Love You So Madly by Tara Lain ~ Audio Review

Title: Love You So Madly

Series: Love You So 02

Author: Tara Lain

Narrator: Ry Forrest

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 4 hrs 36 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (14th September 2018)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: đź’–đź’–đź’– 3 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Ben Shane has it all…and he’d like to give some of it back. While he loves his job heading a foundation that funds worthy causes around the world, his engagement to one of America’s wealthiest men leaves him feeling more like a trophy wife than a valued partner. The first warn-ing that his relationship might not be designed to last is his irresistible lust for Dusty Kincaid, the golden-haired, bright-eyed handyman for his company.

Though Dusty is odd for a 23-year-old – no liquor, no sugar, and he can’t even drive – the more Ben gets to know Dusty, the more he admires him. But is Ben going to give up a guy who drives a Ferrari for one who takes the bus?

He must be mad. Dusty knows he and Ben can never work. After all, Ben’s perfect…and Dusty isn’t. But Ben might surprise everyone with proof that he’s only mad in love.

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

Review: Love You So Madly is the second book in Tara Lain’s Love You So series. Tara Lain is an author that I now look forward to reading (or listening). Ry Forrest is a new narrator for me and I have to say that I quite enjoyed the performance. I don’t think that there was anything standout about the performance, I just simply enjoyed the tone and emotion present in Forrest’s voice and it certainly helped me enjoy the story.

As I just said this is the second book in the series, however, it does work as a standalone. I’ve not read (or don’t remember) the first book in the Love You So series, but I had no problem whatsoever with understanding the plot and I don’t even know if I bothered to figure out if we got to meet the couple from the first book.

The story starts with Ben Shane. He seems to have it all. The job of his dreams, heading the charitable foundation arm of big corporation, his job made him happy and he also had a man for himself, who also happens to be the big boss’s son. His new engagement is bringing him a lot of valuable business contacts, though his in laws and fiancé left a lot to be desired since they didn’t nurture the good and kind side of Ben. In short, we start the story knowing that Ben isn’t entirely happy, the man just must figure out what he needs to do to get his life back on track. And it just so happens that this book is just that journey.

Then there is Dusty. He is a sweet guy. He’s twenty-three and still lives with his overprotective mother because of his ongoing health issues associated with his epilepsy. Dusty has a completely different outlook on life and he seems so innocent. However, Dusty is very intelligent, he’s just shy and his health had meant that he had been left a little behind. Dusty is instantly attracted to Ben and Ben knows its wrong to be attracted to Dusty. The two of them seem to need different things in life but they get along well and they are well suited to each other.

The only thing that I struggled with throughout this is story is that I felt that Ben was stringing both douchey fiancé (and he was a selfish man, there is no denying) and kind, sweet Dusty along while he tried to get his shit together. Although, in the end, that is really the story I suppose.

Saving Crofton Hall by Rebecca Cohen *Retro Review*

Title: Saving Crofton Hall

Series: Stately Passions 01 (A Crofton Hall Novel)

Author: Rebecca Cohen

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (240pgs)

ISBN: 978-1-63216-508-4

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (24th November 2014)

Heat Level: Low – Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4 ½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Benjamin Redbourn, Earl of Crofton, has no intention of giving up his beloved ancestral home without a fight. Faced with his mother’s gambling debts, forgery, and the possibility of foreclosure by the bank, Ben vows to make Crofton Hall pay for herself. But opening an Elizabethan manor house to the public isn’t a one man job. With time running out, Ben needs help—and fast.

Ashley Niven has experience managing events, and he also loves history. Being in charge of opening Crofton Hall is a dream come true. As he works with Ben to prepare the house as a venue for lavish weddings and receptions, Ashley finds himself drawn not just to the charm of the house but to the dashing Earl of Crofton. Even if Ashley can look past Ben’s playboy reputation, he fears an affair could prove too much of a distraction.

But Crofton Hall has many secrets, and something hidden for over four hundred years is about to change all their lives.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Although this is the first book in a new series, I’d advise that The Crofton Chronicles be read first as there are some revelations in this story that connect directly to The Crofton Chronicles.

Ben Redbourn is the 16th Earl of Crofton something he is very proud of and uses to his advantage… in nightclubs. Ben finds himself in dire straits when his mother confesses her gambling debts has led to them facing foreclosure of Crofton Hall, and Ben swears that Croton Hall will have to start paying for herself as he has no intention of losing the old girl, and he needs help. Ashley is being laid off from his job at a castle when a plum opportunity falls into his lap, he adores Crofton Hall and its Earl and working there would be a dream. Ashley throws himself into getting Crofton Hall ready for the public but keeps his attraction to Ben close to his chest, Ben is known for being a playboy and Ashley prefers relationships but as secrets from long past are revealed Ashley will have to take a chance that Ben wants more than just a brief fling.

This is a fantastic addition to the Crofton Hall stories, we are brought into contemporary times and the struggles the current Earl faces because of his mother’s irresponsible actions. Ben is a superb character who has played the field since he got his heart broken, when he faces the loss of his beloved home he puts his private life on hold to try and pull off a miracle. Ashley is brilliant as the events manager who has some slightly shady connections, he is the perfect person to get Crofton Hall up and running and who sneaks his way into Ben’s heart. Ben’s family are wonderful as they each act their parts, Ben’s mother, Elena, as the tearful remorseful gambler, his sister, Caitlin, as the sneaky match maker and his brother Harry as the artistic dreamer.  

Although there is a romance brewing between Ben and Ashley it doesn’t actually pick up till later in the story, first we are faced with the hoop jumping of getting Crofton Hall ready to open to the public, a startling discovery and secrets from the past revealed. When Ben and Ashley finally get together they are then faced with another secret Elena was keeping, one that puts them in danger. Their relationship moves fast but the build up to it has you knowing that they both know each other well and that their feelings aren’t fickle or fleeting.

I loved this story, seeing Crofton Hall brought up to date and the way that Sebastian (from The Crofton Chronicles) still managed to look after the Redbourn’s interests after so many years was amazing. The storyline was wonderful, the characters brilliant and the writing flowed smoothly with a couple of twists… I especially loved Ashley’s family’s immediate history and the way that his father’s influence helped Ben out. Rebecca Cohen delved into just what it takes to open a manor like Crofton Hall to the public, there was no glossing over the requirements and there was even a bit of dodgy dealing snuck in to keep it interesting, add in a sweet romance and you have a wonderful story.

I recommend this to those who love wonderful stories, great characters, two men who embark on a new romance, secrets and revelations, a touch of danger and a fantastic ending.

Reunited by Andrew Grey

Title: Reunited

Author: Andrew Grey

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Short Story (32 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64080-982-6

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (22 Feb 2019)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: đź’–đź’–đź’–đź’– 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Back in high school, nobody noticed quiet nerd Kevin Howard.

But everybody noticed handsome, athletic, and ultrapopular jock Clay Northrup.

They had nothing in common and lived in different worlds.

But a lot can change in fifteen years, and when they meet again at their high school reunion, Clay is no longer the big man on campus, and Kevin isn’t hiding in a corner anymore.

Can they put aside who they were? Can one night really lead to forever?

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Reunited is a quick and charming read by Andrew Grey. I love Andrew Grey and I’m a sucker for reading high school union or friends to lover stories, so reading this one was a no brainer.

What you see in the blurb is what you get, it’s that simple. Kevin Howard was the quiet nerd at school, and he has a massive crush on the popular jock, Clay Northrup. Fifteen years later at their high school reunion a lot has changed. Kevin is the quiet, sensitive, shy, out of the closet gay kid. Clay is also not the straight, popular jock he had tried to be and trying to find himself soon after high school changed his life drastically.

In one night the guys meet each other and renew their acquaintance, but could it be something more? I think that short stories are always a challenge because it is so hard to fit fully developed characters in a short space.

My only criticism is that I feel that these characters are worthy of a full story, because I feel that I was only teased by them and just as I became invested it was over. Then all I was left with was “I want more! I need more!”. I know, a little melodramatic but it was a fun story.

Forever Hold His Peace by Rebecca Cohen *Retro Review*

Title: Forever Hold His Peace

Series: The Crofton Chronicles 03

Author: Rebecca Cohen

Genre: Historical, Elizabethan Era (1599/1600)

Length: Novel (200pgs)

ISBN: 978-1-62798-771-4

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (16th June 2014)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4 ½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Despite the uncomfortable clothing and the gossip at court, Sebastian Hewel is still enjoying the role of Lady Crofton, wife of Earl Anthony Crofton. But when Queen Elizabeth asks a favor of Anthony, Sebastian’s world fractures and his heart threatens to break. The Queen wants Anthony to seduce Lady Marie Valois, the beautiful daughter of a French noble, to discover the whereabouts of her father, who is wanted by the King of France.

Sebastian knows Anthony can’t refuse the Queen, especially since he has something of a reputation at court. But the situation is further complicated when Marie meets Sebastian without his disguise—and starts flirting with him. Her brother, Lord Nicholas, arrives at Crofton Hall, not happy that his sister has been linked to a man like Anthony, only to find his own head turned by Lady Crofton and her acerbic wit. Contending with the attentions of both siblings—and a very jealous Anthony—would be bad enough. But then Sebastian’s uncle demands Sebastian and Anthony stage Bronwyn’s death to avoid discovery….

A Timeless Dreams Title

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Sebastian and Anthony are back and Sebastian must put on the performance of a lifetime. Sebastian and Anthony are happier than they have ever been, but everything is about to change. Someone wants Bronwyn gone and they have hatched a plot that will have Bronwyn accused of witchcraft, Anthony and Sebastian have to move quickly as the sheriff begins to investigate. Before Sebastian and Anthony can move forward with their plans for the future Anthony wants revenge on the person responsible and Sebastian is more than ready for the role he will have to play.

The conclusion to Anthony and Sebastian’s story in The Crofton Chronicles sees us saying farewell to Bronwyn’s role in Anthony’s life, but the person who brought about Bronwyn’s early demise will have to pay for their treachery. Sebastian has played the role of Bronwyn for two years after being manipulated into replacing his sister for her wedding, Sebastian easily flits between being himself and Bronwyn (although he still hates the restrictive dresses) and neither Anthony and Sebastian is ready to lay her to rest but when their hand is forced their revenge uncovers a dastardly secret and any guilt that lingered for Sebastian is wiped away. But, with no role longer to play Sebastian wonders what to do next and Anthony has the perfect solution.

I really enjoyed this addition to Anthony and Sebastian’s story as we see treacherous plans come to fruition and Anthony’s retaliation, we see Sebastian having to make decisions for his future and we see Sebastian’s and Anthony’s love staying true and strong. This is a beautifully written story where action must be taken quickly and surprising twists are unearthed, we are treated to the theaters of London as Sebastian returns to his first love and the Elizabethan court as Anthony exacts his revenge. The story falls into line perfectly and we encounter Sebastian and Anthony at their most amorous, of course it doesn’t run exactly smoothly as an old flame of Anthony’s tries to stir the pot.

I have to say that I have been impressed with the detail that has been given to this series, where fact and fiction have been blended quite well to give us a good look at Elizabethan England and the risks that many faced. Anthony and Sebastian are two of my favorite fictional historical characters and I was so happy to read the epilogue and discover that they enjoyed many years together.

I recommend this to those who adore historicals, men who chance everything for love, revenge at its sweetest, a wonderful plot, a passionate couple and a great ending. 

Duty To The Crown by Rebecca Cohen (2nd Edition) *Retro Review*

Title: Duty to the Crown (2nd Edition)

Series: The Crofton Chronicles 02

Author: Rebecca Cohen

Genre: Historical, Elizabethan Era (1599/1600)

Length: Novel (210pgs)

ISBN: 978-1-63216-129-1

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (28th May 2014)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4 ½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Sebastian Hewel has never been happier. But his life playing the role of his twin sister Bronwyn, the wife of Anthony Redbourn, Earl of Crofton, is about to change. Rumors abound that Bronwyn is using witchcraft to enthrall her husband, and false evidence has been found. Practicing witchcraft is a crime that could have Bronwyn brought in for questioning by the sheriff, and that would reveal Sebastian and Anthony’s secret.

Together they must decide whether it is time to lay Bronwyn to rest. Anthony intends to ensure that whoever implicated Bronwyn pays for the treacherous deed. Whatever happens, Sebastian and Anthony must prepare to face an unknown future together.

A Timeless Dreams Title

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: This book is part of a series and must be read in order.

 Sebastian is still enjoying his role as Lady Bronwyn, the wife of Earl Anthony Crofton, but things start to become sticky when Anthony is asked by Queen Elizabeth to do his duty to the crown and seduce the whereabouts of a French noble from Marie, the nobles’ daughter. Anthony’s duty becomes difficult when Marie meets Sebastian and becomes charmed by him and then her brother, Nicholas, arrives only to fall under Bronwyn’s charm. Now, Sebastian has to charm the whereabouts from the siblings and Anthony has a taste of his own medicine. It is complicated further when Sebastian’s uncle insists that the farce ends. Just how are Sebastian and Anthony to cope with the pressure of pleasing a Queen, an interfering uncle, a suitor who becomes obsessed and bandits?

Ah an excellent second book of Elizabethan forbidden love with a dose of political intrigue. Sebastian is appalled when Anthony confides the Queen’s request (more like royal decree), that instructs Anthony to do whatever he has to in order to seduce the whereabouts of a French noble from the man’s daughter. Sebastian struggles with his jealousy and begins to doubt Anthony’s love for him, as Anthony seems to be enjoying the seduction just a bit too much. But, the tables become turned and not only does Sebastian become the focus of Marie’s attention, he also, in the guise of Bronwyn, becomes the focus of Nicholas, Marie’s brother. Anthony and Sebastian both struggle with the task that has been laid on their heads.  But, they soon discover that whittling out hidden nobles is not where the danger lies.

I really enjoyed this second story of The Crofton Chronicles. Picking up just over a year after the first book we see Anthony and Sebastian are still madly in love and devoted to each other. I will have to say that in this book I could see how much they care for each other and the connection between them was much stronger and more tangible.  The relationship between them is something to be envied and it is, by other women in the Elizabethan Court.

The storyline is really good.  I enjoyed delving into the political intrigue of the Elizabethan Court and seeing the effects on those who are involved and I really liked the twist near the end, it was an added bonus. I must admit I am intrigued as to what will happen to Anthony and Sebastian, and I am really hoping that there will be more to their story in the future.

I will recommend this to those who love historicals, forbidden love, hot sex, jealousy, duels, political intrigue, bandits and a very happy ending.

All the Way to Shore by CJane Elliot ~ Audio Review

Title: All the Way to Shore

Series: Stories from the Shore 01

Author: CJane Elliot

Narrator: Tim McKiernan

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs, 55 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (19th April 2018)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: đź’–đź’–đź’–đź’– 3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Jonathan Vallen has never felt good enough. A gentle musician who loves to garden, he’s woe-fully unsuited to running Vallen Industries, the family business. When his father hires a hotshot executive, Marco Pellegrini, to save the company, Jonathan moves away and leaves his humilia-tion behind. A year later and 40 pounds lighter, Jonathan runs into Marco on an LGBT cruise. Marco doesn’t recognize him, the sparks fly, and Jonathan pretends to be someone else for the week – Jonah Rutledge – someone good enough to be loved.

Marco Pellegrini has always been driven. He rose from poverty to the pinnacle of business suc-cess, and he’ll do anything to protect his reputation – including hiding his bisexuality. Having saved Vallen Industries, he’s weary of the rat race and ready for a more meaningful life. When Marco meets his soul mate for that new life – Jonah Rutledge – on an LGBT cruise, he prepares to stop hiding and start living.

Back on land, the romance crashes when Marco discovers his perfect man is not only a lie but the son of his boss, Frederick Vallen. Jonathan resolves to win Marco back, but Frederick takes vengeful action. Jonathan and Marco must battle their own fears as well as Frederick’s chal-lenge to get to the future that awaits them on the horizon.

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

Review: All the Way to Shore is the first book in CJane Elliot’s series Stories from the Shore. CJane Elliot is a totally new author to me, so I had no idea what to expect. Likewise, Tim McKiernan is a totally new narrator for me. It felt as though I went into this audio book double blind.

Jonathan Vallen is a man drowning in career that has been forced upon him after the death of his beloved brother. Jonathan is a sweet musician who is too gentle for the corporate world. So when his father brings in a man to take over and get the company back into profit, Jonathan decides that he has be true to himself. He doesn’t have a whole lot of confidence but he knows what he likes and he knows what he’s good at. He leaves his life behind, moves to Florida and reinvents himself, with his cousin as his main point of contact with the world. He’s happy enough but a couple years down the track the same cousin convinces Jonathan to go on a gay cruise. This is where he sees Marco Pellegrini, the man who took over at his family’s company.

Marco Pellegrini isn’t totally happy with life as he wraps up his current job. Jonathan Vallen isn’t on his radar since the man had fled so soon after Marco had arrived. So when he and his very straight sister get away on a gay cruise he doesn’t realise the guy he meets is the transformed Jonathan Vallen. Especially after the man he meets is introduced to him by the man’s cousin as Jonah.

The two men have a whirlwind affair but everything changes as soon as they get home and the unwitting deception is revealed. Now the men have to sort out their feelings and deal with the fall out from Jonathan’s family. Jonathan fell in love and he isn’t about to give up without a fight – he is a changed man and its because of him that things can change.

This was a great audio experience with an enjoyable story. The only thing I really wasn’t into was the whole flashback (well, flash forwards, really) used to set up the start of each section of the book. It’s a personal preference thing I suppose, but it’s one of those things where I felt that the storm of emotions that happen throughout the story is lessened by telling the reader what has happened. I feel that knowing what happened meant that the impact as we went back to when the events unfolded took away from the journey that the characters went on through the chapters.

Despite this, I do look forward to the second book, especially since after being one of the heroes of this story, Jonathan’s cousin gets his own HEA.

The Actor & The Earl by Rebecca Cohen (2nd Edition) *Retro Review*

Title: The Actor and The Earl

Series: The Crofton Chronicles 01

Author: Rebecca Cohen

Genre: Historical, Elizabethan Era (1598/1599)

Length: Novel (216pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (9th May 2014)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3 ½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Elizabethan actor Sebastian Hewel takes his bow at the proscenium only to embark on the role of a lifetime. When his twin sister, Bronwyn, reneges on the arrangement to marry Earl Anthony Crofton, Sebastian reluctantly takes her place. At nineteen, Sebastian knows his days as a leading lady are numbered, but with this last performance, he hopes to restore his family’s name and pay off his late father’s debts. Never mind the danger of losing his head should he be discovered.

He didn’t expect Anthony to be so charming and alluring—not to mention shrewd. While he applauds Sebastian’s plan, Anthony offers a mutually beneficial arrangement instead. Sebastian will need every drop of talent he has to survive with both his head and his heart intact, because this is the best part he’s ever had.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Sebastian is an actor who is called home by his cousin to perform the role of his life time. Sebastian’s sister has eloped, but she was due to marry an Earl. Now, due to family debts, Sebastian has to fill the role of blushing bride. Anthony is far from hoodwinked and offers a solution that benefits both of them. Now, they just have to fool the nobility and maybe they will both keep their heads.

This is an interesting story of Elizabethan England and the illicit marriage of an Actor and an Earl. Sebastian loves acting, but just wishes he could get more masculine roles. Now, he is offered the role of a lifetime after his sister elopes, but it is a role that could cost him his head. But, he never suspected it would also cost him his heart. Anthony is a man, who will take his pleasure where he can, discovering his future brother-in-law will be his wife, he uses it to his advantage. But, the marriage affects him more than he thought and his scandalous days are numbered.

The characters in this book are very interesting with both Sebastian and Anthony acting like men of their times. Although, at times Sebastian had to act like a woman of their time. Anthony wasn’t a perfect husband, although he did try. Changing a way of life was hard for him and he messed up several times with Sebastian. Sebastian made for a good wife, but he was a great man and the way he tried to stick to his guns with Anthony was quite impressive. The setting and time frame were well done with some great descriptions of the theatres of the time period.

I must admit to not warming up to the characters all that much, Sebastian and Anthony seemed to have no real connection between them and I didn’t feel as though they really got emotionally involved with each other. It felt more like convenience than any real attraction especially from Anthony, and even later it still felt like there was a distance between them even after they declared their love. Their sex life was hot though and that was the only time I felt a real connection between them. The best part for me, was when Anthony starting fighting for their relationship and began to court Sebastian in earnest.

I will recommend this to those who love historicals, those who love masquerades, fighting for love and a happy ending.

Under His Protection by LaQuette

Title: Under His Protection

Series: Dreamspun Desires 80

Author: LaQuette

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (250 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64080-558-3

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (16 April 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: đź’–đź’–đź’–đź’– 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: They can escape their enemies, but not the desire between them.

Prosecutor Camden Warren is on the fast track to professional nirvana. With his charm, his sharp legal mind, and his father as chief judge in the highest court in NY, he can’t fail. Nothing can derail his rise to the top… until an attempt on his life forces him to accept the help of a man he walked out on five years ago.

Wounded in the line of duty, Lieutenant Elijah Stephenson wants to ride his new desk job until retirement—not take a glorified babysitting gig with more risk than it’s worth… especially not protecting the entitled lawyer who disappeared after the best sex of their lives.

The threat against Camden’s life is real, but their passion for each other might prove the greatest danger they’ve yet to face.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Under His Protection is a novel by LaQuette published as part of the Dreamspun Desires line. I hadn’t known what to expect because I haven’t heard of the author.

Alright, this is going to sound completely crazy. So many authors publish under assumed names for some crazy reason single name pseudonyms make me weary. I know it ridiculous, but I think after a number of bad book experiences I had to force myself into this. However, I thoroughly enjoyed Under His Protection – I honestly thought I would based on the blurb, I just had to get over this one mental hurdle.

I find the themes, including interracial relationships, really strong in this book. I love how it shows that love doesn’t know any of the barriers that society and culture have previously put up, including barriers towards homosexual relationships. I really loved this aspect of the book. Although I always have trouble with swallowing the whole trust fund kids who have zero control over their lives and careers because of overzealous and manipulative parents, I found this really complemented the whole thing.

The story is about Lieutenant Elijah Stone of the NYPD and is the black cop who comes from a well-rounded, pretty much awesome blue-collar family. I rarely mention covers but the cover model that represents Eli is completely mesmerising. Five years ago, he thought that he had found a man that he could fall in love with, but he ran scared and so Eli has focused on his career ever since. He has now made it the rank of Lieutenant, although just before he could take his new assignment, he was badly injured in the line duty, having left him in a coma and hanging onto life. Returning to work means that he is given one more assignment to take before taking up his new post, he has to protect the man that almost had the chance to break his heart.

Camden Warren, assistant district attorney and is living the life and political aspirations that his father has mapped since the time Camden was born. Despite having been forced into his career, Cam does enjoy his job but he has come to resent that he can’t live his own life, especially when being in such close proximity to Eli means that it’s so damn easy for him to let his defences down. A death threat and a car bomb from a crazy cult has sent Eli back into his life five years after they had been set up on a blind date by a mutual friend, the district attorney. Eli has a plan to keep Cam out of the way, hidden at Eli’s own family home, where the men are now in a situation where they need to communicate and actually understand each other. Communication is vital to the story because it is clear that between their individual brushes with death, these guys are made for each other but Cam needs to figure out how to deal with his manipulative father.

In the end, this is a story of love conquers all. I think the interracial aspect will appeal to many, although I can’t say I ever really picture race when it comes to reading unless pointed out to me in the way that I don’t think it matters what the colour of another person’s skin is, I think bringing to the forefront of a book is necessary. However, mostly people that love second chance at love and the action/suspense/intensity that comes from a cop who will do anything to protect the man he loves, will certainly love this book.

Cowboy in the Crosshairs by B.A. Tortuga ~ Audio Review

Title: Cowboy in the Crosshairs

Series: Dreamspun Desires 53 / Turquoise, New Mexico 01

Author: B.A. Tortuga

Narrator: Dorian Bane

Genre: Contemporary, Cowboys

Length: 6 hrs, 23 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (16th August 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: đź’–đź’–đź’–đź’– 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Once upon a time, a prince lived in a magical kingdom called Turquoise, New Mexico.

Well, really, TJ is a small-town police chief. Every Friday, he holds court in the diner with the local holy roller, the art colonists, and the horsey people. But the Benes, who own the rodeo company, keep to themselves. TJ knows because he was once hot and heavy with the oldest Bene son.

When Wacey Bene gets trampled by a remuda and comes home to heal, he’s none too happy to run into TJ or his two little boys and their momma. The story might end there – if it wasn’t for some pesky bastard trying to kill Wacey.

The law steps in, and the townsfolk are cross about somebody messing with one of their own.

But once the bad guy is put away, can TJ and Wacey make their place in this wild and eccentric town a permanent one?

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

Review: Cowboy in the Crosshairs is the first book a new series called Turquoise, New Mexico by BA Tortuga. I’m a fan of Tortuga’s writing, especially their books with cowboys because cowboys are hot and awesome. But I wouldn’t have thought that without enjoying Tortuga’s writing style, which feel simple and accessible, but at the same time the plotlines are interesting.

The story is about cowboy Wacey Bene. He’s been away from his family’s ranch on the rodeo circuit for ten years after having his heart broken when he was barely out of high school. The boy that broke his heart was TJ. He is now the police chief, but ten years before he was a confused young man who was scared of coming out of the closet and somewhere along the way in the past ten years also decided that he needed to marry a woman so he could have a family. TJ now has two cute little boys and an ex-wife he is good friends with, despite divorcing because he finally was able to come out of the closet to her. These guys need to get over past hurts, as well as TJ needing to help Wacey avoid being injured or killed by some mystery person.

The narration for this audio is by Dorian Bane. I have to admit, I absolutely adore Bane’s voice. He has one of those rich and husky voices that are often spoken of in romances as the type that would make a lady (or anyone) swoon. His voice is well suited to books with rough, tough and ready men – i.e. cowboys and cops and whatnot. Luckily for us, in this book we get both a cowboy and a cop. Interestingly, probably because of the tone and emotion that Bane was able to inject into the story I find that I by far preferred the audio to reading this book and I was less inclined to be bothered by the points that had annoyed me in the original reading. Mostly at the time I had been annoyed with how Wacey and TJ treated each other at the start and I didn’t feel that I got enough plot development as to how they were able to go to a loving relationship. I suppose that is still true, but as I said I was merely less annoyed by this hole in the plot.

Overall, an enjoyable story to pass some time, particularly for those that have a weakness for cowboys and cops.

Don’t Fear the (Not Really Grim) Reaper by Carol Cummings

Title: Don’t Fear the (Not Really Grim) Reaper

Author: Carole Cummings

Genre: Paranormal, Angels & Demons

Length: Novella (62 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64080-679-5

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (11 Jan 2019)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: đź’–đź’–đź’– 3 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: When unassuming college student Emery Sutton wakes up in the morgue, it takes him a few minutes to remember he has magic (superpowers, damn it!) and free himself from the refrigerated drawer. And the body bag. (God.) It doesn’t take long, though, for him to remember the hot guy with wings he ran into just before a city bus ran into him.

Junior Reaper John must explain to his supervisor how his first solo assignment went so wrong. All he knows is that he happened upon Emery quite by accident, that Emery saw John when he shouldn’t have been able to, and when they accidentally touched, a bus came out of nowhere and plowed Emery under. (John really does feel bad about that.)

Hot angels, annoying demons, hijinks, absurdity, drunk siblings, a dash of silly romance, an inordinate attachment to wings, and a highly disorganized bid for world domination—Don’t Fear the (Not Really Grim) Reaper follows Emery and John down the rabbit hole where they find that moms are scarier than demons from hell, a goat is not a puppy no matter what Emery’s sister says, and awkward romance can happen anywhere.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Carole Cummings is an author that I’ve heard of and until I went through my book files, I could have sworn I have read something by her in the past. I didn’t really know what to expect from this one. However, reading the blurb I thought that it would be a really fun, quick read with the possibility of angels and demons and all in a package that doesn’t seem to take itself seriously. Which, is exactly what I got.

Emery is a mostly normal college guy who has a penchant for getting into trouble because of the “superpowers” he’s had since he was a kid. His parents have shielded him for the most part and that has meant that he hasn’t crossed the radar of anyone magical. That all changes when Emery encounters Junior Reaper, John.

John is fresh out of training and starting his career in the afterlife as a reaper. John was born and died a human, he doesn’t remember much and he isn’t meant to, but the afterlife presents him with the chance to become a reaper, helping the souls of dying. His encounter with Emery has Emery waking up very much alive in a hospital morgue. As for John, he is in a whole world trouble as the angels and demons quickly find out what has been hiding on earth.

I’m not sure what to feel about this book. There is a little bit of romance, because Emery and John are attracted to each other, but this is not something overly explored in the story. It is more the ending point for their possibility of a HEA. I think on the whole that is ok as there is a lot more to unpack. Yet the downside to that is I think that there was too much goofing off between characters, which made me impatient as it just felt like filler for the story and so other ends of the story wrapped up quickly within all the chatting. It is a shame because Emery’s character really appealed to me. His pop culture references were also right up my alley – Firefly, Doctor Who, Star Wars and Star Trek. The biggest problem in the end was that I just feeling underwhelmed by the whole thing.

Dawn and Dusk by Dirk Greyson ~ Audio Review

Title: Dawn and Dusk

Series: Day and Knight 03

Author: Dirk Greyson

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

Genre: Contemporary, Suspense, Mystery

Length: 5 hrs, 50 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (24th October 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: đź’–đź’–đź’–đź’– 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: For Scorpion agents Day and Knight, their relationship is slow to develop, and trust is hard to build. Then Day’s brother, Stephen, goes missing, and Day finds out more about him than he ever dreamed. Day’s first reaction to Stephen’s disappearance is to try to get to him as fast as possible.
Knight initially holds him back so they can attempt to find out what they’re walking into. But when Knight sees Day’s desperation, he steps in to help and tries to calm the man he’s growing to care about, even though the trail is cold and clues are scarce.

When Day witnesses his brother being shot live on television, he loses the last of his control. Despite the lack of answers, Day is more determined than ever to find out what happened. Ste-phen was all the family he had left.

Bone-deep fear and adversity threaten to tear Day and Knight apart, but facing unimaginable hardship together might finally cement the bond between them.

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

Review: Dawn and Dusk is the third book in Dirk Greyson’s Day and Knight series. Dirk Greyson is the pen name for Andrew Grey when he’s writing suspense/mysteries or paranormal type books. I’ve read and heard audio from a couple of his other books (not the paranormal ones) besides the Day and Knight series and I am quite happy with reading the departure from the usual Andrew Grey formula that I know and love. In fact, I’m keen to check out what these paranormal stories are. But back to Day and Knight.

So yeah, Day and Knight series has been a great departure from what fans of Grey would usually expect. It follows secret agent guys Day and Knight (their nicknames, its corny but works awesome) as they try to work together and then discover that there is a lot more between them. The series has been a slow burn romance which needs to be read/listened to from the start to get to know the guys and to be able to track the story as each instalment starts off from where the previous book start. If you’re a person that prefers to have a HEA, perhaps now would be the best time to get into the story because we finally get an ending for these guys. However, in saying that both Day and Knight have a lot of demons to battle through, particularly for Knight, who has a tragic past that makes opening his heart to love difficult.

In my opinion Dawn and Dusk is the best book in the series and is a major pay off for anyone who has gone through the journey with the guys.

Day and Knight are back in the real world once more after their adventures in Mexico and Europe. They are excellent at their jobs and work well together, but once, more after arriving home Day is left confused by Knight. As soon as they are back Knight once again struggles with the relationship forming between the two men – which makes sense since the man has tons of baggage and an alcohol dependency that he has been working through. However, Knight is a man that struggles with his inner emotions and so how he treats Day in these periods is less than stellar. Their world is thrown into chaos once more when Day finds out that not only is his brother, a man he has idolised since Steven had raised Day after their parents’ death. Day needs to find his brother and Knight is torn in needing to protect Day and protect his feelings. But things just snowball when Day is shown television footage where he sees his brother shot and he suddenly faces the possibility that his brother is bad guy. This is where Knight steps as he is slowly beginning to come to terms with demons and realises that he will do anything for Day.

What I love about this series is that we’ve taken the time to get to know Day and Knight. They have developed and changed so much from the first book. They have had so much to work through before they could trust each other with their hearts. They needed to get to know each other beyond the physical side of their relationship and the professional side of things. Dawn and Dusk is a really pleasing story where I finally feel like I know these guys and finishing a few months after the first book started, I feel like they are strong together – as well as be awesome men of action. I liked the story with Day’s brother in this book because it gave even more depth to Day.

Andrew McFerrin has done an excellent job narrating this entire series. His voice and the tone he gives to Day and Knight individually suits them so well. It was so easy to get lost in the story just listening to the narration. McFerrin had me emotionally invested right to the end with the guys, something that I’m not completely sure would have happened if I had read the book first.

Skin and Bone by T.A. Moore

Title: Skin and Bone

Series: Digging Up Bones 02

Author: T.A. Moore

Genre: Mystery, Suspense

Length: Novel(234pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 26, 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: đź’–đź’–đź’–đź’– 4 Hearts

Blurb: Cloister Witte and his K-9 partner, Bourneville, find the lost and bring them home.

But the job doesn’t always end there.

Janet Morrow, a young trans woman, lies in a coma after wandering away from her car during a storm. But just because Cloister found the young tourist doesn’t mean she’s home. What brought her to Plenty, California… and who didn’t want her to leave?

With the help of Special Agent Javi Merlo, who continues to deny his growing feelings for the rough-edged deputy, Cloister unearths a ten-year-old conspiracy of silence that taps into Plenty’s history of corruption.

Janet Morrow’s old secrets aren’t the only ones coming to light. Javi has tried to put his past behind him, but some people seem determined to pull his skeletons out of the closet. His dark history with a senior agent in Phoenix complicates not just the investigation but his relationship with Cloister.

And since when has he cared about that?

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-940-6

Product Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: Cloister and Javi both have issues that they deal with on a daily bases. I liked these two together as it seemed they both needed the others help at times. Javi is injured and decides to invite Cloister over because of it. The men closer as the story deepens.

Although I did enjoy this addition I felt there were too many unanswered questions left at the end. I wanted more about the murder/mystery going on and what the details were surrounding it. This story focused more on Javi and Cloister’s issues rather than the mystery at times which was fine but I wanted a balance.

Never the less it was still an entertaining and engaging read and I have to hope the unanswered questions will be answered at some point.

Great read.

Over and Back by Andrew Grey

Title: Over and Back

Series: Bronco’s Boys 05

Author: Andrew Grey

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (194 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64405-208-2

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (9 April 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: đź’–đź’–đź’–đź’– 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Opposites attract on an overseas holiday, but trouble has hitched a ride.

While Bronco’s nightclub is closed for renovations, the owners invite the staff on a trip to Italy.

Bartender Hank needs a roommate, and he’s had his eye on waiter Grant for a while, even if he’s had to keep his distance. But sharing such close proximity means sparks are sure to fly….

Grant has a problem saying no, and it’s led him into some less-than-healthy relationships. While he’s determined not to repeat his mistakes, it’s clear Hank is different.

They’re both willing to take it slow and explore the feelings building between them, but even in a foreign country, their pasts are catching up, and that could hurt more than just their budding romance.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Over and Back is a charming return to the gritty world of Andrew Grey’s Bronco’s Boys series, which is based around the gay nightclub Bronco’s.

This is the fifth book in the series and one that I would highly recommend reading from the beginning to avoid any confusion, particularly when it comes to the characters of the previous books and the goings ons in their lives. It took me a while to remember details and found myself having quick peeks at the previous books so that I satisfied that I had the details right in my head. It’s been quite a while since I read the series (the last book was released in 2015) and I’m afraid although I enjoyed the audio (of book 4 only) more than six months ago, I have dim recollection of the story.

This story is about Bronco’s bartender, Hank, and server, Grant. Both of them have had problems in the love department and have both left some disastrous relationships in recent months. Hank was shattered when his ex-boyfriend left him, he has been fighting his inner demons to overcome a gambling addiction. However, his ex was not entirely sympathetic and a very jealous man, and so mentally Hank is struggling with allowing himself to move on with his life, which has to be the next step in his recovery. On the other hand, Grant’s ex was a Dom who didn’t abuse Grant per se, it was more that he refused to listen to Grant’s needs in and out of the bedroom, his main interest was controlling Grant. Grant struggling with these demons, because he knew that he was not a sub and not into the BDSM lifestyle.

Things come to a head when Bronco’s closes for renovations. A small group of couples (i.e. the four couples of the previous books) are to Italy for a much-needed holiday, which Hank had thought to surprise his ex with a holiday. But when his relationship goes south, his friends decide that Hank should give the spare ticket to someone else, and that person must be Grant. Mostly because the guys like Grant. Not only is he a good worker, he is a generally likable guy who would fit into their group nicely.

This is a mostly fun book, interspersed with a bit of adventure and intrigue. Its light hearted for the most part and was just a lot of fun to read. I just came down from reading two emotionally involved books before this one and Over and Back was the perfect book to help me overcome the leftover emotions. This was a great addition to the world of Bronco’s and now I want to go back and read the previous novels again properly!

Galen’s Redemption by Parker Williams Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Parker Williams - Galen’s Redemption Banner

Hi peeps! We have Parker Williams visiting today with the tour for his upcoming release Galen’s Redemption, we have a brilliant guest post where I ask Parker a question and he graciously answers (with a hint of teeth, claws, blood in his eyes, and a touch of humour), there’s a great excerpt and a fantastic giveaway, so guys check out the post and enter the giveaway!  ❤ ~Pixie~

Galen’s Redemption

(Links In The Chain 02)
by

Parker Williams

A rich man is about to set foot into an unknown world, while a Good Samaritan fears he’ll have to close the charity he’s spent his life building. Poised to lose it all, they might find what they need most in each other.

Son of a wealthy importer, Galen Merriweather lives to broker deals, and he’s damn good at it. But it’s getting harder to ignore the kind of man his father is—a man who would pay Galen’s brother’s lover to leave… a man who’d demand Galen retrieve a quarter-million-dollar check from a struggling homeless shelter.

Robert Kotke knows the money is too good to be true, but it’s a godsend that could help so many people. Still, he hands it over when Galen shows up. But he isn’t done with Galen yet, and he’s going to challenge everything Galen ever believed.

Galen will face an impossible decision: the redemption he’s come to realize he wants, or the life he’d always dreamed of.

Release date: 16th April 2019
Pre-order:
.•.•.**
❣️ Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N ❣️**.•.•.

Continue reading “Galen’s Redemption by Parker Williams Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway!”

Bankers’ Hours by Wade Kelly ~ Audio Review

Title: Bankers’ Hours

Author: Wade Kelly

Narrator: Derrick McClain

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 12 hrs, 23 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (22nd November 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: đź’–đź’–đź’–đź’– 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Even though bankers’ hours leave long weekends for romance, cosmic intervention is Grant’s only option when money doesn’t buy happiness and he’s got virginity in spades.
Grant Adams is a 26-year-old bank teller who’s unlucky at love, yet hopelessly hopeful. After years of horrific first dates, he’s convinced he’s saving himself for true love. Surely he has bad taste in men because it couldn’t possibly be his persnickety nature that’s sent them packing.

Tristan Carr has been in a holding pattern since his daughter was born 15 years ago, which suits his workaholic lifestyle just fine. This ex-naval officer turned auto mechanic never wanted any-one interfering with being a weekend dad. For Tristan to rearrange his carefully orchestrated life, a guy will need to be special. Or, in the case of the newest employee at his bank, the guy will need to be adorable, shy, and open to the prospect of forever when it shows up at his win-dow.

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

Review: Bankers’ Hours is a standalone novel by Wade Kelly and the audio book is narrated by Derrick McClain.

For me Wade Kelly is a completely new author for me, so I had no idea what I was in for in terms of the writing style and the story other than what I read on the blurb. However, Derrick McClain is not a new narrator for me, and I have particularly enjoyed his work narrating contemporary romances. I was not disappointed by the narration of Bankers’ Hours, in fact I think that it probably elevated the story.

This novel is the story of bank teller Grant Adams. The branch that he had been working for had closed and he was one of a handful of employees who have been redeployed to other branches. This means that Grant has made a big move – he’s moved out of the home he shared with his mother and to a completely new town where he has no one. He isn’t out in his new town but that’s only because he doesn’t have anyone to talk to about such things.

At the bank he meets Tristan Carr. He’s a local mechanic. Tall and handsome he is mouth watering and beautiful to Grant, but when Tristan mentions a daughter Grant is disappointed when he comes to conclusion that Tristan is gay. The two see each other around town and this culminates in an invitation of drinks. The thing is Grant doesn’t have the best social skills and he sucks at reading any body language cues from Tristan. The two have a rocky road ahead, fraught with Grant’s nature that seems to be something like anxiety which makes him pick at just about anything and then Tristan has to deal with his teenage daughter and his horrid ex-wife. However, for these guys it isn’t love that’s the problem, it’s getting their lives to align.

On the whole this is a good book with thoroughly enjoyable characters. I will admit to preferring Tristan over Grant. Yeah, Grant has a few odd quirks and is a bit on the clingy and whingy side of things, but I do understand him because I see a lot of myself in Grant. So even though he isn’t my favourite of the two MCs, he is by far the most relatable to me. There isn’t anything too specific that you need to like to get into this book. This is one of those contemporary books that I would recommend to just about anyone.

Femme Faux Fatale by Susan Laine

Title: Femme Faux Fatale

Series: Dreamspun Desires 70

Author: Susan Laine

Genre: Contemporary, Mystery

Length: Novel (240 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64080-380-0

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (20 Nov 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: đź’–đź’–đź’– 3 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Mystery. Murder. Men in silk stockings. Hollywood nights are heating up.
Hardboiled Los Angeles PI Cain Noble is hired by wealthy and gorgeous Camille Astor to find her husband and a priceless work of art, both of which have disappeared.

At the nightclub owned by Mr. Astor, Cain encounters the mesmerizing Lily Lavender, who has the body of a goddess and the sultry voice of an angel—but is really a young man named Riley who attracts trouble like a magnet.

What’s a private dick in the vein of LA’s bygone era and a cross-dressing burlesque starlet to do when faced with the hidden decadence and lethal dangers of the Hollywood Hills? They have their work cut out for them because they haven’t even scratched the surface of an elaborate scheme more twisted than anyone could ever have imagined.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: This review is going to be a hard for me. In all honesty I wanted to enjoy this story way more than I actually did. Mostly because I love Susan Laine’s writing and she has quite recently become one of my automatic reads. But also, because I liked the look of a dark and gritty and mystery, then add in the fact that the cover model kind of reminds me of Sam Heughan from Outlander.

So just to get this part out of the way: this is for people that enjoy reading a dark, gritty, urban mystery where the city seems to become a wild jungle. It seems like a good metaphor for LA at any rate and makes me think of The Doors song LA Woman.

In the stereotypical way that seems to be the world of a PI in literature, we start with hardened and eternally tired PI Cain Noble. He’s a PI based in LA and the city serves up a constant stream of work for him. When we meet him he gets hired by Camille Astor to find her husband and a work of art. And let’s face it, when priceless art is involved you know that there is going to be some serious shit go down. Astor’s husband, Sheridan, owns a club and that is Cain’s first port of call and despite being gay, Cain finds performer Lilly Lavender strangely alluring. Only to then find out that Lily is in fact a man named Riley who seems to get in trouble at every turn, but more than anything wants to find Sheridan who he considers a friend.

As we make our way through the LA and the story, it feels like this could almost be the stereotypical 1930s-era PI tale where the hero solves the mystery and gets romanced along the way.

I think for me the main problem was that I was unable strongly connect to both the main characters. I liked them both in terms of their personality and they were certainly well developed with a definite spark between them that makes the romance natural. However, for reasons unknown all I can say is that this wasn’t quite my cup of tea.

Add Love and Mix by Sean Michael ~ Audio Review

Title: Add Love and Mix

Author: Sean Michael

Narrator: Steve Balderson

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs, 34 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (22nd March 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: đź’–đź’–đź’–đź’–đź’– 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Firefighter Jason “Jase” Weller and EMT Scott Bronson are living the perfect life. They work together in jobs they love, they live together, and in their downtime, they still can’t get enough of each other. It’s been six amazing years. Then on Christmas Eve, Jase’s former lover Elsa shows up with a six-year-old girl in tow. The strung-out junkie claims Kerry is Jase’s daughter and it’s his turn to care for her, and then she walks out.

Shocked at both the fact that Elsa is now a junkie and that he has a daughter he never knew about, Jase nonetheless steps up to the plate as her father and Scott offers his full support. Having an instant family comes with plenty of challenges, and the two men work to deal with sweeping changes in their lives and to make things right for Kerry.

It’s not going to be easy, and their new circumstances test them and their relationship like noth-ing ever has. They’ll need all the love they have for each other–and the love they discover for their daughter–to keep from breaking apart.

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

Review: Add Love and Mix is a totally charming book by Sean Michael, an author that I feel I am only starting to appreciated within the past year. Michael seems to have a knack with creating relatable characters that are both ordinary (thus making them relatable) and yet extraordinary (which makes the story interesting). What I love most about this book is that this isn’t so much a romance of relationship that is starting, it’s the story of a well-established couple who go through an extremely turbulent time which changes their family.

The narration of this book was done by Steve Balderson, who is a totally new narrator for me. Overall, his voice lent great depth to an already awesome book. His voice suited both emergency service worker MCs. I’ll definitely look forward to more books narrated by Balderson because this was simply a fantastic narration.

The story itself about firefighter Jase Weller and EMT Scott Bronson. The two have been together for six years and they see each other at home and work. They never had a reason not be scheduled on the same roster rotation at the fire station they work out of and they have been living a blissful life. All that changes close to Christmas when Jase, who is bisexual, has an unexpected visit from his ex, Elsa, who had been seeing before he got together with Scott. A lot has changed with Elsa and the main part is that Elsa turns up with a little girl, saying that she is Jase’s and that she doesn’t want the kid anymore.

It is a totally heart-breaking scene, especially after hearing of the palpable love between Scott and Jase. This is going to rock their world and their family. But kind and caring Scott immediately makes a rapport with little Kerry. But there is a ways to go before their happily ever after. Both men have to deal with this massive change to their family. Jase must understand what it is to become a father and to begin getting Kerry settled. Of course, Scott is right there next to Jase, supporting Jase and taking on as much responsibility for their daughter as the little girl deals with feelings of being rejected from her junkie mother. Add on to this Scott’s own baggage of knowing what he wants to do – he feels for Kerry because he was adopted by his parents – but the stress can get to even the most sainted of men.

This is the out of the ordinary story of two ordinary men bringing their family together and I loved it. Totally sweet and worth the read!

Yes, Chef by T. Neilson

Title: Yes, Chef

Series: Amuse Bouche 02 / Dreamspun Desires 79

Author: T. Neilson

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (193 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64080-521-7

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (2 April 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: đź’–đź’–đź’–đź’– 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: A savory slice of first love.

Simon’s dad died when he was young, leaving Simon to take the reins of the family restaurant business—and the responsibility for his mother and brothers. His commitment to his duty left Simon time for little else, least of all romance.

Argentinian celebrity chef Luke Ferreya has wanted Simon since their culinary-school days, but for Simon, family always came first. Now Luke’s back in Simon’s life—briefly before he returns to South America—and he’s determined to give Simon a sample of everything he’s missed out on.

Simon’s brothers are grown, and his mother is doing fine on her own, and Luke is offering a second chance for a future full of the pleasures of fine food, wine, and especially love. Without his obligations to hide behind, can Simon finally allow himself to say “Yes, Chef”?

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Yes, Chef is the second book in T. Nielson’s series Amuse Bouche, for Dreamspun Desires. I have to admit that I didn’t even realise that there was a book one to this book until I started reading, and to be perfectly honest I can’t remember if I picked up on the fact that this was a series when I read book one some months ago. However, when I did realise it, I was looking forward to it because I did really enjoy Sweet Nothings.

Yes, Chef does work as a standalone book, although there is a number of references/appearances to the couple from book one, considering that the MC, Simon, is the older brother to Tristan from book one.

Simon Love (I assume his last name is love since he is older brother to Tristan Love), has something of a chip on his shoulders. We met him briefly during his brother’s story and he was an arsehole, although to give him a break he did have his brother’s best interests at heart, the problem was that he didn’t understand his little brother and has a clear dislike for Tristan’s boyfriend. The whole family seems to be involved in the restaurant industry, and that is also evident in that Tristan was opening a bakery in book one. This pretty much sums up Simon, after his father died when he and his siblings were still kids, Simon as the older brother took up the mantle to try and fill the void in the family. He took it to extremes, because although he pursued his dreams and went onto become a chef, he allowed his life to remain on hold. This is particularly true when events during culinary had him turning tail and returning to his family, but nevertheless ending up taking lead in the family’s restaurant.

Simon knows Luke Ferreya from culinary school. Luke is Argentinian and has been in New York where he had become a two Michelin Star chef. However, Luke is suffering burn out from being a celebrity and has decided to leave that life behind. He wonders if he has a life in Argentina on his family ranch/farm, but he is making a detour to catch up with Simon to see if there is something else that could keep him. Something that is infinitely more exciting than going back to join his family’s business.

Other than Tristian popping up, there really isn’t much more from the family. I vaguely remember at least one other brother and a mother when I read book one, but there was nothing even from them. Of course, it wasn’t relevant to the story. I’m just wondering if there is going to be more in this series!

This is a really sweet, low angst story. I liked it because the whole point of the story was that Simon had to grow and learn not to be afraid of his thoughts and feelings, while Luke had to figure out what was the next thing in his life that would bring him happiness. Of course, Luke had an idea but both he and Simon had to grow a bit more.

Return of the Chauffeur’s Son by Tara Lain ~ Audio Review

Title: The Return of the Chauffeur’s Son

Title: Movie Magic Romances 01

Author: Tara Lain

Narrator: Greg Tremblay

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs, 28 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (28th September 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: đź’–đź’–đź’–đź’–đź’– 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Luca McGrath may be returning to Napa Valley, California, as a promising chef with dreams of starting his own restaurant and winery, but his heart still lives with the bad-boy son of a billion-aire James Armstrong. Luca spent his childhood playing games with the golden boy of California society, so blinded by James he barely noticed the dark, quiet lure of his conservative older brother, Dylan Armstrong.

But now Luca’s home, and his own powers of attraction are enough to make James question his dedicated heterosexuality and his promised marriage to a wealthy and powerful businesswoman. The obvious attraction between Luca and James spurs Dylan into action – but he’s fighting a huge secret. While Luca dreamed of James, Dylan dreamed of Luca. When Luca gets caught in the struggle between the brothers and gets accused of culinary espionage, he’s ready to chuck the fairy tale – unable to even imagine Dylan’s power to make his dreams come true.

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

Review: The Return of the Chauffeur’s Son is a standalone book by Tara Lain. Tara Lain is a great author and is so close to becoming a new automatic read for me. It’s sweet and charming and had me engrossed from start to finish. It’s one of those books that I think just about anyone could listen or read this book and enjoy their escape from reality.

The title of the book says it all really. Luca McGrath was raised in Napa Valley by his father after the death of his mother. Luca grew up on the Armstrong winery estate where his father was the family chauffeur and the Armstrong family were kind enough to all Luca to live with his father on the family estate instead of losing their trusted employee. As a result, Luca grew up alongside Armstrong boys, more so James who is Luca’s best friend and Luca’s first crush. He leaves the estate for some years as he makes his way in a culinary whiz, which leads him back to Napa Valley where he can work for some of the most prestigious chefs.

And while he has been pining away for James, he then realises that he quite missed something when it comes to James’ older brother, Dylan. Luca’s homecoming is joyous but things are complicated when it comes to the Armstrong brothers. Dylan is helping Luca with just about everything but doesn’t know how to communicate his feelings. He is the strong and stoic type. While James is a playboy, who is now engaged and seems keen to now suddenly explore his sexuality. Dylan is frustrated because he is attracted to Luca, but his parents are dismissing James’ behaviour as James continued hero worship of his out and proud, gay older brother.

There’s something of a love triangle going on and the story is predictable, however, it is still completely enjoyable. So much fun and so damn romantic!

Overall, this is a fun, sweet and sexy novel that shows us that sometimes a HEA is right in front of us and with the person least expected. I’m quite familiar with Greg Tremblay’s narration and it hit the mark in terms of tone of and giving voice to the two MCs.

The Athlete and the Aristocrat by Louisa Masters

Title: The Athlete and the Aristocrat

Series: Dreamspun Desires 73

Author: Louisa Masters

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (209 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64080-778-5

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (1 Jan 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: đź’–đź’–đź’–đź’–đź’– 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Sometimes love takes balls.

Newly retired championship footballer Simon Wood is taking on his next challenge. His plan for a charity to provide funding for underprivileged children to pursue football as a career has passed its first hurdle: he has backers and an executive consultant. Now it’s time to get the ball rolling.

Lucien Morel, heir to the multibillion-euro Morel Corporation, is shocked—and thrilled—to learn his father has volunteered him as consultant to a fledgling football charity. Better yet, the brains behind it all is heartthrob Simon Wood, his teenage idol and crush.

Although Simon and Lucien get off on the wrong foot, it’s not long before they’re getting along like a house on fire—sparks included. But with the charity under public scrutiny, can their romance thrive?

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: The Athlete and the Aristocrat by Louisa Masters is the author’s most recent contribution to the Dreamspun Desires line by Dreamspinner Press. Doing the whole, judging a book by its cover, I was instantly taken in. A hot, rich, powerful, smart aristocrat and an equally hot, rich, powerful and smart athlete are thrown together when the titular athlete wants to set up a new foundation for children in need who do not have the access to equipment or their parents don’t have the time or money to allow kids to follow their dreams. It’s all noble intentions and a literary turn on in the world of romance for me.

A quick side note before I dive into the story, I looked forward to this book because I have previously enjoyed Louisa Master’s writing. It’s simple in the fact that the language the author uses gave me an instant connection to her characters. The other note that I would like to make is that although this book is not part of a series by Masters, we are brought back into the world of European elegance and riches which we first encountered in The Bunny and the Billionaire and even get to check in with three of the characters from that book. For me that was a bit of a thrill.

Back to the story at hand, The Athlete and the Aristocrat introduces us to retired professional footballer Simon Wood (*clears throat* as Ben, the “bunny” from The Bunny and Billionaire says in his brief appearance here “it’s soccer in Australia!”) and billionaire of the highly influential Morel family and their corporation, Lucien Morel. The little bit of cuteness in their background is that Lucien secretly had a crush on Simon while Simon was playing soccer and in fact convinced his father that Simon’s proposal for a charity had just as much merit as a charity for education and food for kids from struggling families. However, these guys have a bumpy road to their HEA, which is what kept me intrigued with this story. There is no doubting the attraction between Simon and Lucien, however, they did need to take time to get to know each other before taking the risk of mixing business with pleasure.

I think this story has a series of popular themes which will satisfy anyone who is attracted to these types of romances that include the whole fairy-tale ending for the brooding rich guy and the kind-hearted guy that steps into his life.