Thursday, December 14, 2017

Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar: All Creatures Great and Small by Kasper Quill & The Last Gift by Chrissy Munder #Review #Giveaway

We have another two Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar reviews for you today. All Creatures Great and Small by Kasper Quill and The Last Gift by Chrissy Munder. Don't forget to enter the Advent giveaway at the end!






All Creatures Great and Small by Kasper Quill

Growing up an orphan meant Charlie never celebrated Christmas. He’s committed to making sure his newly adopted cat, Max, doesn’t miss out like he did. Unfortunately, he discovers that giving Max the perfect Christmas might be easier said than done—and not without risk.

Charlie’s landlord, successful and wealthy real estate developer Aemon Scotfield, is charmed by the gorgeous redhead and his shameless alley cat. He finds himself compelled to help orchestrate a memorable celebration for Max—and Charlie—despite the mishaps that seem to just keep coming. As difficult as it will be to pull off the perfect holiday, the real challenge might be walking away when it’s over.






Review

I'll be honest and say that my holiday reading this season is woefully behind. Life, what can you do, right? I love this time of year when all the stories full of family and love and joy come out rapid fire, it's almost too much to keep up with sometimes. But it's always nice to step back from the hustle and bustle of shopping, wrapping, and baking to immerse yourself, often for an hour or less, into a book that reminds you of what the best parts of this time of year are about. I might not have read all that many Christmas (and Hanukkah, Kwanza, etc.) stories so far this year, but I can tell you that no matter how many I do wind up reading, All Creatures Great and Small by Kasper Quill will be among my favorites. 

Talk about a meet cute to remember! A stray cat, a bicycle, and a slippery sidewalk do not mix as IT guy Charlie comes to find out in a most painful way. Not to mention the pretentious observer from the car across the road. Charlie has grown up in foster care and has never experienced a "real" Christmas. When the stray cat, that Charlie names Max, finds a home with Charlie, Charlie vows to give Max the perfect Christmas, complete with a tree and everything else that goes with it. Y'all. Charlie is an adorable mess, who is about the most endearing, clueless guy I've read about in some time. I absolutely loved him to pieces. Quirky and sarcastic with a heart of gold, he was just awesome! When Charlie informs his landlord of his new roommate, he is quite surprised that the landlord turns out to be none other than Aemon Scott, aka the pretentious asshole from the car. Aemon is that perfect blend of blunt and dry that works so well (at least for us readers!) with a character like Charlie. These two are certainly a perfect example of opposites attracting. 

I loved how Aemon was just so smitten by Charlie, and Charlie was so completely clueless ... until he wasn't. Light, sweet, and surprisingly touching, All Things Great and Small is part of Dreamspinner Press's Advent Calendar anthology and at only 34 pages packs quite the emotional, sentimental punch. Don't miss this one guys. Lots of heart with some cute adopted pets thrown in make this the perfect respite from all the holiday chaos. 









The Last Gift by Chrissy Munder

College student Nick Reed works late shift at a convenience store and dreams of graduation, a job he can be proud of, and finding the man of his dreams.

But the man of his dreams is about to find him.

A change in his lab hours forces Nick to swap shifts with a coworker. But no one prepared Nick for Mr. 5:25—Aaron Hampton—a beefy blond who’s Nick’s perfect guy, but professionally and socially out of Nick's reach. Soon Aaron becomes the highlight of Nick's workday, and when the overly focused lawyer needs Nick's help with holiday gifts, Nick is eager to spend time with Aaron.

They become friends, share book recommendations, and are surprised to find themselves at the same charity run. But is that all? When Aaron learns Nick is heading back to his old shift, will he find the courage to ask for one last, very special gift?





Review


Seriously, it’s not that often anymore that I discover a new-to-me author that I have to…um…stalk.  But after reading “The Last Gift”, that’s exactly what I did.  The first thing I did was friend request  Chrissy Munder on Facebook.  Then, I started following her on Twitter.  Then I perused her blog and website.  And finally, I went to the Dreamspinner Press website looking for more of her work.

Yeah, I might have a problem. 

I loved this story.  Honestly, I really liked Nick (although I’m not nuts about manbuns).  Works two jobs to help support his family, goes to school full time, worries about his family.  He’s snarky and fun, and secure just enough with himself to know who he is, but not so much as to be arrogant.  And Aaron…Aaron is just an absolutely adorable dork.  I say that as a dork myself.


This is why I love short stories and novellas.  You get a taste of the talent without a massive investment of time.  “The Last Gift” is everything in one tiny little story that so many full length novels try to be.  Charming and funny, romantic and sweet, and just oh-so-good.  It really will get you in the holiday mood.







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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Review Tour: Three Under the Christmas Tree by Silvia Violet #Review #Giveaway



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 22,000 words approx

Cover Design: L.C. Chase

Blurb

Ace and Gavin haven't had a threesome in far too long. When Ace meets the perfect guy to join them, he can't think of a better way to kick off the holiday season.

Jonathan is charmed by the sexy couple, and he quickly realizes that what started as a fling has the potential to be a whole lot more.

Gavin feels their connection just as strongly, but even after weeks of the three of them hanging out, he's afraid to suggest they turn their friends-with-benefits arrangement into a serious relationship.

The joy and shared experiences of the season have a way of making magic happen, if only all three men could find the courage to ask for what they want.


Review

Ménage is my favorite trope. I always say this for every threesome book. I find it important to say it because it’s also the genre I’m most critical of. Sex is not the reason I love it. The psychology is. If it isn’t there then it will fall flat for me.

Three Under the Christmas Tree, while it was very entertaining and super sexy it doesn’t focus on the connection and psychology I long for in these books. Simply said it’s a short ménage for the holidays that is strictly about sex. Nothing wrong with that. That’s the author’s intention. For me that is not what I was expecting. But that’s okay. It is still a very well written love story.

I know if this was longer it would be outstanding as most of Silvia Violet’s books are. I’d love to see an expansion on Jonathan, Gavin, and Ace totally. Jonathan has a backstory I’m dying to read and I want to see where these three end up.

If anything the author has started something here and I very much want more of these three and to delve deeper into what’s happening here.



December 7 - BooksLaidBareBoys
December 11 - Lelyana's Book Blog

Author Bio

Silvia Violet writes fun, sexy stories that will leave you smiling and satisfied. She has a thing for characters who are in need of comfort and enjoys helping them surrender to love even when they doubt it exists. Silvia's stories include sizzling contemporaries, paranormals, and historicals. When she needs a break from listening to the voices in her head, she spends time baking, taking long walks, curling up with her favorite books, and spending time with her family.

Newsletter: http://silviaviolet.com/newsletter
Website: http://silviaviolet.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/silvia.violet
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Silvia_Violet
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/silvia.violet/
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/silviaviolet/

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Review Tour: Not Just For Christmas by Annabelle Jacobs #Review #Excerpt #Giveaway




Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 48,000 words approx

Cover Design: Natasha Snow

Blurb

Ben has Christmas, cats, and mistletoe on his side…. Jason doesn’t stand a chance

For Ben Slater, moving back to Bristol means being closer to his family, living with his best mate, and volunteering at the local animal shelter. But there’s also Jason, his best mate’s eldest brother. Ben’s had a crush on Jason for as long as he can remember, but the eleven-year age gap has always seemed insurmountable.

Jason Armitage works as a vet at his uncle’s practice. He owns a cute cottage on the outskirts of the city, and a loving dog. The one thing missing is someone to share it all with. His brother’s best friend seems a bad choice, but Jason can’t help taking a second look. Ben’s changed a lot since Jason last saw him; both in appearance and attitude. Gone is the shy young boy, replaced with a confident, twenty-four-year-old man.

In the run up to Christmas, the festive period gives Ben the ideal opportunity to show Jason what he has to offer. But concerns for his brother’s feelings hold Jason back. If they have any chance of making this work, Ben must convince Jason that he’s old enough to know what he wants, and Jason needs to believe that a relationship with his brother’s best friend won’t ruin their friendship.


Review

I've had Annabelle Jacobs on my radar for quite some time (bad reader, I know!) and when I saw the cover for Not Just For Christmas--too adorable for words, right?--I knew this would be the perfect place to start. Boy was I right! This was sweet, and full of adorable animals and a case of falling for your best friend's brother which made a perfect combination. 

Ben Slater has crushed on Jason Armitage for years, and it hasn't been much of a secret from anyone. Not from Jason and not from Jason's brother, Liam, who also happens to be Ben's best friend. Ben is moving back to Bristol after being away for a few years and Ben is not the boy Jason remembers. Nope, Ben is all grown up and not the shy somewhat awkward kid he used to be. 

It was really fun watching grown up Ben pursue Jason. Jason might be 11 years older than Ben, a successful vet, and owns his own home but he's ready to settle down and isn't quite sure 24 year old Ben wants the same things. *hint* he does. I liked that Ben was the one who made the first move and initiated the first kiss, conveniently under some mistletoe. 


The pace was a little slow at times but the bromance between Liam and Ben was so awesome I didn't mind so much. The heat level in Not Just For Christmas was on the low side, but for the tone of the story it really worked. This was a delightful read. The cute animals didn't hurt any and I was left with a smile on my face at the end. I'll definitely be reading more of Annabelle's work and recommend this to anyone looking for a sweet, light story to put you in the Christmas mood! 



November 28 - The Blogger Girls, Gay Book Reviews, My Fiction Nook, Gay Media Reviews, Mikku-chan
December 2 - Making It Happen
December 4 - BooksLaidBareBoys, My Book Filled Life, V's Reads
December 6 - OMG Reads, Fannatality
December 8 - Valerie Ullmer, Au Boudoir Ecarlate, The Geekery Book Review
December 11 - Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Nicole's Book Musings
December 13 - Hearts On Fire Reviews, A Book Lover's Dream Blog, BFD Book Blog, Sexy Erotic Xciting, Wicked Faerie's Tales & Reviews
December 15 - Drops Of Ink, Bayou Book Junkie, Diverse Reader, Book Lovers 4Ever, Lelyana's Book Blog 


Excerpt

Ben tried not to look, but inevitably his gaze was drawn to Jason still sat on the sofa. He stood as Pete stepped back, and Ben got a proper look at him. Ben wasn’t the only one who’d changed a little over the past couple of years. The last time he’d seen Jason, his hair had been short, like an army cut, and he’d had a beard. He’d looked hot then, but now…. Ben had to forcibly shut his mouth so he didn’t gape.
Jason’s thick dark hair, still shaved at the sides, was now a good couple of inches longer on top. And he was clean shaven. Ben kind of missed the beard, but without it Jason looked much younger, and his strong jawline was a thing of beauty. He looked thinner, too. Ben frowned because Jason ate like a horse and had always been bulkier than his brothers. That thought somehow made its way out of Ben’s mouth.
“Have you lost weight?”
Jason laughed softly, one hand immediately going to his stomach. He patted his belly and sighed. “God don’t you start. Mum’s already been on at me about not eating properly.” He pulled Ben in for a quick hug. “It’s good to see you, even if you do put the rest of us to shame.”
Oh God, that voice. As smooth and deep as Ben remembered.


Author Bio

Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They're usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it - fighting enemies and adversity - but they always find love in the end.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJacobs_fiction
Website: www.annabellejacobs.com
Email: ajacobsfiction@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ajacobsfiction


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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Random Review: Romance Redefined by SJD Peterson #Review #Giveaway



Author: SJD Peterson
Book: Romance Redefined
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Publication Date: November 27, 2017
Length: 200 pages

Reviewed by Erin

Synopsis

Opposites attract, but are some differences too drastic for a romance to survive?

On the surface, Benson Howard Winthrop III and Hugh Bayard have a lot in common: they’re young, handsome, and blessed to be one of the wealthiest couples in the country. Surely they have everything anyone could want. But Ben is no longer satisfied with their long-running relationship. Hugh’s need to control every situation is suffocating him, and Ben needs to know if he can make it on his own merits by following his passion.

But Ben’s mother isn’t about to let her son live in a rundown apartment as a struggling actor. She’s determined to get him back to his rightful place at the top of the social ladder—and back with Hugh.

Rekindling their romance will require more than doing what’s expected. Ben and Hugh need to understand and embrace each other’s differences. They’ll have to support each other even when one makes a decision the other doesn’t agree with. For their passionate love to grow, they will need to redefine the meaning of romance… only then can they find true happiness.


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Review

I am one of those readers that is a lover of angst. Sure, I enjoy those sweet and fluffy books that leave you all warm and smiley, but I REALLY enjoy when the main characters have to work hard for their happily ever after. The bumpier the better I say, which is why when I read the blurb for SJD Peterson's new book, Romance Redefined, I was sure this was going to be right up my alley. Well, suffice it to say that while there was some angst and Ben and Hugh DID have to work to get their HEA, this one was not my cup of tea.

Romance Redefined is the story of Ben and Hugh. There's also a Jason. Ben and Hugh have been married for 10 years and from the outside appear to have a relationship anyone would envy. Too bad the only thing Ben can think about doing is leaving, which he does. He's tired of Hugh's controlling nature and not following his own dream so he runs away to New York City to become the actor he's always dreamed of being. Ugh. I don't even know what to say about all of this. Since the book is told exclusively from Ben's perspective, we only know his thoughts and feelings and honestly, he isn't all that likeable. He comes off selfish, immature, and spoiled. When Ben finally lands an acting job, we meet Jason, who in all honesty I liked the most out of all the characters and was hoping that he and Ben would wind up together, thus the love triangle vibe of the book. Too bad Ben is still in love with Hugh and can't and won't move on.

I had a hard time finishing the book to be honest. I wasn't invested in Ben and Hugh's relationship, Ben's mother is a ridiculous caricature of an upper-class woman used to getting her way, and there wasn't enough on page time of Ben and Hugh to even care if they got back together. This could totally be a case of it's not the book it's me, so give Romance Redefined a try and see what you think.  




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Audiobook Review: Just Add Argyle by KC Burn #Review #Giveaway





Author: KC Burn
Audiobook: Just Add Argyle
Series: Fabric Hearts #3
Narrator: David Ross
Cover Artist: LC Chase
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date: July 21, 2017
Length: 7 hours 32 minutes

Reviewed by Morningstar

Synopsis

Tate Buchanan is a troublemaker who can’t keep a job, no matter how many times his lucky argyle sweater gets him hired. Add to that a learning disability and an impetuous nature that sends him into altercations to protect the defenseless, and he hardly manages to make friends, let alone find a man who’s interested in him for more than one night.

Most people think EMT Jaime Escobar is a player, but the truth is he wants a serious partner—he just can’t justify wasting time on guys he knows aren’t a match. But when he treats a gorgeous redhead after a fight, he finds the spark he’s spent so many years looking for.

Jaime wants to take the next step with Tate, but it’s clear Tate’s not going to curb his impulsive behavior—his next fight sends him to the hospital. Jaime’s relationship with a near criminal isn’t something his family is ready to accept, not any more than Tate is willing to be kept a secret. Jaime will need a lot of understanding—and some luck of his own—to keep them both. But this is one fight he’s going to see through to the end.



Buy Links




Review

Holy moly I loved these guys! Like I couldn’t get enough of listening to this book.

Tate was freaking fantastic. His personality could seem abrasive sometimes to some but to me, it was low self-esteem brought on by his family and disability. He was bright and sweet and a firecracker. Jaime was everything. He was sure and strong and a little sad but he loved with every part of himself. Family, friends, and eventually Tate.

They were this perfect balance. They each needed something the other gave and the rocky part of their relationship only made the story better. It wasn’t over the top or underwhelming. They played off each other like planets revolving around the sun. When one made their move the other made a coordinating move. But in more of a romance-y sexy cute way and not a scientific way LOL.

And once again the heat level in KC Burn’s books are fire and heat and everything sweet. There was purpose and want and emotion in every one of the sexy time scenes. They weren’t just there to be there. I like sex in my books as much as the next reader but I do love when they serve a purpose and are not just kinky filler.

The secondary characters were great, especially Jaime’s family. They didn’t play a huge roll and at one point I thought I was going to end up hating Jaime’s mom but luckily for her I didn’t because I had a couple of slaps saved up just in case.

David Ross did an even better job on these two guys than he did on the last one! Each guy was unique and I was sad when they story was over. I’m not sure if there are anymore books coming out for this series but if there are and David Ross is narrating I’ll be waiting in line to listen.






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Monday, December 11, 2017

Random Review: City Boy by A.E. Wasp #Review #Giveaway




Author: A.E. Wasp
Book: City Boy
Series: Hot Off The Ice #1
Self Published
Publication Date: June 29, 2017
Length: 318 pages

Reviewed by Jenn


Synopsis

Follow the money or follow your heart?

All Bryce Lowery knows how to do is play hockey. He’s been playing professionally since he was fifteen. Twenty years later, he’s rich, famous, tired, and alone. And possibly gay according to his ex-wife.

When a blown tire leads directly to mind-blowing sex with a motorcycle-riding white knight named Dakota, Bryce discovers he is most definitely gay. Now Bryce has a tough choice to make, follow the money to a new multimillion dollar contract, or follow his heart into the unknown?

All Dakota Ryan knows how to do is grow apples. Now at twenty-four, he faces losing both his home and his livelihood in one cruel twist of fate.

Then Bryce Lowery crashes into his life like the answer to all of Dakota’s prayers. He’s whispering promises to make all of Dakota’s wildest dreams come true. But Dakota knows better than to give his heart to someone who could leave, and if life has taught him anything, it’s that everyone leaves.

Dakota has a choice, sit back and wait for Bryce to decide his fate, or for the first time in his life, chose what he wants his future to be.








Review

What if everything you thought you knew about yourself was wrong, what would you do? Everyone around you seems to know a secret about you that you don’t know yourself.

Professional hockey player Bryce Lowery is having a tough time, he’s at a crossroad in his life. Bryce is recovering from knee surgery and has some decisions to make, should he retire or sign a new contact with his team. Bryce and his salary has always taken care of his whole family and walking away seems really scary. When he learns of an Apple farm he has inherited, he decides to go check it out and to eventually get his mom settled in there.

Dakota has lived and worked on the apple farm since hew was a boy. When he loses his own family, the owner takes him in and they become a family. Dakota has been promised the farm, but when he can’t produce a new will, he has to prepare himself for a new owner. As Dakota sets out on a motorcycle ride to clear his mind, he meets a man in distress and stops to help.

When a blown tire leaves Bryce stranded on the road and a guy on a motorcycle stops to help, all of a sudden Bryce as an answer to a question he never really asked himself before. Bryce sees the handsome, sexy  Dakota and his mind and heart tell him “I’m gay” Bryce truly did not know this about himself, he hasn’t been lying or hiding. He has been focused on his career and taking care of his family and really didn’t  notice he was gay. Seeing Dakota makes him notice, really notice. With lots of flirtation and am enormance amount of attraction, the two spend a steamy afternoon in a cabin. There is no denying it now, thanks to Dakota, a handsome stranger, Bryce learns he is most definitely gay. He embraces the afternoon knowing he’ll never see Dakota again.

The next day the two men will discover that through the Apple farm, they are connected. Where will they go from here and what will Bryce decide to do about his future are all questions that need answers. One thing is very clear though, that afternoon in the cabin was no fluke. These two could really have something together if they’re willing to take a giant chance. With the help of family and friends, both old and new, Bryce will finally begin to embrace what so many saw but him. He is a man falling in love with another man for the first time in his life and it’s okay, he’s going to be okay.

This is such a genuinely sweet romance, I love Bryce and Dakota so much. I love how the author wrote Bryce as someone open and honest, if somewhat oblivious. His reactions are so honest and real, he just won me over so quickly! I was happy to learn this is the first in a series and book two, Country Boy is already out. I’m looking forward to reading this and hopefully we’ll see Bryce and Dakota some more too.





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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Random Review: The Black Feather by JM Wolf #Review #Giveaway





Author: JM Wolf
Book: The Black Feather
Series: The Angels and Demons of Babylon #1
Publisher: Encompass Ink
Publication Date: September 6, 2017
Length: 308 pages

Reviewed by Meredith

Synopsis

Archangel turned Archdemon, Bastion (Belial) McDowell was left with the horrid memories of the mistakes he's made that cost him not only his white wings but also caused the death of his lover. Wandering amongst the humans in hopes of finding a way to earn his place back in the light realm, one tragic accident involving an eleven-year-old boy has changed his entire way of life. Watching over the kid from the shadows for ten years, Bastion watched him grow into a handsome young man and struggled with the decision to make himself known finally. But, is Bastion truly ready to let his past go to give this human his all? Especially since the human looks exactly like his fallen lover. 

21-year-old Scott Grayson's life had gone to hell ever since the accident when he was eleven that took his mother away from him. Locked up in his home like a prisoner with an abusive father, Scott was an empty shell stumbling through life, until he was rescued from an ambush in an alleyway by a mysterious man in a black cloak with eyes as blue as ice, who left a black feather for Scott to remember him by. After discovering a strange cafe called "Angel's Haven" in the direction where his rescuer ran off to, Scott decided to check it out and eventually meets the mysteriously dark and sexy owner Bastion, whose eyes resemble the man in the black cloak. 

Circumstances have brought these two together, and Bastion's secrets become harder to hide from Scott. Especially when a prophecy reveals an upcoming war where both Bastion and Scott play a role in the event. Can Bastion accept the darkness that he's been denying to keep Scott safe from the army of demons hunting for them? And can Scott find the strength within himself to fulfill his role in the prophecy and fight alongside the demon his heart belongs to? 

TRIGGER WARNING: 
This book contains mentions of alcoholism, abuse, past grief, violence, death, gore, thoughts of suicide, and loss. This book also includes figures from religion and demonology.









Review

I've said this many times, I love angel and demon stories. They are some of my favorites in the paranormal/fantasy genres. 

When I came across The Black Feather by JM Wolf, the cover and blurb ticked all my boxes. I loved the layers in this story. From love to hate and all the emotions in between.

So, who were the characters in play? Bastion (love that name btw) was an awesome character. A protector, a watcher of sorts. For a decade he's watched over Scott. Scott lived in Babylon with his awful father. And yes he was a nightmare. He was almost God only knows what by these thugs but Bastion swooped in and saved him.

There's drama, emotions, suspense, and surprises in this book making it a real page turner. Well written and kept me engaged the entire time. If you're a fan of books with action and sweet love then this is a good read for you.






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