Recent Release: Obsessed (bundle) by Quin Perin

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43198063-obsessed

Blurb

All Meik cares about is lust, not love.

An eager boy toy, that’s what he’s looking for. Someone who worships the ground he walks on. The very second he lays eyes on the enigmatic, street musician Sebastian, he believes he found his new playmate. Obsessed with the young man, Meik introduces him to a world full of sins and desire until the man’s presence threatens to reveal dark memories he had locked away tightly.

Review

This book is at once deliciously smutty, sneakily romantic and utterly heartbreaking. What a rollercoaster this has been! It’s so refreshingly different and original. I loved it!

The story is written from the pov of Meik Lennen, a man who seemingly has it all and is bored with the sameness of his easy, luxurious life. Until… a chance encounter with a mysterious street musician, Sebastian.

There’s a lot of very hot dirty talk and gratuitous sex, deliberately throwing the reader off the scent of the unique love story that is to follow. Almost slyly at first, the authors drop little hints to help the reader understand Meik better and gradually flashbacks are introduced as the story unfolds further. These give us a truly heart-rending glimpse into Meik’s past and it finally starts to make sense why he is so broken and closed-off.

Honestly, I love Meik!! He starts out, and continues for quite a while, as a real jerk, but in the end I just wanted to cuddle him and cheer him on. After shaking him a little (no, a lot), because the man is so oblivious! Sebastian remains a mystery for some time, because we get our info through Meik and he’s not always the most perceptive of narrators. I like Seb’s resilience and his acceptance of Meik, warts and all.

As the emotional connection between Meik and Sebastian continues to grow, Meik is forced to recognize that he actually feels something for the younger man. Something more than lust, that is. Can’t say he gives in with good grace, but he does go after his man in his own fashion. The continuing flashbacks into Meik’s past are beautifully written and very sweet, poignantly so.

After a certain event… Meik and Sebastian have a falling out of sorts. The L-word is still something Meik has a lot of trouble accepting, and he fights it. So hard. Will he have the courage to embrace it (again), knowing how deeply it hurts when things go south?

The story concludes in a very unique way, with the focus shifting even more to Meik’s origin story.
He is always so blunt, arrogant and cold even (on the outside) that seeing him so vulnerable and sweet with his first love was an endearing change of pace. Knowing what was coming didn’t make it any easier to read though. Meik’s emotions are raw and overwhelming, his grief so real. He’s totally forgiven for closing his heart off like he did.

I adore Quin & Perin’s writing style. They are brilliant with picking the right word or comparison to make the reader understand just how much their character is feeling. I love the way they cut off sentences to create more tension and heighten emotions.

Can’t wait to see what they bring us next!

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

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


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Audiobook: A Fool and his Manny by Amy Lane Narrated by Kenneth Obi

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-fool-and-his-manny-by-amy-lane-9714-b

Blurb

Seeing the truth and falling in love.
Dustin Robbins-Grayson was a surly adolescent when Quinlan Gregory started the nanny gig. After a rocky start, he grew into Quinlan’s friend and confidant—and a damned sexy man.
At twenty-one, Dusty sees how Quinlan sacrificed his own life and desires to care for Dusty’s family. He’s ready to claim Quinlan—he’s never met a kinder, more capable, more lovable man. Or a lonelier one. Quinlan has spent his life as the stranger on the edge of the photograph, but Dusty wants Quinlan to be the center of his world. First he has to convince Quinlan he’s an adult, their love is real, and Quinlan can be more than a friend and caregiver. Can he show Quin that he deserves to be both a man and a lover, and that in Dusty’s eyes, he’s never been “just the manny?”

Review

I adored this couple! I loved the idea of the younger guy who falls for his “nanny” but ends up getting him! He was just the right amount of contrite and then bossy to really flip all my switches and he felt authentic to me.

The romance moved at a very low angst, steady pace and I loved seeing all the familiar faces. While this is definitely a good standalone, it’s better if you’ve read the others before it.

Watching Dusty move from kid through to adult was just right, too. Enough of the kid stuff for him to feel “real” but not so much that it was weird seeing him as an adult.

If you’re a fan of the author, the series or “mannies” this is for you! If you’re in the mood for a sweet “coming of age” book – I think this is wonderful for that purpose, too.

As for the upcoming audio: I don’t want this to sound like John Solo isn’t good – he is! – but I sure do wish we could have Nick Russo or Gomez for this series as well – I’d love that so much!

5 of 5 stars

Audio

I guess Dreamspinner must have a contract for this series because Amy’s usual taste in audiobook narrators doesn’t seem to be able to continue here.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Kenneth Obi does a perfectly fine job – I just love her choices for her other books a lot more.

In the end, he was easy to listen to and does a nice job with timing, characters and emphasis.

3.5 of 5 for the audio

Overall 4 of 5 stars

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent release: Four Ever by Sloane Kennedy

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43588041-four-ever?from_search=true

Blurb

Surrounded by a group of devoted four-footed and two-winged family members, Zak and Killian have built what should have been a dream life in their countryside farmhouse. But a cruel twist of fate and the re-emergence of old demons has frayed the edges of the men’s seven-year relationship until just one wrong move could end up severing their bond for good.

Seemingly content to walk on eggshells around one another, things come to a head when ER nurse Zak brings his work home with him… literally.

After being forced to leave their posh Southern California lives, homeless stepbrothers Liam and Noah are slowly losing themselves to the streets they can’t seem to escape. When twenty-one-year-old Liam is beaten up while protecting his younger “brother,” the pair find themselves being welcomed into a home where being a stray is considered a good thing. But Liam and nineteen-year-old Noah have learned the hard way that nothing is given for free and there’s no such thing as the kindness of strangers. Survival means only counting on and trusting in each other.

Will Zak and Killian’s offer of a no-strings-attached place to heal end up being more than any of the four men bargained for? Especially when feelings between Liam and Noah begin to crawl to the surface and the truth of what Zak and Killian’s relationship has turned into becomes harder to deny?

And what happens when lines begin to blur and needs start to change? Will Zak, Killian, Liam, and Noah end up going their separate ways?

Or will they learn that love doesn’t always come in twos?

Review by Neta
This book has a LOT going on. In the first few pages we are already introduces to an established couple that has been going through some sort of issue for a while, around 15 animals, from cats to miniature horses and two young men, with a mysterious past, in the hospital. We learn pretty fast that there are many secrets these four men hold close to the vest and get little crumbs of the bigger picture here and there. That in itself makes the story very intriguing and keeps you guessing what the story behind them is, even if you do start to get the picture as it goes on.

What I found hard about this book, and the reason I gave it 3 stars, is the sheer amount of emotional baggage for both humans and animals, the physical trauma ad backstory is so complex and it just added too much details to the story. It’s hard to write a good romance about two people, let alone four, and when you add all the trauma and hurt they need to sort through and the issues each ‘couple’ has with the complexity of having the four of them get together in a poly relationship I just felt overwhelmed. Most of the important emotional things about them becoming a foursome where drowned in the complex sexual scenes between the four, that in my opinion, while hot on their own, could have been reduced to one good scene and have the other 3-4 converted into them talking about what is going on between them. Every time someone tried to talk, Noah got upset, and would not listen, which resulted in sex being used as a means to show him and Liam that they do want to be together and cement the strength of their emotions to one another.
It was hard to sort out Killian and Zak, and believing the quick way they ended up with the two younger men living with them, and then being their lovers too, while Liam and Noah have nothing to their name and are in such a difficult situation (no home, money and being physically hurt at first as well as emotionally traumatized. Because Killian and Zak have an advantage, despite their own issues, and it through the whole relationship out of balance for me. The first half of the book takes it’s time with them getting to know each other, while being attracted to each other very fast (while being hurt and scared, a situation I found hard to sort out sexual and emotional attraction in but oh well…). I wish the other half didn’t try to catch up the sexual parts of romance and took the time for them to get into poly in a slower, more sophisticated manner.

Add to that, the stray animals, Noah’s turbulent fast and his blackout attacks, it was all too much and there was no way to close all the plot lines like they should have been in the length of the story (maybe if it was much longer). They story was not bad but it was overflowing with drama and I felt like it should have taken a less dramatic approach in order to deal with the poly stuff.

Number of stars out of 5
3


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Karen

Mind-blowing! She pulled it off! Four incredible MC’s in an equal, loving relationship with each other. Just…wow.

The author meticulously built up the relationships between all four men, giving them all a chance to fall in love with each other and connect one on one, but also managing to make them function as a whole.
A loving unit of four. Forever.

What I absolutely love about this author’s writing is her absolute knack for writing tortured heroes with a heart of gold. Which is exactly what we get here. Yay!
Each of these four men has known loss or has been badly hurt in the (not always very distant) past. When life throws them together, they are finally able to find the comfort and healing they need. To say nothing of happiness, of course.

Killian and Zak’s love for each other is evident from the very first, but there’s an incredible aura of sadness surrounding them and something is obviously holding them apart in spite of their intense love for each other. Their pain comes across so clearly. Anxious times that make for an intense reading experience.

Zak has made it a habit to bring home strays, wounded animals in need of a safe space to recover. One day however, he brings home a wounded stray of the human variety. Followed shortly thereafter by a second. When Killian and Zak open up their home to Liam and Noah, they are both taken by surprise by their feelings for their two new house guests and they have a difficult time processing the guilt and shame that comes with those new feelings. What does this mean for their relationship?

I loved seeing all four of them get to know each other, individually and together, learning to lean on one another and most importantly sharing laughter and falling head over heels in love. One of the things that I really liked too was that Liam and Noah are a catalyst in helping Killian and Zak to open up to each other again and get their relationship back on track. The one thing the four of them needed a little help in learning though is that communication is key, and that by avoiding certain subjects you might actually cause someone you love pain instead of sparing their feelings. That was a tough lesson to learn.

The character development is wonderfully done, as always, and the writing is well-paced and evocative. The mystery surrounding Noah’s past, with its far-reaching consequences, held me captivated and nearly broke my heart once it was revealed. The cast of secondary characters, which consisted mostly of family pets this time, is extraordinary. Especially dearest Waldo.

This was a deeply emotional, beautiful love story, with just the right amount of angst.
Signature Sloane Kennedy. 2,3 or 4 men, I don’t care. If she writes it, I’m reading it.

Number of stars out of 5: 6


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Boyfriend Cruise by Deanna Wadsworth

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-boyfriend-cruise-by-deanna-wadsworth-10060-b

Blurb

A Pride of the Caribbean Getaway
The Pride of the Caribbean is a cruise ship unlike any other. Paranormals working on board the enchanted ship hide in plain sight, under the benevolent protection of a demigod captain and his fairy husband.
And this is a shipboard romance unlike any other.
Josh Gilbert’s well-meaning family booked a gay-friendly cruise for Christmas in order to find Josh a boyfriend. Hoping to escape the constant parade of bachelors—and the collapsible fishing rod dangling mistletoe his mom keeps in her purse—Josh takes solace in a growing friendship with the ship’s photographer, Nathan. Though Josh is falling for Nathan, he worries it will never be more than a shipboard fling.
Nathan recently became aware of his incubus heritage and has finally learned how to control his demon side. But Josh has awakened more than just the demon’s need for orgasms—Josh has awakened Nathan’s heart. What’s developing between them is the real thing, but can Josh ever accept Nathan’s promiscuous past… and love a sex demon?
Amid lush tropical settings, family hilarity, holiday costume parties, sexy snorkeling adventures, gingerbread martinis, and mythical creatures, will Josh get his Christmas wish and finally find the true love he’s wanted for so long?

Review

This was very cute and I enjoyed it’s mix of holiday charm, paranormal surprise and new to sex romance.

It was a little goofy at the beginning but after about 30% it settled down into a lovely story with some heat and sweetness.

Recommended for fans of paranormal romance!

4 of 5 stars

Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Time to Celebrate the Holidays: Grumble Monkey and the Department Store Elf audiobook by B.G. Thomas narrated by Donald Tursman

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/grumble-monkey-and-the-department-store-elf-by-bg-thomas-1071-

Blurb
Kit Jefferies, a part-time department store Christmas elf, is an artist who loves life and his family. Unfortunately, his car dies at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere as he is heading home for Christmas. Enter Nick St. George.

Nick is a very unhappy man—he’s achieved his professional goals only to find the rest of his life bleak and empty. Deciding there was only one way to make everything right, he is on his way to San Francisco on a dark mission, and even the horrible sleet storm that blocked his path won’t deter him. That’s when he found Kit.

At first, Nick is pretty sure rescuing Kit was a big mistake. Kit’s personality is just too, well, effervescent. But as the miles go by, Kit begins to bring light to his dark heart. It might even be bright enough to illuminate a Christmas miracle

Review
The story was part of the 2013 Dreampinner Press “Heartwarming” Advent Calendar.
Nick is such a grump, love him. He is trying to get to San Francisco before Christmas Day when he meets Kit at a rest stop. He is so dismissive and judgmental of Kit. Nick is so angry at the world and takes it out on Kit. Kit seems to be everything Nick despises about being gay. Kit and his positive attitude gets through to Nick. Although I had my suspicions Where the story was heading to it was still bit of a surprise. On seeing the cover picture I thought the story would be humorous but I don’t think it gets there. Nick and Kit’s story has a happy for now ending and overall left me feeling thoughtful rather than buoyed up in Christmas spirit.
The narrator gives some attempt to voice the characters but it does sound more like Donald Tursman is just reading the story. If you don’t listen closely it’s hared to distinguish which character was speaking. Initially there was a hollow sound to the recording but either that got better or I got used to it.

3 of stars out of 5 for the story
2 of stars out of 5 for the narration

Reviewer Name: MaryD

Purchased by reviewer

 

 

 

 

Audiobook: Q*Pid by Xavier Mayne Narrated by Rudy Sanda

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/qpid-by-xavier-mayne-9833-b

Blurb

Can a computer program understand love better than the human heart?

Archer, the AI at the dating service Q*pid, realizes humans don’t always make the best choices, so it begins making some unconventional choices for them.

Fox Kincade is the last of his group of friends to be single, so he’s delighted when he discovers a new match in his Q*pid app—one that, according to the new AI wizardry, should be the love of his life. Instead of the woman he’s expecting, he’s paired with Drew Larsen, a shy, somewhat nerdy PhD student who has also grown discouraged with romance.

Drew and Fox have little in common—aside from the fact that they’re both straight. Or so they thought. But as the guys get to know each other, they realize Archer might have the right idea. Their path isn’t smooth, because both need to overcome every idea they have about themselves and what true love might look like. But with the help of Archer—and some friends who have stuck with Fox and Drew through the thick and thin of their relationship trials—they might find their way into each other’s hearts.

Review 

(Previously reviewed here)

This is a fun trope – the GFY trope and a double GFY – YES – sign me up! I absolutely loved this. It was sweet, romantic and my only (small) complaint was that I wish we’d had more smexy times.

What I love about this story is what I fell in love with in Frat House Troopers: great character development and a (mostly) believable way for two “straight” guys to fall in love! Where FHT had a little more pull for me was there was more “exploration” in the bedroom that I missed with this couple.

However – the upside is we definitely get a lot of emotional bonding and the end result is a really romantic story with a touch of heat.

If you’re a fan of the author or the trope – this is recommended for you!

Audio

Rudy Sanda is a new to me narrator. He really tries to give everyone a unique voice – I loved his Mrs. Schwarzman! He handles the humor and the timing necessitated by that very well. His voice is easy to listen to and I found his cadence really pleasing. I am definitely going to be looking for him in the future!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided 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

 

Time to Celebrate the Holidays: Santa Daddy by Keira Andrews

Goodreads link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42904546-santa-daddy?from_search=true

Blurb

Mall Santas aren’t supposed to be hot.

Hunter Adams is hopelessly adrift after college. He’s still a virgin, can’t find a real job, and has no clue what to do with his life. In desperation, he returns to his humiliating old job as an elf at the Santa’s Village in his hometown’s dying mall. The Santa on the job is an unexpectedly sexy lumberjack, twice Hunter’s size and age. He makes Hunter feel very naughty—too bad he’s grumpy and intimidating.

Years after the tragic death of his partner, Nick Spini has his beagle and long, hard days on his Christmas tree farm. That’s plenty. But he can’t refuse a loyal friend’s plea for help and finds himself filling in as Santa at the local mall. Despite Nick’s attempt to stay aloof, the beautiful, anxious young man playing elf brings out his long-dormant daddy instincts.

When a surprise blizzard traps them alone in Nick’s isolated forest home, their attraction burns even brighter. Will they surrender to the sizzling connection between them and find the release and comfort they crave?

Santa Daddy is a holiday gay romance from Keira Andrews featuring an age gap, steamy m/m first times, daddy role-playing and light spanking, Christmas romance feels, and of course a happy ending.

Review

This is just the right kind of book to get snowed in with! Nick is just the right kind of grumpy lumberjack you want to cuddle with and hunter is so awkwardly sweet and insecure- the work perfectly together.
I loved the emotional depth Keira put into Nick’s past, and it really emphasized his reclusiveness and unwillingness to be around people. That made him being roped into playing Santa in the mall so very funny and charming. He and Hunter have instant attraction that is off the charts, you can definitely save up on your heating bills with this books.
I usually do like light kink in books, but I shy away from the more structured BDSM club themes and plotlines. Full time alternative lifestyle is not my preferred reading material. What I liked about this book is the balance, the kink is there but it is much more about the dynamic between the two then the props and rules and contracts like in other BDSM/heavy kink books (not that there is anything wrong about them, just my personal preference). It made the sex between them smoldering hot without being the main focus of the relationship. It is the perfect balance in my opinion and I was kind of sad it didn’t go on longer so I could have more of their hotness (there is plenty there, I’m just greedy).

I also loved Hunter’s relationship with his mother, and his own struggle with fitting into the “adult role” he thinks society expects his to uphold as a collage graduate. It is something I think many people can identify with, and showed that not everyone have to walk the same pre-designed path.

This is one of my favorite Christmas stories this season, and you should definitely check it out (Keira’s Christmas story last year, In Case of Emergency, was also fantastic) if you are looking for some holiday cheer with a heaping dose of “Yes daddy”.

Number of stars out of 5
4.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Release Day Review: Fair isn’t life By Kaje Harper

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fair-isnt-life-by-kaje-harper-9973-b

Blurb

 

Luke Lafontaine survived the past year by not thinking about the father he lost, the dairy farm he couldn’t save from bankruptcy, or his way of life that vanished with the rap of an auctioneer’s hammer. Cleaning up city folks’ trash at the Minnesota State Fair is just another dead-end job. But at the Fair, surrounded by a celebration of farm life,  ambitions he’d given up on and buried deep start to revive. And seeing Mason Bell in the parade—gorgeous, gay, out-of-his-league Mason—stirs other buried dreams.

Mason left his hometown for college in Minneapolis without looking back. Student life is fun, classes are great, gay guys are easy to find, but it’s all a bit superficial. He’s at the State Fair parade route with his band when he realizes a scruffy maintenance worker is Luke, his secret high school crush. Luke should be safely home working on his dad’s farm, not picking up litter. Mason wishes he hadn’t fallen out of touch. He’s an optimist, though, and it’s never too late for second chances. Now he just has to convince Luke.

 

Review
Luke has gone through a lot, losing his father, his farm and home, and only narrowly escaping a life on the streets. He’s lost hope and I felt quite sad for him. All that loss really impacted him and continues to define him throughout the story. It’s more than a simple background story for the cliché “tormented hero”.
Luckily this is fiction, and Kaje Harper managed to give Luke a way to turn his life around with a little help from his former high school crush, Mason. Although reality intrudes when we are shown that Luke’s farm was no exception and that other dairy farms also struggle to survive, with no miracle to fix their issues.

Luke is physically more imposing than the smaller and more studious Mason, but their relationship doesn’t conform to stereotypes, which I loved! Luke looks to Mason for guidance and help to discover new things, like say make-up. The issue of what it means to be a real “man” is touched upon and handled in the best way. I really liked Luke and Mason as a couple, they are a great fit.

This story has an very realistic feel to it, with a “true story” kind of vibe running through it thanks to the incredibly authentic (not always likable) secondary characters and real life issues that crop up. Even the happy for now ending adds to that feeling.

Number of stars out of 5: 3.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review