Gumption & Gumshoes by Alex Kidwell

Gumption&GumshoesLGTitle: Gumption & Gumshoes

Series:  N/A

Author: Alex Kidwell

Genre:  Mystery/Suspense/Shapeshifter/Humor

Length: Novel (207 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 21st, 2013)

Heat Level:  Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5Hearts

Blurb: August Adahy Mendez would rather be buried in the world of his detective novels or a good film noir movie than in real life. He’s overweight, undermotivated, and stuck in a dead-end job. As a Chincha, he’s part of a long line of chinchilla shifters, but the greatest accomplishment in his life so far has been moving an hour away from his close-knit herd. That all changes when August’s grandfather leaves him enough cash to pursue his dream: becoming a detective himself.

Sam Ewing is a bitter divorcé who enjoys watching football and being alone. It’s easier when his only interaction with people is when he collects rent from his office building tenants. Then August rents space from him to set up his new detective agency, and Sam is drawn to him despite his misgivings.

Sam soon finds himself involved with one of August’s cases, and the men join forces to catch their criminal. The greater challenges they face, however, are how August makes Sam want to give love a second try and how Sam makes August believe that real life might be even better than fiction.

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Reviewer:   GiGi

Review: Cute, sweet, round and fuzzy is sometimes hard to be sexy, but this is a fun read. There’s plenty of humor in the character of August, who is admittedly a bit voluptuous (overweight), and clumsy, and oh yeah a Shapeshifter. And no, not some hot demanding alpha wolf, or even a bear or a sexy predator panther, but a chinchilla! Sam is a sexy older man, but he’s also ornery and holds a surprising possessive uber-cuddler side to him too! And he likes his lovin’ with a little cushion. The mystery was interesting and predictable, over all this was a sweet and funny romance with wannabe Humphrey Bogart characters included. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around a sexy dust bath!

After the End by Alex Kidwell

17160816Title:  After the End

Author:  Alex Kidwell

Genre:   Contemporary

Length:  Novel (198 pages)

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (January 21st 2013)

Heat Level:  Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥3½Hearts

Blurb:   After Quinn O’Malley loses his partner of ten years, Aaron, to cancer, he withdraws from everything. In a single tragic moment, he goes from an artist with a loving partner and a future to an uninspired comic book store owner who barely exists. He hides behind a shield of grief, refusing to let Aaron go. He feels guilty for even trying to imagine a life apart from what he’d had.

The charming party planner Quinn’s best friend insists he meet on a blind date isn’t someone he’s ready for. Brady Banner walks into Quinn’s small frozen world and turns everything upside down. For years, Quinn has focused on endings, but as Brady begins to thaw his existence, Quinn realizes that one moment can do more than stop a life—it can also start a new one.

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Reviewer:   Any

Review:  A sweet and sensitive read.

I really loved the beginning of this book. The moment Brady walked into the bar and spoke to Quinn, I instantly liked him. Why? Because Brady has such endearing self-assurance. Straight up, he tells Quinn how things are between them. This was refreshing to read and it hooked me.

Add to that beautiful little heartbreaking memories that Quinn has about his deceased love, and it is easy to fall into this story and get carried away.

There are many nice moments in this story, and the grief aspect is nicely woven in without becoming too angsty.

However, I feel the characters Brady and Quinn needed more time to get into their relationship, to take things slowly and carefully. I was disappointed when the decision to go slow and be friends first wasn’t followed through, and sadly, I began to feel rushed through the rest of their romance to the ‘I love yous’ and HEA. And with the haste to get there, I lost some vital connection to Brady and Quinn that had so nicely developed in the first half of the story.

Blood in the Sand by Robin Saxon and Alex Kidwell

Title: Blood in the Sand

Series: Sanguis Noctis 02

Author: Robin Saxon & Alex Kidwell

Genre: Paranormal, Shifter, Vampire

Length: Super Novel (348pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (1st June 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: When David, an old contact and sometimes friend, hires Jed Walker to look into a series of seemingly unrelated disappearances in Cairo, Jed jumps at the chance to show his partner, Redford Reed, more of the world he’s been missing. David’s boyfriend, supernatural expert and resident stuffy professor Victor Rathbone, joins them in their journey to Egypt, which holds many more dangers and mysteries than Jed ever expected. Hidden natures resurface, relationships collide, and instincts are stretched to their breaking point. What seems to be a simple case turns out to be anything but.

David may have called for help, but he has his own suspicions about who’s behind the kidnappings—suspicions that, along with clashing personalities, make getting to the bottom of the mystery difficult. While Jed and Redford grow more intimate and trusting with each new obstacle in their path, David and Victor struggle not to lose their trust in each other in the face of their differences. As the four close in on the kidnappers, David is forced to face the one thing more dangerous than the mastermind behind the disappearances: himself.

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Warning: Scenes of blood during sex (David), extreme violence (Jed), extreme possessiveness (Redford) and extreme tea drinking (Victor).

Review: Jed and Red are hired by David to dig into the disappearances of people in Cairo. Jed jumps at the chance and now, along with Red, David and Victor, it’s time to find out the truth of what is happening in Cairo. Red is fascinated by Cairo, but Jed’s behavior is putting a downer on his enjoyment. Will Jed finally notice that his behavior is upsetting his little wolf? David is keeping secrets which could have an adverse effect, especially when Jed finds out what they are really up against. Victor’s secrets come out and his relationship is rocky, as David finds it hard to resist the allure of his past.

Wow. This is a really well-written novel that has a lot of twists and turns and at the end you sit there thinking ‘after all that, there’s no real answers? But damn it was good.’ This story is written from Jed, Redford, David and Victor’s POVs so there is switching back and forth between them. As we get to see everything, from each person, we begin to really see into each personality. David is laid back, cool and sophisticated, but it is all a façade that begins to crumble when he sets foot in Cairo. Victor is quiet, bookish and intelligent, but it hides a kinky heart. Redford is shy, innocent and sweet, but he is now also conflicted with a wolf that is possessive and dominates. Jed is brash, sexually out-going and a hard case to crack, but he also likes to be submissive in bed and is completely devoted to Red and he really loves to blow things up.

This story is quite complex in its weaving as nothing is quite what it seems and the ending is not what you’d want. It’s quite bittersweet as we follow the relationship of Victor and David, and their feelings for each other. Red and Jed’s relationship is a great one, but Jed really should curb his flirting, unless he wants an angry wolf on his hands. The actual storyline seems quite simple, David has noticed a pattern of kidnappings in Cairo and wants Jed to investigate and stop the culprits… the only problem is David hasn’t been forthcoming with the full details, and the truth shocks the shit out of Jed, before his attitude embraces it that is.

In this book we see both Jed and Red’s relationship, as well as David and Victor’s… which means twice the sex *squee*. We find out the truth about David and about Victor as their secrets get spilled. We see Red struggling with the after effects of Filtiarn’s (from Blood Howl) experiment and we see Jed’s absolute trust and belief in Red. And we see David’s weakness in the face of an old lover, as the doubts about himself seep in.

So we have secrets, doubts, violence, explosions, blood and guts galore, rescues, hunting, surprises, hot, hot sex, lots of showers to wash off all the blood, more explosions and an ending that has you wondering what will happen next. So really I can’t think of anything more enjoyable than grabbing some drinks, some nibbles and this book, and having a good read that would rival any Hollywood blockbuster for explosions.



Blood Howl by Robin Saxon and Alex Kidwell

Title: Blood Howl

Author: Robin Saxon & Alex Kidwell

Check out the dynamic duos interview with MM Good Book Reviews – Champagne Sips with Alex and Robin

Genre: Paranormal

Length: Novel (186pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner (12 September 2011)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥ 4 1/2Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Gun for hire Jed Walker doesn’t figure it for a difficult job—a simple smash and grab retrieval—except his new client doesn’t want money or goods. He wants shy, gorgeous Redford Reed, a man who turns Jed’s world upside down inside a day. He is in no way prepared to fall hard and fast for his newest assignment.

Redford Reed lives his life locked in his grandmother’s house, haunted by a terrible curse and watching the world pass him by until Jed shows up, sent by a man who will stop at nothing to claim Redford as his own. Teaming up with Jed is Redford’s only chance at survival, but as the violence escalates, so does the tension between them. Even though they each finally have something to live for, now it’s going to take all Jed’s skill and every bit of courage Redford has just to stay alive.

Review: Redford is a trapped in a lonely existence, in a dull drab house, until Jeb cons his way in. Jeb is an odd job man and the more dangerous the jobs are the better.  When he takes a job to steal something and he’s told that it’s the only thing of value at the house he thinks it’s an easy job.

This book was brilliant.  It’s not your usual werewolf story and there are no instant mates or love. Redford, you just feel sorry for as he’s been brought up by his grandmother who would lock him up in a cage on the full moon and since she died he has had no real contact with anyone and is very lonely. Jeb realizes that he can’t go through with the job and takes Redford under his wing.

These two men couldn’t be more different if they tried; you have Redford who is shy, innocent and sweet and Jeb who is brash, sexually outgoing and tough.  What we get when these two men are together is a surprising love story. Watching as Jeb discovers new things about himself and then panic over them is cute.   I thought his and Redford’s relationship was even cuter and the way they were always being interrupted when things got interesting was funny and frustrating.

I will recommend this to those who love paranormal, werewolves, big guns, explosions and a big tough guy turning to pools of goo for the man they love.