Review of: The Hanged Man’s Hero by Summer Devon – Audio

TITLE: The Hanged Man’s Hero – Audio
AUTHOR: Summer Devon
PUBLISHER: M.K. Rothwell
GENRE: Historical
RELEASE DATE: March 8, 2019


Listening Length: 3 hours and 10 minutes.

Condemned for murder, Dez Moore awaits the hangman’s noose. Though he killed to defend a woman, the court shows no mercy, and, resigned, he attempts to make amends with his estranged sister. His letter bidding his sister good-bye falls into the wrong hands, and suddenly, he is facing another future – one that may exist, thanks to a man he doesn’t know.
Once a poor mudlark, Carl Reis is a powerful businessman with an erratic impulse to save desperate people. When Dez’s letter comes to him, he takes an interest in the prisoner. But the charming and disruptive Dez Moore proves to be more attractive than any of his other rescues. He stirs urges Carl has long suppressed, and makes him yearn for a future even he could not foresee. One with the lively Mr. Moore by his side and in his bed.
Long used to doing for others – some might say controlling them – while maintaining his solitary existence, Carl struggles to keep Dez from breaching his walls. But the tenacious Dez will do all it takes to capture his rescuer’s heart.
This is an expanded version of The Scent of Hope, a Goodreads free read.

Narration: Mark James has an amazing voice, and I found myself pulled right in. There was a good flow to the reading, and the recording was high quality.

Story: I’m not normally a fan of historical romance, but I thought I’d give this a try. I’m glad I did. It was originally a short for Goodreads, but the author decided to expand it a bit. It’s still short, and the audio only took 3 hours, but it was a good listen. I liked the characters and how they evolved as the story progressed.

When you meet Dez, he’s in prison for murder and about to be hung for his crime. That’s all you really know at first. But a visit from a Chaplin brings Carl Reis into the story. He asked Dez to write a letter to a loved one.

The reader gets the intention that Carl, although likable, is a type of grifter/mob-type character, and he’s a self-made businessman. That hasn’t stopped him from wanting to help people as projects. The letter makes its way to Carl instead of Dez’s sister. After he reads it, Carl becomes a bit obsessed with helping Dez.

From the title, you get the idea that he does help, and the story continues in a well-written love story.

I’ll be looking forward to more from both the narrator and the author.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: The Captain’s Mate by C.W. Gray – Audio

TITLE: The Captain’s Mate – Audio
SERIES: Blue Solace # 6
RELEASE DATE: October 30, 2019


Welcome back to Charybdis Station and the crew of the Blue Solace: (Sixth Book in the series)
Draif Ando started life as a slave on Vextonar. When he was fifteen, he met his best friend, Leti Ando, and life got a lot better. Now he’s a Charybdis Station captain and works closely with the Lord Admiral of the Station. He is a free man, finally has a purpose of his own, and has the the best lieutenant in the galaxy by his side. If he’s so content, why does he yearn for more, and why is he suddenly picturing children with his eyes and Lucas’ ears and tail?
Lucas Meluth knew that Draif was his life mate from the moment they met. He also knew that Draif was demisexual and wasn’t attracted to Lucas. Not at first. Now, Lucas notices the way Draif’s eyes follow him and the way Draif’s innocent touches are suddenly not so innocent. Has the time come for their friendship to turn into more?
Draif and Lucas may finally be figuring their relationship out, but their enemies are approaching and it’s time to protect Charybdis Station and rid the galaxy of Humans First, once and for all.
Author’s Note: 55,000 words. This is a sci-fi/fantasy, m/m love story with no angst and no cheating, just a HEA. There is lots of action, a little sex, mpreg, and a few potty mouths involved in the story. 18+ readers only, please. It is also the sixth book in a series that is best read in order. Read “The Mercenary’s Mate,” “The General’s Mate,” “The Soldier’s Mate,” “The Lieutenant’s Mate,” and “The Engineer’s Mate” first!

Narration: This was the first book narrated by Connor Brown I’ve listened to. There are parts that he read a bit fast in some places, and I’d wanted to ask him to slow down. Other places it was perfect, and I fell right into the story again. He has a nice deep voice where needed but can lighten it when the character calls for it.

Story: I love this series as a reader. I love the characters and the storyline that runs through the series. It’s a twisted tale that works to pull the reader in. It has some head-hopping that, as an editor, I can get past because I love the story that much. But also as an editor, that was my only catch while reading these. The story is just what the author promises—MM love with little relationship angst and action…oh and potty mouths!

In this installment, we get Draif and Lucas’ story….FINALLY! LOL I love these guys. I’ve been cheering for a HEA for Draif since book 1, and we met him and Leti.
Draif was born a slave, and at the age of thirteen, he was sent for sex-slave training. I won’t go into too much because of spoilers. Leti’s dad had bought him after he was disfigured at age 15, and they became brothers. He’s also a genius in almost anything he attempts. He’s asexual, so there isn’t a lot of sex in this one, but it’s not really missing because it’s not called for.

Lucas is just amazingly patient with Draif. He’s laid back when needed and a supportive Lieutenant for Draif. He lets Draif just be Draif. He was orphaned as a child, but he’s found his family on Charybdis Station. I was so happy to see him recover and get his HEA.

***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 ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Jacked Cat Jive by Rhys Ford

TITLE: Jacked Cat Jive
AUTHOR: Rhys Ford
SERIES: The Kai Gracen Series
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: March 5, 2019


Stalker Kai Gracen knew his human upbringing would eventually clash with his elfin heritage, but not so soon. Between Ryder, a pain-in-his-neck Sidhe Lord coaxing him to join San Diego’s Southern Rise Court, and picking up bounties for SoCalGov, he has more than enough to deal with. With his loyalties divided between the humans who raised him and the Sidhe Lord he’s befriended and sworn to protect, Kai finds himself standing at a crossroads.
When a friend begs Kai to rescue a small group of elfin refugees fleeing the Dusk Court, he’s pulled into a dangerous mission with Ryder through San Diego’s understreets and the wilderness beyond. Things go from bad to downright treacherous when Kerrick, Ryder’s cousin, insists on joining them, staking a claim on Southern Rise and Kai.
Burdened by his painful past, Kai must stand with Ryder against Kerrick while facing down the very Court he fears and loathes. Dying while on a run is expected for a Stalker, but Kai wonders if embracing his elfin blood also means losing his heart, soul, and humanity along the way.

Kai Gracen is a bounty hunter but not just ANY bounty hunter. He was trained by the best to be the best. But “bounty hunter” is only a title. Kai is also the thing he hates the most, a monster. He’s fearless and loyal to a fault. He refuses to be chained down, and his rebel nature gets him into all kinds of trouble. In this installment, Kai keeps his promise and seeks revenge. But the handsome bounty hunter would never have been able to plan, not to mention have contingencies, when his heart comes in to play.

Kai is a badass. He’s one of my favorite fantasy characters. He’s gruff and fearless and makes no apologies for either. He knows his reputation, and it’s well earned. He’s the fiercest bounty hunter ever in existence right next to the man that raised him. He has so many contradictions that make him such an entertaining main character.

I thoroughly enjoy everything about this series. Rhys Ford is so different from any author, and her uniqueness makes her stories some of the best. These are not light reads. You really have to pay attention, or you’ll miss key components that make up the story. The vividness of the descriptions and the world building is phenomenal. This is the third installment of the Kai Gracen, Urban Fantasy series. This series is fast paced and must be read in order. It’s told from Kai Gracen’s POV. It’s a slow burn with very little traditional romance. The romance in this series is background and is so infused in the story that it happens almost organically. The romance is definitely not in your face, and these are not erotic tales. But magical nonetheless. Join Kai on his adventures. You will most certainly not be disappointed.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Educating the Professor by Sean Michael

TITLE: Educating the Professor
AUTHOR: Sean Michael
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
RELEASE DATE: Jan 29, 2019


Kenneth Brannigan is a small-town history professor. He’s happy with his life, loves the classes he teaches, and lives in a tiny apartment in a converted house with his best friend, Tim, next door. He’s still recovering from a bad breakup and is content to stick to his comfortable routine. It’s Tim who insists he come to the Queer Alliance’s Rainbow Mixer.
At the mixer, Kenn meets David Burgundy, a new-to-town TA who is working on his masters. Dave is drawn immediately to Kenn and is thrilled when Kenn offers to show him the best pizza place in town. One meal leads to two, which leads to Dave and Kenn spending most of their free time together… and Kenn loosening his self-imposed rules regarding dating and sex for some kinky fun.
Kenn’s ex isn’t going to just let Kenn be, though, and the happier Kenn is with Dave, the less the ex likes it. Will Kenn continue to run away from his past, or will his relationship with Dave help him face it head-on?

I loved Educating the Professor by Sean Michael. I love reading Sean’s books when I’m in the mood for a book with lots of chemistry between the main characters and lots of kinky scenes. This book started out as more of a slow buildup toward the sexy times, but the book also had more of a plot than some of the other books that I have read by this author. If I had to improve on anything in the book, I would have liked to know more about what happened to Kenneth’s ex. The last time we saw him, he was ready to hit Kenn, and the police had been called, but we don’t know if he went to jail or if he backed off and gave up or even if the harassment from the private investigator that his ex had hired was still bothering them. I’m not entirely sure that they needed to be in the book, but like I said before, the book had more of a plot than some of the others. The ending and epilogue just didn’t answer all of my questions about what had happened. There were other parts of the book that definitely made up for the missing answers, like when Kenneth gets his piercings and all of their fun weekends together.

Kenneth had been verbally and physically abused by his ex-husband when he was caught watching what his husband considered perverse videos. He’s told repeatedly that what he wants is perverse and he was beaten until he couldn’t move because of it. He managed to run away and get a divorce, but it’s been over three years, and he’s still being harassed by his ex, which makes sense since he told him that he would make sure that he would forever be alone. So naturally he hasn’t been looking for a relationship, and he’s been relatively happy with just his teaching job and his friendship with his bestie, Tim.+

I loved Tim. He was the perfect best friend, bubbly, happy, and forcing his bestie to get out and do things like going to the Queer Alliance’s Rainbow Mixer. It’s at the mixer that he meets David Burgundy, a new-to-town TA who is working on his masters. They get to talking, and Kenn offers to show David around to all of the best places to eat. And they go from there to being friends with benefits to being in a relationship.

I loved how David is a Dom and has more experience than Kenn but he doesn’t rush Kenn into doing anything that he wasn’t ready to do, and I also loved how supportive he is in reassuring him that his desires aren’t perverse so long as they aren’t hurting anybody.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Fire and Agate” by Andrew Grey

TITLE: Fire and Agate
AUTHOR: Andrew Grey
SERIES: Carlisle Deputies
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: November 6, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback


A Carlisle Deputies Novel
When Chris Anducci is moved off jail duty and into the sheriff’s office, he doesn’t expect his first assignment to be protecting a witness against a human trafficking ring. Knowing the new sheriff doesn’t abide screwups, Chris reluctantly agrees to work the case.
Pavle Kasun has spent the last four years of his life at the mercy of others. When an opportunity presented itself, he took it, resulting in his rescue. Now the safe houses he’s placed in are being threatened and he needs protection if he is to have any sort of chance at a life.
Chris opens his home to Pavle, but he doesn’t expect Pavle and his story to get under his skin… and stay there. Soon they discover they have more in common than either of them thought. Slowly Pavle comes out of his shell and Chris finds someone who touches his heart. But as the men looking for Pavle close in, they will stop at nothing to get him out of the way. Even if Chris can keep him safe, he might not be able to protect his heart if Pavle moves back home.

Fire and Agate is the third book in the Carlisle Deputies series by Andrew Grey. I loved this book. I just couldn’t put it down. The writing style is easy to read and has an easy flow to it. Andrew Grey did it again with a wonderful plot and complex characters. I loved how Pavle and Chris interacted and the chemistry they had together. I also loved the supporting characters like Briggs, Pastor Tyrone and his family, Nanna, and the social worker, Marie. They were all there to help and support Pavle, and I thought that was wonderful. My only complaint with the story would be that they don’t say who the leak in the sheriff’s department was. Otherwise, I loved how the story ends.

Chris Anducci has recently moved from jail duty to working in the sheriff’s office. He doesn’t expect his first assignment to be protecting a witness against a human trafficking ring. Even though he doesn’t have a lot of experience protecting people, he knows that the new sheriff doesn’t abide screw-ups and so Chris reluctantly agrees to work the case. He has no idea just how much he will come to admire and care for the young man that he’s assigned to protect. I loved how he puts aside his attraction and makes sure that he never does anything to distress Pavle.

Pavle Kasun has spent the last four years of his life at the mercy of others. When somebody finally moves in next door, it’s the opportunity that he’s been waiting for and it ends up resulting in his rescue. However, the safe houses that he’s been placed in are being threatened by people that don’t want him to testify. He’s going to need protection if he’s to have any chance at a life. I really enjoyed Pavle. He has a spine of steel and doesn’t let what’s happened to him stop him from going after what he wants. He very much wants to live in the future and not the past. I loved his interactions with Nanna. They always made me laugh.

I loved that Chris opens his home to Pavle and how Pavle comes out of his shell and how Chris doesn’t turn his house into another jail when Pavle wants to go to church. I also loved how protective he is of Pavle when they realize that there’s a leak in the department. I just wished that we got to find out who the other leak was in the department besides the person who was named. And of course, I loved the chemistry between Pavle and Chris.

Overall, a great story and a great addition to the series. I can’t wait until the next book comes out.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis