Tag Archives: Prime’s Reviews

Romancing the Wrong Twin by Clare London ~ Audiobook

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

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 21 / Romancing the… 01

Author: Clare London

Narrator: Rusty Topsfield

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs 21 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (3 Jan 2017)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: How tangled can a romantic web get?

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

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

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

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

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

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

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

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

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

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 9

Author: MJ O’Shea

Narrator: Rusty Topsfield

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs 8 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (16 May 2016)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: Every gentleman has something to hide.

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

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

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

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

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

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

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

Catching Heir by Julia Talbot ~ Audiobook

Julia Talbot - Catching Heir Cover AudioTitle: Catching Heir

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 23

Author: Julia Talbot

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs 39 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (19 Jan 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

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

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

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

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

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK  

Reviewer: Prime

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

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

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

Ace by Jack Bryne ~ Audiobook

Jack Bryne - ACE Cover AudioTitle: Ace

Author: Jack Byrne

Narrator: Jonathan David

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs 37 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (31 March 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Blurb: Jake Tanner is a gay asexual man who finds peace on his small Australian farm and is content to lead a quiet life taking care of his animals. Then a random act of kindness on his part sets in motion a complex series of events that results in him playing the piano in a local pub and meeting Damien Jamieson, a sexy gay biker with a penchant for leather. Damien finds Jake instantly irresistible, but that could be the worst thing for their budding relationship, as Damien is determined to bed the reluctant Jake. However, Jake has no intention of going along with his plan. If there’s a chance for anything between them, Damien will have to figure out how to turn Jake on without scaring him off.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK  

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I don’t know what to say about this book. I really do have mixed feelings about it. I’ve heard of Jack Byrne before but never actually read or listened to the audio of one of his books until now.

Set somewhere is country New South Wales or Queensland in Australia (not entirely sure which state), we first meet Jake, he is both gay and asexual where he works his farm. He meets a stranger who comes to town one day, sexy gay biker Damien Jamieson – who ends up being not so much a stranger Jake’s best friend makes their chance encounter perhaps a little more. Jake and Damien get to know each other more when Jake becomes something of a part time musician down at the local pub. That’s “the bare bones” of the story, as they say.

The story itself I have no problems with – the premise is interesting and totally hot for those that love a cowboy/jackaroo/country boy, as is the attraction between the characters. However, one thing that I found really difficult to get past was how the author handled the fact that his main character, Jake, is asexual. At times it felt like the usual trope along the lines of “he just hasn’t met the right guy yet”, which is comparable to a gay person being treated as that they “haven’t met the right girl yet”. I’m going to leave it at that but take that as you like – or maybe just ignore me, it all depends on your tastes after all.

As for the narration, again I didn’t have any outright objections to the narration. Jonathan David has a wonderful voice and helped me connect with Jake a little more than I would have if I had read the book. However, I am Australian, and we tend to go to the shortest, some may say laxiest, pronunciation if possible. While the narration has no real accent present there were a few glaring mispronunciations that had me wanting me skip over sections. For example an Australia pronounces “Melbourne” is “Mel-ben”, “Brisbane” is “Bris-bin” and chooks (slang for chicken) is pronounced the same as in “hooks”. These were the three mispronunciations, the very American “Mel-born”, “Bris-bane” and “chooks” as in “choo-ks”, which really grated on my nerves. There were a couple others but I won’t further bore you with details.

I think this is one of the take it or leave it – love it or hate it – type of stories. For me, while I didn’t hate it – hate is too strong a word – I am definitely going to leave it.

Romancing the Ugly Duckling by Clare London

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

Series: Dreamspun Desires 36 / Romancing The… 02

Author: Clare London

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (260 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (15 June 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Is this the makeover of a lifetime?

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

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

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

ISBN: 978-1-63533-387-9

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

Reviewer:  Prime

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

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

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

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

Ace In The Hole by Ava Drake ~ Audiobook

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

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 13 / Wild Cards 01

Author: Ava Drake

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs 43 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (1 Sept 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

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

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

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

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK  

Reviewer: Prime

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

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

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

Seven-Card Stud by Ava Drake ~ Audiobook

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

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 22 / Wild Cards Inc 02

Author: Ava Drake

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs 32 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (12 Dec 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

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

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

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

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

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

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

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

The Virgin Manny by Amy Lane ~ Audiobook

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

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 25 / The Mannies 01

Author: Amy Lane

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs 14 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (14 Feb 2017)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: The Mannies

Growing up and falling in love….

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

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

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

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK  

Reviewer: Prime

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Kind of Truth by Lane Hayes ~ Audiobook

Lane Hayes - A Kind of Truth Cover AudioTitle: A Kind of Truth

Series:  A Kind of Series 1

Author: Lane Hayes

Narrator: Seth Clayton

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 8 hrs 29 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (3 May 2016)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Rand O’Malley dreams of superstardom. He hopes to one day sing the blues like a god. Moving to New York City and hiring a new manager are steps to make his dreams a reality. But nothing moves as fast as Rand would like, and everyone has opinions, for example that he should keep certain pieces of himself quiet if he plans on making it in the Big Apple. Like his bisexuality.

Will Sanders is a gifted musician who dazzles Rand with his ability to coax gorgeous notes from an electric guitar one moment and play the piano like a professional the next. He’s a geek, but Rand isn’t concerned about Will’s pressed exterior clashing with his tattoos. His focus is music. Yet there’s something about Will that makes Rand think there’s much more to the quiet college student than he lets on. As Rand’s dreams begin to materialize, he’s forced to reconsider his priorities and find his own kind of truth. One that might include Will.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: A Kind of Truth is the first in Lane Hayes’ A Kind Of series. Interestingly enough, this is a book that I had trouble enjoying when I first read it – only rating it a 3.5/5 and I was annoyed at too much “telling”, not enough action and slow plot development. Yet with the audio I absolutely fell in love with the story and the characters and definitely deserves a 5/5. What can I say? Sometimes there are some books that read better as audios rather than off the page and for me this is a perfect example.

This is the story of rock musician, Rand, who like many before him has dreams of fame and fortune in New York. He and his band play gigs and are just doing what they need to in order to find fame – and that includes Rand having to hide the fact that he is bisexual. In need of a guitar teacher, he meets college student Will, who tutors guitar on the side to make extra money. Will’s in debt and will do whatever it takes to get rid of his student loans and whatnot. Quickly, it’s obvious that Will is keeping all kinds of secrets. It’s almost as if this book is essentially an unravelling of Will. The story is generally a very sweet romance, and starts off rather light hearted and at about the halfway point there is a major shift to a more serious frame of mind.

The story is totally from the POV of Rand – our wannabe rocker. Seth Clayton, the narrator, lends the perfect amount of desperation and determination and vulnerability to the character. Unlike when I read the story where I found it difficult to connect with Rand, I completely fell in love with him as much as I completely fell in love with Wil. Will is a positively wonderful character and one that many of us, including myself, could relate to. Will is a fantastic guy and he has so many hidden layers – him wanting to give up everything to go back into the closet for his family was both frustrating and made me upset on Rand’s behalf.

Their romance is beautiful and sweet and they work hard to be together.

A Kind of Romance by Lane Hayes ~ Audiobook

Lane Hayes - A Kind of Romance Cover AudioTitle: A Kind of Romance

Series:  A Kind Of Series 2

Author: Lane Hayes

Narrator: Seth Clayton

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 9 hrs 1 min

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (27 September 2016)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Zeke Gulden is a ruthless Wall Street exec. His hard-edged, no-nonsense attitude has served him well in the cutthroat business world, but less so in his personal life. When he finds out his ex-boyfriend cheated on him with a coworker, Zeke can’t let go until he finds a way to get even. However, his meddlesome father has other ideas. The new hire at the family-owned bagel store is somewhat colorful, but his dad is sure he’s the perfect man for Zeke.

Benny Ruggieri is a fiercely proud New Yorker who dreams of making it big as a costume designer in the theater. In the meantime, he’s working two part-time jobs in the food biz. When his new boss sets him up with his successful son, Benny has zero expectations. If nothing else, he figures he can entertain himself by making the uptight businessman squirm. Instead, the two become unlikely friends with an inexplicable attraction they can’t ignore. Benny might be the one to help Zeke set aside his quest for revenge, if he’s willing to let go and forgive what he can’t forget and give in to an unexpected kind of romance.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: This is book 2 in Lane Hayes’ A Kind of Stories series. However, this can be treated as a standalone book. Other than an appearance from the couple from book 1, A Kind of Truth, there is no ongoing plot to worry about. I have to say that I find it quite remarkable that I have felt a lot more happiness, joy and romance from the audio of this series than I have from reading the ebook.

This is a totally fun book and really embraces the old saying “opposites attract” because that is exactly what Zeke (he hates being called Ezekiel) and Benny are. Zeke is a well to do Wall Street exec that is also just a tad snobbish. Which is a bit odd since his father and brothers, who run the family bakery, are the most ordinary type people that you could come across. Benny on the other hand is a blue-haired ball of energy who takes life in his stride. And with that all said, both characters do feature in book 1, sort of. One MC, Benny, appears in book 1, Zeke, was mentioned multiple times by his father in book 1.

These guys also have completely different family lives. While Benny works for Zeke’s father, George, on the side, his primary job is to work for his own family. They are Italian-Catholic and to me I saw my own family in that, we may not be New Yorkers but there is that unspoken camaraderie that comes along with coming from an Italian family that immigrated out of Italy. Benny is pretty damn lucky where his family is concerned.

However, Zeke is not quite so lucky. His father was a difficult man to live with after he came out as gay and that is seen in the still mending relationship between father and son. I think it is also interesting how his mother is referred to as “gone”, because she isn’t dead. I assume that she has some form of dementia although it was never stated, and neither was that bit of information crucial to the outcome of the story. It’s quickly evident though, he is just what Zeke needs to loosen up and to make Zeke realize that he has bloody horrible taste in men.

I absolutely adored this audio. Once again, Seth Clayton delivers an absolutely spot on performance for Benny and Zeke. Benny most especially is a very relatable character, although Zeke’s troubles with his ex is also, unfortunately, all too easy to relate to. Seth Clayton totally nails all the emotions and I just didn’t want to stop listening.

Switch Hitter by Cheyenne Meadow

Cheyenne Meadows - Switch Hitter CoverTitle: Switch Hitter

Series: Shifter Hardball 03

Author: Cheyenne Meadows

Genre: Paranormal, Sports

Length: Novel (200 pages)

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (5th June 2017)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 hearts

Blurb: Tucker Wilde’s life is in a tailspin. Twenty-four hours ago, he was one of the top second basemen in the all-shifter professional baseball league. Now, he’s lost his starting spot to a rookie, been dumped by his girlfriend, and had a night of explosive passion with a man—a teammate at that. He can’t get Dixon out of his mind—even though Tucker still believes himself to be straight. With his career in jeopardy, he’s unsure where to turn or how to fix the mess.

Dixon Foxx is a baseball prodigy, though a perfectionist father stole any joy he might find in the game. He only sticks with it because it’s all he knows—and because of Tucker, the man Dixon’s wanted since they met. His dreams come true one night, only to turn into a nightmare the next morning when Tucker blows off their incredible time together as a drunken mistake, never to happen again.

The life of a switch hitter is all about mixing things up. Tucker excels at it. Only this time, the game isn’t on the line—his heart is.

ISBN:  978-1-63533-587-3

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/switch-hitter-by-cheyenne-meadows-8542-b

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I read a tonne of books and so I admit, sheepishly, that there are a lot of series which I completely forget about existing until I get flagged that the next book is out. I suppose you can call me a voracious reader, although I probably only write reviews for 10% of what I consume – I really don’t have that much time. Shifter Hardball is one of those series, but don’t take that to mean that it’s an unforgettable series. No, instead just understand two things 1) I got a horrid memory and 2) there clearly isn’t enough room for me to remember all the books I read.

With those pleasantries out the way, let me tell you this, once I remembered about the series and what it was – I was instantly desperate to read the next installment. Let’s face, there are many of us who will be instantly drawn to this series because 1) there are shifters – sexy alpha shifters, and 2) these sexy shifter play a damn good game of baseball. I admit, I did a quick reread of the first two books, but honestly I don’t believe that it is essential to read the previous books but I highly recommend doing so if you haven’t. We get a number of quick glimpses at our two previous couples which could potentially be a tad confusing.

Tucker Wilde is one of the stars on his baseball team in his position as the second baseman. However, his game has been off recently and he loses his top position to one of the rookies. To top that off, he also breaks up with his girlfriend, who he really wasn’t completely into to be perfectly honest. And this is where his life begins to change.

Dixon Foxx has been micromanaged into a baseball career by his father. He’s shy but is a total kick arse when it comes to the sport. The only thing keeping him in the game is his stubbornness, despite the fact he no longer enjoys the game, and his infatuation for Ticker. Dixon has been crushing on Tucker since they first met, just Tucker doesn’t realize it. But as I said, things are changing for Tucker, and that means that things are also changing for Dixon.

Tucker and Dixon discover new facets of their evolving relationship, and Dixon discovers just where his passion for baseball now lies (and is not dependent on his love for Tucker). Super sexy. Super sweet. Lots of chemistry ready to explode. Seriously, how can you go wrong with a story about shifters who play baseball?? What I also like about this series is that the shifter aspect is actually secondary to the baseball – as opposed to the other way around, which is probably more common. It makes for a very interesting tale and makes me want more from the series!!

Breaking Bonds by Ari McKay

Ari McKay - Breaking Bonds CoverTitle:  Breaking Bonds

Series: Walker Boys 02 / Dreamspun Desires 35

Author: Ari McKay

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (190 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (1 June 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: From the frying pan into the fire.

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

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

ISBN:  978-1-63533-151-6

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

Reviewer: Prime

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

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

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

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

Striking Sparks by Ari McKay ~ Audiobook

Ari McKay - Striking Sparks Cover AudioTitle: Striking Sparks

Series:  The Walker Boys 01 / Dreamspun Desires 24

Author: Ari McKay

Narrator: Rusty Topsfield

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs 10 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (27 Jan 2017)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

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

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

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

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

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

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

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

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

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. 

Signs of Desire by Tempeste O’Riley ~ Audiobook

Tempeste O'Riley - Signs of Desire Cover AudioTitle: Signs of Desire

Series:  Desires Entwined 04

Author: Tempeste O’Riley

Narrator: Jeff Gelder

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hr, 35 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (27th July 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Simon Tyler knows his job as a gay romance author makes his lack of faith in love more than a little ironic, but he’s tired of being used for his wallet. When a night out turns into a matchmaking scheme orchestrated by his best friends, Simon’s not thrilled, but since he’s not the target and he’s sworn off happily-ever-after anyway, he goes along with it…until he meets Adrian, the object of their efforts, and finds perhaps he hasn’t given up on love after all.

Professor Adrian Keys has tried to date Hearing men before, but being Deaf himself, he’s never had any success at making a connection. After his friends con him into going out and Adrian realizes it’s all an elaborate plan to set him up, he braces for yet another failure, only to discover there is a spark – except it’s not with the man his friends had in mind, but with Simon Tyler instead.

Not all their friends have found a way past their romantic failures, but Simon and Adrian might be on the path to happily-ever-after.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: This is the fourth installment of the Desires Entwined series. This one could probably be heard/ read as a standalone, though by now both main characters in this one have been known to us for some time now. Simon we’ve known from the start of the series, and Adrian was introduced to us very briefly in Book 2. This series, in general is sugary sweet with the sweetest, romantic heroes and just so satisfying to hear. Actually, it’s the perfect series to just sit back or go about your day and listen to.

Simon is part of the small group of friends that are central to this series. Just like his friend, Chase, he’s seen to be nothing more than a party boy and generally a slut when it comes to men. Simon is from a wealthy and influential family, although he distances himself from them since they do not like the fact that he is gay. But Simon is independently wealthy and also happens to be a romance writer. The poor guy writes book after book of HEA for his characters (gay or otherwise) but he is just unlucky in love.

Simon meets Adrian, through Chase. Adrian was Chase’s professor at college for an advanced computer forensics type of course. Adrian also happens to be deaf. He can lip read very well but it is only natural that his primary language is American Sign Language.

Simon and Adrian seem to hit it off really well. Simon goes in with his heart on his sleeve. He doesn’t hesitate in doing whatever it takes for him to be with Simon, including learning and taking classes in ASL. Simon also deals with Adrian’s sometimes difficult but always overprotective friends. That entire story line with Adrian’s friends is just wonderful – including the set down Adrian gets from an ASL teacher about throwing Simon into the deep end of ASL. But Simon takes it all in his stride.

Honestly, this is a very enjoyable and sweet story. I really loved this one because Tempeste O’Riley brought to life the challenges of learning ASL as well as telling a story from the POV of a deaf main character.