Lydia Reviews: Wounded Pride by BL Morticia and Remmy Duchene


TITLE: Wounded Pride
Author: BL Morticia and Remmy Duchene
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 206
Characters: Renford Kline and Brian Daystar
POV: 3rd person
Sub-Genre: Contemporary
Kisses: 4

Blurb:

Renford Kline is straight… right? He got over his experimentation in college and moved on. Then how does he explain his blush-inducing fantasies about Brian Daystar? Fantasies he’s having when he should be focused on his career move from attorney to professor. When Brian comes to New York, Renford knows he’s in trouble. Everything about Brian attracts him—from his tight body to his beautiful, dark hair—but Renford is straight… right?

Brian Daystar needs a break. He’s been working nonstop to turn his Montana ranch into a safe haven for at-risk youth—so much so that he can’t even bring himself to care when he finds out his partner, country star Corey, is cheating on him. Their relationship has been over for a long time, but it might take his feel-ings for Renford to make Brian accept it.

Both men have decisions to make. Renford must come to terms with who he truly is, and Brian is going to have to decide if he will shun his happiness or embrace it.

Review:

Wounded Pride is the second story in the Wounded series. This story centers on Brian and Renford, characters that showed up in the first book. These characters will pull you into their story from the beginning. Both are strong men facing changes in their lives. Brian is working hard to make a haven for LGBT youths while holding onto his boyfriend who is starting to make it big in the music industry. Renford on the other hand is an attorney in the process of becoming a professor.

There is a strong attraction between the two from the moment they first meet, however, Renford thinks Brian is too young for him. Then there is the fact that Brian already has a boyfriend, even if he is an ass. For Brian, he thinks Renford is straight and while things between him and his boyfriend are not going well, Brian feels guilty for the feelings he is having for Renford. When Brian goes to visit Corey, Zane asks Renford to let the younger man stay with him. It is during this time that the two men get to really know each other.

I really enjoyed Wounded Pride. The characters are likeable and I liked that the readers had the chance to see the characters, especially Brian, grow while figuring out their feelings for each other. Of course, every good book needs a little angst, and Wounded Pride is no different. However, while there is enough angst to keep this story from being too sweet, it is not so much that the readers will feel bogged down. I loved the way Renford goes about fixing things between him and Brian when the men have separated.

Wounded Pride is a collaboration between Remmy Duchene and BL Morticia. Fans of both these authors will be glad to know that the writing is so well down that you cannot tell were one writer’s voice starts and the other’s ends. This smoothness is not always found when a book is written by more than one author, the fact that these two have it means I will be buying more of their stories in the future.

Reviewed By: Lydia

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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: Just Add Argyle by KC Burn


Title: A Fabric Hearts Story, Book 3: Just Add Argyle
Author: KC Burn
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 196
Characters: Jaime Escobar, Tate Buchanan
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Kisses: 5

Blurb:

Tate Buchanan is a troublemaker who can’t keep a job, no matter how many times his lucky argyle sweater gets him hired. Add to that a learning disability and an impetuous nature that sends him into altercations to protect the defenseless, and he hardly manages to make friends, let alone find a man who’s interested in him for more than one night.

Most people think EMT Jaime Escobar is a player, but the truth is he wants a serious partner—he just can’t justify wasting time on guys he knows aren’t a match. But when he treats a gorgeous redhead after a fight, he finds the spark he’s spent so many years looking for.

Jaime wants to take the next step with Tate, but it’s clear Tate’s not going to curb his impulsive behavior—his next fight sends him to the hospital. Jaime’s relationship with a near criminal isn’t something his family is ready to accept, not any more than Tate is willing to be kept a secret. Jaime will need a lot of understanding—and some luck of his own—to keep them both. But this is one fight he’s going to see through to the end.

Review:

The Fabric of Hearts series just keep getting better and better. It is so easy to get wrapped up into these amazing characters’ lives and enjoy the stories they have to tell.

Who doesn’t love Jaime? OMG, I for one, have been intrigued with him since he first made an appearance in book one. Throughout the first two books, Jaime is always sexy but there has been an air of mystery to him that has kept me fascinated with him. I was thrilled to see him get his own story and I am so happy by the way things turned out for him.

Jaime is a caretaker at heart. As a EMT, he lives to help others and excels at being both comforting and a professional at his job. Jaime is often misunderstood and perceived as nothing but a player with no intention of every wanting to find true love for his own. Though he is close with his family, Jaime often keeps his inner demons and feelings about his life and love to himself. He secretly longs to have a special relationship like his cousin, Caleb and his partner Raven and his close friends Will and Dallas. Just when he thinks true love isn’t for him, he meets Tate under surprising circumstances. Jaime is a man of instincts and once he meets Tate he knows deep within his heart, that there is something very special about the younger man. Despite the mystery that surrounds Tate’s life, Jaime is determined to get to know Tate and even wedge his way into Tate’s wary heart.

For Tate, life has been one struggle after another. He’s endured a lot of abuse and neglect from those who are supposed to love him and because of this, Tate has had to fend for himself for most of his young life. Tate struggles with math and because he has a mother who is a worthless bitch *sorry…I honestly hated that woman* Tate doesn’t think much of himself. Though he’s been ignored and fallen through the cracks, Tate has learned to survive by his street-smart intelligence and ability to always protect himself and others that are weaker than him.

Tate is one of those men who have a heart of gold. Like Jaime, he is an easy character to love and root for and even though these two men seem to be polar opposites, they fit together perfectly. Watching both men bring out the very best in each other was a amazing. Also, I loved the way they truly liked, admired, loved and had a true respect for each other. All in all their relationship develops into a cherished one and it was simply a joy watching these two wounded men share something special between them.

I love this book! I love this series and I can’t wait to read more about these characters! Just Add Argyle is a beautifully written love story that will live in your heart long after you finish reading it. The Fabric of Hearts books is a series that should not be missed and I am anxious to see what is in store for us yet.

Highly Recommended!

The Fabric of Hearts series in book order are:

Tartan Candy
Plaid verus Paisley
Just Add Argyle

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Gabbi Reviews: Plaid versus Paisley by KC Burn


Title: A Fabric Hearts Story, Book 2: Plaid versus Paisley
Author: KC Burn
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 209
Characters: Will Dawson, Dallas Greene
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance, Series
Kisses: 5

Blurb:

Two years after his life fell apart, Will Dawson moved to Florida to start over. His job in the tech department of Idyll Fling, a gay porn studio, is ideal for him. When his boss forces him to take on a new hire, the last person he expects is Dallas Greene—the man who cost him his job and his boyfriend back in Connecticut. He doesn’t know what’s on Dallas’s agenda, but he won’t be blindsided by a wolf masquerading as a runway model. Not again.

Dallas might have thrown himself on his brother’s mercy, but his skills are needed at Idyll Fling. Working with Will is a bonus, since Dallas has never forgotten the man. A good working relationship is only the beginning of what Dallas wants with Will.

But Dallas doesn’t realize how deep Will’s distrust runs, and Will doesn’t know that the man he’s torn between loving and hating is the boss’s brother. When all truths are revealed, how can a relationship built on lies still stand?

Review:

Plaid Versus Paisley
is the second book in the Fabric Hearts series and it’s one not to be missed. This contemporary series is full of angst, romance and just the right mix of flirtatious fun. Because of a few misunderstanding and a lot of lack of communication, Dallas and Will’s relationship is a complex one.

Enemies to lovers us usually a hit or miss for me. I’m not a huge fan of this theme because, in my opinion, and as the saying goes, there really is a fine line between love and hate. Because of this, I don’t always believe the transition from two characters who go from hate to love, so I admit I was a tad bit worried about this book. BUT I loved Will in the first story and hoped his story would be one that I would enjoy, and quite frankly, be a story that was worthy of him.

I am so pleased to say that I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. I liked the way the relationship developed between Will and Dallas and quickly became captivated by the story they had to tell. There were times I wanted to shake some sense into Will because he can be a stubborn ass sometimes, but it was highly gratifying to see Will and Dallas work through their differences and misunderstandings and develop a strong and loving relationship.

Though Will can be full of self angst and self doubt, I still liked him. He is grumpy and often doesn’t think before he acts, but it’s what is inside of him that made him a man I really cared for. Once he works through his fears and insecurities and allows the warm and even compassionate person he is inside, I could easily see why Dallas was so enamored with him.

I liked Will BUT I adored Dallas. He’s sweet and loving and craves to be loved and accepted for the man he really is. His sheer determination to have a better life than the one he lived before he moved to Florida is a noble one. I liked how he was able to tear down the wall around Will’s stubborn heart. Despite Will’s best efforts to hate Dallas, it’s Dallas’s sheer determination for Will see him for the smart, warm and caring person he really is, is the reason why I truly loved him. Better yet, Dallas is able to do this without becoming a doormat to Will’s strong and sometimes overly dominant personality.

Between the intriguing heroes and the addictive story they had to tell, Plaid versus Paisley is a highly satisfying read filled with the right mix of angst and romance. Will and Dallas may have started off on the wrong foot, but watching their relationship grow and evolve into a strong and loving one was a lovely thing to read.

Highly Recommended!

The Fabric Hearts series in book order are:

Tartan Candy
Plaid versus Paisley

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Gabbi Reviews: Tartan Candy by KC Burn


Title: Fabrics, Book 1: Tartan Candy
Author: KC Burn
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 206
Characters: Raven McIntyre, Caleb Sanderson
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance, Series
Kisses: 4.5

Blurb:

Finlay McIntyre (aka Raven) is a successful adult film star with a penchant for kilts, until an accident cuts short his stardom and leaves him with zero sexual desire, lowered self-esteem, and no job. He knew his porn career wouldn’t last forever, but he wasn’t prepared for retirement at twenty-eight. While trying to figure out the rest of his life, Raven agrees to attend a high school reunion. That’s when a malfunctioning AC unit in his hotel room changes everything.

Caleb Sanderson, an entrepreneur with his own HVAC business, has no idea what to expect when he steps into Raven’s hotel room to fix his AC unit. They’re attracted to each other, but Caleb, closeted, can’t afford a gay relationship, not with his mom pressuring him to produce grandchildren. If he wants to keep Raven—who no closet could hold—he’ll need to tell his family the truth. But Raven has a few secrets of his own. He refuses to reveal his porn past to Caleb, a past that might be the final obstacle to Caleb and Raven having any kind of relationship.

Review:

Tartan Candy is the first book I’ve read by KC Burn and it won’t be my last. I was immediately wrapped up into Raven and Caleb’s lives and I enjoyed every minute I spent reading this book.

I though the author did an excellent job at writing compelling, interesting characters that I easily found myself caring for. From the moment he turned eighteen, Raven has had to survive on his own. Unable to find work, Raven fell into the world of being a porn star. For years, Raven was very popular, but when he survives a terrible accident, Raven is forced to quit the one job that has been his saving grace for many years.

Caleb is a blue collared worker *I love blue collared workers* with a heart of gold. He comes from a wonderful family who has come through a lot…so much so, Caleb feels like he can’t be truthful about his sexuality to his family because he loves and doesn’t disappoint them. Because of this decision, Caleb is a lonely man.

Sparks fly when the two men meet and from that first meeting a sweet and loving relationship begins to develop between them. As they slowly begin to trust the other man, there are still old fears and secrets that they must face if they want a lasting love together.

I really loved this book. I loved the tender way Caleb takes care of Raven. I loved the way Raven saw Caleb for the warm and wonderful person that he was. I loved the way they learned to communicate with one another and I adored the secondary characters. Even Caleb’s family is amazing…his mother and father are truly wonderful people.

There is a some misunderstandings this couple must go through before they reach their happy ending. I thought Raven should have come clean about certain things before it was revealed. I was also empathetic to Caleb’s reason for staying in the closet from his family but I wasn’t quite sold on why he stayed there so long. His family was amazing…but that’s only my opinion.

I can’t wait to read the second book in the series and look forward to reading many more books by KC Burn in the future. Tartan Candy is a very easy book to recommend if you are looking for a sexy, rainy day read.

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Gabbi Reviews: A Dandelion for a Tulip by R. Cooper


Title: A Dandelion for a Tulip
Author: R. Cooper
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 200
Characters: Tulip, David
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Fantasy, Series
Kisses: 4.5

Blurb:

David is in love with Tulip, a kind and unusually quiet fairy in his social circle. But everyone knows Tulip doesn’t date humans. David tells himself he is happy to be Tulip’s friend, because he doesn’t believe a fairy could love him and Tulip has never tried to “keep him”—as fairies refer to relationships with humans.

Fairies are drawn to David, describing his great “shine,” but David knows only too well how quickly fairies can forget humans, and thinks he’s destined to be alone. He can’t see his own brilliance or understand how desperately Tulip wants him, even if Tulip believes David can do better.

But exhausted and more than a little tipsy at a Christmas party, David makes his feelings too obvious for Tulip to deny any longer. Because of a past heartbreak involving a human, Tulip is convinced someone as shiny as David could never want a “silly, stupid fairy” in his life. Now, if he wants to keep David, he’ll have to be as brave as his shiny, careful human.

Review:

The Being(s) in Love stories by R. Cooper have made this reader fall in love with dragons, fairies and other paranormal beings all over again. Ms. Cooper has a real fresh take on a well-loved genre and I for one, can’t wait to read more about this interesting world that she has created.

It was easy to fall in love with these characters. Both David and Tulip are interesting, complex characters that live and breathe off of the written page. Thought they both are smart, strong heroes they share a wealth of miscommunication, self-doubt and other nagging negative traits that many of us share. One of the reasons why I really liked them both is because they are genuinely NICE people. It’s good to read a sweet and gentle story in where the nice guy(s) actually DO finish first.

There is something special and even believable about the world in which Ms. Cooper creates for her characters. Even though it is fantasy novel, it’s always easy to get wrapped up into the culture and traditions of her beings and I always find myself easily getting wrapped up in their lives.

A Dandelion for a Tulip is a sweet story that develops between two heroes that have a true unrequited love. Neither of them are aware of the other person’s feelings and they truly misinterpret how they like/love/feel about the other. I enjoyed watching Tulip and David’s relationship develop into something very special. There were times I wanted to shake some sense into David because of his continued unwillingness to see clearly what was in front of him, but all in all I thought David and Tulip’s story was a well-told and romantic read.

I highly recommend this series if you love fantasy romance. Also, I thing each and every story can be read as a stand-alone in this series and they are easily some of my favorites in the high fantasy/urban fantasy genre.

The Being(s) in Love stories are:

Some Kind of Magic
A Boy and His Dragon
A Beginners Guide to Wooing Your Mate
Little Wolf
Firebird and Other Stories
Treasure for Treasure

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Lydia Reviews: Why I Love Waiters by TA Chase


TITLE: Why I Love Waiters
Author: T. A. Chase
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 149
Characters: John Davidson and Health Kane
POV: 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: Contemporary
Kisses: 4.5

Blurb:

As a member of a covert military unit, John Davidson isn’t scared of much. Yet one look into Heath Kane’s dark blue eyes and he knows a different kind of fear for the first time. John can’t be gay, at least not out and proud in his unit, even with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repealed. He’s never been interested enough in any man to risk the fallout.

Heath’s hometown wasn’t the best place for a gay kid to grow up, but his grandmother did her darnedest to make it good for him. Now he’s paying her back for all her love. She’s getting older and needs help, so he returns home to wait tables at the Corner Café while taking online courses to get his degree. Even though the Army base provides him with a lot of buff eye candy, he knows it’s best to keep his head down.
Neither Heath nor John can deny their attraction, and John’s finally willing to act on their mutual interest. But holding on to each other will mean big changes in both their lives.

Review:

Why I Love Waiters is the third book in the Why I Love series. Like the first two books, this one is also in its second edition and by a new publisher. Fans of the first book are going to love this one, as it is about Chuck’s younger brother John.

John is back in the States and enjoying the down time his unit is having. Like his brother Chuck, John is one of those tough alpha males able to handle anything, until they meet their soul mate that is. He meets Heath at a small café where he is waiting on tables. He is instantly drawn to the younger man but knows that his life in the military is not conducive to having a love life, even with the repeal of DADT.

Heath works and lives with his grandmother, who raised him. He will do anything for her but once he meets John he wants the military man more than anything else. The attraction he feels for the other man is stronger than anything he has ever felt before, but having been in an abusive relationship, Heath is a little worried about starting anything with the much stronger man.

I like that John is willing to take things at a slow pace, giving Heath a chance to see that he can be trusted. Of course, that does not mean that these two do not heat up the pages of this story, because they do. While everyone may like a little sex in their romance books it is not the main focus of this book. Instead we get to see the relationship between John and Heath grow as the men get to know each other. Their relationship is not without issues however as both men have people in their lives causing problems for them.

There is a light side to this story due in large part to the secondary characters. Heath’s grandmother is a hum dinger. Some of the things that come out of her mouth will have you laughing. Then there is Herb. Chuck makes several appearances to give his brother a hand, and where Chuck is Herb is sure to follow. Those scenes had me laughing out loud and wait until you get to the sex shop scene. I am not sure who I felt sorrier for Chuck and John or Herb and Heath.

If you are thinking of trying M/M books I suggest giving Ms. Chase a try, starting with this series. You will find yourself easily drawn into the stories as all three are well written with wonderful characters. I cannot wait to see what the next story in this series will be and hope it will be out soon.

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed by: Lydia

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