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.


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Categories
3 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Book Dreamspinner Gay Gay Homophobia m/m Mid level angst Mild/low level heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Standalone

Coming Soon! The Spy’s Lovesong By Kim Fielding

October 2!

 

 

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-spys-love-song-by-kim-fielding-9882-b

Blurb
For a singer and a spy, love might be mission impossible.
Jaxon Powers has what most only dream of. Fame. Fortune. Gold records and Grammy awards. Lavish hotel suites and an endless parade of eager bedmates. He’s adored all over the world—even in the remote, repressive country of Vasnytsia, where the tyrannical dictator is a big fan. The State Department hopes a performance might improve US relations with a dangerous enemy. But it means Jaxon’s going in alone… with one exception.
Secret agent Reid Stanfill has a covert agenda with global ramifications. Duty means everything to him, even when it involves protecting a jaded rock star. Jaxon and Reid’s mutual attraction is dangerous under Vasnytsia’s harsh laws—and matters get even worse when they’re trapped inside the borders. Romance will have to wait… assuming they make it out alive.

Review

This absolutely pains me to say, because I am a huge fan girl of Kim Fielding – but this absolutely did not work for me.

It was well written.

It had interesting characters.

The setting was unique and well described.

The premise was also unique and TIMELY!

But the romance fell absolutely flat for me. 🙁

There was little steam – which is fine – but it can help bring a couple closer in the reader’s mind and it wasn’t there. Most of the time I didn’t get the feeling the couple thought they’d make it out alive much less together and even by the end I was scratching my head at how these two could possibly work in the real world.

So much of this was about the machinations of the “spying” and the evading police etc that I didn’t get to feel our MCs really grow as a couple.

Another disappointment for me was the lack of musicality in our musician. Though he had his moments I didn’t like him “before” – aka slutty rock musician – and I didn’t get to see enough of him “after” to make that opinion change.

As for Reid – I wanted to shake him! He frustrated me over and over and I never felt close to him and I never saw closeness between him and Jax.

So… while I’m sure others will love this – Kim is an amazing writer so it’s only appropriate that they do! – it didn’t work for me unfortunately.

2.75 rounded to 3 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
3 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary Cop/Crime Enemies to Lovers Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Hidden Lovers Hopelessly Crying m/m Military Morgan NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Scorching/high heat

Mr. and Mr. Smith by HelenKay Dimon

release day review

27876307Blurb

Secrets and seduction make for an explosive combination in HelenKay Dimon’s edgy, thrilling new series, which kicks off with a novel about two men who can handle any threat—except the one posed by desire.
 
Fisher Braun knows how to keep a secret. As a covert paramilitary operative, his job—and his life—depends on it. He’s at the top of his game, ready for action and always in control. No enemy has ever brought him to his knees, but one lover has: Zachary Allen, the man currently sharing his bed. The perfect package of brains and brawn, Zach is someone worth coming home to, and Fisher hates keeping him in the dark about what he does. But the lies keep Zach safe. Until the day Fisher loses everything. . . .

Zachary Allen is no innocent civilian. Although he plays the tech geek, in reality he’s deep undercover for the CIA. In a horrible twist of fate, the criminal enterprise he’s infiltrated has set its sights on the man whose touch drives him wild. Zach would do anything for Fisher—except blow his own cover. Now, in order to save him, Zach must betray him first. And he needs Fisher to trust him with all his heart if they want to make it out alive.
Review

So I picked this up because I thought it’d be a take on the movie… and I guess it is? Sorta? Two spies telling lies to one another at least… But that’s about it as far as that comparison goes.

We have two CIA agents, Fisher who doesn’t know Zach is CIA and Zach who targeted Fisher because he knows he’s CIA. They are on the same “team” but not… it’s confusing. In any case, the story opens with Zach being taken prisoner and Fisher running to the rescue only to find out that Zach set the whole thing up to “capture” Fisher…

Of course Fisher’s mad and then Zach has to try to explain and still keep his cover… there’s a lot of talking, a lot of shooting, a lot of planning, then some really out of place f***ing, some more talking and the end.

No really. That’s about it.

There were parts to this that I did really like. I liked the careful way Zach tried to show Fisher he’d told lies to the bad guys – it was clever – but parts of it felt so ridiculous. Like when the head bad “gal” Stacia flaunts over Fisher’s head that she knows he likes to “bottom” for Zach. Like he should be ashamed of that. Or that Zach would talk about it like that… it didn’t feel authentic. It was trying to be gritty and came off sounding school-playgound-like-taunting.

HelenKay Dimon is a new author for me.  Her writing and the editing were fine. The story was definitely “exciting” and fast moving. The romance is what I was missing.

The sex scenes were ill-timed and felt gratuitous. I was not drawn in to these guys as a couple – at all – we saw only a few snippets of them being “real” and the rest was them arguing or f***ing.

The intrigue and spy stuff was the bulk of the book and not that interesting to me because I read romances for the romance and put up with the rest of the stuff.

So… though I might take a look at further books in the series, it will be with the eye of “you get one more chance” because this didn’t sell me.

If you’re a spy-novel fan and want some hot man on man action randomly thrown in, this is for you. If you’re looking for a romance where the characters seem to love one another and build a relationship. Keep looking.

3 of 5 stars

3-stars-small

Morgan - Signature-small

Copy Generously Provided by NetGalley for Honest Review

 

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Smith-Helenkay-Dimon-ebook/dp/B018CHA278/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1463683412&sr=1-3&keywords=helenkay+dimon