Review of: Like Shadows in the Night by Mary Durante

TITLE: Like Shadows in the Night
AUTHOR: Mary Durante
SERIES: Shadows #1
RELEASE DATE: May 16th 2019


In an alternate universe where BDSM is an integral part of human culture, and every individual’s life is shaped by whether they were born as a Dom, sub, or switch, one man has daringly broken the rules of the game.
Matt Steels—sexy, powerful, mysterious, filthy-rich president of the hottest IT company in the country—refuses to play his assigned role. Despite enjoying the company of numerous subs, his private life is a solitary one.
That abruptly changes when he foolishly decides to intervene in a street brawl, saving a man from a savage beating. Little does he know that the man he’s saved is a wanted criminal, a lethal assassin who hides behind a Biblical alias and whose tools of the trade include sharp knives and an even sharper tongue.
But the assassin known as Lucifer has discoverd Matt’s most closely guarded secret, and decides to pay him a surprise visit. And as unlikely as it may seem, he might be exactly what Matt so desperately craves.

Matt is one of the most powerful men in North America. He’s powerful with his company Steel Tech and a pure genius with technology. He also has secrets—a lot of secrets—but one is more important than the others and can put him in danger.
Lucifer is the assassin of the Sons of Adam, one of the most dangerous gangs in the world. Lucifer is dangerous. He’s a wanted man by the police, the FBI, and his own clan.
Matt and Lucifer have nothing in common. They don’t live in the same social circles, but their paths cross, for the better or the worst, that’s what they will have to find out.
Like Shadows in the Night by Mary Durante is my first book from this author. It’s actually her first book in English. She’s a popular MM author in Italia.

I’m not a fan of the omega verse or sub verse genre, but the blurb of this book intrigued me, and I wasn’t disappointed.
The story is in an alternate universe where people are divided into 3 genres, Dom, Sub, and Switch. After years of fighting, they all have the same rights. In the eyes of the law, they are equal, but in real life, discrimination and abuse against Subs is common.

Matt is powerful—he isn’t scared of his board, a Dom or even an assassin like his lover Lucifer. He’s brilliant—a genius and very rich—he is powerful…in appearance. Deep down, Matt is afraid to be hurt and mistreated like in his past, so he keeps people at a distance. And it works, until Lucifer walks into his life and changes everything. I liked Matt. He was funny, smart, brave, and sensitive. I liked his sassy mouth and his fierceness when he needed to protect the people he loves.

Lucifer is more mysterious, more enigmatic, so at first, I didn’t know if I’d like him or not, but the more I read about him, the more I started to like him, until, like Matt, I completely melted for him. He’s more than an assassin. He’s more than a Dom. He’s just a man with a broken past and traumatic secret, too. I really liked him.

The book is written from Matt’s POV; we follow him on his journey with Lucifer. It wasn’t too long or too boring, it was just right, well written, and interesting.

I would love to read more about Matt and Lucifer.

4 stars

***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: A Pocketful of Stardust by P Barnaby, Rowan Speedwell

TITLE: A Pocketful of Stardust
AUTHOR: JP Barnaby, Rowan Speedwell
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary, Ghost, Spirits
RELEASE DATE: Jul 30, 2019


Noah Hitchens loves the New York City life he worked hard to build. But when his father dies and leaves him a bankrupt bookstore in their sleepy Georgia hometown, Noah knows he has to save it. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know anything about business. He finds unlikely help in Henry, the man who owned Stardust Books before his 1966 murder, and Kyle St. James, a shy but kind-hearted out-of-towner with a past almost as mysterious as Henry’s.
Kyle came to Aster, Georgia, looking for redemption. On the run and out of hope, he’s just trying to get on with his life. Then he meets Noah, a ghost, and a big sloppy lab named Jake who redefine his idea of living. But his past is closing in, and when it finds him, they could lose everything.

Noah is happy with his life in New York until a phone call from his hometown announced that his father had died, and he has to get his father succession and inheritance in order.
He left New York suddenly and went back home to bury his only parent. Soon he realizes that his father’s bookstore is almost at bankruptcy and Noah doesn’t know how to save it or if he wants to save it. Meeting Henry, the ghost, and Kyle his hot and shy neighbor might help him, but when the time comes, Noah will have to make a decision between the nostalgia of his childhood and the reality of his future.
A Pocketful of Stardust by JP Barnaby and Rowan Speedwell was my first book by both of the authors.

It was a sweet and beautiful story, with a rainbow of feelings. The book was told from Noah’s POV, and we follow him in his journey. We’re with him at each step, and we share his pain with him, along with tears, love, and happiness. I really appreciated how the authors had described all the emotions of the MCs well.

Noah and Kyle are made for each other. Noah is confident, but Kyle is stronger, he has a horrible and traumatic past that he struggles to deal with, until Noah helps him. I loved how they’re different but also how they’re similar. I loved Kyle. He touched me with his shyness, and his purity moved me. They are very sweet and adorable, two kind souls who met and recognized each other.

The authors transcribed very well, also, all the small town atmosphere, with a strong community ready to help and support each other. I loved it, in the crazy world where we live nowadays, we need that reminder that there’s still good people around us.
The writing was good, even if sometimes a little bit repetitive, I was still hooked in the story.

Even if it wasn’t all candies and rainbows, this book was sweet, beautiful and I really had a good time with them.
4 Stars for them

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Digging Deep by Jay Hogan

TITLE: Digging Deep
AUTHOR: Jay Hogan
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: Aug 6, 2019


Drake Park has a complicated life. As a gay male midwife, he’s used to raising eyebrows. Add Crohn’s disease and things get interesting—or not, considering the sad state of his love life. Experience has taught Drake that most men are fair-weather sailors when it comes to handling his condition—gone for dust when things get rough. Staying healthy is a full-time job without adding in any heartbreak, so a little loneliness is a small price to pay. If he says it often enough he might even believe it. One thing for sure, the cop who arrested him isn’t about to change that.
Caleb Ashton does not have a complicated life. A senior detective with the Whangarei Police Department, he likes his job and is good at it. He works hard and plays hard, happy to enjoy as many men as he can while he’s still young enough—or at least he was. These days he feels adrift for the first time in his life, and the only thing sparking his interest—a certain prickly young midwife.
But can Drake find enough faith to risk opening his heart again? And does Caleb have what it takes to cope with the challenges Drake’s condition presents?

Drake Park is a young gay midwife who lives with Crohn’s – a chronic disease. His life is dictated by his disease, every simple thing like eating out, going to the theatre or traveling needs to be carefully prepared. Drake is single, his last relationship was a disaster at the end, and Drake is determined to never have to live that again – until Caleb.
Caleb is a hot gay cop, a bachelor who jumps from bed to bed without doing any repeats and running away from everything that might look like it’s a relationship. Everything was fine like that until he meets a sparky, bossy, hot midwife who gives him a run for his money.
Caleb doesn’t know if he can be in a serious relationship without messing it up, and Drake refuses to have a repeat of his last relationship. What are the odds that these two men succeed together?

Digging Deep by Jay Hogan is my first book by this author, and I liked it.
I loved the plot about a chronic disease, especially Crohn’s. I have friends who suffer from it, and I was glad to read a romance where one of the MCs has it. The author did her work well, and I appreciated that she took the time to research about it. Every disease is different from one person to another, but she sums the main aspects of it pretty well, and I liked it.

I loved the MCs. Drake is funny, sparky, and bossy. He refuses to appear vulnerable in front of everyone, especially Caleb. He pushes him away a lot from fear of the rejection when he will have a bad Crohn’s flare. He appears mean sometimes, and I found him pretty rude with Caleb, but I understand him and his reasons. Besides, when he realizes his mistakes, Drake works hard to make it up to Caleb, and I really love it.

Caleb is funny, sincere, and honest from the start with Drake. He admits knowing nothing about the relationship thing, and he admits not knowing anything about Crohn’s disease. But he refuses to let Drake judge him or assuming the worst about him. He fights hard for Drake, and for them. He wants a real chance to prove to Drake who he really is. I loved Caleb and his weird sense of humor.

The plot and the story were good, but there was too much repetition. All throughout the book, we read Drake pushing away Caleb, and Caleb doubting himself about their relationship. It was necessary at first when they started to date, but at some point, it was too much, and I had the feeling of turning in a circle with the same issues each time. It’s the only thing that bothered me during my read, and I admit I had to skip some passages from time to time.

Excepting this point, I really loved the story. The MCs, including the secondary ones, especially the awesome and wonderful Carmen/Daniel. I secretly hope to read a book about them and also about Aaron, Drake’s BFF.
Even if everything wasn’t perfect, it was a good book that I enjoyed.

4 Stars for them.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of :  The Priest by Rowan McAllister

TITLE: The Priest
AUTHOR: Rowan McAllister
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Sept 10th, 2019


hronicles of the Riftlands: Book Two
Brother Tasnerek, one of the infamous Thirty-Six stone bearers, is facing a dangerous crisis of faith after uncovering a secret that could shake the foundations of the Brotherhood of Harot. When Tas is sent to protect a tiny village on the edge of Rassa’s borders from Riftspawn, he struggles to resume his duties, risking his life and the lives of those around him.
Girik has always been an outsider, but to help his sick mother, he agrees to be the village’s offering in a painful ritual deemed necessary by the Brotherhood. But when the priest has a crisis of conscience, Girik offers his help to untangle a web of lies—even if it means getting closer than he ever imagined and committing sacrilege in the process.
With a monster lurking in the forest, a wandering mage mysteriously appearing, and more secrets awakening to unravel the truths of their world, Tas and Girik must make grave decisions. A life without danger seems a far-off hope, but love just might be theirs… if they survive.

Brother Tasnerek is one of the Thirty-six stone bearers. He’s facing a crisis of faith, and he doesn’t know how to face the next ritual he has to perform for the next hunt.
Girik is an outsider in his village, but he agrees to be the offering of the next ritual if the village will take care of his sick mother.
Tas and Girik have nothing in common at first, until Tas fails the ritual and Girik helps him to find a better solution to save the village. But when the spawn missed killing them, and a curious mage appears out of nowhere to help them, Tas and Girik will have to face the truth about their life, their future, and their feelings.
The Priest by Rowan McAllister is book 2 in the Chronicles of the Riftlands. It can be read as a standalone.

I adored The Wanderer, book 1 of this series, and I was happy to read this sequel.
Tas is a young priest, the youngest in his position. After discovering some proof against his brotherhood and how they lost themselves in greed and power, Tas has a crisis. A crisis of his faith in his brotherhood, a crisis of his life and his purpose. He tries to hide at first, but when he must face Girik in the ritual for the hunt, Tas loses his nerve and confides about his doubt. I liked Tas. He was really lost between what he believed and the truth, but when he couldn’t deny it anymore, he tried to do what was the best to protect the innocent and Girik.

Girik is an outsider among his village. People think of him as a simpleton, but Girik doesn’t care. He doesn’t care about what people think of him, he only cares about his mother, and he’s ready to do everything to make sure she’s well taken care of. She’s dying, and that’s why Girik accepts being the offering, but when he realises that Tas couldn’t perform the ritual, Girik tries to help him. I adored Girik. He’s smart, brave, fierce with a kind heart. He’s smarter than what people think. He didn’t hesitate to face a spawn to save Tas. I adored him.

The story and the plot were good, a little bit slow at the beginning, but it made sense at the end. The author takes the time to explain all the context about Tas’ stone, the brotherhood and most importantly, the immediate connection between Girik and Tas. The MCs were well developed. I was happy to see Lyuc, Ian, and Brin. They’re part of this adventure, and they help Tas and Girik to accept their destiny.
This book can be read at a standalone, but it’s better to read the series in order. Indeed, there’s a thread between each book, and it will be easier to understand all the background of this amazing universe.

I can’t wait to read the next book, the end of The Priest announces more in the future for this misfit band, and more revelations will come.

It’s 4 stars for them.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Anhaga  by Lisa Henry

TITLE: Anhaga
AUTHOR: Lisa Henry
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: High Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: July 23 2019


Aramin Decourcey—Min to his few friends—might be the best thief in Amberwich, and he might have a secret that helps him survive the cutthroat world of aristocratic families and their powerful magic users, but he does have one weakness: his affection for his adopted nephew, Harry.
When the formidable Sabadine family curses Harry, Min must accept a suicide mission to save his life: retrieve Kazimir Stone, a low-level Sabadine hedgewitch who refuses to come home after completing his apprenticeship… and who is in Anhaga, a seaside village under the control of the terrifying Hidden Lord of the fae. If that wasn’t enough, Kaz is far from the simple hedgewitch he seems.
With the Sabadines on one side and the fae on the other, Min doesn’t have time to deal with a crisis of conscience—or the growing attraction between him and Kaz. He needs to get Kaz back to Amberwich and get Harry’s curse lifted before it kills him. Saving Harry means handing Kaz over to his ruthless family. Saving Kaz means letting Harry die. Min might pride himself on his cleverness, but he can’t see his way out of this one.
The Hidden Lord might see that he never gets the choice.

Aramin Decourcey – Min for his friends—is a thief…a well know thief who works for the richest families in the kingdom. Everything was fine in his life until his nephew, Harry, is cursed by one of the most powerful families in the Kingdom, the Sabadines. Min has no choice; he has to retrieve their grandson Kazimir, a hedgewitch apprentice who lives in Anhaga and refuses to come home. It’s a suicide mission, since Anhaga is in the Hidden Lord’s territory, and he’s a powerful and cruel fae.
Min won’t have a choice—if he wants to save Harry’s life, he will have to succeed in his mission despite the danger and the growing attraction and feelings he might have for Kazimir…Harry’s life is at stake.
Anhaga by Lisa Henry is a high fantasy MM Romance that I enjoyed a lot.

The story is written from Min’s POV; we follow him on his crazy journey. I wasn’t sure I wanted to like Min at first because I found him rude and heartless. I found him especially harsh with Kaz, and I really wanted to beat him multiple times, but thanks to Harry who didn’t hesitate to call him on his BS. I understood him and his motivations, don’t get me wrong, he had one goal, save Harry’s life, but sometimes I found him unfair with Kaz. That was until he decided to stop lying to himself and admitted the truth. He cares about Kaz, and his situation hurts him more than he wants to admit. Min couldn’t deal with the idea of ruining Kaz’s life, but he couldn’t deal with losing Harry. It was a hard situation for him—a pure torture and I started to love him more for that, for admitting this impossible choice and his fears.

Kaz is a pure sweetheart. He’s gentle with a kind heart. He suffered a lot in his childhood, and he grew up isolated from the outside world. He didn’t want to come back with his family because he didn’t want to be mistreated again by them, but he was ready to sacrifice himself for Harry’s life, a perfect stranger. I adored Kaz. I adored his kindness, his sensitivity but also his strength and power. He was exactly what Min needed in his life and heart.

I loved this book, and the universe that Lisa Henry created that was original and captivating. Min and Kaz are more than what we see at first, and we discover them and their secret throughout the book. Like a striptease, they uncover themselves little by little.

I gladly recommend this book. It’s well written with an interesting and captivating plot.

4 Stars for them

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis