Review of: Love Spanks by R. Cayden

TITLE: Love Spanks
AUTHOR: R. Cayden
SERIES:
PUBLISHER: Self
GENRE: BDSM
RELEASE DATE: October 10, 2019

BLURB:

Xavier
Back in college, Dominick was a dreamboat senior, and one of the hottest guys on campus. That’s why it was so humiliating when a game of truth or dare in the dorms brought my hidden kink right to the surface, and I had to run away like an awkward freshman before a smack on the rear from Dominick turned my world upside down.
Seven years later, and I never expected to see him again. After inheriting my father’s candy store, I had settled into a quiet life in Denver, and left my fantasies deeply hidden. Then Dominick came back from New York City to run a city redevelopment project for the year, a project that looked like it might steamroll my little candy shop. And just like that, the dreamboat senior was standing at my door, and I was out of places to hide.
Dominick
I wonder if Xavier even remembers that game of truth or dare. It was before I had accepted my own dominant tendencies, and before I had made a name for myself as one of the most powerful business sharks in Manhattan.
But after the death of my grandmother brought me back to Denver, I was surprised to find that adorkably charming freshman, grown into just the kind of submissive man I loved. Following a catastrophe with my ex-boyfriend in New York, I knew not to mix business and pleasure. I knew that I couldn’t let my kinky fantasies get in the way of the city redevelopment job. And with my firm waiting back in New York and one year to pull of this project, I definitely couldn’t start thinking with my heart.
No matter how sweet that boy really was, or how good it felt to be back home.
Love Spanks is a 70K+ MM romance novel. Xavier and Dominick’s story is sweet and spicy with lots of heat on the way to an HEA! Enjoy!


I liked Love Spanks by R. Cayden. I’ve read quite a few books by R. Cayden, and I didn’t like this one as much as some of his other ones. It was a mild story for being a BDSM book. I did like the spanking scenes between Xavier and Dominick. My overall impression of the book after reading it was that it was a cute story.

I liked Xavier. I liked how the book started out with Xavier and his best friend, Georgia, going to a sex party so that Xavier can find a Dom to spank him for the first time. He interacts with two potential Doms but ultimately gets rejected. Although it wasn’t anything that he did that got him rejected. One of the Doms was monogamous, and the other one had somewhere that he needed to be and didn’t have time for the aftercare. I was kind of hoping that the rest of the book was going to be as exciting as that party. But the book shifted gears, and Xavier was reunited with someone he’d had a crush on in college. Someone that was supposed to spank him during a game of Truth or Dare. But Xavier panicked and ended up running away from the party without being spanked. Seven years later, Xavier has taken over his father’s candy store, and Dominick is a business shark that’s in Colorado to manage a city renovation job that involves the area where Xavier’s store is.

I liked Dominick. I liked his conversations with his best friend and business partner, Zachary. I also liked how he interacted with Xavier. Getting a glimpse into his dirty fantasies was a real treat. I did think it was funny that he didn’t think that his kink was masculine enough and was slightly ashamed of it and what his colleagues would think if they knew that he wanted to spank somebody. He was so ashamed and afraid that his ex-boyfriend would tell his kinky secret that he left New York to take over a job in his hometown of Colorado. He doesn’t expect to run into Xavier, the boy he had a crush on in college and wanted to spank. But in college, he hadn’t come to terms with his kink yet, so he was relieved when Xavier ran away. Seven years later, he doesn’t expect to run into his college crush or that he would share his kink.

But it isn’t all a bed of roses. There are communication problems between the renovation company and the small business association and snakes in the business world that Dominick will have to weed out. I did like what Xavier ended up doing with the Zing Pop machine in the end, but I will have to admit that I was disappointed that he never fired it up and used the machine.
Overall, I thought it was a cute story, light on the kink, with likable characters.

***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 of: Lie To Me by Samantha Calcott

TITLE: Lie To Me
AUTHOR: Samantha Calcott
SERIES: Poison Pleasures, book 2
PUBLISHER: Encompass Ink
GENRE: Coming of Age; BDSM
RELEASE DATE: 11/7/2019

BLURB:

It started with detention. After all, where else are a Goth, a jock, a nerd, and a loner going to meet, let alone strike up a friendship?
Frankie didn’t mean to get detention. He had no idea his mumbled comments about the teacher’s attitude could be heard by everyone.
Taylor only wanted a quick snog with a boy in a broom closet. He didn’t expect the boy to turn tail and run, leaving him to take the punishment.
Allen pushed Joe into a locker. Joe gave him a kick in the pants. And so they both wound up in trouble.
Four disparate boys. Eight hours of forced camaraderie. And a friendship to last a lifetime. Until, of course, their hearts get involved…


Lie To Me by Samantha Calcott is the second book in the Poison Pleasures series. According to the Author, the Poison Pleasure series is a series of standalone novels that are connected by the BDSM club the characters go to, Poison Pleasures. This series can be read out of order, and you will see characters popping up briefly in each other’s books. The first book in the series is an M/F book called Perfect Disaster. I haven’t read the first book yet, but after reading Lie to Me, I will probably give it a try.

My first thoughts after reading the blurb were that this was going to be an M/M retelling of the movie The Breakfast Club. A movie that I love to watch. And to a point, it was that, but it was so much more. Did you ever watch the movie and wonder what happened to the new group of friends after the movie ended. Did they all stay friends? Did only some of them stay friends? Did they go back to bullying each other? Were they only friends in secret? If they had stayed friends, did they end up dating each other? If they stayed friends, what happened when school ended, and they went to college? Did they stay in touch? Did they drift apart, but later something brought them together again? These were only some of the questions that I always thought about after watching the movie.

So that’s what I thought Lie to Me was going to be, a retelling of that Saturday detention day and nothing more. So I was partially right, the first part of the book was just that, but that was only a small part of the book because then all of my questions that I had ever wondered about after watching the movie were answered. The author takes us through the lives of these four boys, and while the focus is mostly on Frankie and Taylor, we also get to see what happened to Adam and Joe and how their lives intersect with Frankie’s and Taylor’s.

I can tell you now that the author played havoc with my emotions. I fell in love with the characters, and then there was heartbreak, and I was a crying mess, and then I was happy that the characters had pulled themselves together and moved on. Only to find each other again, realize they still love each other, but one is in a relationship and no longer available. I went from giddy that they had found each other again to heartbroken again. I was an emotional wreck, and I couldn’t wait to get to the end of the book to find out if they would end up together. I waited with bated breath. And the ending was exactly what I was hoping for.

This book goes through a bunch of different tropes. The friends start out in high school, so you have them learning about themselves and their sexuality. There is also a friends-to-lovers theme, second-chance at love, one of the friends ends up being bisexual and does have an M/F relationship that turns to friendship, and the friends also explore their kinks at a BDSM club called Poison Pleasures. This book spans about 40 years of their lives. There’s lots of personal growth from the characters and plenty of steamy encounters to keep you entertained.
I will definitely be looking forward to the next book in the series, and I will tide myself over by reading the first book in the series in the meantime.

***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 of: Dilly and Boz by John Inman

TITLE: Dilly and Boz
AUTHOR: John Inman
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: Nov 19, 2019

BLURB:

It’s funny how love nails you when you least expect it.
Dilly Jones has pretty much given up on romance ever finding him. Boz Jenkins, his neighbor, is recently out of a bad relationship but has definitely noticed the cutie across the street. When Dilly drops a bag of donuts on the sidewalk, it sets a chain of events into motion. And suddenly both men’s hearts are lost.
But Boz’s ex is still hanging around, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get Boz back.With a brand-new romance gearing up to knock their socks off, the last thing Dilly and Boz expect is to get tangled up in a stranger’s murder. Or to find themselves fighting for their lives.
Just as they finally find happiness, their love for each other becomes the thing that threatens them the most.


Dilly and Boz is a standalone book by John Inman. This is the first book that I’ve read by this author, but it won’t be the last. I read the blurb and knew that I had to read it. And I’m so glad that I did because I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Dilly and Boz. I loved the author’s writing style and how he developed his characters. His characters were real to life and had everyday issues and relationship problems that were very relatable. My emotions were on a rollercoaster as I read through the book, and I love it when the author can get me that invested in their books. I started reading this book early in the morning and couldn’t put it down until I’d finished it. I especially liked how the book was told from so many points of view, not just the points of view from the two main characters.

Dilbert “Dilly” Jones has pretty much given up on romance ever finding him. He has a job at a Retro Record Shoppe owned by his aging hippy boss, Puffer Moran. His boss got his nickname because he always had a joint in his mouth, puffing away. Dilly has a great relationship with his boss. Dilly doesn’t make a lot of money, just enough to pay for groceries and the rent on his dump of a studio apartment. He would like to find a guy to have a relationship with and come home to besides his cat, Grace. Dilly is a bit of a loner, and besides his love for his cat, he also loves books. He’s short, slim built, nerdy, wears glasses, and is incredibly klutzy. I loved that he puts his cat in a harness and takes her for walks.

Bosley “Boz” Jenkins is recently out of a bad relationship, but he’s definitely noticed the cutie across the street. Boz is incredibly shy though, and he hasn’t worked up the courage to talk to Dilly. He’s been halfheartedly stalking him trying to build up his courage, though. Dilly is the complete opposite of his ex. Dilly and Boz have a lot in common. They are both poor, both animal owners (Boz has a Yorkie named Leon), both short and slim built, and both nerds and loners. Boz thinks that with so many things in common between them that they would be a great match. One of my favorite scenes is when Boz is out at three in the morning, fixing the uneven concrete that Dilly has tripped over more than once.

But Boz’s ex, Bobby, is still hanging around, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get Boz back. I liked getting to see inside of Bobby’s mind and why he did the things that he did. How he treated Angel (the guy Bobby’s sleeping with while trying to get Boz back) broke my heart. And getting to see how Angel felt about him broke it even further.

This book had a lot of twists and turns, some I saw coming and some that I didn’t. I was also surprised that there weren’t any detailed sex scenes. They would start making out, and then it would fade to black and come back after they had climaxed and were at the cuddling stage. So if you are looking for a book that isn’t all about the sex, then this book is for you.

I can’t wait to read more books by John Inman.

***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

BLURB:

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

BLURB:

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