Tag Archives: Gigi’s Reviews

Tempest by Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock ~ Audiobook

Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock - Tempest Cover audioTitle: Tempest

Series: Playing the Fool 03

Author: Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

Narrator: Nick J. Russo

Genre: Contemporary, Murder Mystery

Length: 5 hrs and 25 mins

Publisher: Riptide Publishing (4th April 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Something wicked this way comes.

FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness and con man Henry Page are on the run again. This time they’re headed back to where it all began: Altona, Indiana. Population: some goats. Henry’s not happy about lying low at the McGuinness family farm, but they’ve got nowhere else to go.

While Mac fights to clear his name and Henry struggles with whose side he’s really on, a ghost from the past threatens to destroy everything. And those aren’t the only storms on the radar. Cut off from both sides of the law, Mac and Henry must rely on their tenuous partnership to survive.

If Henry can convince himself to let Mac see the man behind the disguises, they’ll stand a chance of beating the forces that conspire against them. The course of true love never did run smooth, but for the two of them, it might be their only hope.

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Audible UK | Auidble AU

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: The third book in the Playing the Fool trilogy, The Tempest continues on with the Shakespeare references, lots of dramatic action, a lovely mystery that comes full circle. There was a lot to bring together in this last book, many characters to tie together and a future to weave for Mac and Cheese. I was very satisfied with this ending, though saddened there could be no redemption for one of my favorite characters…I’ll let you read about it!

The sexual tension between Henry and Mac took some backwards steps a few times, unveiling Henry’s insecurity, leaving me wondering if Mac could really help heal those old wounds and the distance between them.

One of my favorite characters, Henry’s sister, plays a pivotal role in The Tempest, and I’m so glad of it! It helps bring the future together for them all. 

The narrator does another wonderful job, though there does seem to be a chapter missing….wish I had that, but the story still moves forward at a fast pace. 

An action packed trilogy, something to read that feels fresh and different than what the m/m genre has been pumping out lately. Worth a read or listen for sure. Oh and I can’t forget to throw in there…I totally LOVE Mac’s parents. Wish I had them myself!

The Merchant of Death by Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock ~ Audiobook

Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock - The Merchant of Death Cover audioTitle: The Merchant of Death

Series: Playing the Fool 02

Author: Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

Narrator: Nick J. Russo

Genre: Contemporary, Murder Mystery, RomCom

Length: 5 hrs and 29 mins

Publisher: Riptide Publishing (15th March 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: All’s fair in love and war.

There’s something rotten in the state of Indiana. When con man Henry Page takes it upon himself to investigate the death of an elderly patient at a care facility, he does so in true Shakespearean tradition: dressed as a girl.

FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness has more to worry about than Henry’s latest crazy idea. Someone is trying to send him a message – via a corpse with a couple of bullets in it. He needs to figure out who’s trying to set him up before he gets arrested, and he really doesn’t have time for Henry’s shenanigans. Then again, he’d probably be able to focus better if Henry didn’t look so damn distracting in a baby doll dress and a wig.

But when Mac discovers that Henry has been keeping a secret that connects the cases, he has to find a way to live on the right side of the law when he just might be in love with the wrong sort of man.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Audible AU

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: A continuation of The Two Gentlemen of Altona, book two in the Playing the Fool series, The Merchant of Death keeps playing along with Henry’s creative acts. It’s very hard to review this highly entertaining mystery without giving away the big surprises, but there’s plenty of new adventures and new characters to this story.

Henry is making himself at home at the station, making friends among Mac’s staff members, and along the way he’s making Mac crazy. A constant change in identity, keeping Mac guessing, and keeping the bad guys off his tail, all start to spell trouble for our lovely couple.  

We learn a new secret about Henry, something right out of Shakespeare’s classics, and he will do anything to protect and care for that secret, even if it means ending his romance with Mac before it gets a chance to truly begin. Henry’s biggest guise yet is  to play the sexy temptress, throwing Mac for yet another loop when he finds himself attracted to Henry even disguised as a woman.

There is plenty of nail biting action, murderous plots, and humor in this second book, but this time we get hot and steamy too! We finally get to see the fireworks fly between Mac and Henry, even though there’s a bit of a surprise and twist in the bedroom too! 

More characters come to visit us, we get to learn so much more about Henry’s back story, and as we get to know the other court members in Henry’s life, one can easily see new stories begin to unfold. 

Russo is an excellent narrator, giving unique and enjoyable voices to both male and female roles. I really look forward to the next book in the series. 

Trial by Fire by B.A. Tortuga ~ Audiobook

B.A. Tortuga - Trial by Fire Cover audioTitle: Trial By Fire

Series: Dreamspun Desires 06

Author: BA Tortuga

Narrator: Rusty Topsfield

Genre: Contemporary, Cowboys, Suspense

Length: 5 hrs and 36 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (20th April 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: One Aussie. One Texan. One baby. One hell of a fight.

When his sister and her husband are killed in an accident, Aussie cattle station owner Lachlan McCoughney rushes to Texas to rescue their infant daughter, Chloe. He expects to find his niece living in squalor with the Sheffields, a rodeo family.

Instead, Lachlan finds Holden Sheffield, a salt-of-the-earth cowboy, running a huge business operation. They want to explore their mutual attraction despite the many problems thrown their way, and together, they must find a way to give Chloe a new family and find a love that spans thousands of acres and two continents.

Reviewer: Gigi

Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Audible AU

Review: I always enjoy a hot cowboy story, but Trial by Fire is an interesting clash of Aussie cowboy vs. Texan cowboy, with a bit of kidnapping/murder plot and baby custody fight throw in. 

Of course animosity and posturing quickly lead to burning desire and mutual respect for Lachlan and Holden. They both quickly realize their first impressions were wrong and work together to solve the issue of their niece’s care and a plot that may destroy their little family. 

A fun, sexy, sometimes eye-rollingly predicable adventure, with a fun little kidnapping mystery thrown in. This narrator did a good job for the most part but I had a difficult time keeping all of the different character’s accents straight. 

Trial By Fire kept me entertained through five hours of back breaking yard work. Worth a listen for sure. 

The Servant by Mary Calmes ~ Audiobook

Marcy Calmes - The Servant Cover audioTitle: The Servant

Series: N/A

Author: Mary Calmes

Narrator: Greg Trembly

Genre: Fantasy, Fairytale Redux

Length: 5 hrs 10 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (18th March 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: After saving his younger brother’s child, Daemon Shar is cursed by a witch and runs far from home, a stray who will seemingly never be anything more. But destiny is hard to outrun, even for a man who is now more cat than man beneath his robes and cowl.

A chance battlefield meeting between him and Ehron, a foreign lord, gives him purpose amid the darkness of his accursed life. Soon Daemon finds that his true nature cannot be corrupted no matter the form he inhabits. As Ehron’s consul, Daemon plots and plans to shape his new lord’s future so that he may leave it blessed when he runs away yet again. But he never counted on his soul hungering for Ehron’s brother, Gareth, or for his past to catch him by the tail at last.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Audible AU

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: As I recall reading this book from 2011, it was part of a collection of stories where authors rewrote a classic fairytale and made the MC’s both men. A fun collection to read for sure! The Servant seemed loosely based upon The Master Cataa, or Puss in Boots

Daemon hides his secret away after being cursed by a witch, sacrificing family and brotherhood to live out his life in the shadows, serving the best causes he can find. So he makes it his life goal to do whatever needs be done to promote the wellness and advancement of Ehron. Much like the prince who was shoved in the river with no clothes to gather the attention of passing nobility in Puss In Boots, Daemon does many fantastical things to ensure Ehron gets noticed by important people too. 

There is plenty of adventure, fantasy, and action in this book and the plot diverges enough from the old fairytale to become an original. I enjoyed the romance, the humor and the nail-biting tension in this story. I also enjoyed the steamy connection between Gareth and Daemon, that would have changed this childhood favorite for sure! 

The only downside, which did slow things down for me, was the extensive list of proper nouns. The plot could have been much smoother if some locations, country names, unnecessary character names, could have been generalized. There were too many to keep track of. I think a quarter of this book was spent introducing names, ranks, and country names of characters and places that really did not hold a significant role in the plot. But that is my only complaint, so if you can speed read/listen past those stagnant introductions and just pay attention to the main characters, you’re going to love this. True fantasy romance! Swash buckling, superhuman feats, and bonds of love that stand the test of time and turmoil! What more can I ask for? 

Oh yes, I can ask for an amazing narrator! Did I mention Greg Tremblay is a rock star? He gives wonderful variations to each character and breathes much passion into the dialogue. I’ll listen to any project he works on! 

North Star Bundle Books 1 – 3 by Posy Roberts

Posy Roberts - North Star Bundle CoverTitle: North Star Bundle Books 1 – 3

Author: Posy Roberts

Genre: Contemporary, Coming of Age, First love – second chance

Length: 3 Novels (876 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-63477-520-5

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (5th August 2016)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Hugo and Kevin were best friends and secret lovers in high school, but a chance meeting years later proves that the spark that drew them together before is still there. In Spark, Hugo and Kevin must try to put together a relationship while overcoming the obstacles of coming out, divorce and children. In Fusion, an unexpected illness may tear apart all they’ve been building. And in Flare, though they’ve finally settled together happily, outside forces are working hard to upset their family.

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/north-star-by-posy-roberts-7341-b

Reviewer: GiGi

SparkLGSpark Review: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

At first I was daunted by the length of this book, thinking it could have been culled a bit. The further I got, the more glued to the pages I was, however! There were many layers to this story and the quality of the authors writing is great. Often times I felt myself caught in a dreamlike mentality that was perfect for the main characters’ remembrances.

This story is about coming of age and self-discovery, yes, but it also made me examine my own relationships more closely and see things I have never considered before. There are many different types of intimacy exhibited, intimacy among best friends, lovers, family, some that are sexual, some that blur lines and I think that’s all part of the strength of this novel. Another strong theme throughout this story is the conscious part of the main characters to understand their relationships with others, both failed and successful and to understand how problematic cycles repeat, and how to break them. Kevin finally finds his way to breaking a cycle of a cruel and domineering father, so he can do better himself, and he educates himself how to be a better one for his own family. Hugo and Summer both openly discuss their own cycles of repeating bad relationships and how to avoid the same problems in the future.

Hugo, most importantly, gets over his fears and acknowledges how he doesn’t want to sabotage his renewed relationship with Kevin by hiding parts of himself. Realizing he needs to begin this second chance, with eyes wide open on both sides.

Roberts does a wonderful job setting a scene, defining that atmosphere in which an encounter or important moment takes place. She’s excellent at building up tension, and at hinting towards a major shift about to happen. I also took comfort in a familiarity with the Midwest setting, the whole lake cottage phenomenon and the language and culture of the Midwest. As a Michigan girl, I grinned at familiar phrases and past times. I read this book later into the early hours of the morning because I couldn’t put it down. As I normally read something of this length in segments that’s saying a lot! Bravo Posy, I look forward to the next installment in the series!

If you’re looking for something deeper, something special and something truly passionate…grab this book!

FusionLGFusion Review: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

I read this story from the perspective of someone who lost her mother to cancer, discovered at stage four, that took her life fast and ugly. I cared for her at home until the moment she died in my arms. I know what the decision is like to take care of a loved one with a terminal illness and a short prognosis. It’s not really a decision. You do it, because the alternative would be even more painful, even more damaging to one’s emotions. So I totally understood Kevin’s decision to take care of Erin.

The title, Fusion, seems to be to be descriptive of how they become a family, how Kevin and Hugo become a stronger couple, forced together, permanently bound through the heat and pressure of this life changing experience. This is a tough and self-sacrificing choice that both Kevin and separately Hugo have made. Something like this takes guts and dedication for Hugo. He could have walked away. He could have simplified his life, focused on himself and his career, and saved a ton of awkwardness, heartache, and strain. But he quickly becomes my favorite character because he does not, he befriends Erin, he gives her the greatest gift anyone ever could. He allows her to die with the assurances that her children will be loved, safe, and cared for in her absence. I’ve got tears on the edge of my eyelashes as I type that comment, but it is so true.

The moments of respite written in for Kevin and Hugo is also supremely important to anyone caring for an ill loved one. Because we are no good to each other if, we’re weary beyond functioning in a healthy way. I’m glad they got their breaks, their isolation, their alone time to focus on their relationship. The only thing that threw me for a loop, though it seemed to work, was the night swimming scene between Erin, Kevin and Hugo, erotic yes, uncomfortable yes, a bit odd…glad she left the water when she did!

Anyhow, there is so much packed into this story, I could go on and on, but I’m glad it was told. It’s difficult material to write about but Posy did a great job! It’s honest and I have the feeling, written from an experienced perspective. A surprising, yet bolstering turn of events from book one. I’m eager for the next book!

FlareFlare Review: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

This book contains some very realistic scenarios of homophobia and discrimination when Hugo and the kids are bullied in many forms in this story. My heart broke for Hugo, torn between his needs, the family he loves, the man he loves, and the community he misses. People can be so narrow-minded and mean sometimes and I think the author captured that, examined it, and showed us all how to rise above it.

There are a lot of tangents in this installment, but I think it is needed to tie up loose ends for the series, but the primary focus seems to be on how this new family unit can become stronger, and how they can clear the hurdles of life more easily together than each can individually. There is also a delicate dance between the many facets of Hugo’s personality, including a close examination of what mindset he is really in with Miss Cherrie Pop!

I enjoy that the author tried to spotlight common misconceptions of why someone enjoys drag, or takes on a drag persona and what it really means for Hugo specifically. Hugo and Kevin’s love life also needed some balance, and they both found a way to get the one-on-one time they needed with a few fun kinks thrown in!

I’m in love with this series, these characters, and will miss all their adventures together. This whole series is a very worthwhile read, and a welcome addition to my permanent collection shelf!

Tackling the Tight End by Tara Lain ~ Audiobook

51ZnVPzu8KL._AA300_Title: Tackling the Tight End

Series: Long Pass Chronicles, #3

Author: Tara Lain

Narrator: John-Paul Barrel

Genre: New Adult Romance

Length: 9 hours

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 12th, 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

Narration: L

Blurb: Everyone wants the best for SCU student and tight end Raven Nez – and they know exactly what that is. Enter the NFL draft, become a big football hero, promote his tribe’s casino, and make a lot of money to help people on the reservation. Just one problem.

Raven’s gay and he really wants to work with gay kids. Plus he figures a gay Native tight end will get flattened in the NFL. Then the casino board hires a talented student filmmaker to create ads for the tribal business and asks Raven to work with him. But the filmmaker is Dennis Hascomb, a guy with so much to hide and a life so ugly it’s beyond Raven’s understanding. Still he’s drawn to Dennis’s pain and incredible ability to survive.

Captivated by Raven’s stories of the two-spirited and by the amazing joy of finally having a friend, Dennis knows he has to break free from everything he’s ever been taught was good – but that’s a struggle that could kill him and Raven too. Is there a chance for “the great red hope” and the “whitest guy on earth”?

A future for the serpent and the raven?

©2016 Tara Lain (P) 2016 Dreamspinner Press

Product Link: http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Tackling-the-Tight-End-Audiobook/B01E48FRLK

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: I really should just read the regular book version of this story. I truly admire Tara Lain’s usual humor, plot fun, and drama…but the narrator killed it for me. The sensual scenes were read like a junior high kid reading a comic relief skit. I couldn’t tell if the characters were getting hot or poking fun.

Narration aside for a moment, the characters were interesting, especially the bad guys. I love the whole 1950’s throwback gig they had going, and the adventure and buildup to the heroic end was fun and nail-biting.

The attraction bringing Raven and Dennis together seems like it would be a hit but the flat and sometimes inappropriate mood of the narrator was like hearing my 12-year-old kid reading sex scenes. What should have been hot was a big ol’ splash of cold water.

Again, I like the crazy over-the-top plot, the action, the tension, but this was not a sexy listen if that was what you are looking for. I love Tara’s writing, but they chose the wrong narrator.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

Base Instincts by Larissa Ione ~ Audiobook

61EKHQjPDBL._AA300_Title: Base Instincts

Series: Demonica/Lords of Deliverance, # 11.6

Author: Larissa Ione

Narrator: Dorian Bane

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Length: 5 hours and 3 minutes

Publisher: Riptide Publishing (April 4th, 2016)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts

Narration: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb:  As a Seminus demon, Raze’s life literally depends on having sex with females. The problem is that he doesn’t desire females, and it’s physically impossible for him to be with males. Thankfully, he and his best friend, Fayle, have an arrangement that keeps him alive…if lonely. He finds some solace in his work as a medic at Thirst, a vampire club known for its rough clientele. But his carefully structured world turns upside down when he meets a mysterious male who makes him want what he can never have.

Slake is an assassin used to getting what he wants, and what he wants is Raze. But he also wants to earn back the soul he sold when he was a much different demon. All he has to do is capture a runaway succubus named Fayle and hand her over to her family. What he doesn’t count on is being caught himself by a web of lies – and his attraction to Raze.

Raze and Slake must navigate a dangerous world to be together. But as Fayle’s jealousy of their relationship turns deadly, they find themselves embroiled in a battle not only for their love, but their lives and souls.

©2015 Larissa Ione (P) 2016 Riptide Publishing

Product Link(s): http://amzn.to/1WDuKFQ

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Base-Instincts-Audiobook/B01DPZ5KOM

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: First I must confess, I really truly enjoy the Demonica series by Larissa Ione, is was one of a handful of series I enjoyed before climbing on board the m/m romance train and rarely ever departing. I am thrilled when my favorite het romance authors include m/m in their stables and do it rather well. Once big name author was a little bit of a disappointment but I think Larissa gets it right!

Of course I always have fun with her names. I mean…Raze and Slake, Fayle of all names! But truly the vampire girl becoming a parasitic relationship rather than a symbiotic one, the emotional blackmail, the realization Raze can have all he hoped for…..only to realize the man of his dreams has sold his soul. What a wonderful dramatic plot!

The heat of course is very well done, I may be a depraved reader, but after suffering for so long, I just wish there was more Raze/Slake love scenes included. But alas, this is a short to medium length story and I can be grateful this author does create much deeper plots for me to enjoy!

I thoroughly enjoyed visits from many of my favorite characters from previous books in the Demonica series, but perhaps my favorite is from the side hero of this story! His wonderful dark humor is a riot! I won’t’ give away much more about this because it would be a super spoiler, but I think you’ll agree with me when you get to it, this element of the story adds so much!

The big plot twist, the surprise element that makes everything work between Raze and Slake…that is a wonderful and very interesting viewpoint. I can’t say more, because again, spoiler.

Dorian Bane does a wonderful job giving depth and a thrill to each character’s voice, excellent ratings for him. The chase, the drama, the sexy times, the humor…it all combines in Base Instincts to create a wonderfully entertaining story.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

The Tempest by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock ~ Audiobook

51KGwHJGUIL._AA300_Title: The Tempest

Series: Playing the Fool, #3

Author: Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

Narrator: Nick J. Russo

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Length: 5 hours and 25 minutes

Publisher: Riptide Publishing (April 4th, 2016)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts

Blurb: Something wicked this way comes.

FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness and con man Henry Page are on the run again. This time they’re headed back to where it all began: Altona, Indiana. Population: some goats. Henry’s not happy about lying low at the McGuinness family farm, but they’ve got nowhere else to go.

While Mac fights to clear his name and Henry struggles with whose side he’s really on, a ghost from the past threatens to destroy everything. And those aren’t the only storms on the radar. Cut off from both sides of the law, Mac and Henry must rely on their tenuous partnership to survive.

If Henry can convince himself to let Mac see the man behind the disguises, they’ll stand a chance of beating the forces that conspire against them. The course of true love never did run smooth, but for the two of them, it might be their only hope.

©2015 Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock (P) 2016 Riptide Publishing

Product Link(s): http://amzn.to/1SVAFCs

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Tempest-Audiobook/B01DPYZ4RG

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: The third book in the Playing the Fool trilogy, The Tempest continues on with the Shakespeare references, lots of dramatic action, a lovely mystery that comes full circle. There was a lot to bring together in this last book, many characters to tie together and a future to weave for Mac and Cheese. I was very satisfied with this ending, though saddened there could be no redemption for one of my favorite characters…I’ll let you read about it!

The sexual tension between Henry and Mac took some backwards steps a few times, unveiling Henry’s insecurity, leaving me wondering if Mac could really help heal those old wounds and the distance between them.

One of my favorite characters, Henry’s sister, plays a pivotal role in The Tempest, and I’m so glad of it! It helps bring the future together for them all.

The narrator does another wonderful job, though there does seem to be a chapter missing….wish I had that, but the story still moves forward at a fast pace.

An action packed trilogy, something to read that feels fresh and different from what the m/m genre has been pumping out lately. Worth a read or listen for sure. Oh and I can’t forget to throw in there…I totally LOVE Mac’s parents. Wish I had them myself!

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

Rules of Engagement by L.A. Witt ~ Audiobook

RulesofEngagementAUDLGTitle: Rules of Engagement

Series: Rules of Engagement Book, #1

Author: L.A. Witt

Narrator: Nick J. Russo

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length: 8 hours and 33 minutes

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (Audio version 3/2/16)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts

Blurb: Dustin Walker has no idea that avoiding the search for Mrs. rawinnerlRight could send him into the arms and bed of Mr. Right Now. According to Dustin’s mother, he should be out looking for his next wife so he won’t be the divorced black sheep of the family. Instead, he passes his free time at a local bar and pool hall, where he meets someone who’s everything his ex-wife wasn’t: funny, caring, faithful…and male.

Is Brandon Stewart just Dustin’s way of getting over a bitter divorce? Can Dustin really care for him, or is it simply that Brandon is the complete opposite of his ex-wife? Dustin keeps their affair as quiet as possible, because if it continues, he knows he’ll eventually have to come out to his homophobic family or walk out on the man he’s trying not to love.

©2009 L. A. Witt (P) 2016 Dreamspinner Press

Product Link(s): https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7610

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Rules-of-Engagement-Audiobook

http://amzn.to/1roRMnf

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: Rules of Engagement is a lusty story that’s about 75% sexual encounter, and if you’re looking for that, the lovemaking is hot, heavy and beautifully written and narrated!

Just when I thought that’s what this sexual self-discovery, coming out story was about. It took a turn for the serious, realistic and contemplative at the 10 yard line. Rules of Engagement dives into some soul-searching moments of questioning one’s sexual orientation, relationships with family, friends and a new lover who is making you question all you thought you knew about yourself.

My heart broke for Brandon, and I wanted to shake Dustin or kick his ass! There were plenty of ups and downs, with a passionate ending that left me hungry for more! Good thing I just happen to know there’s a sequel…

The narrator was very good, and has a wonderful sultry voice.

If you need a steamy afternoon delight, Rules of Engagement delivers some very hot content!

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

Frat Boy and Toppy by Anne Tenino ~ Audiobook

61ahKjZUP+L._AA300_Title: Frat Boy and Toppy

Series: Theta Alpha Gamma, #1

Author: Anne Tenino

Narrator: Nick J. Russo

Length: 5 hours and 3 minutes

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Publisher: Riptide Publishing (March 7th, 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Brad is great at meeting other people’s expectations. But his own? Not so much. Take the gay thing. Okay, so yeah. It took a morning meeting with a frat brother’s hairy, naked ass for him to admit it, but he knows the truth about himself now. Let the gay life commence.

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. He hasn’t quite determined how to come out to anyone, even Sebastian, the geeky-hot TA in his history class. Sebastian is everything Brad is not. Intellectual, suave, hairy. Out. And he doesn’t seem interested in Brad, even when Brad makes a fool of himself trying to catch his notice.

Score one for foolery: Sebastian does more than notice Brad; he takes him to bed. Brad’s been with plenty of girls, but with Sebastian, the sex is something else entirely – hot, mind-blowing, affirming, and a little domineering in a way that drives him wild. But when great sex turns into something more – dare he admit the “L” word? – Brad must face the crushing realization that Sebastian doesn’t feel the same. Unless, of course, he does.

After all, even grad students can be idiots about matters of the heart.

©2012 Anne Tenino (P) 2016 Riptide Publishing

Product Link: http://amzn.to/1NyCar2

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: This cute and sexy coming out story put a smile on my face!

Assertive and sexy Sebastian, confident in his role as seductive lay-‘em-and-leave-‘em TA, is sideswiped by a cute yet vulnerable jock, Brad, who is just starting to find himself and test the gay waters. Oddly enough it seems the important people in Brad’s life noticed the gay long before he came to terms with it himself.

There are many comedic parts of this story, and plenty of inner dialogue that made me grin. The sex scenes are intimate yet erotic with some fun dominance/submissive scenes. There are first kisses, first frottage, first well…and I can’t’ forget the repentance with toys! Damn, Sebastian can be hot Dom, and enjoying Brad play the submissive, cute and cuddly jock role…made for some topsy-turvy fun! A lot of cute and a little kink!

The narrator was pretty good at creating unique voices for each character which I always appreciate. The intoxicated Brad voice was a bit odd, but the rest was a great fit. I loved it every time I heard Sebastian’s character call Brad “Honey”, made me puddle every time.

Generally, Frat Boy and Toppy was a light, yet endearing coming out story that pulled my heartstrings and struck my funny bone.

Definitely worth a listen! I was either laughing or panting for most of the book!

The Wrong Man by Lane Hayes ~ Audiobook

WrongMan[The]AUDLGTitle: The Wrong Man

Series: Right and Wrong, #2

Author: Lane Hayes

Narrator: Michael Ferraiuolo

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Athlete-Coming Out

Length: 8 hours and 1 minute

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (2016)

Heat Level: Explicit

Narration: Exceptional

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts

Blurb: Successful owner of an upscale boutique in fabulous West Hollywood, Brandon Good swears by his personal edict to “live in the present”. After a bad breakup, he agrees to dog-sit to keep his mind off his ex. Never did he expect the dog to belong to a man from his past, the only man to ever truly break his heart.

When Jake Westley relocates to join the WeHo fire department, the last thing he anticipates is reuniting with his secret high school love. Thrilled with the prospect of reconnecting with Bran, Jake feels no guilt in using his charming old dog as an unwitting matchmaker. As he and Bran rekindle their friendship, it becomes clear the intense attraction they once felt is stronger than ever. But as hard as they try to leave the past behind, painful memories resurface.

Bran will have to confront his fears and consider the possibility that the man he swore was absolutely the wrong one might be perfect after all.

Product Link(s): https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7612

http://amzn.to/1NnipTb

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: First off, you’re in for a treat because this whole series is beautifully written and perfectly narrated. I absolutely have a new favorite narrator. I was so glad to see Lane Hayes wrote a series of these heartwarming, soul-searching, and steamy novels.

This second book in the Right and Wrong Series, The Wrong Man, spins out from a character we have already been introduced to in The Right Words, Brandon Good, of B. Goods boutique. Brand is the strong friend with sage advice, always a shoulder to lean on, but always strong-willed, and fiercely independent. His store is his life, and there’s not much room for more beyond helping his friends solve their personal woes. His protective walls come crumbling down when the shock of an ex-lover, his first true love, comes back into the picture, walking a geriatric dog.

Jake is the big strong EMT, so lovable I wanted to hold him and hug him and keep him forever. But there’s a darker past layered into the writing of this story. We know something crushing happened to both characters in their past, but will it be big enough to keep them apart a second time around?

Just as Jake and Bran start to mend fences, and new sparks ignite, with the sweet dog to give them a safe buffer zone, another player comes into the game of love. The ex-lover Jake was seeking distance from wants his place in Jake’s life back. The jealousy is palpable, and Brandon doesn’t know if his heart can take another deep wound.

One of the hooks that kept my rapt attention is the question of what Jake did to Brandon in their past that wounded him so much. And what are the secrets Jake is keeping close to the vest regarding those years between graduation and now. Could it destroy them both? So much drama, such a lovely story!

The most refreshing thing about how Hayes writes sexual encounters is that the main characters don’t rush right to the one finger, two finger, fuck trope. These lovers enjoy all the senses, the kiss, frottage, fellatio, simply being held by another human being, long before the intimacy of intercourse. Each scene, whether it be a simple kiss, or a hot grope up against a wall, is beautifully written and narrated to perfection.

I also enjoy the multi ethnic characters in Hayes’ writing. The beauty found in characters of Latino, or mixed ethnicity backgrounds bring such an interesting weave to the tapestry of this series.

The Wrong Man is a story of heartbreak, loss and disappointment morphing into maturity, individuals witnessing new growth, forgiveness, and rediscovery of each other.

Oh, and I can’t forget the love of a dog, and all the dedication that goes with that!

 * I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review through https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

Names Can Never Hurt Me by Wade Kelly, 2nd edition ~ Audiobook

NamesCanNeverHurtMeAUDLGTitle: Names Can Never Hurt Me, 2nd edition

Author: Wade Kelly

Narrator: Jack Amber

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length: 11 hours 18 minutes

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 21st, 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Blurb: What if sexuality wasn’t a definable thing and labels merely got in the way?

Nick Jones can’t remember a time when he wasn’t part of the in crowd. Everywhere he goes, he stands out as the best looking guy in the room, and women practically fall into bed with him. Then, after kissing Corey on a dare led to much more and on many occasions, Nick’s “screw anything” reputation escalated, but he didn’t care.

When Nick meets RC at the restaurant where he works, it throws his whole life out of whack. RC lives up to his dubbed nickname “Scruffy Dude”. He seems Nick’s complete opposite, but Nick can’t get him out of his head.

Because of peer pressure and his fears about defining his sexuality, Nick struggles with stepping out of his comfort zone and caring about someone different than himself. If he’s lucky, somewhere between arrogance and ignorance, Nick might find out what it means to be an adult, but if he’s wrong, he could lose everything.

Product Link(s): https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7655

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Names-Can-Never-Hurt-Me-Audiobook/B01D5FG0K0

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: I loved it and I hated it! There is a very strong message in Names Can Never Hurt Me, and for me that was that we can overcome our flaws, we can see our mistakes, learn from them, and improve our behaviors and our lives. Because Nick wasn’t just called names by a bunch of psychotic, incestuous friends, he really was a shallow, clueless superbly flawed character deserving of such labels many times.

I had a hard time relating to the character of Nick. At his age I had finished college, started my career, gotten married and already had one child. I have been very independent my whole life so I could not put myself in Nick’s place.

He’s a grown man living with his parents, his mother still does his laundry and cooks for him. He’s completely unmotivated by anything but meaningless sex. He seems to know he’s hot and that’s about it. I also don’t think Nick ever does figure out what being an adult means, he goes straight from living with his mommy, to living with his boyfriend. Never experiencing living on his own.

I can get on board with RC. He’s living on his own, struggling through life and stereotypes, and overcoming horrible things that have happened to him. I think he totally sold himself short, even after hooking up with Nick, RC deserves better.

Just saying.

There are moments in this story where I just bang my head on the desk and ask the gods why, why would this dialogue ever be included, but then there were moments of humor, passion, and poignant words, too.

The sexual content was purposefully diverse, with the shallow brief encounters leaving me feeling dirty and discarded with a bad taste in my mouth, pun intended. The more tender, slow and sensual experiences between Nick and RC are arousing yes, but also warm the heart.

Names Can Never Hurt Me was a mixed bag for me. The light-hearted, shallow dialogue does not quite outweigh the wonderful poignant moments for me. The two things that saved the story were the characters of RC and Corey. They have strength and conviction, they help others, and they carry the story.

Jack Amber did a great job giving each character a unique voice, and despite the dialogue coming out of some of these characters’ mouths. He delivered the story with complete respect.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

A Fashionable Indulgence by K.J. Charles

9781101886021Title: A Fashionable Indulgence
Series: Society of Gentlemen Book #1
Author: K.J. Charles
Genre: Historical/Regency Romance
Length: Novel (264 Pages)
Publisher: Loveswept (August 11, 2015)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Blurb: In the first novel of an explosive new series from K. J. Charles, a young gentleman and his elegant mentor fight for love in a world of wealth, power, and manipulation.

When he learns that he could be the heir to an unexpected fortune, Harry Vane rejects his past as a Radical fighting for government reform and sets about wooing his lovely cousin. But his heart is captured instead by the most beautiful, chic man he’s ever met: the dandy tasked with instructing him in the manners and style of the ton. Harry’s new station demands conformity—and yet the one thing he desires is a taste of the wrong pair of lips.

After witnessing firsthand the horrors of Waterloo, Julius Norreys sought refuge behind the luxurious facade of the upper crust. Now he concerns himself exclusively with the cut of his coat and the quality of his boots. And yet his protégé is so unblemished by cynicism that he inspires the first flare of genuine desire Julius has felt in years. He cannot protect Harry from the worst excesses of society.

But together they can withstand the high price of passion.

ISBN: 1101886021

Product Link: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/252207/a-fashionable-indulgence-by-k-j-charles/

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: A very wonderful and very different series from The Magpie Lord. Delightfully so! I grabbed hold of any KJ Charles books I could after my first glimpse of her writing style in her Feximal books. The Society of Gentlemen series does not disappoint. A Fashionable Indulgence sets up an intriguing cast of characters, building a back story and dropping my wild imagination in Regency England. We get to love the characters living on the seedy side, and have the veil lifted between us and the Tonne.

Harry Vane comes from a background he resents, only if because he had no choice. He fights his father’s legacy, but finds himself right back there, fighting against authority and tyranny, working for an underground press.

For me, the biggest battle in this book, aside from all the very hot romantic content, was Harry’s battle of conscience. Does he reject his past, the fight he is part of, to grasp his only way out of struggle, poverty, and danger. Even if that hand up is into a world of wealth, riches, murder, madness, corruption? Living on both sides of society battling, friends, family as well as himself, is a juicy battle for me to read of as Harry struggles through.

Now Julius….what a character! We know the facade, foppish man of such fashionable shallows. Training the newly discovered heir to be a gentleman of society. We’ve heard this plot before yeah? But Julius’ waters run very deep indeed. Discovering his own past, his passions, his drive, was delightful and page-turning!

Charles’ ability to craft the story so well as to place me right in the action, make me take sides in the conflict, make me empathize for secondary characters just as well as the main scene, is powerful! I do love historicals, but this series tickles my mystery bone as well! Let me not forget the steamy passion…plenty of that.

Anyone who has read the Magpie Lord series knows this one very well. The author’s ability to build up to the passionate scenes is going to disturb my sleep. My poor hubby…I do think he knew I had been reading when I jumped him as he walked through the door~!

Do pick up this series, I highly recommend!

Taniwha Dreaming by Jack Byrne

TaniwhaDreamingLGTitle: Taniwha Dreaming

Series: Bushrangers Book, #4/ A novel from the Dragon-ghosts of Viscaya Universe

Author: Jack Byrne

Genre: Historical/Mystery/Other Paranormal

Length: Novella (200 Pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 5th, 2015)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb: It’s the late 1870s in Australia, and while bushranger Jim Kelly hates the idea of shooting anyone, his boyfriend Mark Turner wants to pull a train heist, so Jim has to make a tough choice. Years ago, he fell unexpectedly in love with Mark, but now Mark wants to put innocent lives in danger so they can get enough money to run away together.

Unable to resolve their differences, they decide to go their separate ways, but soon realize they can’t stay away from each other. In the end their hasty reunion gets them in trouble with the law. Luckily Mark’s brother, Ramone, uses his diplomatic privilege to free them from prison.

They flee for Europe, but during the harrowing sea journey Jim is caught between his love for Mark and the terrible realization that Mark and his brother might be a greater danger to him and the captain and crew of the vessel they sail on than anything they left behind.

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6935

ISBN-13: 978-1-63476-328-8

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: An intriguing continuation of the Bushrangers series that started with The Billabong. Taniwha Dreaming takes a full dive into paranormal. The description states that this is a novel from “The Dragon Ghosts of Viscaya Universe” but I have no clue what the alludes to and if there are indeed more stories related to this, or maybe will be in the future.

Now instead of whispers of paranormal abilities in Mark, we have full-blown manifestations of supernatural strength, telecommunication, active dreaming, and a special kind of bond with Jim.
Mark and Jim are working their way across the territory while hiding from the law, and eventually they will have to make some tough decisions, risk getting caught or go their separate ways.

Jim Kelly had set some high ideals about breaking the law. In fact his ideals drive him to separate from Mark. Turns out that his ideals don’t really stand up to reality, and sometimes life just drives you in certain directions.

We meet Ramone for the first time as he rescues his brother Mark from prison, but Mark wont’ go without Jim. Will Ramone be understanding about their secret relationship? And how will Mark and Jim take the big paranormal secret Ramone is hiding. At this point in the story the plot takes on a whole new direction, a new cast of characters and new possibilities. Maybe this is what the author meant by mentioning Dragon Ghosts of Viscaya…maybe we’re heading for a new series?

The action is intense and the lovemaking and bond between Mark and Jim is scalding. This entire series has been an adventure. I especially like the hairy barking addition to the Mark & Jim family along the way! The transition from what I had initially thought a historical/western type series into a paranormal one was at first baby steps, but then took a giant leap. It’s an interesting twist….one you’ll have to read to find out!

Highly entertaining, steamy, and imaginative.

Lonely Hearts by Heidi Cullinan

Heidi Cullinan - Lonely Hearts 300Title: Lonely Hearts

Series: Love Lessons #3

Author: Heidi Cullinan

Genre: Contemporary with a Bit-O’-Kink

Length: Novel (260 Pages)

Publisher: Samhain (August 11, 2015)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: With the quiet help of his wealthy family, Sebastian “Baz” Acker has successfully kept his painful past at bay. But as the end of college draws near, his friends—his buffer zone—are preparing to move on, while his own life is at a crippling standstill. With loneliness bearing down on him, Baz hooks up—then opens up—with Elijah Prince, the guy Baz took a bullet for last year. The aftershocks of their one-night stand leave giant cracks in Baz’s carefully constructed armor. For the first time, the prospect isn’t terrifying.

Accustomed to escaping his demons by withdrawing into his imagination, Elijah isn’t used to having a happy herd of friends. He’s even less comfortable as the object of a notorious playboy’s affections. Yet all signs seem to indicate this time happiness might be within his grasp. When Baz’s mother runs for a highly sought-after public office, the media hounds drag Baz’s and Elijah’s pasts into the light. In the blinding glare, Baz and Elijah face the ultimate test: discovering if they’re stronger together…or apart.

Warning: Contains sex in a Tesla, sex in a cupboard, sex under a piano, kinky role play, and a cappella RuPaul songs. Just a couple of boys groping, battling, and then finally loving their way to becoming men.

Product Link: http://www.heidicullinan.com/Lonely-Hearts

ISBN13: 9781619226692

Reviewer: GiGi

Review: What a hot mess….putting these two flawed characters together was either going to be genius or dangerous but it turned out maybe a bit of both. Through this series, Baz had always pulled my heart strings, though I did have sympathy for Elijah. The two together were explosive, passionate and at the same time tender and beautiful. Both these characters have a lot of secrets and a past to unveil.

I may be biased because I lurved the first two books in this series so much, but I will also admit to needing to do some musical research before spouting too much about Lonely Hearts. Now the Lonely Hearts reference I get, but I just didn’t put Elijah and Ru Paul together musically. So I did my homework, Supermodel brought back memories, but I had to give Sissy That Walk a thorough listen.

Maybe I wanted more anger and aggression from him, but what I got from this combo is that Eli really was just totally misunderstood. Elijah had some really good reasons and really terrifying experiences to build up that hard and thorny shell around his heart. I was really worried when he began to expose it for Baz.

Yes, I was rooting for the hard-hearted Eli to keep his armor. I’m a sick bitch, right? But sometimes it’s a survival mechanism that can do us good. Thank the muses, that Heidi gave Baz an even bigger pair of balls and a constitution to stand up to Eli despite his physical weaknesses, because they wound up being a perfect complement to each other.
This hot angsty story contains political machinations, a little less song and dance, and a lot more fast cars, drugs and sex. And did I mention big tender hearts and a giant romantic streak…..just when I thought it was Baz that was all romance….Eli surprises me.
But wait…one of the best parts….we get to visit with Ed and Laurie again!!!!!!! If you somehow missed reading Dance With Me, first….what the hell? And second, go grab that baby and read it. Preferably before Lonely Hearts, but if you don’t- read it anyhow and find out what you’re missing. All together with Walter/Kelly, Aaron/Giles, Ed/Laurie, and the ever increasing supportive community around them, Cullinan builds a world of good people. Those I hope would reflect me and my community. I’ll just overlook the fact that she names one of her villains Giselle. I love to read Heidi’s books because I’m drawn to heroes and heroines that have hurdles to jump, the under dogs that have to fight for happiness and win it! But the truth is, none of these characters should have to fight these odds for love, and it’s a lesson we can apply to our own communities. People misunderstand this genre, but the truth is it’s a mirror to our society, one that helps us examine the problems, reflect on our own issues and hopefully find solutions. Both Baz and Eli found a community that loved and supported them in the end, and that shouldn’t be a fairytale.