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***

divider

Review: “Geoffrey” by Catherine Lievens

TITLE: Geoffrey
AUTHOR: Catherine Lievens
SERIES: Gillham Pack
PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
COVER ARTIST: Latrisha Waters
GENRE: Paranormal; Shapeshifter;
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 119 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 1, 2017
PRICE: $ 4.99 -e-book / $ 6.00 -paperback
  

BLURB:

Sometimes you have to accept what life gives you without questions.

Geoffrey’s life is normal—or it would be, if most of his friends weren’t members of the Gillham pack. He loves the pack, though, and when he finds an injured woman and three babies, he agrees right away to take care of the oldest one, Mingan. It’s the least he can do, and maybe it’ll help him get closer to William, his mate.

William thought he’d never trust another man, not after what his best friend and lover did to him seven years before. He tries to resist the bond that pulls him close to Geoffrey, but Geoffrey is stubborn, and he doesn’t take no for an answer.

William has no doubt Geoffrey will eventually wriggle his way into his life, but will he be able to get past the wall William built between himself and the rest of the world? What will Mingan’s presence mean for them and for their future? And what will happen when Mingan’s father tries to get him back?


I had the pleasure of reading Geoffrey by Catherine Lievens. It’s the first book that I have read of the Gillham Pack series, so I decided to start with the 21st book in the series, cause why not?

It had a beautiful cover and an intriguing blurb, and I’m glad that I gave it a chance. The authors writing style is easy to read, and she did a great job of explaining who everybody is without having to read all of the other books in the series first. I also love that the main character’s name is the title of the book so that I can easily go back and read about the other characters that intrigued me. The book was also nicely edited which always makes me happy.

Geoffrey was a loveable character. He’s human, but he has a lot of friends in the Gillham pack and works in town at a flower shop with his friend Ethan from the Gillham pack. He has recently learned that he’s also the mate of William and will now become part of the pack himself.

William has a lot of issues that he hasn’t dealt with. He was betrayed by his best friend and lover seven years ago, and it’s left him with major trust issues. This has led him to be withdrawn from the pack and stay in his room playing video games and doing his job. He runs the phone hotline that shifter kids can call if they are in danger or being abused. He then sends out the needed resources to make sure the kid gets to where they need to be. But he’s very much a loner. He’s also painfully shy and blushes over everything. Which I think is adorable.

I loved that Geoffrey found the woman and the three kids and that they were able to help them and that the oldest child Mingan bonded with Geoffrey and William. I loved how it help bring them together and brought William out of his shell and forced him to interact with his mate. I also loved that Geoffrey never got mad at William or tried to force him to do something that he wasn’t ready for.

I wasn’t 100% sure on the dynamic of the relationship between Geoffrey and William on who’s supposed to be the alpha and who’s the omega. It wasn’t clearly defined. Geoffrey’s smaller than William and likes to bottom so I would assume omega but Geoffrey’s also headstrong and doesn’t let William push him around or lock him out. Which makes me think alpha. And with how shy William is and how inexperienced he is with topping. I would almost say that William is the omega. But like I said it isn’t clearly defined. But either way, I enjoyed both of them and their alpha/omega characteristics. It worked for them and the story.

I absolutely loved the ending and how it gave us a hint of who the next book is going to be about. And I already have it on my TBR to be read. I can’t wait to start reading it.

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

divider

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****

divider

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****

divider

Review: “Falling Hard: Stories of Men in Love” by Dale Cameron Lowry

TITLE: Falling Hard
AUTHOR: Dale Cameron Lowry
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Terrestrial Press
COVER ARTIST: Terrestrial Press
GENRE: Anthology
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 172 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 11, 2017
PRICE: $5.99 – e-book
  

BLURB:

Nine of Dale Cameron Lowry’s best short romance stories, available for the first time in one book.

Part 1: Falling Fast

Warm up with whirlwind romances that last.

Mi Alma — Ex-Mormon Alma Larsen doesn’t know the first thing about alcohol, so he hires bartender Damian Banks to help out at his winter holiday party. They build a friendship that simmers with sexual tension—and possibly something much deeper. Will this Christmas bring them both a love that lasts?
Loggerhead — Soon after they fall in love, Jake makes Eric a promise inspired by an old track uniform. But demanding work schedules at Jake’s four-star restaurant and Eric’s newspaper keep them from following through. Six years later, they take the honeymoon they never had, heading to the Florida coast in search of sea turtles—and rekindling their passion for each other in the process.
Reading the Signs — The only thing twenty-three-year-old Theo De Jong expects when he enrolls in a summer school for linguists in New Mexico is to get more ideas for his master’s thesis in Dutch Sign Language. But then he meets the American sign language expert Alfonso Grossman, and sparks fly.

Part 2: Falling Fantastically

Because reality is overrated, these stories have elements of the fantastical.

Born of Fire — The fairies on Ireland’s north coast are notorious for kidnapping, and Aodhán of County Donegal has the scars to prove it. When the fairies abduct the handsome youth Cainnech, Aodhán seeks to free him—but risks losing his health and Cainnech in the process.
Ghost of a Chance — When shy Jeremy Anderson meets mysterious and dapper Frank at his spooky old university library, their connection is instant. Their romance waxes with the full moon—but just as quickly, Frank’s interest seems to wane. He insists that he loves spending time with Jeremy, but then why does he keep Jeremy at arm’s length?
Far From Home — Rajiv met and fell in love with his husband, Mateo, when they were both members of the scientific team responsible for transforming Mars into a home suitable for humans. But years into their shared mission, Rajiv is ordered back to Earth to restore the barren lands of the American Midwest. With a little help from technology, the two men find innovative ways to nurture their long-distance relationship while they wait to reunite.
Sweeter Than Blood — Keith was a vegan before a hot encounter with a stranger turned him into a vampire. In the year since, his sire, John, has tried to make up for the mistake by teaching Keith everything he knows about being a non-murderous bloodsucker. But temptation is strong in the form of Andres, a regular customer at the barbershop where Keith works. When Andres finally asks Keith on a date, the real danger begins.

Part 3: Falling Deep

The deeper the love, the hotter the intimacy.

Rough Love — Blake thinks new boyfriend Michael doesn’t like French kissing. Michael thinks Blake doesn’t like rough sex. Neither are virgins, except in the art of conversation. Can they set things straight before the honeymoon’s over?
Pacific Rimming — On Mike’s fortieth birthday, his husband, Ken, takes him on vacation to Vancouver Island in Western Canada to celebrate. While Mike mourns his loss of youth, Ken encourages him to recapture it by bedding a gorgeous twenty-something man they encounter while hiking in Pacific Rim National Park. A night of no-holds-barred passion among the three men reveals a sizzling chemistry, and when Mike and Ken return home they find themselves longing to reconnect with the young Jason. Can what started as a one-night stand transform into a threesome that lasts?


This review is a bit tough. There are nine stories in total in this collection. They run the gambit from little to no sex to multiple sex scenes. They run first-person to third-person depending on the story. I have to say they are all well written, great little reads! If you’re looking for a quick nighttime read before bed, this is a great choice. If you only have 20 minutes between errands or meetings, this one is easy to pick up and read one fast-paced story and go on with your day. Dale seems to lean toward the novelette and anthologies so keep that in mind!

Part 1: Falling Fast – short whirlwind stories

Mi Alma 4*s

I’m not normally a fan of foreign language in a book. However, this author did it right in our first story. When he used Spanish, he also added the verse in italic English! For a quick little journey, I was delighted with the characters and the ending. As the reader, you don’t have a chance to get too involved with Alma and Damian. However, I found myself awing by the end.

Loggerhead 4*s

Dale gives the reader a quick look at how Jake and Eric met and fell in love, then moves quickly to six years later. The characters are also in their mid-lives which is a treat from all the younger characters out there in the genre right now. I like these types of stories that move forward to let the reader know where they are now. Most of us can relate to the dulling of love because of work and life, but he shows the reader that people can reconnect and find that first spark again in this short. And who doesn’t love turtles?

Reading the signs 3.5*s

This quick story gives us a look into the lives of Theo De Jong of the Netherlands and Alfonso Grossman of the United States. Both are at the University of New Mexico, for an international linguistics summer program. Theo is doing a comparative study of the dialects for his master’s thesis. Theo has read Dr. Grossman’s work and has an intellectual crush on him that also turns to a physical crush when he meets him in person. They end up having a two-week affair where they do everything together. After going their separate ways, they keep in touch. Theo figured they would eventually drift apart and find other love interests, but after six months, Theo is still just as much in love with Alfonso as he ever was. And when he finds out that he will be doing his doctoral fellowship in Boston which is only 90 minutes away from where Alfonso lives, he has to find out how Alfonso feels about him and whether he wants to continue their relationship. The story was really cute, had some love scenes but nothing graphic. But the story left me wanting more of this cute couple. It felt like the first part of a series.

Part 2: Falling Fantastically – stories that don’t follow normal realities

Born on fire 4.5*s

This short story filled my love of Ireland and the fairy folk who were notorious for stealing infants and switching them with old Changelings. Aodhán, who was accidentally burned by his mother as an infant and Cainnech. Even with his disfigurement, Aodhán led a full life as a great basket weaver. While traveling to sell his baskets, he falls asleep by a fairy mound one Midsummer’s Eve and sees a handsome face in the full moon that he falls in love with. The fairy people also enchant him. After spending so much time with them, he forgets his human life and thinks he is a fairy. On Halloween, they decided to kidnap a handsome human to join them. They find the perfect specimen in Dublin and kidnap Cainnech who is battling the grippe. The fairies cure Cainnech’s illness the same way that they had cured Aodhán’s disfigurement. Seeing Cainnech brings back all of Aodhán’s memories of his human life and he doesn’t want to go with the fairies any longer. He takes them back to his family home, and the fairies take their revenge by taking back their cures. Aodhán nurses Cainnech back to health, but will Cainnech still love Aodhán when he sees the real him for the first time? I loved that this story had an epilog that tied up the story nicely. Really great short story.

Ghost of a Chance 4*s

Dale brings us a cute story about a ghost (Frank) whose unfinished business is growing old with a man he loves and a college senior (Jeremy). I thought it was a very original storyline that Frank’s body followed the moon’s cycle. When it’s full, then he has a warm solid body and when it wanes then so does the solidness of his body. However, strong emotion allows Frank to have a solid body for a while. Although he only has a warm body during the full moon. This story was a little more explicit which made me happy, and I enjoyed all of the flirting that Frank and Jeremy did. This story inspires happy feelings.

Far from Home 5*s

Wow. This short story is a keeper. It’s a story about Mateo and Rajiv. They’re married, but they have been terraforming two different planets for the last two years. Mateo is on Mars and Rajiv is on Earth. They were last physically together seven months ago for their two-week vacation. They have another month to go before another vacation and then one more year before they’re up for new assignments. They hope to get assigned to the same station. This short story is about one of their Skype calls that turns into a very explicit call. I loved the TTASS – or temperature, texture and shape simulator – and how it used a combination of probes and ultra-high-frequency sonar to map three-dimensional images similar to the nerve signals that dart from skin to brain when a person touches something. So it is like touching a live copy of his husband when they make love. So much better than the standard phone sex or skyping calls. Perfect short story to read just before bed.

Sweeter than Blood 3*s

This short story is about vampires. John accidentally changed Keith during a bathroom hook-up at a gay club, and now Keith doesn’t want anything sexual to do with his sire. Keith has a crush on one of his customers at the barbershop where he works. I enjoyed the chemistry between Keith and Andre during the erotic cut and shave that Andre came in for and their hook-up later that night. But the hook-up ended up going further than it was supposed to and Andre beat Keith off of him and kicked him out. Keith goes back to John and tells him what happened and then because the blood has made him horny hooks up with John. Although the story was explicit and kinky, I found Keith to be wishy-washy about what he wants and how easy he gives up on and replaces the person he had a crush on. Maybe if the story was longer, we could have seen if he was able to work things out with Andre or not. Not a bad story just not my favorite.

Part 3: Falling Deep – a little more in-depth stories

Rough Love 5*s

Yep, this short story hit the spot. I love when two men can communicate what they want in a relationship, and that’s what Blake and Michael do. They communicate when Michael is unhappy with their sex life and finds that Blake has been holding back for doing what he would normally do which is give it to the guy hard and rough. He was under the mistaken impression that making love had to be slow and gentle. This story is definitely explicit and had me squirming. I will definitely be reading this college story again.

Pacific Rimming 5*s

Yep, this one is also a keeper. Mike and Ken are married and on vacation on Vancouver Island to celebrate Mike’s 40th birthday. Ken is Deaf and Mike is the hearing child of Deaf parents. Ken and Mike occasionally bring a third to the bedroom since Ken is a top only and Mike likes to do both. They meet Jason while out bird watching, and Ken and Mike immediately feel an attraction to Jason. But he runs off before they can exchange numbers. They end up running into each other on the beach later and decide to meet later that night. After a very explicit and hot night, Jason has to leave the next day. They exchange numbers for keeping in touch and realizing they are both from Chicago. They continue to date, and finally, after a year of being together, they end up back on Vancouver Island for a commitment ceremony of their own. I loved how balanced the relationship was and how Mike and Ken loved Jason just as much as they loved each other.

*** 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 ***

divider

Review: “Sealed with Beauty” by Caitlin Ricci and A.J. Marcus

TITLE: Sealed with Beauty
AUTHOR: Caitlin Ricci and A.J. Marcus
SERIES: Signed, Sealed, Delivered
PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
COVER ARTIST: Angela Waters
GENRE: Paranormal; Shapeshifter
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 44 pages
RELEASE DATE: March 3, 2017
PRICE: $2.99 -e-book
  

BLURB:

Can beauty tame this wild beast?

To his family, Elan is something precious and beautiful to be secreted away and protected at all costs. He’s never allowed to be alone and his only hope of freedom is when his parents decide to mate him off. He’s felt like a prisoner for years, and he’s sick of it. He’s a hawk, and he just wants to fly away.

Raja was badly burned in a magical fire, and his scars have left him feeling like a monster. He lives a life of isolation, only interrupted by his father’s insistence that he get out and explore the world and stop letting his physical appearance limit him. At his wit’s end, his father decides to mate him to Elan, a man Raja could never hope to attract the attention of on his own.

Elan wants his freedom, and Raja only wants to be left alone. It should be a simple arrangement where they both get exactly what they want, only falling in love is never so easy, especially when it comes to a beauty and a beast.


Sealed with Beauty’s a cute Beauty and the Beast adaptation. There’s just something special about reading a book where a character with a heart of gold ends up helping a tormented and troubled soul find his way back to the light and happiness that just gives me warm and fuzzy feelings and this book gave me those feelings. My only complaint was that I didn’t want it to end. It’s unfortunately only a short story.

Raja, a bear shifter, has become reclusive after being burned by magic fire and sustaining scars over a lot of his body. He can’t stand for anybody to see how monstrous he’s become and so he covers as much of his body as he can if he’s going to be around anybody including his family.

Elan, a hawk shifter, has a huge overly protective family that will do anything to keep his purity intact before he is mated. Elan’s tired of constantly being watched and told what he can and can’t do. Elan’s tired of being stifled and can’t wait to be mated so he can have some freedom.

Not wanting his son to be lonely anymore, Raja’s father arranges a mating for him so that when he dies his son will have somebody to share his life with. However, Raja has other ideas for after he’s married and has no intentions of interacting with his new mate and wants a marriage in name only after the marriage is consummated. Elan has just as many ideas for his new mated life, and it includes having a partner, lover and best friend.
I loved the interactions between Raja and Elan when they first meet and after they are mated. I loved when Elan nicknamed Raja “Grumpy butt” and how he stood up for himself and refused to be bullied and refused to have a mate that wouldn’t interact and do things with him.

The storyline and plot were great, and so was the editing, but I would have liked the story to be longer. I wanted to read more about Raja and Elan after they were mated, like when they went out for the first time as a couple without Raja being completely covered up and stuff like that. I wanted to see how they developed as a couple and see how Raja blossomed into a confident guy again with Elan’s help.

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

divider

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***

divider

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***

divider

Review: “Beast: A Bear Mountain Story” by Kelex

TITLE: Beast: A Bear Mountain Story
AUTHOR: Kelex
SERIES: Project Zed
PUBLISHER: Twisted E Publishing
COVER ARTIST: K Designs
GENRE: Paranormal; Shapeshifter
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 161 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 20, 2017
PRICE: $3.99 -e-book
  

BLURB:

A shifter altered into a beast, transformed into a weapon…

Subject Z-701 has few memories. Kept in a drug-induced haze and controlled through neural transmitters, he’s let out of his cage when death and destruction is what’s desired.

Until an accident changes his fate.

Freedom beckons, but he finds himself in yet another cage. Without the drugs, the voices get louder, pushing him to the edge of his already precarious sanity.

If it wasn’t for him, the one person able to calm the voices and keep him from teetering into the abyss.

Samuel…

Tossed between heaven and hell, he must forge a path toward Samuel or be lost forevermore.

Project Zed is a spin-off series from the Bear Mountain series. Readers do not need to have red Bear Mountain prior to reading this book, but it is highly recommended.

This book is intended for a mature audience.


Beast is the first book in the Project Zed series by Kelex. It’s well written and nicely edited. The

Project Zed series is a branching off of the Bear Mountain series, and so if you have read the Bear Mountain series, then you know the background of most of the characters in the book. However, if you haven’t read the Bear Mountain series as I haven’t, the author does a great job of explaining all of the important people and who they are mated to under the author notes at the front of the book. I found this to be tremendously helpful, and I had no problem reading the book.
Project Zeb’s a top secret government project where shifters, were and full, are hunted and executed without the knowledge of the military/government as a whole. Covertly, some creatures have been captured and experimented on, with the desire to breed a super army. While it pulls from the U.S. military for operations, there’s a rumor it’s not run by the government at all.

Cal Miller or Subject Z-701 was kidnapped and experimented on. After splicing different DNA onto his bear shifter DNA and putting in a neurological device to be able to control him, he was made into the perfect soldier. Cal was kept in a cage for 40 years and only allowed out when death and destruction are what’s desired. All he could focus on is the revenge for the ones that have done this to him and the numerous voices in his head that are driving him insane.

Samuel’s a shaman for the reservation that’s north of Bear Mountain. He helps with enchanting the cage so that it can stand up to the monstrous beasts that they rescue. He also has an agreement to house the beast as they are rehabilitated, if they can be rehabilitated. Samuel’s drawn to Cal and wants to help him. And with the help of Bull, Killian, and Finn, they are able to calm the voices in his head and help him. But Colonel James Lore, who’s the head of Project Zed, wants Cal back.

I loved the chemistry between Cal and Sam, and I can’t wait to see who their third mate’s going to be. I do love that it looks like most mates are triad relationships between two shifters and a human. And I need to see what happens with the next beast to be rehabilitated. And what happens with Colonel Lore. I can’t wait to read the next book when it comes out to find out what happens next.

***The ARC was provided by Twisted E Publishing. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

divider

Review: “And After Death” by Nero Seal

TITLE: And After Death
AUTHOR: Nero Seal
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Self
COVER ARTIST: Nero Seal
GENRE: Dark, Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: NO
LENGTH: 42 pages
RELEASE DATE: October 21, 2016
PRICE: $0.99 -e-book
   

BLURB:

The world has died in 2025. The armies of zombies are tracing streets in the urge to satisfy the blood thirst. The probably last survivor in the whole world enters the abandoned house where finds the diary. The diary that reveals the horrible story of love and death, the last kindness in the world.

This story may contain content that is disagreeable or distressing to some readers.


I had a really hard time writing this review, and I had an even harder time after reading the other reviews that are about it. So, I will try to articulate what I did and didn’t like about And After Death.

The book was beautifully written and edited and even though it’s only 42 pages, the author has a way of drawing you in and making you feel like you are there experiencing what’s happening with the characters. The beginning of the story has our main character (sorry, I don’t know his name, and I guess, it really doesn’t matter, since this book is told in first person point of view) the last remaining survivor of the zombie apocalypse, trying to find food, water, and shelter for the night. He finds an abandoned house that has potential and checks it for zombies. The house seems to be empty, and although it has some food, it doesn’t have any running water. He does see a well out in the middle of the backyard and braves it to get some water. While checking out the house, he finds a diary and decides to pass the time by reading it.

I absolutely loved the diary entries, and they were told in a way that you couldn’t identify whether the person writing the diary was a male or a female. And I have to admit that I thought the writer was female which I had no problem with because the love that you could feel between the two people in the diary is what everybody is looking for. They were soul mates, and I loved it. I felt their love, and their heartache and I cried at least three times reading it. I loved the writer’s last request to put their loved one out of his misery because the writer wasn’t able to kill his zombie husband.

I even liked the main character up until this part. But when he went to fulfill the last request because he was moved by the story also, I just couldn’t handle the way that he reacted. I am sorry but his reaction to finding out that the couple was gay ruined the book for me. It made me feel like the love that the two people had for each other was invalidated because they were gay. Because you know that if the couple had been straight, he would have honored the last request. If it had been a paperback, I would have torn out the pages and rewritten the book in my mind. The book could have had a beautiful ending to the story, and so I can’t figure out why the author went the route that he did unless he was just going for a shocked reaction. Well, he got it. But now I am not sure if I am even willing to try and read any more of his work for fear that they will affect me as strongly.

Like I said I loved the book up until the last 10%, but that last bit just killed me. I sincerely hope that the main character ends up getting eaten by a zombie gay pride parade. That would be a fitting end for such a bigoted man.

***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***

divider