Review: “From a Jack to a King ” by Scotty Cade

TITLE: From a Jack to a King
AUTHOR: Scotty Cade
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Paul Richmond
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 3 2018
PRICE: $6.99 e-book / $14.99 paperback

BLURB:

New York Times best-selling mystery writer Bay Whitman leads the life of a celebrity—at least on the surface. In public he’s self-assured and in control. Women hang on his every word, while men envy his confidence and swagger. But in reality, Bay is a loner. He’s shy and introverted, and his life consists of sitting in a dimly lit room writing his famous Jack Robbins mystery novels. His one vice—gambling. Winning an escort in a poker game will change Bay’s life in ways he never imagined.
Matthew “King” Slater is one of the hottest tickets in gay porn. He spends his days in front of the camera and his nights as a highly paid escort to the rich and famous. Deep down, he craves romance and a real connection, but his past makes it hard to separate the needs of his body from those of his heart. For now, it’s easier to think of sex as just a job. But while doing a shoot in Vegas, King is hired for a tryst at a famous hotel and casino, and his handsome client might blur the line between work and play.


Bay Whitman is a successful author living in New York. During a trip to Las Vegas, he meets King Slater, a porn star and an escort. Meet isn’t the right word, Bay wins King at a poker game, and he doesn’t expect to have a super-hot gay man who’s the spitting image of his fictional hero Jack Robbins.
King Slater is a gay porn star and an escort. When he meets Bay, he doesn’t expect to meet a handsome and brilliant man who can risk his recovery.
None of them expected that this single game will change their lives for good.

From a Jack to a King is the first book I’ve read by Scotty Cade, and it won’t be my last.

I completely melted for Bay and King but not only for them. The author’s style was very good, dynamic and fresh, and the plot captivated me.

Bay had been bullied in his youth, and he wears the stigmata of this in his adult life. He lives almost as a recluse, shy and with a social life near to zero. His only passion is card games, poker especially, and he’s very good at it. But as a famous author, he has to do some “socialization” and promotions for his books, so he channels his inner Jack Robbins, his character, the one he created in his mind. Imagine his shock when Jack Robbins isn’t a fictional character, but a real man, a real hot man, who forces Bay to question everything in his life, starting with his sexuality. I totally adored Bay, he’s funny, very smart and adorable. I wanted to hug him when he was scared and high five him when he was confident.

King Slater is a porn star and an escort. He was also bullied in school when he was younger and had to deal with the aftermath of that in his adult life. He keeps a difference between his jobs and his real life. Being paid for sex is just a job for him, and he wants a real relationship, a real emotional romantic relationship. I loved King, I loved how strong he seems, how big and hot he is, but what I loved the most, it was his fragility. How behind the mountain of a man that he is, he hides the tall scrawny kid that he was.

The author wrote a good book, with an interesting plot. There’s two difficult topics in the background that the author didn’t develop much because it wasn’t the main plot, but whenever they were covered in the book, it was well done. The author took the time to research and respect it. It’s something that I appreciated, and I learned some things too.

I recommend this book, it was a good romance, a beautiful “straight-to-gay” book, which I enjoyed a lot, in addition, the sex was hooooooooot and very good.

4 OptimuMM’s for King and his Prince!

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Stranger In A Foreign Land” by Michael Murphy

TITLE: Stranger In A Foreign Land
AUTHOR: Michael Murphy
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Bree Archer
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 216 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 3, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book / $9.99 -paperback

BLURB:

After an accident stole his memory, the only home American businessman Patrick knows is Bangkok. He recovers under the tender ministrations of Jack, an Australian ex-pat who works nights at a pineapple cannery. Together they search for clues to Patrick’s identity, but without success. Soon that forgotten past seems less and less important as Jack and Patrick—now known as Buddy—build a new life together.
But the past comes crashing in when Patrick’s brother travels to Thailand looking for him… and demands Patrick return to Los Angeles, away from Jack and the only world familiar to him. The attention also causes trouble for Jack, and to make their way back to each other, Patrick will need to find not only himself, but Jack as well, before everything is lost….


I really enjoyed the storyline of this novel. A man loses his memory but gains the love of a hot Aussie man? Sign me up! In the beginning, Patrick’s inner dialogue had me laughing out loud! I would love to have a book with that guy as the MC. Once he lost his memory, he didn’t really gain a personality. He just sort of existed which is a shame. The secondary characters were quite good. The little old Thai lady with the mean arm cracked me up. Definitely some entertaining moments.

Patrick is a businessman from California who frequently jet sets off to foreign countries. We never find out specifically what he does or did as an occupation. I enjoyed his entertaining dialogue throughout the flight and the disembarking process. Leaving the airport, he gets himself a cab with a shady driver and ends up in an accident that leaves him banged up and with no memory of who he is or anything in the past including the accident. He soon finds himself living in a bush outside of a pineapple factory where a friendly Australian comes to his aid.

Jack is such a sweet character. We sadly never get his backstory only that he’s an Australian and isn’t sure if he’s welcome back into his home country. He works at a pineapple factory and lives close by in a hut of sorts surrounded by the other plant workers. He’s a pretty lonely guy, and his sweetness just pulls at your heartstrings. One afternoon he hears his feisty Thai neighbor shouting at someone who’s in her yard and goes to investigate. What he finds is a good-looking man a little rough around the edges, and he’s decided he’s going to help him. I really enjoyed the friends-to-lovers aspect. It wouldn’t have seemed right any other way. It’s a relatively slow burn from there, but eventually, things do heat up so you will get your sexy time fix.

I wish we had more backstory for the characters. I would have loved to know more about Jack and his past. The storyline was interesting if not a little bland. Definitely a sweet romance. I’m looking forward to reading more from the Dreamspun series and this author.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “The Night Owl and the Insomniac” by J. Leigh Bailey

TITLE: The Night Owl and the Insomniac
AUTHOR: J. Leigh Bailey
SERIES: Shifter U
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: New Adult; Shapeshifter; Paranormal;
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 240 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 3, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book/ $9.99 – paperback

BLURB:

A Shifter U Tale
Long nights lead to intrigue… and infatuation.
Chronically ill with a mysterious condition, Yusuf “Joey” Franke escapes his smothering family and doctors by moving halfway across the country to enroll in Cody College. Not long after arriving on campus, some of his symptoms disappear, only to be replaced by debilitating insomnia. Joey spends his nights wandering the halls of his dormitory and hanging out with gregarious and affable Owen, who works the night shift.
When he suddenly shifts from a sick college kid to a massive Asiatic lion, Joey discovers another side to Cody College—it’s a haven for shifters like himself… and like Owen, a part-time great horned owl. And being a shifter is hereditary, which means his parents have some explaining to do.
When Joey and Owen investigate, they discover more than they bargained for—a family deception, a dangerous enemy with international connections, and a love that might be too new to survive the backlash.


The Night Owl and the Insomniac by J. Leigh Bailey is the third book in the Shifter U series and the twenty-third book in the Dreamspun Beyond series. I have read the other books in the Shifter U series, and this book while taking place at Cody College like the rest of the series, is a standalone book. There are cameos of Simon and Ford from the second book Chasing Thunderbird, but you do not need to have read the other books to understand what’s happening in this book. The Night Owl and the Insomniac is well written. I enjoyed the plot and that all of my questions were tied up by the end of the book. And I loved that Yusuf and Owen get their happy ending.

I like the attention to detail that the author gave to her characters. Both Yusuf and Owen’s characters fit the animal half of their personalities. Owen is a great horned owl and is both intelligent and extroverted. He loves to talk and also loves to mother hen people. Yusuf, on the other hand, is an Asiatic lion. Because of health conditions, he’s grown up isolated from society, which has resulted in him being introverted and socially awkward and figuring out his sexuality.

I really liked Yusuf “Joey” Franke. He has grown up being chronically ill with ever-changing symptoms, which has resulted in him being a Guinea pig for all kinds of test and treatments. Finally, fed up with it he escapes by enrolling in a college halfway across the country and moving there. Not long after arriving on campus, some of his symptoms disappear, only to be replaced by debilitating insomnia. With nothing else to do, he spends his nights wandering the halls of his dormitory and hanging out and playing chess with Owen, who works the night shift.

I also liked Owen. He was such a happy, upbeat person. Always including Joey in his activities like getting lunch with the guys and just hanging out. And forcing him to try new food combinations. I loved all of the little things he does each day to remind Joey that he’s thinking of him and there for him while they are apart. I also like how Owen has a grounding influence on Joey’s lion and is able to keep him calm and collected so that he doesn’t shift when he gets stressed. I liked how Owen was there for Joey when he shifted for the first time and helped him uncover his past to find the answers that he needs. I like how he complements Joey. They are just perfect together.
Overall, another great book in the Shifter U series and so far my favorite of the series. And another book in the Dreamspun Beyond series that hasn’t let me down. They are fast becoming a favorite of mine to review.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Bloody Love Spats” by Valentina Heart

TITLE: Bloody Love Spats
AUTHOR: Valentina Heart
SERIES: Among Wolves
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Maria Fanning
GENRE: Paranormal; Shapeshifter
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: Oct 21, 2013
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99

BLURB:

Tomislav Vugrin doesn’t think himself much of a vampire—not that others are tripping over themselves to dispute it. Despite descending from one of the most powerful vampire lines and having a coven queen for a sister, he’s far from a stuck-up royal and even farther from a force to be reckoned with.
That’s when fate puts her spiteful fingers to use and places him right in the path of Stone Marik, the new Alpha werewolf of the East Pack. Add a bit of teasing scent of a mate, and the attraction is stronger than any lack of information about bonding that might stand in their way.
But changing allegiance might be more than Tomi can handle, even if he has the best of intentions. Centuries of prejudice divide their two species, secrets and lack of time work against them, and soon even their desperate need for each other might not be enough to keep them alive.


As you know already, with the approval of Dreamspinner Press, we’re reviewing previously published books. We continue with Valentina Heart’s the Among Wolves, paranormal series
Well, I loved this book even more than the first one. This is a sequel of the first book, and you can read as a standalone too. The story is in the same universe as the first one, and we continue with Stone, the new pack Alpha of the Eastern Pack.
What I liked most about this book is the little ”introduction” of every chapter, they let you into some personal thoughts.
One year has passed since Stone took over the Eastern Pack, but the previous alpha’s cruel behavior still has his shadow in the pack. Together with his brother Tait who serves as his beta also, he tries to loosen the tension and fear that rules the pack. Tait is unsubordinated, funny and full of mischief. They are mostly at each other throats than not, but the love between the brothers is unquestionable.
Tim is a vampire prince, only 150 years old, a child in vampiric measures, and he was just cheated on by his ex-boyfriend. You will love him! I definitely did. First, he’s funny and a has a bit of a naive side, loving Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. And second, the actions of his ex makes him withdraw to the forest to have some alone time when fate decides he needs to meet his mate.
That wouldn’t be a problem, but vampires and shifters don’t mix. The old laws prohibits these two species to even socialize. But once Tim was sniffed everything else lost its meaning. For Tim it’s only just sex but after he was bitten, all hell breaks loose.
Danger awaits for them, a danger that’s bringing the whole pack to reunite to save Stone’s bloodsucker mate.
You will love our MC’s, their pack, the need for comfort and closeness. There was a special scene when I would wanted to be one of the pack members. It was when Stone decided the pack needed to trust each other again and for that they need more contact. He orders the pack to get rid of their clothes, as much as they’re comfortable with. There was nothing sexual in it. It was the intimacy of the touch, the comfort of belonging. It was beautifully described, and my heart ached to be a part of the unity.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Sebastian’s Wolves” by Valentina Heart

TITLE: Sebastian’s Wolves
AUTHOR: Valentina Heart
SERIES: Among Wolves
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Justin James
GENRE: Paranormal; Shapeshifter
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 168 pages
RELEASE DATE: Feb 23, 2011
PRICE: $5.99 -e-book

BLURB:

Sebastian Vory was quite happy with his decision to leave his shifter pack to build a life with his mate Tim. But when an accident takes Tim from Sebastian, the lone wolf is thrown into aimless wandering that leads him to a new pack—and another shifter, Eshan Low. But Eshan has a troubled past, and despite his hopes and wishes, that past has a steel grip. Embroiled in a fight for justice, Sebastian is willing to do anything not to lose another mate, and just this once, luck might smile his way.


As you know already, with the approval of Dreamspinner Press, we’re reviewing previously published books. We continue with Valentina Heart’s the Among Wolves, paranormal series.

This is a different kind of shifter book.

In this universe, shifters are acting more on the animal instinct than the human one.
Wolf shifters are one of my favorite sub-genre in MM genre. I read a lot of wolf shifter books, but this is a kind of a first read with these special characteristics.

If we think of it, wolves in their natural habitat are living on their instinct. They’re ruled by animalistic needs.
In this book, we witness the rawness of this instinct with shifters in their human form.
When they love, they love with unconditional love, but when they’re angry there is blood and hurt and bruises.
If you have experience with domestic abuse than please don’t read it because it may trigger you. But know this, in these scenarios we don’t talk about domestic abuse, not really because they give as hard as they get.

The power between mates is balanced. There is a dominant and a dominated, but they act upon that just the first time to set dominance. The predator and the prey.

Sebastian loves his mate Tim. But Tim was in an accident, and he can’t stand the pain, so he shifts and remains as a wolf for a long time. After a time, Sebastian finds himself in a new territory forced by the ruling alpha to shift and ask for permission to stay. For the very first time, he feels the Western packhouse as his real home. When one day a striking vision appears in front of the packhouse, he knows he found his new mate.

Eshan came to ask the western pack alpha’s help to end the killing in his pack by his alpha. Finding Sebastian, his mate is a surprise for both. Their mating is pure animalistic dominance. Pain and Pleasure, both welcomed and enjoyed.

I liked this book! It pushed my limits and helped me to go out of well-used terms when we read shifter sub-genre. I highly recommend it. You will be taken by the rawness the pure animalistic behavior and the tenderness that follows.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

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