Review of: Failing Straight by R. Cayden

TITLE: Failing Straight
AUTHOR: R. Cayden
SERIES: Taught By Two, book 2
PUBLISHER: Self Ppublished
RELEASE DATE: March 26, 2019


A straight tennis jock.
The sassiest guy on campus.
One very special outdoorsman.
Love turns the world upside down in this Gay-for-Two romance.
Teddy: I’m pretty comfortable with who I am. I’m the star tennis player at a small college, a good friend, and I’m definitely straight. So it’s one thing when I get turned on by sassy Isaac, but after I meet his butch boyfriend? Suddenly, I’m having a lot of trouble focusing on my tennis game.
Isaac: I really do want to let go of my gay playboy fantasies, but there’s a flirt inside me that won’t shut up, and a new hot jock landing in my lap. I’ll never break the rules of my open relationship with my boyfriend, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have fun toying with confused Teddy when I see him around campus. After all, he’s straight, so it’s not like it could really go anywhere…
Rick: I chose to skip college, preferring the solitude of the woods to just about anything or anyone. And then I met Isaac. Now, I’m driving my truck into Mayerville to visit my college boyfriend twice a week, and dreaming of a future together. But if I thought Isaac turned my world upside before, once he introduces me to Teddy? Hell, I guess we haven’t even gotten started yet.
Failing Straight is a 60,000+ word standalone MMM romance novel. It features passion in the mountains, locker room fights, and a straight-to-gay Happily Ever After. It is filled with heart, lots of heat, and a little bit of kink. Enjoy!

I loved Failing Straight by R. Cayden. This is the second book in the Taught By Two series. This is the first book that I’ve read by R. Cayden, and I haven’t read the first book in the series either. I can’t wait to read more books by R. Cayden, and I do believe that I’ll start with the first book in the series, The History Professor, since I love a good teacher/student trope. I thought the story had great flow, the characters and what they go through is realistic, and the plot was interesting, and the story kept me hooked from the first page to the last. I enjoyed that the characters were all so very different. Teddy is a straight tennis jock. Isaac is the sassiest gay guy on campus, and Rick is one very special gay outdoorsman who prefers to interact with nature and animals to people.

Teddy is pretty comfortable with who he is. He’s the star tennis player at a small college, a good friend, and he’s definitely straight. He was told about a lake that he could run around by a friend and after getting his run in on the first day of college, he finds that his car has a flat tire. Flagging down a truck that happens by, he meets Isaac and Rick, and Isaac is going to the same college that Teddy goes to so they agree to give him a ride. Isaac, in typical Isaac fashion, talks and flirts nonstop the whole way. Teddy assumes looking at Rick that he’s straight also since he doesn’t say much and is a man’s man. Sassy Isaac has a class with Teddy and continues to flirt, and it turns Teddy on, but when he finds out that Rick is actually Isaac’s boyfriend, he can’t stop thinking about him and Isaac, and he’s having trouble focusing on his tennis game. I liked Teddy. I liked how he interacts with Isaac and later with Rick. Because of Isaac, he’s questioning his sexuality, but I liked how they each seemed to fill in the cracks that are in their relationships. Shoring up the weak spots and making the relationship as a whole more stable.

Isaac wants to let go of his gay playboy fantasies, but there’s a flirt inside of him that won’t shut up, and a hot new jock has landed in his lap. He’ll never break the rules of his open relationship with his boyfriend, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t have fun toying with a confused Teddy when he sees him around campus. After all, Teddy’s straight, so it’s not like it could really go anywhere, but that’s not going to stop him from trying. I liked Isaac. He’s flirty and sassy and fun and talks nonstop and has no filter which is perfect for the open relationship that he has with Rick. The rules of the relationship are easy. You can only hook up with a person once, and you have to tell each other all of the details afterward. Well, Isaac’s hook up with Teddy was interrupted, and Isaac is left wanting more, but because of the rules, he’s out of luck. That is unless he can convince his boyfriend, Rick, to bring Teddy in to have a threesome with them.

Rick chose to skip college. He preferred the solitude of the woods to just about anything or anyone. And then he met Isaac. Now, he’s driving his truck into Mayerville to visit his college boyfriend twice a week and dreaming of a future together. But if he thought Isaac turned his world upside down before, once he introduces him to Teddy, tells him about his hook up with Teddy, and how he wants to have a threesome with him…he realizes they haven’t even gotten started yet. I liked Rick. He’s introverted, and he has some self-confidence, self-esteem issues about his relationship with Isaac. He fears that he’ll find somebody more outgoing and social and dump him. It’s why he’s so uncomfortable with how much Isaac talks about Teddy. He’s afraid that Isaac will replace him with Teddy. But Isaac has no intention of replacing him. I like how down to earth he is and the issues that he has. I liked that he’s just as attracted to Teddy but is more cautious with his feelings and his actions than Isaac is.

Failing Straight is a standalone MMM romance novel. And it’s a romance novel. I know most MMM is considered erotica, but this is most definitely a romance. It features passion in the mountains, locker room fights, and a straight-to-gay Happily Ever After. It’s filled with heart, lots of heat, and a little bit of kink. If these are things that you like to read about, then I recommend giving it a try. Maybe you’ll enjoy it just as much as I did.

***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: Murder Most Lovely by Hank Edwards & Deanna Wadsworth

TITLE: Murder Most Lovely
AUTHOR: Hank Edwards & Deanna Wadsworth
SERIES: Lacetown Murder Mysteries #1
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense
RELEASE DATE: Apr 30, 2019


Lacetown Murder Mysteries: Case One
A killer at a small-town literary festival. Bumbling drug dealers. A kidnapped cat. Starting a romance among all this chaos might be the death of them.
Michael Fleishman is excited to meet his favorite mystery writer, Russell Withingham, at Lacetown’s Literary Fest. He is not expecting to cross paths with sexy hairdresser Jasper “Jazz” Dilworth—or become embroiled in a real-life mystery. As Lacetown’s only mortician and the county coroner, Michael is called to his first murder scene and is shocked to recognize the victim—Russell’s young lover.
Jazz only wanted to confront his ex, Russell, over his cheating. Instead, he meets the adorably awkward Michael and becomes a murder suspect. Soon Jazz is teaming up with Michael to clear his name. Along the way, they are helped and hindered by Michael’s sassy assistant, Kitty, the grumpy Sheriff Musgrave, Russell’s creepy PR rep, Norbert, and Michael’s lothario grandfather, who likes his manhattans strong and his women saucy. And of course, Mr. Pickles Furryton the Third…

Michael Fleishman is the mortician of Lacetown. He loves books and his cat Mr. Pickles. He’s excited to meet his favorite author, Russel Withingham, at Lacetown’s literary fest. He doesn’t expect to meet Russel’s ex-husband, Jasper “Jazz” Dillworth and he certainly doesn’t expect to have a crush on him.
Jazz is the soon-to-be ex-husband of Russel Withingham, and can’t wait to get divorced, especially when he meets the sexy mortician of Lacetown, Michael. Jazz doesn’t want to have to deal with Russel more than what he has already, but when Russel’s lover, Dylan, is murdered, Jazz becomes the first suspect.
Jazz and Michael will be dragged into crazy investigations between Dylan’s murder, a Catnapping and drug deals, but they still have time to seduce each other and start a relationship.
Murder Most Lovely is book one in the Lacetown Murder Mysteries series.

I liked this book. It was a mix between Murder She Wrote, Riverdale and Bones.

Michael is the mortician of Lacetown. He’s a little bit lonely, being the mortician and growing up with the dead doesn’t help his social life. So Michael reads a lot of books and spoils his fur baby, Mr. Pickles. When Michael meets Jazz, he’s is scared and excited. He’s so used to being alone with people avoiding him because of his job that He struggles at first to accept that Jazz is really into him and wants to be with him. I loved Michael, I adored this character. He’s funny, smart, badass, and passionate.

Jazz is a hair stylist at Lacetown. After his separation with Russel, Jazz moved to Lacetown. When he meets the hot and sexy mortician, Jazz wants to discover every layer of Michael’s personality. What he discovers is more than what he hopes, but being suspect in Dylan’s murder can ruin his future with Michael. I liked Jazz. He’s strong and calm with an inner little drama queen. He’s confident and wants Michael, and isn’t afraid to work for it. I liked him a lot, and he’s a perfect match for Michael.

I enjoyed this book, it was a cool and funny read. Some of the bad guys were cliché, and I like that the authors played with these clichés. The book is written from both POVs, but with little interludes from other characters sometimes thrown in, and that’s what lost me. It was a good idea at first, but sometimes it was too long and not very useful in my opinion, and it lost me in my read.

All in all, it was still a good book that I enjoyed and will happily read the next one in this series. Michael and Jazz are funny, and I love the atmosphere of the story.

3.5 Stars for Mr. Pickles and his daddies.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. 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
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: March 12, 2019


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: Educating the Professor by Sean Michael

TITLE: Educating the Professor
AUTHOR: Sean Michael
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
RELEASE DATE: Jan 29, 2019


Kenneth Brannigan is a small-town history professor. He’s happy with his life, loves the classes he teaches, and lives in a tiny apartment in a converted house with his best friend, Tim, next door. He’s still recovering from a bad breakup and is content to stick to his comfortable routine. It’s Tim who insists he come to the Queer Alliance’s Rainbow Mixer.
At the mixer, Kenn meets David Burgundy, a new-to-town TA who is working on his masters. Dave is drawn immediately to Kenn and is thrilled when Kenn offers to show him the best pizza place in town. One meal leads to two, which leads to Dave and Kenn spending most of their free time together… and Kenn loosening his self-imposed rules regarding dating and sex for some kinky fun.
Kenn’s ex isn’t going to just let Kenn be, though, and the happier Kenn is with Dave, the less the ex likes it. Will Kenn continue to run away from his past, or will his relationship with Dave help him face it head-on?

I loved Educating the Professor by Sean Michael. I love reading Sean’s books when I’m in the mood for a book with lots of chemistry between the main characters and lots of kinky scenes. This book started out as more of a slow buildup toward the sexy times, but the book also had more of a plot than some of the other books that I have read by this author. If I had to improve on anything in the book, I would have liked to know more about what happened to Kenneth’s ex. The last time we saw him, he was ready to hit Kenn, and the police had been called, but we don’t know if he went to jail or if he backed off and gave up or even if the harassment from the private investigator that his ex had hired was still bothering them. I’m not entirely sure that they needed to be in the book, but like I said before, the book had more of a plot than some of the others. The ending and epilogue just didn’t answer all of my questions about what had happened. There were other parts of the book that definitely made up for the missing answers, like when Kenneth gets his piercings and all of their fun weekends together.

Kenneth had been verbally and physically abused by his ex-husband when he was caught watching what his husband considered perverse videos. He’s told repeatedly that what he wants is perverse and he was beaten until he couldn’t move because of it. He managed to run away and get a divorce, but it’s been over three years, and he’s still being harassed by his ex, which makes sense since he told him that he would make sure that he would forever be alone. So naturally he hasn’t been looking for a relationship, and he’s been relatively happy with just his teaching job and his friendship with his bestie, Tim.+

I loved Tim. He was the perfect best friend, bubbly, happy, and forcing his bestie to get out and do things like going to the Queer Alliance’s Rainbow Mixer. It’s at the mixer that he meets David Burgundy, a new-to-town TA who is working on his masters. They get to talking, and Kenn offers to show David around to all of the best places to eat. And they go from there to being friends with benefits to being in a relationship.

I loved how David is a Dom and has more experience than Kenn but he doesn’t rush Kenn into doing anything that he wasn’t ready to do, and I also loved how supportive he is in reassuring him that his desires aren’t perverse so long as they aren’t hurting anybody.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “A Dom and His Warrior” by Xenia Melzer

TITLE: A Dom and His Warrior
AUTHOR: Xenia Melzer
SERIES: Club Whisper
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: September 25,2018
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book


Leeland Drake and Jonathan White are a committed BDSM couple and have just moved in together. Leeland has only one year left in college, and everything seems perfect… until Leeland’s uncle asks him to stand in for an injured UFC fighter.
Leeland wants to help his uncle, but he remembers all too well from his years competing in martial arts how strenuous life as an athlete can be. He doesn’t want to risk his relationship with Jonathan. After some discussion, they decide Leeland will go pro for a year.
As if the training and strict diet weren’t bad enough, the pressure skyrockets when Leeland encounters homophobic fighter Noah Adams—especially when they end up facing each other in the championship.
Between the bigoted rants of his opponent, the scrutiny of the media, the pressure from his sponsor, and a fire in his uncle’s gym, Leeland is close to breaking down. Only Jonathan’s support and love keep him focused enough to set foot in the octagon once more—and maybe even walk away a winner.

I absolutely love this series, and the author did not disappoint. This author brings a softer look to BDSM. She brings these Dom’s that like to think they’re rough and tough men but then they fall head over heels with their subs and everything changes. I love how Xenia builds these characters and makes me feel like a part of a family. The relationships are endless in these books. The Dom’s have a strong bond with one another, but the subs have an even stronger bond with each other. I love reading about movie nights they have and all the banter that goes on.

Jonathan is Leeland’s Dom, and he’s just asked him to move in with him. Leeland is so excited and can’t believe the wonderful life he has. He’s moved in with his Dom and is cooking dinner for him when he receives the call from his uncle and life is changed. He’s so nervous to talk to Jonathan because they’ve just established a routine but his uncle needs help and who is Leeland to say no. As soon as Jonathan sees Leeland, he knows his sub is stressed and immediately goes to wrap his arms around him for security.

Jonathan agrees to let Leeland help his uncle and become an UFC fighter. The training is extreme but the diet is worse, but Leeland is used to it from years earlier fighting. All his sub friends are behind him too. Leeland loves the support he gets, and they even all go to his first fight. That first fight was with Carlos, and they become fast friends, but when he has to fight Noah, he can’t believe the hatefulness this man has. Especially against gay people, and Noah hasn’t even learned that Leeland is gay but thinks he’s too pretty to fight.

I loved catching up on previous characters, especially Collin. I just love him and his mind. They even added a new guy to the gang, and when he hosts a movie night, I just laughed. This is a great read, and I hope you all enjoy this as much as I. Happy reading.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis