The Bunny and the Billionaire by Louisa Masters

Title: The Bunny and the Billionaire

Series: Dreamspun Desires 43

Author: Louisa Masters

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (204 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (1 Oct 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: Spending their fortunes and losing their hearts.

Hardworking Australian nurse Ben Adams inherits a substantial sum and decides to tour Europe. In Monaco, the home of glamour and the idle rich, he meets French billionaire playboy Léo Artois. After getting off on the wrong foot—as happens when one accuses a stranger of being part of the Albanian mafia—their attraction blazes. Léo, born to the top tier of society, has never known limits, and Ben, used to budgeting every cent, finds it difficult to adjust to not only Léo’s world, but also the changes wealth brings to his own life.

As they make allowances for each other’s foibles, Ben gradually appreciates the finer things, and Léo widens his perspective. They both know one thing: this is not a typical holiday romance and they’re not ready to say goodbye.

ISBN: 978-1-63533-876-8

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-bunny-and-the-billionaire-by-louisa-masters-8824-b

Reviewer: Prime

Review: For me, Louisa Masters is a new author to me. To be perfectly honest, though, I didn’t really pay too much attention to the author when I was busy salivating over my next installment of the Dreamspun Desires imprint. I mean the story is called The Bunny and the Billionaire – the part of me that loves paranormal romance thought of some sexy shifter action. But the hopeless romantic that loves nothing more than a hot story of an ordinary guy meeting a smoking rich, hot, kind, handsome and all other things that are nice and awesome.

The story is about Ben – he’s a nurse from Australia (this Aussie wanted to know where in this wonderful country he came from). He was a private nurse who got a shit ton of money from a client who died – you will definitely need to suspend your disbelief for this part of the story. I found it just weird. Honestly, if it did happen in Australia the poor dude would probably be on Today Tonight or the cover of Woman’s Day for being some shifty character. As you can see, I struggled with relating to the character on this level, so that is the reason, though I really liked the story, that I could only rate it a 3.5/5.

Enjoying his European holiday of a life time, Ben meets rich French/Saudi playboy Leo Artois. Come on am I not the only one who keeps thinking of the beer Stella Artois? Not the point. The point is, Ben meets Leo at a Monaco casino and the two of them just click. There is plenty of sweet romance as well as hot sexy time. I really enjoyed that these two guys got to know each other and it wasn’t just about Leo showing off his lavish lifestyle to Ben. Or Ben showing off his insanely large inheritance.

If you’re into trashy romance (I can’t find another word for it, but I mean trashy in the most awesome possible way), you’ll love this. If you’re into Mills and Boon where the ordinary gets the insanely rich playboy – this is basically the MM romance you’re looking for.

Dragon’s Hoard by MA Church

Title: Dragon’s Hoard

Series: Dreamspun Beyond 05

Author: M.A. Church

Genre: Paranormal, Shape shifters

Length: Novel (224 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (1 Oct 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: To be loved by a dragon is to be treasured.

A hundred years ago, werewolf Alpha Montgomery took a risk driven by desperation—he borrowed money from the ancient dragon Warwick Ehecatl, putting up the pack lands as collateral. Now the debt is due, and dragons don’t forget—or forgive. Warwick demands Montgomery’s son, Avery, and three businesses as compensation. As an Omega, Avery knows he is basically useless to his pack, so he might as well agree. He soon has second thoughts, though. Warwick is fearsome, and he’s free to do as he likes with Avery.

Warwick knows his race’s reputation, and he even admits some of it is deserved. But he’d rather cut off his tail than let his innocent mate’s light go out. It won’t be easy, but buried deep, there’s something between them worth safeguarding.

ISBN: 978-1-63533-880-5

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/dragons-hoard-by-ma-church-8822-b

Reviewer: Prime

Review: This book is two things that I love – MA Church weaving magic (pun intended) and shape shifters (specifically dragons and wolves). I’m also really getting into this new imprint by Dreamspinner Press, Dreamspun Beyond, which is the paranormal version of the imprint Dreamspun Desires, which I also happen to absolutely adore. Needless to say I was looking forward to this story and I was not disappointed.

From the get go, I really enjoyed the back story in addition to the romance and sexual tension that lit a fire between the characters, Avery and Warwick.

Avery is an omega wolf, who is being sold off by his father who owes a massive debt to a dragon, Warwick, which he had taken out around the same time Avery was born. Avery knows where he sits in the big scheme of things – he’s his father’s only son and an omega – he knows he doesn’t have the value that his father wants. However, on the eve of his hundredth birthday, at his coming of age party, Avery’s life changes for the better. Well, his father is trying to find an advantageous marriage that would bring the pack money. However, instead of being sold off into marriage to some other pack, he finds his mate. Who happens to be the dragon his father owes.

Warwick has waited a century for Avery’s father to repay his debt. While crashing the alpha’s party for his son’s coming of age, Warwick sees something in the young (well that’s a relative term) shifter that has him wanting.

Almost instantly, once they meet, the sexual tension between the two is explosive. These guys are mates and it’s awesome. Maybe I’ve been reading too much m-preg lately, but part of me almost wishes the story was longer and went that step further.

Anyone who loves a good shifter romance will be totally into this one. Fans of Marcy Jacks will also find this to be a great read.

Fireman’s Pole by Sue Brown

Title: Fireman’s Pole

Series: Dreamspun Desires 44

Author: Sue Brown

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (220 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (15 Oct 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: The flames of passion rise for the lord of the manor.
It’s springtime in Calminster village, but things are already heating up. Sexy firefighter Dale Maloney is new to the local station. When Dale backs the company fire engine into the village maypole, he attracts the ire—and attention—of Benedict Raleigh, the Baron Calminster.
Soon after meeting Dale, Ben breaks off his relationship with his girlfriend, and the sparks between Ben and Dale are quickly fanned into flames.

Unfortunately the passion between the two men isn’t the only blaze in the village. An arsonist’s crimes are escalating, and it’s up to Dale and his crew to stop them. Meanwhile, as they investigate, an unscrupulous business partner attempts to coerce Ben into marrying his daughter. The May Day parade is around the corner, but they have plenty of fires to put out before Ben can finally slide down the fireman’s pole.

ISBN: 978-1-63533-655-9

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-firemans-pole-by-sue-brown-8862-b

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I have a soft spot for books set in England – I think it stems from my love of regency MF romances and it kind of just holds over to everything else. I don’t know why, I’m just weird. That was what initially attracted me to Sue Brown’s books and after that I just fell in love with her writing and the sweetness of her stories. For me Sue Brown is definitely a go to if I see a new book come out.

Fire fighter Dale Maloney is the newbie at the village of Calminster’s fire station and he is having problems making a good impression. Life just doesn’t seem to like him at the moment because he seems to be doing everything wrong, especially when it comes to the Baron of Calminster, Benedict Raleigh.

For the most part, what you read in the blurb is what you get in the book.
Dale is indeed the hot firefighter who is trying to fit into small town life and is making a few mistakes along the way. He also comes with baggage. He’s moved for a fresh start. He’s decided to take charge in his life. He no longer wants to live in the closet and he doesn’t want to be someone’s dirty secret. Despite his bumpy start with the Baron of Calminster, Ben, the two men actually do hit it off. So much so, that Ben knows that if he wants anything to be real in any sort of relationship with Dale, he has to make some major changes in his life.

This is a sweet story that feels real. The emotions feel on point and the chemistry between the characters is explosive. I also like the fun of playing off the whole “lord of the manner with one of the commoners” type of story (I think this again goes back to my initial love of regency romances).

Ebb and Flow by Andrew Grey

Title: Ebb and Flow

Series: Love’s Charter 02

Author: Andrew Grey

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (200 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (18 August 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: To achieve happiness, they’ll have to find the courage to be their own men.

As first mate on a charter fishing boat, Billy Ray meets a lot of people, but not one of them has made him as uncomfortable as Skippy because he’s drawn to Skippy as surely as the moon pulls the tides, and he’s almost as powerless to resist. Billy Ray has spent his life denying who he is to avoid the wrath of his religious father, and he can’t allow anyone to see through his carefully built facade.

Skippy is only in town on business and will have to return to Boston once he’s through. After all, his father has certain expectations, and him staying in Florida is not one of them. But he doesn’t count on Billy Ray capturing his attention and touching his heart.

Billy Ray doesn’t realize just how much he and Skippy have in common, though. They’re both living to please their fathers instead of following their own dreams a fact that becomes painfully obvious when they get to know each other and realize how much joy they’ve denied themselves. While they can’t change the past, they can begin a future together and make up for lost time as long as they’re willing to face the consequences of charting their own course.

ISBN: 978-1-63533-918-5

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/ebb-and-flow-by-andrew-grey-8779-b

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Ebb and Flow is the sequel to Andrew Grey’s Setting the Hook, the first two book in Love’s Charter series. For me, I feel this book, although is about a different couple’s courtship than in Setting the Hook, is the type of book you need to read the first installment first to get a feel for the world, characters and overarching themes set up initially. There are also some overlapping characters, which mean we get to catch up with the guys that started it all, William and Mike.

Billy Ray is first mate to Bubba on a fishing charter boat (FYI and totally not a spoiler, Bubba got a promotion at the end of Setting the Hook). Billy Ray is stuck in a bad situation that he cannot help – his father is a small town preacher who is all about fire and brimstone, and so it’s going to take A LOT for poor Billy Ray to burst out of the closet to his father. His father is over bearing, not only to his son but also to the locals (though no idea what the locals feel about that), and Bubba is resigned to the fact that no matter how hard he tries he will never meet his father’s lofty expectations.

On a charter, Billy Ray is drawn to Skippy (aka Harcourt Anson III, so snobby!). Skippy is in town from Boston for business, but he wants to make it fun. As a partner of his father’s law firm, his father works him all hours to the point of exhaustion and having zero time an actual life. And so we start, with instant sparks of attraction, the story of two guys unfortunately has to deal with the pressure of trying to please their impossible (and homophobic) fathers.

I suppose that there is an element of unrequited love at first. The guys are both worried about what would happen if they even thought of making a life together. Both of them expect retribution from their fathers, they do occur in different circumstances but overall, the story line for Billy Ray and Skippy is the same. I think that shared element both enhanced the story for me, as well as kind of took away from the characters developing. I’m not sure how to put my thoughts into words. I suppose, it’s kind of a love hate type of thing.

For lovers of Andrew Grey, this story is another fantastic reason to love the man’s writing. Seriously, I’ve been in love with his book since the first. If you started with Setting the Hook, you’re going to love Ebb and Flow. For anyone else: why have you not read the awesomeness that is Andrew Grey???

The Supers by Sean Michael

Title: The Supers

Series: Dreamspun Beyond 06, The Supers 01

Author: Sean Michael

Genre: Paranormal, Ghosts, spirits

Length: Novel (242 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (15 Oct 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Hunting ghosts and finding more than they bargained for.
Blaine Franks is a member of the paranormal research group the Supernatural Explorers. When the group loses their techie to a cross-country move, newly graduated Flynn Huntington gets the job. Flynn fits in with the guys right off the bat, but when it comes to him and Blaine, it’s more than just getting along.

Things heat up between Blaine and Flynn as they explore their first haunted building, an abandoned hospital, together. Their relationship isn’t all that progresses, though, and soon it seems that an odd bite on Blaine’s neck has become much more.

Hitchhiking ghosts, a tragic love story forgotten by time, and the mystery of room 204 round out a romance where the things that go bump in the night are real.

ISBN: 978-1-63533-890-4

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-supers-by-sean-michael-8860-b

Reviewer: Prime

Review: For me, Sean Michael is one of those authors where I can take it or leave it. I love the writing style, but it completely up to the plot line itself and substance of the story as to if I finish and enjoy a book. Probably not explaining myself properly, that is true of every book, but put it this way: there are some that I love and some that I don’t.

The Supers is a really cool book about a group of ghost busters, looking to make their big break. Blaine loves being a part of the group. Hard times on the family farm means that he had to put on hold his plans of moving away to help his parents. His parents are overly impressed by his second job but they don’t make a fuss. It is basically Blaine’s unwinding time. He just happens to chase after ghosts and trying to capture them on audio or camera. After losing their usual tech person who monitors cameras, recordings, etc. their group manager hires Flynn, who is a newly graduated sound technician. Flynn fits in, as the blurb says, but he especially hits it off with Blaine.

These guys are super sweet and have instant chemistry. An underlying story, as hinted in the blurb about the mystery of room 204, really adds to their budding relationship. However, I am not about to spoil a moment of that because to be perfectly, the mystery of room 204 is THE highlight of this story. I totally loved it!

This book is great for anyone who loves watching those ghost hunter type of shows (I’m a Most Haunted addict myself). I love the underlying story which emerges at the end; it really added a certain spice to the story that was both sad and perfect. I’m intrigued and excited to find out that this one is the first in a series.

Waking the Behr by Pat Henshaw

Title: Waking the Behr

Series: Foothills Pride 06

Author: Pat Henshaw

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (88 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (20 Sept 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Both Ben and Mitch think they know exactly what they want. Turns out, they don’t even know their own hearts.

Good old boy Ben has dated women his entire life, while gay nightclub owner Mitch has never considered unsophisticated country boys his type. But after they start hanging out, the small-town contractor and the urban entrepreneur are both stunned by the electricity sparking between them.
As they step outside their comfort zones to spend time together, Mitch finds he enjoys rural car rallies, and Ben is intrigued by the upscale bars Mitch owns in San Francisco. When they share their lives and grow closer, they start to question the way they’ve always defined themselves. Then they kiss and fling open the door to love. Now they must step up and travel the road that may lead to happily ever after—even if that path isn’t one they ever expected to walk.

ISBN: 978-1-63533-916-1

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/waking-the-behr-by-pat-henshaw-8865-b

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Waking the Behr is the seventh book in Pat Henshaw’s Foothills Pride series. I have absolutely loved this series – I love the writing, the plot lines and most importantly the characters. Waking the Behr is no exception. However, I have to say I’ve come to the point in the series where I find that I need to reread some (if not all) previous installments so that I can remember the overlapping characters and storylines. Some of the twinks from previous books are very flamboyant and get into trouble as though they were teenagers (with their overprotective other halves ready to jump in and protect their men). I need to keep all of these guys in order in my mind.

Back in the world of Foothills Pride again we get to meet another member of the Behr family, who just so happens to get a bit of an awakening when he is attracted to another man after a lifetime of women. Ben Behr is also another Behr who is part of Behr Construction – the building firm which features throughout the series as the go to local builders.

When Ben meets Mitch, Ben is in for the biggest surprise of his life. He isn’t homophobic or scared of being gay or in the closet, but Ben has always dated women. But Ben realizes immediately that there is more to his connection with Mitch than simply being mates. (Since I’ve read a lot of paranormal books recently I feel I need to quality that I mean mates as in friends).

Mitch is the owner of a successful gay bars in San Francisco, he’s making an appearance in the Foothills because he wants to open a new bar and needs a building contractor to do up his new space. Mitch is also surprised about his attraction to Ben – not in the same way Ben is, of course, because Ben is smoking hot. Mitch is willing to let Ben take things slowly because let’s face it, this is gay for you and if Mitch had been a arsehole about Ben struggling with his feelings then I would not have liked Mitch at all.

As I said, this is a gay for you type of story. If you’ve read the previous books of the Foothills Pride series, you’ll know what type of story to expect. This is a really sweet book. The characters have sizzling hot attraction and I love how they both develop as I got to know them. I feel that I really got to know them and that of course made it so easy to relate to the guys.

Tall, Dark, and Deported by Bru Baker ~ Audiobook

Title: Tall, Dark and Deported

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 31

Author: Bru Baker

Narrator: Dorian Bane

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs, 30 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Crossing the border into love.

Snap decisions and misguided ideas bring Portuguese national Mateus Fontes and businessman Crawford Hargrave together at the Canadian border crossing.

Mateus is caught in a catch-22. With his almost-expired tourist visa, entrance to Canada is denied, but the US won’t let him back in either. Crawford thinks he’s solved things when he tells the border agent they’re engaged, and it works – except now they have to actually get married before either of them can get back into the United States. But Crawford has been burned by marriage once, and he’s determined not to make that mistake again.

Neither of them expects real feelings to bloom out of their fake marriage, but they do. And the two of them have to learn how to be honest with each other to make things work, which is especially hard when their entire marriage is based on lies.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I’ve not read or listen to much by Bru Baker in the past, although I did actually read this book when it came out, I was more than happy to go back and listen to the audio. The title of the book, Tall, Dark and Deported, gives you most of the information that you need to know about the type of story you’re about to read or listen to.

What you see is definitely what you get with the blurb. We got one hot South American (sorry, can’t think of his country of origin from the top of my head), Mateus. He’s done something rather silly and used the internet to get answers about how to “reset” his visa. He wants to stay with his brother and sister in law longer now that they are setting up their own orchard and his sister in law is about to have a baby. He’s excited about being an uncle and wants to be there. That why, at the airport, he meets Crawfard. Crawford is a businessman and after meeting Mateus, he is willing to help the guy, which of course means marriage!

Despite being a predictable plot, this is totally enjoyable as way as to just lose yourself. As I said in the opening sentence, you will need to suspend your disbelief but that don’t let that deter you from the sweet romance (well, insta-love romance) that unfolds between the two men.

I’ve been hearing a number of audios narrated by Dorian Bane recently and I have to say that I am beginning really like his narration. He has a very warm sounding voice which makes listening to books a pleasure – in some cases enjoying the audio more than when I actually read the book. I will admit that there was probably a smidge of this happening for this book as well.

My only thing is that sometimes the accent Bane uses for Europeans characters (in this case Portugese) tends to sound more Russian sometimes (or for a few moments every so often he reminds me of the Count from Sesame Street). I don’t think it makes the narration terrible, but it just disrupts my concentration for a few moments every so often.

Two Cowboys and A Baby by B.A. Tortuga ~ Audiobook

Title: Two Cowboys and a Baby

Series: Dreamspun Desires 30

Author: B.A. Tortuga

Narrator: Dorian Bane

Genre: Contemporary, Cowboys

Length: 5 hrs, 51 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: A little bundle of joy means big changes.

Hoss McMasters has a working ranch, a bull riding career, a nosy momma, and a best friend he’s been in love with since he can remember. He’s a busy, happy cowboy, living the good life.

Then one morning he discovers a baby on his doorstep.

Well, Hoss does what any reasonable man would do – he calls his momma and his buddy, Sheriff Pooter, and they head to the clinic to see if Doc knows of any suddenly not-so-pregnant girls.

In the meantime, Hoss and his best friend, Bradley, have their hands full trying to care for an infant, run a ranch, and deal with the sudden confession that Bradley doesn’t hate Hoss for coming out to him in high school. In fact, Bradley’s been trying to catch Hoss’s attention for damn near a decade.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: For me, BA Tortuga has always been an author I can take or leave. I don’t dislike any of her books, really, but more the writing style sometimes leaves me feeling a bit nonplussed. But still I keep on going back because the type of stories Tortuga writes are what I like. I know, I’m a person of many contradictions and whatnot.

Now see, here’s a funny thing. I read and reviewed this book and gave it a 3.5/5… then I forgot about my opinion and listened to the audio and rated it a 5/5. For some reason I just loved listening to the audio, whereas I merely enjoyed reading the book. No idea why, but that’s how it goes. I’m fairly sure that a good part of the reason was because of the narration by Dorian Bane – I loved the voice he gave the cowboys and made me feel a new level of emotion which I don’t remember from when I simply read the book myself. The actual idea of the story and the whole “cowboys looking after a baby and finally reveal their feelings for each other” plot device – absolutely perfect. I also loved the touch of soap opera type of drama introduced when it comes to said baby’s paternity.

The story is about Hoss (ok, as it had done when I read the book, the nick name Hoss seriously rubbed me the wrong way again) and his best friend since childhood, Bradley. They are both cowboys and have been secretly in love with each other years. One day, Hoss finds a baby randomly left on his door step and through some convoluted reasoning, he ends up looking after the baby girl with the help of his friend. The story works in two parts, 1) Hoss and Bradley getting together, where one is out and the other is in the closet still, and, 2) looking after the baby and the mystery of where she came from.

There was a twist at the end that came from nowhere, it’s a bit unbelievable, so people that like things to be more relatable may need to enter with an open mind. Seriously, when I say this is something you would see on Days of Our Lives /Neighbours/Coronation Street, believe it.

Heart Unseen by Andrew Grey

Andrew Grey - Heart Unseen CoverTitle: Heart Unseen

Author: Andrew Grey

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (200pgs)

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (7 April 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: As a stunningly attractive man and the owner of a successful chain of auto repair garages, Trevor is used to attention, adoration, and getting what he wants. What he wants tends to be passionate, no-strings-attached flings with men he meets in clubs. He doesn’t expect anything different when he sets his sights on James. Imagine his surprise when the charm that normally brings men to their knees fails to impress. Trevor will need to drop the routine and connect with James on a meaningful level. He starts by offering to take James home instead of James riding home with his intoxicated friend.

For James, losing his sight at a young age meant limited opportunities for social interaction. Spending most of his time working at a school for the blind has left him unfamiliar with Trevor’s world, but James has fought hard for his independence, and he knows what he wants. Right now, that means stepping outside his comfort zone and into Trevor’s heart.

Trevor is also open to exploring real love and commitment for a change, but before he can be the man James needs him to be, he’ll have to deal with the pain of his past.

ISBN: 978-1-63533-704-4

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: For me Heart Unseen had two massive attractions: 1) I will read anything by Andrew Grey, his stories make me laugh and/or make me cry and always have a whole lot of heart. All his characters are realistic with very human flaws and it’s always a pleasure to read and see them develop throughout the course of a story. To put it simply, he embraces the everyday differences, not everyone is perfect and that is the attraction.  2) There is something about a blind (or otherwise disabled) MC that I love – mostly because these are usually written as strong, inspiring characters. Or they may be wallowing in self pity about some tragedy that happened to them, but as a reader we get to see them grow as love takes hold.

Heart Unseen delivered all that for me.

The story is about James and Trevor. James is the blind the MC. He’s fine with who is but being blind for most of his life meant, for him at least, that his social interactions with “sighted” people has been rather limited. The story highlights wonderfully just how dependent on touch James’s world is. James’s world is always ordered because that is the only way James can get by independently – nothing can be moved, he needs to accept help when he enters a new place, etc. Trevor, I suppose in my mind he is something of a gentle giant. He has his own sad story which makes his wary of love – his parents divorced when he was young, his mother died when he was still a teen. However, he has an awesome stepdad, Larry. I totally love Larry and his plotline!

Both guys are reticent in their own way, but it’s Trevor that needs to step up and make the first step. This isn’t an angsty story or some quick insta-love story, this story has deeply developed characters and plot. I felt every moment and didn’t want the book to end! Trevor and James are wonderfully realistic and relatable – and they chemistry is off the charts. Any Andrew Grey fan will love this story. It’s full of heart, with a good dose of suspense and drama to go along with it.

Coach’s Challenge by Avon Gale

Title: Coach’s Challenge

Series: Scoring Chances 05

Author: Avon Gale

Genre: Contemporary, Sports

Length: Novel (200pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (26 June 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: It’s been decades since blackmail forced Troy Callahan to retire from playing professional hockey, and he’s built a successful career behind the bench. When he’s offered the opportunity to coach the Asheville Ravens—the most hated team in the ECHL—he’s convinced that his no-nonsense attitude is just what the team needs to put their focus back on hockey. But Troy is disheartened when he finds that the Ravens have signed Shane North, a player known for his aggression. And it only gets worse when Shane’s rough good looks give Troy inappropriate thoughts about a member of his team, even if Shane’s set to retire at the end of the season. 

Shane’s career in the majors never quite took off. Wanting to quit on his own terms, Shane agrees to a one-year contract with the Ravens and finds himself playing for a coach who thinks he’s an aging goon and with a team that doesn’t trust him, the coach, or each other. Despite his determination to not get involved, Shane unwillingly becomes part of the team… and is just as unwillingly drawn to the gruff out-and-proud coach. As the Ravens struggle to build a new identity, Shane and Troy succumb to the passion that might cost them everything.

ISBN: 978-1-63533-766-2

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Hockey + Romance = Awesome!

Seriously, it’s true. It’s got to be some sort of scientific law or something!

Coach’s Challenge is the fifth book in Avon Gale’s Scoring Chances series and I have loved and devoured each book. Coach’s Challenge is no exception. I was kind of waiting for something with this type of plot but not expecting it.

While the two main characters are new this is really a story of a team’s redemption. Because of this I really do recommend reading the series from the start if you’ve not already done so. That way you will understand why the Asheville Ravens are the most hated team in the ECHL and why the team needs to build itself up from the ground after being practically destroyed (for all the right reasons).

As for the story itself, Troy Callahan is the titular coach. He didn’t have an easy time in his professional playing career (I won’t spoil anything!) but over the years has proved himself to be a damn good coach. Now, after replacing the unethical and all around horrible coach of the Asheville Ravens, it is his job to build the team up. (Think the Mighty Ducks if they had been made up of mostly brutish, homophobic a-holes). He has a plan for the team and the last thing the team needs is a player known for being aggressive. But Shane North has something to prove. He’s coming towards the end of his playing and feels like he needs to prove himself as a hockey player after a lackluster career in the majors.

Fans of the books will not be disappointed I think. It gives the Ravens a new lease on life after being totally vilified for four books. Sports romance fans, you guys should just go back and read the series from the start.

What’s the Use of Wondering? by Kate McMurray

Kate McMurray - What's the Use of Wondering CoverTitle: What’s the Use of Wondering?

Series: WMU 02

Author: Kate McMurray

Genre: Contemporary, Arts, Young adult

Length: Novel (200pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (3 July 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: Violinist Logan has spent most of his life training for a career in music. But as the pressure mounts during his junior year, he questions whether playing in an orchestra is the future he wants, or one chosen by his parents. His new roommate—that annoying jerk Peter from last year’s production of Guys and Dolls—complicates matters. Crammed into a dorm room with the overconfident but undeniably hot accounting major, Logan can’t stop snarling.

Then Peter sprains his ankle building sets, and Logan grudgingly agrees to play chauffeur. But instead of putting further strain on their relationship, spending time together reveals some common ground—and mutual frustration. Logan discovers he isn’t the only one who doesn’t know what he wants from life, and the animosity between him and Peter changes keys. But just as the possibility of a happier future appears, Logan gets a dream offer that will take him away from Western Massachusetts University—and Peter. Now he has to decide: will he live the solitary life laid out for him, or hold on to Peter and forge his own path?

ISBN: 978-1-63533-835-5

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I really hate to say, but reading the second in Kate McMurray’s WMU series has left me with much the same feeling as the first book. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the story. Like her other stories I’ve read, the characters are well developed, same with the plot, with a number of likable characters and generally well written. However, the story just didn’t connect with at the same level as some of her other books have.

What’s the Use of Wondering? is a wonderfully sweet new adult book set in Kate McMurray’s world of Western Massachusetts University (we even get a few glimpses of book 1’s Dave and Noel).

The story is about Logan and Peter. Logan is a violinist whose family has already mapped out his life and career as an orchestral violinist and Logan knows that to please them he has no room for error. However, as the stress of university builds he begins to question what he really wants for his future and if he really has to be dictated by his parents for the rest of his life. To make things more complicated, a new roommate enters his life, Peter. Peter, as the blurb said, is a jerk. Logan just does not like the guy and that’s probably more to do with Logan’s desires and questions whether or not he can be true to himself while being the good son. Peter is majoring in accounting, but he’s also involved in WMU drama production of Guys and Dolls. But when Peter sprains his ankle, Logan becomes his chauffeur and Logan is not only faced with the questions that have been plaguing him, he is now also finding out that love could give his life a more satisfaction than he realized!

Honestly, this is a sweet and enjoyable coming of age. Logan can be a bit angsty but he has a lot going on. Logan and Peter are well suited and I really did enjoy that they took their time to come together and discover each other.

A Kind of Home by Lane Hayes

Title: A Kind of Home

Series: A Kind of Stories 04

Author: Lane Hayes

Genre: Contemporary, Arts

Length: Novel (224pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (23rd June 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Isaac Dalton is the guitarist for Spiral, arguably the biggest rock band in the world. The band’s meteoric rise to superstardom has its perks, but fame and fortune aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Nonstop touring and performing exhaust Isaac, and when an overzealous fan makes it imperative that he travel with a clingy bodyguard, he is ready for a break from the madness. More so when his newly single first crush shows up on his doorstep. Adam is strictly off-limits. He’s a memory from a place Isaac would rather leave behind. And he’s straight.

Fun-loving former athlete slash construction worker Adam McBride desperately needs a new beginning. And New York City is the perfect place to start over and think about how to rebuild his life. A short stint as roommates with his brother’s best friend from high school seems like a mutually beneficial arrangement. However, when friendship gives way to fierce attraction, both men find themselves in uncharted and possibly dangerous territory. Isaac has to decide if he’s willing to take the ultimate risk for a kind of love and a kind of home he never dreamed possible.

ISBN: 978-1-63533-683-2

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I love reading Lane Hayes’ series, A Kind of Stories, about the lives of up and coming band Spiral (I always think of Mystic Spiral like in the cartoon Daria, but whatever). I love Hayes’ tone and style and I love the world created in this series. A Kind of Home is the fourth book. I suppose each book could be read as a standalone novel, but honestly, I think you’d be doing yourself a disservice not going back to the beginning and seeing not only how Spiral starts, but how the characters start and grow into their own stories.

This story follows Spiral guitarist Isaac. He’s been in the background since the end of the book 1. He was the replacement of Spiral’s replacement guitar player (Will) just before they were about to get their first big record deal. That being said, as a reader we are only just finding out how tricky fame has been for Isaac. So Isaac is looking forward to the well earned break after the band’s first big tour of Europe. But back home in New York he finds himself sharing space with his very straight first crush (and his best friend’s brother), Adam. But there is more to Adam than meets the eye, and he’s in New York for the hope of being about to reinvent himself and get his life back on track.

I am a sucker for the whole friends to lovers’ storyline and things are anything but easy for the guys. I really loved their story. Because of Isaac’s upbringing there are some legitimate hurdles that the couple has to face before making it to their HEA. And, by the way, who can resist a sweet HEA? Certainly not me! They have fantastic chemistry and are really, deep and developed characters with a solid foundation for their relationship by the end of the book.

There was only one thing that annoyed me and that was the very quick stalker plotline that felt like it was thrown into the book, just because. I felt like it took away from Isaac’s and Adam’s true story and added unnecessary drama. I think if that plot line had developed longer (say from the beginning) then I would have liked it more, but how it is leaves me feeling a bit meh about that aspect of the story.

All In by Ava Drake

Title: All In

Series: Dreamspun Desires 38 / Wild Cards Inc 3

Author: Ava Drake

Genre: Contemporary, Suspense

Length:  Novella (228pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (15th July 2017)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: In crime, like in love, there can be no half measures….

Fashion model Zane Stryker needs money—badly. At almost thirty, his glory days are behind him, and he needs capital to start over. When his luggage is switched with a bag containing contraband he’s forced to deliver, it’s either the worst thing that’s ever happened to him… or the best.

Enter Sebastian Gigoni, formerly of the British Special Forces, who has to decide just where Zane’s loyalty lies and why. Sizzling attraction erupts between them, but that doesn’t mean they can trust each other. They double down in a race for their lives—and their love—but are their purposes at odds? As they struggle to reconcile their goals, their consciences, and the needs of their hearts, one thing is clear—they must go all in or give up altogether.

ISBN: 978-1-63533-651-1

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I really enjoy reading Dreamspun Desires – this imprint by Dreamspinner Press is a guilty pleasure for me because it speaks to the me that got obsessed with reading certain types of Mills and Boon/Harlequin books before seeing the light and finding MM. I also enjoy reading Ava Drake’s work. They are usually, sweet, totally steaming hot and sexy novellas with a fast paced plot.

The books in this series are all standalone, with some throw back to familiar characters. I have to admit that All In, the third installment of the Wild Cards Inc, series left me a little short. However, with this one I found the plot a little too convoluted and that unfortunately took away from my enjoyment of the book. And I have to admit, after loving the first Wild Cards Inc. novella, the second and third don’t quite reach the same bar of awesomeness. I’m not sure if the action got too much in the way of the rest of the story or what.

The story itself is about Zane, a fashion model that is reaching the end of his career in a young, cut throat industry. He’s on his way back home to the States after going to Europe in an effort to get fashion labels interested in him once more. He soon meets Sebastian; he’s helping out a friend by using his skills as an ex- SAS in a case for the Wild Cards. Cue Zane becoming the damsel in distress as he unwittingly gets caught in the middle. Unfortunately for me, Sebastian and Zane, while both likable characters, didn’t really have a lot of chemistry except when they were having out of this world fantastic sex.

Out of the Shadows by K.C. Wells

Title: Out of the Shadows

Series: Dreamspun Desires 40

Author: KC Wells

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (250pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (15th August 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Can he step out of the shadows and into love’s light?

Eight years ago, Christian Hernandez moved to Jamaica Plain in southern Boston, took refuge in his apartment, and cut himself off from the outside world. And that’s how he’d like it to stay.

Josh Wendell has heard his coworkers gossip about the occupant of apartment #1. No one sees the mystery man, and Josh loves a mystery. So when he is hired to refurbish the apartment’s kitchen and bathrooms, Josh is eager to discover the truth behind the rumors.

When he comes face-to-face with Christian, Josh understands why Christian hides from prying eyes. As the two men bond, Josh sees past his exterior to the man within, and he likes what he sees. But can Christian find the courage to emerge from the darkness of his lonely existence for the man who has claimed his heart?

ISBN: 978-1-63533-870-6

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I’m going to say this straight out: I loved the plot of this book. I love KC Well’s writing. The only reason I gave it a 4/5 was because I desperately wished that it had a lot more depth of emotion, particularly from Christian’s side and part of me wanted more trepidation, more dating because Christian is essentially agoraphobic and if there had been a chance to develop the emotion and plot a little more would have made the characters more believable and more relatable.

Christian Hernandez moved Jamaica Plain – an idyllic housing development south of Boston – eight years ago from Colorado. He learnt a hard lesson when he became disfigured and then decided to hide away from the world. Honestly, I can’t say much more without blowing his entire back story. I suppose you can call him agoraphobic, he refuses to leave his apartment but it all comes down to vanity and hating the stares his looks usually attracts. (This dude needs to go back to counselor or psychologist, stat). He has everything delivered to his and works from home. Everything is ordered in his little world until he finds out that his kitchen and bathroom is going to undergo a much needed renovation. That means the handyman that does a lot of the work around his building needs to enter his home. Something that Christian can’t have, even if that handyman is the hot guy he often admires from his window.

Josh Wendell is young and idealistic in many ways. But he is the handyman that is going to renovate Christian’s apartment. There have been many rumors about the occupant of apartment 1, but nothing could prepare Josh for what happens. This is especially because his first impression is that Christian had locked himself in his bedroom all day while Josh was working (unknown to Josh at first). Josh has just the right amount of sweetness and understanding to help Christian get out of his shell. A little bit of romance doesn’t hurt either!

This is a book for those that like a bit of insta-love, are all for a Phantom of the Opera type of disfigurement and a smoking hot, young handy man who seems a tad naiveté or too good to be true.

The Hunt for Magic by Johnny Miles

Title: Hunt for Magic

Series: Yuletide Knights 03

Author: Johnny Miles

Genre: Paranormal, Holidays

Length: Novel (282pgs)

Publisher: Loose Id LLC (19th December 2016)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Blurb: Someone is kidnapping Magicals. Kris Kringle and his soulmate, Bucket the Elf, are determined to find out why. Only then can they spend the rest of their lives together. But first they must find a suitable candidate to take over the mantle of Santa Claus. They find Griffin Kloss in the backwoods of North Carolina and realize they must get to him quickly. Someone else is after Griffin and it’s not his former boyfriend, Jackson Frost. Whomever is after Griffin doesn’t want him for his good looks.

Putting themselves at risk, Kris and Bucket, together with Griffin, Old Man Winter, and members of The Wild Hunt, travel to the Ninth Realm. There, in a dark and dismal place, Griffin and Jackson are reunited, the missing Magicals are found, and Krampus, an ancient evil once thought dead, is found alive. Together they must all join forces to battle demons and the menace that threatens their existence, if they are to return to Earth Realm for their happily ever after.

ISBN: 978-1-68252-281-3

Product Link: Loose Id | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Johnny Miles is an author that I don’t think I’ve ever totally gotten on board with in the past. I have previously enjoyed the earlier installments of the Yuletide Knights series, book 2 is definitely my favorite book in the series. You definitely need to read the first two books, or if you already have a quick refresher would not go amiss. I had to stop and go back because I thought that I was missing way too much because I didn’t remember the first two books very well.

But for a number of reasons, while I enjoyed the story, I can’t say that I loved it.

There is a lot going on. And while that is usually good in a book, I just felt that there was too much going on and so things felt like they were falling along the wayside (e.g. Kris and Bucket’s relationship and what happens at the end). For that reason, even after going back to reread the previous books, I found myself a tad bit confused. The book only seemed to fit into itself by about halfway through. This is certainly not the type of book you can read to unwind or if you are already sleepy. All your attention needs to be available, although that is not necessarily a bad thing.

The story itself picks up with a number of characters we had already met in the previous book. The epilogue itself doesn’t make too much sense until you get at least half way through either. The main plot of the book is that magical beings are being kidnapped and for some reason it is up to the current Santa, Kris Kringle and his lover, an elf called Bucket, to find out what’s going on as well as find and protect the previous Santa’s son. I don’t feel comfortable saying much else because I don’t want to introduce any spoilers into the mix. But the book is filled with action from start to finish. The premise is simple, sure, but it totally complicated probably due to the number of characters present.

Finishing the book left me with mixed feelings: sure, I want to find out what happens next because, well, cliffhanger, but at the same time I think I’d be equally as happy not to find out. This is definitely a book that is for people that love the paranormal and are willing to invest in a new series if they haven’t already.