Review: “Beneath This Mask” by Victoria Sue

TITLE: Beneath This Mask
AUTHOR: Victoria Sue
SERIES: Enhanced World
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Brooke Albrecht
GENRE: Paranormal; Sci-fi
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 206 pages
RELEASE DATE: January 16, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 e-book / $14.99 paperback

BLURB:

Gael Peterson has spent years hiding behind the enhanced abilities he wears like a mask, even though he is an important, confident member of the FBI’s exclusive H.E.R.O. team. The hurt and betrayal of his mom’s abandonment and his father’s fists are secrets buried deep beneath the ugly scars on his face, and he doesn’t trust Jake, his new regular human partner, with any of them. In a world where those with special abilities like Gael’s are regarded as freaks and monsters, it won’t be easy for him to rely on Jake to have his back, especially when the abilities of a vulnerable, enhanced, nonspeaking child make that child a murder suspect.
Tempers rise and loyalties are challenged, and when the serial killer targeting the enhanced finally sets his sights on Gael, not only will Gael have to trust Jake with his secrets, he might have to trust him to save his life.


Gael Peterson is an enhanced. He’s a member of the first enhanced team H.E.R.O. He’s confident…on the surface. Deep down, Gael is hurt, traumatized and alone.

Jake Riley is the new member of the H.E.R.O team, and he’s partnered with Gael. Jake tries his best to be part of the team and earn their respect. Nothing is simple between Gael and Jake, and their team investigation on a series of murders inside the enhanced community doesn’t help them much.
What Gael and Jake need is to take off their masks and trust each other.

Wow. Victoria Sue did a great job with this book.
I knew I’d love Gael’s book, but I didn’t know I’ll love it so much.

Gael is perfect, absolutely perfect. He seems confident and strong, but inside he’s still the little boy who was abandoned by his mom. He sees himself as an ugly man who can’t be loved. My heart broke for him and with him so many times in my read. I found him so beautiful.
Jake is what Gael needs—he’s sensitive, strong and honest. He loves to take care of Gael, loves to be there for him and give him comfort. And together they are so good, lovely and beautiful.
And then comes Derrick. I cried all the time for Derrick, happy tears, sad tears, all the tears that can exist in the human emotions, I give them to Derrick. I’m team Derrick.
The plot and the story were good and well-built with a good twist.

I loved how the author wrote about them, how she did the exact opposite of what people must have thought or expect of Gael or Jake. I loved how she presented Gael to us, just a human. And yes, it’s not because he’s huge, an enhanced, with an incredible gift and an amazing strength that he has to be like that all the time. What we see outside isn’t always what we can find inside. It’s easy to wear a mask and pretend to be someone else. It’s harder to be one’s self.

I can only recommend you for to read the two previous books of the series first, it’s better to have the full ride and you’ll enjoy it a lot.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to cry again, because I have to wait I don’t know how much time for the next book with Vance, I hope it’s Vance.

It’s 5 OptimuMMs for Gael, Jake, and Derrick.

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

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Review: “Rebel” by Rhys Ford

TITLE: Rebel
AUTHOR: Rhys Ford
SERIES: 415 Ink
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Reece Notley
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 220 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 29,2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $ 14.99 – paperback

BLURB:

The hardest thing a rebel can do isn’t standing up for something — it’s standing up for himself.
Life takes delight in stabbing Gus Scott in the back when he least expects it. After years of running from his past, present and the dismal future every social worker predicted for him, Karma delivers the one thing Gus could never—would never—turn his back on; a son from a one-night stand he’d had after a devastating break-up three years ago.
Returning to San Francisco and to 415 Ink, his family’s tattoo shop, gave him the perfect shelter to battle his personal demons and get himself together… until the firefighter who’d broken him walked back into Gus’s life.
For Rey Montenegro, tattoo artist Gus Scott was an elusive brass ring, a glittering prize he hadn’t the strength or flexibility to hold onto. Severing his relationship with the mercurial tattoo artist hurt but Gus hadn’t wanted the kind of domestic life Rey craved, leaving Rey with an aching chasm in his soul.
When Gus’s life and world starts to unravel, Rey helps him pick up the pieces, and Gus wonders if that forever Rey wants is more than just a dream.


I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to more in the series. This book really shows how you do not need to be blood to be family. These men have really been through the ringer as children, from the family that should have loved and cared for them. Through everything they had been through, they came together and built a family of their own.

This first book of the series focus on Gus and Rey. Gus is a very troubled individual that has always ran from his problems. It has always seemed to work for him until he lost the love of his life in Rey. Rey wanted a forever with Gus but Gus didn’t know how to do that. So, three years ago, Rey ended it with Gus and Gus ran.

Now, three years later, Gus has come back for good and with a shocker to his family. On the night Rey ended their relationship, Gus got drunk and actually slept with a woman. And as you’ve probably guessed, got her pregnant. Gus wants to be a dad but is scared to death. His family is shocked but are very supportive and are behind him one hundred percent. They are all ready to welcome little Chris to the family.

Rey learns of this and is so confused with all these emotions he’s going through. For instance, why wasn’t I good enough for him to settle down? Can Gus really be a father? How can he still be so in love with this infuriating man? Why do I want to punch him as much as I want to kiss him? I’m sure the answers will come to you as you read this very emotional and sexy read as they did for me. Enjoy

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

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Review: “The Storm’s Gift” by A.D. Ellis

TITLE: The Storm’s Gift
AUTHOR: A.D. Ellis
SERIES: Advent Calendar “Stocking Stuffer.”
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Paul Richmond
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 34 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 1, 2017
PRICE: $1.99 – e-book/ $64.99 – paperback

BLURB:

Snowed in together in their college dorm, two men share a quick connection that creates enough heat to spar with the blizzard outside.
Rory Blackwell plans to rejuvenate his mind and repair his battered heart after his world is shaken by an unexpected breakup. James Austin’s freshman-year plans of improving his social life crashed and burned, leaving him feeling as alone and outcast as he did back home.
One man is hurting while the other is eager to provide comfort. One is a virgin, the other experienced with other men. Both are looking forward to Winter Break, but can they take full advantage of their situation—or will the passion ignited between them fizzle out with the storm?


The Storm’s Gift by A.D. Ellis is a story from the Dreamspinner Press 2017 Advert Calendar “Stocking Stuffer.” This is a cute Christmas short story. It has just enough storyline and background on the two main characters, Rory and James, to make them interesting. There is definitely an instant love feel to the story. I liked the virgin freshman and the experienced senior storyline. I would be interested in reading more about these two and what happens to them after winter break and when Rory graduates and James is still only a sophomore.

Rory Blackwell is the Resident Advisor for the freshman dorm. He’s recovering from an unexpected breakup. He doesn’t have any plans to go anywhere over the winter break. He just has to wait until all of his charges have left before his vacation can begin.

James Austin’s plans for improving his social life crashed and burned so far for his freshman year. He tends to stick to his room, studying, instead of socializing. Hence the reason that he is still a virgin. He wasn’t able to make it home for Thanksgiving due to lack of finances, but he is determined to make it home for winter break. But a huge winter storm has other ideas, and the blizzard has closed all of the major highways home. But James isn’t at all happy about having to stay in the dorms for winter break. Although getting to stay with the RA that he’s been crushing on does have its benefits. And one of them is having to share body heat for warmth.

Rory also isn’t too disappointed that he’s going to have to spend his winter break with James. Truth to be told, he’s also had a crush on the cute freshman, who spends all of his time studying. He can’t believe that James is still single and he’s more than happy to help him get rid of his virginity.

I liked the happy for now ending, but I would love to read more about these two characters and what happens to them next.

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

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Review: “Homemade from the Heart” by Bru Baker

TITLE: Homemade from the Heart
AUTHOR: Bru Baker
SERIES: Advert Calendar “Stocking Stuffers”
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Brooke Albrecht
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 52 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 1, 2017
PRICE: $3.99 – e-book/ $64.99 – paperback

BLURB:

Craft store owner Grant has always been a sucker for a pretty face, and that goes double for a pretty face with an adorable sidekick. When seven-year-old Aubrey has her heart set on taking Grant’s already-full holiday craft series, he caves and gives up his one day off a week so she (and her hot guardian, Josh) can take private lessons. Their flirting ramps up week after week, and even though Josh isn’t with Aubrey’s mother, Grant can’t be sure the man isn’t straight. Maybe he’s just being friendly. And Josh, who most definitely is not straight, is afraid of being the creepy guy hitting on the teacher.
Frustrated by their stubbornness and cluelessness, Aubrey takes matters into her own hands. She decides the best gift to give Josh is something homemade and from the heart—a boyfriend they’ll both love.
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2017 Advent Calendar “Stocking Stuffers.”


I adored Homemade from the Heart by Bru Baker. This is a story from the Dreamspinner Press 2017 Advert Calendar “Stocking Stuffers.” The story was well written, and it was full of feel-good holiday cheer.

This story is about a seven-year-old Aubrey that has her heart set on taking Grant’s already full holiday craft series. However, the craft store owner Grant caves and gives up his one day off a week so she and her guardian Josh can take private lessons. As their weekly flirting ramps up, Grant is still trying to decide if Josh is straight or not, and Josh isn’t straight, but he doesn’t want to come across as the creepy guy hitting on the teacher. With the help of a seven-year-old matchmaker, Josh will get the best gift that she can give him; a homemade from the heart one in the form of a boyfriend.

I loved the storyline, and Aubrey was the cutest seven-year-old matchmaker. She had so much energy and love to pass around. Aubrey had me laughing on more than one occasion. I loved that she wanted to make homemade gifts for her family members. I also loved her hot guardian, Josh. I liked how he will do anything to make her happy even if it means having to pay for private lessons on a Sunday. Grant had a heart of gold for being selfless enough to come in on his day off and allow Aubrey and Josh to take private lessons since the holiday craft series is already full. Of course, he isn’t completely selfless since his primary reason for doing it is because he thinks Josh is hot and he wants to get to know him more even if he’s pretty sure that Josh is straight.

But that doesn’t stop Grant from teaching Aubrey how to make the best holiday projects for her family. My favorite holiday project that they did was the cross stitch pillow for her mom and how Grant helped her modify the pattern to match a pillow that her mother had when she was younger. I loved the innuendos that were passed back and forth between Grant and Josh. My only complaint was that the make-out scene was interrupted and then not finished. I really wanted it to be finished. Otherwise, a truly enjoyable Christmas short story.

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

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Review: “Santori” by Maris Black

TITLE: Santori
AUTHOR: Maris Black
SERIES: The Santori Trilogy #1
PUBLISHER: Self
COVER ARTIST: Maris Black
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Mystery/Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 230 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 15, 2017
PRICE: $5.99 -e-book

BLURB:

THE KAGE SAGA CONTINUES…
Michael Kage Santori has just inherited a thriving hotel and millions of dollars. He’s poised to become an MMA champion. Things couldn’t be better between him and his college boy lover, Jamie Atwood— especially in the bedroom, where Jamie is more than eager to let Kage take out his aggressions on him.
Kage seems to have it all, but success and happiness have come at a steep price. After all of the childhood trauma he endured at the hands of his controlling uncle, Peter Santori, it’s a miracle Kage has any shred of sanity left. And now, because of him, Jamie is a murderer.
More than anything, Kage wants to be good. He wants the be the kind of man who is worthy of Jamie’s love, but fate has other ideas. His uncle’s legacy has a stranglehold on him, and it keeps dragging him further and further down a rabbit hole from which there seems no escape. Worst of all… Kage knows he’s going to pull Jamie down right along with him, and he would rather die than let that happen.


Michael Santori aka Kage has just inherited the empire of his uncle, Peter Santori. Kage has to face some new responsibilities with the hotels and other business, and he has his relationship with Jamie, the love of his life. After everything they’ve been through together, now they have to face a new threat, one who can destroy them and what they have together.

KAGE IS BACK!!!!!

I loved this book. I was so happy to have the guys back.
This book starts right after the end of Kage Unmasked, after Peter’s death, we follow the aftermath of his death and how Kage and Jamie deal with it. They are still amazing together, crazy in love and completely devoted to each other. But Kage has a goal in his life, protect Jamie from the world and the danger and to make his life full of happiness, and because of that, he decides not to tell Jamie everything, every doubt, every threat. Yeah, yeah, that’s stupid, and dear Jamie will have to teach him this, but for now, Kage thinks he does the right thing, and I can’t blame him for that.

The book is divided into two part, in my opinion, the first part is all about Jamie and Kage, and the second is about a third character. Nooooo, I won’t tell who he is, just read the book, and you’ll meet him. All I can say is that Maris Black punched me in the gut with this part. I didn’t see that coming at all. First I didn’t see that she would dare to introduce a new character and that I would love him…

What’s wrong with me? I’m not supposed to love anyone but Kage and Jamie, but she made me feel things for this new character.
The plot and the story are super good, well built, and captivating. The writing is fluid, fresh and dynamic.

Well done, dear author, you really got me with this one.
5 OptimuMMs for my 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 ***

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