Review: “The Missing Ingredient” by Brian Lancaster

TITLE: The Missing Ingredient
AUTHOR: Brian Lancaster
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Gay for You
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 220 pages
RELEASE DATE: Aug 7, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 e-book / $9.99 paperback

BLURB:

It can take losing everything to realize what you had all along.
Up-and-coming London chef Marcus Vine is poised on the edge of success, but the only men courting him are investors. That leaves Marcus with some free time—which is fortunate, because his godchildren need him.
A year ago, a horrible accident killed Marcus’s best friend, Raine, leaving her children without a mother and her husband, Tom, without a partner. Consumed by grief, Tom has been going it alone, refusing help, but when Marcus sees him out with the children, it’s obvious that Tom and his two daughters need someone. His persistent caring finally wears Tom down, allowing him to accept the comfort Marcus offers. Soon Marcus is up to his elbows in homework, home-cooked meals, and after-school activities. Over time he helps them rebuild their world, until soon their lives are approaching normal.
Then the unexpected happens: Tom confesses he has romantic feelings for Marcus, and nothing can ever be the same.


Marcus is a famous and successful Chef who after a horrible car accident, lost his best friend, Raine. As the godfather to her daughters, Marcus tries to help Tom, her husband, but Tom refuses and wants to be alone with his girls.

1 year later, when Marcus sees Tom and the girls at a restaurant, Marcus realizes that Tom is overwhelmed and completely lost. Without giving him a choice, Marcus decides to come back and helps Tom to have his life back and helps with the girls. But Marcus has always been attracted to Tom since the first day he met him, and when Tom starts to develop feelings for him, Marcus is ready to be more for Tom even if he might lose everything in the process.

The Missing Ingredient is the first book I’ve read written by Brian Lancaster and won’t be my last.

Marcus and Tom are beautiful and adorable together. Marcus is gay and out. He tries his best to help Tom with the girls while managing his restaurants. Even if Marcus had always had a crush on Tom, he never acts on it. First Tom was married to his best friend Lorraine, and second Tom is super straight. But when Tom confesses his feelings to Marcus, he doesn’t back down and agrees to try to love this man more than he already does. I completely melted for Marcus. He really tries to be what Tom needs, he accepts a lot of crap from him, but Marcus stays, even if he’s hurt. But when Tom clearly messed up with him, Marcus fights back. I loved the fact that Marcus wasn’t the poor victim who’s treated badly and never fought back, not here, he wants to be loved and respected, and won’t accept anything else.

I’m a sucker for GFY books, and here I had what I liked. It wasn’t too much or not enough, Tom didn’t transform in a super gay man just because he loves Marcus. He still had doubts, fears, and tries to deal with them, or not.
The writing was good, not boring or too repetitive, the story is written in the third person, and it focused on Marcus. There’s a lot of interesting secondary characters that I would love to know a little bit more about them, especially Daniel.

All in all, I had a good time with this book, the plot, the story, the characters, everything pleased me.

It’s 4 OptimuMM for the Chef and his Hunk.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Stay with Me” by S.E Harmon

TITLE: Stay with Me
AUTHOR: S.E Harmon
SERIES: The PI Guys
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Anna Sikorska
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Gay for You
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 290 pages
RELEASE DATE: Apr 28, 2014
PRICE: $6.99 e-book / $16.99 -paperback

BLURB:

Private investigator Mackenzie Williams’s newest client is everything he’s looking for in a guy—charming, beautiful, intelligent, and successful. There’s only one itty bitty problem—the guy’s not exactly gay. In fact, Jordan Channing is looking for a PI to follow his fiancée. The smart thing would be to thank Jordan for his time, turn Mr. Perfect away (don’t let the door hit you on the rump, thank you very much), and forget he exists.
Of course, Mackenzie has never been accused of doing the smart thing. Being a smart aleck is more his MO. Relationships aren’t up his alley, never have been. So why’s he so inexplicably drawn to his new client?
Jordan has always been the high achiever, a man who lives in a focused, controlled, and carefully constructed manner. But for the first time in his life, he has to admit the impossible—another man is getting his engine running on all cylinders. Despite Jordan’s denial, it’s not long before he can no longer resist the strong undercurrents pulling them together. Now Jordan must decide if he can go against everything he’s ever known to have the only love he’s ever wanted.


Mackenzie is a private investigator. He has his own business with his partner Drew. His new client, Jordan Channing hires him to follow his fiancée Rachel. Mac can follow Rachel, he can also give a report to Jordan, but he can’t help himself being attracted to this handsome, very straight, man.

Jordan is a successful lawyer, engaged to a beautiful woman, he seems to have everything, but when he starts to have suspicions about his fiancée, he decides to hire a PI. Jordan didn’t expect being attracted to this man…
How can two people build a relationship when one had bad experiences with love, and the other had to learn everything about his own sexuality? That’s what Mac and Jordan will have to work for.

Stay with Me, is book one of the PI Guys series by S.E Harmon.

I loved this book, I had a lot of pleasure with the guys.
Mac is hilarious, completely crazy with a big mouth. The sass in this guy must be illegal. He’s also fragile and deeply wounded by his past. He’s so afraid of suffering and being abandoned that he sabotages his relationships before it ends. Worse, he doesn’t realize it. He always feels abandons and lonely. I love Mac, even if I want to beat him up badly, even if he’s selfish, I love him, I understood him, why he is like that.

Jordan is straight and he’s never questioned his sexuality before meeting Mac. At first, he tries to walk away, but it’s not in his nature to hide, so he decides to try to be with Mac, and oh my god it was super hooooooooot. I really love Jordan, I understood him, his fears, the changes that he has to face, but he never backs down, never gives up, and never walks away. He fights with everything he’s got to be with Mac. I love him for that.

It was a beautiful and funny book; all the book is from Mac’s POV. Mac and Jordan are funny, adorable and super-hot, no, really, the scenes sex was super-mega-hot and well written.
I love the author’s style, her writing is good, fresh and dynamic. The plot is focused on Mac and Jordan’s relationship, but with a lot of extra, between Mac’s investigations, his relationship with his family and his fight with his asshole of ex about his dog, so I didn’t have time to be bored.

I can’t wait to read the second book of the series, hope, I will have a little glimpse of Mac and Jordan through Drew’s story!
I recommend this book. It’s a sweet, hot and funny gay-for-you book.

4 OptimuMMs for the lawyer and his PI.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Risk” by Baylin Crow

TITLE: Risk
AUTHOR: Baylin Crow
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Self
COVER ARTIST: Baylin Crow
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Gay For You
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 260 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 25, 2018
PRICE: $3.99 -e-book

BLURB:

We never should’ve been anything more than roommates.
DREW: Life dealing me a hard blow is nothing new. What’s one more sucker punch?
When my uncle offers me a job working at his MMA training center, I jump at the chance to turn my life around…not upside down and questioning everything I know about myself.
Light Heavyweight Champion Asher Ramsey is the definition of a ladies’ man. His stormy gray eyes and inked skin call to the artist in me and make me itch for my pencils and sketch pad so I can capture every detail. If I’m honest, they make me itch to touch every detail too, which confuses me.
After he offers to let me stay in his guest room, I discover there’s more to Asher than he allows the world to see.
ASHER: My life is a lie. A play written and directed by my PR manager.
With the biggest fight of my career only weeks away, my focus is on securing my title. Losing my belt to some new up-and-comer isn’t an option, and I can’t afford any distractions. Or an unwanted attraction.
When Drew begins working at the gym where I train, my priorities waver. To make things worse, I offer to let him stay with me until he finds a place of his own. It’ll be fine. Sure, I’m attracted to him, but I’m an expert at hiding behind the mask of a straight man. Besides, he’s completely off-limits. Not that it matters–we don’t even play for the same team.
What’s the worst that can happen?


Drew is 23 years-old, but he had a rough start and tries his best to make a better life for himeself. He’s tired of surviving day to day like he has for the past few years. That’s why he asked his uncle Pete if he has a job for him at his training center.
Asher is 28 years-old, a Light Heavyweight champion, and a womanizer… at least that’s what the world thinks. Asher is gay and in the closet, coming out means the death of his career and he can’t risk it.
When Drew and Asher meet, a strong attraction sparks between them. If Asher is gay and knows that he can’t act on it because of his career, Drew is completely lost, he’s straight and had never been interested in a guy, even now except for Ash.
Can they risk their future for something as uncertain as love?

You all know that a book with a fighter and I’m a goner, so it’s not a surprise for you if I told you that I loved this book, but it was a good surprise for me since it was my first time with this author (not my last).

Drew is straight until he meets Ash, and at first, he becomes friends with the guy. Drew is impressed by Ash, but when they become roommates, Drew understands that he’s attracted to this man. He’s confused, he’s always been attracted to women, and never saw men in a sexual way, but Ash broke all his certainties. I love Drew, he’s funny, smart, and strong, very strong, maybe not physically but mentally he’s stronger than any fighter. At first, he’s completely lost and confused about Ash, but he takes his courage (in a bottle of tequila), and he acts on his attraction. I loved it. Even if he didn’t jump on the gay rainbow at first, even if he back-pedals sometimes, when he stops fighting it, he’s at one-hundred percent on board and ready to fight hard for Ash.

Ash is gay, and in the closet. His parents disowned him when he came out to the family. He works hard on his career, to be on top, so he can’t risk losing it because of his sexuality. He was attracted to Drew the minute he saw him, but refuses to try anything because of Pete, his trainer and Drew’s uncle, and also because Drew is straight. Nonetheless, Ash can’t help but be with Drew as friend, as lover, but not like what Drew really wants. I love Ash, he’s a fighter, physically very strong, his body is a powerful machine, but when it comes to his heart, he’s fragile. I love this duality in him, how he hides behind his strong appearance and a kind heart. That doesn’t mean he’s weak, not at all, he’s just scared and had to almost lose everything before understanding what really matters for him, and then, the strong, determined and confident fighter is back.

I love these 2 guys, they were adorable and enter in my “favorite couple” list.
It was a very good read, I loved the plot and the characters, I loved the author’s style too. The writing was dynamic and fresh, not repetitive or boring, and we alternate between Drew and Ash’s pov.

It was a good gay-for-you book, with angst (not too much thank you!), misunderstanding, but also love and a beautiful happy ending.
I highly recommend this book, it’s a great read, and you will have a very good moment with them.

5 OptimuMMs for the artist and his fighter!

***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: “Switch Hitter” by Cheyenne Meadows

TITLE: Switch Hitter
AUTHOR: Cheyenne Meadows
SERIES: Shifter Hardball
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Reese Dante
GENRE: Shapeshifter, Gay for you
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 5, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 -paperback
  

BLURB:

Tucker Wilde’s life is in a tailspin. Twenty-four hours ago, he was one of the top second basemen in the all-shifter professional baseball league. Now, he’s lost his starting spot to a rookie, been dumped by his girlfriend, and had a night of explosive passion with a man—a teammate at that. He can’t get Dixon out of his mind—even though Tucker still believes himself to be straight. With his career in jeopardy, he’s unsure where to turn or how to fix the mess.

Dixon Foxx is a baseball prodigy, though a perfectionist father stole any joy he might find in the game. He only sticks with it because it’s all he knows—and because of Tucker, the man Dixon’s wanted since they met. His dreams come true one night, only to turn into a nightmare the next morning when Tucker blows off their incredible time together as a drunken mistake, never to happen again.

The life of a switch hitter is all about mixing things up. Tucker excels at it. Only this time, the game isn’t on the line—his heart is.


Gather around everyone…closer…a bit closer…now say CHEESE! And you can say that again, cheese. But before you go and start to badmouth the cheesy romance, lemme tell you dear reader, there is nothing wrong with a good cheesy romance book, like in this case here.

While at the beginning my tooth ached of the cheesiness at the end I was glad that I read this book. Yes, its romantic. Yes, its sweet. Yes, it’s cheesy, but aren’t we all needing this?!

First of all, this is about baseball. Well, I’m European, so I know absolutely nothing about baseball. I googled a lot about terms and rules. Thanks to that now I know more about baseball, well not as much as Dixon…

Speaking of Dixon. Dixon is a veteran, with a baseball heritage that he must keep up and also the good family name in this sport. He is calculated, very dedicated…in other words, his life is baseball. Dixon is gay. Everyone knows this, and he’s not hiding it.
Dixon is also a fox shifter with silver fur. And he finds himself lusting for Tucker. But he’s lusting in secret because Tucker is the very epitome of straight until…

Tucker is a wild dog hybrid shifter. He grew up without a pack, just him and his mother. When he turns 18 years-old, she drops him at the college and goes back to her pack. All his anger goes into practice. He is now part of a prestigious team, but this goes to his head, and he starts slacking. He made friends too, like Dixon. Dixon is his buddy.
When Tucker loses his starting spot, he gets a bit desperate then his girlfriend drops him for the very same reason and that leads to booze. He is a bit drunk, and Dixon takes him home, and by home, I mean Dixon’s home.
There Tucker goes from straight to power bottom in nanoseconds (well this part was funny in my opinion as a gay man, not so realistic though, but after all, we are dealing with shifters…). The next day he regrets everything…I’ll let you figure out the rest, or better yet, read the book!

The story is a sweet read, perfect for a cheesy afternoon…

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

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Review: “A Taste of Honey” by Ari McKay

TITLE: A Taste of Honey
AUTHOR: Ari McKay
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Reese Dante
GENRE: Contemporary Romance, Straight to Gay
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: NO
LENGTH: 88 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 17, 2017
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book
   

BLURB:

Boone Phillips needs a girlfriend-now! If he shows up to the family reunion alone, his mother will throw every woman in sight at him. But the only “woman” Boone trusts enough to ask is Honey, the drag queen alter ego of his best friend, Rob. It’s a crazy idea, but Boone is desperate.

Boone wins Rob over to the idea after first going on a “date” with him as Honey, but everything feels different once the plan is set in motion. Between nosy relatives, illegal moonshine, and the sight of Rob in white lace panties, Boone starts to wonder if he’s as straight as he thought. When an earth-shattering kiss sends Rob running, however, Boone learns some surprising things about both his family and himself. Now he needs to convince Rob to give him another chance, or his first taste of Honey might also be his last.

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2016.


This is my first time reading a book by Ari McKay, but I was hooked by the blurb, and I have found that I really enjoy reading cross-dressing and drag queen books, so I am glad that I gave A Taste of Honey a chance because it was a delightful story. The story was well written and had a great flow to it. The characters have been fleshed out and developed, and I loved the supporting characters also.

I liked that Rob/Honey and Boone are opposites in both looks and temperament and I liked this line in the book. “Boone was drawn to Rob’s energy and spontaneity, while Rob seemed to like Boone’s solid and unwavering dependability.” It described them perfectly.

Boone has a family reunion that he is going to and his mom always tries to set him up with available girls while he’s there. When he complains to his best friend Rob during their weekly dinner out, Rob tells him that he should take a fake girlfriend with him. But Boone’s hesitant. Which of his ex-girlfriends would be able to hold up to his mom’s interrogation. Boone can only think of one person who could do it, and that would be his gay best friend’s drag queen alter ego Honey. Honey’s confident and can handle any situation. But can Boone get his best friend to agree to do it?

Rob’s had a crush on his best friend Boone since he first met him. But Boone’s straight and so he’s always kept it a secret. He’s hesitant to go with Boone to his reunion because he doesn’t want to jeopardize his friendship. And he agrees to go with Boone to the reunion but only if he will go on a public date with him as Honey and prove that he can handle playing the affectionate boyfriend. When he passes that with flying colors, it’s off to the reunion they go. At the reunion is where Honey/Rob finds the accepting, loving family that he’s always hoped for.

I loved Boone’s family and how they had that perfect southern charm down pat. They were so loving and accepting of Boone’s girlfriend, and I loved all of the little stories about Boone’s relatives and their sexuality that come out as they were drinking moonshine.

I would recommend A Taste of Honey to anybody looking for a quick feel good book about a straight best friend that realizes that he may not be as straight as he thought when he falls in love with his gay best friend.

I can’t wait to read more books by Ari McKay

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

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