Anne Reviews: The Ugliest Sweater by Gillian St. Kevern

TITLE: The Ugliest Sweater

Author: Gillian St. Kevern

Publisher: NineStar Press

Pages: 56

Characters: Dan/Jake

POV: 3rd

Sub-Genre: Series, Contemporary, Humour

Kisses: 5

Blurb:

Dan’s favourite festive sweater is so ugly, it’s cost him not one but three boyfriends and sent him back to his parents’ place for the third Christmas in a row. About to give up hope of ever having a Christmas date, Dan meets Jake, a hot guy with a rock and roll edge. Jake is infatuated with Dan’s sweater but vanishes before Dan can decide if Jake is for real or really in need of an eye-check. After all, no one has ever liked the sweater.

Dan’s sweater is rocketed to national attention, when Jake’s radio colleagues launch a hunt for the mystery man in the hideous jumper. Dan jumps at the chance to meet Jake again, and they hit it off in a big way, to the accompaniment of intimate gigs, exclusive clubs, and the paparazzi. Dan falls hard, but despite obvious mutual attraction, Jake refuses to take him back to his apartment. Is the relationship real – or a ratings stunt? After all, Jake has a reputation for cool that Dan, a lowly gym instructor, could never approach. Is a fondness for tacky Christmas clothing the only thing they have in common? Or does uber-cool Jake hide a Christmas secret of his own?

Review:

The Ugliest Sweater is a short, sweet, feel-good story. I loved the tone and humor and found myself smiling as I was reading.  It’s a great mix of romance and fun with quirky characters.  The description of the sweater itself was… impressive…. and visual.  Truly an ugly sweater.  Dan and Jake are a perfect match, both in personality and their Christmas obsessions.

Although it is a feel-good story, there’s still some tension within the relationship as both men struggle with their own insecurities, which made their path to a relationship feel realistic. I appreciated the fact that Dan feels out of place at Jake’s work function—it reaffirms the fact that although these guys are quirky, they’re still three-dimensional characters.

There’s a bit of sex for such a short piece, but the story is such fun, an easy read, and left me with a warm glow. Although it’s a Christmas story, it’s one to enjoy all year round.

I’d recommend The Ugliest Sweater to readers who enjoy a short, sweet, feel-good story with likable characters, and a very ugly Christmas sweater.

Reviewed By: Anne

Click HERE to purchase The Ugliest Sweater

Gabbi Reviews: From a Jack to a King by Scotty Cade

Title: From a Jack to a King

Author: Scotty Cade

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages: 200

Characters: Bay Whitman, King Slater

POV: 3rd

Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance

Kisses: 5+

Blurb:

New York Times best-selling mystery writer Bay Whitman leads the life of a celebrity—at least on the surface. In public he’s self-assured and in control. Women hang on his every word, while men envy his confidence and swagger. But in reality, Bay is a loner. He’s shy and introverted, and his life consists of sitting in a dimly lit room writing his famous Jack Robbins mystery novels. His one vice—gambling. Winning an escort in a poker game will change Bay’s life in ways he never imagined.

Matthew “King” Slater is one of the hottest tickets in gay porn. He spends his days in front of the camera and his nights as a highly paid escort to the rich and famous. Deep down, he craves romance and a real connection, but his past makes it hard to separate the needs of his body from those of his heart. For now, it’s easier to think of sex as just a job. But while doing a shoot in Vegas, King is hired for a tryst at a famous hotel and casino, and his handsome client might blur the line between work and play.

Review:

I just finished reading From a Jack to a King and all I can say is, Whew! Scotty Cade can write romance! There is something special about the way his heroes connect with each other that really make his stories a well-written, beautifully told romance.

King is an unapologetic gigolo and porn star. He’s good at what he does and he enjoys it, too. At first, King seems to be very arrogant and his confidence about himself that borderlines a superiority within his field that can almost be off-putting. At first, I honestly didn’t know if I was going to like him.

Here’s the thing about King. He is a very complex character. As more about him is revealed, I began to really care for him. I liked how Mr. Cade did not sugarcoat his character or some of his behaviors at all. Why? Because watching King’s personal growth and how hard he falls for the sweet, intelligent and sexy Bay was a heartwarming thing to experience.

I understood why King fell so hard for Bay. Bay is a genuinely nice guy. He has a knack for poker, he’s a very successful writer and is an all-around likable guy. But, Bay is a very introverted man who is afraid to open up and allow people to see who he is on the inside. When he meets King, Bay is challenged to take a hard look at himself, as well as, allow himself to be opened to new possibilities.

I loved this book. Yes, there were times I wanted to strangle King, but those moments were few and far between. As a reader, I appreciated the way these two men learn to communicate and open their hearts and minds to one another.

I also loved the difference between King going through the motions at his job vs making love with Bay. Yes, there was a significant difference between it, and I was swept up in how each touch King and Bay shared between them was a loving, beautiful one.

I love romantic tales that sweep me up into the lives of complex, sexy, intelligent men who clearly are made for one another. Mr. Cade is a master storyteller and I adored every moment I spent reading this book.

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed by: Gabbi

Click HERE to enter the Dreamspinner Press Homepage

Click HERE to read my review of An Unconventional Courtship by Scotty Cade. *It’s one of my all time favorite reads*

 

 

 

Gabbi Reviews: In Too Deep by Kate Sherwood

Title: In Too Deep

Author: Kate Sherwood

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages: 234

Characters: Cade, Aiden

POV: 3rd

Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance

Kisses: 4

Blurb:

At first glance, Cade and Aiden hardly seem like a match made in heaven. Their worlds couldn’t be further apart. Cade is quiet, serious, and determined to succeed; Aiden’s a party-loving frat boy. Cade comes from a rough home and worked hard to get the scholarships that make it possible for him to attend college; Aiden’s had it all thrown in his lap by supportive, kind, and wealthy parents. Cade wants nothing to do with Aiden, but from the moment they meet, Aiden is determined to find a way to bring their different worlds together.

Aiden manages to persuade Cade he’s a decent guy, and a tentative friendship becomes much more. But a trip to Aiden’s family cottage puts Cade in the path of a ghost from his past, and a dark secret he never expected to face again. Cade did what he had to do to escape his dead-end life, but now he sees he didn’t leave it as far behind him as he thought.

Review:

Kate Sherwood writes strong-willed heroes who always have an interesting story to tell. I had a feeling when I started this book, it was going be an interesting read and I was right.

What I liked about this book was personal growth each of these young men goes through. Cade has had to be street-smart and work hard for each and everything good in his life. Between his excellent work ethic and drive to make the best grade point average, so he can keep his scholarship and continue to work toward changing his life for the better.

On the other hand, Aiden was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He enjoys having fun and being around his family and friends. His zest for life is often contagious and though he can get a little frustrated at times, basically Aiden keeps a positive attitude.

At first glance, these two men are total opposites. Because of his past, Cade has a chip on his shoulder and pushes people away. He has very few friends and likes to keep to himself. What Cade doesn’t expect is Aiden’s determination to get to know him. Aiden’s stubbornness to get to know Cade, even though Cade can be quite hateful at times, shows how much Aiden really wants to get to know Cade and hopefully have him in his life.

In Too Deep is a difficult story to read at times. Cade can be surly and even unlikable at times, but as the story progresses, we learn why he is so scared to open himself to friendship and love from Aiden. Aiden’s sweetness and determination to be around Cade could be considered either lovestruck or even a little stalkerish, but honestly, I thought Aiden was truly a sweet guy who is simply dazzled by the mystery of Cade. In the end, I ended up really getting behind these two men and enjoyed the journey they go through to form a solid bond between them. I liked how these two men brought out the best in each other and loved how everything turned out between them.

In Too Deep is a well-written story with complex characters and a gritty and romantic storyline. I really liked it and I’m looking forward to reading more stories written by this author.

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to enter the Dreamspinner Press Homepage

 

 

LeeAnn Reviews: Bad Company by KA Mitchell

Title:  Bad in Baltimore, Book 1: Bad Company

Author:  KA Mitchell

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Pages: 200

Characters:  Nate, Kellan

POV:  3rd

Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance, Series

Kisses:  5

Blurb:

Bad in Baltimore: Book One

Some things are sweeter than revenge.

“I need a boyfriend.”

Hearing those words from his very straight, very ex-best friend doesn’t put Nate in a helpful mood. Not only did Kellan Brooks’s father destroy Nate’s family in his quest for power, but Kellan broke Nate’s heart back in high school. Nate thought he could trust his best friend with the revelation that he might be gay, only to find out he was horribly wrong and become the laughingstock of the whole school. Kellan must be truly desperate if he’s turning to Nate now.

Kellan’s through letting his father run his life, and he wants to make the man pay for cutting him off. What better way to stick it to the bigot than to come out as gay himself—especially with the son of the very man his father crushed on his quest for money and power. Kellan can’t blame Nate for wanting nothing to do with him, though. Kellan will have to convince him to play along, but it’s even harder to convince himself that the heat between them is only an act….

Review:

At first, Kellan made me mad.

He wanted to use a man who was once his best friend.  To get even with his day, Kellan abandoned him  in high school. As the story progressed, and things became clear to me about Kellan, I began to like him a lot. In this story,  KA Mitchell puts us face to face with the dilemma that Kellan faces. There are truths about himself Kellan was a tiny bit aware of but couldn’t face.

I loved how KA Mitchell fleshed out the characters of both Nate and Kellan. Their mannerisms and the way they held themselves was so clear, I could visualize things as they happened.

Eli was another treat in this book. I LOVED him!  He had this perky personality AND there is something special he could do, BUT the YOU need to read it to find out just exactly what he is capable of.

KA Mitchell didn’t give me the satisfaction I craved in regards to Kellan’s dad, but that is probably a good thing. The way Kellan and Nate’s story unfolds held my attention and made me want to find out how it ended. I enjoyed Bad Company so much, I didn’t want it to end.

I hope Eli will get his own story because I liked him so much and wanted to know more about him.  After watching his interactions with Nate and Kellan,  I wanted him to get an HEA too.

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: LeeAnn

Click HERE to enter the Dreamspinner Press Homepage

Gabbi Reviews: All that Glitters by Kate Sherwood

Title: All that Glitters

Author: Kate Sherwood

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages: 206

Characters: Liam Marshall, Ben Harding

POV: 3rd

Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance

Kisses: 4.5

Blurb:

No matter what he tells himself, wealthy NYC architect Liam has never been able to forget his first love, Ben. But as he approaches midlife and realizes something is missing, can he forgive himself for the worst mistake he ever made—the one that left a hole no amount of career success can fill? Or will fear keep him from the full life he really wants?

Liam and Ben were childhood sweethearts, then college boyfriends. But when Liam cheated on Ben, Ben forced himself to cut ties and move on. He’s still living in the small town where they grew up, teaching, but it’s not the life he imagined for himself as a younger man. Still, when Liam returns, he can’t risk his heart again. He certainly can’t allow himself to love Liam again after fighting so hard to get over him.

Neither man wants to let go of the past and face their apprehension at starting over. They don’t want to fall in love a second time—but sometimes love happens whether it’s wanted or not.

Review:

All that Glitters is a lovely told story about redemption and rekindling a love once lost. I’m a newish fan of the author, Kate Sherwood and was admittedly a little hesitant to read and review this book. Why? I’m not a huge fan of reading about heroes who cheated. I dislike a cheating storyline *hey, I read romance for romance, not for a lot of true-life heartache and angst* but because the hero, Liam, cheated over 15 years ago on Ben, I thought I would push my reservations aside and give this one a try.

I am glad I did.

At first, I wasn’t sure of what I thought of Liam. He successful and a bit arrogant, bitter even, but I quickly saw that there is so much more to Liam than meets the eye. Though Liam can be a tad materialistic, he is also searching for something he is missing in life. Liam’s social card is always full, but inside he is lonely and unsatisfied with his life. I liked how Liam is willing to put himself out there and allow Ben and his former friends to vent their anger and frustration at Liam’s past betrayal and behaviors. I also liked how much Liam himself, goes through some personal growth and begins to strive to hopefully gain Ben and his friends back into his life. Liam’s determination to find his “Passion” for life became a journey that I enjoyed reading.

Ben was also a complex, interesting hero. I liked his integrity and genuine affection and love he freely gives to the people he cares about. I understood why he was so bitter towards Liam, but I was honestly glad to see him become willing to look inside himself and see if starting something special with Liam was something he truly wanted to do.

Both Liam and Ben have a heart of gold and I quickly became fond of them both. The secondary characters also brought something special to the story. Between the genuine friendship and love they all shared among them, I felt like all these characters were likable and interesting within their own right.

Best of all, Ms. Sherwood penned a serious tale with enough humor and lightness to make this reader not only laugh out loud at times, but my heart was filled with warmth for these two heroes and all her characters as well. All that Glitters is an easy book to recommend and I can’t wait to read more from Ms. Sherwood in the future.

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to enter the Dreamspinner Press Homepage

Check out the amazing new releases from JMS Books!


TITLE: Commanding Officer Thomas
AUTHOR: J.M. Snyder
ISBN: 9781634866507
GENRE: Gay Sci-Fi Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 14,204 words
PRICE: $2.99

PURCHASE EBOOK

Lieutenant Lee Mallory spends his time off duty playing video games. There isn’t much else to do while stationed on the USS Nova out in deep space.

Unfortunately, a run in with his commanding officer, Jonan Thomas, strips him — and everyone else onboard — of their gaming privileges.

Thomas has had it in for Lee from day one, when they got off on the wrong foot. Now, banned from using the game server in the rec room, Lee sneaks online in his quarters after hours, looking to play.

That’s where he meets a fellow gamer onboard who’s interested in a different kind of game. As much as Lee wants to hook up, though, he can’t afford to get into any more trouble.

Can Lee take command — in the game and in the bedroom — without further aggravating his CO?


TITLE: Edge Jump
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Noble
ISBN: 9781634865692
GENRE: Gay BDSM Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 72,683 words
PRICE: $5.99

PURCHASE EBOOK

Brett Rocha retired from pro-hockey while still at the top of his game. Co-owner of a chain of restaurants and an inherited ice skating academy, he seems to have it all. Despite his fame, wealth, and good fortune, though, Brett suddenly finds himself painfully alone.

Ex-Olympic figure skating star Rylan Hennessy transitioned to professional ice dancing with Celia, Brett’s sister and Rylan’s lifelong partner on the ice. Then tragedy strikes, and Rylan’s world is turned upside down, too.

With the unexpected death of Celia, Brett and Rylan are drawn together through their mutual grief. Their bond strengthens when Brett introduces Rylan to BDSM, a lifestyle Rylan has never experienced before. While the mystery of Celia’s murder still needs to be solved, a second tragedy threatens to tear them apart.

Will their relationship survive, or will love be enough to see them through this life altering, harrowing change?


TITLE: Eyes and Ears
AUTHOR: A.R. Moler
ISBN: 9781634866590
GENRE: Gay Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 5,196 words
PRICE: $1.99

PURCHASE EBOOK

Part of the Inches of Trust universe

Architect Brian Townsend and his fiancé Tristan Blake have a Halloween party to go to. Brian’s friend Alicia throws one every year. In fact, Brian and Tristan met at this same party the year before.

This year they are engaged and planning their wedding. Everything should be coming up roses … except that Tristan’s family still has issues. They’d rather Tristan wasn’t gay, and if he can’t manage that, then they’d rather he not get married at all.

Well, everything can’t be perfect. Can their friends and chosen family help fill in the holes left by bigots and bad family behavior?


TITLE: Lady from Boston
AUTHOR: Jovana
ISBN: 9781634866354
GENRE: Gay / Bisexual Historical Western Erotic Romance (MMF)
LENGTH: 35,688 words
PRICE: $3.99

PURCHASE EBOOK

Lorraine Garvey, a beautiful but fiery Boston belle, learned her father was running a whorehouse he called a ‘social club’. When he’s hanged, she comes out west to sell it and is welcomed by Jude Bonner and three of the dirtiest — and the sexiest — cowboys she’s ever seen.

Afraid for her virtue, she puts on her chastity belt to protect herself, but promptly takes it off again when she can’t resist their charms. What follows are countless nights of breathtaking kisses, erotic desires, and dirty imaginings while surrounded by wild heat, sweaty bodies, and strong doses of cowboy sex.

When it’s time to go home, she’s faced with a decision. Will she go back to stiff-necked Boston and lace up her corset and naughty imagination, or stay in this wicked, untamed country where she was born and throw away her chastity belt?


TITLE: The Recruit
AUTHOR: Addison Albright
ISBN: 9781634866668
GENRE: Gay Paranormal Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 22,181 words
PRICE: $2.99

PURCHASE EBOOK

Albert Manlii has walked this earth for more than two thousand years, but survival on his own was never easy. Now he leads a faction of highly organized vampires who carefully guard the secret of their existence. Unlike the old days, potential recruits are carefully selected and presented with an offer.

Phillip Brewer has weeks to live — if he lets his disease run its course. He doesn’t want to die, but given a choice, will his desire to live outweigh his concerns about the vampires’ ethics?

When the new recruit’s missteps are cause for concern, can Albert control the fallout, or will Phillip’s life once again be torn apart?

Gabbi Reviews: My Fair Captain by JL Langley

Title: Sci-Regency, Book 1: My Fair Captain

Author: JL Langley

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages: 244

Characters: Nathaniel Hawkins, Prince Aiden Townsend

POV: 3rd

Sub-Genre: Science Fiction, Series

Kisses: 5+

Blurb:

A Sci-Regency Novel

When Intergalactic Navy Captain Nathaniel Hawkins goes undercover to investigate the theft of an IN weapons stash, the mission raises painful memories from his past. Using a title he fled nearly two decades earlier, Nate once again becomes the Earl of Deverell, heir to the Duke of Hawthorne, in order to navigate the ins and outs of a Regency world. But planet Regelence—where young lords are supposed to remain pure until marriage—has a few surprises for Nate, not least of which is his attraction to Prince Aiden.

A talented artist, Prince Aiden Townsend isn’t interested in politics and the machinations of society gentlemen, and he adamantly rejects the idea of marriage and a consort. Aiden wants the freedom to pursue his art and determine his own future. But the arrival of the dashing and mysterious Deverell awakens feelings of passion and longing the young prince can’t deny.

As Nate uncovers a conspiracy reaching far beyond the stolen weapons, his future is irrevocably altered by the temptations of a life he never thought he could have. Drawn into the web of intrigue, Aiden is in danger of losing his life… and his heart.

Review:

My Fair Captain by JL Langley is one of my all-time favorite books. I read and have re-read the first edition years ago and it has been one of my comfort reads ever since it was published in 2007. When Dreamspinner Press republished it as a second edition, I jumped at the chance to read and review this re-edited and revamped edition of it.

Since the blurb does an excellent job at describing the story, I won’t rehash it. Instead, I thought I’d write about why I love this story and why I consider it a desert island keeper.

Ms. Langley writes heroes that are easy to identify with. They are flawed, likable men who is so easy to come to care for. It’s also easy to see that Ms. Langley loves her heroes because they live and breathe off the written page. You feel as if you are experiencing their journey with them. I loved every minute I spent watching their lives intertwine with each other, and I’m always enraptured by the story they have to tell.

The romance between Nate and Aiden is beautifully told. From the first moment they meet, sparks fly, and it seems to be a natural transition for them to fall in love. What’s even better is…these two men genuinely like and respect one another. Their admiration for their partner is something, as a reader, that I love to watch unfold before me. I love how they love each other and the sexual chemistry between them truly sizzle up the pages they are written on.

Not only will you love Nate and Aiden, you’ll fall in love with the secondary characters, too. Every character in this book *and beyond* have something to bring to the story. I quickly found myself wishing Ms. Langley wrote faster so I could about their lives and future loves. Out of all the secondary characters, you’ll fall in love with Aiden’s two fathers…omg…they are a hoot and soooo sexy together. I hope Ms. Langley writes a prequel about them one day…hint, hint.

The romance drives the story but there is a whodunit mystery that is also intriguing. Between the suspense, danger, and romance, My Fair Captain, will keep you captivated with Nate and Aiden’s story from start to finish.

I simply adore this book and I can’t recommend it highly enough. I’m glad I read the second edition and enjoyed it as much as the original one. If you love highly romantic tales that will live with you long after you finish the book, then My Fair Captain is the book for you.

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to enter the Dreamspinner Press Homepage