Review of: Tainted Life by Mel Gough (audiobook)

TITLE: Tainted Life (audiobook)
AUTHOR: Mel Gough
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: Sep 6 2019


Metropolitan Police detective Pete Tucker’s world comes crashing down when his wife sues for divorce and sole custody of their only son.
Desperate to forget his sorrows for a while, Pete seeks refuge in a Soho bar where he is approached by a sexy, funny, and clearly interested stranger. Photographer Liam Jackson is just the ticket for one oblivious night of perfect passion.
However, their attraction proves too intense for a one-night-stand. To his surprise, Pete finds that he’s game for something more – but his baggage soon gets in the way. Then Liam’s own dangerous secrets claw their way to the surface, and threaten to derail the budding romance.
Is their growing bond strong enough to weather the violent storms ahead?
A sweet and angsty m/m romance novella.

Narration: This was my first narration by Brian Meslar, and as long as the story is based in the US, it won’t be my last. Let me explain. Brian has an amazing voice, his cadence is great, and he’s able to throw accents really well. But…that was the problem for me. The narration was in a US accent, the book is based in England, and the characters are English (and one Scottish guy). It was distracting for me. I’m an American, but I lived in Scotland for ten years, so I can say the accents were really, really good. But yeah, distracting for me. I’ll be on the look-out for more MM books narrated by him, but so far, it looks to be mostly MFM ménage.

Story: For the story, Mel Gough was another first for me. I liked the book. I had actually wished it was longer and fleshed out the backstories a bit more. The romance angle was there, which I know is the point. But the backstories of the attack and the divorce seemed rushed and just kinda hanging there. So I’ll break down the points by character.

Pete is a detective for the Metropolitan Police. He’s going through a divorce, lost his partner because of divorce, and he’s fighting to see his son. This part of the story was a good representation of the awful condition of the family courts in the UK. The guy finds out his wife wants a divorce because she’s been having an affair with his partner for six months, and he loses his shit for a minute and throws a plate. She uses that to twist things. But that was one of the things hanging there, sort of. It’s solved…she backs down. But we, as the reader, have no idea why. Then at work, there was mention of him helping with a human trafficking case, but then nothing. But the niggle was stuck in my head.

Liam is a budding photographer, but he has to turn tricks on the side to make ends meet. He has a drug addict brother, and that part of the story gets finished off and gives the reader some excitement. However, Liam has a client that he’s been with once and has a closet full of kinky stuff. In memory, we learn he agreed not to use it on Liam. Instead, he just wants to tie him up. Okay, so the next meeting happens in the book, and it’s an all-out attack as soon as he walks in the door. I’m intrigued at this point! Tell me more! I’m excited to know he gets away, but ha! He gets hit by a car trying to get to Pete. But there’s maybe a few sentences on the attacker a little further in the book, and that’s the end of it.

For the characters together, I liked them and was cheering them on. I liked the romance parts a lot, and I felt the connection even though other reviewers didn’t. I think that’s why I gave the story a 3.5 instead of more. I wanted more with everything that was going on. There wasn’t anything that could have been taken out to make it better, but I think it was too much for a short story, if that makes sense.

I’ll be checking her list for a longer book and see that goes. I think she has a lot of potential as a writer, so I’m not giving up on her yet!

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of:  Hillbilly Diner’s Omega by Corie Rosling (audiobook)

TITLE: Hillbilly Diner’s Omega (audiobook)
AUTHOR: Corie Rosling
SERIES: Sugar Beach
GENRE: Mpreg
RELEASE DATE: Apr 16 2019


One omega on the run.
One alpha resigned to a life alone.
Until the day their paths cross and their fates are sealed.
I thought I had an alpha who would love me forever. But I found out the hard way I was wrong. Broken and bleeding, I have no choice but to run, but I have nowhere to go. No one to turn to. Until I meet him — Jace. He promises me a home. Safety. Maybe even a second chance at love. I want to believe that’s possible. But after all I’ve been through, how can I trust another sexy alpha?
I’ve always been looking for something I couldn’t find — that one special omega who could become the center of my world. I’ve almost given up hope when Dai walks into my life. One look at him, and I know. So I give him a home. A job. My heart. I’ll do whatever it takes to protect what we’ve built. The omega is mine. And I’m going to prove it to him.
Hillbilly Diner’s Omega is a steamy non-shifter mpreg 34,000-word novella set in an Omegaverse. This is a steamy younger man/older man mpreg story.

Narration: Richard Sack narrated this. It was a first for me with him, and I wasn’t a fan. His voice is older sounding, so the Dai parts just didn’t work for me. It was okay for Jace since he was older, but that’s it…just okay. I felt he read too slow in most parts and it was a bit stuttered. In parts, it was a struggle for me to get through the whole thing. But I thought the story was cute, so I kept at it.

Story: This is an insta-love non-shifter mpreg story. It’s a short cute read that had me saying aww a couple of times. Hillbilly Diner’s Omega was also my first Corie Rosling book, and if she has a new narrator, it won’t be my last listen. Otherwise, I’ll have to stick to their written books.

This is an Alpha/omega world built well in the short amount of time the author had here. I found myself pushing for Dia to have his HEA within a few minutes of starting the book. He’s a sweetheart who tried to take care of everyone he could.

Jace is a proud hillbilly that made me smile. He may be older, but it wasn’t because he was out doing every omega he could, but that he just hadn’t found the right one for him yet. I liked that since we see too many man-whore-to-perfect-mate stories out there nowadays.

I liked how there was no angst between the MCs, just the back story and the ass that Dai was with before. I was a little off about Dai’s parents and why they weren’t there for him, but it was just a niggle, nothing major.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of:  Waves of Winter by L.C Chase

TITLE: Waves of Winter
SERIES: World of Love
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: Nov 22th 2019


The west coast of Vancouver Island is one of the few places to boast world-class winter surfing, and Vancouverite Kellan Tremblay hits the waves as often as possible. On the ferry crossing to the island, he meets Australian Jax Colston. Jax is there for some snowboarding. He’s intrigued to discover that not only is winter surfing a thing, but you can surf and ski in the same day. Sensing a kindred spirit, Kellan offers to play tour guide and gives Jax a place to stay in his spare room.
The two men bond over all things surf and snow, and it isn’t long before their passion for life lands them in bed together. Neither wants the week of cold days and hot nights to end, but Jax has to go home soon. Still, Jax doubts he’ll stay away for long. The draw of fresh powder, the long hot nights and the thrill of just being with Kellan will keep him coming back for a long time….
Series World of Love | Canada – British Columbia.

Canadian, Kellan Tremblay loves to go to the west coast of Vancouver to do some winter surfing. On the ferry crossing the island, he meets Australian, Jackson Colston. Jax is a snowboarder who travels across the US and Canada to try the best slopes on his snowboard.
Kellan and Jax hit off immediately and decide to spend the week together. What will happen at the end of the week will be up to them.
Waves of Winter by LC Chase is a sweet novella that I really enjoyed.

Kellan is a Canadian, and he’s a surfer all year round. Summer or Winter, Kellan loves to ride a good wave, and what’s better than the west coast of Vancouver? After a year without surfing because of a bad break up with his ex, Kellan decided to go back to his passion. Meeting Jax wasn’t in his plan, but Kellan can’t refuse the opportunity to know more of the hot Australian and to introduce him to winter surfing.

Jax is at the end of his trip when he meets Kellan. He’s intrigued by the hot Canadian who practices winter surfing. Jax is intrigued by Kellan, but most of all, he’s attracted to him. They live at the opposite end of the world from each other, but Jax wants to embrace every minute with Kellan.

I really enjoyed their story; it was a sweet and calm love story. No twisted moments, no drama. Just two men who met at a moment in both of their lives and decided to take a chance in each other.

It was a beautiful short story that put a smile on my face more than once.

3.5 Stars for the snowboarder and His surfer

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: First Impressions by Jay Hogan

TITLE: First Impressions
AUTHOR: Jay Hogan
SERIES: Auckland Med #1
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: Nov 1, 2019


Two years ago I made a mistake—a big one. Then I added a couple more just for good measure. I screwed up my life, but I survived. Now I have the opportunity for a fresh start. Two years in NZ. Away from the LA gossip, a chance to breathe, to rebuild my life. But I’m taking my new set of rules with me.
I don’t do relationships.
I don’t do commitment.
I don’t do white picket fences.
And I especially don’t do arrogant, holier-than-thou, smoking-hot K9 officers who walk into my ER and rock my world.
One thing’s for certain: Dr. Michael Oliver is an arrogant, untrustworthy player, and I barely survived the last one of those. He might be gorgeous, but my daughter takes number-one priority. I won’t risk her being hurt again. I’m a solo dad, a K9 cop, and a son to pain-in-the-arse parents.
I don’t have time for games.
I don’t have time for taking chances. I don’t have time for more complications in my life.
And I sure as hell don’t have time for the infuriating Dr. Michael Oliver, however damn sexy he is.
Second Edition
First Edition published by Blackout Books, 2018.

Michael is an emergency doctor in Auckland. He’s in NZ for two years, and wants to make his time there as pleasurable as possible. While cruising in a gay club, Michael ends up in the middle of a police intervention where he meets the hot cop, Josh.
Josh is a gay single dad and a cop, and he has no time for a player like Michael. Not. AT. ALL. But when Michael’s life is in danger, Josh stands up and takes the matter in hand to keep him safe.
First Impressions by Jay Hogan is book 1 in the Auckland Medical series. I liked this book.

Michael is an American doctor who came to New Zealand in an exchange medical program. It was the best thing for Michael, who had been having difficult moments in California. He refused to do relationships, refused to be tied to someone, and he just wants to enjoy his life with his hook-ups. Michael didn’t expect Josh, and worse, didn’t expect to get attached to him.
Josh is a cop and a single dad. Sasha is his life, and he wants to build a family for her, with a partner for life. Josh didn’t do hook-ups and avoided the players like Michael. The fact that Michael pushed all his buttons complicated things for him, until they both decide to try to see where things can go.

I loved them. They both want the same things but didn’t know how to express it. They were both on the same page but refused to admit it until it was too late. I loved them, but sometimes I wanted to beat them. Seriously, they were two grown-up men, but they acted like two teenagers. They pissed me off sometimes, but not all the time, most of time, I was laughing with them and their bantering.

The story was good, but a little bit too long and repetitive, in my opinion. I felt like I was going around in my reading at times, but mostly the story was good, and the end was super good with a twist I didn’t see coming that put some good action into the plot.

It’s a good start for this new series, and I will definitely read the next one.

3.5 Stars for The Cop and his doctor.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Power Players by Scudder James Jr

TITLE: Power Players
AUTHOR: Scudder James Jr
SERIES: States of Love
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: Oct 4th 2019


Jeffrey knows the underbelly of Washington, DC, well. Once homeless, he’s now the director of a massive coalition of shelters. The last person he’s interested in meeting is wealth consultant Derek T. Hinsdale III, another slick-talking, privileged jerk. Jeffrey has had enough of those.
But Derek’s latest project could impact Jeffrey’s organization—with a multimillion-dollar gift awarded at a special dinner and ceremony. Jeffrey and Derek seem so different, but in their convictions, they find common ground, and the heat they call up in each other can’t be ignored. Can they salvage a disastrous evening and a painful reminder of Jeffrey’s past?
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.
Series States of Love | District of Columbia.

Jeffrey grew up in the underbelly of Washington DC. Homeless at fifteen with an abusive father, he works hard to succeed in his life. He’s now the director of a massive coalition of shelters.

Derek grew up in the rich part of Washington DC. He’s now a wealth consultant and a philanthropist. His latest project can change Jeffrey’s coalition of shelters to help more people.

Now, everything can be good, if only Jeffrey and Derek can forget their prejudices and fears.

Power Players by James Jr Scudder is part of the States of Love series. A series of romances that spanned every corner of the United States and written by different authors each time.

I liked this short story, but it was too short, in my opinion. I loved the plot, two men loving DC, one with a rich background—the other with a poor background, but both working to make their city a better place to live for everyone.

I also loved the fact that it was a mixed couple. I loved the author’s style; how he took every prejudice and broke them one by one. Really, this book was good, with a lot of potential.

But it was too short, and because it was too short, we couldn’t explore more about the characters, their stories, and their project. Everything was kind of superficial. We only scratch the surface, and I understand it because of the format (69 pages), but I regret it a little bit. In the end, I was expecting to read that this story was a prequel of Derek and Jeffrey’s book (a girl can dream).

Anyway, all in all, it’s still a good short story that I liked a lot.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis