Review: “Sunshine in the Dragon’s Heart” by Jaime Samms

TITLE: Sunshine in the Dragon’s Heart
AUTHOR: Jaime Samms
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Tiferet Design
GENRE: High Fantasy
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 226 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 4, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback

BLURB:

When Sunny retires to the northern Ontario wilderness to mourn his parents’ deaths, he’s hoping the change of scenery will afford him some peace and quiet.
His hopes are soon spectacularly dashed.
In self-imposed exile, dragon Emile runs across the Fold between his dimension and Sunny’s—and right into Sunny’s arms. Centuries out of touch with human culture, bright, beautiful Emile incinerates any hope Sunny had for an ordinary existence. With dryads and water sprites coming to life all around them, Sunny can’t deny the magic Emile brings to his life—or his heart. But that same magic leads the unrelenting dragon who would keep Emile captive right to them. To save his love, Sunny will have to reach deep and find some magic of his own.


Sunshine in the Dragon’s Heart is a part of the Dreamspinner Press house line—Perchance to Dream series. This book had the potential to be a five-star read. However, between the super slow pace of the book and having problems with not being able to visualize some of the mystical creatures in the book even with the overabundant of details in their description and not being able to understand important parts of the book like the whole dragon egg bearer history, I had to give this book a three.

At one point I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be able to finish the book. That was at about the sixty-five percent point. But I hate not finishing a book, and I was glad that I persisted since I loved the book from about the eighty-five percent point to the end. The book even managed to make me cry. But I just couldn’t get over the pacing of the book. It kept putting me to sleep.

Sunny is supposed to be retiring to the northern Ontario wilderness to mourn his parents’ deaths, but he is portrayed more as a recluse—somebody that can’t stand to be around people in general and especially his sister. He does show moments of being sad about his parents, but he is too focused on the severely underweight man that he finds in his shed and nourishes back to health.

Emile is likable enough. He has exiled himself to the human world to get away from his clutch mate, Hakko, who wants Emile to be his egg bearer and carry his offspring which is forbidden since they are too closely related and the offspring would be too powerful. But Hakko in his quest for power has gone power mad and can’t see how it will only lead to the destruction of dragons like what had happened in the past which has led to how careful they are with raising the eggs for other clutches and what not. He didn’t anticipate how hard it would be to live in his bipedal form or his attraction to the human, Sunny, who found him and nursed him back to health and allowed him to stay at his house.

I also got tired of them chasing after the dog through the wilderness. It was used a lot and felt almost like a storyline crutch. I found the history of the dragons that Emile tries to explain to Sunny was confusing. I wasn’t sure if all of the dragons could be egg bearers in their soft scaled forms and essence givers in their hard scaled forms or not. I finally just figured that if they were in their soft scaled forms that they had female characteristics and if they were in there hard scaled form they had masculine characteristics. But like I said it was kind of confusing. I did like the interactions between Emile and Sunny. And I liked the Glimmerleaf, the mystical salamander, and Fernforest, the dog, and the dryads, pixies, and brownies.

Overall it the book had potential to be great, but it wasn’t executed properly.

***The ARC was provided by DSP Publication . My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Fearing Fate” by C.C. Dado

TITLE: Fearing Fate
AUTHOR: C.C. Dado
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Brooke Albrecht
GENRE: Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 71 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 14, 2018
PRICE: $3.99 – e-book

BLURB:

He is a fearless protector by nature and in his heart. But nothing’s ever simple with love… or fate.
At nearly seven feet tall, Zeus’s role had always been to protect the pack—but his newest charges need him more than most. Kimber and Kron are transplants from another pack, and they have a dangerous stranger on their tails. Zeus is determined to do his duty and drive the human out of town. But when he confronts Toren, his wolf has other ideas….
Something isn’t right, but should a huge, tattooed wolf with a secret soft heart fear his fate—to love a man with secrets of his own?


Fearing Fate is the third book in the A Series of Fate series by C.C. Dado. I really like this series. I like that each book is about a different member of the pack finding their fated mate but that you get to see how the other mates are doing also, and there is a secondary story arc that ties all of the books together. I liked this book just as much as the previous two. It was just as fun to read although it was a little bit shorter than the other two books.

I have been waiting for Zeus’s book since the first book. He’s put up with a lot from both Max and Seth, especially when Seth made him believe that Max was a special type of Omega who could get pregnant and that he was expecting. It was a lie, but it was a really good lie that poor Zeus believed completely, and Max milked it for all it was worth before finally having to confess that he wasn’t pregnant.
So when Max tells him that they are going to be fostering two kids from another pack, who thinks that their parents may have been killed and is having issues of their own, Zeus makes a vow to do everything in his power to keep the pack safe. It is after all his job as the alpha’s second and enforcer. So when he catches sight of a stranger on the security cameras around town, he’s determined to find him and kick him out of town. He didn’t expect that the stranger would be his mate. Or that his mate was sent to different towns to locate two missing kids.

I also liked how Zeus had a magical touch with the 6-month-old baby boy they are fostering. He could instantly make the baby stop crying and get him to sleep. It was also great to see a different side of Max from the hyper upbeat character that we have seen in the last two books. He’s out of his element with baby Kron and doesn’t understand why his natural calming ability as an omega isn’t working on the baby. Without Zeus, Max probably would have had a nervous breakdown.

I liked Toren. There is a lot of mystery around him and what he is, but he has a heart of gold and is a good fit for Zeus. All he could think about was saving his family farm which is why he’s looking for the kids for the guy who gave him the list. Once he sees the kids in person, he knows that he can’t contact the guy because he knows that he’s going to hurt them. So when Zeus finds him, he’s more than willing to give him any info and help that he needs.

I really liked this book, and I can’t wait for the next book to come out to find out what is going to happen to the pack next.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

 

Review: “Purrfect Holiday” by Jana Denardo

TITLE: Purrfect Holiday
AUTHOR: Jana Denardo
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Adrian Nicholas
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 46 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 1, 2018
PRICE: $3.99 – e-book

BLURB:

A Story from the Warmest Wishes: Dreamspinner Press 2018 Advent Calendar
Tony Gatti had his life planned: get his veterinarian license and go to work with his dad and uncle. Soon after achieving his goals, he learned the shadows and blurriness in his vision went beyond needing glasses. Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetic mutation with no cure. With his sight almost gone, he moves into his grandmother’s St. Augustine, Florida, home with his guide dog, Raven, to start life over. Nonna Concetta thinks she knows the perfect job for him. Her vet is looking for someone to destress the cats at a local rescue.
Javier didn’t plan to hire a cute former veterinarian to fill the role of cat cuddler, but Tony couldn’t be more perfect. Worried his attraction is inappropriate and knowing the holiday season always depresses him, Javier wonders if he should ask Tony out, or if he’d just be spreading the gloom to someone who already has enough of his own. But if he takes the plunge, could it turn out to be the best holiday ever?


Purrfect Holiday by Jana Denardo is one of the short stories from the 2018 Advent Calendar—Warmest Wishes. This is the first book that I have read by Jana Denardo, but I look forward to reading more books by her. I enjoyed her writing style, character development, and the plot of the book.

This was a cute short story. I’m such an animal lover that I really enjoyed how Tony was able to turn his life in a different direction when he found out that he was losing his sight and got a job as a cat cuddler instead of being a veterinarian. The story doesn’t have any on-page sex, but there is some great chemistry between Tony and Javier. Great holiday cheer.

I liked Tony Gatti. He had his life all planned out. He was going to get his veterinarian license and go to work with his dad and uncle. But soon after achieving those goals, he learns the shadow and blurriness in his vision goes way beyond needing glasses. He has Retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic mutation with no cure. With his sight nearly over he moves to St. Augustine, Florida with his guide dog, Raven, to live with his grandmother, to start his life over. His grandmother Nonna Concetta thinks that she knows the perfect job for him. Her vet is looking for someone to destress the cats at a local rescue so that they can be adopted. I liked how he interacts with his grandma and how he doesn’t let his disability get him down.

I also liked Javier. He wasn’t planning to hire a cute former vet to fill the role of cat cuddler, but Tony couldn’t be more perfect. Javier wonders if he should ask Tony out, but he’s worried that his attraction is inappropriate since Tony now works for him. Javier also knows that the holiday season always depress him and he worries that if Tony says yes that he would just be spreading the gloom to someone who already has enough on his own. But if he takes the plunge, could it turn out to be the best holiday ever? I liked how Javier and Tony interact together and the chemistry that they share.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “New Tricks” by Andrew Grey

TITLE: New Tricks
AUTHOR: Andrew Grey
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Adrian Nicholas
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 11, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback

BLURB:

In matters of the heart, there’s no such thing as business as usual.
Thomas Stepford spent years building a very successful business, and now at thirty-nine, he wants a quieter life. With his parents needing help, he decides to return home. He can’t get away from business completely and needs an assistant—but the man who’s hired isn’t quite what he had in mind.
Brandon Wilson, the ink on his degree barely dry, needs a job, and his mother helps him get one as Mr. Stepford’s assistant. Thomas doesn’t seem to remember, but Brandon worked mowing the stunningly attractive older man’s lawn years ago. Thomas was Brandon’s teenage fantasy, and now he’s Brandon’s boss.
Thomas and Brandon are both determined to keep their relationship strictly business, but the old attraction is still there. They learn to work together even as the tension between them reaches the boiling point. But just as they start to surrender, Thomas’s old life in New York calls him. Even if he resists that pull, can their newfound relationship survive when Brandon receives the call of his dreams… from Hollywood?


New Tricks by Andrew Grey is a standalone book. I’ve been a fan of this author’s work for a while now. He’s one of my go-to authors for when I want to just curl up on the couch with a good book. The plot is always interesting with lovable characters and just enough drama, angst, and sexy times. I also liked Marjorie and Blaze and Thomas’s matchmaking mom and Brandon’s mom. I think the only thing I would have liked to have seen more of would have been Thomas interacting with his parents and helping them out. It was after all the reason that he went home, but while he had time to spare and was trying to figure out what to do with it, he didn’t think about going and visiting them.

I liked Thomas Stepford. He’s spent years being career driven and building a very successful business, and now that he’s achieved that, at thirty-nine, he’s feeling restless and is ready for a change. He thinks that he might be interested in a quieter life and maybe a relationship. With his parents needing help, he decides to return home to Colorado Springs. However, he knows that he will still need an assistant with managing his life since he is used to having everything done for him—housekeeping, dry cleaning, cooking, organizing his appointments, and laundry. Now that he has more time on his hands and is giving more responsibilities to the team leaders of his company, he might just learn how to do some of the domestic stuff himself. However, problems with a potential acquisition arise and Thomas and his new assistant, Brandon, fly back to save the deal.

I liked Brandon. He’s just gotten done with his degree and needs a job, and his mother helps him get one as Mr. Stepford’s assistant since his mom is friends with Mr. Stepford’s mom. Thomas doesn’t seem to remember, but Brandon worked mowing the stunningly attractive older man’s lawn years ago. Thomas was Brandon’s teenage fantasy, and now he’s Brandon’s boss. I liked how quickly he learned how to do his job and how efficient he is at it even if it isn’t the type of job that he wants to do for the rest of his life. He wants to work in promotions and marketing at a place like Columbia Pictures. He’s sent out a bunch of resumes to the various movie places and figures that he can work as an assistant until he hears back from one of them.

I love a good age gap or May/December romance. And I loved the chemistry between Thomas and Brandon, especially as both are determined to keep their relationship strictly business. But the attraction is still there and they learn to work together even as the tension between them reaches the boiling point. Just as they start to surrender, Thomas’s old life in New York calls him, and Brandon receives the call of his dreams from Hollywood. Can their newfound relationship survive or will it dissolve from Brandon’s new focus on his career and his move to Hollywood? Will Thomas follow him or not? You’re just going to have to read the book to find out.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “The Strength of his Heart” by Victoria Sue

TITLE: The Strength of his Heart
AUTHOR: Victoria Sue
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Jay Aheer
GENRE: Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 214 pages
RELEASE DATE: Dec 11, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 e-book / $14.99 paperback

BLURB:

To protect and serve…. All Vance Connelly ever wanted to do was continue his family’s tradition and join the Tampa Police Department, but his dreams were crushed the day he woke with the enhanced mark on his face. After years of struggling to adjust to life as an enhanced human, by a stroke of luck, he met Talon Valdez and became a proud member of the FBI’s Human Enhanced Rescue Organization.
Samuel “Angel” Piper is eager to leave his DEA undercover work behind as he joins the HERO team as Vance’s regular human partner. But Sam’s painful past is ever present, just below the surface of the life he has built for himself as an ambitious young agent. When the team investigates rumors of a new drug using enhanced blood, the case’s mysterious connection to Sam threatens not just his life but Vance’s.
Trust doesn’t come easy for Sam, but Vance is willing to fight to convince his partner that the strength of his heart might be the salvation they both need.


Vance Connelly had one big dream in his life…being like his dad. A cop, a husband, a father. Everything crashed when at thirteen he woke up with the mark, the mark that showed the world that Vance is enhanced. Growing up in a loving family, being the baby of 5 kids, Vance was loved and had been supported, not only from his family but also with the TPD, but something was missing, and Vance always knew that he couldn’t have what he dreamed of for his all life. Until he joins the FBI, becomes a member of the H.E.R.O Team and was partnered with Sam “Angel” Piper…

Sam is a former DEA agent who joins the FBI and the H.E.R.O team after meeting them during their last investigation (Beneath this Mask, book 3). He has a troubled past, traumatic memories and the last thing that he wants is to start a romantic relationship with his partner…his giant partner.

Vance’s book is finally here, and I devoured his story with Sam in one night, sleep is overrated when it comes to Victoria Sue’s books.
Since book 1, we perceived Vance as the sweet guy. The sheltered baby of his family. We didn’t suspect that Vance has, like everyone in the team, his own fears. Because he has this wonderful family behind him, we didn’t think that Vance suffers by being Enhanced. During my read, I discovered another side of Vance. He broke my heart; I was outraged on his behalf. I loved the fact he kept this little part of childhood sometimes, just like I loved when he stood up for himself. I wanted to protect him when really he doesn’t need it. From the beginning of the series, Vance was one of my favorites in the team, and this book just confirmed my crush…

Sam “Angel” Piper is an ex-DEA agent, who passed so much time undercover that he asked to join the H.E.R.O Team just to get away from his former partner Ramirez. The Sam we met during the previous book (Beneath this Mask) has nothing to do with the one we met here. I wanted to slap him. Yes, I admit it, I wanted to slap him. He pissed me off a lot of the time, but I understood where he comes from so I kind of excuse him. Sam has a darker past than any of the other members of the team…without counting Eli, I think. He wore the stigmata of his fears and traumatic childhood on him, and if it saved his life more than once, it could also cut him from his real chance of happiness…until Vance barged into his life.

The story and the plot were super good. It was divided between the main investigation about two dead enhanced men and the relationship between Sam and Vance. I was hooked. The story was told from both Sam and Vance’s point of views, and it has a lot of different feelings: Angst, Fears, Frustration, Love, Hope. I felt all of them.

This book is probably the one in this series with the most angst I think, but with those two Mcs, it was necessary. Vance and Sam may look different, but they’re exactly similar with the same fears, like in a mirror effect. I liked to say that they’re similar in the exact opposite way.

We also learn more about the next couple in the series, about Eli and…

Read the book and you’ll find out.

I highly recommend this book, and the series if you didn’t read it yet.

5 OptimuMM’s for Vance and Sam!

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis