Review: “Social Sinners: In the Shadows” by TL Travis

TITLE: Social Sinners: In the Shadows
SERIES: Social Sinners
PUBLISHER: Encompass Ink
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: August 17, 2018
PRICE: $2.99 – e-book/ $ – paperback


For Ricky “Stoli” Branson, the stars were on his side. Social Sinners was headlining their first sold out US tour. Radio stations across the states were playing their songs, and he’d won the heart of the man he loved.
Everything was going great, or so he foolishly believed…
When an accident has them burying one of their own and leaves another fighting for his life, Stoli questions his beliefs. Or lack thereof.
“Have faith,” his mother tells him. But how can you have faith in something that threatens to take away your only reason for breathing?

Book two in the Social Sinners series is told from Ricky “Stoli” Branson’s POV. I highly recommend you read the first book because it does set the tone for this one. Stoli, as he prefers to be called, has been in love with his best friend for most of his life. He’s had to watch Joey from the sidelines never being able to show or tell him the depth of his feelings for fear of ruining their friendship. Joey finally wakes up and see what’s right in front of him and that he’s actually in love with Stoli. Stoli can’t believe it’s actually real. He wants to believe his best friend finally sees him as more than a brother, but he has his doubts. They have to work through the awkwardness of being first time lovers while touring with their crazy bandmates.

My heart broke for Stoli in book one, and I was cheering for him in book two. He’s such a great character to read, and I loved that this is from his point of view. He’s loved Joey most of his life and Joey is so dang oblivious I wanted to knock him upside the head. I hated seeing Stoli hurt. Stoli is such a sensitive guy, but he’s also very strong. He’s always been the glue that held the group together.

He’s a natural born leader. Stoli, as a character, is extremely well written. I felt his emotions all through book one not even told from his point of view and certainly through book two. I felt like I was taking this journey with him instead of just reading the words.

I really got to know Joey in book one, and although I was frustrated at his obliviousness to Stoli, I absolutely adored him. The moment he realized he was in love with his best friend had me in tears. I was cheering, and I wanted to hug him so hard. Joey is absolutely beautiful in this book. The love he has for the people around him just makes me love him even more. He has some adversity to overcome in this book that had my heart breaking.

These books were an absolute joy to read. I didn’t want to put either of them down. I highly recommend them, but they definitely should be read in order. The author brought so much life into these books. The characters were intriguing, and I enjoyed every minute of them. The secondary characters were interesting as well, and I can’t wait to get their stories.

The author did such a fabulous job with how she brought these two together.

***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: “Tempt Me” by Remmy Duchene

TITLE: Tempt Me
AUTHOR: Remmy Duchene
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Erotic
LENGTH: 85 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 17, 2018
PRICE: $3.99 – e-book


Officer Gabe Ford knows finding love could be a tad problematic—especially since he hasn’t come out to his partner of six years yet. But what’s a guy to do when his body wants what his brain is saying he can’t have?
A year and a half after a breakup, Jason Tomlinson isn’t actively looking for a relationship. Hell, he can do bad all by himself. But Gabe Ford is just too damn yummy to resist. Just as things are beginning to pick up, one bullet may end it all before it even begins.

Tempt Me is a Contemporary romance novella with a healthy dose of erotica thrown in. Officer Gabe Ford and his partner are seeking out some grub when a sexy mountain of a man lets them into his bar before opening hours. Gabe isn’t sure how to react to the openly flirtatious bar owner, but he is certain that he doesn’t want his partner to know he’s gay. Jason Tomlinson hasn’t been in a relationship since his ex a year and a half ago. He hasn’t openly looked and wasn’t when the sexy as sin Officer Gabe Ford knocked on his window seeking out a big daddy burger.

Gabe was adorable, in a sexy as sin sort of way. He was a little shocking with his kinkiness in the bedroom. Definitely not the one I assumed would be. I love how shy he is to ask for what he wants but then gains confidence as the relationship grows.

Jason is a little older than Gabe, but he’s tall and sexy even with a man-bun that he hates. I really enjoyed this character. He seemed to have a lot of facets to his personality that were really intriguing especially in such a short book. I loved how he let Gabe be free and open during sexy times. I really would like to read more of these guys.

Tempt Me was an interesting mix of romance and erotica. I’d say it tipped more towards erotica than actual romance. There were a lot of different kinks being thrown out in this novella. These guys were not shy about trying new and different things, and I really enjoyed seeing that in a book. It wasn’t a BDSM book by any means, but it was a couple trying some good old-fashioned kink and I loved it. The plot was set up really well. Definitely a couple of intense moments. About halfway through the book, I felt like things were starting to feel rushed and thrown together. I did enjoy it. It’s definitely a good, hot, short read for those late nights.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “The 17-Year-Old Itch” by MJ O’Shea

TITLE: The 17 Year Old Itch
SERIES: Coconut Cove
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
LENGTH: 80 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 17, 2018
PRICE: $3.99 – e-book


An old conflict boils up behind the scenes of Coconut Cove.
The popular show is about to start filming its second season, and Tony Adams is happy to return to sunny Key West and his role as innocent Joey… mostly. Being back on set also means facing Casey. They had indulged in a scorching behind-the-scenes tryst during season one, but it ended in heartache for Tony. It still hurts.
When they return to Key West, nothing has changed. Casey takes his role as hot dad a little too far and can’t seem to remember that Tony isn’t the teenager he plays on TV. Tony’s tired of being Casey’s dirty little secret—he’s more than man enough for a real adult romance—and draws a line in the sand. Either Casey acknowledges him and their relationship publicly, or he’s calling it off between them.

Book four in the Coconut Cove series is the story of Tony and Casey. We’ve seen them throughout the series in various parts, and the authors have hinted at some turmoil between the two, but now we finally get their book. The book is once again set in Key West, Florida and is taking place during the filming of the second season of the television show Coconut Cove that both characters star in.

With Tony’s character, I had to go back and try to get a feel for him because this book was a little difficult to grasp in terms of who Tony actually is. I know by now he’s tired of being labeled as adorable and cute. His attitude in the book was of a scorned lover, so there wasn’t much else about his personality that I really saw.

Casey is the older man in this book. He’s told Tony that he can’t be with him but never explained why. Casey wants Tony but doesn’t want Tony. He has reasons, but it takes to the end of the book before we find out and then it was pretty anticlimactic.

The heat was good in the book during the moment. I wish I got more from the characters. I’m not sure why we needed the scenes from the show in this book. They didn’t tie anything together or really add anything to the entirety of the book. As a couple, these weren’t my favorite, but I am looking forward to reading more of the series.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “The Gentle Dom” by Sean Michael

TITLE: The Gentle Dom
AUTHOR: Sean Michael
SERIES: Iron Eagle Gym
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 14, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback


When one of their own is threatened, the men of the Iron Eagle Gym will stand together and prove they are stronger as a family.
Stuntman Barclay Drambor suspects his fall from a roof was no accident. He believes his abusive ex was responsible, but he can’t prove it. Fortunately, a year has gone by with no word from Duncan, letting Barclay move on with his life—and that means dealing with the aftermath of his injuries. He finds personal trainer Reece “Rec” Gordon through a member of the gym, and it’s not long before their workouts together become much more intimate. Rec is gentle and goes out of his way to make Barclay comfortable, and in no time there’s talk of moving in together….
But just as Barclay is healing and finding a place to belong, Duncan returns to destroy his happiness. Though Duncan will learn he’s messing with the wrong group of men, in the end, Barclay must face him. Will Rec’s love and the friendship of the others at the gym give him the confidence to stand up for himself?

The Gentle Dom is the seventh book in the Iron Eagle Gym series by Sean Michael. I’ve read a couple of the other books in the series and greatly enjoyed them. I can’t wait until I have read them all. This book is a standalone book.

There are cameos from some of the other Iron Eagle members from past books, but you don’t have to have read their stories to enjoy them in this book. This book centers around personal trainer Reece “Rec” Gordon and stuntman Barclay Drambor. The book is well written. There were a few editing mistakes, but they weren’t very distracting. And there was more than enough sex in the book. Lots and lots of sex. So if you don’t like your books with a lot of sex scenes and just enough other interactions outside of the bedroom to satisfy a plot, then this book and series are probably not for you. I happen to really enjoy lots of sex scenes in my books, so for me it is usually a treat, but even this book was riding the line on too much sex. It had started to lose its titillation, and I wanted them to leave the bedroom just a little bit more. Maybe see a little bit more of Barclay’s rehabilitation. But otherwise, I loved the book.

Barclay Drambor is a stuntman that’s recovering from falling from a roof. His only goal is to get his body strong enough to get out of his wheelchair and get back to work. After finally being cleared by his doctor to begin working out again, he meets one of his friends that recommends his friend Reece that works at the Iron Eagle Gym to help him with his recovery. Barclay is also pretty sure that his fall from the roof wasn’t an accident. He believes his abusive ex was responsible, but he can’t prove it and nobody that he’d told believed him.

Luckily for him the last time he saw his ex was when he was in the hospital over a year ago. However, he can’t stop worrying that his ex will show back up and try to hurt him again. And that’s ultimately why they broke up in the first place because Duncan was abusing him both physically and mentally. He even ripped out his nipple piercing. I loved Barclay. He was super sweet and kind of shy. He hadn’t been around the BDSM lifestyle and wasn’t sure that it was for him, but that’s what I like about the BDSM lifestyle—that it doesn’t have to be anything that you don’t want it to be. You don’t like spankings, fine. You don’t like being humiliated, fine. You just want to belong to somebody and be cherished as they cherish you that is perfectly fine also. And that’s what Barclay is looking for as a natural submissive. He wants somebody to cherish him. To be kind and gentle with him and show him that he’s loved.

Reece “Rec” Gordon is a personal trainer for the Iron Eagle Gym and a Dom. I liked Rec. I liked getting to see how Barclay recovered and how Rec introduced him into the BDSM lifestyle. He didn’t push or try to introduce him into things that were a turn off to him. He got to know him and his likes and dislikes. I liked their instant chemistry. You could feel the attraction that they had for each other. And I liked that Reece believed Barclay when he told him his suspicions about his fall from the roof. They were just great together.

Overall, another great addition to the Iron Eagle Gym series. I hope this series continues for a very long time.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Gray’s Shadow” by K.A Merikan

TITLE: Gray’s Shadow
AUTHOR: K.A Merikan
SERIES: Kings of Hell MC
PUBLISHER: Acerbi&Villani ltd.
COVER ARTIST: Natasha Snow
GENRE: Paranormal
LENGTH: 555 pages
RELEASE DATE: Aug 11, 2018
PRICE: $5.99 e-book


— There can be no shadow without the man to cast it. —
Gray. Lost his twin. Will never be complete. Works alone.
Shadow. Monster? Human? Exists to be Gray’s one true companion.
After losing his twin brother, Gray has devoted his life to the Kings of Hell MC. He will do anything to protect his family and that means anything.
Even sell his own shadow to the devil.
Following a fire that left him without one arm, Gray feels pushed to the sidelines. In order to prove to his club that he is still capable of completing dangerous tasks, he will have to team up with the strange creature from the Other Side. Tall, inhumanly strong, and menacing despite the handsome exterior, Shadow is just the tool Gray needs.
The moment Shadow lays his eyes on Gray, he wants to crawl under Gray’s skin and make the human his.
Gray on the other hand isn’t willing to get attached to a monster destined to do the devil’s bidding and disappear once his time is up. Rejected, Shadow has to do everything in his power to convince his human that they belong together.
But as the clock ticks away precious minutes of Shadow’s existence, Gray will have to choose between his loyalty to the Kings of Hell MC and responsibility for the creature he brought into this world.
“Do you feel me running through your veins?”
Gray nodded.
Themes: motorcycle club, alternative lifestyles, demons, monster, tattoos, secrets, crime, gothic, grief, mourning, enemies to lovers, forced proximity, fish out of water, opposites attract, demisexuality, gentle giant
Genre: Dark, paranormal M/M romance
Erotic content: Scorching hot, emotional, explicit scenes
Length: ~150,000 words (Book 4 in the series)

WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, offensive language, and morally ambiguous characters.

Gray is a member of the Kings of Hell MC. He devoted his life to the club, after losing his twin brother, and his arm; he agrees to give up his shadow to save Jake (On Your Knees Prospect (king of Hell MC #3))
Shadow wants one thing … Gray. He’s bonded to him, and he wants to belong to him as much as to possess him.
Gray wants nothing to do with Shadow, for him, he’s just a monster, an entity with the purpose to serve Baal and disappear.
3 months, that’s what they have, if Gray wishes never to have met Shadow, Shadow will do everything to convince Gray that they are meant to be.
He can only hope to have enough time for that.

Gray’s Shadow is book four of the King of Hell MC series by K.A Merikan.

No need to tell you how much I love this book and the authors. This series gets better and better with each book, and they always find a way to surprise me.

Gray is a solitary, discreet and reserved. Losing his twin brother broke him (understandable), and Gray is used to staying alone. He loves his brothers and his club, but he doesn’t really fit with them all the time. When Shadow came into his life, Gray only sees a “monster” at first, a “thing” that inhabited a human body. But the more time Gray and Shadow will have to be together, the more Gray will see himself mirrored in Shadow. I loved Gray, he always intrigued me, and this book gives me answers. He’s so lonely, so in pain since his twin’s death, I wanted to cry for him, I understood his tortured soul better, and was happy to read that for once things can turn out beautifully for him. In an unconventional way, but, hey, we’re talking about K.A Merikan, nothing is conventional in this series…even Laurent!

Shadow is FANTASTIC. He’s fabulous, funny (I laughed out loud so many times), kind and pure with some bloody, deadly tendencies. I can’t really describe Shadow, you need to meet him directly, and you’ll understand. He’s beautiful and super funny. He has this duality between a pure, innocent baby and a bloody serial killer. Let’s just say, don’t threaten Gray and you’ll be able to keep your head on your body. I thought no one in this series could beat Laurent in my heart… But here comes Shadow, I completely adored him.

This book was a good addition to the series, while we learn about Shadow and Gray; we also learn a little bit more about Baal and his plan. The authors don’t give us any clue as to how the guys will survive the doom of Baal coming. We only have one book left, and I can’t figure out how our favorite gang will survive, and it starts to get my blood and my anxiety levels a little bit higher.

K.A Merikan gave us another masterpiece, with good writing, a lot of creativity and humor in a complex plot. It was brilliant, and I can only hope to have the last and final episode soon, even if it breaks my heart to say goodbye.

5 OptimuMM’s for Gray and his Shadow!

***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