Review of: First Impressions by Jay Hogan

TITLE: First Impressions
AUTHOR: Jay Hogan
SERIES: Auckland Med #1
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: Nov 1, 2019

BLURB:

Michael:
Two years ago I made a mistake—a big one. Then I added a couple more just for good measure. I screwed up my life, but I survived. Now I have the opportunity for a fresh start. Two years in NZ. Away from the LA gossip, a chance to breathe, to rebuild my life. But I’m taking my new set of rules with me.
I don’t do relationships.
I don’t do commitment.
I don’t do white picket fences.
And I especially don’t do arrogant, holier-than-thou, smoking-hot K9 officers who walk into my ER and rock my world.
Josh:
One thing’s for certain: Dr. Michael Oliver is an arrogant, untrustworthy player, and I barely survived the last one of those. He might be gorgeous, but my daughter takes number-one priority. I won’t risk her being hurt again. I’m a solo dad, a K9 cop, and a son to pain-in-the-arse parents.
I don’t have time for games.
I don’t have time for taking chances. I don’t have time for more complications in my life.
And I sure as hell don’t have time for the infuriating Dr. Michael Oliver, however damn sexy he is.
Second Edition
First Edition published by Blackout Books, 2018.


Michael is an emergency doctor in Auckland. He’s in NZ for two years, and wants to make his time there as pleasurable as possible. While cruising in a gay club, Michael ends up in the middle of a police intervention where he meets the hot cop, Josh.
Josh is a gay single dad and a cop, and he has no time for a player like Michael. Not. AT. ALL. But when Michael’s life is in danger, Josh stands up and takes the matter in hand to keep him safe.
First Impressions by Jay Hogan is book 1 in the Auckland Medical series. I liked this book.

Michael is an American doctor who came to New Zealand in an exchange medical program. It was the best thing for Michael, who had been having difficult moments in California. He refused to do relationships, refused to be tied to someone, and he just wants to enjoy his life with his hook-ups. Michael didn’t expect Josh, and worse, didn’t expect to get attached to him.
Josh is a cop and a single dad. Sasha is his life, and he wants to build a family for her, with a partner for life. Josh didn’t do hook-ups and avoided the players like Michael. The fact that Michael pushed all his buttons complicated things for him, until they both decide to try to see where things can go.

I loved them. They both want the same things but didn’t know how to express it. They were both on the same page but refused to admit it until it was too late. I loved them, but sometimes I wanted to beat them. Seriously, they were two grown-up men, but they acted like two teenagers. They pissed me off sometimes, but not all the time, most of time, I was laughing with them and their bantering.

The story was good, but a little bit too long and repetitive, in my opinion. I felt like I was going around in my reading at times, but mostly the story was good, and the end was super good with a twist I didn’t see coming that put some good action into the plot.

It’s a good start for this new series, and I will definitely read the next one.

3.5 Stars for The Cop and his doctor.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

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

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

BLURB:

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: 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

BLURB:

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: Truth will Out by K.C Wells

TITLE: Truth will Out
AUTHOR: K.C Wells
SERIES: Merrychurch Mysteries #1
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense
RELEASE DATE: Oct 30, 2018

BLURB:

Jonathon de Mountford’s visit to Merrychurch village to stay with his uncle Dominic gets off to a bad start when Dominic fails to appear at the railway station. But when Jonathon finds him dead in his study, apparently as the result of a fall, everything changes. For one thing, Jonathon is the next in line to inherit the manor house. For another, he’s not so sure it was an accident, and with the help of Mike Tattersall, the owner of the village pub, Jonathon sets out to prove his theory—if he can concentrate long enough without getting distracted by the handsome Mike.
They discover an increasingly long list of people who had reason to want Dominic dead. And when events take an unexpected turn, the amateur sleuths are left bewildered. It doesn’t help that the police inspector brought in to solve the case is the last person Mike wants to see, especially when they are told to keep their noses out of police business.
In Jonathon’s case, that’s like a red rag to a bull….


Jonathon de Mountford is visiting his uncle Dominic at Merrychurch. A lovely English village where Jonathon looks forward to spent some quiet time with his uncle. But, when he finds Dominic dead in the manor, what is supposed to be a lovely and peaceful weekend turns out to be one of the worst weeks of his life.
Someone has murdered his uncle, and Jonathon has every intention of finding out who did this with the help of the sexy ex-policeman Mike Tattersall.
Truth Will Out by K.C. Wells is book one in the Merrychurch Mysteries series. It was a lovely mystery novel that I really enjoyed.

Merrychurch is a quiet village in the English countryside. Nothing happens in Merrychurch, until the death of the lord of the manor, Dominic de Mountford. Jonathon de Mountford is a famous photographer; he runs around the world searching for the perfect cliché. He’s gay and out, and despite his family’s and his father’s disapproval, Jon refuses to live in a closet.

As Dominic’s nephew and heir, Jon wants to know the truth about his uncle’s death, and while investigating his murder with Mike’s help, Jonathon opens the door to a world of secrets in this quiet village.

Mike is the pub’s owner. After being a policeman in London, Mike had to retire after losing his foot on service. He settles for the quiet and lovely village of Merrychurch. When Jonathon crosses his path and they discover Dominic’s body, the ex-copper inside of him can’t say no to investigate this murder, and it has nothing to do with the growing attraction between the two of them.

I adore Mike and Jonathon. They’re intelligent and funny. They barely know each other, but from the beginning, a connection is made between them, like their minds know each other before they realize.

I love how, while investigating, they discover each other and get to know each other until what they are trying to avoid happens, and they succumb to their desire. I adored them.

The book was super interesting. It had the atmosphere of a classic Agatha Christie, with one murder, a list of potential murderers, and throughout the book you eliminate some of them, add others, etc, etc.

It was funny and easy to read, and the growing feelings between Mike and Jon were super sweet to follow. I recommend this book. It’s a change of our usual read.

It’s 4 stars for the photographer and his ex-copper.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Power Players by Scudder James Jr

TITLE: Power Players
AUTHOR: Scudder James Jr
SERIES: States of Love
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: Oct 4th 2019

BLURB:

Jeffrey knows the underbelly of Washington, DC, well. Once homeless, he’s now the director of a massive coalition of shelters. The last person he’s interested in meeting is wealth consultant Derek T. Hinsdale III, another slick-talking, privileged jerk. Jeffrey has had enough of those.
But Derek’s latest project could impact Jeffrey’s organization—with a multimillion-dollar gift awarded at a special dinner and ceremony. Jeffrey and Derek seem so different, but in their convictions, they find common ground, and the heat they call up in each other can’t be ignored. Can they salvage a disastrous evening and a painful reminder of Jeffrey’s past?
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.
Series States of Love | District of Columbia.


Jeffrey grew up in the underbelly of Washington DC. Homeless at fifteen with an abusive father, he works hard to succeed in his life. He’s now the director of a massive coalition of shelters.

Derek grew up in the rich part of Washington DC. He’s now a wealth consultant and a philanthropist. His latest project can change Jeffrey’s coalition of shelters to help more people.

Now, everything can be good, if only Jeffrey and Derek can forget their prejudices and fears.

Power Players by James Jr Scudder is part of the States of Love series. A series of romances that spanned every corner of the United States and written by different authors each time.

I liked this short story, but it was too short, in my opinion. I loved the plot, two men loving DC, one with a rich background—the other with a poor background, but both working to make their city a better place to live for everyone.

I also loved the fact that it was a mixed couple. I loved the author’s style; how he took every prejudice and broke them one by one. Really, this book was good, with a lot of potential.

But it was too short, and because it was too short, we couldn’t explore more about the characters, their stories, and their project. Everything was kind of superficial. We only scratch the surface, and I understand it because of the format (69 pages), but I regret it a little bit. In the end, I was expecting to read that this story was a prequel of Derek and Jeffrey’s book (a girl can dream).

Anyway, all in all, it’s still a good short story that I liked a lot.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis