2 Stars, Amber Allure, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed By Carrie, Sean Michael

Review: His Very Own Vampire by Sean Michael

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Amazon

Title: His Very Own Vampire

Author: Sean Michael

Publisher: Amber Allure

Pages/Word Count: 60 Pages

At a Glance: This story had so much promise, but just didn’t deliver.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: Vampire Truelock’s job for the last several hundred years has been protecting the President of Archer Industries, a family-run company that has done very well for itself. Since the current patriarch, Desmond Archer, is getting ready to officially retire from the company that more or less runs itself, he sends True on a mission to protect his estranged grandson Lane.

Lane’s mother stopped speaking to her father Desmond when Lane was only a few years old and has told her son that his grandparents are all dead. He has no idea that he’s even an heir to a fortune. So when a handsome stranger steps in and saves him from bodily harm just when he needs it, he’s both grateful and a little suspicious. That suspicion only grows when bad things continue to happen to him, all seeming to stem from True’s arrival and his claim that he’s been sent by Lane’s grandfather to protect him.

The fact that there’s insane chemistry between Lane and True doesn’t help either of them untangle the mystery regarding the danger’s source. Can they find the answers before Lane’s unknown enemies manage to do him permanent damage?

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Review: I am only going to give a short review of His Very Own Vampire because if I write much more, my review would be longer than the book.

This novella had so much promise, it could have been good, but the characters were stiff and poorly written.  Truelock is a vampire who has served the Archer family for over two-hundred-fifty years. Now, Desmond Archer is dying and wants True to find his estranged grandson and bring him home. Lane’s mother ran from her family at a young age and brought her son up thinking that he had no family but her.  When True arrives, claiming he is working for Lane’s grandfather, Lane is confused and wants nothing to do with him. Outside influences fling these two together, as True must protect Lane from family members who want him dead in order to claim Lane’s share of the Archer fortune.

See? So much promise. I wish that Sean Michael had spent more time on this story and really made a novel out of it, as the characters in and of themselves are rather interesting, and the plot is plausible. There are just too many unbelievable leaps and not enough development of characters or storyline for this to be a Sean Michael success.

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4.5 Stars, All Romance Ebooks, Genre Romance, J.R. Gray, Reviewed By Carrie

Review: Say Yes by J.R. Gray

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Title: Say Yes

Author: J.R. Gray

Publisher: OmniLit/ARe

Pages/Word Count: 93 Pages

At a Glance: Say Yes is a gritty story of control, and ultimately, of letting go.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: Charles holds the key to salvation, but James has to say yes.

James failed. He tried to be what they wanted. He tried to deny it. He tried to be a good Catholic boy…but it’s become too much. He craves pain, submission. He’s denied himself far too long, and it’s eating him alive.

Charles thrives off the exchange of power. He knows the world revolves around control. It’s given and taken like currency, in business and in pleasure. He won’t get attached, though, or so he tells himself, until James turns his world upside down. He’s defiant and snarky, but Charles can taste the submission on him.

All James has to do is say one little word.

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Review: James is young, strong, vulnerable, and was brought up in an uptight, wealthy atmosphere. He has a façade permanently in place that projects the man he wants the world to see. When his father dies and his mother cuts him off, his world becomes all about survival and straddling a line between the world he knew and the world he now resides in. He is the epitome of a young man denying himself everything in the name of keeping his head above water.

Charles exudes dominant sexual tension. Running into the enigma that is James piques his interest in a way not many things have. Oh, he wants James, wants him bad—but first he has to get James to say yes.  The sexual tension between these two men is almost ludicrous—the banter, the flirting, the emotions underneath are heady.

The magnetism of the characters J.R. Gray has created is palpable. There is tight, fast paced writing in this short story and because of that, we get a complete story arc and believable, well-rounded characters with plenty of relationship building. There is a BDSM element to the story, but it is not the focus, merely an element in it. James must learn to embrace himself even if no one else does, and Charles has to overcome past hurts and defenses to be what James needs. In the end, it takes courage for both men to say yes and to find their own power in the doing of it.

This was my first book by this author, but after this novella, I bought another book written by him because of the narrative power he developed in this short story. I hope this is the beginning of a new series for J.R. Gray, as I would love to revisit these two men and get another glimpse into their lives.

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3 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Angel, Sean Michael

Review: First Steps by Sean Michael

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Title: First Steps

Author:  Sean Michael

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 104 Pages

At a GlanceFirst Steps is a tooth-achingly sweet romance.

Reviewed By: Angel

Blurb: Abandoned by his partner in the wilds of Alaska, Peter is pretty much at the end of his rope. He has a cabin falling down around his ears, two young babies to care for, and too much alone time to think about his situation. It’s enough to make a man rethink wanting to be a dad.

Park Ranger Chad thinks Peter could use some help, especially when fire and weather warnings make him wonder if Peter’s little cabin is going to make it through the year. When he takes Peter and the babies in, he finds out that the attraction the two of them felt on their first meeting has the potential to be a lot more. Can he convince Peter that they can do more than keep each other warm?

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ReviewFirst Steps is simply a story about a man wanting to raise his children somewhere nice, and then met the love of his life while doing so. This is the second edition of the story, so I don’t know if anything was added or subtracted from the first publication back in 2007, but it was a tooth-achingly sweet romance/erotica with absolutely no conflict whatsoever.

Peter is the perfect domestic engineer, and with his smart, sexy manly-man park ranger partner, Chad, the two men raise Peter’s two twin babies out in the middle of Alaska’s wilderness. Perfect babies, multiple expressions of need, love and desire, and tons of sexy times between Peter and Chad make this an uncomplicated book.

If you are looking for the oblivion of cozy, warm, feel good sweetness, then you have found the perfect story.

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3 Stars, Genre Romance, Jane Davitt, Reviewed by Jules, Torquere Press

Review: House Call by Jane Davitt

Title: House Call

Author: Jane Davitt

Publisher: Torquere Press

Pages/Word Count: 74 Pages

At a Glance: There is lots of promise here, but just not enough steam to really make it great.

Reviewed By: Jules

Blurb: Country doctor Paul Jackson is passionate about his work, but he can’t stop thinking about the chance he took on a one-night stand when he lived in the city. Steve never called, but Paul can’t forget him. Discovering Steve is the grandson of one of his dying patients brings them together again, but Paul’s worried about the town’s reaction. In the midst of tragedy, misunderstandings, and manipulative exes, their love will need plenty of TLC to survive.

Previously appeared in the ‘Bedside Manners’ anthology, published by Torquere Press.

Dividers

Review: I love the idea of this story. The small town, country doctor. Young… handsome… making house calls…*sighs and stares into space* Hahaha. Kidding aside, it is a great premise for a romance. Lots to play with. You have quaint settings, the townsfolk, handsome stranger from the city…which is where Jane Davitt goes with things in her novella, House Call
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When cutbacks cost him his position at a hospital in the city,Paul takes a job as a country doctor in a small town outside of Chicago. He’s trying to get into the swing of things, sort of butting heads with his boss, Dr. Raines, and definitely doesn’t want anyone in town to know he is gay. So, when he runs into Steve, a one-night stand from two years ago, things get a little uncomfortable.

Steve is a great guy. Taking care of his ailing grandfather and making sure his end-of-life wishes are carried out, we get to see a little bit of the kind of man he is. It’s also obvious that he was very taken with Paul during the one night they spent together, so when Paul basically rebuffs him, it stings.

There is lots of promise here, but just not enough steam to really make it great. Paul and Steve have good chemistry – there are a couple of verrrrrry steamy bits, one moment in particular at the end – but, we’re not given enough to become truly invested in them, or form much of a connection. Individually there were some things I really liked: Steve’s job is different and interesting; there was a good moment between Paul and his boss which showed some redeeming qualities; Steve himself is a strong character and had lots of sex appeal. But, Paul’s character was a bit flat to be honest, and collectively, it wasn’t enough.






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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Pat Henshaw, Reviewed by Janet

Review: What’s in a Name? by Pat Henshaw

Title: What’s In a Name?

Author: Pat Henshaw

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 90 Pages

At a Glance: This is an absolutely brilliant book

Reviewed By: Janet

Blurb: Barista Jimmy Patterson thinks it’s a good idea to get rip-roaring drunk on his birthday after he’s dumped by his boyfriend. When the burly owner of Stonewall’s Bar rescues Jimmy, the night starts to look up.

Now Jimmy just wants to know the bartender’s first name since he’s worn a different name tag every time Jimmy’s seen him. “Guy” Stone gives Jimmy seven guesses, one for each night he takes Jimmy out on a date.

While Jimmy’s trying to come up with his name, he’s distracted by the destruction of his coffee shop and what looks more and more like a hate crime.

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Review: This is an absolutely brilliant book. I loved it. Pat Henshaw has written a very funny novella that gave me a taste of her style and left me wanting more. Unfortunately it is her debut novella with Dreamspinner Press, so there was no backlist for me to devour ( I would have!), but it is the first of a series, and the next novella is Redesigning Max, which contracted so should be out soon.

I was completely involved in this story at the end of the first page. I am not usually a fan of first person narrative, but Jimmy’s voice was simply hilarious. I could clearly see him sitting at the bar, a drunken twink feeling sorry for himself, and I just had to keep turning the pages for more. And it continued to be fresh and funny for the whole story. The running gag throughout the book about Big Guy’s name is a purely fun device for the author to have them date and get to know each other. The different names that Jimmy comes up with each day illustrate how well they are matched emotionally, while being so opposite in appearance. They are both smart, hardworking business men, able to appreciate each other for who they truly are. Their strengths of character are established clearly for the reader to see, and to allow us to remain invested in the story.

There is talent as well as skill needed to give a reader enough information about the location or setting of a novella so we are able to picture it and have a sense of the world that the characters inhabit. Pat Henshaw does this very well indeed. The descriptions of the original coffee shop in a mall compared to that of the second location, in the Old Town area on Main St, conveys a sense of the whole town and its attitudes succinctly.

This is such a fun story; I will re-read it often. The MCs are well developed, and I loved watching them fall in love. It was quick but it felt good, and I know that I will never be bored with the humor and empathy the story is told with. Well done, Pat Henshaw, on writing an original story with lots of room for more. I look forward to the next book in the series.






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3.5 Stars, Amber Allure, Genre Romance, K.M. Mahoney, Reviewed by Sammy

Review: Learning to Love Cats by K.M. Mahoney

Title: Learning to Love Cats

Author: K.M. Mahoney

Publisher: Amber Allure

Pages/Word Count: 61 Pages

At a Glance: Simple, sweet, and quick

Blurb: Mike isn’t much of an animal lover. His sister, however, insists that every little boy needs a pet, which is how he finds himself sitting in a veterinary office, trying to explain the facts of life to his six-year-old nephew while holding a dead hamster in a shoebox. It’s not one of his finer moments. So of course, it’s just his luck that in walks the cute, shy, and utterly lust-worthy Riley Laytham. But Mike has never been one to let an opportunity pass him by, no matter how awkward the situation might be.

Riley isn’t used to guys flirting with him, and he definitely didn’t expect it to happen at the local vet office. In the kennels, no less, surrounded by dogs and cats, and under the close scrutiny of one overly inquisitive little boy. Riley’s first instinct is to make his excuses and run, but Mike is persistent.

Their first date is a disaster. They have nothing in common, and Riley’s cats seem determined to end the budding relationship before it can get started. For some reason, though, Mike isn’t running. Now Riley just has to decide if he can make it work with a guy who staunchly declares that he doesn’t like cats.

Dividers

Review: Mike doesn’t like cats…but he does like the man who breeds them very much. But between his allergic reactions, Riley the cat breeder’s considerable skepticism, and Mike’s determination, somehow Riley Laytham is going to be Mike’s—come hell or high water.

A cute, flirtatious short story, Learning To Love Cats by K.M. Mahoney absolutely demands you check your disbelief at the door. Insta-love, crazy funny and so very sweet, Mahoney weaves a magical short tale about falling in love despite one’s own disbelief that they could ever be the object of someone else’s desire. Riley is so hesitant to believe that Mike could really love him after only a few dates. But Mike is certain that Riley must be his, and he will even learn to like those darn cats to prove it.

This is not a long, involved or angsty love story; rather, it is simple, sweet, and quick. But in a short span of time, the author manages to create two lovely characters, a sweet side cast of brothers and nephews, and spin a story that is fun and witty. This is just a kindhearted story to fall into and enjoy—looking for much else will disappoint you, be forewarned. While there may be flaws in the telling, Learning To Love Cats is a lovely tale of love and happy ever after.






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4.5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Nic Starr, Reviewed by Taz

Review: A Day at a Time by Nic Starr

Title: A Day at a Time

Author: Nic Starr

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 77 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: Sean Vargos is quiet, well respected, and dedicated to his job. But Dave Simpson sees Sean as more than a coworker. He’s fought his attraction to Sean for months but can’t get him out of his thoughts.

They tentatively embark on a relationship, but Sean isn’t all that he seems. He struggles to put his past behind him and overcome his fears. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Genre Romance, MLR Press, Parker Williams, Reviewed by Sammy

Review: Storming Love: Bear & Travis by Parker Williams

Title: Storming Love: Bear & Travis

Author: Parker Williams

Publisher: MLR Press

Pages/Word Count: 60 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Is it possible to fall in love from nothing more than a few phone calls and e-mails? Dr. David ‘Bear’ Berickza thinks so. Despite the distance and limited contact, Bear can only think about Travis Michaels, a fellow veterinarian in the small town of Timber Creek.

When he hears that Timber Creek is directly in the path of Hurricane Lauris, Bear makes a promise. He will be there to help Travis and his daughter, the smart-mouthed Tina, to save the abandoned animals. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Drama, Genre Romance, Jaxx Steele, Reviewed by Taz, Totally Bound

Review: A Package Deal by Jaxx Steele

Title: A Package Deal

Author: Jaxx Steele

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 66 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: One drunken night turned Phillip’s life upside down. Could James be the man to turn it right side up?

A drunken decision in college during dare week changes Phillip Drake’s life forever. In less than two years, he becomes a nurse, a father, then a widower. For a young gay man, this was way past tilt on his shock meter. To his disappointment, the life he’d planned for himself with his lover James will never happen. A tragedy brings Phil home with his son. He learns James wants to be with him again, but Phil is hesitant. His focus is on what’s best for his son. Could James be what’s best for both the father and son? Continue reading

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5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Kol Anderson, Reviewed by Lynn, Self-Published

Review and Giveaway: The Replacement (Broken #6) by Kol Anderson

Title: The Replacement (Broken #6)

Author: Kol Anderson

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: Novella

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Season finale. Find out what happens to Aaron and how “The Replacement” aka Carter Bennett is doing under a new owner. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Kim, Scarlet Blackwell, Totally Bound

Scarlet Blackwell’s “Poetry in Motion” Is Just As Good The Second Time Around

Title: Poetry in Motion

Author: Scarlet Blackwell

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 64 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Traveling salesman Paul is only in the historic English town of Lincoln for one night and is looking to pick up a spicy little something to take back to his hotel. Should twenty-year old student Adam be off limits? He’s too young and Paul should know better. But Adam’s too keen and Paul has limited will power… Continue reading

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4 Stars, Erotica, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Chris, Riptide Publishing, SE Jakes

“Not Fade Away” Is A Sexy Interlude In SE Jakes’ Hell or High Water Series

Title: Not Fade Away (Hell or High Water #3.5)

Author: SE Jakes

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 52 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Truth or dare.

Ever since superspy Cillian moved into Prophet’s building, their game of Steal the Couch has been funny to Prophet, but a thorn in Tom’s side. Then Prophet gets bored one night during an ice storm and insists on playing another simple game with Tom: Truth or Dare. In exchange for one of Prophet’s truths, Tom steals the couch one last time. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Jena Wade, Reviewed by Jules

Two Men Might Be In A Relationship In Jena Wade’s “Technically Dating”

“You’re better looking than Hugh Jackman. You’d make a better Wolverine too. You’re an animal in bed.” – Jena Wade


Title: Technically Dating

Author: Jena Wade

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 94 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Meek and mild Bruce Collins decides to set aside his life in technical support for the evening and try a wild night on the town. Self-described nerd Bruce meets suave Westley Taylor at a club, but the night doesn’t go as planned. When they run into each other the next day, Bruce is determined to get the details right and finish what they started. Westley is impressed and invites Bruce on date after date. Bruce figures they’re technically dating and might even be in a relationship, until he accidentally overhears a phone message intended for Westley. Every aspect of their time together comes into question. Now, it’s time for Westley to set the facts straight. Continue reading

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5 Stars, JL Merrow, Reviewed by Sammy, Samhain Publishing

JL Merrow Tugs At Your Heatstrings In “Raising the Rent”


“This thing about you that you think is your flaw – it’s the reason I’m falling in love with you.” – Colleen Hoover


Title: Raising the Rent

Author: JL Merrow

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 88 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Rent boy rule number one: Never fall in love with a customer.

Life as a rent boy is not a long-term career goal for Nathan, who’s determined to get an education. But when he turns up for his first day at college he’s horrified to find his English teacher is one of his regular customers: Stephen, the one Nathan dubbed The Voice for his educated, honeyed tones. Continue reading

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4.5 Stars, Ethan Stone, Reviewed by Traci, Totally Bound

Ethan Stone Delivers Some “Vegas Hustle” And A Great Story

Title: Vegas Hustle

Author: Ethan Stone

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 66 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: A business trip to Las Vegas becomes a life or death situation for a comic book fan.

Comic book geek Adam Brand is young, good-looking and wealthy. He’s also a virgin because he’s not skilled at picking up guys. While in Vegas with his friend Dean to finalize a real estate deal, he throws caution to the wind and hires a professional. Hustler Javier Campos is just Adam’s type and his first time is perfect.
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5 Stars, Amy Lane, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Reviewed by Jules

Jules Recommends You Give A Listen To Amy Lane’s “Going Up!” – Narrated By Paul Woodson


Title: Going Up!

Author: Amy Lane

Narrator:: Paul Woodson

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 2 Hours, 39 Minutes

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Every dreary day, Zach Driscoll takes the elevator from the penthouse apartment of his father’s building to his coldly charmed life where being a union lawyer instead of a corporate lawyer is an act of rebellion. Every day, that is, until the day the elevator breaks and Sean Mallory practically runs into his arms.
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Dreamspinner Press, Poppy Dennison

The Liger Is Pretty Much My New Favorite Animal In Poppy Dennison’s Born This Way

Need is choice come to fruition. ― S. Kelley Harrell

Dayton Whitmore lives a simple life. Or at least he tries to, but simple is just a bit relative when you’re a human whose only family is a pride of lion shifters.

Dayton is a high school history teacher, and his life really is fairly quiet aside from the fact that his best friend just so happens to be the daughter of the pride alpha, and her brother… well, Hart is a lion/tiger hybrid who’s been rejected by his mother and banished from the pride by his father, and hasn’t seen or spoken to Dayton in years, which was a condition of Hart’s banishment—no contact whatsoever with any member of the pride—even the adopted human one.

But really, why would Hart have any desire to contact Dayton anyway? He loathes the man, or that’s what Dayton has believed all the years he’s known Hart and Tawny—that’s Dayton’s BFF and Hart’s sister, by the way—well, Tawny’s a bit of a pushy matchmaker, that’s what she is, but thank goodness she is because if it weren’t for her running interference, Dayton would maybe never have seen Hart again in this lifetime. Hart might never have reconnected with the man he’s known for so long as his mate, and now Hart’s ready to claim what’s his. The only problem is getting Dayton to agree to hop on the Fate train to Matetown and enjoy the ride.

Paranormal Poppy Dennison delivers some growly fun and alpha-romantical sexy bits, along with a little danger to crank things up a notch in Born This Way, the story of two men figuring out how to turn primal needs and physical wants into a bond that will mean a lifetime.

There’s a battle for control of the pride brewing, and the one who wants it spells nothing but trouble with a capital Yipes! for Dayton, who’s already at a huge disadvantage just being human, not to mention being Hart’s intended mate. Well, it all turns out to be a bit of a bloody mess, really, but Poppy Dennison knows how to write her way into and out of a conflict and then on to a happy ending, which is a good thing for both Hart and Dayton, and her readers.

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