Tag: Amber Krogh

Review: “Soul Bond” by JS Harker

TITLE: Soul Bond
AUTHOR: JS Harker
SERIES: Dreamspun Beyond
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 208 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 17, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book/ $9.99 – paperback

BLURB:

Stealing his heart.
As a thief and a warlock, Noah survives by using his wit and charm to prey on the privileged. His dangerous criminal boss wants an enchanted dagger belonging to a family of wealthy mages, including their pampered—but handsome—son, Ben. Failing to complete the job will be hazardous to Noah’s survival.
Noah bumps into Ben at a lavish party, and as soon as they meet, the connection’s undeniable, and it goes much further than ordinary attraction. Their bond reaches into their souls, entwining and changing their magic.
Which Noah thinks he can use to get to the dagger. After all, he isn’t sure this soul bond Ben seems so obsessed with is even real.
He also doesn’t count on being caught red-handed…. Or falling in love.


Well, it had to happen at some point. I knew it was too good to be true that I would continue to love all of the books in the Dreamspun Beyond series. Not that they’ve had a bad run. Twenty-three books that I have enjoyed reading before reading Soul Bond, number twenty-four in the Dreamspun Beyond series.

From looking the author, JS Harker, up on Amazon and Dreamspinner, Soul Bond looks to be the author’s first book. The book had promise. I did still enjoy reading it, but the author left me a little confused at the beginning of the book as she explained the differences between what made a mage and what made a warlock.

I’m still not sure if it’s just a money thing and whether you came from a mage house or it was a magic ability thing, like if you didn’t pass the magic test, then you became a warlock. The mages did seem to have all of the money, and the warlocks did seem to be poor but as far as I can tell they both had magic. So yeah even after rereading the first twenty percent of the book I was still confused.
What further confused me is that Ben is a mage and his father is their magus so you would assume that he would have some awesome magic ability and be stronger than a warlock. But when Noah needs his help, Ben is helpless to help him and all he can suggest is running away. Not what I would expect from a rich and powerful mage. So yeah a little disappointed in Ben’s character, especially since he’s been searching for so long to find his soul bond.

I did like Noah though. He stayed true to his character. He’s a thief that’s good at illusion spells and if that means using his soul bond to save his life that’s what he’s going to do. Will he feel guilty about it, sure, but he’ll still do it. However, he didn’t figure into his heist that he would fall in love with the head of the household’s son.

I did enjoy the middle portion of the book, and there was plenty of chemistry and hot scenes between Ben and Noah, but the end of the book ends more in a happy for now ending. And the author didn’t give any indication if this is going to be the start of a series and we’ll get the rest of the unanswered questions answered in the next book or if we’re just going to be left hanging to draw our own conclusions.
I wish authors would give some indication at the end of their books. Something as easy as “The end for now” or “To be continued” or even a “Stay tuned to find out what happens to Ben and Noah in the next book.” If for no other reason than it would give their books better review ratings. Readers don’t like guessing or wondering if another book is going to come out. Letting us know that another book is coming to answer our questions will leave us feeling excited and anxious to read it versus disappointed that the book just ended and left us with questions that need answers.

I’m personally hoping that another book is made about Ben and Noah and that I get my questions answered. By the end of the book, I really liked them as a couple, but they have so much left of their relationship and journey to figure out.

Overall, not a bad book but it could have been done a little better. However, I haven’t given up on the Dreamspun Beyond series just yet and eagerly await the next book in the series.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Like Breathing” by Tia Fielding

TITLE: Like Breathing
AUTHOR: Tia Fielding
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Garrett Leigh
GENRE: BDSM; MMM
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 240 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 10, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback

BLURB:

A love as easy as breathing.
Life started out rocky for Devin Rice, but it’s turned out pretty well. He has adoptive parents and a brother who love him, and he works as a coder for his dad’s video game company. Romance is scarce, but a chance encounter leads to more than he ever expected.
While dropping off an assignment for his sick brother, Dev meets his mentor. Art history professor Seth Kent is brilliant and gorgeous, just what Dev has been looking for. Except that he’s in a long-term committed relationship.
Seth’s partner, Leaf, is older and sees the world differently due to his unusual upbringing. To him, the clear attraction between Seth and Dev isn’t a problem, it’s an unexpected gift. After all, Leaf is often on the road, going wherever rescue dogs need rehabilitation.
When Leaf meets Dev, all the missing pieces fall into place, and three men from different worlds and at different points in life fill each other’s empty spaces. For them, building a future together is the most natural thing in the world. But their unconventional love causes waves in their careers and family dynamics, and each man has his own doubts and fears to overcome.


Like Breathing is the first book that I’ve read by Tia Fielding but it isn’t going to be the last. I liked her style of writing and attention to details, but I also liked that I felt like I was in the book and living each of her characters’ lives with them, sharing their happiness, joy, hurts, sorrow, loneliness and at times jealousy. Oh and can’t forget about all of the hot kinky scenes. Yep definitely going to be reading more books by this author if they are like this book. I love a book with a good Daddy kink to it but with three main characters that have different needs that isn’t the only kink that’s in this book. There’s also a nice gap in age between the main characters. I loved how they all fit together and filled the holes in that needed to be filled.

They really complimented each other. But adding another person to an already established and committed relationship isn’t without its problems and misunderstandings. Communication’s key in every relationship and even more so when there are more than two people.

I loved Devin Rice. He’s twenty-five, has anxiety issues, and writes code for his father’s gaming company. I loved how he interacts with Seth and Leaf. I also like the relationship that he has with his adoptive parents and his brother, Angel even if Angel has issues with Devin dating his mentor, Seth. Although I get it, Angel’s afraid that Devin will break-up Seth and his partner, Leaf and that it will affect the professional relationship between him and his mentor. But there were times that I wanted to smack him and tell him to get over his homophobic issues, although that one scene where the brother walks in on them all is priceless. And that’s just one scene out of many that you won’t want to miss.

I liked Seth. He’s an Art history professor that’s thirty-six. He’s a little bit of a perfectionist, and he’s in a long-term committed relationship with Leaf and has been for about ten years. He loves his partner, but Leaf is gone a lot of the time training problem dogs.

When he mentions to Leaf that it’s been over a year since they’ve had penetrative sex, he knows that something has to change. He doesn’t want to have to give his partner ultimatums, but he doesn’t want to be taken for granted also. When he meets Devin dropping off his sick brother’s paper and then later ends up having lunch with him, he’s surprised at how easy he is to talk to and how much fun it is to have somebody to talk to. They’re just friends but he can’t help that he thinks he’s attractive and they have chemistry.

I liked that Leaf is different than both Seth and Devin in how he was raised. He had an unusual upbringing, and it’s left him with a different view of relationships and monogamy. So when his partner, Seth, gushes about his protégé’s brother and how they had lunch and talked for a while, he can see how animated his partner is, and although Seth doesn’t seem to be aware of it, he can see how attracted Seth is to Devin and he’s happy about it. He thinks that Devin could be just what their relationship needs. Somebody to be with Seth when Leaf has to be gone, and it doesn’t hurt that after meeting Devin that Leaf likes him just as much as Seth. And the attraction seems to be mutual between all three of them. I also liked that Leaf is fifty and has salt-n-pepper hair and is attractive enough to make Devin drool.

All in all the book is fabulous and one that I will be rereading.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Fire and Granite” by Andrew Grey

TITLE: Fire and Granite
AUTHOR: Andrew Grey
SERIES: Carlisle Deputies
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Kanaxa
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Mystery/Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 10, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback

BLURB:

A Carlisle Deputies Novel
The heat is growing from the inside, but danger is building on the outside.
Judge Andrew Phillips runs a tight ship in his courtroom. He’s tough, and when he hands down a sentence, he expects to be obeyed. So when a fugitive named Harper escapes and threatens his life, Andrew isn’t keen on twenty-four/seven protection… especially not from Deputy Clay Brown. They have a past, one that could cause problems in their careers.
But with Clay assigned to Andrew and the two of them together every minute, there’s nowhere to hide from their attraction—or from the fact that there’s much more than chemistry blooming between them. As the threat intensifies, Clay knows he’ll do anything it takes to protect the people who are taking their places in his heart: Andrew and his young niece and nephew.


Fire and Granit is the second book in the Carlisle Deputies series by Andrew Grey. The Carlisle Deputies series is a spin-off of the Carlisle Cops series, and we do get some cameos from the Carlisle cops which I enjoyed since I greatly enjoyed reading the Carlisle Cops series and it’s like getting to see old friends again. Fans of the Carlisle Cops series will definitely enjoy reading the Carlisle Deputies series, but you don’t have to read the Carlisle Cops series to read the Carlisle Deputies series.

I enjoyed the author’s easy reading style and the pacing of the book. The book was nicely written and detailed. I also enjoyed the plot even though Judges aren’t my favorite profession. They’re right up there with lawyers. There seem to be some good ones, but most seem to be corrupt or lord their power over you.

I’m glad to say that the Judge in this book is one of the good ones, but that doesn’t mean that he’s a pushover in the courtroom. He has a reputation for being hard but fair which doesn’t make him the most loved by the criminals that he’s sentenced. When one of the criminals that he sentenced escapes and threatens his life, he will be put under twenty-four/seven protection. Which he isn’t keen about but it would be tolerable if it were any deputy except Deputy Clay Brown. They have a past, and neither is happy that they have to work together, but the longer they’re forced to be together, the more they realize that their first impressions of each other might have been wrong or not necessarily wrong but that they are different than their professional personas. Clay realizes that Judge Phillips does have a heart and a softer side that he doesn’t show to everybody. And Judge Phillips realizes the same thing about Clay.

I loved their chemistry and how they have their mother’s terrible cooking in common. I also loved how Andrew ends up being responsible for his niece and nephew after his sister is admitted to the hospital. I also liked the secondary characters and how they’re included in the book for a reason instead of being one-dimensional filler characters. I thought the author did a great job handling the subject of depression and how it affected a single mom with kids and her brother who will be their guardian until she gets better—if she gets better. I also liked that the escaped prisoner is Clay’s cousin. I don’t know if every family has that weird and messed up cousin or uncle but I know that my family does, so I could really relate to that.

Overall, another great book by Andrew Grey and a great addition to the series.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together” by Ari McKay

TITLE: Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together
AUTHOR: Ari McKay
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Bree Archer
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 111 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 6, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book

BLURB:

Second Edition
When a Christmas shopping expedition brings Tomy Peralta into Jason Winters’s yarn store, both men feel an immediate and intense spark of attraction, but dance instructor Tomy intends to propose to his boyfriend, Sean, at Christmas. Unfortunately for Tomy, marriage isn’t on career-minded Sean’s agenda. Heartbroken, Tomy throws himself into his work until his mother convinces him that learning to knit might help take his mind off his failed romance.
Jason falls hard for Tomy, but he knows Tomy needs time to heal and to trust in love again. As Jason teaches Tomy to knit, Tomy teaches him to dance in return. Just when it seems Tomy is ready for a new romance, Sean shows up, wanting Tomy back. Will Tomy give his heart to Sean once more, or will Tomy finally see Sean for who he truly is, and choose the man who helped him knit his heart together again?


Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together is another great book by Ari McKay. I love their righting style. It’s really easy to read and easily conveys the details and emotions that the characters are feeling. Ari McKay is one of my favorite authors to go to for low angst sweet stories with just the right amount of heat to them. The characters are always lovable and relatable. They make mistakes just like real people and learn from them. And you can always feel the love that they have for each other.

I also enjoy the supporting characters, which in this case is the knitting group that gets together and hangs out at the yarn store that Jason owns. I also enjoyed Tomy’s mother and sister and how they were always there to help in any way that was needed.

I’m also a huge fan of the plot and how it’s about a ballroom dancer turned dance teacher, who runs the family dance studio, and an ex-NFL player turned yarn store owner. I love watching movies and TV shows like Strictly Ballroom, Dirty Dancing, Dancing with the Stars, and World of Dance. And I have also tried my hand at knitting winter hats and giving them as Christmas presents to loved ones, so I could relate to this book, and I loved everything about it.

While looking for Christmas presents for his mother and sister, Tomy Peralta goes into their favorite yarn store to get them just the right gifts and meets Jason Winters, the store owner. Getting some great recommendations from Jason, Tomy leaves with the invitation to join the knitting class held once a month at the store. And although Tomy is about to propose to his boyfriend, he can’t deny the attraction and chemistry that he has for the shop owner. When his boyfriend rejects his proposal on Christmas Eve, he’s devastated, but his mother convinces him to try knitting as a way of distracting himself from his heartache and drags him to the knitting class at Jason’s shop.

Jason Winters blew out his knee in his second year playing professional football, and since he had saved his money and invested it instead of spending it, he was able to buy a yarn shop. During his knee injury recovery, he learned how to knit and found that he loved it and decided to try his hand at having his own yarn store. When Tomy comes into the store for presents, Jason falls for him hard. When he finds out that he’s going to propose to his boyfriend, he’s disappointed until he learns from Tomy’s mom that Tomy’s boyfriend broke up with him.

He knows that Tomy has a long recovery before he’ll be ready to date again but Jason’s willing to wait. And until he’s ready, Jason will be a friend to lean on. Jason also has his sister’s wedding coming up and would like to be able to dance without making a fool of himself and who better to help him then a ballroom instructor. If it also helps with Tomy’s recovery, all the better. I especially loved the part where he learns how to do the Tango and later the Paso Doble.

When Tomy’s ex comes back into the picture will Tomy get back together with him or stay with Jason? You’re just going to have to read the book to find out. I know that I was happy with how the story turned out and I think you will too. I recommend this book to anybody that likes low angst sweet love stories with lovable characters.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “The Night Owl and the Insomniac” by J. Leigh Bailey

TITLE: The Night Owl and the Insomniac
AUTHOR: J. Leigh Bailey
SERIES: Shifter U
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: New Adult; Shapeshifter; Paranormal;
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 240 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 3, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book/ $9.99 – paperback

BLURB:

A Shifter U Tale
Long nights lead to intrigue… and infatuation.
Chronically ill with a mysterious condition, Yusuf “Joey” Franke escapes his smothering family and doctors by moving halfway across the country to enroll in Cody College. Not long after arriving on campus, some of his symptoms disappear, only to be replaced by debilitating insomnia. Joey spends his nights wandering the halls of his dormitory and hanging out with gregarious and affable Owen, who works the night shift.
When he suddenly shifts from a sick college kid to a massive Asiatic lion, Joey discovers another side to Cody College—it’s a haven for shifters like himself… and like Owen, a part-time great horned owl. And being a shifter is hereditary, which means his parents have some explaining to do.
When Joey and Owen investigate, they discover more than they bargained for—a family deception, a dangerous enemy with international connections, and a love that might be too new to survive the backlash.


The Night Owl and the Insomniac by J. Leigh Bailey is the third book in the Shifter U series and the twenty-third book in the Dreamspun Beyond series. I have read the other books in the Shifter U series, and this book while taking place at Cody College like the rest of the series, is a standalone book. There are cameos of Simon and Ford from the second book Chasing Thunderbird, but you do not need to have read the other books to understand what’s happening in this book. The Night Owl and the Insomniac is well written. I enjoyed the plot and that all of my questions were tied up by the end of the book. And I loved that Yusuf and Owen get their happy ending.

I like the attention to detail that the author gave to her characters. Both Yusuf and Owen’s characters fit the animal half of their personalities. Owen is a great horned owl and is both intelligent and extroverted. He loves to talk and also loves to mother hen people. Yusuf, on the other hand, is an Asiatic lion. Because of health conditions, he’s grown up isolated from society, which has resulted in him being introverted and socially awkward and figuring out his sexuality.

I really liked Yusuf “Joey” Franke. He has grown up being chronically ill with ever-changing symptoms, which has resulted in him being a Guinea pig for all kinds of test and treatments. Finally, fed up with it he escapes by enrolling in a college halfway across the country and moving there. Not long after arriving on campus, some of his symptoms disappear, only to be replaced by debilitating insomnia. With nothing else to do, he spends his nights wandering the halls of his dormitory and hanging out and playing chess with Owen, who works the night shift.

I also liked Owen. He was such a happy, upbeat person. Always including Joey in his activities like getting lunch with the guys and just hanging out. And forcing him to try new food combinations. I loved all of the little things he does each day to remind Joey that he’s thinking of him and there for him while they are apart. I also like how Owen has a grounding influence on Joey’s lion and is able to keep him calm and collected so that he doesn’t shift when he gets stressed. I liked how Owen was there for Joey when he shifted for the first time and helped him uncover his past to find the answers that he needs. I like how he complements Joey. They are just perfect together.
Overall, another great book in the Shifter U series and so far my favorite of the series. And another book in the Dreamspun Beyond series that hasn’t let me down. They are fast becoming a favorite of mine to review.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

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