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: 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: Impacted! by Mickie B. Ashling

TITLE: Impacted!
AUTHOR: Mickie B. Ashling
SERIES: Bay Area Professionals
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: BDSM, Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: April 12, 2019

BLURB:

On his way home from vacation, Scott Gregory, a closeted sub, hooks up with the gorgeous Red, a flamboyant Dom, for a thrilling one-off at a BDSM bar. They part ways after a satisfying scene… but meet again when Robin Kennedy—Red—arrives at his new job as a dental hygienist and discovers one of his two bosses is Scott.
Robin and Scott embark on a journey of exploration into their kinkier sides and discover they’re more than compatible—they’re a perfect match. But keeping employer/employee and Dom/sub separate at the office presents difficulties, and to make matters even more complicated, the owner of the dental practice is an acknowledged homophobe.
They fall in love, but Robin chafes at all the secrecy, refusing to live in the shadows. Scott isn’t as brave; he’s desperate to protect his job and his future. Will they be able to find some middle ground… or will their entire relationship fall apart because of fear?


I loved Impacted! by Mackie B. Ashling. Impacted! is the first book in the Bay Area Professionals series. This is my first time reading a book by Mackie B. Ashling, but I can guarantee it won’t be the last. I loved the blurb and have been on a BDSM reading kick lately, and this book had everything that I love in a BDSM book. A Dom that is younger than his submissive but is no less experienced just because he is younger than his submissive. The Dom and sub end up working together and have a hard time keeping their professional and private lives separate. I also love a super needy sub and a protective, dominate Dom who’s there to push the sub’s limits and give him what he needs. Mackie B. Ashling gave me all of those things in this book, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series to see how Scott and Robin’s relationship evolves.

There were a couple of things that I thought were a little unneeded in the book. The book is told primarily through Scott and Robin’s POV which is expected, but we also got the POV of Scott’s best friend Susie, who’s straight and is looking for her forever boyfriend. So it’s kind of like having an MF subplot while you are reading a MM story. So if you don’t like reading MF stories at all, then this is probably not for you since the MF subplot does continue into the next book which is the sequel to this story and continues Scott and Robin’s story. It does continue the BDSM theme with Susie becoming a Domme, and she’s looking for her perfect submissive male. There were also the POVs of Scott’s boss Ron, who is a homophobe and I think there was a couple of other’s that I really didn’t think that we needed to know what they were thinking or why they were doing what they were doing. I don’t think it brought anything extra to the story. It sometimes took the focus away from Scott and Robin who the story is supposed to be about.

Scott’s a closeted submissive. He has just moved to San Francisco and has a contract to take over a successful dentistry business in a year. He didn’t know that his boss was a huge homophobe when he signed the contract. Who would have thought that there could still be homophobes in San Francisco, which is like the most gay-friendly place to live? But Scott was unlucky enough to have to work for one. He shoves himself back into the closet, telling himself that it is only for a year and that he can handle it since the reward is a four million dollar practice. He will be set for life. On his way home from vacation, he stops at a BDSM bar for a final scene before returning to his closeted life and hooks up with the flamboyant Dom, Red, who was bartending that night. After a very satisfying scene, they part ways, and Scott’s sad that he won’t be able to see Red again since Red’s moving soon. He definitely wasn’t expecting to see him when he goes to work the next day and finds out that he was hired by Ron, the owner, as the new assistant dentist.

Robin’s a Dom and has just finished getting his degree as a dental assistant. He would have gone on to be a dentist but didn’t want to be indebted by student loans. Even though he hasn’t been in the BDSM community long, only a couple of years, he did go and get trained to be a Dom and had been doing scenes with subs for a couple of years. He likes having one-off scenes and isn’t looking for a contracted sub. His last night bartending, he serves a sub a drink, and they have instant chemistry and agree to do a scene after he gets off work. He has no idea that the sub will turn out to be his boss at his new job or that they will get to continue to explore their kinks. Their chemistry goes through the roof, and they find that they are very compatible, are perfect for each other. But can they keep things under wrap under their boss’s homophobic nose or will he find out and fire them both. You will 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 : Amber Krogh

Review of: Boca Dreams by Scudder James Jr

TITLE: Boca Dreams
AUTHOR: Scudder James Jr
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: Dec 1, 2018

BLURB:

A Story from the Warmest Wishes: Dreamspinner Press 2018 Advent Calendar
You can’t correct the past.
Or can you?
Stephen’s not proud of who he was back in boarding school—spoiled and a player. Now, at the holiday reunion ten years later, he has a chance to show his former classmates who he really is: out and proud, devoted to helping others, and partnered with Victor.
Stephen understands why Victor, who grew up in a poor and abusive household, hates the rich kids at the reunion, but his attitude is ruining everything. Luckily Stephen bumps into Aaron, a former grunge rocker who has also changed. Stephen never forgot their one steamy night together.
With the help of three very unusual personifications of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, can Stephen revisit his mistakes and find the happiness that’s eluded him?


This was an endearing short story about true love. The author did a great job with the characters, and I loved the scenery that was of such beauty. This author kept a good flow with this storyline. I enjoyed most of the characters and loved hating a couple of them.

Stephen used to be a spoiled rich boy and a player with the girls. The problem with that is he was never into girls. Stephen is excited for his schools Holiday Fete. He had his boyfriend, and he was going to come out to all his friends and be the man that he is.

Victor, the boyfriend, was a douche from the get-go. He didn’t want to go with Stephen and did what he could to make it a miserable trip. When they arrived, Stephen introduced Victor as his boyfriend and his friends were very happy for him and his coming out. Stephen loved Seaboard and all its grandeur. He went looking for Victor, and when he walked into their room, he was with one of Stephen’s friends and tried to get him to join them. He storms out and runs into the sexy man he’d fooled around with years ago.

Aaron was a grunge rocker back when they had a steamy night together years ago but has changed since then. Aaron is so happy when Stephen and him run into each other at the event. Aaron goes to the spot of that fateful night so many years ago. Low and behold if Stephen doesn’t show up there, and the magic of that place hits them both. Stephen spills his heart to him, and he is there to pick up the pieces.

This is a fun and enjoyable read that shows that true love does and can exist.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis