Review: “The Dom’s Way” by Sean Michael

TITLE: The Dom’s Way
AUTHOR: Sean Michael
SERIES: Iron Eagle Gym, Book 5
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: L.C. Chase
GENRE: BDSM, Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK:Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 23, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 –paperback
  

BLURB:

An Iron Eagle Gym Novel

Neal and Way from The Closet Boy are back, only now they’re Dom and sub, and exploring their relationship through the lifestyle. Way is eager to learn everything, and more in love with his master every day. For his part, Neal can’t believe how lucky he is to have found such an innocent but sensual boy.

As they learn what works best for them both, Way has trouble obeying some of the rules Neal imposes. Like the no touching himself rule. Neal wants Way to learn control, but Way, after so long holding back, has trouble not indulging. The two men must work together to find the balance that brings them each the most satisfaction and happiness.


The Dom’s Way is the fifth book in the Iron Eagle Gym series by Sean Michael. This’s the first book that I have read by Sean Michael and I thought I would give The Dom’s Way a chance since it had a catchy blurb and I like to read BDSM books. I did see from the blurb that Way and Neal were from the book The Closet Boy, but I didn’t realize they were the main characters of the book. I figured they were sub characters that had been introduced and this was their story. My mistake.

I started reading the book and found that I was lost. Especially when I read the first sentence of the second paragraph in the first chapter that said, “Way’ra looked at his lover.” My first thought was who in the world was Way’ra. I had no idea that Way’s real name was Way’ra. It wasn’t in the blurb that way, and I honestly thought it was a typo since the file I was reading still had a round of editing to go before being published. But nope, it wasn’t a typo, it’s actually his full name, and it’s never used again. I also have no idea what Way looks like or what ethnicity he is. It’s never mentioned in the book. There’s a brief, vague description of Neal (the huge muscle-bound blond).
So according to the reviews I have read about the other books in the series being standalone novels, I wouldn’t say this’s a standalone book. This’s a continuation of The Closet Boy, and I wish that I had read it first. I will be reading it next so that I can see how Neal and Way’ra started out. I will say that The Dom’s Way’s heavy on the sex scenes which I greatly enjoyed and the scenes varied, so it wasn’t repetitious.
I did enjoy how Way started out new to the BDSM lifestyle, but by asking questions from his sub friends at the Iron Eagle Gym and by trusting Master Neal, he figured out a lot more about what he likes and didn’t like. He does still have a long way to go, and Master Neal has some very interesting ideas for things he wants to do with his boy.
I also loved the game night with the other Dom’s and their subs. I need to find some new friends to play twister with cause they definitely had a lot more fun than I have ever had playing it.

I did love both Neal and Way though. Poor Way really struggled to be a good sub and follow his master’s rules but he really struggled with not playing with himself without permission and Neal had some very clever ways of punishing his boy. There’s a lot of penis slit play (with sounds and plugs) in this book and a penis getting a Prince Albert piercing. Lots of nipple play and a very needy sub and a master and sub that love each other very much. There’s never any doubt in the book that Neal and Way love each other.

So aside from not knowing what Way looks like or his ethnicity and being confused by the name, in the beginning, I actually really enjoyed the rest of the story and the other Dom’s and their subs at the Iron Eagle Gym. I look forward to reading the other books in the series and to future books in the series.

*Update* I have now read The Closet Boy, but I didn’t want to change my review because these were my original thoughts on the book without having read any of the other books in the series. The Dom’s Way does pick up right where The Closet Boy ends so it’s definitely a continuation of their story, and it did help a lot with figuring out the characters and plot with having read The Closet Boy. So I would recommend reading The Closet Boy before reading The Dom’s Way. There still wasn’t a lot of detail about Way’ra and where he came from or what he looked like. The author never really comes out and states the details he likes to use comparisons instead.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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Review: “A Kind of Home” by Lane Hayes

TITLE: A Kind of Home
AUTHOR: Lane Hayes
SERIES: A Kind Of Story
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 224 pages
RELEASE DATE: Jun 23, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 –paperback
  

BLURB:

Isaac Dalton is the guitarist for Spiral, arguably the biggest rock band in the world. The band’s meteoric rise to superstardom has its perks, but fame and fortune aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Nonstop touring and performing exhaust him, and when an overzealous fan makes it imperative that Isaac travel with a clingy bodyguard, he is ready for a break from the madness. More so when his newly single first crush shows up on his doorstep. The man is strictly off-limits. He’s a memory from a place Isaac would rather leave behind. And he’s straight.

Fun-loving former athlete slash construction worker Adam McBride desperately needs a new beginning. And New York City is the perfect place to start over and think about how to rebuild his life. A short stint as roommates with his brother’s best friend from high school seems like a mutually beneficial arrangement. However, when friendship gives way to fierce attraction, both men find themselves in unchartered and possibly dangerous territory. Isaac has to decide if he’s willing to take the ultimate risk for a kind of love and a kind of home he never dreamed possible.


Even though this is the fourth of the series, you’ll have no problem whatsoever following the storyline.

Isaac Dalton is the guitarist of the famous rock band Spiral. Spiral became famous like a year ago, but even in this short time, they are rocking the whole wild world.

The story starts when the guys are back from a world tour. Isaac has a stalker, and their manager hired a bodyguard who follows every step of the guitarist. Isaac is not used to that. He’s coming from a small-town . The music is his everything, he doesn’t really care about fame and money.

When he arrives at his apartment, he’s shocked to see his childhood friend, Adam McBride, still in his apartment. Actually, Adam is the older brother of his childhood best friend, Ned, but what nobody knows is that Isaac had a major crush on Adam back in the old days. Isaac is openly bi now, but Adam is straight as an arrow.

Isaac finds out that Adam got divorced and he’s taking a break from his small-town life, and the big city helps him with his divorce. He managed to find two part-time jobs: a dog-walker and a bartender job. Adam is a bit of a slob, and that’s not going to well with Isaac.

Then things are getting a pretty much angsty with this anonymous stalker. First, he just writes on the band’s official page, every message of the stalker starts with: “You are a star, and I’m your biggest fan”. They don’t figure out who the stalker is until is almost too late.

From the very beginning, there is an amazing sexual attraction between the two MCs. Isaac is not acting upon this because he’s convinced that Adam is straight. But then, after a dare turns out that Adam is not quite that straight of an “arrow”.

This is a sweet read, if you want to spend a weekend with an easy story.

****The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book****

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Review: “The Tinder Stories – Oceanside Fire Series” by Tory Temple

TITLE: The Tinder Stories – Oceanside Fire Series
AUTHOR: Tory Temple
SERIES: Oceanside Fire Series
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Garrett Leigh
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Anthology
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 206 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 19, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 –paperback
  

BLURB:

Return to Oceanside Fire, where the sizzling passion between men scorches everything they touch—especially each other. For firefighter Chris Matthews and instructor Morgan Daniels, it’s dislike at first sight—but that doesn’t mean there’s any relief from the heat building between them, and it only takes a spark to set the tinder ablaze.

Will Chris and Morgan go from enemies to lovers, or will they remain enemies with healthy libidos who stoke each other’s flames? Morgan is no fan of firefighters in general, and he finds Chris especially grating. But when they’re together, the sexual tension is thick enough to cut with a knife—and there’s only one way to work it off. A battle of wills is sure to follow. Add in an age difference, and finding common ground will be an uphill battle. Even if they succeed in building a relationship, secrets and suspicion could reduce everything to ash.


Although this is an anthology of three books, I will review it as one.

For me, this was a really fast read. Why? Because it was super awesome…

Chris is a firefighter. He likes his job very much, but in order to maintain it, they have to do additional yearly courses to be updated about the risks they may face during an intervention.

Morgan teaches the firefighters course on sexual harassment, and the cocky attitude of Chris rubs him in a wrong way. He assigns Chris a homework assignment about the statistics on sexual harassment at workplace. Well, although Chris is very gathered and precise, he forgets his homework at home…but instead of being punished, after he let Morgan know about his opinion, Morgan seems to give him another chance. When Chris asked Morgan what’s his problem with Chris was, Morgan simple answer was “I hate firefighters.”

After the course is over, Chris hopes that he’ll never meet Morgan again, though he was aware of the strange connection between the two. Chris also likes to ride his motorcycle. When he meets up with his motorbike gang, he’s mortified to see that the new member is no one else than the unsupportable Morgan.

Morgan is the real jerk, in my honest opinion, and his behavior is not changing during the books. I found it difficult to believe how Chris is putting up with this man, but he falls for him. Morgan feels the same way, but he is more introverted. There is also an age gap between the two and Morgan very often treats Chris as a child even though Chris is in his thirties.

This three-book anthology guides us through their coming together. I liked it very much, even though I wanted to punch Morgan on his face. He has a reason why he behaves like he does, but the dude needs to learn how to let the past be the past. In my opinion, Chris is a saint, I wouldn’t have that much patience with Morgan…that said I think I’m more like Morgan and that is not a good thing…well, I need a “Chris” in my life…

My rating is an honest 4.5 OptimuMM!

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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Review: “The Closet Boy” by Sean Michael

TITLE: The Closet Boy
AUTHOR: Sean Michael
SERIES: Iron Eagle Gym
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: L.C. Chase
GENRE: BDSM, Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK:Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 214 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 25, 2016
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 –paperback
  

BLURB:

Way’ra Bernard is only twenty years old when his parents kick him out of the house. He has been brought up to believe being gay is wrong and he is going to go to hell for it. He tried very hard not to be gay but couldn’t change the way he felt. Now he’s living furtively in a closet on the third floor of the place he’s working as a janitor—the Iron Eagle Gym.

Neal McPherson is an unattached Dom in his midtwenties and a member of the gym. One evening after working out, he notices Way’ra on the stairs, and he’s immediately attracted and intrigued, so he asks Way’ra out. Unable to come up with a reason to refuse, and also interested in Neal, Way’ra accepts.

There are a lot of obstacles to the relationship they attempt to build after their date, not least of which is Way’ra’s upbringing and his lingering doubts about the kinky sex Neal enjoys. But with patience and persistence, Neal might convince Way’ra not only to accept himself, but to loosen his inhibitions enough to explore and find a happy ending together.


I had the pleasure of reading The Closet Boy which’s the story of Way’ra (Way) and Neal. The Dom’s Way is the continuation of their story. However, I read The Dom’s Way first which made me want to see how they began their relationship and hopefully get a little more history about Way’ra and where he came from. The book was well written, but I did find a couple of editing errors. One was a wrong name and the other an extra word that should have been deleted. Neither were too distracting to the story.

I would have liked a little more backstory about Way’ra. The author mentions that Way’ra’s name is tribal, but he doesn’t mention which tribe or even where he’s from. I do know that Way has grown up in a really religious community with religious parents and was attending a religious college. When he was caught naked with his best friend, he was kicked out of his college, family, and community. And although Way’s suffered a lot of hardships in his 20 years, I loved that he still had such a happy, bubbly, and innocent personality. Sure he has some self-worth and self-esteem issues but who wouldn’t after what he’s gone through. And like Neal said to Way in the book, he didn’t turn to a life of crime or theft and become a bad person. Way’s a fighter. He got a good job as a janitor at the Iron Eagle Gym and saved his money and kept to himself.

I loved Neal. He was a Dom, and he interacted with Way perfectly. He could read him and was able to work around Way’s ego about being homeless and not having enough money to feed himself properly. He helped him understand that loving another guy isn’t a sin. They were the sweetest couple. And they had a very healthy sex drive which would make sense since Way’s only twenty and Neal’s in his late twenties. They had a pretty vanilla relationship at the beginning, but as Way got more comfortable with loving another guy and trusting him, they started to add more of the BDSM elements to their relationship. And in The Dom’s Way, they will explore that side of their relationship more. They are great at communicating with each other, and Neal’s always asking if Way has any questions about some of the things that he’s seen while cleaning the third floor of the gym where the BDSM gym members can go to do their scenes.

I want to find a gym like the Iron Eagle Gym where all of the members are a part of the BDSM lifestyle, and you can work out and do scenes at the same place. Sounds like a wonderful place to work and play.

I can’t wait to read the first three books in the series and learn more about the other members of the Iron Eagle Gym.

****The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book****

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Review: “Romancing the Ugly Duckling” by Clare London

TITLE: Romancing the Ugly Duckling
AUTHOR: Clare London
SERIES: Romancing the…
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Bree Archer
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 260 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 15, 2017
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book / $9.99 -paperback
  

BLURB:

Is this the makeover of a lifetime?

Ambitious fashionista Perry Goodwood lands the project of his dreams—track down a celebrity family’s missing brother in the Scottish Highlands and bring him back to London for a TV reality show. But first he must transform the rugged loner into a glamorous sophisticate.

Greg Ventura has no use for high fashion. He lives on the isolated island of North Uist to escape the reminder that he’s nowhere near as handsome as his gorgeous brothers and avoid the painful childhood memories of being bullied.

Greg wants nothing to do with city life, and Perry’s never been outside London. When Perry is stranded on North Uist, this conflict seems insurmountable. But Greg is captivated by the vivacious Perry, and Perry by both the island and his host. However, Perry’s one heartfelt wish remains: that ugly duckling Greg fulfill his potential as a swan.


Romancing the Ugly Duckling is the second book in the Romancing the… series by Clare London. I enjoy the way that Ms. London writes. She has a way of making me feel what the characters are feeling. I found myself chuckling at some of the things the characters were saying and thinking and I love when a book can make me chuckle. I also loved all of the little plot twists, some that I saw coming and others that I didn’t. The book was well written and nicely edited, and it had a great flow to it. I found it very hard to down. My only issue with this story is that while it ended with a happy ending, it was kind of abrupt, and I would have enjoyed an epilogue to see how their relationship progressed.

I always enjoyed reading the story of the ugly duckling when I was a child, and so, I was excited to read this adult retelling. And I thought it was a great retelling.

I found Peregrine, aka Perry, to be a delightful, flamboyant fashionista. Perry is known for working miracles at the Latham Agency in London. His latest assignment is to convince an estranged brother to come back to London for a TV reality show audition with his brothers. The fun part will be getting him to agree to a makeover so that he looks like his sophisticated and famous brothers. What Perry doesn’t know is why the brothers are estranged and that’s only going to make his job harder.

I found Greg Ventura to be a complex character. He starts out being rude, direct, and inhospitable, but the more time he spends with Perry the more open and friendly he becomes. Greg left home shortly after received his share of his grandmother’s inheritance to get away from all of the bulling that he received from his brothers. Greg was always different from his brothers growing up. He was quiet and a loner and didn’t have his brother’s good looks and he was teased because of his differences. He moved to the outskirts of Lockmaddy, the largest town on North Uist, Scotland. Where he enjoys living with his dog, Roy, working various jobs, and socializing with a small group of friends.

I enjoyed how Greg and Perry bring out the best in each other and how Perry challenges Greg to confront his past instead of hiding from it. Greg and Perry had great chemistry together and some pretty hot scenes together. They were truly delightful together.

I can’t wait to read my next book by Clare London. I wonder which of her books I should read next…

****The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book****

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Review: “Ride Along” by Meghan Maslow

TITLE: Ride Along
AUTHOR: Meghan Maslow
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Garrett Leigh
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 122 Pages
RELEASE DATE: June 14, 2017
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book
  

BLURB:

Drew Nolan is a loud-and-proud mystery writer with a brutal case of writer’s block. He needs practical experience with the Baltimore police beat to get his latest manuscript to his publisher on time. When he wins a ride-along at a writer’s conference, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot… until he meets his partner.

Closeted cop Josh de Oliveira lost his family, his partner, and the respect of his unit—all for doing the right thing. Recently busted back down to patrol, he’s relieved to get a cushy assignment at the Author’s Police Institute where he’ll take one lucky writer on a ride-along. Unfortunately, his author looks like he belongs in the backseat of Josh’s squad car—long, ginger dreadlocks, piercings, and an “I would bottom you so hard” T-shirt. But there’s something about Drew Josh is having a hard time resisting.

It’s going to be a long night and one hell of a ride as opposites attract and realize they share a lot in common beneath the surface. As animosity becomes desire, they realize they can help each other out—in more ways than one.


Drew Nolan, a young writer, is at a convention in Baltimore trying to get answers for his
next book when he meets Officer Josh De Oliveira, a handsome but rude and probably
homophobe (as Drew thinks).

Josh has no choice but to be at the convention, answering questions after questions to author or
wannabe author. The last thing he expected is to meet the hot young author Drew Nolan.
Josh can’t help but be rude to him, and when he has a ride along with him, Josh prays to
survive the day.

Drew is funny, smart and not afraid to say out loud what he wants.
Josh is more reserved, he struggles to express out loud his feelings or worries.
We follow them during the first months, how they meet together and how they evolve from
single to a couple.

They are adorable together, Drew especially, I love how he stays proud of himself when he
thought that Josh was a homophobe, how he doesn’t hesitate to fight for Josh when it’s
necessary and how he supported Josh when he struggled with his work and his life.

I love how Josh isn’t afraid to admit when he’s wrong with Drew, how he doesn’t hesitate to
try to be more affectionate with him in public even if he’s in the closet at work, how he
supported Drew with his writing or when his family makes him feel bad.

It was a sweet novella and a sweet love story between Drew and Josh.
The writing was good, and all my reading was enjoyable.

It’s the kind of book you can read on the beach or when you travel. It makes the time pass more pleasantly and quickly.
I spent a lazy Sunday afternoon with them, and I’ve no regrets at all.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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Review: “Two Natures” by Jendi Reiter

TITLE: Two Natures
AUTHOR: Jendi Reiter
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Saddle Road Press
COVER ARTIST: Don Mitchell
GENRE: Come To Age, Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: YES
PAPERBACK: YES
LENGTH: 376 pages
RELEASE DATE: September 15, 2016
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book / $22.00 -paperback
  

BLURB:

Jendi Reiter’s debut novel offers a backstage look at the glamour and tragedy of 1990s New York City through the eyes of Julian Selkirk, an aspiring fashion photographer. Coming of age during the height of the AIDS epidemic, Julian worships beauty and romance, however fleeting, as substitutes for the religion that rejected him. His spiritual crisis is one that too many gay youth still face today.

This genre-bending novel couples the ambitious political analysis of literary fiction with the pleasures of an unconventional love story. Vivid social realism, enriched by unforgettable characters, eroticism, and wit, make Two Natures a satisfying read of the highest sort.

Perry Brass, Amazon bestselling author of The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love and the novel King of Angels, says of Two Natures: “If you want to know what life is like in Nineties New York, when Style has become God, sex has become a contact sport, and jobs, money, and survival are always around the corner someplace else, then this late coming-of-age novel is a good place to start.”


This was one of the most difficult books I’ve read. I’m not a religious person, so I found it hard to empathize with Julian’s struggle with the religious faith of his childhood but the description of the LGBT scene in New York City in the mid-1990’s is spot on. Set against the early days of AIDS. Julian’s story takes us from his college days through his struggle to make it as a fashion photographer, with all the shame and glamour of that world. He’s already escaped his narrow-minded and abusive father and his family crop up regularly in his life. We witness a hilarious scene when they come to visit, and he throws an impromptu dinner party with some friends. He engages in an open relationship with Phil, a gym monkey who he falls for, who turns to…well, an alternative career. I’m not going to give the plot away.

Julian’s career slowly builds as his personal life descends into a nightmare. He indulges in a drug-fueled night which ends up with him deciding whether to take an AIDS test or not. He’s persuaded by Peter a ‘friend’ with an alter ego, who comes to mean a lot to Julian. But it’s not Julian who succumbs to AIDs, and he ends up as a carer for someone he loves. I wasn’t keen on the open attitude to unsafe sex and drug taking but I recognize it was honest and reflective of the culture and time in which the story is set, it’s integral to the story and not at all gratuitous. It also gives the story a gritty realism that I found compelling.

This is a very detailed orientated and wordy book. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a deep look into the spiritual, political and sexual impacts of that era.

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC.  My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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Review: “Riding the Circuit” by Julia Talbot

TITLE: Riding the Circuit
AUTHOR: Julia Talbot
SERIES: Riding Cowboy Flats
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Bree Archer
GENRE: Western, Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 73 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 7, 2017
PRICE: $3.99 e-book
  

BLURB:

Rodeo cowboy Frost Barton spends most of his time on tour, and that’s the way he likes it. But when his dad dies suddenly, Frost returns to southern New Mexico to attend the funeral and help his mom decide what to do with their small family ranch. Frost is already considering retiring from bull riding and planting his itchy feet in the ground. Meeting horse trainer Matt Morales just adds another pull in that direction, though Frost still isn’t sure he’s ready to give up the circuit—even if Matt makes settling down look mighty tempting.

Matt is old enough to know better, but he falls for Frost anyway. They only have so much time to spend together before Frost goes back on tour, but Matt believes they might have something special. He keeps the home fires burning while Frost earns his living, but Matt hopes he can convince Frost to come home—to stay.


Riding the Circuit by Julia Talbot is the third book in the Riding Cowboy Flats series. This is a great cowboy book. It was short enough to read in one sitting and held my attention from the first page to the last. The book was well written and nicely edited. The dialogue between the characters was witty and had me smiling and laughing on more than one occasion and had some very spicy scenes too.

Frost Barton’s a professional bull rider. A profession that isn’t supported by his hometown or the fact that he’s gay. He takes a lot of ribbing from the old timers and some of the bolder bullies. So he’s stayed away from home as a result. But he’s forced back to his family home to take care of his mom and the family ranch. But he’s going to have to deal with some feelings of worthlessness and frustration over the fact that his mother didn’t tell him that his father was sick so that he could make amends.
Matt Morales’ a horse trainer who had been hired by Frost’s dad to take care of the ranch when he got sick. He’s there to be a friend and confidant to Frost and help him figure out what he should do with his life and the ranch. He’s also great at tempering Frost’s hot-headedness.

I loved the chemistry between Matt and Frost. I also loved that the men were older more experienced men which’s a nice change from a lot of western books. I also liked that Matt being older than Frost had already gone through having to come home to take over the family ranch and caring for the remaining parent and so he was able to help Frost with sorting out his own family crisis. He’s also there to help support his decision to finish out his bull riding circuit and watch over his mom and the ranch.
Riding the Circuit’s a standalone book. You don’t have to read the other two books in the series to understand and enjoy what’s happening in this book. However, the other two books main characters are friends of Frost and Matt, and they do make cameos in this book, so reading the other two books could only enhance your reading experience.

That being said, I can’t wait to go back and read the first two books in the series and see how Tate and Dave from Jackass Flats and Herschel and Dalton from Just a Cowboy meet and fall in love.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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Review: “It Could Happen” by Mia Kerick

TITLE: It Could Happen
AUTHOR: Mia Kerick
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; MMM
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 5, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback
  

BLURB:

Three misfits, mismatched in every way—Henry Perkins, Brody Decker, and Danny Denisco—have been friends throughout high school. Now in their senior year, the boys realize their relationship is changing, that they’re falling in love. But they face opposition at every turn—from outside and from within themselves. Moving to the next level will take all the courage, understanding, and commitment they can muster. But it could happen.

Henry is a star athlete and the son of religious parents who have little concern for the future he wants. Brody is a quirky dreamer and adrenaline junkie, and Danny is an emo artist and the target of bullies. Despite their differences they’ve always had each other’s backs, and with each of them facing a new and unique set of challenges, that support is more important than ever. Is it worth risking the friendship they all depend on for the physical and romantic relationship they all desire?

In this unconventional new adult romance, three gay teens brave societal backlash—as well as the chance that they might lose their treasured friendship—to embark on a committed polyamorous relationship.


It Could Happen was a surprisingly sweet and emotional coming of age story about three 18-year-old high school best friends—Brody, Henry and Danny—who decide to take a chance to see if they can build a three-way relationship from the very close friendship that they have.

Brody’s the blonde-haired All-American boy. He’s the youngest of seven boys, and his conception was not planned. His parents are older and tend to live their own lives and leave Brody to get on with his. He gets anything he could want from them without question, except the love and attention he craves. Brody is a risk taker and loves nothing more than getting his adrenaline pumping by pulling some crazy and often dangerous stunts.

Henry’s one the very few African-American kids in the school. He’s 6′ 3″ of muscle and looks like the typical jock. He takes part in almost every sport in the school, but his specialty is cross country. His parents are fanatically religious and extremely strict. Henry has to obey their every rule, and is rarely allowed to think for himself or make his own decisions. But he has a very kind and sweet heart which makes him want to please everyone, even if it means denying himself of something.

Danny’s the only out gay kid in the whole school. He’s also the stereotypical emo-goth. With his long black hair, black clothes, love of art and brooding but fiery personality, he often gets picked on by his not-so-pleasant classmates. His mother is an alcoholic who usually puts her latest boyfriend before him, so when he meets a guy who seems interested in him, he clings to the relationship because he just wants to feel that there’s someone who wants him and who will care about him.

The boys have made a plan to all attend Prospect University together. Brody knows his parents won’t care which college he picks, while Henry knows his parents won’t approve because it’s not one that they have chosen for him, and Danny doesn’t believe he’s got enough talent to get the scholarship he needs to be able to attend in the first place. But they send the applications anyway because they know that they want to do it together. When Henry suggests what they have is more than just a friendship and he thinks they should try being in a relationship together, at first he’s met with some scepticism from Brody and Danny because it’s not something that’s normally done. Especially amongst people of their age, but after a discussion they decide what they have is worth taking the chance on to see if they can find love and happiness with each other. It’s not all plain sailing though. They have to deal with a violent ex of Danny’s who seems to still have a hold over him, Brody trying to keep them together even though he has a few moments of uncertainty himself and Henry’s parents being their overbearing and controlling selves.

I enjoyed this story a lot. I liked that we got the points of view of the three characters, but just wish that there was more from Danny’s point of view than just his poetry. I would have liked more of an insight of what he was thinking and feeling, and I felt that the poetry just didn’t get this across a lot of the time unlike Brody and Henry’s parts. This was the first time I had read a NA book involving—as Brody would say—a threelationship and I’m pleased to say that I hope it won’t be my last. It was beautifully written, and I really felt a connection to the characters and their emotions, especially Brody. NA isn’t normally a sub-genre that would be my first choice, but I think that this book has shown me that it’s worth taking the risk, even when you have doubts. And I don’t mean just with choosing a book.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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Review: “Return of the Chauffer’s Son” by Tara Lain

TITLE: Return of the Chauffer’s Son
AUTHOR: Tara Lain
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Reese Dante
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 2, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 -paperback
   

BLURB:

Luca McGrath may be returning to Napa Valley, California as a promising chef with dreams of starting his own restaurant and winery, but his heart still lives with bad-boy billionaire’s son, James Armstrong. Luca spent his childhood playing games with the golden boy of California society, so blinded by James he barely noticed the dark, quiet lure of his conservative older brother, Dylan Armstrong.

But now, Luca’s home and his own powers of attraction are enough to make James question his dedicated heterosexuality and his promised marriage to a wealthy and powerful businesswoman. The obvious attraction between Luca and James spurs Dylan into action—but he’s fighting a huge secret. While Luca dreamed of James, Dylan dreamed of Luca. When Luca gets caught in the struggle between the brothers and gets accused of culinary espionage he’s ready to chuck the fairy tale—unable to even imagine Dylan’s power to make his dreams come true.


Return of the Chauffer’s son by Tara Lain is a wonderful adaptation and retelling of the movie Sabrina. The storyline and flow of the story were perfect. The characters were easily recognizable with all of their little character nuances. The book was well written and nicely edited.

I loved the love triangle and how Luca kept getting pulled back and forth like the Armstrong’s tug toy. I liked that Dylan and James were at the opposite end of the spectrum from each other. James’ the golden boy and Dylan’s dark and mysterious.

James’ portrayed as the straight golden boy of California society. He’s a super flirt, extroverted, and self-centred. He also goes through women like skittles. He throws himself into new ideas wholeheartedly but doesn’t think them through and just as quickly moves on to the next impulse without care for who he hurts.

Dylan’s the conservative gay older brother to James. He’s a type A personality and is used to getting his way. He runs Anderson Technologies with his mother. Dylan’s used to cleaning up after the destruction that James causes and tries to avert it if he can.

Luca grew up on the Armstrong property with his dad. His dad’s the family chauffeur, and Luca grew up playing with James. They were the best of friends and Luca fell in love with him even though he knew it wouldn’t be returned. His father and Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong noticed his crush and sent him to France to culinary school with the hope that when he came back the crush would be over. Unfortunately, even getting a job in New York and staying away for a total of 7 years didn’t help. And now he’s back home after getting a new job at Culinary Arts. And Luca still wants James and is crushed when he learns of James’ engagement. And then even more confused when James starts flirting with him.
Dylan’s worried about James’ new attraction to Luca and is worried that if he breaks up his engagement that it will cost Dylan the merger that he has been working on with the fiancé’s family. He tries to redirect Luca’s attraction to him instead of James to save the deal, and it works. But he didn’t count on falling in love himself. Not that he will admit it to himself.
But Luca can’t deal with his confused feelings for the brothers and doesn’t like being yanked back and forth between them. It’s too much pressure to deal with in addition to trying to come up with the winning culinary dish for the local cooking contest that’s coming up. But when he’s wrongfully accused of culinary espionage and fired from his job, he sees all of his dreams of owning his own restaurant and winery disappearing and finds that living in California’s too much and moves back to New York to see if he can get his old job back.

But there’s no way that Luca leaving is going to fly with the Armstrong family. But who will it be that brings him back? And will he be able to convince Luca that he loves him?

Another great book by Tara Lain. I haven’t read one of her books yet that I haven’t loved. I definitely recommend her books to everybody.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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