Love and Linguistics by Tara Lain

Tara Lain - Love and Linguistics Cover s owen7fTitle: Love and Linguistics

Series: Movie Magic 02

Author: Tara Lain

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (218 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64080-748-8

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (26 Nov 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: In his neighborhood, El Martin stands out, and that can be life-threatening. Against the odds, he’s managed to graduate high school and then master IT. Now he’s desperate to get a good job to free his drunken dad and himself from the control of gang leader M2 and the drugs he sells. But with his piercings and his slang-ridden speech, El looks and sounds like a Bronx gangbanger, and potential employers won’t give him a second look. So when El hears about Henry Fairhaven, PhD, linguistics researcher and wealthy New York socialite, El takes his life in his hands to escape from M2 and ends up sleeping in the stairwell at Henry’s building, hoping to learn how to speak.

To Henry, who wants to prove himself as a scholar and not merely a rich dilettante, El isn’t only the most beautiful man he’s ever seen—he’s also the key to getting a paper published on Henry’s ground-breaking linguistics methods before a competitor beats him to the punch. But Henry doesn’t tell El the truth, and El thinks Henry’s helping him because he cares.

El’s dreams collide with Henry’s ambitions at the elegant Met Gala, where El captivates a prince of Silicon Valley. But the real collision comes when M2 tracks El down and Henry has to choose between the validation he craves and a future with the man he’s come to love.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Love and Linguistics is the second novel in Tara Lain’s Move Magic series. This works as a standalone book, since there is no plot or characters that join the two books together. I think why it is part of the same series is a rather tenuous connection where the characters in the first book love movies and talk about them, while in this book we have direct reference to My Fair Lady. Doesn’t matter, regardless, it is an enjoyable book.

As I said, this is very much a modern take on the classic movie, My Fair Lady, to the point even the character who is the benefactor acknowledges he needs a Miss Eliza Doolittle. For those that aren’t familiar with the movie – Henry Higgins, a wealthy man from high society, who happens to be a phonetics professor finds a rather unpolished woman who a low (i.e. poorer) social class. He teaches her how to talk, walk and dress like a “proper lady” and presents her to society.

It just so happens that in this book, Miss Doolittle is in fact a Mr Doolittle.

El (Elijah) Martin is a young man who has grown up in the slums of the Bronx, with a father who is alcoholic and now gang leader is adding drugs to his addiction. El is smart, he finished high school and has done community courses in IT, which he has excelled at. On paper he isn’t a bad prospect for an employer, but in person he looks and sounds like the same dangerous gang members he longs to get away from. At a job interview this is explained to him and he is given the card of one of the most successful linguistics researcher in New York. El doesn’t have the money to pay but he’s desperate to get out of the current hell that his life is becoming.

It takes a lot for El to finally make the move to get help from Henry Fairhaven. Henry is young, only thirty, but he is much more mature for his age and sometimes to me comes across as being much closer to forty. He comes from a rich family of socialites, which coupled with his chosen career is probably part of the reason why he is so mature. Henry also wants to beat one of his rivals in linguistics (and on the social scene) and when El comes in with enthusiasm to change but no money, Henry sees the “Miss Doolittle” that he needs to prove that his developed methodology of linguistics and social training works. So, Henry, with the help of his assistant and a friend who was one of his successes, takes El under his wing and readily foots the bill for everything and has El staying in his home because El has nowhere else to go.

The only snag is that El doesn’t know that he is the subject what is intended to become a research paper. At first he is told he has a sort of scholarship, and then as he and Henry get closer he believes it is out of friendship. Henry and El fight their attraction from the start – or more accurately, Henry fights their attraction because he doesn’t like the ethical implications of being involved with a client/student.

However, things come to a head at the Met Gala, the ball that is El’s graduation. Not only does the full truth come out, but El’s life is also in danger. Both Henry and El need to face up to certain truths or else there is not going to be a chance of a HEA for them.

Heartward by Andrew Grey

Andrew Grey - Heartward Cover 7ryg7jTitle: Heartward

Author: Andrew Grey

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (193 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64405-555-7

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (12 Nov 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: He doesn’t know that home is where his heart will be….

Firefighter Tyler Banik has seen his share of adventure while working disaster relief with the Red Cross. But now that he’s adopted Abey, he’s ready to leave the danger behind and put down roots. That means returning to his hometown—where the last thing he anticipates is falling for his high school nemesis.

Alan Pettaprin isn’t the boy he used to be. As a business owner and council member, he’s working hard to improve life in Scottville for everyone. Nobody is more surprised than Alan when Tyler returns, but he’s glad. For him, it’s a chance to set things right. Little does he guess he and Tyler will find the missing pieces of themselves in each other. Old rivalries are left in the ashes, passion burns bright, and the possibility for a future together stretches in front of them….

But not everyone in town is glad to see Tyler return….

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Heartward is a standalone by Andrew Grey. I am unashamedly a massive fan of Grey’s books, he has a great knack for writing stories of tough men in uniform, who are really just down to earth, ordinary men, as well as heartfelt stories involving vulnerable children. And luckily for us, Heartward, is a wonderful combination of these.

The story starts out with firefighter Tyler Banik. He’s left his hometown some years ago in his wish to help people, which led him to working disaster relief all over the world. However, things have changed now that Tyler has adopted a traumatised child named Abey. To give Abey stability that he needs and the support that Tyler needs as a single dad, Tyler returns to his hometown where his parents still live. Tyler has got a new job as part of the local crew of firefighters, and while it is a change of pace, he sees a lot that needs fixing – particularly when he comes face to face with an incompetent superior who holds a lot of power.

Then there is Alan Pettapin, he and Tyler were something of enemies in high school, in one of those ways where the rift was caused by assumptions and jealousies in the way that teenagers are so good at doing. However, Alan has changed – for the better – he is a successful business owner, and much like Tyler, wishes to help people. That is how Alan has ended up on the local council, but much like Tyler he knows that there are people in power abusing their privileges.

Between getting to know each other – properly, as adults, finding the actual enemies, and Tyler finding his feet again and pouring his devotion onto Abey, the two men manage to find love as they grow closer.

Abey, the little boy that Tyler adopts is adorable and so completely vulnerable because of the circumstances he had been in before Tyler finds him. His story really tugs at the heart strings and his character also gives Tyler so much depth as he learn their shared backstory. Then there is the part of the plot which deals with corrupt council officials, I really likes this because as a reader we get a real strong indication of the shared moral values held by Tyler and Alan and just how much they care for other people. Finally, there is the personal aspect, which is essentially how Tyler and Alan move from high school enemies meeting as adults to two men falling in love. Each aspect of this story gives great insight and depth to the characters, which just added to the chemistry I felt on the page between the two men.

Overall, a really enjoyable book. I recommend this to fans of Andrew Grey, those that love a firefighter finding his love and family and those that love a good romance with a kid adding to the family.

Something Wild by Anna Martin

Anna Martin - Something Wild Cover s 47jrn4Title: Something Wild

Author: Anna Martin

Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Length: Novel (209 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64405-272-3

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (22 Oct 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: The South Pacific Archipelago is home to a tiny island community of around three hundred scientists… and twenty thousand dinosaurs. As a paleogeneticist, Kit Sterling leads a team studying the dinosaurs to unlock the unanswered questions of evolution.

But there is something more dangerous than dinosaurs on the islands.

Head ranger Logan Beck discovers evidence of poachers, while rumors of a black market for dinosaur leather swirl around the community. Kit and Logan haven’t always gotten along professionally, though that has nothing to do with their attraction to each other. So when they’re thrown together to save an injured infant dinosaur, their professional disdain turns into a clandestine romance.

With not just the injured dinosaur at risk, but all of the precious dinosaurs on the islands too, Kit and Logan have to figure out how to balance their budding romance without letting their careers go extinct.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Something Wild is a standalone romance by Anna Martin. While the author is known to me, nothing immediately comes to mind about any opinions that I’ve formed in the past. Let’s face it, I saw dinosaurs in the blurb and I was happy.

I’m going to get my negativity out of the way first. While I loved the set up of the book, the themes and the characters, I felt that there was something missing in terms of spark between the MCs. The spark was there, but I’m thinking that there wasn’t quite enough character development that meant that the book exceeded my expectations. TL:DR version – I just wasn’t feeling “it” a number of times throughout the book.

Now: the dinosaurs and the inevitable pop culture references.

Something Wild, to me, is like if Jurassic Park was a scientific commune combined with a national parks type of set-up, rather than a theme park. And the romance was as if Dr Grant (palaeontologist) and Robert Muldoon (Jurrasic Park game warden) discovered that they had romantic feelings for each other. In this world a small, isolated archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean was found to the be home of dinosaurs in the 1970s, when everyone had previously thought them extinct. Since them, the archipelago has become a protected site for these amazing animals, with the only people are the scientists who study and protect the creatures.

Basically, what you see in the blurb is what you get in the book. So there isn’t any real surprises, and to be honest with the poaching subplot, I had that figured out pretty quickly. Nonetheless it was good to see how the characters arrived at their conclusions in the end, and our heroes saved the day.

The MCs are palaeogeneticist, Kit Sterling and head ranger, Logan Beck. In the big scheme of things, Kit and Logan are nemeses by any stretch of the imagination. Instead they have a complicated relationship at the start simply because their work does not bring them together all that often. I mean, yeah, Kit and Logan would have encountered the usual academic arguments you see these days of whose name should be included on published papers, and at what line do you draw between acknowledging someone to giving them authorship. But again, in the big scheme of things, that’s actually normal in the academic world.

As a palaeoscientist specialising in dinosaur genetics, Kit doesn’t venture into the wilds of the dinosaur habitat, instead getting information and samples (from blood to carcasses) from the rangers. He is also on the ethics committee, and so he has a particular and stringent set of rules that he requires the rangers to follow when they are out among the dinosaurs.

Then there is Logan is essentially a field scientist, who had previously worked in safari parks in Africa, after completing his PhD (he is referred to as Dr Beck numerous times and is explained in the beginning) he found his calling in the wild with animals, although that also meant that many lab-based scientists overlooked his expertise. He loves working with the dinosaurs on the archipelago and is meticulous when it comes to ensuring the care of all animals on the islands.

It is perhaps fortunate that Logan’s experience in Africa means that he recognises the signs of poachers on the Island, which coincides with the possibility of dinosaur leather being sold on the black market is brought to Kit’s attention. This is the catalyst which brings Kit and Logan together, to actually work together in the field and in the lab, getting to know each other. Add in the sweetest little runt of a dinosaur, Dizzy, which pulls at Kit’s heart and has him going against the ethics code and I was happy. You can see that Kit and Logan have so much potential as they work together to find out about the poachers and foster the injured dinosaur.

Return of the Chauffer’s Son by Tara Lain

Tara Lain - Return of the Chauffeur's Son Cover s 34hbvf8Title: Return of the Chauffer’s Son

Series: Movie Magic Romance 01

Author: Tara Lain

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (200 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-63533-478-4

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (2 June 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Luca McGrath may be returning to Napa Valley, California, as a promising chef with dreams of starting his own restaurant and winery, but his heart still lives with the bad-boy son of a billionaire, James Armstrong. Luca spent his childhood playing games with the golden boy of California society, so blinded by James he barely noticed the dark, quiet lure of his conservative older brother, Dylan Armstrong.

But now Luca’s home, and his own powers of attraction are enough to make James question his dedicated heterosexuality and his promised marriage to a wealthy and powerful businesswoman. The obvious attraction between Luca and James spurs Dylan into action—but he’s fighting a huge secret. While Luca dreamed of James, Dylan dreamed of Luca. When Luca gets caught in the struggle between the brothers and gets accused of culinary espionage he’s ready to chuck the fairy tale—unable to even imagine Dylan’s power to make his dreams come true.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Review: The Return of the Chauffeur’s Son is a standalone book by Tara Lain. Tara Lain is not an unknown author for me and I have enjoyed a number of her books and the writing style that she uses. In fact, I’ve actually heard the audio of this book but hadn’t yet read it until now. It’s sweet and charming and had me engrossed from start to finish. It’s one of those books that I think just about anyone could listen or read this book and enjoy their escape from reality.

The story starts with Luca McGrath finding his way home to California after some years away in college and then making his name as an up and coming chef. He was raised in Napa Valley by his father after the death of his mother. Luca grew up on the Armstrong winery estate where his father was the family chauffeur. The Armstrong family supported Luca and his father after the death of Luca’s mother, although he was a baby at the time. As a result, Luca grew up alongside Armstrong boys, more so James who is Luca’s best friend and Luca’s first crush..

Luca’s homecoming is joyous but things are complicated when it comes to the Armstrong brothers. While Luca has spent so many years of his life pining away for James, he begins to learn that that he entirely overlooked James’s much older brother, Dylan. Dylan is helping Luca with just about everything but doesn’t know how to communicate his feelings. He is the strong and stoic type and there is no end to his chivalry, with his need to protect his baby brother. While James is a playboy, who is now engaged and seems keen to now suddenly explore his sexuality. Dylan is frustrated because he is attracted to Luca, but his parents are dismissing James’ behaviour as James continued hero worship of his out and proud, gay older brother.

Luca and Dylan don’t know much about each other, that much is clear from the start. However, as they get to know each other there is a lot they have in common, including a passion for movies and once again they have startling similar tastes. It’s just another point that shows that there is more beneath the surface.

Overall, this is a fun, sweet and sexy novel that shows us that sometimes a HEA is right in front of us and with the person least expected.

Single by R.J. Scott ~ Audio Review

R.J. Scott - Single Audio Cover 48U4JTitle: Single

Series: Single Dads 01

Author: R.J. Scott

Narrator: Sean Crisden

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 4 hrs, 35 mins

Publisher: Love Lane Books (9th August 2019)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Reeling from the painful rejection of a man he thought he loved, Asher is left holding the baby.

Ash wants a family, and is determined to continue with a surrogacy he’d begun with his ex. Bringing baby Mia home, he vows that he will be the best father he can be. Nothing in this world matters more to him than caring for his daughter, not even accidentally falling in lust with the doctor next door. Challenged by his growing attraction to Sean, and confronted by painful mem-ories of his family, Ash has to learn that love is all that matters.

When ER doctor Sean moves in with his friends next door to sexy, single-father Ash, he falls so quickly it takes his breath away. The sex they have is hot, but Ash is adamant his heart is too full with love for his daughter to let anyone else in. Why is Sean the only one who sees how scared Ash is, and how can he prove to his new lover that he desperately wants the three of them to become a family?

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

Review: Single is the first book in RJ Scott’s Single Dads series, which its pretty easy by the end of this book to see that this is following smoking hot first responders in their quest for love.

RJ Scott isn’t an unknown author to me, I’ve recently become reacquainted with her writing through hockey romances, so Single is a bit of a change of pace for me. I’ve read the book before, but I was keen to listen to the audio. I love that this is a super sweet romance that just me so many warm feelings with main characters that felt so real, so I wanted to get the audio experience too.

The narration of the story is performed by Sean Crisden. I’ve not heard of anything narrated by Crisden in what feels like a long time, so while I knew that I had enjoyed his performances in the past I couldn’t remember why. Crisden does an excellent job, and in fact his performance allowed me to enjoy Single in audio format more than I had by simply reading it. He a gentleness to his tone that suits the paternal side that comes out in Ash’s character, as well as the caring and compassionate side that comes from Sean (the character, not the narrator himself).

If you’re into hot men with babies, which is certainly a draw for many readers of romance, then this is the book (and audio book) for you.

The story is about Ash and Sean. Ash is the single dad of the story. He’s wanted children for so long and had started investigating surrogacy with his ex. When his ex leaves just as the surrogate got pregnant, Ash is left on his own. It was not a rosy picture to begin with. Ash had so much support from his twin sister after his daughter had been born, but he now he had to get back into his own home and start a routine for him and Mia. He’s stressed and sleep deprived, and so when one night he has his new, albeit drunken, neighbour banging on his front door one night when he finally got Mia to sleep, Ash is pissed off.

That drunken neighbour was one of the three very single men who moved next door, who Ash hasn’t met at all yet. His friends wrangle him after it was clear that the he stumbled to Ash’s place because the homes look so alike. This is how he meets the other two neighbours, but it’s Sean who is immediately captured by his new neighbour.

Sean is an ER doctor, not the most glamourous of first responders, but he is a doctor, and in romances where all us fickle people swoon over certain types, a doctor is certainly up there. Sean is instantly attracted to Ash, but is going to have a difficult time to make it through the man’s defences. First because of the awkward introduction to each other, and then later because Ash is completely stressed out trying to be the best dad in the world.

And while love isn’t instantaneous, these guys slowly get to know each other, which Mia in the mix. That is what I liked the most, this wasn’t an instant happy family. They had a simmering chemistry that complimented the overall tone of the book and the characters that I really liked. It is sweet and gentle, but there is depth to the characters and some depth to their emotions (although not as much as I would want of the latter).

This was a wonderful story and the ending hints to us about book 2, which I’m totally excited for.

His Turn by Elsa Aarden

Elsa Aarden - His Turn Cover fjcn87rjTitle: His Turn

Author: Elsa Aarden

Genre: Paranormal, Vampires

Length: Novella (89pgs)

ISBN: 978-1-64243-975-5

Publisher: Siren Publishing (5th September 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: To certain humans, the city is a place riddled with vampires. Cameron Jameson, a lover of art, ventures out of his rural hometown to see the work of his favorite painter in person. There, he meets Duncan Marlow, a persistent vampire. During their spark, an enemy throws Cameron into a new vampire world unknown to him with Duncan.

Duncan Marlow is new to dating a human. Is the vampire world too much for his human partner? A family secret takes Cameron by surprise and Duncan has to find a way to help him adapt. His intentions to keep Cameron away from danger are to no avail.

A fatal accident turns Cameron’s life around. While all expected it to be that simple, it turns out to be much more than ever imagined for them. His new-found existence creates surprise and fear in others during the test-run of his abilities.

Purchase Link: Siren-BookStrand | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: His Turn is a standalone paranormal romance by Elsa Aarden. Aarden is not an author that I’m super familiar with – I’ve come across her name a number of times while perusing the Siren website, and I’ve a couple of books in the past. However, this is not an author that I am invested in, to the point that I must read every book. That’s not to saying anything bad about the author or the writing style, I have enjoyed each book I’ve read by Aarden, but there are just so many book and authors that this did not tip to become on my very long must read authors list.

The story starts with Cameron Jameson. He’s a fairly ordinary human who lives with his very human family in a rural town. There seems to be a lot of fear and distrust when it comes to vampires from his people. The big, bad vampires all seem to populate the big, bad city. But being that Cameron loves art, there isn’t much he can do in his small town or farm, so when his favourite artist makes an appearance at an art gallery in the city, Cameron makes the drive. It is at the gallery, that not only does Cameron get to meet his idol, but he also meets Duncan Marlow, a vampire.

Duncan seems to be everything fearful that Cameron has heard about vampire, yet at the same time there is some inexplicable link between the two of them. However, Cameron is uncertain, and rather than push and become too aggressive, Duncan is ready to take things slow. However, there is as much darkness in the world of vampires that Cameron fears. Duncan will do anything to help and protect Cameron.

Cameron and Duncan have a great connection. There is sexual tension from the moment they meet, and while there is kindness and romance, there is also harshness and danger when Cameron must see and become a part of Duncan world, ultimately facing his fears. What I really like the most about Duncan is that while he can be a “brutal vampire” and is partly why he has survived for so long and has become so successful. While the story didn’t grab me and enchant me as much as I would have liked it was these elements that allowed me to enjoy the book.

His Turn is a pretty good, solid romance that wonderfully captures the danger and uncertainty that comes with the world of vampires along with the hot attraction between the main characters. If you’re into paranormal or vampire romances, I reckon it’s worth giving it a go.

Fated Hearts by Garrett Leigh

Garrett Leigh - Fated Hearts Cover s dur87jTitle: Fated Hearts

Series: Shadow Bound 01

Author: Garrett Leigh

Genre: Paranormal

Length: Novel (256 pages)


Publisher: Fox Love Press (10 Sept 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: “He’s not a wolf.”

Devastated by the death of his best friend, Zio is a soldier with one thing on his mind: revenge. Consumed by a conflict that’s raged as long as he’s been alive, he’s had little time or inclination to learn the legends of the shifter world he was raised in. And he certainly doesn’t have time to deal with a shifter of a different kind, even if it’s for the good of the war effort. For the good of his pack. The fact that he’s already crossed paths with the new face in his unit is almost irrelevant.


Do no harm. Give life not death: it’s the oath Devan was reborn to live by, so when he’s sent abroad to embed with a wolf pack as their resident healer, he doesn’t hesitate. In the supernatural world, some bonds are instant—soldiers become brothers, pack become family. But others run deeper and before long, Devan’s at the mercy of instincts he can’t control.

Zio’s inner wolf is desperate to be with Devan, while Devan struggles to keep the pack safe. But as the war escalates, and new love is tainted by anguish and pain, the battles within might prove the toughest of them all.

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Fated Hearts is a paranormal romance by Garrett Leigh. It’s part of the world of Leigh’s now unavailable book Shadow Bound, however, since I’ve not read Shadow Bound I can happily say that it is easily a standalone novel.

I was looking forward to this one, because I do enjoy Garrett Leigh and love their writing style and how it benefits character development. But this is the second of Leigh’s books that has stepped outside of the comfort zone of what I’ve become accustomed to, particularly through Dreamspin Desires house line. But it’s worth it, totally, for me and will definitely make me more open in the future for anything by Leigh that may appear a little more different than I am now used to.

Fated Hearts is a story that starts in darkness, despair and revenge, but it’s only when the romance and “Fated” part comes along that the hope and lightness enters the story and therefore transforming the life of the main characters.

The world that we are placed in shows shifters and humans co-existing to a certain extent, although shifter packs appear to isolate themselves. There is trouble brewing in the shifter world. With packs seeking power and control, the wolf packs are on the verge of war.

Zio, lost his best friend who was also the pack healer in an attack. His grief is overwhelming, something that feels so palpable while reading about it. His control is not the best either. However, his pack needs a healer and his alpha must outsource to a group who are neutral in the struggle for power. Zio is drawn to Devan from the start, but of course there is a lot of fear and uncertainty gnawing at him and fighting the attraction.

Devan is a healer who has led a rather sheltered existence. When he was asked by his leader to move to a wolf pack in Northern England to replace their healer who been healed, Devan accepts his duty without problem. Like Zio, Devan is drawn to the wolf shifter when they first meet. But Devan sees the hurt and pain. So while these guys have a great attraction and chemistry, the start of their relationship is rocky, to say the least.

Politics also plays a role and continues to force the potential mates apart, creating a load of grief for both Devan and Zio. I really loved how I was able to connect to Zio and Devan. Despite the whole “fate” thing, they struggle with their feelings making them seem more relatable and making their attraction stronger and more believable. This is a rather gritty book, it is definitely not a fluffy shapeshifter romance, but it has a lot of heart, action and a definite sense of danger.

I recommend this to anyone that likes a darker type of paranormal romance, as well as action.

Zest by Claire London

Clare London - Zest Cover nsa8ejTitle: Zest

Series: The Accidental Baker

Author: Claire London

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (134 pages)


Publisher: Jocular Press (17 Aug 2019)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: When Donnie met Will, it looked like the recipe for true love. But Happy Ever After took just a bit more work.

Donnie’s new romance with silver fox veterinarian Will looks like a real recipe for love. But first he has to deal with the problems of his job, his friends’ demands, and worries about Will’s privileged background. To say nothing of Donnie’s thwarted dreams of a catering career—and baking something that doesn’t come out a disaster.

Will is fascinated and entranced by Donnie. A mature, professional businessman, he’s far less confident in romance—and in the bedroom. Yet his eagerness to look after Donnie and show him a better life are misguided, and have a disastrous effect of their own.

Donnie is everyone’s friend. He’ll help anyone out. But who’s there to help him when he needs it?

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Zest is a spin-off/sequel to Claire London’s Easter holiday novella, The Accidental Baker. I strongly recommend that you read the novella before starting this one, because this romance follows a couple who started their story in that story. While this is longer than the novella that introduced us to the world of Donnie and Will, this is everything that I had hoped for in terms of getting a cute and sweet romance.

Donnie and Will are great characters. They are down to earth and totally relatable. This was the reason why I really liked them in The Accidental Baker and was more than happy to see that their story continued. I hope that the other couples from The Accidental Baker get the same treatment as Donnie and Will because I really enjoyed getting to know them better. While they got together easy enough in The Accident Baker they now need to work on their actual relationship to make it a proper HEA.

Will, who recently moved to town to take over the veterinarian clinic close to Donnie’s place, is enchanted by the younger man. But despite being described as a silver fox – and is everything that a gentleman should be – he struggles with allowing himself to feel the happiness that comes with intimacy. He’s not inexperienced, just unsure. Donnie is a guy with a heart of gold, the type that would give someone the shirt on his back if he had to. But he is very much the opposite to Will and so at first it seems like their romance is impossible. It all boils down to this, Will needs to find confidence in love and Donnie needs to find confidence in himself before it’s too late for them as a couple.

This is all about the sweetness, that it could turn anyone diabetic if it were food. I’m trying to think of other words than cute and sweet to describe this, and I think that gentle romance is also a fitting description.

I recommend this one to people that enjoy a light-hearted romance, low on angst and just makes your heart happy.

How to Run with Wolves by Eli Easton *Dual Review*

Eli Easton - How To Run With The Wolves Cover s nevj555Title: How to Run With Wolves

Series: Howl at the Moon 05

Author: Eli Easton

Genre: Paranormal, Shape shifters

Length: Novel (229 pages)


Publisher: Pinkerton Road LLC (19 July 2019)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4 1/2 Hearts Combined

Reviewers: Prime & Shorty

Blurb: Zeus loves his job on the Mad Creek Search & Rescue team, and his inner Saint Bernard is finally being used to his full potential. When he sees a mysterious and wild-looking quickened—a dog shifter—at an earthquake site in Alaska, Zeus is compelled to investigate. Zeus falls hard for the primal beauty of Timo and of Alaska itself. Both call to his deep canine soul. But the Qimmig pack’s laws are as harsh as the Alaskan winters, and Timo is out of his reach.Timo’s pack of dog shifters left their Inuit village generations ago and have lived wild ever since. Not trusting the “one-skinned,” and with their numbers dwindling, the Qimmig are on the verge of extinction. Timo is shocked to discover a whole group of “two-skinned” working as a rescue team, and he is particularly fascinated by Zeus, a gentle giant. He senses what Zeus feels for him… but it’s forbidden.Can Mad Creek save this lost quickened clan? Perhaps—if they can learn how to run with the wolves.

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Prime’s Review 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts:

How to Run With Wolves is the fifth book in the series Howl at the Moon by Eli Easton. I adore this unique series and have enjoyed all four previous books a lot. Overall, the series is sweet and really quite charming, which fits since there are characters who have not always been human and some only recently transformed into dog shape shifters. While the previous books didn’t have a lot of angst, this one really does ramp up the angst with one MC and a number of minor characters having very little trust to the outside world.

I read on Amazon that this book can be read as part of the series or as a standalone. And while I do agree with that, there are not plot arcs which tie this book to the previous books, I recommend reading this this series if you can just to get a feel for the world of Mad Creek as it was set up. But then again, if something is a series I can’t stand not reading it all.

Since the end of the fourth book, we pick up with Mad Creek Search and Rescue team having been formed and now deployed to help humans during natural disasters, in their human skins not in their dog skins. One of the rescuers is Zeus. He was born quickened and grew up in Mad Creek and had moved away for a while. Unlike other quickened, he is shy around people and has an intense dislike for crowds. But nature and the open spaces call out to him and appeal to the Saint Bernard nature of his dog counterpart. It is on a rescue in Alaska that he discovers another quick. He hadn’t understood at first, until he figures out that the quick that he had seen must be part of a native tribe which keep to themselves. This is an exciting revelation because the town of Mad Creek had always wondered and was sure that they couldn’t be the only quickened in the world.

Timo lives with the rest of his tribe, which they call themselves two-skin as they change into the Huskies that used to be sled dogs for one of the local Alaskan tribes before white settlement. His ancestors had left the human world and they now live isolated. When he found another two-skin who was using his enhanced sense of smell to locate and save humans this was not a complete surprise, the surprise was that they were helping humans. Timo is in fact on an expedition to find more two-skins on their own to join their tribe, with low live birth rates the group is dwindling in numbers rapidly. But really, he needed to get away. His brother, Yuki, is the alpha in a group that has a definite pecking order that made life harsh, especially for Timo’s little sister, Hitty.

With their paths now together, Zeus and Timo want to help their people. Timo’s distrusting nature makes his character feel cold and distant, and at sometimes a tad manipulative. He is slow to trust, even when the people of Mad Creek give their help. However, that is the harsh reality of world in which he lives. Mad Creek is a revelation to Timo, but Timo knows that he needs to save his people. Between all this, Timo needs to understand what is happening between him and Zeus. His is everything that is kind and gentle, but also strong. He has a lot to deal with emotionally, something that he hasn’t had to do in the past. Zeus is certainly opening him to a new world of possibilities in more ways than you can imagine.

Shorty’s Review 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts:

Timo and Zeus meet when their lives collide with each others when Zeus is sent on a search and rescue in Alaska after an earthquake. Zeus is sweet and caring. Timo is from a Qimmig pack who used to be dogs many, many generations before. They had a falling out after they quickened and removed themselves from the inuit they were with.

Timo has outdated ideas about a pack due to their isolation from everyone else. Timo goes to mad creek with Zeus and begins to see things in a different light. But it still takes time for him to admit and process how he feels about Zeus. Between feelings, getting to know others and finding solutions to the Qimmig’s survival love blossoms.

Amazing story with love and struggles. I loved everything about the story. The descriptions of Alaska were beautiful and awe inspiring.

Fantastic read and highly recommended.

The Accidental Baker by Claire London

Clare London - The Accidental Baker Cover s ner7fjuTitle: The Accidental Baker

Series: The Accidental Baker 01

Author: Claire London

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (64 pages)

ISBN: B07R1Q1G12

Publisher: Jocular Press (20 April 2019)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖 3 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Donnie Watson’s baking disasters are legendary, but this Easter, his mismatched chocolate eggs bring accidental but astonishing results to four downhearted gay men. The chocolate sweets spill onto the pavement of a small parade of local shops—and go on a matchmaking tour like no other! From a bankrupt and betrayed baker, to a homeless but hopeful man, to a conceited bar owner in need of a reality check, and finally to the hapless but caring Donnie himself.
After all, Love means you can have chocolate too!

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: The Accidental Baker is a super sweet Easter/Holiday novella by Claire London. This story was exactly what I’ve come to expect from London’s writing – a sweet romances, relatable characters and, in general, a fun read.

The story is really like an anthology of short stories, a bit of a mosaic created with eight different characters finding love on Easter through the action of one (albeit clumsy) person. I won’t go too far into things, because it would spoil the plot – I mean, at only 64 pages and eight characters getting their own little story, it’s easy to give out too much information. What I liked most about this story that each man was really down to earth, totally likable and therefore easy to relate to. The whole story kicks off with Donnie Watson, who can cook great food but is a bit of a klutz and totally sucks at the presentation of the food. He’s a lonely guy with a big heart and deserves all the love in the world. He’s made some Easter treats for the local community centre, but an accident with the trays on the street allows eight men, four couples and including himself, find an unexpected spark of love with newbie to the area, Will.

What I love most about these characters, other than being so down to earth, is they are all so different and individual. They run a whole spectrum from being a man who is homeless, to some interesting career choices like a veterinarian, to bakers and a bar owner. They all have different circumstances and issues, along with easily differentiated personalities from each other. So much so, that I had a chance to be the slightest bit annoyed at one character, Henry, but only for a bit because of when we first encounter him with Donnie. However, I felt that Henry’s own little story redeems him in a way that made me think “we all have our off days”.

This is great for anyone who is a sucker for the simple, cute romances that come out for holidays. It’s a quick read with a satisfying end.

Kiss Me Again by Garrett Leigh

Garrett Leigh - Kiss Me Again Cover s neiro3Title: Kiss Me Again

Author: Garrett Leigh

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (227 pages)

ISBN: 1913220044

Publisher: Fox Love Press (7 June 2019)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Tree surgeon Aidan Drummond is content with his own company. He works alone, and lives alone, and it doesn’t occur to him to want anything else until a life-changing accident lands him in hospital. Then a glimpse of the beautiful boy in the opposite bed changes everything.

Ludo Giordano is trapped on the ward with a bunch of old men. His mind plays tricks on him, keeping him awake. Then late one night, a new face brings a welcome distraction. Their unlike-ly friendship is addictive. And, like most things in Ludo’s life, temporary.

Back in the real world, Aidan’s monochrome existence is no longer enough. He craves the col-our Ludo brought him, and when a chance meeting brings them back together, before long, they’re inseparable again.

But bliss comes with complications. Aidan is on the road to recovery, but Ludo has been unwell his entire life, and that’s not going to change. Aidan can kiss him as much as he likes, but if he can’t help Ludo when he needs him most, they don’t stand a chance.

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Kiss Me Again is a standalone novel by Garret Leigh. Leigh is an author that I enjoyed immensely in the past but looking at the blurb the subject was quite different to what I was used to reading from them.

However, I am pleased that this book is a solid, heart-felt romance. I will warn that some people may find the subject of mental health issues a little confronting, especially in a romance. Yet in saying that, the only reason why I rated this 4/5 was because I felt that many aspect of mental health and bipolar disorder were just glanced over.

The book opens up with a rather grumpy Aidan Drummond. He’s a loner and for the most part he seems happy to be so, even if he appears to rub people the wrong way while doing so. An accident changes his entire life, landing him in hospital – fighting for his life and then with a long road of recovery ahead of him. It is when he starts to become more lucid in hospital that he meets his roommate properly, Ludo Giordano.

Ludo isn’t a stranger of hospitals. He suffers from bipolar disorder and has a very strict mental health plan as part of the NHS (so, yes, this is set in England). And while I enjoyed the details of his treatment when I said that some things felt that were glanced over – I was really referring to his behaviours caused by his disorder. Ludo hasn’t had an easy life either, and that has certainly contributed to his mental health issues. But when he meets Aidan, the boredom and tedium change and the two men start a friendship that is cut short by hospital moving and later discharging the men.

A couple months later they meet by chance. Ludo has missed Aidan since they last met and seeing him again, Ludo feared that his mind was playing tricks on them. But Aidan felt the loss of Ludo in his life just as acutely as Ludo had. Aidan has been struggled as well, the solitary life he had led before his accident is now something that he no longer enjoys.

Aidan isn’t scared off my Ludo’s challenges. He eventually realises that they both harbour loneliness and sees potential in them being perfect for each other.

If you’re looking for a sweet, gentle and down to earth romance, I think this would work for you.

The Spirit Key by Parker Williams ~ Audio Review

Parker Williams - The Spirit Key Audio Cover dvnj74fTitle: The Spirit Key

Series: Lock and Key 01

Author: Parker Williams

Narrator: Collin Darcy

Genre: Paranormal, Spirits

Length: 10 hrs, 29 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (5th July 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

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

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

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

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

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

Review: The Spirit Key is the first book in Parker William’s paranormal series, Lock and Key. The audio narration is performed by Collin Darcy.

I don’t have a heck of a lot of experience when it comes to Parker Williams. I think I’ve only ever read one or two books by the author, books that from memory I know that I enjoyed them for reasons that escape me at this point in time. I also have much the same opinion of Collin Darcy as the narrator, I know that I’ve heard him narrate at least a couple of audio books before but nothing immediately comes to mind. So, I’ve effectively come into this book blind and with no expectations.

Overall, I found this a rather enjoyable story, although I admit that I found it a tad slow in parts. I really enjoyed the way Williams told the story, first starting in flashback before picking up and telling the story. I felt that the voice and tone of Collin Darcy really complimented the personalities of the characters. It certainly enhanced the story for me and particularly enjoyed the voice he gave one of the MCs, Scott.

I don’t want to go too much into the story, because I feel that the blurb tells the reader everything they need to know and I don’t want to spoil anything terribly. There is a lot of internal battles and self-discovery that dominate much of the book, as well as exploring the evolving relationship between the two MCs. You can’t say that there is no character development, because there is so much depth and complexity to these character. Unfortunately, I just felt that there were times where I was missing an emotional connection to either MC.

The story is mostly told from the POV of Scott Fogel. He starts the book by going through the events of his childhood, specifically from the moment where he had drowned in an accident before being revived, that led him to leave his family and friends behind and ran away to Chicago. It’s a really sad and heart breaking start to a story, he details his trauma while he is dealing with the talent that came about after he drowned, the ability to see and communicate with ghosts/spirits. But the death of his best friends mother brings her ghost telling him he needs to go home and help his friend. And so he does.

Scott arrives on the doorstep his best friend, who he happens to love, Tim Jennessee. Adding to the stress of having to confront the people he ran away from, after not seeing any ghosts while in Chicago, the dead are once again appearing to Scott. It’s a rocky start, but Tim’s heart isn’t totally hardened to Scott. It’s more that he spent five years worrying and grieving over his friend, unsure of what to think. Then Scott reappears.

It takes time for these guys to get on track and that’s when the next major part of the plot kicks in. Scott discovers that an evil spirit has latched onto Tim and his working on making him weaker until it can make Tim his instrument to kill. But there is a mystery that begins to unravel, relating to Scott’s talent and Tim’s mother. It’s an interesting turn.

I’m interested to see what happens next in this series and where it will take us.

Love You So Sweetly by Tara Lain

Tara Lain - Love You So Sweetly Cover ydal03Title: Love You So Sweetly

Series: Love You So 04

Author: Tara Lain

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (161 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64405-568-7

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (13 Sept 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Reading his future in a glass of sweet tea.

The youngest son of one of America’s richest families, Remy Merced is so busy trying to save his family company from collapse, he’s never taken time to figure out if he’s gay, much less if he’s happy. Then his meddling mama hires him an assistant who’s everything Remy thinks he doesn’t want. Cute Harper Treadwell, from rural Arkansas, is a brilliant business prodigy… and openly gay. His wit and charm could confirm Remy’s suspicions about his own sexuality almost instantly—if they weren’t both already partnered.

When Remy’s girlfriend and Harper’s boyfriend get a little too friendly, Remy finds that the path to happiness requires a long drive in an old Prius, a growing appreciation for small towns, and a whole lot of sweet tea. But before they can forge a future—they have to let go of the past.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Love You So Sweetly is the fourth book in Tara Lain’s Love You So series. There is no read to read the series in order as they are completely independent books, although the premise behind each book is that the romance includes one main character who comes from or has wealth/privilege in a high position in a company, and the one main character who doesn’t have any of those trappings, and is just a “normal” person.

I was excited about this book because I have been loving the Love You So books, and they are perhaps my favourite books that are written by Lain. I found the blurb perhaps a little misleading as I expected there to be a stronger thread of plot involving the MCs then current flames, but whatever. I don’t think it took away from my enjoyment of the book.

Love You So Sweetly is a sweet romance, there is no denying that. But for that reason I also loved the book. It follows Remy Merced, the youngest son who is trying to save the family’s massive national company from collapse in the future by revitalising the brand. He’s stressed and over worked and that is the reason why Remy’s meddling mother butts in and hires Remy a personal assistant, the son of a friend from her little hometown in Arkansas.

Harper Treadwell loves the world of business and excelled during his degree. However, he is from a small town and it is only through family connections that he is able to land a job. Not that Harper will complain. He wants to go out into the big wide world, which is partly why he had left town to move in with his boyfriend in California.

Remy has never really had a chance to question his sexuality, though he does date women and currently has a girlfriend. However, despite some early resistance, Remy sees that Harper is everything he could ever need. First he displays his knack of the business world, and later on as they get to know each other and their respective personal circumstances change, there’s a spark that is a lot more than employer and employee.

I love the simplicity of this book, it’s sweet and not overly complicated, which means that we get a lot of depth out of the characters and I really liked the depth of emotion that I felt as the romance progressed. It made it feel real, and fits perfectly with the overall feel of the previous books in this series. I’m definitely keen if there is more to come!

Today by R.J. Scott

R.J. Scott - Today Cover s ner7hvTitle: Today

Series: Single Dads 02

Author: R.J. Scott

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (197 pages)


Publisher: Love Lane Books (21st August 2019)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Firefighter Eric is on the front line, battling the threat of nature’s destruction in the California grass-lands alongside his CalFire team. Focused and calm, even in the direst of situations, he has a strong affection for his fire truck, loves his career, and has best friends he can rely on. All he needs now is love, but that seems to be impossible to find. At his friend’s wedding. Eric falls in lust at first sight with the shy, slim and sexy Brady, even if Brady isn’t the type of guy he usually goes for. What Eric longs for is an equal in his bed, not a smaller guy who might want Eric to role-play big strong fire-fighter every time they have sex. He wants to find someone he can be vulnerable with, someone who will love him for his soft heart and quiet ways.

Brady’s life plans grind to a halt when his niece and nephew lose their parents in a tragic accident, and he becomes a dad overnight. His Developmental Coordination Disorder rules his life, but he fights both DCD and the fears that chase him every day, to give Maddie and Lucas a home. Agree-ing to go to a friend’s wedding is a decision he regrets long before he even gets there. But, he re-fuses to give in to his fear, even if he might do something that makes him a target for people’s comments and laughter. Meeting Eric, a huge man with a gentle voice and a flair for chivalry, he falls hard. Now, if only he can let himself get past his panic that Eric would never want someone like him, then maybe he could fall in love for real.

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Today is the second book in RJ Scott’s Single Dads series. I strongly recommend to read this story in order as there are a number of things about both MCs that we find out as we get to know them in their role as secondary characters in the first book. This particular series follows three smoking hot first responders in their quest for love who also happen to be best friends and have part shares in a house in San Diego.

RJ Scott is an author that I’ve only recently acquainted myself with and now will be more likely to give her books a go, now that I’ve found a connection to her writing style and characters.

Eric is a firefighter, he’s committed and passionate about his job and saving others. His best friends are Leo and Sean, who he part owns a house with. Sean has recently become engaged to their neighbour, a single dad with a baby that has her daddies and her Uncles Leo and Eric wrapped around her finger. It is at Sean’s wedding to Ash that he meets Ash’s friend, Brady.

Brady became an instant dad to his niece and nephew, Maddie and Lucas, when their parents were killed. Life as a gay single dad is tough when dealing with two kids who have lost their parents and are old enough to understand but can only cope as well as any child could. Add onto this that Brady has lost his sister and is heading towards becoming agoraphobic. He has isolated himself from the world because of his medical condition, DCD, a disorder that has affects his motor skills and makes him feel embarrassed, which has led onto a slew of other conditions such as anxiety. To an extent, Maddie and Lucas are quite good in tolerating Brady’s quirks, but Brady wants to be better. He wants to be a better dad, especially since he’s only a couple years away from navigating the teenage years and the kids are already moody (understandably).

Eric and Brady don’t exactly click straight away. Eric has a bit of a fight on his hands to show Brady the man he sees is worthy of love. Eric also happens to love kids, his annoyance when he first is sent to Brady rather than wrangling Sean and Ash’s daughter at their wedding tells the reader as much. And so he begins to bring something to Brady’s family that makes him impossible to ignore. The romance comes slow – both men have to deal with so much “stuff”, which is what makes this book feel real and relatable.

This is perfect for anyone that loves men and babies/children, single parents finding love and of course if you love a sexy doctor! I feel it ticks all the character traits that are irresistible for many romance readers. I really enjoyed reading the first book, Single, and so was looking forward to reading this one, likewise I am also looking forward to reading book three with Leo’s story.

Awesome and sweet romance, I look forward to Leo’s story which is coming up in book three!

Don’t Judge by A.E. Via ~ Audio Review

A.E. Via - Don't Judge Audio Cover s en3784ujTitle: Don’t Judge

Series: Nothing Special 04

Author: A.E. Via

Narrator: Aiden Snow

Genre: Contemporary, Action, Men in Uniform

Length: 9 hrs, 48 mins

Publisher: A.E. Via (24th July 2019)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Detective Austin Michaels didn’t think life could get any better after he was accepted into the most notorious narcotics task force on the East Coast, headed up by two of the baddest Lieu-tenants with the Atlanta Police Department – Cashel Godfrey and Leonidis Day.

Michaels knew he would fit right in as the team’s sniper, having received his fair share of com-mendations for marksmanship. He was just as badass as the rest of the twenty brothers that made up their team. But when Michaels lets their prime suspect get away from a huge bust with over a quarter of a million dollars in drugs, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it right.

Left with no other options, God chooses to bring in outside help, calling on his long-time friend and bounty hunter, Judge Josephson.

Judge was considered one of the best trackers during his enlistment in the United States Ma-rine Corps. After retiring, he used those skills to become one of the most sought out fugitive trackers in the country. When Judge gets a call from his old friend needing his help, he quickly tells God, yes.

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

Review: Don’t Judge is the fourth book in A.E. Via’s Nothing Special series. It is important to read these books in order, there is a whole cast of strong secondary characters who have already had their romance story told and so it would be rather confusing to jump straight in at book 4.

I really only know A.E. Via’s work from this series, which I have loved. To be perfectly honest I am actually kind of surprised at how much I got into this series. However, there is so much going on, so much depth to each character and so much plot and character development. This is an action filled series with off the charts steamy sex scenes that can satisfy all the reader’s needs.

And being that this is the audio, we once again have Aiden Snow, who has done the narration on the previous books, working his magic at bringing the characters to life. He has the perfect tone and timbre that suits the rough and tough world of a police narcotics squad, as well as an equally rough bounty hunter. Absolutely love his narration and cannot think of any criticism.

Onto the story itself:

The main characters of this instalment of Nothing Special series is Detective Austin Michaels and bounty hunter Judge Josephson.

Austin got the job of a lifetime, in the equally revered and feared Atlanta PD narcotics squad run by Lieutenants Leonides Day and Cashel Godfrey (who also happen to be life partners, their story kicks off the series in book 1). Another plus is that because there are a number of gay men, a number of whom have lovers within the team, Austin is proud to serve in the most accepting and diverse group in Atlanta PD. Even if they do get stares and whispers from others who are less tolerant. However, you cannot argue with results.

Austin is a sniper and like his team mates, is dedicated to making busts and bringing down some of the most dangerous drug lords in the city. However, when a bust goes wrong, Austin is not only injured but he also balmes himself for letting a very important man get away from them.
God and Day, although against Day’s better judgement, bring in God’s old buddy from the military, who is now a kickass bounty hunter, Judge Josephson (as well as his awesome dog, a Great Dane). Judge is hired to help bring in the man that they lost, and it is Austin who is paired up to go with Judge.

Judge and Austin don’t exactly hit it off straight away, in fact, they do not get along. Joseph is surly about the job as he realises that he doesn’t have too much time left in the bounty hunter game, as both he and his dog are getting too old to keep up. Austin is high strung because he blames himself for losing their man and therefore is the reason that Day and Knight brought in Judge. These guys are complicated, there is great sexual tension between them from the start. Yet, they have complicated personal lives that pop up during the course of the book and the job of chasing one man down does get a tad complicated – but not impossible with the help of the people of the Atlanta PD Narcotics team.

This was a great addition to the series. It’s full of danger and tension (both the sexual and dangerous kinds). If you love a gritty cop story, with great sexual chemistry, high danger and high adrenalin that will keep you going from beginning to end of the book, I recommend to give this whole series a try and not just this book.

Whiskey and Moonshine by Elizabeth Noble ~ Audio Review

Elizabeth Noble - Whiskey and Moonshine Audio Cover lwe024Title: Whiskey and Moonshine

Series: Dreamspun Desires

Author: Elizabeth Noble

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs, 51 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (20th June 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Like a well-aged whiskey, master distiller and old-money entrepreneur Malone Kensington is elegant and refined. Unfortunately he’s also a perfectionist who is more dedicated to the suc-cess of his generations-old company than his own love life.

That company needs a public spokesman.

What Colton Hale lacks in sophistication, he more than makes up for with the charisma that’s al-lowed him to survive on the street from a young age and charm his way into the lucrative – if overwhelming – public position at the Kensington Distillery. When Mal takes Colt under his wing, hoping to polish off his rough edges, opposites attract and a passionate romance blossoms de-spite the differences in age and background. But can it survive a Kensington Board of Directors who believe Colt is nothing but a gold digger and a kidnapper determined to profit from the love of Mal’s life – dead or alive?

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

Review: Whiskey and Moonshine is standalone romance set in Tennessee, obviously amongst whiskey and moonshine stills by Elizabeth Noble. This was published as part of Dreamspun Desires, which is always a plus for me. The fact that John Solo is the narrator is another plus for me.

I really haven’t heard too many books narrated by John Solo lately. However, it is always awesome to hear the man perform. He is one of those narrators that has a voice that suits so many different genres of romances and different types of characters. I love how Solo manages to convey the emotions of both Mal and Colt, the two MCs. I always enjoy his performances and this is no different. It enhanced my experience and my enjoyment of the book. Overall, an excellent narration that I cannot fault.

This is a completely charming and sweet romance. The story focuses on the Kensington Distillery which produces whiskey and moonshine, and the very sexy man who is dedicated to his family’s company and making it more accessible for the younger generations that is the focus of this story. To do this it is decided that they need to employ a young, passionate person to be the PR face of the company.

The story opens with Colton Hale, he’s twenty-four and has been living on the streets of Toledo since he was fifteen. The most recent run in with violent thugs has Colton ready to make a new start, so he gets the first bus that will get him out and his new adventure starts. The bus ride brings him to the Kensington family’s whiskey distillery. They’re a rich and hugely successful distillery in Tennessee. Colt manages to get himself a job and just six weeks later shows his ingenuity and passion for his work that leads him to another job for the company.

Mal, the head of the Kensington family company which had been previously run by his mother, sees a lot of potential in Colton. There’s the potential Colton has to help sell the whiskey brand on social media and help the company branch out, but he has to hold back his attraction for the man, even though he knows Colt’s shady past. The two men work well together and Mal decides to use the age gap between them as the excuse he needs to mentally force himself from pining for his social media face of the company.

I’ve read this story before and while I remember liking it, I forgot about the awesomeness that was multiple references to the Joss Whedon TV showed Firefly. Because I’m a nerd and a browncoat and the fact that it features so prominently in a book I enjoyed was shiny. I’m a total sucker for Firefly. Because of that I see the name Mal and I think Captain Malcolm Reynolds – though I can never say I was disappointed to realise that this Mal is short for Malone. But it is sweet and smart Colt, who hasn’t had the best 9 or so years of his life getting into Firefly into the book that got to me. I really enjoyed the imagery conjured when Colt mentions the last line in the theme song, relating it to the backdrop of the rambling Kensington distillery/estate. But the best part, when everything seems to be falling apart Colt uses a Firefly reference to get Mal to help him.

This was a really enjoyable story. The characters were relatable and felt accessible to the reader, or at least to me. Again, the Firefly fan in me was totally appeased. While this isn’t actually set in a boardroom this is still at heart a story about a powerful CEO finding love in an unexpected place. So, I suppose if you like any romance set around vineyards and in boardrooms then this is one to enjoy. There is also an interesting celebrity element, where Colt navigates the world of social media and gains fame as the face of the Kensington brand. Others may also enjoy Colt’s storyline which is very much a rags to riches tale.

Single by R.J. Scott

R.J. Scott - Single Cover 9203ikTitle: Single

Series: Single Dads 01

Author: R.J. Scott

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (238 pages)

ISBN: 107307224X

Publisher: Love Lane Books (14th June 2019)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Ash wants a family, and is determined to continue with a surrogacy he’d begun with his ex. Bringing baby Mia home, he vows that he will be the best father he can be. Nothing in this world matters more to him than caring for his daughter, not even accidentally falling in lust with the doctor next door. Challenged by his growing attraction to Sean, and confronted by painful mem-ories of his family, Ash has to learn that love is all that matters.

When ER doctor Sean moves in with his friends next door to sexy single father Ash, he falls so quickly it takes his breath away. The sex they have is hot, but Ash is adamant his heart is too full with love for his daughter to let anyone else in. Why is Sean the only one who sees how scared Ash is, and how can he prove to his new lover that he desperately wants the three of them to become a family?

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Single is the first book in RJ Scott’s Single Dads series, which its pretty easy by the end of this book to see that this is following smoking hot first responders in their quest for love.

I’ve only recently got back into reading RJ Scott, and most of that has been her hockey romances. Before that I read some of her Ellery Mount series. Regardless, I knew that this is an author whose writing style I enjoy, I find the plots engaging and the characters totally relatable and irresistible.

This is perfect for anyone that loves men and babies/children, single parents finding love and of course if you love a sexy doctor! I feel it ticks all the character traits that are irresistible for many romance readers.

The story follows Ash and Sean.

Ash is the single dad of the story. He’s wanted children for so long and had started investigating surrogacy with his ex. When his ex (a marine biologist that gives the rest of us a bad name, lol) leaves just as the surrogate got pregnant, Ash knew he was on his own. Life as a solo is parent is hard, obviously, no one would ever say that it is a walk in the park, and this was what really had me drawn into the book. It was not a rosy picture. Ash had so much support from his twin sister, who has two children of her own, but he now he had to get back into his own home and start a routine for his little princess, Mia. He’s stressed and so when one night he has his new, albeit drunken, neighbour banging on his front door one night when he finally got Mia to sleep, Ash is pissed off.

That drunken neighbour was one of the three very single men who moved next door, who Ash hasn’t met at all yet. After a bad call, that particular neighbour went out on a bender to drown his sorrows. His friends wrangle him after it was clear that the he stumbled to Ash’s place because the homes look so alike. This is how he meets the other two neighbours, but it’s Sean in particular that just makes Ash feel more discombobulated.

Sean is an ER doctor, not the most glamorous of first responders, but he is a doctor, and in romances where all us fickle people swoon over certain types, a doctor is certainly up there. Sean is instantly attracted to Ash, but is going to have a difficult time to make it through the man’s defences. First because of the awkward introduction to each other, and then later because Ash is completely stressed out trying to be the best dad in the world.

And while love isn’t instantaneous, these guys slowly get to know each other, which Mia in the mix. That is what I liked the most, this wasn’t an instant happy family. They had a simmering chemistry that complimented the overall tone of the book and the characters that I really liked. It is sweet and gentle, but there is depth to the characters and some depth to their emotions (although not as much as I would want of the latter).

This was a wonderful story and the ending hints to us about book 2, which I’m totally excited for.

Spell Cat by Tara Lain ~ Audio Review

Tara Lain - Spell Cat Audio Cover cnw74NTitle: Spell Cat

Series: The Aloysius Tales 01

Author: Tara Lain

Narrator: K.C. Kelly

Genre: Paranormal, Witches

Length: 6 hrs, 48 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (17th June 2019)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: When Killian Barth, history professor, meets Blaine Genneau, quantum physicist, they ignite their own big bang. But Killian can’t pursue a physics professor – or a human. As the most pow-erful male witch in 10 generations, Killian must bolster his dying race by reproducing – despite the fact that he’s gay.

Even a fling with Blaine is out of the question, because Killian has been told sex with humans drains his power. But if that’s true, why can young human Jimmy Janx dissolve spoons with the power of his mind? If Killian can sort through the lies he’s been fed, he’ll still face his biggest obstacle – convincing rational scientist Blaine to believe in magic.

With his ancient and powerful cat familiar, Aloysius, on his shoulder, Killian brings the lightning against deceit and greed to save Blaine from danger and prove love is the greatest power of them all.

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

Review: Spell Cat is the first book in Tara Lain’s paranormal romance series, The Aloysius Tales. This narration is actually from the recently published second edition from Dreamspinner Press. Before coming across the audio of this story, I’ve not read either edition of this story. However, I thought the plot sounded interesting and more often than not I’ve really enjoyed Lain’s work (probably with a preferences towards her recent stuff than the older stuff).

The narration of this book was performed by KC Kelly. Who did a good job, creating tones and voices not only for the two MCs, but a whole host of minor characters, which also included a couple “European” and “Russian” type accents. It was honestly a great performance and I think this is one of those books where I wouldn’t enjoy as much if I simply read it book myself.

I will admit, I did a bit of research, because from the blurb I found it confusing as to why the series was called the Aloysius Tales. Then I actually started the book and then I realised: Aloysius is the name of the damn cat.

The story starts with Professor Killian Barth, a history professor who specialises in the history of witchcraft. The subject he teaches is popular – from kids wanting easy grades to others who find it cool to study witches. He also happens to be a bona fide witch, the most powerful witch for 10 generations and is known as the witch master, a powerful figurehead in the community. The witches are dying, the witch elders telling everyone that this is because witches have been diluting their powers by “mixing” with humans. And being the most powerful male witch means that his power-hungry mother and another power-hungry elder, have orchestrated an arranged marriage between Killian and the most powerful female witch to ensure the purity of the witch line. The biggest issue being that Killian is gay.

This makes Killian a heart breaking figure because he has never allowed himself some measure of happiness. He has been told his whole life having sex with humans will deplete his powers and make him weaker, yet he is comfortable and prefers to be in the human world. Perhaps worst of all, when he meets physics professor Blain Genneau, there is an instant spark of attraction between the two men. Which only serves to make Killian more miserable.

The story, shortly after Killian is introduced to his new familiar, the black cat Aloysius, is Killian’s battle to be find out what exactly is behind the whole “humans deplete a witch’s power”. All to find a way out of his arranged marriage and maybe even find some kind of happiness, no matter how temporary. Killian is definitely the main character here, although Blaine I felt got about as much “air time” as the secondary characters such as Killian’s fiancé Lavender and Killian’s strange student Jimmy Janks. In some ways that didn’t feel very fair to their romance, but for the overall story it worked that this was predominately told from Killian’s POV, and Killian has a lot of thing going on.

I recommend this one to those that love paranormal fiction, in particular those that like witches and magic. This is a first in a series which follows the influence of familiar Aloysius on the witch community and the love lives of a select few. I’m keen to hear or read more.

Twice Baked by Andrew Grey

Andrew Grey - Twice Baked Cover s njer64Title: Twice Baked

Author: Andrew Grey

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (193 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64405-591-5

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (8 Oct 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: When the pickiest eater in America is tapped to judge a cooking competition along with his chef ex-boyfriend, will it be a recipe for a second chance… or disaster?

Luke Walker’s humor about foods he can’t stand made him an internet celebrity and his blog, The Pickiest Eater in America, a huge hit. He plans to bring that same lighthearted comedy to the show—but he won’t be the only host.

Meyer Thibodeaux might be a famous chef, but he’s solemn, uptight, and closeted. He’s also Luke’s ex. As different as they are, the sparks between Luke and Meyer never really went out, and as they work together, each begins to see the other in a new light, and the passion between them reignites, hot as ever. But secrets, gossip, and rumors on the set could sour their reunion.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Twice Baked is a standalone novel by Andrew Grey. I love Andrew Grey, I’ve never encountered a book of his I didn’t dislike or couldn’t finish. For me, the winning appeal is always the writing style and the three-dimensional characters who almost always develop along the way and learn a thing or two. This is actually the second book of Grey’s I’ve read recently where he has done something different to what I’ve become used to, but it still has all the hallmarks of a sweet Andrew Grey romance in my mind.

The main characters are Luke Walker and Meyer Thibodeaux.

Luke’s opinions on food is almost like everyone’s inner child – there is always some texture that is just so gross it makes you dry reach, or there is something that is said to be so amazing but taste like week-old dirty socks. Luke has a great sense of humour and because of that he has been able to make a name for himself with his blog, declaring him the Pickiest Eater in America. He is unashamedly himself and he has made it work for him. So much so, when a cooking competition, not that dissimilar to Masterchef, needs a new judge he is approached. He and the producers of the show are of the same mind – they want to inject humour along with his natural personality which makes the show more accessible to those intimidated by high cuisine. The only problem is that his ex, Meyer, is also a judge and while he has never had closure over the ending of that relationship, Luke is ready to go in and be an adult when it comes to be in the same room, let alone the same TV show, as his ex-boyfriend.

Meyer doesn’t take Luke’s reappearance in his life quite so easily. Again, Luke is his ex and that comes with a natural uneasiness, no matter how things ended between them. But he has major concerns that Luke will make a mockery of show that he had helped create by being a judge. Meyer is a celebrity chef and the back story is that he essentially left Luke behind to pursue his career.

However, the sparks are still there between them. The passion between them is felt through the words. Luke and Meyer, at first, don’t appear to have changed much from when they had last known each other, but being together in the same world again brings them together. And they do indeed realise that things have changed for them, they eventually realise that they have grown as people, and they continue to grow through the course of this book.

Luke and Meyer’s biggest problems stem from a lack of communication when they had first been together. Their current obstacle is to now balance their personal lives and professional life as famous TV judges. Now that they are nursing the spark of romance, which is now fragile, they learn to trust each other when things on set start to go wrong. There is intrigue on set and it’s easiest for them to be honest – to each other, and as much as possible, the world.

This a great second chance romance novel, I think anyone who likes that would not be disappointed. Added to that those that love cooking reality TV shows and like a bit of heat in the kitchen will probably also enjoy this one. There is loads of charm and romance.

Heart Untouched by Andrew Grey ~ Audio Review

Andrew Grey - Heart Untouched Audio Cover ncsk47Title: Heart Untouched

Series: Hearts Entwined 03

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator: Greg Tremblay

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs, 38 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (27th June 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: An accident crushed Duncan’s Olympic dreams and landed him in a chair, but he knows it’s time to get his life back on track – and he has a plan in mind. Working with his friend Todd, an Olym-pic skeleton racer, on a promotional campaign will not only help Duncan regain some direction, but it’ll give Todd the financial boost he desperately needs. The sport Todd loves is draining his resources – so much so that he’s thinking of giving up racing just to make ends meet.

As the two men work together, their friendship blossoms into much more, and suddenly the future is looking brighter than it has in a long time. But just when love, happiness, and success seem within their grasp, the USOC steps in with plans to stop their campaign. That’ll mean an end not just to Duncan’s business, but to Todd’s dreams…and Duncan isn’t about to let that happen to the man who means everything to him.

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

Review: Heart Untouched is the third book in Andrew Grey’s Hearts Entwined series. You don’t necessarily have to read the series in order. However, since the couples of the previous books feature heavily I think it would make more sense to read the series in order, but that is only my opinion.

Andrew Grey is a go to author for. I could gush for a long time about how much I love his writing. I love the knack he has to make deeply emotional characters, with equally emotional and relatable storylines. I also love the knack he has with characters which are either differently abled or single fathers – I’m truly a sucker for those types of books in general.

The audio narration was performed by Greg Tremblay. Tremblay is a brilliant narrator and I have enjoyed many of his performances of Grey’s work. I love how Tremblay enhances a book by just changing his tone, giving characters their own voices and sometimes making audio experience more relatable and easier to connect to characters than just reading the book.

Part of me was a little disappointed that I didn’t love the book as much as I normally would an Andrew Grey book, and I got no idea if there has to do with either the story itself or the narration. Nonetheless, this was still an excellent and thoroughly enjoyable read. I just hold Grey to higher standards, haha.

The story starts with Olympic skeleton racer, Duncan. Unfortunately, a major accident during competition has not only shattered his dreams of competing in the Winter Olympics, but he is also now confined to a wheelchair. Duncan is lost now, but his friend and one of his fellow skeleton racer teammates, Todd.

Being an Olympian is not an easy thing. Obviously, one has to be absolutely awesome at their chosen sport. But there is also the endless need for funding so that they can take months at a time to train and meet whatever other requires are set by the US Olympic Committee. Back home, Todd is making money but is feeling the noose of tight finances threatening his Olympic dream. Add to that his friend Duncan has had his life shattered, receiving very little help from the sport governing body that had dictated their lives for so long, leaving Todd with rather mixed feelings. But with Duncan struggling, Todd also needs to help his friend. Lucky for Todd he works as a mechanic for a man who employs both a blind man and a deaf man, so he has the support of his wider group of friends to help Duncan find his way through his new normal.

The romance between Duncan and Todd is sweet and slow-burning. The fact that these guys are friends and have great chemistry is a plus. While there were times where the story felt a little flat, it was OK because these guys felt like your normal, down to earth sort of blokes. This is a real sweet, heart-warming and generally just filled with hope.