Review of: Under His Protection by LaQuette

TITLE: Under His Protection
AUTHOR: LaQuette
SERIES: Dreamspun Desires
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: April 16, 2019


They can escape their enemies, but not the desire between them.
Prosecutor Camden Warren is on the fast track to professional nirvana. With his charm, his sharp legal mind, and his father as chief judge in the highest court in NY, he can’t fail. Nothing can derail his rise to the top… until an attempt on his life forces him to accept the help of a man he walked out on five years ago.
Wounded in the line of duty, Lieutenant Elijah Stephenson wants to ride his new desk job until retirement—not take a glorified babysitting gig with more risk than it’s worth… especially not protecting the entitled lawyer who disappeared after the best sex of their lives.
The threat against Camden’s life is real, but their passion for each other might prove the greatest danger they’ve yet to face.

Camden Warren and Elijah Stephenson have a past. When life-threatening circumstances force to them together, it’s not the reunion they expected or even wanted. Elijah was perfectly happy living in denial about how much the enigmatic Executive ADA affected him. Camden is just trying to stay afloat when expectations threaten to drown him. Throw in a fanatic cult trying to kill Camden, and things go from bad to worse.

Lieutenant Elijah Stephenson is a stubborn, sexy hunk of man meat. I enjoyed his character immensely. His protectiveness and soft heart just won me over big time. He really thought he had met someone he could see creating a future with until that someone just left him and his heart without a backward glance. It was a meaningless encounter is what he kept telling himself, one of many. Deny, deny, deny. After an undercover assignment goes south, Elijah is left brutally beaten and questions everything about himself and his worth. He’s not broken just bruised, and a certain sexy blast from the past does more than just mend old wounds.

Executive ADA Caden Warren is Elijah’s opposite in many ways. He’s from a pompous family with old money and deep influences. His father has a plan for his son and knows exactly how to get Cam to toe the line. After walking out on Elijah, he’s left hollow and regretful. Camden is forced to face his demons and past regrets when a vengeful cult tries to take him out before he can put them on trial. He’s surprised the one man that can bring him to his knees is his police guard. Camden soon finds himself in the fight of his life, personally and professionally. Can he save both?

This was a great, entertaining story. In the pretense of being completely honest, I did have to skim through some parts. In some sections, the narration was tedious and drawn out. That usually would draw me out of the book, but this one was good enough that I didn’t find myself drawn away from the story. This is my first book by this author, and I look forward to reading others in the future.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Over and Back by Andrew Grey

TITLE: Over and Back
AUTHOR: Andrew Grey
SERIES: Bronco’s Boy
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: Apr 9, 2019


Opposites attract on an overseas holiday, but trouble has hitched a ride.
While Bronco’s nightclub is closed for renovations, the owners invite the staff on a trip to Italy. Bartender Hank needs a roommate, and he’s had his eye on waiter Grant for a while, even if he’s had to keep his distance. But sharing such close proximity means sparks are sure to fly….
Grant has a problem saying no, and it’s led him into some less-than-healthy relationships. While he’s determined not to repeat his mistakes, it’s clear Hank is different.
They’re both willing to take it slow and explore the feelings building between them, but even in a foreign country, their pasts are catching up, and that could hurt more than just their budding romance.

Hank and Grant work at Bronco’s. Hank is a bartender and Grant a server. The club is closing for a month for renovation, and the owners have a vacation in Italy planned. Hank was supposed to go there with Danny, his boyfriend, but after a bad breakup, he needs a roommate to share the bills with him. Grant is invited to go with him, to be Hank’s roommate. The thing is, Grant isn’t sure that Hank likes him, so guess he will have to discover the answer in Italy.
Over and Back is book 5 on the Bronco’s Boy series by Andrew Grey.

Hank is a hunky bartender. He had a bad break up with his ex-boyfriend, Danny, who forbade him to date anyone, especially Grant. Hank is attracted to the sweet Grant and sharing a room with him for 2 weeks in Italy will be pure torture for him. I like Hank, he isn’t the stereotype of the hunky bartender, he’s more a huge teddy bear. He’s really gentle and kind with Grant. He’s more fragile than what I thought at first, and I like that about him.

Grant is a cute little twink. He’s a good man, a good server. He’s kind and sensitive. His last relationship was toxic at the end for Grant, and some trauma settled inside Grant, but he fights back and tries to find his footing in life, to be himself without fears. The opportunity to go to Italy is something that he would never have done alone, and being with Hank is the cherry on the cake. I adore Grant, he is adorable, cute and fierce. He seems to be fragile, and he is fragile, but he’s also very strong and fierce, he’s blunt, he isn’t scared to speak his mind, and I love that about him. He’s not a damsel in distress—he’s a fighter.

I adored those two guys. They’re a good match and a good fit. I adored that it was Grant, the cute twink, who protected Hank, the hunk bartender. I love when nothing is like what we see, so I loved that the author mixes their roles and appearances.

The plot and the story was very good; we follow them on their trip to Italy. It was well described, I had the feeling of being there with them actually. The writing was dynamic and fluid, and I had a good time with them.

Over and Back is book 5 in the Bronco’s Boy series, but it can be read as a standalone. I didn’t read the 4 previous books in the series (not yet), and I didn’t have difficulties in reading this one and getting attached to the characters.

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 Doctor’s Secret by Heidi Cullinan

TITLE: The Doctor’s Secret
AUTHOR: Heidi Cullinan
SERIES: Copper Point Medical #1
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: Apr 23, 2019


The brilliant but brooding new doctor encounters Copper Point’s sunny nurse-next-door… and nothing can stand in the way of this romance.
Dr. Hong-Wei Wu has come to Copper Point, Wisconsin, after the pressures of a high-powered residency burned him out of his career before he started. Ashamed of letting his family down after all they’ve done for him, he plans to live a quiet life as a simple surgeon in this tiny northern town. His plans, however, don’t include his outgoing, kind, and attractive surgical nurse, Simon Lane.
Simon wasn’t ready for the new surgeon to be a handsome charmer who keeps asking him for help getting settled and who woos him with amazing Taiwanese dishes. There’s no question—Dr. Wu is flirting with him, and Simon is flirting back. The problem is, St. Ann’s has a strict no-dating policy between staff, which means their romance is off the table… unless they bend the rules.
But a romance that keeps them—literally—in the closet can’t lead to happy ever after. Simon doesn’t want to stay a secret, and Hong-Wei doesn’t want to keep himself removed from life, not anymore. To secure their happiness, they’ll have to change the administration’s mind. But what other secrets will they uncover along the way, about Copper Point… and about each other?

Dr. Hong Wei Wu is a brilliant surgeon promised to a brilliant career until the pressure burns him out and decides to accept a surgeon post at St Anne’s hospital, in Copper Point, Wisconsin.
Simon Lane has spent his whole life at Copper Point. He’s a surgical nurse at St Anne where he works with his two best friends and roommates, Owen and Jared.
Simon and Hong Wei are immediately attracting to each other, but St Anne has a strict non-dating rule that can put Simon out of a job if he dates Hong Wei. They will have to find a way to work together, to be together and to keep their jobs in the process.
The Doctor’s secret by Heidi Cullinan, is book one in the Copper Point medical series.

I enjoyed this book. It was well written, dynamic, funny and fluid.

Simon is a fan of the Asian culture—he loves K-Pop and Asian’s comedies. He loves his job, and he hopes to have a “good” surgeon to work with. He’s sensitive, professional, a hopeless romantic and wears his heart in his sleeve. He’s afraid to have an affair with Hong-Wei. He doesn’t want to leave his town and his family. I loved Simon—he’s so sensitive and kind. I loved his romantic side, I loved his shyness and his fragility until it comes to his man, then he’s protective and supportive of Hong Wei, and he’s ready to step out of his comfort zone for him, to change his entire life for him.

Hong Wei is a surgeon, one of the best of his generation but the pressure burns him out, and he runs away from the brilliant career in a big hospital to practice in a tiny hospital in the middle of nowhere. He doesn’t expect to be madly attracted to his sexy nurse, and to find a family and friends in Copper Point. I adored Hong Wei, and I especially adored how strong and sensitive he can be. He’s confident and strong in the hospital, he’s the one in charge, however, he’s fragile and sensitive with his family. I loved this duality about him. I adored him.
I really enjoyed this book. The plot was captivating. The first part of the book is about Hong Wei and Simon’s relationship, and the second part is about how they find a way out of the non-dating rule. I particularly enjoyed all the explanations about Asian culture that Heidi Cullinan puts in the book—it was very interesting and enlightening. I loved the themes she put in her story like racism, family, integration, and acceptance. The secondary characters are loveable, and I can’t wait to read more about them.

It was a good first start for this new series, and I will happily read the next book.

4 Stars for the Surgeon and his nurse.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Hidden Powers by Tara Lain

TITLE: Hidden Powers
AUTHOR: Tara Lain
SERIES: Superordinary Society
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Paranormal
RELEASE DATE: March 12, 2019


Superordinary Society: Book One
Jazz Vanessen is weird—and not just because he’s a werewolf. For most of his life, he’s felt different from his alpha male brothers and friends. Since he’s adopted, he can’t even blame it on family.
Now eighteen, Jazz meets his idol, the social activist Lysandra Mason, and her breathtaking nephew, Dash Mercury. When Dash is around, even stranger things start to happen, including Jazz falling hopelessly in lust. Not only is Jazz having visions, making people disappear, and somehow turning invisible, but somebody’s following him and threatening to reveal his pack’s secrets to the world.
Together with Dash and Jazz’s equally amazing friends—Carla, BeBop, Khadija, and Fatima—they discover the danger is even more lethal than they thought, and Jazz’s weirdness may save all their lives.

Hidden Powers is the first book in a brand new series called Superordinary Society by Tara Lain. This is the first paranormal book that I’ve read by Tara Lain. I love reading her contemporary books, and so I thought that I would give this one a try. I liked it and thought that it was a good start to a promising new series. I figured with it being a young adult book that it would be light on the romantic side of things, and so it was, which is fine. I liked the chemistry that developed between two of the main characters and will be excited to see how their relationship progresses in the next book.

I normally like the author’s writing style, but I found this one to have a lot of information about Jazz’s pack and their backstory and how they were all related to each other. And I found it hard to keep track of who was who and why all of the info that was given was important to the book. I agree with another reviewer’s review about how this part could have been forgone at the beginning of the novel and would have preferred to see more background on how Jazz and his best friend Carla had essentially grown up together and how they got to be so close as friends. I agree with the reviewer that more time invested in their relationship and how it evolved would have been more beneficial to the story.

Since this is a new series, I did spend most of the book trying to figure out who were the bad guys and who were the good guys. I was so happy that some of the people that I thought were going to be the bad guys ended up being the good guys. I was also hoping that the villain in the story wasn’t going to end up being one of Jazz’s biological parents or biologically being related to him since he’s adopted and doesn’t know where he gets his special powers from in addition to being an alpha werewolf. This wasn’t confirmed in any way in the book, so I’m hoping that we find out more about Jazz’s biological parents in the next book.

I liked the storyline of the book. I liked how Jazz is starting an internship at his family’s company and is going to work his way up in the company as opposed to going to university and then coming in as a CEO or some other high-ranking individual. I also liked how he became friends with his fellow interns, Carla, BeBop, Fatima, Dash, and Khadija and how they each have different powers and abilities that complement each other. They end up forming a group that they call The Superordinary Society and vow to help others in need.

I liked how the story progressed after getting through the beginning, and I think I will like the second book in the series a lot more now that I know who the important characters are and what their goals are. I look forward to seeing more of the members of the Superordinary Society and what forces of evil they conquer next. Overall, a good start to a promising new series.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Impacted! by Mickie B. Ashling

TITLE: Impacted!
AUTHOR: Mickie B. Ashling
SERIES: Bay Area Professionals
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: BDSM, Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: April 12, 2019


On his way home from vacation, Scott Gregory, a closeted sub, hooks up with the gorgeous Red, a flamboyant Dom, for a thrilling one-off at a BDSM bar. They part ways after a satisfying scene… but meet again when Robin Kennedy—Red—arrives at his new job as a dental hygienist and discovers one of his two bosses is Scott.
Robin and Scott embark on a journey of exploration into their kinkier sides and discover they’re more than compatible—they’re a perfect match. But keeping employer/employee and Dom/sub separate at the office presents difficulties, and to make matters even more complicated, the owner of the dental practice is an acknowledged homophobe.
They fall in love, but Robin chafes at all the secrecy, refusing to live in the shadows. Scott isn’t as brave; he’s desperate to protect his job and his future. Will they be able to find some middle ground… or will their entire relationship fall apart because of fear?

I loved Impacted! by Mackie B. Ashling. Impacted! is the first book in the Bay Area Professionals series. This is my first time reading a book by Mackie B. Ashling, but I can guarantee it won’t be the last. I loved the blurb and have been on a BDSM reading kick lately, and this book had everything that I love in a BDSM book. A Dom that is younger than his submissive but is no less experienced just because he is younger than his submissive. The Dom and sub end up working together and have a hard time keeping their professional and private lives separate. I also love a super needy sub and a protective, dominate Dom who’s there to push the sub’s limits and give him what he needs. Mackie B. Ashling gave me all of those things in this book, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series to see how Scott and Robin’s relationship evolves.

There were a couple of things that I thought were a little unneeded in the book. The book is told primarily through Scott and Robin’s POV which is expected, but we also got the POV of Scott’s best friend Susie, who’s straight and is looking for her forever boyfriend. So it’s kind of like having an MF subplot while you are reading a MM story. So if you don’t like reading MF stories at all, then this is probably not for you since the MF subplot does continue into the next book which is the sequel to this story and continues Scott and Robin’s story. It does continue the BDSM theme with Susie becoming a Domme, and she’s looking for her perfect submissive male. There were also the POVs of Scott’s boss Ron, who is a homophobe and I think there was a couple of other’s that I really didn’t think that we needed to know what they were thinking or why they were doing what they were doing. I don’t think it brought anything extra to the story. It sometimes took the focus away from Scott and Robin who the story is supposed to be about.

Scott’s a closeted submissive. He has just moved to San Francisco and has a contract to take over a successful dentistry business in a year. He didn’t know that his boss was a huge homophobe when he signed the contract. Who would have thought that there could still be homophobes in San Francisco, which is like the most gay-friendly place to live? But Scott was unlucky enough to have to work for one. He shoves himself back into the closet, telling himself that it is only for a year and that he can handle it since the reward is a four million dollar practice. He will be set for life. On his way home from vacation, he stops at a BDSM bar for a final scene before returning to his closeted life and hooks up with the flamboyant Dom, Red, who was bartending that night. After a very satisfying scene, they part ways, and Scott’s sad that he won’t be able to see Red again since Red’s moving soon. He definitely wasn’t expecting to see him when he goes to work the next day and finds out that he was hired by Ron, the owner, as the new assistant dentist.

Robin’s a Dom and has just finished getting his degree as a dental assistant. He would have gone on to be a dentist but didn’t want to be indebted by student loans. Even though he hasn’t been in the BDSM community long, only a couple of years, he did go and get trained to be a Dom and had been doing scenes with subs for a couple of years. He likes having one-off scenes and isn’t looking for a contracted sub. His last night bartending, he serves a sub a drink, and they have instant chemistry and agree to do a scene after he gets off work. He has no idea that the sub will turn out to be his boss at his new job or that they will get to continue to explore their kinks. Their chemistry goes through the roof, and they find that they are very compatible, are perfect for each other. But can they keep things under wrap under their boss’s homophobic nose or will he find out and fire them both. You will have to read the book to find out.

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

Review edited by : Amber Krogh