5 Stars, New Adult, Perie Wolford, Reviewed by Tina, Self-Published

Review: Sam Dorsey and His First Days in College by Perie Wolford

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Title: Sam Dorsey and His First Days in College (Turning 16: Book 3.1)

Author: Perie Wolford

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 140 Pages

At a Glance: Fun, funny, and melancholy—this series should be labeled Required Reading in its genre.

Reviewed By: Tina

Blurb: Part 1: THE FIRST DAYS IN COLLEGE

Sam worked so hard to get a chance to go to Boston Film Academy but never in his darkest nightmares could he imagine that he would hate it there from day one.

Part 2: CHRISTMAS WITH MITCH

One thing that Mitch dreaded the most was coming out to his family but now he is being forced to do it because his mother is relentless trying to set him up on a date with a nice girl, just one date, or maybe two, or a dozen; and that is driving him crazy.

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Review: Sam Dorsey’s story is told through a collection of short stories and novellas that make up the Turning 16 Series. Each book is loosely based on an angsty teenager movie from the 1980s. The first two were each an accounting of two of Sam’s birthdays. The first, his sixteenth, held hints of Sixteen Candles, the Molly Ringwald movie that came to be part of a collection of films representing a generation of young people, myself included.

The second book told the story of Sam’s seventeenth birthday, and Mr. Wolford included a nod to Dirty Dancing. Poor Sam believes his birthday is cursed, and the only way to avoid calamity on that one day each year is to avoid acknowledging the actual day of his birth as a special day. The days before and after are okay to celebrate, just not the day itself.

Eventually, Sam had to graduate high school and go to college, right? Sam Dorsey and His First Days in College is made up of two short stories: The First Days in College and Christmas with Mitch. Sam has wanted to go to the Boston Film Academy since he can remember. He is shocked to discover that while he had an image in his mind of what college life would be like, the actuality is vastly different.

In the first two books, Perie Wolford dealt masterfully with Sam’s coming out and the conflict he suddenly faced, having to choose between his BFF Mitch and Mr. Popularity, Jake. The title of the second story included in this volume is a spoiler if you don’t know which guy Sam chose. That information is available in the book descriptions everywhere, though, so I’m not responsible for giving it up!

Reading Sam Dorsey and His First Days in College kind of felt like reuniting with old friends I hadn’t seen in a while. It was having coffee with Sam and catching up on what I had missed in the last year or so. I slipped right back into his world, easily and comfortably. Mr. Wolford has written these characters and their stories in a way that makes you feel like you’re a part of their universe, not just watching from the outside of your e-reader.

Sam’s stories are short and sweet, even when they’re full of teen angst. I had looked forward to this book to see where Mr. Wolford would take me—I mean, Sam—next. I wasn’t disappointed. It was fun, funny, and melancholy. I felt pride at how far Sam has come.

The next book in the series, Such a Grown-Up (Turning 16 #3.2), is expected in November. Just in time for Sam’s sophomore year in college? I guess we’ll have to wait to find out. In the meantime, I highly recommend that you take the time to read the first three books in this delightful series. You won’t be disappointed.

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You can buy Sam Dorsey and His First Days in College here:

Barnes & Noble

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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

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5 Stars, Brad Boney, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Literary Fiction, Reviewed by Tina

Review: The Eskimo Slugger by Brad Boney

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Title: The Eskimo Slugger

Author: Brad Boney

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 230 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: It’s the summer of 1983, and Trent Days is Major League Baseball’s rookie sensation. Born in Alaska to an Inupiat mother, the press have dubbed him the Eskimo Slugger, but a midseason collision at home plate temporarily halts his meteoric rise to the top. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Amelia C. Gormley, Genre Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Tina, Riptide Publishing

Review: Player vs Player by Amelia C. Gormley

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Title: Player vs Player

Author: Amelia C. Gormley

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 282 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Pushing for change can be dangerous when change starts pushing back.

Video game writer Niles River loves the work he does at Third Wave Studios: creating games with mass appeal that feature women, people of color, and LGBTQ characters. To make his job even better, his best friend is his boss, and his twin brother works beside him. And they mostly agree that being on the forefront of social change is worth dealing with trollish vitriol—Niles is more worried about his clingy ex and their closeted intern’s crush on his brother than he is about internet harassment. Continue reading

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3 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Louise Lyons, Reviewed by Tina

Review: Conflicted by Louise Lyons

Title: Conflicted

Author: Louise Lyons

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 300 Pages

Rating: 3 Stars

Blurb: Two competing gangs of car and drag racing enthusiasts with a shared history of pain and rivalry leading to outright hatred. Two men from opposite sides of the tracks, yet with more in common than they’d like to admit.

Paul Appleton is a troubled man who has never been in a relationship, having lost everyone he cared for in his life. His mother died when he was very young and subsequently, he lost his brother and his best friend. Now Paul is convinced love will always end in tears. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Bold Strokes Books, Brian McNamara, Reviewed by Tina, Young Adult

Review: Bottled Up Secret by Brian McNamara

Title: Bottled Up Secret

Author: Brian McNamara

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

Pages/Word Count: 264 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Brendan Madden is in the midst of his senior year of high school and couldn’t be happier. He has a great group of friends, his pick of colleges, and he has recently come to terms with his sexuality. One night, he meets Mark Galovic, a gorgeous, younger classmate of his. In a matter of minutes, Brendan is hooked. As the friendship between them grows, Brendan reaches his breaking point when he spontaneously confesses his feelings to him. Brendan is shocked and elated to find out that Mark feels the same way about him. The two begin to date, but because Mark is not out, it must remain a secret. As their friends and family become suspicious, openly gay Brendan becomes increasingly frustrated with their discreet relationship, while Mark becomes more and more paranoid that they’re going to be found out. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Amy Lane, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Tina

Review: Beneath the Stain: Parts Six and Seven by Amy Lane

Title: Beneath the Stain: Parts Six and Seven

Author: Amy Lane

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 350 Pages (Full Series)

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: In a town as small as Tyson, CA, everybody knew the four brothers with the four different fathers—and their penchant for making good music when they weren’t getting into trouble. For Mackey Sanders, playing in Outbreak Monkey with his brothers and their friends—especially Grant Adams—made Tyson bearable. But Grant has plans for getting Mackey and the Sanders boys out of Tyson, even if that means staying behind. Continue reading

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3.5 Stars, Brigham Vaughn, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Tina, Self-Published

Review: Partners by Brigham Vaughn

Title: Partners (Equals: Book Two)

Author: Brigham Vaughn

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 121 Pages

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Blurb: After a rocky first few months, Stephen Parker and Russ Bishop’s relationship is at a crossroads when the death of Stephen’s father forces them to visit Stephen’s hometown in southern Georgia. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Renae Kaye, Reviewed by Tina

Review: The Blinding Light by Renae Kaye

Title: The Blinding Light

Author: Renae Kaye

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 210 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Jake Manning’s smart mouth frequently gets him into trouble. Because of it, he can’t hold a job. Combined with some bad luck, it’s prevented him from keeping steady employment. A huge debt looms over him, and alone he shoulders the care of his alcoholic mother and three younger sisters. When a housekeeping position opens, Jake’s so desperate he leaps at the opportunity. On landing, he finds his new boss, Patrick Stanford, a fussy, arrogant, rude… and blind man. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Amy Lane, Drama, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Tina

Review: Beneath the Stain (Part Five) by Amy Lane

Title: Beneath the Stain (Part Five)

Author: Amy Lane

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 95 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Mackey is great at taking a leap of faith into a crowd—but taking one into a relationship and a future is a totally different animal. When he and Trav decide to take a risk that Mackey’s healing can hold up to them together, they know it’s going to be a long, difficult road. Mackey proves he can handle the stress of performing on his own, but when it comes to the demons that broke him in the first place, that’s a whole other song.

The first time Mackey tries to go home, it sends him into a palm-sweating, stomach-heaving anxiety attack, and Trav has to concede that Mackey is still on loan from the things that almost wrecked him when he was still a kid. When news arrives that affects the entire band, Mackey can either go home and face his demons or let them haunt them forever. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Genre Romance, Ingela Bohm, Reviewed by Tina, Self-Published

Review: Just Playing and The Road Taken by Ingela Bohm

PicMonkey CollageTitle: Just Playing/The Road Taken

Author: Ingela Bohn

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 315 Pages/272 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Michael and Jamie seem fated to make music together. But the thrill of playing soon turns into something more, something neither of the young men can handle. Unable to just stay friends, their only option may be to avoid each other completely. But when things start moving for Jamie’s band, a decision has to be made: either this is goodbye, or they risk everything and let Michael join. Continue reading

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4.5 Stars, Genre Romance, Lisa Worrall, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Tina, White Stiletto Press

Review and Giveaway: Laurel Heights 2 by Lisa Worrall

Title: Laurel Heights 2

Author: Lisa Worrall

Publisher: White Stiletto Press

Pages/Word Count: 143 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: Will and Scott are now out and proud and living together in Scott’s tiny house. So everything is perfect, right? Wrong…

Scott has a new partner, a new male partner, and Will is not happy about that at all.

A sadistic serial killer is at large, torturing his way through the gay community, but Will and Scott have no leads.

And one of the residents of Laurel Heights has been arrested for murder. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Amy Lane, Drama, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Tina

Review: Beneath the Stain: Parts Three and Four by Amy Lane

Title: Beneath the Stain: Parts 3 and 4

Author: Amy Lane

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: Serial Novel

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: In a town as small as Tyson, CA, everybody knew the four brothers with the four different fathers– and their penchant for making good music when they weren’t getting into trouble. For Mackey Sanders, playing in Outbreak Monkey with his brothers and their friends—especially Grant Adams–made Tyson bearable. But Grant has plans for getting Mackey and the Sanders boys out of Tyson, even if that means staying behind. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Michael Rupured, Reviewed by Tina

Review: Happy Independence Day by Michael Rupured

“Mark my word,” Carrie said. She leaned toward Terrence so he could hear. “We’ll have a woman president decades before a Negro gets elected.” – Michael Rupured



Title: Happy Independence Day

Author: Michael Rupured

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 256 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Terrence Bottom wants to change the world. A prelaw student at Columbia University majoring in political science, his interests range from opposing the draft and the war in Vietnam, to civil rights for gays, to anything to do with Cameron McKenzie. Terrence notices the rugged blond hanging around the Stonewall Inn, but the handsome man—and rumored Mafia hustler—rebuffs his smiles and winks. Continue reading

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3 Stars, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Tina, T.A. Chase, Totally Bound

Review: Mountains to Climb by T.A. Chase

Title: Mountains to Climb

Author: T.A. Chase

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 60 Pages

Rating: 3 Stars

Blurb: Sometimes the past can be the biggest mountain to climb.

Toby Schwartzel has never forgot Jensen Brockhoff, the man he loved and the one who disappeared six years ago. He thinks he’s moved on, but when Jensen appears again and wants to explain what happened, Toby realises he never got over Jensen. He’d only built up walls to keep from being hurt again. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Boroughs Publishing Group, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Tina, Susan Mac Nicol

Review: Love and Punishment by Susan Mac Nicol

Title: Love and Punishment

Author: Susan Mac Nicol

Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group

Pages/Word Count: 245 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: FROM DARKNESS AND LIGHT

Someone is leaving a trail of bodies throughout London, and Detective Anthony Parglietto is determined to end the violence. Then he’ll return to the man he loves.

Tough, street-savvy, and used to dealing with lowlifes, Flynn Parker is the last person Anthony thinks he has to protect. Then the Bow-Tie Killer strikes close to home and the world turns upside down. Right is wrong, black is white, and a policeman might become a monster. But in the name of love, justice must be served. In the name of love, pain can be endured. In the name of love, a man can taste the very essence that defines him. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Amy Lane, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Tina

Review: Beneath the Stain (Parts One and Two) by Amy Lane

“I did not expect this,” he said, so startled he found the word/rhythm place without thinking. “That the person in my skin was so plain to someone else, I didn’t expect it. How is it that you can see the guy I’ve hidden mostly from myself?”– Amy Lane


Title: Beneath the Stain: Parts One and Two

Author: Amy Lane

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 95 and 71 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb – Part One: In one breath of shotgunned pot smoke, Grant Adams breaks every taboo Mackey knows—and Mackey refuses to look back. In the shadows of their small town, Mackey and Grant carry on a precocious affair under the noses and behind the backs of girlfriends, parents, and overprotective older brothers. When Mackey’s band finally has a chance to make it big, Mackey and Grant are put to the test.

And fail miserably. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Dane Waters, Genre Romance, Loose Id, Reviewed by Tina, Romantic Comedy

Dane Waters’ “With This Ring, I Thee…Oh Sh*t!” Has Everything A Reader Could Want

“Love is a cowboy’s hardest ride.” ― C.B. Smith


Title: With This Ring, I Thee…Oh Sh*t!

Author: Dane Waters

Publisher: Loose Id

Pages/Word Count: 184 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: The days leading up to Dean’s wedding include his mild mannered fiancée morphing into a Texas diva. A future father in law who’d like nothing more than to shoot him in the back. Horny bridesmaids with handcuffs, a Texas sized bar fight, a stripper with hygiene issues, and riding a horse without getting killed. Leo, his fiancé’s little brother, gets him through it all as well as reigniting the urges Dean thought he’d put to rest years ago. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Genre Romance, Lisa Worrall, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Tina, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Totally Bound

Lisa Worrall’s “Going Under” Packs A Mean Paranormal Punch

“He says you kill ghosts for a living. Like you’re a ghostbuster or something.”

“I’m not a ghostbuster.” ― Kendare Blake


Title: Going Under

Author: Lisa Worrall

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 106 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Battered by unseen forces, Evan Griffin finally seeks help. Paranormal investigator Ross Stone is captivated. Dare he get close when he’s fighting his own demons?

Evan Griffin moved into his remote country house with all the excitement and promise of a new start. He thought he’d found it until the strange noises began… When the attacks become physical, he was left bruised and battered and desperate for help. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Brigham Vaughn, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Tina, Self-Published

Brigham Vaughn’s “Equals” Adds Up To A Great Love Story

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” –Bryant H. McGill


Title: Equals

Author: Brigham Vaughn

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 138 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Too busy to date while he worked to put himself through school, Russell Bishop’s dedication finally pays off; he has a great job with Vantage Marketing. Stephen Parker, CFO of the marketing firm, has resigned himself to a life without a partner. For six months, they wanted each other but it isn’t until Russ slips on spilled coffee, and Stephen rushes to his rescue that they discover their attraction is mutual. However, the twenty year age gap between them proves difficult when they begin dating. Fiercely independent, Russ isn’t sure he’s ready for long-term commitment. Scarred from a previous relationship, Stephen is afraid history is repeating itself. Is there any way for them to meet in the middle and become equals? Continue reading

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4 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Erotica, Genre Romance, Heidi Belleau, Horror, Lisa Henry, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Tina, Riptide Publishing, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau’s “Bliss” Is Too Good To Be True

“If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.” — Every Parent Ever


Title: Bliss

Author: Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 230 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: They’re always happy.

Rory James has worked hard all his life to become a citizen of the idyllic city-state of Beulah. Like every other kid born in the neighboring country of Tophet, he’s heard the stories: No crime or pollution. A house and food for everyone. It’s perfect, and Rory is finally getting a piece of it. Continue reading

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4 Stars, A Bear On Books, Drama, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Tina, T.A. Webb

Where There’s Love, Trouble Follows In T.A. Webb’s “Brothers In Arms”

“Every gay man out there has at least one man-crush in his past that totally shriveled his nads into raisins and sent him screaming off into the night.” ― T.A. Webb


Title: Brothers In Arms (The Broken Road Cafe: Book Two)

Author: T.A. Webb

Publisher: A Bear On Books

Pages/Word Count: 171 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Betrayed on every front, Dan O’Leary cashed in all his chips and moved from the big city life of Atlanta to small town Blue Ridge, Georgia. While licking his wounds, he never meant to start a new relationship, especially with closeted Chief of Police Nick Oliver. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Ashlyn Kane, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Morgan James, Reviewed by Tina

There Are Lots Of Good Feelings To Be Found In Ashlyn Kane and Morgan James’s “Hard Feelings:

“Design means how something works, not how it looks – the design should evolve from the function.” —James Dyson


Title: Hard Feelings

Author: Ashlyn Kane & Morgan James

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count:

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Rylan Williams hates conferences: too many people, not enough routine, and way too much interaction with strangers. When he gets stuck in a broken elevator with Miller Jones, the kid who fell asleep in his lecture, he figures things can’t get worse. Then Rylan realizes he’s the same guy he just spent an hour perving over from afar. Continue reading

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2.5 Stars, Drama, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Kate Pavelle, Reviewed by Tina

Kate Pavelle’s “Breakfall” Is A Story Of Survival And Recovery

“The true science of martial arts means practicing them in such a way that they will be useful at any time, and to teach them in such a way that they will be useful in all things.” ― Miyamoto Musashi


Title: Breakfall

Author: Kate Pavelle

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 270 Pages

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Blurb: Sexual assault doesn’t discriminate. Aikido instructor Sean Gallaway learns that when he falls prey to a violent stalker. Asbjorn Lund, a karate sensei on campus and a Navy vet, yearns to teach Sean how to survive. How to overcome. How to recover. Sean feels hunted and alone as the stalker escalates, testing his boundaries. With the entire dojo at his back, Sean resolves to play bait. He will catch the predator stalking him and reclaim his sense of self if it’s the last thing he does. Yet Sean’s hunger for justice clashes with Asbjorn’s protective streak, and their budding romance might not survive their war of wills. Continue reading

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