Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour by Charlie Cochrane Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hi guys, we have Charlie Cochrane popping in today with the tour to her newest release Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour, we have a fantastic guest post from Charlie, a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the tour wide giveaway! <3 ~Pixie~

Charlie Cochrane - Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour Cover

Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour

(A Cambridge Fellows Mysteries Novella)

Charlie Cochrane

Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith like nothing more than being given a mystery to solve. But what happens when you have to defend your greatest enemy on a charge of murder?

Amazon UK | Amazon US

Continue reading “Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour by Charlie Cochrane Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway!”

Acceptable Lies by CM Corett

AcceptableLiesLGTitle: Acceptable Lies
Series: N/A
Author: CM Corett
Genre: Historical/Mystery
Length: 102 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (3 Feb 2016)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Blurb: William’s task is clear: catch the blackmailer. William Richmond is an earl, a father, a country gentleman… and a former spy. Catching the blackmailer should be simple, but when William finds a beautiful, injured young man on the beach, unfamiliar desires surge. He is determined to focus on the task and resist temptation—resist Daniel, or his carefully constructed illusions will crumble, exposing his lies to the world… and himself.

Daniel’s question is simple: Should he trust William? Daniel has secrets: his identity, his past, how and why he washed up on the shore… and more. With revelations of espionage, blackmail, and the arrival of William’s colleagues, the danger of exposure grows. Daniel’s instincts tell him that William is a decent man, a man of honor, but his instincts have been wrong before.

As the attraction grows, so does Daniel’s desire to confess, but if he’s wrong, he risks everything—his secrets, his freedom, and his heart.

ISBN: 978-1-63476-818-4

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7379

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Acceptable Lies is an enjoyable historical MM romance with a dash of mystery and espionage. What I like about this book is that the plot is simple – it’s just a sweet and to the point forbidden romance.

Lord William Richmond, Earl of Claren, is a former British spy and a widower who retired to the life of a country gentleman on his estate with his son – his pride and joy. He does have one last secret to uncover though, a blackmailer. William and his son, Thomas, come across a man washed up on the beach near the estate and things quickly fall into place for the plot. The man is Daniel, who pretends to have amnesia since he is on a mysterious mission to get close to William.

To be perfectly honest, in terms of a mysterious stranger with amnesia type of historical romance, other than sounding a bit Jane Eyre-like, this is pretty predictable. The stranger gets close to the master of the estate – dreads “recovery” – stranger also gets close to child – dramatic event that helps cement emotion – tearful confession and a HEA.

It is definitely the characters and their development that saves the plot – and I must say that I really did like William’s friends, Edward Carstairs and Christopher Langely. Of course, Thomas, William’s son, is also charming each time we get to meet the little boy.

Regardless of predictability, this is a relaxing read for anyone into historical romance because you can sit back and rest easy that you can mostly figure out what is going to happen. The joy is getting to know William and Daniel.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

Lessons for Sleeping Dogs by Charlie Cochrane Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Charlie Cochrane - Lessons for Sleeping Dogs‏ tOUR Banner

Hiya guys, we have Charlie Cochrane visiting today with her newest release Lessons for Sleeping Dogs, we have a great guest post, a brilliant excerpt that we ‘borrowed’ and a fantastic giveaway so enjoy the post and leave a comment (with a way to be contacted in the body of the comment box) to enter the giveaway! Good luck <3 ~Pixie~

Charlie Cochrane - Lessons for Sleeping Dogs‏ _600x900

Lessons for Sleeping Dogs

(Cambridge Fellowship Mysteries)

Charlie Cochrane

Cambridge, 1921

When amateur sleuth Jonty Stewart comes home with a new case to investigate, his partner Orlando Coppersmith always feels his day has been made. Although, can there be anything to solve in the apparent mercy killing of a disabled man by a doctor who then kills himself, especially when everything takes place in a locked room?

But things are never straightforward where the Cambridge fellows are concerned, so when they discover that more than one person has a motive to kill the dead men—motives linked to another double death—their wits get stretched to the breaking point.

And when the case disinters long buried memories for Jonty, memories about a promise he made and hasn’t kept, their emotions get pulled apart as well. This time, Jonty and Orlando will have to separate fact from fiction—and truth from emotion—to get to the bottom of things.

Continue reading “Lessons for Sleeping Dogs by Charlie Cochrane Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway!”

Skid Row Serenade by J.S. Cook

SkidRowSerenadeLGTitle: Skid Row Serenade
Series: N/A
Author: J.S. Cook
Genre: Historical/Mystery/Suspense
Length: Novel (210 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (Aug 14 2015)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts
Blurb: In the tradition of novel noir, nothing is ever quite as it seems.

Novelist and war hero Tony Leonard sees private investigator Edwin Malory being mugged outside a seaman’s mission in downtown Los Angeles, so he takes him home and gives him clean clothes and access to a hot shower. It doesn’t take him long to discover Malory was hired by wealthy industrialist Linton Vanderbilt Stirling, the father of Tony’s estranged wife, Janet. The reason for this is simple: Tony’s father-in-law suspects him of drinking away his daughter’s personal fortune.

On a whim, Tony drops in on Janet one night and finds her naked, dead, and tied up, her skull beaten in. Horrified, Tony flees the scene, knowing that as her husband, he is the number one suspect in the killing. He sees only one way out. He needs to fake his own death.

And who better to send his “suicide note” to than Edwin Malory.

ISBN: 978-1-63476-099-7

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6739

Reviewer: Cat

Review: Skid Row Serenade is a unique mystery suspense with a historical backdrop and an old-time private detective feel. I got the Dick Casey vibe from the story. I could see the men in their hats and long coats with cigarettes and their booze.

The star of the show–oops– I mean book Is Tony Leonard. He is a man with many secrets. He is a bisexual war hero married to a rich socialite. Their marriage is open. She has a place of her own on her father’s estate where she entertains many suitors.

Tony has a drinking problem and is a novelist. He goes to the local mission and helps fellow men down on their luck. He meets Ed but soon finds out that Ed isn’t what he seems. One evening Tony pays Janet a visit to find her brutally murdered.

Ed is a private detective investigating Tony on behalf of his estranged wife’s father. He finds himself involved in a big twisty mystery.

I never really connected with either character. I would have liked to have known more about how Tony met Janet, more details about his captivity with the Germans and how his sister-in-law got involved with her husband that also was one of his captors. It just didn’t set so well with me he was able to visit Johan as a brother-in-law knowing his past and what he had done to him.

Having said that, this was a very intriguing mystery with lots of twists and turns. It is not an easy one to guess who the murderer is.
If you like a hard to figure crime drama, mystery and suspense with a touch of romance and light off the page man-sex this is for you.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

Buck Baxter and the Disappearing Divas by Geoffrey Knight

BuckBaxter_Divas_100dpi_cvrTitle: Buck Baxter and the Disappearing Divas
Series: The Buck Baxter Mysteries, #2
Author: Geoffrey Knight
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: Novella (90 pages)
Publisher: Wilde City Press (June 10th 2015)
Heat Level: Mild
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts
Blurb: Something sinister is happening at the Maharaja Majestic Theater on Broadville Boulevard. The domineering actress, Dominique Darlington, has vanished without a trace, the opening night of the theater’s new production of The Snake Charmer’s Slave is now in jeopardy, and six suspects are about to have the pleasure of meeting Buck Baxter, Private Detective, as he investigates whether there’s a killer on the loose… or a phantom at the opera?

Could it be the handsome leading man, Errol Hemingway, who’s responsible for the disappearance of his leading lady… or perhaps it’s that sweet, doe-eyed understudy Olivia Overton? Is it the theater owner himself, the tall and mysterious Raja Khan who has committed the crime… or the show’s investor, the autocratic aristocrat Serafina Somerset? Or is it possible that the meek and mild stage manager Stanley Small, or the flamboyant and frustrated director Barnabas Blake, are guilty?

And what of Buck’s romance with playboy millionaire Holden “Harry” Hart? Will Buck get a backstage pass to access all areas of his one true love… or will this be the final curtain for Buck and Harry?

Follow the clues, and you might just solve… the mystery of the disappearing divas!

ISBN: 9781925180831

Product Link: http://www.wildecity.com/books/gay-mainstream/buck-baxter-and-the-disappearing-divas/#.VXg6AflViko

Reviewer: Tams

Review: Picture this…

High above Wilde City, Howard Hart flies one of his airships through the bright, morning sky. Only to find his son, heir to the Hart fortune, butt ass naked on his balcony with his lover, Buck Baxter Private Investigator extraordinaire, just as naked. Holding his spent lover in his arms. The tension is palpable. As if Buck needed another headache today.

First he’s very rudely woke by his assistant Stella who can best be described as a foul-mouthed dame that likes to “borrow” her bosses pipe and smoke all his pot! Then there is the new case at the theater where the leading lady disappeared into a puff of fog and black feathers. Yes, I said feathers.

From the start, something is amiss, but Buck has a hard timing putting his finger on the miss since he’s having to play good cop to Stella’s slightly hysterical bad cop. The theater seems to be alive with malcontent and mysteries. The playbill for the show is a substitute suspect list as Buck and Stella try to navigate their way through costumes, cranky actors, a pretentious backer and a very cranky snake. It doesn’t help that Buck’s focus is divided between the case and his now uncertain relationship with Harry.

This was just a fast, fun read. I love this 1920’s era world Knight has created as the backdrop, with these theatrical characters that breathe life into the story. I think Stella is my favorite, I just love the way she talks, like a twenties harlot. I picture a young Mae West while I’m reading her and I can just see her at the juke joint with her feather boa, glittery flapper dress, that long cigarette holder, or in Stella’s case, Buck’s pipe! I picture her wearing a way too long string of fake pearls that she could wrap around someone’s neck and choke the living shit out of them if they pissed her off.

Then there is the dual mystery of the story that kept it a little intense for the reader. There were little clues dropped throughout the dialogue if you were paying attention while reading, that made the suspects identity clearly obvious, but I didn’t realize that until the identity was revealed. That was very enjoyable.

Then there is the strain on the relationship between Buck and Harry unfolding in the background. The story flowed well and steady from start to nearly the finish, with a big finale that literally had me sitting up straight, freaking out just a little bit.

All’s well that ends well, that’s all I’m going to say. If you are a fan of slapstick mystery, Columba, the roaring twenties… grab yourself a copy of this little ditty, I think you’ll approve. I caution that you read the first book if you haven’t yet, otherwise you won’t understand or appreciate some important events and characters within this story.

Grab your pipes, pour yourself a glass of gin and sit back and enjoy Buck’s current comical caper, as he tries to solve the mystery of the Disappearing Divas! And try hard not to get caught with his pants down by his boyfriends dad again either.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

Stranger at the Door by J.S. Cook

strangeratthedoorTitle: Stranger at the Door
Series: N/A
Author: J.S. Cook
Genre: Americas / Ghosts / Spirits / Historical / Paranormal
Length: Novella (87 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (May 25th 2015)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3 ¾ Hearts

Blurb: South Carolina lawyer Calvin Amos is confident he can gain Thomas Basinger his freedom on appeal. Thom was convicted of a murder during an armed robbery gone bad. But Basinger’s case proves more difficult than Cal anticipated, and the battle he assumed he’d win turns into a devastating failure. Remorseful over the personal defeat, after Basinger is executed, Cal throws himself out of his office window.

Bizarrely, the fall doesn’t kill him. Even stranger, Thom Basinger rings Cal’s doorbell looking for a job. Both men are drawn to each other. Before long, the two forge a unique, heartfelt connection that transcends the boundaries of life and death.

Calvin Amos always imagined himself in possession of some great love or other. He didn’t know he had to die to find it.

ISBN: 978-1-63476-035-5

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6434

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: I have to admit this was a strange book in the beginning as Calvin loses his case and witnesses Thom’s execution. Then feeling guilt, remorse and depressed throws himself out his window. The fall does not kill him which was weird.

Thom is then sent back to help Calvin but isn’t told why he is being sent back. It was just confusing for me as I didn’t understand how someone who was executed could be sent back. Not to mention the conversation he had about was not shown. So I have no idea what exactly was told to him to begin with.

Aside from that I enjoyed the story very much. Poor Calvin didn’t know what to make of Thom and one point thought he was losing his mind, which I understood.

Interesting and intriguing read.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

Aleksey’s Kingdom by John Wiltshire

AlekseysKingdomLGTitle: Aleksey’s Kingdom
Series: Royal Affair, #2
Author: John Wiltshire
Genre: Other Paranormal/Historical/Mystery/Suspense
Length: Novel (198 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 27 2015)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: Doctor Nikolai Hartmann escaped the Hesse-Davian dungeons. He fled civilized Europe to come to the vast wilderness of the New World, where he carved out a home in which he could love openly and without censure—Aleksey’s Kingdom.

However, there is an irritating green-eyed, dark-haired flaw in his new paradise. A king and a general, Aleksey has no intention of wasting his life away in a remote forest. When he agrees to accompany a group of soldiers to a distant outpost to discover why it has been mysteriously abandoned, Nikolai has no choice but to tag along.

While traveling through the wilderness with their new companions, it does not take Nikolai and Aleksey long to realise that far from mounting a rescue operation, they are merely unwitting pawns in a far more sinister conspiracy. But their enemies have badly miscalculated by threatening anything Nikolai loves.

In this merciless place of towering trees, where water plummets beyond the human ability to comprehend, Nikolai must unleash the unfettered savagery of his true nature to save Aleksey.

ISBN: 9781632168894

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6316

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Aleksey’s Kingdom is a sequel to the book Royal Affair. If you haven’t read the first book you need to go back or else you will be rather confused for a good while. Likewise if you can’t remember the first one I recommend a quick refresh, just flipping through quickly.

I enjoyed this book much more than I did the first. I was immediately grabbed and drawn into the world of Colonial America, where Niko and Alek were making their lives when we left off at the end of the first book. Niko, or Nikolai is a doctor, while Alek, or Aleksey, is European Royal. These guys follow their hearts (and another organ) to make a life together in time that could be hazardous to their survival if their secret got out.

Niko is a sweetheart, really a typical doctor, while Alek is a typical royal. He can be irritating and arrogant. Sometimes it feels as though he purposely misunderstands things to stir shit.

In short, I really enjoyed getting to meet up with Niko and Alek again in their second book and once again the historian in me loved the attention to detail about the world and lives John Wiltshire has created.

The main plotline follows Niko and Alek as they join a large search through the wilderness of the New World, trying to find some missing settlers. The story itself provides an interesting take on perceived mental stability, going as far as examining the serial killers (including the “signs” in children that lead to their “dark passenger”, as Jeff Lindsay writes in his Dexter series) and cannibalism.

Then there is the less dark side of life and we finally get to see some romance between the two MCs. I like how Niko and Alek both bring up the wish to marry, something not always seen in historical gay romances.

A brilliant sequel with brilliant characters and an intriguing mystery.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

Home is the Sailor by Lee Rowan, 2nd edition

81fH7mYXZ9L._SL1350_Title: Home Is the Sailor, 2nd edition
Sequel to Winds of Change/Eye of the Storm

Series: Royal Navy , #3

Author: Lee Rowan

Genre: Historical/Military/Murder-Mystery

Length: Novel (204 Pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 5th, 2015)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb: The Royal Navy meets the Stately English Manor Murder Mystery, and if it were only a matter of Colonel Mustard in the library, things would be so much easier.

After an ambush by the French while on a routine surveillance mission, Will Marshall and David Archer are advised to retreat to the English countryside to avoid Bonaparte’s animosity for a time. Upon their arrival, they discover that David’s eldest brother has died after a mysterious accident and this puts his other, very unsuitable brother in line for the title.

David’s suspicions—that the new heir had a hand in his brother’s death—seem so unreasonable that even Will finds it difficult to believe his fears are valid. If Davy thought his lover was hard to convince, his autocratic father, who still sees him as the inept youngest son, won’t even listen to him. Davy and Will are thrust into the role of sleuths, trying to determine the truth behind the mystery.

All the while Will has concerns of his own: his fear of losing Davy is still stronger than his desire to keep Davy beside him on the quarterdeck… but he knows no other life than the Navy.

First Edition published by Cheyenne Publishing/Bristlecone Pine Press, 2010

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5911

ISBN-13: 9781607220220

Reviewer: GiGi

Review: The author throws us right into the battle from the first page and the action is invigorating! I quickly realized why Davy and Will are going to have to make some hard choices. But fate quickly makes a few changes for them, sending them both ashore.

Sent home to go off the radar for a while, Davy gets to introduce his Commander, Will to his family. Highly dysfunctional family, if you consider that he quickly finds out the 1st born is dead, and the death is highly suspicious.

As Will and Davy settle in to landed life, Davy’s evil nasty brother Ronald, second to the heir, comes home to anticipate his father’s death and wreak havoc on all that reside at Grenbrook.

There are dead brothers, dead wives, and even more murder attempts, but Ronald conveniently either has an alibi, or remains tight-lipped about each event.

What transpires is a daring, risky investigation into the murders, even though Will tries to give the benefit of the doubt, and Davy is set on proving his brother Ronald guilty.

For the lusty bits, Davy and Will have a hard time finding privacy amongst family and servants….until Davy brings Will to his childhood hideout!

There seemed to be a bit of ebb and flow in the action, at first fast paced and nail-biting, then slow, then again at the end the action picks up. There seem to be two paces in this book, at sea there seems to be more drama, more action, and a more developed world. Davy and Will’s relationship and the pace of the story seem very different on land, as I’m sure they were intended to be.

The proposed solution to Davy and Will’s relationship woes at the end of the story, is one I’ve always played with in my mind when it comes to historicals…it’s fun to imagine it working out, but there are so many land mines there….we can only wait and see how it all works out in the next part to this sexy adventuresome story.

Famous Last Words by J.S. Cook

FamousLastWordsLGTitle: Famous Last Words
Author: JS Cook
Genre: Historical/Mystery
Length: Novella (109 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 12th 2014)
Heat Level: Mild
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Blurb: When former Indiana farm boy William Henry Rider goes on a bank-robbing spree in Benedict Fouts’s corner of Depression Era Illinois, it’s up to Ben to bring him in. But Rider is no ordinary criminal. Famed for robberies that happen in the blink of an eye, Rider becomes a folk hero who steals from the rich and burns the mortgage papers of poor farmers teetering on the edge of financial ruin.

Intrigued to learn that Fouts has been assigned to his case, Rider approaches him in a darkened movie house with a unique proposition: “We’ll have ourselves a game of Cops and Robbers. I’ll run, and you catch me. The clock starts right now, Ben.”
Ben knows he’s the only one who can stop the Bureau from murdering Rider, but he’s soon struggling with another reason to chase the enigmatic fugitive.

ISBN: 9781632161710

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5677

Reviewer: Tams

Review: A very interesting story set in the 1930’s when the FBI was making a name for themselves by bringing in the mobsters and putting a stop to gangs like Bonnie and Clyde. Benedict Fouts is an up and coming agent that longs to add one name in particular to his list of accomplishments, William Henry Rider.

Agent Fouts seems to always be one step behind the bank robber extraordinaire, but he is determined to bring Rider in. When Rider learns exactly who it is chasing him, he issues a challenge, one that Fouts puts entirely too much thought into.

While Fouts is chasing Rider from state to state in hopes of nailing him (pun intended), he learns that the bank robber doesn’t kill, he tries not to hurt anyone and he burns deeds for poorer people so they won’t lose their home or land. It would seem that Rider is actually somewhat of a modern-day Robin Hood.

But somewhere along the way, the lines between what Fouts needs to do and what he wants to do get blurred, and the two become lovers. With the entire force of the FBI after Rider, not much caring if he is dead or alive when they find him, Fouts has to think fast on his feet if he is to save Rider and his heart.

Short, Sexy, and Steamy, that is what this book was. Fans of prohibition era stories like Bonnie and Clyde, The Untouchables and Boardwalk Empire are going to love this story of the upstanding FBI agent that falls for his mark. Cook delivered a very entertaining story full of suspense, intrigue and some juicy twists.

The story was weighed down a few times briefly when Fouts thoughts would be overly descriptive, but overall I really enjoyed the game of cat and mouse Fouts and Rider played throughout. Definitely recommend this read, especially if you are looking for something fun, and quick.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

Remnant by K.J. Charles and Jordan L. Hawk

7aab74ed2516f987da0189eb3f32942e485d8db2Title: Remnant: A Caldwell & Feximal/Whyborne and Griffin Mystery

Series: The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal #3/Whyborne and Griffin #3.5

Author: K.J. Charles and Jordan L. Hawk

Genre: Historical Industrial Revolution/Paranormal

Length: Novella (51 Pages)

Publisher: Smashwords (March 11, 2014)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Blurb: London, 1899. The beautiful people are dying…

A malevolent power is attacking London’s bright young things, and the only clue to what’s happening is written in ancient Egyptian script. As ghost-hunter Simon Feximal and his companion Robert Caldwell investigate the mysterious deaths, the arrival in London of a notorious scholar-sorcerer seems to hold the answer to more than one of their problems.

A quiet break in London while en route to Egypt turns dramatic for Dr Percival Endicott Whyborne and his lover Griffin Flaherty when they encounter the hostile ghost-hunter. Feximal clearly suspects the worst of Whyborne – and his flirtatious sidekick seems to think a great deal too well of Griffin…

Jordan L Hawk’s heroes Whyborne and Griffin meet KJ Charles’ occult detectives from the Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal in a mystery that takes all four lovers through the decadent underworld of Victorian London in pursuit of an ancient and deadly evil.

Product Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/404000

Reviewer: GiGi

Review: I think this is like my fantasy match-up! Jordan Hawk and K.J. Charles get together to write a short story that combines their captivating, mystery solving, sorcery-filled series!

As Percival Whyborne crosses the Atlantic in search of documents and research on an Egyptian dig that his co-worker Doctor Putnam is working on, he, as usual, stumbles into trouble. In the form of the domineering and scary ghost hunter/sorcerer Simon Feximal.

Simon thinks Whyborne is dangerous and up to no good, and it takes his partner Robert and Griffin to convince him otherwise. While these two couples seem to have a lot in common, both Whyborne and Feximal seem to have a distinct distrust and even rivalry.
Insecure once more, Whyborne isn’t happy with the fast friendship that develops between Robert and Griffin, and this element plays into the plot very nicely. All of us Griffin fans know better, he’s wrapped around Percival’s talented spell casting fingers!

Back to the plot…yes something dark is happening again, and it involves sorcery. Once Feximal figures out it isn’t Whyborne behind the dark deeds, they work together to solve the murders and handle the dark magic and dark sorcerer behind them. Another very Hitchcock-like feel to the whole story.

While the Whyborne and Griffin series is much more developed, the two fit together seamlessly as this is written as a set of journal entries. We see things both from Robert Caldwell and alternately Percival Whyborne’s point of view. Plenty is known about Whyborne if you’ve read the series, and many very tasty details about Simon Feximal are sprinkled in among the plot that leads me to want to know so much more about Caldwell and Feximal!

I love both of these series, and would love to see another joint effort in the future! I love the way they leave the respect/reflect relationship between Whyborne and Feximal. I have the feeling that while they have finally come to respect each other, trust and irritation keep that fire burning hotly. They make a great dynamic alongside their partners Griffin and Robert who get along smashingly well.

Hired Muscle by Hank Edwards

22723592Title: Hired Muscle

Author: Hank Edwards

Genre: Historical (1941)

Length: Novella (80 pages)

ISBN: 9781311824325

Publisher: Hank Edwards books (July 10th, 2014)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Cat

Blurb: Barry waits tables at DuMochelle’s, where he meets mob boss Giovanni Lombardi’s bodyguard, Vinnie. Passion sparks between Barry and Vinnie. However, it isn’t long before Vinnie’s dangerous lifestyle threatens not only their chances for happiness, but also their very lives.

In October 1941, the violence of Baltimore’s warring mob families is escalating. The danger has decimated many of the businesses around DuMochelle’s restaurant where Barry waits tables. When a mob family begins to frequent the restaurant, a romantic relationship develops between Barry and Vinnie, a guard for the family. Vinnie resists, fearing for Barry’s safety and concerned that Barry will want nothing to do with him if he finds out the details of Vinnie’s role in the family. But their passion cannot be denied, and Vinnie is trapped between the love he wants and the only life he’s known. As the rival mob family moves in for the kill, Vinnie and Barry find themselves caught in the crossfire.

Purchase Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/456587
Review: Barry is a waiter at a posh restaurant. It is a time when the gang wars are prevalent. A gangster comes in with his entourage and Barry is smitten by Vinnie.

Vinnie can’t read and is very big so he feels all he can do in life is be a bodyguard for a notorious gangster. Besides once you’re in there is no way out. Or is there?

This is a great historical romance set in the 1940’s. I loved the old-time gangster feel. I love both Vinnie and Barry. Though Vinnie is a bodyguard and obviously kills or hurts people for a living, Hank did a very good job of making him likeable. I would have liked to have known more about Barry the main character and teller of the story.

If you like historical romances set in the 1940’s, gangsters, bodyguards, waiters and a fun, sexy, romance, this is for you.

Come to Dust by J.S. Cook

ComeToDustLGTitle: Come To Dust

Series: #3 Inspector Raft Mysteries

Author: J.S. Cook

Genre: Mystery/Crime/Historical

Length: Novel

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 15th, 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating:
♥♥♥♥♥4.5 Hearts

Blurb: In the frigid winter of 1891, with the nation still reeling from the Barings bank crisis, Inspector Philemon Raft returns from an involuntary sabbatical, tasked with solving the kidnapping of highly placed peer Alice Dewberry. Thrust into a sordid underworld where the upper classes indulge in disreputable overseas investments designed to fatten their pocketbooks, Raft finds himself at loose ends without his companion, Constable Freddie Crook. Far from offering their help, the ton use every asset at their disposal to keep Raft from discovering the truth about hapless kidnap victim Alice Dewberry—who may not even exist.

Soon Raft discovers that his old nemesis, the workhouse master John Gallant, has returned to London. Gallant doesn’t say what he wants—but he knows enough to ruin Raft’s career and even his life. Raft tries to solve the case with his usual strange insight, but there are other, darker forces at work. This is a frightened London: the London of Whitechapel, of Jack the Ripper, the London of poverty, dirt and despair, where a right turn down the wrong alley could earn Raft a swift trip to the morgue.

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4346

Reviewer:   GiGi

Review: A strong murder/kidnapping/mystery plot with the M/M romance added in. just the right amount for a story you can sink your teeth into. There are lots of hints, clues, and foreshadowing in the writing, which kept me in suspense and guessing throughout the whole story.

Things just did not seem to add up, and the shocker at the end explains the seemingly impossible. I did not realize that this book was part of a series, but is the third book of the Inspector Raft Mysteries by JoAnne Soper-Cook. Book one is Willing Flesh and book two is Rag & Bones. The earlier books set the background between Raft, Freddie, Gallant, and other shadowy men at play in this mystery.

This book reminds me of a dark, Victorian, Holmes/Scotland Yard type mystery. There is a bit of the paranormal, lots of different class distinctions and the seedy and underhanded acts that come with them all, and throughout I was glued to the pages. The characters are believable, memorable, and a very strong part of this book.

Stormhaven by Jordan Hawk

81PEix3dWqL._SL1500_Title: Stormhaven

Series: Whyborne & Griffin book 3

Author: Jordan Hawk

Genre: Paranormal/Historic Gaslight/Murder Mystery

Length: Novel (250 pages)

Publisher: Jordan Hawk (December 3rd, 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating:

Blurb: Mysterious happenings are nothing new to reclusive scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne, but finding one of his colleagues screaming for help in the street is rather unusual. Allan Tambling claims he can’t remember any of the last hour—but someone murdered his uncle, and Allan is covered in blood. Whyborne’s lover, dashing ex-Pinkerton detective Griffin Flaherty, agrees to prove Allan’s innocence. But when Allan is deemed insane and locked away in the Stormhaven Lunatic Asylum, Griffin finds himself reliving the horrifying memories of his own ordeal inside a madhouse.
Along with their friend Christine, the two men become drawn deeper and deeper into a dark web of conspiracy, magic, and murder. Their only clue: a missing artifact depicting an unknown god. Who stole the artifact, and why can’t Allan remember what happened? And what is the truth behind the terrible experiments conducted on Stormhaven’s forbidden fourth floor?
It will take all of Whyborne’s sorcery and Griffin’s derring-do to stop the murderers and save Allan. But first, they must survive an even greater challenge: a visit from Griffin’s family.

Product Link: http://www.amazon.com/Stormhaven-Whyborne-Griffin-Jordan-Hawk-ebook/dp/B00H216WHU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386268726&sr=8-1&keywords=Stormhaven

Reviewer:   GiGi

Review: The entire Whyborne & Griffin series has me enthralled. Hawk has set this story in the gaslight era, industrial revolution at hand, electricity weaving its way into the dark alleys of the eastern coast of the United States.

This is a series I believe should be read in order, so do dig out Widdershins, and Threshold first.
The environment and time the story is set adds to the magical, superstitious and mystical feel of the book. We are quickly finding that there is more to Percival Whyborne than his bookish pursuits and his research of language. All this does, however, lend to his natural ability to cast spells…or in his words, conduct repeatable experiments with the Arcanorum. Could there be a sorcerer in our midst?
Stormhaven is a wonderfully creepy place, a mental institution like so many closed down and vacant now, that Percival and Griffin must infiltrate in order to help save a friend they believe to be wrongly accused of murder and madness. But with Griffin’s history will it prove too painful and dangerous a mission to complete?

Along with the murder and mayhem, Griffin’s adoptive parents come to town and Percival is forced to up the charade that he and Griffin are simply friends and colleagues. Christine isn’t happy with this arrangement, and eventually all the lying and hiding becomes exposed. Will Griffins parents understand and protect their adoptive son’s secrets, much as Percival’s have? Can they help their friend in Stormhaven without risking Griffin’s sanity, and what is really going on with Ival? So much mystery and mythology in this series and I love it!

Layers of intrigue, and who can forget the sensuality between Griffin and Percival! Jordan can just keep casting her spell because I can’t wait for the next installation of the Whyborne & Griffin series!

To the Bone by Erin O'Quinn

51XYozEk18LTitle: To the Bone

Series: The Gaslight Mysteries 03

Author: Erin O’Quinn

Genre: Historical (1923), Mystery, Action

Length: Novel (218pgs)

Publisher: Amber Allure (28th September 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥ 3½ – 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: The time is 1923, and the place is a fantasy city in Ireland. Two unlikely men have formed a partnership: good-natured Michael, who keeps a serious secret, and sulky Simon, who has plenty of reasons to be angry at the world. Michael has stalked the standoffish Simon from the beginning, and Simon has consistently rebuffed him…yet not enough for Michael to give up a dedicated pursuit of the handsome investigator.

As private eyes, the men have a case to solve; to find more than a score of stolen paintings, and especially one small valuable work of art worth more than all the others. But the case grows more complex the deeper they look into it. Soon Michael and Simon find themselves searching not just for a thief, but also for a citywide ring of criminals. And the closer they get to the paintings, the closer they find themselves to a killer.

Into this mix steps a man named Moshe—a pesky, secretive, nosy man who is nevertheless a brilliant investigator himself. He gives both the men fits, burrowing like a tick into their very private affairs, so close they have a hard time evading him.

Can the investigators solve a series of crimes, take care of the interfering Moshe, and drive their own intense relationship all the way to the bone?     

Purchase Link: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/ToTheBone.html    

Review: This story is part of a series and is best read in order. Simon and Michael are back and their partnership as investigators is a lot easier than their relationship behind closed doors. As Simon and Michael come to terms with what they share, they still have work to do and they discover there was more to the ‘Brown man’ than they first realized. Picking up a case for missing paintings, their investigations lead to the discovery of a connection to Simon’s family, and they stumble across a citywide criminal ring. Throw in a secretive man called Moshe who won’t leave them alone and they have an interesting couple of days ahead of them.

If you have read the previous stories in this series then you know that Michael is a confident man who is cheeky and cheery, but has found himself infatuated with an uptight man. You will also know that Simon is that uptight man who is still struggling with what Michael makes him feel, but he is becoming slightly more relaxed and not quite as grumpy as he portrays to be. Their adventures together usually ends with injury, capture and danger but they usually get their man and this story is no different with more characters adding to the intrigue. 

As they work together on the new investigation, we see how they complement each other, but it is still not easy especially when a figure from Simon’s past sticks his neb in. The investigation is interesting and leads to a bigger investigation with Michael and Simon turning to Pinkerton’s and making a deal. Moshe is a man with surprises and who keeps his secrets close to his chest, so close in fact that he makes Michael look like a blabbermouth, but if Moshe really wants Simon’s co-operation then he has to learn to share. 

I really liked this story and the progression of Michael’s and Simon’s relationship, although from the first story to now it has only been a matter of days it does seem longer and Simon’s reticence adds to the overall effect of it being drawn out. I love the way that Simon works through what he is feeling rather than jumping in feet first and Michael seems to be getting Simon’s nature better and backs off a little in this one, letting Simon come to him and make the first move. At times, the story does seem to take place a lot in their heads as they think and dissect what is happening between them, and reliving certain couplings but it doesn’t take away from what is going on around them. We also see how their relationship is heating up with a lot more sexual activity taking place with *gasp* Simon taking the initiative more. 

I recommend this to those who love historicals, great characters coming to an understanding, an interesting investigation, secrets being revealed, an ending that is oddly hot, and slightly touching. 

The Truth by G.S. Wiley

41krMsUAPALTitle: The Truth

Author: G.S. Wiley

Genre:Nostalgic Contemporary (1960s-era/1970s-era/1990s-era) 

Length:  Novella (46 pages)

Publisher:Amber Quill Press (September 9th, 2013)

Heat Level: None

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

Reviewer: Cat

Blurb:  In the late 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, John Radley is an agent working for MI6. He feels no shame in being an “office” agent rather than out in the field, and he knows his work at home is crucial to the safety of his country. 

Anthony Holland is quite different. He is the flashy, handsome field spy, the kind of man on which James Bond was based, and he’s all too aware of his appeal. John hates him on sight. It’s a one-sided hatred, though, and Holland soon makes his attraction to John obvious. When Anthony comes to John after a mission gone bad, displaying his true emotions rather than a calculated facade, John’s feelings change. 

They begin a covert affair, made all the more difficult by their positions and by the fact Anthony is so rarely in the country. But one day, two years after their first meeting, Anthony leaves for a mission and doesn’t come back. John always knew their relationship would likely end this way, but he never forgets Anthony. 

Now, twenty years later, as the Soviet Union crumbles, John finds evidence that indicates Anthony is still alive. Although retired, John puts everything he has into finding the love of his life…for a second time…

Purchase Link: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/TheTruth.html

Review: In the 1960’s, John is an agent for MI6 during the cold war. He is an office agent, when he meets field agent Tony. The meeting doesn’t go off as well, as John knows to trust no one. and in those days, you had to be careful with sexual identity.

This was a pretty good book of espionage and love. I do not know a lot of the Cold War, so I was a little lost at times and the story does skip back and forth from his past at work, past at home and present. Having said that, the romance alone here was heart-gripping. It is a very beautiful story of love, both of family and of another man.

I recommend this if you like espionage, spies, men that hold tight to family responsibility and a deep love story.

The Case of the Rising Star by Zavo

15843242Title: The Case of the Rising Star

Series: A Derrick Steele Mystery 02    

Author: Zavo     

Genre: Mystery, Historical (1930s?)    

Length: Novel (216pgs)     

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (16th July 2013)    

Heat Level: Explicit     

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥2 – 2½ Hearts   

Reviewer: Pixie     

Blurb: A young and famous movie star is receiving death threats, and Derrick is on the case. Without warning, Warren O’Malley, Derrick’s long-forgotten half-brother, arrives in Los Angeles, bringing with him his two formidable younger brothers. The trio is determined to claim their rightful place in the Steele family, or destroy them in the process. With Warren’s arrival comes a dark secret from Daniel McAllister’s past, one that Daniel is unwilling to reveal. As the tension between Derrick and Daniel begins to unravel their relationship, it also begins to threaten the detective agency itself. When Derrick realizes he is falling in love with the young movie star, he faces a heartbreaking decision. Will Derrick be able to save the young star in time? Can the Steeles pull together as a family to stave off this new series of threats? Will this be the end of the famous Steele Detective Agency?     

Purchase Link: http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/products.php?product=Case-of-the-Rising-Star%3A-A-Derrick-Steele-Mystery%2C-The-%252d-by–Zavo-eBook    

Review: This book is part of a series and is best read in order. Derrick Steele is a private eye in his family agency, taking cases and solving problems. When a movie star that Derrick idolizes walks through the door after receiving death threats Derrick jumps on the case. Derrick’s family has other problems though when his half-brother turns up expecting his share of the family business. But, it doesn’t end there for Derrick. Because Daniel’s past accompanies the brother, Daniel, and Derrick begin to fall apart. But, Derrick can’t really be sorry when he has a movie star waiting in the wings.

This is a very interesting detective story with a randy PI who can’t seem to keep it in his pants. I won’t go into too much detail about the storyline other than to say it isn’t really complicated, we have the odd case here and there, but the majority of the story is about Derrick getting as much sex as possible from any available male. The investigation side of the storyline was pretty interesting with its cases but the follow through was weak and the bullying half-brother was not impressive. There was much reference to happenings in the previous story The Case of the Hollywood Hustlers and although we are given a little detail, it would still be best to read the previous book first so you get the full flavor of Derrick and his wicked ways. 

Derrick isn’t a very likable man if you want faithfulness in your story; he takes pleasure in having an uncontrollable dick and sees no reason not to act on it. Now don’t get me wrong, he isn’t cheating because he has an agreement with Daniel that they can have sex with who they like, but still in a time with no condoms and casual sex, you would have expected him to tone it down a little if he has a partner. Oh yeah Derrick’s parents are very understanding for the time as well. Derrick’s relationship with Daniel becomes rocky because Daniel is hiding something from his past, but Derrick didn’t really give him a chance because Derrick was too busy panting over the movie star and envisioning himself in love after a couple of tumbles with the man.  

I recommend these if you like old-fashioned private eyes, drinking and screwing around, some token investigations, plenty of sex and bed hopping, a disintegrating relationship and a good lead off to the next story. 


Valley of the Dead by J.S. Cook

ValleyOfTheDeadLGTitle: Valley of the Dead

Author: J.S. Cook

Genre: Historical (WWII) / Mystery-Suspense

Length: Novel (226 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 5th, 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥2 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: The Second World War rages: it touches Newfoundland in unprecedented ways, throwing spies and patriots together inside expatriate Jack Stolyes’s Heartache Café and forcing uncomplimentary bedfellows into alliances. It’s all in a day’s work for Jack, whose introduction to the Island included corrupt cops, a murder on the doorstep of his restaurant, and more than one attempt on his life.

When exotic and alluring Egyptian diplomat Samuel Halim enters Jack’s small corner of the world, Jack’s life will change forever. Then, on his voyage home, Sam disappears along with the code key to decipher a Nazi radio command that will set Rommel’s troops in motion.

Jack finds himself with nothing to go on except a fragmented late-night phone call from Sam and a handful of disparate clues. In the teeming heat of Cairo—a city rife with romance, secrets, sex, and danger, where no one is who he seems and violent death waits around every shadowed corner—it’s up to Jack to find the new love of his life and deliver the code that will change the course of history.

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4066

Review: This book was one heavy read and at some point, I felt as if it was going to keep on forever. By the time I reached half of it, I was seriously struggling to keep reading it.

No, it was not badly written, as a matter of fact I found the language and mannerisms of the characters appropriate, the descriptions of the places quite good, and the events mostly accurate. I had the feeling that the code thing in the story was a bit over the top as it is known that the Nazi’s had the Enigma machine and changed the rings of it every day (or so I’ve read), but I wouldn’t bet on it either. Not being an expert on WWII I can’t say for sure the events in this story (history wise) were all realistic, but most of them were quite familiar to me.

So you’re probably wondering what was it that didn’t work for me. Mostly, our main character Jack. Jack meets Sam in Newfoundland and he’s been his “friend” for a week (or was it two, I don’t recall) when Sam vanishes. There is quite of history and many events that have occurred before this. They are linked with each other and when put down, making some sense. But, we only get to see them as flashback thoughts later on in the story. The glaring point is that Jack and Sam have a very, very short acquaintance and a platonic one at that – having shared only one kiss – but Jack is totally and irrevocably in love with Sam, who is married with four children back in Cairo.

When Sam vanishes, he makes a phone call – a strange one at that – telling Jack he doesn’t remember how he got where he is and has no memory of what’s happened to him. Immediately, Jack promises to get over there (Egypt) and to his side.

For me this was all it took to make me frown upon this book. Jack, who has fallen head over heels with a man he barely knows, travels all the way to Egypt. What was he supposed to do when he got there? Only God knew, for Jack had no clue…whatsoever. He was put in the middle of an unfolding story. Playing the sitting duck for everyone to shoot at him and try to dispose him. That all seemed so face, so ludicrous I couldn’t focus on it for long without a headache.

I have questions, many of them. Why did Jack get to Egypt? How would he have found Sam (who by the way is head of the Cairo police and a secret agent for the Allied Forces) when he didn’t even knew where Sam was, who had him, or how to travel through Cairo? Why was Jack so important that everyone wanted him dead? Through the entire book, never once did I found him useful for anything other than get himself in trouble. No, as a matter of fact, I found this character incredibly incompetent. “Too stupid to live” is perhaps a big understatement. His role was so out of depth I kept wondering …why? And then I kept wondering, how could those bad guys, that had murdered even their own mother, how could they miss killing him, if they wanted him so much dead? Two similar scenes had my eyes bulging. One in Cairo, when Mukbar waits for him to wake up. He is in Jack’s room, waiting for Jack to wake up so he can take him in the desert and put him inside a tomb… Why not use that bloody gun of his with the silencer and put a bullet in his head? And then same things happened back in Newfoundland, when Octavian’s brother is after him, gets in his bedroom, waits for him to wake up, only to put a dart in his neck, and ultimately failing to kill him yet again. I’m not even going to mention the warehouse incident and the gun with no bullet in the chamber. Really, that was over the top.

So anyway, for me the mystery/suspense plot failed enormously. The loving romance I won’t even go there, I was left with an end that for me, it made no sense at all. And through it all, this story dragged on forever without managing to captivate me even for five minutes. It only gets the rating I’m giving it because this was a new (for me) perspective of WWII and I am a bit fascinated with the era.