Review: “Shipped” by Karrie Roman

TITLE: Shipped
AUTHOR: Karrie Roman
SERIES: Until You
PUBLISHER: Ninestar Press
COVER ARTIST: Natasha Snow
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: –
RELEASE DATE: June 18, 2018
PRICE: $5.99 –e-book

BLURB:

Ryan Lowe has been a lonely nobody all his life. The only time he ever feels the rush of living is when he’s acting. Wanting to get as far away from his small town life and alcoholic father as possible, he leaves Australia to pursue a career as an actor in the bright lights of Hollywood, never stopping to consider the fame that might come with it.
Lucas Evers understands fame. He’s been a successful actor on the small-screen for years and loves his career. Nothing comes for free though, and the price he’s paid for his success is keeping who he is hidden from the world. He married his best friend to keep both of their secrets, and until now, he has been content with the cost of his fame.
When Lucas and Ryan are cast in a new television series based on a wildly popular book series everything changes for them. The show is a worldwide hit and together they have just become the most popular ship on the planet. As they begin to realize it’s not just their characters falling in love, the cost of their fame rises. Together they must face stalkers, anxiety, panic attacks, and attempted murder.


Ryan and Lucas are both actors and meet at Ryan’s audition for a part on a popular TV show that they will both be starring in as eventual lovers. The chemistry is definitely there from the beginning. I wanted them to hurry up and get to the juicy bits, but I’m so glad they didn’t rush. The friends to lovers trope is one of my favorites, and the author did a fantastic job with it. I have to admit though, I had no idea what “shipped” meant until I read this book. At some points, I felt that the author did overuse the term quite often when it wasn’t necessary to that particular part of the story.

Ryan Lowe is such a sweet and endearing character. He’s from a small town in Australia and hasn’t had the best upbringing. His father is an alcoholic and doesn’t have much to do with Ryan. Ryan’s never really fit in anywhere, and he’s sort of a quiet loner. As a kid, he got a part in a school play, and he decided that that was what he was going to do—he was going to become an actor. As he got older, he packed his bags and moved to California. He gets the part on this crazy popular television show, he becomes best friends with the hunky Lucas Evers and even has an embarrassing fan-girl moment in front of his hero. But not everything is perfect in Ryan Lowe’s life, and he doesn’t know what or if there’s anything he can do about it.

On the outside, Lucas Evers has it all. He’s a rising Hollywood star with a beautiful wife and a loving family, but things aren’t always what they seem. Lucas is such a caring and loving character. He married his best friend to help hide both of their secrets and get her away from her abusive parents. When he became a successful actor, he moved his family into his apartment building and foots the bill for all their lifestyles. When he meets Ryan, he’s instantly attracted to him, but he’s not sure if Ryan’s gay or bi so he settles on them being nothing more than friends. The struggle is real. How Luke kept his paws off of Ryan for as long as he did is a wonder. Add a stalker and attempted murder into the mix, and it makes for one wild ride.

This is book 1 in the Until You series from author Karrie Roman. This is a new author to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s a contemporary romance with some dramatic flair thrown in. The friends to lovers trope was done extremely well. The chemistry between the characters was a well thought-out slow burn but with some extra coal on that fire. I loved the easy-going nature of the characters throughout the book. The secondary characters were enjoyable. I definitely approve of how Lucas’ wife is portrayed. She’s such a great character. In this book, there is definitely some drama happening in the background that throws the two main characters in a pretty crazy situation. I had no idea who the antagonist was until the end. So that was definitely a plus. The editing was great, and I love the cover.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Q*pid” by Xavier Mayne

TITLE: Q*pid
AUTHOR: Xavier Mayne
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Adrian Nicholas
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 282 pages
RELEASE DATE: Aug 28, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 –e-book / $16.99 – paperback

BLURB:

Can a computer program understand love better than the human heart?
Archer, the AI at the dating service Q*pid, realizes humans don’t always make the best choices, so it begins making some unconventional choices for them.
Fox Kincade is the last of his group of friends to be single, so he’s delighted when he discovers a new match in his Q*pid app—one that, according to the new AI wizardry, should be the love of his life. Instead of the woman he’s expecting, he’s paired with Drew Larsen, a shy, somewhat nerdy PhD student who has also grown discouraged with romance.
Drew and Fox have little in common—aside from the fact that they’re both straight. Or so they thought. But as the guys get to know each other, they realize Archer might have the right idea. Their path isn’t smooth, because both need to overcome every idea they have about themselves and what true love might look like. But with the help of Archer—and some friends who have stuck with Fox and Drew through the thick and thin of their relationship trials—they might find their way into each other’s hearts.


We know dating apps, right? In one way or another, they’re just for a quick hook-up or searching for our eternal soul-mate. What? You don’t know? Well then, maybe it’s time for you to give it a try.

Q*pid is a dating service, and Veera is one of its developers. They are ready to launch the new algorithm, an algorithm controlled by Archie, an A.I. developed by Veera. They send out a message for their top users to give Archie a try. But to do that they must give access to their social-media file and facial analysis through their cameras. It’s a high risk for exposure, but our MCs are desperate enough to find their true love, so they accept the terms and conditions and all the privacy settings. Curiously it seems that Archie’s algorithm works just fine, until one Sunday morning, where by accident, he ignores one tiny little fact to consider, and that would be gender preference…

Fox is the ultimate analyst. He has a spreadsheet to rate all his dating. A system with what he eliminates the women he’s not compatible with. After every date, he and his bro-buddy Chad analyse the last night’s events together. Fox is convinced he’s a straight man, who never questioned his sexuality. He has a very clear idea in his mind: to meet the one and marry her.

Drew is writing his Ph.D. and living the life of a poor student. He also had many unsuccessful dates behind him. While he’s checking Q*pid at least 3 times a day, waiting for the big connection, he’s selected to try out the AI of Q*pid, but he ony hesitates few minutes. So imagine his shock when after a few days, he gets a 99.5% match. He’s eager to finally see the woman of his dreams, but that woman turns out to be a man.

This book is an amazing read!!! I couldn’t put it down until I finished it! Maybe the first half of the book is a bit boring, but then things get active. It’s humorous, syrupy-romantic, and full of confusion on the part of the MCs who try to enlarge the horizon when it comes to their sexuality.

The intimate scenes were genuine. Being a man, I know what a real quickie means, and it’s reflected in this book. Maybe some of you will not agree, but my fellow men readers will be able to relate to it.

All in all, it’s a good read! I wouldn’t mind that this would turn into a series, or read a bit more about Fox and Drew!

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “The Gentle Dom” by Sean Michael

TITLE: The Gentle Dom
AUTHOR: Sean Michael
SERIES: Iron Eagle Gym
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: L.C. Chase
GENRE: BDSM
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 14, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback

BLURB:

When one of their own is threatened, the men of the Iron Eagle Gym will stand together and prove they are stronger as a family.
Stuntman Barclay Drambor suspects his fall from a roof was no accident. He believes his abusive ex was responsible, but he can’t prove it. Fortunately, a year has gone by with no word from Duncan, letting Barclay move on with his life—and that means dealing with the aftermath of his injuries. He finds personal trainer Reece “Rec” Gordon through a member of the gym, and it’s not long before their workouts together become much more intimate. Rec is gentle and goes out of his way to make Barclay comfortable, and in no time there’s talk of moving in together….
But just as Barclay is healing and finding a place to belong, Duncan returns to destroy his happiness. Though Duncan will learn he’s messing with the wrong group of men, in the end, Barclay must face him. Will Rec’s love and the friendship of the others at the gym give him the confidence to stand up for himself?


The Gentle Dom is the seventh book in the Iron Eagle Gym series by Sean Michael. I’ve read a couple of the other books in the series and greatly enjoyed them. I can’t wait until I have read them all. This book is a standalone book.

There are cameos from some of the other Iron Eagle members from past books, but you don’t have to have read their stories to enjoy them in this book. This book centers around personal trainer Reece “Rec” Gordon and stuntman Barclay Drambor. The book is well written. There were a few editing mistakes, but they weren’t very distracting. And there was more than enough sex in the book. Lots and lots of sex. So if you don’t like your books with a lot of sex scenes and just enough other interactions outside of the bedroom to satisfy a plot, then this book and series are probably not for you. I happen to really enjoy lots of sex scenes in my books, so for me it is usually a treat, but even this book was riding the line on too much sex. It had started to lose its titillation, and I wanted them to leave the bedroom just a little bit more. Maybe see a little bit more of Barclay’s rehabilitation. But otherwise, I loved the book.

Barclay Drambor is a stuntman that’s recovering from falling from a roof. His only goal is to get his body strong enough to get out of his wheelchair and get back to work. After finally being cleared by his doctor to begin working out again, he meets one of his friends that recommends his friend Reece that works at the Iron Eagle Gym to help him with his recovery. Barclay is also pretty sure that his fall from the roof wasn’t an accident. He believes his abusive ex was responsible, but he can’t prove it and nobody that he’d told believed him.

Luckily for him the last time he saw his ex was when he was in the hospital over a year ago. However, he can’t stop worrying that his ex will show back up and try to hurt him again. And that’s ultimately why they broke up in the first place because Duncan was abusing him both physically and mentally. He even ripped out his nipple piercing. I loved Barclay. He was super sweet and kind of shy. He hadn’t been around the BDSM lifestyle and wasn’t sure that it was for him, but that’s what I like about the BDSM lifestyle—that it doesn’t have to be anything that you don’t want it to be. You don’t like spankings, fine. You don’t like being humiliated, fine. You just want to belong to somebody and be cherished as they cherish you that is perfectly fine also. And that’s what Barclay is looking for as a natural submissive. He wants somebody to cherish him. To be kind and gentle with him and show him that he’s loved.

Reece “Rec” Gordon is a personal trainer for the Iron Eagle Gym and a Dom. I liked Rec. I liked getting to see how Barclay recovered and how Rec introduced him into the BDSM lifestyle. He didn’t push or try to introduce him into things that were a turn off to him. He got to know him and his likes and dislikes. I liked their instant chemistry. You could feel the attraction that they had for each other. And I liked that Reece believed Barclay when he told him his suspicions about his fall from the roof. They were just great together.

Overall, another great addition to the Iron Eagle Gym series. I hope this series continues for a very long time.

***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