Tag Archives: Dreamspun Desires

Poppy’s Secret by Andrew Grey ~ Audiobook

Andrew Grey - Poppy's Secret Cover AudioTitle: Poppy’s Secret

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 28

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs, 11 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (24 March 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: A second chance born of love.

Pat Corrigan and Edgerton “Edge” Winters were ready to start a family – or so Pat thought. At the last minute, Edge got cold feet and fled. Pat didn’t bother telling him the conception had already gone through and little Emma was on her way. He didn’t want a relationship based on obligation. He’d rather raise his daughter on his own.

Nine years later, Emma and her Poppy are doing fine. Edge isn’t. He realizes what he threw away by leaving, and he’s back to turn his life around and reclaim his family. It’ll take a lot to prove to Pat that he’s a new man, and even if Edge succeeds, the secret Pat has hidden for years might shatter their dreams all over again.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I absolutely adore Poppy’s Secret. It is part of Dreamspun Desires, which are contemporary stories with sweet romances and hot but flawed heroes. It is safe to say that I devour each and every addition to the series, regardless of the author. For me Andrew Grey is always a go to on my list of authors I must read. He has a way with emotion and getting the reader (or at least me) to connect to his characters’ emotions with his magical use of words. Add to the audio with narration by John Solo and I’m set because this is an audio artist who can nail the voice and emotion of the characters in the story.

I have to admit, as much as I love Poppy’s Secret, I figured out the titular secret in no time at all. However, that did not take away from me loving the story and crying for probably half of the book. Because ultimately this story is about mistakes, second chances and true love. *sigh*.

This is a wonderful story of everlasting love, strength and reunion. Andrew Grey fans will not be disappointed, this one reminds me in part of some of the installments from his Senses series, which I adore. I also love how Andrew Grey weaves in themes of love and family – often with a child character who is being raised by a strong single father until the love interest enters the picture.

As for the story itself, it’s quite predictable in the way that you can just see exactly what is going to happen or at least figure out the facts/secrets between the two MCs. It’s the how and the why of the story which makes this book a ride worth taking. Nine years ago Pat and Edge had been head over heels in love and planning for a surrogate to start a family. But Edge got cold feet and left their small town home for Boston and never looked back. Yet in the present, he is back in Harrisburg and one thing on his list is definitely trying to make up for the mistake he had made when he had left Pat. Edge has a lot of groveling in his future, trying to make his way into Pat’s, and Pat’s daughter Emma’s life.

Manny Get Your Guy by Amy Lane

bspja8s0346b515zgTitle: Manny Get Your Guy

Series: The Mannies 02 / Dreamspun Desires 37

Author: Amy Lane

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (236 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (1 July 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Starting over and falling in love.

Tino Robbins’s sister, Nica, and her husband, Jacob, are expecting their fifth child. Fortunately, Nica’s best friend, Taylor Cochran, is back in town, released from PT and in need of a job.

After years in the service and recovering from grave injury, Taylor has grown a lot from the callow troublemaker he’d been in high school. Now he’s hoping for a fresh start with Nica and her family.

Jacob’s cousin Brandon lives above the garage and thinks “Taylor the manny” is a bad idea. Taylor might be great at protecting civilians from a zombie apocalypse, but is he any good with kids?

Turns out, Taylor’s a natural. As he tries to fit in, using common sense and dry wit, Brandon realizes that Taylor doesn’t just love their family—he’s desperate to be part of it. And just like that, Brandon wants Taylor to be part of his future.

ISBN: 978-1-63533-647-4

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/manny-get-your-guy-by-amy-lane-8550-b

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I’ve been excited for reading Manny Get Your Man as soon as I finished reading the first book in Amy Lane’s Mannies series, The Virgin Manny. Happily, I can say that I was not disappointed by this one. I’ve definitely enjoyed Amy Lane’s writing in the past but The Mannies series has been one of those books that I instantly fell in love with. The writing style is easy to follow and the pace is excellent.

Since this is the second book in a series, as much as I would say it does work as a standalone novel, I think. But I think that you really need to read the first book before this one, if nothing else you’re doing yourself an injustice by not reading an excellent book. Manny Get Your Man features a lot of characters from The Virgin Manny and is set about 10 years later, so you find out about all the characters (major and minor) we fell in love with in book 1. In fact, the first sentence of the blurb does assume that the reader has read the first book.

I really loved Manny Get Your Man. Taylor and Brandon’s story was just… awesome. We met Taylor back in book 1 – he was the obnoxious, brash best friend of hero Tino’s (The Virgin Manny of the title) sister Nica, who hit on Tino while Tino was busy getting his HEA with Channing. But 10 years later and after a stint in the military, Taylor has grown up – A LOT – and starts his journey of redemption (at least for the reader). Taylor is returning home after recuperating from injuries and his job is to be the manny for his best friend Nica, who is about to have her 5th kid with her brother’s best friend, Jake. It is here that Taylor meets Brandon, who lives in the garage apartment of his cousin, Jake.

I know, it’s a tangle. I won’t stop you from getting a paper and pen out to draw the family tree. 

I absolutely loved this story. If there was one criticism it is that unlike book 1 where Sammy (Tino’s charge) was a major character of the book, Nica and Jake’s kids are not really characters, only occasionally getting the spotlight with their manny. Though I must say, this would have been tricky to work though with that many kids… seriously, five kids before 30! But with my belief suspended, I fell in love with both Brandon and Taylor. Their story is beautiful and it was just awesome to be able to revisit old friends. The guys just clicked with their chemistry and were super relatable.

Romancing the Wrong Twin by Clare London ~ Audiobook

Clare London - Romancing the Wrong Twin Cover AudioTitle: Romancing the Wrong Twin

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 21 / Romancing the… 01

Author: Clare London

Narrator: Rusty Topsfield

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs 21 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (3 Jan 2017)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: How tangled can a romantic web get?

When gruff mountaineer Dominic Hartington-George seeks sponsorship for his latest expedition, his London PA insists on a more media-friendly profile – like dating celebrity supermodel Zeb Z.

Zeb can’t make the date, so he asks his identical twin, Aidan, to stand in for just one evening. Aidan, a struggling playwright, shuns the limelight to the extent people don’t even know Zeb has a sibling, but he reluctantly agrees.

When the deception has to continue beyond the first date, Aidan fights to keep up the pretense. Dominic likes his sassy, intelligent companion, and Aidan starts falling for the forthright explorer. But how long can Aidan’s conscience cope as confusion abounds? Will coming clean as “the other twin” destroy the trust they’ve built?

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Romancing the Wrong Twin is exactly what the title and the blurb says and I have to admit, it is a magnificent guilty pleasure and fantastic addition to Dreamspun Desires series. Being that it is part of the Dreamspun Desires series, you need to expect some level of insta-love, totally hot sexual tension and hot sex between the two MCs, as well as some over the top drama. Yet despite all the drama, the characters actually are relatable, particularly Aidan.

The story is quite self explanatory from the title. Someone is clearly dating someone pretending to be his twin. I know it sounds silly and that was why I wanted this book! Aidan is “the wrong twin” and he is taking the place of his famous brother Zeb (stage name). Zeb is a model and as part of his contract, is often contracted to be seen with other celebrities in order to get seen by the paparazzi. But Zeb can’t make his latest job – to be seen at a film premiere with famous mountaineer Dominic Hartington-George. Dominic has zero person skills but unlike his brother, Aidan is totally attracted to Dominic. The problem is Aidan is continuing to pretend to be his brother and the farce just snowballs from the word go.

Look, Dominic can really be a massive arse and most of the book is drama caused by his ego or by his mouth. In contrast Aidan is all sweet, lovable and very down to earth. I really grew to loved Aidan and his gruff beau. A totally fun and satisfying read. The two are perfect buffers for each other and their chemistry is wonderful – especially when listening to the wonderful voice of Rusty Topsfield, which is just perfect for this type of book.

Duke In Hiding by M.J. O’Shea ~ Audiobook

M.J. O'Shea - Duke In Hiding Cover AudioTitle: Duke in Hiding

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 9

Author: MJ O’Shea

Narrator: Rusty Topsfield

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs 8 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (16 May 2016)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: Every gentleman has something to hide.

Meeting Heath Blackwood, a gorgeous English farmer, is probably the most exciting thing to ever happen to small-town landscaper Theo Brody, who has lived in quiet Maplehurst, New Hampshire, all his life. The sexy and secretive Brit shakes the foundations of his orderly world as they are swept up in a springtime romance neither can resist.

But Heath’s secrets run deeper than Theo ever imagined. He’s actually Heathcliff Pierrepont Blackwood, Duke of Kingston, in hiding from recent death threats. Suddenly there’s more separating them than the Atlantic Ocean, and Theo doubts he’ll ever fit in with English nobility. Though Heath and Theo are opposites in almost every way, their love might bridge the gap – if they’re willing to take the risk.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: For me MJ O’Shea has been one of those authors who I’m always hit and miss when it comes to enjoying their books. However, I am more than happy to say that Duke In Hiding is one of those stories that I absolutely loved. The definite highlight for me was hearing the wonderful Rusty Topsfield narrate a story where you really do need to suspend your disbelief more often than hoped for. Having already read Duke in Hiding I was interested to see what happened with the audio – I find that I enjoy a lot of book more in their audio. Ultimately, though, I think my enjoyment level was about the same.

Duke In Hiding is exactly what the title and blurb says.

Heath is the moody English aristocrat who goes to small town New Hampshire in order to get away from a potentially deadly situation after an attempt is made on his life. This is where he meets Theo, a landscape gardener who also doubles as a bar tender until his summer workload picks up. Needless to say, the guys start off on the wrong foot because of a certain duke’s moody behavior. Yet from the start there are intense sparks of attraction between the guys. In the end I loved these guys. Theo was a good buffer for Heath’s gruffness.

I think my only criticism is that the ending seemed a little rushed. There was a lot for Theo to comprehend at the end and he seemed to just let it happen and accepted everything without much of a fight. I don’t really mean fight in the literal sense. I just felt that perhaps it needed to occur on a longer time frame. After all, on top of the personal issues to overcome there was the mystery of who would want Heath so completely out of the picture that his life was in danger.

Catching Heir by Julia Talbot ~ Audiobook

Julia Talbot - Catching Heir Cover AudioTitle: Catching Heir

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 23

Author: Julia Talbot

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs 39 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (19 Jan 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Is he in love with an old hotel—or its new owner?

Professional snowboarder Cullen Patrick is successful and kinda famous. So when he inherits an old Colorado hotel from an unknown relative, he really should leave well enough alone.

Matt Nathanson has been managing the Treeline Estates since college. He loved the elderly former owner, and he stands to inherit the place if no one claims it in the next week. Of course, Cullen shows up, and Matt thinks it’s time to move on. He doesn’t want to like Cullen, no matter how engaging the guy is, or how hunky.

Cullen has grand ideas for the Treeline, but he doesn’t want to implement them without Matt, and he’s not sure he’s ready to give up snowboarding. Can Matt convince Cullen that putting down roots is worth it… and maybe catch his heir at the same time?

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK  

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I was curious about Catching Heir in it’s audio form. In the past I have found Julia Talbot’s romances both sweet and enjoyable, but Catching Heir – as much I enjoyed it – was not something I remember as a brilliant story. In fact, I remember expecting more out of it.

The story itself hits all the right buttons for me. I love to read sport orientated books – especially when you have the famous bad-boy type of competitor (though Cullen is not a bad boy). I also love when one or both of the MCs are thrown into a situation completely unexpected to what they were expecting for their careers. I am so happy to report that this is a book I found so much more enjoyable as an audio – John Solo’s narration gave enough emotion and oomph that I was missing when I initially read the book. His narration in turn made me, not literally, sit up and appreciate the story a whole lot more. Reflecting on my previous review, I think that I was finally able to hear and feel the attraction between the two MCs, which of course is vital in a romance.

The story is about Cullen Patrick; he’s famous on the snowboarding circuit and is one of the best in the country. However, he gets a call from a lawyer one day. He has inherited the bed and breakfast owned by the grandfather he had never known. There are conditions to the will, though, specifically that hotel manager Matt Nathanson is to be consulted on any major changes and essentially cannot be fired. Matt is the devoted manager of Treeline Estates. He has a lot of ideas to improve, even with a tight budget and still ensure that the building maintains its historical façade. Matt is close to inheriting Treeline too, except that Cullen finally turns up to claim his inheritance.

Romancing the Ugly Duckling by Clare London

Clare London - Romancing the Ugly Duckling CoverTitle: Romancing the Ugly Duckling

Series: Dreamspun Desires 36 / Romancing The… 02

Author: Clare London

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (260 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (15 June 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Is this the makeover of a lifetime?

Ambitious fashionista Perry Goodwood lands the project of his dreams—track down a celebrity family’s missing brother in the Scottish Highlands and bring him back to London for a TV reality show. But first he must transform the rugged loner into a glamorous sophisticate.

Greg Ventura has no use for high fashion. He lives on the isolated island of North Uist to escape the reminder that he’s nowhere near as handsome as his gorgeous brothers and avoid the painful childhood memories of being bullied.

Greg wants nothing to do with city life, and Perry’s never been outside London. When Perry is stranded on North Uist, this conflict seems insurmountable. But Greg is captivated by the vivacious Perry, and Perry by both the island and his host. However, Perry’s one heartfelt wish remains: that ugly duckling Greg fulfill his potential as a swan.

ISBN: 978-1-63533-387-9

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/romancing-the-ugly-duckling-by-clare-london-8498-b

Reviewer:  Prime

Review: This is a totally sweet story. For me I was looking forward to this one because I particularly enjoy to read Clare London’s book. Her writing style speaks to me and makes the time fly as I consume the offering on my computer screen. The other thing is that I can never resist a book based in the UK – and nothing says romance like the guy running away from the big city, and romance on a Scottish Island.

Greg Ventura is the guy who left the hustle and bustle of the city to live in an island in the Scottish Highlands. Seriously, Outlander Obsessenachs will probably want to read this one for that alone, and I admit that is probably another part of why I was looking for to this. He comes from a family and famous, ridiculously good looking and ridiculously talented brothers. He’s the Ugly Duckling. He doesn’t think that he is as good looking as his brothers – mostly because his brothers instilled this thought into his mind. But now his brothers are calling on him again. They need him to be part of a reality TV show and look like a happy family.

That’s how Greg meets Perry (Peregrine) Goodwood. Perry is a ambitious about his career as a designer/fashionista. It’s hard to explain his career except that he is the guy that does the fashion makeovers. He’s been hired by Greg’s brothers to find Greg, make him over and get him to London to his family. The problem is that Perry gets more than he bargained for when he discovers the gentle, carefree soul that is Grey Ventura – very much unlike his brothers. On top of all that, he needs to be in London because he needs his job desperately, as mistakes from his past threaten to keep him in debt for longer than he can handle.

I love the story and the whirlwind Scottish romance. It is as simple as that. It appeals to that side of me that loves everything about British dramas and the Scottish Highlands (even with all his rain and cold).

Romancing the Ugly Duckling by Clare London Release Blast, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Clare London - Romancing the Ugly Duckling RB Banner

Hi peeps, we have Clare London visiting today with her new release Romancing the Ugly Duckling, we have a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway so check out the post and click that giveaway link! ❤ ~Pixie~ 

Clare London - Romancing the Ugly Duckling Cover

Romancing the Ugly Duckling

(Dreamspun Desires 36 / Romancing the… 02)
by

Clare London

Is this the makeover of a lifetime?

Ambitious fashionista Perry Goodwood lands the project of his dreams—track down a celebrity family’s missing brother in the Scottish Highlands and bring him back to London for a TV reality show. But first he must transform the rugged loner into a glamorous sophisticate.

Greg Ventura has no use for high fashion. He lives on the isolated island of North Uist to escape the reminder that he’s nowhere near as handsome as his gorgeous brothers and avoid the painful childhood memories of being bullied.

Greg wants nothing to do with city life, and Perry’s never been outside London. When Perry is stranded on North Uist, this conflict seems insurmountable. But Greg is captivated by the vivacious Perry, and Perry by both the island and his host. However, Perry’s one heartfelt wish remains: that ugly duckling Greg fulfill his potential as a swan.

Continue reading Romancing the Ugly Duckling by Clare London Release Blast, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Ace In The Hole by Ava Drake ~ Audiobook

Ava Drake - Ace In The Hole Cover AudioTitle: Ace in the Hole

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 13 / Wild Cards 01

Author: Ava Drake

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs 43 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (1 Sept 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Surveillance, seduction, and extra-dirty politics.

Christian Chatsworth-Brandeis has a problem. A huge one. The US senator he works for has run away with his latest mistress on the eve of a make-or-break fundraising event, and it’s up to him to cover his boss’s irresponsible tracks.

Stone Jackson, the senator’s new bodyguard, looks enough like the senator that, with some extensive grooming, he might pass for Senator Lacey. Christian and Stone hatch a plan to fool everyone by substituting Stone for the senator, but Miami madness and the incendiary heat between them are throwing obstacles in their way. It’s a race to find the senator and pull off the con of the century before the attraction between them spins completely out of control.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK  

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I was looking forward to this book for a number of reasons: 1) I really enjoy Ava Drake’s writing style and her books in general. 2) There is a bit of political intrigue. 3) There’s the strong ex-military/ex-mercenary security force, which is the basis of the entire series, obviously.

Christian Chatsworth-Brandeis is a personal assistant for a major US senator who just loved to get himself in trouble. One night at a bar he meets a stranger. It’s not until they meet again, this time in a professional capacity, that Christian discovered that Stone Jackson was the new bodyguard hired for the senator. The plot itself seemed to get just a bit ridiculous, but I was more than happy to suspend my disbelief for a while. On top of a scandalous senator with his mistresses and hook-ups, there is also his wife, who is strong, abrasive driving force. Seriously, I thought she had been placed in what seems to be a normal position for women in MM books – firmly as a Cruella DeVille type Villian. Instead, by the end she became a fantastic secondary character and totally lovable. I wanted a HEA for her too! As for the main guys themselves, Stone and Christian, I really loved the attraction between the guys and of course they were very well suited. They suited well together.

All in all, this is a fun read/audio with a dash of politics and a bit of danger. Over the top characters and plot lines, with wonderful and sweet romance. John Solo is definitely one of my favorite narrators for the MM genre and his voice just totally fit perfect with the tone and the characters.

Seven-Card Stud by Ava Drake ~ Audiobook

Ava Drake - Seven-Card Stud Cover AudioTitle: Seven Card Stud

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 22 / Wild Cards Inc 02

Author: Ava Drake

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs 32 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (12 Dec 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: When Collin Callahan, British secret agent, goes up against math genius turned surfer bum Oliver Elliot, the battle is epic – and so is the attraction. They’re pitted against each other in an exclusive, ultra-secret – and ultra-illegal – poker match in Gibraltar, but when players start dying and they could be next, they find a common goal: catch the killer before it’s too late.

Evenly matched at poker and romance, they each wrestle personal demons that threaten to consume them as the stakes climb. It’s an all-or-nothing gamble with both life and love on the line as they fight to be the last seven-card studs standing.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Seven-Card Stud is book 2 in Ava Drake’s Wild Cards series, it also happens to be a part of the Dreamspun Desires series. For those that have heard (or read) book 1, Ace in the Hole, and enjoyed the over the top nature of the plot line (it was excellent over the top fun) then you’ll have to give this one a go. Of course, for those that have not read the first book, you will be happy to know that this functions as standalone novel.

Our MCs for this adventurous ride is Collin Callahan, a British spy who is just about everything you would expect from your Bond-like hero, and Oliver Elliot, who is everything you’d expect from a math genius who decided to become a surfer-bum. The situation is somewhat complicated but so simple: while involved in an illegal poker game, some of the other players begin to turn up murdered. It is impossible to know who to trust but together Oliver and Collin need to survive in order to find out who is responsible for the murders.

There’s danger from organized crime, illegal gambling havens, and a poker game to end all poker games. But let’s not forget the super-hot sex and the raw attraction between these two guys. The sexual tension just sizzles between them. Of course there is a good measure of deception in this story, but somehow their growing love is strong enough to keep the fires burning.

That ridiculous sound description is in fact quite accurate but it really does serve as the launching point for a lot of the fun and danger that happens throughout the entire story. And John Solo’s narration – OMG – absolutely fantastic and really enhanced the sexy times and the danger that the characters are battling.

The Virgin Manny by Amy Lane ~ Audiobook

Amy Lane - The Virgin Manny Cover AudioTitle: The Virgin Manny

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 25 / The Mannies 01

Author: Amy Lane

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs 14 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (14 Feb 2017)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: The Mannies

Growing up and falling in love….

Sometimes family is a blessing and a curse. When Tino Robbins is roped into helping his sister deliver her premade Italian dinners, when he should be studying for finals, he’s pretty sure it’s the latter! But one delivery might change everything.

Channing Lowell’s charmed life changes when his sister dies and leaves him her seven-year-old son. He’s committed to doing what’s best for Sammy…but he’s going to need a lot of help. When Tino lands on his porch, Channing is determined to recruit him to Team Sammy.

Tino plans to make his education count – even if that means avoiding a relationship – but as he falls harder and harder for his boss, he starts to wonder: Does he have to leave his newly forged family behind in order to live his promising tomorrow?

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK  

Reviewer: Prime

Review: It’s definitely no secret that I love the Dreamspun Desires series. If you’re after sickly sweet romance, maybe a dash of insta-love and a passionate HEA, this line of books by Dreamspinner Press will, more often than not, give you just that. And in reading Dreamspun Desires I have definitely grown a massive appreciation for the work of Amy Lane – I am totally smitten with her writing.

Seriously, Dreamspun Desires are the best thing to listen to on flights. They have been my go to for when I make visits home to see the family, which started out totally for their convenient length.

The other thing that I attracted me to this book is that I can never resist a book with a manny! Hot guys and kids – everything could go wrong but I’m a sucker for this often predictable trope. Seriously: ovaries = blown.

The Virgin Manny of the title is Tino Robbins. He’s an out of this world smart kind of guy, though he never shows that part of him, more often than not he is talking up how smart his younger sister Nica is. After all, Nica is 18 and already has a successful and growing business of delivering prepackaged meals she makes herself. But Tino himself has just finished up college and ready to tackle the world of business. One night she ropes Tino into taking a delivery to one of her regular clients and it changes Tino’s life forever. At the home he delivers to he meets Channing and his nephew Sammy. Channing’s sister has recently died, leaving Channing as Sammy’s guardian. Channing needs a nanny, all he has is his sister’s spiteful bitch of a housekeeper and Tino seems to be able to communicate with Sammy. Let’s not forget that the guys have an instant attraction and let’s face it, that attraction has to be the only basis for the entire story.

Ok, so the beginning is a bit shaky when it comes to Channing recruiting Tino (I really needed to keep my mind open for that), but really and truly the one criticism I have is that there was a brief mention of Sammy’s biological father and fighting him for full parental rights. But that was it.

But the best, best part – I looked up the series and am currently doing a little happy dance (and not just because I’m watching Doctor Who) because book 2 is going to be coming out and centers on the same group of friends, just a few years in the future. Totally excited now. Actually I’m kinda giddy (but that could also be because of Doctor Who).

Breaking Bonds by Ari McKay

Ari McKay - Breaking Bonds CoverTitle:  Breaking Bonds

Series: Walker Boys 02 / Dreamspun Desires 35

Author: Ari McKay

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (190 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (1 June 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: From the frying pan into the fire.

After a critic’s review attacks both Chef Liam Walker’s culinary skills and his personal life, Liam can no longer take the heat of the cutthroat New York City restaurant scene. He needs to get out of the kitchen—at least long enough to cool down and regroup.

At the Overlook Resort in North Carolina, Liam meets owner Carter Galloway. Carter has a passion for the hospitality business to rival Liam’s own, and it’s not hard to see where their shared interests—and attraction—could lead. But Carter has no interest in a fling, and Liam has no intention of walking away from the career he fought so hard for. If they want a taste of happiness together, they’ll have to find the courage to break the bonds threatening to pull them apart.

ISBN:  978-1-63533-151-6

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/breaking-bonds-by-ari-mckay-8447-b

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Before I get started on Breaking Bonds, just a quick note – this is the second in Ari McKay’s charming series the Walker Boys. They are only related in so much that one MC (the Walker boys) from each both books are actually cousins. You don’t necessarily need to go back except for a thoroughly enjoyable story which I liked a lot.

Breaking Bonds is a highly enjoyable story – a little predictable and had me thinking of rating this only 3.5/5 but in the end I couldn’t do it. In the end this is lovely and sweet romance that holds up its own and like the first book it’s a good read for fellow Food Channel addicts.

The story’s MCs are Liam Walker and Carter Galloway. Liam Walker had made his career in New York City in the, forgive the pun, cut throat cooking/restaurant industry. Liam is a world of difference away from Liam. He owns and runs a North Carolina resort. Like Liam is passionate about food, Carter is passionate about hospitality. It’s not difficult to see why the sparks fly when Liam offers Carter some much needed help to get his resort’s restaurant up to scratch. It’s also perfectly charming to see Liam come to a number of realizations about what makes him passionate about his job as he gets to know Carter more.

As I said, I had initially thought the book a tad bit predictable – in so far that I conjured up a few books I’ve read in the past and thought this was a good mix of them. But ultimately, these guys have a wonderful chemistry which is what really stuck with the most from this book. They are definitely the reason why I fell in love with the story, which in the end, isn’t that exactly what an author strives for when they write a story.

Striking Sparks by Ari McKay ~ Audiobook

Ari McKay - Striking Sparks Cover AudioTitle: Striking Sparks

Series:  The Walker Boys 01 / Dreamspun Desires 24

Author: Ari McKay

Narrator: Rusty Topsfield

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs 10 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (27 Jan 2017)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: The stakes are high and the heat is on.

Beau Walker, owner of the Barbecue Shack, needs the help of Jake Parnell, his one-time rival and secret crush, in a televised barbecue competition. Beau is a proud man, but the stakes are high, and smart, sexy Jake is his only hope, even if being around Jake reawakens the attraction he’s fought for years.

Jake left his hometown, determined to build a life somewhere his sexuality wouldn’t hurt his family’s restaurant business—and far away from hunky, obstinate Beau Walker. Then his twin, Josh, is killed, and Jake returns to support his brother’s wife and children. Despite his reservations, he agrees to go head-to-head against Beau on national television. Between stress and grief, as well as pride and determination, only one thing is certain—the heat between Beau and Jake extends well beyond the kitchen.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: This is my first Ari McKay audio read, although I read this book at the end of last year so I sort of knew what I was getting myself into. However, in saying that, I have the worst memory and actually forgot most of the details except for the BBQ competition which is mentioned in the blurb. Regardless, this was as wonderful to listen to as it had been to read last year (especially since I also gave that a 5 heart rating too).

Beau Walker is owner of the Barbeque Shack. His rival is Jake Parnell, who now runs Parnell’s Pantry and supporting his brother’s family after the death of his twin brother, Josh. Beau had always got along with Josh, but for numerous and probably obvious reason, he and Jake never got along. The main point would be that Beau is out to their small town community while Jake is still firmly in the closet.  But now the time has come that they are going to have to work together, Beau had organized a friendly competition with Josh, which was going to be filmed for television. Now it is Jake who is going to take his brother’s place despite the tension between the guys. The money would be good for the family, the advertising for their businesses would be invaluable, as well as for tourism of their hometown.

I have to admit that I’m totally addicted to watching Food Network, so getting into this book was never a problem. Add onto that the great tension that was crafted between the MCs and then there is explosive attraction between them. I think that this is a book that will easily please many listeners.

Rusty Topsfield lends his voice to this audio and his voice perfectly fits the tone and style of the book. He also happens to be (along with John Solo) one of my favorite narrators in the MM genre. He absolutely gets both Beau and Jake and the crazy sexual tension going on between these guys.

Breaking Bonds by Ari McKay Guest Post & Excerpt!

Ari McKay - Breaking Bonds Banner

Hi guys, we have Ari McKay stopping by today with their upcoming release Breaking Bonds, we have a brilliant guest post and a great excerpt so check out the post and enjoy! ❤ ~Pixie~

Ari McKay - Breaking Bonds Cover

Breaking Bonds

(Dreamspun Desires 35 / Walker Boys 02)
by

Ari McKay

From the frying pan into the fire.

After a critic’s review attacks both Chef Liam Walker’s culinary skills and his personal life, Liam can no longer take the heat of the cutthroat New York City restaurant scene. He needs to get out of the kitchen—at least long enough to cool down and regroup.

At the Overlook Resort in North Carolina, Liam meets owner Carter Galloway. Carter has a passion for the hospitality business to rival Liam’s own, and it’s not hard to see where their shared interests—and attraction—could lead. But Carter has no interest in a fling, and Liam has no intention of walking away from the career he fought so hard for. If they want a taste of happiness together, they’ll have to find the courage to break the bonds threatening to pull them apart.

Release date: 1st June 2017

Continue reading Breaking Bonds by Ari McKay Guest Post & Excerpt!

Two for Trust by Elle Brownlee

Elle Brownlee - Two for Trust CoverTitle: Two for Trust

Series: Dreamspun Desires 34

Author: Elle Brownlee

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (252 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (15 May 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Blurb: A fairy-tale vacation—if he can get the ending right.

American nurse Finch Mason steps beyond the comfort of his orderly life and takes a dream trip to England, complete with a National Trust Pass so he can visit numerous historical sites. At the first one on his list, he’s warmly welcomed—and told he bought a pass good for two.

Finch doesn’t hesitate to offer the pass to Benedict, a handsome Brit also there on an outing. They spend a magical week touring the countryside, and while it’s too soon to get attached, Finch wishes their time together would never end.

Then Finch finds himself stuck abroad with no money, and he has no one to turn to but Benedict. Benedict is happy to help, but he also owes Finch some answers—such as who he really is and why he was at the estate where they first met.

ISBN: 978-1-63533-153-0

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/two-for-trust-by-elle-brownlee-8405-b

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I’m racking my brain to figure out if I’ve read anything by Elle Brownlee before. Suffice to say I still can’t remember and so I went into this one with a completely open mind. The only thing I was expecting was the OTT drama and romance – though for some stories it is more difficult to suspend your disbelief than others – is what I’ve come to expect with the Dreamspun Desires series.

Sweet guy with a tragic past, Finch, is on his dream holiday of a life time in England. A mix up in ticketing leaves him with a double pass for one week instead of one pass for two weeks. Handsome Englishman, Benedict, happens to be at the National Trust Site Finch is visiting when he finds out this information and Finch happily invites Benedict to take on the second pass. However, this being a romance fiction, it is all too obvious that there is more to Benedict than meets the eye. After the week finishes Finch feels he is ready to part ways, though there is a definite spark between the guys. But when all his belongings are stolen, Finch has no one but Benedict to turn to – which is where he learns the truth.

OK, I really did enjoy reading this book, I truly did, but I didn’t fully connect with the characters. I think the one thing that irritated me and took away my enjoyment was that I was trying to figure out who leaves their valuables in a hostel – why not keep them on you? Seriously, that was one thing that I couldn’t suspend my disbelief for. There isn’t a lot of hot and heavy romance (in fact there was no sex), which I would expect from a love at first sight sort of trope, but it was nice to see the guys get to know each other for a week before getting all angsty. For this reason I think that while there was a connection between Benedict and Finch, it wasn’t really strong and needed more development.

If you’re into sweet, old fashioned and very English types of stories, this might be your type thing. For those that hate insta-love (and I know there are lots of you), you’d probably do best to stay away from this one, particularly since there is no actual sex going on as well (I personally find insta-tolerable in even the worst cases if there is hot sex).

Finding Family by Connie Bailey ~ Audiobook

Connie Bailey - Finding Family Cover AudioTitle: Finding Family

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 11

Author: Connie Bailey

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs, 5 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (4 Aug 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: When you find your family, you’ll do anything to keep it.

When Charles Macquarrie inherits a fortune and an international clothing company, he also inherits three young cousins he desperately needs help raising. By a stroke of luck, he discovers and hires Jonathan Lamb, who spent his life in a children’s home due to chronic illness, to be his nanny.

If Jon thought a budding romance with his wealthy boss complicated his life, he has no idea of the hardships awaiting him when he’s charged with embezzlement and kidnapping. But even when threatened by accounting discrepancies and mob connections, Jon and Charles won’t let go of the family they’ve built together without a fight.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK  

Reviewer: Prime                              

Review: I’ve read about half of the Dreamspun Desires series, and now I get to hear them to! Finding Family is actually one of the books that I just haven’t got around to reading yet. For me these relatively short novellas cover a guilty desire of sweet romance – to me I liken Dreamspun Desires to the MM version of Harlequin romances. I suppose, in that sense, I can say many of the books have a predictable plot but for me that in no way takes away from the story.

I love Connie Bailey – her writing is so easy to follow and everything, in the end, comes together for a wonderful ending. As I said of the Dreamspun Desires series in general, the ending of Finding Family culminates to an incredibly sweet ending, even if it’s predictable. Okay, so there is a bit of adventure and a pretty serious corporate trouble – but between all that is two strong male leads and three great kids bursting with personality.

On top of all this enjoyment for is that fact that John Solo narrates this particular story. Seriously, I’m in love with his voice. (It’s kind of like the episode of the TV show The IT Crowd where the female lead is in love with the voice of a radio announcer. So not the point, I’m moving on.) I think I’m going to be saying this every time I review a book he narrates – John Solo absolutely nails the characters feelings and in particular for the leads, he really injects a lot of life and personality into the words he is reading off the page.

As for the story itself, everything is there in the blurb. Jonathan Lamb, aka Jon, grew up in a children’s home and raised by nuns (how Sound of Music is that?). He’s twenty and after being constantly sick as a child and then working at the children’s home, it’s time for him to get out on his own. To that end he becomes the manny for Charles Macquarrie. Charles is from a multi-millionaire family, but with a very tragic past. At twenty five he has lost his parents, runs the family corporation (despite events he does it well too) and now guardian to three much younger cousins after the death of his uncle and aunty. As I keep saying, it’s a recipe for sweetness, bordering on a diabetic coma.

There are what I feel to be a few call backs to The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins, aside from the obviously stated ones. It tends to give Jon an around perfect feel, while it is Charles who is flawed, even though he is a young, rich and hot businessman/millionaire. I think it’s a bit of a change from the usual trope. If I must pick at anything, I feel that a lot more could have been made of Charles’ drinking, Jon’s reaction and the implications that alcohol seems to be a genetic problem in the Macquarrie family.