Review of:  Something Wicked this way comes by Amy Rae Durreson

TITLE: Something Wicked this way comes
AUTHOR: Amy Rae Durreson
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense
RELEASE DATE: Oct 29 2019


A workaholic teacher and a cranky blacksmith investigate a haunted orphanage in the remote Scottish Borders. What they find together might help them heal the wounds of their pasts… if they survive.
When the charity Leon works for inherits the orphanage, he travels north to see if the site is suitable for a new school. But Vainguard is a place of dark secrets, and Leon unearths a mystery about four children who died there in 1944—a tragic tale with an uncanny connection to the death of Leon’s parents.
Still bitter and guilt-ridden over his daughter’s death, farrier Niall joins Leon in uncovering Vainguard’s cruel history, including not just abuse but a tale about a vengeful spirit preying on local children. As the orphanage’s disturbing past comes to light, another child goes missing.
Niall and Leon know they don’t have long before the child falls victim to a legend straight from the Borders’ blood-soaked past.

Leon is a teacher who helps children with special needs. When his charity, sends him to the Scottish border to evaluate the orphanage they inherited, Leon is welcome by a broody blacksmith, Niall Forster. The old building is more than what Leon expected. A lot of dramas have been done there—a lot of children had been hurt. When another child disappears, Leon and Niall know that something wicked may come to them, but they don’t know how to defeat it.
Something Wicked this way comes by Amy Rae Durreson, gave me the creeps. This book is what I expected—a scary novel with a good mystery.

Leon was an orphan. He lost his family when he was a little child, and after being moved from foster family to foster family, Leon was rescued by Becky’s, a charity that helps children with special needs, and gave them a second chance. Leon was then adopted by Felix and Valerie and became a teacher for Becky. He doesn’t have a lover or a life. When Felix sends him to the Scottish border to evaluate Vainguard, the orphanage, Leon realized he knew this place, and something terrible happened to him there.

Niall is a blacksmith. He’s grieving the loss of his daughter, Katie, who died a year ago in a terrible car accident. Niall is broody and rough, and he doesn’t like strangers either, but Leon touches him and awakes something inside him. When another child disappears, Niall must fight hard against his demons and pain.

Leon and Niall will not only try to save the missing child, but also each other.

I adored them. They were fabulous, sensitive, smart, and funny. Niall is broken by the loss of his daughter, but he tried to survive her, and meeting Leon is probably what Niall needs the most in his lonely life. Leon is a workaholic; he doesn’t have a life, and he feels indebted to Felix. Being at the Scottish border, far away from his family and his job, Leon will have to face his past and fears, but most of all, he will have to fight hard for Niall, and to have the life he really wants.

The plot is about what’s been happening to the children in the village since 1944 and how Leon and Niall are linked to it. The author has created a heavy and suffocating atmosphere. Vainguard, the orphanage, is a character by itself and it was brilliantly written. I was hooked by the story from the beginning. It gave me the creeps I won’t lie, and sometimes I had the feeling of hearing the voice too (no I’m not crazy). The ending was awesome. I didn’t see it coming, not all of it, at least. I adored this book; it was the perfect book to read for the Halloween season.

5 Stars for the teacher and his blacksmith

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Slow Dating the Detective by Sue Brown

TITLE: Slow Dating the Detective
AUTHOR: Sue Brown
SERIES: Cowboys and Angels, book 3
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: October 29, 2019


A gentle bartender might have what it takes to mend a relationship-phobic detective’s broken heart… but first they have to admit they’re dating.
Keenan Day could kick himself for letting the hot, dark-haired stranger he met outside a strip club get away. Instead of a phone number, he gets a punch in the face—from the boyfriend of his prospective employer at the Cowboys and Angels bar. When two cops come to check up on him, one is the sexy stranger, Detective Nate Gordon.
The initial attraction hasn’t cooled, and though Nate is leery of commitment, one hookup turns into another until they’re seeing each other in everything but name. After a recent nasty breakup, Nate balks at being part of a couple, and Keenan agrees, even though that’s all he’s ever wanted.
Just as they reach a standstill, a crisis shows them what their friends have known all along—they’ve already moved way past hookups. Now they just have to decide how to move forward.

Slow Dating the Detective is the third book in the Cowboys and Angels series by Sue Brown. I had the pleasure of reading the other two books in the series, and I loved all of the cameos from the characters in the other two books in the series. I also loved how the book started out with Keenan being dragged to a strip club where, instead of it being female strippers, the strippers were males, and we get to see Cris, The Lionman, preform for the last time at his new club Mane Event. We meet Cris in the second book, Secretly Dating the Lionman, and it was great seeing how he was doing. I also liked getting to see more of Dan and Gideon from the first book, Speed Dating the Boss, when Keenan gets laid off and gets a job as a bartender at Cowboys and Angels.

I loved Keenan. He’s had a hard life so far. He got a really bad injury that kept him from getting a job in the field that he went to college for and left him having to relearn how to walk and talk again. And although he is fully recovered, his mother is still very protective of him and what’s happening in his life. With his settlement money from the accident, he was able to purchase a small house and reassert his independence from his parents. I do like how they have Sunday dinner at the parents’ house with his siblings and their families. I also liked that Keenan has a twin sister that works as a detective for the same precinct as Nate.

Nate is a recent transfer from Wyoming. He’s a workaholic, and he’s leery of commitment. He does hookups and doesn’t do relationships or dating. But his hookup with Keenan turns into another until they’re seeing each other in everything but name. It’s everything that Keenan has wanted in a relationship, but he doesn’t know if it is a relationship, although all of his friends and family and coworkers say that it is. But when push comes to shove, will Nate admit that they are in a relationship or will he cut ties and run. You’re just going to have to read the book to find out.

Although you don’t have to read the other two books in the series to understand and enjoy Nate and Keenan’s story, it will definitely enhance your reading experience if you do so you can appreciate all of the cameos from Cris, Dan, and Gideon. I’m hoping that Ramon and Mickey will be getting a book of their own soon.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: The Dragon CEO’s Assistant by Jenn Burke

TITLE: The Dragon CEO’s Assistant
AUTHOR: Jenn Burke
SERIES: Golden Kingdom, book 2, Dreamspun Beyond, book 29
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Paranormal
RELEASE DATE: October 29, 2019


A Golden Kingdom Novel
The heart remembers.
When Aidan Bishop staggers out of the woods, naked and suffering from amnesia, he needs to relearn who he is and where he fits in the world.
His boss, nearly five-hundred-year-old dragon Nassim, head of a successful tech company, hurries to claim his wayward assistant and guide him back into the life he disappeared from. As they get to know each other again, Aidan wonders if their relationship went deeper than employer and employee. But Nassim isn’t telling, and Aidan has a secret of his own… even if he doesn’t know it yet.

The Dragon CEO’s Assistant is the second book in the Golden Kingdom series and the twenty-ninth book in the Dreamspun Beyond series. Although this is the second book in the series, it is a standalone book. There are cameos from the characters in the first book, but you don’t need to have read the book to understand and enjoy the second book in the series.

The author, Jenn Burke, did a great job on this book. I loved it. There were so many twists and turns, and the blurb is so vague that I can’t talk about any of them without adding spoilers to my review. The characters and supporting characters are complex and fleshed out. The story has a great arc, and each of the main characters shows growth throughout the story. Not that they don’t have their communication breakdowns and misunderstandings. Aidan and Nassim are both battling personal issues and secrets that they’ve hidden from each other.

I loved getting to know who Aidan Bishop is after he staggers out of the woods, naked and suffering from amnesia. I could feel his frustration as he tries to remember what happened to him and who he is. My heart broke for him as he learned how he ended up in the woods, naked and suffering from amnesia. And oh did Nassim feel betrayed when he found out what Aidan’s secret was and who he really was. I know I was surprised by his secret and who he turned out to be. I didn’t see that one coming.

I also loved Nassim. He’s an almost five-hundred-year-old dragon and the head of a successful tech company. And Aidan is his executive assistant that has been missing for four days. When Aidan shows up again naked and suffering from amnesia, Nassim is grateful that he’s back and heartbroken that he doesn’t remember him and determined to find out what happened to him and where he’s been for four days. When Nassim’s secret comes out, Aidan feels blindsided that he wasn’t told about it immediately since it explained a lot of things that he was struggling to put together and the attraction and chemistry that he had with his boss.

I hope that the author writes more books in this series because I can’t wait to read them.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Roots of Evil by K.C. Wells

TITLE: Roots of Evil
AUTHOR: K.C. Wells
SERIES: Merrychurch Mysteries#2
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense
RELEASE DATE: Oct 22, 2019


Many consider Naomi Teedle the village witch. Most people avoid her except when they have need of her herbs and potions. She lives alone on the outskirts of Merrychurch, and that’s fine by everyone—old Mrs. Teedle is not the most pleasant of people. But when she is found murdered, her mouth bulging with her own herbs and roots, suddenly no one has a bad word to say about her. Jonathon de Mountford is adjusting to life up at the manor house, but it’s not a solitary life: pub landlord Mike Tattersall sees to that. Jonathon is both horrified to learn of the recent murder and confused by the sudden reversal of public opinion. Surely someone in the village had reason to want her dead? He and Mike decide it’s time for them to step in and “help” the local police with their investigation. Only problem is, their sleuthing uncovers more than one suspect—and the list is getting longer…

Jonathon and Mike are back. Our two adorable amateur detectives have a new mystery to resolve in the not so quiet village of Merrychurch.
Three months after the dreadful event of the summer, Jonathon, as the new lord of the manor, organizes a great bonfire in his property. The entire town is present, and it’s a perfect occasion for Jonathon to meet more inhabitants of Merrychurch.
When Mike and Jon go to see Naomi Teedle, the old village witch, they don’t expect to find her body. A murder had been committed in their village, and Mike and Jonathon decide to investigate it…again.
Roots of Evil by K.C. Well is a Sequel to Truth Will Out. I was happy to have a new mystery to solve with my favorite detectives.

Naomi Teedle was known as the village witch, so why would someone want to see her dead? That’s what Mike and Jonathon want to know. Three months after their encounter, they are a couple, they don’t hide who they are for each other, and they are just them. The village seems to accept them even if Jon’s dad seems to be reluctant and is obsessed with an heir.

Jon and Mike are still in the honeymoon phase. They’re still getting to know each other, but their growing feelings can’t be denied any more even if they fear being rejected by the other.

I love this book more than Truth Will Out. K.C. Wells uses the same ingredients. A good mystery, a murder, a list of potential killer and Mike’s and Jonathon’s mind. It was captivating and funny. Mike and Jonathon have grown together as a couple. If before they seemed like a unit during their encounters, now, as a couple, they’re one. They’re complementary in everything, from their mind to their love.

Their banters are hilarious, and I had a good laughed with them.

I loved their peaceful and sweet life. I love how, between two interviews with the potential killer, the author gave us a piece of their life, their feelings, and their project.

I happily recommend this book; it’s my favorite between you and me!

5 stars for Sherlock and Watson

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: An Uncommon Whore by Belinda McBride

TITLE: An Uncommon Whore
AUTHOR: Belinda McBride
SERIES: Uncommon Whore, book 1
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
RELEASE DATE: August 27, 2019


“As a general rule, you won’t find the love of your life while you’re on your knees under a table.” — Helios Dayspring
Pasha is a slave, whoring for travelers at the most dangerous bar on Warlan. He has no memory, no future of his own, yet deep inside Pasha knows that that he is meant for better things. The day that Pasha spots the dangerous pirate in the bar, he knows that he mustn’t let the stranger slip away, regardless of what he must do to attract his attention.
Captain Griffin Hawke spent the greater part of a decade searching for his lost king, only to find Helios Dayspring crouched between his knees, swathed in the robes and shackles of a whore. Though he is appalled by the downfall of his king, the hardened officer finds himself falling for the allure of the sensual creature who has taken his place. Returning Helios to his position on the throne is the only right thing to do, yet Griffin knows that in doing so, he risks losing his lover forever.
“A whore is a whore is a whore, unless he’s something else completely. I guess I must be an uncommon whore.” — Helios Dayspring

I thoroughly enjoyed reading An Uncommon Whore by Belinda McBride. This is the first time that I’ve read a book by this author, but it won’t be the last. I loved the world-building that is done in this book and how the foundation was laid for the storyline and plot arc for this book and the other books in the series, which I can’t wait to read as soon as they are released.

I enjoyed how the story unfolds and how we get tidbits into what happened in the past and how the lost king, Helios Dayspring, ends up as Pasha, a slave, whoring for travelers at the most treacherous bar on Warlan. How he’s found by Captain Griffin Hawke, who has spent the better part of a decade searching for his lost king, only to find him crouched between his legs, swathed in the robes and shackles of a whore on a planet they only stopped on because they needed supplies. It wasn’t one of the planets that they were going to be searching for their lost king.

But just finding there lost king and reuniting him with his subjects isn’t going to be as easy as Captain Griffin Hawke had hoped. Helios has an implant that keeps him subservient and keeps him from remembering who he was before he became a slave. Grif has also always believed that there were traitors in their midst during the invasion with an underlying agenda to get rid of Helios and the other people that were in line to rule since Helios was, I believe, third in line to rule. Grif uses caution in letting people know that he has found the lost king and returning him to the new planet that the survivors have inhabited.

As Grif recounts what’s happened and reminds Helios of what he has forgotten, Helios is horrified. He is horrified to find out that the council has taken over leadership of the government instead of the guard like it should have been in times of war until a new ruler could be established, which should have been his sister and then his son. I really felt for him as he had to go through reliving all of the tragedy that had befallen him and his family and his countrymen and the grief that came with it.

I loved getting to know Grif and Lios and reading about how they get reunited and rekindle their love for each other. They had been first-time lovers before they each got married and had a family, and they had remained best friends since then.

The author did a great job fleshing out the main and supporting characters and setting the story up for the next installment. I can’t wait to see if Lios gets his memories back, how they deal with the traitors, and how Grif and Lios’ relationship progresses. I especially loved getting to read the prologue and first chapter that was at the end of the book for the next book in the series. It was so good that I can’t wait to read the next book in the series when it comes out. Hopefully, I won’t have to wait too long.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis