Gabbi Reviews: A Boy and His Dragon by R. Cooper


Title: A Boy and His Dragon
Author: R. Cooper
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 242
Characters: Arthur MacArthur, Bertie
POV: 3rd Limited
Sub-Genre: Urban Fantasy, Shifter Romance, Series
Kisses: 5+

Blurb:

A Being(s) in Love Story

Arthur MacArthur needs a job, and not just for the money. Before he dropped out of school to support his younger sister, he loved being a research assistant at the university. But working for a dragon, one of the rarest and least understood magical beings, has unforeseen complications. While Arthur may be the only applicant who isn’t afraid of Philbert Jones in his dragon form, the instant attraction he feels for his new employer is beyond disconcerting.

Bertie is a brilliant historian, but he can’t find his own notes without help—his house is a hoard of books and antiques, hence the need for an assistant. Setting the mess to rights is a dream come true for Arthur, who once aspired to be an archivist. But making sense of Bertie’s interest in him is another matter. After all, dragons collect treasure, and Arthur is anything but extraordinary.

Review:

A Boy and His Dragon is an absolute delight to read from start to finish. It is filled with plenty of intrigue and romance and I absolutely adored how the relationship between the two heroes evolved throughout the story.

This is Arthur’s story to tell. As a hero and the main character, Arthur is a very likable man. His determination to do right by his sister and try and make a better life for himself is an admirable one. Though he thinks he is somewhat unqualified to be an assistant to Dr. Philbert *Bertie* Jones, his drive and dedication to do the best job possible for Bertie was both honorable and endearing. Though Bertie is brilliant, he is very unorganized and he doesn’t take care of his things, which drives Arthur totally crazy. Arthur has a bit of OCD, which makes the relationship between him and Bertie a match made in Heaven. I loved watching these two men truly form a friendship and learn about each other.

As a reader, I also appreciated the well-written backstory and the world that was created about Bertie and dragons. Like Arthur, I found myself intrigued by Bertie and his heritage and the history of dragons themselves.

A Boy and His Dragon by R. Cooper is a book that is so easy to recommend. Between the exciting storyline and the strong and sexy romance between Arthur and Bertie, A Boy and His Dragon will be an easy favorite and a story that will live within your heart for many years to come!

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Please NOTE:
This book is also part of the R. Cooper‘s “Beings in Love” Anthology but since I am reviewing each story individually, I have put the original artwork for each story in the book.


Click HERE for more information and to purchase Beings in Love by R. Cooper

Click HERE to enter the Dreamspinner Press website

Gabbi Reviews: Treasure for Treasure by R. Cooper


Title: Treasure for Treasure
Author: R. Cooper
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 340
Characters: Zarrin, Joe
POV: 3rd Limited
Sub-Genre: Fantasy, Shifter, Romance, Series
Kisses: 5

Blurb:

A Being(s) in Love Story

In the nineteenth century, the dragon Dìzhèn put the small coastal town of Everlasting under her protection. Her family was supposed to carry on the tradition, but all of Dìzhèn the Great’s heirs eventually left rather than live in the shadow of such a powerful dragon.

Only the youngest dragon of the current generation remains: Zarrin, the softhearted disgrace of his family. He might be weak, small, and afraid, but he is determined to show the humans they have not been forgotten… one human in particular. The problem is, Zarrin can barely get that human to talk to him.

It should be a dream come true to have a dragon trying to get his attention. But Joe refuses to bow to Zarrin like everyone else. Yes, Zarrin is sexy, oddly gentle for a dragon, and stares at Joe with a gaze so hot it makes him shiver. But hurt, mistrustful Joe can’t believe Zarrin’s promises that he’s here to stay. Joe doesn’t realize he is the treasure Zarrin has been looking for his whole life, a treasure he once let slip through his fingers out of fear. Now, to win Joe’s trust, Zarrin has to be brave and become as strong as Dìzhèn herself.

Review:

The Being(s) in Love series by R. Cooper is one of my all-time favorite paranormal series. Each and every book is a fresh take on a well-loved genre and I love the unique and sexy heroes in all of them.

Treasure for Treasure is a highly romantic tale filled with the hope of

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Gabbi Reviews: The Winter Prince by R. Cooper


Title: The Winter Prince
Author: R. Cooper
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 147
Characters: Kisin, Razin
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: High Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Romance
Kisses: 5

Blurb:

His heart stolen by a powerful pari’s magic, a young prince’s veins slowly fill with ice. That is what the stories say. Three years have passed since, and all efforts to save Kisin have failed. He won’t survive another winter. To save the prince’s life, Razin, the court wizard and Kisin’s childhood friend, plans to seek out the pari. But unbeknownst to Razin, Kisin’s heart was never stolen; he gave it freely to escape the pain of impossible love—his love for Razin.

Razin won’t accept Kisin’s fate, for reasons obvious to anyone who knows anything of love. Kisin agrees to the desperate quest, out of duty and a need to protect Razin. But it isn’t long before Razin realizes saving his prince will require more than simply retrieving his heart. Razin will have to convince him to want it.

Review:

R. Cooper is one of the best when it comes to writing fantasy and romance. I love the descriptive way she tells a story. I’m always immediately swept up into the worlds she creates and in her unique and well-written characters’ lives.

The Winter Prince reads like a fairy tale. Between the lyrical tone of the story and the tale of Kisin and Razin’s unrequited love for each other, I was enthralled by their lives, their surroundings and the story they had to tell.

Several years ago, Kinsin’s heart was taken by a parin’s magic. Because of this, Kinsin is emotionally cold and withdrawn from his family. With each passing day, Kinsin’s life hangs in the balance between life and death. When the Queen mother suggests he leave for the winter, Kinsin is dismayed by the fact his childhood friend and wizard Razin insists on coming along with him. Razin has an idea to return to the pari and demand Kinsin’s heart back. Although, Kinsin believes it is too late, in some ways he cannot deny Razin who he has loved from afar since he can remember.

I loved this story. I truly enjoyed watching Kinsin’s frozen emotional barrier thaw within the heat of Razin’s love and friendship. The journey they have is a sweet and lovely one to experience and I hated to see the book come to an end.

Between the romantic tone and the adventurous tale these men tell, The Winter Prince by R. Cooper is a book not to be missed. It’s an easy book to recommend to those who love stories of fantasy and romance.

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to enter the Dreamspinner Press Website

Gabbi Reviews: Dancing Lessons by R. Cooper


Title: Dancing Lessons
Author:
R. Cooper
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 129
Characters: Chico, Raphael
POV: 3rd Limited
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Kisses: 5+




Blurb:

Two years of living with his controlling boyfriend left Chico worn down long before that boyfriend revealed he’d been seeing someone else. With no other choice, Chico moves in above his cousin’s garage in a small town in the redwoods, where he merely goes through the motions. To get him out of the house, his cousin pushes him to volunteer at a local dance studio to help with their annual show.

He’s not expecting to end up in a dance class, or to start feeling alive again in the arms of his dance instructor. Rafael is the studio owners’ son and was once a well-known dancer in his own right, but now enjoys being a teacher. Although Chico likes him, he’s afraid of taking a chance. But Rafael is determined, and it only takes one dance for Chico to start to realize he might still have something to learn.

Review:

R. Cooper is a fairly new author for me. I’ve read one other book by her and enjoyed it, so I was anxious to give Dancing Lessons a try. I admit I was intrigued by the blurb and cover art and hoped this story would deliver my undying need for romance and happy endings, so I’m thrilled to say Dancing Lessons was everything I love when it comes to reading romance and more.

Dancing Lessons is definitely Chico’s story. Chico is a sweet man who has been down on his luck since the breakup of his lousy-not-so-good boyfriend. Since the breakup, Chico has been wondering around hurt and lost. He is filled with a lot of self-doubt and has been consumed with second guessing who he really is since before the breakup. When he meets Rafael, Chico is confused, scared and fascinated by the way Rafael’s presence awakens his broken heart. Chico has a sensitive, fragile side about him that really resonated with me as continued to read his story. Chico is an easy man to like and root for…both characters are. I loved how the sexy and very patient Rafael worked his way into Chico’s wounded heart. Their love and affection toward one another touched my heart several times throughout their story.

I truly loved this book. As a reader, I appreciated and highly enjoyed the journey of watching Chico’s self-discovery and recovery of being a frightened, broken man into a more confident, creative and loving man he truly was. The relationship between Chico and Rafael was so well paced and burned so intense, that I found myself anticipating what was going to happen next. The attraction between them sizzles, yet they take their time to get to know each other, become friends and eventually lovers. I was easily brought up into the lives of these two unique and very sexy men and I can honestly say…I HATED to see this story to come to an end.

Dancing Lessons is a beautifully told story between two unique and sexy men whose romance left this reader with a big smile and a happy heart. If you love romance with a slow gradual buildup AND a lot of pining between the two characters, then Dancing Lessons by R. Cooper is definitely the book for you!

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to enter the Dreamspinner Press Website

The Firebird and Other Stories by R. Cooper


Title: The Firebird and Other Stories
Author: R. Cooper
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 350 pages
Characters: various
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: alternate world, urban fantasy
Kisses: 5



Blurb:

Magical creatures known as beings emerged from hiding amid the destruction of the First World War. Since then they’ve lived on the margins of the human world as misunderstood objects of fear and desire. Some are beautiful, others fearsome and powerful. Yet for all their magic and strength, they are as vulnerable as anyone when it comes to matters of the heart.

A firebird in 1930s Paris is drawn to a writer with a haunted past. Upon returning from fighting in the Pacific, a jaguar shifter finds a third-gender human on his doorstep. Early rock ’n’ roll DJ Hyacinth the fairy shocks his listeners with his admiration for his quiet assistant. During the AIDS crisis, a gruff, leather-wearing troll dreams of a settled life with a mixed-species elf across the bar. An imp, who remembers only too well how cruel the world can be, tells himself he’s content to stay behind the scenes—if only his chaotic, impish magic would stop getting in the way. And a shy human tending his poisonous and carnivorous plants is convinced no one will ever want him, certainly not the handsome werewolf grieving for a lost mate. Human or being, all must overcome fear to reach for love.

Review:

I’ve been really enjoying this series but even so, I wasn’t sure about “The Firebird and Other Stories” because it’s a collection. I shouldn’t have worried. I absolutely loved it. Five short stories that don’t feel like short stories, and a one that is a follow-on for the characters from A Boy and His Dragon.

I laughed, I cried, and I will absolutely be reading these stories again. And that bonus was that three of the stories were connected clearly, with the others connected lightly. And, as has been the norm throughout this series, you love the characters in part because of the differences in each species, not despite them.

R Cooper’s beings each have strong traits to their species, but they aren’t always traits you’d expect, or the traits don’t always manifest the way you expect. And rather than understanding each other immediately, humans and beings don’t really understand each other at all, which isn’t helped by the way we often make assumptions or generalize.

I honestly can’t name a favorite story because I loved them all: the vain firebird, the determined fairy, the lovable troll, the hurting imp, and the shy human. Each story was written from one character’s POV, which was perfect for short stories, yet the story was told brilliantly. I didn’t want to stop reading even though I had things to do. Do not pass this one by just because it’s a collection.

I would recommend this story—well, this series, really—for lovers of interracial or interspecies romance, comprehensive world building, varied societies, or complex relationships.

If you haven’t read the other books in the series I don’t think it would affect your enjoyment of this one, but you should—they’re all different, and all extremely enjoyable. Although I must admit that my favourite until now has been “A Boy and His Dragon”. It still is, as far as the longer stories go, but this one is now one of my favourite collections/anthologies. Give “The Firebird and Other Stories” a try. You won’t regret it.

Reviewed By:

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A Beginners Guide to Wooing Your Mate by R. Cooper


Title: A Beginners Guide to Wooing Your Mate
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Author: R. Cooper
Pages: 200
Kisses: 4.5





Blurb:

Zeki Janowitz has returned to his hometown of Wolf’s Paw to start his wizarding career. Unfortunately, Wolf’s Paw, a werewolf refuge, follows centuries of tradition and shuns human magic and a very human Zeki. He knows he’s in for a struggle, but a part of him has always belonged in the mountain town, or rather belonged to Theo Greenleaf. Years away at school haven’t lessened Zeki’s crush on the quiet werewolf. When town gossip informs him Theo still suffers from his mate’s rejection and does not date, it does little to ease Zeki’s embarrassing feelings. He decides now’s the time to get the man he’s always wanted.

Werewolves usually don’t recover from losing their mates, and Theo barely pulled through by focusing on his love of baking. It’s a daily struggle, and Zeki’s return to Wolf’s Paw shatters his peace. Theo doesn’t know what to think when Zeki attempts to woo him, talking about his wizarding business and settling in town for good. It’s like Zeki doesn’t have a clue how his words years before left Theo a shell of a werewolf.

Beginners in love, Theo and Zeki must seduce each other with a bit of heavenly baking and magic.

Review:

A Beginners Guide to Wooing Your Mate is a paranormal romance that is part of the Being(s) in Love series. While the previous books should not be missed, it’s possible to read this book without having read the prior ones.

In this new story the author brings us two wonderfully written characters destined to find their happily ever after, once all the crossed wired are untangled of course. Zeki is a wizard who has just finished his training and is ready to strike out on his own. Before doing so, he returns home to spend some time with his father. Wolf’s Paw is really the last place Zeki wants to be as his years there are not remembered fondly. He especially has no desire to run into Theo, his high school crush.

Theo is a member of the local werewolf pack. Years ago he was denied by his mate, something that is unheard of. To keep from going crazy, or doing something stupid, Theo bakes not realizing that everything he is feeling comes out in the finished product.
It is obvious to the readers that Zeki is Theo’s mate, however the young wizard is so slow and caught up he past hurts that he does not see what is and was in front of him. While Theo on the other hand is on the shy and submissive side that he does not see that Zeki has no idea about mates or that he and Theo belong together.

I will admit that there were times I wanted to shake these two and tell them to snap out of it. I do like the way the author brings them together and when it comes out that Theo has a little magic that comes out in his baking, I wanted to laugh.

A Beginners Guide to Wooing Your Mate is a refreshing change from the usual paranormal story and one that I am sure fans of this author will enjoy. If you have not tried anything by R. Cooper than I suggest in pick up this story today or any of the author’s equal good other books.

Reviewed by: Lydia

Check out the Dreamspinner Press website HERE

Medium, Sweet, Extras Shot of Geek by R. Cooper


Title: Medium, Sweet, Extra Shot of Geek
Author: R. Cooper
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 66
Characters: Octavio “Tavio” Reyes, Tommy O’Shaughnessy
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary
Kisses: 4


Blurb:

Former soldier Octavio “Tavio” Reyes works as a barista, a favorite with the customers—especially Tommy O’Shaughnessy. An avowed geek, Tommy comes in daily to flirt, usually under the guise of Trekkie talk. Tavio hesitates; now that he’s out of the army, he’s not sure how out he should be, or whether to take his chances on a geek devoted to sci-fi and comic books. But when Tommy compares him to an unemotional Vulcan, Tavio finally considers dating an out-and-proud nerd. Then Tommy surprises him again and introduces him to his daughter, whom Tommy loves even more than Star Trek or Tavio. Now Tavio has a whole new decision to make: Is he ready to romance a family man?


Review:

This story is sweet romance, with no sex. Tavio works at a coffee shop and Tommy is his coffee-loving customer. Where Tommy is an endless chatterbox, Tavio is silent as the grave. The juxtaposition of their natures is camouflage because in the end both men have the same shyness about approaching the other. Tommy hides his shyness behind incessant chitchat and Tavio behind silence. When they finally manage to break free from their year-long roles of barista and customer, the rewards are pleasant.

The thing about this story, however, is that not much happens here. This reads more like a prologue into their burgeoning affair than a finished novella. I was waiting for more, honestly. And the dialogue, such as it is, reads so weird because there’s what Tommy says, then Tavio’s inner thoughts since he doesn’t speak, again followed by Tommy talking, Tavio thinking, etc. etc. It’s very odd. I get how it was designed to show how different and yet how alike they were, with doubts and attraction, and so on. But in the end, the inner musings got a little boring, slowing the pace down so much I skipped sections just to get back to the actual dialogue—which unfortunately was mostly Tommy’s monologue. They do break that pattern eventually though!

So do not let that dialogue business get in your way of reading this story because the rewards here are super sweet. When Tommy finally finds the courage to ask Tavio out and for Tavio to step out of his comfort zone, these were beautiful, loving scenes. That first kiss? Hotter than hot! I wish we had gotten Tommy’s point of view too in addition to Tavio’s, though, and I would have loved to learn more about these two, to see if they can truly get their affair in gear. A novel-size story next, please, Ms. Cooper.

Overall, a sweet romance that has a lot of potential. I’m hopeful there’ll be a sequel in the future…

Reviewed By: Susan

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