Blurb:Cute hipster and interior designer Michael doesn’t do love – not after his ex screwed him over. Sex is a different story, though, and the gentle giant who’s painting the mural in the old mansion they’re restoring might be perfect hookup material. Gil is just Michael’s type with his solid mus-cle, wicked sense of humor, and the hazel eyes that seem to see into Michael’s soul.
Trouble is, Gil does do love. He wants romance and forever, and he’s set his sights firmly on Michael. Michael’s not going there again.
Yet when Michael is the victim of a vandal who’s been plaguing the men working for Delta Res-toration, Renovation, and Design, Gil is the first person he tells. No matter how he fights it, it’s becoming harder and harder to deny he’s crazy about the guy – even if that thought terrifies him. But the true fear sets in when the criminal behavior escalates, and Michael realizes he might have lost the chance to tell Gil how he feels – forever.
Review:Michael, Reinvented is the second book in Diana Copland’s Delta Restorations series. I accidently started listening to the audio of this book first, and then listened to the audio of the first book after, but that in no way took away from my enjoyment of the book. I love the characters, main and minor characters alike, and their depth, they are well developed without being outrageously complicated. On top of that, I love the chemistry between the main characters without being a case of insta-love or saturating the story with angst. Instead Michael and Gil’s story is a sweet romance between two strong men.
Michael and Gil appeared in book one, Gil’s interest in Michael was clear from the start. Michael is the best friend of David from book one, who is also his personal assistant at the job they worked at until the new restoration business takes off, which emphasises ties to the LBGTQI+ community and professionals. Gil is one of the workers, he’s a house painter with a hidden talent (at least to Michael) for creating beautiful works of art. Gil is a kind hearted man and is kindness and gentleness personified.
However, equally as clear was the fact that Michael is a soft-hearted romantic who firmly believes that love or a happily ever after is something that would never happen to him. Michael needs to get over his baggage and his reservations about relationships and when a sinister plot that leaves Gil severely injured emerges, Michael’s heart catches up to what his brain had already figured out.
Delta Restorations is a series that I sincerely hope that there are more stories (well, at least one other story because I would love to have a HEA for at least a couple of the guys on the restoration crew).
Blurb: Getting to know each other hasn’t been an easy journey for Scott Gregory and Robin “Red” Kennedy. Falling in love and exploring their kinkier sides revealed a perfect match, and Scott is a devoted sub to Red’s headstrong and often impulsive Dominant personality.
Scott, Robin, and their friend, Susie, open a new dental practice a short distance from the old office but miles away from Scott’s former boss and his Promise Keeper mentality. But the move doesn’t guarantee a happy ending. Robin’s mother is in a medical crisis. Scott’s grandfather makes an unexpected appearance. Ongoing interference from Jenna, Ron’s needy assistant, stirs up trouble. And Susie, having completed her training as a Dominatrix, is on a quest for the perfect male submissive.
Then there’s one more threat to their relationship: Robin’s desire for a public collaring, something the shy and formerly closeted Scott is having a really hard time accepting. Is a strong and binding love―albeit a kinky one―enough to keep Scott and Robin together?
Review: Bonds of Love is the second book in Mickie B Ashling’s Bay Area Professionals series. Being new to the author’s work, I feel that I am still exploring their writing style, although I really did enjoy the first book to the series. This novel is a direct continuation from Impacted! and so it is vital that you read the first book before moving onto this one.
The story picks up Robin and Scott’s lives as a D/s couple, but also as professionals as dental hygienist and dental surgeon, respectively. They are still dealing with much of the fall out that came with working the homophobe dentist that they used to work for – and surprisingly this has spread to encroach their personal lives/backgrounds. To be perfectly honest, although I liked the introduction of a new character (an elderly gent and all around nice fellow), I found this storyline dragging on a but of a turn off.
Scott and Robin continue to build their lives together. It’s tricky when they work with each other and are in love with each other. Then there is the whole exploration of the BDSM, which leads to Robin wanting to collar Scott in front of (mostly) his acquaintances at their preferred club. Also, on the topic of BDSM, we see Scott’s best friend, Susie, explore her needs as a dominatrix in her quest to find satisfaction and maybe even a sub of her own (again, another strangely complicated storyline).
While, over all, I found the story enjoyable and glad to see the guys are just as awesome together as they were in the first book, I was turned off a bit by the melodrama that seemed to pop around every corner.
I recommend this one for people that like BDSM romances and/or to those that love a good soap opera.
Hi guys! We have Ryan Loveless popping in today with her new release A Cordial Agreement, we have a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
A Cordial Agreement
Can a wealthy but frustrated CEO and a guilt-ridden stripper find what they need in a consensual, nonsexual whipping boy arrangement?
Billionaire mogul Grant Jessup, fifty-three, buries his sexual tastes and the reasons behind them—the stresses of his business empire and family. In contrast, Jim Sieber understands the regret that makes him seek pain and penance. As an asexual averse to erotic touch, Jim sets strict boundaries. But as the relationship evolves, Grant struggles to respect them, and both men realize for their association to continue and perhaps grow into real feelings, they’ll have to explore new ways to satisfy each other.
Blurb: When interior designer David Snyder buys a beautiful century-old house in eastern Washington, he is reeling with heartbreak and looking for somewhere to put down roots. Unfortunately his new home comes with a laundry list of problems: electrical, plumbing, heating…things David knows nothing about. When his mother offers him the business card of a local handyman, David pictures an overweight, balding man in his fifties. But Jackson Henry couldn’t be further from that stereotype.
Dark-haired, muscular, and handsome, Jackson left a large construction firm in Seattle to take care of his sick mother. However, his hometown still has an active “good old boy” network, and finding employment in construction is almost impossible for an openly gay man. Determined to persevere, Jackson takes odd jobs as a handyman. He’s exactly what David needs – in more ways than one.
David isn’t ready for his attraction to Jackson, not considering the way his last relationship end-ed. But as the two men get to know each other, it becomes clear that the heart often knows best, and it rewards those willing to listen.
Review: I was pleasantly surprised by just how awesome David, Renewed from Diana Copland’s Delta Restorations series. This is the first book in the series and the author is completely new to me, although I’ve seen the name pop up on Dreamspinner Press website.
Is it just me and I’m a complete weirdo, but sometimes I look at a book written by a new author (new to me anyway) and either the cover or authors name – which is in no way offensive – gives me warning vibes like I’ll probably not like the book? I know, I’m a strange sort of person. However, that was the vibe I got off this book, for no apparent reason because the blurb really appealed to me.
I will admit, I accidentally listened to this series out of order and by the time I realised it, I was too far in to bother. Doing so didn’t really ruin anything for me and it didn’t leave me confused when I listened to book 2 first. This was an awesome series. But specifically for this book, I loved the characters. Everyone, both MCs as well as the minor characters, were all brilliantly fleshed out and totally relatable. These are just ordinary guys living their own extraordinary life, living with their baggage and letting love happen. The chemistry between David and Jackson is both sweet and hot. Jackson is completely sexy and will definitely fulfil anyone’s need to read about sexy tradies.
The narration was also on point. Michael Pauley is not unknown to me as a narrator, his voice absolutely fitted the characters and he picked just the right tone for everyone involved. Really, it was something wonderful.
David has recently got out of a bad relationship and in his hurt and grief, he has impulsively brought a grand old home which he wants to bring back to its former glory. The only issue with that is, his buy was so impulsive he quickly finds out he needs to sink a lot more money into the project, which doesn’t help when his ex comes back trying to con money out of David. David is desperate for help and it is his mother that suggests a local handyman (construction worker?), who is the son of one of her friends, Jackson. David thinks Jackson is straight from the start but there is definite chemistry. The romance is slow to start between the men but once it ignites there is no stopping the fire caused by David and Jackson’s romance.
Jackson isn’t just a pretty face though. He had been forced to move back home when it became apparent that his mother, who has MS, needs someone close by but his brother and sister are too selfish to think of their mother. However, his mother is a sweetheart and when David and his mother get involved to help Jackson and his mother, the romance becomes something more and the mothers become this cute little cheer squad for the men.
In between all that is the issues surrounding Jackson and the contractors he uses to help restore David’s house – obviously they run against some homophobia. Which leads David, an interior designer, to come up with a mad cap idea which leads us directly into the next book.
Blurb: A young magic user who wants desperately to live. A jaded recluse who has forgotten what living means. They’re each other’s only chance.
Toby’s wild magic is killing him. The mage guilds have given up on him, and it’s only a matter of time before he dies in a spectacular, catastrophic bang. His only hope is an exiled wizard who lives in seclusion—and is rumored to have lost his mind.
The years alone on his hilltop estate have not been good for Darius Valstad. After the magical accident that disfigured him and nearly drowned Pittsburgh, he drifts through his days, a wraith trapped in memories and depression. Until a stricken young man collapses on his driveway, one who claims Darius is his last chance. For the first time in fifteen years, Darius must make a choice—leave this wild mage to his fate or take him in and try to teach him, which may kill them both. The old Darius, brash and commanding, wouldn’t have hesitated. Darius the exile isn’t sure he can find the energy to try.
Review: Toby is being killed slowly by the wild magic inside him that he can not control. Having gone to many guild’s for help has not helped. The last guild he goes to wants to in a sense put him down for good before the magic causes a catastrophe. Toby flees to find another like him that can help, Darius, who was outcast after he lost control while trying to help someone who had the same problem Toby does.
The two do everything in their power to control the magic flowing through Toby. Toby meets Darius’ other students like himself who had trouble with various magic’s that Darius had helped. All the while trying to stay out of the guild’s grasp. I loved this story and the way it was told.
Fascinating and intriguing it caught my attention from start to finish. The magic aspect was appealing and somewhat horrifying in what could happen if not controlled. The characters were unique in their abilities in that they struggled at times with their gifts.
Amazing beginning to a series I am looking forward to reading more of.
Blurb: Stetson Major and Curtis Traynor are about as opposite as two cowboys can get. Stetson is a rancher, tied to the land he loves in Taos, New Mexico, while Curtis is a rodeo cowboy whose wanderlust never could be tamed.
But now Stetson’s momma is dying of Alzheimer’s, and she can’t remember that Curtis hasn’t been Stetson’s boyfriend for a long time. Curtis’s absence makes her cry, so Stetson swallows his pride and calls his ex-lover.
To Curtis, Stetson is the one who got away, the love of his life. And Momma is his friend, so he’s happy to help out. Yet returning to the ranch stirs up all sorts of feelings that, while buried, never really went away. Still, the rodeo nationals are coming up, and Curtis can’t stay… even if he’s starting to want to, especially to support Stetson when he needs it most.
Stetson and Curtis want to find a place where they both fit, to be there to catch each other when they fall. But family, money problems, and the call of the rodeo circuit might end their second-chance romance before it even gets started.
Review: Soft Place to Fall is a contemporary western romance by BA Tortuga, which means its just about everything that I expect from a Tortuga novel. BA Tortuga has very recently gone close to the top of my must read author list and I really, at the absolute minimum like, each and every one of them, especially the cowboy romances, because those are so freaking hot!
Soft Place to Fall is a story about second chance love, which I know will appeal to a lot of people, on top of the whole contemporary cowboy romance.
Stetson and Curtis were in love years ago and they were in a very serious relationship. However, their lives were not compatible and I suppose that they were too young to really compromise to fight for what they have together. And so for eight years they have been apart. All that changes when Stetson’s mother, who has Alzheimer’s and is in her last weeks of life, keeps asking to see Curtis. She loved Curtis and Stetson sometimes felt that his mother loved his boyfriend more than she did him. After all, Curtis is a free spirit and fierce rodeo rider like Stetson’s much beloved father had been, which is probably part of why she had approved of her son’s boyfriend back in the day. On the other hand, Stetson is a home body and prefers to pour his time and energy into the ranch, which is taking some hard hits as Stetson tries to pay for his mother’s medical treatment.
When Stetson calls and tells Curtis what has happened, he drops everything and runs to his ex and his mama. This is the first sign that these guys, although parting after a fight, had never lost their love for each other. Unfortunately, when they were younger, love wasn’t enough when their lives were taking them into two different directions.
I feel this is a story that shows that love and people mature and perhaps these guys had to wait before being at the right place, at the right time before they could be together with their HEA. I think that is the aspect of the book that I enjoyed the most, aside from the wonderful chemistry between Stetson and Curtis.
Hiya peeps! We have Angel Martinez stopping by today with the tour for her new release Mage On The Hill, we have a brilliant guest post from Angel, a great excerpt, a fantastic giveaway and we also have Shorty’s review, so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
Mage on the Hill
(The Web of Arcana 01)
Toby’s wild magic is killing him. The mage guilds have given up on him, and it’s only a matter of time before he dies in a spectacular, catastrophic bang. His only hope is an exiled wizard who lives in seclusion—and is rumored to have lost his mind.
The years alone on his hilltop estate have not been good for Darius Valstad. After the magical accident that disfigured him and nearly drowned Pittsburgh, he drifts through his days, a wraith trapped in memories and depression. Until a stricken young man collapses on his driveway, one who claims Darius is his last chance.
For the first time in fifteen years, Darius must make a choice—leave this wild mage to his fate or take him in and try to teach him, which may kill them both. The old Darius, brash and commanding, wouldn’t have hesitated. Darius the exile isn’t sure he can find the energy to try.
Blurb: Drew Beaumont is bored of the same old roles: action hero, supervillain, romantic lead. He’s not going to let a fresh gay buddy comedy languish just because they can’t find him the right costar. No, Drew bats his eyelashes and convinces everyone that the movie’s writer should play Drew’s not-so-straight man.
Aspiring writer Steve Sopol has never had a screenplay optioned. Now, one of Hollywood’s hot-test properties wants to be in a movie Steve hasn’t finished writing – and he wants Steve as his costar. Turns out the chemistry between them is undeniable – on and offscreen.
Drew swore off dating in the biz, but Steve is the whole package: sharp, funny, humble, and cute. For Steve, though, giving in to the movie magic means the end of the privacy he cherish-es. Will the credits roll before their ride into the sunset?
Review: His Leading Man by Ashlynn Kane is from the Dreamspun Desires line, so the blurb (and the story) was exactly what I expected, a really light, sweet romance. This is a fairytale Hollywood romance between one of the most popular, in demand actors, and the indie screenwriter/script doctor he cons into playing his leading man. I’m pretty sure I know the author, Ashlynn Kane, from Dreamspun Desire stories – I really don’t know – but the story was enough to draw me since I have read this before and enjoyed it. I was just super keen to hear the audio.
The narration is done by Kenneth Obi. I know his work mostly from listening to Dreamspun Desire and Dreamspun Beyond audios and I haven’t come across a performance that I didn’t like. Not so long ago Obi was a new narrator to me, but I have now come to look forward to listening to his work. He’s really good at injecting the necessary emotion, the highs and the lows and keep me engrossed. The story surrounds Drew Beaumont, a Hollywood superstar and Steve, a script doctor and script writer who wants to make his own way in the world without depending on the popularity of his family.
Drew Beaumont has been cast as all the usual hero and romantic roles before. He wants to get his teeth into something different, something that will challenge him as an actor. He finds that when he reads the script of an unknown screenwriter. It’s something of a buddy comedy that ends with a gay romance. Drew wants to star in this movie and make it happen at any cost. The only problem is that he can’t find an actor that fits the role of his best friend/love interest. And so that is when he manages to get his agent (and a good friend to Steve) to convince the writer, Steve Sopol, to add acting to his repertoire.
Steve isn’t an international man of mystery, or someone with stars in their eyes or a shady past. There are a couple of surprising revelations about Steve, but other than that, he is a nice, down to earth sort of guy. He does live with his mother, who is always flitting around, but that does not make him a mama’s boy in the least.
Steve and Drew have a wonderful instant chemistry but thankfully they foster it and don’t rush into romance or any I-love-yous. If you don’t like insta-love, this book will still appeal. They need to navigate their way through Hollywood to become that fairytale couple that it was obvious they would become. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good Hollywood style romance.
Corey Ellis sure doesn’t. Oh, everyone around him seems to have found their happy ending, but he’s far too busy to worry about such things. He’ll have plenty of time for romance after he survives his last summer before graduation. So what if he can’t get his former professor, Jeremy Olsen, out of his head? It’s nothing more than hero worship. And that’s the way it should stay.
Except bigender Corey—aka Kori—is interning at Phoenix House for the summer, a LGBTQI youth center. A center that recently hired an interim director until someone can be found to fill the position permanently.
Because life is extraordinarily unfair, the director just so happens to be a certain former professor, now turned current boss.
Desperate to keep things professional as he and Jeremy grow closer, Corey makes a major mistake: he turns to his friends, Paul Auster and Sanford Stewart for help.
But Paul and Sandy have some ideas of their own….
Set in the summer of 2016, Why We Fight is a celebration of queer life and being true to oneself… no matter the cost.
Review: Why We Fight is the fourth and final book in TJ Klune’s At First Sight series. But it is also so much more! I make no bones about my absolute adoration for what Klune writes, so I am going to keep my gushing to a minimum. However, this book signifies wrapping up one fantastically fun, emotional and heartfelt series (At First Sight), with direct connections with characters from another completed series (Bear, Otter and the Kid), and for the very keen, he has thrown in some Easter eggs to another recently finished series (How To Be), TJ goes above and beyond with the fan service for all Klunatics. This book does not work as a standalone book, despite the fact that we are getting the story of a character who, in the previous books, was a wonderfully sassy friend that I gotta say, I fell in love with. Also, if you haven’t read the read the rest of the series, then why not??
TJ has also been writing about various aspects of the story and his process in his blog lately, and it has been a fascinating read. Any fans of his works that haven’t checked out the blog, do so, it’s really interesting to read about how he wrote the character of Corey/Kori, as well as talking about gay conservatives and all the other little touches he’s furnished Why We Fight with.
The main characters are Corey Ellis and Jeremy Olsen.
Corey is a really interesting character in that they are a person of colour, as well as identifying as bigender, meaning that sometimes they embrace their male side and are Corey, but then at other times they embrace their female side and are Kori. TJ has written this aspect wonderfully, in previous books we knew when they were Corey and Kori because we were often told how the pitch in their voice had changed or what they were wearing. Here, because the story is told entirely from Corey/Kori’s POV, the only time we would know was when clothing was mentioned or when someone addressed them. But honestly, it didn’t matter if it was Corey or Kori on the page, they are a character that I love because they could just be and that was it. I didn’t care who they identified as, I just got immersed into their life.
Jeremy Olsen is also an interesting character, even if he doesn’t appear to shine as brightly as Corey/Kori does. He’s a college professor, which is how he had first met Corey/Kori who was his student at the time. But now life seems to be throwing them together on purpose and Corey/Kori does not know how to handle it – but they handle it wonderfully, hilariously wonderfully, and beautifully and heartfelt wonderfully. It doesn’t help that despite his concerns about their age difference that Jeremy seems to intent on making a good go of things.
Jeremy is already in Corey/Kori’s orbit when the story starts, we know this from the previous book in the series, where Jeremy turns up at the wedding of one of Corey’s friends, Vince and Paul, with Jeremy’s father, who happens to be dating the elderly gentleman, a leather daddy called Charlie. Now, though, we now add to this that when Corey/Kori takes an intern position at a LGBTQI+ home, they finds out that Jeremy has been made interim director.
The secondary characters are as wonderful and as outrageous as they have been throughout the entire series. Sandy, who is also drag queen Helena Handbasket, is as sassy and as bitchy as ever. Paul is a dramatic as ever. Darren and Vince just put up with adore their significant other. However, I particularly enjoyed the story between the two older men, Charlie and Robert. Despite Paul’s parents being the centre of the big family that is created in this series, Robert is Jeremy’s father and Charlie is best friend/father figure to Corey/Kori. Ultimately, like many of TJ books, this series shows that families are not just blood relations, these are the relationships that have been built over time and while they may fight, they are hilarious and completely zany, but they also support and love unconditionally.
Fans of TJ Klune will be in love. I know for sure that Klunatics on TJ’s Facebook fan group are so excited for this book and I assume that there are many others that are excited to. However, if you’ve just been a fan of the series, I think you will finish this one satisfied.
For those unfamiliar with the series in general, these are romantic comedies with some of the most interesting and zany characters. Explaining it to someone who doesn’t know about the books or Klune’s writing, I think in simplest terms it is like a rom-com, a very diverse rom-com with gay main characters, including a drag queen (Sandy/Helena), an overweight guy with a flair for the dramatic (Paul), a couple of homo-jocks and one is the king (Darren and Vince), a bigender person of colour (Corey/Kori), an aging leather daddy (Charlie), a no nonsense professor (Jeremy) and his very dapper father (Robert), a very liberal grandmother who I suspect might write those weird wiki-how pages (Nana) and a parrot that does nothing but swear (Johnny Depp the parrot).
Hi peeps! We have Kim Fielding stopping by today with her upcoming release Redesigning Landry Bishop, we have a brilliant guest post from Kim, a great excerpt and Prime’s review, so guys, check out the post and enjoy! ❤ ~Pixie~
Redesigning Landry Bishop
(Dreamspun Desires 82 / Stars In Peril 02)
Love never goes out of style.
Landry Bishop fled his tiny hometown and never looked back. Now his expertise in food, fashion, and décor has earned him all of Hollywood’s glittering perks. But with his husband deceased and his personal assistant retired, Landry has nobody to rely on—and no one to help him indulge his secret cravings.
Casual, plainspoken Jordan Stryker seems a dubious choice of a PA for someone as formal and self-controlled as Landry. Jordan’s questionable fashion sense and limited kitchen skills don’t exactly enhance his résumé. But as Landry soon realizes, Jordan has many attractive qualities too.
With a strong pull toward Jordan, new career opportunities on the horizon, and a persistent tug from family back home, Landry is in a quandary. He can advise others on how to make their lives special, but what should he do about his own?
Blurb: Punk’s not dead, but it’s time to redefine life.
Devlin Waters thought he’d have music forever. But the tragic death of his best friend ended the twenty-year run of his punk band, Negative Impression. Unable to process the loss, Devlin dis-tances himself from everyone and everything that reminds him of the band. But forty-one is too young to curl up and wait for the end. In a search for a second career, he finds himself at uni-versity with a bunch of kids young enough to be… his kids. His sexy archeology professor, however, makes Devlin think about life beyond his grief….
Dr. Jack Johnson does not appreciate Devlin’s lack of respect, his inability to be serious, or his chronic lateness. Worse, he hates that he’s attracted to a student. When he realizes Devlin is the rock star he crushed on in his youth, he drops his guard—against his better judgment.
Before they can move forward together, Jack must admit to Devlin that he’s not only an admir-er, but he also sings in a cover band. How will Devlin react to his ultimate fanboy when his own music has died?
Review: Banded Together, by KC Burn is a pretty complex story that, when it comes down to it, is something awesome. I really don’t have any need to dance around the point. I like the author well enough and find it very easy to connect with Burn’s writing, although I don’t include Burn on my automatic read list (yet?).
This is a story of loss, moving on and finding a different and completely fulfilling type of love. With the mental anguish and grief which is front and centre in this story, I really loved how Stark captured these feelings. This is a great example of how an excellent narrator can keep the person in the world of the story and feel that direct connection with the main characters. Darcy Stark is a new narrator to me, I’ve not listened to the other audio I have with his narration, but that is another KC Burn book that I am looking forward to. In terms of this book, the narration was totally on point.
Devlin Walters and Dr Jack Johnson appear to be polar-opposites on the surface. Devlin is a 41-year-old ex-punk star, popular all over the world, who has turned to completing his archaeology degree after life changing events. Dr Jack Johnson is 35 and a lecturer/academic in archaeology at the university Devlin attends. He’s a little surly when it comes to students who he feels do not take their studies seriously. But on the inside Devlin is broken man, and Jack isn’t so much a prim-proper academic.
Devlin and his best friend from the age of three formed a band, they added a couple more bandmates and became world famous. However, his world shattered when his best friend died some months ago. He’s pushed everyone away, even his mother who he is now living with. Devlin is struggling with life after such a massive loss and no longer feels the music inside. When he decides to go back and finish the studies he started his first positive emotion in months is his fascination with his very hot professor.
Jack isn’t just a quiet professor with a brilliant brain, he also happens to be the singer in a cover band that performs Devlin’s songs. In fact, Jack had a major crush on Devlin when he was a teenager and Devlin was a worldwide star. However, since he has changed his appearance and out of his performing person, Jack doesn’t realise who Devlin is.
This is a slow burn romance. The men both approach a relationship with trepidation, but it is Jack who is helping piece back Devlin’s heart together. Devlin needs to learn not to shut out those that love him and come to terms with the fact that he might not want to be in the limelight again. By the end I was very satisfied and had shed more than a few tears.
Jack is a character that I relate to, at least professionally. A lot of stuff he says in terms of students is something that I’ve felt and discussed with other academics when I taught at a university. With that foot in the door, Jack was so easy to understand and get. Even though I’m a scientist, I’m interested in archaeology and my sister is a historian/archaeologist, so those profession specific thoughts is something else I found easy to relate to.
I recommend this book to those that love a slow burn romance with a touch of angst, also people that like when two men find out that they have a lot more in common than they first thought.
Blurb:Welcome to Tucker Springs, Colorado, where sparks fly when opposites attract—but are some obstacles too great to overcome?
When tattoo artist Seth Wheeler meets his new neighbor, it’s like a revelation. Darren Romero is everything Seth wants in a man: hot, clever, single, and interested. For a minute he seems perfect. Then Darren drops the bomb: he moved to Tucker Springs to be a pastor at the New Light Church.
As a gay man whose parents threw him out, Seth has a strict policy of keeping believers at arm’s length for self-preservation. But Darren’s perseverance and the chemistry bubbling between them steadily wear down his defenses.
In a small town like Tucker Springs, Seth can’t avoid Darren—or how much he wants him. Which means he needs to decide what’s more important: protecting himself, or his feelings for his neighbor.
Review: LA Witt is an author whose work I will grab regardless. I have yet to read a book by this author that I did not like. Witt has a keen eye for details and possess the ability to transform the reader directly into her world. Likeable characters, realistic situations and some of the steamiest sex scenes I’ve ever read!
For those of you that read book 1 in this series, Where Nerves End, you will immediately recognize Seth. The openly gay, laid back tattoo artist hasn’t always had an easy life. Shunned by his fanatical family when he came out to them in college, he had to learn to make his own way in life quickly, when all communication and funding for college were abruptly cut off. He has a good life now with a good job, an apartment and a fantastic close-knit group of friends.
When sex on a stick Darren moves into the apartment across the hall, the animalistic attraction between the two is instantaneous. Darren wastes no time getting Seth into his bed. When Seth learns that Darren is minister, he immediately withdraws from him. The pain of his past hasn’t faded and he subconsciously groups Darren in the same class with his family. But, he can’t stop thinking about the minister with his dark hair and eyes and a dry, witty sense of humor that makes Seth laugh.
Seth tries very hard not to want Darren, but the fact that the two of them can’t be around each other for very long without ending up in bed doesn’t help his flimsy resistance. Unlike Seth, Darren knows exactly what he wants and what he wants is Seth. When Darren approaches the subject of taking their relationship beyond just the bedroom, Seth’s self preservation mode kicks in. Will the harsh words he says create a rift between the pair that can’t be undone? Or will Darren forgive the man he’s fallen in love with, the man that’s also fallen in love with him, but won’t admit it, not even to himself.
The story flows effortlessly and before I knew it I was at the end. The characters are both flawed and carry some pretty serious baggage, but this only makes them more believable and likeable in the end. The sex is sensual, steamy and well conveyed by the author. This is a must read for any M/M fans.
Blurb: It’s been decades since blackmail forced Troy Callahan to retire from playing professional hockey, and he’s built a successful career behind the bench. When he’s offered the opportuni-ty to coach the Asheville Ravens—the most hated team in the ECHL—he’s convinced that his no-nonsense attitude is just what the team needs to put their focus back on hockey. But Troy is disheartened when he finds that the Ravens have signed Shane North, a player known for his aggression. And it only gets worse when Shane’s rough good looks give Troy inappro-priate thoughts about a member of his team, even if Shane’s set to retire at the end of the sea-son.
Shane’s career in the majors never quite took off. Wanting to quit on his own terms, Shane agrees to a one-year contract with the Ravens and finds himself playing for a coach who thinks he’s an aging goon and with a team that doesn’t trust him, the coach, or each other. Despite his determination to not get involved, Shane unwillingly becomes part of the team… and is just as unwillingly drawn to the gruff out-and-proud coach. As the Ravens struggle to build a new identity, Shane and Troy succumb to the passion that might cost them everything.
Review: Coach’s Challenge is the fifth book in Avon Gale’s Scoring Chances series. Not to be mixed up with, which is what I did, with VL Locey’s book of the same name from one of her excellent hockey romance series.
For me it’s been a couple years since I’ve read the Scoring Chances series, but I remember absolutely loving it and had been more than happy devouring them all at the time. This is a series that I recommend reading in order, even for those that just need to refresh what happened in the previous books of the series. This book is something that irons out a lot of the hurts of the previous books, as the team that had caused so much heartache undergo a change and become more tolerant and open under the support of a new coach. This is the story of the Raven’s redemption and you also really need to understand the hate and heartache directed at other teams that made the Asheville Raven’s the ECHL’s most hated team.
The MCs of this story are Troy Callahan and Shane North.
Troy Callahan is the coach. He didn’t have an easy time in his professional playing career (I won’t spoil anything!) but over the years has proved himself to be a damn good coach. Now, after replacing the unethical and all around horrible coach of the Asheville Ravens, it is his job to build the team up. (Think the Mighty Ducks if they had been made up of mostly brutish, homophobic a-holes). He has a plan for the team and the last thing the team needs is a player known for being aggressive.
Shane North has something to prove. He’s coming towards the end of his playing and feels like he needs to prove himself as a hockey player after a lackluster career in the majors. Shane is a lot different to what people assume of him, especially when they see him on the hockey rink. It’s really pleasing to see him open himself up to Troy.
Fans of the books will not be disappointed I think. It gives the Ravens a new lease on life after being totally vilified for four books. Sports romance fans will love this series too.
The narration by Scott R Smith is really quite wonderful. I would assume that it is difficult to capture the romance in between all the testosterone filled hockey plays, as well as dealing with the fall out as the Ravens seek their redemption. Smith gives the characters distinct voices and conveys their emotions, both on the rink and off. Listening to the audio has definitely enhanced my enjoyment of this book.
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (21st December 2018)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts
Blurb: Saving lives never used to be this complicated.
Gavin Montgomery does what’s expected of him by his wealthy and powerful family – look good in a tuxedo and don’t make waves. When a friend takes a leap off a bridge, Gavin tries to save him, only to fall in with him. At least at the bottom of the river he won’t feel like such a disap-pointment to his family. But he’s pulled from the water by a man with an iron grip, a sexy mouth, and a chip on his shoulder the size of the national deficit.
Jamie Donnigan likes his life the way it is – though he could have done without losing his father and giving up smoking. But at least he’s managed to avoid his own ball and chain as he’s watched all his friends pair off. When Montgomery fame turns a simple rescue into a media cir-cus, Jamie decides if he’s being punished for his good deed, he might as well treat himself to a hot and sweaty good time. It’s not like the elegant and charming Gavin is going to lure Jamie away from his bachelor lifestyle. Nobody’s that charming. Not even a Montgomery….
Review: Bad Attitude is the third book in KA Mitchell’s series Bad in Baltimore. This is only my third experience with both the author and the audio narrator, after recently listening to the audio of books one and two. Although there is reference to characters from the previous two books, this one will still work as a standalone book as there are not overarching plotlines.
I’ll start with the narration. And I really am repeating myself because the narration by Chet Daniel has been impressive and consistent throughout the series. He is a narrator that I will look forward to hearing more from in the future. I found myself easily getting lost in the narration and the characters and the voices given to the characters. Also, much like the first two books, the narration was easily the highlight of the book.
Alright, so comments on the story. Overall, I have to say that much like book two I enjoyed this third book quite a bit. Although both stories are very different and I cannot say which is better than the other. Once more, I found the MCs very likable in this story and of the three couples in this series, were the most relatable. Like the previous books, I will repeat myself in saying that the only thing that stopped me from enjoying this story to the maximum is the amount of sex scenes. I felt that there are a lot of drawn out sex scenes that tended to take away from the plot and slow things down quite a bit. But if you like the sex scenes, more power to you and you’ll probably find a lot of enjoyment in this book.
The story is about Jamie Donnigan and Gavin Montgomery. Jamie is an aquatic rescuer on the police force and the report of someone jumping off one of the city bridges has him meeting Gavin. Gavin is a rich boy and embodies all the stereotypes, although we quickly find out that he has hidden depths. Gavin has a horrible family who think he has jumped, and they don’t want the family name besmirched. The reality was that he jumped to save his friend who voluntarily went off the bridge on a madcap scheme. Gavin is actually a pretty good swimmer and is not just a rich party boy, he knows how to survive and that was why he was confident enough (sort of) to go after his friend instead of waiting for help. The case brings Jamie and Gavin together and the two men quickly give into the physical desire that sparks between them.
I recommend this book to people that like 1) lots of sex, and, 2) two guys who are complete opposites in social standings find out that they have a lot in common.
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (19th December 2017)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts
Blurb: Riley Parker: temp, twink, geek… sleuth?
Maybe Riley isn’t living up to his full potential, but being a temp executive assistant suits him. He’s never bored at work, he’s got friends who let him geek out, and he’s got a carefully crafted twink exterior… which might be getting constrictive now that he’s on the other side of 30. Life isn’t perfect, but it’s comfortable.
It all unravels when he takes a job working for a tea-obsessed cosmetics queen, the owner of Gautier Cosmetics. During the launch party for a new product, Riley finds his boss dead under suspicious circumstances, and the homicide detective is none other than Tadeo Martin, Riley’s high school obsession who never knew he was alive.
Tad drafts Riley to get the scoop on the inner workings of Gautier, and for Riley, it’s like a drug. His natural inquisitiveness is rewarded with more and more Tad. Unfortunately, his snooping puts him in the running for two other roles: suspect and victim. The killer doesn’t care which.
Review: Tea or Consequences is a mystery/suspense/romance by KC Burn. Burn is not a new author to me and although no on my list of automatic reads, I nonetheless am usually excited to give a new book by the author once I decide that I like the look of the blurb. I think it’s Burn’s way of writing feels so accessible to the read and flows easily, add on top of that generally relatable characters I’ve read in Burn’s books so far, it usually a pretty pleasing experience.
Darcy Stark is a relatively new narrator for me, the only other book I’ve heard him narrate is another KC Burn gem. I found his narration quite enjoyable. He makes the romance both cute and hot, but also has a great voice lending to the mystery and suspense aspect of the story. I especially loved the voice that he gave Riley.
In the book, Riley works as a temp PA for company executives, he enjoys the changes in work place as he takes on the job from PA’s that go on maternity leave, annual leave, etc. He knows that this isn’t the life for everyone, and he also knows that he is capable of doing a lot more, but for now he is happy in his current career choice and has worked hard to develop a reputation that many professionals would envy. Everything changes when he finds the boss of Gautier Cosmetics, his current assignment, dead in her office on the night of one of the most important party’s of the year. Think of The Devil Wear Prada but with a touch of a tea totalling, French Lady.
With the police and investigators investigating the suspicious death comes Tadeo Martin. He’s the homicide detective in charge the investigation and also the man that Riley had crushed over in high school. Back then it was the usual case of nerd crushing on jock and the jock not seeing the guy. And although Riley recognises the detective, he says nothing. Instead he is more than happy to jump on the band wagon and do a bit of poking around himself for Tadeo. The romance is sweet and happens quite naturally, however, the major part of this story is instead the investigation. I really liked how Burn seamlessly intertwined the romance into the ongoing mystery, without sacrificing the feel of danger as the guys close in on the murder.
This is good for someone who loves a murder mystery, it has an opulent setting and two ordinary guys caught in the middle. Awesome book in all and the narration just enhanced my enjoyment of the text.
Blurb: The world ends not with a bang, but with a downpour. Tornadoes spin through the heart of London, New York cooks in a heat wave that melts tarmac, and Russia freezes under an ever-thickening layer of permafrost. People rally at first—organizing aid drops and evacuating populations—but the weather is only getting worse.
In Durham, mild-mannered academic Danny Fennick has battened down to sit out the storm. He grew up in the Scottish Highlands, so he’s seen harsh winters before. Besides, he has an advantage. He’s a werewolf. Or, to be precise, a weredog. Less impressive, but still useful.
Except the other werewolves don’t believe this is any ordinary winter, and they’re coming down over the Wall to mark their new territory. Including Danny’s ex, Jack—the Crown Prince Pup of the Numitor’s pack—and the prince’s brother, who wants to kill him. A wolf winter isn’t white. It’s red as blood.
Review: Dog Days is a paranormal, shape shifter book set in a dystopian post-apocalyptic future by TA Moore. Sounds like a mouthful, right?
So, I feel like I’ve had my own Mandela moment (bringing the conspiracy theories, I know probably not cool). I say this because I was absolutely convinced that I’ve read TA Moore before and even had another audio. but no, I haven’t. I see no trace of book, audio or even a review I’ve written for TA Moore. Therefore, I went into this one blind and with mixed feelings. This is because I find post-apocalyptic books hit and miss and my enjoyment very much depends on my mood, especially when it isn’t a rose-tinted end of humanity trope. The very nature of the genre also means that romance usually takes a back seat to the crazy shit happening as the world goes to hell. Fair warning, this is for people that like their dystopian futures and the characters dark, unsafe and gritty where survival instincts reign if you hope to survive the day. If you’re looking for something that is primarily romance, this probably isn’t your thing.
Moore has created an intricate world. The start is kind of like The Day After Tomorrow. When storms take over the world and so many millions die, especially the humans because the conditions are hostile and no amount of technology can prepare the populations for this scale of disaster. Danny Fennick, who lives and teaches in Durham, England, is a weredog and decides to go back to the Scottish Highlands where he had grown up as he prepares to live out the storm. However, being a dog when werewolves want to take over is just as dangerous and deadly to him as the storm that killing so many.
Jack, who happens to be Danny’s ex, is the crown prince of his pack. The biggest problem is that his own brother wants him dead and he has been banished from his pack for being gay. Jack is tough and rough, he has to be to not only survive the oncoming wolf winter, but to also survive being banished in this weather. Jack needs to be prepared to do anything to survive because that is what world requires for him.
This is a complex story where the characters come to life in this dark world, they are extremely well fleshed out making it much easier for me to understand their motivations and harshness of the world that they live in. Danny is the most relatable character, he is like the connection to humanity and he is reader’s bridge to understand Jack’s raw instinctive nature.
Derrick McClain did an awesome job of narrating this story. I love his narration and Dog Days is no exception. In the other audio I have narrated by him my collection is four contemporary romances, one light hearted shape shifter romance and this one. I hadn’t known what to expect, especially from a story that is very much in an English setting, but it was amazing. I really loved how he was able to do distinct voices for characters, especially with accents. He also managed to convey the emotions so well.
Eli Wright doesn’t follow anyone’s rules. When he was 17, his parents threw him out of the house for being gay. He’s been making his own way for the past five years and he’s not about to change himself for anyone’s expectations. For now, romance can wait. There are plenty of hot guys to keep him entertained until he finds someone special.
Quinn Maloney kept the peace and his closeted boyfriend’s secrets for 10 years. One morning he got a hell of a wake-up along with his coffee. Not only did the boyfriend cheat on him, but he’s marrying the girl he knocked up. Inviting Quinn to the baby’s baptism is the last straw. Quinn’s had enough of gritting his teeth to play nice. His former boyfriend is in for a rude awak-ening, because Quinn’s not going to sit quietly on the sidelines. In fact, he has the perfect scheme, and he just needs to convince the much younger, eyeliner-wearing guy who winks at him in a bar to help him out.
Eli’s deception is a little too good, and soon he has everyone believing they’re madly in love. In fact, he’s almost got Quinn believing it himself….
Review: Bad Boyfriend is the second book in KA Mitchell’s series Bad in Baltimore. This is only my second experience with both the author and the audio narrator, after recently listening to the audio of book one. Although this is the second book in the series I do not think that it is vital to read the previous book and works well as a standalone novel.
So firstly, the narration. Much like book one I was left very impressed by the narration by Chet Daniel. He is certainly a narrator that I will look forward to hearing more from. I found myself easily getting lost in the narration and the characters and the voices given to the characters. Also, much like book one, the narration was easily the highlight of the book.
I must admit, that I enjoyed this second book better than the first book. I think that the MCs were much more likable in this story and their outlandish scheme was much easier to swallow. The main thing that I didn’t gel with in this book was the amount of sex scenes. I felt that there were a number of random sex scenes that didn’t really help to bring the plot forward, when really in some instances a few paragraphs of conversation would have sufficed. But if you like the sex scenes, more power to you and you’ll probably find a lot more enjoyment in this book.
The story starts with Eli, who is a photographer for Nate from book one. Eli Wright has never been one to follow rules and he isn’t shy to be himself. He knows that there is nothing worth him not ever being his true self. He eventually wants love but for now he isn’t on the look out for Mr Right.
Quinn Maloney is quite the opposite. He lived in the closet for ten years to absolutely everyone, despite being best friends with his ex’s family. His ex was too scared of being himself. Quinn’s world is shattered when he is not only dumped, but he finds out that his cheating ex has got a woman pregnant and “is doing the right thing and marrying her”. That sucks, but what is more fucked up is how his ex manipulates Quinn and keeps him captive despite not being together any more. So when he is invited to be godfather to the ex’s kid, he proposes his hook-up, Eli, to join him and pretend to be his boyfriend. Not only that, Quinn wants Eli to go all out with his act. Eli figures that will be fun but goes in blind without a lot of the facts. This is the start of a roller coaster that ignites the spark of attraction between the guys.
I am aware that I am using the word outlandish a lot to explain the scenario concocted by the MCs in this story, but it the best I got at the moment. Quinn has a really strange and twisted relationship with his ex, while he considers the ex’s family to be his closest friends and allies. I understand that bit, I’ve seen in real life a couple instances where despite the couple separating they are still friends with the full disclosure of everyone else/new spouses. Strangely enough it works. In this case it was the whole thing of Quinn being dragged into the wedding party and being the godfather to his ex’s kid. That was just weird, but I went with it mostly because I really liked both Eli and Quinn and thought that they were well matched.
I recommend this book to people that like 1) lots of sex, and, 2) two guys pretending to be in love because they’ve concocted an outlandish scenario.
Hi guys! We have Morgan James stopping by today with her upcoming release Love Conventions, we have a brilliant guest post fro Morgan and a great excerpt, so check out the post and enjoy! ❤ ~Pixie~
(Dreamspun Desires 81)
A happy ending worthy of a TV fantasy… in real life?
Ashland Wells is an actor of sci-fi cult fame but with little direction for the future, when handsome grad student Remy Beaumont lands in his lap at a fan convention. Remy is everything Ash ever wanted and wished he could be—including out and proud. For twelve hours they’re the best of friends. But the convention ends, and saying goodbye to Remy might be the biggest mistake Ash has ever made.
A few months later, they’re reunited on a new production—Ash as an actor, Remy a writer—and though Ash doesn’t plan to let him go twice, being with Remy means going public about being gay. He’s not sure that’s a risk he—or his career—can handle, no matter how great the temptation.
If only they could write themselves the romantic happily ever after they both need.
Hearing those words from his very straight, very ex-best friend doesn’t put Nate in a helpful mood. Not only did Kellan Brooks’s father destroy Nate’s family in his quest for power, but Kel-lan broke Nate’s heart back in high school. Nate thought he could trust his best friend with the revelation that he might be gay, only to find out he was horribly wrong and become the laugh-ingstock of the whole school. Kellan must be truly desperate if he’s turning to Nate now.
Kellan’s through letting his father run his life, and he wants to make the man pay for cutting him off. What better way to stick it to the bigot than to come out as gay himself—especially with the son of the very man his father crushed on his quest for money and power. Kellan can’t blame Nate for wanting nothing to do with him, though. Kellan will have to convince him to play along, but it’s even harder to convince himself that the heat between them is only an act….
Review: Bad Company is the first book in KA Mitchell’s series Bad in Baltimore. I’ve not read anything in the past by Mitchell but I was nonetheless intrigued reading the blurb and I was happy to become invested in a new series. For that matter, Chet Daniels as the narrator of the audiobook was also a new experience for me, so I really went into this one blind.
So firstly, the narration. I was quite impressed by the narration. I found myself easily getting lost in the narration and the characters and the voices given to the characters. For me the narration was easily the highlight of the book. Daniels’ voice was entertaining and quite honestly kept me going because I have a suspicion that if I were to read this story it would be a reluctant finish at best, or a did not finish at worst.
I’m going to explain those comments before I go into discussing the story. Basically, there are a lot of sex scenes in this book that go on for long chapters. If that’s you’re thing, this is probably going to be one hot read. However, for me, it’s not really my thing, so while I enjoyed the story for the most part the sex scenes popping up (especially at points where I wanted the plot to move forward) were annoying at times.
As for the story itself, we follow the romance between Kellan and Nate. Kellan and Nate were best friends once upon a time when they were kids, but Kellan’s uber rich father destroyed Nate’s father’s livelihood and stole his idea/patent, which was compounded by the fact that Kellan never stood up for Nate in high school when he was bullied for being gay.
Now that they are adults, Kellan is a rich boy and more than a tad arrogant and selfish. His father is an arsehole and the two butt heads, ending in Kellan with no money, no car and no place to live. He is homeless. All Kellan wants is revenge on his father, who also does not approve of Kellan being gay. So Kellan throws himself at the mercy of his ex-best friend, who is now a successful newspaper editor and the two concoct a plan that will allow Nate to do an expose on Kellan’s father, and Kellan can get his revenge on his father.
I had trouble with the storyline, because it was hard to suspend my disbelief to believe that this hare-brained scheme would work in any world. Kellan was also a difficult character to warm up to, and in some respects so was Nate. They’re both contrary sort of blokes but they did have a chemistry that made their romance work. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the audio enough that I am willing to go on and give the rest of the series a go. It’s not uncommon that a narrator will allow me to enjoy a book that I normally wouldn’t be able to finish if I read it.
I recommend this book to people that like 1) lots of sex, and, 2) friends-to-enemies-to-lovers type scenario (which was honestly the draw for me).
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (18th November 2016)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖 3 Hearts
Blurb: Bobby McGrath’s Christmas trip to the beautiful Italian island of Capri to meet his eccentric extended family offers stunning views – none more stunning than his third cousin, Paolo Mascobello, a real stocking stuffer. As the two young men embark on a relationship, Bobby, a driven law student, learns to relax and bask under the Italian moon, and Paolo realizes there’s more to life than a frolic on the beach. For the two to find everlasting amore, Paulo must overcome his fear of commitment and learn to follow his dreams, and Bobby must get his wish for happily ever after.
Review: A Home for the Holidays is a short story by Joe Cosentino. While I love Joel Leslie and despite what I think of the book itself, I can’t really fault his narration. Meanwhile, Joe Cosentino is a new author for me. The audio is under two hours, so if you got a commute and want a story that you don’t really need to pay attention, this will probably work for you. For me, I started thinking about it too much and got annoyed. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t started thinking too hard on the story.
The story is about Bobby McGrath, who is sent over to Italy for his Christmas present to spend the holidays with his mother’s Italian family. That’s where he meets his third cousin and immediately falls into lust. Paolo Mascobello, the hot Italian third cousin, shows interest but he is purposely holding himself back (but not because they are related). Paolo lives with the expectations of his well-off family and so his dreams are stifled until Bobby convinces him that perhaps it’s okay to dream.
I think some people would be bothered by the whole third cousin thing, but since the guys never met before this holiday, it doesn’t bother me so much. For me I was mostly put off by the bad Italian stereotypes, being that I got my crazy Italian family on my mother’s side I found some of it cringeworthy. The only other thing that annoyed me was how much Paolo brooded without communicating – it got on my nerves. However, one thing that the story has going for it is that the story is fast paced and I liked how Bobby carried himself and developed through the story. Being so short there isn’t a lot of room to move, so I think all good stuff was given to Bobby and that made him a sweet and relatable character.