Review: “Stage Two” by Ariel Tachna

TITLE: Stage Two
AUTHOR: Ariel Tachna
SERIES: Lexington Lovers
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Bree Archer
GENRE:Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 224 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 1, 2017
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book / $9.99 -paperback
  

BLURB:

Love has a steep learning curve.

Assistant high school principal Blake Barnes has everything he wants—a chance to help troubled students and an outlet for his passion for theater. Well, almost everything—he still goes home to an empty apartment. Then his high school crush explodes back into his life, the unexpected guardian of two boys in Blake’s care.

Thane Dalton has always been a bad boy through and through. Not much has changed, including his mistrust of authority figures, and no amount of institutional bureaucracy will keep him from protecting his nephews from the bullies terrorizing them. If that means butting heads with Blake, so be it.

Blake and Thane have lessons to learn: that they both have the boys’ best interests at heart, that the tension between them isn’t just confrontational, and that sparks can fly when opposites come together.


Now before I start reviewing this book, I wanna state the fact that I’m a man. Yes, I’m gay, but I’m a man, with manly feelings, manly habits. Well, as manly as a gay man can have…that means no sports nor handy work for me 😉 (for all the gay man out there who like sports and handy work, I do apologise). Why should I clarify this? Well, and I mean no offense, this book for me was a girly MM. And by girly, I mean that one of the MC’s behavior is like a woman’s character. I know, I know, you lady readers may not notice the difference but trust me, from a man’s POV the difference is pretty obvious.

That said, the book is an honest 4.5 OptimuMM read.

When Blake Barnes was in high school, he had a crush on the bad boy Thane Dalton.

Now years later, when two of Blake’s students got bullied, he is face to face, again, with his high school crush. Thane Dalton is the student’s gradient. His bad boy attitude hadn’t changed at all. He’s demanding, authoritative but Blake isn’t impressed…at all…right. Blake’s come up with a solution that may resolve the boy’s problem.

Thane Dalton, the owner of Dalton Construction, after he lost his sister to cancer now is the guardian of his two nephews. When he’s called to the principal’s office, he’d had enough. He doesn’t respond well to authoritative figures. He’s no different with Barnes either. But damn. Maybe Mr. B. has a point this time.

The boys are enrolled in the theater crew helping out building the scenes. Blake is the sponsor of the crew, supervising the students. Of course, Thane is angry almost with anything Blake does. This will bring us in funny situations. But that’s not all…Thane starts to notice Blake.

Although, as I mentioned, this is a girly MM, the book is good. I loved the dynamics of the MC’s and the emotions between the two. In this book there is no hot scenes at all, it leaves more room for emotions.

I highly recommend this book to everyone!

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

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Review: “Darkest Hour Before Dawn” by Charlie Cochet

TITLE: Darkest Hour Before Dawn
AUTHOR: Charlie Cochet
SERIES: THIRDS
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: L.C. Chase
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense; Sci-Fi; Urban Fantasy; Shapeshifter
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 224 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 25, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 -paperback

  

BLURB:

THIRDS Team Leader Sebastian Hobbs and Chief Medical Examiner Hudson Colbourn are as much in love now as they were nearly seven years ago when a tragic event on the job destroyed their relationship. The two drift together only to be pulled apart time and time again. When Hudson draws the interest of dangerous enemies, both within and outside the organization, Seb wants nothing more than to protect the man who still means everything to him.

As life and death events, an uncertain future, and startling truths draw Hudson and Seb to each other yet again, they must make a choice: trust their love and take strength from what they share, or lose what matters most for good this time.


levilogooptimummFinally!

Since when were we waiting for Seb’s and Hudson’s story? It seems decades…but finally, it’s here…and I loved it! Every single word of it!

We know our sweet Hudson from quite the beginning of this series. He was always present, in the background, in almost every book, if not in all. We knew him as an English bloke, always calm, always with two feet on the ground. But we knew little about his background. Now, in this book, we will find out more…much more. Then with time, we learned that actually, Hudson is Sebastian Hobbs marked mate, but unfortunate events set them apart. Well, actually, Hudson set them apart, and we will learn why.

Even though Hudson decided to go separates ways, he can’t, he just can’t have anybody else in his life. He can’t move on, because…well…Seb is his mate!

The Doc’s relationship with Ninna is straggled too. She’s lying to him about her relationship with Seb’s brother Rafe the oldest of the Hobbs siblings, and it spoils his trust toward his best friend. Hudson is lonely…

Sebastian Hobbs, Team Leader for Theta Destructive, is tired of being apart from Hudson. He’s going out of his mind that he can’t be there 24/7 to protect his mate from the possible threats. Then when he gets called by Lieutenant Sonya Sparks, who offers him an interesting deal, Seb, very Therian like, told her to shove it. He doesn’t want to become a puppet of hers. But the threats are there, Hudson is in danger and the knowledge that his mate is stalked by Wolf, who tortured and almost killed Dex, doesn’t help either.

Events bring them together, events I know you wanna know but I’m not telling you…what?! Me?! mean?! Wow…I never expected from you to hear that…I’m offended!

No spoilers guys, but I promise you, you will not be disappointed. Although tissues needed! So go to your favorite shop and stock yourself with it…you’ll cry…a lot…the book is amazing. The story of these two is the most emotional of the series.

We learn about more characters too like Dom or Wolf. The Hobbs family…and the end…oh my, the end…tissues guys, tissues!

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

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Review: “From War To Forever” by Andria Large

TITLE: From War To Forever
AUTHOR: Andria Large
SERIES: War Trilogy
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Bree Archer
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Military
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 330 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 24, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $17.99 -paperback
  

BLURB:

Dennis

The love of my life is dead. Is there a reason to live anymore?

I’m a veteran Marine. Terrorists took not only my foot, but also my wife. Recurrent nightmares, a dead-end job, and a painful limp are all I have left. My best friend, Tucker, and my sister, Lizette, keep me afloat. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Tucker… literally. And then, out of nowhere, there are these feelings. The kind I haven’t felt in years. The kind I’m not sure I can handle, or even want to. But they’ve started wrapping around my broken heart, trying to mend it. Only they are not for a woman, but for the man suddenly sharing my bed. I’m not so sure I’m ready to give love another go.

Tucker

The war took my hearing, but I’m alive. Many of my friends are not. I am building a life with my best friend, Dennis. We have become practically inseparable. And now, we are more than friends. I’ve never had feelings like these for a man. My parents, my brother, my buddy, Duke—will they understand how I feel about Dennis? Can I risk losing my family?

First Edition published as At War by KDP Select, 2015.


If you are a fan of gay military romance? Then this is the one to go for. It’s one of the best that I have ever read. The characters are very realistic. The author must have done some serious research.

Dennis lost his wife and part of one of his legs in the war. He’s depressed and suffers from PTSD. On his last time in the hospital, he met Tucker, and the two have been best friends ever since. Tucker was also wounded in the war. He has terrible nightmares of some of the missions he was on. They are each other’s support along with some really good family and friends.

I think what I loved most about this book was how believable everything was. A lot of times you read these types and it’s either a dealing of symptoms with a bland story or it’s overly dramatic. Andria Large found the perfect balance. Not only of a veteran’s journey in civilian life but also with everyday family and friend issues. I really loved Dennis’s sister Lissette, and Tucker’s friend Duke is amazing.

This is a second edition. I read the first and liked it very much. This one though, I love. The changes she’s made has everything flowing so much smoother. Plus, it makes the interactions with other characters a lot more realistic. This is the kind of book that I look for. A story you can really dive into with characters you fall in love with and a few you actually hate. At times they had me laughing, especially Duke. Other times I was crying though some of those were happy tears. I look forward to reading many more of Andria’s books knowing I’m going to enjoy to the very last page. It has an ending you are happy with even while you’re sad to finish the book.

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

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Review: “Demon Heat” by Noah Harris

TITLE: Demon Heat
AUTHOR: Noah Harris
SERIES: City of Sinners
PUBLISHER: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
COVER ARTIST: –
GENRE: Paranormal; Erotica
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 390 pages
RELEASE DATE:April 21, 2017
PRICE: $1.24 -e-book / $14.99 –paperback
  

BLURB:

It’s summer in the city.

July 1977: New York is sweltering under a record-breaking heat wave. Tensions run high, crime is rampant, and the city seems to be falling apart.

For new arrival Richard Miller, it is both heaven and hell. He has a loving boyfriend, a budding career as a nude model, and a comfortable place in the city’s vibrant gay community. But he knows it is all being threatened by sinister forces that he has not been able to defeat. The cult that tried to seduce him into the occult world is still after him, and Richard’s visions of the seductive demons that want to possess his body become stronger by the day. They threaten to destroy his relationship, his health, and his sanity.

Will Richard give in and become a slave to his temptations, or can he resist the powers of darkness threatening not only himself but his entire community?

Find out in this steamy gay paranormal romance. Can you handle the heat?


jologooptimummThis is the solidly researched and cleverly written City of Sinners, Book Two, by Noah Harris, which is turning out to be a brave, dark, twisted, genre-busting series. Yes, it’s an M/M Romance, it’s also historical, erotic and paranormal, but more than that, it’s a complex occult offering, of the kind I would normally only expect to see from the likes of Stephen King. But this has so much more to offer and the resulting creative, but edgy feel is only a small part of its appeal.

Demon Heat is the continuation of Richard Miller’s roller coaster journey so, although not critical, if you haven’t read book one, Darkest Desires, I would recommend it. Set in 1977 in New York City, amidst the gay community, the depth of research Noah has undertaken, to get the ethos of the era is spot on and awesome. It feels right, incorporating a lot of historical accuracy and detail from that time. The characters, which were fully developed in book one, are expanded further in book two. Richard and Tyrone are still together though their relationship has issues, as does Richard’s career as a nude model. We revisit Steve and Adam, with Steve offering a bit of humor. We find out what happened to Paco after the Everard Bathhouse fire. We’re also introduced to Peter who, like Richard, is new to the city and struggling to find his feet. Cue some hot BDSM scenes. The Knowledge Demon makes a re-appearance as does Anton, head of the power hungry Cult. We are also introduced to a new demon, the Taurus Demon, who has a significant role to play. The occultists are still at large and intent on gaining power through the summoning of The Hooded One, the demon who needs to complete his possession of Richard in order to cross over to this world and so give them the power they crave.

As with book one, the story revolves around Richard’s relationships, his life in the gay community, and his fight against the occult. You’ll need an open mind to read this dark story as some scenes deal with mature themes, but if you’re Okay with the occult, erotic sex, and drug use, as an integral, but not gratuitous, part of a storyline, then you won’t be able to put this down. There are a complex set of interlinked plots which merge together, at significant points in the story, making this a very satisfying and exciting read from start to finish. There’s a lot going on but at no time is it confusing. Noah gives us enough information to understand the plot and yet keep us guessing at the outcome. The ending ties up a good many of the plot themes but, I warn you, not all. It’s a HFN and there’ll be another book in the series. What happens to the evil Anton and his cult? What of Richard’s relationship with Tyrone? I’m waiting with baited breath for book three and, though I’m not usually a fan of long series, this is one I’d love to see continue.

***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***

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Review: “Fishy Riot” by Lindsey Black

TITLE: Fishy Riot
AUTHOR: Lindsey Black
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: AngstyG
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 236 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 24, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback
  

BLURB:

Most people think riot squad officer Taylor Jameson is an asshole. Little do they know his apparent indifference stems from having a meddlesome family always butting into his business. And little does Taylor know he’s about to stumble into a situation that’ll make indifference impossible.

When everything goes horribly wrong at a political rally on a harbour ferry, Taylor encounters Sietta Salisbury. The son of a wealthy politician, Sietta is a revered—but presumed dead—musician, and an enigma who is so strange, Taylor is compelled to look into his background. What he discovers draws him into a bizarre mess of prisoners, politics, and attempted murder that makes him realise what he’s been missing.

Falling in love isn’t hard. Trying to convince someone else you’re worth loving despite your crazy family and the people trying to kill you? That’s a whole other can of worms.


levilogooptimummMy first read from this author and damn if she isn’t good!

This book it’s not what I was expecting. It surprised me in a good way.

Taylor and Clay are twins, attached at the hip. They both work in law enforcement in Sydney being members of the Riot Squad. They are big, like huge-big. They think alike, walk alike and breath alike. When you look at them, you think you are drunk, and you’re seeing double. Clay is in a relationship with Joel, a university professor, but the twins find time to be with each other. But this book is not about their relationship though…

Taylor is an asshole, everybody said so (shhhh…he isn’t). But his mind works differently than others. Where others see sympathy, he sees logic. He’s a rational man, with rational thoughts, although for some people it may appear as asshole-ish behavior. When a mission brings them to a fundraiser party on a ferry, his life changes definitely. He meets Sietta Salisbury, with his Gucci glasses. Taylor’s lost…

Sietta Salisbury’s family is powerful, his father’s in politics and they are the epitome of high class. But people thought he’s dead. He isn’t. Well not technically. Sietta is strange, a perfect match to Taylor, and it seems that he can get Taylor where everybody else fails. And Taylor sees him where everybody does not.

I can’t go into detail, for not spoiling it for you, but the story is more than worth reading it. Your heart will break for Sietta, and you will laugh out loud when you’ll meet the Jamsons. They are hilarious, funny and borderline crazy.

This book is a fun read, full of emotions but not overwhelmingly so. I really enjoyed it and I would very much like that this would become a series! I would have loved to read Clay and Joel’s story too, there is so much potential for other couples…

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

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