Murderous Requiem by Jamie Fessenden (2nd Edition)

Jamie Fessenden - Murderous Requiem Cover 865yfsa2Title: Murderous Requiem

Author: Jamie Fessenden

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Other Paranormal

Length: Novel (234pgs)

Publisher: DSP Publications (22nd March 2016)

ISBN: 978-1-63476-551-0

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating:  💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Jeremy Spencer never imagined the occult order he and his boyfriend, Bowyn, started as a joke in college would become an international organization with hundreds of followers. Now a professor with expertise in Renaissance music, Jeremy finds himself drawn back into the world of free love and ceremonial magick he’d left behind, and the old jealousies and hurt that separated him from Bowyn eight years ago seem almost insignificant.

Then Jeremy begins to wonder if the centuries-old score he’s been asked to transcribe hides something sinister. With each stanza, local birds flock to the old mansion, a mysterious fog descends upon the grounds, and bats swarm the temple dome. During a séance, the group receives a cryptic warning from the spirit realm. And as the music’s performance draws nearer, Jeremy realizes it may hold the key to incredible power—power somebody is willing to kill for.

Purchase Link: DSP Publications | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Jeremy is drawn back into the occult order he helped found many years ago. With the temptation of transcribing a score of Renaissance music never heard of before, he returns to a world and a lover he left behind. Re-entering a world of free love and occult magick, Jeremy begins to wonder if the score hides a dark purpose and can he really trust some of the people that surround him, when strange events begin to happen.

Well, this story takes you on a journey leading you down a path that many view as suspect and some view as cult. It shows us a side of the occult that many don’t look at; mixing music with magick and that’s where Jeremy comes in. Jeremy is contacted by his old lover, Bowyn, to help transcribe an old score said to be written by Ficino, a Renaissance scholar. A score that has never been published or transcribed before. The temptation is too much and Jeremy is pulled back into a world he walked away from. Jeremy still loves Bowyn and finds it difficult at times to remember why he walked away, but remembers when jealousy starts to creep in. Deciphering the score isn’t all that easy, but as Jeremy starts to piece together the music he discovers that it may not be as benign as he first thought.  and mysterious sinister events point to someone who is determined to perform the ritual at all costs.

I will be the first to hold my hands up and say that some of the details in this book flew over my head no matter how detailed the explanations were. Renaissance music, occult and alchemy might make a great background for a slightly sinister book, but having no grasp for even the basics made it harder to grasp the full details and intent of what the characters were hoping to achieve. But, saying that I still enjoyed this book. It’s very well written and draws you in as the story unfolds.  And it has suspense and mystery woven through, adding a sinister undertone. Although there is a basic relationship between Bowyn and Jeremy and they apparently love each other, they still have sex and fool around with others. I can’t actually say that they get a happily ever after, but it is a happily for them arrangement.

The mystery and suspense are good and leaves a thread of tension throughout the book. There’s death and betrayal, love and hope and occult dealings. I actually think this is an intriguing story that shows a ‘whiter’ or good side to the occult. It has informative information and you can see that the author has done a lot of research.

I will recommend this to those who love mystery and suspense, occult dealings, twists, betrayal, underhand dealings, murder and manipulation and a happy for them ending.

Deviant Desire by Jackson Marsh

Title: Deviant Desires

Series: The Clearwater Mysteries 01

Author: Jackson Marsh (7th March 2019)

Genre: Historical, Mystery

Length: Novel (286pgs)


Publisher: Jackson Marsh

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: The Victorian East End lives in fear of the Ripper and his mission to kill rent boys. Silas Hawkins, nineteen and forging a life on the streets could well be the next victim, but when he meets Archer, his life changes forever. Young, attractive and rich, Archer is The Viscount Clearwater, a philanthropist, adventurer and homosexual. 

When Archer suspects the Ripper is killing to lure him to a confrontation, he risks his reputation and his life to stop the madman’s murders. Every man must play his part, including Silas. 

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: This is an interesting story that takes the Jack the Ripper story and gives it a twist, throw in an Aristocrat who is determined to help out the unfortunate young men from the poverty stricken East End of London and you get a very enjoyable read.

Archer has inherited the title of Viscount Clearwater and sets about being as different from his father as he possible can. He has decided to aid those men less fortunate than him and with the aid of his butler, Trip, and his head footman, Thomas, he sets about finding a person who can aid him in his quest… and he starts to dig into the gruesome murders of rent boys.

Silas is the young man who helps Archer, with the aid of his friend Andrej (also known as Fecker) as they describe the lives they have lived. Silas is also drawn to the handsome slightly older man, but with their positions in life it’s not something he can dwell on.

I enjoyed this story and was impressed with the descriptions of the dirty smelly East End. With short descriptions we are treated to the reality of the treatment of poor and the lives they live, which is a stark contrast to the cleaner more fragrant world of the rich aristocrats.

The story starts off slow, introducing each character, both main and secondary, in their settings, we get to know what they are like as they go about their day to day lives before they are drawn together sparking an adventure for all of them. I’m not gonna delve much into the story as I really don’t want to spoil things for readers, but I will tell you that as a mystery it’s wonderful, as a historical it’s settings are rich easily transporting you to the dank streets and the dour pubs, as a love story it’s a bit of a rollercoaster ride.

I found that I liked all the characters and that they were a perfect mix with a rich and broad dialogue. Each character has a unique personality; you become invested in their journey and follow along on the twists and turns.

I recommend this to those who love historical mysteries, interesting characters, wonderful story telling and ending that has you waiting in eager anticipation for the next book.

Deviant Desire by Jackson Marsh Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

Jackson Marsh - Deviant Desire BT Banner

Hi guys! We have Jackson Marsh visiting today with his new release Deviant Desire, we have a brilliant guest post, a great excerpt, a fantastic giveaway and my review, so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~

Deviant Desires

(The Clearwater Mysteries 01)

Jackson Marsh

The Victorian East End lives in fear of the Ripper and his mission to kill rent boys. Silas Hawkins, nineteen and forging a life on the streets could well be the next victim, but when he meets Archer, his life changes forever. Young, attractive and rich, Archer is Viscount Clearwater, a philanthropist, adventurer and homosexual.

When Archer suspects the Ripper is killing to lure him to a confrontation, he risks his reputation and his life to stop the madman’s murders. Every man must play his part, including Silas.

A mashup of mystery, romance and adventure, Deviant Desire is set in an imaginary London of 1888. The first in an on-going series, it takes the theme of loyalty and friendship in a world where homosexuality is a crime. Secrets must be kept, lovers must be protected, and for Archer and Silas, it marks the start of their biggest adventure – love.

Warnings: Action-violence (fights) and descriptions of murders and bullying.

.•.•.**❣️ Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon CA ❣️**.•.•.

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Innocence & Carnality by J. Alan Veerkamp

Title: Innocence & Carnality

Author: J. Alan Veerkamp

Genre: Alternative World, Steampunk, Historical

Length: Novel (348pgs)

ISBN: 978-1-64405-193-1

Publisher: DSP Publications (23rd April 2019)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Innocence is his only currency.

The gilded cage of propriety where Nathan grew up as a member of the Deilian aristocracy became a true prison when, at fifteen, his homosexuality came to light and created a terrible scandal. His parents see only one way to preserve their reputation amongst the other noble families: fit Nathan with a chastity belt to increase his value to a potential partner and marry him off as soon as possible.

The recipient of that prize is Lord Rother Marsh Delaga III. After a hasty wedding, Rother whisks Nathan away to the strange and seductive land of Marisol, where Nathan will begin a new life, free to explore the pleasures of the marriage bed, though his life is still not his own.

But Rother’s Delaga House is a place of secrets, dangers, and depravity Nathan can scarcely comprehend. Where friends are few and peril waits around every corner, Nathan must employ all the manipulation he learned from high society, along with his talent for clockwork. Most of all, Nathan must adapt, compromise to survive, and cast off the preconceptions of his homeland.

Because only he can orchestrate his freedom, and it’ll come at a cost.

Purchase Link: DSPP | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Wow! This story blew me away with its twists and turns.

Innocence & Carnality starts out as expected for a historical setting story, a young stripling told point blank that he will be marrying a man of his father’s choice and he’d better like it or else. Then said young man comes over all aflutter when first meeting his husband to be, being swept off his feet by an older man who oozes carnal delights, and then rushed through marriage and dropped into a setting he is too innocent to understand. And that’s when things start to get juicy and veers off from a standard historical.

Nathan is the young man in question, after the first couple of days with his new husband he has high hopes but they are swiftly dashed, he gets a brutal awakening as to what his husband is really like and our young Nathan starts to plot.

Rother is the man who had to have Nathan after seeing just one picture, he’s a ruthless man who knows how to get what he wants and he never allows anyone to get the best of him.

When I first started reading this I expected it to follow the normal historical formula, young innocent breaking through to the ruthless lords’ heart and softening his outlook, well I was swiftly disabused of that notion as it is Nathan who comes into his own and changes vastly from the innocent young man we first meet.

All the characters in this story stand out in their own ways, each one vibrant with their personalities, and whether you like them or not each one leaves a mark in your mind. There are some characters you end up adoring who you weren’t sure of in the beginning, others earn your scorn and hate even though at first they appealed to you.

The rich settings have you plunging into the story, with a few well-placed words you’re in an office, a bedroom, a hallway, a salon, walking down a busy street or a quiet shop. We are treated to an amazing story that surprises at turns and shocks with its twists, it has vices and violence that has your eyes widening and yes there are some scenes of brutality.

One thing I want to say is don’t be put off if you hear about the cheating, I’m one for turning my nose up at cheating in a story and I take a very dim view of it but with this story it is essential and makes the story what it is.

I’m not gonna delve further into the story as it really does need to be discovered by yourself, but I will say it’s thoroughly enjoyable that I had a very hard time putting down.

This story isn’t about hearts and flowers, it’s not about first loves and breaking through someones toughened shell, it’s about surviving a situation that looks bleak, it’s about playing the game until you can turn the tables, and it’s about striving to make your own life on your terms.   

J. Alan Veerkamp has written a story that drags you along on a journey that you just don’t know where it’s going or how it’s going to end, and you’ll love every minute of it.

Dirty Laundry by Heidi Cullinan (2nd Edition)

Title: Dirty Laundry

Series: Tucker Springs 03 (Multi Author Series)

Author: Heidi Cullinan

Genre: Contemporary, Kink

Length: Novel (199pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (29th March 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Sometimes you have to get dirty to come clean.

When muscle-bound Denver Rogers effortlessly dispatches the frat boys harassing grad student Adam Ellery at the Tucker Springs laundromat, Adam’s thank-you turns into impromptu sex over the laundry table. The problem comes when they exchange numbers. What if Adam wants to meet again and discovers Denver is a high-school dropout with a learning disability who works as a bouncer at a local gay bar? Or what if Denver calls Adam only to learn while he might be brilliant in the lab, outside of it he has crippling social anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder?

Either way, neither of them can shake the memory of their laundromat encounter. Despite their fears of what the other might think, they can only remember how good the other one feels. The more they get together, the kinkier things become. They’re both a little bent, but in just the right ways. 

Maybe the secret to staying together isn’t to keep things clean and proper. Maybe it’s best to keep their laundry just a little bit dirty. 

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: This is the 2nd edition and while it has been tweaked and brushed up there’s no change to the story.

Adam is being harassed by frat boys when he does his laundry. Lucky for him, sexy cowboy, Denver, comes to his rescue and Adam ends up bent over the Laundromat table having the time of his life, after he thanks his savior. Denver can’t get Adam out of his head, even seeing all the other hot geeky twinks at work doesn’t stop him wanting Adam.  Adam seemed to want the same kind of play as Denver enjoys, but Denver has to wait for Adam to make the first move.

This is a wonderful story of working past your limitations and embracing your quirks. Adam suffers from OCD, he has a lot of quirks that go with it and he has to work hard to keep his panic attacks at bay. When Adam first meets Denver he tries to hide his problems, believing that if Denver found out about his mental health, then he would want nothing to do with him. Denver has his own problem which holds him back, he works as a bouncer because the job he really wants means going back to school and he just can’t deal with books.  dating Adam makes him want to try though and both men have to face their problems.

Denver and Adam are a couple that you wouldn’t think would work, but both their personalities are perfectly synced. they draw out the best in each other and are very encouraging when it comes to their individual problems. The one thing you could never doubt is how hot they are together, and we get the pleasure of seeing how hot they are together with their kinks, and although there are elements of BDSM, we really only see the kink side, with Adam reminiscing about the more mainstream BDSM.

I will admit that when I first started the book and for the first couple of chapters I thought it was going to be the typical BDSM Dom/sub story, but we get so much more than that. We get their everyday fears and the mental health problems they face, but we also see how their kinks work with the OCD. Adam and his OCD are written incredible well, with his fears being dealt with instead of being glossed over. Denver’s learning disability was covered and handled quite well, and his reaction to the knowledge was perfectly described. Both these characters’ worm their way into your affections because they are both so incredibly sweet with each other, they try to protect each other in their own way and they both dread the other finding out the truth about them.

I will recommend this to those who love geeks and cowboys, dealing with mental health problems head on, some hot kink and BDSM elements, gaining control of your life and finding your own flawed true love.

Innocence & Carnality by J. Alan Veerkamp Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

J. Alan Veerkamp - Innocence & Carnality BANNER

Hi peeps! We have J. Alan Veerkamp popping in today with his new release Innocence & Carnality, we have a brilliant guest post from J. Alan, a great excerpt, a fantastic $10 DSP Publications GC giveaway and my review, so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~

Innocence & Carnality


J. Alan Veerkamp

Innocence is his only currency.

The gilded cage of propriety where Nathan grew up as a member of the Deilian aristocracy became a true prison when, at fifteen, his homosexuality came to light and created a terrible scandal. His parents see only one way to preserve their reputation amongst the other noble families: fit Nathan with a chastity belt to increase his value to a potential partner and marry him off as soon as possible.

The recipient of that prize is Lord Rother Marsh Delaga III. After a hasty wedding, Rother whisks Nathan away to the strange and seductive land of Marisol, where Nathan will begin a new life, free to explore the pleasures of the marriage bed, though his life is still not his own.

But Rother’s Delaga House is a place of secrets, dangers, and depravity Nathan can scarcely comprehend. Where friends are few and peril waits around every corner, Nathan must employ all the manipulation he learned from high society, along with his talent for clockwork. Most of all, Nathan must adapt, compromise to survive, and cast off the preconceptions of his homeland.

Because only he can orchestrate his freedom, and it’ll come at a cost.

Warnings: Violence

.•.•.**❣️ DSPP | Amazon US | Amazon UK | iTunes | B&N | Kobo | Google Play❣️**.•.•.

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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.

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.

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.

Starved Monster by Jude Marquez

Title: Starved Monster

Series: Cerith Kingdom Chronicles 02

Author: Jude Marquez

Genre: Historical, Medieval

Length: Novella (172pgs)

Publisher: Jude Marquez (December 29, 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Blurb: On the happiest day of their lives, an enemy waits for the perfect chance to strike…

After the attempted war and take over of their kingdom, Evander and Alyx have finally reached a place where they have found peace. Their wedding and coronation waits and after that, five blissful days alone for their honeymoon.

Nothing is ever as simple as it seems…

With Evander and Alyx gone, strangers attempt an invasion. With the royal family either kidnapped or on the run, no one is safe and there are enemies and dangers everywhere. The country is in shambles when the news of their Kings’ death starts to reach the furthest corners.

A ravenous monster waits…

With the help of a few remaining friends, Evander and Alyx make their way to the enemies keep. Along the way they are challenged and make new friends. But with the life of their family on the line and new secrets revealed, will they arrive in time?

The Starved Monster is Book II in the Cerith Kingdom Chronicles. It is highly recommended that you read the first book, A Hundred Others, for this series to make sense. This book features MM sexual scenes, heroic rescues, daring kings, and a steamy love match. This book does end on a cliffhanger and is intended for audiences over 18 years old!


Product Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Shorty & Pixie

Shorty’s Review 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts:

All hell breaks loose as soon as Evander and Alyx head for their honeymoon. I applaud the effort of those left behind to keep things in order and to try to stop the takeover. Once Evander and Alyx are attacked they both know something is wrong at home and rush back.

A wonderful continuation from the previous book with plenty of action, betrayal and romance. Loved the entire story and am looking forward to the next book.

Fantastic read.

Pixie’s Review 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts:

Holy hell, this series just keeps getting better and better.

While Evander and Alyx are on their honey moon on a remote Island the unthinkable happens, not only are they attacked but their entire family and kingdom are targeted and it’s a race against time with limited aid for Evander, Alyx and their family and friends to reclaim their Kingdom before it’s too late.

I loved this story, it has action, adventure and heart in your mouth moments, a truly stunning storyline that has you shaking your kindle in frustration as you get to the last pages.

New characters are introduced that add to the amazing array of characters from A Hundred Others, while some characters have harrowing backgrounds every single one of them are strong, it’s a strength of character that shines through the lot of them, men, women and children alike. Not a one of them breaks under the pressure pushed upon them, they might bend a little but all of them keep going with strength behind them. And I loved that, I really appreciate an author who knows how to write a character of strength without making them overbearing or toxic in their attitude.

The storyline is fantastic, it’s perfectly woven to keep you turning the pages in anticipation. It grips you by the throat and doesn’t let go, not even at the end… because that ending holy crap, it was an ending that nearly had me screaming in frustration because it was such a twist that I had no idea was heading my way. I mean damn they had just been victorious and the author just backhands you while cackling evilly, the author then follows it up with a gut punch murmuring ‘suck it up buttercup, you’ll have to wait for the next book’.

So I recommend this to those who adore medieval fantasy, amazing characters, a wonderful storyline, and sadistic authors who leave you battered and bruised dangling from a cliff.

A Hundred Others by Jude Marquez

Title: A Hundred Others

Series: Cerith Kingdom Chronicles 01

Author: Jude Marquez

Genre: Medieval, Fantasy

Length: Novel (189pgs)

Publisher: EmCee Publishing (November 23, 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Blurb: An approaching enemy…
An uncrowned Prince…
A commoner with a destiny he could not realize…

Alyx Reimund is a servant in the home that used to be his father’s. Beaten, abused in ways he dare not recount, he longs for the day that he might feel a steady and kind hand. A chance encounter brings him face to face with the Crown Prince, a man so handsome and brave, surely he was made from Alyx’s own dreams.

Crown Prince Evander De Loughrey heads one of the fiercest armies in all the lands. He wields his power with less violence than his father before him, wishing only for an end to all the wars he had been on, wishing for someone to wake in his bed with him, to love him as he is not for the power he will one day have.

When the two meet, it is as though fate had drawn them together. But will they be able to keep each other, and the royal family, safe? Will their kingdom survive an unknown enemy? Will they be able to know peace and harmony with each other.

This novel features MM sex scenes, lots of dashing knights, and plenty of sweetness to match. A Hundred Others is meant for the 18+ crowd who enjoy a lot of sweet with some of their heat.


Product Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Shorty & Pixie

Shorty’s Review 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts:

An interesting story of two men who have been abused but meet one fateful day that changes their lives forever. Evander is fiercely protective and determined. Alyx is discovering that he is more than what his stepmother thought. I loved these two. The things they have been through made them stronger.

I loved that Evander and his family was there for Alyx when he needed them the most. A great beginning to an incredible series.

Fantastic read with twists and turns and romance.

Pixie’s Review: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

This really is a fantastic story, that surprises you with it’s twists and turns.

Well guys, when I started reading this story I thought it was gonna be another Cinderfella story with the prince riding to the rescue, but that was soon disabused when Alyx turned around and took things into his own hands and Evander turns up just after the event.

Both Alyx and Evander know severe abuse, they have both had to fight their abusers in the only way they know how and come out the other side scared but stronger.

Their relationship is beautiful to watch unfold, and just because they find their true love doesn’t mean that happy ever after falls in their laps.

Evanders family are incredible, they rally round the couple and while the family have secrets, they are good secrets that have come out of an horrendous struggle. 

I loved this story and can only recommend this to those who love medieval fantasy stories, strong characters, a love that shines above all else, and a great cast of supporting characters. 

Murder At Oakschott Hall by Jim Austen

Title: Murder at Oakschott Hall

Author: Jim Austen

Genre: Mash up, Historical, Mystery

Length: Novel (204pgs)


Publisher: Flying Heron Press (February 19, 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: They have eyes for each other. But someone is eyeing them for murder.

In the Junior students’ dormitory at Oakschott Hall, a heavy gaslight falls from the ceiling, crushing the head of a student sleeping beneath it. Was it simply a tragic accident? To avoid publicity, the Headmaster asks Colin Revell, a young Oxford University graduate and former Oakschott student, to quietly investigate.

While interviewing the faculty and staff, Colin meets Max Lambourne, a handsome don who was wounded and gassed in WWI. When Colin tries to help Max overcome his trauma and depression, the two men fall in love and begin an erotic affair.

But when another student dies—diving at night into an empty swimming pool—murder is suspected. Students and faculty all come under suspicion, and rumors proliferate when Scotland Yard intervenes. Meanwhile, during all this confusion and wild theories, the murderer sees Colin and Max as threats. Unbeknownst to the two lovers, their lives are now in danger.

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: This story is a mash-up of Murder at School by James Hilton, so uses much of that story’s plotline and its characters. The gay romance element was added by Jim Austen.

So when I first started reading this I didn’t know it was a mash-up, I only found out about half-way through and being honest it didn’t make a difference to me.

Colin comes across as a bit sex mad, most thoughts seem to linger on sexual feelings, reminiscing, and fantasising… it was a bit off putting until he met Max and then his sexual thoughts petered off a bit. Another thing is that after the first couple of pages my mind seemed to want to read the book in a droll tone, and I can safely say that that was also Colin’s influence because he just seemed to be soooooo droll about everything until he gets his teeth in the mystery and thankfully my mind also jumped on board to drop the drollness. Okay enough about that lets move on.

Colin (for some reason) gets a note from the headmaster at Oakshott Hall, where he was once a pupil, asking him to investigate a mysterious death, but while he’s investigating the headmaster suddenly changes his tune but not before Colin meets the lovely Max. Colin heads home regretting not getting to know Max better, but Colin soon has another chance with Max when another death occurs at Oakshott Hall, the first dead boys’ brother. And so the true mystery begins.

Now I did enjoy this story but I did feel like throwing my kindle at times because of how dense everyone seem to be concerning the culprit, it was just so incredible that everyone believed the culprits innocent act. And the twist… very well played out.

Colin’s relationship with Max was a sweet little thing, very intense and passionate for both of them. I can’t say much about how well suited they are because we don’t really get to know Max that well. But the author did well to get their relationship off the ground considering it’s a mash-up and the characters we’re both straight men in the original story.

So the story is enjoyable and interesting, the outcome was exciting, and the characters are interesting. If you love historical mysteries, men finding love, and a surprising twist then you’ll enjoy this story.

The Hands We’re Given by O.E. Tearmann

Title: The Hands We’re given

Series: Aces High, Jokers Wild 01

Author: O.E. Tearmann

Genre: Science Fiction, Cyberpunk, Futuristic, Dystopian, Transgender

Length: Novel (350pgs)

ISBN: 9781724835499

Publisher: O.E. Tearmann (3rd September 2018)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4 ½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Aidan Headly never wanted to be the man giving orders. That’s fine with the Democratic State Force base he’s been assigned to command: they don’t like to take orders. Nicknamed the Wildcards, they used to be the most effective base against the seven Corporations owning the former United States in a war that has lasted over half a century.

Now the Wildcards are known for creative insubordination, chaos, and commanders begging to be reassigned. Aidan is their last chance. If he can pull off his assignment as Commander and yank his ragtag crew of dreamers and fighters together, maybe they can get back to doing what they came to do: fighting for a country worth living in. Life’s a bitch. She deals off the bottom of the deck. But you play the hands you’re given.

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Aidan is about to embark on his first command and he’s nervous as hell. The Wildcards were the most famous base in the Democratic States Force but since the death of their last Commander they’ve become an unruly force and it’s Aidan’s job to turn them around and make them efficient again or the base will be disbanded.

This is a great story for those who love futuristic/dystopian settings. America’s Government has fallen and seven corporations have taken over, these corporations have their own rules for their territories. Citizens are rated and if you displease those above you then you are dropped down the ranks. Depending on which corporation territory you live in then just being yourself could get you dead.

Democratic States Forces (Dusters) are fighting back the best way they can, but it’s a tough fight that’s lasted for over sixty years. Wildcards are a team who has always succeeded but when their long term Commander dies of cancer the team grieves hard affecting their performance and attitude. Aidan is brought in to repair the team but it’s a tough challenge especially when he’s dealing with his own problems and depression.

We meet the Wildcards and can see the fracturing in their team straight away, Wildcards is a family unit who are grieving for the man who brought them all together, and while they try to keep it together they resent outsiders coming in and ordering them about.  

Aidan finds a home at Wildcards; he’s been rejected at his home base and knows that his life is forfeit if some of the Corporations get their hands on him. Aidan is scared to death of how people will react if they discover his secret, and although he knows it could be dangerous he finds himself falling for Kevin, the logistics officer, and Kevin has his own secrets he’s keeping.

This is a really great story, we see a group heavily affected by the death of someone who was important to them, we see a young man struggling to find a place for himself while whipping them back into shape, we see a romance beginning to blossom, and we see people fighting back against the cruel grip of selfish leaders.

I enjoyed this story, I liked the way that there was a good mix of personal interaction between the characters and the missions they took part in, meaning that neither was overlooked so we become invested in both the characters and their mission to fight against the corporations.

The romance between Aidan and Kevin is perfectly woven, both men accepting the other and their secrets but not making it too easy on either of them. The romance is just a tiny part of the story, because at the end of the day they have much more important things to focus on.

I really liked all the characters and enjoyed seeing them all together; it truly is like a large extended family and with any large family when new people come into it they have to find their own place without upsetting the status quo.

There is danger as they guy’s head out on missions; we also see personal struggles, fears, and anger. 

Just don’t expect to see hands on fighting because these guys are an invisible force, they make raids, help refugees to escape the corporations, and come up with ways to help their forces while disrupting the Corporations as much as they can.

I’d recommend this to those who love futuristic dystopian stories where the oppressed fight back the best way they can, where love is discovered, where a family is rebuilt, and where something precious can be built in a desolate Country.

Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane (2nd Edition)

Amy Lane - Christmas Kitsch CoverTitle: Christmas Kitsch

Author: Amy Lane

Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Coming Out

Length: Novel (200pgs)

ISBN: 978-1-64080-503-3

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (7th December 2018)

Heat Level: Low – Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4 ½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Sometimes the best Christmas gift is knowing what you really want.

Rusty Baker is a rich, entitled, oblivious jock, and he might have stayed that way if he hadn’t become friends with out-and-proud Oliver Campbell from the wrong side of the tracks. When Oliver kisses him goodbye before Rusty leaves for college, Rusty is forced to rethink everything he knows about himself.

But nothing can help Rusty survive a semester at Stanford, and he returns home for Thanksgiving break clinging to the one thing he knows to be true: Oliver is the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

Rusty’s parents disagree, and Rusty finds himself homeless for the holidays. But with Oliver’s love and the help of Oliver’s amazing family, Rusty realizes that failing college doesn’t mean he can’t pass real life with flying rainbow colors.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Rusty has always gotten everything he wanted without even really trying, he might be expected to follow in his father’s footsteps but he fully admits to being the stereotypical dumb jock. When he meets Oliver his views begin to change, he wants more than to go into his father’s business, he want to do something that makes him happy. Oliver is out and proud, he’s from the wrong side of the tracks and his best friend puts himself down. Kissing Rusty is one of the best things he has ever done and being there for Rusty as he struggles through his first semester at Berkeley keeps him hoping that Rusty will wake up to his true feelings. Rusty heads home for the holidays knowing just what he wants but his parents have very different ideas, when he finds himself tossed out on the street it’s Oliver and his family who help him back on his feet, but can Rusty accept the love that Oliver offers or will his stubborn pride keep them apart?

This is an incredibly wonderful story where a young man finds himself and sets out to live his life in happiness and accepting that family is more than who you are born to. Rusty is a character who is easy to fall in love with, he has no illusions about himself and knows his limits, although he is very hard on himself and self-disparaging. Oliver is a lovely young man who guides Rusty as much as he can to recognize his feelings and to also buff up Rusty’s confidence. They make a perfect couple who have the usual teenage problems involving pride and confidence, but their support of each other is heart-warming.

We follow these two young men as they make friends and develop a friendship that can and does stand against pressure. Rusty is oblivious to many things around him but finds that he has much more going for him in a world he makes for himself, rather than the world his parents want for him. His relationship with Oliver is the cornerstone for all that he wants to build and we see his heartache as he strives to be something he isn’t, we see Oliver and his family pulling around Rusty as his own parents turn their back on him and we see Rusty blossoming into a man to be proud of. Rusty and Oliver’s relationship is an incredible one, they have their ups and downs but it is all based in love and when they are together, it makes you smile.

I adored this story. I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to know what would happen to these two young men as they faced life with love from one side but disapproval from the other side. The story is from Rusty’s point of view but you get to know Oliver perfectly through Rusty’s eyes and Rusty is an honest character, there’s no false pretense in him so what you see is what you get.

The story is written perfectly, the characters come to life and it is a storyline that happens all too often in real life. You get behind these two young men cheering for them as they build their lives, you feel their heartache, pain and disappointment, their confusion and hurt, their love and happiness and their dreams of the future.

I recommend this to those who love young adults starting their lives, fantastic characters, wonderful family, new blossoming love and an incredible ending.

Summerfield’s Angel by Kim Fielding

Title: Summerfield’s Angel

Series: The Christmas Angel 02

Author: Kim Fielding

Genre: Historical (1888), America’s, Holiday

Length: Novella (113pgs)

ISBN: B07K684L6C

Publisher: Kim Fielding (2nd December 2018)

Heat Level: Low – Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: After the hard winter of 1888 ended Alby Boyle’s work as a Nebraska ranch hand, he returned to New York City in search of his long-lost family. His mother and brothers are nowhere to be found, however, and after Alby’s years of absence, Five Corners no longer feels like home. His prospects seem as dim as the nighttime alleys.

When Alby pauses to admire an angel ornament in a department store window’s Christmas display, he meets Xeno Varnham-Summerfield. Wealthy, handsome, and enthusiastic, Xeno brings Alby some temporary cheer. But for Alby to achieve his dreams of love and a real home, well, that may take a bit of holiday magic.

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Alby returns to New York City after a freezing hard winter finished the Nebraskan ranch he worked at, he’s decided to try and track down the family he hasn’t seen since he was thirteen but the building they used to live in is long gone.

When Alby pauses to admire a Christmas Angel in a department stores window he meets Xeno who offers advice, and when Alby keeps bumping into the man outside the department store Xeno makes his interest clear.

This is a wonderful little story that transports you to the streets of New York City in 1888, the setting is brilliantly described and you can immerse yourself in what life was like back then.

Alby is a wonderful character who is comfortable in himself and his skills, he might just be a ranch hand but he still manages to find a job working with horses with the help of Mr. Caruthers the manager of the YMCA. But it doesn’t stop him from being drawn to the department store and Xeno.

Alby is the focus of this story and we learn about his life from childhood to adulthood, you find out some interesting little tidbits about America in 1888, we root for Alby as he tries to find his family and hope that his families fortunes had turned and they were all okay.

While we find out a bit about Xeno it’s in short bursts and while he might come across as a bit forward (hell you don’t just flirt and compliment a guy in 1888), we don’t actually get what he was thinking or what signs he’d seen that would indicate that Alby might be amenable, he comes across as a man who knows what he wants and will aim to get it.

Other than not getting Xeno’s side of the tale I enjoyed this story and admired both men, their relationship is sweet and Xeno’s father very accepting for that time. That they could build a life together and have acceptance from those closest to them was just wonderful and leaves you with warm fuzzy feelings.

I recommend this to those who love historical romances, who adore characters who are interesting and sweet, and who adore happy endings. 

Nerdy Little Secret by M.J. O’Shea (2nd Edition)

Title: Nerdy Little Secret, (2nd Edition)

Series: Coconut Cove 02

Author: M.J. O’Shea

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (82 Pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 18, 2018)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3 – 3 1/2 Hearts

Blurb: Will a reunion between high school friends lead to romance—or regret?

Key West local Blair Fletcher goes from wallflower to star overnight. One day he’s waiting tables, and the next he’s thrust into a different world—as an actor on the new gay teen drama Coconut Cove. Playing queen-bee Ryder quickly makes him friends—and enemies—but it’s the set carpenter who’s had his heart since they were kids.

Blair always assumed golden god Sander Johansen was completely unattainable… and straight. Now that Sander has returned to their hometown, it seems Blair’s assumptions might have been wrong. As things heat up on set and in the bedroom, Blair has to realize he’s no longer the shy kid who never moved away from home and maybe it’s finally time for him to have the life, and love, he’s always wanted.

ISBN: 978-1-64080-457-9

Product Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Lisa & Pixie

Lisa’s Review: 💖💖💖 3 Hearts

When Blair had been in high school he had had the most delicious crush on Sander. The problem was Sander was one of the popular boys with a girl always on his arm. Won’t he be surprised to find out that Sander was in fact gay. Now here Blair was working the main character in a gay drama, and wouldn’t you know it, Sanders is here too. He was the construction part of the business, and oh things are going to heat up.

First off this book was a bit odd to me. You have the story, then you have an announcer giving insight into the show, then back to the story. It spent more time on their acting characters then their actual selves. The story had such a slow pace to it that it felt like I could fall a sleep reading it.

Then there was the ending, it just stopped right at the strangest point. I hate to admit that the story was bland and a bit dry to me. The characters just didn’t seem to have the depth that they should have and like I said above, I saw more of their acting persona then them. Their romance was just no connection what so ever. I was a bit disappointed in it and I can also say that it just wasn’t for me.

Pixie’s Review: 💖💖💖💖 3 1/2 Hearts

This book is part of a series and is best read in order. We re-join the cast of Coconut Cove for a new exciting love story as Blair (Ryder) finds his happily ever after. Blair is still surprised that he has a role as Ryder in Coconut Cove, he’s nothing like his queen bee character and sometimes struggles getting into the role. Plus his secret crush from high school is back in town and he always clams up when Sander is around. Sander is back in Key West because his job fell through, getting a job working on the sets of Coconut Cove is a blessing and he connects with Blair his next door neighbor, and soon love blossoms.

Oh guys Blair is a complete sweetheart and you really don’t want to miss his story. Blair grew up in Key West and still lives with his mom, he was a quiet guy in school and crushed hard on his next door neighbor Sander. Now years later he is one of the stars on Coconut Cove but inside he is still the quiet guy who still crushes on Sander even though he doesn’t see him that often. Meeting up with Sander again he realises he never really knew Sander and the Sander he gets to know now captures his heart.

I really enjoyed this ‘episode’ of Coconut Cove, I loved getting to know more of the characters that I met in Life’s a Beach and getting to know the true person behind Ryder was a pure pleasure. For the first half of this story it’s mainly just Blair and how he’s coping with his role and the new friends he’s made, we don’t actually start to see progress of his friendship with Sander until the second half of the story and then it’s paced nicely so it seems like a nice length of time and not a jump into bed straight away relationship.

We don’t really get to see much of Sander but we do get to know him quite well as he opens himself up to Blair in order to help him with his character Ryder. Now the script to Coconut Cove seems to be moving along quickly and we see scenes at beginning of some chapters, and the other characters… oh I soooo want the stories of sweet Tony and of course bitchy Howie, I can’t wait for the next installment and have my fingers crossed that it will be coming soon.

I recommend this to those who love brilliant serials with a love story in each installment, wonderful characters who are both sweet and sexy, finding love with your high school crush and the beginning of a very happy ending.

Life’s A Beach by Poppy Dennison (2nd Edition)

Title: Life’s a Beach

Series: Coconut Cove 01

Author: Poppy Dennison

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (83pgs)

ISBN: 978-1-64080-456-2

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (20th April 2018)

Heat Rating: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Life’s a beach… and then you meet the guy of your dreams.

Flynn Wright’s role on the upcoming teen drama Coconut Cove means a fresh start in the land of crystal water, palm trees, and gorgeous people. The move to the beautiful beaches of Key West, Florida—and away from LA and his conniving ex—is just what Flynn needs.

Meeting sexy bartender Seth is the cherry on top of Flynn’s colorful frozen drink, and he can’t wait to take a taste. But Seth isn’t impressed by Flynn’s Hollywood good looks, nor is he interested in the complications of dating an actor, no matter how hot.

Can Flynn dodge his scheming ex and the eager paparazzi while showing Seth that he is more than a pretty package?

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Actor Flynn is looking for a new part after the negotiations for his current role on The Presidio seems to have stalled; he’s also looking for a way to distance himself from the fallout from breaking things off with his roommate… who is also his co-star. Coconut Cove seems like a dream come true, and Flynn throws himself into his new role. When bartender Seth catches his eye Flynn is unsure of his welcome as Seth seems less than impressed. Seth isn’t interested in being in the public eye but Flynn is hard to ignore.

This is a great start to what looks to be a very tantalising series. Flynn made a mistake of getting involved with a co-star and now that the ‘relationship’ has ended his co-star seems to have pulled strings and Flynn now has to look for a new part. Coconut Cove comes at the perfect time and it will also get him out of L.A. and into Key West so he can have a break from the tension. Seth is the bartender who catches Flynn’s eye but Seth has his own past and wants no part of the limelight but when Flynn needs him most Seth has to choose between trying to protect Flynn or allowing Flynn’s ex to manipulate Flynn.

I really enjoyed this story and loved how parts of Coconut Cove came alive at the beginning of some chapters. Both Flynn and Seth are great characters with Flynn being very down to earth and Seth wary of fame, together they are hot and they are also pretty easy going when they are together but there is tension between them as Seth has to decide what he wants. Flynn is great as he deals with his ex, Bennett, and he handles the fall out well.

We are also treated to an interesting array of secondary characters and I am sure you will notice a couple of familiar names… is that a coincidence or are some of our favourite authors moonlighting as film crew????

I recommend this to those who love new beginnings, finding new love, putting the past to rest and a great beginning to an enjoyable series.   

The Spirit Key by Parker Williams *Dual Review*

Title: The Spirit Key

Series: Lock and Key 01

Author: Parker Williams

Genre: Ghosts/Spirits, Mystery/Suspense

Length: Novel (210pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 15, 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Blurb: When he was eight years old, Scott Fogel died. Paramedics revived him, but he came back changed. Ghosts and spirits tormented Scott for over a decade until, thinking he was going mad, he did the only thing he could.

He ran—leaving behind his best friend, Tim Jennesee.

Scott’s had five normal, ghost-free years in Chicago, when the spirit of Tim’s mother comes to him and begs him to go home because Tim’s in trouble and needs him.

He isn’t prepared for what he finds when he goes home—a taller and sexier Tim, but a Tim who hasn’t forgiven Scott for abandoning him… a Tim whose body is no longer his own. The ghost of a serial murderer has attached itself to Tim, and it’s whispering dark and evil things. It wants Tim to kill, and it’s becoming harder for Tim to resist. To free the man who has always meant so much to him, Scott must unravel the mystery of the destiny he shares with Tim.

ISBN-13: 978-1-64405-121-4

Product Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewers: Shorty & Pixie

Shorty’s Review: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

A fascinating tale about two young men, Tim and Scott, who find out they are more than they thought. Their journey is not without heartache, loss and self discovery as well as ghosts calling out for help and a an evil spirit hellbent on continuing his evil existence and work no matter the cost.

I truly loved everything about the paths that Tim and Scotty found themselves on from a young age. They had to deal with things they were too young to understand at the time. Scotty decides to run from the ghosts and travels to Chicago when he’s a young man. After five years the ghost of Tim’s mother implores him back to help Tim before something bad happens. Upon seeing Tim Scotty knows he never should have left and so begins the journey of discovering who they are and what their purpose is in life to each and others.

I loved all the side characters as they added a better understanding to the story. The serial killer ghost was a nasty piece of work to say the least. I could not believe how long he had been around for doing what he was doing. Tim has some bitter feelings for Scotty which was understandable.

The explanation of what the lock and key were was fascinating. I was swept up in the entire story from start to finish and was sad when it ended as I wanted more. The only thing I wanted to know at the end which was not revealed was what Tim did to the ghost that had been trying to possess him.

Fast paced, edge of your seat, suspenseful and intriguing beginning to a series that I am looking forward to diving into further.

Fantastic read and highly recommended.

Pixie’s Review:  💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

I’ll be honest, there isn’t much that I can add to Shorty’s review.

The Spirit Key is a superbly crafted paranormal story that drags you in and holds on till you get to the last page. Both Scotty and Tim are excellent characters, they have quite a bit to work through to get to on the same page. It’s far from easy and there are one or two scenes that have you gritting your teeth and praying that they can work things out.

Now, Tim proves to be possessed so I am gonna warn you that it is a truly evil spirit and it makes Tim do some things that he would never dream of doing. It is hard to read in those moments and know that the evil spirit gets whats coming to it.

Scotty has a lot to discover about his gifts and how to accept them, and Tim has a lot to overcome. Both men will need to forgive themselves for them to move forward with their relationship, and it’s not easy for either of them.

The background story really is fascinating and as we delve into the responsibility of the Lock and Key we understand just what Scotty and Tim face in the future.

I recommend this to those who adore stories of spirits, forgiveness, finding a new future, returning to the love of your life, and a very interesting ending.   

Operation Toy Rescue by Sarah Hadley Brook

Sarah Hadley Brook - Operation Toy Rescue CoverTitle: Operation Toy Rescue 

Author: Sarah Hadley Brook

Genre: Fantasy, Christmas

Length: Short (66pgs)

ISBN: 9781634867801

Publisher: JMS Books (15th December 2018)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: When Jules Evergreen lands in trouble at the North Pole and gets shipped off to Snow Hope Island for ninety days, he never expects to take up the cause of the forgotten toys waiting for new homes. Falling for his new boss is not on the agenda either, but his heart has other ideas.

Felix Winterson has grown up on Snow Hope Island and now runs the place. He isn’t thrilled when party boy Jules arrives, and Felix tries hard to ignore the man’s charms. He has other problems, anyway. For years he’s tried to get Santa to look at the growing inventory of damaged toys in the warehouse, to no avail.

When Jules comes up with a plan to save the toys, the men find themselves working closely together. As Christmas Eve looms, there’s a lot at stake. Can they save Snow Hope, convince Santa to rescue the toys, and fall in love all at the same time?

Purchase Link: JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: I was pleasantly surprised by Operation Toy Rescue it turned out to be a delightful story with a well-balanced love story mixed with a brilliant storyline.

Jules has been exiled from the North Pole to Snow Hope Island for ninety days for his naughty behaviour. After a short time at Snow Hope he begins to get ideas for saving the misfit toys that are banished there, his passion for his new job leads him to a close working relationship with Felix.

Felix loves Snow Hope Island it’s all he’s ever known but he feels sad at all the toys who will never have a child to love them, when Jules challenges him to consider fixing the toys and finding homes for them it gives him hope. Working closely with Jules has him admiring him and it’s not long before he’s hoping for more.

This is a lovey story that warms your heart as Jules and Felix fall in love while rescuing the fate of damaged toys. It’s a gentle love story that has a touch of tension in it, not only is it a race to prepare the toys for Christmas but a figure from Jules past surprises them both.

I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining story and think it’s a perfect Christmas story. It’s sweet, cute and while there are not huge amounts of passion there are still some sexy times that are just perfect for the relationship and a story of this length.

I recommend this to those who adore cute Christmas stories, for characters discovering love, a brilliant storyline and a very happy ending for all.