4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mary Calmes, Reviewed by Jackie

Review: Blue Days by Mary Calmes

Title: Blue Days

Author: Mary Calmes

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 98 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Falling for a coworker is rarely a good idea, especially for a man getting a last chance at salvaging his career. But from the moment Dwyer Knolls sees the beautiful but socially awkward Takeo Hiroyuki, he seems destined to make bad decisions. Continue reading

4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Jennifer, Susan Laine

Review: The Sensualist & the Untouched by Susan Laine

Title: The Sensualist & the Untouched

Author: Susan Laine

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Page/Word Count: 324 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Being over thirty is not an issue for Corey Paige. Being frigid and a virgin, however, is a huge problem for the only son of a newspaper magnate. No matter the risk, Corey’s intent on resolving both problems in one go.

Enter Lucian Allard, a wealthy hedonist with a notorious reputation at club Boudoir—and an unconventional sexual mentoring program for those who suffer from dysfunctions. As the two men begin a sensual journey to awaken Corey’s libido, Corey’s frigid body isn’t all that begins to melt. His untouched feelings also spark to life.

Though a family emergency puts a halt to awakening Corey’s senses and desires, Corey and Lucian grow closer as friends. Then an unexpected kiss from Lucian in Corey’s most desperate hour changes everything. Now Corey must decide if the program is still an aid or an obstacle to two lonely men trying to maintain a professional detachment but falling hopelessly in love.


Review: This book hit a number of firsts for me: my first review for The Novel Approach Reviews, my first book from the author, Susan Laine, and my first incredibly character driven novel. When I got this book to review, I pretty much hit the jackpot on those accounts, because this book took me for a serious ride.

As I said, this book is very much character driven. Corey and Lucian are complex characters that complement each other perfectly. As the title suggests, one is a hedonistic sensualist and the other is literally untouched – a self-professed frigid virgin. It might not sound like the perfect match, but believe me when I tell you it isn’t.

Told through both Corey and Lucian’s perspectives, the novel starts with Corey going to a psychologist for help with his frigidity. The help he gets is rather unconventional, as he is sent along to Lucian, who is a sexual mentor. Throughout the novel Lucian works hard at opening Corey up to the sensual side of life, and introduces him to all that is sensual: sounds, smells, taste, touch. Please note, I did say sensual and not sexual. Not everything is always about sex, though most of the time the end goal is getting Corey to reach that point.

If you’re looking for a fast paced story, this is not it. It is slow because of how character driven it is; however, I don’t think that takes away from the story. It actually enhances it. The detail to every setting is incredibly written. I was placed time and again in each room with Corey and Lucian, whether they were at Lucian’s penthouse, Corey’s apartment, Heather House, or Boudoir. I started to see, smell, and feel everything Corey felt. I even wanted to be there in person experiencing those things with him.

Susan Laine is a talented author. The level of detail is astounding and clearly researched. It makes me wonder if she knew all of these things beforehand, or if it was researched just for the book. If the latter, then this was an unbelievable undertaking.

I highly recommend this book. If you’re not a fan of character driven novels with a slower plot, give this one a chance. It might just win you over with the beautiful details and overall…sensuality.






You can buy The Sensualist & the Untouched here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Pia, Sasha Kay Riley

Review: By Blood by Sasha Kay Riley

Title: By Blood

Author: Sasha Kay Riley

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 172 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Anderson Stables: Book Two

When Vincent Anderson returns from eight months in Florida helping his dad train racehorses, he expects a peaceful homecoming. But the initial happiness over the reunion with his boyfriend Dustin doesn’t last long. Chris, a disgruntled stable hand, causes a riding accident that sends Dustin to the hospital—then Chris disappears. Continue reading

Giveaways, The Year In Reviews

Simply The Best 2014: Round Four – The Year In Reviews and a Giveaway


Hi, everyone!

We are thisclose to the end of our best of the best selections for this year. In case you missed the earlier selections, Sammy’s and Tina’s can be found HERE, Jackie’s, Lana’s, and Jules’ can be found HERE, and Lynn’s and Chris’s HERE.

Since Kim and Kathie are the audio connoisseurs in our group, today’s feature are their top picks in the audiobook category, and guess what? TNA is going to give you the chance to win TWO of the listed titles. And guess what else? If you’re selected as the winner, you get to choose which titles you’d like in either audio or e-book format. Continue reading

Leona Windwalker, Self-Published

Introducing: Sol’s Solstice by Leona Windwalker


Hi, I’m so happy to be here! Thanks for having me. I’ve decided to take this opportunity to talk about Sol’s Solstice and why I wrote it. First, I want to share the tagline: Sol finds that light can indeed shine in his world.

Sol’s Solstice is a contemporary romance, but it is not all happiness and light. Sol faces terrible obstacles. Some of them stem from the way his family handles his mother’s mental illness, some from the religious right, and others from the flawed perceptions of ordinary people. It would have been easy to pretend these people don’t exist, but we know they do. But just as there are people who fail to do good, there are those who will stop, and hold out their hand. Continue reading

4.5 Stars, Alexis Woods, Beaten Track Publishing, Holiday Romance, Reviewed by Jules

Review: Lion’s Hero by Alexis Woods

Title: Lion’s Hero

Author: Alexis Woods

Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 82 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: A story from Boughs of Evergreen: A Holiday Anthology (proceeds go to The Trevor Project).

Eight nights to fall in love. Continue reading

4 Stars, Harmony Ink Press, Reviewed by Sammy, Sam Kadence, Young Adult

Review: Unicorns and Rainbow Poop by Sam Kadence

Title: Unicorns and Rainbow Poop

Author: Sam Kadence

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press

Pages/Word Count: 260 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Ex-boyband member Dane Karlson is struggling to overcome an eating disorder and a body dismorphic disorder. Continue reading

4 Stars, Beaten Track Publishing, Holiday Romance, Reviewed by Lisa, Rick Bettencourt

Review: One Nightstand by Rick Bettencourt

Title: One Nightstand (Boughs of Evergreen Anthology)

Author: Rick Bettencourt

Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 37 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Doug’s not good with one-night stands, yet in the early hours of Christmas Eve, he returns home with Kirk – a good-looking guy he met at the club. Nestled together in the kitchen of his New England cottage, sipping hot chocolate and watching the snow fall, Doug wishes there could be more to this casual encounter. It’s a feeling that stays with him as he heads off to a frantic day of work at the mall, swamped with last-minute holiday shoppers…the last place he expects to find something magical. Continue reading


May Your Days Be Merry and Bright…


May your day be filled with all the joy of the season. May your blessings be abundant and your troubles few.

And may there always be a good book within arm’s reach!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings from our family to yours,

Tina, Jackie, Lynn, Lana, Kim, Sammy, Jules, Kathie, Taz, Rena, Chris, Angel, Janet, Jennifer, Pia, and Lisa

3 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Holiday Romance, Reviewed by Jules, Venona Keyes

Review: Coming of Age by Venona Keyes

Title: Coming of Age

Author: Venona Keyes

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 32 Pages

Rating: 3 Stars

Blurb: Akiyoshi ‘Aero’ Kurokuma, author of the wildly popular manga, Ecos, lost his assistant when his best friend retired. After Aero collapses from exhaustion four years later, he is forced to run a contest for an assistant. Placing impossible rules on the contest, Aero is sure no one can win. But a winner emerges: a young man from America, Daniel Beck. The first time he lays eyes on Daniel, Aero realizes he’ll have a hard time hiding his attraction. Daniel is a perfect assistant, but it doesn’t help Aero see past the twenty-year age difference between them. It will take all of Daniel’s charm and the prayers offered at the shrine to make Aero take a chance on the romance they both want. Continue reading

4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Felicitas Ivey, Holiday Romance, Reviewed by Lisa

Review: What Father Christmas Left by Felicitas Ivey

Title: What Father Christmas Left

Author: Felicitas Ivey

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 45 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Ex-Pat American Jacob Moore is looking forward to hosting his traditional Christmas Eve party with his partner, Errol. They love the quiet night of friends and food at their house in London, and the break before dealing with family, presents, and Boxing Day. The quiet is shattered when Jacob’s younger half sister, Pru, shows up on his doorstep, running away from home for a very good reason. Jacob has stayed in touch with her over the years, even though he’s estranged from their father. But nothing prepared him for this. Continue reading

5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Kathie, Rhys Ford

Audio Review: Fish and Ghosts by Rhys Ford – Narrated by Tristan James

Title: Fish and Ghosts

Author: Rhys Ford

Narrator:: Tristan James

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 8 Hours, 16 Minutes

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: When his Uncle Mortimer died and left him Hoxne Grange, the family’s Gilded Age mansion, Tristan Pryce became the second generation of Pryces to serve as a caretaker for the estate, a way station for spirits on their final steps to the afterlife. Tristan is prepared for challenges, though not necessarily from the ghosts he’s seen since childhood. Determined to establish Tristan’s insanity and gain access to his trust fund, his loving relatives hire Dr. Wolf Kincaid and his paranormal researchers, Hellsinger Investigations, to prove the Grange is not haunted. Continue reading

Giveaways, The Year In Reviews

Simply The Best 2014: Round Three – The Year In Reviews And A Giveaway


Greetings, everyone!

The Best of the Best continues today in our selections for top reads of 2014. Just in case you missed them, Sammy’s and Tina’s choices can be found HERE, Jackie’s, Lana’s and Jules’ choices can be found HERE, and just like those, we’re giving one lucky reader the chance to win e-copies of any TWO of the titles in today’s selections, winner’s choice. Continue reading

Dreamspinner Press, Giveaways, Sue Brown

Guest Post and Giveaway: Chance to Be King by Sue Brown


OMG, Christmas is nearly here and I’ve done nothing. Nothing! It started out so well. My daughter and I bought each other tickets to see the comedian Dave Gorman in early November. Only that failed because I went to a funeral instead. Now I’m getting a frying pan. I ordered a new game for my son at the same time. That’s still not arrived and no dispatch date in sight. I’ve ordered my ex’s presents to the kids and my son’s presents to the family. Decorations/cards/food/stockings all died along with the funeral and flu and many edits. Panicking? Me? What gave you that idea? Continue reading

Cover Reveal, Dreamspinner Press, EM Lynley, Giveaways

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Dirty Dining by EM Lynley


One of the most joyful experiences as an author (for me, at least) is knowing my book has the perfect cover. It’s not as easy as you might think. I’m not an artist and I generally have a difficult time conveying my vision to the cover artist. So I was absolutely delighted to discover this gorgeous photograph on Deviant Art. It perfectly illustrates my main character Jeremy Linden (my deceptively attractive geek) and the precise tone of Dirty Dining. In fact, Jeremy spends a lot of time in those little white shorts, until he takes them off. Check out the excerpt below to find out just what I’m talking about. Continue reading

4 Stars, Alana Ankh, Dreamspinner Press, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Angel

Review: All’s Fair in Mate Bonds and Publishing by Alana Ankh

Title: All’s Fair in Mate Bonds and Publishing

Author: Alana Ankh

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 117 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: For Killian Marsden, werewolf romance is overrated. After all, he should know, since he’s a half-werewolf and an editor for a romance-publishing house. He’s tired of reading mate bond fairytales, because real life doesn’t work that way. In the real world, Alphas abandon their half-breed children. Not that Killian’s jaded or anything. Simply realistic. So when werewolf Alpha Brett comes knocking, demanding explanations on a rejected manuscript, Killian reels away, or at least tries to. Continue reading

5 Stars, Genre Romance, Lou Harper, Reviewed by Sammy, Samhain Publishing

Review: Secrets and Charms by Lou Harper

Title: Secrets and Charms

Author: Lou Harper

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 191 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Out and proud from a tender age, Olly Blackwood is content with life in LA, working at a Hollywood gourmet grocery. There’s only one thing missing: romance. He’s had his fill of casual hook-ups. He wants a man for keeps, and he wants sparks. Continue reading

Giveaways, The Year In Reviews

Simply The Best 2014 – Round Two: The Year In Reviews And A Giveaway


Hi, everyone, we’re back again with the second round of our Best of the Best (be sure to check out Sammy’s and Tina’s lists HERE), and another chance for you to win e-copies of THREE of the titles selected by Jackie, Lana, and Jules, winner’s choice! THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED Continue reading

Brita Addams

In The Full Swing Of The Holiday Season With Brita Addams


Brita Christmas

Well, we’re in the full clutches of the holiday season. Does that sound bah humbugish? I confess, that’s the way I feel.

I am a product of a mother whose favorite holiday was Christmas and each year, she went all out. Dad handled the present purchasing and my mother did the rest. Oh, I have fond memories of the year she chose the “drunken sailor” Christmas tree (because it looked so pitiful on the lot,) and decorated that sucker until it looked perfectly straight. That woman could work wonders with that silver tinsel stuff. One damn strand at a time, her domain, and God save your fingers if you tried to “help her.” I do remember the year I crinkled a bunch of it (made like aluminum foil, not the flimsy stuff we can get today,) and tossed the wad on the tree when she wasn’t looking. Score for me. That petulant act saved me hours of her fuss-budgeting every year. In all my adult years, I’ve never used what she called icicles. Continue reading

A.J. Llewellyn, Totally Bound

Guest Post: The Mediator Blog Tour With A.J. Llewellyn


The Mediator was one of my very first books with Totally Bound, and for me, it was an agonizing love song to the sport. I was a boxing writer, moving into the world of erotic romance writing, and I knew, with each word I wrote of this book that I was leaving pieces of me in it.

I also knew I was on the verge of saying good-bye to the sweet science. Continue reading

Chris T. Kat, Dreamspinner Press, Giveaways

Guest Post and Giveaway: Swordplay by Chris T. Kat


The End

Hello, I’m Chris T. Kat, visiting The Novel Approach again. :) I’m here to talk about my new release, Swordplay (A Jeff Woods Mystery). Swordplay is the third and last book in the Jeff Woods Mysteries series, and was published by Dreamspinner Press on December 22nd. The release was like an early Christmas gift. :) Continue reading

4 Stars, Chris Quinton, Genre Romance, Love Lane Books, Reviewed by Tina, RJ Scott

Review: Heat by RJ Scott and Chris Quinton

Title: Heat

Author: RJ Scott and Chris Quinton

Publisher: Love Lane Books

Pages/Word Count: 141 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Serving up passion, family, love and hate, with a side order of arson.

Lewis has lost nearly everything, and now it seems that Devon is here to take the last thing he has left – working in his beloved restaurant, Laurels. But when an arsonist threatens everything Lewis loves, he realizes sometimes everyone has their ghosts, and he discovers an unexpected ally who is prepared to risk everything for him. Continue reading

Giveaways, The Year In Reviews

Simply the Best: 2014 – The Year in Reviews and a Giveaway


It’s hard to believe we find ourselves at the end of another year. Time flies when your nose is buried in a book, doesn’t it? But what and where would The Novel Approach be without our love of reading? Each year at this time, we work hard to compile our lists of favorite books to share with you, which is never easy. Twelve months and hundreds of titles means whittling down to our favorite few, which also means some wonderful books get left off the list in our effort to recognize those that were the most memorable.
Continue reading

4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Kate McMurray, Reviewed by Janet

Review: When the Planets Align by Kate McMurray

Title: When the Planets Align

Author: Kate McMurray

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 220 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Best friends Michael Reeves and Simon Newell always lived within ten minutes of each other, but somehow they’re never in the same place at the same time.
Continue reading