Review of: Making it Better by Lyss Em

TITLE: Making it Better
RELEASE DATE: Jan 21, 2019


“You still mess me up after all this time, Luc.”
“Not my problem.”
Court’s forceful brand of dominance pushes Lucan’s buttons like nothing else, but he can’t forget how badly Court hurt him in the past. Their romance six years ago was heady, intense, and sizzling—and left Lucan with deep emotional scars. When he runs into Court at a fetish party, the spark is still there. But so is the pain.
For Court, Lucan is the mindfuck he never got over. He still doesn’t know why Lucan ended things, and when he sees Lucan in the flesh again, the desperate need to dominate comes rushing back. Court would do anything to have a second chance, but he won’t let Lucan mess with his head and break his heart again. Or so he tells himself.
“I’ll do it all right for you this time if you just teach me.”
When Lucan agrees to show Court how to be a good Dom, the two headstrong men toe a delicate line between restraint and uncontrolled passion. Will the same sick love that consumed their past destroy their future?
Making It Better is a standalone enemies to lovers, second chance, contemporary, BDSM romance with an HEA ending.

This is the first time I have read this author and OMG. I will definitely look for more books. This is a very intense and dark BDSM book that definitely has the masochism side of it. This is not for the light-hearted or for anyone that struggles with pain being inflicted on another person. Warning, there is knife play and some other physical pain that is requested from the sub. If you’re good with all, then you should really enjoy this book. This author hit on all aspects of a true Dom/sub relationship. What I really enjoyed was how the sub was teaching an inexperienced Dom how to get what they both needed and explained how there is a Top high for the Dom just like sub space for the sub. The author also explained Dom/sub lows and how it can happen a few days later. I have experienced this, and this is the first book I’ve read that has had this in it.

Lucan is a sub that loves pain and torture but hasn’t been able to let go completely since his breakup six years ago. He has a good Dom now, and he does great aftercare with him, but he can’t find that release he’s looking for. Then, one night at a BDSM party, who comes to say hello but the only one he’s ever totally surrendered to.

Court has been away for six years but has recently moved back to his hometown. He gets on FetLife and gets invited to a party, and he’s excited and wants just a plaything to get some release. Imagine his surprise when he sees his love of six years ago there. He never understood why Lucan just ended things with a text message, but he can’t help but to go say hello.

Things heat up quickly for these two, but is it too fast? Can these two work through their differences and trust issues they have? Can Lucan have the patience to teach Court how to be the best Dom? Can Court listen and learn to what he needs to in order to keep the love of his life? These are all very good questions, and I hope you get the answers you’re looking for.

***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: 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: Hidden Powers by Tara Lain

TITLE: Hidden Powers
AUTHOR: Tara Lain
SERIES: Superordinary Society
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Paranormal
RELEASE DATE: March 12, 2019


Superordinary Society: Book One
Jazz Vanessen is weird—and not just because he’s a werewolf. For most of his life, he’s felt different from his alpha male brothers and friends. Since he’s adopted, he can’t even blame it on family.
Now eighteen, Jazz meets his idol, the social activist Lysandra Mason, and her breathtaking nephew, Dash Mercury. When Dash is around, even stranger things start to happen, including Jazz falling hopelessly in lust. Not only is Jazz having visions, making people disappear, and somehow turning invisible, but somebody’s following him and threatening to reveal his pack’s secrets to the world.
Together with Dash and Jazz’s equally amazing friends—Carla, BeBop, Khadija, and Fatima—they discover the danger is even more lethal than they thought, and Jazz’s weirdness may save all their lives.

Hidden Powers is the first book in a brand new series called Superordinary Society by Tara Lain. This is the first paranormal book that I’ve read by Tara Lain. I love reading her contemporary books, and so I thought that I would give this one a try. I liked it and thought that it was a good start to a promising new series. I figured with it being a young adult book that it would be light on the romantic side of things, and so it was, which is fine. I liked the chemistry that developed between two of the main characters and will be excited to see how their relationship progresses in the next book.

I normally like the author’s writing style, but I found this one to have a lot of information about Jazz’s pack and their backstory and how they were all related to each other. And I found it hard to keep track of who was who and why all of the info that was given was important to the book. I agree with another reviewer’s review about how this part could have been forgone at the beginning of the novel and would have preferred to see more background on how Jazz and his best friend Carla had essentially grown up together and how they got to be so close as friends. I agree with the reviewer that more time invested in their relationship and how it evolved would have been more beneficial to the story.

Since this is a new series, I did spend most of the book trying to figure out who were the bad guys and who were the good guys. I was so happy that some of the people that I thought were going to be the bad guys ended up being the good guys. I was also hoping that the villain in the story wasn’t going to end up being one of Jazz’s biological parents or biologically being related to him since he’s adopted and doesn’t know where he gets his special powers from in addition to being an alpha werewolf. This wasn’t confirmed in any way in the book, so I’m hoping that we find out more about Jazz’s biological parents in the next book.

I liked the storyline of the book. I liked how Jazz is starting an internship at his family’s company and is going to work his way up in the company as opposed to going to university and then coming in as a CEO or some other high-ranking individual. I also liked how he became friends with his fellow interns, Carla, BeBop, Fatima, Dash, and Khadija and how they each have different powers and abilities that complement each other. They end up forming a group that they call The Superordinary Society and vow to help others in need.

I liked how the story progressed after getting through the beginning, and I think I will like the second book in the series a lot more now that I know who the important characters are and what their goals are. I look forward to seeing more of the members of the Superordinary Society and what forces of evil they conquer next. Overall, a good start to a promising new series.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Impacted! by Mickie B. Ashling

TITLE: Impacted!
AUTHOR: Mickie B. Ashling
SERIES: Bay Area Professionals
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: BDSM, Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: April 12, 2019


On his way home from vacation, Scott Gregory, a closeted sub, hooks up with the gorgeous Red, a flamboyant Dom, for a thrilling one-off at a BDSM bar. They part ways after a satisfying scene… but meet again when Robin Kennedy—Red—arrives at his new job as a dental hygienist and discovers one of his two bosses is Scott.
Robin and Scott embark on a journey of exploration into their kinkier sides and discover they’re more than compatible—they’re a perfect match. But keeping employer/employee and Dom/sub separate at the office presents difficulties, and to make matters even more complicated, the owner of the dental practice is an acknowledged homophobe.
They fall in love, but Robin chafes at all the secrecy, refusing to live in the shadows. Scott isn’t as brave; he’s desperate to protect his job and his future. Will they be able to find some middle ground… or will their entire relationship fall apart because of fear?

I loved Impacted! by Mackie B. Ashling. Impacted! is the first book in the Bay Area Professionals series. This is my first time reading a book by Mackie B. Ashling, but I can guarantee it won’t be the last. I loved the blurb and have been on a BDSM reading kick lately, and this book had everything that I love in a BDSM book. A Dom that is younger than his submissive but is no less experienced just because he is younger than his submissive. The Dom and sub end up working together and have a hard time keeping their professional and private lives separate. I also love a super needy sub and a protective, dominate Dom who’s there to push the sub’s limits and give him what he needs. Mackie B. Ashling gave me all of those things in this book, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series to see how Scott and Robin’s relationship evolves.

There were a couple of things that I thought were a little unneeded in the book. The book is told primarily through Scott and Robin’s POV which is expected, but we also got the POV of Scott’s best friend Susie, who’s straight and is looking for her forever boyfriend. So it’s kind of like having an MF subplot while you are reading a MM story. So if you don’t like reading MF stories at all, then this is probably not for you since the MF subplot does continue into the next book which is the sequel to this story and continues Scott and Robin’s story. It does continue the BDSM theme with Susie becoming a Domme, and she’s looking for her perfect submissive male. There were also the POVs of Scott’s boss Ron, who is a homophobe and I think there was a couple of other’s that I really didn’t think that we needed to know what they were thinking or why they were doing what they were doing. I don’t think it brought anything extra to the story. It sometimes took the focus away from Scott and Robin who the story is supposed to be about.

Scott’s a closeted submissive. He has just moved to San Francisco and has a contract to take over a successful dentistry business in a year. He didn’t know that his boss was a huge homophobe when he signed the contract. Who would have thought that there could still be homophobes in San Francisco, which is like the most gay-friendly place to live? But Scott was unlucky enough to have to work for one. He shoves himself back into the closet, telling himself that it is only for a year and that he can handle it since the reward is a four million dollar practice. He will be set for life. On his way home from vacation, he stops at a BDSM bar for a final scene before returning to his closeted life and hooks up with the flamboyant Dom, Red, who was bartending that night. After a very satisfying scene, they part ways, and Scott’s sad that he won’t be able to see Red again since Red’s moving soon. He definitely wasn’t expecting to see him when he goes to work the next day and finds out that he was hired by Ron, the owner, as the new assistant dentist.

Robin’s a Dom and has just finished getting his degree as a dental assistant. He would have gone on to be a dentist but didn’t want to be indebted by student loans. Even though he hasn’t been in the BDSM community long, only a couple of years, he did go and get trained to be a Dom and had been doing scenes with subs for a couple of years. He likes having one-off scenes and isn’t looking for a contracted sub. His last night bartending, he serves a sub a drink, and they have instant chemistry and agree to do a scene after he gets off work. He has no idea that the sub will turn out to be his boss at his new job or that they will get to continue to explore their kinks. Their chemistry goes through the roof, and they find that they are very compatible, are perfect for each other. But can they keep things under wrap under their boss’s homophobic nose or will he find out and fire them both. You will have to read the book to find out.

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

Review edited by : Amber Krogh

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