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

Review of: Boca Dreams by Scudder James Jr

TITLE: Boca Dreams
AUTHOR: Scudder James Jr
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: Dec 1, 2018


A Story from the Warmest Wishes: Dreamspinner Press 2018 Advent Calendar
You can’t correct the past.
Or can you?
Stephen’s not proud of who he was back in boarding school—spoiled and a player. Now, at the holiday reunion ten years later, he has a chance to show his former classmates who he really is: out and proud, devoted to helping others, and partnered with Victor.
Stephen understands why Victor, who grew up in a poor and abusive household, hates the rich kids at the reunion, but his attitude is ruining everything. Luckily Stephen bumps into Aaron, a former grunge rocker who has also changed. Stephen never forgot their one steamy night together.
With the help of three very unusual personifications of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, can Stephen revisit his mistakes and find the happiness that’s eluded him?

This was an endearing short story about true love. The author did a great job with the characters, and I loved the scenery that was of such beauty. This author kept a good flow with this storyline. I enjoyed most of the characters and loved hating a couple of them.

Stephen used to be a spoiled rich boy and a player with the girls. The problem with that is he was never into girls. Stephen is excited for his schools Holiday Fete. He had his boyfriend, and he was going to come out to all his friends and be the man that he is.

Victor, the boyfriend, was a douche from the get-go. He didn’t want to go with Stephen and did what he could to make it a miserable trip. When they arrived, Stephen introduced Victor as his boyfriend and his friends were very happy for him and his coming out. Stephen loved Seaboard and all its grandeur. He went looking for Victor, and when he walked into their room, he was with one of Stephen’s friends and tried to get him to join them. He storms out and runs into the sexy man he’d fooled around with years ago.

Aaron was a grunge rocker back when they had a steamy night together years ago but has changed since then. Aaron is so happy when Stephen and him run into each other at the event. Aaron goes to the spot of that fateful night so many years ago. Low and behold if Stephen doesn’t show up there, and the magic of that place hits them both. Stephen spills his heart to him, and he is there to pick up the pieces.

This is a fun and enjoyable read that shows that true love does and can exist.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: His Cursed Prince by Ryan Loveless

TITLE: His Cursed Prince
AUTHOR: Ryan Loveless
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: December 28, 2018


Three facts about Tuckington Belle:
1. Given the choice between illegally scaling the royal castle’s walls to steal flowers for a client at his family’s dress shop or going on a date with a girl his brother set him up with (“He’s fertile, and he can sew!”), Tuck will scale the wall like a spider after a fly.
2. If, upon knocking himself unconscious when he falls off the wall, Tuck wakes up bruised, blindfolded, and inside the castle, where—based on the unearthly wails heard nightly—the prince no one has seen in ten years is probably a ghost, Tuck would still choose this over a date with a girl.
3. Tuck thinks it’s time to admit he’s gay.
Three facts about Prince Frederick George Deor (Read and approved with great reluctance by Lord “Protocol is Protocol. Stop Being a Pain About It” Todd):
1. He brought a curse upon himself and now bears the skin of a snake.
2. He can’t take his eyes off the injured thief recovering in the castle.
3. Friendships born from lying and insisting the other person wears a blindfold can blossom into true love—which he needs to break the curse.

This is my first book by Ryan Loveless. I liked the blurb and was intrigued. I like fairy tales, and my favorite is Beauty and the Beast. When I read that the prince had been cursed, I knew that I had to read it. The book has aspects of my favorite fairy tale, but it is by no means a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. For one, only the prince is cursed instead of everybody that lives in the castle. The prince finds out that to break the curse, he doesn’t have to find somebody to love him. As he realizes when he falls in love with Tuckington and Tuckington with him, and the curse still isn’t broken. I like that little twist on the curse. There was some weirdness on the world building in that there are some electronic advances, but other aspects of life are stuck in the past like using horse and carriage for travel and for delivering handwritten letters but also having cell phones, twitter, and dishwashers. I thought it was a little weird, but it’s a fairy tale, so I didn’t let it bother me too much. I mean look at all of the things that happened in Beauty and the Beast, so a little bit of weirdness is okay.

I loved Tuckington Bell. He’s such a fun and loveable character. He loves to teach guitar lessons, but he’s also the best seamster and tailor at his family’s dress shop and is heavily relied upon by his family. When they have a particularly influential customer in the community order a prom dress for her niece, it puts his family into a tizzy to make sure that she’s completely satisfied. And to do that Tuck will end up having to illegally scale the royal castle’s walls to steal flowers for her dress. He ends up falling and knocking himself unconscious and wakes up bruised, blindfolded, and inside the castle where he meets George, who is the prince in disguise. Well, he doesn’t actually meet him because he has to cover his head by the covers, but he does get to talk to him, and in exchange for the flowers that he needs to finish the important dress, he agrees to come back to the castle and keep George company. George’s only stipulation is that Tuck has to be blindfolded in his company. As Tuck continues to come to the castle and visit with George, he finds himself falling in love with him and earning George’s trust.

I also loved Prince Frederick George Deor, AKA George. He grows up with privileges being the prince and so is arrogant and self-centered. He ends up offending the wrong person and is cursed because of it when he’s sixteen. He pushes everybody away and lives at the castle with Lord Todd, his royal advisor, Sir Michael, his senior guard, and Gracie, his servant girl/cook. Sir Michael is more of a jack of all trades since everybody has left the castle, but he refused to leave the prince. Everybody else had moved with the king and queen to their other castle. The prince hates the way he looks with his snake-like skin and only goes out to visit the castle grounds when it’s dark, and there isn’t a chance that anybody will see him. As a result, there are rampant rumors in the community on whether he’s still alive or not. He isn’t happy to see somebody stealing his flowers. That is until he sees him fall and gets a closer look at the thief and can’t believe how handsome he is. As he learns to trust Tuck with his curse and how he looks, he’s changed by how accepting Tuck is and learns to accept the changes that the curse has made and decides to come out of seclusion and be part of the community again. With everybody’s acceptance of how he looks, he comes to love himself more and cares less about breaking the curse. And he ends up breaking the curse himself and getting the man that he loves. And they get to live happily ever after.

It was a cute story, and I can’t wait to read more books by this author.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Reunited by Andrew Grey

TITLE: Reunited
AUTHOR: Andrew Grey
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: February 22, 2019


Back in high school, nobody noticed quiet nerd Kevin Howard.
But everybody noticed handsome, athletic, and ultrapopular jock Clay Northrup.
They had nothing in common and lived in different worlds.
But a lot can change in fifteen years, and when they meet again at their high school reunion, Clay is no longer the big man on campus, and Kevin isn’t hiding in a corner anymore.
Can they put aside who they were? Can one night really lead to forever?

I love reading books by Andrew Grey, and while I loved this one, I was also left wanting more. The book is only thirty-two pages long and feels more like an extended teaser for an upcoming novel instead of a finished book. I would be really happy if this book were extended and turned into a longer novel or maybe another book about them. I really enjoyed what I got to know about Kevin Howard and Clay Northrup. There is no sex in this book. There’s one short make-out scene, but no graphic details were given.

Kevin was a quiet nerd back in high school that nobody noticed. He was also on the husky side and had a huge crush on Clay who was in the drama club with him. Not that he thought Clay had ever noticed him. Almost a decade later, he owns four Karate studios and consults on movies. He’d gone to a class with a few of his friends in college and found that he loved it. Through all of his hard work, he’s really slimmed down. When he goes to his high school reunion, he ends up meeting his crush again in the parking lot, and they get to talking about cars and what they’ve been doing since high school. Kevin finds out that he wasn’t as invisible as he had thought to the handsome and ultra-popular jock.

Everybody in high school noticed Clay. Clay had been the guy who had it all. He was a talented actor, had the lead in all the school plays and musicals, and he was on the football team. He was the man everyone wanted to be and the one all the girls had wanted. But in high school, Clay had a secret and he admired Kevin because he was out and seemed so confident in high school. He didn’t hide as Clay did. After marrying his high school sweetheart, Bridget, they moved to New York to pursue Clay’s acting career. When that didn’t pan out, he ended up getting a divorce, and he returned home when his father died to take over his car dealership. His ex-wife was pregnant when she left him, and Clay ended up getting sole custody of his blind son when she was found to be unfit.

I like that Kevin and Clay don’t have anything in common and have lived in different worlds. It would be interesting to see how their relationship would progress. And if their relationship would hold up to all of Kevin’s traveling to his different karate studios and various movie sets to consult when Clay’s son needs a steady environment and routine and especially when all of Kevin’s traveling contributed to his last relationships failure.

I liked this short story, and I really hope that the author will either release another book about Clay and Kevin or that he makes this one longer. I want more of them.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Home and Heart by Sean Michael

TITLE: Home and Heart
AUTHOR: Sean Michael
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
RELEASE DATE: December 25, 2018


Is it possible to find the heart’s home twice in a lifetime?
Six years ago, Sawyer Burroughs’s life fell apart. His soul mate and husband of four years died of cancer, and he fell into depression… and a bottle. It’s taken six years, but he’s turned his life around and is ready to start again on the other side of the country.
In his new apartment, he’s welcomed by his young and carefree neighbor, Derek, from across the hall. Derek is eager to make Sawyer feel welcome and even offers him a place to stay when Sawyer arrives ahead of his furniture.
The upstairs neighbors are just as friendly, and soon Sawyer finds a place with the friends-with-benefits threesome. He’s not the shy, vanilla lover they think he is, though, and he’s hiding more than a pair of nipple rings. As it happens, the guys have kinky secrets of their own, but for four men to make a BDSM relationship last, they’ll have to figure some things out.

I can always rely on Sean for some hot sexiness. This book is no different. Sean has a way of making the temperature rise and give your little bits a wonderful sensation. If you enjoy lots of sexiness, a little BDSM and lots of men together, then this is the book for you.

Sawyer is a man restarting his life after his husband and Master had died five years before. Sawyer fell into depression and the bottle but has cleaned up his act and has moved to a new life. He’s sure that he will never find a Master for him again, but he knows he has to give life a go. His new apartment is just what he needs until the hot neighbor knocked on his door.
Derek knocks on Sawyer’s door excited to meet this little hottie. Derek just walks in and starts talking with this quiet little man. He notices that Sawyer has no furniture and just outright asks him to stay the night with him. Derek is not shy and immediately takes to him. He invites him to a BBQ in the yard with the other two men in the building, but Sawyer is not ready for all these men, at least he thinks he’s not ready.

Benny and Luke are a couple, and Luke is obviously the Dom. They’re excited about Sawyer moving in and can’t wait to get him to play with them all. But they see the way Derek is so into him, and they hope this will not deter the plan. Luke also see right away that Sawyer is a perfect little sub and how he needs a strong Dom. Luke agrees to teach Derek how to give him what he needs. Derek is a natural Dom and can’t believe he has gotten so lucky.

This is a fun read with lots of hot sex. So if you’re ready for all the different scenarios, then get to reading.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis