Review: “A Prayer for the Dead” by Victor J.Banis

TITLE: A Prayer for the Dead
AUTHOR: Victor J.Banis
SERIES: Tom and Stanley
PUBLISHER: DSP Publications
COVER ARTIST: Adrian Nicholas
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: Apr 17, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 e-book / $14.99 paperback

BLURB:

A Tom and Stanley Mystery
Second Edition
Does murder follow Tom and Stanley around, or do they follow the murders?
After a hospital stay, Stanley is invited by Father Brighton to convalesce at St. Marywood, an isolated monastery on the ocean cliffs of Big Sur. Upon arrival, Stanley finds Father Brighton dead. The order’s doctor writes it up as a death by natural causes, but those seem to be quite prevalent at the monastery. The recent demise of a young brother who fell from the cliffs is described as an accident, but Stanley’s nose is twitching. Plus the order’s finances have taken a sudden, mysterious turn for the better. Is something rotten at St. Marywood?
Stanley and Tom can’t resist digging around, even if it means testing their tumultuous relationship against a gaggle of handsome, young, virginal, and—they are told—gay men.
Continues the Deadly Mysteries Series published with MLR Press.


While Stanley is recovering in his hospital bed, a friar comes to visit him. Father Brighton is an old acquaintance of Chris, Stanley’s best friend, and invites him to convalesce at St Marywood, an old monastery on the ocean cliffs.
Stanley agrees to go with Chris, without Tom but when they arrive, they find Father Brighton dead. Most surprising, it’s not the first death in this monastery, a young man was dead a few weeks ago.
Stanley, the trouble magnet he is, understands that there’s no coincidence in those two deaths and even if he claims disliking it, the detective in him wants to investigate.
A Prayer for the Dead is book 7 in this new edition of Tom and Stanley mysteries.

Stanley starts the investigation alone, without his Tom. He couldn’t help it, he knew something was wrong with those deaths. The first part of the book is all about Stanley and Chris trying to solve this new mystery. The second part, Tom comes because he missed Stanley…ok, he didn’t say this, but I knew, he can’t lure me with false pretenses, and our super duet of detectives succeed in their mission. I was glad when he came because Tom Danzel is soooooooo Tom Danzel, and so hot, like super mega alpha hot. Even if they seem to be opposite (and they are), they’re also are complementary and really good together.

I liked this book and this story. It reminds me of a gay lighter version of the novel The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (I love this book). You know the old suffocating atmosphere in an isolated monastery with mysterious priests or friars here. But like I said, it was a gay version, since all the members of this community are gay.

Even if the atmosphere seems religious and heavy, the book was light, fresh, funny and dynamic. There’s some comical of situations with hilarious moments. Personally, my favorite is the naked man with the jockstrap on a cliff… Yes, it’s sounds like Clue (I loved this game), and I won’t tell you more, you’ll just have to read the book and find this scene.
It was a pleasurable read, funny with a good mystery, and I didn’t see the big explanation coming, not at all.

It’s 4 OptimuMMs for my favorite PI.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Lost Soul Found” by Kris T Bethke

TITLE: Lost Soul Found
AUTHOR: Kris T Bethke
SERIES: Requiem Inc
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: Ghosts/Spirits
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 212 pages
RELEASE DATE: Apr 17, 2018
PRICE: $ 3.49 e-book / $9.99 paperback

BLURB:

Dying is all in a day’s work. Love is more dangerous.
Ghostwalker Sam Jones has been half in love with Michael King since he started working at Requiem Inc. But Michael is his boss and a Guardian, to boot. Sam thinks they could make it work anyway, but Michael uses his position and his age to keep Sam at arm’s length.
When Sam continues to volunteer for the most dangerous cases, Michael has to intervene. He tells himself he’s just doing his job, but he’s always seen Sam as more than another operative, and he can’t bear the thought of not taking his chance. The connection between them has been strong from the beginning, and Michael’s telepathy adds unexpected depth and an edge to their new romance, but working together while they try to build their relationship might be the hardest part of their job if they don’t make some sacrifices.


Lost Soul found is book 2 of the Requiem inc series.
Sam Jones is a ghostwalker. That means he dies every day, goes to the spirit plane (or afterlife) and helps lost souls to cross into the light, and he comes back to the living plane (us) and needs his anchor to take care of him. It’s his job.

Michael King is an anchor and a guardian. He’s the one in charge of all the operatives (ghostwalkers and anchors), he’s the one who kills and bring back all the operatives.
Sam has been in love with Michael for the last decade, but Michael, as attracted to Sam as he is, refuses to have a relationship with him, he denies his attraction for him, and hides behind their job.

How can they have a relationship while working together with Michael being Sam’s boss? That’s what they’ll have to find out.
After the beautiful Ghost of a Chance  I was more than happy to read this second book.
Sam is funny, smart, stubborn and determined to have Michael. He was patient for ten years, until he couldn’t take any more rejection from Michael. I loved Sam. He’s really sweet, smart and nice. He’s funny and stubborn too. I loved how he keeps pursuing Michael because he knew that they were meant to be together.

Michael is hot, powerful, protective and possessives. He’s wanted Sam from the beginning, but he refuses to abuse his authority by being with him. He hides behind this excuse for years until he almost lost Sam, so he maned-up, and confesses his fears and his attraction. I really love him, he is a super-hot, very Alpha type, but at the same time very caring. He loves taking care of Sam, and it’s killing him to have to let Dom (Sam’s anchor) doing this instead of him. I love that he’s confident enough to admit when he was wrong and doesn’t hesitate to beg for forgiveness. No, really, this man is pure perfection (hello new obsession).

This book was different from book 1 and can be read as a standalone. The author did a good job with this book, Sam and Michael are adorable, the plot is only about them and their relationship, it was good and funny sometimes to read how they built their life together.

It’s confirmed the author’s talent and for me to keep following this series.

4 OptimuMMs for the Guardian and his love.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Ten Mile Bottom” by Teodora Kostova

TITLE: Ten Mile Bottom
AUTHOR: Teodora Kostova
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: self
COVER ARTIST: Jay Aheer
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 240 pages
RELEASE DATE: Mar 22, 2018
PRICE: 3.99 -e-book / 10.99 -paperback

BLURB:

Hitting rock bottom is just the beginning…
I’m a son, a brother, a friend.
A writer.
An addict.
Dead.
Cardiac arrest isn’t enough to keep me dead, though. The doctors brought me back, but for what?
At twenty four I’ve already achieved what most people do in a life time. I’m a successful author, own a flat in the heart of London and drive my dream sports car.
Or at least that’s what people see.
Once the spotlight fades, I’m left alone with my overactive mind, alcohol and drugs the only way to quiet down the noise.
Until an overdose nearly kills me and drags everyone I love down with me.
With the help of my best friend, I leave London and its toxic influence behind, moving to a small town in the outskirts of Cambridge to try and put my life back together again.
If only it were that easy.


Finn is 24 years old, a successful writer and a junkie.
When he overdosed in the toilet of a club, Finn, with the help of his sister and his best friend, decides to start over, for good, and for the fourth time.

After his rehab, Finn moves to Ten Mile Bottom, a small town near Cambridge, where he meets Ben, a handsome young mechanic.
This time, Finn wants to succeed at getting his life back, to be in control again, but nothing is easy when his demons still haunt him.
I had a real pleasure with this book.

Finn is maybe 24 years old, but he sounds like an old soul. He’s a self-destructive man, addict of hard drugs and alcohol and it took an OD, the heart attack of his best friend and his sister having a miscarriage because of him for Finn to understand that he needs to change. I loved Finn, not at the beginning of the book, I found him too selfish until I understood that he’s an addict, and because of that, he couldn’t understand the pain he inflicted on others. But when he finally understands that he can’t live like that, risking his life but also his best friend’s life, he makes a real change. Finn doesn’t try to find excuses for himself, and he’s lucid about his condition. I really loved him. I found him touchy and funny sometimes.

Ben is a young, hot mechanic. He’s 21 years old but very mature, calm and kind. He supports Finn in his rehab, he tries to understand him, and his fears, and because of that, Finn succeed in his rehabilitation. I really loved Ben, how calm, confident and kind he is, and hot, really hot.

I really love this book. It was a sweet love story, but not only that, it was also a book about a second chance (or in this case fourth). How sometimes a decision like moving to a small town at the bottom of England can change your life, or how inviting an almost stranger to dinner can be the beginning of the most beautiful story of your life. I liked it, I like this kind of book, when the Mc has to start over from scratch.

It was my first time with Teodora Kostova. I never read her before, and it was a good surprise. I loved her writing, simple, fluid and dynamic. I loved how she built her plot around Finn and the aftermath of his OD. It was an exceptional book that I read easily. I was hooked into the story and was surprised when I finished it. I’ll definitely read more books from her.

It’s 4 OptimuMMs for me.

***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: “Redeeming the Stepbrother” by Andrew Grey

TITLE: Redeeming the Stepbrother
AUTHOR: Andrew Grey
SERIES: Tales from St. Giles
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Adrian Nicholas
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 10, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback

BLURB:

A Tale from St. Giles
Family can be a blessing and a curse, but for artist Florian, it’s a nightmare he longs to escape.
As chief designer for Bartholomew Artist Porcelain, Florian specializes in painting birds. He also watches them in the wild to distract himself from his short-tempered mother, at least temporarily. Florian’s heart is too soft to leave his stepsister, Ella, to suffer alone. Still, he can’t help dreaming about one day finding happiness and love.
When Count Dieter von Hollenbach arrives in town to visit a friend and present an award, he isn’t looking for romance. Then again, he doesn’t expect someone as perfect as Florian to come into his life. To make sure Florian is all he seems and that their connection is genuine, Dieter keeps his title to himself.
But he isn’t the only one with a secret.
At a masquerade ball to celebrate the award, some of the masks fall away, but those that remain in place could destroy the love beginning to grow between them.


Redeeming the Stepbrother is the second book in the Tales of St. Giles series by Andrew Grey. I loved the first book in the series, Taming the Beast, which was a play on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale.
The second book is a play on the Cinderella fairy tale, but Andrew Grey has made it his own because the story isn’t about Cinderella, which would be the stepsister, it’s about one of the stepbrothers, who wants to protect his stepsister. There is still the evil stepmother and the rotten stepbrother, but there is only one rotten stepbrother instead of two. The good stepbrother, Florian, is old enough and makes enough to be on his own instead of still living at home but that would leave his underage stepsister at the mercy of his selfish and self-absorbed mother, who treats his stepsister like her own personal servant. So Florian stays to play mediator. I loved how he stands up to his mom and his brother ‘cause they are both a piece of work.

Florian and his brother both work at the Bartholomew Artist Porcelain, however, Florian is loved by his design team and everybody at the company, and his brother is hated by his co-workers. So when his brother gets passed over for a supervisor’s promotion, it has to be his brother’s fault since he’s been seen talking to the owners and the German representative that is there to present an award that the company has won.

I loved Florian. He’s kind and sweet and doesn’t take shit from his family but there isn’t a lot of gay people in their little town, and he’s kind of lonely. And he may have had a crush on his boss, Dante for the longest time, although he’s had to give that up when his boss got married, and he can see how in love they are and how they complete each other. Florian is a chief designer and specializes in painting birds. He’s won numerous awards, and it’s because of his work that they have won another award. He also loves to watch the birds in the wild to help with design ideas, and it’s in the marshes that he first meets Dieter von Hollenbach. And he falls for him fast and hard. But he knows that a relationship between them is not realistic since Dieter is only going to be in town for two weeks before going back home. Will Florian go with him when he goes and if he does what will happen to his stepsister?

Count Dieter von Hollenbach is in town to visit his friend Dante and award his company with an award. When he gets into town, he goes to the local hotspot for seeing birds and gets stuck in the mud and is lucky that Florian is there to save him. He didn’t come looking for love, but that didn’t stop it from happening. But is Florian really as wonderful as he seems and how will he react when Dieter tells him that he’s a count?

I liked how Dieter and Florian interacted together, and I loved getting to see more of Dante and Beau from the first book. I especially liked how the book ended, and I can’t wait to see what the author comes up with next.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Bad Attitude” by K.A. Mitchell

TITLE: Bad Attitude
AUTHOR: K.A. Mitchell
SERIES: Bad in Baltimore
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Kanaxa
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 210 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 10, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 -paperback

BLURB:

Second Edition

Saving lives never used to be this complicated.

Gavin Montgomery does what’s expected of him by his wealthy and powerful family—look good in a tuxedo and don’t make waves. When a friend takes a leap off a bridge, Gavin tries to save him, only to fall in with him. At least at the bottom of the river he won’t feel like such a disappointment to his family. But he’s pulled from the water by a man with an iron grip, a sexy mouth, and a chip on his shoulder the size of the national deficit.

Jamie Donnigan likes his life the way it is—though he could have done without losing his father and giving up smoking. But at least he’s managed to avoid his own ball and chain as he’s watched all his friends pair off. When Montgomery fame turns a simple rescue into a media circus, Jamie decides if he’s being punished for his good deed, he might as well treat himself to a hot and sweaty good time. It’s not like the elegant and charming Gavin is going to lure Jamie away from his bachelor lifestyle. Nobody’s that charming. Not even a Montgomery….

First Edition published by Samhain Publishers Inc., April 2013.


This is the third book in the series, and I would suggest reading the first two just so you know who characters are and their backstory. I’ve really enjoyed this author’s writing and her different characters that fit well together no matter how different they are from each other they are. In fact, it’s fun to watch these opposites figure everything out.

Gavin is the typical little rich boy that does what’s expected of him during the day. But once the sunsets, he’s a naughty boy that may party a little too hard. Well, one night, he knew he was too drunk to drive, so he let his friend, Beach drive. Well, Beach was a little more intoxicated than Gavin thought. Beach stopped on a bridge and ended up in the river below. And so did Gavin trying to save his friend’s life. Of course, everyone thought Gavin was trying to kill himself. And in the rich community, this was not acceptable. It made Gavin’s family look bad.

Jamie is a man with losses that are devastating. The latest being his dad who died from smoking and so Jamie has quit. He lost his man in a parachute accident that was preventable. Damn people taking stupid risks gets on his last nerve. One night, he gets called to a search and rescue for a couple of jumpers. Jamie finds these men and saves their lives.

Gavin’s family throws a big party for this hero, Jamie, and things are just a little too much for Jamie. The media is on this story since it was a Montgomery that went over the bridge but Jamie was just doing his job. Gavin wants to kiss those lips that saved him, but Jamie wants simplicity. Well, things change after Gavin invites Jamie to a party. The heat between these two is hot but can they get past their differences? Can they get to know the real personalities of each other? Can they get past their communication differences and actually tell each other the truth? I guess you will have to read and find out for yourselves. Trust me, this is a fun read.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis