Review: “Saving Hannah” by J.P. Barnaby

TITLE: Saving Hannah
AUTHOR: J.P. Barnaby
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Tiferet Design
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: Dec 18, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 e-book /$14.99 –paperback

BLURB:

Thomas Aberthol’s luck has run out. His daughter, Hannah, needs a miracle he can’t deliver. A hacker with a felony record, Thomas has little chance of finding work that will provide the care she needs. Out of money, out of options, and out of hope, he throws himself on the mercy of someone he never thought to see again.
Even after ten years, Aleksander Sanna still dreams of that drunken kiss. A perfect moment in time when Thomas wanted him. In his world of elegant code and high finance, the picture he holds of Thomas torments him in the dark of night.
Their worlds collide as Thomas interviews for the job he so desperately needs with the company Aleks inherited from his father. Thomas doesn’t get the position, but Aleks offers him a completely different kind of proposal, one suited to Thomas’s unique talents…one that will change the course of both their lives.


When it comes to a romance novel with kids, I’m a sucker. When I read the blurb of this book, I knew I was in for a good read. Damn, I was right!
Little Hannah is sick, she needs intensive medical care for her to stay alive. Her father Thomas is an ex-felon who can’t find a job. He would do anything, anything to save his daughter.

Thomas had a very good reputation as a programmer until he decided that the company who he was working for had a very unstable firewall that could compromise their clients. So he proves it by hacking in their own system. His arrogance backfires, and he’s convicted and sent to prison. Now back, not only can’t he find a job, his daughter’s life is in danger as well. He’s desperately going from one interview to another with no hope whatsoever. Until one day he was called back for a second interview. His hope is back, and he’s so confident that his luck is turning around, and maybe he can save not only Hannah but the house he’s living in. That confident smile froze on his face upon meeting the owner of the company, Aleksander Sanna, his ex-roommate from college from whom he ran away after one drunk night.

Aleksander Sanna sees the opportunity to establish his role as the next CEO in his late father’s company. He knows that his father’s death wasn’t an accident. Upon seeing Tom’s name, whom he never forgot, who has hunted his dreams, he knows this is his last chance to secure Tom in his life. He knows everything about Tom; his time in jail, his daughter’s medical condition, and even the threat of losing the house him, his daughter and mother lives in. But when Tom accepts his offer to marry him, out of despair, Aleks realizes that maybe the way he approached Tom wasn’t the right one, he fears that Tom will do “anything”, even against Tom’s own desire, to save his daughter.

I loved every word of this book. Its angsty, its hot…

This book touches a borderline of gay-for-you and no-con situation (I mean the offer). I recommend it wholeheartedly!

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Femme Faux Fatale” by Susan Laine

TITLE: Femme Faux Fatale
AUTHOR: Susan Laine
SERIES: Dreamspun Desires
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Alexandria Corza
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 240 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 20, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book/ $9.99 – paperback

BLURB:

Mystery. Murder. Men in silk stockings. Hollywood nights are heating up.
Hardboiled Los Angeles PI Cain Noble is hired by wealthy and gorgeous Camille Astor to find her husband and a priceless work of art, both of which have disappeared.
At the nightclub owned by Mr. Astor, Cain encounters the mesmerizing Lily Lavender, who has the body of a goddess and the sultry voice of an angel—but is really a young man named Riley who attracts trouble like a magnet.
What’s a private dick in the vein of LA’s bygone era and a cross-dressing burlesque starlet to do when faced with the hidden decadence and lethal dangers of the Hollywood Hills? They have their work cut out for them because they haven’t even scratched the surface of an elaborate scheme more twisted than anyone could ever have imagined.


Femme Faux Fatale by Susan Laine is the seventieth book in the Dreamspun Desires series. I knew that I wanted to read this book when I read the blurb and it said men in silk stockings. I love a good cross-dressing book and add in all of the twists and turns of a murder mystery, and I was entertained from the start of the book to the end. And there were quite a few twists that I didn’t see coming. The book had a 1940’s feel to it. I kept picturing a Humphrey Bogart movie as I was reading this book. Fans of Noir films and old black and white PI movies will greatly enjoy this book.

Cain Noble is a hardboiled Los Angeles PI who’s hired by the wealthy and gorgeous Camille Astor to find her husband and a priceless work of art, both of which have disappeared. He has a no-nonsense attitude and drinks a little more than is good for him which fits with how private investigators were portrayed during that time period, so the author did a great job of fleshing out and developing his character. I liked him a lot. I liked watching him try to figure out what was going on, especially when he kept getting turned on by what he thought was a woman. I liked when he finally figured that one out. I really enjoyed the chemistry between Cain and Riley, aka Lily Lavender, the cross-dressing burlesque starlet.

My favorite character is Riley. He’s so sensual and has such an old Hollywood feel to him when he’s cross-dressing. I also loved the support that he gets from his dad who knows that he’s a cross-dressing burlesque dancer. I also loved the support that he gets from Cain to dress however he wants at any time whether it is as a man or a woman or a cross of the two. But Riley is hiding a lot of secrets that could really help Cain figure out what happened to Mr. Astor and the priceless work of art.

Cain and Riley will have their work cut out for them when they are faced with the hidden decadence and lethal dangers of the Hollywood hills because they haven’t even scratched the surface of an elaborate scheme more twisted than anyone could ever have imagined.

I recommend this book to anybody that likes to read murder mysteries with a PI and a cross-dressing burlesque dancer, if you do then this book is just what you are looking for.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Holding Out for a Fairy Tale” by AJ Thomas

TITLE: Holding Out for a Fairy Tale
AUTHOR: AJ Thomas
SERIES: Least Likely Partnership
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Brooke Albrecht
GENRE: Mystery/ Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 250 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 09, 2014
PRICE: 6.99 e-book/ 17.99 paperback

BLURB:

When his vicious cousin Alejandro makes a violent late-night visit, San Diego homicide detective Ray Delgado gets a brutal reminder of why he left his family behind. Alejandro wants Ray to find his sister, Sophia, who disappeared from the UC San Diego campus, before the FBI digs too deep into his business.
Special Agent Elliot Belkamp spent his entire life jumping from one place to another, but his new assignment assisting a FBI task force offers him a chance to settle down. When Elliot catches a missing person’s case as his first assignment, the last person he expects to find poking around the victim’s dorm room is Ray, a one-time hookup he’s more inclined to punch in the face than kiss hello. After discovering Sophia’s disappearance is linked to a massive computer-based theft that has two powerful crime families ready to declare war, Elliot focuses on his investigation and tries to ignore Ray. As the search for Sophia turns dangerous, Elliot and Ray discover that tackling organized crime might be easier than resisting the urge to tackle each other.


After a late-night hook-up, Ray Delgado gets a visit from his cousin, Alejandro. It’s not exactly a friendly one. Ray’s family makes up one of the major crime syndicates in California. His cousin Alejandro is the new boss. Alejandro wants Ray to find his sister before the FBI starts digging too far into the disappearance and the family business. Ray, working alone since his old partner is shacking up with his new boyfriend in Montana, gets more than he’s bargained for when FBI agent Elliot Belkamp shows up at his cousin’s dorm room. Elliot just wants a place to settle down. He’s moved from place to place most of his life and he’s tired. The FBI is investigating a cyber-crime that involves Ray’s cousin, the exact one Ray is searching for.

Ray Delgado is a hard man to love. Heck even like. He has certain expectations and few have ever met them. Coming from a crime family, at work, he knows he has to do things above reproach. He’s torn between the love he still has for the family he was raised around and the job. Ray doesn’t do long-term. In fact, he’s a one-time off kind of guy and doesn’t make apologies. His playboy ways almost lost him his best friend and former partner, and now he’s risking losing his future.

Elliot Belkamp has never stayed in one place for long and now he’s ready to settle down. While Ray is the main character of the story, Elliot has a lot of his own mystery and intrigue going on. He’s a no-nonsense FBI agent. He knows he has this crazy chemistry with Ray, but they didn’t have a favorable experience. Elliot wants Ray but he’s already been burned by the man once before.

This series is fantastic. I had so much fun reading it. The guys have so much depth and the storyline is unique and fast-paced. Ray is complicated and frustrating at times. Elliot is a powerhouse and beautiful man. These two together have a chemistry that just scorched the pages.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “A Casual Weekend Thing” by AJ Thomas

TITLE: A Casual Weekend Thing
AUTHOR: AJ Thomas
SERIES: Least Likely Partnership
PUBLISHER: Dreampinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Brooke Albrecht
GENRE: Mystery/ Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 310 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 13, 2013
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $17.99 – paperback

BLURB:

Doug Heavy Runner left the life of an openly gay Miami police officer and returned to his home on the Salish-Kootenai Indian Reservation when his mother got sick. In the two years since she passed, he’s carved out an empty life as a small-town deputy, relying on out-of-town one-night stands to keep him sane. Then he meets Detective Christopher Hayes, and they share a wild night so incredible Doug breaks his own rule and allows a one-night stand to grow into a weekend of amazing sex.
When Christopher travels from San Diego to Montana to deal with his abusive brother’s suicide, he doesn’t expect to find the man he spent the weekend with to be handling his brother’s case. He certainly doesn’t mind spending more time with Doug—but then an arsonist destroys the house Christopher inherited from his brother, and Christopher and Doug discover they are the primary suspects.
As they investigate, they discover Christopher’s dead brother has set them on the trail of a psychotic pedophile who will stop at nothing to silence his last victim. However, the search for the victim goes horribly wrong, leaving Doug hospitalized and Christopher at the mercy of the killer….


Doug Heavy Runner and Christopher Hayes only intended to spend one night satisfying their libidos. That night turned into a weekend neither of them wanted to end. Real life came calling, and they went their separate ways. When Doug returned back to the small town he reluctantly called home, and where he was also a sheriff’s deputy, things started to quickly spiral out of control. Doug was begrudgingly tasked with escorting a family member of a deceased local man through the coroner’s office. And when he sees the man he spent last weekend in bed with step out of his rental car outside the coroner’s office, he knew his life was fixing to get complicated. Understatement of the century. Soon the two discover that nothing and nobody in the town is quite what they seem. Disturbing truths are fixing to be revealed, and the story is just beginning.

Detective Christopher Hayes has done everything his entire adult life to try and separate himself from his past. Now his past has caught up to him, and the only thing he can do is face it head-on. Getting shot, finding out that his brother died, and then having his partner that he’s secretly been in love with for years kiss him after making it clear that he was straight and would never be interested in Christopher beyond friendship, is just the beginning of this crazy roller coaster. All Christopher wants to do is get away from San Diego and his partner’s betrayal, get his deceased brother squared away and be done. Of course nothing happens like he planned.

Deputy Doug Heavy Runner has spent his life trying to get away from Montana and the bigots in the small town he’s from. When he can longer stay in Miami, he returns to Montana and begins a life he never wanted. Due to the prejudices of the small-town locals, he has to live his life above reproach. He has to hide his sexuality and especially his past. His past is part of why he feels he deserves the lonely and mundane life he’s become accustomed to. Doug is part of a volunteer search and rescue team. Being tasked with the recovery a dead body hanging off the side of a cliff is strange enough but it’s what’s discovered after that that has him questioning everything and everyone.
This is the first book in the series, and I was hooked. This series has everything.

A well thought-out mystery suspense with breath-catching hotness. I was on the edge of my seat for this entire read. The books just get better and better as they continue. This is a must-read.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Billy’s Bones” by Jamie Fessenden

TITLE: Billy’s Bones
AUTHOR: Jamie Fessenden
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Lou Harper
GENRE: Mystery/ Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 254 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 22, 2013
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $16.99 – paperback

BLURB:

Kevin Derocher was thirty-two when he walked into Tom’s office, newly married, a baby on the way, and the collar of his red flannel shirt pulled up to hide the bruises around his throat from when he hanged himself in his garage. After his initial consult, therapist Tom Langois believes he’ll never see Kevin again—but Kevin turns up three years later to make repairs on Tom’s new house.
Kevin and Tom become fast friends, and Tom begins to suspect Kevin may be interested in more than friendship. However, Kevin remains haunted by something from his childhood—something so terrible he blocked it from his mind. These suppressed memories make it impossible for Kevin to get close to anyone without panicking and lashing out, sometimes violently. But as his past begins to surface, it becomes apparent that Kevin may hold the key to a twenty-five-year-old mystery: what happened to Billy?


A failed suicide attempt is all it takes to change a man’s life. After being hospitalized, upon conditional release he sees a therapist that only wants to help him but knows he’ll never see the man that intrigues him beyond that one visit. When the therapist moves to a small town and buys a house with a hot tub that doesn’t work, he’s advised to call a local handyman that can fix anything. When the handyman shows up, it’s none other than the intriguing man from three years ago who he never thought he’d see again.

Tom wanted a quiet life away from the city. He bought a house that needed some repairs, but because of its charm and the alluring hot tub on the porch, he was sold. Soon after moving in, the hot tub decided it needed some repairs or Tom needed to just buy a new one. A local handyman was referred. When it ends up being the man that he’s thought of often over the past three years, the last thing he thought would happen was a budding friendship. As the two got closer, Tom had to reign in the urge to analyze the other man. He wanted to help him, but he also wanted his friendship. Tom didn’t expect to start having deep feelings for the man, and when he learns the feelings are reciprocated, all he wants to do is help the other man by sending him to his colleague to face his past…but at what cost?

Kevin uses his quick wit and quiet demeanor to keep people at a distance. He has no idea why he attempted suicide. He just did. There’s a lot about his childhood he’s kept hidden so well that even he doesn’t know what happened. He’s open sexually, at least he’ll talk about it, but the act of doing it does nothing for him. His aversion to any kind of intimacy has left him alone after his wife left him. When he becomes friends with Tom, he knows he likes the man, probably more so than anyone else. But he doesn’t know what it means. When Kevin and Tom become more than friends, Kevin wants to do anything that will make Tom happy including seeing his friend and therapist colleague. When a therapy session brings Kevin’s memories to the surface, Kevin has no choice but face the demons that have haunted him for most of his life.

This book killed me. It is not a fairytale and definitely not for the faint of heart. Jamie Fessenden has a unique writing style that was fascinating. He pulled me into this story, and it was days before I could pick up another book. I was emotionally wrecked by the end. Every single thing about this book was so thought out and written so eloquently that I was spellbound. I can’t say enough good things about it.

This book is one I will read again and again for many years to come.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis