Tag Archives: GLBT Release Day Review

Wake by Brigham Vaughn & K. Evan Coles

K. Evan Coles & Brigham Vaughn - Wake CoverTitle: Wake

Series: Tidal 01

Author: K. Evan Coles & Brigham Vaughn

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (267)

ISBN: 978-1-78651-556-8

Publisher: Pride Publishing (30th May 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3 ½ – 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: A love worth the wait

Carter Hamilton and Riley Porter-Wright room together as Harvard undergraduates. An immediate friendship forms, but as the years pass it deepens into something neither man understands. As attraction simmers under the surface, lines begin to blur. When they move back to Manhattan, they gradually slip into the lives their families have envisioned for them.

Both men marry, but in time, Riley realizes he’s ended up in a passionless relationship like his parents’ while his career takes center stage. Although he loves his wife, Carter misses the emotional and physical connection he shared with Riley.

The weight of Riley’s feelings and his growing discontentment with his life eventually push him to tell Carter the truth about how he feels. Shocked and unable to face his own feelings, Carter rejects Riley.

As each man comes to terms with the lies they’ve told themselves, each other and the people around them, they find their lives changing in ways they never imagined. They soon discover that the truths they’ve been longing to tell shake the foundations of their friendship.

Reader Advisory: This book contains polyamory and infidelity, expressions of homophobia by multiple secondary characters, divorce, scenes of M/F/M intimacy, references to parental neglect, disownment, one brief scene involving a physical altercation.

Purchase Link: https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/wake

Review: Over the years Carter and Riley have become best friends, they spend a lot of time together and they’ve shared women together, even after they both marry their friendship doesn’t change. But Riley is becoming discontent with his life, so much so that he decides he needs to face up to what he really feels for Carter and he can only pray Carter feels the same way.

This story was a hard story for me to get into; the opening prologue left me with distaste for both men because of their casual disregard for their wives, it was just shocking that the polyamory, MFM and infidelity that the reader advisory is talking about was with a prostitute… all without the knowledge of the wives so that blasts the polyamory tag out the water.

Anyway, what we have here is a classic case of two men not knowing how they really feel for each other, and two men living up to the appearances that their parents expect them to live. The angst in most parts is about trying to parse through their feelings for each other and Carter angsting over the fact that Riley has decided to no longer live a lie, Riley does angst as well over Carter basically turning his back on Riley but you can understand that because it was easier for him to focus on that rather than his leaving his wife and his parents turning their back on him.

I’ll be honest and say that the story really didn’t need all the past between the two men throughout the years, just bits from the last couple of years would have done it. I had to really cling hard to keep reading as it just felt like filler to me. I mean yeah once it was to the present time for the guys I couldn’t put it down, but most of the stuff that came before had me fighting to keep reading.

Now in the present time we get all the turmoil, the desperation, the hope and, for Riley, acceptance. Riley comes into his own even as he struggles with the aftermath of his decision, Carter begins to flounder and he’s barely hanging on to his ‘safe life’. It’s sad really; you feel pity for Carter as he desperately tries to hang on to his perfectly normal life even as it crumbles around him. You do feel desperately sorry for Riley but it quickly changes to hope as he begins to emerge from the lies and begins to build the life he’s always wanted.

I can’t say that this is a happy for now ending; I can’t even describe the ending to be honest as it’s left in a place where one man has accepted his new life and the other is still desperate clinging to his life with his finger nails and barely there sanity. Oh and by the way the physical altercation that’s warned about in the reader advisory… well its domestic violence plain and simple, just because it’s a woman doing it doesn’t make it any less domestic violence.

I recommend this story to those who love angsty stories, lives being pulled apart and reshaped, friendships tested, relationships in limbo and a desperate need to read the next book!

Wake by Brigham Vaughn & K. Evan Coles Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

K.Evan Coles & Brigham Vaughn - Wake RT Banner

Hi peeps, we have Brigham Vaughn and K. Evan Coles stopping by today with the tour for their new release Wake, we have a great new excerpt, a brilliant giveaway and my review, so check out the post and click that giveaway link! ❤ ~Pixie~

K. Evan Coles & Brigham Vaughn - Wake Cover


(Tidal 01)

Brigham Vaughn & K. Evan Coles

Carter Hamilton and Riley Porter-Wright room together as Harvard undergraduates. An immediate friendship forms, but as the years pass it deepens into something neither man understands. As attraction simmers under the surface, lines begin to blur. When they move back to Manhattan, they gradually slip into the lives their families have envisioned for them.

Both men marry, but in time, Riley realizes he’s ended up in a passionless relationship like his parents’ while his career takes center stage. Although he loves his wife, Carter misses the emotional and physical connection he shared with Riley.

The weight of Riley’s feelings and his growing discontentment with his life eventually push him to tell Carter the truth about how he feels. Shocked and unable to face his own feelings, Carter rejects Riley.

As each man comes to terms with the lies they’ve told themselves, each other and the people around them, they find their lives changing in ways they never imagined. They soon discover that the truths they’ve been longing to tell shake the foundations of their friendship.

30th May 2017: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Continue reading Wake by Brigham Vaughn & K. Evan Coles Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

Fangs With A Heart by Tempeste O’Riley

Tempeste O'Riley - Fangs With A Heart CoverTitle: Fangs with a Heart

Series: Chain of Fate: Book 2

Author: Tempeste O’Riley

Genre: Paranormal

Length: Novel (236 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 22 2017)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Lynx shifter Trace Wilson’s fun-loving exterior hides a heart scarred by severe domestic violence—a heart that might not ever trust another male, fated mate or not. When Trace moves to Seattle to take his place as trainer and council representative to the Glacier Rim Tribe, he discovers his mate is the vampire prince Sasha Tolstoi, leader of the Konstantin Coven. It’s not something Trace is ready to accept. Not now, maybe not ever. But if there’s one thing Sasha knows how to do, it’s how to be patient, especially when his fated heart is also his perfect sub.

When an outside force threatens the fragile bond slowly forming between them—and nearly kills Trace—Trace’s instincts shift into high gear. Sasha is powerful, and that means he has enemies, among them several rival covens and an uncle determined to force Sasha into a marriage with a vampire princess. But why involve the lynx Trace in their maneuvering? Finding the culprit won’t be easy, and it will mean building trust—a slow and difficult prospect for someone who’s suffered as much as Trace. Finding a way to move beyond the past, and to love, before those out to finish Sasha can destroy either, is a race the two fated hearts have to win.

ISBN: 978-1-63533-501-9

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fangs-with-a-heart-by-tempeste-oriley-8488-b

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Fangs with a Heart is the second book in Tempeste O’Riley’s series Chain of Fate, the sequel to Whiskers of a Chance. I was so excited to read this one because this was the story that I wanted to read. I absolutely adored Vampire Prince Sasha in book 1, where he was best friend to the human MC, and I really did like Lynx shifter Trace, who was friend and valued pride member to the alpha shifter MC in book 1. You don’t need to have read the first book to understand all the components of this story, although we do get to see couple of the previous book.

This one’s a little angsty and sometimes I felt like I was running pointlessly in circles because of the reticence of Trace to be with his fated mate due to his past abuse. Sasha is the vampire prince, the leader of his coven. He’s used to having things done to his liking and is hurting badly because he cannot be with his fated mate. However, being a vampire Prince means that he has enemies, enemies that could be a danger to his mate that refuses to be with him. It’s a complex situation but this is a story that is so easy to read.

For me, I hated seeing the boisterous, happiness of Sasha be so severely deflated because of his hurt from Trace’s rejection. For me it was so much easier to connect with Sasha than it was to Trace, yet still loved the chemistry when the guys got together and started to battle their physical and mental demons.

For new comers to the series, if you’re a fan of paranormal romance, this is definitely a book to try out. 

Lochlann by Andrea Speed

Andrea Speed - Lochlann CoverTitle: Lochlann

Series: Order of the Black Knights 06 

Author: Andrea Speed

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Urban Fantasy

Length: Novel (200 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 22, 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Violence has been Lochlann O’Connor’s companion since he was born into a family of old-school Irish terrorists. From there he is recruited into Alpha, a secret government agency dedicated to fighting terrorism—with extreme prejudice. Lochlann’s bravery, efficiency, ruthlessness, and the natural deadeye aim that lets him hit anything that moves, quickly make him one of the shadowy organization’s most valued operatives.

Cas Vega joins Alpha because it’s marginally better than a prison sentence. He’s a former drug cartel assassin—or at least that’s his story. But Lochlann is suspicious. Despite an irrational and overwhelming attraction to Cas, Lochlann has questions, and they soon lead to a deeper and deadlier mystery. What is Alpha’s true purpose, and why does it seem they want to eliminate Lochlann?

Lochlann and Cas must work together to get to the bottom of Alpha’s scheme and escape it—and all while Cas keeps secrets that could cost him his life if they’re revealed. But it’s not an alliance that can last. Duty turns the men into enemies, even while fate compels them into each other’s arms. Before they can contemplate which will prevail, they must figure out how to survive.

ISBN-13: 978-1-63533-395-4

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/lochlann-by-andrea-speed-8493-b

Reviewer: Shorty 

Review: I loved this addition to the series however it was slightly different as Lochlann’s character never acknowledged the rage until the end which is different from the other books. This book focused on the present and glanced over the past. Lochlann is in a secret group called Alpha. He believes he on the good side.

Things become strange when he starts having doubts about the group. New recruits are brought in and Lochlann finds himself attracted to one named Cas. Cas was in with the drug cartel. But there is much more to this man that most see. Danger is all around and one misstep could mean both their lives when they decide to work together.

Mysterious, tense and at times has a menacing air about the story. I loved how the story was told and flowed. It felt as though I was actually there witnessing what was taking place. Both characters had secrets that were eventually revealed that added an element of mystery that I wanted to solve. 

However, I feel as though the story is incomplete. The questions about who is Alpha remained unanswered as well as who is “cleaning up” afterwards. I felt disappointed in this regard but overall it was a great read.

Lion’s Mate by Shannon West & T.S. McKinney

Shannon West & T.S. McKinney - Lion's Mate CoverTitle: Lion’s Mate  

Series: Hell’s Creek 01   

Author: Shannon West & T.S. McKinney

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal

Publisher: Painted Hearts Publishing (May 9, 2017)

Length: Novella (103pgs)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Blurb: When Julian Montague rolls into a small mill town on the back side of nowhere, he isn’t looking for any trouble. He’s broke and fallen on hard times—but his idea to run from a license check on a main highway has backfired. He went off road on his motorcycle and now he’s hopelessly lost and almost out of gas. Stopping at the only station in town, he’s confronted by bullies with a gun who insist he’s on the “wrong side of the line” and then proceed to attack him. Fighting them off, he heads for the dubious safety of the “other side” when he’s attacked by a wild animal and crashes, almost killing himself. Waking up tied to a bed, he’s startled to find his injuries are being tended by a large, handsome man named Leo who bosses him around, showers him with affection and insists on calling him kitty. Something is going on in this strange town called Hell’s Creek, involving the large paper mill and the strange inhabitants who live in separate territories and answer only to the Company. Julian needs to find out what it is before he finds himself the “mate” of another man—and the main problem with that is that he’s beginning to like the idea way too much.

ISBN: 978-1-946379-25-2

Product Link: http://www.paintedheartspublishing.com/lionsmate

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: I came across this author a couple of years ago and found her stories intriguing.  However I also remember that they didn’t stand out in my head like they should have.  So when I was given this story, I was interested in seeing how the author’s work had grown.  

When Julian was five years old his parents had been killed and he was raised in foster care.  Now if you know about foster care they take care of certain needs but not a lot of love goes around.  When he decides to take off, there are many obstacles for him to get through.  He is flat broke and his bike doesn’t have the proper tags.  So trying to get away from a road block leads him right into Hell’s Creek.  It actually takes him right into Dogtown.  What he doesn’t know or understand is that Dogtown is actually a town full of canine shifters whereas Cat’s town is for Felines.  His life is about to be torn into and twisted.

Leo is the leader of the felines but life is not as calm as one would think.  There is much fighting between the felines and canines.  He was to mate with another, but to his surprise Julian is his true fated mate.  The problem is the man has no clue what is going on, nor what he really is.  Things are about to get interesting.

Now the story has great potential and the characters are strong enough to keep the fight going on.  However for me, this story was more detail and descriptions, which is a drag.  Leo might be the leader but in fact he doesn’t really seem like it.  The reason for these two towns and the separation is because of some company.  For me an alpha would not listen to the company but take care of his pride or pack.  The connection between these two men is somewhat questionable.  There is heat there but something is really off about them both.  It is a long winded story that just did the opposite of what it should have done.  As a reader my attention waivered quite a bit with the story. 

Like I said above the story had great potential but for me failed to deliver.  I normally won’t read the next books because I don’t have a great reaction to the first book, however I am interested enough to see what the next story will be like.  I just could have done without the amount of descriptions and the use of kitten.  So far this story is not giving me a great impression, but will leave my final feelings for the next book.

Darkest Hour Before Dawn by Charlie Cochet

Charlie Cochet - Darkest Hour Before Dawn CoverTitle: Darkest Hour Before Dawn

Series: THIRDS #9

Author: Charlie Cochet

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 25, 2017)

Length: Novel (224 Pages)  

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: THIRDS Team Leader Sebastian Hobbs and Chief Medical Examiner Hudson Colbourn are as much in love now as they were nearly seven years ago when a tragic event on the job destroyed their relationship. The two drift together only to be pulled apart time and time again. When Hudson draws the interest of dangerous enemies, both within and outside the organization, Seb wants nothing more than to protect the man who still means everything to him.

As life and death events, an uncertain future, and startling truths draw Hudson and Seb to each other yet again, they must make a choice: trust their love and take strength from what they share, or lose what matters most for good this time. 

ISBN: 978-1-63533-609-2

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/darkest-hour-before-dawn-by-charlie-cochet-8399-b

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: One day I was out looking for a new audible book when I came across the very first book in this series and from then on I have been caught.  I will admit that I actually listened to the first 7 books before even buying the ebooks.  With this series you must start with book one, otherwise you can get pretty lost on who the characters are and what they are about.  

Seb and Hudson have been mates for several years, but a tragic accident sent them into different directions.  A child was killed when Seb ran to protect Hudson instead of the public.  From that time on there was so much friction that you would get burned just bringing it up.  You can see that both men still love each other but there is so much going between them that it would take a miracle to help.

That miracle might just happen when the ones targeting Dex, puts their sights on Hudson.  Now with this there are many twists and turns, but there is one major shock still in store for our sexy little doctor.  I can guarantee that it will shock you also.

I will admit that this is the only series that I have read by this author and more than once.  I can tell you that it is not only entertaining but will keep you on the edge of your seat just waiting for the next shoe to drop.  It has a serious tone to it but there is quite a bit of humor mixed in.  Well what do you expect when Dex is around.  

I had a blast reading this and cannot wait to see what happens next.  It is one of the most fascinating tales I have read in a long time.  There is so much action, mixed in with danger that you will not want to miss a bit of it.  I can admit that this author has moved up the ranks in my library quite fast with her stories.  I need to go read her other books, if they are like this one I will be in a happy place.  So over all this is a major win with me, and I would definitely recommend it to all.

Fishy Riot by Lindsey Black

Lindsey Black - Fishy Riot CoverTitle: Fishy Riot

Series: Perchance to Dream 08

Author: Lindsey Black

Genre: Contemporary, Humor

Length: Novel (236pgs)

ISBN: 978-1-63533-449-4

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (24th April 2017)

Heat Level: Low – Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Most people think riot squad officer Taylor Jameson is an asshole. Little do they know his apparent indifference stems from having a meddlesome family always butting into his business. And little does Taylor know he’s about to stumble into a situation that’ll make indifference impossible.

When everything goes horribly wrong at a political rally on a harbour ferry, Taylor encounters Sietta Salisbury. The son of a wealthy politician, Sietta is a revered—but presumed dead—musician, and an enigma who is so strange, Taylor is compelled to look into his background. What he discovers draws him into a bizarre mess of prisoners, politics, and attempted murder that makes him realise what he’s been missing.

Falling in love isn’t hard. Trying to convince someone else you’re worth loving despite your crazy family and the people trying to kill you? That’s a whole other can of worms.

Purchase Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fishy-riot-by-lindsey-black-8298-b

Review: Taylor is a riot squad officer, he’s a hardass and most people say an asshole but he doesn’t care, he’s got a crazy family, his work is dangerous and he hasn’t got time for the niceties in life but the second he lays eyes on Sietta he knows he’s found the one for him… if only people would stop shooting at him.

Sietta has had a shitty life, the only person he cares about is his younger brother and he’s willing to put his life on the line to protect him, meeting Taylor is a turning point in his life and he plans on grabbing hold and never letting go, and as for Taylor’s crazy family well Sietta fits in just fine.

This is a fantastic story that I had an absolute blast reading, the storyline is a little outlandish but it’s a fantastic read. Both Taylor and Sietta are fabulous characters, Taylor’s grown up in a loving close knit family even though he feels a little stifled at times he loves them all to death, Sietta is someone we want to coddle and protect Sietta’s family is best left not talked about other than his little brother Micah (because I’m not giving anything away about the storyline), Sietta adores Micah and goes through hell to protect him, Sietta isn’t the type of person you want to cross his revenge is thought out, well planned and perfectly executed.

The one thing I will tell you is that this is an action packed, humor filled story, I laughed my ass off reading it. I have to caution you as well, there are some touchy subjects touched on with Sietta but Lindsey Black has done an amazing job of redirecting our attention with humor and crazy characters. The author doesn’t make light of the situation but she does lift it up so there’s a light-heartedness to the story.

Did you know this is Lindsey Black’s debut story? Well it shocked the hell out of me that she wrote something this fantastic the first time out, this is a brilliant story that is well written, fully fleshed out, interesting and grabs your attention from the first page.

I recommend this to those who love stories that are funny and humor filled, that adores action and danger, who love an interesting storyline and a fabulous love story that makes you giggle in glee.

New Lease by B.G. Thomas (2nd Edition)

B.G. Thomas - New Lease CoverTitle: New Lease

Author: B.G. Thomas

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Short (39pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (12th April 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: Wade Porter spent his whole life in the shadow of a lover who doled out snippets of love and time as he saw fit—and who insisted that love stay deep in the closet. But now that man is gone, and Wade finds the oceanside cottage where they spent so many weekends together in the Florida Keys cold and empty. He has come one last time, not even sure he wants to keep living.

To his surprise, the house next door is occupied by another bereaved and lonely man. Kent Walker is an artist of romantic gay paintings who is open to the future—and determinedly interested in Wade. Kent wants to show Wade the beauty in being an openly gay man and the possibilities for a real relationship.

Maybe Kent can help Wade let go of the past and discover a better way to live—and love.

First Edition published in Two Tickets to Paradise by Dreamspinner Press, 2012.

ISBN: 978-1-63533-428-9

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/new-lease-by-bg-thomas-8357-b

Reviewer: Veronica

Review: In Wade’s younger life, he had never encountered any other gay men, and when he was on vacation, he met this guy that completely rocked his world, both in and out of the bedroom, but also kept him as a dirty little secret, and I mean dirty, because, it was as if he was locked in and living in a dungeon. As per his ex’s orders, he couldn’t have any friends, he was told where to go, and who he couldn’t talk to, and worst of all, where he should live.

Now, Wade is back in the same cottage, where he met his ex, and he’s contemplating suicide, because he can’t live without his lover. Even though, he found out that his ex was married and to a woman.  The cottage next door is now occupied by Kent, who is also mourning the loss of his lover. He’s also interested in Wade, and wants to draw him out of his depression, and to show him that there’s a lot more in life to live for. Like a relationship with him. Will Wade allow Kent into his life, and despite the age difference, allow his to show him what the world, and him have to offer?

A first for me reading from this author, and he did a good job on this story. However, if I was there, I would’ve given Wade a slap on the side of his face and tell him to “snap the heck out of this funk” and start living your life.

This is a well written story, and I would recommend to anyone that is interested in reading it.

Micah Johnson Goes West by Sean Kennedy

Sean Kennedy - Micah Johnson Goes West CoverTitle:  Micah Johnson Goes West

Series: Get Out 02

Author: Sean Kennedy

Genre: Contemporary, Young adult, Sports

Length: Novel (186 pages)

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (Dreamspinner Press) (4 April 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Micah Johnson is living two separate lives. On the field he’s making a name for himself as a rookie with the AFL football team the Fremantle Dockers—at just eighteen. But when he steps off the field, Micah is a mess: confused, away from home for the first time, and feeling isolated from family and friends three thousand kilometres away. The foster family he’s staying with is nice, but Micah isn’t ready to open up to them about what he’s going through. Distracting himself with hookups and partying seems like a good idea until a friend’s life is changed by misfortune and Micah’s own health is threatened by his behavior. Micah knows he has to make a change, that he can’t do it alone, and that maybe there’s no shame in reaching out to others. 

ISBN: 978-1-63533-364-0

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/micah-johnson-goes-west-by-sean-kennedy-8209-b

Reviewer:  Prime

Review: I’m just putting it out there – I love reading anything by Sean Kennedy and I especially love reading anything in the Tigers and Devils, and the related series Get Out (which this title is part of). However, something important to note is that the Get Out series needs to be read in order, starting with The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson. I will admit that I have a particular soft spot for this series because I love reading sports books with sportsmen who are out of the closet. The fact that this series, like Tigers and Devils, is set in Australia and as an Aussie this is just way too many levels of awesome.

Micah Johnson Goes West picks at where we left off. Micah was a troubled teen who was helped by a program run by an ex-football (AFL) player who was outed towards the end of his playing career (See Tigers and Devils, though not necessary to read to understand). He is mostly reformed but since being drafted into the AFL and having to move from Melbourne to Perth is difficult for him to cope. He tries not to depend on his now ex boyfriend as an anchor to sanity, but that only leads him down a path of self destruction once more until he gets to know his roommate/team foster family Sam and Dane. Micah is struggling as the first openly gay footy player but he is still on the path of “growing up” and becoming the football player he wants to be.

This book strikes me on a number of levels. 1) As I said, I’m Aussie and I love the fact there is stories being written about gay men in football, it’s something that we need in real life. 2) I totally relate to Micah’s difficulty in moving from Melbourne to Perth since I made the move in the opposite direction between Adelaide and Sydney for work. And 3) It reminds me of something cool that hasn’t been overly talked about (I wonder if it’s because it’s about 2 women and not 2 men, whatever). Ok, so a bit of back story, in Australia this year was the first year that the women’s AFL was played at a professional level. The Co-captain of the Adelaide Crows – who won the grand final just the other week – is a woman who started her professional career playing state and national level basketball. She also happens to have a wife, who she married in the States, and adorable twins who were pictured seated in the AFLW grand final trophy with their sporty mama.

One other thing I love about this book – it almost has a soundtrack, with the song by the Village People, Go West – although to me it is was the version by Pet Shop Boys which was popular during my childhood. The themes of the song, as stated by Micah’s ex, perfectly sum up the themes surrounding Micah’s life. I love the concept of books having soundtracks, although I often construct my own playlists and often use Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Pete Murray songs for romances.

So in short – this is one fantastically written and totally down to earth, coming of age in professional sport in the world of the Australian Football League. I love Sean Kennedy’s wit and humor and the development of the characters so far have me looking forward to more.

Leap of Faith by Jackie Keswick

Jackie Keswick - Leap of Faith CoverTitle: Leap of Faith

Series:  FireWorks Security 01

Author:  Jackie Keswick

Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense

Length: Novella (125 Pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 5, 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb:  Close friends and partners at FireWorks Security, Joel Weston and Kieran Ross know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They have each other’s backs, make a formidable team, and carefully ignore their volatile chemistry.

When Kieran struggles with the aftermath of an assignment gone wrong, Joel is there to help. When Joel is caught in an explosion, Kieran jumps into a burning marina to rescue the man who means so much to him. But they never discuss what’s closest to their hearts, not prepared to risk their friendship for the mere possibility of something more.

Faced with bombs, assassins and old ghosts, Joel and Kieran must find out why they’re targets, who is after them and—most of all—how each would feel if he lost the other. Can they continue as best friends, or is it time to take a leap of faith?

ISBN: 978-1-63533-409-8

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/leap-of-faith-by-jackie-keswick-8348-b

Reviewer: Lisa

Review:  Jackie Keswick is a new author for me, and I usually don’t pick new authors for the reason of having no clue what their writing is going to be like.  Over the years I have come to have many authors that I have loved and have been known to be pretty picky on what I read.  Now I will say that if I was just choosing a book by its cover, then this would have been the last book I picked up.  The cover is just down right creepy to me, however that is just me.  The title didn’t really do it for me either, but I will tell you that the name of the series was what caught me enough to take a look at the blurb.  It was the attraction of danger that really made me want to give it a look.

Now here you have to very sexy men who so have the hots for each other, and avoid the temptation of giving in.  However there are several factors that prove to be these two sexy men’s undoing.  Explosions, fires, bombs, danger, and hot lust well you get the picture.  Now I have never really been a fan of friends to lover’s romance, but this one makes it a bit hard to ignore.  The chemistry these two have is off the charts.  To top it off it is a mystery and suspense that has me taking a major look at it.  

Joel and Kieran have been friends from the first day he started working.  Now these guys go in and save the day for many, such as rescuing those who are being held hostage or have been kidnapped.  For them they just hit it off, but had not given in to the fire burning inside of them for each other.  Now if you really want to know the juicy details of these two, well pick up this book.

Now I do admit that the characters were hot, but really didn’t catch me as they should have though.  It is more of a telling type of story and not a lot of showing, which did suck for me.  I couldn’t see them in my head to really get a good feel for them though. The sex was minimal in the story, and the first book is more about the details of what this company is about and so forth.  It also felt like the author did throw in certain parts to keep the attention of the reader, and that is not always a good thing.  Such as the fact that for a small story it has way to much going on and the actual romance was slow building.  What is with the mirrors, well if you read you will see why I asked the question, just a different type of kink.  Parts of the story go at a pretty good pace, and then there are others where it slows down too much for me. 

The ending also needed some work to it, let’s just say it just stops and leaves you with questions.  Other than my issues with the story, I still enjoyed it quite a bit.  Just needs a bit of extra tender care to make it a higher rocking book for me.

Tall, Dark, and Deported by Bru Baker

Bru Baker - Tall, Dark, and Deported CoverTitle:  Tall, Dark and Deported

Series: Dreamspun Desires 31

Author: Bru Baker

Genre: Contemporary

Length:  Novel (236 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (1 April 2017)

Heat Level:  Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: Crossing the border into love.

Snap decisions and misguided ideas bring Portuguese national Mateus Fontes and businessman Crawford Hargrave together at the Canadian border crossing.

Mateus is caught in a catch-22. With his almost-expired tourist visa, entrance to Canada is denied, but the US won’t let him back in either. Crawford thinks he’s solved things when he tells the border agent they’re engaged, and it works—except now they have to actually get married before either of them can get back into the United States. But Crawford has been burned by marriage once, and he’s determined not to make that mistake again.

Neither of them expects real feelings to bloom out of their fake marriage, but they do. And the two of them have to learn how to be honest with each other to make things work, which is especially hard when their entire marriage is based on lies.

ISBN: 978-1-63477-684-4

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/tall-dark-and-deported-by-bru-baker-8257-b

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Get ready to suspend your disbelief for Bru Baker’s contribution to Dreamspinner Press’s Dreamspun Desires series. The title of the book, Tall, Dark and Deported, gives you most of the information that you need to know about the type of story you’re about to read – so if you keep on going despite being deterred by the title then it’s your own fault! 😉

What you see is definitely what you get with the blurb. We got one hot South American (sorry, can’t think of his country of origin from the top of my head) side-eyes Prime *cough* Portugal, so European ~Pixie~), Mateus. He’s done something rather silly and used the internet to get answers about how to “reset” his visa. He wants to stay with his brother and sister in law longer now that they are setting up their own orchard and his sister in law is about to have a baby. He’s excited about being an uncle and wants to be there. That’s why, at the airport, he meets Crawfard. Crawford is a businessman and after meeting Mateus, he is willing to help the guy, which of course means marriage!

Despite being a predictable plot, this is totally enjoyable as way as to just lose yourself. As I said in the opening sentence, you will need to suspend your disbelief but that don’t let that deter you from the sweet romance (well, insta-love romance) that unfolds between the two men.

Bonfires by Amy Lane

Amy Lane - Bonfires CoverTitle: Bonfires

Author: Amy Lane

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (280 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 24 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Ten years ago Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron George lost his wife and moved to Colton, hoping growing up in a small town would be better for his children. He’s gotten to know his community, including Mr. Larkin, the bouncy, funny science teacher. But when Larx is dragged unwillingly into administration, he stops coaching the track team and starts running alone. Aaron—who thought life began and ended with his kids—is distracted by a glistening chest and a principal running on a dangerous road.

Larx has been living for his kids too—and for his students at Colton High. He’s not ready to be charmed by Aaron, but when they start running together, he comes to appreciate the deputy’s steadiness, humor, and complete understanding of Larx’s priorities. Children first, job second, his own interests a sad last.

It only takes one kiss for two men approaching fifty to start acting like teenagers in love, even amid all the responsibilities they shoulder. Then an act of violence puts their burgeoning relationship on hold. The adult responsibilities they’ve embraced are now instrumental in keeping their town from exploding. When things come to a head, they realize their newly forged family might be what keeps the world from spinning out of control.

ISBN: 9781635333411

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/bonfires-by-amy-lane-8304-b

Reviewer: Aerin

Review: Amy Lane is the only author who could play with my heart this way; no matter what she writes, be it vein-slashing angst or light, fluffy romance, Amy’s books never fail to engage my feelings to the max. Gah! Bonfires is so much more than a book! Bonfires is a story about life, with real life characters who deal with real life problems; I know this book is fiction, but it felt like the real deal.

The MCs are both mature characters with families of their own, both in their 40’s with grown kids who learn that happiness comes in all shapes and forms. There was something so real about Aaron and Larx, something so easy to relate to, I couldn’t help but fall in love with them both. Aaron is a deputy sheriff and Larx is a high school principal, they’re both bisexual and both have known love and loss in their lives, even if it was in different contexts. But what I loved the most about them was that they were both amazing fathers who’s love for their children was easy to see.

There’s a lot going on in this book… high school drama (because we deal with a school full of teenagers, DUH!) and Larx’s fight to make ALL kids feel safe and protected; a case of attempted murder that might or might not be a hate crime, a body floating in the lake, and a plot that ties it all together perfectly. Despite the fact that Aaron and Larx’s romance was not the only focus of the entire book, their relationship carried the undertones of maturity and solidity. I was perfectly content with the way their romance was handled; there might not have been fireworks and explosions, but the comforting, everlasting slow burn was fitting for them both.

The secondary characters were outstanding on their own, from the town bitch and resident evil, to the amazing kids like Larx’s daughter Christiana, Aaron’s son Kirby, and Larx’s new ‘adoptee’ Kellan. There’s a secondary romance we got to witness for a very short time, one that’s fragile and vulnerable. I am dying to read more about those two particular characters in the future!!!! I need to read their story like I need air to breathe!

This book was amazing, I can’t recommend it enough!

Running With the Moon by Kiernan Kelly (2nd Edition)

Kiernan Kelly - Running With the Moon CoverTitle: Running With the Moon (2nd Edition)

Author: Kiernan Kelley

Genre: Paranormal

Length: Novella (140 Pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 15, 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb:  Heart of the Wolf

What happens when a veterinarian ends up a patient in his own animal clinic?

Dr. Dae Anderson needs to lose the deadbeat boyfriend who is holding him back, but Jack is determined to hang on to Dae—even if he has to resort to violence.

Dae has worked hard to fit in among humans, and if his secret gets out, he’ll lose everything. His veterinary assistant, Sean, might be just the man to stand with Dae… against Jack and the world.

Courage of the Wolf

The most painful changes don’t involve the shape of the body, but of the heart….

Just as Dae and Sean are settling in to life as a couple, Dae is contacted by his brother, who still lives with his former pack and who exiled him for being gay.

If he refuses to return to Wyoming, a sociopathic alpha will slaughter Dae’s family one member at a time. And deep down, Dae knows he must confront his past before he can truly have a loving future with Sean. First, they have to stay alive.   

First Edition of Heart of the Wolf was published as Change of Heart by Torquere Press in 2007.  The first edition of Courage of the Wolf was published as Change in Attitude by Torquere Press 2011.  Now you get both books all in one nice package.

ISBN: 978-1-63533-343-5

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/running-with-the-moon-by-kiernan-kelly-8259-b

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: Now normally I would separate each story and give you a rating for each, but let’s face it they are both going to be the same. 

In Heart of the Wolf, our sexy vet has finally decided to end it with his loser boyfriend, whose only real job was to screw around on the doc.  The last time about got the man his ass kicked, which he deserved.  But our doc goes out running and well if you want to know more than you’re going to have to read it.  But his sexy assistant has been in love with the doc for over four years.  So now it is his turn to turn the tables, but he is in for one big surprise, our sexy doc is a werewolf.

Now in Courage of the Wolf, our sexy duo is going home.  It had a home coming that was not as happy as one would think do to the threat in Dae’s old pack, danger, suspense and murder.  He got a letter that was 3 months old from one of his brothers telling him they need his help.  The old alpha has definitely lost his mind.  Things are going to get a bit more interesting to say the least, but if you really want to know the juicy details go pick up this book.

Usually I am one for a full size story that isn’t split up like this book.  However it has some surprises that was a hit for me.  I loved the connection that Dae and Sean had as well.  I wasn’t as pleased with the second half, but only because it was not a lot of it I suppose.  It is a well written book that will have you on the edge of your seat or laughing your ass off on Sean.  He is a definite plus for any alpha. 

I enjoyed this book and think you will also. 

Two Cowboys and A Baby by B.A. Tortuga

B.A. Tortuga - Two Cowboys and A Baby CoverTitle:  Two Cowboys and a Baby

Series: Dreamspun Desires 30

Author: BA Tortuga

Genre: Contemporary, Cowboys

Length: Novel (220 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (15 March 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: A little bundle of joy means big changes.

Hoss McMasters has a working ranch, a bull riding career, a nosy momma, and a best friend he’s been in love with since he can remember. He’s a busy, happy cowboy, living the good life.

Then one morning he discovers a baby on his doorstep.

Well, Hoss does what any reasonable man would do—he calls his momma and his buddy, Sheriff Pooter, and they head to the clinic to see if Doc knows of any suddenly not-so-pregnant girls.

In the meantime, Hoss and his best friend, Bradley, have their hands full trying to care for an infant, run a ranch, and deal with the sudden confession that Bradley doesn’t hate Hoss for coming out to him in high school. In fact, Bradley’s been trying to catch Hoss’s attention for damn near a decade.

ISBN: 978-1-63533-385-5

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/two-cowboys-and-a-baby-by-ba-tortuga-8174-b

Reviewer: Prime

Review: For me this book was a war between absolute love and being rather annoyed.

I know the reason for it and that is, quite simply, that the writing style of BA Tortuga has always been something that I have trouble connecting with. But still I keep on going back because the type of stories Tortuga writes are what I like. However, the actual idea of the story and the whole “cowboys looking after a baby and finally reveal their feelings for each other” plot device – absolutely perfect. I also loved the touch of soap opera type of drama introduced when it comes to said baby’s paternity.

The story is about Hoss (seriously, this name, totally rubbed me the wrong way for reasons unknown) and his best friend since childhood, Bradley. They are both cowboys and have been secretly in love with each other years. One day, Hoss finds a baby randomly left on his door step and through some convoluted reasoning; he ends up looking after the baby girl with the help of his friend.

The story works in two parts, 1) Hoss and Bradley getting together, where one is out and the other is in the closet still, and, 2) looking after the baby and the mystery of where she came from. There was a twist at the end that came from nowhere, it’s a bit unbelievable, so people that like things to be more relatable may need to enter with an open mind. Seriously, when I say this is something you would see on Days of Our Lives /Neighbours/Coronation Street, believe it.

Regardless of my feelings of the author’s writing style, this was nevertheless an enjoyable read. I loved the plot, I loved the characters and I loved the setting.

Dinner at the Blue Moon Cafe by Rick R. Reed (2nd Edition)

Rick R. Reed - Dinner at the Blue Moon Cafe CoverTitle: Dinner At The Blue Moon Cafe (2nd Edition)

Author: Rick R. Reed

Genre: Paranormal, Mystery, Suspense 

Length: Novel (200 Pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 13, 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: A monster moves through the night, hidden by the darkness, taking men, one by one, from Seattle’s gay gathering areas.

Amid an atmosphere of crippling fear, Thad Matthews finds his first true love working in an Italian restaurant called the Blue Moon Café. Sam Lupino is everything Thad has ever hoped for in a man: virile, sexy as hell, kind, and… he can cook!

As their romance heats up, the questions pile up. Who is the killer preying on Seattle’s gay men? What secrets is Sam’s Sicilian family hiding? And more importantly, why do Sam’s unexplained disappearances always coincide with the full moon?

The strength of Thad and Sam’s love will face the ultimate test when horrific revelations come to light beneath the full moon.  

ISBN: 978-1-63533-296-6

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/dinner-at-the-blue-moon-cafe-by-rick-r-reed-8283-b

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: I chose this book because I definitely thought it was a mystery, and it was however I wasn’t really paying attention to the werewolf part to much.  So you can imagine my surprise when I started reading it.  I have read a couple of books by this author, and have to say that he has a top notch imagination, and wonderful for us because that imagination gives us a good book. Although I do admit, this one leaves me on the edge. I can’t decide if I liked it or if I hated it.

Thad is a sweet young man who gives him time getting things together for ones who have AIDS.  He has a gentle soul and a big heart.  When Thad walks into the Blue Moon Cafe, his heart starts beating and his hands start sweating.  He has found the man of his dreams.  That man of his dreams has a secret that is deadly though.

Sam is one hell of a sexy Sicilian.  He can cook like no man can.  One night with Thad, and he wants more but his family is a very difficult family.  Then the murders of gay men start happening, and Thad’s best friend found the answer.  Now Sam’s disappearance around the full moon just so happens to be the same time as the murders.  Thad is going to find out what is going on, and if you want to know more then read the book.

Now I have to admit that I am more romance and paranormal, then creepy paranormal.  Also I am stuck with the werewolf in the city idea, which for most would be odd.  Werewolves and the city just don’t mix.  One would think that they would pick more Montana, Wyoming and even Alaska, then a city in Washington.  So it seemed to stick with me throughout the book.  Then there was the way they are together, and sudden love just doesn’t work for me.  I don’t know, the whole book just felt rushed and didn’t come together like I wanted it to.  Now, even though those are my feelings on the book, it is well written with some juicy parts in it. 

The action pack, suspenseful story mixed in with a romance is just a part of what is in this book.