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

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Lydia Reviews: Just Like Cats and Dogs by BA Tortuga


TITLE: Just Like Cats and Dogs
Author: B.A. Tortuga
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 206
Characters: Sam and Gus
POV: 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: Paranormal
Kisses: 4.5

Blurb:

Can cats and dogs ever get along, let alone fall in love?
Sam knows you can never go home again. As an orphaned feline shifter raised by wolves, being an outcast is nothing new to him. But the pack is still his family, and when one of them passes away, Sam returns to the New Mexico desert to say good-bye.
Gus is a loner who rarely returns to his pack, but as fate would have it, Sam is there when he chooses to visit. The history between Gus and Sam is tumultuous, to say the least, but when Gus gets an eyeful of the grown-up and gorgeous version of his childhood bully, he can’t control his reaction. And he isn’t alone.
The attraction is powerful, but so are their differences. And with trouble brewing in the pack and danger surrounding them, Sam and Gus might not have the opportunity to seek com-mon ground.
This action-packed shifter novel is the ultimate opposites attract and enemies-to-lovers ro-mance, and it includes a bonus novella, In the Dog House.

Review:

Just Like Cats and Dogs
is the first book in the Sanctuary series by author B.A. Tortuga. This is the second edition of this book and was originally published by Torquere Books. A novella follows this current edition, as well as a sneak peek at the second book in this series.

Sam is a feline shifter adopted by a wolf shifter family. Because he is a feline, he has always been an outcast, even within his own family. When he left New Mexico, he had no plans of returning, but then his adoptive father died and Sam returned to say his good-byes.

Gus is a wolf and during their high school days he enjoyed tormenting Sam. When he sees, the other man has returned he can’t help getting a few jabs in. At the same time, he is drawn to Sam.

This shifter story is a little different from others. It’s not the fact that the MC’s are from different species, or that they are mates. It is the fact that these two don’t realize right away that they are mates. There’s no “pull” that makes them come together, instead there is a rightness that makes them want to be together. That does not mean that everything between them is roses and sunshine. In fact, it’s just the opposite.

Gus’ life and family is in New Mexico. Sam’s is in New York. They think of each other often and when they unexpectedly run into each other, they take advantage of the situation. While they may not be ready to reveal their feelings to each other, they are no longer denying those feelings to themselves. I love the connection that develops between these two men. Even though they do not come out right away and declare their feelings for each other it is evident in the way they act. I love that they call each other puss and pup.

This story also has a few twists and turns that readers will not see coming. Even though I had read this book when the first edition came out, I was still shocked and worried about Sam. I did want the smack Gus a little and loved that Sam’s sister and brother were there to talk some sense into him.

The author did a good job wrapping this story up. Readers will approve of not only the ending, but also the short story that follows. I can’t wait to see what the second book will bring as the author did a great job building the suspense with the short story and sneak peek. Fans of this author really need to add this book to their must-read list if they have not done so already.

Reviewed By: Lydia

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Gabbi Reviews: Step by Step by KC Wells


Title: Step by Step
Author: KC Wells
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 256
Characters: Jamie and Guy
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Kisses: 5+

Blurb:

Jamie’s life is one big financial mess, and it really isn’t his fault. However, the last thing he expected to find in the library was a Good Samaritan. He might have been suspicious of Guy’s motives at first, but it soon becomes apparent that his savior is a good man who has been lucky in life and is looking to pay it forward. Guy being gay is not a problem. Jamie’s not interested… or so he thinks.

Guy is happy to help Jamie, and the two men get along fine. But when Jamie’s curiosity leads him from one thing to another, Guy finds himself looking at the young man with new eyes. What started out as a hand up is now something completely different….

Review:

Step by Step by KC Wells is a beautifully written story with two incredible characters that will live within your heart long after the story is finished. This story will be a true delight for anyone who craves an exquisitely written romance. I simply adored these characters and was enthralled by the story they had to tell.

In life, almost all of us need a helping hand. When we meet Jamie, he is literally at the end of his rope. He is almost homeless and in desperate need of guidance and a lot of compassion. When an older man, Guy, approaches him and is willing to help him out with NO strings attached, Jamie cannot believe his good luck and at first is doubtful about Guy’s compassionate nature and willingness to open up his home and his life to him.

Having no other choice, Jamie takes a chance and decides to give Guy the benefit of the doubt and he swallows his pride to allow himself to be helped. Neither man knows that this decision will change the course of their lives forever.

What starts as a tentative friendship develops into a rich and thriving relationship between two people who truly like, love and respect one another. I loved every minute I spent reading this book and I truly hated to see it come to an end.

It’s not that often that I’ll read something and immediately want to reread it as soon as I finish it, but Step by Step is one of those books. KC Wells is a master at writing bewitching, romantic stories with characters that live and breathe off of the written page. After reading this book, I am a fan of hers for life. I loved this book and cannot recommend it high enough.

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Gabbi Reviews: Rushing Love by Meg Bawden


Title: Rushing Love
Author: Meg Bawden
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 93
Characters: Grayson Harland, Flynn Webb
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Western
Kisses: 2

Blurb:

After a devastating breakup with the man he thought he’d spend his life with, Flynn Webb takes a vacation to a South Dakota dude ranch. It’s something completely different from anything he’s done before, and it helps that it’s as far away from his ex as possible. Trapped in his own depressive thoughts, Flynn is surprised to meet Grayson Harland. Not only is Grayson a sexy cowboy—one fifteen years younger—but he’s the most charming man Flynn has ever met.

Flynn doesn’t have much experience with being seduced, and he has even less with guys like Grayson taking an interest in him—and Grayson is definitely interested. What begins as a fling while visiting iconic South Dakota sights soon develops the potential for much more. But Flynn is afraid that falling in love again so soon—and with a man so much younger—will lead only to another catastrophic heartbreak. Luckily for them both, Grayson isn’t giving up without a fight.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Review:

Rushing Love is the first book I’ve read by this author. I have to admit I really looked forward to reading this one. I love a May/December romance, but unfortunately this one didn’t work very much for me.

Flynn is a thirty-something man who has decided to travel to a dude ranch in South Dakota with his best friend. His lover of nineteen years has cheated on him and he needs both a change of pace and to hopefully mend his broken heart. The minute he meets the younger, Grayson, Flynn life is immediately changed forever.

Here’s what worked for me: I thought the author did a good job describing South Dakota, as well as some of the interesting touristy things you can do there and I did enjoy it. I also liked the age difference between the two heroes. I liked the premise of the story and though the chemistry between Flynn and Grayson could be pretty good at times.

I had an issue with both Flynn and Grayson’s behavior in the book. Flynn is supposed to be heartbroken over the loss of his partner for 19 years, but after just two days he’s willing to uproot his life for Grayson? Here’s the thing, I love insta-love, but only if it works and it is written well…but this one was a little over the top for me.

I also thought the dialogue was stilted and well…strange at times. Grayson says stuff that made me wonder if he was 13 year old boy *with bad manners* instead of a young man. He pursued Flynn doggedly and won his man. Ironically, I DID kind of like his determination and he DID have some cute moments, but unfortunately I rolled my eyes more than anything from his and most of the characters behavior and stilted conversations.

I’m sorry but this book didn’t work for me at all. I know there will be other people who will read it and like it, I just wasn’t one of them.

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Anne Reviews: Skythane by J. Scott Coatsworth


TITLE: Skythane
Author: J. Scott Coatsworth
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 244
Characters: Xander Kinnson/Jameson Havercamp
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Science Fiction
Kisses: 5

Blurb:

Jameson Havercamp, a psych from a conservative religious colony, has come to Oberon—unique among the Common Worlds—in search of a rare substance called pith. He’s guided through the wilds on his quest by Xander Kinnson, a handsome, cocky skythane with a troubled past.

Neither knows that Oberon is facing imminent destruction. Even as the world starts to fall apart around them, they have no idea what’s coming—or the bond that will develop between them as they race to avert a cataclysm.

Together, they will journey to uncover the secrets of this strange and singular world, even as it takes them beyond the bounds of reality itself to discover what truly binds them together.

Review:

I love science fiction and have been reading it for years, and I think Skythane is a great addition to the genre.

The world building is detailed, not just with the descriptions of the world, but in its rich history. I felt as though I was stepping into a fully formed world when I began reading. The world is also a complex one, with Oberon’s inhabitants consisting of its original colonists who evolved into the Skythane, those who came afterward, and a hint of at least one race which is very definitely other. As the story progresses, the world building expands still further as an impending disaster reveals a secret only known to a few. I enjoyed this part of the plot, and that the story was far more than the heroes getting together, overthrowing bad guys and getting their HEA. Reading Skythane reminded me of peeling an onion—each layer reveals more depth, both to the story and the characters.

Kudos to the author for his naming of planets—nicely done and very apt, especially considering what happens. The hints from Midsummer Night’s Dream made me smile, and then nod with an exclaimed ‘of course!’ when the [sorry, spoiler] is revealed.

Although I always appreciate good world building, what really sucks me into a story is its characters. I became invested in Jameson and Xander very quickly, and not just because I wanted them to get together, but because I loved the way they grew and developed in the course of the story. I liked the way the author showed the metamorphosis into fully fledged Skythane and that it wasn’t just about sprouting wings and instantly gaining full control of them and being able to fly. Having to learn how to use them, and grow into the ability quite literally, and the physical issues that came with that, was very realistically written.

I also enjoy reading about strong female characters in my MM books, and Quince had her own detailed back story, difficult decisions to make, and nicely segued from past to present, providing the links between the two. Morgan was also a very interesting character, and although I would have liked to have seen more of him I thought the explanation worked well. Given his role in the story, suddenly having an information dump, or everything revealed, rather than have the other characters figure out who, and what, they think he is would have taken away from why he was there. Heroes can’t know everything with certainty or they get boring really fast, and these guys still have a long road ahead of them. Although Skythane gives them a satisfying HFN, and brings this part of the story to a close, it is far from over, and I really hope there will be a book 2 as I definitely want to read it.

I’d recommend Skythane to readers who like science fiction with complex plots and world building, engaging three dimensional characters, and a story that is difficult to put down.

Reviewed By: Anne

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Gabbi Reviews: Blossom of the Samurai by Sedonia Guillone


Title: Sword and Silk, Book 3: Blossom of the Samurai
Author: Sedonia Guillone
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 112
Characters: Aoki, Toho
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Historical, Series
Kisses: 5

Blurb:

The samurai’s only true master is his heart….

For seven years while training for his life as a samurai, Toho Morimasa has been away from Aoki, the beautiful actor who helped him to heal from the trauma of his parents’ brutal murders. Now, nightmares that Aoki is in trouble plague Toho’s sleep, and he makes the journey back from Edo to Kai, no longer wanting to be away from Aoki’s side. Once there, Toho meets the very real source of his nightmares and vows to honor and protect Aoki. When his beloved Aoki is brutally assaulted, will Aoki survive long enough to understand that the love Toho has for him is the love he too has been craving his whole life but doesn’t feel he deserves?

Review:

Blossom of the Samurai is the third and final installment in the Sword and Silk trilogy. To say that I am saddened by this is an understatement because I love the characters Ms. Guillone has created and truly hate to say goodbye to them. There is something very special about Ms. Guillone’s characters. Each and every one easily touches the heart of her readers and quickly becomes a unique and loveable hero that lives and breathes off of the written page.

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book because I fell in love with Aoki and Toho’s characters. I had hoped they would somehow find a way to their own happiness with one another and I’m pleased to say, this book did not disappoint.

I truly love heroes that are genuinely nice men and that’s what these men are. Though they’ve both been through so much in life, and it would be so easy for both of them to be bitter and aloof, both Aoki and Toho’s inner beauty and strength persevere through a very tough past and are truly amazing men. I loved the way Toho’s love for Aoki gave Aoki the determination to be strong again. I also loved the way Aoki’s love for Toho allowed the younger man to find who he is truly destined to be.

As a reader, I appreciated the slow buildup and the way their relationship developed throughout the story. Watching Toho become a man in Aoki’s eyes was a beautiful thing to behold. They must go through a lot to get their happy ending, but oh what a lovely ride it was to see.

Although this book could probably be read as a stand-alone in the series, I do NOT recommend it. The characters in the first two books play an important role in this story AND to truly understand the dynamics between all of them, including the bond between Aoki and Toho, I would read this series in book order. Believe me, if you enjoy a well-written, historical romance, then the Sword and Silk series is not to be missed.

A word to the wise, though there are many uplifting and beautiful moments in this story, there are some heart-retching ones too. I needed a tissue and wept from Aoki’s assault, but the beauty of friendship and of Toho’s love lightened my heart and made Blossom of the Samurai one of my favorite reads in this series.

The Sword and Silk books are:

Flying Fish
Blind Love
Blossom of the Samurai

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Gabbi Reviews: Until You by TJ Klune


Title: At First Sight, Book 3: Until You
Author: TJ Klune
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 149
Characters: Paul Auster, Vincent Taylor
POV: 1st
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance, Series
Kisses: 5

Blurb:

Together with their families and friends

Paul Auster

and

Vincent Taylor

request the honor of your company at the celebration of their marriage.

Review:

Okay, I admit it. I’m a TJ Klune fan. There is something very special about his stories. Whether they are filled with heart-wrenching angst or lighthearted laughter and fun and zany moments, his books have become some of my favorite comfort reads.

Who doesn’t love watching two memorable characters finally getting hitched? Even better, Mr. Klune throws in his mix of incredible secondary characters with some laugh out loud funny moments and plenty of ‘feel good’ moments to start or end your day with a smile on your face and a happy heart. Though this is a story of Paul and Vince getting married, in my opinion, ALL of the characters in this series keeps the book moving along smoothly throughout the plot itself.

There isn’t much to say about this gem of a book, except to read it. If you are fan of his work, it’s truly a must read. If you haven’t read any of Mr. Klune’s books…do NOT hesitate any longer and get them. You won’t be sorry.

Until You is the third book in the At First Sight series and though it’s written well enough to be read as a stand-alone story, I don’t recommend reading it until you read the first two in the series first. Once you meet these characters, you’ll find yourself wrapped up in their lives and you will totally fall in love with all of them. I can NOT wait until the next book! Whoop!

Highly Recommended!

The At First Sight Books series in book order are:

Tell Me It’s Real
The Queen and the Homo Jock King
Until You

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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