Review: “Holding Out for a Fairy Tale” by AJ Thomas

TITLE: Holding Out for a Fairy Tale
AUTHOR: AJ Thomas
SERIES: Least Likely Partnership
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Brooke Albrecht
GENRE: Mystery/ Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 250 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 09, 2014
PRICE: 6.99 e-book/ 17.99 paperback

BLURB:

When his vicious cousin Alejandro makes a violent late-night visit, San Diego homicide detective Ray Delgado gets a brutal reminder of why he left his family behind. Alejandro wants Ray to find his sister, Sophia, who disappeared from the UC San Diego campus, before the FBI digs too deep into his business.
Special Agent Elliot Belkamp spent his entire life jumping from one place to another, but his new assignment assisting a FBI task force offers him a chance to settle down. When Elliot catches a missing person’s case as his first assignment, the last person he expects to find poking around the victim’s dorm room is Ray, a one-time hookup he’s more inclined to punch in the face than kiss hello. After discovering Sophia’s disappearance is linked to a massive computer-based theft that has two powerful crime families ready to declare war, Elliot focuses on his investigation and tries to ignore Ray. As the search for Sophia turns dangerous, Elliot and Ray discover that tackling organized crime might be easier than resisting the urge to tackle each other.


After a late-night hook-up, Ray Delgado gets a visit from his cousin, Alejandro. It’s not exactly a friendly one. Ray’s family makes up one of the major crime syndicates in California. His cousin Alejandro is the new boss. Alejandro wants Ray to find his sister before the FBI starts digging too far into the disappearance and the family business. Ray, working alone since his old partner is shacking up with his new boyfriend in Montana, gets more than he’s bargained for when FBI agent Elliot Belkamp shows up at his cousin’s dorm room. Elliot just wants a place to settle down. He’s moved from place to place most of his life and he’s tired. The FBI is investigating a cyber-crime that involves Ray’s cousin, the exact one Ray is searching for.

Ray Delgado is a hard man to love. Heck even like. He has certain expectations and few have ever met them. Coming from a crime family, at work, he knows he has to do things above reproach. He’s torn between the love he still has for the family he was raised around and the job. Ray doesn’t do long-term. In fact, he’s a one-time off kind of guy and doesn’t make apologies. His playboy ways almost lost him his best friend and former partner, and now he’s risking losing his future.

Elliot Belkamp has never stayed in one place for long and now he’s ready to settle down. While Ray is the main character of the story, Elliot has a lot of his own mystery and intrigue going on. He’s a no-nonsense FBI agent. He knows he has this crazy chemistry with Ray, but they didn’t have a favorable experience. Elliot wants Ray but he’s already been burned by the man once before.

This series is fantastic. I had so much fun reading it. The guys have so much depth and the storyline is unique and fast-paced. Ray is complicated and frustrating at times. Elliot is a powerhouse and beautiful man. These two together have a chemistry that just scorched the pages.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “First Son of the Mound” by Meraki P. Lyhne

TITLE: First Son of the Mound
AUTHOR: Meraki P. Lyhne
SERIES: Chronicles of an Earned
PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
COVER ARTIST: Angela Waters
GENRE: MM Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 365 pages
RELEASE DATE: October 26th
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book / $11.50 -paperback

BLURB:

Kaleb and Jeff are working on their budding friendship and on earning the trust of their new and potential allies. In the attempt to secure his ally, Kaleb runs into new magic. Or rather, very old magic. That mistake leads to more, and not only on Kaleb’s part.
With planning a wedding, the Enki fest, the opening reception of the auction house, and the art exhibition, the Earned are stretched thin serving. Edward strikes gold when he stumbles upon a young artist with a secret. He reminds Edward of a cycles-old love—one he’s going to need to focus on as his youngest son is once again thrust into unknown kinds of magic.
The two powerful Captains and their new allegiance are put to the test. So is their friendship as Jeff continues to work on saving his marriage.


When it comes to occult things, I always find my entire being on edge. It was like this from my very early childhood. There are a lot of books out there in this genre, but when I say that the Chronicles of an Earned is one of the most genuine, I’m not exaggerating.

I fell in love with this series from the very first book. The amount of information it contains amazes me evenl now. As often with this type of book, you may find the romance aspect is lacking or “dry” but the paranormal parts make up for it!
I love Kaleb and Alex’s POVs the best. They come to into themselves gradually, and I’m happy to to witness their growth.
This book is more focused on Kaleb and Jeff. Meraki enlightens us on Jeff’s state of mind and heart. He is one of the kindest characters in the series after Edward of course. And talking about Edward…

We know from the previous books that Edward feels useless when it comes to aiding his son Kaleb. That feeling grows when Kaleb gets in more a troubled situation. But Edwards finds a way to take away his mind for a short period of time and also his past getting the better of him.
Kaleb learns more about the elements. He discovers more about who he can serve. And with that, he gains more power, but he still feels like a child doubting himself. Thanks to the Gods for the people around him who are supporting and encouraging him. He finds a strong friendship in Jeff…

Jeff takes mentoring Kaleb with all his abilities. Also, he can’t ignore his Fay part, and when he and Kaleb come across of a Fay situation, he fears the Fays repulsiveness toward him as The Abomination.

This book is full of new information regarding Meraki’s universe of ancient creatures. It’s a slow build up. It’s not easy getting into that mind space, but once you’re caught up, it sucks you in and you just want to never part from it.

I’m restlessly awaiting the next one!

***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: “Personal Best 2” by Sean Michael

TITLE: Personal Best 2
AUTHOR: Sean Michael
SERIES: Personal Best
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Alexandria Corza
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; BDSM
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 9, 2018
PRICE: $5.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback

BLURB:

Swimmer Mike Gauliet and coach Jessy Turner are back in this second book in the Personal Best series! Mike is moving up in the elite ranks of the American swim team, despite his repetitive stress injuries. He’s hiding his pain from Jessy, not wanting to give in to it or let his coach down, and by the time he gets treatment, it’s almost too late. Jessy helps Mike recover, both in an out of bed, and their need for each other grows as quickly as Mike’s career. They’re scorching hot and ready to go to the top competitions when another injury forces Mike to the sidelines. Jessy thinks this one is no accident, and Mike has to work hard to recover the lost ground. Jessy takes Mike away from the hustle and bustle of the training center, living on the coast while the two of them struggle with adversity. Mike gets back into competition form and his success is also Jessy’s. Can they keep everything together and keep their relationship from getting in the way of Mike’s Personal Best? Sean Michael triumphs with another sexy, captivating read! Look for book three of the Personal Best series to debut in 2008!


Personal Best 2 is the second book in the Personal Best series by Sean Michael. I loved this book. It’s packed full of sexy times, and I do mean packed full. Whether they were playing in the water, their playroom, the elevator, the hotel rooms after a swim meet, or their bedroom, these two had lots of stamina, and I loved the occasional dominate/submissive play to help Mike clear his head and focus his excess energy.

I loved the dynamic between Mike and Jessy. They flow beautifully from swimmer and coach to lovers. Jessy goes from being a complete hard-ass coach to being a protective dominate taking care of his submissive. And Mike needs somebody to tell him what to do. Otherwise, he would be in the pool twenty-four-seven and back to eating foods that would make him sick. I love how much he wants a Dr. Pepper and how he says it just get a reaction out of Jessy. I also liked that when push did come to shove that Jessy is willing to compromise and Mike is willing to compromise too.

I also liked when Jessy is there to help Mike recover from his injury, that is, after he gets over how furious he is with himself and Mike for keeping the injury to himself and his determination to continue to compete instead of taking a break and resting the injury. When he finally gets better from that injury and gets back up to competing again, he gets injured by another competitor. And he’s back to where he was before but with a longer recovery time.

But the book isn’t just pure sex. It does have a great plot also. The book does continue from book one, so I do recommend that you read Personal Best first before reading Personal Best 2 and the book does end in a happy for now ending, so I am looking forward to Personal Best 3 to come out and see how Mike does in his quest to win an Olympic medal.

I recommend this book to people that have enjoyed reading Sean Michael’s Iron Eagle Gym series.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Fangs for the Memories” by Julia Talbot

TITLE: Fangs for the Memories
AUTHOR: Julia Talbot
SERIES: Dead and Breakfast
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 222 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 6, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book/ $9.99 – paperback

BLURB:

A Dead and Breakfast Novel
One wolf lost his memory, but they’ll both lose their hearts.
Bitten werewolf Tom owes the folks at the Dead and Breakfast big for saving his life. So when they ask for help with a rogue wolf on the premises, he’s happy to do his part….
Though he isn’t quite prepared for what he’ll find.
Werewolf Nathan lost everything to a sadistic kidnapper—his freedom, his memories, and maybe even his ability to be human. But as soon as he meets Tom, he knows he might be able to reclaim his life. And even a turned wolf like Tom feels the mating call. The trouble is, Tom isn’t the only one who wants Nathan, and they’ll need help from all their supernatural friends at the D & B to defeat a powerful enemy and keep their love—and themselves—alive.


Fangs for the Memories is the second book in the Dead and Breakfast series and the thirty-first book in the Dreamspun Beyond series. Ever since reading Fangs and Catnip, the first book in the Dead and Breakfast series, I have eagerly awaited this book since it’s about Tom and his fated mate. We first met Tom in Fangs and Catnip. He was at the Dead and Breakfast Inn because he was a bitten wolf shifter and he was having trouble controlling his shifts. He became fast friends with Carter, a mountain lion shifter, who bounces around like Tigger on crack, Carter’s mate Fallon, who’s a vampire, and Tanner who’s a fierce bear shifter with a mothering streak.

When Tanner and Carter notice a rogue wolf on the property, they know that they’ll have to find a way to either get him to move on or he may end up one of their customer’s lunch. They think that maybe another wolf will be able to talk to him and help him so they contact Tom and see if he can come and help. Tom’s wolf loves to play in the snow, and the D & B has just gotten six inches of fresh powder. He also loves to help other shifters like he was helped by the D & B gang. He wasn’t expecting that the rogue wolf would be his mate or that he would be stuck in his wolf form, injured, malnourished, and missing his memories. Luckily for Tom because of the mate bond, they are able to communicate mentally, and he eventually finds out as his mate’s memories come back that his name is Nathan. It’s through the mate bond that Nathan will finally find the courage to shift back into his human form so that he can have a physical relationship with his mate.

Nathan lost everything to a sadistic kidnapper, his freedom, his memories, and maybe even his ability to be human. But even stuck in his wolf form he recognizes his mate when Tom comes out in his wolf form to help him. But he’s been a wolf for so long, relying on his wolf’s instincts that it will be quite a while to learn to trust his mate and move in with him and allow him to help him. As his memories come back, he remembers where he was kept captive and that there were other shifters that were in cages with him when he escaped. When he tells the D & B gang, they figure out what kidnapped him and know that it’s only a matter of time before he tracks him down and captures him again. But will the D & B gang be able to defeat this powerful enemy and keep their love, and themselves, alive?

I loved reading this book and getting to see the Dead and Breakfast gang again. I’m hoping that the next book will be about Tanner finding his mate.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Bad Habit” by K.A. Mitchell

TITLE: Bad Habit
AUTHOR: K.A. Mitchell
SERIES: Bad in Baltimore
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Kanaxa
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 230 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 12, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 -paperback

BLURB:

Life is always looking for ways to screw you over. Scott McDermott survived the foster care system and knows better than to let anyone close, but Liam Walsh is his one vulnerability.
Twice Scott let down his guard, and twice Liam vanished from Scott’s life.
So when Scott comes face-to-face with Liam for the first time in six years, he punches Liam in the nose. Only after Scott’s friend—and Baltimore County police officer—Jamie reads him the riot act does Scott discover that in the intervening years Liam has been to war and lost his leg.
Liam hasn’t had the easiest life either. He took care of his drug-addicted mom when she was unable to take care of herself. He’s fallen in love with Scott twice, but when Liam saw Scott going down the same path as his mother, he left. The lesson that he can’t save everyone has been a painful one for Liam to learn. Maybe what he and Scott had can’t ever be fixed.
Scott and Liam have never fallen out of love—which becomes obvious when they start working together—but what will make this time any different from all the others? Will the third time really be a charm?


This series is such a good series, and this sixth installment was so good. This author has a way of making these guys having to struggle for what they want and making you think they will give up. This one had me laughing so much. This couple really is different than the rest on so many levels. This one really hit home with me seeing I am in recovery myself and I was that mother that wasn’t always there for my children. I cried several times especially reading what they went through as kids and knowing that’s how my children use to feel.

We first meet Scott and Liam when they were in the foster care system, and Scott had a slight anger problem…LOL. They were roommates in the foster home, and Liam wanted Scott to talk to him, so he did something to piss Scott off, and Scott punched him right in the face. They became each other’s world after that until Liam went away.

When they found each other again, they were just as hot and heavy with each other. They lived together for two years when Liam just left. No note, no words as to why, nothing. Scott was devastated and swore no one would ever get close to him again. Scott and Jamie became close friends and went to a car show together. When Scott saw Liam at the car show, he did what he thought was best and punched him right in the face again. Jamie, the cop, couldn’t figure out what was going on but got Scott out of there and tried to smooth over the situation. Why had Scott punched a man with only one leg in the face?

The chemistry these two have are a once in a lifetime feeling or three times as these two are concerned. They fight their feelings with each other, or more so, Scott fights his feelings until he can’t. Their love for each other never left but can they get over the past to let it blossom? Can Liam ever be able to make it up to Scott for leaving? Will Scott ever put his walls down to let Liam in? Can a third time really be a charm? I loved catching up with the other guys, and I hope you do too.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis