Review: “Hiding in Plain Sight” by Bru Baker

TITLE: Hiding in Plain Sight
AUTHOR: Bru Baker
SERIES: Camp H.O.W.L
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 256 pages
RELEASE DATE: September 18, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book/ $9.99 – paperback

BLURB:

Happily ever after is right under their noses.
Harris has been keeping a big secret for years—his unrequited mate bond with his best friend, Jackson. He’s convinced himself that having Jackson in his life is enough. That, and his work at Camp H.O.W.L., keeps him going.
Things get complicated when Jackson applies for a high-ranking Tribunal job in New York City—far from Camp H.O.W.L. The position requires he relinquish all Pack bonds… and that’s when his wolf decides to choose a mate. Suddenly Jackson sees his best friend in a sizzling new light.
Their chemistry is through the roof, but they’re setting themselves up for broken hearts—and broken bonds—if Jackson can’t figure out a way to balance his career and the love that’s just been waiting for him to take notice.


I loved Hiding in Plain Sight by Bru Baker. It’s the third book in the Camp H.O.W.L. series and the twenty-eighth book in the Dreamspun Beyond series. The book is a standalone, so you don’t have to read the other two books in the series to know what’s going on with the couple in this book but reading the other two books will only enhance your reading experience since there are cameos from the other couples in this book. And the returning characters from Camp H.O.W.L. like the camp director Anne Marie and the camp counselors, doctors, and therapists. The story was well written with a great storyline and well-developed complex characters.

I liked that in this book we get to see more of how the campers get to spend their days while also getting to watch Harris while he works through his unrequited mate bond with his best friend, Jackson.

I loved Harris. I loved his dedication to the camp as a therapist and to keeping in touch with his friends. He’s known that he and Jackson were mates for a while, but he also knows that Jackson isn’t looking for a mate and so he decides he would rather keep Jackson as a friend than to try and mess that friendship up by pushing for more and potentially being rejected. Harris knows that an unrequited bond is easier to live with then a rejected mate bond. But that can’t help him from pining for his mate. When the camp gets a new celebrity camper, Harris is assigned as her therapist and the person in charge of her. Having such a big celebrity in the camp will mean upping their security system and border patrols while she’s there and guess who put in their security system? That’s right…Jackson, who works for Jordan at Fangs and Fury in between working as a police officer. For Harris having Jackson at the camp for the length of the celebrity’s stay will be both heaven and hell. Heaven because he’ll get to be around his mate every day and hell while he waits to find out if Jackson has gotten the Tribunal Enforcer job and will be moving to New York City and will have to break all of his bonds, both pack and personal.

I loved Jackson. He’s a little oblivious to the attraction between him and Harris until his wolf decides that Harris is his potential mate. He’s completely focused on his career and doesn’t have any plans for a mate. And actually to get the career that he wants as a Tribunal Enforcer he’ll have to break his bonds with both his pack and any personal bonds that he also has. His ultimate job is to be a pack second like his dad, and he knows that if he gets the Tribunal job that he won’t have any problem getting a job as a pack second. After getting back from his interview for the Tribunal job he learns that Jordan has taken a job for camp H.O.W.L. to overhaul their security for a high profile celebrity camper. Which would normally be no problem but for some reason, Jackson’s wolf has been pushing him to bond with his best friend Harris, which with the potential job requirements is inconvenient and is making him second guess if he really wants to continue with his plans for his career or give it up and keep his mate. Poor Jackson feels like a yo-yo.

I loved this addition to the series, and I think that you will too. If you have enjoyed the other books in the Camp H.O.W.L. series, then I recommend giving this book a try.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “All for You” by Andrew Grey

TITLE: All for You
AUTHOR: Andrew Grey
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: L.C. Chase
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: September 11, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback

BLURB:

The only path to happiness is freedom: the freedom to live-and love-as the heart wants. Claiming that freedom will take all the courage one young man has… but he won’t have to face it alone.
In small, conservative Sierra Pines, California, Reverend Gabriel is the law. His son, Willy, follows his dictates… until he meets a man in Sacramento, and then reunites with him in his hometown-right under his father’s nose.
Reggie is Sierra Pines’s newly appointed sheriff. His dedication to the job means not flaunting his sexuality, but when he sees Willy again, he can’t escape the feeling that they’re meant to be together. He’ll keep Willy’s secret until Willy is ready to let the world see who he really is. But if going up against the church and the townspeople isn’t enough, the perils of the work Reggie loves so much might mean the end of their romance before it even gets off the ground….


I loved All for You by Andrew Grey. It reminded me of the Carlisle Cops and Carlisle Deputies series which I love to read. It was well written with a great storyline and wonderful vibrant characters and supporting characters. The pace of the book was steady, but it kept my attention and had me reading well into the night to find out what happened in the end. I couldn’t get enough of it. It had all of the elements to it that I have come to expect from an Andrew Grey book. I laughed, I cried, I screamed at some of the people, and I loved the chemistry between Reggie and Willy.

I loved Reggie. He’s Sierra Pines’ newest appointed sheriff, and his dedication to his job means not flaunting his sexuality, but that doesn’t mean that he will deny his sexuality if questioned. He’s been appointed as sheriff to clean up the corruption in the small town, but first, he has to wrestle control of the town away from Reverend Gabriel, which could lead to a huge power struggle if Reggie doesn’t do it just right. I loved how he was able to use the rules of Reverend Gabriel’s faith to get his way instead of using threats like the Reverend Gabriel does. I also loved that he wasn’t intimidated by the mayor or the board or anybody else in a position of power. And I loved how he cleaned up the corruption in his own department, all while having a closeted relationship with the Reverend’s son, Willy.

I loved Willy. He’s young and a little inexperienced. He got a taste of freedom when he went away to college, but all of that went away when he returned home. He may be over twenty, but he still lives at home under the rule of his father. A father that used to be fun-loving and a joy to be around, but an accident in the family resulting in the death of a sibling changes the Reverend into a cold, unfeeling control freak with a short temper. Somebody that the whole family is afraid of. I loved when Willy and Reggie meet for the first time in Sacramento and Reggie saves Willy from some bullies and doesn’t take advantage of him when Willy offers to hook up with him. I loved that he was a gentleman even if he was kicking himself later. I loved watching Willy gain confidence and become a strong individual from being around Reggie. I also loved the ending of the book and that everybody gets their HEA.

Overall, another great book by Andrew Grey that I would recommend to everybody.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Broken Halo” by Michaela Grey

TITLE: Broken Halo
AUTHOR: Michaela Grey
SERIES: Mended Hearts
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: AngstyG
GENRE: BDSM; Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 236 pages
RELEASE DATE: January 30, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback

BLURB:

Micah Ellis is an affluent businessman, comfortable in his life and work, as long as nothing happens to shake up his routine. Which is exactly what one Devon Mallory does, with his bright blue eyes and dirty skin and the forceful personality that’s everything Micah desperately needs but is too afraid to ask for.
Micah and Devon enter into a Dom/sub relationship and navigate the world of BDSM and Micah’s crippling insecurities as they gradually fall in love. But Micah’s past is coming back to haunt him, and they must face it together–and that means learning acceptance and discovering that they both deserve love their way and on their own merits.


Broken Halo is the first book in the Mended Hearts series by Michaela Grey. I read the second book, Broken Rules, first. The books are standalone, so you can read them in any order. I liked Broken Rules enough that I wanted to read the first book in the series and I am so glad that I did. I loved the book. I loved that the Dom isn’t a part of the lifestyle but finds himself dating a submissive that is part of the lifestyle and can’t give it up. Instead of it being a deal breaker, he does his research and talks to the submissive’s ex, who is a Dommie, when he needs things clarified, or he wants to talk through a scene. Devon is a natural Dom, but he tries not to be hesitant during his scenes, and I loved how he took care of Micah, the sub, afterward during sub drop and vice versa when Devon has his first Dom drop. The chemistry between Micah and Devon was hot whether they were doing a scene or not.

Micah Ellis is a businessman, who’s comfortable in his life and work, but only as long as nothing happens to shake up his routine. He definitely has lots of issues. He’s a germaphobe. As a result, he doesn’t like dirt, grime, germs, crowds of people, and especially kids. And this leads to anxiety attacks and a caustic stuck-up attitude. So when his car breaks down outside an unfamiliar mechanic’s shop, he isn’t thrilled especially when he sees how dirty and grimy it is. It doesn’t even matter that the mechanic is a gorgeous hunk of a man since he’s covered in grease. In typical Micah fashion, he manages to offend Devon, the mechanic, enough that he refuses to let him pay for the repairs and tells him to leave. But Fate brings them back together, and Micah gets the chance to apologize. They end up starting a relationship which turns into a Dom/sub relationship after Micah confesses to his desires.

Devon is a mechanic that owns a shop. He doesn’t like Micah at first since Micah puts him down for being a blue-collar worker since he’s a white-collar worker and thinks that he’s better than him and Devon kicks him out of his shop without paying for the work that was done. I liked that they get the chance to apologize to each other and give each other another chance. I also loved that Devon is a sweet guy and works really hard to give Micah what he needs in their relationship even though he doesn’t know a lot about it.

I especially loved that this is a book where both the Dom and the sub end up using their safewords. I read a lot of BDSM books and in most of them during a scene, there’s the reminder to use their safewords, but they rarely use them. So I really enjoyed those parts of the book. Yes at one point there is heartache, but the book does end in a happily ever after and I was so happy that Micah’s abusive ex gets what’s coming to him at the end because he was a douchebag.

I can’t wait to read more books by this author. I might have to give her Coffee Cake series a go. It sounds promising.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Raising the Bar” by Leigh Dillon

TITLE: Raising the Bar
AUTHOR: Leigh Dillon
SERIES: States of Love
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Brooke Albrecht
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 91 pages
RELEASE DATE: September 7, 2018
PRICE: $3.99 – e-book

BLURB:

Destin Bellingham has inherited a problem. Thanks to his late playboy father, Destin faces putting a For Sale sign on his family’s historic horse farm. Getting his talented stallion, Black Sambuca, into the Grand Prix show ring would put Bellmeade back on the map—if only someone could make “Sam” behave like a show horse.
Disgraced top rider Tonio Benedetto has his own problems, but he can work magic with difficult jumpers, so Destin hires him despite his bad-boy reputation. The street-smart, openly gay loudmouth from Miami and the closeted, buttoned-down son of Old Dominion Virginia make a rocky pairing, but time is running out to save Bellmeade from bankruptcy.
Opposites attract, sparks of tension grow into flames of passion. But if Tonio fails to tame Sam, will true love become a lost cause too?
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.


Raising the Bar by Leigh Dillon is part of Dreamspinner’s States of Love series. This book takes place in Virginia. I liked the storyline and the flow of the book. The book is only ninety-one pages long, so it’s a nice quick read, perfect for relaxing when you only have a couple of hours. Definitely recommended for people who enjoy opposites-attract storyline and problem show jumper horses. I happen to like both of those characteristics in a story, and I did enjoy reading this book. My only disappointment in the story is that I wish the author had stated what kind of horse Black Sambuca is. I would have liked to have known if he was a pure breed horse or a cross. Although since they’re planning to breed him, I would assume that he was a pureblood. But the author doesn’t mention what kind of horses the Bellingham’s were breeding. It would have helped with my visualization of what the horses on the farm looked like.

I liked Destin Bellingham. He’s inherited the family farm when his playboy father dies suddenly. Moving back from Boston, Destin finds that the family farm is about to go bankrupt. Destin may have grown up on the farm, but he’s out of his element trying to keep Bellmeade afloat. His only hope of putting Bellmeade back on the map, getting back their sponsors and saving the farm is his incredibly talented stallion, Black Sambuca. However, he first has to find somebody crazy enough to ride the powerful horse. I would have liked Destin more if he’d been a little more confident in his abilities. He grew up on this farm, but he acts like he has no idea how to run it or what needs to be done to keep it afloat. Tonio even mentions a lot of things that can be done to help keep them afloat while getting Sam where he needs to be in his jumping career but Destin isn’t willing to do any of them.

I really liked Tonio Benedetto. He’s on the smaller side with a wiry build, but he has a lot of personality. He also has an alcohol problem which he’s dealing with. For Tonio, alcohol makes him belligerent and for Destin, it’s almost a deal breaker after he takes Tonio to dinner on the first night that Tonio comes to evaluate Black Sambuca. But I liked how Tonio realizes that he messed up and promises that it won’t happen again. I also liked that Tonio isn’t willing to give up on Black Sambuca. I also liked the chemistry between Tonio and Destin. He compliments Destin in areas where he lacks experience.

Overall Raising the Bar is a cute, fun, short novella about a show jumper rider and a show jumper breeder and owner and a black stallion that is too smart for his own good.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Hex and Candy” by Ashlyn Kane

TITLE: Hex and Candy
AUTHOR: Ashlyn Kane
SERIES: Strange Bedfellows
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: Paranormal;
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 214 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 21, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book/ $9.99 – paperback

BLURB:

Strange Bedfellows
True love’s kiss can break the curse. But then what?
Cole Alpin runs a small-town candy store. He visits his grandmother twice a week. And sometimes he breaks curses.
Leo Ericson’s curse is obvious right away, spiderwebbing across his very nice body. Though something about it worries Cole, he agrees to help—with little idea of what he’s getting into.
Leo is a serial monogamist, but his vampire ex has taken dating off the table with his nasty spell, and Leo needs Cole’s companionship as much as his help. When the hex proves to be only the beginning of his problems, Leo seeks refuge at Cole’s place. Too bad magic prevents him from finding refuge in Cole’s arms.
Cole’s never had a boyfriend, so how can he recognize true love? And there’s still the matter of the one responsible for their troubles in the first place….


Hex and Candy is the first book in the Strange Bedfellows series and the twenty-sixth book in the Dreamspun Beyond series. This is the first book that I’ve read by Ashlyn Kane. The book was well written, and I liked the plot. The characters and sub characters were interesting, but the editing could have been better, although it wasn’t too distracting. I liked that this was a book about Cole, a candy maker curse breaker who takes on a client, Leo, who believes he’s been cursed by his vampire ex-boyfriend, Roland. The curse doesn’t allow him to flirt, exchange numbers, or dance with anybody that he’s attracted to. Leo was referred to Cole by a friend.

I was sometimes confused by the main character Cole Alpin. Cole comes from a long line of witches, but while he was growing up he didn’t present a magical ability, so they thought he was a muggle—yes, they did start to call humans that after the Harry Potter books came out.

Up until that point, they were called mundane—so they had him learn a muggle job, and he choose candy making but not chocolate because he has a really bad hazelnut allergy. However, Cole did finally get his magical ability which is curse breaking. So now he has a candy shop where he makes some holistic magical candies in addition to regular candies and on the side he breaks curses. Coles’ grandmother is clairvoyant, and he’s asked her before if he will ever find somebody to love, but she will never tell him yes or no. His cousin Kate also has a way with tarot cards and reads his cards whenever he has a question about what he should do. Now the part that confuses me is how Cole keeps having thoughts about not be able to do something or say something because it is too sexy which is the same problem that Leo has because of his curse. Which keeps making me think that he’s the one that’s cursed which is wrong. If he’s trying not to say or do these things because it would be unprofessional to hit on his client, then it wasn’t explained well enough cause I found it confusing.

I did like how true love’s kiss could break the curse.

I liked Leo Ericson. His first introduction into the paranormal world is when he takes home a one-night stand that turns out to be a vampire. After their relationship dissolves in what Leo thought was amicable terms, he finds that he’s been cursed. And he’s pretty sure it was by his ex-boyfriend. After nearly a year of living with the curse, he’s ready to be done with it and is recommended by a friend to Cole Alpin.

I liked that there were some twist and turns that I wasn’t expecting and that we still got a happily ever after ending.
Overall, a good book and a good addition to the Dreamspun beyond series.

I can’t wait for the next book in the Strange Bedfellows series to come out.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis