Review of: Power Players by Scudder James Jr

TITLE: Power Players
AUTHOR: Scudder James Jr
SERIES: States of Love
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: Oct 4th 2019


Jeffrey knows the underbelly of Washington, DC, well. Once homeless, he’s now the director of a massive coalition of shelters. The last person he’s interested in meeting is wealth consultant Derek T. Hinsdale III, another slick-talking, privileged jerk. Jeffrey has had enough of those.
But Derek’s latest project could impact Jeffrey’s organization—with a multimillion-dollar gift awarded at a special dinner and ceremony. Jeffrey and Derek seem so different, but in their convictions, they find common ground, and the heat they call up in each other can’t be ignored. Can they salvage a disastrous evening and a painful reminder of Jeffrey’s past?
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.
Series States of Love | District of Columbia.

Jeffrey grew up in the underbelly of Washington DC. Homeless at fifteen with an abusive father, he works hard to succeed in his life. He’s now the director of a massive coalition of shelters.

Derek grew up in the rich part of Washington DC. He’s now a wealth consultant and a philanthropist. His latest project can change Jeffrey’s coalition of shelters to help more people.

Now, everything can be good, if only Jeffrey and Derek can forget their prejudices and fears.

Power Players by James Jr Scudder is part of the States of Love series. A series of romances that spanned every corner of the United States and written by different authors each time.

I liked this short story, but it was too short, in my opinion. I loved the plot, two men loving DC, one with a rich background—the other with a poor background, but both working to make their city a better place to live for everyone.

I also loved the fact that it was a mixed couple. I loved the author’s style; how he took every prejudice and broke them one by one. Really, this book was good, with a lot of potential.

But it was too short, and because it was too short, we couldn’t explore more about the characters, their stories, and their project. Everything was kind of superficial. We only scratch the surface, and I understand it because of the format (69 pages), but I regret it a little bit. In the end, I was expecting to read that this story was a prequel of Derek and Jeffrey’s book (a girl can dream).

Anyway, all in all, it’s still a good short story that I liked a lot.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis


Review of: Suckerpunch by Elyse Springer

TITLE: Suckerpunch
AUTHOR: Elyse Springer
SERIES: Hockey Gods and Monsters
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Paranormal
RELEASE DATE: October 1, 2019


A rookie goalie with a secret and a handsome yet hotheaded defenseman clash in the locker room and on the ice—but their shared desire to make the playoffs might help them move from enemies to lovers.
When the goalie for the Seattle Cascades hockey team is injured while drunk driving and Alex Fanning is recruited to take his place, Alex thinks his dream has come true. But to hold on to his hopes, he must keep his vampire heritage secret as the sport moves to ban Paranormals. The sexy but infuriating defenseman Sasha Petrov won’t make that easy. The injured goalie was his best friend, and he resents Alex’s presence—maybe even enough to use his bloodline against him.
Tensions mount, but the realization that there’s more to their feelings than animosity hits both men like a punch to the gut. Alex and Sasha’s newfound friendship promises passion, but a shocking betrayal could cost them all the ground they’ve gained.

The first thing that caught my eye as I scrolled through the list of books to review was the book cover. Who doesn’t love a hockey player with a hint of fang and a bit of blood? It immediately made me want to read the blurb to find out what the book was about. The book is about a rookie goalie with a secret and a handsome yet hotheaded defenseman who clash in the locker room and on the ice. The book is about hockey, has closeted paranormal players, and an enemy to lovers theme—all things that are right up my alley. It is the first book in the Hockey Gods and Monsters series by Elyse Springer, and I decided to give it a chance. It lived up to the blurb, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The book does have homophobia in it obviously since the paranormal players have to keep their origins a secret and one of the characters has to deal with a tough moral decision on lying for his best friend when he gets arrested for a DUI or doing the right thing and telling the truth, possibly losing him as a friend, and getting him the help he needs for his drinking problem. Up until I found out what he decided to do, I was biting my nails.

Since he was little, all Alex Fanning has wanted to do is play hockey as a goalie. He’s been playing on a Portland hockey team since getting out of the US National Team Development Program, just waiting to get called up to the big leagues, the NHL, the National Hockey League. When the goalie for the Seattle Cascades hockey team is injured while drunk driving, Alex is recruited to take his place, and he thinks his dreams have come true. He gets to play hockey with his best friend Shawn, who knows all of his secrets and is there to help him fit in with the team. And as he proves himself to the team as a goalie, the team starts to accept him as a team member. Well, all of them except for Sasha Petrov, the best friend of Eduard, the goalie that Alex is replacing until the injured goalie is cleared to play.

Not only does Alex have to contend with Sasha’s animosity toward him, but the sport is moving to ban paranormals from playing and implementing that all players have to be blood tested to find out if they are paranormal or human.

Sasha Petrov doesn’t want to like Alex Fanning. To Sasha, it feels like a betrayal to his best friend, Eduard. Alex is only twenty-two, keeps to himself, seems cold and distant, at first, but when he gets to know the team, then he livens up. When the team captain notices the animosity between the two, he tells them that until they can work it out that they will be glued together and have to sit on the buses and planes together, eat together, and share a room. With them forced to interact with each other, it is almost impossible for Sasha to deny the attraction and chemistry that he has for Alex. And for Sasha that puts him in a rough spot. Does he stay loyal to his best friend or does he give Alex a chance that he deserves? How will he be able to choose between the two?

I recommend this book to people that are fans of hockey, who like paranormal/human pairings. I look forward to reading the next book in the series when it gets released.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: His Fairy Prince by JS Harker

TITLE: His Fairy Prince
SERIES: Tit For Tat, book 2, Dreamspun Beyond, book 38
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Paranormal
RELEASE DATE: October 1, 2019


Tit For Tat: Book Two
A trick of fairy magic becomes a romantic treat.
Halloween is fantasy-loving college senior Greg’s favorite holiday, and he’s thrilled to explore a spooky puzzle—even if his friends prefer slashers over witchcraft. Luckily the gorgeous and otherworldly Alaric wants to sneak time alone with him. Unluckily Greg’s sworn off hookups. Still reeling from an intoxicating kiss, Greg opens a secret door…
…and steps through a portal to the enchanted realm Alaric is destined to rule.
Stranded with the alluring Greg, Alaric sets off across his kingdom with the man who might be the consort he’s always wanted. It won’t be easy—Alaric’s ex, the Lord of Spiders, wants to reunite with Alaric—but if Greg and Alaric succeed, they’ll find what they’ve always wanted: a place to belong.

His Fairy Prince by JS Harker is the second book in the Tit For Tat series and the thirty-eighth book in the Dreamspun Beyond series. I loved the cover for His Fairy Prince. The eyes are mesmerizing, and I could stare at them for hours. The blurb could use some work. It’s kind of vague, and that’s going to make my review even more difficult to write because I want to gush about how much I loved the book and all of the things that happened to Greg, but I don’t want to give away spoilers.

Greg is a college senior. Halloween is his favorite holiday and time of the year. He loves all of the cheesy decorations and fantasy costumes. He’s a total fantasy nerd and plays Dungeons and Dragons. He also isn’t great at having or keeping a relationship. He’s kind of a slut, and he has a wandering eye, which wouldn’t be a problem, but his body usually follows his wandering eye. As a result, he has taken a vow of celibacy, which the guy at Halloween Escapes is threatening since he’s totally Greg’s type. All anybody on campus can talk about is doing an escape room with your friends, and so Greg has booked a room at Halloween Escapes to play with his friends. However, his friends aren’t impressed with the room he’s booked, and they bully him into doing a slasher-themed room instead. They have to find a way out of the room before there are no more people left, and every ten minutes, another person gets taken. Greg is the first one taken, and while waiting in the back hallway, he stumbles upon a doorway that takes him to a magical world that isn’t a part of earth. And Greg couldn’t be more thrilled since he’s never felt at home on earth. Now everything that he’s read about in fantasy novels or characters he’s played as during D&D games are real, and some of them are trying to behead him or eat him.

Alaric is the prince of his kingdom and will inherit the crown from his mother, the queen, when she retires. However, the kingdom always tests the heir to prove that they are worthy of inheriting the crown. When Alaric realizes that Greg has somehow made his way through the door and into his kingdom, he goes after him to save him from all of the dangers that could kill him. And he does save him, but when he tries to send Greg back through the door to his homeworld, he finds that the kingdom has decided that now is a good time to take away his magic and connection to the kingdom and test him, leaving him unable to send Greg home. The only way to get Greg home is to have another royal send him, and that means having to journey to the castle to visit his mother, the queen.

With everything working against them, will Alaric and Greg make it to the castle so Greg can go home? By the time they make it to the castle, will Alaric or Greg want Greg to go home anymore? You’re going to have to read the book to find out. I know that the book thoroughly entertained me, and I hope that you will be too.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: The Witch’s Blood by Michelle Notaro

TITLE: The Witch’s Blood
AUTHOR: Michelle Notaro
SERIES: The Ellwood Chronicles #3
PUBLISHER: Self Publish
GENRE: Paranormal
RELEASE DATE: Oct 2nd 2019


I’ve been living with this burden for years, but my secret has finally been revealed and I feel like I can breathe again. I’ve wanted to ask—to beg—for help, but the spell that’s held me captive wouldn’t allow it. With it out in the open, I’m more determined than ever to break the seal from my chest so I can truly be free.

But what if my seal has something to do with one of the most feared prophecies of the millennium?

“A broken seal breaks the fragile hold…”

What does that mean? How am I connected? And why do I find myself so deeply drawn to Julius when I know my viramore, my soulmate, is out there somewhere? It’s not fair to either of us for me to lead Jules on, but it seems that my vampire companion is fierce in his determination to help me.

The Witch’s Blood is the third book in The Ellwood Chronicles and is a continuation of the overall story as we follow Emrys, Julius, Sebastian, and Ailin on their journey. It contains explicit material and is intended for mature adults 18 years of age and older.

Recommended Reading Order:
The Enchanter’s Flame
The Witch’s Seal
The Enchanter’s Soul
The Witch’s Blood

Julius is a vampire, and Emrys is a witch. Their species aren’t friends; they normally have nothing in common, but Julius and Emrys met when they both needed someone in their life. They didn’t expect to discover that they are more to each other than what they thought.
The Witch’s blood is book 3 in the Ellwood Chronicles. This series gets better and better with each book.
Emrys is a witch, a death witch. He’s one of the most powerful witches just behind Ailin. Emrys was part of the Ellwood coven until Ailin kicks him out when he thought that Em betrayed them.
Emrys wasn’t a traitor. He was captured, tortured and bounded by a seal never to be able to explain the truth, and no one believed him when he claims his innocence, no one except Julius.
Julius is a vampire, the leader of his coven. He also helps the police to control human memories when they’ve witnessed a supernatural attack.
Julius is a tortured man with a painful and traumatic past. He’s used to being alone until he met Em who fulfills a void in his life that Julius ignored.

I adored these two men. They are beautiful with a powerful love and faith between them. They’re both traumatized by their past, and they’re both scared to be abandoned, alone without no one to love or to be loved, but together, they’re invincible. They never doubt each other. They never give up on each other. Julius trusted Emrys with his life, and he believed him from the beginning, even if he couldn’t know the depth of what Emrys has been through.

Em trusted Julius with his life, mind, and will. He refuses to see Julius as just a vampire or a monster. He only sees a man, his man. Their love is powerful and breathtaking.

I adored this book, and it’s probably my favorite in the series. The plot was captivating and interesting. It was well-written, funny, dynamic with some dark moments. The characters were awesome, the story was well-built, and the feelings were well-described. I felt them; I felt their fears and love. It was brilliant.

I was happy to have the Ellwood Clan in the background with some chapters from Ailin or Sebastian’s POV. I loved them too.
I’m torn right now. In one hand, I want to read the next book like now, on another hand, I don’t want to read it because I know it will be the last in this series. That’s a cruel dilemma. This series is soooo good and brilliantly written that I want to know the end without ending it.

It’s 5 stars (and mooooore) for the Vampire and his Witch

***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: The Twelfth Knight by Victoria Sue

TITLE: The Twelfth Knight
AUTHOR: Victoria Sue
SERIES: Guardians of Camelot #1
PUBLISHER: Self Publish
GENRE: Paranormal
RELEASE DATE: Oct 1, 2019


To battle an ancient evil, the greatest weapon each hero will have is each other.
Hundreds of years ago, facing defeat, the witch Morgana sent monsters into the future to vanquish a humanity King Arthur wouldn’t be able to save. The King might have won the battle, but now, centuries later, a few chosen men will have to fight the war.
Merlin always hated being named after some mythological wizard. His dad had been obsessed with the magic man of King Arthur’s Court before his untimely death – a loss that had sent Mel reeling in a downward spiral. He is ill-prepared, to say the least, for the outrageous claims of a proper English knight bent on overcoming evil.
Born a commoner, Lancelot was never supposed to be a knight in his own time, never mind now in a modern world he is so woefully untrained to protect. Thrown into a battle centuries in the making, this flawed hero, and a young man too-used to battling monsters of the present day, will have to come together in a last desperate fight to save humanity.
Can Mel and Lance defeat the greatest enemy the world has ever known? Or in the midst of fighting evil, will they discover the real threat has always been a shattered heart?
And what if the one fight they cannot ever hope to win is with themselves?

Hundreds of years ago, the Knights of King Arthur had been save by Merlin. In order to defeat Morgana’s curse who sent monsters in the future; Merlin did the same with the Knights.
Hundreds of years later, Lancelot is tired of all the centuries of fighting, death, and pain. He’s ready to die, but that was until he meets Merlin, a young man whose destiny seems to be intertwined with Lancelot’s.
Merlin and Lancelot will have to understand what they’re facing to fight it, but what if the greatest fight is against themselves and their fears.
The Twelfth Knight by Victoria Sue is the first book in the Guardians of Camelot series. It was a really good start for this series.

Lancelot is the twelfth knight of the round table. He’s one of the few survivors centuries later. One of the few knights still fighting against Morgana. But Lancelot is exhausted by this life, exhausted by the fights that never seem to end, and he only wants peace, eternal peace, until Merlin.

Merlin hates his name—being named after a mythical wizard isn’t easy on an average day, but having weird monsters ready to kill you was worse. But when Merlin meets Lancelot, he’s attracted by this broody, hot man, and even if he knows he doesn’t stand a chance, he can’t help it.

I loved those two characters, especially Merlin.

Lancelot has the weight of his responsibilities on his shoulders, so he’s tired, and completely defeated by the situation. He’s confused about his feelings, his past, and his future. He seems to be blinded by his fears and didn’t recognize Merlin for what he is and who he is.

Merlin is very smart with a strong temper. Life wasn’t easy for him, and he refuses to be taken care of graciously. He refuses to be owned by anyone. He’s attracted to Lancelot, but when he realizes that he hasn’t any chance with him, Merlin refuses to be used and didn’t hesitate to call out Lancelot on his BS.

I adore them, they seem to be complete polar-opposites, and they are, but they’re also very complementary.

Victoria Sue gives us a good fantasy book base on the legends of King Arthur and his knights. She did it brilliantly, with talent and humor. She took the story of Arthur, Merlin and the knight and created her own legend with it. I loved it; it was original and well written.

This book is the first in the series. It settles the characters and the background of this universe.

It was well-built and easy to follow. The secondary characters are funny and loveable, and I can’t wait to read their stories.

It was a really good start, and I will happily follow this new series.

I gladly recommend this book, it worth it and it change of what we’re used to reading.

5 Stars for the wizard and his knight

***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