3 Stars, Audio Book, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed By JJ, Tempeste O'Riley

Audio Review: Caged Sanctuary by Tempeste O’Riley – Narrated by Paul Morey

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Amazon

Title: Caged Sanctuary

Author: Tempeste O’Riley

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Narrator: Paul Morey

Run Time: 6 hours and 26 Minutes

At a Glance: Story: This book started out pleasant and enjoyable, but I lost interest after the first date, though I think Paul Morey did an excellent job with this reading.

Reviewed By: JJ

Blurb: Kaden Thorn, a dental surgeon who lives a quiet life, has no hope of finding the love he craves. A vicious gay bashing cost him the use of his legs and confined him to a wheelchair. He has given up hope of finding a Dom or even a nonkink partner to love him. When his best friend practically forces him to attend a dinner party, the last thing he expects is a strong Dom who can see beyond his wheels.

Deacon James is an architect and a demanding Dom, but he has spent the past couple of years without a sub or partner. When an employee invites him to a dinner party to meet his girlfriend, Deacon smells a setup but agrees anyway. He prides himself on being an excellent judge of character, and when he meets the younger dentist, he sees past the chair and finds a sweet submissive man who more than piques his interest.

Kade’s fears and demons continue to haunt him, challenging Deacon to use everything he’s learned as a Dom to earn Kade’s trust and submission. Deacon’s determined, though, willing to battle all of it to have Kade by his side and at his feet.

Dividers

Review: Caged Sanctuary begins at a dinner party, where Kaden, a wheelchair-bound dental surgeon, meets his future Dom, Deacon, who is an architect. The two men are attracted to each other right away, and end up setting up a date for a BDSM scene. After entering into a D/s relationship, things get more serious between them. Since Deacon is very sensitive to Kaden’s insecurity over his mobility issues and does his best to make him feel comfortable, Kaden eventually learns to trust more and gains more self-confidence. Their relationship eventually progresses into something more than a Dom/sub relationship.

This book started out pleasant and enjoyable, but I lost interest after the first date, and realized the story was not for me. I think one of the issues was that the relationship moved a little too quickly. I also thought it was a bit odd that Kaden asks Deacon if he is a Dom on the first day they meet. This struck me as unbelievable, considering they were introduced by friends who had nothing to do with the lifestyle, and neither man was wearing anything to indicate they were into BDSM. Then, after their first date, they were practically a done deal. I thought Kaden was sweet, but his lack of self-confidence made it difficult for me to imagine him as a full grown adult. In addition to not liking the characters and pacing, I was hoping there would be some kind of conflict in the book. However, after they meet, they fall in love, move in together, and soon have their happily-ever-after. Despite these issues, the sex scenes were hot, and I enjoyed the sweet moments when they were cuddling.

Narration: I think Paul Morey did an excellent job with this reading. Most of the time when I listen to an audiobook, the narration pulls me out of the book multiple times throughout. However, I was able to listen to Morey without thinking of the narration even once. Each voice was distinct and seemed to match the personality of the characters.

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3.5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Angel, Tempeste O'Riley

Review: Whiskers of a Chance by Tempeste O’Riley

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Title: Whiskers of a Chance

Author: Tempeste O’Riley

PublisherDreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 204 Pages

At a Glance: Overall, this book was really sweet and kept my interest.

Reviewed By: Angel

Blurb: Jason Grant runs his own IT business from home, owns his own home, and has the best friend he could imagine. What he doesn’t have, or believe he will ever have, is love. When Jason catches a glimpse of his new neighbor on moving day, his libido ignites and his fascination in piqued. He even manages to concoct an excuse to go over and meet the man who makes him hope and want for more than he has in years.

Keith Skyler is a shifter in a world where his kind is known to only a few, but they don’t often mix and they never mate. Keith has been hoping for a mate since before he can remember, but gay lynx don’t have true mates. As far as he knows, they don’t have mates at all. However, while moving his little family across Seattle—and away from their tribe—his reality tips and spins more than he thought possible.

When these two men meet over a dish of five-cheese broccoli-noodle casserole, sparks fly. Who knew a welcome to the neighborhood gift could give both of them their chance at love?

Dividers

Review:  Tempeste O’Riley is a new-to-me author, and I enjoyed her writing style. However, the story itself was a bit disjointed for me.

There was some excellent world building and a unique take on the world of shifters, which I really enjoyed. Keith and Jason were utterly adorable, and I really liked Keith’s nephew and sister. There was some telling that glossed over issues I would have rather seen, and a repeating of various happenings from different points of view, which slowed the story for me.

Overall, this book was really sweet and kept my interest with some of the other characters in addition to the MCs. It wraps up neatly with an HEA for all.

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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Chris, Tempeste O'Riley

Review: Temptations of Desire by Tempeste O’Riley

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Title:  Temptations of Desire

Author: Tempeste O’Riley

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages

At a Glance: The author really couldn’t have crafted a better character than Alex/Lexi.

Reviewed By: Chris

Blurb: Alexander James Noble is a gender fluid gay man who gave up on finding Mister Right a long time ago. He’s not asking for much, though. He just wants a guy who loves all of him and appreciates his feminine form too.

At the local LGBTQ center where Alex regularly volunteers, he meets Dal Sayer, an officer of the Milwaukee PD. Because he’s been rejected one too many times, Alex doesn’t trust the huge cop and the interest he shows in him, but once Dal sets his mind on something, he goes all out. Pushing aside his preconceived notions, Alex opens up just a little and soon caves.

From their first date—while dealing with his father’s failing health and his parents’ demands for him to settle down and have children—Dal never takes his eyes off his goal of making Alex his. But proving to Alex he isn’t like all the men who couldn’t see him for who he truly was and only wanted to hide him away is harder than he thought.

Dividers

Review:  Temptations of Desire is the third book in the Desires Entwined series but can easily be read as a standalone. I would strongly suggest reading all the books in this series, though, because the characters are fantastic.

Alex is a beautiful young man who’s dealt with a world full of hurt and hate because he isn’t always what he seems. Alex is also Lexi, a gender fluid gay man who is as comfortable looking masculine as he is appearing very feminine. He’s been this way since he was a young teen, and it caused his father to beat him, almost to death, and dump him on the street many miles away from home. Now he has his life together, and the only thing he really desires is to find someone who loves all of him, both as Alex and as Lexi.

Dal is a young police officer who is the brother of Rhys from Desire’s Guardian. While he doesn’t consider himself gay, he is bisexual and admits he loves seeing a beautiful woman just as much as a sexy man. One night while out, he spies a beautiful young woman but before he can speak with her, she disappears. Then, while helping at the local LGBTQ center, he meets Alex and Dal is smitten. He likes everything about Alex, even without really knowing him, and it just makes him want to get to know Alex more.

Alex is not as receptive to Dal at first, but that’s not to say he isn’t attracted to him. Alex is attracted to the big, strong young man, but Dal also trips Alex’s previous fear of large men. Because Alex is so slight, he’s been pushed around and abused by quite a few big men before, and that doesn’t lend to him trusting that Dal won’t hurt him. Eventually, Alex softens toward Dal and they go out, but Alex is still afraid of what Dal’s reaction to Lexi will be. The decision to share Lexi with Dal is taken out of Alex’s hands entirely by accident, but Dal’s reaction isn’t what Alex expected.

The major conflict in this story really revolves around Dal and his family. With his dad sick, he becomes very vocal about Dal not being allowed to be gay, too. That one of his sons must get married and provide the next generation. This really causes Dal to become conflicted because his family is everything to him and with his dad ill, he wants to make everything better for him. On the other hand, he’s in love with Alex and doesn’t want to hurt him either. So, he’s torn in two and hates that his family is putting this on him.

I have to say that I have loved all three books in this series. All have been very well written, with wonderfully strong characters. However, Alex/Lexi really and truly stole my heart and won’t give it back. Both as Alex and Lexi, he shows different sides of himself. As Alex he is confident in his abilities as a chef, and as Lexi, he’s strong and sexy, and that isn’t always something he feels as Alex. Lexi allows Alex to walk a little taller, be a little bolder, and to feel free and comfortable in himself.

The author really couldn’t have crafted a better character than Alex/Lexi. Add in the storyline of Alex’s past history and the relationship with Dal, and this just made Temptations of Desire one of my favorite books so far this year.  I hope everyone takes the time to discover this phenomenal character set in this wonderful story. And once done with this story, go back and read the rest of the series!

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3 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Dreamspinner Press, Reviewed by Sammy, Tempeste O'Riley

Review: Caged Sanctuary by Tempeste O’Riley

Title: Caged Sanctuary

Author: Tempeste O’Riley

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 204 Pages

At a Glance: A good story with a refreshing twist, though a bit too glib

Blurb: Kaden Thorn, a dental surgeon who lives a quiet life, has no hope of finding the love he craves. A vicious gay bashing cost him the use of his legs and confined him to a wheelchair. He has given up hope of finding a Dom or even a nonkink partner to love him. When his best friend practically forces him to attend a dinner party, the last thing he expects is a strong Dom who can see beyond his wheels.

Deacon James is an architect and a demanding Dom, but he has spent the past couple of years without a sub or partner. When an employee invites him to a dinner party to meet his girlfriend, Deacon smells a setup but agrees anyway. He prides himself on being an excellent judge of character, and when he meets the younger dentist, he sees past the chair and finds a sweet submissive man who more than piques his interest.

Kade’s fears and demons continue to haunt him, challenging Deacon to use everything he’s learned as a Dom to earn Kade’s trust and submission. Deacon’s determined, though, willing to battle all of it to have Kade by his side and at his feet.

Dividers

Review: First off, let me just extend kudos to author Tempeste O’Riley for creating a hugely likeable character who was both wheelchair bound, and submissive, and desperately wanting to be in the lifestyle that a BDSM partnership affords. Kade was clearly a kind and gentle soul to whom horrible things had been done, which included an extreme and violent gay bashing that left him nearly dead and finally, crippled for life. However, the incident did so much more than that. It really threatened to strip from him his heartfelt desire to be someone’s “boy”, a submissive bound to a Dom, a partner to a man who could love him and whom he could serve just as he was.

But while Kade’s physical limitations definitely could hamper serving a Dom, it was Kade’s own internal thoughts of unworthiness and recurring attitude of despair that really kept him from seeing what was right in front of him—in this case, a dominant who was willing to undertake the challenges Kade’s handicap presented. Deacon James sensed that Kade would be an incredible submissive from the first time he set eyes on him. From that moment on, he was determined to remove any stumbling blocks between he and Kade—particularly those that existed only in Kade’s mind. So, Deacon sets out to woo his submissive, to rebuild his confidence and to help him realize he is still worth so much to the right man, namely Deacon himself.

While I loved the premise of this novel—that a submissive can come in any form—and the idea that despite what we might see as our own limitations, love can truly push away self-doubt, the delivery of those messages almost got lost in the fairy tale scenarios this novel espoused. Deacon was just a bit too perfect—wealthy, handsome, and a bit old-fashioned in his approach to dominating. The moments between him and Kade were very loving and often hot and fraught with sexual tension, but I kept waiting for the action to start in this story. For instance, early on Kade alluded to an abusive former partner, and even had a run in with him in an liquor store at one point in the story, but while it was intimated that this former lover really did some nasty damage to Kade’s confidence and ego, there was no real resolution to his past with the guy. This element of the novel was just left hanging without Kade every fully coping with it. Without that emotional closure, I felt it highly unbelievable that Kade could so willingly be mastered by Deacon or trust him fully.

Also, there was a scene of group play that occurred in the novel that seemed a bit forced. Kade had such reservations that he could serve Deacon fully and yet seemed to easily accept the idea that a foursome would work well and would be something that would not trigger all his feelings of inadequacy. The intimacy that is required for a Dom to share his submissive is huge, and I felt that there were still so many finer points that Kade and Deacon needed to sort through together before Kade or Deacon would even think about group play.

All in all, Caged Sanctuary was a good story with a refreshing twist on a BDSM relationship that pushed boundaries successfully. However, I felt that the story became a bit too glib in relation to Kade’s heavy emotional and mental baggage.






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Dreamspinner Press, Tempeste O'Reilly, Tempeste O'Riley

Tempeste O’Riley’s Debut Novel “Designs of Desire” Is An All Around Success

Sometimes you have to start over to have a happy ending. – Sonya Parker



It is hard to believe this is Tempeste O’Riley’s first published book. The characters of Seth and James were very well rounded and believable. James has lived through so much hell in his life that I am amazed he was still standing. Seth has had much success in his life but has not found “the one” until he meets James. This is not what I would call a BDSM book, but there is a thread throughout the story. Seth is a very caring and attentive man both in and out of the bedroom. Once he learns of James’s past and the emotional and physical scars the man carries he does everything he can to make his life easier.

James is not going to be an easy sell on the whole “happily ever after” however. He doesn’t believe that Seth could want him for more than a few hot and heavy nights between the sheets. At one point James is scared when he learns of some of Seth’s kinks and he runs. The two men decide to take things slower and they date and get to know one another. There were some very sweet moments between the two and the trust Seth built with James was a wonderful thing to witness.

Of course, the minute it all starts to level out, tragedy strikes. James learns about some secrets that Seth has been keeping. He decides in the long run that forgiving Seth would gain him something he has only dreamed of before, so the two men move on and start to form a life together. That life is threatened by death threats and some scary vandalism to their home. The two men fight it together and it seems, if nothing else, to bring the men closer than ever before.

This story is a wonderful journey to take with Seth and James. They have a wonderful supporting cast in Chase, the snarky best friend, Rhys, the beefy biker bodyguard, and Seth’s parents, who would be the dream come true in-laws for just about anyone. On the flipside of that, we have James’s two ex-boyfriends that were not only abusive but just basic scum of the earth. Ya know the kind you wouldn’t spit on if they were on fire? Yeah, that’s them. Then the saddest part of the entire book is meeting James’s mother and brother. These “family” members just made my skin crawl, and I couldn’t have been happier when James got his closure, it was a VERY touching scene.

I would be more than happy to read more books by this author, and I would love to see Chase get his knight in shining armor also. No matter all the turmoil James is put through, he does get his HEA and more than he ever bargained for. If anyone deserved it, James did.

Reviewed by: Jackie

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