Review: “Slow Summer Heat” by Renae Kaye

TITLE: Slow Summer Heat
AUTHOR: Renae Kaye
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Adrian Nicholas
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 54 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 1, 2018
PRICE: $3.99 – e-book

BLURB:

A Story from the Warmest Wishes: Dreamspinner Press 2018 Advent Calendar
Geoffrey Saxon is in his forties, a bit plump, a lot fuzzy, and rather boring in bed—and thanks to a very public breakup, everyone in his street knows it. However, what they don’t know is that Geoffrey sometimes watches his hot young neighbor, Vaughn, in the pool. Vaughn has invited Geoffrey to join his pool parties, but Geoffrey knows it’s only pity.
As if things can’t get worse, Geoffrey’s air conditioner breaks during a heat wave in Western Australia—and just before Christmas. In search of some relief, he camps out in his backyard, where he also has a prime view of Vaughn swimming… naked. When Geoffrey’s injured falling from his spying post, Vaughn comes to his rescue and Geoffrey doesn’t think he can be more horrified.
But he could be in for a sweet holiday surprise. Is he ready to take the dive?


Slow Summer Heat by Renae Kaye is one of the short stories out of the 2018 Advent Calendar—Warmest Wishes. I liked this short story by Renae Kaye. From the blurb I was expecting just a little bit more explicit content but it turned out to be a slow burn and with all of Geoffrey’s insecurities that he is battling from his ex, it makes sense that it would be a slow burn and ends up having just the right amount of passion to it. I thought this was a cute story and it had me laughing over some of the things that happened in the book. I will be reading more books by Ranae Kaye.

I liked Geoffrey Saxon. He’s in his forties, a bit plump, a lot fuzzy, and rather boring in bed. And thanks to a very public breakup, everyone on his street knows it. However, what they don’t know is that Geoffrey sometimes watches his hot young neighbor, Vaughn, in the pool. He has been invited to join the parties by Vaughn, but Geoffrey knows it’s only out of pity. To make things worse, Geoffrey’s air conditioner breaks during a heat wave in Western Australia, just before Christmas. Searching for some relief, he camps out in his backyard, where he also has a prime view of Vaughn swimming in the buff. When Geoffrey’s injured falling from his spying post, Vaughn comes to his rescue and Geoffrey doesn’t think he can be more horrified. Geoffrey could be in for a sweet holiday surprise. But is Geoffrey ready to take the dive. I loved the personal growth that is shown in this short story by Geoffrey. I also loved how Geoffrey and Vaughn complement each other.

I loved Vaughn. He’s young, carefree, and just what Geoffrey needs to get him out of his rut. I also loved that Geoffrey is just Vaughn’s type and that Vaughn has had a crush on him which is why he was always inviting him to the pool parties.

This was a cute story with a slow burn romance that I’m sure that I will be reading again.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “The First Noel” by Joe Cosentino

TITLE: The First Noel
AUTHOR: Joe Cosentino
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Adrian Nicholas
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 72 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 7, 2018
PRICE: $3.99 – e-book

BLURB:

Each Christmas has marked a milestone in Bobby and Paolo’s love story. But will this year be their last noel?
It’s no surprise Bobby isn’t feeling much holiday spirit—not when he suspects his husband, Paolo, might be interested in his new business associate, the incredibly handsome Noel. On top of that, Bobby’s father is hanging up his Santa suit at the department store due to health issues; and worst of all, Geoffrey’s birth mother, funded by antigay extremists, is threatening their family. She’s trying to take away Bobby and Paolo’s adopted son, but she’ll have to face their supportive friends, family, and pastor before she can tear Geoffrey from the only real home he’s ever known.
With so many challenges in their path, the December grooms will need an extra helping of holiday magic this year. Rumor has it Santa’s on his way to spread some holiday cheer


The First Noel is the third book in the Bobby and Paolo’s Holiday Stories. I really liked the blurb, and even though I hadn’t read the first two books in the series I figured I would give it a try, and I’m so glad that I did. I loved the story. The writing was wonderful with a great flow to it, and the characters were lovable and relatable and dealt with everyday issues and problems. I can’t wait to read the first two book to see what adventures I missed as their relationship grew. I also loved Noel and David. David is the attorney for the Adam and Eve Forever Organization—antigay extremists. David had been through a conversion camp to cure his gayness, and I loved how every time he had a gay thought he would snap the rubber band on his wrist. He sure did have a dirty mind every time he saw Noel. That rubber band sure did get a workout. I would love for Noel and David to get their own story. I would love to read more about them.

I loved Bobby. He’s feeling down and misses his husband, Paolo, because he is working such long hours and having to take clients to dinner to schmooze them. Because of all of the late nights, Bobby is feeling insecure and thinks that Paolo might be thinking about having an affair. Like I said, real everyday issues and problems and worrying about if your husband is cheating is definitely a real everyday issue between couples. He also has to deal with his father retiring as the department store Santa although I really loved the couple that replaced him as Santa and his elf—naughty Santa and his elf. The department store will never be the same, but everybody at the store just loves them. I loved them too.

I loved Paolo. He’s swamped at work and isn’t getting the credit and recognition that he should be, and so he decides to get his own clothing line with the help of a new celebrity sports client. But it all has to be done in secret since neither his work or his husband know that the work he has been doing isn’t for his job but so that he can go into business with the client he’s stealing away from work.
And if that isn’t enough drama for Bobby and Paolo, a woman shows up that says that she’s Geoffrey’s birth mother and that she wants him back. That she’s gotten her life together with the help of the Adam and Eve Forever Organization and that they’re going to help her get her son back. It sounded like Geoffrey had been through a lot and didn’t want anything to do with his mom. But with the help of some good friends like Noel, who’s supposed to distract the Adam and Eve’s attorney, David, and a little holiday magic their holiday wishes do come true.

This holiday novella is full of twists and turns, and it was a joy to read. I can’t wait to read more book by Joe Cosentino.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Lover Behind Enemy Lines” by Liv Olteano

TITLE: Lover Behind Enemy Lines
AUTHOR: Liv Olteano
SERIES: Dreamcatchers
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 214 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 4, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book/ $9.99 – paperback

BLURB:

True mates, together at last.
Claw—fearless leader of Seattle’s Team 32—has faced many dangers during more than a century and a half as a dreamcatcher. Yet nothing has ever scared him more than his obsession with Nathan Gallagher. Tormented by visions and dreams about the man ever since he first laid eyes on him, Claw now has to deal with living under the same roof with the object of his most ardent desires. And Nathan is so much more than a simple crush.
Brother of the caster who’s been plaguing Team 32’s area and less-than-willing houseguest of the team after a strange break-in attempt, Nathan may hold the key to finally apprehending his sister and putting a stop to the havoc she’s wreaking on Queen Anne…. Meanwhile, Nathan’s wreaking some havoc of his own on Claw’s heart


Lover Behind Enemy Lines is the third book in the Dreamcatchers series and the thirty-third book in the Dreamspun Beyond series. I was a little disappointed in the second book in the series Star-Crossed Lover but this book definitely made up for it. I didn’t find the plot confusing like I did the second book. And I liked the backstory we got about Nathan and his family.

I liked the internal struggle that Claw goes through trying to figure out to do about Nathan. Whether or not he was his mate and if he was his first love reincarnated and if Nathan was going to side with his sister and Claw was going to follow his mate and betray his fellow dreamcatchers. But luckily Nathan is afraid of the person that his sister has become and breaks into the dreamcatchers’ house after witnessing an altercation between his sister and some of the dreamcatchers. Nathan decides to follow the guys back to their house to see if they can help him, but instead, he finds himself their captive. With the use of a spell that can show whether Claw or Nathan are lying when asked a question, they start to build a relationship based on trust and lots of chemistry.

I liked Nathan. He is the complete opposite of what other witches are like. He isn’t obsessed with gathering power or what his status is in the coven. He misses his sister who disappeared a while ago, and he’s been searching for her ever since. His sister, as a baby, had powerful powers and could siphon the energy from the people around her. Usually, such children are killed or put with a non-magical family to be raised. But his sister ran away from the family she was placed with and has become obsessed with gaining as much power as possible. It has corrupted her. And Nathan is desperate to find somebody to stop her before she can kill somebody. He didn’t expect the powerful attraction that he feels for the leader of the dreamcatchers or how much they would distrust him.

I really liked the ending of the book, and I can’t wait for the next book to come out.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Secretly Dating the Lionman” by Sue Brown

TITLE: Secretly Dating the Lionman
AUTHOR: Sue Brown
SERIES: Cowboys and Angels
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Kanaxa
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 27, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback

BLURB:

Can a man burdened with family drama find his way into the arms of a happy-go-lucky stripper called Lionman?
Cris likes a drink at the Cowboys and Angels bar after his shift at the strip club—until one night when a trashed young guy named Mikey tries to kiss him. He’s not Cris’s type, but Cris is good enough to see the kid home safely. There he meets Mikey’s handsome older brother, Bennett, and there’s an immediate spark between them.
But Bennett might not be in a position to start a relationship, let alone with the carefree Cris. He’s trying desperately to hold his family together, with a younger brother who’s running off the rails and hostile parents who will never accept not just one, but two gay sons.
When Cris is unexpectedly fired and Bennett’s family drama escalates, they turn to each other for support. But can a shoulder to lean on develop into something much closer, something they both deserve?


Secretly Dating the Lionman is the second book in the Cowboys and Angels series by Sue Brown. This is the first book that I’ve read by this author, but it won’t be the last. I wasn’t able to read the first book in the series before reading this book, but I don’t think that I missed anything that would have affected this book. I think reading the first book would have enhanced my reading experience and I can’t wait to read it to find out more about how Gideon and Dan, who are the owners of Cowboys and Angels bar, met and became a couple.

I really enjoyed Cris. He works as a stripper at a straight strip club called Forbidden Nightz because it pays more than stripping at a gay club. His stage name is Lionman, and he dances to “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” He enjoys his job but can’t stand the new club manager who keeps changing his shifts without notifying him which is screwing up his dating life. After work, he likes to get a drink at Cowboys and Angels where he runs into Mikey who he met at a gay speed dating event held at Cowboys and Angels. The attraction isn’t mutual because Mikey is so far in the closet he just might be in Narnia. But that doesn’t stop him from hitting on Cris when he gets drunk. When Cris does a good deed after taking home a very drunk Mikey, he meets his older brother Bennett. Bennett is everything that Cris is looking for in a guy. He’s older and has some mileage on him just the way that Cris likes them.

I liked Bennett. What makes him happy is making sure that the people that he cares about are happy. And so his big focus is making sure that his younger brother Mikey is happy. And if it makes his brother happy to continue to pretend to be straight and have a fiancé, then that is what Bennett is going to help him do, and if that means that he needs to make sure that Cris isn’t interested in his brother than that is what he will do. But Bennett didn’t expect to fall for Cris himself. Now not only does he have to worry about his brother coming out of the closet to his strictly religious parents but he will have to fight his own feelings to come out also in order to keep the man that he wants.

When Cris ends up getting fired, he will end up bartending at Cowboys and Angels until he can find another job that pays as well as stripping so that he can continue to pursue his first love, painting.

To enjoy this book, you don’t have to have read the first book, but I would recommend that you do so that you can enjoy all of the cameos from the other characters in the first book that are in the second book.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Femme Faux Fatale” by Susan Laine

TITLE: Femme Faux Fatale
AUTHOR: Susan Laine
SERIES: Dreamspun Desires
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Alexandria Corza
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 240 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 20, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book/ $9.99 – paperback

BLURB:

Mystery. Murder. Men in silk stockings. Hollywood nights are heating up.
Hardboiled Los Angeles PI Cain Noble is hired by wealthy and gorgeous Camille Astor to find her husband and a priceless work of art, both of which have disappeared.
At the nightclub owned by Mr. Astor, Cain encounters the mesmerizing Lily Lavender, who has the body of a goddess and the sultry voice of an angel—but is really a young man named Riley who attracts trouble like a magnet.
What’s a private dick in the vein of LA’s bygone era and a cross-dressing burlesque starlet to do when faced with the hidden decadence and lethal dangers of the Hollywood Hills? They have their work cut out for them because they haven’t even scratched the surface of an elaborate scheme more twisted than anyone could ever have imagined.


Femme Faux Fatale by Susan Laine is the seventieth book in the Dreamspun Desires series. I knew that I wanted to read this book when I read the blurb and it said men in silk stockings. I love a good cross-dressing book and add in all of the twists and turns of a murder mystery, and I was entertained from the start of the book to the end. And there were quite a few twists that I didn’t see coming. The book had a 1940’s feel to it. I kept picturing a Humphrey Bogart movie as I was reading this book. Fans of Noir films and old black and white PI movies will greatly enjoy this book.

Cain Noble is a hardboiled Los Angeles PI who’s hired by the wealthy and gorgeous Camille Astor to find her husband and a priceless work of art, both of which have disappeared. He has a no-nonsense attitude and drinks a little more than is good for him which fits with how private investigators were portrayed during that time period, so the author did a great job of fleshing out and developing his character. I liked him a lot. I liked watching him try to figure out what was going on, especially when he kept getting turned on by what he thought was a woman. I liked when he finally figured that one out. I really enjoyed the chemistry between Cain and Riley, aka Lily Lavender, the cross-dressing burlesque starlet.

My favorite character is Riley. He’s so sensual and has such an old Hollywood feel to him when he’s cross-dressing. I also loved the support that he gets from his dad who knows that he’s a cross-dressing burlesque dancer. I also loved the support that he gets from Cain to dress however he wants at any time whether it is as a man or a woman or a cross of the two. But Riley is hiding a lot of secrets that could really help Cain figure out what happened to Mr. Astor and the priceless work of art.

Cain and Riley will have their work cut out for them when they are faced with the hidden decadence and lethal dangers of the Hollywood hills because they haven’t even scratched the surface of an elaborate scheme more twisted than anyone could ever have imagined.

I recommend this book to anybody that likes to read murder mysteries with a PI and a cross-dressing burlesque dancer, if you do then this book is just what you are looking for.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis