Gabbi Reviews: Alaska by Cate Ashwood

Title:  Sawyer’s Ferry, Book 1:  Alaska

Author: Cate Ashwood

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages: 151

Characters: Dr. Holden Prescott, Dr. Gage Emerson

POV: Alternating 1st Person

Sub-Genre: Contemporary, May/December, Series Romance

Kisses: 5

Blurb:

Nobody says no to a Prescott.

Not even one of their own.

Holden:

Living up to expectations had never been easy, but when I went after something, I got it. Success. Money. Victory. I was standing on the doorstep to having it all. There was only one thing standing in my way.

Gage:

Power and prosperity are overrated. Especially when they come at a price. When enough became enough, I walked away. Nothing had ever tempted me to look back, until one day the past showed up in my backyard.

I’m not so sure I can walk away a second time.

Review:

I was super excited to read Alaska and Cate Ashwood delivered everything I hoped for when it comes to reading romance. I’ve read several books by Ms. Ashwood and I’ve loved them all. There is something special about how Ms. Ashwood writes romance. Not only are her books well-written, she writes characters that live and breathe off the written page.

I was immediately intrigued by these two heroes. Holden has been under his father’s thumb all of his life. Between the student loans and his father’s overbearing personality, Holden is pretty much under his dad’s control. When Holden’s father demands Holden must travel to Alaska to fetch his father’s former business partner, Dr. Gage Emerson, and return with him in tow, Holden reluctantly agrees to do so. Holden knows there is bad blood between the two men and dreads the confrontation he knows is sure to come. Once Holden arrives in Alaska he knows in one of the four corners of Hell. Not only is Sawyer’s Ferry nothing like New York, Holden is convinced life in a small town would make anyone miserable.

Gage Emerson lives a full life. Between being a popular and successful surgeon in Sawyer’s Ferry, Gage enjoys what his small town has to offer. One thing Gage does not expect is for his former greedy partner to send his son to rejoin him in New York. Gage knows there is no way in Hell will he come with Holden and rejoin his life in New York and despite Gage’s insistence on the matter, Holden seems to be determined to change his mind.

Though sizzling sparks fly between Holden and Gage, it takes time for the two men to get to know each other. As the story continues and we see the two men fall into bed then fall into a friendship and a strong respect for one another, it was easy to see how much Holden and Gage were meant to be together. Through each other’s eyes, they both blossom into stronger men. Holden finally learns to stand on his own and Gage allows himself to trust and give his heart and life to another.

I loved Alaska and I cannot recommend it high enough. I’m thrilled that Alaska is the first book in a series and cannot wait to see what Ms. Ashwood has in store for us next! Not only did I fall in love with Holden and Gage, I truly adored all the characters that make up the sweet, small town of Sawyer’s Ferry. 

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By:  Gabbi

Click HERE to purchase Alaska by Cate Ashwood

Gabbi Reviews: Red Runs Through by Cate Ashwood


Title: A Piece Us Back Together Story: Red Runs Through
Author: Cate Ashwood
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 90
Characters: Carter McClintock, Matthew Nolan
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance, Series
Kisses: 4.5

Blurb:

Carter McClintock’s life is uncomplicated. For the past five years, he’s spent so much time in hospital scrubs that one day bleeds into the next, and that’s just the way he likes it. That is, until he meets Matthew Nolan. Carter has never had a patient affect him the way Matthew does. During Matthew’s stay in the hospital, the chemistry is unmistakable, and once he is discharged, Carter asks him out.

Despite the obvious attraction between them, Matthew’s HIV status keeps him from handing Carter his heart, refusing to believe anyone could ever truly want him. When Matthew’s past comes to light, their budding relationship is threatened before it has even begun. But Carter isn’t one to give up without a fight, and he will do anything to show Matthew the lengths he will go to keep them together.

Review:

Red Runs Through by Cate Ashwood is a sweet and well-written story that left this reader with a smile on her face. I really liked both heroes and enjoyed the story they had to tell.

It was easy to get behind Carter and Matthew’s story. Carter works hard and though he has many people who he calls friends, he longs to find that someone special. When he meets Matthew, a patient of his, he is immediately drawn to him. Matthew’s sweet disposition and friendly demeanor lifts Carter’s heart and soon both men begin to develop a strong bond between them.

As I read the story, I wondered how Carter and Matthew would live with Matthew’s HIV status. Despite Carter’s job and thoughtfulness, I wondered how he would deal with Matthew’s condition on an everyday basis and if it would color his perception of his and Matt’s relationship. I thought Ms. Ashwood did an excellent job at tackling this issue head-on and I truly loved how Carter and Matt DO NOT allow Matt’s condition to come between them.

Red Runs Through is a part of the Piece Us Back Together series. This book, and these stories are great comfort reads and would be a great rainy afternoon read. I really enjoyed these stories and highly recommend this book and series.

Highly Recommended!

The Piece Us Back Together stories are:

All That Shimmers by Raine O’Tierney
Swimming with Elephants by LJ LaBarthe
Red Runs Through by Cate Ashwood

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click Here to enter the Dreamspinner Press Homepage

Lydia Reviews: A Fallen Heart by Cate Ashwood


Title: A Fallen Heart
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Author: Cate Ashwood
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Series, Mystery-Suspense
Pages: 200
Kisses: 4.5

Blurb:

After his last disastrous relationship, Joseph Ford has absolutely no interest in getting attached again. Concentrating on working as a trauma nurse and keeping his life as simple as possible are his only goals. Unfortunately, his plans could be derailed by the charming, sexy Nash.

Things are looking up for paramedic Ridley Nash when he transfers to Station 217. He gets along with the crew, likes his partner, and is finally on a team willing to accept him—gay and all. It’s everything he’s always wanted, but when he meets Ford, Nash knows his life is about to get very interesting.

As Ford and Nash find themselves stuck in the middle of a homicide case, things become more complicated. For the last year, the mutilated bodies of teenage boys have been showing up all over downtown. With no leads, the police are getting desperate. One of the victims is found alive, and he’s the best chance the police have to catch the killer—if only they can get him to talk.

Will Nash be able to catch Ford when he falls, or is there too much standing in their way to make it work?

Review:

A Fallen Heart is the second book in the Zero Hour series by Ms. Ashwood. This story will pull you in from the beginning, and those who have not read the first book will find themselves wanting to grab A Forced Silence by the time they finish. In this new book the author has brought an EMT and a Nurse into the forefront.

Joseph Ford is a nurse at one of the local hospitals. He’s trying to put his life back together after a recent split so the last thing he needs is to feel attraction for another person that may not even be gay, or is in the closet. He can’t seem to help himself however when it comes to Nash, the new EMT at Station 217.
Ridley Nash has always thought working in a fire station would be like having a big extended family. That was the furthest from the truth in his first house, especially after finding out he was gay. He gets a second chance when he transfers to Station 217. There he meets men who become the family he looked for; he also meets Joseph after taking a patient to the hospital.

The attraction between the two men is evident from the beginning, but each of the men has a past that makes them leery of starting anything new. I liked that after a rough start the two become friends before moving on to lovers. But something other than attraction holds these two together.

Nash brings in a young boy who has been brutalized. While he shows all the signs of being a victim of the serial killer that was introduced in the first story, he is too traumatized to talk. Meanwhile, Joseph feels a strong connection with this young man and can’t help becoming emotionally involved.

I don’t want to give anything more away, so let me just say that there are many twists and turns in this story. Not everyone is who they seem to be, and while it is easy to guess some of what may happen; there are more twists that will surprise the reader.

I got hooked on this series with this book alone, and cannot wait to see what the author has planned next on both the romantic and mystery front.

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed by: Lydia

Click HERE to enter the Dreamspinner Press Website

Gabbi Reviews: Forced Silence by Cate Ashwood


Title: Zero Hour, Book 1: A Forced Silence
Author: Cate Ashwood
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 200
Characters: Adam Carson, Sam McKenna
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance, Series
Kisses: 5

Blurb:

Zero Hour: Book One

For paramedic Adam Carson, his world is lights and sirens and saving lives. Pressures at work keep him firmly in the closet, and life is too busy to contend with the complications that come with dating and relationships. When a familiar face from his past turns up where he least expects it, Adam starts to question whether or not there is room in his life for those complications.

The last person forensic pathologist Sam McKenna expects to see at pub night is Adam, the guy who made his life hell in high school. The attraction is instant, but Adam isn’t gay and Sam has no interest in pursuing him. Still, the leftover animosity from their teenage years isn’t enough to extinguish the lust growing between them. After both are called to the scene of a horrific murder, Adam admits he’s not as straight as he led Sam to believe and they seek comfort and distraction in each other’s arms. One night becomes many as the murder investigation intensifies, but when Adam is faced with losing Sam, he is forced to make a choice: to break his silence, or to give up everything for the job he loves.

Review:

Cate Ashwood has quickly become a must-read author for me. I’ve read several of her books and I’ve enjoyed each and every one of them. A Forced Silence is grittier and slightly darker than the other books I’ve read by her, so I was pleasantly surprised by the diverse writing chops Ms. Ashwood has developed.

I was immediately intrigued by both heroes in this story. Dr. Sam McKenna is a smart and thoughtful man. His sweet disposition and kindness toward others bring out his attractive sexy side that I found both endearing and…well likeable. It was easy to see how Adam would be captivated by him, so much so, he is willing to take risks that he has never dared to before, just to be with him. Sam is a wonderful man and worthy of the love he receives from Adam. I liked that Sam is comfortable with himself and the life he lives. He is out and proud and isn’t afraid to show his vulnerable side; especially to those he cares for.

Adam lives a more fast-paced life. As a paramedic he’s used to working balls-to-the wall from dawn to dust. Adam’s confidence and determination to be give his best at his job made him very attractive. He has a cocky, sarcastic demeanor that I enjoyed, and I LOVED how he’ll do whatever it takes to keep the ones he cares about safe and sound. Adam has a witty disposition and he had both Sam and I cracking up a few times because of it.

I enjoyed the personal growth Adam goes through as the story progressed. Because he’s hid his sexuality all of his life, I thought it took guts for him to true to both himself and to others. I loved the journey these two men took me on and enjoyed every minute I spent reading their story.

Not only did A Forced Silence fulfill all of my romance cravings, the suspense kept this reader on the edge of her seat. Because this is a series, the mystery of the serial killer’s identity will drive me crazy until I find out!

A Forced Silence is a must read for any fan of romantic suspense stories. It’s an excellent start to the Zero Hour series and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to enter the Dreamspinner Press Website

Gabbi Reviews: Textual Relations by Cate Ashwood


Title: Textual Relations
Author: Cate Ashwood
Publisher: Cate Ashwood
Pages: 88
Characters: Henry Hathaway, Asher Wescott
POV: 1st
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Kisses: 4

Blurb:

Evolutionary psychology professor Henry Hathaway is ready to spend his birthday the same way he does every year: a good teeth cleaning followed by lunch with his brother. But when he receives a wrong-number text confirming the details of a date, he does what any considerate person would—he goes to meet them and explain why they’ve been stood up.

Asher Wescott hadn’t expected his blind date to go well, because when do they ever? Henry shows up instead, and things are suddenly looking up. Socially awkward and attached to his routines, Henry is nevertheless one of the most charming and kind men Asher has met in a long time.

Too bad he’s not Henry’s type.

An accidental date, an impulsive kiss, and a few conflicted feelings later, can Asher get Henry to see the world—and him—in a different light?

Review:

Textual Relations by Cate Ashwood is a sweet and sexy romance that left a smile on this reader’s face. I needed a light, romantic read and this story was just what the doctor ordered. Since the blurb does a good job at describing the story, I won’t rehash it. Instead, I decided to write about why I liked this story and why I recommend it.

One of the stronger aspects of the story are the two heroes. Both Henry and Asher are likeable men. I truly enjoyed watching them form a strong bond together and liked their story. Since the book is told by Henry’s point of view, we don’t get to know Asher as much as I would have liked, but we are able to see through Henry’s eyes how special he thinks Asher is and how easy it was for Henry to fall for him despite never being attracted to a man before.

Henry is an intelligent man, but despite this, he is quite walled-off and sheltered many ways. He has a routine he sticks by and doesn’t like change very much. It’s because of his reluctance to try new things, Henry has a controlled and somewhat boring life. When Henry meets Asher, his world is turned upside down. Asher is sweet and sexy and his zest for life, both fascinates and frightens Henry. As the two men get to know one another and Henry begins to allow himself to see more and do more, the two men form a strong bond and attraction toward one another.

I really liked Henry but he is cluelessness sometimes was off-putting to me. There were times I found myself wondering how he could be so naïve about some things, but in some ways, I did understand why Henry would be endearing to a sexy and more compulsive Asher. It would be interesting to see this couple in the future. I’d like to see how their relationship continues to evolve and if, despite their differences, they really do stand the test of time.

If you are in the mood for a sexy and flirty read, Textual Relations is the book for you. It’s a perfect rainy day read and an easy book to recommend. I’m looking forward to reading more books by Ms. Ashwood in the future and hope she does continue writing more about Henry and Asher one day.

Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to purchase Texual Relations by Cate Ashwood

Gabbi Reviews: Married for a Month by Cate Ashwood


Title: Married for a Month
Author: Cate Ashwood
Publisher: Self-Published
Pages: 171
Characters: Chase Bradley, Alec Montero
POV: Alternating 1st person
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Kisses: 5

Blurb:

Best friends since high school, Chase Bradley and Alec Montero are opposites in almost every way. The one thing they can agree on, though, is that marriage is for suckers.

Everything is going their way until a drunken bet leads Alec and Chase to the altar. Their temporary “I Do’s” aren’t as amusing in the sober light of day when they find themselves thrown into married life and everything that goes with it.

The question they have to ask themselves now is, can their friendship survive being married for a month?

Review:

Married for a Month is a sexy romance filled with plenty of warm and fuzzy moments that will lighten your heart and bring a smile to your face. Cate Ashwood’s latest is a must read for anyone who craves a well-written friends-to-lovers romance.

The blurb does a good job describing the story, so I won’t rehash it. Who doesn’t enjoy a fun and romping romance between two best friends? The great thing about this story is that Ms. Ashwood wrote a true kinship between these two men, and I honestly enjoyed the banter and genuine feelings of friendship and affection they shared between them.

Watching Chase and Alec’s relationship develop into something more was a delightful way to spend my afternoon. As a reader, I appreciated the their relationship evolved…believe me, though they are best friends and know just about everything about one another, it’s not a smooth transition, but once they allow themselves to truly admit the feelings they have for one another…buckle up because it is a delicious romp of a ride!

Even BETTER was the sexual chemistry between these two men. Once they finally fall into a physical relationship, they entered into a realm of sexual desire and satisfaction that left this reader turning on the air conditioner in the middle of winter. Whew! I swear my computer screen steamed up from their steaming, sizzling need for one another and I LOVED it!

Married for a Month is a simply delightful read and a perfect way to escape the ho-hums of everyday life. I loved this book and can’t wait to read more books by Ms. Ashwood in the future.

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to purchase Married for a Month

Susan Reviews: The Mistletoe Effect by Cate Ashwood


Title: The Mistletoe Effect
Author: Cate Ashwood
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: 79
POV: 3rd
Genres: Contemporary, Holiday Romance, Gay
Kisses: 5

Blurb:

Although Christmas is his favorite time of year, all is not merry and bright for Danny Ellis. After being laid off and facing eviction, he’s eager to make a fresh start. When a friend mentions an opportunity in Sin City, he packs up and heads west. Unfortunately, plans run awry when his truck breaks down a little more than halfway there and he’s stranded in the cold with no money, nowhere to stay, and no way to get to Vegas.

‘Tis the season, but not for Merrick Holland, who loves being a part of the community in the small town of Rowley Bridge. Christmas has been a little tainted since his father died three years ago, and when people start to deck the halls, he withdraws. When Merrick finds a man asleep inside his bakery one morning, rather than call the police, Merrick makes him a cup of coffee, and after hearing his story offers him a job and a place to stay.

The two men strike up an unlikely friendship, but with Christmas only three weeks away, could a little holiday magic bring them together?

Review:

Despite the novella length, you get a complete story with fully fleshed out characters, a decent and evocative plot, and some wonderful banter and snappy dialogue, not to mention awesomely hot sex.

Merrick and Danny are just super-adorable, together and apart. You want a happy ending for them more than anything. Though this isn’t a long tale, you get a sense of both men, their past and present, what kind of men they are. The town of Rowley Bridge is featured so well too that it almost feels like the town is the third main character, a charming and quaint little place, perfect for settling down, and not just for the holidays.

The plot is pretty much described in the blurb. A happy holiday story with very little angst and a lot of positive feels. Danny being out on his luck and Merrick having lost that Christmas feeling, you know they will find it all through friendship and love. That, I suppose, is the magical power of the mistletoe, daring to take a chance on love.

The writing is fluent and the pace moves along nicely. For a self-published work, this has virtually no editing snafus, a missing word here, a wrong name there. Nothing that took me out of the story. Ashwood is a talented author, no question of that.

So if you’re in the mood for a well-written, engaging love story set around the holidays, this is most definitely for you.

Highly recommended.

Reviewed By: Susan

Click Here to purchase The Mistletoe Effect

Lydia Reviews: A Fallen Heart by Cate Ashwood


Title: A Fallen Heart
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Author: Cate Ashwood
Pages: 200
Kisses: 4.5

Blurb:

After his last disastrous relationship, Joseph Ford has absolutely no interest in getting attached again. Concentrating on working as a trauma nurse and keeping his life as simple as possible are his only goals. Unfortunately, his plans could be derailed by the charming, sexy Nash.

Things are looking up for paramedic Ridley Nash when he transfers to Station 217. He gets along with the crew, likes his partner, and is finally on a team willing to accept him—gay and all. It’s everything he’s always wanted, but when he meets Ford, Nash knows his life is about to get very interesting.

As Ford and Nash find themselves stuck in the middle of a homicide case, things become more complicated. For the last year, the mutilated bodies of teenage boys have been showing up all over downtown. With no leads, the police are getting desperate. One of the victims is found alive, and he’s the best chance the police have to catch the killer—if only they can get him to talk.

Will Nash be able to catch Ford when he falls, or is there too much standing in their way to make it work?

Review:

A Fallen Heart is the second book in the Zero Hour series by Ms. Ashwood. This story will pull you in from the beginning, and those who have not read the first book will find themselves wanting to grab A Forced Silence by the time they finish. In this new book the author has brought an EMT and a Nurse into the forefront.

Joseph Ford is a nurse at one of the local hospitals. He’s trying to put his life back together after a recent split so the last thing he needs is to feel attraction for another person that may not even be gay, or is in the closet. He can’t seem to help himself however when it comes to Nash, the new EMT at Station 217.
Ridley Nash has always thought working in a fire station would be like having a big extended family. That was the furthest from the truth in his first house, especially after finding out he was gay. He gets a second chance when he transfers to Station 217. There he meets men who become the family he looked for; he also meets Joseph after taking a patient to the hospital.

The attraction between the two men is evident from the beginning, but each of the men has a past that makes them leery of starting anything new. I liked that after a rough start the two become friends before moving on to lovers. But something other than attraction holds these two together.

Nash brings in a young boy who has been brutalized. While he shows all the signs of being a victim of the serial killer that was introduced in the first story, he is too traumatized to talk. Meanwhile, Joseph feels a strong connection with this young man and can’t help becoming emotionally involved.

I don’t want to give anything more away, so let me just say that there are many twists and turns in this story. Not everyone is who they seem to be, and while it is easy to guess some of what may happen; there are more twists that will surprise the reader.

I got hooked on this series with this book alone, and cannot wait to see what the author has planned next on both the romantic and mystery front.

Reviewed by: Lydia

Click HERE to enter the Dreamspinner Press Website

Brick by Brick by Cate Ashwood and LJ LaBarthe


Title: Brick by Brick
Authors: Cate Ashwood & L.J. LaBarthe
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 200
Characters: Zachary, Parley
Kisses: 4




Blurb:

They say that time heals all wounds, but losing Parley, his one true love, left Zach with a hole in his heart that no one else can fill. After forty-eight blissful hours alone together as teens in an abandoned house, Parley disappeared. Parley is what he is, and the pray-away-the-gay camp his parents ship him to won’t change that. However, finding the balance between accepting his true nature and not losing his family means tough sacrifices.

Sixteen years later, Zach is thunderstruck when Parley stands on the front doorstep of his house—the house that had been their refuge, which Zach restored. But Parley isn’t alone, and Zach wonders if he’s found Parley only to lose him a second time. If they can overcome the terrors of the past and the situation of the present, maybe they can build a new relationship just as Zach rebuilt the house—brick by brick.

Review:

I am a big fan of L.J LaBarthe and now I can add Cate Ashwood to my list of must read authors.

As a reader, Zack and Parley just spoke to me…especially Parley. Can a soul really be that pure? Guess what? Parleys is.

I loved Brick by Brick. It is a sweet love story and I learned to hate the cruelty that can be done all in the name of “doing what’s right”

After reading this wonderful book, I quickly saw that if anyone ever deserves a happily ever after it is these two men.

Brick by Brick is a easy book to recommend. It is so well written and it will tug at your heart strings and make you wish for more.

Reviewed by: Cheryl

Click HERE to enter the Dreamspinner Press Website.

Thirty Things by Cate Ashwood


Title: Thirty Things
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Author: Cate Ashwood
POV: 1st
Pages: 210
Kisses: 4





Blurb:

All their lives, Finn and Nate have been inseparable, sharing everything, and when a childhood accident left Finn broken, Nate stood by his side as all his other friends left. After all their years together, there’s one secret Finn still hasn’t revealed: he has been in love with Nate since they were eight years old. Hiding his feelings for twenty-one years—terrified of what might happen if Nate ever found out—has been difficult, but losing his best friend would be worse than living with a bad case of unrequited love. Unfortunately for Finn, Nate doesn’t make it easy.

Nate believes there are some things that just have to be done before your thirtieth birthday. As a gift to Finn, he plans an adventure to check off a list of thirty things to experience before hitting that milestone. Starting in Crawfordsville, Indiana, they tour the country, trying new things and meeting interesting new people. Nate’s having the time of his life, but he can tell Finn is holding something back. As the days count down, navigating the back roads suddenly seems easier than figuring out where their relationship is heading.

One thing’s for certain. There will be no turning back.

Review:

Thirty Things is a friends to lovers story that will pull readers in from the first page. Friends for ever, neither Finn nor Nate can imagine a live without the other person in it. During the course of their friendship, the two men had complied a list of places and things they hoped to one day do. With Finn’s birthday just around the corner, Nate plans the perfect gift hoping for a spectacular finish.

This was a great read from the first page to the last. I loved the main characters, Nate and Finn, and loved watching their relationship progress from friends to lovers. While the ending is slightly predictable, the journey the men took was outstanding. Some of their outings will have you laughing and or shocked, and I for one can’t decide which adventure I liked more, the bungee jump or the rafting trip. Their relationship does have a few rocky moments due to misunderstandings but the author does a great job wrapping everything up. I especially loved the way she ended the story.

While this is my first book by this author, I will be looking for more by her and have no trouble recommending Thirty Things to others who enjoy the friends to lovers sub-genre.

Reviewed by: Lydia

Click HERE to enter the Dreamspinner Press Website