborn refusal to acknowledge the growing attraction between them and his ridiculous stance on dating humans. Fate intervenes when one of his private practice patients threatens Drew’s life. Will the close call help Nick to see a connection like theirs isn’t something to let go of?

Review

Story:

When Nick and Drew meet at the airport, they hit it off immediately and sparks fly, but they both have planes to catch and places to be… Nick is unaware that human Drew knows about the existence of werewolves and pegged him for a wolf almost from the get go. Imagine his surprise when he finds out Drew is one of his new co-workers at Camp H.O.W.L.!
FYI, he doesn’t handle surprises well. It wasn’t his finest hour.

Nick doesn’t think a relationship with a human and a were can work, so he keeps Drew at a distance. His concerns are valid, I think, and I liked that he didn’t just put them aside because of his attraction to Drew. That being said, he does test Drew’s patience, and the reader’s, when he starts sending out mixed signals and refuses to let go off his prejudices. Even when Drew proves him wrong, again and again.

Drew’s a great guy, competent, understanding and patient, which he needs to be to deal with headstrong Nick. I also loved his playful side and competitive streak when he goes all out to show Nick a thing or two about what he’s capable of.

Emotions start running high and when disaster strikes, Nick finally understands how much Drew has come to mean to him. But is he too late? I loved the tension and emotional highs and lows that we get near the end of the story, which contrasts nicely with the almost mellow storyline that went before. There’s a lot of humor too, which I liked, and the secondary characters are well-written and help create a warm sense of pack & family around the MC’s. Always a big part of the charm of shifter romances for me.

I very much enjoyed this story. A lot of shifter romances focus on the fated mate connection and are far more insta-lust/insta-love than this one, but I actually really liked that the author took her time to get Nick & Drew there and the real life worries that snuck in.

Narration:
I very much enjoyed Dorian Bane’s performance, his warm voice and the emotions he brought to the story. He makes Nick sound a bit more gruff than Drew, and I loved how Nick’s inner turmoil came out in the narration. Drew’s buoyancy and zest for life shine through as well and I also liked the voices the narrator came up with for the secondary characters.

Number of stars out of 5: 4


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Slave Dance (Alien Blood Wars series – book 3) by Samantha Cayto

Pride Publishing

https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/slave-dance

Blurb
What lurks in the dark is not always a monster. Sometimes it’s your deepest desire.
Quiet and steadfast, Emil has remade himself from botanist to chef. Taking care of people is what he does best. He hates having to fight the war with Dracul, but his loyalty to his captain forces him to do no less. Unlike others of his species, he has formed no intimate bonds and has no intention of doing so. That way lies sadness. He takes his pleasure from feeding those he loves, content with his destiny. That is until he runs into an abused boy who needs more than a good meal.
All turning eighteen means to Jase is that now the man who he is forced to call Master can abuse him publicly. A victim of sex trafficking, Jase only knows one way of life-brutal submission to whichever man claims him. When his Master joins Club Lux, it’s more of the same until he finds himself in the hands of its strange chef.
Circumstances force Emil into a new and frightening role and Jase into the arms of a scary and unfathomable Master. Emil is worse than any man—or so Jase thinks, when Emil’s alien nature comes out. Jase wants to be a good slave and Emil frets about saving Jase from himself. While they try to find their way, a vicious crew member begins to terrorize Boston. Now Emil fights on two fronts—the scariest being that he will fail Jase.

Review

I jumped in mid-series with this book, but the author does such a great job at world-building and connecting all the dots, that I was drawn into the story with ease. There are a lot of characters to get to know, but I had a clear idea of what was going on and with whom, so that wasn’t an issue in the slightest.

I was pleasantly surprised by the original take on the vampire/Dracula mythology that we get in this series. I’m a big fan of the paranormal genre, especially vampires and shifters, so I’m pretty stoked about having found a new author!

There’s an ongoing battle between Emil’s “band of brothers”, led by Alex, and a group of rogue deserters, led by the evil Dracul. The action-part part of the story is also a very important element, the focus is not solely on the romance. In between trying to save humanity from Dracul and his minions, Emil meets Jase when Jase’s Master (read abuser) brings him along to the bdsm club where Emil works as a chef. Supposedly, Jase is in a consensual slave/master relationship and it takes Emil and the others a little while to figure out that something else entirely is going on. But then it’s Emil to the rescue! Go Emil!

I have to admit that the scenes where Jase is abused where hard for me to read, and I was very happy when that part of the story was finally out of the way. I can see how it was necessary to have that be part of the book, because experiencing it alongside Jase, instead of having it be a kind of “behind closed doors”-event really heightens the emotional connection we feel as a reader to Jase. Still, not the easiest part of the book to get through. And of course, as a result, I very much rooted for Emil, the contrast between the alien and the actual monster couldn’t be starker.

Jase and Emil are both amazing MC’s, especially Jase who shows great resilience and courage. I do feel as if he might have recovered a bit too quickly though from everything he went through. Emil is a steady, kindhearted man, very much a caretaker, so he’s perfect for Jase. I loved the respect he showed for Jase’s independence and free will.

There are multiple pov’s used throughout the book, setting the stage for other storylines to come, and to help us get different, useful perspectives. We know how both MC’s feel, but we also get important insights from several, for the moment, secondary characters. One of whom is enslaved by Dracul, so reading his take on things is a great way to show readers why exactly Dracul is so loathsome and very much to be feared.

I can’t wait to see what will happen next, but I think I had best start with reading what happened at the beginning first. I dearly wish I had a Time-Turner like Hermione, so I could find the time to read all the books I want!

Number of stars out of 5: 4


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Categories
6 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Audiobook Contemporary Dreamspinner Gay Gay Hidden Lovers High but not hopeless Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Shifter

Audiobook: The Foxling Soldati (Soldati Hearts, Book 2) By: Charlie Cochet Narrated by: Manuel Pombo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-foxling-soldati-by-charlie-cochet-8753-b

Blurb

Sequel to The Soldati Prince – Soldati Hearts: Book Two.
Foxling Toka has served the Soldati king for centuries, and now he attends to the kingdom’s cherished Soldati prince. It’s a position of honor, and as Toka helps the once-human prince adapt to their magical realm, he finds joy in their friendship. He also grows bolder in his encounters with Rayner, a Soldati warrior and the king’s second. But the laws are clear: servants and Soldati are not permitted to mate. It doesn’t matter that Toka lost his heart to the dashing cad long ago.
Rayner never imagined he would fall in love with a servant, but the clever and beautiful foxling has ensnared him, and he resents the regulations keeping them apart. When an arrogant and spiteful king visits from a neighboring realm, Rayner is in danger of losing everything. But Soldati warriors don’t surrender, and he intends to fight all the harder to keep Toka where he belongs – in Rayner’s arms.

Review
(Book reviewed here previously)

Charlie should write these types of “fairytales” FOREVER!

While I’m a big fan of her THIRDS stories, I think she is truly EXCEPTIONAL when it comes to her fairy tale type stories. This, her Christmas series (https://www.goodreads.com/series/117423-north-pole-city-tales) and her Intrepid series (https://www.goodreads.com/series/103030-a-little-bite-of-love) just absolutely GLOW with her creativity!

THIRDS is funny and sexy and witty, but these series are super creative and whimsical as well as deeply romantic and touching.

First, let’s address that cover – GORGEOUS and so spot on!

Second, OMG Toka and Rayner are so sweet together! I loved how they both were willing to go to extremes for the other and their love. So romantic!!

It was great seeing Riley keep Khalon in control – heh heh. Riley is a great character and I was glad to see him so often throughout this story.

The shifting and the fact that our MCs mannerisms are so like their animal halves is fantastic! So often shifting is just something they do rather than who the character is. Right down to his human coloring, Toka is a fox!

The magic, the mystery, the romance, the action and the sacrifices and the HEA – all superlative.

I can’t recommend this enough and I hope you read book one first because it’s important and awesome.

Hopefully someone amazing will do these in audio format and SOON!

Audio

Manuel Pombo does another amazing job with this. He is absolutely worth listening to and adds to the ambiance and character of this tale. I wish I had more superlatives to describe how lovely his narration is, but it just… fits. Highly recommended!

6 of 5 stars

out-of-this-world-small

Morgan - Signature-small
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