3 Stars, Brynn Stein, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Pia

Review: For Mac by Brynn Stein

Title: For Mac

Author: Brynn Stein

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 246 Pages

At a Glance: Overall this was a good book, with a slow build and slow burn romance.

Reviewed By: Pia

Blurb: Branson Farrell lost his parents when he was thirteen, and for the last ten years his brother, Mac, eight years his senior, has taken care of him. But Mac’s love came at a price. Both brothers were raised to believe being gay was completely unacceptable, and Branson has almost convinced himself he can be what Mac expects. When he looks at a man in a bar and Mac notices, Mac drags him off in horror.

Mac’s distress and disgust leads to a car accident that leaves Branson injured and Mac in a coma. Branson heals and stays at Mac’s bedside, but when Mac doesn’t recover, he is moved to a long-term care facility. There, Branson meets openly gay, confident, and attractive Liam Sullivan. Liam stirs feelings Branson thought he’d rid himself of, and to honor his brother, Branson fights tooth and nail against his attraction. When the cost of denying who he is becomes too high, Branson must battle a lifetime of hatred that’s been beaten into his body and mind to try for something of his own.

Dividers

Review: In Brynn Stein’s For Mac, we meet a young man named Branson Farrell, who is not only healing from a car accident but is coming to terms with the fact that Mac, his older brother and only family he has left, may never recover from his injuries. We also meet Mac’s nurse Liam, a young easy going, openly gay man who stirs feelings in Branson that he would rather be left un-stirred.

Let me start out by saying I liked this book. To me it was about overcoming struggles and other people perceptions of how you should live your life, realizing that families can be made in not just the biological way, and I think a lot of research must have been done for the story, which was good because it gave it a realistic feel. However, I kept getting frustrated with Branson. I wanted him to do something, to be brave and make a move and stick to it, not retreat any time anything happened. Liam must have the patience of a saint to take things so slowly and not get frustrated too. I also found the book a little bit repetitive. Most of the story happened at the care facility or Branson’s house; I guess I wanted to see more of their lives.

Overall this was a good book, with a slow build and slow burn romance. I would recommend having the tissues handy, though, as parts are sad.

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, John Inman, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed by Pia

Audio Review: Work in Progress by John Inman – Narrated by Caleb Dickinson

Audio Gem

Title: Work in Progress (A Belladonna Arms Novel)

Author: John Inman

Narrator:: Caleb Dickinson

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 7 Hours and 14 Minutes

At a Glance: I adore John Inman, I really do, and I’m glad I got to listen to Work in Progress.

Reviewed By: Pia

Blurb: Dumped by his lover, Harlie Rose ducks for cover in the Belladonna Arms, a seedy apartment building perched high on a hill in downtown San Diego. What he doesn’t know is that the Belladonna Arms has a reputation for romance—and Harlie is about to become its next victim.

Finding a job at a deli up the street, Harlie meets Milan, a gorgeous but cranky baker. Unaware that Milan is suffering the effects of a broken heart just as Harlie is, the two men circle around each other, manning the barricades, both unwilling to open themselves up to love yet again.

But even the most stubborn heart can be conquered.

With his new friends to back him up—Sylvia, on the verge of her final surgery to become a woman, Arthur, the aging drag queen who is about to discover a romance of his own, and Stanley and Roger, the handsome young couple in 5C who lead by example, Harlie soon learns that at the Belladonna Arms, love is always just around the corner waiting to pounce. Whether you want it to or not.

But tragedy also drops in now and then.

Dividers

Review: I adore John Inman, I really do, and I’m glad I got to listen to Work in Progress, the second book in the Belladonna Arms series.

After being dumped by his lover, author Harlie Rose leaves for a four month road trip, returning to San Diego during a rain storm, where he meets Arthur, an aging, hairy drag queen, who rents him an apartment and introduces him to the rest of the strange and wonderful tenants of The Belladonna Arms.

Finding a job at a deli as a baker’s assistant, he meets Milan, tall, sexy, broody Milan, who has also just broken up with his partner and who is also attracted to Harlie but isn’t planning on doing anything about it. Thanks to meddling friends and the Belladonna’s pollen, most of our favourite quirky characters get their happy ending.

I think Caleb Dickinson did a great job narrating. Each person had depth and character, and I never once got confused or had to ask myself who was speaking. The only thing I would change is the long silences at the end of each chapter, but other than that I loved this audio book.

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You can buy Work in Progress here:

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4.5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Mary Calmes, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Paranormal Romance, Poppy Dennison, Reviewed by Pia

Audio Review: Creature Feature by Poppy Dennison and Mary Calmes – Narrated by Jeff Gelder

Audio Gem

Title: Creature Feature

Authors: Poppy Dennison and Mary Calmes

Narrator:: Jeff Gelder

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 6 Hours and 29 Minutes

At a Glance: Both Poppy Dennison and Mary Calmes give us well rounded, sexy paranormal stories, and I think Jeff Gelder did a great job with the narration.

Reviewed By: Pia

Blurb: Diagnosis: Wolf by Poppy Dennison

Thanks to his good-for-nothing brother, Andrew Hughes is up to his eyeballs in debt and needs a job fast. When a nursing position opens up in Myerson, Arizona, Andrew has no choice but to take it, despite a warning about how difficult a patient Caleb DiMartino can be. Andrew can deal with a little trouble—but Caleb’s strange family, the armed guards, and the unknown cause of Caleb’s mysterious illness may be beyond his skill set.

Landslide by Mary Calmes

For three years, paranormal courier Frank Corrigan has been working for incubus demon Cael Berith. Cael knows Frank is his mate, but Frank is pretty sure Cael doesn’t even like him, never mind want to spend the rest of his life with him, so their personal relationship is at an impasse. When Frank’s sister, Lindsey, gets bitten by a werewolf she’s sleeping with—and possibly witnesses a murder—Frank rides to her rescue. If he’s lucky, he might just save his love life too.

Dividers

Review: Diagnosis: Wolf

In Poppy Dennison’s Diagnosis Wolf we meet Andrew, a nurse who is drowning in debt and bad credit thanks to his good for nothing twin Danny, who is constantly getting himself into trouble. Unable to turn down any work that comes his way, Andrew takes a temp job with a client who has run off all other nurses sent his way.

His patient, Caleb, is a man struck down with a mystery illness, and neither Caleb’s bodyguards nor his powerful father seem willing to share any information that might help Andrew care for Caleb. Andrew, unable to turn down good money, or deny the strange pull he feels to the sick man, stays and looks after him anyway. When Andrew learns Caleb’s true nature, and his brother comes back in to his life (in trouble yet again), both men must help each other defeat the new and unexpected threat to their lives.

Poppy Dennison does a great shifter book, and I love that she has managed to give our couple a nice slow build up and didn’t jump straight into the ‘mate claiming’ like a lot of other paranormal shifter books do. It was a pleasure listening to this book.

Landslide

In Mary Calmes’s Landslide we meet Frank, a human courier for the paranormal who works for sexy incubus demon Cael. Cael believes Frank is his mate but Frank, who is a husky guy with no self confidence, doesn’t believe a word Cael says, and is determined not to give in to his feeling for fear of once again being rejected or deemed not good enough.

When Frank’s younger sister gets herself into trouble by sleeping with a werewolf and witnessing a body being dumped, Frank asks Cael to go home with him to help him figure things out. While in Frank’s small hometown, trying to deal with the situation, Cael starts chipping away at Frank’s resistance and starts proving the he wants his mate for the long haul.

Once again Mary Calmes gives us a great story with different paranormals peppered throughout, hot sex, and keeps us wanting to come back for more.

I don’t usually enjoy anthologies because more often than not I’m left wanting more, but this one was really good. Both Poppy Dennison and Mary Calmes give us well rounded, sexy paranormal stories, and I think Jeff Gelder did a great job with the narration. If you’re looking for a shortish audiobook with get characters, then you should check out Creature Feature!

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You can buy Creature Feature here:

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5 Stars, A.J. Marcus, DSP Publications, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Pia

Review: Eagle’s Blood by A.J. Marcus

Title: Eagle’s Blood (Mountain Spirits Mysteries: Book One)

Author: A.J. Marcus

Publisher: DSP Publications

Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages

At a Glance: A very enjoyable read I would recommend to anybody who loves animals and the men who work with them.

Reviewed By: Pia

Blurb: Brock Summers is a Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officer who loves his job and takes it very seriously. When he discovers a video of golden eagles being shot and learns of a nest in trouble, not even a blizzard can stop him from trekking up the mountain in an attempt to rescue them.

When Brock returns with the one eaglet he manages to save, Landon Weir, the local wildlife rehabilitator, patches up the bird and the injury Brock suffered during the rescue. Though they have been friends and colleagues for years, they discover a shared passion for protecting wildlife and vow to work together to protect the majestic birds from the criminals preying on them. It isn’t long before another video of eagles being killed comes to their attention.

They must face inclement weather, a dangerous mountain, and armed poachers if they want to ensure the eagles’—and their own—survival.

Dividers

Review: In A.J. Marcus’s book Eagles Blood, we meet Brock Summers, a parks and wildlife officer, and Landon Weir, a wild life rehabilitator, who work together to save a baby golden eagle and other birds that become targets of poachers who are shooting birds and posting videos online.

I really enjoyed this book, and one of the first things I noticed was just how well researched it was, so much so I feel like I’ve learned things about rehabbing large predatory bids and other wild life I didn’t know before.

Our MCs come across as believable, everyday guys who love their jobs and understand the ups and downs of the job they do, but love it enough to keep doing it even when it’s heartbreaking work. I liked that Brock and Landon had worked together a few years before anything developed between them. It’s nice to find a good friends-to-lovers story.

I liked the pace of this book, and I think Marcus did a great job of balancing the elements of this story. The book never lagged or concentrated too much on either the action or the romance.

Eagle’s Blood is a very enjoyable read I would recommend to anybody who loves animals and the men who work with them.

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2 Stars, Genre Romance, Kay Ellis, Reviewed by Pia, Wayward Ink Publishing

Review: Young at Heart by Kay Ellis

Title: Young at Heart

Author: Kay Ellis

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 129 Pages

At a Glance: I really wanted to like this story, but it just wasn’t for me.

Reviewed By: Pia

Blurb: Devon Alexander is a wealthy successful businessman. The world is his oyster. In his work life he is decisive and in control.
His private life is another matter.
There, he doesn’t know if he’s coming or going in his on-off relationship with Jesse Young, an unemployed aspiring model half his age.
Can Devon and Jesse overcome the obstacles and outside influences standing in their way? Can they leave behind their own fear and mistrust? Or will they be their own worst enemies?

Dividers

Review: In Kay Ellis’s Young at Heart, we meet Devon Alexander, older, wealthy business man; and his much younger boyfriend, aspiring model Jesse Young. I love May/December romances and think they’re wonderful when done right. Unfortunately, in my opinion, this book didn’t quite pull it off.

I always get nervous when our MCs are an established couple at the beginning of a book, because you kind of hold your breath waiting for something bad to come along and break them up. In Young at Heart we don’t have to wait long at all, and the whole book felt a little rushed, the characters all over the place. At times I wanted to shake both Devon and Jesse; they should have either been sticking together and helping each other, or just staying away from each other. I think that if the pace was slowed down and we had more backstory and depth in the characters this book could have been a real winner. They were supposed to be together but hardly ever actually speak to each other.

I was also concerned about how nobody thought to get Jesse any kind of help after everything that had happened to him. Don’t get me wrong, Jesse is no angel, but it broke my heart that nobody helped when he clearly needed it.

I really wanted to like this story, but it just wasn’t for me.

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5 Stars, Audio Book, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Dreamspinner Press, Narration Rating, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed by Pia, SJD Peterson

Audio Review: Pony by SJD Peterson – Narrated by Rusty Topsfield

Audio Gem

Title: Pony (Guards of Folsom: Book Three)

Author: SJD Peterson

Narrator:: Rusty Topsfield

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 7 Hours, 13 Minutes

At a Glance: I’m new to the wonderful world of audiobooks, and I think Rusty Topsfield did a great job narrating Pony.

Reviewed By: Pia

Blurb: Grant Maxwell, aka Max, wakes to find his coffeepot has died in the night. Not one who can start his day without his favorite brew, he heads to the local coffee shop. Max finds something even more appealing than caffeine in the form of twenty-six-year-old hottie Aiden James. For the first time in his life, well-established, confident and respected Dom Max finds himself sputtering and unsure in the face of Aiden’s charms.

Aiden lives with three roommates, works a dead-end job, and isn’t sure where his life is heading. That is until he meets Max. Max introduces him to a foreign yet intriguing lifestyle, and they soon discover they have something more than mutual attraction in common.

A shared kink is one thing, but Aiden’s past vanilla sexual experiences as well as his fear of losing himself in Max may keep Aiden from experiencing his fantasy. Max has an obstacle of his own to overcome. He must somehow figure out how to help Aiden explore his submissive side when, for the first time in his life, he’s head over heels in love.

Dividers

Review: Pony is the third book in SJD Peterson’s Guards of Folsom series, and while the series on a whole is full of strong, sexy Doms and their boys, Pony is my favourite of the books, and I very much enjoyed all seven hours and thirteen minutes worth of listening to it.

In it we meet Grant “Max” Maxwell, successful and confident Dom, and Aiden, the young barista who Max definitely wants to make his. We get to tag along with our MCs as they explore Aiden’s introduction to the D/s lifestyle, and Max’s struggle to balance the wants and needs of his relationship. Plus, it was nice to hear snippets of characters from books past, and see how life is treating them.

I’m new to the wonderful world of audiobooks, and I think Rusty Topsfield did a great job narrating Pony. However, it took a while for me to really get into the book because of the way Max’s voice sounded. Don’t get me wrong, there wasn’t anything wrong with it, it just wasn’t how Max sounded to me when I read the book.

That aside, though, I love sexy manlove, and getting to hear it in this book was a big win!

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You can buy Pony here:

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5 Stars, Amber Allure, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Pia, T.A. Chase

Review: Trailing Air by T.A. Chase

Title: Trailing Air

Author: T.A. Chase

Publisher: Amber Allure

Pages/Word Count: 31000 Words

At a Glance: This is a great book and awesome series.

Reviewed By: Pia

Blurb: What are the Preternaturals supposed to do when the book holding the destruction of their kind within its pages is stolen from them? Not panic and hope that the situation changes before the humans get their own hands on it.

The werewolf Rover Canis can’t believe he’s escorting the very creature that stole the book holding spells that could kill every Preternatural in the world. Yet here he is doing so, and admiring his extremely attractive companion probably isn’t the smartest thing he’s ever done either. But if he is to save himself along with all his kind, Rover needs to keep his mind on the mission.

Elwin Ice Cloud, a shapeshifting dragon, swipes the powerful book in order to save his kidnapped sister, but he never plans on handing it over to the humans. Yet when dangers grow too difficult for him to handle on his own, he returns to the lycan on whom he’d been spying. Meeting the sexy Rover gives him something else to think about, yet falling in love isn’t in his plans either.

Together, these two very different shapeshifters must find a way to trust each other in order to save all the Preternaturals from certain death. If they somehow manage to do so, will love be their ultimate reward?

Dividers

Review: Trailing Air is the fourth book in T.A Chase’s Preternaturals series. It’s a little dark, a little dangerous, and has some sexy times too, which, if done right, is always a winner. And, folks, I think we have a winner!

Elwin Ice Cloud, a dragon shifter, steals a powerful spell book from werewolf Rover Canis and his friends in order to save his sister who has been kidnapped by the enemy, though he doesn’t plan on handing the book over. Rover can’t help but feel a pull to the sexy dragon, especially when they have to work together in order to try to save the day.

This is a great book and awesome series. There are characters/beings I haven’t heard of before, but don’t worry if you want to read Trailing Air and haven’t read any other books in the series—you won’t feel too lost. I also think T.A. Chase does a good job of balancing everything that’s going on; you never get the feeling it’s too much drama or it’s too dark. There is a good flow between all of the different elements. Trailing Air also manages to be a fast paced paranormal romance that doesn’t have undying love professed by our MCs on page one.

I hope we get another book soon!

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4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Piper Doone, Reviewed by Pia

Review: Something to Die For by Piper Doone

Title: Something to Die For

Author: Piper Doone

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 53 Pages

At a Glance: I’m happily surprised with how much feeling and story Piper Doone managed to fit into such a short story.

Reviewed By: Pia

Blurb: Josh Tucker lives a blessed life—great job, great family, perfect husband, and two wonderful children—but a mysterious man named Adam who haunts his dreams and soon his waking life threatens everything when he stirs doubt as to whether any of it is real. Adam makes Josh question the world he’s taken for granted—as well as the origins of Adam himself.

Even if Adam’s claims are true, Josh has nothing to live for beyond his fabricated life—except the possibility of a real man out there somewhere who can love him. Josh is left with an impossible choice: stay in his delusion where he’s assured some happiness or take a great leap of faith for a chance to make a life with Adam.

Dividers

Review: At first I wasn’t sure in what genre to classify Something to Die For, which is something I like to do, and while it confused me a little at the beginning, it didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying it; especially as the whole dream world vs. reality isn’t something I’ve really read before.

When we meet Josh Tucker, it seems like he has the prefect life, an excellent family, wonderful kids and a loving husband. Until strange things start to happen. Who is this Adam person and why is he seemingly taking over Josh’s life, invading his dreams? How could the unbelievable things he says be true? Or, is Josh going insane, as he believes he is?

Like I said, this is a completely different story to anything I’ve ever read before, and I’m happily surprised with how much feeling and story Piper Doone managed to fit into such a short story. I didn’t feel anything was missing, loved that there was some heat, and nothing seemed rushed as is often the case with short stories. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more from Piper Doone in the future.






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4.5 Stars, Genre Romance, Mercy Celeste, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Pia, Self-Published

Review: Light From the Dark by Mercy Celeste

Title: Light From the Dark

Author: Mercy Celeste

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 301 Pages

At a Glance: I love Mercy Celeste and this is a great read.

Reviewed By: Pia

Blurb: After a year of picking up the pieces of his shattered life, former US Marshal Micah Beasley takes a job as bodyguard for a spoiled rich kid who can’t leave his house. It’s supposed to be a cupcake assignment. He just needs to get back in the game. What could possibly go wrong?

Brilliant and incredibly talented, Christopher (Kit) Auberon wears tragedy as a second skin. Kit is all that’s left of a powerful family. Seemingly forgotten, he’s spent his entire life in seclusion at the family estate, and he likes it that way. He’s free to play his games and create worlds without ever having to set foot in the real one.

Kit’s past is anything but forgotten. When death threats become real threats, Micah and Kit are forced to put their differences aside to discover who wants Kit dead.

But there are monsters in Kit’s closet that should never be disturbed.

Dividers

Review: Hmm… this book is a hard one to review because it sucked me in so fast, with all of its drama and mystery. Christopher “Kit” Auberons’ life has been tragic. At the tender age of eight, his life is ripped apart in one night. His parents and nanny are killed; kit is kidnapped and ends up scarred, both mentally and physically. When we meet him, Kit is in his twenties and too afraid to leave his room for fear someone is out to get him.

Enter Micah Beasley, ex-soldier and ex-US Marshal, who has basically shut down and checked out after his last case as a Marshal. Micah is hired by Kit’s uncle because there have been death threats and break-ins at the mansion. He takes the job for the money, and because he thinks it going to be an easy babysitting gig. Boy…is he wrong.

I loved watching Micah and Kit’s relationship bloom from strained to sexual to loving. I haven’t read many books with MCs like Kit before, and it was a nice change of pace. I liked how both men, so emotionally and physically damaged, could find a little comfort in each other.

For the most part, the mystery surrounding the past and the suspense over what was happening in the present was great, but the story kind of fell apart in the last few chapters and turned into a soap opera. We went from strong story to Days of Our Lives, and I kind of wanted to skim (I didn’t) and find out what was happening to the guys in the bedroom instead of reading how everything came together.

Having said that, though, I love Mercy Celeste and this is a great read.






You can buy Light From the Dark here:

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4 Stars, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Pia, Totally Bound, Willa Okati

Review: Give Chase by Willa Okati

Title: Give Chase

Author: Willa Okati

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 32000 Words

At a Glance: If you’re looking for a quick read that’s a bit sexy, with smart and stubborn men, then this book is for you.

Reviewed By: Pia

Blurb: Declan’s always been careful to guard his heart, but Isaac’s catching up at last. Some things are worth fighting for, even when they’re running fast.

Dr. Isaac Paliades has never been much for letting sleeping dogs lie, and he’s been intrigued by his colleague Dr. Declan Day from the moment they met. Declan’s a hard man to get a read on, one minute cool as snow and the next minute hot-blooded enough to give Isaac a run for his money. Though they work together, play together—and occasionally sleep together—Isaac has yet to get a good look at the man Declan is behind the carefully constructed masks he shows to the world.

But when the pair of physicians rescue an abandoned baby discovered while they’re out for a jog, Isaac sees cracks start to appear in Declan’s façade. He’s taking the care of their foundling more seriously than anyone imagined he would, and bringing Isaac along for the ride. He’s asking for dominance in bed, and a deeper friendship at St. Hawk’s.

Isaac thinks he’s finally found the key to unlocking Declan’s guarded heart. But even when the walls come down, can Declan find the courage and will to let Isaac in?

Dividers

Review: That feeling you get when you find a new author and want to read all of their books as soon as you can? That’s how I feel about Willa Okati. Yay!!!

In Giving Chase we meet Dr. Isaac Paliades and Dr. Declan Day. Both are doctors working at St. Hawk’s hospital. I have to admit it took me a bit to get into this book, not because it was bad but because for me, the characters took a bit to warm up to. Declan is a man who held his feelings close to the vest for most of this book, which is understandable when you find out why, but I would have loved to have had more of an insight into his background. As for Dr. Isaac, I love a man who won’t take no for an answer and am glad he kept pushing Declan to open up and share, when most people wouldn’t have taken the time to look beneath the surface to find out what was living underneath.

This is what happens when both doctors are out jogging and find an abandoned baby, who tugs at the heartstrings of everybody who gets involved with her. I’m not sure about anybody else but I love a grumpy, misunderstood guy who gets emotional over a tiny little baby.

While I loved this book, it left me with so many un-answered questions, such as what kind of home life did Isaac grow up in, where are his parents, and where did his sense of curiosity come from? How did both men come to work at St. Hawk’s, and how did being together change their lives? Those kinds of every day questions.

If you’re looking for a quick read that’s a bit sexy, with smart and stubborn men, then this book is for you.






You can buy Give Chase here:

Totally Bound

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3.5 Stars, Genre Romance, MLR Press, Reviewed by Pia, Riley Long

Review: Falling Apart by Riley Long

Title: Falling Apart

Author: Riley Long

Publisher: MLR Press

Pages/Word Count: 118 Pages

At a Glance: Riley Long did a good job of keeping the book focused on Billy and Ryder.

Reviewed By: Pia

Blurb: A cowboy meets an up-and-coming rock star and faces his fears of falling in love.

Playboy and up-and-coming rockstar Ryder Sullivan has it all–a band he loves, a career on the rise, and groupies in his bed whenever he wants. Cowboy Billy Cunningham enjoys his quiet life, but something’s missing. Soon he discovers that what’s missing is Ryder. Ryder feels the same way, and is ready to cast off his playboy ways and jump into the deep end with Billy. Can Billy face down his fears, put aside the complications of an eager would-be girlfriend and his pushy mother, and accept that he’s finally falling in love–with a man?

Dividers

Review: In Riley Long’s Falling Apart, we meet our MCs Ryder Sullivan, cocky, up-and-coming rock star, and Billy Cunningham, stressed out ranch boss and sometimes bar tender. We follow them on their journey from friends to lovers, and boy, is it a bit of a roller coaster.

For me, this book wasn’t the typical skanky-rock star-playboy meets innocent guy insta-lust story, which I’m grateful for. Don’t get me wrong—it’s hinted at that Ryder is getting his fair share while on tour, but it’s thankfully just background noise.

Riley Long did a good job of keeping the book focused on Billy and Ryder. I liked how the guys took their time, and that the book revolved mostly around them getting together. However, it would have been nice to meet more of the background characters, such as Ryder’s band and the ranch staff who worked with Billy. I also felt bad for Ryder, who time and again put himself out there, only for Billy to reject him because Billy “wasn’t gay”. It was annoying because it was clear that Billy had strong feelings for Ryder. Having said that, I’m glad things worked out for the guys, and I hope they get their happy ever after.

P.S., the dedication was truly awesome.






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4 Stars, All Romance Ebooks, Cardeno C., Genre Romance, Reviewed by Pia

Review: Jumping In by Cardeno C.

Title: Jumping In

Author: Cardeno C.

Publisher: OmniLit/ARe LLC

Pages/Word Count: 55 Pages

At a Glance: I loved this book. My only complaint is it was way too short.

Reviewed By: Pia

Blurb: When love’s on the line, the brave jump in with both feet…

Small town cop Clint Rivera can’t catch a break. His ex of two weeks is suddenly getting married, his dogs tore up his furniture, he’s getting evicted, and he’s out of beer. When he decides to solve his alcohol shortage by going to his ex’s engagement party, Clint winds up too drunk to drive himself home.

Enter gorgeous deputy-mayor Hawk Black, the man who constantly shows up unexpectedly and sends Clint’s body and mind into a tailspin with nothing but his whiskey voice and blue eyes. After months of patience, Hawk can finally seduce the man he’s been craving.

Clint’s day might not have started out well, but Hawk’s going to make sure it ends with a bang, preferably in bed. He’ll show Clint some rewards are worth the risk. With love on the line, Clint will need to decide if he can open his heart, tear down his shields, and jump in with both feet.

Dividers

Review: What starts out as a bad day, ends with a happy ending.

Ever had one of those days? We all have, so I can definitely sympathize with Clint, one of our MCs. Clint’s bad day starts out with an invite to an ex- boyfriend’s wedding, continues with destruction by a dog, is made worse when he finds an eviction notice, but the straw that breaks the camel’s back? Faulty fridge which leads to ruined beer.

The perfect solution? Turning up to his ex-boyfriend’s engagement party and drinking lots of bubbly on an empty stomach.

In swoops Hawk, tall, dark and tired of waiting for Clint to finally see what’s in front of him: hard and more than ready to go!

I loved this book. My only complaint is it was way too short, and I would have loved another few hundred pages.






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4 Stars, Anna Martin, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, M.J. O'Shea, Reviewed by Pia

Review: Soufflés at Sunrise by M.J. O’Shea and Anna Martin

Title: Soufflés at Sunrise (Just Desserts: Book Two)

Authors: M.J. O’Shea and Anna Martin

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 206 Pages

At a Glance: If you’re after a light and fun romance, this is the book for you.

Reviewed By: Pia

Blurb: “Welcome to a new season of Burned, where we find fresh new cooking talent… and a few culinary disasters! Every season we do something a little different, and this time it’s all about the sweet things in life. Get ready in week one as twenty pastry chef hopefuls and dessert connoisseurs compete for the thirteen coveted workspaces in our Burned kitchen. With stakes this big, we ask the one question on everyone’s mind: Do these chefs have what it takes to rise to the top? Or will they get Burned?”

Burned contestants Chase and Kai are attracted from the start and can’t wait to spend more time getting to know each other… until they see the first episode treatment and realize the producers intend to portray them as bitter enemies. At first it’s fun to pretend to bicker—enemies on film, lovers when the cameras stop rolling—but soon it’s hard not to take the faux rivalry seriously. It’s only when their choice is to band together and bake their way to the final or get burned that they find where their real loyalties lie.

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Review: In Soufflés at Sunrise, we meet Chase, the blonde farm boy who is the owner of an ice cream shop. We also meet Hawaiian pastry chief Kai, both of whom are auditioning for this series of Burned–think master chef/top chef and you’ll get the idea. I enjoyed reading about the challenges, cooking, and the behind the scenes of the show. Some of the desserts sound just lush, and I hope M.J O’Shea and Anna Martin got to try some of them. All in the mane of research, of course!

While I usually like a lot more heat in my books, I loved the slow build of the relationship. I’m so glad this wasn’t an overly glib, insta-love story. It’s fun to read, and it left me feeling happy and optimistic that good things are going to happen for our MCs.

If you’re after a light and fun romance, this is the book for you.






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3.5 Stars, Harmony Ink Press, Reviewed by Pia, Robbie Michaels, Young Adult

Review: Caught by Robbie Michaels

Title: Caught

Author: Robbie Michaels

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press

Pages/Word Count: 190 Pages

At a Glance: Robbie Michaels did a really good job with this book

Blurb: Caught in the Act: Book One

When Adam’s father catches him in bed with his best friend, he rips Adam away from his comfortable life in the city and sends him to a farm in the country, hoping some hard work will “fix” him. Adam is supposed to work with Ben, a hostile young man who clearly doesn’t want him there, no matter how hard Adam tries to prove himself. When Ben kisses him, Adam is shocked and delighted but terrified his father will once again pull him away from a home he’s grown to like.

As their relationship grows in secret, Ben promises to stay with Adam when school starts to help him get to know the place and the people. However, Amelia, a young woman Ben had dated, latches on to Ben again. Adam is furious at being abandoned to fend for himself on his first day in a new school. A physical confrontation with Amelia lands Adam in trouble again, and his father’s involvement complicates all their lives. Betrayal and an uncertain future threaten Adam and Ben’s budding summer relationship.

Dividers

Review: Caught is a really enjoyable novel. I thought for a Young Adult book that it was well balanced, considering all the things that were going on.

While I liked Adam and thought he was a believable teenage boy who gets hurt by his best friend, is relocated to the middle of nowhere by his dad, and is used as free labour by the neighbours’, the jury is still out on Ben. He goes from mean and barely tolerating Adam, to totally in love and dedicated—until school starts and his ex-girlfriend comes back into the picture—then it’s like a whole new Ben. I got whiplash trying to keep up.

One of the things I thought was a bit off with this book was that after getting caught making out with a boy in his bedroom by his dad, Adam’s mum (who we hardly meet) doesn’t seem to have much of an opinion on what’s happening. Another issue is Adam’s dad: if you’re going to move yourself and your son halfway across the country because you don’t want your son to be gay, and you feel you’ve let him down and not been the best dad you could have been, then wouldn’t you actually spend time with him and not just fob him off to the neighbours’ place?

One thing I loved about this book is that even though it’s a YA novel and the sex scenes aren’t overly graphic, it still manages to be kinda sexy. I think it’s awesome that Adam and Ben switch around their sexual roles so often.

I think Robbie Michaels did a really good job with this book, and I can’t wait for the next one.






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4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Pia, Serena Yates

Review: The Elevator Mechanic by Serena Yates

Title: The Elevator Mechanic

Author: Serena Yates

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 116 Pages

At a Glance: A well done novella for anyone who wants a quick, sexy read

Blurb: Quiet elevator installer Joe Taylor craves more stability in his career, but not in his personal life. Casual sex suits him, and when he meets fitness center owner Bill Evans at a mall where they are both working, they agree on no-strings-attached weekend hookups. Both men have fought hard to escape their pasts and are afraid to commit, so the agreement works well for them—at first. But when the sex gets hotter by the weekend and a deeper connection forms, Joe and Bill wonder if a relationship is feasible, especially since Joe’s work makes it impossible for him to settle down. Joe must consider his changing priorities and decide if he can take a risk on something beyond the physical.

1st Edition published by Silver Publishing, 2010.

Dividers

Review: The Elevator Mechanic is a great, quick read I enjoyed, and I liked that it wasn’t your typical workplace romance. Our MCs are both down to earth guys who have worked hard to get where they are. In this book we meet Joe, the shy elevator mechanic who seems to want more out of life but doesn’t have the confidence to stand up for what’s right and go after what he wants. Then there’s Bill Evans, the sexy, kind, new business owner.

While it was nice to see two guys go from one-night-stand to smexy buddies to relationship, it would have been nice to see them get to know more about each other, get their back-stories, the events that shaped their pasts as well. The story also seemed a little one sided but having said that, this book is about Joe and Bill’s relationship, and it’s a well done novella for anyone who wants a quick, sexy read!






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4 Stars, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Pia, Sydney Presley, Totally Bound

Review: Jace’s Justice by Sydney Presley

Title: Jace’s Justice (Highgate Shifters: Book One)

Author: Sydney Presley

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 100 Pages

At a Glance: Leaves a lot of unanswered questions

Blurb: Finding yourself isn’t always easy—unless your true mate helps you along the way…

Jace has always felt as though he doesn’t belong, that he’s surplus to requirements, alone and destined to stay that way for the rest of his life. His love for Louie, his true mate, is solid and real, but Louie has never shown Jace that they’re mates, has never given any indication that he wants them to be together. Jace is convinced that fate has got things wrong in pairing them—until a stranger arrives on pack land, throwing everything into chaos.

Louie has lived his whole life keeping his distance from Jace—and his emotions. He loves the man with a passion, but knowing Jace might be taken away from him at any moment means Louie has kept his mouth shut. Jace was found on the side of the road as a cub by their alpha, Sergeant, and Louie has always known that one day Jace’s true family will come back to claim him. To save Jace having to make a painful decision—leave Louie or join his family—Louie has remained in the shadows.

But life has a way of changing things, and with the stranger comes knowledge of some terrible things happening on another wolf compound. Things that the Highgate pack feel compelled to fix. The question is, will Jace and Louie mating also change things, or will they remain the same as they’ve always been, forever circling around their love and never admitting it through fear of being hurt?

Dividers

Review: Sexy shifters – check
Denying ourselves our mate – check
Hot sweaty man love – check check!

I love a good paranormal m/m story, and I thought this one was pretty good! And I think our MCs, Jace and Louie, make a great couple. I also liked that the big, slightly gruff alpha rescued Jace as a pup from the side of the road. There’s something so awesome about a big grumbly with a little bubba.

What I would have liked, and trust me I don’t say it very often, is more story and less sex. I know the book was about Jace and Louie becoming mates, but I have so many unanswered questions and am very glad Jace’s Justice is Book One of a series, because I’m eagerly awaiting the next book!






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4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Fairy Tale/Mythology/Folk Lore, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Pia, Skye Dragen

Review: Twisted Roses by Skye Dragen

Title: Twisted Roses

Author: Skye Dragen

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 144 Pages

At a Glance: A fun, sexy paranormal read

Blurb: Payne has always had trouble fitting in, and being abandoned by his parents has left him reluctant to trust anyone. He knows he’s different, but he has no idea how different until his grandfather invites him to Blackwater Falls—a beautiful estate he’s offered as his inheritance. Payne thinks it’s too good to be true, and it turns out he’s right.

Walking the wooded trails of the estate begins to awaken something in Payne. As he discovers his Fae nature, he learns his family’s legacy: to serve as caretakers to a preserve for Sidhe, Fae, and other magical creatures. Word of the return of the long-lost Fae prince reaches the preserve’s inhabitants, and Payne must navigate a world of political intrigue he can’t begin to understand as various factions seek to entice him to their Courts.

Dragon Aden Canicus offers to tutor Payne, and the tension between them is instant and growing. But prickly and aloof Aden keeps Payne at arm’s length. Unable to trust their connection when his family is threatened, Payne seeks other allies. Their direction leads him down a dangerous path where a dragon’s affection is the least of his concerns and may even end his life.

Dividers

Review: ::sighs dreamily:: I might have let out a little squee with this one. Who doesn’t like a good sidhe/fae, all things magical romance every now and then?

In Skye Dragens’ Twisted Roses, we meet eighteen-year-old Payne, who is in for the shock of his life when his absentee father shows up out of the blue to bring Payne back to the family estate. What’s waiting for him is a nothing short of amazing.

Like I said, we meet all sorts of magical creatures, some drool worthy, some so nasty you might want to vomit a little bit. I liked Payne as a character and thought he made a believable weary, horny slightly out of control teenager. I like that he has a little freak out after learning that magic is real, and it suddenly plays a huge part in his life. Then we meet Aden, one of the drool worthy creatures, who is not only Payne’s tutor but also someone Payne has a bit of a hidden past with. It was so fun watching Payne try to seduce the grumpy Aden. You almost feel like fist pumping whenever Aden gives in.

So if you’re in the mood for a fun, sexy paranormal read, this book is probably for you!






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3 Stars, Harmony Ink Press, Jay Jordan Hawke, Reviewed by Pia, Young Adult

Review: A Scout Is Brave by Jay Jordan Hawke

Title: A Scout Is Brave

Author: Jay Jordan Hawke

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press

Pages/Word Count: 180 Pages

At a Glance: A difficult book to get through, but ends well

Blurb: Sequel to Pukawiss The Outcast: The Two-spirit Chronicles: Book Two

In the months following the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, fourteen-year-old Joshua, a half Native American boy, is new to a Boy Scout troop and spending a week camping in northern Wisconsin. The weaker kids in the troop soon realize Joshua is not afraid to stand up to the troop’s ruthless bullies. Joshua’s bravery and kindness is infectious, and the bullied Scouts quickly find their own inner strength.

Joshua, however, is plagued by self-doubt as he realizes he has feelings for Cody, the son of the troop’s harsh and puritanical Scoutmaster. The two discover they have more in common than Scouting as they share their deepest secrets and develop a close friendship. That friendship faces its greatest challenge as the homophobic bullies claim a “faggot” has “infected” their troop. As if struggling to come to terms with his sexuality while dealing with hatred and bigotry isn’t enough, Joshua discovers the camp holds another dark mystery, one that will make him summon all his courage and learn for the first time what it truly means to be brave.

Dividers

Review: In Jay Jordan Hawke’s <A Scout Is Brave, we meet up with Joshua Ishkoday, a 14 yr old part-Native American teenager who Is forced by his mother, a strict Protestant, to join the Boy Scouts as a way to discourage him from embracing his Native American heritage. It quickly becomes clear that Joshua isn’t intimidated by the bullies at camp, and is more than willing to stand up for himself and the younger/weaker kids in his troop.

I’m finding this book hard to review, and it was almost a DNF for me, not because it’s a bad book because it’s not, and I’m glad I read it, but I was just so disappointed with the adults in the story. Most of the grownups in this book, especially the scout leader, were immature bigots and just plain mean. I kind of wanted to shake them a little bit. I wouldn’t want my kids within a hundred yards of any of them, and I think it’s sad that not one adult was there for the guys. Another thing that kept tripping me up was that a lot of the time I forgot that Josh and his friends were in the 11-14 year old age range because they come across so confident, and the way they spoke made them sound years older than they were.

One of the things I really liked about A Scout Is Brave was how well Jay Jordan Hawke wrote the bullies and their gang. They were very believable and so was the dynamic of their group. I love that Josh sticks up for the younger kids and stands up to the bullies, and even when the bullies push back, Josh still doesn’t back down or shy away.

So, like I said, this book was really hard to read, but in the end I’m happy I did.








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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

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