Review of: Power Players by Scudder James Jr

TITLE: Power Players
AUTHOR: Scudder James Jr
SERIES: States of Love
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: Oct 4th 2019


Jeffrey knows the underbelly of Washington, DC, well. Once homeless, he’s now the director of a massive coalition of shelters. The last person he’s interested in meeting is wealth consultant Derek T. Hinsdale III, another slick-talking, privileged jerk. Jeffrey has had enough of those.
But Derek’s latest project could impact Jeffrey’s organization—with a multimillion-dollar gift awarded at a special dinner and ceremony. Jeffrey and Derek seem so different, but in their convictions, they find common ground, and the heat they call up in each other can’t be ignored. Can they salvage a disastrous evening and a painful reminder of Jeffrey’s past?
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.
Series States of Love | District of Columbia.

Jeffrey grew up in the underbelly of Washington DC. Homeless at fifteen with an abusive father, he works hard to succeed in his life. He’s now the director of a massive coalition of shelters.

Derek grew up in the rich part of Washington DC. He’s now a wealth consultant and a philanthropist. His latest project can change Jeffrey’s coalition of shelters to help more people.

Now, everything can be good, if only Jeffrey and Derek can forget their prejudices and fears.

Power Players by James Jr Scudder is part of the States of Love series. A series of romances that spanned every corner of the United States and written by different authors each time.

I liked this short story, but it was too short, in my opinion. I loved the plot, two men loving DC, one with a rich background—the other with a poor background, but both working to make their city a better place to live for everyone.

I also loved the fact that it was a mixed couple. I loved the author’s style; how he took every prejudice and broke them one by one. Really, this book was good, with a lot of potential.

But it was too short, and because it was too short, we couldn’t explore more about the characters, their stories, and their project. Everything was kind of superficial. We only scratch the surface, and I understand it because of the format (69 pages), but I regret it a little bit. In the end, I was expecting to read that this story was a prequel of Derek and Jeffrey’s book (a girl can dream).

Anyway, all in all, it’s still a good short story that I liked a lot.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis


Review of: Out for Sugar by R. Cayden

TITLE: Out for Sugar
AUTHOR: R. Cayden
SERIES: Sugar Mansion, book 2
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: June 8, 2019


Troy Hart is the hottest leading man on daytime television… and he hates it.
There’s a reason it’s called straight acting, after all. But don’t be fooled by the macho swagger and bearskin rugs.
The heartthrob’s heart just isn’t in it.
For how good I am at strutting around and flexing my muscles, you’d think I enjoyed it. But the only worse fate I can think of is living through another tabloid scandal by coming out.
And that’s exactly what I see when I look at Elliot and Vincent. One massive tabloid scandal.
Famous gay sugar babies? Social media darlings? No way. Those guys are drop-dead beautiful, and they run around Los Angeles with the hottest executives and billionaire daddies in town.
I mean, seriously, those twinks have their own hashtags!
Me, getting with them? It would be the biggest scandal Hollywood has seen in years. I absolutely cannot fall for them. I cannot fall for their pouty lips, and their delicious laughs, and their beautiful, wild, unforgettable love…
Out for Sugar is the second book in the Sugar Mansion series. It can be read alone or as the sequel to Sugar for Two. An MMM romance, it features two sassy sugar babies, one handsome and kindhearted soap opera star, and a wealthy dom with a mysterious past. Hide from the paparazzi, it’s Sugar Mansion time!

Out for Sugar is the second book in the Sugar Mansion series by R. Cayden. I didn’t read the first book in the series, and I think that might have been a mistake. I think if I had read the first book, then I would have been more invested in Elliot, Vincent, and Don. I would know how they got together and how far they have come in their relationship and why it’s so important to Elliot and Vincent to convince Don to sign the deed of the mansion, they are living in, over to them so that they own it.

That seems to be the main focus of the book, and I’m not sure that I got why it was such a big deal for them to get the deed. As a result of trying to figure out that special something to give to Don to get the deed, they end up pursuing the hottest leading man on daytime television, Troy Hart, who may or may not be straight.

Elliot and Vincent seem to be doing great in their relationship together and with Don. They still have their other sugar daddies that they see and their other friends. They will do anything to own the mansion that they live in, and they think that if they can obtain Troy and give Don a show that it might be enough to get him to give them the deed. Vincent has had a huge crush on the daytime leading man and gets a little stalkerish in trying to meet the guy by watching the burger joint that he loves to go to. He ends up meeting him, and it doesn’t go over well. Elliot ends up meeting Troy while accompanying one of his sugar daddies that’s a producer to the daytime television awards and they hit it off. Troy shows up at the mansion to ask out Elliot, and Vincent opens the door. So now Troy knows that Elliot and Vincent are boyfriends. They convince Troy to go on a date with both of them since Troy isn’t out and the sugar babies get noticed because they have such a big online presence, they decide to go in disguise. Which goes great until it doesn’t, and pictures are taken of them, and Troy has a meltdown. Troy will have to decide how he wants to deal with the fallout. Does he risk his job and his co-star’s job by coming out finally or does he come up with a good excuse for being with two sugar babies? And what will he do when it comes out that Vincent and Elliot didn’t pursue him because they liked him at first but because they wanted the mansion.

I liked Troy. He has his issues and past scandal in his family that he’s trying to make up for. It was his father’s scandal who was also a daytime leading star. As the leading daytime star, Troy has kept his sexual preferences to himself and his costar. He doesn’t want to cause another scandal in the family, but not being true to himself is a huge weight on his shoulders. So when he meets the sugar babies, he finds himself helpless against his desires even though he knows that he shouldn’t see them.

The end of the book seemed kind of rushed for me. Once he makes up his mind about what he wants to do, Troy then goes for it. No more angst about causing a scandal or losing his job and I’m going to assume that there will be another book in the series because Vincent and Elliot and now Troy still don’t have the precious deed to the mansion. Don is still a mystery, and they still have no idea what they should tempt him with next to get the mansion. I guess I will have to read the next book to see what shenanigans they come up with next to tempt their sugar daddy.

***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: Mauled by Espen Arcadia

TITLE: Mauled
AUTHOR: Espen Arcadia
SERIES: Urban Jungle #1
PUBLISHER: Books Unite People
GENRE: Paranormal
RELEASE DATE: Jul 7th 2019


In true enemies to lovers’ style, when the fox touches the jaguar with his spirit, the big cat touches the fox’s soul with his heart.
Trent, powerful jaguar shifter, and one of the biggest business names in Chicago, has a lot on his plate. He’s taken on the role as leader of the urban shifters and finds himself at odds with the surrounding rural community. His latest plan to buy land from the country shifters, with the promise of a better future for them, has them up in arms.
When they grow desperate enough, the rural leaders call on Ash, a fox shifter with ‘skills’. His job is to take the high and mighty and bring them crashing down from their own hubris and corruption. Born and raised in Chicago, Ash returns to his home city, with his crafty gaze set on destroying Trent’s career.
When the two meet, personalities and intentions will bounce and crash off of one another. Sparks will fly, and secrets will come pouring out of the shadows. Ash and Trent will deal with not only with their growing attraction to one another, but getting caught in the middle of a deadly scheme.

Trent is a powerful Jaguar shifter, a talented businessman and the leader of the urban community. He’s at war with the rural community who refuse to let him buy their land. In order to ruin his plan, they hired Ash, a fox shifter, with a special talent to fight against Trent.
When Trent and Ash meet, it was explosive between them, they didn’t realize how explosive it can be.

Mauled by Espen Arcadia is the first book of the Urban Jungle series and my first book from the author.
Trent is a powerful man and shifter; he leads his life and his business with a firm hand. He has ideas and makes everything come to realization without taking into consideration what others think or feel. He doesn’t understand why the rural community is against his project about their land and fights hard against Ash, both his attraction then his ideas. I liked Trent, he knows what he wants but doesn’t realize that sometimes, even if he has the best intentions, he can hurt people. That’s when Ash comes in his life.

Ash is a fox, he’s smart and ingenious. He knows how to deal with people like Trent, he’s dealt with them his whole life. Ash has a solid plan to defeat Trent’s plan, but he didn’t expect to be attracted to this man and to understand his motives. Ash needs to make Trent understand how wrong he is, but first, they must stay alive.

I loved them both…they’re a good match. They’re funny, hot and very smart. They’re also complementary to each other, and when they decide to trust each other, they’re indestructible.

Espen Arcadia created a good world, well built, and consistent. Her writing is good and dynamic. Her MCs aren’t superficial and fit perfectly in the plot.

I had a good time with them, it was a good start in this series that I will enjoy following and read.

3.5 stars for them.

***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:  Vegas by Romeo Preminger

TITLE: Vegas
AUTHOR: Romeo Preminger
GENRE: Contemporary Romance, BDSM
RELEASE DATE: July 13, 2019


Twenty-nine-year-old sales rep Dan is unlucky with love, but lucky with sex since he got cut and made up for lost time growing up as a skinny gay kid who got pushed around. All-American, Texan stud Bryce Landon is on Dan’s A-list of hook-up buddies, but the guy’s vibe is different when they get together at MDM-Con in Vegas this year. Does Bryce want something more?
Dan can’t do that. He’s been burned by closeted, married guys before. While Dan sidesteps Bryce at the convention, he meets a smoking hot, local Daddy-type named Garth. Now he’s caught between two guys who’d like to tame his wild ways. It’s not a bad place to be, but can he give love a try with a dude who’s got drama written all over him or take a chance with an older man who buried his boyfriend of ten years?

Dan is a salesman at a convention in Vegas. Each year he meets Bryce—a closeted, married Texan—during this convention. It’s hot and kinky between them but nothing more. Until this year, when Bryce tries to change their relationship but Dan meets someone in Vegas, someone who maybe can offer him more than Bryce.
For an intense, hot week in Vegas, Dan will have to think about his future and what he really wants in his life.

Vegas by Romeo Preminger is my first book by this author. I was curious to discover his universe and his style. I was surprised but not disappointed.

Dan is a 29 year-old man, who knows what he doesn’t want in a relationship…being hurt. He had been hurt in his past and refuses to let it happen again, even if he has to miss the real opportunity to be happy with a loving partner. So far, he thinks he’s happy like that until he meets Garth. Then he realizes that maybe he was missing out on a real relationship. I liked Dan, he knows what he wants, and he’s confident. I loved how he was ready to take a bet on Garth, while being open to trying new things and didn’t hesitate to open himself a little bit. Most of all, I loved that he takes the time to think about what he really wants when he realizes that he isn’t really as happy as he thinks.

The story was from Dan’s POV. It was hot, well written and dynamics. The plot was focused on Dan and his relationships with Garth and Bryce. It was super-hot and super kinky…I adored it.
The end surprised me, a lot. The entire book, the author hints at a direction, and suddenly, a twist happens that I didn’t see coming. It was very sudden. I can’t say I disliked it or not, just that It really surprised me.

I will read the next book from this author because I liked his style.

***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: The Nothingness of Ben by Brad Boney

TITLE: The Nothingness of Ben
AUTHOR: Brad Boney
SERIES: The Austin Trilogy
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: Nov 23, 2012


Ben Walsh is well on his way to becoming one of Manhattan’s top litigators, with a gorgeous boyfriend and friends on the A-list. His life is perfect until he gets a phone call that brings it all crashing down: a car accident takes his parents, and now he must return to Austin to raise three teenage brothers he barely knows.
During the funeral, Ben meets Travis Atwood, the redneck neighbor with a huge heart. Their relationship initially runs hot and cold, from contentious to flirtatious, but when the weight of responsibility starts wearing on Ben, he turns to Travis, and the pressure shapes their friendship into something that feels a lot like love. Ben thinks he’s found a way to have his old life, his new life, and Travis too, but love isn’t always easy. Will he learn to recognize that sometimes the worst thing imaginable can lead him to the place he was meant to be?

This was my first read from this author.

When it comes to rating this book, I’m not sure how to rate it. I liked it, and at the same time, there was so many things that I couldn’t agree with.

Ben Walsh comes home after his parents die in a tragic accident. He has a promising carrier in Manhattan, and he’s also an out and proud gay man. This was the reason he was considered a absent member of his family. His late mother didn’t agree to his lifestyle, so he stayed away missing out on his three younger brothers growing up. And this when it’s started to be weird for me. I’m, myself, am the older brother, but my parents’ behavior never let me to stay away from my brother.

Ben Walsh’s behavior is inappropriate when it comes to understanding what his younger brothers are going through. The brothers are angry with him, and honestly, with reason. Ben is not a likable character in my honest opinion, and the feeling remained till the end of the book.

Travis is a sweetheart! It was an insta-like for me. He’s the big brother to the younger Walsh brothers that they need. They seek comfort in him, turning to him instead of their brother, Ben. But then Travis starts to have strange feelings for Ben … Travis is straight, up until now. He never felt attracted to a man before. This confuses him.

There was a scene, actually many, when I wanted to club Ben on his head! Ben is a selfish person. If I were in Travis’s place, I wouldn’t give a minute of my life to Ben.

Rapping it up, it’s not a bad or good book. I let you be the judge of it …

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis