Anne Reviews: The Eye and the Arm by Andrew Q. Gordon


TITLE: The Eye and the Arm (Champion of the Gods, Book 2)
Author: Andrew Q. Gordon
Publisher: DSP Publications
Pages: 296
Characters: Farrell/Miceral
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Fantasy
Kisses: 5

Blurb:

Champion of the Gods, Book 2

After defeating Meglar at Belsport, Farrell returns to Haven to recover from his injuries, but Khron, the god of war, has other ideas. He gives Farrell a new mission: free the survivors of the ancient dwarf realm of Trellham from their three-thousand-year banishment. To fulfill Khron’s near impossible task, Farrell will need the help of his distance ancestor, the legendary wizard Kel. But Kel has been dead for a thousand years.

Farrell finds information hinting that Kel is alive, so he moves his search to Dumbarten, Kel’s birthplace. To reach Dumbarten unannounced, Farrell and Miceral disguise themselves as mercenaries on board a merchant vessel. Their journey is disrupted when pirates attack their ship. While attempting to subdue the attack, Farrell is struck down by one of Meglar’s minions.

Unconscious and trapped in his own mind, Farrell’s only chance for survival rests with Miceral and the peregrine king Rothdin entering his thoughts and helping him sort fact from illusion. To reach Farrell, they will need to rely on an untested spell from one of Kel’s spellbooks. If they succeed, Miceral can guide Farrell home safely. If not, Farrell will destroy not only himself, but Miceral, Rothdin, and everyone around him.

Review:

I really enjoyed the first book in this series The Last Grand Master, and my initial reaction to finishing The Eye and The Arm was ‘wow.’ I think Andrew Q. Gordon has surpassed himself with this instalment of Farrell’s journey. I was on the edge of my seat—and stayed up far too late reading—when I got to the part where Miceral has to enter Farrell’s thoughts to save him, and everyone around him.

This series reminds of why I enjoy well written fantasy. The world building is great—there is a real sense of a world with a rich history, and the descriptions make it very easy to visualise the settings. I loved the glimpse into another interesting culture with The Eye and Arm, as Farrell experiences a new place and culture very different to his own. I love the cultures represented by the various characters in this series, and how their different approaches to life because of their different beliefs. As with most cultures, there is also a good sized amount of politics going on, some in the background, some less than subtle. There is also a fair amount of history which is very important to the story but, it is seeded through the narrative so it remains pertinent and interesting.

The emotional scenes are realistic and gripping—I could feel Miceral’s concern, and fear, for Farrell. I love these guys together, the banter is great, their relationship feels very real, and equal, and while Farrell takes magic for granted and uses it for even little things, Miceral’s reaction to it is very different. He’s learning to accept it more readily because of Farrell but I doubt he’ll ever be truly comfortable with it.

It’s not just Miceral and Farrell who are fully formed characters. The supporting cast are very three dimensional and have also grown since The Last Grand Master. Although Farrell and Miceral are the main characters their romance and story is weaved seamlessly through the plot rather than being the plot. Everyone in the story has their own motivations, gods are real, and there are a few curveballs.

I’d highly recommend The Eye And The Arm to readers who enjoy high fantasy with rich characters and world building, and lots of action and drama

Reviewed By: Anne

Click HERE to enter the DSP Homepage

Anne Reviews: The Last Grand Master by Andrew Q. Gordon


TITLE: The Last Grand Master
Author: Andrew Q. Gordon
Publisher: DSP Publications
Pages: 370
Characters: Farrell/Miceral
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Fantasy
Kisses: 5

Blurb:

Champion of the Gods, Book 1

In a war that shook the earth, the six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, god of evil. For three thousand years, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity and Neldin’s evil was nearly forgotten.

But then Meglar, wizard king of Zargon, unleashes the dark magic of the underworld and creates an army of creatures to carry out his master’s will. One by one, the sovereign realms fall as a new war between the gods threatens to engulf Nendor.

Leading the opposition to Meglar is Grand Master Farrell. Young and untried, Farrell carries a secret that could hold the key to defeating Meglar—or it could destroy the world.

Farrell is joined by Nerti, queen of the unicorns and Miceral, an immortal muchari warrior the Six have chosen as Farrell’s mate. As Farrell and his new allies make plans to counter Neldin’s evil, Meglar forces their hand when he invades a neighboring kingdom. Rushing to help their ally, Farrell and Miceral find themselves in the middle of the battle. Cut off from help, Farrell attempts an untried spell that will either turn the tide or cost he and Miceral their lives.

1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, February 2013.
2nd Edition published by DSP Publications, February 2015.

Review:

The Last Grand Master by Andrew Q. Gordon reminds me of why I love reading fantasy series. This book, which is book 1 in the Champion of the Gods series takes the time to set up a realistic world populated by intriguing characters, but doesn’t slow the story down in doing so. It’s not just the two leads—Farrell and Miceral—who are three dimensional but the supporting characters who are interesting in their own right. I loved the unicorns, and their society and relationships with other characters. Very imaginative.

I really liked the fact that there were strong female characters and that not all relationships ended well. People also die, which makes sense, given their enemy and the stakes for which they’re fighting. Having all the characters survive wouldn’t be realistic.

I also liked the contrast between Farrell and Miceral. Farrell is a wizard and for him magic is something he does without thinking about it. Miceral isn’t as comfortable with the idea of using magic for everything, and their differing reactions and perspectives complement each other. They both have something to teach the other. Farrell is much younger than Miceral who comes from a long-lived race, and while he is very confident with using magic, it was fun watching him fumble with the relationship stuff. However, there are consequences for using magic in this world, which limits Farrell, which I very much appreciated. He doesn’t walk away unscathed, and takes time to heal and recover his energy.

There is also a strong theme of family within the story. Farrell has lost his at an early age, but there’s a nice twist to that part of his past, and as his and Miceral’s relationship grows, so does his relationship with others. There’s a lovely subtle scene with a member of Miceral’s family later in the story which I really enjoyed.

I got sucked into the story very quickly, and became invested in the characters within a few pages. I’m glad their story isn’t over yet, because it means I have more to look to.

I’d highly recommend this story to readers who enjoy three dimensional characters, a good fantasy plot, and great world building.

Reviewed By: Anne

Click HERE to purchase The Last Grand Master by Andrew Q. Gordon

Lydia Reviews: Code Name: Jack Rabbit by Elizabeth Noble


Title: Code Name: Jack Rabbit
Publisher: DSP Publications
Author: Elizabeth Noble
Pages: 200
Kisses: 4.5

Blurb:

Meet the newest members of the Vampire Guard, where legend and myth meet science and technology.
Jonas Forge, vampire. Once a spy and soldier, now a cop, Forge enjoys the life he’s built with his friends in Flint, Ohio.

Blair Turner, PhD. Blair, a vampire and computer hacker with exceptional skills, shares a powerful empathic bond with Forge, his soul mate.

Declan, vampire, ex-pirate, ex-fur trapper, thief, and con man. Declan is Forge’s former lover and soul mate to Lucas Coate.

Lucas Coate, MD, Flint’s medical examiner. A werewolf living among vampires, Lucas is also one of Forge’s best friends.

Their lives become complicated when an impending presidential visit throws them headlong into a world of high-tech vampire spies and espionage. Recruited into the Vampire Guard by the secret society of the Akhkharu Nasaru, they uncover a werewolf terrorist organization known as the Qiguan.

Together they must thwart a murder attempt on the open waters of Lake Superior while tracking a previously unknown biological weapon controlled by the Qiquan—a weapon which may very well mean death for one of them.

Review:

Code Name: Jack Rabbit is the first book in the new series, The Vampire Guard, by Elizabeth Noble. Fans of this author will remember the main characters of this new series as they were part of the, The Sleepless City series published by Dreamspinner Press. While it is not necessary to read the previous books to enjoy this new one, I would highly recommend it, as they were good stories and should not be missed.

When this book opens, it becomes known that someone has been watching Forge and Declan for some time. It soon becomes clear who that is and what they want. It also becomes clear to our main characters when Forge, Blair, Lucas and Declan are asked to attend an event in which the President is supposed to appear. From there the author grabs your attention and you will find yourself flipping the pages to see what will happen next.

I liked the way the author introduces our guys to the Akhkharu Nasaru. I could totally understand the distrust the guys felt in the beginning, and this distrust comes across realistically. After hearing about the Akhkharu Nasaru the men are asked to join. I liked that it was something the four main characters had to think about rather than agreeing right away.

The first case the men finding themselves involved in was very interesting as it is the type that left you wondering what was going on, due to the little twists and turns. Those committing the crimes, and the reason for them, was not one I was expecting which I liked.

The author also uses Code Name: Jack Rabbit to allow the main characters, and of course the readers, to continue to learn more about each other. Not everything is taken well and some minor conflicts do arise. There are also a few tense moments that leave all involved biting at their nails.

Fans of Ms. Noble are sure to love this first book in her new series. It is one to be read again.

Reviewer: Lydia

Click HERE to enter the DSP Publications Homepage

DREAMSPINNER PRESS HAS THIS COMING UP!

Taylor Maid by Tara Lain

Title: Taylor Maid
Author: Tara Lain
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Category: Contemporary, Dreamspun Desires
Pages: 218
Buy Link

He’ll marry the maid to get $50 million but a secret could queer the deal.

Taylor Fitzgerald needs a last-minute bride.

On the eve of his twenty-fifth birthday, the billionaire’s son discovers that despite being gay, he must marry a woman before midnight or lose a fifty-million-dollar inheritance. So he hightails it to Las Vegas… where he meets the beautiful maid Ally May.

There’s just one rather significant problem: Ally is actually Alessandro Macias, son of a tough Brazilian hotel magnate. But if Ally keeps pretending to be a girl for a little while longer, is there a chance they might discover this marriage is tailor-made?

Stealing Dragon's Heart by Susan Laine

Title: Stealing Dragon’s Heart
Series: Lifting the Veil
Author: Susan Laine
Release Date: March 2, 2016
Category: Paranormal, Werewolves/Shifters, Fantasy
Pages: 240

Notorious master thief Finn Grayson is hired to break into a high-class skyscraper in New Shanghai and steal a priceless artifact known as the Shard. But someone’s gotten to the Shard first—and the penthouse suite turns out to be a dragon’s lair.

Cameron Feilong, Guardian of the Earth Shard, is ancient enough to realize that he and his unbidden guest are being used like puppets on a string. Forming a shaky alliance is the only way for them to survive and to stop their ruthless foes.

Unfortunately, Finn and Cam seem to be forever one step behind. To learn more about their clandestine enemy, they travel together from walled Asian cities, barren tundras, and underwater temples to secret paranormal clubs and legendary elvish cities rising high in the trees or buried deep under glaciers. Finn and Cam must learn to trust each other before it’s too late, for bringing together the five Elemental Shards will spell the end of the world.

Mood Indigo by Ken Bachtold

Title: Mood Indigo
Author: Ken Bachtold
Release Date: March 2, 2016
Category: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Pages: TBC (Novella)

What happens when a powerful connection forms between two damaged strangers?

Found injured by the side of a road, Bill Ward suffers from retrograde amnesia. Having no recollection of his past, he feels like a nobody. Romance is definitely not an option for a nobody. Jazz singer and piano player Johnny Desmond, on the other hand, is emotionally dead from the ultimate betrayal. But from the moment their eyes meet, there’s no fighting it, and with their friends’ encouragement, Bill and Johnny decide to get to know each other.

Bill’s memories are hovering at the edge of his mind, tormenting him with fear and doubts about what he has to offer. Johnny also has a past—one that could endanger his life. It might have been love at first sight, but it will take courage and commitment to see it through to love that lasts forever.

Pawsitively in Love by M.J. O'Shea

Title: Pawsitively in Love
Author: M.J. O’Shea
Release Date: March 4, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

What Austin Lloyd lacks in academics, he makes up for in his love of the animals who frequent his pet salon. He’s not lucky in romance, though, and his family would like him to settle down with a good man. Austin—and his golden retriever, Maggie—couldn’t agree more.

Evan Partridge isn’t good at letting people in. His messy family life and the past that’s shaped him aren’t worth bringing up. But his pug, Dexter, sure likes the pet salon owner.

Austin and Evan get off to a rough start, but being friends soon turns into something more. Unfortunately, Evan’s secretive behavior nearly does the relationship in, and the budding love affair almost crashes and burns when Evan’s troubled sister shows up on his doorstep.

Not speaking to each other is killing them both, but Evan doesn’t know how to keep Austin and help his sister at the same time. He just knows he has to try. Winning back Austin’s trust back, however, is going to take a whole lot of work.

Love Simplified by Teegan Loy

Title: Love Simplified
Series: Game, Set, Match: Book Two
Author: Teegan Loy
Release Date: March 4, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 286

Life is about making choices. For nineteen-year-old Jalen Marten, the choices he makes will not only affect his life, but the life and career of his superstar tennis player boyfriend, Austin Suter. Jalen spends the summer following Austin around the pro tennis circuit playing the supportive friend as Austin adjusts to life on tour.

Keeping secrets from people is hard enough, but when the media, a horde of new fans, and staff and family who all think they know what’s best for Austin are involved, it’s even worse. Coming out to the world is not an option, so Jalen is forced to hide in the shadows. It doesn’t always work, and Jalen begins to wonder if they should stay together. The next choice could make or break them as a couple, and both men wonder why love has to be so complicated.

Patience by Grace R. Duncan

Title: Patience
Series: Forbes Mates: Book Two
Author: Grace R. Duncan
Release Date: March 7, 2016
Category: Paranormal, Werewolves/Shifters
Pages: 230

Jamie Ryan was almost ready to accept he’d never find his destined mate. They’re uncommon to begin with, and same-sex versions are downright rare. Since his gay best friend found a destined mate, Jamie figured he was out of luck. Until end-of-semester stress forces him to go through the full-moon shift early. Stuck in wolf form, he runs into none other than his destined mate. Who’s human.

Chad Sutton has always had good instincts. They served him well as a detective and continued on when he went private. Those instincts tell him there’s something about the dog that comes up to him while running away from animal control that isn’t quite right. He works to put the pieces together, but is unsuccessful until his dog turns into a human before his eyes.

Jamie has no idea what the mate bite of a shifter will do to a human. He’s terrified to try—and possibly kill his mate. They hunt for answers while working together on one of Chad’s cases. It’s easy to see they belong together, but Jamie fears the gods gave him someone he can’t keep.

Salt and Iron by Tam MacNeil

Title: Salt and Iron
Author: Tam MacNeil
Release Date: March 7, 2016
Category: Urban Fantasy, Fantasy
Pages: 200

James van Helsing is the youngest son of the famous monster-hunting family—and the family’s big disappointment. He’s falling in love with Gabe Marquez, his oldest friend and son of the family the van Helsings have worked alongside for years. Things get even harder for James when he becomes what he and everyone else despises most—a magic user.

He didn’t mean to evolve into such a despicable person, and he knows using magic is illegal, but there’s nothing James can do about it, no more than he can stop himself from loving Gabe. Just when things can’t seem to get worse, he and Gabe are called to help nab a network of magicians who are changing destiny. Not just any destiny, but the destinies of the van Helsing and Marquez families. James foresees a terrible fate, one in which monsters emerge from the cracks, along with his dark secret. And that’s when people start to die.

Night and Day by Rowan Speedwell

Title: Night and Day
Author: Rowan Speedwell
Release Date: March 9, 2016
Category: Greek Mythology, Historical
Pages: 52

Nate Pederowski is about as far down as he can go when he’s tipped to a job as a singer in a speakeasy. Dishonorably discharged for being queer, broke and homeless during the Great Depression, Nate is embittered and lonely. The club’s handsome owner, Rick Bellevue, and his sister Corinna are wowed by Nate’s voice and offer him the job.

But the Starlight Lounge is much more than an ordinary supper club, and Rick and his sister much more than just the owners. It’s not ’til Nate gets caught up in a gangster’s plot that he discovers just what secrets they’re hiding. Nate’s life is going to change in ways he can scarcely imagine, let alone believe.

The Lusty Adventures of Theseus by Arthur Griffin

Title: The Lusty Adventures of Theseus
Author: Arthur Griffin
Release Date: March 9, 2016
Category: Erotic Romance, Fantasy, Mythology, Historical, Ancient, M/M/M or more
Pages: 114

The myth of Theseus and the Minotaur has never been quite this steamy!

Handsome Theseus journeys to Athens to claim his birthright as heir to the throne, and along the way he meets the roguish Pirithous, who teaches him all about matters of the heart—and body. When they reach the city, Theseus is shocked to discover that his father, the king, has a tradition of sacrificing young people to the Minotaur, the monster that inhabits the island nation of Crete.

Theseus and Pirithous, along with Iphitrion, a slave boy they befriend, set out to slay the Minotaur. After learning Crete is ruled by a mad tyrant with a fetish for orgies, Theseus puts his new skills to the test, fighting, flirting, and fornicating his way through the ranks, working his way past soldiers, satyrs, and gods alike as he attempts to accomplish his goal and save his city.

Jerry Reviews: Chrysalis Corporation by TA Venedicktov


Title: Chrysalis Corporation
Author: T.A Venedicktov
Publisher: DSP Publications
Pages: 351
Characters: Damion Hawk and Core 47
Sub-Genre: Science Fiction
Kisses: 4

Blurb:

When Damion Hawk is offered an opportunity to escape the destitute life of a miner on Mars and become an elite Alpha Fighter pilot, he jumps at the chance. Within the Chrysalis Corporation, Damion must learn to work with his Core—a man with computerized implants, no human emotions—and no rights. But unlike other Fighters, Damion can’t treat Core 47 as a tool. He sees 47 as more than a machine, and he’ll take deadly risks to help 47 find the humanity inside him.

Fighters and Cores are designed to work together and enhance each other’s strengths in defense of their employer. Damion and 47 will need each other’s support as suspicions about the all-powerful Chrysalis Corporation arise. Someone wants Damion and 47 gone, and they need to find out who and why while hiding 47’s growing emotions and the love forming between them. If they can succeed, they might save not only themselves, but all Cores enslaved by the Corporation.

Review:

Chrysalis Corporation by TA Venedicktov is a story set in a futuristic universe with genetically enhanced men. These men can interface with a ships computer and make the pilot stronger, faster and more efficient.

Damion Hawk has always wanted to be a pilot. Growing up on Mars and working in the mines maybe good for his family, but he has always been drawn to the stars. When he is “chosen” by Core 47 to be his pilot, it is unexpected and he plans to make the most of it and hopefully make his dream of becoming a pilot come true. However. he cannot seem to treat 47 like the “tool” the rest of the pilots do, because he sees the man inside of 47.

Damion knows he is breaking one of the main rules against the corporation, but if they work together, maybe they can be something really great together.

Chrysalis Corporation by TA Venedicktov is just fun to read. I was immediately able to lose myself in the story of these two characters and get caught up within the relationship between them. The author did a good job at creating these interesting characters and the intriguing world they live in. I’m definitely interested in reading what TA Venedicktov has in store for us next.

Recommended!

Reviewed By: Jerry

Click HERE to enter the DSP Publications website

Lydia Reviews: X Marks the Spot by M.J. O’Shea

Title: X Marks the Spot

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Author: M.J. O’Shea

Pages: 200

Kisses: 4.5

 

 

 

Blurb:

Jack Hunter is always on a quest for lost art, ancient manuscripts, and anything else that’ll romance the millions of viewers who watch his show each week. He hasn’t always hit pay dirt in his searches though, and a string of empty global treasure hunts has left his show on the brink of cancellation. Jack needs a white whale, a holy grail, nothing less than a miracle to revive his career.

Aloysius “Alo” Green likes his ivory towers. He’s content to study from the comfort of a university library and publish papers nobody other than academics will ever read. But coded letters pointing to hidden Nazi treasure fall into his hands, and while colleagues warn him to keep them to himself, Alo can’t stop obsessing. He makes a huge mistake and publishes a paper on his find, ignoring the danger doing so will bring.

Jack is sure he’s struck gold when his assistant brings Alo’s paper to him. Alo wants nothing to do with Jack or his televised treasure hunt. But after Alo is threatened, it appears Jack is his best bet to silence those who seek to use him to find the vast wealth first.

By trusting Jack, Alo might’ve saved himself… or made his worst decision yet.

 

Review:

X Marks the Spot is a contemporary novel with a bit of mystery as well as a bit of comedy. The story has at its center a hero who is your typical reality star, and a college student who wishes to never leave campus.

Jack is an “archeologist” searching for lost treasure as millions of people watch from their living rooms. Only, as the years have passed Jack’s luck has turned and more and more he has come up empty handed. Alo, our other hero, is a young college student who would rather do nothing but study, but instead finds himself thrown into a family mystery that makes him the center of attention. It is this mystery that brings the two men together.

During World War II Alo’s great grandfather worked for the Germans inorder to keep from being sent to the camps. Along the way he is able to stash a vast treasure, with hopes of returning for some day. Only someday never comes and Alo’s great grandfather becomes a family mystery.

In the beginning Jack was not a favorite character as it is quite clear he was only interested in getting everything he could from Alo inorder to keep from being canceled. The chemistry between the two men is strong from the beginning however, and even though they do not get together right away, the connection is strong enough that Alo lets himself be drawn into Jack’s quest. I liked watching Alo come out of his shell and loved the way Jack encourages him along the way. Of course, not everything they do is legal and there were moments during some of their ‘cappers’ when I could not help but laugh.

Of course with a treasure as large as the one Jack and Alo are looking for, you know that there is someone out there who will do anything to keep them from finding it. There are a couple of twists, and one “I did not see that coming” moment, all of which will hold the readers interest. I love the way the author wraps this story up and would love to see more of Alo and Jack in the future.

X Marks the Spot is a fun read and will surely bring the author many new fans.

 

Reviewed by: Lydia

Buy Link

Lydia Reviews: Closing Ranks- by Ethan Stone and gives it a big 4.5 kiss!

Title: Closing Ranks

Publisher: DSP Publications

Author: Ethan Stone

Pages: 244

Kisses: 4.5

 

 

 

 

 

Blurb:

Internal Affairs investigator Jeremy Ranklin is looking into corruption within the Reno Police Department when he’s ordered to examine the suspicious death of the Chief of Police. The assignment partners Jeremy with Detective Cristian Flesh. Though they spar at first, Jeremy earns Cristian’s trust, and they work well together.

Deeply closeted, Jeremy fights an attraction to fellow cop Kipp Mosely. The investigation brings Jeremy and Kipp together, but lies and secrets prevent things from going any further. Jeremy will need both Kipp’s and Cristian’s help to discover how deep the corruption runs—and to stay alive when the danger hits close to home.

 

Review:

Closing Ranks is the fourth book in the Flesh series by author Ethan Stone. This is a mystery series that revolves around Christian Stone and those close to him. While the first two books centered on Christian, books three and four center on associates of the Detective. In Closing Ranks a new character is introduced that shakes things up just a little.

Jeremy Ranklin is IAB and new to the department. His first introduction to everyone is not a good, as he has taken down one of the departments own. While most want nothing to do with him, Christian and Kipp have no problem befriending the new officer. Jeremy finds himself drawn to both men and while he is envious of Christian and the fact that he is openly gay, he is hot for Kipp and has a hard time remembering to play it straight. While the relationship between Jeremy and Kipp is important, the story is primarily a mystery.

The author really out did himself with this story. I was shocked by the death that Jeremy, Christian, and Kipp find themselves investigating. The fact that the men end up having to do most of the investigating ‘off book’ does not bode will. There are many twists and turns and it is easy to see everyone as the bad guy at one point or the other. This truly is a mystery that will have you guessing; unfortunately it is also one that is hard to review without giving anything away. The author does a wonderful job wrapping everything up in a way that is believable. He also leaves you wanting more.

This is a series that really should be read in order so that you get the full knowledge of those important to the series. If you are a mystery fan and have not yet read any of the books in this series, I strongly suggest that you give them a try.

 

Reviewed by: Lydia

Buy Link