Review of: Inked Music by Sean Michael

TITLE: Inked Music
AUTHOR: Sean Michael
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: BDSM, Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: April 9, 2019

BLURB:

Can a wealthy but bored businessman rescue a tortured musician from his self-imposed purgatory with a scorching kinky romance?
When Rene Conette attends an intimate performance at a local bar, the guitarist moves him enough that he attempts to go backstage but is stymied by the man’s bodyguard. Putting it down as not meant to be, he goes on with his life only to run into the man again, late at night at a bookstore.
Gavin Turner used to be a famous musician until an obsessed fan kidnapped and tortured him. Then it came out that he was into the BDSM lifestyle, and the court of public opinion ravaged him. He lost his Master and his self-confidence. Now he hides behind his ink and his bodyguards, who make sure he doesn’t come into contact with anyone or anything he doesn’t want to. Though it’s been years since he satisfied his needs, he doesn’t think he can trust again.
If Rene can work his way past Gavin’s defenses, they might find they complement each other perfectly.


Inked Music by Sean Michael is the best book of his that I have read and I have read quite a few of his books. It had the perfect amount of plot to heat ratio. I loved that the book started as a slow burn as the characters got to know each other and work through some past trauma that has made one of the character’s, Gavin Turner, reclusive. His twin bodyguards are his only friends and family and the only people that he trusts besides his brother who works at a used book store/homeless hangout. Gavin used to be a famous musician until an obsessed fan kidnapped and tortured him. Then it came out that he was into the BDSM lifestyle, and the court of public opinion ravaged him. He ended up losing his Master and his self-confidence. Now he hides behind his ink and his bodyguards, who make sure he doesn’t come into contact with anyone or anything he doesn’t want to. Though it’s been years since he has satisfied his needs, he doesn’t think he can trust again, but if anybody can tempt him to try, it would be Rene Conette.

Rene Conette attended an intimate performance at a local bar and is mesmerized by the guitarist and attempts to go backstage to meet the musician but is stymied by the man’s bodyguard. Putting it down as not meant to be, he goes on with his life only to run into the man again, late at night at a bookstore. The fact that Rene owns the bookstore isn’t known to any of his employees. They think that he is just one of the regulars that frequent the bookstore at all hours since it is open 24/7. Rene also has a soft spot for homeless and underprivileged youth and likes knowing that he can provide a warm place for them to hang out away from the streets.

I loved that both men have more than enough money on their own and so that isn’t a factor in their friendship. It is one less thing for Gavin to worry about that he is just being friended to get to his money. I also loved that Rene never had any problem with one of the twins always being with them wherever they went, whether it was to dinner, movie, or each other’s house for a little fun. I loved that Rene treated them like family instead of a roadblock to get through to get Gavin alone. I loved seeing Gavin and Rene interact together, and I loved seeing Gavin interact with his bodyguards. The scenes between Gavin and Rene were hot, and you could feel their chemistry. I loved watching Gavin get his self-confidence back. They were perfect together.

I do wish that we had a little bit more background on what had happened to Gavin when he was kidnapped, but his actions after the trauma showed us just how traumatic it had been and how long it had taken him to get to where he is when he meets Rene.

This book reminds me a little bit of Sean’s other book Guarding January which I really enjoyed reading also. I would recommend reading this book to everybody who loves reading BDSM books.

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

Review edited by : Amber Korgh

Review of: A Late Summer Nights Dream by Catherine Curzon & Eleanor Harkstead

TITLE: A Late Summer Nights Dream
AUTHOR: Catherine Curzon & Eleanor Harkstead
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: Feb 19, 2019

BLURB:

Among Oxford’s dreaming spires, can a widowed professor and a wide-eyed scholar make their own dreams of love come true?
Simeon Shakespeare is living his academic dream. As an Oxford scholar, he spends his days in libraries and whiles away his nights at the theater. A mix-up over a seat number leads to a very awkward first act, but that’s nothing compared to what happens when the lights go up.
Professor Anthony Meadows is finished with love. Shattered by the death of his husband, he divides his time between his book-lined study and Oxford’s theaters. The last thing he needs is an annoying research student bickering with him over who should sit where.
When Anthony and Simeon discover they have more in common than a shared love of the Bard, it looks as though the stage is set for romance. Yet with the memory of Anthony’s lost love keeping the professor from moving on, can Simeon’s love mend his broken heart?


Simeon Shakespeare (no link with the famous William) is living his academic dream by preparing his PhD. His time is shared between Libraries and his apartment with his only pleasure for theatre.

When he goes to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream, he meets Anthony Meadows and what starts as a misunderstanding over a seat is the beginning of their dream.

It was a short, beautiful, poetic novella.

Simeon and Anthony are two lost souls wanting the same thing but too scared to reach for it. Anthony is still grieving his beloved husband who died four years ago. On the other side, Simeon is afraid history will repeat itself and he’ll only be loved because he’s young not because of his personality. These two are amazing and beautiful.

I loved the writing—it was melodic and harmonious.

It was a very sweet and beautiful short story that I really enjoyed.

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Making it Better by Lyss Em

TITLE: Making it Better
AUTHOR: Lyss Em
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Lyss Press
GENRE: BDSM
RELEASE DATE: Jan 21, 2019

BLURB:

“You still mess me up after all this time, Luc.”
“Not my problem.”
Court’s forceful brand of dominance pushes Lucan’s buttons like nothing else, but he can’t forget how badly Court hurt him in the past. Their romance six years ago was heady, intense, and sizzling—and left Lucan with deep emotional scars. When he runs into Court at a fetish party, the spark is still there. But so is the pain.
For Court, Lucan is the mindfuck he never got over. He still doesn’t know why Lucan ended things, and when he sees Lucan in the flesh again, the desperate need to dominate comes rushing back. Court would do anything to have a second chance, but he won’t let Lucan mess with his head and break his heart again. Or so he tells himself.
“I’ll do it all right for you this time if you just teach me.”
When Lucan agrees to show Court how to be a good Dom, the two headstrong men toe a delicate line between restraint and uncontrolled passion. Will the same sick love that consumed their past destroy their future?
Making It Better is a standalone enemies to lovers, second chance, contemporary, BDSM romance with an HEA ending.


This is the first time I have read this author and OMG. I will definitely look for more books. This is a very intense and dark BDSM book that definitely has the masochism side of it. This is not for the light-hearted or for anyone that struggles with pain being inflicted on another person. Warning, there is knife play and some other physical pain that is requested from the sub. If you’re good with all, then you should really enjoy this book. This author hit on all aspects of a true Dom/sub relationship. What I really enjoyed was how the sub was teaching an inexperienced Dom how to get what they both needed and explained how there is a Top high for the Dom just like sub space for the sub. The author also explained Dom/sub lows and how it can happen a few days later. I have experienced this, and this is the first book I’ve read that has had this in it.

Lucan is a sub that loves pain and torture but hasn’t been able to let go completely since his breakup six years ago. He has a good Dom now, and he does great aftercare with him, but he can’t find that release he’s looking for. Then, one night at a BDSM party, who comes to say hello but the only one he’s ever totally surrendered to.

Court has been away for six years but has recently moved back to his hometown. He gets on FetLife and gets invited to a party, and he’s excited and wants just a plaything to get some release. Imagine his surprise when he sees his love of six years ago there. He never understood why Lucan just ended things with a text message, but he can’t help but to go say hello.

Things heat up quickly for these two, but is it too fast? Can these two work through their differences and trust issues they have? Can Lucan have the patience to teach Court how to be the best Dom? Can Court listen and learn to what he needs to in order to keep the love of his life? These are all very good questions, and I hope you get the answers you’re looking for.

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Borrowed Heart by Andrew Grey

TITLE: Borrowed Heart
AUTHOR: Andrew Grey
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: March 12, 2019

BLURB:

Robin, the recipient of a brand-new heart, knows he can’t give it to just anyone….
Robin’s been through his share of upsets recently, from heart transplant surgery to a brutal breakup. But his experiences have taught him life is short, and he’s ready to seize the day and start anew. A job at Euro Pride Tours is just the kind of adventure he’s looking for. He gets to see the world and live a little, but love isn’t on his radar screen. He isn’t sure his heart can endure that again.
Johan might’ve disappointed his family by striking out on his own, but when he meets Robin, he has no intention of letting him down. Each man is just what the other needs to feel whole again, and while Johan might not be the man Robin originally thought he was, he’s exactly what the doctor ordered to make Robin’s borrowed heart beat faster. As the tour through Germany progresses, they grow closer, but when Robin’s ex joins the tour, he could bring their blossoming love to a dramatic halt.


I loved reading Borrowed Heart by Andrew Grey. I love reading his books, and I’m always so excited when he releases a new book, and I get to review it. I love his writing style and his attention to detail. His characters are complex with real-world problems and issues. I loved all of the little twists and turns that were in the story around Robin’s ex-boyfriend, Mason. I also loved how Robin treated his ex when he shows up on his tour as a late addition and kept putting him in his place throughout the tour instead of being his friend like Mason wanted.

I loved Robin. He starts out in the story as just a tour guide for Euro Pride Tours. It isn’t until we get a little further in the story when he’s talking to his boss that it comes out that he’s just getting over a breakup from a relationship that had lasted for five years. And he was heartbroken over the fact that he’d wasted so much of his new heart’s life on his ex since, as a heart transplant recipient, that he would only get about ten to twelve years out of it if nothing else happened health wise.

After Robin’s breakup, he wasn’t looking to fall in love, but when his bus driver, Johan, shows up, he is surprised at Johan’s appearance. He had gone from having super long unkempt hair and a mountain man of a beard to being cleanly shaven with shoulder length hair and being a total hottie. On his previous tour, Robin had totally ignored and was rude to him, but he isn’t able to do that on this tour. Now he isn’t able to keep his gaze off of him. But Robin is hesitant to do anything about his attraction because of the time limit that he has on his life and not wanting to inflict heartache on anybody else.

I also loved Johan. I loved how he transformed himself so that he would get Robin to notice him. After being his driver for one of his tours and seeing how much joy he brought to his tour group, Johan wanted Robin to notice him, and so he went about changing his appearance to make that happen and then he continued to pursue him during the tour and break down the walls that Robin had up.

I also loved the people in the tour group and how Robin was able to help the different couples with some of the issues that they were having. I also loved getting to know more about the various places that they visited during the tour and would love to one day go on a tour of Germany myself.

This was a wonderful book to read, and I can’t recommend it enough.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Hidden Powers by Tara Lain

TITLE: Hidden Powers
AUTHOR: Tara Lain
SERIES: Superordinary Society
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Paranormal
RELEASE DATE: March 12, 2019

BLURB:

Superordinary Society: Book One
Jazz Vanessen is weird—and not just because he’s a werewolf. For most of his life, he’s felt different from his alpha male brothers and friends. Since he’s adopted, he can’t even blame it on family.
Now eighteen, Jazz meets his idol, the social activist Lysandra Mason, and her breathtaking nephew, Dash Mercury. When Dash is around, even stranger things start to happen, including Jazz falling hopelessly in lust. Not only is Jazz having visions, making people disappear, and somehow turning invisible, but somebody’s following him and threatening to reveal his pack’s secrets to the world.
Together with Dash and Jazz’s equally amazing friends—Carla, BeBop, Khadija, and Fatima—they discover the danger is even more lethal than they thought, and Jazz’s weirdness may save all their lives.


Hidden Powers is the first book in a brand new series called Superordinary Society by Tara Lain. This is the first paranormal book that I’ve read by Tara Lain. I love reading her contemporary books, and so I thought that I would give this one a try. I liked it and thought that it was a good start to a promising new series. I figured with it being a young adult book that it would be light on the romantic side of things, and so it was, which is fine. I liked the chemistry that developed between two of the main characters and will be excited to see how their relationship progresses in the next book.

I normally like the author’s writing style, but I found this one to have a lot of information about Jazz’s pack and their backstory and how they were all related to each other. And I found it hard to keep track of who was who and why all of the info that was given was important to the book. I agree with another reviewer’s review about how this part could have been forgone at the beginning of the novel and would have preferred to see more background on how Jazz and his best friend Carla had essentially grown up together and how they got to be so close as friends. I agree with the reviewer that more time invested in their relationship and how it evolved would have been more beneficial to the story.

Since this is a new series, I did spend most of the book trying to figure out who were the bad guys and who were the good guys. I was so happy that some of the people that I thought were going to be the bad guys ended up being the good guys. I was also hoping that the villain in the story wasn’t going to end up being one of Jazz’s biological parents or biologically being related to him since he’s adopted and doesn’t know where he gets his special powers from in addition to being an alpha werewolf. This wasn’t confirmed in any way in the book, so I’m hoping that we find out more about Jazz’s biological parents in the next book.

I liked the storyline of the book. I liked how Jazz is starting an internship at his family’s company and is going to work his way up in the company as opposed to going to university and then coming in as a CEO or some other high-ranking individual. I also liked how he became friends with his fellow interns, Carla, BeBop, Fatima, Dash, and Khadija and how they each have different powers and abilities that complement each other. They end up forming a group that they call The Superordinary Society and vow to help others in need.

I liked how the story progressed after getting through the beginning, and I think I will like the second book in the series a lot more now that I know who the important characters are and what their goals are. I look forward to seeing more of the members of the Superordinary Society and what forces of evil they conquer next. Overall, a good start to a promising new series.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis