Hi peeps! We have Kim Fielding stopping by today with her upcoming release Love Has No Direction, we have a brilliant guest post from Kim and a great excerpt, so check out the post and enjoy! ❤️ ~Pixie~
Love Has No Direction
(Love Can’t 03)
Yet another series of poor decisions lands Parker Levin back in his mother’s house, working at her coffee shop, and feeling like a failure. Then he learns his ex-boyfriend has died by suicide and things go from bad to worse. When he meets a handsome stranger, he doesn’t have much left to lose.
Ten years ago Wesley Anker made a grave mistake. Since then he’s lived in near isolation, supporting himself by making custom furniture and only rarely connecting with other people. When he attempts to make amends, he encounters Parker, a beautiful and colorful young man, and he agrees to Parker’s impulsive request to join him.
Together, Parker and Wes find quick friendship and fierce attraction. But Wes’s past demons haunt his footsteps, and Parker’s struggle to plan a future has him stumbling through life. Then they uncover evidence that suggests Parker’s ex’s death might not have been a straightforward suicide, and every path seems to lead to dead ends and destruction. Can Parker and Wes find their way to lasting love when the route is hidden?
Hi guys! We have Andrew Grey popping in today with his upcoming release Fire and Onyx, we have a short guest post from Andrew and a great excerpt so check out the post and enjoy! ❤️ ~Pixie~
Fire and Onyx
(Carlisle Deputies 05)
Undercover sheriff’s deputy Evan Whittaker is close to infiltrating a vicious local gang. He just needs to find an opening. Instead, he finds Wes Douglas, a web designer who is raising his irresponsible brother’s son. Wes agrees to help with a stakeout, but he pays the price when his home is destroyed in a shootout.
Evan’s always been a loner, but when he invites Wes into his home, living together feels right, and the two men only grow closer as they adapt to each other’s lives and rhythms. A future as a family looks brighter by the day, but all of that could collapse when Wes’s brother—and his connection to the drug dealers—crashes into the life they’re carefully building.
Hi guys! We have Elle E. Ire stopping by today with her upcoming re-release Vicious Circle, we have a brilliant guest post from Elle and a great excerpt so check out the post and enjoy! ❤️ ~Pixie~
Elle E, Ire
Assassin meets innocent.
Kicked out of the Assassins Guild for breach of contract, hunted by its members for killing the Guild Leader, and half hooked on illegal narcotics, Cor Sandros could use a break. Down to her last few credits, Cor is offered a freelance job to eliminate a perverse political powerhouse. Always a sucker for helping the helpless, she accepts.
The plan doesn’t include Cor falling in love with her employer, sweet and attractive Kila, but as the pair struggles to reach the target’s home world, pursued by assassins from the Guild, Cor finds the inexplicable attraction growing stronger. There’s a job to do, and intimate involvement is an unwelcome distraction. Then again, so is sexual frustration.
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press / Dreamspinner (15 Oct 2019)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts
Blurb: Foxes are vermin.
Australian sheep farmers regard them as an enemy to be shot on sight and hung from the branches of an old gum tree.
But not all foxes are just foxes.
Connor Coutts could be the last surviving male Furborn in Victoria, maybe in the whole country, a heavy bur-den for a teenager. His life’s path is clear— protect what’s left of the Furborn line. That is until someone new arrives at the MacKenzie sheep farm. Spencer MacKenzie, with his long black hair and gothic style, is a strange sight in Connor’s forest, but Fate throws the two teenagers together to save their families.
Can Connor trust Spencer to keep his life-or-death secret, or will he hang on the tree?
Review: Furborn is a standalone young adult novel by Isabelle Rowen. This isn’t your usual paranormal, shape shifting human novel. There is something rather laid back about it, which makes it feel so obviously Australian (at least to me) and as a reader we aren’t being led to some massive apocolytic event and true mates. Instead this is a story about two teenage boys living out in the country on a farm. The setting made me think of classic Australian writer Colin Thiele, who I grow up reading books such as Storm Boy (Mr Percival the Pelican on the Coorong!) and Sun on Stubble (thought about this one as it was based around farm life, hence the title).
Foxes have always been the bane of farmer’s in Australia ever since they were introduced on the large island nation by early settlers. But, not all foxes are just foxes. Some foxes also have human skin. With an explanation of shape shifters that compares them to the myth of Selkies from Scotland, the scariest part of this story is the Furborn having to go against the hunters who need to get rid of the foxes that decimate chickens and the like, as well as damaging crops and fences. After all, many farmers believe that the only good fox is a dead fox.
Connor Coutts comes from an ancient line of furborns who turn into foxes. He’s a teenager on the cusp of being a man. There aren’t many left, and his grandmother – the matriarch of all that is left of his family – will do whatever it takes to ensure the family’s survival, now and into the future. Connor’s life turns upside down when Spencer Mackenzie arrives at the Mackenzie Sheep Farm. The Coutts are almost like a local legend and so Spencer’s grandfather finds Spencer and Connor hanging out together rather amusing.
Connor’s friendship with Spencer comes with a lot of changes. The two young men start to explore some more romantic feelings, while Connor knows he has to do all he must to protect his secret and his family. As their lives intertwine Connor begins to realise that perhaps there is another path for him in life. Being a teenager is difficult, but being a teenage furborn is stressful with so much secrecy and expectation.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect but I loved it, I could not put this down. The writing was so emotive without overloading the reader with more angst than necessary. There is so much sweetness and naivety that makes this a beautiful coming of age story. It just so happens that one boy is human and the other boy can turn into a fox.
For anyone that is looking for some YA fiction which doesn’t lead to a heap of post-apocolytic drama but still want your shape shifters, then this is a good book for you. The setting, out in regional Australia on farms, felt so wonderful and was really realistic. I think that was my favourite part of the book.
Hi guys, we have T.A. Moore stopping by today with her new release Swipe, we have guest post from T.A., a great excerpt and a fantastic $10 Dreamspinner GC giveaway, so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
(Stories from Plenty, California 01)
As one of the top trauma surgeons in Plenty’s ER, Dr. Taggart Hayes knows how to fix broken things—fractured legs, ruptured spleens, allergies, and traumatic brain injuries. He can put them back together good as new.
A broken heart, though? That’s a bit trickier. Especially when it’s his own.
When Tag swipes on the photo of the hot man in the dating app, he just wants a distraction from the wreck that used to be his life. A one-night stand with a safely inappropriate stranger, no names, no feelings, and no complications.
But the headless photo on the app belongs to a man who isn’t so easy to forget the next day… or the next week. And it becomes increasingly clear that Bass is neither safe nor uncomplicated. Drawn into the dark, criminal underworld his lover inhabits, Tag has to decide if the cure for his broken heart is worse than the disease.
Blurb: Many consider Naomi Teedle the village witch. Most people avoid her except when they have need of her herbs and potions. She lives alone on the outskirts of Merrychurch, and that’s fine by everyone—old Mrs. Teedle is not the most pleasant of people. But when she is found murdered, her mouth bulging with her own herbs and roots, suddenly no one has a bad word to say about her.
Jonathon de Mountford is adjusting to life up at the manor house, but it’s not a solitary life: pub landlord Mike Tattersall sees to that. Jonathon is both horrified to learn of the recent murder and confused by the sudden reversal of public opinion. Surely someone in the village had reason to want her dead? He and Mike decide it’s time for them to step in and “help” the local police with their investigation. Only problem is, their sleuthing uncovers more than one suspect—and the list is getting longer….
Review: Roots of Evil is the second book in the Merrychurch Mysteries series by KC Wells. Since I’ve already read and loved the first book in the series, I was looking forward to this. I’ve enjoyed many books by KC Wells, but Merrychurch novels satisfies the part of me that loves to indulge in the typical British Mystery shows.
If you don’t get exactly what I mean, here are some examples. Think the line in the movie Hot Fuzz “it’s just a tragic accident”. Or the fact that villages of Midsommer has a murder every week? Or series that have nosey bakers, gardeners and priests that all insist on investigating crimes instead of just leaving it to the police. Well, that’s pretty much what you’re getting here.
This book is not a standalone book. This is the continuation of the relationship of ex-policeman turned pub owner (there was a British TV show with one of those!), Mike, and the new lord of the manor, Jonathan De Mountford.
Their romance and their overall wonderful relationship isn’t the main focus of this book. The romance and relationship aspects are really quite well written and realistic, because you can see that they are still adapting to their new relationship and Jonathan is getting used to the change in his life after taking his uncle’s position as earl. Although it’s not all roses in their personal life. Jonathan has his very traditional father on his back to get married and produce a De Mountford heir, despite knowing his son is gay and with Mike. Of course, this upsets Mike, but this leads to a very important point about trust in their relationship.
Instead, in the time since the murder of Jonathan’s uncle had been solved, where Mike and Jonathan had done a lot of their own investigation, life had settled down and the men could focus on their relationship. But when the woman who is said to be the local witch and famous for her jams and preserves is found dead, Jonathan can’t leave the newest mystery alone. And since Mike is an ex-cop who loves the new lord, the two men begin their own investigation on the side. Of course, they do help the local constabulary, passing on their information, but neither man can leave the mystery alone. Jonathan and Mike dig through more of the village’s secrets, looking at black mail, questionable identities, missing people, affairs and even a couple more members of the very traditional Merrychurch community who may not be as straight as they appear.
Blurb: A gentle bartender might have what it takes to mend a relationship-phobic detective’s broken heart… but first they have to admit they’re dating.
Keenan Day could kick himself for letting the hot, dark-haired stranger he met outside a strip club get away. Instead of a phone number, he gets a punch in the face—from the boyfriend of his prospective employer at the Cowboys and Angels bar. When two cops come to check up on him, one is the sexy stranger, Detective Nate Gordon.
The initial attraction hasn’t cooled, and though Nate is leery of commitment, one hookup turns into another until they’re seeing each other in everything but name. After a recent nasty breakup, Nate balks at being part of a couple, and Keenan agrees, even though that’s all he’s ever wanted.
Just as they reach a standstill, a crisis shows them what their friends have known all along—they’ve already moved way past hookups. Now they just have to decide how to move forward.
Review: Slow Dating the Detective is the third book in Sue Brown’s series, Cowboys and Angels. I’ve become quite a fan of Brown’s writing, particularly after her Island Medics series and her contributions to Dreamspun Desires. I find the characters so relatable and easy to sympathise with, I also love the romance, which isn’t insta-love and is sometimes a slow burn.
The world of the Cowboys and Angels series is based around the world of a city bar called Cowboys and Angels, which is owned by Gideon, whose story kicked off the first book in the series. Even though both MCs of this book are completely new to the series, I still recommend that this series be read in order. The four men who were the MCs of the previous books, plus a couple we sort of met in the second book but never saw their romance properly, are very strong secondary characters. Also, how both the present MCs, Keenan and Nate, are brought into the Cowboys and Angels family has strong ties to these characters. I’m sure it would make sense as a standalone, but I feel that reading this without reading the first two books will do all the characters an injustice.
Keenan is dragged to a strip club by his sister. He’s having a tough time. An attack and resulting brain injury means that Keenan doesn’t have many career options open, but enjoys his job with a family run construction company. Now, the company was folding and has been brought out by a much larger corporation and has resulted in Keenan, as well as other employees, losing their jobs. This is why Keenan’s sister has taken to a club to enjoy some talented male exotic dancers. The club itself had been brought out by the owner of the Cowboys and Angels bar by the end of book 2 in the series, and the club manager is a stripper who goes by the stage name Lionman, aka Cris. That night happens to be Lionman’s last hurrah on the stage as he takes over the day to operations of the club. But Keenan doesn’t know any of this yet, instead he sees a man he likes but is too shy to get the man’s number.
However, at the club he gets a lead on a possible job, even if it is bar tending at a local red neck bar, Cowboys and Angels, which has ties to the same guy who now owns the strip club. Keenan doesn’t have much choice and takes the dive. When he goes for his job interview he is greeted by a fist to his face from the bar’s ex-owner (Gideon, because he gifted the bar to his partner), and an offer for a trial period by the bar owner (Dan). And if the situation doesn’t just keep getting worse, two cops step in. One of them being Detective Nate Gordon.
Nate is a commitment-phobe. He comes by it honestly after having his heartbroken and struggling with the idea of putting his heart on the line again. Nate is a nice change from many cop storylines in MM romance where homophobia in the workplace is the least of his issues. After all, one of the other detectives is dating a guy (Mikey, who features in both books 1 and 2). He’s not ready for a relationship and after being honest with Keenan about not dating, Keenan is willing. These guys have a lot of complex emotions to come to terms with before they can think beyond to labelling whatever it is they are having. But there is no doubt that of the two men it is Nate whose baggage is the heaviest.
This was an excellent addition to the world of Cowboys and Angels. I love how closely connected all the characters are (I suppose Gideon’s millions of dollars and given so many business interests help this fact along). I love how there is a friendly, family feel to this series. The characters are relatable, and I love the spark between Nate and Keenan. They are both pretty lost when we first meet them, but they have so much potential together and the possibility of many new friends to add to their circle.
In the competitive world of dance, Teddy was a flawless performer and hardass choreographer who students feared and admired in equal measure. But hip surgery ended the glamour and drama, and now Teddy is recovering at his beach house, lost and listless.
Until he meets Finn, his neighbor, who is too perfect, gorgeous, and kind to exist—but very ill timed. In a seaside town as small as theirs, they can’t avoid each other, especially since Finn is also Teddy’s new physical therapist. But Teddy isn’t the man he used to be, and though Finn flirts shamelessly with him, Teddy can’t believe a has-been dancer is worthy of someone so young and full of life. Finn’s sunny smile is also hiding heartache. Pursuing Teddy challenges both his professionalism and his self-preservation, but if he can convince Teddy to trust him, maybe they both can heal.
Review: Interpretive Hearts is a standalone romance by Amanda Meuwissen for the house line Dreamspun Desires. I didn’t really know what to expect, to be perfectly honest. I’ve read only one other book by the author in the past and I really couldn’t remember it from the top of my head. However, the blurb grabbed and add in that Dreamspun Desires is something of a guilty pleasure for me, then I was ready to give it a go.
The first character we are introduced to is Teddy. He’s a professional dancer – a skilled performer and as he got older he stepped with ease into the role of an equally skilled choreographer. He has the admiration of various members of the dancing community, as well as his very own enemy that seems to delight in rubbing in the fact that he now had Teddy’s job after surgery has changed Teddy’s whole life. Teddy, as with every other dancer, knew that that the performing part of his career was limited, and unfortunately the same is true for choreography. Vital hip surgery has left Teddy confused and is happy to keep to himself in his beachside condo. The physical part of recovery is difficult, but he had never realised that the mental side of recovery was just as difficult.
Things begin to change when Teddy bumps into one of his neighbours, Finn. Teddy feels an instant spark of attraction but because of the surgery he holds himself back. Especially when he feels humiliated when Finn needs to help him inside to his home after a minor setback. The complications continue when it turns out that Finn is also Teddy’s physical therapist, helping him with his rehab. Because now Finn, who also felt the attraction, is torn because Teddy is now his patient and therefore off limits for any personal relationships.
There is angst as Teddy works through his recovery and Finn comes to terms with his attraction to a patient. Overall, it is really enjoyable and the characters took on a really nice depth that made their romance feel realistic. Fans of romances that involve professional in the arts will like this one. This is the a sweet story of one character on his journey to recovery and the man that becomes important to him for multiple reasons.
Blurb: Can a man burdened with family drama find his way into the arms of a happy-go-lucky stripper called Lionman?
Cris likes a drink at Cowboys and Angels bar after his shift at the strip club—until one night when a trashed young guy named Mikey tries to kiss him. He’s not Cris’s type, but Cris is good enough to see the kid home safely. There he meets Mikey’s handsome older brother, Bennett, and there’s an immediate spark between them.
But Bennett might not be in a position to start a relationship, let alone with the carefree Cris. He’s trying desperately to hold his family together, with a younger brother who’s running off the rails and hostile parents who will never accept not just one, but two gay sons.
When Cris is unexpectedly fired and Bennett’s family drama escalates, they turn to each other for support. But can a shoulder to lean on develop into something much closer, something they both deserve?
Review: Secretly Dating the Lionman is the second book in Sue Brown’s series, Cowboys and Angels. I’ve become quite a fan of Brown’s writing, particularly after her Island Medics series and her contributions to Dreamspun Desires. I find the characters so relatable and easy to sympathise with, I also love the romance, which isn’t insta-love and is sometimes a slow burn.
The world of the Cowboys and Angels series is based around the world of a city bar called Cowboys and Angels, which is owned by Gideon, whose story kicked off the first book in the series. While the second book starts the story of a new couple, there is some subtle background information which we are given back in book 1 which would make it easier to understand both MCs.
The Lionman in the title of the story is the stage name of a popular male stripper, whose real name is Cris. He first went to the red neck bar Cowboys and Angels for a gay speed dating event, which had seen bar manager Dan and the bar owner Gideon get together. Though Cris didn’t end up with a boyfriend he got a good friend in Dan after the speed dating event. In the months since that meeting, Cris now frequents the bar to relax after he performs on stage at a local strip. He is wildly popular with the audience, but his shifts are being less and less frequent. One night at Cowboys, another man who is 1) deeply closeted and 2) another attendee of the speeding dating night, Mikey, kisses Cris. But Cris is a good guy and not interested in Mikey. So instead helps the drunk guy home. This is how Cris meets Bennett.
Bennett’s brother, Mikey, is a dominant second character throughout the book, as it is his antics/influence that seem to be bringing Bennett and Cris together. Mikey is troubled and this book is just as much his story of his struggles as much as it is Cris and Bennett’s romance. I like that we get to see Mikey’s story resolve but I have to say I am interested in Mikey’s own dive into the world of dating and love.
Bennett means well, he only wants what is best for his little brother and is very protective of him. His intentions are good, but he is aggressive and rather rude when dealing with Cris. Bennett is under pressure to keep his family and their business going – his parents are very traditional and so Bennett has accepted that he cannot be himself as an out gay man, free to date whom he pleases. At the same time he knows his brother is gay too, and wants to protect him at all costs. However, Mikey’s behaviour is spiralling out of control – making him seem more childlike than adult, or perhaps that is how Bennett sees his brother. Despite his attraction to Cris, who is the complete opposite to Bennett, he believes that Cris is one of the people that he needs to shield Mikey from.
This was a totally enjoyable book, one that I enjoyed more than I did the first book in this series. Though Cris is a stripper, this is no Pretty Woman or some such thing. Cris is realistic, smart as hell and is true to himself. And while Bennett is smart as hell in his own right, he has a lot of learning to do while being the over protective older brother that he is. Both MCs are strong, but they have a lot to learn and they just might find out that they are even stronger together.
Though I just need to end, OMG, I think I had Mumford and Sons playing on repeat in my head at every reference of Cris’s stage name, Lionman.
Blurb: Jonathon de Mountford’s visit to Merrychurch village to stay with his uncle Dominic gets off to a bad start when Dominic fails to appear at the railway station. But when Jonathon finds him dead in his study, apparently as the result of a fall, everything changes. For one thing, Jonathon is the next in line to inherit the manor house. For another, he’s not so sure it was an accident, and with the help of Mike Tattersall, the owner of the village pub, Jonathon sets out to prove his theory—if he can concentrate long enough without getting distracted by the handsome Mike.
They discover an increasingly long list of people who had reason to want Dominic dead. And when events take an unexpected turn, the amateur sleuths are left bewildered. It doesn’t help that the police inspector brought in to solve the case is the last person Mike wants to see, especially when they are told to keep their noses out of police business.
In Jonathon’s case, that’s like a red rag to a bull….
Review: Truth Will Out is the first book in the Merrychurch Mysteries by KC Wells. Wells is an author that I’ve read a number of books in the past and have found them on the whole enjoyable and well written. I’ve actually heard the audio of this book some months ago – I don’t remember when – but at the time I wasn’t aware that it was part of the series. I remembering really getting into the story and it was great to actually read it for myself.
Overall, this was a really cool story and I think was greatly enhanced by listening to the audio. I feel that this is a book that I’ve got more out of it by listening to the audio – and the fabulous performances that brought the characters to life – than I would have reading the book.
There is a definite “British Mystery” feel to it, as in that there’s a murder in the small village but surely “it was nothing but an accident, I’m sure”. I probably have watched too many of said British Mysteries on television, and I’m not ashamed to say that Hot Fuzz is one of my favourite comedy movies. And not to mention that I figured out the plot of the story, mostly because I was thinking, “this reminds of the Doctor Who episode The Unicorn and the Wasp”. Yeah, I’m a nerd and I barely had to think to remember the name of the episode, whatever.
The story starts with Jonathon de Mountford. He goes to visit his uncle, the present Lord de Mountford at the family’s country seat/property. He has a lot of guilt for not seeing his uncle, whom he had been so close to as a kid. But the years and his career as a famous photographer sent him on a whirlwind journey that he has loved. Of course, his father, who heads the family law firm, is disappointed in Jonathon not only because he’s gay but also because he didn’t go into law and sees photography as nothing but a hobby. So clearly the guy has baggage and his life is about to get a whole lot more complicated, first when he meets local bar owner Mike Tattersall, and then goes to find his uncle and ends up finding him dead in his study.
Mike Tattersall moved to the quiet village of Merrychurch in the English countryside after losing his foot ended his career as a police officer in London. Now he owns the village pub (and oh my god! This just makes me think of watching Heartbeat with my mum when I was home sick from school). He moved to be closer to his recently divorced sister and has made something of a life for himself, even if he is lonely. Mike isn’t in the closet, though he doesn’t advertise his sexuality. He was also very much out when he was a policeman, and got his own set of baggage from that as well as dealing with his sister.
Jonathon and Mike have an instant connection. Their chemistry has been written perfectly. The sparks start to fly instantly, but they have a lot of learning to do together before anything can get too serious. On top of that, Jonathon and Mike can’t resist getting involved in the local to mystery, trying to piece together all the clues to solve what happened to Jonathon’s uncle.
I recommend this to anyone that wants a light-hearted romance with a good dose of adventure and mystery. I’m really looking forward to reading the second book in this series really soon!
Series: 2019 Advent Calender: Homemade for the Holidays
Author: Liv Rancourt
Length: Novella (62 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (1 Dec 2019)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts
Blurb: Ten years ago Jon’s passion for the piano took him across the country to New York, where a demanding concert career consumed his life and left him no time to look back. His father’s stroke is the only thing that brings him home to Seattle. The sickroom makes for a dreary holiday until Jon runs into Bo, whose inner light can make anything sparkle.
Bo loves the holidays: the food, the crafts, the glitter! A fling with an old school friend—who grew up to be his celebrity crush—makes a good thing better. The season turns sour, though, when Jon is offered a gig he can’t refuse. He wants Bo to share the moment, but Bo doesn’t fly. Anywhere. Ever. Is this goodbye, or will a handmade ornament bring Jon home to Bo?
Review: A Holiday Homecoming is a Christmas novella by Liv Rancourt for Dreamspinner Press’s 2019 Advent Calender, the theme of which for this year is “Homemade for the Holidays”.
I love a Christmas novella, or novel, of almost any kind. I love the stereotypically sugary sweet romances that always come out in November and December. They warm the heart and the love makes me happy. I’ve not heard of Liv Rancourt before, so after reading this I think I’d be interested in more their works.
This story is the romance between two men, who had been school friends until life took them apart before they were teenagers.
Jon, a classical concert pianist, has spent the last ten years in New York, first at Julliard and then building his career, until his father has a stroke and he goes back to his hometown to help his parents. Soon after he gets back in town, he encounters Bo, they had been friends when they had been thirteen, before Jon’s love of music had him home schooled so that Jon could take his interest in music further. Jon finds his newly resurfacing emotions confusing. With his feelings of guilt towards not being close to his parents adding to the confusion of his budding romance.
Bo has never left their hometown, but he is happy with his life as a teacher and has a passion for arts and crafts. Seeing Jon again sparks emotions that hadn’t had the chance to fully form into anything more when they had been kids.
This is a short and sweet Christmas romance that has everything that I expect, a real lighted-hearted and sweet romance.
Blurb: Will a mix of privilege and blue collar be a recipe for love… or disaster?
Dan’s pretty satisfied with his job at the working-class bar Cowboys and Angels. He enjoys his simple life, his apartment, and his cat, but he could do without the fights that break out in the bar, his boss’s meddling daughter, Ariel… oh, and a brutal, unrequited crush on his straight alpha boss, Gideon.
When Dan’s friend prepares to tie the knot, everyone insists that Dan needs a date for the wedding. Before he can protest, Ariel arranges a gay speed-dating event at the bar with Gideon as a participant. The unforeseen revelation that Gideon is bisexual raises Dan’s hopes, especially when Gideon announces that he wants to accompany Dan to the wedding. Could Gideon really be interested in Dan?
When Dan needs someone most, Gideon offers his unconditional support, and with genuine commitment, he shows Dan the kind of man he really is. Teaming up to save the wedding from a hungover groom and intolerant parents, can Gideon convince Dan they’re the best match since beer and pizza?
Review: Speed Dating the Boss is the first book in Sue Brown’s series, Cowboys and Angels. I’ve become quite a fan of Brown’s writing, particularly after her Island Medics series and her contributions to Dreamspun Desires. I find the characters so relatable and easy to sympathise with, I also love the romance, which isn’t insta-love and is sometimes a slow burn.
To be honest when I see a series called Cowboys and Angels I am going to stop for a second look, no matter who the author is. I have a weakness for cowboy romances. However, this was not a cowboy romance and I was in no way disappointed about this fact. Instead this is a series that is based around the world of a city bar called Cowboys and Angels, which is owned by Gideon.
Gideon is introduced to the reader through Dan. Dan is the lead bar tender and has been working at Cowboys and Angels that he could run the place with his eyes closed and without his boss. Gideon is a widower with a college aged daughter, Ariel, who he has spoiled after the death of her mother years ago. Gideon is a man of many surprises. He may run a red neck bar, but he is a man of money and his hands in many pies.
Dan is invited to a wedding and needs to bring a date. Dan has devoted so much over the years of his time to the bar that he has no time for dating. He also nurses a crush on his seemingly straight boss. With not a lot of options and a hare-brained scheme concocted by Ariel, Dan allows his boss’ daughter to help him find a date.
The area where the bar is located is a little rough. So, having someone – and someones – out and proud isn’t something that happens really in Cowboys and Angels, but Dan and Gideon are not only realising their feelings for each other they are also changing their little world around them for the better.
This was a light-hearted read but the complexity of the characters is deep, which is what I enjoyed about the book so much. There was chemistry between Gideon and Dan from the start, they have very interesting and driven personalities that compliment each other more than they clash. While this isn’t a slow burn romance, the romance does come around slowly. Dan needs to sort his feelings out, as does Gideon, but they also need to get to know each other better, beyond a friendship between boss and employee.
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: The Dragon CEO’s Assistant is the second book in Jenn Burke’s Golden Kingdom series. This does work as a standalone book, there is a brief appearance of the couple featured in the first book, but this appearance does not require any knowledge of what had happened to that particular couple.
I was looking forward to this book because I remember being surprised as just how good and how much I enjoyed the first book. And while I did enjoy this book, the plot line is something of a stereotypical plot from amnesia, a possible office romance, and a distinct lack of communication between the MCs. This is both good and bad. If this ticks all your boxes and have enjoyed similar romances – as I have with various MF romances – then this will be enjoyable, especially if you’re love your MM romances with paranormal themes and shapeshifters.
I’m not going to go too deep into my descriptions. The blurb basically tells you everything you need to know – as a blurb does, but there really isn’t anything too surprising that pops up in the course of the book. I feel that if I do I will spoil things too much.
The story starts when Aidan Bishop emerges out of the woods, after being missing for a short period of time, with amnesia. Not only does he not remember how he got to be found staggering around in a dark, creepy wood, he has no idea of a great many things in his life. As a result, his boss, a five hundred year old dragon shifter, Nassim, endeavours to help Aidan relearn his job and reacquaint himself with the people he had day to day contact with. This is, of course, a confusing time for Aidan, but he is further confused by the ease he feels with Nassim and the just how well they get along, as well as the tingly feeling Nassim leaves him with.
Because Aidan is a stranger to himself, this type of story really does lend itself to some really good character development and depth in the relationship between Aidan and Nassim. There is a certain level of care and attention towards Aidan that shows that he is important in more ways than one. Overall, this was a fun and relaxing book. The romance was sweet, and felt relatable. Perhaps I think this would be an enjoyable read if you need a book to come down after getting through a rather intense story.
Hi guys! We have Sandine Tomas popping in today with her new release Santa’s Last Gift, we have a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway, so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
Santa’s Last Gift
(Dreamspun Desires 95)
The greatest gift might be what they already have.
After years away building his career, event planner Sebastian Chesnut returns to his small hometown of Fir Falls to reconnect with his mother, sister, and young nieces before his job takes him to London.
He doesn’t expect to find his high school boyfriend, Matty, has become a virtual member of Seb’s family. Back then, Matty only offered a casual relationship, but Seb fell hard, and history is soon repeating itself. Seb’s afraid to hope for a second chance, no matter how much they’ve grown and despite the family they share. Instead, he focuses on creating a last perfect holiday, which won’t be easy with his sister’s ex planning to take the girls over Christmas.
Seb and Matty might not know what to do about their feelings for each other, but one thing’s for sure—it won’t be Christmas without the kids. Can these star-crossed lovers pull off a holiday miracle?
Ten years ago, Jon’s passion for the piano took him across country to New York, where a demanding concert career consumed his life and left him no time to look back. His father’s stroke is the only thing that brings him home to Seattle. The sick room makes for a dreary holiday until Jon runs into Bo, whose inner light can make anything sparkle.
Bo loves the holidays; the food, the crafts, the glitter! A fling with an old school friend – who grew up to be his celebrity crush – makes a good thing better. The season turns sour, though, when Jon is offered a gig he can’t refuse. He wants Bo to share the moment, but Bo doesn’t fly. Anywhere. Ever. Is this good-bye, or will a handmade ornament bring Jon home to Bo?
Blurb: In his neighborhood, El Martin stands out, and that can be life-threatening. Against the odds, he’s managed to graduate high school and then master IT. Now he’s desperate to get a good job to free his drunken dad and himself from the control of gang leader M2 and the drugs he sells. But with his piercings and his slang-ridden speech, El looks and sounds like a Bronx gangbanger, and potential employers won’t give him a second look. So when El hears about Henry Fairhaven, PhD, linguistics researcher and wealthy New York socialite, El takes his life in his hands to escape from M2 and ends up sleeping in the stairwell at Henry’s building, hoping to learn how to speak.
To Henry, who wants to prove himself as a scholar and not merely a rich dilettante, El isn’t only the most beautiful man he’s ever seen—he’s also the key to getting a paper published on Henry’s ground-breaking linguistics methods before a competitor beats him to the punch. But Henry doesn’t tell El the truth, and El thinks Henry’s helping him because he cares.
El’s dreams collide with Henry’s ambitions at the elegant Met Gala, where El captivates a prince of Silicon Valley. But the real collision comes when M2 tracks El down and Henry has to choose between the validation he craves and a future with the man he’s come to love.
Review: Love and Linguistics is the second novel in Tara Lain’s Move Magic series. This works as a standalone book, since there is no plot or characters that join the two books together. I think why it is part of the same series is a rather tenuous connection where the characters in the first book love movies and talk about them, while in this book we have direct reference to My Fair Lady. Doesn’t matter, regardless, it is an enjoyable book.
As I said, this is very much a modern take on the classic movie, My Fair Lady, to the point even the character who is the benefactor acknowledges he needs a Miss Eliza Doolittle. For those that aren’t familiar with the movie – Henry Higgins, a wealthy man from high society, who happens to be a phonetics professor finds a rather unpolished woman who a low (i.e. poorer) social class. He teaches her how to talk, walk and dress like a “proper lady” and presents her to society.
It just so happens that in this book, Miss Doolittle is in fact a Mr Doolittle.
El (Elijah) Martin is a young man who has grown up in the slums of the Bronx, with a father who is alcoholic and now gang leader is adding drugs to his addiction. El is smart, he finished high school and has done community courses in IT, which he has excelled at. On paper he isn’t a bad prospect for an employer, but in person he looks and sounds like the same dangerous gang members he longs to get away from. At a job interview this is explained to him and he is given the card of one of the most successful linguistics researcher in New York. El doesn’t have the money to pay but he’s desperate to get out of the current hell that his life is becoming.
It takes a lot for El to finally make the move to get help from Henry Fairhaven. Henry is young, only thirty, but he is much more mature for his age and sometimes to me comes across as being much closer to forty. He comes from a rich family of socialites, which coupled with his chosen career is probably part of the reason why he is so mature. Henry also wants to beat one of his rivals in linguistics (and on the social scene) and when El comes in with enthusiasm to change but no money, Henry sees the “Miss Doolittle” that he needs to prove that his developed methodology of linguistics and social training works. So, Henry, with the help of his assistant and a friend who was one of his successes, takes El under his wing and readily foots the bill for everything and has El staying in his home because El has nowhere else to go.
The only snag is that El doesn’t know that he is the subject what is intended to become a research paper. At first he is told he has a sort of scholarship, and then as he and Henry get closer he believes it is out of friendship. Henry and El fight their attraction from the start – or more accurately, Henry fights their attraction because he doesn’t like the ethical implications of being involved with a client/student.
However, things come to a head at the Met Gala, the ball that is El’s graduation. Not only does the full truth come out, but El’s life is also in danger. Both Henry and El need to face up to certain truths or else there is not going to be a chance of a HEA for them.
Blurb:Noah Hitchens loves the New York City life he worked hard to build. But when his father dies and leaves him a bankrupt bookstore in their sleepy Georgia hometown, Noah knows he has to save it. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know anything about business. He finds unlikely help in Henry, the man who owned Stardust Books before his 1966 murder, and Kyle St. James, a shy but kind-hearted out-of-towner with a past almost as mysterious as Henry’s.
Kyle came to Aster, Georgia, looking for redemption. On the run and out of hope, he’s just trying to get on with his life. Then he meets Noah, a ghost, and a big sloppy lab named Jake who redefine his idea of living. But his past is closing in, and when it finds him, they could lose everything.
Review: Noah’s world collapses when he gets a call about his father’ death. Grief stricken he goes back home and tries to settle his father’s affairs. He finds out his dad was in debt and now he finds himself trying to come up with the money to pay off the debts.
He meets shy, sweet Kyle. But Kyle has been brought up in seclusion and taught that being gay is a sin. As the two slowly get to know one another they seem to bring out the best in each other despite their differences. I liked this story. it had several different aspects that appealed to me.
A past bully in Noah’s life tries to make trouble for him now, Kyle’s past comes back to haunt him and there’s a ghost in the book store. I loved the way the story unfolded as the scenes played out. They were entertaining to say the least.
Blurb: He doesn’t know that home is where his heart will be….
Firefighter Tyler Banik has seen his share of adventure while working disaster relief with the Red Cross. But now that he’s adopted Abey, he’s ready to leave the danger behind and put down roots. That means returning to his hometown—where the last thing he anticipates is falling for his high school nemesis.
Alan Pettaprin isn’t the boy he used to be. As a business owner and council member, he’s working hard to improve life in Scottville for everyone. Nobody is more surprised than Alan when Tyler returns, but he’s glad. For him, it’s a chance to set things right. Little does he guess he and Tyler will find the missing pieces of themselves in each other. Old rivalries are left in the ashes, passion burns bright, and the possibility for a future together stretches in front of them….
But not everyone in town is glad to see Tyler return….
Review: Heartward is a standalone by Andrew Grey. I am unashamedly a massive fan of Grey’s books, he has a great knack for writing stories of tough men in uniform, who are really just down to earth, ordinary men, as well as heartfelt stories involving vulnerable children. And luckily for us, Heartward, is a wonderful combination of these.
The story starts out with firefighter Tyler Banik. He’s left his hometown some years ago in his wish to help people, which led him to working disaster relief all over the world. However, things have changed now that Tyler has adopted a traumatised child named Abey. To give Abey stability that he needs and the support that Tyler needs as a single dad, Tyler returns to his hometown where his parents still live. Tyler has got a new job as part of the local crew of firefighters, and while it is a change of pace, he sees a lot that needs fixing – particularly when he comes face to face with an incompetent superior who holds a lot of power.
Then there is Alan Pettapin, he and Tyler were something of enemies in high school, in one of those ways where the rift was caused by assumptions and jealousies in the way that teenagers are so good at doing. However, Alan has changed – for the better – he is a successful business owner, and much like Tyler, wishes to help people. That is how Alan has ended up on the local council, but much like Tyler he knows that there are people in power abusing their privileges.
Between getting to know each other – properly, as adults, finding the actual enemies, and Tyler finding his feet again and pouring his devotion onto Abey, the two men manage to find love as they grow closer.
Abey, the little boy that Tyler adopts is adorable and so completely vulnerable because of the circumstances he had been in before Tyler finds him. His story really tugs at the heart strings and his character also gives Tyler so much depth as he learn their shared backstory. Then there is the part of the plot which deals with corrupt council officials, I really likes this because as a reader we get a real strong indication of the shared moral values held by Tyler and Alan and just how much they care for other people. Finally, there is the personal aspect, which is essentially how Tyler and Alan move from high school enemies meeting as adults to two men falling in love. Each aspect of this story gives great insight and depth to the characters, which just added to the chemistry I felt on the page between the two men.
Overall, a really enjoyable book. I recommend this to fans of Andrew Grey, those that love a firefighter finding his love and family and those that love a good romance with a kid adding to the family.
Blurb: The South Pacific Archipelago is home to a tiny island community of around three hundred scientists… and twenty thousand dinosaurs. As a paleogeneticist, Kit Sterling leads a team studying the dinosaurs to unlock the unanswered questions of evolution.
But there is something more dangerous than dinosaurs on the islands.
Head ranger Logan Beck discovers evidence of poachers, while rumors of a black market for dinosaur leather swirl around the community. Kit and Logan haven’t always gotten along professionally, though that has nothing to do with their attraction to each other. So when they’re thrown together to save an injured infant dinosaur, their professional disdain turns into a clandestine romance.
With not just the injured dinosaur at risk, but all of the precious dinosaurs on the islands too, Kit and Logan have to figure out how to balance their budding romance without letting their careers go extinct.
Review: Something Wild is a standalone romance by Anna Martin. While the author is known to me, nothing immediately comes to mind about any opinions that I’ve formed in the past. Let’s face it, I saw dinosaurs in the blurb and I was happy.
I’m going to get my negativity out of the way first. While I loved the set up of the book, the themes and the characters, I felt that there was something missing in terms of spark between the MCs. The spark was there, but I’m thinking that there wasn’t quite enough character development that meant that the book exceeded my expectations. TL:DR version – I just wasn’t feeling “it” a number of times throughout the book.
Now: the dinosaurs and the inevitable pop culture references.
Something Wild, to me, is like if Jurassic Park was a scientific commune combined with a national parks type of set-up, rather than a theme park. And the romance was as if Dr Grant (palaeontologist) and Robert Muldoon (Jurrasic Park game warden) discovered that they had romantic feelings for each other. In this world a small, isolated archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean was found to the be home of dinosaurs in the 1970s, when everyone had previously thought them extinct. Since them, the archipelago has become a protected site for these amazing animals, with the only people are the scientists who study and protect the creatures.
Basically, what you see in the blurb is what you get in the book. So there isn’t any real surprises, and to be honest with the poaching subplot, I had that figured out pretty quickly. Nonetheless it was good to see how the characters arrived at their conclusions in the end, and our heroes saved the day.
The MCs are palaeogeneticist, Kit Sterling and head ranger, Logan Beck. In the big scheme of things, Kit and Logan are nemeses by any stretch of the imagination. Instead they have a complicated relationship at the start simply because their work does not bring them together all that often. I mean, yeah, Kit and Logan would have encountered the usual academic arguments you see these days of whose name should be included on published papers, and at what line do you draw between acknowledging someone to giving them authorship. But again, in the big scheme of things, that’s actually normal in the academic world.
As a palaeoscientist specialising in dinosaur genetics, Kit doesn’t venture into the wilds of the dinosaur habitat, instead getting information and samples (from blood to carcasses) from the rangers. He is also on the ethics committee, and so he has a particular and stringent set of rules that he requires the rangers to follow when they are out among the dinosaurs.
Then there is Logan is essentially a field scientist, who had previously worked in safari parks in Africa, after completing his PhD (he is referred to as Dr Beck numerous times and is explained in the beginning) he found his calling in the wild with animals, although that also meant that many lab-based scientists overlooked his expertise. He loves working with the dinosaurs on the archipelago and is meticulous when it comes to ensuring the care of all animals on the islands.
It is perhaps fortunate that Logan’s experience in Africa means that he recognises the signs of poachers on the Island, which coincides with the possibility of dinosaur leather being sold on the black market is brought to Kit’s attention. This is the catalyst which brings Kit and Logan together, to actually work together in the field and in the lab, getting to know each other. Add in the sweetest little runt of a dinosaur, Dizzy, which pulls at Kit’s heart and has him going against the ethics code and I was happy. You can see that Kit and Logan have so much potential as they work together to find out about the poachers and foster the injured dinosaur.
Blurb:Superpowered teen Sam, and his boyfriend, Harry, are already struggling to navigate being gifted in a normal world, and their problems are about to get deadlier.
Their oldest enemy, Caleb Reed, will stop at nothing to capture Sam and force him to use his abilities for Reed’s benefit. Though their team of friends and allies steps up to watch their backs, Reed sneaks past their defenses time and time again, leading Sam to wonder if one of their own has betrayed them.
When Reed threatens the life of a friend, Sam is forced to make the most difficult decision of his life—one with consequences he can’t even imagine.
Review: I liked this sequel to Harry and Sam’s previous story. There are twists and turns as Sam struggles with his growing abilities and keeping them a secret from Harry. But there is someone who is bound and determined to get Sam to use said powers for their own gain.
The story see’s things on a deeper level as the group tries to navigate their way through a throng of people with bad intentions. Sam for his part struggles with his secret plus the dreams he’s been having. There are great characters throughout that bring this story to life with amazing details that capture your attention and keep it riveted until the end.
I enjoyed the first book in this series as well as this book. An amazing addition to the series that held me spell bound from to start to finish.