Review of: Fire and Obsidian by Andrew Grey

TITLE: Fire and Obsidian
AUTHOR: Andrew Grey
SERIES: Carlisle Deputies
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: May 7, 2019

BLURB:

A Carlisle Deputies Novel
Can a couple be more opposite than a thief and a cop? Or do they have more in common than they think?
Mattias stole to survive. He was damn good at it. But there’s no such thing as a victimless crime, and when he saw how his theft hurt people, he resolved to change. Now he works as a consultant, and while helping to investigate a rash of burglaries, he crosses paths with James.
Police Officer James Levinson doesn’t trust thieves, and that includes Mattias. James’s father stole to support himself, and James knows firsthand how that can destroy lives—it inspired him to go into law enforcement. Mattias is no different, from what he can tell… at first.
As they work together, Mattias and James realize there’s something deeper between them than just the physical attraction neither can deny. Given time, they might even grow to trust each other—unless the case they’re working on dredges up pasts both would rather forget.


Fire and Obsidian is the fourth book in the Carlisle Deputies series by Andrew Grey. I loved reading it. It had everything that I’ve come to expect from Andrew Grey and this series. Sexy deputies, usually an opposites attract trope, an interesting case that they are trying to solve, catching the bad guy, some sexy times and hot chemistry. This book didn’t let me down. The characters were complex, the story was fast-paced, and I had a lot of fun trying to guess who the thief they were trying to catch was.

I loved Mattias Dumont. He grew up in the foster care system and learned how to steal to survive, and he was great at it. But he learned that there’s no such thing as a victimless crime, and when he saw how his theft hurt people, he resolved to change. I loved that he now works as a consultant, and while helping to investigate a rash of burglaries, he crosses paths with James. And during a demonstration of how good he is at stealing, he ends up lifting James’ gun, which doesn’t do anything to endear Mattias to James. Especially when they end up getting paired up together to solve the cases.

I also liked Police Officer James Levinson. He doesn’t trust thieves, and that includes Mattias. He has personal experience with thieves since James’ father stole to support himself, and James knows firsthand how that can destroy lives. It was what inspired him to go into law enforcement. And from what he can tell, Mattias is no different, at first.

Unforeseen circumstances will end up having Mattias living with James for a while as they’re working on the case. And James is forced to see that Mattias has put his past behind him and is trying to do the right thing. As they work together, Mattias and James realize there’s something deeper between them than just the physical attraction neither can deny. Given time, they might even grow to trust each other, unless the case they’re working on dredges up pasts both would rather forget.

Mattias will end up having to use contacts that he would rather not use, and James will finally have to choose between family and the job. Can their relationship survive?

I so enjoyed reading this book, and I know that you will too. Fans of Andrew Grey will not be disappointed.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Rebound by Andrew Grey

TITLE: Rebound
AUTHOR: Andrew Grey
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: February 12, 2019

BLURB:

Professional basketball player Bri Early needs a physical therapist after an injury, and he’s heard that Obie is the best. Bri takes an immediate liking to the out-and-proud man with the magic touch, and even though Bri isn’t openly gay himself, he’d never let anything stand in the way of something he wants.
Obie can’t deny that the sexy athlete presses all his buttons, but he’s a professional and has no intention of getting involved with a client. While they’re working together, it’s hands off, no matter how great the temptation.
But being a pro athlete isn’t easy. Bri has enemies, and one of them is making his life hell. When his house is set ablaze, Bri can no longer pretend the threatening messages he’s receiving are jokes. He needs a safe place to stay, and Obie can’t turn his back. But the two of them in the same house is a recipe for combustion that could burn them both….


I loved reading Rebound by Andrew Grey. The book’s a standalone with a great cast of diverse characters. I loved how fun and free Obie and his friends were. They were constantly making me smile, and I want more of Obie, David, and Chippy. And Bri and his friends were the exact opposite. They were much more serious and focused, but then they are athletes, and that’s what’s needed to compete professionally. I also loved how much fun the author had with the names since I’m a huge Star Wars fan.

I loved Bri Early. He’s a professional basketball player, and he’s been injured in a game and needs a physical therapist. However, he’s so focused on getting better as quickly as possible that he’s gotten a bit of a reputation and his physical therapists keep quitting on him. He’s one step away from looking up physical therapists in the yellow pages when his coach gets a call back from Obie. Obie was the physical therapist for Monty, who’s the husband of Hunter, one of Bri’s friends. Bri knows that Obie was able to really help Monty and so he has high hopes that he can get him back to full extension and back on the courts.

I also loved Obie. He’s a physical therapist that focuses on healing the whole body and not just the part that’s injured. He believes in clean living and healthy eating and full body massages to help relax the other muscles that are being strained due to the knee injury that Bri is dealing with. I liked how Obie can’t deny that the sexy athlete presses all of his buttons, but I loved how he’s a professional and has no intention of getting involved with a client. And while they’re working together, it is hands off no matter how great the temptation is, which leads to a great buildup of sexual chemistry. This story is definitely a slow burn.

I also loved how the author was able to show us that being a pro athlete isn’t easy. Bri has enemies, and one of them is making his life hell and unfortunately escalating his threats. When his house is set ablaze, Bri can’t pretend that the threatening messages he’s receiving are jokes any longer. He needs a safe place to stay, and Obie can’t turn his back. But the two of them in the same house is a recipe for combustion that could burn them both because Bri is in the closet and Obie is out and proud.

I really enjoyed reading this book about a basketball player falling for his physical therapist. It’s another great book by Andrew Grey.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Lone Star in Jersey by Ginna Harris, Anne Key

TITLE: Lone Star in Jersey
AUTHOR: Ginna Harris, Anne Key
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Harmony Ink Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: April 30, 2019

BLURB:

Eli faced the fallout of returning to school after his transition, and now he’s starting over in a new school where no one ever knew him as Elizabeth. The best thing about this new beginning might be the girl in the bedazzled Keds.
Sammy’s world of cheerleading, advanced math, and popularity in her Texas high school crumbles with her mother’s death. She’s shipped off to New Jersey to face a father who feels like a stranger and a world where she doesn’t feel like she belongs. At least there’s Eli, the cute boy who is also new at school.
As their friendship deepens and romance begins to bloom, Eli knows he owes Sammy the truth. He hopes he can trust her, and Sammy hopes she can understand falling in love with a trans boy. It’s a lot to deal with alongside the long-buried family secrets coming to light, and neither of their worlds will ever be the same. But maybe building new lives won’t be so hard if they do it together.


I liked Lone Star in Jersey by Ginna Harris and Anne Key. I would have liked it even more if Eli had fallen for a boy instead of a girl. It had more of MF feel to it than a MM feel. Although I did know that from reading the blurb that the trans boy was going to fall for a girl, I still wanted to read it. I don’t regret reading it. The writing style is easy to read, and the characters are realistic with real issues and fears and hopes and dreams that they deal with. I loved that the story is told from both main characters point of view. I liked getting to see all of the confusion and angst that Sammy goes through as her normal world falls apart and she has to learn to rebuild it.

Eli is a trans boy. Which means that he’s a boy stuck in a girl’s body. In his mind, he’s a boy, but on the outside, he’s a girl, and he’s at that stage in his transition from female to male where he’s dressing and passing as a boy. That means that he wears a binder to keep his breasts flat, a rolled up sock in his underwear to give him a package, a male haircut, uses male mannerisms, and has a male name. And he hopes that soon his parents will allow him to start hormone therapy which will help him even more to become the boy he is. He’s spent the first year of his transition at the same school where everybody knew him as Elizabeth, a girl. And with all of the bullying, his parents decided to move a town over so that he could attend a different high school where nobody would know that he used to be Elizabeth and that he would only be known as Eli. He didn’t expect to become best friends with the new student from Texas. He’s supposed to be focusing on passing as a male. He didn’t anticipate having romantic feelings for Sammy and wanting her to be his girlfriend.

I thought Eli was a very complex character and the authors did a great job with showing us what it means to be transgender and the body dysmorphia that Eli struggles with. I also loved that he had a therapist that he sees regularly. I know that in some states that’s a mandatory step that has to happen for the person to be approved for hormone therapy and later top surgery and bottom surgery. But it’s still nice to know that he has somebody to talk to besides his parents.

With her mother’s death, Sammy’s world of cheerleading, advanced math, and popularity in her Texas high school crumbles. She’s shipped off to New Jersey to live with a father who feels like a stranger and a world where she doesn’t feel like she belongs. She really wishes that she could have stayed in Texas with her best friend and finish school there, but her father was adamant that she came and lived with him. She hasn’t had much contact with her father other than the occasional visit and phone calls. So it comes as quite the shock when he comes out to her as being gay and introduces his boyfriend that lives in New York. She gets blindsided by quite a few family secrets that, as the year progresses, come to light. I like how she struggled through them. Sure she made mistakes and hurt feelings, but she learned from her mistakes, and that’s what matters.

I loved Sammy. She had lots of personal growth in this book, and I loved watching her grow. She was a great character. I liked how she handled herself when Eli told her the truth about being transgender, and I liked how she researched what that meant and then asked Eli questions about it. I also liked that her aunt came out to visit from Texas when Sammy was having a breakdown and helped her through it.

Overall, a great book about a trans boy who falls in love with a straight girl. Even though I would have preferred that Sammy was a boy, it was still a great book that I would recommend reading.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: The Nothingness of Ben by Brad Boney

TITLE: The Nothingness of Ben
AUTHOR: Brad Boney
SERIES: The Austin Trilogy
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: Nov 23, 2012

BLURB:

Ben Walsh is well on his way to becoming one of Manhattan’s top litigators, with a gorgeous boyfriend and friends on the A-list. His life is perfect until he gets a phone call that brings it all crashing down: a car accident takes his parents, and now he must return to Austin to raise three teenage brothers he barely knows.
During the funeral, Ben meets Travis Atwood, the redneck neighbor with a huge heart. Their relationship initially runs hot and cold, from contentious to flirtatious, but when the weight of responsibility starts wearing on Ben, he turns to Travis, and the pressure shapes their friendship into something that feels a lot like love. Ben thinks he’s found a way to have his old life, his new life, and Travis too, but love isn’t always easy. Will he learn to recognize that sometimes the worst thing imaginable can lead him to the place he was meant to be?


This was my first read from this author.

When it comes to rating this book, I’m not sure how to rate it. I liked it, and at the same time, there was so many things that I couldn’t agree with.

Ben Walsh comes home after his parents die in a tragic accident. He has a promising carrier in Manhattan, and he’s also an out and proud gay man. This was the reason he was considered a absent member of his family. His late mother didn’t agree to his lifestyle, so he stayed away missing out on his three younger brothers growing up. And this when it’s started to be weird for me. I’m, myself, am the older brother, but my parents’ behavior never let me to stay away from my brother.

Ben Walsh’s behavior is inappropriate when it comes to understanding what his younger brothers are going through. The brothers are angry with him, and honestly, with reason. Ben is not a likable character in my honest opinion, and the feeling remained till the end of the book.

Travis is a sweetheart! It was an insta-like for me. He’s the big brother to the younger Walsh brothers that they need. They seek comfort in him, turning to him instead of their brother, Ben. But then Travis starts to have strange feelings for Ben … Travis is straight, up until now. He never felt attracted to a man before. This confuses him.

There was a scene, actually many, when I wanted to club Ben on his head! Ben is a selfish person. If I were in Travis’s place, I wouldn’t give a minute of my life to Ben.

Rapping it up, it’s not a bad or good book. I let you be the judge of it …

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: The More the Merrier by Sean Michael

TITLE: The More the Merrier
AUTHOR: Sean Michael
SERIES: The Teddy Bear Club
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: June 4, 2018

BLURB:

Too much of a good thing?
When Logan gets the call about newborn triplets in need of a home, he steps up, realizing too late the daunting task he’s taken on. He’d be lost without the men of the Teddy Bear Club—especially Dirk.
He even offers to spend spring break at Logan’s home, helping him and the babies settle in. Dirk loves being a dad, and he wants to help Logan find the same joy. It doesn’t hurt that they enjoy spending time together.
Before they even realize it, they’re settling into a routine… becoming a family.
Falling in love.
But their new bond is about to face the ultimate test. Will they come through and realize that with love, there’s no such thing as enough?


I love reading books by Sean Michael. Whether they’re his BDSM books, like his Personal Best and Iron Eagle Gym series or his lighter and fluffier books, like The Teddy Bear Club series, I know that I will always get an entertaining book filled with loveable characters and sexy good times. It’s rare that an author can pull off both well. The More the Merrier is the second book in The Teddy Bear Club and the eighty-third book in the Dreamspun Desires series. I did review the first book in the series, The Teddy Bear Club, and loved it. I have eagerly been awaiting the next book in the series, and it did not disappoint me.

The second book is about Logan, who’s an attorney and has secretly been taking the parenting classes needed to be able to be a foster parent. He was hoping to foster older kids but was offered a set of newborn triplets, two boys and a girl, to foster instead. He instantly fell in love with their picture. He has an older daughter that he helped raise. He was a sperm donor for one of his friends who wanted a child, and he wanted to be a dad to her also. She’s now ten and gets to decide who she wants to stay with her mom or her dad. Logan is frazzled over caring for three babies, but with the support of the other single dads that he’s made friends with during the twice-weekly daddy-and-kid play days at the Roasty Bean, he knows that he’s in good hands for any advice or help that he needs. Logan is also the godparent to Dev’s child, Dylan. The first book was about Dev and Aiden. So there are cameos by these two characters throughout the second book.

Dirk is the other single dad in this story. He has a preschooler named Melinda who loves babies. Dirk has had a crush on Logan but hasn’t done anything about it. Dirk is especially helpful with helping Logan and his new babies since he’s great with kids and has the week off to help Logan get a routine going and find a nanny if he needs one. But after living together for a week and living as a family, will either of them want to go back to being a single dad or will they continue with their new found relationship and family life?

Although this story is about a different couple than the first book in the series and can stand alone, the second book is best enjoyed after reading the first so that you can get the full enjoyment out of everyone’s interactions at the Roasty Bean.

Another home run of a story from Sean Michaels and I eagerly await the next book in the series to come out.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis