5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Jules, Reviewed by Lisa, S.A. McAuley

Buddy Review: Where Wishes Go by S.A. McAuley

Amazon US

Amazon US

Title: Where Wishes Go

Author: S.A. McAuley

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 246 Pages

At a Glance: We loved it. Check this one out, folks!

Reviewed By: Jules and Lisa

Blurb: Can you have a second chance at a first love?
Nick Paine is just starting to return to normal after he told his wife he’s gay and asked for a divorce. Despite a daughter he loves dearly and a job he believes in, part of him is stuck in the past. He’s never forgotten the first love he let fade away fifteen years ago.
Adam “Izz” Azzi has settled into a happy rhythm. His daughter is healthy, he’s found a mosque that accepts him, and his work as a modern artist is gaining international attention. While his past is fraught with mistakes and what-ifs, his life now is good, and he doesn’t want to upset any of the balance he’s worked so hard to achieve.

When Nick and Izz are reunited by luck and fate, their attraction is just as undeniable, but what was left unsaid haunts them. They have hope for a future together, but wishing may not be enough.

Dividers

Review: Jules: Sometimes you simply need a swoony, well-written, easygoing contemporary romance in your life. It’s a fact; you just do. Next time you find yourself in that position, reach immediately for Where Wishes Go by S.A. McAuley. This is not just an easy-breezy contemporary romance, though…No, no…This book has sexy dads. That’s right – DADS, with an ‘s’. Whether or not there are sexy dads is ALWAYS a good baseline for judging if a book is going to be worth your time. And, this one definitely is.

Lisa: At its core, Where Wishes Go is a story of second chances—at love, at life. Nick Paine and Adam Azzi get the ultimate do-over after a fifteen year separation; after their failed relationships with women gifted them each with a daughter; after myriad hardships and recoveries. And after they each are able to reconcile their pasts, to understand and forgive their teenage selves and put behind them all the mistakes they made at the moment they said goodbye at graduation all those years before, these two men rediscover each other, rekindle a love that never really burned out, and suffer the ultimate trial a parent can face. And, in the end, Nick and Adam came together and built a family.

Adam realized that Nick and he were kindred spirits in a way that time or distance couldn’t diminish.

Jules: I loved how this story unfolded, how we get to know them each individually and where they are in their lives, and then watch them reconnect and grow together. The perfect way their worlds mesh and meld together, from their daughters’ fast friendship to the seamless blending of Adam and Nick’s friends. It’s all so well done.

Speaking of the friends…this cannot go unsaid. They. Were. Fabulous. Every last one of them. Adam’s best friend and business partner, Charlie, Nick’s best friends Roban, the restauranteur, and Daniel, the boutique owner, all fit together like a puzzle, and were perfect as the guys’ chosen family. The girls not only had doting fathers, but three doting uncles wrapped around their fingers as well. This crew starred in many scenes ranging from heartwarming to hysterical, and I want them all to have their own books immediately. :D

Lisa: I loved all the characters in this book, even when I thought I may not necessarily like Nick’s ex-wife Shelly. Adam isn’t as fragile as he believes, finding strength and peace in his faith and in the love of his daughter; Nick is tenacious and loyal and patient as both a father and lover—they carry the story along, but without their daughters, Katie and Miriam; without their mothers; without their close group of friends there to lift them up and support them every step of the way, Adam and Nick might have had a much longer and more arduous journey to their happy ending than they’d already had to endure. Daniel, Charlie, Roban—the guys who bring a little lightness to some of the heavier moments in the story—were stellar. I loved them to bits because they brought the humor right along with the impenetrable wall of support when Nick and Adam needed it, and them, the most.

Jules: McAuley’s writing style feels so effortless and smooth, the entire book is a joy to read. The scene setting is fabulous, the character building was so thorough, the interactions so perfectly executed, and the romance…is like butter. There is a bit of tension/angst/drama, to give just the right amount of extra depth to the story. But, overall this is a good feels book.

Lisa: Where Wishes Go is so happy-making. It’s romantic to the extreme, a little angsty, a lot embraceable. It grabs you by the sentimental short-hairs and doesn’t let go until the final sentence, unashamedly plucks at your heartstrings, and delivers a few chuckles along the way for good measure. The next time you’re in the mood for a feel-good read, this book fulfills that wish.

We loved it. Check this one out, folks!

Buddy Signature

 

 

 

You can buy Where Wishes Go here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

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3.5 Stars, Clare London, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Sadonna

Review: Dancing Days by Clare London

Title: Dancing Days

Author: Clare London

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 60 Pages

At a Glance: A lovely short story with characters who have made mistakes but are both older, and hopefully wiser, the second time around.

Reviewed By: Sadonna

Blurb: The day Glen Carson loses his wallet is the day that changes his life. The wallet is returned by Aston Walsh, a man he hasn’t seen for twenty years. He and Aston had a passionate and intense romance when they were in their late twenties, and Glen thought their love would last forever. But his dreams were horribly shattered by a shocking confession from Aston, and they parted for good—or so Glen assumed. Now, two decades later, they’ve lived many years apart, created new histories, and built successful lives. Yet the spark between them is still there. Aston wants a second chance with Glen, but Glen is more cautious this time around. He has to decide if Aston’s regret is genuine, and if surrendering his heart to Aston again is worth the risk.

Dividers

Review: Glen is content with his life. He’s got a job at the local DIY shop he enjoys and is good at. He’s got a productive vegetable garden and a large, loving family. Sure, he still sometimes gets a twinge and misses Jack, his Kiwi ex-boyfriend, but he’s in for a real surprise when he forgets his wallet at the hairdresser’s, and it’s returned by none other than his closeted ex-lover from twenty years ago.

Aston and Glen, as it turns out, had an affair years before – while Aston was married and already the father of two – and the breakup had left Glen heartbroken. He’s also a doctor, who has returned home from London to clear up his mother’s estate, and he’s taken a local job for the time being. He’s finally gotten divorced, and his children are grown and on their own. He’s in need of a friend, and he convinces Glen to spend time with him – dinner, movies, plays.

Things seem to be going fine…until they aren’t. Aston doesn’t mean to hurt Glen, but he still doesn’t understand the impact of their first relationship and what their breakup did to Glen and his sense of self. With Glen’s well-meaning family, and some well-placed declarations, hopefully Aston and Glen will make the right decisions this time around.

I love stories about second chances – especially when the characters are of a “certain age” – not unlike many of us in the real world. Such is the case with this little gem from Clare London. While it’s disappointing to be somewhat invisible after certain milestone birthdays, maybe there are second chances out there for some of us. ;)

 

 

 

You can buy Dancing Days here:

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5 Stars, Genre Romance, L.B. Gregg, Reviewed by Lisa, Riptide Publishing

Review: There’s Something About Ari by L.B. Gregg

Title: There’s Something About Ari

Author: L.B. Gregg

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 95 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Buck Ellis’s future seems pretty damn bright. With a full college scholarship in hand, he’s going to ditch Bluewater Bay and pave the way for his kid brother Charlie to do the same. The only fly in Buck’s ointment is his ten-year addiction to his best friend since second grade, his true love, and his Achilles heel: Ari Valentine, Mr. Least Likely to Succeed. Continue reading

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3.5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, M.J. O'Shea, Reviewed by Kim

Audio Book Review: “Coming Home” by M.J. O’Shea – Narrated by Tom Vilot

Title: Coming Home (Rock Bay: Book One)

Author: M.J. O’Shea

Narrator:: Tom Vilot

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 7 Hours, 37 Minutes

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Blurb: Tallis Carrington ruled Rock Bay with his gang of jocks and an iron fist-until a scandal destroyed his family’s name. Ten years later Tallis is dead broke, newly homeless, and on the walk of shame to end all walks of shame. He needs money and needs it fast, and Rock Bay is the only home he knows. But the people of Rock Bay haven’t forgotten him-or the spoiled brat he used to be. The only person in town willing to overlook his past is Lex, the new coffee shop owner, who offers Tally a job even though he appears to despise Tally based on his reputation alone. When Tally discovers his gorgeous boss is the kid he tortured back in high school, Lex’s hot and cold routine finally makes sense. Now Tally has to pull out all the stops to prove he was never really the jerk he seemed to be. After all, if he can win Lex’s heart, the rest of the town should be a piece of coffee cake. Continue reading

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