He’s Behind You by Rebecca Cohen (2nd Edition)

Rebecca Cohen - He's Behind You Cover urnf7nTitle: He’s Behind You

Series: Treading the Boards 03

Author: Rebecca Cohen

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (166 pages)

Publisher: Rebecca Cohen (19th November 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Blurb: ICraig Rosen thinks he’s pretty happy with his quiet geeky life working in a lab in London and playing Warhammer. But one of his colleagues has other ideas and drags Craig along to an audition at the amateur dramatic society, the Sarky Players, for their Christmas pantomime, Aladdin. Meeting Jason Carter makes Craig think that maybe he’s not as content as he thought.

Jason accepted he’s gay a little later in life than most, but now with an ex-wife and in his late thirties, he’s ready to embrace who he really is. He can’t believe his luck when he meets Craig, and the cute younger man’s patience and gentleness make him the perfect guy to help Jason navigate his new life.

While there’s no denying the attraction between them, it’s not just Jason’s insecurities that might upset their best performance. Craig is convinced that someone as confident as Jason, a corporate lawyer who looks sexy in a suit, could never settle for a man like him. Together they will need to re-write the script to give themselves the happy ending they deserve.

ISBN: B081S96R62

Product Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Rebecca Cohen’s series, Treading the Boards, is as fun as the pantomime and plays that amateur theatre group the Sarky Players thrive on so much. While these books may be read as standalones, I do like that we do get to catch up with the previous characters so it would be good to read the previous installments.

In He’s Behind You we get the story of Craig Rosen and Jason Carter. Craig is a post-doctoral research at medical research labs somewhere in London. He’s a quirky guy, who has known who he is for a long time; including the fact that he loves the role playing game, Warhammer. Jason is a corporate lawyer who got married at the age of seventeen after getting his girlfriend pregnant. Now at the ripe old age of thirty-eight he is finally divorced and has made the step to come out of the closet. One aspect of Jason that I love is that he is still great friends with his ex-wife and his two kids are fantastic. These three make really good minor characters. But I am sidetracked, after a chance meeting Jason and Craig meet while auditioning for the Sarky Players.

For me it was way too easy to relate to Craig. Partly because I know people that are similar to him in personality and this also includes me, but mostly because this portrays academia and scientific research and generally life working in a lab with great accuracy. I should know: I’ve done the whole PhD thing and work in a lab. Craig and Jason work really well together, I loved and believed their chemistry.

Blue Umbrella Sky by Rick R. Reed (2nd Edition)

Rick R. Reed - Blue Umbrella Sky Cover s 73jdusTitle: Blue Umbrella Sky (2nd Edition)

Author: Rick R Reed

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (200 pages)

ISBN: 9781951880736

Publisher: NineStar (23rd March 2020)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Milt Grabaur has left his life, home, and teaching career in Ohio to start anew. The Summer Winds trailer park in Palm Springs, butted up against the San Jacinto mountain range, seems the perfect place to forget the pain of nursing his beloved husband through Alzheimer’s and seeing him off on his final passage.

Billy Blue is a sexy California surfer type who once dreamed of being a singer but now works at Trader Joe’s and lives in his own trailer at Summer Winds. He’s focused on recovery from the alcoholism that put his dreams on hold.

When his new neighbor moves in, Billy falls for the gray-eyed man. His sadness and loneliness awaken something Billy’s never felt before—real love.

When a summer storm and flash flood jeopardize Milt’s home, Billy comes to the rescue, hoping the two men might get better acquainted… and maybe begin a new romance.

But Milt’s devotion to his late husband is strong, and he worries that acting on his attraction will be a betrayal.

Purchase Link: NineStar | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: I didn’t really know what to expect with Blue Umbrella Sky by Rick R Reed. Rick R Reed is not unknown author to me, but he is an author that I’ve never really been able to really get into his writing. I never had a problem with his stories or characters, it was just that the various books I had tried in the past I had been unable to really connect to. However, the reason that I wanted to give this book a go was because of the blurb – a colleague of mine lost her mother to early onset Alzheimer’s disease last year, with a similar family history and age to Corky in the book, so I kind of felt some connection to the story already because I had seen my colleague go through this heartbreak.

Milt, who has struggled to move on with his life after his partner died, merely exists in The Summer Winds trailer park in Palm Springs, California. He takes a long journey to healing throughout the course of this book. He deals with the loneliness, wanting to push everyone away when it seems to easiest thing to do, and feeling as though he has nothing left to give emotionally and physically to the world after giving his all to his deceased husband, Corky. Milt’s journey is one of heartache and hope but it something that I felt was representing so well and the depth of the emotions involved was not glossed over.

The man to help heal Milt’s heart is Billy Blue. Billy had big dreams to become a singer, and is hoping to find a place for himself in the world. For now he works at Trader Joe’s and lives in his own trailer at Summer Winds. He’s trying his best to get his life together and get over his problems with alcohol so that he can heal himself. Billy has just as much healing to do as Milt. Two men are neighbours, their trailers parked next to each other. The sadness of Milt calls to Billy, and he seems to see that they could do a lot more healing together than they could apart.

Blue Umbrella Sky is an intense book, which I found myself crying through off and on. Because this includes something I’ve seen distantly in my own life, I think that is why I was able to start and finish this book. I found it difficult due to the intensity but totally worth it. This is about hope and healing and finding new love when one man thought that he would never find his place in the world again.

As to my thoughts on the author, I’m not sure if this book has bumped Rick R Reed from my “mostly avoid” list, but I think I will be open to other books if anything else sparks my interest.

Shatterproof Bond by Isobel Starling Series Recap Blog Tour, Excerpt, Reviews & Giveaway!

Isobel Starling - Shatterproof Bond series Banner

Hi guys, we have Isobel Starling visiting today with her Shatterproof Bond series, we have  a great except, Prime’s reviews and a brilliant giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~

Isobel Starling - 01 - As You Wish Cover 4378ijd

As You Wish

(Shatterproof Bond 01)
by

Isobel Starling

1 wedding, 2 best men, one hell of a love story!

Declan Ramsay was to be best man at his brother’s wedding in Scotland, sharing best man duties with the bride’s gay kid brother Sam. The best men wouldn’t meet for the first time until a few days before the wedding, so communicated by email for more than a year.

But on meeting Sam Aiken, Declan is surprised to see he isn’t a kid at all, but a striking, athletic blond man with a wicked sense of humor. Declan is alarmed by the ferocious attraction he feels for Sam. And as the attraction is reciprocated, the events at Dunloch Castle change everything Declan has ever believed about himself.

But is Sam Aiken all he appears to be?

.•.•.**❣️ Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible US | Audible UK ❣️**.•.•.

Isobel Starling - 02 - Illuminate The Shadows Cover fdnc7dfj

Illuminate the Shadows

(Shatterproof Bond 02)

The thrilling, funny sequel to ‘As You Wish’.

“A Scotsman and an Englishman fall in love… After the most amazing week of his life, at Dunloch Castle on the banks of Loch Ness, in Scotland. The charming, mysterious Samuel Aiken has turned Declan Ramsay’s life upside down. Declan has experienced a remarkable change. He has come to terms with the fact he is bisexual, and he has fallen head-over-heels in love with his boss’s son Sam.

However, falling for his boss’s son was never going to be an easy path to happiness, mainly because the boss in question is multi-millionaire property tycoon and former MI5 operative, Sir James Aiken.

Sir James is repulsed by his son’s homosexuality, and so discovering that his employee Declan Ramsay- the man he installed to run his luxury property rental empire- is in a relationship with Sam, does not go down well.

The lovers cannot hide from the looming presence of Sir James Aiken for long! Soon enough James makes his move, and Declan finds out what he will have to endure to stay with Sam, and what he will have to give to feel worthy of Sam’s love.”

.•.•.**❣️ Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible US | Audible UK ❣️**.•.•.

Isobel Starling - 03 - Return To Zero Cover xmnc9s

Return to Zero

(Shatterproof Bond 03)

The thrilling sequel to “As You Wish” and “Illuminate the Shadows”.

Pulled into a world of secrets and lies for the man he loves, Declan Ramsay’s life has changed immeasurably in the eight months since meeting, and falling for his boss’s son, Sam Aiken. Declan journey of personal discovery is about to take a darker turn, and for Sam, the world becomes more treacherous than he could ever have imagined.

Two agents are missing — presumed dead, while on a reconnaissance mission at an outdoor adventure centre in the Scottish Highlands. Sir James Aiken sends his son and Declan to follow the trail and discover the fate of the agents.

As the mission offers his first chance to use the skills he learned on the MI6 training course in Morocco, Declan is keen to get started. However, Sir James sees to it that the seeds of doubt and discord have been sewn between the couple, as they begin their mission.

The journey to their Highland location, and the discoveries they make when they reach the G’wan Adventures centre, prove that Sir James Aiken has been less than honest with his son. Events in the Highlands force Sam and Declan to face their greatest fears and understand what they both really want from life — and from each other.

.•.•.**❣️ Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible US | Audible UK ❣️**.•.•.

Isobel Starling - 04 - Counterblow Cover sm,xc

Counter Blow

(Shatterproof Bond 04)

After the devastating events in the Scottish Highlands, Sam and Declan have moved on to a new, deeper level in their romance. Their commitment to each other is unquestionable; however, there are plenty of questions that need answering about other aspects of their lives, and those who sought to end them.

Sam is trying his best to deal with the day to day frustrations of his injuries. He’s completely dependent on Declan for everything and hates the way the scales have tipped in their relationship. Although he’s officially on leave, Sam’s mind cannot stop replaying all that happened to him and questioning why, and who is behind it all.

Declan’s relief at having Sam home throws him into house-husband mode. He’s happy to take the reins and care for his partner, however, beneath the surface Declan cannot help but be drawn back to how he felt in the Highlands, and how they were betrayed by a man who was supposed to have their back. Declan had promised Sir James Aiken that he would pay if he hurt Sam, and now Declan has to decide how he can deliver his payback and put his and Sam’s world back on an even keel.

.•.•.**❣️ Amazon US |  Amazon UK | Audible US | Audible UK ❣️**.•.•.

Isobel Starling - 05 - Powder Burns Cover 3874hs

Powder Burns

(Shatterproof Bond 05)

After the devastating events in the Scottish Highlands, Sam and Declan have moved on to a new, deeper level in their romance. Their commitment to each other is unquestionable; however, there are plenty of questions that need answering about other aspects of their lives, and those who sought to end them.

Sam is trying his best to deal with the day to day frustrations of his injuries. He’s completely dependent on Declan for everything and hates the way the scales have tipped in their relationship. Although he’s officially on leave, Sam’s mind cannot stop replaying all that happened to him and questioning why, and who is behind it all.

Declan’s relief at having Sam home throws him into house-husband mode. He’s happy to take the reins and care for his partner, however, beneath the surface Declan cannot help but be drawn back to how he felt in the Highlands, and how they were betrayed by a man who was supposed to have their back. Declan had promised Sir James Aiken that he would pay if he hurt Sam, and now Declan has to decide how he can deliver his payback and put his and Sam’s world back on an even keel.

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

Continue reading “Shatterproof Bond by Isobel Starling Series Recap Blog Tour, Excerpt, Reviews & Giveaway!”

The Prince of Almond Manor by Gregory Jonathan Scott

Gregory Jonathan Scott - The Prince of Almond Manor Cover 845rjfeTitle: The Prince of Almond Manor

Author: Gregory Jonathan Scott

Genre: Historical

Length: Novel (271 pages)

ISBN: 978-0991467488

Publisher: Gregory Jonathan Scott Books, LLC (30 Nov 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: A genuine romance—a companionship misunderstood—one of earnest affection that could be torn apart by those around them?

Can a relationship between two men from opposite sides of the social order overcome the odds and survive at a time of an old-style declaration of living?

In mid eighteen hundred, the largest almond plantation south of the Mason Dixon line was home to Deklan Royal, however, deep down, it didn’t feel like a home. He sensed a part of him was missing, an emotional desire he’d been keeping hidden since a very young age—that was, until he’d come across Oakland, a reserved servant of the Royal Manor and the one man who could change everything for him.

With no warning, a single magical event had set the plantation affair into motion, brought on by a mysterious gentleman who summoned a fairy-tale twist not even Oakland understood.

Enduring parental clashing and blurring promises, Deklan and Oakland find themselves developing a relationship that could result in scorn and even exile. Caught in the center of eminent pressures, Deklan faces discouraging predicaments with his foreboding father, those of which expose a surprising overview of who Oakland is.

With family principles putting up walls between them, the two heart-bound men cling to threads of hope, battling obstacles that matter most—their love for one another and a life of happiness into their very own ever after.

Find out if Deklan risks his wealthy family ties for the chance at love with the man he knows to be the other half of his own soul. If surrounding conflicts outweigh their love and desire, both Deklan and Oakland face revulsion at its strongest.

The Prince of Almond Manor is an interracial historical romance between two men. Erotically written with extreme situations of desire not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen.

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: The Prince of Almond Manor is a historical romance by Gregory Jonathan Scott, who is a new author to me, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.

I’ll admit, I was immediately intrigued. The title had me thinking that there could be some possible thriller, mystery or paranormal aspect to the book – not sure why, but I was completely off the mark.

I was even more intrigued when I read the blurb that this is a historical romance. I love historical novels, and historical romances are the only MF romances that I really enjoy reading these days. Now this can always go two ways, mostly because of the historical persecution of the LBGTQI+ community. Authors will ignore all persecution (arguably, while many of the legalities have been resolved the persecution still exists to this day, just not quite on the same puritanical level) and write a historical novel with society functioning with the same opinions as it does now. Or they won’t ignore the persecution but they were make a conceivable way to make these secret romances wonderful. Gregory Jonathan Scott managed to do the latter which is why I really liked this novel.

However, Scott manages to do a double whammy on historical taboos, because not only is this a same sex relationship, it is also interracial relationship with a man shortly after the end of slavery in the American South (I am sure that there could be many discussion about how this has the end of slavery being the absolute end of the persecution of POC, I won’t get into that). How much more interesting things does one need?

The titular Prince of Almond Manor is actually Deklan Royal, whose family has owned and run one of the largest almond plantations in the South. He’s never been fully comfortable in his surrounds but things change when Deklan meets one of the plantation’s black servants, a reserved and observant man by the name of Oakland. This is a really gentle and deep story that leads to love. The guys know just what society thinks of men with their types of sexual proclivities, but their grand romance starts off with a really easy and wonderful friendship. The world is changing around them but no matter what they know that they have to be careful about revealing their desires to anyone but each other.

What I love most about this book is the depth of the characters and depth of the emotions that we observe as a reader as the book goes along. Overall, this is a fantastically written and well-paced historical romance. If you’re not sure about reading a historical gay romance, I think that The Prince of Almond Manor is a good place to start within the genre.

Hometown Christmas by Garrett Leigh

Garrett Leigh - Hometown Christmas Cover s aldo9fTitle: Hometown Christmas

Author: Garrett Leigh

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (164 pages)

ISBN: 1913220184

Publisher: Fox Love Press (21 Nov 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Can Yani and Gavin go from friends to lovers this Christmas?

Yani Nicolaou is sworn off love for good. After fleeing a bad break-up in London, the only blood, sweat, and tears he has left are for his gyro stall at the Christmas market. Rebound fling? No thanks. He’s sticking to one-night-stands.

Ex-army vet Gavin Richie has even less capacity for romance. Managing a homeless shelter while recovering from injury keeps him far too busy. So what if he’s often alone? He’s content being single, or so he thinks until a chance meeting lights a spark he can’t ignore.

Yani is the warmth and affection Gavin hadn’t known he was missing. As Christmas lights up the city, their lives entwine in more ways than one. Falling for each other is easy. Holding on is harder, unless a hometown Christmas proves their love can last longer than the festive season.

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Hometown Christmas is a standalone Christmas story by Garrett Leigh.

I love a good Christmas romance and I looked forward to this one. Leigh is a fantastic writer that I’ve always loved for the sweetness in the romance, although Hometown Christmas also has the teeniest dash of angst (it works well, I’m not one for much angst in my stories, I love my sweet romances). I also love Leigh’s really down to earth and totally relatable characters. Overall, I find their books full of characters with big hearts that feel real.

Hometown Christmas follows the MCs Yani Nicolaou and Gavin Richie. Both men are at a cross roads in their lives. Yani has decided to make some massive changes in his life after a messy breakup and general dissatisfaction with where his life was going. He leaves London and sets roots in Leeds, where Yani finds the new lease on life he had been looking for. He is passionate about working for himself, where he gets to meet plenty of people and is now near one of his good friends, Bex. Yani isn’t looking for romance, he wants to make it on his own first and doesn’t feel the need for a string of one night stands.

But everything changes when he meets Gavin at a cafe. Gavin is ex-military and is back home in Leeds (has been for a couple years now), where he finds happiness in managing a homeless shelter. He is always in need of volunteers, and it seems like it’s chance that they guy he met at a coffee shop is now volunteering a shift cooking at the shelter.

This sets the scene as their lives bring them together. Gavin and Yani have a lot in common and are a really, sweet and gentle couple. While I wouldn’t call it insta-love, their romance explodes and despite a few bumps it’s clear that things will eventually fall into place for this two kind-hearted men.

A Christmas Cabin for Two by K.D. Fisher

K.D. Fisher - A Christmas Cabin For Two Cover 2347yhdTitle: A Christmas Cabin For Two

Series: Dreamspun Desires 93

Author: K.D. Fisher

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novels (195 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64405-334-8

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (5 Nov 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: A match as perfect as cold nights and cozy fireside heat.

Gentle giant Matt Haskell and urbane teacher Mikah Cerullo are as opposite as the Teton Mountains and downtown Manhattan.

Hardworking organic farmer Matt has little time to think about love, but when Mikah, a sexy and snarky New Yorker, arrives at his farm to buy a Christmas tree for the family’s Jackson Hole mansion, the attraction is immediate for both of them, and they agree to share a cozy cabin in the Idaho woods. The clock is ticking on their holiday fling, since Mikah is due to take a teaching position back in the city, but as the holiday magic envelops them, they wonder if their budding romance might withstand their differences.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: A Christmas Cabin for Two is a very sweet standalone Christmas romance by KD Fisher for Dreamspun Desires. Fisher is a new author for me, however, reading the blurb I saw the sweetness that I’ve come to expect from Dreamspun Desires so I was keen to give this a go.

This is a story where opposites truly attract. Matt Haskell is a small town sort of guy, he’s an organic farmer and takes enormous pride in his work. Mikah Cerullo is as equally passionate as Matt, however, he is city guy – a typical New Yorker – through and through and his passion lies with his career as a teacher.

Mikah is with his family in Jackson Hole, where they own a mansion, for Christmas. Mikah has the typical feelings you generally encounter in romance books where a single MC is forced to spend time with family, especially one that is outside of their comfort zone in the big city. Matt is at home minding his own business, literally, running his farm, which during Christmas means that he’s selling Christmas trees. Immediately he comes across as the strong, silent and studious type of person (my type of guy, really). He’s no nonsense, that I believe comes to any character that has a farming background.

When the two men meet when Mikah goes to buy a Christmas tree sparks fly. There isn’t any angst or even angry tension between the two guys. They are two contrasting characters that feel an instant spark of attraction. As they get to know each other and as Mikah gets to know the small town more, the two men have to eventually face what could happen after their idyllic Christmas romance

This is a book that is full of heart and sweetness. If you like a romance in a secluded area and the whole trapped in a cabin in the woods type of story, this is a good book for you.

Now and Forever by Casper Graham

Casper Graham - Now and Forever Cover 74hfcTitle: Now and Forever

Author: Casper Graham

Genre: Paranormal

Length: Novella (129 pages)

ISBN: 9781646561827

Publisher: JMS Books (3 Nov 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖 3 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Harley Green has never been lucky in love, but after yet another unfortunate date, he doesn’t expect to encounter a fight between a malevolent spirit and Connor Bowman, a man who claims to be a soul collector. Due to Harley’s untimely interference, Connor loses his grip on the evil spirit, who immediately escapes from the scene. Now, Harley has the responsibility to help Connor recapture that wicked spirit, and it’s difficult when he’s often distracted by how attractive the soul collector really is.

Connor has been a soul collector for more than six thousand years, but he has never been affected by a mortal’s presence until Harley. He has no idea what it is about Harley he can’t seem to shake off. Harley somehow feels really familiar to him, but he can’t remember ever meeting that man. It doesn’t matter, though. All he needs to do is remain by Harley’s side until he catches that malevolent spirit. Then he will return to the underworld. However, that’s easier said than done, and it becomes so much worse when he starts developing feelings for Harley.

Can Harley and Connor discover the link between them and work things out somehow? Or is happily ever after nothing but a fairy tale?

Purchase Link: JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Smashwords 

Review: Now and Forever is a standalone paranormal romance by Casper Graham.

To be perfectly honest, Casper Graham is an author that I feel that I’m still finding my feet to decide whether I like their novels or not. I don’t want to say it’s a love-hate type of thing, but I have felt that so far it’s been a bit hit and miss for me, especially when wanting to relate in order to feel a connection to the characters. I think in earlier works I wasn’t satisfied with character development but that is always something that can change and depending on the connection I get from the MCs.

The story follow Harley Green, who is exactly as the blurb describes. He’s unlucky in love but things change when he encounters someone struggling with an evil spirit his luck doesn’t seem to be improving. Not knowing what he’s stumbled across, his distraction leads Connor Bowman to lose the spirit that he is after. And what seems to be the ideal situation to rectify this? Harley now has to join Connor on his hunt. Connor is six thousand years old and can feel that there is something different about this mortal and their hunt for the spirit throws them into close quarters and feelings begin to develop. Their relationship seems doomed from the start – after all, Connor does belong in Hell – but this is love and we want a HEA!

While I did enjoy Now and Forever and was, generally satisfied with the overall feel and romance between the two MCs, I can’t say that I “loved” the book. Its one of those books where I was happy with the book and the ending but I don’t think it’s one that I will revisit again in the future when I’m feeling nostalgic for the comfort of a book that I know and love.

I think this book would be good for those that love their paranormal romances with demons and hunters and a dash of insta-love.

Winter Quarters by Anna Veriani

Anna Veriani - The Winter Quarters Cover saox0sjmTitle: The Winter Quarters

Series: Dreamspun Desires 92

Author: Anna Veriani

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (242 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64405-693-6

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (15 Oct 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Snow, steam, and a second chance.

Reluctant socialite Kai has thirty-five days before his family starts shooting the next season of their reality TV show, revealing a life he’d rather keep private—and one that feels increasingly scripted. Desperately needing a break, Kai escapes to his childhood best friend Hiro Asada’s inn in rural Japan. He finds peace in the thousand-year-old hot springs, but his yearning for Hiro resurfaces at the worst time: Hiro is about to inherit the inn, and his parents expect him to marry within the year.

Hiro’s traditional family loves him for who he is, but they can’t imagine two men running the inn. Meanwhile, Kai has a TV contract his lawyer insists can’t be broken. Hiro and Kai need to think outside the box—and solve their problems before Christmas Day, when Kai’s show shoots its annual holiday special.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: The Winter Quarters is a standalone Holiday novel by Anna Veriani for Dreamspun Desires. Veriani is a new author for me, however, reading the blurb I saw the sweetness that I’ve come to expect from Dreamspun Desires so I was keen to give this a go.

Kai is a reluctant socialite to say the least. His family have a reality TV show that is somewhat comparable to Keeping Up With the Kardashians where his mother is the self-proclaimed matriarch of the family. And he really doesn’t like the attention or the whole farce of the thing. He only has little over a month before the show starts shooting again, so Kai decides to escape to the one place that had always made him happy as a child, the picturesque inn that is owned and run by his best friend Hiro in rural Japan. Spending time with Hiro leads to revealing a number of untold revelations and leads Kai to finally take the plunge to get out of his hated reality TV show contract.

Both Kai and Hiro are sweet characters, and while not overly developed I found it so easy to connect to their emotions. The romance was really sweet and satisfying.

This is a book that is full of heart and sweetness and very little angst. For people that like friends to lovers storylines, this is a book I recommend for you. I also recommend this book for people that like the glitz and glamour of a socialite family.

His Hart’s Command by A.E. Via ~ Audio Review

A.E. Via - His Hart's Command Audio Cover 874rjfTitle: His Heart’s Command

Series: Nothing Special 06

Author: A.E. Via

Narrator: Aiden Snow

Genre: Contemporary, Action, Cops

Length: 8 hrs, 51 mins

Publisher: Tantor (5th November 2019)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Lennox Freeman (Free) is one of the best hackers in the world which has caused him to spend most of his life on the run. Never able to put down roots, he couldn’t trust anyone not to take advantage of him, even his own family.

Ivan Hart has lived and bled one creed all of his life: To Serve and Protect. His intense focus and determination in law enforcement has led him to finally commanding his own team. He’d worked hard to put together a squad of badasses capable of backing up a very dangerous team of detectives. Being God and Day’s last line of defense came with a lot of responsibility that he took very seriously.

After his divorce was final Hart turned right around and remarried his job. He had his good friends there in the office with him every day, so it was easier to ignore the few quiet hours he spent at home alone each night. He’d settled well into his new routine and was comfortable with it. Then God decided to disrupt everything by hiring another tech specialist for his department. A man whose brains, trendy looks, and voice would leave Hart tongue-tied and captivated at their first introduction.

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

Review: His Hart’s Command is the sixth book in A.E. Via’s fantastic series, Nothing Special, which follows the love lives and the action at work of the elite Atlanta PD drug taskforce led by Lieutenants God and Day.

His Hart’s Command continues with the same intensity and tone as the five previous books in the series. It’s seamless transition between books and Via has this wonderful knack to mix hot, steamy sexual attraction with a complex storyline. I find every minute – either as an audio or on page – compelling and interesting. While it’s impossible for me to relate to tough alpha males who work in a high stakes, possibly deadly line of work, I love that they also feel like they aren’t extraordinary human wonders that no one could possibly understand. I love that this series doesn’t forget the guys who we’ve already seen find the love of their lives, because we get to see that they are human and that even down the track these are still have their own issues cropping up from time to time.

Aiden Snow, who has performed the narration for the entire series so far, continues a fantastic job and really just completes the job of getting me engrossed in the world of the guys on God and Day’s team. Snow’s voice suits the action and the passion throughout the book, as well as hitting the emotions and uncertainty. The part that has me in awe the most is how Snow has managed to give all the characters in this series their own voices and portrays them so well. After all, just because the guys in the previous books found their men doesn’t mean that we don’t see them all the time in subsequent books and continue to see more of their stories.

His Hart’s Command starts with Lennox Freeman (aka Free). He got onto Day and God’s team with a brief introduction in book 5, he’s one of the best hackers around and his skills has landed him in trouble, so much so he’s always struggled to make roots from himself. Until now that is, now that he has been invited to be God and Day’s team’s technical eyes and ears when his friend (and the team’s previous hacker) became a field cop. Free is getting comfortable in his new life and there is one man that has him intrigued, Ivan Hart.

Ivan is the leader of the SWAT team who is more often than not providing back up for God’s and Day’s team. He loves his job. It is perhaps his greatest passion. He prides himself on his expertise. Meanwhile his personal life is in disarray. He is recently divorced and since the end of his marriage he has thrown even more of himself into his job. But things change when Free join’s God and Day’s team. Free challenges Hart’s every day normal but there is a strong current of attraction between them. With issues arising God and Day and their team seeming to take unnecessary risks, romance between these guys appears to be something that could cause a lot of issues amongst the drug taskforce and the SWAT.

As I said earlier, this is a wonderful series. It’s amazing and I can’t stop gushing about how much I love it. If you’ve not read the previous books you should go back to the start as there is a lot of overarching and interconnecting storylines. Those that love some action and danger and men in uniform with their romance will definitely dig this series.

The Prince and His Bedeviled Bodyguard by Charlie Cochet ~ Audio Review

Charlie Cochet - The Prince and His Bedeviled Bodyguard Audio Cover 39ke83mTitle: The Prince and His Bedeviled Bodyguard

Series: Paranormal Princes 01

Author: Charlie Cochet

Narrator: Greg Boudreaux

Genre: Paranormal

Length: 3 hrs, 18 mins

Publisher: Charlie Cochet (26th December 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Prince Owin

Being a fierce predator – not at all adorable, despite my graceful stature – the last thing I needed was a bodyguard. Especially a wolf shifter, whose presence alone was an insult to my princely principles.

As prince of the Ocelot Shifters, I prided myself on my infallible feline instincts, uncompromising dignity, and flawless fashion sense. If having a canine follow me around at all times wasn’t bad enough, I now faced the most important moment of my entire life.

The time had come to prove I was worthy of my crown. If only I could find a way to get rid of the pesky bodyguard…

Grimmwolf

When the king of All Shifters asked me to guard Prince Owin, I admit I had no idea what to ex-pect. Cat shifters tend to be a little intense, not to mention kinda cranky. Owin was no exception, though he seemed crankier than most.

Being his bodyguard was proving to be one of the greatest challenges of my life, but not nearly as great as convincing him there was something special between us.

When Owin was tasked with a perilous quest to prove his worth, I was determined to keep him safe, even if the same couldn’t be said of my heart.

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

Review: The Prince and His Bedeviled Bodyguard is the first book on Charlie Cochet’s Paranormal Princes series. I was actually really surprised by this and how much I enjoyed it.

I’ve known of Cochet’s work for years but never really took a full dive into their body work – I’m not sure why, I thought I wouldn’t enjoy the books or whatever caused my aversion. Whatever, it was silly. And I really enjoyed The Prince and His Bedeviled Bodyguard. The flow of the story just worked well for me, of course it also a relatively short story, and so the pace is quite fast. However, for me everything in this story just clicked into the place fairly well.

The narration of this book was performed by Greg Boudreaux, this is only the second audio I’ve heard by this narrator, but so far I’ve been impressed. I have simple needs, all I need is a narrator that is engaging and shows a good connection for the main characters they are portraying. I’ll definitely be looking for more from Boudreaux in the future. Who knows, he might go into my ultimate list of narrators (yes, I do have that list in my head).

The story is pretty simple, which considering the length makes perfect sense. What you read in the blurb is essentially what you get, so I’m not about to and rehash the blurb and then potentially spoil the book. This is a paranormal romance that includes an ocelot shape shifter and a wolf shifter. The two MCs are interesting guys, the titular Prince is Prince Owin and his bodyguard is Grimmwolf. Owin seems a little on the high strung side, and I suppose that’s the cat in his characters, while Grimmwolf is all growling and brooding strength. They are essentially two sides of the same coin, so different and yet there is enough similarity to start the simmering sexual tension between them.

Fans of shape shifter romances will no doubt be entertained, this was a fun and action filled story. This certainly has piqued my interest for the rest of the series.

Summer Season by Rebecca Cohen (2nd Edition)

Rebecca Cohen - Summer Season Cover dsn6sdegTitle: Summer Season

Series: Treading the Boards 02

Author: Rebecca Cohen

Genre: Contemporary, Arts

Length: Novella (139 pages)

Publisher: Rebecca Cohen (19th November 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Blurb: Ryan Penniford needs a break from the daily grind of London life. A trip down to Porthcurno, Cornwall, to perform at the stunning Minack Theatre with his amateur dramatics society, the Sarky Players, is the perfect answer. Playing Puck in A Midsummer’s Night Dream will certainly lighten his spirits.

After meeting Stuart Box, a local who has returned to Cornwall after earning his PhD in London, Ryan thinks he might have finally found someone who can see behind his mask of flirty Ryan to see the real man. They quickly realise they have great off-stage chemistry, and want as many repeat performances as possible.

Pity Ryan is only visiting Cornwall for two weeks, but Stuart is keen to return to London and he may have found another incentive to get a new job, and fast. Both men want to see where this more-than-just a holiday romance might take them.

ISBN: B081RGNQ8D

Product Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: This is the second instalment to Rebecca Cohen’s Treading the Boards series (and I am well aware that there is at least one other series in MM called Treading the Boards). You don’t need to have read book 1 to get into this one. The couple of the previous book, Overly Dramatic, Andy and Phil, are mentioned a couple of times but nothing that requires a back story.

We are back in the world of the Sarky Players amateur theatre group and they are now on the road from London for a summer performance in Cornwall. This time round we get to meet member of the Sarky Players, Ryan as he readies himself to play the part of Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s at the local outdoor amphitheatre that he meets local guy Stuart. The road to romance is rocky for them, and probably a bit predictable, but it is entirely pleasing. However, once again I enjoyed the chemistry between the MCs and the romance was hot.

On a more personal note, I have to say that it took me a few days to realise that I did indeed enjoy this story more than I originally thought. Stuart’s story of finishing his PhD and having problems finding a post-doctoral research position just hit too close to home for me, the problem being that I am approaching the end of my PhD and finding myself in the same position (and in a similar field of biology) to Stuart. Maybe I can find my very own Ryan! 

In saying all that, people towards the end of their PhDs will find some of the descriptions so close to home that it’s almost depressing. For everyone else, rest assured this is a pretty damn realistic look at the life of research scientists.

Nevertheless, cannot wait for book 3!!! Even if that will also be alarmingly close to my own life.

Buchanan House & Pride Weekend by Charley Descoteaux (2nd Edition)

Charley Descoteaux - Buchanan House Cover 43r57hcfTitle: Buchanan House

Series: Buchanan House 01

Author: Charley Descoteaux

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (191 pages)

Publisher: CeeTwo Publishing (6th July 2019)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Blurb: Eric Allen and his bestie buy a neglected hotel on the scenic Oregon coast to fulfill their middle-school dreams of co-owning a B&B. The building is in decent shape but in order to turn Buchanan House into the gay resort of their dreams, it’s going to need work.

Tim Tate is a skilled carpenter with many hidden talents, and a body that could grace the pages of a fitness magazine. When he and Eric meet, it’s mutual lust at first sight. Despite the intense attraction, both men are hesitant to fully out themselves by acting on it. But when they give in, it’s obvious that they’ve found something special—and not only in bed.

Before Eric can be free to love the gorgeous handyman they have to make it through the July4th grand opening. With rain that won’t stop and a meddling brother intent on wreaking havoc, can the holiday still go off with a bang?

Pride Weekend:
Overworked cubicle jockey Adam Byron wants to attend Oregon Coast Pride in style but the price of a room at Buchanan House, a popular gay retreat on the central coast, is beyond his budget. So he won’t miss out, he advertises online for someone to share expenses. Corporate drone Silas Grant responds to Adam’s ad, and the two get to know each other via texts before meeting at the coast. They agree on a no-pressure roommate arrangement, yet once they meet face-to-face their attraction is undeniable. Desire might simmer well beyond Pride weekend, no matter how hard Adam and Silas try to live up to their noncommitment pact.

ISBN: B07TW3J4PY

Product Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts Buchanan House 

This is a real interesting book that has a really interesting historical background as to the name of the book/the B and B that is brought by the MC and his best mate. This is the second Charley Descoteaux book I’ve read (previously read and reviewed The Pinch of the Game) and I have to say that this one, with all its sweetness and a touch of angst and drama, is my favourite of the two.

I have to say, that there really is one MC of this book, Eric, whose family except for his grandmother rejected him when he revealed that he was bisexual. Years later and now with his grandmother dead, Eric’s bestie Nathan has a plan for the pair to buy an Oregon resort, fix it up and open it up to the gay community. Eric’s love interest is Tim, a handyman who is hired on to help the guys with the odds and ends that need to be fixed up. He really doesn’t come through as an MC as such, not really until the last quarter of the book. I would have loved to have heard more from Tim.

There are a whole other host of minor characters that paint Eric and Tim’s world with colourful and sometimes eccentric personalities. There is also the clash of Eric’s biological family giving him issues, something that I wasn’t completely satisfied with when it was only resolved with a quick phone call and no real explanation.

As I said this is a really sweet book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is about a guy trying to make a fresh start and making a pretty good go of it. All in all it is an uplifting sort of book and something that I think would appeal to a general audience.

The historical side note, said in the blurb, the guys name their resort after President James Buchanan – who was a bachelor with a “very close male friend”. Totally fascinating, even if you aren’t from the States, this book has me wanting to read up about Buchanan, though I wish a bit more background was incorporated into the book.

💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts Pride Weekend

This is a short and sexy read. It such a wonderful glance into the little universe of Buchanan House – named after a potentially gay president.

This is the story of Adam and Silas. They meet each other online and make plans to meet up at Buchanan House for Pride Weekend and hopefully for some hot loving. But the guys get more than they bargained for when romance sparks between them. A lovely story with a satisfying ending, it is just a teaser for the upcoming, full length installment of the Buchanan House series.

Overly Dramatic by Rebecca Cohen (2nd Edition)

Rebecca Cohen - Overly Dramatic Cover 3487hTitle: Overly Dramatic

Series: Treading the Boards 01

Author: Rebecca Cohen

Genre: Contemporary, Arts

Length: Novella (144 pages)

Publisher: Rebecca Cohen (18th November 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3.5 Hearts

Blurb:Andy Marshall has moved back to London with plans for a fresh start. A little heart sore from a nasty break up, he joins a local amateur dramatics society called the Sarky Players based in Greenwich. Despite his best efforts at the audition, Andy lands a leading role in play called Whoops, Vicar, There Goes My Trousers, a ridiculous farce written by a local first-time playwright.

The play might be bad, but the Sarky Players are a friendly bunch. Andy quickly makes new friends and finds himself drawn to Phil Cormack, a local artist helping with the set and props. But despite their growing attraction, Phil’s not in the right place to date, and Andy won’t wait forever.

Life doesn’t run to a script, and if Andy and Phil want to get their happy ending, they need to move past rehearsals and put each other centre stage.

ISBN: B081QWV2F2

Product Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: This is a bit of a fun novella which was thoroughly enjoyable and good when you just want to read and relax. ‘

It’s a bit of a usual story – main character moves town/city to get away from a bad relationship and a fresh start. Andy has done exactly that after a long-term relationship breaks down and takes up a job in London where he works as an accountant. After talking to one of his co-workers he winds up joining a small amateur theatre group called the Sarky Players.

This is a funny story, helped particularly by the fact that Andy finds himself cast in the horrendously named Whoops, Vicar, There Goes My Trousers. It’s especially funny when Andy encounters the play right and her reaction that the play she wrote as a bet was being put on by the local am-dram company. It’s through the Sarky Players that he meets one of the props managers, Phil, and instantly there are sparks between the guys. Sometimes it felt like the romance was a bit slow in coming along but I love the chemistry between Andy and Phil, nonetheless.

I liked the very human and relatable feel of the other characters in the Sarky Players, including the woman and her husband that had introduced Andy back into the world of theatre. It’s a lot of fun and nothing to take more seriously than the words on the page.

A Demon Inside by Rick R. Reed (3rd Edition)

Rick R. Reed - A Demon Inside Cover bhe674hTitle: A Demon Inside (3rd Edition)

Author: Rick R. Reed

Genre: Paranormal, Horror

Length: Novel (269 pages)

Publisher: JMS Books (18th January 2020)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖 3 Hearts

Blurb: Hunter Beaumont doesn’t understand his grandmother’s deathbed wish: “Destroy Beaumont House.” He’d never even heard of the place. But after his grandmother passes and his first love betrays him, the family house in the Wisconsin woods looks like a tempting refuge. Going against his grandmother’s wishes, Hunter flees to Beaumont House.

But will the house be the sanctuary he had hoped for? Soon after moving in, Hunter realizes he may not be alone. And who — or what — he shares the house may plunge him into a nightmare from which he may never escape.

Sparks fly when he meets his handsome neighbor, a caretaker for the estate next door, but is the man salvation…or is he the source of Hunter’s terror?

ISBN: 9781646562466

Product Link: JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: A Demon Inside by Rick R. Reed is a rather spooky novel and not for the faint of heart. For anyone who has read the first edition of this book, I have to admit that I never read the first edition, so I’m not entirely sure what has changed since.

The story itself has left me with some rather mixed feelings. This book isn’t a romance, means that any romance is not front and centre of the plot, and what romance there was throughout the story was really nicely done. However, it is not that aspect that has bothered me. The horror was fantastically written and I really enjoyed it. In hindsight, though, I think that there was some sort of spark missing with the horror that connected all the dots for me in my head. But mostly, I found that after the build up in the horror and the terror felt by Hunter, the ending was a little too flat and a little too quick for my liking.

Nonetheless, this book does the creepy and poltergeist things perfectly, so on the surface this is a fantastic horror story which may well leave you with chills running down your spine.

The story follows Hunter Beaumont and finds his life at loose ends when in a tumultuous short period of time his beloved grandmother dies and his boyfriend dumps him. In a move that is something like a classical gothic horror, Hunter decides to live in Beaumont House after being told by his grandmother on her death bed to burn it down. Beaumont House has no end of secrets (which leads Hunter to uncover the memory of when his parents had died when he was a child) and some of them are quite deadly (this is one house with a bad history).

The subplot featuring the neighbour of Beaumont House, Michael, is where the romance comes in. Michael is a sweet guy and matches well with Hunter. However, Hunter seems to spend a lot of time doubting his new relationship and I’m not entirely sure whether or not this is actually to do with the “demon” of Beaumont House or just Hunter being insecure. This adds a nice, lighter plot to the otherwise dark/horror we otherwise get.

Despite my conflicted feelings, this is a good book and anyone into horror and anything that is generally just creepifying (in the words of Joss Whedon) stories will at least enjoy this read.

Alpha Heat by Leta Blake

Leta Blake - Alpha Heat Cover 3467gymTitle: Alpha Heat

Series: Heat of Love 02

Author: Leta Blake

Genre: Contemporary, Omegaverse, M-preg

Length: Novel (460 pages)

ASIN: B07D1MDQVS

Publisher: Leta Blake Books (11 May 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: A desperate young alpha. An older alpha with a hero complex. A forbidden love that can’t be denied.

Young Xan Heelies knows he can never have what he truly wants: a passionate romance and happy-ever-after with another alpha. It’s not only forbidden by the prevailing faith of the land, but such acts are illegal.

Urho Chase is a middle-aged alpha with a heartbreaking past. Careful, controlled, and steadfast, his friends dub him old-fashioned and staid. When Urho discovers a dangerous side to Xan’s life that he never imagined, his world is rocked and he’s consumed by desire. The carefully sewn seams that held him together after the loss of his omega and son come apart—and so does he.

But to love each other and make a life together, Xan and Urho risk utter ruin. With the acceptance and support of Caleb, Xan’s asexual and aromantic omega and dear friend, they must find the strength to embrace danger and build the family they deserve.

This gay romance novel by Leta Blake is the second in the Slow Heat universe. It’s 130,000 words, with a strong happy ending and a well-crafted, non-shifter Omegaverse. It features alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, heat, and knotting. No cheating. Content warning for brief sexual violence.

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Alpha Heat is the second book in Leta Blake’s Heat of Love series. It takes place a couple years after the first book and there are some ongoing plot lines which makes this best to read the series in order.

After really enjoying the first book of this series I really looking forward to continuing on with the series. I really like the depth and character development Blake showed in her writing back in book one. On top of that, I have discovered a relatively recent interest for reading m-pregs. M-preg is a pretty niche sub-genre in the MM world, and so it goes without saying that if you don’t like m-pregs or it doesn’t pique your interest enough to give it a go, this isn’t the books for you.

This book is an Omegaverse book – which is where for one reason or another certain men (the Omegas) have developed the ability to become pregnant. Despite not being a shapeshifter or paranormal m-preg, we still get the interesting connection between alphas and omegas which allows men to sense their true mate. In this world women became infertile and eventually died out, forcing humanity to adapt, hence the omegas. However, since this a relatively recent change in human physiology, pregnancy for men is possibly more dangerous for the men than it had been on women. Due to these limitations, it also means that there are very strict laws dictating how omegas can deal with pregnancy (these laws are analogous to conservative anti-abortion laws which are being shown on the media now).

However, this current deals with complexities of alphas and shows that alphas that find pleasure in being dominated rather than dominating an omega. Xan is one of those alphas and society tells him that he has to be ashamed of what he is – his desires cause gossip because many traditionalist believed that men with his desires are not real alphas.

Xan has struggled his since best friend, ex-lover and alpha mated an older omega a few years prior. He has struggled with society gossip of him being “unmanned” – the term for an alpha who needs to be dominated which is seen as unnatural. But he is part of an odd little friendship group that involves the alpha who had once upon a time helped his best friend’s Omega through painful heats. Pressure from his family and luck led him to entering a mating contract with an omega who was gossiped about in society.

Caleb is an omega with a secret of his own. Unlike his mate, Caleb accepts who is and has gone years being known as a frigid omega. However, other than going through heats where his hormones take over, and even wanting have a child of his own, Caleb does not experience sexual attraction as a “good omega should”. This gives the pair two problems. Xan needs to seek physical need for another alpha elsewhere, and because of how he is, Xan cannot physically fulfil Caleb’s needs when he is in heat.

This is where alpha Urho Chase steps in. He is a doctor who has compassion in spades. He finds it abhorrent that omegas must go through pregnancy because the law it geared towards omegas pumping out babies and boosting the population. He has been in mourning for years for his omega mate and son who had died. Yet he isn’t living in the past. He has “helped” a number of omegas through their painful heats which are only relieved by having sex with powerful alphas. His best friend, Vale being one of the many omegas he has helped. Urho finds it difficult to reconcile his attraction and acceptance for another alpha, when it comes to Xan’s desires and needs. Yet he feels protective of the omega who exists in the body of an alpha. And when he finds Xan hurt, he needs to help.

Much like the first book, these characters are all just a tad different and will intrigue some readers that want something a little more different than the normal. Because yes, even in the Omegaverse there are a lot of common tropes. First off, we get the same issues with an age gap between the alpha and the omega, where there is an older omega although the age difference isn’t quite so pronounced as in book 1. The omega involved identifies as something close to asexuality (maybe I’ve interpreted that wrong but that’s how I see it), while the alpha is ashamed as he needs another alpha to sexually dominate him. And while this isn’t truly a ménage relationship – there is something similar to one going on here.

Overall, this makes for some very interesting dynamics and brings together an unconventional mating/family that really does work. There are exploding sparks of sexual attraction between Urho and Xan, and yet there is also a deep affection between and love between Xan and Caleb, with affection slowly growing between Urho and Caleb. Urho and Caleb start out together for their united desire to help Xan, but you can feel that there is an emotional connection between them much like the one between Xan and Caleb. This is truly a complex story line with a lot going on and I loved it.

Nightside by V.L. Locey

V.L. Locey - Nightside Cover s geb76Title: Nightside

Series: An Eerie Vampire Tale 01

Author: V.L. Locey

Genre: Paranormal, Vampires

Length: Novella (128 pages)

ASIN: B07ZFKPJ19

Publisher: Self Published (21 Oct 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Being a new member of the undead sect has its ups and downs, something that newly embraced Akio Lee is finding out first hand. Being able to spend eternity with his beloved Vincente, the man who introduced him to life in the nightside, is a definite up. Having to feed on strangers? That’s one of the downsides, and something that Akio is finding difficult to swallow. But what other option is there for a recently wed vampire couple who need blood to survive?

Finding a new donor perhaps? One who comes into the lifestyle willingly, as Akio had done, and is open to the unique and sensual relationship that develops when three men have a blood bond. A man who can exist in both the nightside and the dayside worlds. A man like Ian O’Keeffe, the handsome caretaker of the manse Akio and Vincente now call home? Ian seems to tick every box Akio and Vincente have—he’s comfortable around vampires, he’s obviously into men, he’s drop-dead gorgeous, he’s more than a little mischievous, and he’s human. Mostly.

But will the outgoing handyman be willing to offer two vampires his vein, his body, and his heart?

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Nightside, An Eerie Vampire Tale is a novella by VL Locey, and is from the same world as her Shifters of Lake Eerie series, although this is fine as a standalone. Its been a long while since I’ve read the Lake Eeries stories and my memory of them is quite sketchy and even so I had no issues with this novella. Although there were a number of fun call backs that did trigger my memories of the previous Eerie Tales.

Generally, I love VL Locey and everything she writes. And while I did enjoy Nightside, I have to admit that I didn’t get the usual thrill of excitement and chemistry that I’ve come to expect from Locey’s writing. I suppose I shouldn’t always expect to just connect and a love a book, because it found that it took me approximately 40% of the book to really get on board with the characters. I’m not sure what it was that was missing for me because the characters worked really well together, and I found their romance worked well. All I can say is that there was something missing for me personally. This is a little odd, because on top of loving many of Locey’s books, I also happen to love paranormal stories and I also love to read a menage romance on occasion as well.

The story starts off with Akio Lee. He has only recently become a vampire, after being turned by his beloved Vincente, so that they can spend the rest of their existence together. However, life as a vampire isn’t always simple. In Locey’s world, the vampires are truly the undead as in the old school vampire stories, this means that Akio and Vincente need a human blood donor. They want to find a human who is not only a willing donor, but is also willing to be open to the sexual pleasures that can also come about from the intimate act of feeding. Vincente wants the best for his beloved Akio, and while he is more cautious being the older, mature vampire of the two, he and Akio are on the same page in terms of what they want and need both emotionally and physically.

I think this is where things fall apart for a bit for me, because Akio had once been Vincente’s blood donor when he was human and now the couple want to find another human to not only be a donor but is also open to the possibility being a third member in their relationship. To me it becomes something of a vicious cycle.

If nothing else the paranormal community of the Eerie shifters and vampires is quite quirky. There is something about it that is almost Gothic about the world that Locey has created which has left me intrigued. Despite my thoughts on this novella (because it’s impossible to love everything), I’m definitely keen for more.

The Snow Dragon’s Mate by Silvia Violet

Silvia Violet - The Snow Dragon's Mate Cover sdnj7ehTitle: The Snow Dragon’s Mate

Series: Lonely Dragons Club 02

Author: Silvia Violet

Genre: Paranormal, M-preg

Length: Novella (128 pages)

ISBN: B07ZZL56D6

Publisher: Silvia Violet (29th November 2019)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Best Christmas gift ever: Finding out dragons exist and one of them is your fated mate.

Kymar
Weary from centuries spent searching for my mate, I hid away in a mountain cabin until an offer from a friend leads me to the most exquisite omega I have ever seen. From the moment our eyes meet, all I want is to make him mine. A well-timed storm leaves him stranded in my lair, but when the snow melts, he insists on returning to his human life. I’m convinced we’re fated for one another. Can I make this stubborn young man believe it too?

Holden
I rode on a dragon’s back. A real, live dragon. In his human form, Kymar is so gorgeous I can hardly breathe around him. I’m drawn to him by a force too strong to ignore, but, magical creature or not, I can’t get involved with him. Happiness never lasts. I’ve learned that lesson again and again. After I walk away, my longing to return grows worse every day until I start to wonder if I can find to courage to believe what my heart and my dragon say is true—Kymar and I are meant to be together.

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: The Snow Dragon’s Mate is the second book in Silvia Violet’s Lonely Dragons Club series. The books works as a standalone, although we met both MC’s in book one and we also have a few scenes with them as well. However, by and large this is the romance of Kymar and Holden.

I like the premise, which is a group of dragons who are about 1000 years old all long for their mates, living rather solitary lives except when they get together on occasion. With the coming Christmas season gives at least a couple of dragons hope for their HEA. This is a totally enjoyable read for anyone that likes shifters and m-preg but not looking for anything too heavy. This is just purely a romance without no angst.

Like with the first book, this is a relatively quick holiday read and you read in the blurb is essentially what you get, so I’m not going to get into too many details.

I totally loved the first book in this series and quickly had to read this one as well. Honestly, I can’t wait for book three either. If you are intrigued by a Christmas story with an alpha shifter and his omega human mate and throw in some M-preg then you should probably give this one a go. The only word of advice I will give is to those that don’t like insta-love (i.e. the whole fated mate thing in shifter romances) or pushy alpha getting their omega partner into bed. Although, I will admit that Holden is refreshing in that he does push back against the mate bond.

Kymar and Holden meet by chance. Kymar has been asked by his friend Laszlo to pick up a pesky, clingy omega (not Holden) and Holden is checking up on his best friend after Roman had gone off with an alpha he didn’t know (totally against his usual behaviour). Holden is definitely intrigued and instantly attracted to Kymar when he learns about dragon shape shifters by chance in a baptism of fire. Kymar is equally intrigued by Holden, but being a dragon he is sure that there is more between them than simple attraction. Holden isn’t adverse to one night stands and so he is happy to go and spend the night with Kymar. The only problem that Kymar really has is that he has to convince that this isn’t a one time thing and that they have something very important between them.

Slow Heat by Leta Blake

Leta Blake - Slow Heat Cover sdnm78gTitle: Slow Heat

Series: Heat of Love, 01

Author: Leta Blake

Genre: Contemporary, Omegaverse, M-Preg

Length: Novel (408 pages)

ASIN: B071VMX4QH

Publisher: Leta Blake Books (16 May 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: A lustful young alpha meets his match in an older omega with a past.

Professor Vale Aman has crafted a good life for himself. An unbonded omega in his mid-thirties, he’s long since given up hope that he’ll meet a compatible alpha, let alone his destined mate. He’s fulfilled by his career, his poetry, his cat, and his friends.

When Jason Sabel, a much younger alpha, imprints on Vale in a shocking and public way, longings are ignited that can’t be ignored. Fighting their strong sexual urges, Jason and Vale must agree to contract with each other before they can consummate their passion.

But for Vale, being with Jason means giving up his independence and placing his future in the hands of an untested alpha–as well as facing the scars of his own tumultuous past. He isn’t sure it’s worth it. But Jason isn’t giving up his destined mate without a fight.

This is a gay romance novel, 118,000 words, with a strong happy ending, as well as a well-crafted, non-shifter omegaverse, with alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, heat, and knotting. Content warning for pregnancy loss and aftermath.

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Slow Heat is the first book in Leta Blake’s Heat of Love series.

I’m not overly familiar with Blake’s work. I’ve read one other book by her, and that one wasn’t even m-preg (male pregnancy). But I have discovered a relatively recent interest for reading m-pregs. M-preg is a pretty niche sub-genre in the MM world, and so it goes without saying that if you don’t like m-pregs or it doesn’t pique your interest enough to give it a go, this isn’t the books for you.

However, I have heard good things about this series and I looked forward to reading it. Something else that I think will interest people is that not only does this story feature a couple with an age gap (about 12 years?), it is the omega who is the older of the couple, rather than the alpha. This is something common in May- December type romances of any genre, the perceived weaker character, or the bottom, is usually younger than the dominant partner.

This book is an Omegaverse book – which is where for one reason or another certain men (the Omegas) have developed the ability to become pregnant. Despite not being a shapeshifter or paranormal m-preg, we still get the interesting connection between alphas and omegas which allows men to sense their true mate. In this world women became infertile and eventually died out, forcing humanity to adapt, hence the omegas. However, since this a relatively recent change in human physiology, pregnancy for men is possibly more dangerous for the men than it had been on women. Due to these limitations, it also means that there are very strict laws dictating how omegas can deal with pregnancy (these laws are analogous to conservative anti-abortion laws which are being shown on the media now).

The story starts with young alpha Jason Sabel. Jason is from a very well to do family and is the only child of his alpha and omega fathers. His fathers are quite traditional too. So things get interesting when Jason, while on campus of his university, finds the omega that is his true mate.

The complication is that this omega, Vale Aman, is a thirty-something year old professor who has never found his alpha mate. Vale also has an interesting and mysterious past, which he still needs to come to terms with, as well as come clean to Jason. Although nothing seems to be stopping Jason.

Courting the older omega according to tradition is a steep learning curve for the twenty-something year old alpha. On top of that, finding his mate means that he is also discovering some truths when it comes to omegas and their physiology that allows for pregnancy. Being so young, Vale doesn’t want to tie Jason to a relationship where if he could even get pregnant could kill Vale, if not any child as well. Jason needs to convince Vale and it seems his friends and parents, that Vale is the man that Jason needs in his life.

This is a fantastic start to the series. I loved the two characters, their differences (and not just their ages) make them fascinating and their sparking attraction is on point. I like that there isn’t any strong feeling of insta-love, there is even talk that the men won’t suit, so we get to see the relationship evolve in a more believable manner. The emotion that develops between and the complexity of their friendships makes their courtship realistic despite having the true mate connection.

Nothing Special V by A.E. Via ~ Audio Review

A.E. Via - Nothing Special V Audio Cover s nty373Title: Nothing Special V

Series: Nothing Special 05

Author: A.E. Via

Narrator: Aiden Snow

Genre: Contemporary, Action, Men in Uniform

Length: 12 hrs, 29 mins

Publisher: A.E. Via

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Atlanta’s notorious narcotics task force is at it again. They are stronger, bigger, and better than ever. Especially when a city councilman sends RECON Marine Edwin Steele – who’s been black-listed from his Oakland department – to join the team.

Steele was ready to hang up his shield. He was done fighting with bigoted bastards that couldn’t respect the job. He was good at fighting; he just needed the right team to fight with. When his uncle – City Councilman Rasmus Steele – shows him a video of God’s team in action, he knows right away it’s where his nephew belongs in order to restore his faith.

Steele was skeptical about his new placement, but when he meets God’s technology special-ist/computer genius, “Tech”, he’s willing to give it his all, and he definitely shows and proves.
Tech is stunning. His sweater vest and khakis, a stark contrast to the blue-jeaned roughnecks he works with. A beautiful sheep amongst the wolves. Steel thinks there’s no way the brilliant man would be interested in a hardhead like him, but Tech has a few badass hidden talents of his own and manages to surprise him…surprise all of them.

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

Review: Nothing Special V is (obviously), the fifth book in AE Via’s Nothing Special series.
I have absolutely loved this series from the start, although I’ve not read it and only been listening to the audio. Which I at first found out, because this book has some very long and steamy sex scenes, which usually I find rather boring. However, Via does an excellent job of writing multiple, very explicit scenes into books that actually fit in the flow of story, as opposed to being crow-barred in because hey, let’s have characters have sex in stupid places (Via doesn’t do the latter, but it’s one of my pet hates in romances, erotic or otherwise).

The audio narration is performed by Aiden Snow, which summed up in one word is sublime. Each book, although has one couple which is the primary focus, features a whole cast of characters which become more complex and developed throughout the course of the books. At this point we’re talking seven or eight sets of lovers with a handful of other characters who have popped up more than once in the course of the series. What I love the most about Snow’s audio is how he gives these very complex characters distinctive voices and feels. I felt this more so in this book because at the end we have a character with an English accent pop up, and another with a Southern drawl also pop up. This was a totally amazing performance that reflected Snow’s skill and versatility to narrate a story and perform the characters in a way that does the writing justice.

Nothing Special V brings technical, computer and communications specialist for the Atlanta PD’s most successful narcotics squad, Tech. Tech joined the team as part of a deal, which Lieutenants God and Day helped him get a deal when he was caught hacking into government databases while trying to find his brother. Tech is smart as hell, he’s been to MIT and only got caught hacking that one time. He joined the unit as their tech specialist, but he continued to become a detective in his own right. However, being much younger than his colleagues, as well as having a much more slight build with significantly less muscle, means that he feels his team are over protective of him. But Tech has been working and training because it is his dream to become a field officer, as well as help with the technical side of things.

To make this more complicated, we multiple storylines from multiple characters. In particular, the first couple that started this series, God and Day, the leaders of the squad. After becoming engaged, and despite working together and living together, fears and insecurities have caused a breakdown in communication. While they aren’t all out brawling there is a lot of tension. I liked this particular aspect because not only did it reflect the characters past. I liked how the tension showed that things aren’t always rosy in a relationship, especially with the dangerous and stressful job they have, even though they have their HEA.

Lieutenant Godfrey of the APD isn’t took happy when he is forced to take a new member on his squad. They aren’t even recruiting and he and Day haven’t asked for more boots on the ground. But he has a new guy and that man is ex-marine, medal of honour recipient Steele. Since leaving the service Steele has found it difficult to find his place in a career as a police officer. But it is his uncle who pulls some pretty serious strings to join a team that would better fit him before Steele’s dependence on alcohol got any worse. Steele isn’t exactly happy that his uncle did what he did, despite being his only surviving family, and it also has Steele living in the same state as his uncle once more. Yet when he first lays eyes on Tech, he is instantly intrigued. Suddenly, his new job is looking better and better, and he finds out his uncle left out a few important details when he had shown Steele a video of the APD team in action.

The book is full of passionate love scenes, a number of comedic moments and plenty of action. This is a must read (or listen) series for anyone that loves to read about rough and tough law enforcement guys. They work and play hard. This is an ongoing story, so it’s vital to start this series from the start and not treat this as a standalone book.

The end of this audio also features a short story which involves the brother and the adopted son of some of our most beloved characters from the APD Narcotics squad. It was a nice little story, and while it’s removed from the world of cops and action, I really liked how well developed the romance and characters felt – both have changed a lot since we first met them in earlier novels of this series and have been written into very mature young men that reflect the values of the cops in their lives.

There is one more book in this series, the set up for it was laid towards the end of Nothing Special V, and I can’t wait to hear the audio for it and get what I’m sure will be another stellar performance by Aiden Snow.

Saving Sean by Con Riley (2nd Edition)

Con Riley - Saving Sean Cover s snd78hnTitle: Saving Sean (2nd Edition)

Series: Seattle Stories 02

Author: Con Riley

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (280pgs)

ISBN: B0821QPLRZ

Publisher: Figment Ink (3rd January 2020)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: No more running from love…

Nearly a year after being rejected for another man, Seattle paramedic Peter Morse is still pining, so when the one that got away asks him for a favor, he agrees. His mission: track down Sean Reid, the runaway brother of a mutual friend. Peter isn’t thrilled about it—until he finds Sean injured by the side of the road. 

Everything about Sean stirs Peter’s protective instincts—saving people is what he lives for—but he never anticipated falling for someone so hell-bent on running from him. On top of his physical wounds, Sean struggles with grief and guilt, and the mess his estranged father left when he died threatens to overwhelm him. 

Saving Sean means Peter must let go of his pride and turn to friends and family. Asking for help is a bitter pill for Peter to swallow, but if he can’t, how can he expect Sean to accept his help—and his love—in turn?

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: In Saving Sean we pick up with a character we’ve met before and meet another. Peter was a love interest for Theo in After Ben and in the year after that book ended, Peter is now getting over his crush for Theo. It is Morgan and Theo who actually call upon Peter to help a friend, which leads him directly to Sean.

These two guys are a tad argumentative and very much alpha males – or maybe just stubborn. Like with After Ben, this is a well paced book. The main characters have brilliant chemistry and it is a bonus that it now feels like we’re settling with friends when it comes to the minor characters.