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

BLURB:

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

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Review of: The Geek and His Bad Boys by R. Cayden

TITLE: The Geek and His Bad Boys
AUTHOR: R. Cayden
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Self
GENRE: Contemporary Romance, MMM,
RELEASE DATE: June 25, 2019

BLURB:

Can his tender heart handle their scorching passion?
Some people have to fight like hell for their love.
Striker and Dante? They come out swinging.
Frances:
I thought I was just going to get a tattoo.
It was so out of character. All of my gaymer friends thought I was going to chicken out because I’m afraid of needles.
But I was done being scared of things. I had spent enough of my life being scared.
Scared of bullies. Of my father.
Scared of every jerk who put me down.
The thing is, Striker and Dante? The tattoo artists?
They scare me.
They scare me because of how amazing it feels when I’m with them.
They scare me because, once we get together, I’m doing things I never thought I would do.
And most of all, they scare me because of how much they love each other.
Could I dare to be loved like that, too?
To be theirs?
The Geek and His Bad Boys is a 60,000+ word standalone MMM romance. It is a high heat novel, with loads of passion between our three men. Childhood bullies get faced down, a geek gets a spicy tattoo, and the story ends HEA for all three characters. Enjoy!


I loved The Geek and His Bad Boys by R. Cayden. I read this book after finishing Out for Sugar by R. Cayden. I was a little bit disappointed in that book, but I definitely wasn’t disappointed in this book. It was scorching hot, hot, hot. I loved the plot, how the book flowed, and the chemistry between the three main characters. I also loved that Frances had scenes with Striker and Dante separately in addition to when they were all together. And the same for Striker and Dante having scenes together without Frances.

Dante and Striker are in a closed relationship and have been for a while. But Dante keeps bringing up opening their relationship. They have had many violent, passionate arguments on the subject, and Striker finally gives the go-ahead in a fit of rage. It’s something that he’s done before because, in the heat of an argument, he tends to speak first and think about what he’s said after calming down and then taking it all back. However, this time, he doesn’t take it back. They did decide that if they hooked up with someone else that neither of them wanted to know about the other’s hookup. They have major jealousy issues that they are both dealing with. And they both come from a small town where violence and yelling is the norm. So their relationship and how they deal with issues is a little bit toxic, regardless of how much they love each other. It doesn’t help that they also work together in their tattoo shop with Dante’s sister, Penelope. So they are constantly together. I also loved that their sexy scenes rarely take place in bed.

Dante ends up meeting Frances first when his motorcycle runs out of gas. Frances ends up pulling over to see if he needs help and they end up hooking up on the side of the road, and then Dante siphons enough gas to get to where he’s going. They figure they will never see each other again since no phone numbers were exchanged. Striker ends up meeting Frances when he comes in for a tattoo consultation. After getting his tattoo done, they end up hooking up in the tattoo chair since they are the only ones at the shop and are caught by Dante when he comes in. They have one of their famous fights, and Frances is gone in a second. Once they calm down, they realize how badly they frightened Frances and want to apologize to him, so they go to his apartment and do just that. And they realize that if they are seeing the same person at the same time that they aren’t jealous, they don’t have as many fights, and they are both falling for Frances.

Frances is 100 percent geek. He collects postcards, which is what he was doing when he stops to help Dante on the side of the road. He plays Dungeons and Dragons and Magic with his other gaymer friends. He also comes from a small town where he was bullied in school and by his dad until he left to go to college on a scholarship at the age of eighteen. He works with numbers for his day job. I think it was data analyses or something like that. So he’s pretty timid, but he wants to get a tattoo. His friends don’t think he will go through with it cause of the needles and pain, but Frances proves them wrong. They also don’t believe him when he tells them about his hookups with the big tattooed motorcycle type. I loved how once they’re in an established relationship, Frances integrates them with his gaymer friends and teaches them how to play their favorite games. They are clueless, of course, but it’s fun to see them try.

The only downfall to the story is that the names sometimes got mixed up during the story, especially during the first three-way scene between them. I read an arc copy of this story, so I’m hoping that it got caught and fixed before it was published. I didn’t penalize it though in my rating. I still thought it was worth five stars.

***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: Out for Sugar by R. Cayden

TITLE: Out for Sugar
AUTHOR: R. Cayden
SERIES: Sugar Mansion, book 2
PUBLISHER: Self
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: June 8, 2019

BLURB:

Troy Hart is the hottest leading man on daytime television… and he hates it.
There’s a reason it’s called straight acting, after all. But don’t be fooled by the macho swagger and bearskin rugs.
The heartthrob’s heart just isn’t in it.
For how good I am at strutting around and flexing my muscles, you’d think I enjoyed it. But the only worse fate I can think of is living through another tabloid scandal by coming out.
And that’s exactly what I see when I look at Elliot and Vincent. One massive tabloid scandal.
Famous gay sugar babies? Social media darlings? No way. Those guys are drop-dead beautiful, and they run around Los Angeles with the hottest executives and billionaire daddies in town.
I mean, seriously, those twinks have their own hashtags!
Me, getting with them? It would be the biggest scandal Hollywood has seen in years. I absolutely cannot fall for them. I cannot fall for their pouty lips, and their delicious laughs, and their beautiful, wild, unforgettable love…
Out for Sugar is the second book in the Sugar Mansion series. It can be read alone or as the sequel to Sugar for Two. An MMM romance, it features two sassy sugar babies, one handsome and kindhearted soap opera star, and a wealthy dom with a mysterious past. Hide from the paparazzi, it’s Sugar Mansion time!


Out for Sugar is the second book in the Sugar Mansion series by R. Cayden. I didn’t read the first book in the series, and I think that might have been a mistake. I think if I had read the first book, then I would have been more invested in Elliot, Vincent, and Don. I would know how they got together and how far they have come in their relationship and why it’s so important to Elliot and Vincent to convince Don to sign the deed of the mansion, they are living in, over to them so that they own it.

That seems to be the main focus of the book, and I’m not sure that I got why it was such a big deal for them to get the deed. As a result of trying to figure out that special something to give to Don to get the deed, they end up pursuing the hottest leading man on daytime television, Troy Hart, who may or may not be straight.

Elliot and Vincent seem to be doing great in their relationship together and with Don. They still have their other sugar daddies that they see and their other friends. They will do anything to own the mansion that they live in, and they think that if they can obtain Troy and give Don a show that it might be enough to get him to give them the deed. Vincent has had a huge crush on the daytime leading man and gets a little stalkerish in trying to meet the guy by watching the burger joint that he loves to go to. He ends up meeting him, and it doesn’t go over well. Elliot ends up meeting Troy while accompanying one of his sugar daddies that’s a producer to the daytime television awards and they hit it off. Troy shows up at the mansion to ask out Elliot, and Vincent opens the door. So now Troy knows that Elliot and Vincent are boyfriends. They convince Troy to go on a date with both of them since Troy isn’t out and the sugar babies get noticed because they have such a big online presence, they decide to go in disguise. Which goes great until it doesn’t, and pictures are taken of them, and Troy has a meltdown. Troy will have to decide how he wants to deal with the fallout. Does he risk his job and his co-star’s job by coming out finally or does he come up with a good excuse for being with two sugar babies? And what will he do when it comes out that Vincent and Elliot didn’t pursue him because they liked him at first but because they wanted the mansion.

I liked Troy. He has his issues and past scandal in his family that he’s trying to make up for. It was his father’s scandal who was also a daytime leading star. As the leading daytime star, Troy has kept his sexual preferences to himself and his costar. He doesn’t want to cause another scandal in the family, but not being true to himself is a huge weight on his shoulders. So when he meets the sugar babies, he finds himself helpless against his desires even though he knows that he shouldn’t see them.

The end of the book seemed kind of rushed for me. Once he makes up his mind about what he wants to do, Troy then goes for it. No more angst about causing a scandal or losing his job and I’m going to assume that there will be another book in the series because Vincent and Elliot and now Troy still don’t have the precious deed to the mansion. Don is still a mystery, and they still have no idea what they should tempt him with next to get the mansion. I guess I will have to read the next book to see what shenanigans they come up with next to tempt their sugar daddy.

***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: My Boss’s Boss by R. Cayden

TITLE: My Boss’s Boss
AUTHOR: R. Cayden
SERIES: Taught by Two, book 3
PUBLISHER: Self
GENRE: Contemporary Romance, MMM
RELEASE DATE: May 19, 2019

BLURB:

Three men, one office, and a summer internship that is about to get very spicy…
Tony
A rough-and-tumble guy like me might seem out of place in the corporate world, but that doesn’t mean I can’t succeed at my summer internship. I just need to make sure I’m not too distracted by the hot office manager, bossing me around and making me deliver the mail every day.
But then I meet the drop-dead gorgeous owner of Carwell Tower, too…
I know there’s no place for my submissive tendencies in the board room, but I feel like I was born to serve these men, and I can’t deny my heart.
Terrence
Working as his office manager, it’s hard enough to keep my relationship with Warren a secret. The owner of Carwell Tower, he’s powerful and handsome, and I want nothing more than to tell the world that he’s my dominant boyfriend.
I can keep our love a secret for the sake of the company, just like I can keep the office running without a hitch to make him happy.
But with a new hot intern demanding my attention, the line between work and play keeps getting thinner.
Warren
When I inherited the company after my father’s death, Carwell Tower was falling apart the seams.
It’s playing with fire to carry on a secret relationship with the office manager at a time like this, but I love Terrence, and can’t imagine my life without him.
When a new intern shows up at our door, looking hot as hell and submissive to boot, I know indulging our fantasies is a bad idea. I need to keep acting like the straight and macho head of the company, and can’t let anything get in the way of success.
Not even passion, and especially not love.
My Boss’s Boss is a standalone, 60,000 word MMM romance novel. It features secret office relationships, dominant businessmen and submissive interns, and three characters who find a happily-ever-after together. Like all of the Taught by Two books, it is filled with heart, lots of heat, and a little bit of kink. Enjoy!


My Boss’s Boss is the third book in the Taught by Two series by R. Cayden. I loved reading this book also. I love reading books with interoffice relationships that have to be kept hush-hush. It’s even better if one of the main characters is in the closet. And then to find out that they also have a Dominant/submissive relationship. Yep, it’s a home run for me. The cover and the blurb hooked me, and then I started to read the story. I got sucked in, and the story just wouldn’t let me go until I’d gotten to the end.

Warren inherited the company after his father’s death. Only then did he realize that Carwell Tower was falling apart at the seams. His grandfather had been a progressive thinker, and the company had been flourishing, his father, however, was more conservative and took the company in a different direction, catering to bigots and homophobes. It is for those reasons that Warren has never come out of the closet to his father and later when he takes over the company. He does have a secret boyfriend, Terrence, that he’d made the Hub office manager when he took over the company. They also have a Dominant/submissive relationship that they sometimes indulge in at Warren’s office. They have an open relationship because Warren feels bad about how busy he is and doesn’t want Terrence to feel neglected.

Terrence is the office manager for Carwell Tower. His boyfriend is the owner of the company. He would like nothing better than to tell the world about his dominant boyfriend, but he has to keep their relationship a secret. Terrence is also a switch, but he never gets to express his dominant tendencies with Warren since Warren is strictly a dominant. Terrence also is in charge of the new summer intern, Tony. Tony, who just so happens to be a complete submissive even if his body type says that he should be a top/dominant. He brings out all of Terrence’s dominant urges, and he can’t help but want to play with him. And it’s not against the rules because Warren has given him the okay to play outside of their relationship.

Tony is a rough-and-tumble guy. He grew up with blue-collar workers and so felt out of place in a suit and tie. But he dreams of owning his own business and is going to college to get a business degree. And for him, Carwell Tower is the place to work to learn about running a business. So he takes a summer internship there and manages to be late and drench the owner of the company with coffee on his first day. But Tony isn’t a coward, and he shows back up the next day. He has no idea what he’s doing and doesn’t get a lot of help from Terrence, his boss. He does get some help from a coworker, Dominique, and they build a fast friendship of going out for a drink after work. Dominique also happens to be best friends with Terrence. So sometimes Terrence comes along also. Tony also has a huge crush on his boss and makes a couple of passes on him. And so their relationship begins.

I loved how they all interacted with each other, and their chemistry was off the charts. My favorite scene was when Warren told Terrence that he could do whatever he wanted to do with Tony and that then Warren would do what Terrence had done to Tony to Terrence. It was so hot. But the book isn’t just sex. There is a really good plot, too.

I thought it was a great book, and I can’t wait for another book in the Taught by Two series to be released so that I can devour it just like I did this one.

***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: A Pocketful of Stardust by P Barnaby, Rowan Speedwell

TITLE: A Pocketful of Stardust
AUTHOR: JP Barnaby, Rowan Speedwell
SERIES: Aster
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary, Ghost, Spirits
RELEASE DATE: Jul 30, 2019

BLURB:

Noah Hitchens loves the New York City life he worked hard to build. But when his father dies and leaves him a bankrupt bookstore in their sleepy Georgia hometown, Noah knows he has to save it. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know anything about business. He finds unlikely help in Henry, the man who owned Stardust Books before his 1966 murder, and Kyle St. James, a shy but kind-hearted out-of-towner with a past almost as mysterious as Henry’s.
Kyle came to Aster, Georgia, looking for redemption. On the run and out of hope, he’s just trying to get on with his life. Then he meets Noah, a ghost, and a big sloppy lab named Jake who redefine his idea of living. But his past is closing in, and when it finds him, they could lose everything.


Noah is happy with his life in New York until a phone call from his hometown announced that his father had died, and he has to get his father succession and inheritance in order.
He left New York suddenly and went back home to bury his only parent. Soon he realizes that his father’s bookstore is almost at bankruptcy and Noah doesn’t know how to save it or if he wants to save it. Meeting Henry, the ghost, and Kyle his hot and shy neighbor might help him, but when the time comes, Noah will have to make a decision between the nostalgia of his childhood and the reality of his future.
A Pocketful of Stardust by JP Barnaby and Rowan Speedwell was my first book by both of the authors.

It was a sweet and beautiful story, with a rainbow of feelings. The book was told from Noah’s POV, and we follow him in his journey. We’re with him at each step, and we share his pain with him, along with tears, love, and happiness. I really appreciated how the authors had described all the emotions of the MCs well.

Noah and Kyle are made for each other. Noah is confident, but Kyle is stronger, he has a horrible and traumatic past that he struggles to deal with, until Noah helps him. I loved how they’re different but also how they’re similar. I loved Kyle. He touched me with his shyness, and his purity moved me. They are very sweet and adorable, two kind souls who met and recognized each other.

The authors transcribed very well, also, all the small town atmosphere, with a strong community ready to help and support each other. I loved it, in the crazy world where we live nowadays, we need that reminder that there’s still good people around us.
The writing was good, even if sometimes a little bit repetitive, I was still hooked in the story.

Even if it wasn’t all candies and rainbows, this book was sweet, beautiful and I really had a good time with them.
4 Stars for them

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis