Mad About the Hatter by Dakota Chase ~ Audio Review

Dakota Chase - Mad About The Hatter Audio Cover 3284jhdTitle: Mad About the Hatter

Author: Dakota Chase

Narrator: Joel Froomkin

Genre: Fantasy

Length: 7 hrs, 8 mins

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (19th September 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: This isn’t his sister’s Wonderland….

Henry never believed his older sister Alice’s fantastic tales about the world down the rabbit hole. When he’s whisked away to the bizarre land, his best chance for escape is to ally himself with the person called the Mad Hatter. Hatter – an odd but strangely attractive fellow – just wants to avoid execution. If that means delivering “Boy Alice” to the Queen of Hearts at her Red Castle, Hatter will do what he has to do to stay alive. It doesn’t matter if Henry and Hatter find each oth-er intolerable. They’re stuck with each other.

Along their journey, Henry and Hatter must confront what they’ve always accepted as truth. As dislike grows into tolerance and something like friendship, the young men see the chance for a closer relationship. But Wonderland is a dangerous place, and first they have to get away with their lives.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Mad About the Hatter is an audio for a book that I remember reading a couple years ago. I remember that I loved reading the book and was totally keen on listening to the audio.

Dakota Chase isn’t really an author on my radar and I think this was the first time I had read the author’s work initially a couple years ago. But the writing is fun and even though it is a fantasy based on a classic book, the story doesn’t feel completely ridiculous. The narration was also awesome. I don’t actually remember the narrator’s name, although when I heard him talking I know I’ve heard his narration at least once before and like this time, I am sure it was a pleasing audio experience. I particularly loved the voices that Froomkin gave these classic characters that we know so well, especially Hatter, the Tweedles and the Chesire Cat.

Mad About the Hatter is a story that is about a sweet, quiet romance with a dash of friendship and adventure, all set in the world of Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland. It’s an interesting spin on the classic, where the events of the book take place after Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. The story itself is more of an young adult read than anything else because this story is essentially eighteen year old Henry coming to terms with his own identity – having a coming of age adventure and falling in love.

Anyone who likes urban fantasies and new takes on classic tales would enjoy this story, although if you’re dead set against young adult fiction, then this probably isn’t what you’re looking for.

The story starts with Henry. He and his sister, Alice, do not have an easy relationship, despite the fact that their only other family is their possibly alcoholic father and mysterious/random Uncle Leonard. The main problem is that Alice likes to talk about her time in Wonderland which Henry knows that logically could not have happened at all. I was siding with Henry there although Henry is a bit of brat at the start of this book. Then his sister gave him punch and Henry’s world changes to the surreal.

We meet up with the Mad Hatter. The Red Queen is getting more insane by the day and is having people beheaded left, right and centre. When Hatter is sent after “Boy Alice”, we have the quirky adventure throughout Wonderland not unlike the original. We also meet other familiar characters, aside from the Red Queen, including Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Cheshire Cat as well as that opium fiend Caterpillar.

There is not a lot of romance, there is very little in the way of sex but there are some rather sweet moments between Hatter and Henry. I particularly liked the end but it left me thinking “but I want more!!!!” but in a totally good way.

Mammoth! by Dakota Chase

Title: Mammoth!

Series: Repeating History 03

Author: Dakota Chase

Genre: Historical, Ancient World, Teen Fiction, Time Travel

Length: Novel(180pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 7, 2018)

Heat Level: Low – Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: To replace another of the artifacts they accidentally destroyed, Grant and Ash must travel further back in time than ever before—ten thousand years, to Paleolithic Virginia Beach. They quickly realize that in this time, food doesn’t come from a supermarket, and if they want to survive, they’ll need to learn skills like hunting and fire-making.

Merlin’s magic won’t return them to their time until they locate a mammoth talisman, but this time, they’ll need to do more than find the object. They’ll have to earn it—along with their manhood names—in a dangerous hunt. And before their latest adventure ends, they’ll have to help an injured young man and convince two rival tribes to work together. It might be a different environment, but they soon see that human hatred and fear are universal. Luckily, so are love and compassion.

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-671-9

Product Link: Harmony InkDreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: In this installment Grant and Ash are transported to a time where you have to hunt your own food, be on the lookout for danger at every while struggling to stay alive. I loved this story. The environment was unforgiving and a moments weakness could get you killed. Not to mention the guys trying to get two warring tribes to come together piece of cake right?

These had a time trying to bridge the language barrier of the era not to mention hunting for their own food. I was impressed with how resourceful they were at times given they did not grow up in that environment. Helping Rabbit get back to his clan when he was injured was no easy feat but they managed.

I really enjoy the differences of the places these young men travel to and how they adapt to each environment presented to them in order to obtain the artifact of that specific location. Truly an adventurous series that keeps readers awed by how well written and engaging the books are.

Great read and addition to the series.

Hammer of the Witch by Dakota Chase

Title: Hammer of the Witch

Series: Repeating History 02

Author: Dakota Chase

Genre: Teen Fiction, Time Travel

Length: Novel (180 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink (January 9, 2018)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: History isn’t dead when you’re living it.

Ash and Grant are about to learn why it was called the Dark Ages, when Merlin, in the guise of their teacher, once again sends them time traveling to reclaim one of the antiquities their prank destroyed: a book called the Malleus Maleficarum, or Hammer of the Witches, which was used to persecute and kill innocent people throughout medieval Europe.

They’ll need to keep their heads down and their wits about them in a Germany ruled by the iron fist of the Inquisition, where anyone who is different is dragged off to horrifying prisons, tortured to confession, and ultimately killed in the worst way imaginable. But it won’t be easy to navigate a frightening and brutal time, secure Merlin’s book, and make it home without attracting attention.

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-095-3

Product Link: Dreamspinner PressHarmony Ink Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: The next item that Grant and Ash are to retrieve in their time traveling punishment to replace artifacts that were destroyed due to their fighting is a book called the Malleus Maleficarum or The Hammer of the Witch. This single book sent hundreds of people to their deaths in the most horrifying ways.

This task will not be easy. It’s the middle ages and a time where all are suspicious of things that are different and quickly dealt with. This task ends up with Ash retrieving the book but Grant being captured. Now Ash has to save Grant, keep the book safe and get all back to their own time before their demise.

Hair raising and adventurous this story has a great history interwoven between the dialogue of the characters. the details were amazing and the characters intriguing.

A great addition to the series.

The Eye of Ra by Dakota Chase (2nd Edition)

Dakota Chase - The Eye of Ra CoverTitle: The Eye of Ra (2nd edition)

Series:  Repeating History 01

Author: Dakota Chase

Genre: High Fantasy, Historical Ancient World, Teen Fiction, Time Travel

Length: Novella (170 pages)

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press, (Dreamspinner Press) (May 16, 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Repeating History: Book One

Both Aston and Grant have a talent for finding trouble—it’s what landed them at the Stanton School for Boys—but this time, their mischief might send them to a completely different world.

When they accidentally destroy their teacher’s priceless archaeological artifacts, he demands they replace them. And since the teacher in question is Merlin, refusing isn’t an option for the two boys. Thanks to Merlin’s magic, they’re about to become time travelers.

The first piece on their list is the Eye of Ra, a mystical amulet belonging to the young King Tut. Ancient Egypt is nothing like Aston and Grant expected, with its war, disease, and lack of modern technology. To survive, they must befriend King Tut and learn to trust him—and each other. In a primitive world, where death and danger wait around every corner, one thing is clear: revisiting history could cost someone their life.

First Edition published by Prizm Press, 2010.

ISBN-13: 978-1-63533-370-1

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-eye-of-ra-by-dakota-chase-8337-b |  https://www.harmonyinkpress.com/books/the-eye-of-ra-by-dakota-chase-469-b

Reviewer: Shorty 

Review: Grant and Ashton are two school boys who are thrust into the past to retrieve the Eye of Ra that was destroyed in a fire because of them. I found it intriguing and interesting that it was Merlin’s possessions that were destroyed. I liked that instead of reporting the boys he decides to take matters into his own hands and as a result the boys learn a valuable lesson in history first hand.

At times it seems as if the young men are not going to make it through the story in one piece. I felt myself immersed in a story that I would have enjoyed seeing with my own eyes.

Though this journey was not without danger, Ashton and Grant make the most of it while trying to stay alive. The environment was beautifully written as was the interactions. A magical and historical story that grabs you from the start and does not let go until the end.

Great read.

Changing Jamie by Dakota Chase (2nd Edition)

Dakota Chase - Changing Jamie CoverTitle: Changing Jamie, (2nd Edition)

Author: Dakota Chase

Genre: Teen Fiction, Contemporary

Length: Novel (180 Pages)

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (Dreamspinner Press) (January 24, 2017)

Heat Level: None

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts (Combined rating)

Blurb: Jamie’s pretty much an average gay teenager. He’s in the closet, has an unrequited secret crush on a fellow high school athlete, and an awful home life. It’s a good thing he has his friend Billy to distract him and to show him that being out has its benefits. Billy is everything Jamie isn’t: openly gay, wealthy enough to follow fashion trends, and with a social calendar full of dates with older men.

Then Jamie’s life spins into a downward spiral. Billy starts acting weird and hiding things from him. His stepfather’s abusive behavior escalates until Jamie dreads going home. His English teacher assigns him to tutor the object of his affection, gorgeous track star Dylan. Jamie’s not even sure he can talk to Dylan, let alone tutor him, and it’s impossible to talk to Billy about it. Billy’s too wrapped up in a dangerous game called bug chasing: trying to catch HIV. Billy’s risky behavior nearly shatters their friendship and forces Jamie to look at the world in a whole new way. Can Jamie keep Billy safe, stay on top of homework and a new boyfriend, and convince his mom to give his stepdad the heave-ho?

First edition published by Torquere Press in 2008.

ISBN: 978-1-63533-249-0

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Harmony Ink Press

Reviewer’s: Lisa & Pixie

Lisa’s Review: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts 

I have not read any stories by this author so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  I do admit that if I was picking a story by the cover of a book, then I would not have picked it.  The cover just doesn’t make a hit with me.  Now normally I do not read any stories that have teens in them or where they are the main characters.  They just seem to be missing what I want in a story.  However for some reason I picked the story.  

Jamie’s best friend is Billy and his crush is Dylan.  Seventeen is such a hard age for anyone but especially for gay teens.  His mother’s new husband is a homophobic ass and was one of the reasons he was in the closet.  His best friend however is out and proud, but is a true idiot.  Then there is Dylan and to Jamie’s shock he is also gay.  

Billy has hooked up with someone older than he is and well let’s just say Billy is very young minded in away.  He thinks that if he catches AIDS then Robbie will want him permanently; well you know how predators are.  His step-dad is getting meaner and more abusive, but his mom has to wake up and see the smoke.  Then there is Dylan and well if you want to know more, you have to read the book.

It is a very good book, very touching and will bring you to tears.  However it is also very depressing and I can’t say that I found anything in it that I actually liked.  For some reason it just doesn’t work with me, however I can see that it could possibly be a big hit for teenagers as it is about them pretty much.  So for me it left me just depressed and I never want to read it again. It does talk about having AIDS, so be ready for it.  

Other than my issues with it, if you are into teen stories that has pain and angst then this will be a big hit for you.  If you know of any teenagers then you might want them to also read it.

Pixie’s Review: ♥♥♥♥♥ 4 ½ Hearts

Jamie is 17yrs old and has a massive crush on Dylan.  His best friend Billy is acting a little strange and his step-dad is on this earth to make his life miserable.

Jamie has a lot on his plate as he struggles with his best friend’s actions; Dylan confessing to him and trying to get his mom to see what a waste of space his step-dad is. When Jamie hunts for Billy, Dylan offers to help him out.   When Jamie finds out the truth behind Billy’s actions and is devastated, Dylan is there to offer comfort and support. When Dylan confesses why he is there for him, Jamie is over the moon.  Jamie comes across as a young man who might not be the best at everything.  Who might struggle in some areas but he knows who he is and although he hides it a lot, he knows he does and he really doesn’t believe that he is something he isn’t.

Dylan is a dumb jock or rather that’s what he wants people to believe.  When he gets a chance to spend time with Jamie he grabs it with both hands.  It’s not easy as he works through what he wants but when he nearly loses Jamie he decides that he can face anything if he’s with Jamie. Dylan comes across as slightly privileged but not full of himself and he seems to be a genuine young man who does think of others, although he struggles with what to do he isn’t stupid in what he says or his actions.

Billy is one screwed up young man.   He thinks he’s in love and will do anything to be with that man; even if it means giving up his life. He hides what he is doing from Jamie and deserts Jamie when he realizes that Jamie just doesn’t understand that he is now truly happy… that is until reality sets in. Billy seems to be desperate to belong and completely screws up his life in the process.  But when he turns to Jamie, Jamie is there to help him and advise him no matter how badly Billy acted or treated Jamie. True best friends.

This is a really well written story about young men who are finding themselves and making mistakes, but it is also about facing up to their actions and realizing that that it isn’t only them who are allowed to make mistakes. Some parts of this book had me laughing; some nearly crying and some filled me with pure joy. There are two scenes that I really loved and both of them took place at the school.  They filled me with hope that somewhere, at some time, more people will act like this and it will become an everyday occurrence.

This is a perfect Y/A romance that I have to recommend you read if you already haven’t because it is wonderful.

Mad About the Hatter by Dakota Chase

o-mad-about-the-hatterTitle: Mad About the Hatter
Series: N/A
Author: Dakota Chase
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult
Length: Novel (190 pages)
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (20 Aug 2015)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts
Blurb: This isn’t his sister’s Wonderland….

Henry never believed his older sister, Alice’s, fantastic tales about the world down the rabbit hole. When he’s whisked away to the bizarre land, his best chance for escape is to ally himself with the person called the Mad Hatter. Hatter—an odd but strangely attractive fellow—just wants to avoid execution. If that means delivering “Boy Alice” to the Queen of Hearts at her Red Castle, Hatter will do what he has to do to stay alive. It doesn’t matter if Henry and Hatter find each other intolerable. They’re stuck with each other.

Along their journey, Henry and Hatter must confront what they’ve always accepted as truth. As dislike grows into tolerance and something like friendship, the young men see the chance for a closer relationship. But Wonderland is a dangerous place, and first they have to get away with their lives.

ISBN: 9781634761505

Product Link: https://www.harmonyinkpress.com/books/mad-about-the-hatter-by-dakota-chase-324-b

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Mad About the Hatter is just a lot of fun with not a lot of romance, but a lot of friendship and adventure. Add to that this being something of a spinoff of Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (there are elements of both these classics here), much like the book Wicked, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable read.

This is a young adult (Henry, the MC is some weeks off of 18) but honestly if you don’t like young adult fiction it’s really easy to switch that part off in your mind if you just want to read a gay romance with some classic characters.

Ok, so it’s clear that I loved this book. The characters are quirky, the plot is fun and somehow in between all that you see a normal sibling relationship (well, for siblings that find it difficult to get along anyway).

The story starts with Henry. He and his sister, Alice, do not have an easy relationship, despite the fact that their only other family is their possibly alcoholic father and mysterious/random Uncle Leonard.

The main problem is that Alice likes to talk about her time in Wonderland which Henry knows that logically could not have happened at all (but she has a husband and kids, go figure, I was siding with Henry there). Then his sister gave him punch and then…
We meet up with the Mad Hatter.

The story is set after the story of Through the Looking Glass. The Red Queen seems to be getting more insane by the day and is having people beheaded left, right and centre. When Hatter is sent after “Boy Alice”, we have the quirky adventure throughout Wonderland not unlike the original. We also meet other familiar characters, aside from the Red Queen, including Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Cheshire Cat (I thought of him as Stephen Fry’s voice like in the latest movie) as well as that opium fiend Caterpillar.

As I said there is not a lot of romance, there is very little in the way of sex but there are some rather sweet moments between Hatter and Henry. I particularly liked the end but it left me thinking “but I want more!!!!” I was practically crying because it ended as I was thinking this too.

What more can I say? We meet some quirky familiar faces and sights, as well as some new embellishments by the author. A wonderful and fun read, particularly of any fan of the original story.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

Changing Jamie by Dakota Chase

Title: Changing Jamie

Author: Dakota Chas

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (189pgs)

Publisher: Torquere Press (September 2008)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

First published 13th June 2008 by Prizmbooks

Blurb: Jamie’s pretty much your average gay teenager. He’s not out with his folks, he’s got a crush on a fellow high school athlete, and his life isn’t perfect. It’s a good thing he has his friend, Billy, to take his mind off things, and to show him that all things are possible.

Billy seems to be all Jamie isn’t. Billy’s openly gay, he has enough money to follow fashion trends, and he’s got dates all the time. Lots of them. With older men. When Billy starts acting weird and hiding things from him, Jamie’s whole life seems to tilt off its axis.

His stepfather, who has never been the greatest role model, escalates his behavior until Jamie dreads going home. His English teacher assigns him tutoring sessions with the object of his crush, the gorgeous track star Dylan. Jamie’s not even sure he can talk to Dylan, let alone tutor him, but it’s impossible to talk to Billy about it. Billy’s too wrapped up in a very dangerous game they call bug chasing: trying to catch HIV.

Learning about Billy’s risk-taking nearly shatters their friendship, and forces Jamie to look at the world in a whole new way. Can Jamie try to keep Billy safe and still stay on top of homework, a new boyfriend, and keeping his step-father in line?

Purchase Link: http://www.prizmbooks.com/zen/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=12&products_id=20

Review: I know this is an old story but sometimes you have to revisit a story that you really enjoy. Jamie is 17yrs old and has a massive crush on Dylan.  His best friend Billy is acting a little strange and his step-dad is on this earth to make his life miserable.

Jamie has a lot on his plate as he struggles with his best friend’s actions; Dylan confessing to him and trying to get his mom to see what a waste of space his step-dad is. When Jamie hunts for Billy, Dylan offers to help him out.   When Jamie finds out the truth behind Billy’s actions and is devastated, Dylan is there to offer comfort and support. When Dylan confesses why he is there for him, Jamie is over the moon.  Jamie comes across as a young man who might not be the best at everything.  Who might struggle in some areas but he knows who he is and although he hides it a lot, he knows he does and he really doesn’t believe that he is something he isn’t.

Dylan is a dumb jock or rather that’s what he wants people to believe.  When he gets a chance to spend time with Jamie he grabs it with both hands.  It’s not easy as he works through what he wants but when he nearly loses Jamie he decides that he can face anything if he’s with Jamie. Dylan comes across as slightly privileged but not full of himself and he seems to be a genuine young man who does think of others, although he struggles with what to do he isn’t stupid in what he says or his actions.

Billy is one screwed up young man.   He thinks he’s in love and will do anything to be with that man; even if it means giving up his life. He hides what he is doing from Jamie and deserts Jamie when he realizes that Jamie just doesn’t understand that he is now truly happy… that is until reality sets in. Billy seems to be desperate to belong and completely screws up his life in the process.  But when he turns to Jamie, Jamie is there to help him and advise him no matter how badly Billy acted or treated Jamie. True best friends.

This is a really well written story about young men who are finding themselves and making mistakes, but it is also about facing up to their actions and realizing that that it isn’t only them who are allowed to make mistakes. Some parts of this book had me laughing; some nearly crying and some filled me with pure joy. There are two scenes that I really loved and both of them took place at the school.  They filled me with hope that somewhere, at some time, more people will act like this and it will become an everyday occurrence.

This is a perfect Y/A romance that I have to recommend you read if you already haven’t because it is wonderful.