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.

Family Camp by Eli Easton ~ Audio Review

Eli Easton - Family Camp Audio Cover s eruj48Title: Family Camp

Series: Daddy Dearest 01

Author: Eli Easton

Narrator: Matthew Shaw

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 7 hrs, 10 mins

Publisher: Eli Easton (14th August 2019)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: When Geo signs up for Family Camp, he envisions nature hikes, s’mores, and a chance to win over his recalcitrant new foster kids, Jayden and Lucy. He’s tried to become a dad for so long, and he hopes the three of them can be the family he’s always wanted. What he doesn’t antici-pate is the prickly and gorgeous camp counselor who constantly comes to his rescue.

Travis spends a week every year at Camp Evermore, the camp his adoptive parents own. As a pro baseball player, his presence guarantees a full campground and excited campers. He has one rule: Never, ever mess around with anyone at camp. His profession demands he stay in the closet. But one sweet and funny new dad is about to test all his resolve.

Sparks fly for Geo and Travis, and not because of the nightly campfire. Having been a foster kid himself, Travis is drawn to Geo’s sincerity and big heart and to his kids. The four of them just fit. But will this be a summer romance? Or can they find a way to be a family long after Family Camp is over?

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

Review: Family Camp is the first book in Eli Easton’s newest series, Daddy Dearest. I’ve come to enjoy many of Easton’s books in the past year or so, and this was no different. I love the writing style and down to earth characters that make them so relatable – in both story and emotion.

In Easton’s own words, this is what we can expect from the new series: “The Daddy Dearest series will consist of stand-alone contemporary novels focusing on single gay dads who find hot romance. Expect laughs, sweet and sexy slow-burn romance, and lots of family feels!”

That is exactly what you will get as a reader when you read, or listen to, Family camp. So if you’re into sweet romances with down to earth characters, and a couple of cute kids, then I think that this is the book for you.

I’ve not read this book, so the audio was a complete introduction into this new world for me. The narration of this was performed by Matthew Shaw, who is a completely new narrator to me. However, I really enjoyed the voice and tone that he gave this story. It completely suited both main characters, as well as the kids. A great performance that was a joy to listen to.

The story starts with Geo. He’s stressed out. His dreams have finally come true now that he is a foster father to Jayden and Lucy, with hopes to adopt the children once he’s gone through all the necessary legal hoops. They haven’t been a family for long, but Geo signs them up to Family Camp, with the hope that some bonding over nature walks, camp fires, s’mores and all that kind of stuff will help the kids adapt. Being foster kids Jayden and Lucy haven’t had an easy time, Geo understands this but it is taking all his energy to bring them together. All he wants to do is be a daddy and bring joy to his kids life.

A breakdown on the side of the road means that a stranger helps him. A sexy stranger called Travis who had been sending some pretty flirty vibes out – and was good to the kids – until he turned cold and left Geo confused. But Geo wasn’t about to let that get in his way, because he’s a father now and he knows that romance isn’t something that he is actively seeking.

However, Travis is a camp counsellor. He was adopted by his family, after spending years in the foster system. And despite being a famous pro baseball player, he spends the summer helping his family at the camp they have run for years. Travis doesn’t expect that Geo, the good looking stranger who ran out of petrol that he helped earlier to be at his family camp. Especially when he gleans a wrong impression of the man.

There is great chemistry between these two, but this isn’t any insta-love. The two men are forced to get to know each other – not exactly against their will but they are definitely thrown together on more than one occasion. Then there are also the kids, who come with their own insecurities and trauma from being in the foster system.

While this is a fun, sweet book, there is a lot to overcome and that just means that there is a whole pile of emotions that make this book so good.

Life According to Liam by V.L. Locey

V.L. Locey - Life According To Liam Cover s jnwaer7Title: Life According to Liam

Series: According to Liam 01

Author: V.L. Locey

Genre: Contemporary, Sports

Length: Novella (136 pages)

ASIN: B07YMW2WBS

Publisher: Self Published (1 Oct 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: There’s always that chance that your heart’s desire is one click away.

Someone needs to pinch web designer/humor blogger/Pittsburgh Ravens mega fan Mike Kneller. Hard. For years, Mike has been living his life for his younger sister Kelly and his four-year-old nephew Liam. He’d opened up his home to Kelly when she found herself pregnant at sixteen and facing having a baby alone. Sure, his days are filled with skinned knees, snotty noses, and the occasional mishap with stuffed superheroes, but he’s perfectly happy because he loves Liam as much as he loves his baby sister. Giving up a social life and going to bed alone is a small price to pay. Little does he know that someone on the Ravens is about to show Ravens goalie Bryn Mettler one of his vlog posts. Of course he’s not going to believe it when his phone rings and the world-famous netminder—and his goalie crush—is on the other end. I mean, life doesn’t work that way for ordinary, hardworking uncles like Mike. Does it?

Bryn Mettler is a superstar athlete and a major part of the Pittsburgh sports society. He seems to have it all. He’s well-dressed, handsome, wealthy, an elite goaltender, a famed philanthropist, and the holder of numerous medals and trophies. To date, there are two things that have avoided him: lifting that big shiny silver cup over his head and finding a man to settle down with. Now that he’s over thirty, Bryn is finding the gay club scene is wearing thin. His teammates’ wives have decided it’s their duty to the team—and to Bryn—to find him Mr. Right. He’s relatively sure the man who’ll capture his heart surely won’t be found on a humor blog. Funny how life likes to take the things that you’re most certain about and flip them—and you—on its ear. When Bryn meets Mike, he is instantly drawn to the warm, funny, sexy man who shares his hectic days with thousands of Pittsburgh natives. Now he just has to convince Mike he is who he says he is so he can get to know him better. Thankfully, Bryn isn’t a quitter. But does he have what it takes to leap into life with Mike, Kelly, and Liam?

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Review: Life According to Liam is a really sweet standalone book by VL Locey. I’ve been loving Locey’s work, particularly since she started writing the world of the Harrisburg Railers and it’s two spin off series with RJ Scott. So a new romance by Locey that includes some ice hockey is always a score for me these days.

As well as being sweet, the other descriptor that comes to mind for the story is charming. The story is pretty much what I expected it to be. The characters are charming and endlessly endearing. Despite MC one being a popular NHL player, he has some great friends that really add to the feel that this is a down to earth character, and totally on the same level as the MC who really is just an ordinary guy, a web designer and blogger. The MCs have some great chemistry but I love how real and relatable they seem as they get to know each other, adding some depth to the romance.

The story opens with Mike Kneller. He’s the web designer and blogger who has a modest following as he writes about his life as a single gay man, helping to raise his nephew with his younger sister and is a massive fan of the Pittsburgh Ravens. Mike was disowned by his family when he came out as gay, a couple years later his then teenage sister, Kelly, turns up needing help because she was disowned for becoming pregnant. Since then, Kelly and Mike’s nephew, Liam, has become his life. They make a beautiful family and Liam is a total joy. The siblings are super close and have a lot of love for each other and Kelly is a bit of a mother hen, towards both her son and her big brother. Mike and Liam also share their love for NHL, in particular the Ravens and their out and proud player, Bryn Mettler. Liam, like all kids, comes out with some quirky one lines, but he loves his Uncle Mike with all his heart and he is part of the reason why this story is just so damn wholesome.

When we meet Bryn Mettler for the first time he is having dinner with his team mates and their wives and/or girlfriends. Being a single gay man, the women in the lives of his team mates want to fix Bryn up with a man so that he isn’t lonely. It’s usual problem of being the only single person in a whole group of couples. It is one of those women that mentions the blog, Life According to Liam, and how the blogger, Mike, is gay and has mentioned that he is attracted to his favourite NHL player. Captured by the blog, Bryn reaches out to Mike, starting a sweet and sometimes rocky journey towards love.

Furborn by Isabelle Rowan

Isabelle Rowan - Furborn Cover dnf78jcdTitle: Furborn

Author: Isabella Rowan

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Shape shifters

Length: Novel (195 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64405-293-8

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press / Dreamspinner (15 Oct 2019)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Foxes are vermin.

Australian sheep farmers regard them as an enemy to be shot on sight and hung from the branches of an old gum tree.

But not all foxes are just foxes.

Connor Coutts could be the last surviving male Furborn in Victoria, maybe in the whole country, a heavy bur-den for a teenager. His life’s path is clear— protect what’s left of the Furborn line. That is until someone new arrives at the MacKenzie sheep farm. Spencer MacKenzie, with his long black hair and gothic style, is a strange sight in Connor’s forest, but Fate throws the two teenagers together to save their families.

Can Connor trust Spencer to keep his life-or-death secret, or will he hang on the tree?

Purchase Link: Harmony Ink | Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Furborn is a standalone young adult novel by Isabelle Rowen. This isn’t your usual paranormal, shape shifting human novel. There is something rather laid back about it, which makes it feel so obviously Australian (at least to me) and as a reader we aren’t being led to some massive apocolytic event and true mates. Instead this is a story about two teenage boys living out in the country on a farm. The setting made me think of classic Australian writer Colin Thiele, who I grow up reading books such as Storm Boy (Mr Percival the Pelican on the Coorong!) and Sun on Stubble (thought about this one as it was based around farm life, hence the title).

Foxes have always been the bane of farmer’s in Australia ever since they were introduced on the large island nation by early settlers. But, not all foxes are just foxes. Some foxes also have human skin. With an explanation of shape shifters that compares them to the myth of Selkies from Scotland, the scariest part of this story is the Furborn having to go against the hunters who need to get rid of the foxes that decimate chickens and the like, as well as damaging crops and fences. After all, many farmers believe that the only good fox is a dead fox.

Connor Coutts comes from an ancient line of furborns who turn into foxes. He’s a teenager on the cusp of being a man. There aren’t many left, and his grandmother – the matriarch of all that is left of his family – will do whatever it takes to ensure the family’s survival, now and into the future. Connor’s life turns upside down when Spencer Mackenzie arrives at the Mackenzie Sheep Farm. The Coutts are almost like a local legend and so Spencer’s grandfather finds Spencer and Connor hanging out together rather amusing.

Connor’s friendship with Spencer comes with a lot of changes. The two young men start to explore some more romantic feelings, while Connor knows he has to do all he must to protect his secret and his family. As their lives intertwine Connor begins to realise that perhaps there is another path for him in life. Being a teenager is difficult, but being a teenage furborn is stressful with so much secrecy and expectation.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect but I loved it, I could not put this down. The writing was so emotive without overloading the reader with more angst than necessary. There is so much sweetness and naivety that makes this a beautiful coming of age story. It just so happens that one boy is human and the other boy can turn into a fox.

For anyone that is looking for some YA fiction which doesn’t lead to a heap of post-apocolytic drama but still want your shape shifters, then this is a good book for you. The setting, out in regional Australia on farms, felt so wonderful and was really realistic. I think that was my favourite part of the book.

The Christmas Dragon’s Mate by Silvia Violet

Silvia Violet - The Christmas Dragon's Mate Cover uivn7fhTitle: The Christmas Dragon’s Mate

Series: Lonely Dragons Club  01

Author: Silvia Violet

Genre: Paranormal, Shape shifter, M-Preg

Length: Novella (128 pages)

ISBN: 1707820686

Publisher: Silvia Violet (12th November 2019)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Best Surprise Ever: Going out to add to your Christmas hoard and finding your fated mate.

Laszlo
I’ve been longing to find my mate for over a thousand years. When I see him for the first time, he’s standing beneath sparkling glass ornaments, like a present waiting to be unwrapped. A present I intend to lay claim to.

If I can lure him back to my lair, I’ll shower him with so many gifts he’ll never want to leave. Bonded with my mate by Christmas? Yes, please.

Roman
I’m no good at flirting and have terrible luck with men, so when a gorgeous alpha says he wants to take me home, I’m shocked. And wary. My heat is about to start, and I’ve never shared it with anyone, so why do I suddenly want to say yes to this stranger?

There’s something unusual about him, the way his eyes shine, the odd phrases he keeps using. He says he wants to add me to his collection of beautiful things. I should be offended, but instead, I’m intrigued. Just this once, should I take a risk?

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: The Christmas Dragon’s Mate is the first book in Silvia Violet’s Lonely Dragons Club series. 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.

I’m not super familiar with Violet’s work. However, a Christmas story, an alpha shifter and his omega human mate and throw in some M-preg… I was totally down for this. 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.

This is a relatively quick holiday read. What you read in the blurb is essentially what you get, so I’m not going to get into too many details.

Dragons are well known for guarding their hoards. Laszlo is no exception to this rule. He loves the glittery and sparkle of Christmas, it is his favourite time of year. It is the one human festival that he loves. So he goes to a small gift shop in the town near his home, knowing he wanted to buy some glass baubles. This is how he meets his mate, a human omega called Roman. Laszlo has to fight his dragon, who wants to claim his mate as soon as possible, so that his mate won’t run screaming. He lures Roman to his lair and that’s when things heat up!

Roots of Evil by K.C. Wells

K.C. Wells - Roots of Evil Cover hjc78snTitle: Roots of Evil

Series: Merrychurch Mysteries 02

Author: K.C. Wells

Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense

Length: Novel (210 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64405-270-9

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (22 Oct 2019)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Many consider Naomi Teedle the village witch. Most people avoid her except when they have need of her herbs and potions. She lives alone on the outskirts of Merrychurch, and that’s fine by everyone—old Mrs. Teedle is not the most pleasant of people. But when she is found murdered, her mouth bulging with her own herbs and roots, suddenly no one has a bad word to say about her.

Jonathon de Mountford is adjusting to life up at the manor house, but it’s not a solitary life: pub landlord Mike Tattersall sees to that. Jonathon is both horrified to learn of the recent murder and confused by the sudden reversal of public opinion. Surely someone in the village had reason to want her dead? He and Mike decide it’s time for them to step in and “help” the local police with their investigation. Only problem is, their sleuthing uncovers more than one suspect—and the list is getting longer….

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Roots of Evil is the second book in the Merrychurch Mysteries series by KC Wells. Since I’ve already read and loved the first book in the series, I was looking forward to this. I’ve enjoyed many books by KC Wells, but Merrychurch novels satisfies the part of me that loves to indulge in the typical British Mystery shows.

If you don’t get exactly what I mean, here are some examples. Think the line in the movie Hot Fuzz “it’s just a tragic accident”. Or the fact that villages of Midsommer has a murder every week? Or series that have nosey bakers, gardeners and priests that all insist on investigating crimes instead of just leaving it to the police. Well, that’s pretty much what you’re getting here.

This book is not a standalone book. This is the continuation of the relationship of ex-policeman turned pub owner (there was a British TV show with one of those!), Mike, and the new lord of the manor, Jonathan De Mountford.

Their romance and their overall wonderful relationship isn’t the main focus of this book. The romance and relationship aspects are really quite well written and realistic, because you can see that they are still adapting to their new relationship and Jonathan is getting used to the change in his life after taking his uncle’s position as earl. Although it’s not all roses in their personal life. Jonathan has his very traditional father on his back to get married and produce a De Mountford heir, despite knowing his son is gay and with Mike. Of course, this upsets Mike, but this leads to a very important point about trust in their relationship.

Instead, in the time since the murder of Jonathan’s uncle had been solved, where Mike and Jonathan had done a lot of their own investigation, life had settled down and the men could focus on their relationship. But when the woman who is said to be the local witch and famous for her jams and preserves is found dead, Jonathan can’t leave the newest mystery alone. And since Mike is an ex-cop who loves the new lord, the two men begin their own investigation on the side. Of course, they do help the local constabulary, passing on their information, but neither man can leave the mystery alone. Jonathan and Mike dig through more of the village’s secrets, looking at black mail, questionable identities, missing people, affairs and even a couple more members of the very traditional Merrychurch community who may not be as straight as they appear.

Slow Dating the Detective by Sue Brown

Sue Brown - Slow Dating the Detective Cover 6hre03kTitle: Slow Dating the Detective

Series: Cowboys and Angels 03

Author: Sue Brown

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (189 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64080-653-5

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (29 Oct 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: A gentle bartender might have what it takes to mend a relationship-phobic detective’s broken heart… but first they have to admit they’re dating.

Keenan Day could kick himself for letting the hot, dark-haired stranger he met outside a strip club get away. Instead of a phone number, he gets a punch in the face—from the boyfriend of his prospective employer at the Cowboys and Angels bar. When two cops come to check up on him, one is the sexy stranger, Detective Nate Gordon.

The initial attraction hasn’t cooled, and though Nate is leery of commitment, one hookup turns into another until they’re seeing each other in everything but name. After a recent nasty breakup, Nate balks at being part of a couple, and Keenan agrees, even though that’s all he’s ever wanted.

Just as they reach a standstill, a crisis shows them what their friends have known all along—they’ve already moved way past hookups. Now they just have to decide how to move forward.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Slow Dating the Detective is the third book in Sue Brown’s series, Cowboys and Angels. I’ve become quite a fan of Brown’s writing, particularly after her Island Medics series and her contributions to Dreamspun Desires. I find the characters so relatable and easy to sympathise with, I also love the romance, which isn’t insta-love and is sometimes a slow burn.

The world of the Cowboys and Angels series is based around the world of a city bar called Cowboys and Angels, which is owned by Gideon, whose story kicked off the first book in the series. Even though both MCs of this book are completely new to the series, I still recommend that this series be read in order. The four men who were the MCs of the previous books, plus a couple we sort of met in the second book but never saw their romance properly, are very strong secondary characters. Also, how both the present MCs, Keenan and Nate, are brought into the Cowboys and Angels family has strong ties to these characters. I’m sure it would make sense as a standalone, but I feel that reading this without reading the first two books will do all the characters an injustice.

Keenan is dragged to a strip club by his sister. He’s having a tough time. An attack and resulting brain injury means that Keenan doesn’t have many career options open, but enjoys his job with a family run construction company. Now, the company was folding and has been brought out by a much larger corporation and has resulted in Keenan, as well as other employees, losing their jobs.
This is why Keenan’s sister has taken to a club to enjoy some talented male exotic dancers. The club itself had been brought out by the owner of the Cowboys and Angels bar by the end of book 2 in the series, and the club manager is a stripper who goes by the stage name Lionman, aka Cris. That night happens to be Lionman’s last hurrah on the stage as he takes over the day to operations of the club. But Keenan doesn’t know any of this yet, instead he sees a man he likes but is too shy to get the man’s number.

However, at the club he gets a lead on a possible job, even if it is bar tending at a local red neck bar, Cowboys and Angels, which has ties to the same guy who now owns the strip club. Keenan doesn’t have much choice and takes the dive. When he goes for his job interview he is greeted by a fist to his face from the bar’s ex-owner (Gideon, because he gifted the bar to his partner), and an offer for a trial period by the bar owner (Dan). And if the situation doesn’t just keep getting worse, two cops step in. One of them being Detective Nate Gordon.

Nate is a commitment-phobe. He comes by it honestly after having his heartbroken and struggling with the idea of putting his heart on the line again. Nate is a nice change from many cop storylines in MM romance where homophobia in the workplace is the least of his issues. After all, one of the other detectives is dating a guy (Mikey, who features in both books 1 and 2). He’s not ready for a relationship and after being honest with Keenan about not dating, Keenan is willing. These guys have a lot of complex emotions to come to terms with before they can think beyond to labelling whatever it is they are having. But there is no doubt that of the two men it is Nate whose baggage is the heaviest.

This was an excellent addition to the world of Cowboys and Angels. I love how closely connected all the characters are (I suppose Gideon’s millions of dollars and given so many business interests help this fact along). I love how there is a friendly, family feel to this series. The characters are relatable, and I love the spark between Nate and Keenan. They are both pretty lost when we first meet them, but they have so much potential together and the possibility of many new friends to add to their circle.

Interpretive Hearts by Amanda Meuwissen

Amanda Meuwissen - Interpretive Hearts Cover nds6h8Title: Interpretive Hearts

Series: Dreamspun Desires 94

Author: Amanda Meuwissen

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (197 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64405-740-7

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (19 Nov 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Love is easy once you learn the steps.

In the competitive world of dance, Teddy was a flawless performer and hardass choreographer who students feared and admired in equal measure. But hip surgery ended the glamour and drama, and now Teddy is recovering at his beach house, lost and listless.

Until he meets Finn, his neighbor, who is too perfect, gorgeous, and kind to exist—but very ill timed. In a seaside town as small as theirs, they can’t avoid each other, especially since Finn is also Teddy’s new physical therapist. But Teddy isn’t the man he used to be, and though Finn flirts shamelessly with him, Teddy can’t believe a has-been dancer is worthy of someone so young and full of life.
Finn’s sunny smile is also hiding heartache. Pursuing Teddy challenges both his professionalism and his self-preservation, but if he can convince Teddy to trust him, maybe they both can heal.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Interpretive Hearts is a standalone romance by Amanda Meuwissen for the house line Dreamspun Desires. I didn’t really know what to expect, to be perfectly honest. I’ve read only one other book by the author in the past and I really couldn’t remember it from the top of my head. However, the blurb grabbed and add in that Dreamspun Desires is something of a guilty pleasure for me, then I was ready to give it a go.

The first character we are introduced to is Teddy. He’s a professional dancer – a skilled performer and as he got older he stepped with ease into the role of an equally skilled choreographer. He has the admiration of various members of the dancing community, as well as his very own enemy that seems to delight in rubbing in the fact that he now had Teddy’s job after surgery has changed Teddy’s whole life. Teddy, as with every other dancer, knew that that the performing part of his career was limited, and unfortunately the same is true for choreography. Vital hip surgery has left Teddy confused and is happy to keep to himself in his beachside condo. The physical part of recovery is difficult, but he had never realised that the mental side of recovery was just as difficult.

Things begin to change when Teddy bumps into one of his neighbours, Finn. Teddy feels an instant spark of attraction but because of the surgery he holds himself back. Especially when he feels humiliated when Finn needs to help him inside to his home after a minor setback. The complications continue when it turns out that Finn is also Teddy’s physical therapist, helping him with his rehab. Because now Finn, who also felt the attraction, is torn because Teddy is now his patient and therefore off limits for any personal relationships.

There is angst as Teddy works through his recovery and Finn comes to terms with his attraction to a patient. Overall, it is really enjoyable and the characters took on a really nice depth that made their romance feel realistic. Fans of romances that involve professional in the arts will like this one. This is the a sweet story of one character on his journey to recovery and the man that becomes important to him for multiple reasons.

Secretly Dating the Lionman by Sue Brown

Sue Brown - Secretly Dating the Lionman Cover 6ewyht2Title: Secretly Dating the Lionman

Series: Cowboys and Angels 02

Author: Sue Brown

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (200 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64080-651-1

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (27 Nov 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Can a man burdened with family drama find his way into the arms of a happy-go-lucky stripper called Lionman?

Cris likes a drink at Cowboys and Angels bar after his shift at the strip club—until one night when a trashed young guy named Mikey tries to kiss him. He’s not Cris’s type, but Cris is good enough to see the kid home safely. There he meets Mikey’s handsome older brother, Bennett, and there’s an immediate spark between them.

But Bennett might not be in a position to start a relationship, let alone with the carefree Cris. He’s trying desperately to hold his family together, with a younger brother who’s running off the rails and hostile parents who will never accept not just one, but two gay sons.

When Cris is unexpectedly fired and Bennett’s family drama escalates, they turn to each other for support. But can a shoulder to lean on develop into something much closer, something they both deserve?

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Secretly Dating the Lionman is the second book in Sue Brown’s series, Cowboys and Angels. I’ve become quite a fan of Brown’s writing, particularly after her Island Medics series and her contributions to Dreamspun Desires. I find the characters so relatable and easy to sympathise with, I also love the romance, which isn’t insta-love and is sometimes a slow burn.

The world of the Cowboys and Angels series is based around the world of a city bar called Cowboys and Angels, which is owned by Gideon, whose story kicked off the first book in the series. While the second book starts the story of a new couple, there is some subtle background information which we are given back in book 1 which would make it easier to understand both MCs.

The Lionman in the title of the story is the stage name of a popular male stripper, whose real name is Cris. He first went to the red neck bar Cowboys and Angels for a gay speed dating event, which had seen bar manager Dan and the bar owner Gideon get together. Though Cris didn’t end up with a boyfriend he got a good friend in Dan after the speed dating event. In the months since that meeting, Cris now frequents the bar to relax after he performs on stage at a local strip. He is wildly popular with the audience, but his shifts are being less and less frequent. One night at Cowboys, another man who is 1) deeply closeted and 2) another attendee of the speeding dating night, Mikey, kisses Cris. But Cris is a good guy and not interested in Mikey. So instead helps the drunk guy home.
This is how Cris meets Bennett.

Bennett’s brother, Mikey, is a dominant second character throughout the book, as it is his antics/influence that seem to be bringing Bennett and Cris together. Mikey is troubled and this book is just as much his story of his struggles as much as it is Cris and Bennett’s romance. I like that we get to see Mikey’s story resolve but I have to say I am interested in Mikey’s own dive into the world of dating and love.

Bennett means well, he only wants what is best for his little brother and is very protective of him. His intentions are good, but he is aggressive and rather rude when dealing with Cris. Bennett is under pressure to keep his family and their business going – his parents are very traditional and so Bennett has accepted that he cannot be himself as an out gay man, free to date whom he pleases. At the same time he knows his brother is gay too, and wants to protect him at all costs. However, Mikey’s behaviour is spiralling out of control – making him seem more childlike than adult, or perhaps that is how Bennett sees his brother. Despite his attraction to Cris, who is the complete opposite to Bennett, he believes that Cris is one of the people that he needs to shield Mikey from.

This was a totally enjoyable book, one that I enjoyed more than I did the first book in this series. Though Cris is a stripper, this is no Pretty Woman or some such thing. Cris is realistic, smart as hell and is true to himself. And while Bennett is smart as hell in his own right, he has a lot of learning to do while being the over protective older brother that he is. Both MCs are strong, but they have a lot to learn and they just might find out that they are even stronger together.

Though I just need to end, OMG, I think I had Mumford and Sons playing on repeat in my head at every reference of Cris’s stage name, Lionman.

Truth Will Out by K.C. Wells

K.C. Wells - Truth Will Out Cover 48h4y4Title: Truth Will Out

Series: Merrychurch Mysteries 01

Author: K.C. Wells

Genre: Contemporary, Mystery

Length: Novel (192 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64080-629-0

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (30 Oct 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Jonathon de Mountford’s visit to Merrychurch village to stay with his uncle Dominic gets off to a bad start when Dominic fails to appear at the railway station. But when Jonathon finds him dead in his study, apparently as the result of a fall, everything changes. For one thing, Jonathon is the next in line to inherit the manor house. For another, he’s not so sure it was an accident, and with the help of Mike Tattersall, the owner of the village pub, Jonathon sets out to prove his theory—if he can concentrate long enough without getting distracted by the handsome Mike.

They discover an increasingly long list of people who had reason to want Dominic dead. And when events take an unexpected turn, the amateur sleuths are left bewildered. It doesn’t help that the police inspector brought in to solve the case is the last person Mike wants to see, especially when they are told to keep their noses out of police business.

In Jonathon’s case, that’s like a red rag to a bull….

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Truth Will Out is the first book in the Merrychurch Mysteries by KC Wells. Wells is an author that I’ve read a number of books in the past and have found them on the whole enjoyable and well written. I’ve actually heard the audio of this book some months ago – I don’t remember when – but at the time I wasn’t aware that it was part of the series. I remembering really getting into the story and it was great to actually read it for myself.

Overall, this was a really cool story and I think was greatly enhanced by listening to the audio. I feel that this is a book that I’ve got more out of it by listening to the audio – and the fabulous performances that brought the characters to life – than I would have reading the book.

There is a definite “British Mystery” feel to it, as in that there’s a murder in the small village but surely “it was nothing but an accident, I’m sure”. I probably have watched too many of said British Mysteries on television, and I’m not ashamed to say that Hot Fuzz is one of my favourite comedy movies. And not to mention that I figured out the plot of the story, mostly because I was thinking, “this reminds of the Doctor Who episode The Unicorn and the Wasp”. Yeah, I’m a nerd and I barely had to think to remember the name of the episode, whatever.

The story starts with Jonathon de Mountford. He goes to visit his uncle, the present Lord de Mountford at the family’s country seat/property. He has a lot of guilt for not seeing his uncle, whom he had been so close to as a kid. But the years and his career as a famous photographer sent him on a whirlwind journey that he has loved. Of course, his father, who heads the family law firm, is disappointed in Jonathon not only because he’s gay but also because he didn’t go into law and sees photography as nothing but a hobby. So clearly the guy has baggage and his life is about to get a whole lot more complicated, first when he meets local bar owner Mike Tattersall, and then goes to find his uncle and ends up finding him dead in his study.

Mike Tattersall moved to the quiet village of Merrychurch in the English countryside after losing his foot ended his career as a police officer in London. Now he owns the village pub (and oh my god! This just makes me think of watching Heartbeat with my mum when I was home sick from school). He moved to be closer to his recently divorced sister and has made something of a life for himself, even if he is lonely. Mike isn’t in the closet, though he doesn’t advertise his sexuality. He was also very much out when he was a policeman, and got his own set of baggage from that as well as dealing with his sister.

Jonathon and Mike have an instant connection. Their chemistry has been written perfectly. The sparks start to fly instantly, but they have a lot of learning to do together before anything can get too serious. On top of that, Jonathon and Mike can’t resist getting involved in the local to mystery, trying to piece together all the clues to solve what happened to Jonathon’s uncle.

I recommend this to anyone that wants a light-hearted romance with a good dose of adventure and mystery. I’m really looking forward to reading the second book in this series really soon!

A Holiday Homecoming by Liv Rancourt

Liv Rancourt - A Holiday Homecoming Cover s trh6r4Title: A Holiday Homecoming

Series: 2019 Advent Calender: Homemade for the Holidays

Author: Liv Rancourt

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (62 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64405-779-7

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (1 Dec 2019)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Ten years ago Jon’s passion for the piano took him across the country to New York, where a demanding concert career consumed his life and left him no time to look back. His father’s stroke is the only thing that brings him home to Seattle. The sickroom makes for a dreary holiday until Jon runs into Bo, whose inner light can make anything sparkle.

Bo loves the holidays: the food, the crafts, the glitter! A fling with an old school friend—who grew up to be his celebrity crush—makes a good thing better. The season turns sour, though, when Jon is offered a gig he can’t refuse. He wants Bo to share the moment, but Bo doesn’t fly. Anywhere. Ever. Is this goodbye, or will a handmade ornament bring Jon home to Bo?

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: A Holiday Homecoming is a Christmas novella by Liv Rancourt for Dreamspinner Press’s 2019 Advent Calender, the theme of which for this year is “Homemade for the Holidays”.

I love a Christmas novella, or novel, of almost any kind. I love the stereotypically sugary sweet romances that always come out in November and December. They warm the heart and the love makes me happy. I’ve not heard of Liv Rancourt before, so after reading this I think I’d be interested in more their works.

This story is the romance between two men, who had been school friends until life took them apart before they were teenagers.

Jon, a classical concert pianist, has spent the last ten years in New York, first at Julliard and then building his career, until his father has a stroke and he goes back to his hometown to help his parents. Soon after he gets back in town, he encounters Bo, they had been friends when they had been thirteen, before Jon’s love of music had him home schooled so that Jon could take his interest in music further. Jon finds his newly resurfacing emotions confusing. With his feelings of guilt towards not being close to his parents adding to the confusion of his budding romance.

Bo has never left their hometown, but he is happy with his life as a teacher and has a passion for arts and crafts. Seeing Jon again sparks emotions that hadn’t had the chance to fully form into anything more when they had been kids.

This is a short and sweet Christmas romance that has everything that I expect, a real lighted-hearted and sweet romance.

Speed Dating the Boss by Sue Brown

Sue Brown - Speed Dating The Boss Cover 4f4nnuTitle: Speed Dating the Boss

Series: Cowboys and Angels 01

Author: Sue Brown

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (195 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64080-649-8

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (26 June 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Will a mix of privilege and blue collar be a recipe for love… or disaster?

Dan’s pretty satisfied with his job at the working-class bar Cowboys and Angels. He enjoys his simple life, his apartment, and his cat, but he could do without the fights that break out in the bar, his boss’s meddling daughter, Ariel… oh, and a brutal, unrequited crush on his straight alpha boss, Gideon.

When Dan’s friend prepares to tie the knot, everyone insists that Dan needs a date for the wedding. Before he can protest, Ariel arranges a gay speed-dating event at the bar with Gideon as a participant. The unforeseen revelation that Gideon is bisexual raises Dan’s hopes, especially when Gideon announces that he wants to accompany Dan to the wedding. Could Gideon really be interested in Dan?

When Dan needs someone most, Gideon offers his unconditional support, and with genuine commitment, he shows Dan the kind of man he really is. Teaming up to save the wedding from a hungover groom and intolerant parents, can Gideon convince Dan they’re the best match since beer and pizza?

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Speed Dating the Boss is the first book in Sue Brown’s series, Cowboys and Angels. I’ve become quite a fan of Brown’s writing, particularly after her Island Medics series and her contributions to Dreamspun Desires. I find the characters so relatable and easy to sympathise with, I also love the romance, which isn’t insta-love and is sometimes a slow burn.

To be honest when I see a series called Cowboys and Angels I am going to stop for a second look, no matter who the author is. I have a weakness for cowboy romances. However, this was not a cowboy romance and I was in no way disappointed about this fact. Instead this is a series that is based around the world of a city bar called Cowboys and Angels, which is owned by Gideon.

Gideon is introduced to the reader through Dan. Dan is the lead bar tender and has been working at Cowboys and Angels that he could run the place with his eyes closed and without his boss. Gideon is a widower with a college aged daughter, Ariel, who he has spoiled after the death of her mother years ago. Gideon is a man of many surprises. He may run a red neck bar, but he is a man of money and his hands in many pies.

Dan is invited to a wedding and needs to bring a date. Dan has devoted so much over the years of his time to the bar that he has no time for dating. He also nurses a crush on his seemingly straight boss. With not a lot of options and a hare-brained scheme concocted by Ariel, Dan allows his boss’ daughter to help him find a date.

The area where the bar is located is a little rough. So, having someone – and someones – out and proud isn’t something that happens really in Cowboys and Angels, but Dan and Gideon are not only realising their feelings for each other they are also changing their little world around them for the better.

This was a light-hearted read but the complexity of the characters is deep, which is what I enjoyed about the book so much. There was chemistry between Gideon and Dan from the start, they have very interesting and driven personalities that compliment each other more than they clash. While this isn’t a slow burn romance, the romance does come around slowly. Dan needs to sort his feelings out, as does Gideon, but they also need to get to know each other better, beyond a friendship between boss and employee.

The Dragon CEO’s Assistant by Jenn Burke

Jenn Burke - The Dragon CEO's Assistant Cover s ijer8fTitle: The Dragon CEO’s Assistant

Series: Golden Kingdom Book 02

Author: Jenn Burke

Genre: Paranormal, Shape shifters

Length: Novel (211 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64405-517-5

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (29 Oct 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: The heart remembers.

When Aidan Bishop staggers out of the woods, naked and suffering from amnesia, he needs to relearn who he is and where he fits in the world.

His boss, nearly five-hundred-year-old dragon Nassim, head of a successful tech company, hurries to claim his wayward assistant and guide him back into the life he disappeared from. As they get to know each other again, Aidan wonders if their relationship went deeper than employer and employee. But Nassim isn’t telling, and Aidan has a secret of his own… even if he doesn’t know it yet.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: The Dragon CEO’s Assistant is the second book in Jenn Burke’s Golden Kingdom series. This does work as a standalone book, there is a brief appearance of the couple featured in the first book, but this appearance does not require any knowledge of what had happened to that particular couple.

I was looking forward to this book because I remember being surprised as just how good and how much I enjoyed the first book. And while I did enjoy this book, the plot line is something of a stereotypical plot from amnesia, a possible office romance, and a distinct lack of communication between the MCs. This is both good and bad. If this ticks all your boxes and have enjoyed similar romances – as I have with various MF romances – then this will be enjoyable, especially if you’re love your MM romances with paranormal themes and shapeshifters.

I’m not going to go too deep into my descriptions. The blurb basically tells you everything you need to know – as a blurb does, but there really isn’t anything too surprising that pops up in the course of the book. I feel that if I do I will spoil things too much.

The story starts when Aidan Bishop emerges out of the woods, after being missing for a short period of time, with amnesia. Not only does he not remember how he got to be found staggering around in a dark, creepy wood, he has no idea of a great many things in his life. As a result, his boss, a five hundred year old dragon shifter, Nassim, endeavours to help Aidan relearn his job and reacquaint himself with the people he had day to day contact with. This is, of course, a confusing time for Aidan, but he is further confused by the ease he feels with Nassim and the just how well they get along, as well as the tingly feeling Nassim leaves him with.

Because Aidan is a stranger to himself, this type of story really does lend itself to some really good character development and depth in the relationship between Aidan and Nassim. There is a certain level of care and attention towards Aidan that shows that he is important in more ways than one. Overall, this was a fun and relaxing book. The romance was sweet, and felt relatable. Perhaps I think this would be an enjoyable read if you need a book to come down after getting through a rather intense story.