Review of: On Shaky Ground by Andrew Grey

TITLE: On Shaky Ground
AUTHOR: Andrew Grey
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: June 14, 2019

BLURB:

Martin Graham built his business from the ground up with hard work and intuition. Due to a degenerative eye disease, he’s learned to rely on his other senses to feel out the competition. To realize his dream, he just needs to broker one last deal… and finally secure an assistant.
Brock Littleton is desperate for money—desperate enough take the job no one else wants: assistant to demanding, fussy, intensely private Mr. Graham.
Everything about Brock gets under Martin’s skin in ways he never expected, making him realize a successful business isn’t the only component to a happy future. But as Martin’s deal comes together, one of the prices could be the relationship with Brock that Martin is just starting to believe could be real.


On Shaky Ground was previously published in Boundless Love Anthology by Andrew Grey in 2018. For me, this was another home run by the author. I was a little worried because it was only seventy pages, and for me, his short stories are either a hit or miss, but this one was definitely a hit. His short stories sometimes feel like reading the first part of a book that needs to be a lot longer, so they come off as being a teaser. Not with this one. This book had a complete story to it with engaging characters and a great plot. I loved it.

I loved Martin. He built his business from the ground up with hard work and intuition. Due to degenerative eye disease, he’s learned to rely on his other senses to feel out the competition and uses modern technology like conference calls and email reading technology to get around his disability and not let the people that he broker deals with know that he has a disability. However, to realize his dream of going international, he just needs to broker one last deal. However, this client wants to meet and do the deal in person, and so Martin needs to finally secure an assistant that won’t instantly quit on him.

I loved Brock. Brock has an MBA, but he’s having a horrible time finding a job. He put in an application for a job at the company that he would love to work at, but when he gets a callback, it is for an assistant position something that he is overqualified for. But he’s desperate for money and agrees to the position knowing that he will to continue to look for a job that he’s qualified for. He’ll do whatever’s needed to keep the demanding, fussy, and intensely private Mr. Graham happy. He ends up learning a lot from him and respecting him. He also finds himself wildly attracted to his boss and they have some awesome chemistry.

I loved how they interacted together. Everything about Brock gets under Martin’s skin in ways that he never expected, which makes him realize that a successful business isn’t the only component to a happy future. Companionship’s also important. But as Martin’s deal comes together, one of the prices could be the relationship that Martin’s just starting to believe could be real.

Want to know what happens? You’re going to 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 : Laura McNellis

Review of:  Vegas by Romeo Preminger

TITLE: Vegas
AUTHOR: Romeo Preminger
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: self
GENRE: Contemporary Romance, BDSM
RELEASE DATE: July 13, 2019

BLURB:

Twenty-nine-year-old sales rep Dan is unlucky with love, but lucky with sex since he got cut and made up for lost time growing up as a skinny gay kid who got pushed around. All-American, Texan stud Bryce Landon is on Dan’s A-list of hook-up buddies, but the guy’s vibe is different when they get together at MDM-Con in Vegas this year. Does Bryce want something more?
Dan can’t do that. He’s been burned by closeted, married guys before. While Dan sidesteps Bryce at the convention, he meets a smoking hot, local Daddy-type named Garth. Now he’s caught between two guys who’d like to tame his wild ways. It’s not a bad place to be, but can he give love a try with a dude who’s got drama written all over him or take a chance with an older man who buried his boyfriend of ten years?


Dan is a salesman at a convention in Vegas. Each year he meets Bryce—a closeted, married Texan—during this convention. It’s hot and kinky between them but nothing more. Until this year, when Bryce tries to change their relationship but Dan meets someone in Vegas, someone who maybe can offer him more than Bryce.
For an intense, hot week in Vegas, Dan will have to think about his future and what he really wants in his life.

Vegas by Romeo Preminger is my first book by this author. I was curious to discover his universe and his style. I was surprised but not disappointed.

Dan is a 29 year-old man, who knows what he doesn’t want in a relationship…being hurt. He had been hurt in his past and refuses to let it happen again, even if he has to miss the real opportunity to be happy with a loving partner. So far, he thinks he’s happy like that until he meets Garth. Then he realizes that maybe he was missing out on a real relationship. I liked Dan, he knows what he wants, and he’s confident. I loved how he was ready to take a bet on Garth, while being open to trying new things and didn’t hesitate to open himself a little bit. Most of all, I loved that he takes the time to think about what he really wants when he realizes that he isn’t really as happy as he thinks.

The story was from Dan’s POV. It was hot, well written and dynamics. The plot was focused on Dan and his relationships with Garth and Bryce. It was super-hot and super kinky…I adored it.
The end surprised me, a lot. The entire book, the author hints at a direction, and suddenly, a twist happens that I didn’t see coming. It was very sudden. I can’t say I disliked it or not, just that It really surprised me.

I will read the next book from this author because I liked his style.

***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: Home Improvement—A Love Story by Tara Lain

TITLE: Home Improvement—A Love Story
AUTHOR: Tara Lain
SERIES:
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: July 9, 2019

BLURB:

Romance on Aisle Sixteen—opposites attract amid the hammers and screws of the home improvement store.
Gabe Mason became a father at seventeen, and his daughter, Ellie, is the most important thing in his life. But being the parent the courts demand means Gabe has given up most of his dreams—education, making furniture, a gay social life—to be a model dad with a steady, reliable job in a home improvement store. Life’s predictable until Jerry, a shy, eccentric guy in a hat and sunglasses, begs Gabe to oversee the renovation of his run-down mansion.
Gabe loves the house and the work, and Jerry’s pretty lovable too, but when Gabe discovers Jerry’s secret identity, he fears their passion could overturn both their lives forever.


I loved Home Improvement—A Love Story by Tara Lain. The plot is interesting, and I loved how the book comes full circle at the end. I also liked the characters and how they were fleshed out. Gabe’s daughter was delightful, and I loved how eccentric Jerry was. It was a delight to read.

For me, the first half of the book was a little slow. It might have been because Jerry is hiding who he is from Gabe, there is the buildup of chemistry, there is the mystery of a guy that has bought a huge house and needs it to be restored but only has a mattress on the floor and a couple of folding beach chairs for furniture. And that leads to Gabe constantly having self-doubts about whether Jerry can afford the repairs that he’s having done. Then he wants to buy Gabe’s expensive handmade furniture, and while Gabe is ecstatic, it also leads to more questions about how Jerry can afford it.

The second half of the book was excellent. Gabe finds out the identity of the guy that he’s falling for, and there are misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Gabe finds out the downfalls of dating a famous person and the problems that come with it like being accosted by the paparazzi and having to deal with pictures taken and published in tabloids with false headlines that leads to his ex-wife and her new highly religious husband threatening to seek full custody of their seventeen-year-old daughter.

Gabe will do anything for his daughter, Ellie. If that means giving up the man in his life to keep her safe from his ex-wife’s homophobia and homophobic husband, then that’s what he will do. But that isn’t what Ellie wants. She wants her dad to be happy also, to have his dreams too.

Gabe became a father at seventeen and to be the parent that the court’s demand means Gabe has given up most of his dreams—having a college education, making furniture full time, and having a gay social life—to be a model dad with a steady, reliable job in a home improvement store. Gabe’s life is predictable until Jerry, a shy, eccentric guy in a hat and sunglasses, begs Gabe to oversee the renovation of his run-down mansion.

Gabe loves the house and the fact that he can do the work after his shifts at the store. He sees it as a great way to add to his daughter’s college fund, and Jerry gives him free rein to renovate the house the way that he would want it if it were his house.

I loved how Gabe and Jerry interact and how Gabe takes care of Jerry. I liked getting to see how different Jerry is from his secret identity and the choices that he makes for love.

For me, it was another great book by Tara Lain, and I recommend it to everybody.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Never A Hero by Marie Sexton

TITLE: Never A Hero
AUTHOR: Marie Sexton
SERIES: Tucker Springs
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: July 5, 2019

BLURB:

Owen Meade is in need of a hero. Sheltered, ashamed, and ridiculed by his own mother for his sexuality, his stutter, and his congenital arm amputation, Owen lives like a hermit, rarely leaving his apartment. He hardly dares to hope for more… until veterinarian Nick Reynolds moves in downstairs.
Charming, handsome Nick steals past Owen’s defenses and makes him feel almost normal. Meeting his fiery, determined little sister, June, who was born with a similar amputation, helps too. June always seems to get her way—she even convinces Owen to sign up for piano lessons with her. Suddenly the only thing standing between Owen and his perfect life is Nick. No matter how much he flirts, how attracted to Owen he seems to be, or how much time they spend together, Nick always pulls away.
Caught between his mother’s contempt and Nick’s stubbornness, Owen makes a decision. It’s time to be the hero of his own story, and that means going after what he wants: not just Nick, but the full life he deserves.


I loved Never A Hero by Marie Sexton. It’s the fifth book in the Tucker Springs series. The Tucker Springs series is written by multiple authors—L.A. Witt, Marie Sexton, Heidi Cullinan. I had the pleasure of reviewing book three, Dirty Laundry, and book four, Covet Thy Neighbor, and Never A Hero was just as good.

I thought Marie Sexton did an excellent job of showing us a glimpse into the life of a man who was born with a congenital arm amputation and also suffered from a stutter that gets worse with his social anxiety. And instead of having supportive parents, he’s ridiculed by his own mother for his sexuality, his stutter, and his congenital arm amputation.

I liked how we get to see both sides of the equation in do you help a person with a disability and how the person with the disability perceives that help. In the book, Owen doesn’t like to be helped or stared at, but he also doesn’t like it if he is ignored. He thinks that he knows what the normal person is thinking and feeling when they look at him, but he isn’t normal, so he can only assume. I liked that Nick is there to give Owen a different insight into why normal people react the way that they do. I know that I’ve struggled with that before. Do you look at the missing limb or not, do you help if they’re struggling to do something or let them struggle to do it on their own. I never know what’s right or acceptable, but I know that I definitely don’t want to offend them. So I liked that I got to see it from both of their points of view.

I liked Owen Meade. Because of his upbringing and the way he’s treated by his mom and how he perceives the outside world, he has become a bit of a hermit and rarely leaves his apartment. He works from home for a marketing company, designing newsletters, brochures, and putting together postcard advertising campaigns. He tends to live vicariously through the lives of the people that live in the apartment below his. The highlight of his day is when his neighbor plays the piano when she gets home from work, but after living there for three years, she moves out but doesn’t take her piano with her. Two days later, Owen gets a new neighbor. But unlike his old neighbor, this one wants to be friends.

Nick Reynolds is a veterinarian, has three dogs, a sister that also has a congenital arm amputation, and is in the closet at work due to a homophobic boss. I liked how he tried to get Owen out and interacting with the world again. I also liked when he introduced Owen to his younger sister, Jude, who also has the same amputation that Owen has. I really liked how Jude interacts with the world and doesn’t let anything stop her from doing what she wants to do, including convincing Owen to take piano lessons with her and to perform a recital together, each playing one hand of the song since Owen is missing his left hand and Jude is missing her right.

I really enjoyed seeing the personal growth in Owen and how he starts to stop caring about what other people think of his missing arm and doing what he wants to do.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: In Safe Hands by Victoria Sue

TITLE: In Safe Hands
AUTHOR: Victoria Sue
SERIES:-
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: March 19, 2019

BLURB:

Former helicopter pilot Maverick Delgardo’s injuries ended his Air Force career, leaving him bitter and one drink away from becoming an alcoholic. When his sister asks for his help on a private protection case to babysit a disgraced pop star, Mav reluctantly agrees.
Deacon Daniels, onetime lead singer and idol to his teenage fans, saw his career and reputation ruined when a reporter’s exposé led to a devastating scandal. Without money or a job, a heartbroken Deacon has lost custody of his baby niece. And just when he thinks his life can’t get any worse, a stalker’s threatening messages escalate to murder.
Mav only agreed to one meeting, but his protective instincts kick in, along with an attraction to Deacon. When the body count increases, however, Mav is unsure he is up to the task of protecting Deacon from a killer. But it is too late for Mav to step away, now that he’s lost his heart, and he must find the strength to reassure Deacon and his niece that they are in safe hands no matter the cost.


Maverick goes from being an Air Force helicopter pilot to living in misery on his sister’s couch. The nightmares from the horrific moment his lost everything has him trying to find peace at the bottom of a bottle. At his sister’s insistence, he has to clean himself up long enough to meet with a potential new client for her. Deacon Daniels was an up and coming lead singer of a once popular boy-band. Things in Deacon’s life have never been easy, and more often than not, end up in disaster. He’s lost everything, and as soon as he tried to rebuild any semblance of a life, he’s beaten down again by a stalker. But haven’t they heard this story before? Why would anyone believe him this time? Now he has to put his faith in a complete stranger’s hands, and hope they can protect him long enough to find out who is tormenting him.

Maverick or “Mav” is living on his sister’s couch wasting his life away. He’s been out of the military for months, but he’s not done grieving for what all he lost. He doesn’t want to interview this spoiled airhead for his sister’s business, but his sister is making him, and she doesn’t ask much. The gig is supposed to be a babysitting job for a couple of days while the scared kid calms down. Easy. Except when has anything in Mav’s life been “easy”. Mav is a heartbreaking character. He’s been through hell, and I don’t blame him for how he’s handling it. Life hasn’t been kind to him as of late.

Deacon Daniels once powerful star now just trying to survive. His life was ruined by others. His upbringing was devastating, and life just keeps beating him down. His manager sets him up with a security firm in hopes a couple of days with protection will calm him down. He knows he has a stalker, and he knows his reputation will make people shrug him off. Something horrible happened in his past, and no one wants to believe him. Except maybe after meeting Mav he can find some hope after all.

This book was heart wrenching and amazing. I loved the characters, and the story was fast paced and not at all what I expected. I wanted these guys to find their HEA, and I was left blissfully happy at the end! What a great story.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis