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

Review of: The Intersection of Purgatory and Paradise by A.J. Thomas

TITLE: The Intersection of Purgatory and Paradise
AUTHOR: A.J. Thomas
SERIES: Least Likely Partnership
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Mystery/ Suspense
RELEASE DATE: March 27, 2015


Life in small-town Montana has become hell for former San Diego homicide detective Christopher Hayes. No one will hire him, he has made the seething racism his lover Doug Heavy Runner faces at work worse by adding homophobia to the mix, and his most recent jog through town ends when two gay-bashing teenagers hit him in the head with a rock. Deputy Sheriff Doug Heavy Runner has never overcome the abusive relationship that traumatized and shattered him as a young adult. The memories, the lingering shame, and the fear he has never acknowledged have left him resigned to endure the discrimination he faces in Elkin. But he can’t stand it when Christopher becomes a target for that same hatred.
When the mutilated body of one of the boys who assaulted Christopher is found in Doug’s garage, Christopher and Doug return from a vacation in San Diego and uncover a tangle of secrets, lies, and tragedy lurking beneath Elkin’s small-town façade. With their relationship at a crossroads, they’ll have to work together to catch the killer and maybe find a paradise of their own.

Christopher Hayes is living in purgatory. He’s in hell. Christopher finds himself living in nowhere Montana, and as if that’s not bad enough, he’s getting the accusatory side-eye from the people of the small nowhere town for the heinous crimes his brother committed. As if for some reason Christopher is just as guilty. He’s absolutely miserable. He shouldn’t have to hide who he is to Doug Heavy Runner in public, and he most certainly shouldn’t have to put up with the town’s bigotry. But he’s in love with Doug, and somewhere along the line, he’s decided that should be enough until it’s not.

Doug Heavy Runner is just trying to live his life albeit it’s now two separate lives as it were. He has his life on the ranch which is his love, and then he has the life as a small-town deputy. He thinks keeping them separate will make everyone happy, but the only people he’s satisfying are the small-minded townsfolk that he has a twisted sense of loyalty to. It’s a big mess. And if Doug doesn’t figure out what matters most, he’s going to lose everything.

Christopher is miserable. He’s lonely, bored and tired. Tired of the accusations no one will blatantly throw at him, but it’s all over the faces of the townspeople and the not-so-subtle way they avoid him. He’s not his brother, and he’s not in the closet, but somehow, he’s been branded as both. He loves Doug, but he’s not sure he can handle his life anymore. He gets the opportunity to go home, and he’s not sure he’ll be able to find it in himself to leave again. He wants his old life back, but he doesn’t want to lose Doug.

Doug Heavy Runner just wants to live in peace. He knows the small town in sucking the life out of Christopher, but he’s not willing to sacrifice anything to make Christopher happy. He’s actually a pretty selfish guy. He won’t sell the family farm because he feels like he’s a failure if he does. Nothing he does is ever right or enough. Yet, Christopher won’t call the ranch home. Doug knows he has Christopher’s heart, but he’s not sure it’s enough anymore.

Oh my gosh, this series! I loved it! Except for this book. Doug is a selfish self-centered twit and Christopher, where are the brass down belows he had in book one? Where did they go, Christopher? Who are you in this book? Doug makes me ragey. I still don’t understand his misguided sense of loyalty to this messed up backwater town. Ugh to both of them. Now the other characters that come back and a few new ones are fantastic. The actual plot was great, and I still loved the series despite these two crazy guys. It’s definitely worth a read.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis