Review: “Sin’s Thief” by Shelby Rhodes

TITLE: Sin’s Thief
AUTHOR: Shelby Rhodes
SERIES: Vampires of Vadin
PUBLISHER: Siren Publishing
COVER ARTIST: Harris Channing
GENRE: Paranormal
LENGTH: 207 pages
RELEASE DATE: October 23, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book


[Siren Classic ManLove: Alternative, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, MM, shape-shifter, vampires, HEA]
Fouled mouthed, snarky and overly pessimistic, Cecil Baxter’s rules for life are to trust no one and to never become attached. Since birth, his life has been one pitfall after another. But when freedom was a fingertip away, Sin, a sophisticated man with a vocabulary to match, jumped in his path. Thrown into a world he doesn’t understand, Cecil finds himself breaking all his rules just for a chance to be with Sin.
Sin Draven, leader of the Draven Zaytari, knows he has quirks. Many would see him as an overly calm, civilized individual. However, people often forget that almost everyone has darkness inside them and Sin is no exception. When approached by a hurt young man his honor demanded he help, thief or not. That instance leads to Sin finding the one thing he has always wanted—a home.
When outside forces, misunderstandings, and inner turmoil pulls them apart, they must fight their fears before all is lost.
Trigger warning: Book touches on topics such as self-harm, suicide, and depression.

Sin’s Thief is the third book in the Vampires of Vadin series by Shelby Rhodes. This is a standalone book. You don’t need to read the other two books in the series to enjoy this book. I know that having read this book that I will be reading the other two books in the series to find out more about the king and his consort and the other sub characters that were in this book. This is the first book that I’ve read by this author, but it won’t be the last. I loved the storyline and all of the feels. The author has a wonderful way with words, and I loved the story building. The characters were developed, and lovable, and sexy. There is a scene of self-harm, and verbal and physical abuse from a parent to a son. If these are triggers for you, then I would probably pass on the book. The author handled the issues very well and had me ugly crying at one point in the book but then there were points where I was laughing and saying awe.

I loved Cecil. He’s an Arcadian, and he’s had a hard life growing up with an alcoholic father that’s verbally and physically abusive. He tries to stay out of the house for long periods of time and uses hustling to make money, by luring in men and then stealing from them without putting out. When he gets a severe beating and the promise of a special present from his dad in the form of being passed around to his dad’s friends for his eighteenth birthday, Cecil knows that it’s time to get out and never come back. However, his injuries are more severe than he thought and the person he ends up hustling turns out helping him when he passes out by getting him medical help and then giving him a place to live. But Cecil has a bunch of issues that he has to work through, and I loved how supportive Sin tried to be. I also loved the drone Cecil makes using his blood that’s called Drop and how Drop is his only friend until Sin starts to introduce him to the other people that live in the house and are a part of the group. I loved Benji and Roth and the other members of the Bellfall branch. Although I think almost everybody at the Dusburn branch should die for the pain that they put Cecil through.

I also loved Sin. He’s the head of the Draven Zaytari group. He’s a vampire, and if I remember correctly, he’s about 6,000 years old. He also has a secret that only a few people know about. Something that he has no control over when it happens. And that’s part of the reason he feels that Cecil would be safer without him. But is Cecil better without him? You’re going to have to read the book to find out but be prepared for a cliffhanger ending that will leave you needing the next book to find out what happens next. I can’t wait until it comes out so that I can devour it.

***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: “No Way Out” by Julie Lynn Hayes

TITLE: No Way Out
AUTHOR: Julie Lynn Hayes
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Christine Coffee
GENRE: BDSM; Contemporary Romance
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: Aug 28, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback


Wyatt Findley is an up-and-coming artist, attending a prestigious art institute in St. Louis. His mentor, Lukas Callahan, has snagged a sweet house-sitting job for him in a gorgeous home in a well-to-do part of town. Wyatt can’t help but notice two men who live just across the street.
They make an odd couple, since there must be a good twenty years difference between them. And yet there is something about the younger man that calls to Wyatt.
Shylor Lind has been living with Randy Grant for fifteen years, ever since Grant hired Shy’s mother as his live-in housekeeper. But five years ago, their relationship changed when Shy’s mother sold him to Grant and took the money and ran. Since then, Randy has been training Shy to be his submissive, dominating him in every way. There is nothing Shy can do about the situation, and he has nowhere to go, no one to turn to.
And then Wyatt enters his life… and nothing will ever be the same, as Wyatt engages in a battle for Shy’s very soul.

Wyatt Findlay was house-sitting when he notices something strange about the odd couple across the street. He has no qualms about inserting himself into an obviously intense situation. He can’t help but be intrigued by the quiet young man that has been washing the same car for hours while an older man looks on. Not one to back down from a confrontation, he taunts the arrogant man while trying gauge if the younger man is in some sort of danger. As soon as Wyatt learns of the grave situation the young man is in, he wants nothing more than to save him. It’s never as easy as it seems.

Wyatt is a struggling artist just waiting for his big break. His mentor sets him up with a place to stay for the summer as a house sitter. He soon becomes suspicious about the men living across the street. When he reaches out to his mentor to find some answers about the mysterious situation, things go from bad to worse. Now he’s on a mission to not only save the young man but he wants the mans heart as well.

Shylor Lind moved into Randy Grants home with his mother when he was a child. After his mother left, Randy is the only family he’s ever known. His life is consumed by the other man. Nothing more than a shiny toy for the older man to use as he sees fit. He hates his life, but he knows he has no way of escaping. Randy owns him. Shylor wants Wyatt to save him, for anyone to save him from his living hell but it’s impossible. No one can win a fight against Randy, and if they tried, Shylor would suffer for the transgression.

I wanted to like this book, and some parts I did. Shylor was the only character that intrigued me. I want to scoop him up and put him in a different book. I understand the conflict of the story. I understand the protagonists, and they were very well thought out. My issues lie with the secondary characters and the climax of the story. This book claimed BDSM, but that is by far an over exaggeration. Nothing in this book qualifies as BDSM. It’s grown men acting as backyard bullies and sexually assaulting a man they know is unwilling but is unable to speak freely due to long-term mental and physical abuse. That is rape. Not BDSM.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “A Casual Weekend Thing” by AJ Thomas

TITLE: A Casual Weekend Thing
SERIES: Least Likely Partnership
PUBLISHER: Dreampinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Brooke Albrecht
GENRE: Mystery/ Suspense
LENGTH: 310 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 13, 2013
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $17.99 – paperback


Doug Heavy Runner left the life of an openly gay Miami police officer and returned to his home on the Salish-Kootenai Indian Reservation when his mother got sick. In the two years since she passed, he’s carved out an empty life as a small-town deputy, relying on out-of-town one-night stands to keep him sane. Then he meets Detective Christopher Hayes, and they share a wild night so incredible Doug breaks his own rule and allows a one-night stand to grow into a weekend of amazing sex.
When Christopher travels from San Diego to Montana to deal with his abusive brother’s suicide, he doesn’t expect to find the man he spent the weekend with to be handling his brother’s case. He certainly doesn’t mind spending more time with Doug—but then an arsonist destroys the house Christopher inherited from his brother, and Christopher and Doug discover they are the primary suspects.
As they investigate, they discover Christopher’s dead brother has set them on the trail of a psychotic pedophile who will stop at nothing to silence his last victim. However, the search for the victim goes horribly wrong, leaving Doug hospitalized and Christopher at the mercy of the killer….

Doug Heavy Runner and Christopher Hayes only intended to spend one night satisfying their libidos. That night turned into a weekend neither of them wanted to end. Real life came calling, and they went their separate ways. When Doug returned back to the small town he reluctantly called home, and where he was also a sheriff’s deputy, things started to quickly spiral out of control. Doug was begrudgingly tasked with escorting a family member of a deceased local man through the coroner’s office. And when he sees the man he spent last weekend in bed with step out of his rental car outside the coroner’s office, he knew his life was fixing to get complicated. Understatement of the century. Soon the two discover that nothing and nobody in the town is quite what they seem. Disturbing truths are fixing to be revealed, and the story is just beginning.

Detective Christopher Hayes has done everything his entire adult life to try and separate himself from his past. Now his past has caught up to him, and the only thing he can do is face it head-on. Getting shot, finding out that his brother died, and then having his partner that he’s secretly been in love with for years kiss him after making it clear that he was straight and would never be interested in Christopher beyond friendship, is just the beginning of this crazy roller coaster. All Christopher wants to do is get away from San Diego and his partner’s betrayal, get his deceased brother squared away and be done. Of course nothing happens like he planned.

Deputy Doug Heavy Runner has spent his life trying to get away from Montana and the bigots in the small town he’s from. When he can longer stay in Miami, he returns to Montana and begins a life he never wanted. Due to the prejudices of the small-town locals, he has to live his life above reproach. He has to hide his sexuality and especially his past. His past is part of why he feels he deserves the lonely and mundane life he’s become accustomed to. Doug is part of a volunteer search and rescue team. Being tasked with the recovery a dead body hanging off the side of a cliff is strange enough but it’s what’s discovered after that that has him questioning everything and everyone.
This is the first book in the series, and I was hooked. This series has everything.

A well thought-out mystery suspense with breath-catching hotness. I was on the edge of my seat for this entire read. The books just get better and better as they continue. This is a must-read.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Lincoln’s Park” by Parker Williams

TITLE: Lincoln’s Park
AUTHOR: Parker Williams
SERIES: Links In The Chain
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: BDSM; Contemporary Romance
LENGTH: 244 pages
RELEASE DATE: Oct 16, 2018
PRICE: $6.99-e-book


A Links In the Chain Story
Lincoln Merriweather was born an entitled brat with a silver spoon lodged so deep, it might never have come out. At the BDSM club or in business, Lincoln was a storm, blowing in and disrupting the lives of everyone he touched, until the day he met a man who peeled away the tarnished layers to expose a decent person.
Lincoln found—then lost—love.
Since then, he’s tried to atone for his past, including walking away from his family’s wealth. He opened a diner, hiring people to work for him that he would have spit on before his epiphany. He’s found peace, which he’s about to lose to a hazel-eyed man.
Noel Simmons wound up on the street when his parents discovered he was gay. His path leads him to Lincoln’s diner, where he asks for a job. He’s thrilled when Lincoln agrees to hire him, but finds his new boss perplexing. Can anyone be this kind and decent?
What starts out as business becomes something more. Noel discovers he needs Lincoln in order to feel safe. Lincoln needs Noel to complete him. But when Lincoln’s past gets in the way of his present, will the two have a future?

I have enjoyed this author for quite some time now and this was no disappointment. I enjoy how he creates a beautiful love story, throws in the reality of these situations and tosses in some BDSM. The BDSM in this story is very light weight and goes really well with this couple. There was only one thing that kind of bothered me but it was minor. The Dom had said he would prefer being called one name, which the sub did that one time, but not again. Like I said minor but I know from experience, that if the Dom asks you to call them something, then that’s what you call them.

Lincoln grew up with a silver spoon and thought the world owed him everything. That is until he met Everett. Lincoln’s world changed and so did his outlook on life. He walked away from the family business and money and opened up a diner. Lincoln has helped many of the local homeless by hiring them and giving them money. Katy and Tyler are two of his success stories. Lincoln is happy with the way his life is going and how the diner is going. He works around the clock but he’s good with that until the day that this adorable guy walks in his diner looking for work.

Noel has been homeless for some time now and it’s all due to his family kicking him out when they found out he is gay. He helps Robert run the shelter for his room and board. He has devoted his time helping others with similar or worse situations. Noel has been looking for work though so that he can be productive in his life. He hasn’t had any luck though. With his tattered clothes and all, people just shoo him away. He walks into this diner and is given the job right some money for work clothes. Noel is in shock and can’t believe this man is being so nice and is waiting for the shoe to drop.

These two are just adorable with each other. They are pretty slow getting together but the way they look at each other when the other is not looking is cute. They each thinks the other couldn’t possibly like the other and this slows their process. Plus the fact that they both are workaholics. Katy really plays a role on moving things along. Can these two find time for each other? Can they get past their pasts? Will Lincoln’s family put a wrench in the dynamics going on? Well, please get a copy for yourself and enjoy the ups and downs of new love.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Block and Strike” by Kelly Jensen

TITLE: Block and Strike
AUTHOR: Kelly Jensen
PUBLISHER: Dreampinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Garrett Leigh
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
LENGTH: 266 pages
RELEASE DATE: January 6, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $16.99 – paperback


Jacob Kendricks is three months out of prison, estranged from his daughter, and ready to get his life on track. Taking care of the bum curled up on his doorstep isn’t part of the plan. When he realizes the man has been assaulted, Jake takes him to the hospital, where he learns that Max is his downstairs neighbor… and that he could really use a friend. Keeping Max in the friend-zone would be easier if he wasn’t so damned cute.
Maxwell Wilson has been bullied for years, and the only person who ever cared lives too far away to come to his rescue. Now his upstairs neighbor is offering support. Max remains cautious, suspecting he is little more than a project for the handsome Jake. When he learns Jake has had boyfriends as well as girlfriends, Max has to reevaluate his priorities—and muster the courage to take a chance at love.
Just when a happy future is within their grasp, life knocks them back down. A devastating blow leaves Max lower than ever and Jake wrestling with regret. They both have to find the strength to stand on their own before they can stand together.

Fresh out of prison, Jake Kendrick’s find himself in an emotional struggle. Coming home to find a homeless man on his doorstep is not something he wants to deal with, ever. As Jake soon discovers, the man taking space on his stoop isn’t a bum but his neighbor bloody and unconscious. As Jake helps his neighbor heal from his assault, an unlikely friendship evolves into something neither man is willing to lose their friendship over. Jake’s past comes back to haunt him, and he’s in danger of losing not only the man he’s come to love but the most important person in his life.

Jake’s temper has always been an issue for him. He has a hair-trigger temper, and that’s what landed him in prison. Once out he’s determined to turn his life around and do whatever he can to get to spend time with his daughter. The friendship he has with his neighbor, Max, is the best thing that’s happened to him since before his imprisonment. They have this easygoing camaraderie. Jake knows Max is straight. Jake, being bisexual, can’t help that he starts to develop feelings for the other man, but he has a lot of secrets. If Max found out, it would destroy the friendship he cherishes and any chance of anything more.

Max has been bullied most of his life. In school, his dad told him that the beatings would toughen him up. As time went on, he learned that if he just layed there and took it, the beatings wouldn’t be so bad. He has no idea why he was targeted by a group of men in the alley near his little downstairs apartment. His next-door neighbo’rs sister, also Max’s nurse, insists that her brother will help him once he’s released from the hospital and given no choice, he accepts the sexy, mysterious man’s help. He’s undeniably attracted to Jake, but Jake is straight. Max hides that he’s gay in fear of being even more victimized.

These two guys are what I like to call a hot mess. The story was absolutely heartwarming and emotionally exhausting. I loved every page turning moment. The facets of not only the story but the characters made for one excellent read. Jake and Max taking strength from one another was beautiful. The development from a hesitant sort of acquaintances to friends then ultimately lovers was what I loved most about this book. The author didn’t stick with the status quo, they blew it out of the water. One of the best books I’ve read to date.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis