Omega Born by C.R. Guiliano

C.R. Guiliano - Omega Born Cover 3728urhTitle: Omega Born

Series: Omega Born 01

Author: C.R. Guiliano

Genre: Paranormal, MPreg

Length: Novella (151 Pages)

Publisher: C.R. Guiliano (September 14, 2015)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: Arri had been abused and picked on all his life. Born a runt, and then maturing into an omega, he was cast out of his pack. Figuring he’d not find another pack willing to take him in, he struggled to make a life for himself in the human world.

If he didn’t have bad luck, he had no luck at all. Jobs were hard to come by, and he wasn’t able to keep them for long, his omega empathy causing humiliating meltdowns.

He’d been robbed, mugged, and nearly raped too many times to count. Arri’s wolf was fundamentally broken, with no way to emerge, or protect him, finally withdrawing deep within him and remaining silent.

Then, a day came when things changed. Answering yet another employment ad, he was stunned to find the source of the advertisement was a beta wolf, then was shocked further when he was presented before the alpha of the Woodlynn pack. He’d heard rumors about this pack, the alpha considered one of the strongest on the continent.
He believed the rumors after meeting the large male.

Arri’s silent wolf had awakened, whispering to him, calling the alpha, mate, which was ridiculous. Alphas didn’t mate with lowly omegas. Especially male omegas, even though Arri was perfectly capable of giving an alpha pups, or so he’d been told by the old ex-beta he’d befriended. But then again, male omegas were rare, and thought little of, viewed as weak, considered unnatural. So, he would ignore his wolf, do his job, and keep his head down, not causing Alpha Dryden any cause to fire him.


Dryden knew there was something different about the assistant his beta, Vann, had brought to him. He was human, yet he smelled of wolf. But not a scent Dryden had ever experienced before. Vann hadn’t seemed to notice, though Dryden suspected his beta was still angry at Dryden insisting on a human assistant.

How could he tell his beta he’d felt an uneasiness in his pack, a danger that he couldn’t put his finger on, and didn’t want to trust any pack-mates to handle his affairs?

As time passed, his instincts that something was wrong within his pack grew, along with the certainty that Arri was not what he seemed.

It was when Dryden was visiting another pack, tremulous negotiations for an alliance in the works, and Arri was attacked, that the truth came out. Dryden’s assistant was an omega wolf. And not just any omega, but a Fae Omega, which would be the reason Dryden hadn’t known.

Omega wolves were rare, and most packs banished them for their weaknesses. But a Fae Omega was unheard of, most believing them myths. The Fae had died out a long time ago, and for an omega wolf to be born with Fae blood was incredible.

But that wasn’t Dryden’s biggest problem. The moment Arri had shifted, Dryden’s wolf went into the blood-mate fever, the need to claim the omega the only thing he was capable of thinking about.

But to claim Arri, Dryden would have to fight the alpha of Arri’s home pack, and he wasn’t sure he could win. And, then there was the unknown threat within his own pack that he still needed to figure out.


Product Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: The first thing I am going to say is, that the length of the blurb was crazy. After reading it, I pretty much knew what it was totally about. Then there is the problems that the book had with certain words misused and simple errors that should have been caught in beta read.

Arri has had a rough life, hell that is being nice about it. Abused from not only his parents but pack mates. His alpha does not a damn thing with it, until he shifts for the first time. The alpha banished the omega male wolf. Wolves need pack, but Arri has no clue what to do. Then he applied for a position that he knew he could do, and it leads him straight into another pack. A pack where the alpha is his mate.

Dryden doesn’t have a clue that his new assistant is a wolf shifter let alone his mate, until the sexy man shifts in front of him. Then he realizes that his little mate is an omega. There are many dangers out there, and one of them is close to home.

Ok, I had several issues with this book. The major one was when the beta has to sleep with Arri to produce milk. I am sorry but that was totally not needed in the book and was quite stupid. It is cheating even if the other parties are ok with it. I know it was to help, but still in my mind it is the same thing. Brought the story down quite a bit. The guilt the beta had was not needed also. I was actually liking the story till I got to that part. What a shame to add something that was not needed into a story.

Other than that it had issues that were so simple I could not believe, the author, the beta and the editor missed them so easily. There was no guess work with the story, you knew what was going to happen before it happened. There was no shock, no surprise, no guesswork involved in it. Plus you make a omega look extremely weak, then give him so awesome powers just didn’t work for me. How did the old pack not know any of this is beyond me. Then there is the fact that they screwed anything that walked, had kids out of matings and then threw in a mate or two. Just unbelievable to even look at. Plus the omega isn’t just an omega, he is a fae omega and then that is all there is. That was not needed at all either, unless the author was to explain just a bit more about them.

I am sorry but this story was just off. Now I am not saying this is a bad story, because lets face it, I did enjoy the story quite a bit. It has great potential but it needs to be re-worked on and then re-released a second time. There were parts I really liked and others that I didn’t. I do hope that the next book has been better thought out and written with more ease. And please, less is needed on the blurb.

Fractured by Mickie B Ashling *Retro Review*

Mickie B. Ashling - Fractured Cover 384g4hTitle: Fractured

Series: Bay Area Professionals 03

Author: Mickie B Ashling

Genre: Contemporary, BDSM

Length: Novel (216 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-62798-782-0

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (24 March 2014)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Roque “Ro” Celdran dreams of a better life, far away from the hand-to-mouth existence of his migrant worker family. He moves to San Francisco to study Landscape Design but finds himself short of cash. Tony, Ro’s identical twin, comes up with a plan to help Ro make ends meet. The BDSM club Tony frequents is looking for gay men to act as submissives to the Dommes-in-training. Ro reluctantly takes the job and falls headfirst into a world he neither understands nor desires.

Lance Roberts is the new doctor at the dental practice started by Scott Gregory and Robin Kennedy. On the surface, he seems to have it all: the Mensa IQ, blond and blue-eyed good looks, and the determination to make it in his competitive field. Underneath lies a frustrated Dom in search of the perfect sub who can handle his obsessive behavior and debilitating need for control.

When Ro ends up in Lance’s dental chair, the last thing either one expects is a physical and mental connection. Ro’s attraction to “White Bread” never pans out, and Lance’s weakness for Latinos always leads to a dead end. Could this time be different? What happens between the two alphas leads to a lot of soul-searching and some surprising conclusions.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Fractured is the third book in Mickie B Ashling’s Bay Area Professionals series. While this is the third book in the series, you can easily read this as a standalone as there are only brief appearances of the founding (if you will) characters of the series, Scott and Robin, as Lance is the new doctor in their practice. However, if you tried to read book 2 as a standalone, the word impossible comes to mind.

Although I’ve been enjoying this series, I can’t say if I am completely sold of Ashling’s writing to put them into my authors I must read list. Yet in saying that, I’m really impressed with how well the author deals with what could be classed as taboo, or even progressive, storylines that heavily involve some form of kink. I find these types of books hit and miss, but I am really impressed by how Ashling tells the story with an edgy twist, but also manages to move the story along quick enough that I didn’t get bored. I personally don’t like long sex scenes in books, because romance isn’t all about smut, and Ashling nailed this (pun intended) really well.

The story is about Roque, aka Ro, and Lance. As I just said, Lance is the new doctor at a surgery set up by a dental surgeon and dental hygienist who live the BDSM lifestyle, except at work. Lance is also a Dom, he needs the perfect sub that can match his need to dominate and control, but so far he’s been very unlucky in love.

Ro is a man of many dreams, he wants an easier life, away from his family and wants to study landscape design, but since he’s short of cash, his twin brother produces the answer. There’s a BDSM club which needs a submissive, gay male to perform scenes with the training Doms. He enters the BDSM world reticent but desperate, not expecting to find what he needs.

It is at the dental surgery where Lance and Ro meet. The sparks fly but both guys have been unlucky going after the type of man that they see in each other. These guys are extremely complicated characters and part of what can make these books hard to read is that Ashling delves deep into the minds of the MC as you go along. The character development is spectacular. Likewise, the secondary characters are also amazing. These guys are complicated but they have good people in their lives to help them along the way.

I recommend this one to those that first, love BDSM, but also have a touch of angst tied within a pretty complex and deep storyline.

His Beta’s Vow by C.R. Guiliano

C.R. Guiliano - His Beta's Vow Cover 83b3g3Title: His Beta’s Vow

Series: Omega Born 02

Author: C.R. Guiliano

Genre: Paranormal, MPreg

Length: Novella (150 Pages)

Publisher: C.R. Guiliano (February 11, 2016)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: Sometimes…being a hero hurts.

Vann was thrilled for his alpha, Dryden claiming his mate, and now expecting a pup. Thanks to the alpha-beta link between them, the only downside was how much Dryden’s happiness emphasized Vann’s own loneliness.

There was a wolf who caught Vann’s eye, possibly his fated mate, but Vann couldn’t claim a male. It was too engrained in him to seek out a female mate. An alpha female.

Then, the unimaginable happened. Once again, Arri was abducted, and held captive. Except this time, Vann was as much a prisoner as Arri. Day after day, Vann endured Kale’s cruel torture so that Arri would be as safe as possible.

But the pup was coming soon…

…and Vann’s vow as alpha guardian took on a whole new meaning.

Unable to bear the shame, and guilt of his actions, and unwilling to return to Woodlynn to face his alpha, Vann fled, abandoning Dryden now that the male had his mate back safe, and sound.


Dryden was beyond worried that his lead beta, his alpha guardian—his best friend—had disappeared without a trace. Knowing what drove the male to take off didn’t matter to Dryden. Vann had saved his mate, his family. He’d fulfilled his vow, and then some. Dryden was indebted to Vann, and missed the beta desperately, more than he thought possible.

But Vann’s disappearance was only the tip of the iceberg. There was no peace for his family, he was depending on Rovyn more, and more, and yet, couldn’t because the beta had claimed his mate, and needed time with Anrean.

Then there was Border pack, his brother Massey having stepped down, and gone home, leaving Dryden as alpha to both Woodlynn, and Border. Not something that was going over well with the Border wolves. Even Kasp, a psychotic wolf who once belonged to Woodlynn a few years ago was challenging his right to lead Border as the alpha who bested Sbrel.

And to top it all off, Truin, one of his beta-in-trainings, and Vann’s fated mate, had left in search of the missing alpha-guardian, without permission.

His life in chaos, Dryden wasn’t sure what was going to happen. Would he defeat the challengers bent on destroying him? Would he, and Arri ever have time to raise their pup without constant threats?

Would Vann ever return?


Product Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: The first thing I am going to say is, that the length of the blurb was crazy. After reading it, I pretty much knew what it was totally about. Then there is the problems that the book had with certain words misused and simple errors that should have been caught in beta read.

Vann saves his alpha mate and child, but feels the guilt of what he has done. He runs as fast as he can. His mate, a mate that he didn’t want follows him. Truin follows his mate, without permission and leaves his alpha wondering what the hell is going on.

This story just about drove me nuts. It has the same issues as the first book had. The editor and beta readers should have caught the mistakes, but did not. This story was jumping around so much that I am surprised I didn’t get whiplash. This book fell short on so many levels because it has the same drama as the first book. There were no surprises other than the fact that Vann runs away like a coward. Or I should say like a guilty coward. I am glad that the other beta got his mate, but it still follows the same weak little omega and a strong wolf.

This story had great potential but the author is just not following through. The blurb gave most of it away so I already knew most of what was going on. There was just lots of filler in this book that was not needed. I am sorry but so far I am not impressed with this book nor this series. Let us hope that book three has a bit more shock to it. Also I hope the next book is about the actual characters and there is no cliff hanger at the end. Very disappointed in this one.

Bonds of Love by Mickie B Ashling

Mickie B. Ashling - Bonds of Love Cover 475h3v3Title: Bonds of Love

Series: Bay Area Professionals 02

Author: Mickie B Ashling

Genre: Contemporary, BDSM

Length: Novel (270 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-61581-367-4

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (23 April 2010)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖 3 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Getting to know each other hasn’t been an easy journey for Scott Gregory and Robin “Red” Kennedy. Falling in love and exploring their kinkier sides revealed a perfect match, and Scott is a devoted sub to Red’s headstrong and often impulsive Dominant personality.

Scott, Robin, and their friend, Susie, open a new dental practice a short distance from the old office but miles away from Scott’s former boss and his Promise Keeper mentality. But the move doesn’t guarantee a happy ending. Robin’s mother is in a medical crisis. Scott’s grandfather makes an unexpected appearance. Ongoing interference from Jenna, Ron’s needy assistant, stirs up trouble. And Susie, having completed her training as a Dominatrix, is on a quest for the perfect male submissive.

Then there’s one more threat to their relationship: Robin’s desire for a public collaring, something the shy and formerly closeted Scott is having a really hard time accepting. Is a strong and binding love―albeit a kinky one―enough to keep Scott and Robin together?

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Bonds of Love is the second book in Mickie B Ashling’s Bay Area Professionals series. Being new to the author’s work, I feel that I am still exploring their writing style, although I really did enjoy the first book to the series. This novel is a direct continuation from Impacted! and so it is vital that you read the first book before moving onto this one.

The story picks up Robin and Scott’s lives as a D/s couple, but also as professionals as dental hygienist and dental surgeon, respectively. They are still dealing with much of the fall out that came with working the homophobe dentist that they used to work for – and surprisingly this has spread to encroach their personal lives/backgrounds. To be perfectly honest, although I liked the introduction of a new character (an elderly gent and all around nice fellow), I found this storyline dragging on a but of a turn off.

Scott and Robin continue to build their lives together. It’s tricky when they work with each other and are in love with each other. Then there is the whole exploration of the BDSM, which leads to Robin wanting to collar Scott in front of (mostly) his acquaintances at their preferred club. Also, on the topic of BDSM, we see Scott’s best friend, Susie, explore her needs as a dominatrix in her quest to find satisfaction and maybe even a sub of her own (again, another strangely complicated storyline).

While, over all, I found the story enjoyable and glad to see the guys are just as awesome together as they were in the first book, I was turned off a bit by the melodrama that seemed to pop around every corner.

I recommend this one for people that like BDSM romances and/or to those that love a good soap opera.

Saving Crofton Hall by Rebecca Cohen *Retro Review*

Title: Saving Crofton Hall

Series: Stately Passions 01 (A Crofton Hall Novel)

Author: Rebecca Cohen

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (240pgs)

ISBN: 978-1-63216-508-4

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (24th November 2014)

Heat Level: Low – Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4 ½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Benjamin Redbourn, Earl of Crofton, has no intention of giving up his beloved ancestral home without a fight. Faced with his mother’s gambling debts, forgery, and the possibility of foreclosure by the bank, Ben vows to make Crofton Hall pay for herself. But opening an Elizabethan manor house to the public isn’t a one man job. With time running out, Ben needs help—and fast.

Ashley Niven has experience managing events, and he also loves history. Being in charge of opening Crofton Hall is a dream come true. As he works with Ben to prepare the house as a venue for lavish weddings and receptions, Ashley finds himself drawn not just to the charm of the house but to the dashing Earl of Crofton. Even if Ashley can look past Ben’s playboy reputation, he fears an affair could prove too much of a distraction.

But Crofton Hall has many secrets, and something hidden for over four hundred years is about to change all their lives.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Although this is the first book in a new series, I’d advise that The Crofton Chronicles be read first as there are some revelations in this story that connect directly to The Crofton Chronicles.

Ben Redbourn is the 16th Earl of Crofton something he is very proud of and uses to his advantage… in nightclubs. Ben finds himself in dire straits when his mother confesses her gambling debts has led to them facing foreclosure of Crofton Hall, and Ben swears that Croton Hall will have to start paying for herself as he has no intention of losing the old girl, and he needs help. Ashley is being laid off from his job at a castle when a plum opportunity falls into his lap, he adores Crofton Hall and its Earl and working there would be a dream. Ashley throws himself into getting Crofton Hall ready for the public but keeps his attraction to Ben close to his chest, Ben is known for being a playboy and Ashley prefers relationships but as secrets from long past are revealed Ashley will have to take a chance that Ben wants more than just a brief fling.

This is a fantastic addition to the Crofton Hall stories, we are brought into contemporary times and the struggles the current Earl faces because of his mother’s irresponsible actions. Ben is a superb character who has played the field since he got his heart broken, when he faces the loss of his beloved home he puts his private life on hold to try and pull off a miracle. Ashley is brilliant as the events manager who has some slightly shady connections, he is the perfect person to get Crofton Hall up and running and who sneaks his way into Ben’s heart. Ben’s family are wonderful as they each act their parts, Ben’s mother, Elena, as the tearful remorseful gambler, his sister, Caitlin, as the sneaky match maker and his brother Harry as the artistic dreamer.  

Although there is a romance brewing between Ben and Ashley it doesn’t actually pick up till later in the story, first we are faced with the hoop jumping of getting Crofton Hall ready to open to the public, a startling discovery and secrets from the past revealed. When Ben and Ashley finally get together they are then faced with another secret Elena was keeping, one that puts them in danger. Their relationship moves fast but the build up to it has you knowing that they both know each other well and that their feelings aren’t fickle or fleeting.

I loved this story, seeing Crofton Hall brought up to date and the way that Sebastian (from The Crofton Chronicles) still managed to look after the Redbourn’s interests after so many years was amazing. The storyline was wonderful, the characters brilliant and the writing flowed smoothly with a couple of twists… I especially loved Ashley’s family’s immediate history and the way that his father’s influence helped Ben out. Rebecca Cohen delved into just what it takes to open a manor like Crofton Hall to the public, there was no glossing over the requirements and there was even a bit of dodgy dealing snuck in to keep it interesting, add in a sweet romance and you have a wonderful story.

I recommend this to those who love wonderful stories, great characters, two men who embark on a new romance, secrets and revelations, a touch of danger and a fantastic ending.

Forever Hold His Peace by Rebecca Cohen *Retro Review*

Title: Forever Hold His Peace

Series: The Crofton Chronicles 03

Author: Rebecca Cohen

Genre: Historical, Elizabethan Era (1599/1600)

Length: Novel (200pgs)

ISBN: 978-1-62798-771-4

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (16th June 2014)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4 ½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Despite the uncomfortable clothing and the gossip at court, Sebastian Hewel is still enjoying the role of Lady Crofton, wife of Earl Anthony Crofton. But when Queen Elizabeth asks a favor of Anthony, Sebastian’s world fractures and his heart threatens to break. The Queen wants Anthony to seduce Lady Marie Valois, the beautiful daughter of a French noble, to discover the whereabouts of her father, who is wanted by the King of France.

Sebastian knows Anthony can’t refuse the Queen, especially since he has something of a reputation at court. But the situation is further complicated when Marie meets Sebastian without his disguise—and starts flirting with him. Her brother, Lord Nicholas, arrives at Crofton Hall, not happy that his sister has been linked to a man like Anthony, only to find his own head turned by Lady Crofton and her acerbic wit. Contending with the attentions of both siblings—and a very jealous Anthony—would be bad enough. But then Sebastian’s uncle demands Sebastian and Anthony stage Bronwyn’s death to avoid discovery….

A Timeless Dreams Title

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Sebastian and Anthony are back and Sebastian must put on the performance of a lifetime. Sebastian and Anthony are happier than they have ever been, but everything is about to change. Someone wants Bronwyn gone and they have hatched a plot that will have Bronwyn accused of witchcraft, Anthony and Sebastian have to move quickly as the sheriff begins to investigate. Before Sebastian and Anthony can move forward with their plans for the future Anthony wants revenge on the person responsible and Sebastian is more than ready for the role he will have to play.

The conclusion to Anthony and Sebastian’s story in The Crofton Chronicles sees us saying farewell to Bronwyn’s role in Anthony’s life, but the person who brought about Bronwyn’s early demise will have to pay for their treachery. Sebastian has played the role of Bronwyn for two years after being manipulated into replacing his sister for her wedding, Sebastian easily flits between being himself and Bronwyn (although he still hates the restrictive dresses) and neither Anthony and Sebastian is ready to lay her to rest but when their hand is forced their revenge uncovers a dastardly secret and any guilt that lingered for Sebastian is wiped away. But, with no role longer to play Sebastian wonders what to do next and Anthony has the perfect solution.

I really enjoyed this addition to Anthony and Sebastian’s story as we see treacherous plans come to fruition and Anthony’s retaliation, we see Sebastian having to make decisions for his future and we see Sebastian’s and Anthony’s love staying true and strong. This is a beautifully written story where action must be taken quickly and surprising twists are unearthed, we are treated to the theaters of London as Sebastian returns to his first love and the Elizabethan court as Anthony exacts his revenge. The story falls into line perfectly and we encounter Sebastian and Anthony at their most amorous, of course it doesn’t run exactly smoothly as an old flame of Anthony’s tries to stir the pot.

I have to say that I have been impressed with the detail that has been given to this series, where fact and fiction have been blended quite well to give us a good look at Elizabethan England and the risks that many faced. Anthony and Sebastian are two of my favorite fictional historical characters and I was so happy to read the epilogue and discover that they enjoyed many years together.

I recommend this to those who adore historicals, men who chance everything for love, revenge at its sweetest, a wonderful plot, a passionate couple and a great ending. 

Duty To The Crown by Rebecca Cohen (2nd Edition) *Retro Review*

Title: Duty to the Crown (2nd Edition)

Series: The Crofton Chronicles 02

Author: Rebecca Cohen

Genre: Historical, Elizabethan Era (1599/1600)

Length: Novel (210pgs)

ISBN: 978-1-63216-129-1

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (28th May 2014)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4 ½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Sebastian Hewel has never been happier. But his life playing the role of his twin sister Bronwyn, the wife of Anthony Redbourn, Earl of Crofton, is about to change. Rumors abound that Bronwyn is using witchcraft to enthrall her husband, and false evidence has been found. Practicing witchcraft is a crime that could have Bronwyn brought in for questioning by the sheriff, and that would reveal Sebastian and Anthony’s secret.

Together they must decide whether it is time to lay Bronwyn to rest. Anthony intends to ensure that whoever implicated Bronwyn pays for the treacherous deed. Whatever happens, Sebastian and Anthony must prepare to face an unknown future together.

A Timeless Dreams Title

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: This book is part of a series and must be read in order.

 Sebastian is still enjoying his role as Lady Bronwyn, the wife of Earl Anthony Crofton, but things start to become sticky when Anthony is asked by Queen Elizabeth to do his duty to the crown and seduce the whereabouts of a French noble from Marie, the nobles’ daughter. Anthony’s duty becomes difficult when Marie meets Sebastian and becomes charmed by him and then her brother, Nicholas, arrives only to fall under Bronwyn’s charm. Now, Sebastian has to charm the whereabouts from the siblings and Anthony has a taste of his own medicine. It is complicated further when Sebastian’s uncle insists that the farce ends. Just how are Sebastian and Anthony to cope with the pressure of pleasing a Queen, an interfering uncle, a suitor who becomes obsessed and bandits?

Ah an excellent second book of Elizabethan forbidden love with a dose of political intrigue. Sebastian is appalled when Anthony confides the Queen’s request (more like royal decree), that instructs Anthony to do whatever he has to in order to seduce the whereabouts of a French noble from the man’s daughter. Sebastian struggles with his jealousy and begins to doubt Anthony’s love for him, as Anthony seems to be enjoying the seduction just a bit too much. But, the tables become turned and not only does Sebastian become the focus of Marie’s attention, he also, in the guise of Bronwyn, becomes the focus of Nicholas, Marie’s brother. Anthony and Sebastian both struggle with the task that has been laid on their heads.  But, they soon discover that whittling out hidden nobles is not where the danger lies.

I really enjoyed this second story of The Crofton Chronicles. Picking up just over a year after the first book we see Anthony and Sebastian are still madly in love and devoted to each other. I will have to say that in this book I could see how much they care for each other and the connection between them was much stronger and more tangible.  The relationship between them is something to be envied and it is, by other women in the Elizabethan Court.

The storyline is really good.  I enjoyed delving into the political intrigue of the Elizabethan Court and seeing the effects on those who are involved and I really liked the twist near the end, it was an added bonus. I must admit I am intrigued as to what will happen to Anthony and Sebastian, and I am really hoping that there will be more to their story in the future.

I will recommend this to those who love historicals, forbidden love, hot sex, jealousy, duels, political intrigue, bandits and a very happy ending.

The Actor & The Earl by Rebecca Cohen (2nd Edition) *Retro Review*

Title: The Actor and The Earl

Series: The Crofton Chronicles 01

Author: Rebecca Cohen

Genre: Historical, Elizabethan Era (1598/1599)

Length: Novel (216pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (9th May 2014)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3 ½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Elizabethan actor Sebastian Hewel takes his bow at the proscenium only to embark on the role of a lifetime. When his twin sister, Bronwyn, reneges on the arrangement to marry Earl Anthony Crofton, Sebastian reluctantly takes her place. At nineteen, Sebastian knows his days as a leading lady are numbered, but with this last performance, he hopes to restore his family’s name and pay off his late father’s debts. Never mind the danger of losing his head should he be discovered.

He didn’t expect Anthony to be so charming and alluring—not to mention shrewd. While he applauds Sebastian’s plan, Anthony offers a mutually beneficial arrangement instead. Sebastian will need every drop of talent he has to survive with both his head and his heart intact, because this is the best part he’s ever had.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Sebastian is an actor who is called home by his cousin to perform the role of his life time. Sebastian’s sister has eloped, but she was due to marry an Earl. Now, due to family debts, Sebastian has to fill the role of blushing bride. Anthony is far from hoodwinked and offers a solution that benefits both of them. Now, they just have to fool the nobility and maybe they will both keep their heads.

This is an interesting story of Elizabethan England and the illicit marriage of an Actor and an Earl. Sebastian loves acting, but just wishes he could get more masculine roles. Now, he is offered the role of a lifetime after his sister elopes, but it is a role that could cost him his head. But, he never suspected it would also cost him his heart. Anthony is a man, who will take his pleasure where he can, discovering his future brother-in-law will be his wife, he uses it to his advantage. But, the marriage affects him more than he thought and his scandalous days are numbered.

The characters in this book are very interesting with both Sebastian and Anthony acting like men of their times. Although, at times Sebastian had to act like a woman of their time. Anthony wasn’t a perfect husband, although he did try. Changing a way of life was hard for him and he messed up several times with Sebastian. Sebastian made for a good wife, but he was a great man and the way he tried to stick to his guns with Anthony was quite impressive. The setting and time frame were well done with some great descriptions of the theatres of the time period.

I must admit to not warming up to the characters all that much, Sebastian and Anthony seemed to have no real connection between them and I didn’t feel as though they really got emotionally involved with each other. It felt more like convenience than any real attraction especially from Anthony, and even later it still felt like there was a distance between them even after they declared their love. Their sex life was hot though and that was the only time I felt a real connection between them. The best part for me, was when Anthony starting fighting for their relationship and began to court Sebastian in earnest.

I will recommend this to those who love historicals, those who love masquerades, fighting for love and a happy ending.

Far From Home by Madeline Urban

Title: Far From Home

Series: Anthology

Author: Madeline Urban

Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel

Length: Novel(196pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 1, 2008)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Blurb: A collection of three m/m sci-fi novellas by Madeleine Urban: Enhanced, Close Encounter, and Following the Sun.


In Earth’s not-too-far future, a talented scientist stumbles over a plot to use the genetically enhanced military to declare martial law and take over the government. Dr. Ryne Siler enlists his friend, Dr. Cary Matthews, a brilliant engineer, to figure out how to stop it. When the investigation goes awry, they’re on the run, and the only thing between them and capture is a hidden cache of sleeping soldiers with enhancements of their own. Ryne and Cary are desperate, but will waking these soldiers help – or just make things worse?

Close Encounter

Space privateer Tris is just doing his job – delivering canisters to a military science vessel – when he discovers that he is transporting people infected with an engineered virus designed to exterminate the human race. In the midst of an alien attack, can the rogue pilot save patient Retter – the key to the cure? Or will he lose both humanity’s salvation and his heart?

Following the Sun

The nearly fatal crash of their spacecraft leaves Jack and Samuel stranded on a verdant planet far from civilization. Discovered and sheltered by a native tribe, the two resign themselves to new lives – lives that include a new culture, a new language, and even new love. But their new home isn’t at all what it seems, and when war and illness strike, they find out just how far from home they are.

ISBN-13: 978-0-98150-841-2

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: Three short stories that would have been much better if there was more to them.

Enhanced is about Rhyne and Cary waking up two engineered level one soldiers to take out level three killing machines. Interesting but too short with too much romance.

Close Encounter is about a space privateer, Tris, who is transporting goods and realizes he is also transporting a young man infected with a virus that could either destroy humanity or cure it. I enjoyed this entertaining story that was sealed with a kiss.

Following the Sun is a strange story about a tribe who worships the sun. Two men, crash land and get saved by the tribe. Alas I can not really expand on that or else I’ll give away the entire story.

All three stories were entertaining but way too short. Needed more information in all three.

The Plumber by Serena Yates

Title: Plumber

Series: Workplace Encounters 10

Author: Serena Yates

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (117 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (21 Oct 2015)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: Hard work and long hours have made Will Kovar’s business, Total Plumbing Solutions, a success. When he’s called to fix a bathroom at the Safe Home for Girls and Boys and sees how tight money is for the charity, he’s happy to donate his time. Meeting the home’s manager, Steve Hayes, is an added bonus, especially when Steve invites Will to dinner to thank him for his generosity. Will learns Steve’s wealthy family isn’t happy about his choice to make a career in social work, but neither man expects Steve’s parents to leave eighteen children out on the street to prove their point. Will is determined to help Steve figure out how to provide a safe and happy home—for both the children and themselves.

ISBN: 978-1-63476-519-0

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: This is a short and sexy book, which is the seventh book in Serena Yates’ Workplace Encounters book. Each book is standalone, with new characters and no overlapping characters. This instalment is completely new to the series and it is a wonderful addition.

Let’s face it, who doesn’t like a hot blue collar worker? This is going to be a book that will appeal to a great many people who are into MM.

Will Kovar is a plumber with a heart of gold. He works hard and owns his own business and he’s pretty damn successful. It’s on a call out to the Safe Home for Girls and Boys that he meets an equally as generous man, social worker Steve Hayes. The two just click and while there is plenty of sexual tension there is also a lot of sweetness and cuteness between the two of them. It’s a well-rounded story where we see Will and Steve’s personal and professional lives clash together (and not always in good ways).

The Model by Serena Yates (2nd Edition)

Title: The Model (2nd Edition)

Series: Workplace Encounters 09

Author: Serena Yates

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (125 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (23 Sept 2015)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 2.5 Hearts

Blurb: When successful fashion model Fabio Bonardi discovers his first wrinkle, he knows it’s time to move on to Plan B. He is tired of the loneliness and drama of the modeling world, so he enlists shy financial advisor, Edwin Zachary, to help him start a business. Edwin is the first man who sees something beyond a pretty face in Fabio, and the connection between them is immediate and surprisingly deep. But insecurity, fear of rejection, and the fact they live on opposite sides of the country make pursuing a relationship challenging. Before they can figure out the details, a mysterious stalker tries to drive them apart. Then Fabio disappears after a photo shoot, and both men face an unexpected battle for the lasting relationship they both so desperately want. 

ISBN: 978-1-63476-322-6

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I really don’t know how to take this book. I really am finding myself at a loose end, trying to figure out what to say. This is book nine in Serena Yates’ Workplace Encounters and can be read as a standalone book, as none of the books have any plot or characters in common.

The story is about Fabio, a model who is beginning to worry getting old and wrinkles (well, one) at 28. Finding that it is time to retire from the modelling gig, he is ready to move onto some other business plans. He just needs a financial advisor to advise him about what investment or what business he should start. This is where Edwin steps in. He’s a bit of a whiz when it comes to business and it is his job to help Fabio set up a new one.

I think that my problem with this particular book is that it has all the plot devices there set up for what should be a cool book. There are a couple of strong MCs, who also happen to be hot. There is some mystery and danger. There is more than enough drama. And the last, but not least, the spark between the guys is strong. However, for me, these plot devices are not used to their full advantage and so in the end the story falls a bit short.

Lovers & Fighters by Nash Summers

Title: Lovers and Fighters

Author: Nash Summers

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (127 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (9 Sept 2015)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Blurb: Scott Halleck and Julian Reeves are polar opposites in almost every way. Scott, a modern arts curator at a museum in Chicago, relishes the finer things in life. Julian is a strange photographer whose hair color changes as frequently as his mood. As far as Scott can see, Julian is an erratic know-it-all who lives his life one day to the next. To Julian, Scott is an uptight, too-coiffed perfectionist.

As the two men continue to run into each other, their dislike grows, but beneath that animosity, a fire is beginning to spark. Scott is baffled when he realizes he is falling for Julian, a man who burns hotter than a wildfire. Scott will have to decide, for the first time in his life, if he’ll let the flames take over.

ISBN: 9781634765312

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: This was a difficult one for me to review. This is a fantastically put together book and the artist within the two main characters comes out clearly in the writing, to the point of poetry. However, and this is a big however, I just wasn’t feeling it. Let me explain:

Firstly, this story about art curator Scott Halleck, told from his POV. He’s got a pretty ordinary life with an attentive boyfriend that he realises his feelings aren’t so strong (yes, it’s completely okay to feel sorry for both Scott and Ryan, I understand and appreciate both perspectives). Then at a bar he meets Mark, who is basically an arsehole, but what the hey… then he meets Aaron, which is just Mark’s alias and again the guy is an arsehole… and then finally he meets Mark/Aaron as Julian, estranged brother to his best friend’s girlfriend. There is an instant connection between the guys, but Scott has Ryan and Julian is just continually being combative/ destructive to anyone who wants to make nice with him.

Now, this is where I wasn’t feeling it. I felt the sexual tension and the attraction between the MCs. I felt the conflict within the characters, too. I get that this is meant to be an unhealthy type of romance with no real HEA other than what we do get. But for some reason it just didn’t completely gel for me. Too much was left unresolved while Scott and Julian miraculously held hands and wandered off into the sunset with their HFN, they spent too many angst-ridden pages running from each other.

Of course, it might just be that I am only one of a handful that feels this way. As I said before, the writing is almost poetic and yet the talk of hollowness, destruction, etc. makes me think that Scott is borderline obsessive over Julian. While Julian has his own demons to face (which I don’t think was fully addressed by the end and could have had more), Scott also talks of his state of mind that screams to me like unaddressed depression. Neither of those sits well with me. I don’t mind dark romances, the kind of head-fucks that speak of destructive relationships, but at the same time I don’t like stories that don’t fully do justice (or acknowledge) any physical/substance abuse and other mental problems.

Yet, in all that, this is a well thought out and thought provoking book, thought provoking in the fact that I was ready to yell at my screen on public transport while reading. The writing is as artistic as the characters, though you could never really, on face value, call Scott a haunted artist. This is a dark romance where both character are fighting themselves and each other.

How To Be A Normal Person by T.J. Klune

Title: How to be a Normal Person

Author: T.J. Klune

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (290 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (16 Oct 2015)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Gustavo Tiberius is not normal. He knows this. Everyone in his small town of Abby, Oregon, knows this. He reads encyclopedias every night before bed. He has a pet ferret called Harry S. Truman. He owns a video rental store that no one goes to. His closest friends are a lady named Lottie with drag queen hair and a trio of elderly Vespa riders known as the We Three Queens.

Gus is not normal. And he’s fine with that. All he wants is to be left alone.

Until Casey, an asexual stoner hipster and the newest employee at Lottie’s Lattes, enters his life. For some reason, Casey thinks Gus is the greatest thing ever. And maybe Gus is starting to think the same thing about Casey, even if Casey is obsessive about Instagramming his food.

But Gus isn’t normal and Casey deserves someone who can be. Suddenly wanting to be that someone, Gus steps out of his comfort zone and plans to become the most normal person ever.

After all, what could possibly go wrong?

ISBN: 9781634765794

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I am going to be totally frank from the outset: I am ever so slightly a massive fan of TJ Klune’s novels. I have now decided that I have a personal definitive rating of TJ’s books and this one falls second, behind Bear, Otter and the Kid (series). For the sake of all our sanities, I am not going to gush further about how awesome all of TJ Klune’s books are.

Like other books by the author, this is full of hilarious descriptions of other characters/situations, a lot of laugh out loud conversations and enough feelings to send the reader on an emotional roller coaster.

So… How to be a Normal Person… Like all of TJ Klune’s books this is a quirky but thoroughly relatable look at how two guys who are poles apart in personality can get together and fall in love. The story is mostly told from the POV of Gustavo Tiberius – aka Gus. Gus struggles with his social skills and before the death of his father; his father was also one of his only friends and his link to the rest of the world. In the small town he calls home, Gus has a very settled life with a set routine. He also has some interesting acquaintances, including a cafe owner obessed with alliteration and three lesbians who may or may not be sisters that are the sole members of the town’s vespa gang. Then there is Casey – the asexual stoner hipster who turns up in town to work for his aunt, the owner of Gus’s local cafe. It doesn’t take Casey long to realise that Gus is a bit of an oddball (which we learn more about through some of Casey’s POV sections). He’s a scruffy looking surfer dude that sounds very yummy and very sexy!

Both these guys are relatable and the attraction is both sweet and sexy. Yes, with Casey being asexual there is not a lot of physical love in the book. However, there is a very gentle and passionate romance coming to life within the pages that is not dependent on the characters having sex with each other. It is very clear that both of the guys bring something that the other needs in his life.

My heart ached for poor Gus. I really connected with him. I suppose that is because, partially, I can recognise some of his anti-social behaviours and also because we get a couple very important lessons here. The lessons being that you can pretend to be someone else but it is not necessarily going to make you happy or feel good within yourself. I hate that Gus needed to “be a normal person” so that he could be with his asexual stoner hipster, Casey. Seriously, I want to give Gus hug even though I think I know his character well enough to imagine the reaction!

If you have followed the author’s blog, you may know that this is a somewhat personal book and he is ready to explain what it is to be asexual for those of us who do not understand. In this situation, I have to say that I love Casey. He is just a lovable ball of energy and happiness. Although he doesn’t get pleasure from sex, he is ready with a hug to brighten the day of everyone around him. Isn’t that just the most awesome type of person?

As a bit of a teaser, while some of Gus’s flash backs to conversations with his father are both sweet and at some points very sad, they were also quite funny. Then there are the “recorded phone calls” with his internet provider – OMG, so funny, I loved the book for those few bits of dialogue alone.

Beautiful Thunder by Louise Lyons

Title: Beautiful Thunder

Author: Louise Lyons

Genre: Contemporary, New Adult

Length: Novel (220 Pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 31, 2015)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Can romance and rock ‘n’ roll dreams survive with a storm raging around them?

Alex Randall has always wanted to be a rock singer. When he answers an ad from a local band, his dream finally comes true. He loves the stage, and the group’s fans love him. Things couldn’t be better, except for the attraction he develops for the band’s guitarist, Lindsey. Alex is surprised and initially worried, since he only had one brief flirtation with a boy in his teens. But even though he and Lindsey become close and start seeing each other, Alex fears commitment, and Lindsey worries that Alex might only be experimenting.

When Lindsey’s ex contacts him following a health scare, fear and anger drives a wedge between Alex and Lindsey, which causes rifts within the band. Alex and Lindsey’s relationship is still new and fragile, and with Alex unwittingly blaming Lindsey for their problems, it becomes a true challenge for them to weather the storm.

ISBN: 978-1-63476-394-3

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: It seems to be my week to find authors that I have not read before, but I have to tell you that I was pleased with this story. There is a lot of emotional parts in the story that kind of dragged for me, but other than that it flowed pretty damn good. What called to me about this story was the title. It wasn’t until the end when I found out where the name came from. It was a great surprise and I loved it.

Alex’s family passed away when he was younger and left him with quite a bit of money. He owned his home and really didn’t need to do anything if he wanted. However for most of his life he wanted to be a rock singer. Now many kids want this life, but damn can Alex sing. He answered an ad for a singer, and his life was about to make a turn. He falls in love with Lindsey and things just blow up in their face.

Lindsey left Alex, the band and went to London. Now he is back for a contest and they see each other once more. Time has changed and they need to see if there is away for them to be together once more. The heat is still there and damn they are sexy.

With Lindsey’s past boyfriend, I can see why he is a bit leery but you can just see the heat they both set off. They both have problems, but like all things in life many things get in the way. There is a chance for them to make it together once more.

The ending was pretty good but it seems a bit strange. Now I must admit some parts of it is the fact that it is told in a different country type of story, so some of the language might be a tad different. The ending is left in such a way that it is up to you to decide how it ends. Or maybe reach their own thoughts on it.

I had fun with it, although it is a bit on the slow side it was fun. I enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading more by this author. I would definitely recommend it.

Human Frailties, Human Strengths By Jaye McKenna

Title: Human Frailties, Human Strengths

Series: Guardians of the Leythe 01

Author: Jaye McKenna

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Sword & Sorcery

Length: Novel (274pgs)

Publisher: Mythe Weaver Press (September 30, 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: What do a god in exile and a goth geek from Nowhere, Minnesota have in common?

Not a damn thing.

Ashnavayarian is a god in exile, condemned by the Dragon Mother to live as a lowly human. The only way to appease the goddess and earn back his place at her side is to learn compassion — or bypass her entirely by raising the power to break his exile.

Tor MacAran is stuck in a dead-end job in a tiny town that’s barely on the map. He’s been alone and hurting all his life, and he’s about ready to end his pain by whatever means he can.

When a Halloween encounter dumps Tor at Ash’s feet, the two men find themselves tied together by the Dragon Mother in a way that neither can escape. Can Tor teach Ash what it really means to be human? Or will Ash’s bid for freedom destroy Tor and plunge the Westlands into a war no one can win?

Note: Human Frailties, Human Strengths is a stand-alone novel (~90,000 words) that takes place in the same world as Human Choices.

Note: This story contains hot guys who have the hots for each other


Product Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: I have to admit after reading Guardians of the Pattern I was quite shocked at Ash in this story. He was completely different. Conceited, mean and only seemed to care about what he wanted. As a form of punishment Jhara stripes him of power, then manipulating Toryn into venturing out of the human realm and depositing him at Ash’s feet.

Ash was a complete ass to Toryn for a long time. But that slowly changed as Ash started caring for the man. But alas danger happens time and again to these two. Along with a leythe Blade bound to Tor. I loved this story minus Ash’s attitude at first. It was a remarkable adventure fraught with suspense, danger and action.

Brilliantly written it captures the mind in a journey of finding oneself and setting right what has been made wrong. I love the books by this author. The ones I’ve read so far submerge me in a world where darkness and light fight to overcome the other. But with the help of a few the balance is slowly being restored.

I will warn readers that there are scenes of mind manipulation into having sex.

Fantastic read.

Into The Dark Void by John Simpson & Robert Cummings

Title: Into the Dark Void

Author: John Simpson & Robert Cummings

Genre:  Science Fiction, Mystery, Suspense

Length: Novel (200 Pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 31, 2015)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Is Earth alone in the universe?

In an attempt to answer that centuries-old question, scientists sent probes into the void, hoping they’d be found by intelligent life forms. In hindsight, it’s decided that giving possibly hostile races directions back to Earth might be a dangerous idea, and the United Space Force Marines are dispatched to recover the probes.

Corporal David Creswell has become a little too close to Blake Bickford, a recent graduate from Marine training, and fraternizing is against regulations. They manage to keep their romance under the radar until they are reassigned to a classified mission to retrieve the probes—aboard a ship where they’re clearly not welcome. While trying to discover who is playing with Earth’s toys in deep space, they’ll give new meaning to “leave no man behind.”

ISBN: 978-1-63476-310-3

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: When I saw who the authors were of this story I knew that I had to read it. They write stories that give you a world that has a bit of humor to it even though they have more of a serious tone to them. They also give you sexy men with a lot of depth and detail to them; it feels like you know them. After seeing the cover of the book, I can tell you my eyes went wide and my jaw dropped. What I wouldn’t give to have a man like that.

This is a bit of an oddball story to me, but it was a lot of fun. You get gorgeous men in uniform who are working in outerspace. David and Blake saw each other and knew what they wanted. David is a corporal and Blake was a private, but it didn’t seem to mind with these guys. They are very hot together.

Then while in space one saves the other, and it gets real close for a while there. They came close to death and were going to be in deep trouble with the military. Then more danger surfaced and it was up to them and their friends to keep everyone safe. I must admit that this story is a bit harder to get into and difficult to follow in some parts. The marines have a saying about not leaving any many behind, and these two are definitely backing that saying. I love how protective they are of each other, but that they are still marines.

The story itself is an amazing story but the last few pages seemed a bit forced to me, like they were trying to rush the ending a bit. Other than that, it was a great read. I had fun with it and couldn’t stop reading once I started. I love the author’s gift that they have.

I would definitely recommend this book.

All the Heaven Will Allow by D.W. Marchwell

Title: All That Heaven Will Allow

Author: D.W. Marchwell

Genre: Contemporary 

Length: Novel (200 Pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (21st November 2014)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: Jimmy Campbell has owned his own bar for the past twenty years. While his past is troubled, his present and future make life worth living. He has good friends, more than enough money, and he volunteers—along with his Yorkie, Bozo, and his Maine coon cat, Miss Alicia—at the local hospital every Friday. He couldn’t ask for more. That is, until he meets Derek “Dizzy” Roberts.

Derek is a musician who tours the country with his band. He’s an ex-cop, was married once, and has the bitter ex-wife and two spoiled children to prove it. He’s finally living his dream, and that includes bedding all the groupies who think he’s every bit as good as his music. He doesn’t worry much about the future, until he meets Jimmy.

The two men begin a long-distance romance, sneaking weekends here and there, until a tragedy forces them to realize they might lose the only thing they both want–a future together. Now, they’re asking for everything heaven will allow.

ISBN-13: 9781632161673

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer:  GiGi

Review: If you like sugar-sweet romance, long distance romance, slow build-up romance…this is the book for you. It was nearly too sweet for me, but hey it’s a warm and fuzzy feel good read.

Jimmy owns his own bar, is a bit of a control freak in all areas of his life, and he REALLY loves his animals. He’s such a do-gooder he volunteers his time not only helping out rescued animals, bit then trains them to be therapy dogs and brings them into hospitals and yes….children’s hospital wards. Do your teeth hurt yet?

Now Derek is a playboy. Recently out of the closet and divorced he’s been eating at the man-candy buffet for a while and knows he’s a hot package. Only his one-liners don’t’ seem to work on a cute, sexy bar owner, that’s Jimmy, and it immediately snags his attention. He’s ready for more than a one-nighter, but Jimmy is putting him through his paces.

The two develop their courtly romance the old fashioned way, emails, texts, letters, dates….actually getting to know each other before jumping each other’s bones…which when they do is really hot.

But both have a past, that combined with fate may destroy these two…or who knows….tests of faith may bring them closer.

A slow build, in more ways than one, and again….cotton candy sweet. If you need a break from angsty, kinky reading…this is a good diversion.

Fearful Symmetry by Francis Gideon

Title: Fearful Symmetry

Author: Francis Gideon

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Fairy Tales

Length: Novel (145 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (7 Oct 2015)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Blurb: When something is perfect, it sets itself up to be destroyed, and for everything gained, something is lost.

Since Dryden was young, his mother taught him about balance. While she weaves jewelry to sell at the marketplace, Dryden learns how every unspoiled gem begs to be damaged, just like the universe corrects every misfortune.

But with age and experience, Dryden begins to see the cracks in his mother’s naïve view of life. If she is wrong about balance, she might be wrong about the supposed beast in the woods. Dryden ventures into the forbidden, where a handsome hunter named Otto saves him from a deranged fox and seduces him. But like so much else, Otto has an unseen side, and if Dryden wants to regain his freedom and break Otto’s spell, he’ll have to answer three riddles in three days.

With the help of his mother’s stories and the fox who once threatened him, Dryden must beat the monster and restore balance to his world. But it will come at a cost.

ISBN: 9781634766357

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: This is a thoroughly enjoyable book. It isn’t so much as long or intense read but I did find the writing and descriptions a bit of a hindrance at times, though I suspect that is because I got a short attention span.

The story follows Dryden, whose mother has taught him something that is along the lines of “every action has an equal and opposite reaction” – that’s Newton’s Third Law but it generally applies to karma, too, I suppose. Now grown up, Dryden goes on an adventure which starts with him going into a forbidden forest (that’s always a sign of doom). Dryden is very naive when it comes to being saved and later getting to know the mysterious Otto. Sometimes it felt like that Otto wasn’t really the face of evil (which is the kind of role he has in this book) but more that he was experienced, knew what he wanted and more than aware of the harsh realities of life. Then there is the fox shifter, Eammon, I don’t want to go too much into his character because I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but he is the kind of personality that I hoped that Dryden would become. I found him the most relatable character.

One thing I really loved about this was the fairy tale aspect. Francis Gideon has gone to great lengths to deliver a traditionally structured fairy tale and all the elements are there. There are great life lessons, a few morals and moral dilemmas thrown in, as well as the usual good overcoming evil and whatnot.

This is more of a young adult coming to age type of adventure more than a romance but the romance that was there felt so natural with the evolution of the story. Very sweet and sexy. It was also a bit angst-y at times, which is something that I don’t always connect with as a reader.

Work Boots and Tees by Jo Ramsey

Title: Work Boots and Tees

Series: Deep Secrets and Hope 05

Author: Jo Ramsey

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Teen Fiction

Length: Novel (180 Pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 15, 2015)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Sixteen-year-old Jim Frankel has become the thing he loathes, and he can’t stand thinking about what he has done.

After being accused of sexual assault by two girls, Jim serves out his sentence in a juvenile detention facility. He’s shocked by the arrest for what he thought was consensual sex, and terrified his own childhood sexual abuse has twisted him into a predator—just like the man who molested him.

Upon release, Jim is no longer welcome at his family home, and with nowhere else to turn, he travels from Massachusetts to Michigan to live with his father’s cousin, Delia. Keeping his head down, Jim works hard at Delia’s art supply shop and prays no one will find out about the awful crime he committed. It’s his chance for a new beginning, but when he makes his first friend in Man-Shik Park, Jim is afraid to let him get too close. But by walling himself off from the support Manny’s offering, Jim might sabotage the opportunities in front of him. 

ISBN: 978-1-61372-834-5

Product Link: Harmony Ink | Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: I didn’t have the chance to read the four previous books in this series but from what I can tell they can be read as a standalone. Now this is the first book that I have read by this author so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. What caught me was the title, I had assumed that it was going to be humorous but that was not so. It is a story that actually comes close to what many have gone through on both sides.

A teenager starts having sex, they are run by their hormones and feelings. They don’t see the bigger picture at all, but Jim was convicted of a sexual crime by two girls he had been with. It blew him out of the water and made him afraid. After his release, he was abandoned by his family. The only place to go was to a family a few states over. He just didn’t know what to expect there.

Then he meets Manny and is afraid of how he would see him if he knew of his past. He got lucky that Delia and some others were willing to help him recover. You see he had been abused also. However the problem is that Jim did commit the crime, he did his time and is now looking for a new chance. I am not really sure what to think about it to be honest.

I actually felt more for Jim then I did anyone else. Maybe in a way that is not what one is supposed to do, but the fact that he was a teenager and they do make stupid mistakes makes it easier to do so. It has a strong message I suppose which actually did the opposite of what it should have I suppose. I wanted a love story not some story about rape and consequences so it dropped it down in points for me. It was actually a disappointment for me. I was expecting a love story and not what this book represented. After realizing that all of the books have this type of story, I realized that this book was not for me.

It was well written but I didn’t much care for it. I gave it a higher rating because of how well it was but in truth it didn’t do much for me.

Rearranging Stars by Diane Adams (2nd Edition)

Title: Rearranging Stars

Author: Diane Adams

Genre:  Fantasy, Paranormal, Angels

Length: Novella (117 Pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 26, 2015)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: The freedom to love comes with a cost. 

As a guardian angel, Drake’s destiny is written in the stars. Choice is not part of an angel’s life. Drake never thought twice about it until he’s unexpectedly thrust into watching over Grey, who inspires passion in Drake but endangers his very identity as a guardian angel. Grey is more than just another human—he can see angels. When he discovers that unlike his previous angel Drake will talk to him, Grey becomes determined to pull Drake off the sidelines and into life. Attraction flares between them from the beginning and causes Drake to question his purpose for the first time. His distraction results in a decision that changes everything—and not just for him and Grey.

ISBN: 978-1-63476-378-3

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: Diane is a new author to me and I was not really sure what to think or expect. However I have to tell you that it was a fun book but very different than normal. I only know of very few stories involving angels so not really sure what to expect. I am just glad there were no religious factors with it.

The characters are well written and fully developed if not strange. In fact it was a bit confusing with all of the twists to it. Drake was an angel and his job was to protect his charge. He just hadn’t realized that Grey was not what he expected. Grey was a shock to the angel’s world.

Like I said the story can be a bit confusing but it does roll together in the end. I truly enjoyed it and look forward to seeing what other stories this author has out. It was a cute little love story that just pulls you in and leaves you satisfied at the end.

I would definitely recommend it.