Tag Archives: Dreamspinner

Audiobook Review: 5 Star Review for Rattlesnake by Kim Fielding #MM #Western @KFieldingWrites @dreamspinners

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Title: Rattlesnake
Author Name & Publisher: Kim Fielding (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: August 31, 2015 – 80,000 Words

Synopsis

A drifter since his teens, Jimmy Dorsett has no home and no hope. What he does have is a duffel bag, a lot of stories, and a junker car. Then one cold desert night he picks up a hitchhiker and ends up with something more: a letter from a dying man to the son he hasn’t seen in years.

On a quest to deliver the letter, Jimmy travels to Rattlesnake, a small town nestled in the foothills of the California Sierras. The centerpiece of the town is the Rattlesnake Inn, where the bartender is handsome former cowboy Shane Little. Sparks fly, and when Jimmy’s car gives up the ghost, Shane gets him a job as handyman at the inn.

Both within the community of Rattlesnake and in Shane’s arms, Jimmy finds an unaccustomed peace. But it can’t be a lasting thing. The open road continues to call, and surely Shane—a strong, proud man with a painful past and a difficult present—deserves better than a lying vagabond who can’t stay put for long.

Review

FiveStars

This review is for the audiobook, read by K.C. Kelly.

This is yet another fantastic book by Kim Fielding, engaging and insightful. It’s also another great reading job by K.C. Kelly. He really brings this story to life.

Rattlesnake shows so much depth and understanding of human nature. There is a lot of wisdom woven throughout it in a very natural way. This is a story about home and belonging as well as the courage to love and be loved. Jimmy and Shane are great characters, both scarred and resilient. And their romance is bittersweet and sexy. I love how certain aspects of their stories are revealed subtly over time.

This book has a realistic and down-to-earth quality that makes it very engaging. As I’ve noticed in some other books by Kim Fielding, her characters aren’t supermodel types. It’s refreshing and endearing. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a realistic love story with depth.

Amanda

Excerpt

Their waitress appeared beside the table. “Anything else?” she asked Jimmy.

He didn’t want to go just yet. But his belly was full, and any further conversation with Shane was probably going to frustrate him. Already Jimmy wanted to reach across the table and touch Shane’s hair, maybe run a finger across his scars. “Just the check. Thanks.”

“Mine too,” Shane said, but his thoughts were clearly elsewhere. As soon as she took their plates away, he leaned forward. “You don’t have to go, do you? I mean, you’re not, um, on the run from the law, are you?”

That made Jimmy laugh. “I’ve done some stupid shit, but never bad enough to make me a fugitive.”

“If I Google you, I won’t find you on the Ten Most Wanted list?”

“Afraid not.”

“So.” Shane traced his finger through a bit of spilled sugar on the tabletop, worrying at his lip and not meeting Jimmy’s gaze. He finally looked up again. “So you could stick around here for a while. If you had a place to stay and a job.”

God damn it! You don’t hope. You don’t want. That only leads to destruction. But Jimmy felt himself nod. “I could. For a short time.”

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ONE 5 Star and ONE 4.5 Star Review (Audiobook) for Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts by Charlie Cochet #MM #Romance @CharlieCochet @Dreamspinners

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Title: Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts
Author Name & Publisher: Charlie Cochet (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: August 19th, 2015 — 68 pages

Synopsis

Julian “Quinn” Quinetro, a gruff, tough Miami SWAT officer, has been injured on the job, and all he’s looking for is a little peace and quiet to recover—difficult to achieve with his large Cuban family. An adventure in picking up his prescriptions puts him in the path of his geeky, brownie-baking neighbor, Spencer Morgan. Spencer sweeps into Quinn’s life like a tropical storm of sunshine and rainbows. Not surprisingly, it’s chaos at first sight. Quinn’s in need of a little tender loving care, and Spencer decides he’s just the man for the job. Their very different lives might clash, but they might also find some common ground—and maybe more.

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Review

FiveStars

Quinn is a funny, loves to cook in his free time, geeky, puts others first type of guy. He has had a crush on his next door neighbor for the past year. He finally formally introduced himself to Spencer after Spencer was shot when him and his SWAT team raided a home.

It is a disaster of a first meeting to say the least and I honestly was not sure if Soencer would want to see Quinn again after there first disastrous encounter.

This was really a good book. I was not a fan of Spencers friend Javier. He was really a jerk.

This was a great short story that flowed really well. There was no dull moments and I just wished it would have been longer. Great book.

Tosha

FourandHalfStars

This review is for the audiobook, read by Michael Stellman.

This is a sweet story, light and fun. And Michael really brings the story to life in his reading of it.

Quinn and Spencer are fun characters, and their progression from friends to lovers happens in a light-hearted and natural way. This book is focused much more on relationship building than on sex. So the sex scenes are well done and hot, but infrequent.

I highly recommend this to someone looking for a cute, low-angst romance.

Amanda

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TWO 5 star and TWO 4 star reviews for First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony @writershira {AUDIOBOOK} #MM #Romance @Dreamspinner

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Title: First Comes Marriage
Author Name & Publisher: Shira Anthony (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: January 15, 2016 — 262 pages

Synopsis

Their marriage was supposed to be all business….

When struggling novelist Chris Valentine meets Jesse Donovan, he’s interested in a book contract, or possibly a date. The last thing Chris expects is a marriage proposal from New York City’s most eligible bachelor!

Jesse’s in a pinch: to keep control of his company, he has to marry. So he has valid reasons for offering Chris this business deal. In exchange for living in a gorgeous mansion for a year, playing the doting husband, Chris gets all the writing time he wants and walks away with a million dollar payoff. Surely Chris can handle that. He can handle living with the most handsome and endearing man he’s ever met, a man he immediately knows he wants in the worst way and can’t have. Or can he?

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Review

FourStars

This review is for the audiobook read by John Solo.

I really enjoyed this story. I was pleasantly surprised to find twists and turns in what I thought might be a fairly predictable story. It was lighthearted, witty, and fun.
Chris and Jesse are well developed and lovable characters. And I found Jesse’s step-mother to be a really great supporting character. The story shows a side of romance that can be fumbling and awkward, crashing and burning at times. But something beautiful can still be salvaged from the wreckage.

This is read well by John Solo, but I don’t feel his performance of Chris’ voice really fits. It was enough of an issue for me that it took away slightly from what was a very enjoyable story otherwise.
All in all, I recommend this book, but I feel I would have enjoyed it more in text as opposed to audio.
~Amanda
FourStars

I’ve had reservations about Dreamspinners’ new Desires range and I managed to avoid them until I saw Shira Anthony’s name.  And while Harlequin romances were never my thing, I love Shira Anthony’s writing.  And I really enjoyed this story.
I acknowledge that this is full of implausible soap-opera cliches I expect from Harlequin.  Wealthy socialites, scheming mothers and second wives, the poor little rich boy… this is a complete guilty pleasure read.  But when you add Shira Anthony’s skills into the mix, the characters are realistic and interesting.  Our poor little rich boy is a steampunk /Sci Fi author working as a barista and I really liked him.  The supporting cast is perfectly crafted and I found myself fully invested in this romance.
So yes.  A simple, guilty pleasure,  this was a fun, fast read.  This is almost tongue in cheek drama with a slow burn romance and relatively little sex.  If you’re in the mood for feel-good fluff, if you’re looking for a book to read in the bath with a glass of white wine – this is just about perfect.  

~Sarah
FiveStars
This book was so amazing. Shira Anthony certainly out did herself on this one.

Chris is a struggling author who lives with his two best friends that engaged. He works as a barista during the day and writes at night or durning his spare time. He is trying to get a publishing house to pick up his trilogy but has yet been able to make that happen.

Jessie is a CEOS of the company his grandfather started and is a happy bachelor or so he he thinks. Jessie’s grandfather passed away and in his will he left the stipulation that Jessie had to marry someone by the one year anniversary of his passing or he would not inherit the company he was left in the will.

Chris meets Jessie at a reading he is doing of one of his books and Jessie and him become friends. Jessie proposes that Chris marry him to help him meet the stipulations of the will and in return for staying married to him for one year Chris will receive 1 million dollars and he can work on his books in the process.

Somewhere along the way Chris starts having feeling for Jessie but he pushes it away with excuse after excuse.

I have to say that I am truly amazed that Shira was able to pull this book off as amazingly as she did because I found myself rooting for Jessie and Chris as if I knew them personally. I am not ashamed that I cried more then a couple of times while reading this book. I felt the hurt and heartache that Chris and Jessie both felt and I also found myself smiling and cheering them on through the happiness.

This book honestly brought so many emotions in me and I felt as if the things going on in this book were happening right in front of me. That is not an easy feat but Shira was able to pull that off and then some. And the story line in this book was gripping and would not let you go till then end and even then I found myself wanting there to be more.

This was as I said an amazing book and I definitely would recommend this book to others

~Tosha
FiveStars

If you are trying to get into the M/M genre and really enjoy the Historical Romance story of hasty required marriage plot this is the book for you. I read a lot of genres and Historical Romance is one of my go-tos to unwind and drift away but I haven’t really been able to get into the M/M Historical books. This book is a great example of taking something very old and done a lot and making it feel very new. The author did an amazing job of blending two types of story and making one great book.

Jesse needs to marry to secure control of all he has known and worked for. Chris is a struggling author who catches Jesse’s eye. Enter now the quick courtship and hasty wedding. All the usual historical hang ups are evident in the story but done in a refreshing way that keeps you reading just waiting to see if these two can stumble along and find true love and get their HEA.

This story could have felt like just another contrived love story but the author did such a great job making what is an overdone story in the Historical M/F Romance genre feel all new and exciting. All the same components are there but Shira made them appealing again. As I said before if you are looking to see if you like the M/M genre and have enjoyed Historical Romance, this book is a good one to start with. The chemistry between Jesse and Chris is hot and a good introduction to M/M for Historical book lovers. Definitely give this one a try. I know I will be reading more from this author in the future.

~Jessica

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FOUR 5 stars and One 3.5 Star Reviews for A Solitary Man by Shira Anthony and Aisling Mancy #MM #Romance @WriterShira @AislingMancy @Dreamspinners

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Title: A Solitary Man
Author Name & Publisher: Shira Anthony & Aisling Mancy (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date: November 6, 2015 — 304 pages

Synopsis

Sparks fly when Chance meets tall, sexy Xav at a Wilmington bar and they have the hottest one-nighter of their lives. But Chance doesn’t do repeats, Xav seems detached, and they go their separate ways without a word. Two months later, when closeted Assistant District Attorney C. Evan “Chance” Fairchild meets Dare’s Landing’s newest deputy sheriff, Xavier “Xav” Constantine, Evan isn’t only wary. He’s irritated as hell.

Xavier is a former FBI agent turned deputy sheriff who is hot on the trail of a South American child prostitution ring. Evan is fighting to put an end to rampant cocaine trafficking and chafing under the thumb of an election-hungry boss. When someone tries to kill the thirteen-year-old witness who holds the key to both their investigations, they’re forced to work together as they put their lives on the line to protect him. As Chance and Xav collide in heat of a sweltering North Carolina summer, dodging bullets and chasing bad guys isn’t the only action going on.

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Excerpt

Evan pressed the button on his phone to connect. “Freddy? What did you find out?”

Fred laughed. “For this, I’m going to exact a price.”

“You mean the keg I sprang for at graduation doesn’t get me a freebie?” Evan shot back.

“We’ve been out of law school for how many years now? Eight?”

“Nine this year,” Evan corrected.

“Credit’s no good anymore,” Fred answered. “I’m thinking dinner at Ivy at the Shore next time you’re in LA. On you, of course. Including a bottle of Veuve Clicquot.”

“For that,” Evan said with a chuckle, “this had better be good.”

“It’s good. And it was hell to get.”

“Okay, okay. Dinner on me. Assuming you and Margie put me up for the night,” Evan replied. “I’m looking forward to seeing your McMansion.”

“Deal. Took a little digging. Seems your mystery man did some undercover work for the “And?”

“My buddy in the US Attorney’s office wouldn’t give details, but word is Constantine got fed up with the bullshit after a case went bad somewhere down in South America.”

“Drugs?” Evan asked.

“No. He dealt with human trafficking. Specifically, child sex trafficking. My friend says the guy’s good. He tried a few cases where Constantine was the government’s key witness. Knows his stuff. Works his ass off and gets into his work. I got the impression sometimes he gets a little too close.”

Now that was interesting. “Why?”

“Seems the guy’s rabid about protecting kids.”

“Any idea why?”

“Nothing anyone would tell me,” Fred replied.

Evan leaned back in his chair. At least Xav wasn’t a slacker, but it didn’t make Evan feel any better about the prospect of bumping into him at work. “Anything else?”

“Constantine grew up in LA, went to school in Boston.”

“Boston?” Even more interesting. So much for his initial assessment of Xav as a broceanographer.

“Yeah, you’ll love this.”

Evan could almost hear Freddy’s grin over the phone.

“He did undergrad at MIT. Mathematics major. Master’s in criminology from U Penn with an emphasis in cryptology. The FBI was probably falling all over itself to recruit him.”

No shit. This just got better and better. “What the hell’s a guy with that kind of background doing in North Carolina?”

“I could ask you the same question,” Fred shot back. “Of course, if you decide you want your own McMansion….”

“You couldn’t pay me enough to come to work for you,” Evan joked. Fred was serious—they’d had this discussion a half-dozen times before.

“Try me.” Fred paused for a moment and then asked, “This personal?”

Evan had no intention of telling Fred he’d slept with Xav. “Not personal.”

“’Cause word has it he’s gay,” Fred said. “Out but not advertising.” When Evan didn’t take the bait, Fred added, “But you already knew that, didn’t you?”

Evan shook his head and sighed theatrically. “Don’t even go there, Freddy. You know I don’t mix business and pleasure. I just want to know what I’m dealing with. That’s all.”

“You can’t bullshit a bullshitter, man.”

“Thanks for the help,” Evan said, foreclosing the topic. “I’ll let you know next time I’m out your way. Tell Margie she’s a brave woman.”

“Always do. Laters. And make sure you get your sorry ass out here soon.”

“Will do.” Evan disconnected the call and rubbed his mouth. Mathematics major at MIT and a master’s from U Penn? No wonder the FBI had recruited him. And he’d pegged Xav for a surfer!

What the hell are you doing in Dare’s Landing, Xavier Constantine?

Review

FiveStars

I absolutely loved this!  haven’t read a suspense story this well crafted in a very long time.  The characters are complex and perfectly developed.  The southern setting is beautifully painted – the authors’ North Carolina manages to be both perfectly charming and eerily claustrophobic.  The attention to detail is rare and thoroughly convincing.

 

This is a very powerful story.  The subject matter is dark.  Child abuse isn’t an easy topic and the writers don’t treat it lightly.  The details of the investigation are disturbing, but the authors refrain from sensationalism or unnecessarily gratuitous content.  I am thoroughly impressed by the research undertaken to craft such a realistic, compelling and sensitive story.

 

The characters in this book are complex and perfectly developed.   Xav is a brilliant leading man.  I love his complicated history, the surfer looks and the maths degree from MIT.   By starting the story with Xav’s final FBI case, readers get to see his action man side, as well as the slightly broken Xav as a Sheriff’s Deputy making a fresh start in North Carolina.   Chance is the perfect partner for Xav.  I love the way the investigation forces him to slowly reveal his personal experiences and become more than a suit.    Together, Xav and Chance are a formidable crime fighting duo and I’d love to see this book developed into a series.

 

My only issue with the book is the marketing of it.  The blurb was for an m/m romance.  I expected relationship angst, closets and troubled pasts.  In reality, this reads like a collaboration from Karin Slaughter, Patricia Cornwall and Michael Connelly.  Politics, federal agencies, human trafficking and murder.

 

Yes, Xav and Chance are gay – but it is much more difficult to find brilliant suspense writing than to find a decent m/m romance.  There are a few sex scenes and a few relationship moments in this story – but almost every suspense story includes a little romance.  Hell, even Kurt Wallander and Harry Bosch have love interests – and I’d much rather imagine Xav and Chance together than geriatric alcoholics enjoying younger women.

 

Anthony and Aisling are a brilliant writing pair and they have created a story that will appeal to a mainstream audience far beyond the traditional m/m romance market.

~Sarah

FiveStars

Wow!  I absolutely LOVED this story.  It was well done, crafted with the utmost care.  The characters were both well developed, but not so developed that you couldn’t use your own imagination as well.  The secondary characters were just as developed and helped in the story so much, that I didn’t really feel they were secondary characters at all.

You have Xavier, who decides that he has had enough of the politics – he wants to solve the case that has been plaguing him.  He moves to North Carolina and heads a task force set to find missing boys who have been abducted to be sold in to child sex trafficking rings.

Then you have Chance Evan (Chance) who is struggling to figure out how he can change the world.  Despite his ability to work in a lucrative area, he chooses to work for the DA.  His own past has dictated his present life and when they collide, he has some difficulty figuring out how to endure.

When you put these two together, not only are they explosive in their ability to work with each other, but they have a slow, simmering chemistry that is nurtured and cared for throughout the story.  Anthony and Mancy did an amazing job at showing a real, unrushed courtship that, even without the most ideal circumstances, wins out.  So, while this story was blurbed as a romance, I would say this is more of an action book, with a little romance thrown in.

The mystery was carefully developed and despite my guessing the ending a little more than half way through, it in no way diminished my ability to enjoy the story.  I love story’s that allow me to think I know what happened, only to make me read through the whole thing, just to make sure.  There is nothing I love more than to guess, keep reading and have that “fist in the air, Ah-Ha, I was right” moment.

This was an amazing story and I would love to read other stories by these two amazing authors.

AvidReader

FiveStarsOMG This book was so good!
I will admit at first I was not sure how I would feel about it but these authors blew me out of the water with this book!
This is where I will give a warning that there is abuse described in this book that may be hard for some to read. I know it was hard for me to read but I felt the way the author handled it was very good.
In this book you get Xavier who has been working to find and help children that have been kidnapped and trafficked. Something happens on a mission he is on and which makes him decide to go somewhere different and help them there were a lot of children have gone missing.
Chance or “Evan” depending on his mood is a DA who is working on the sudden influx of drug trafficking and fighting demons from his past. After so resistance he decides to help Xavier and just wow!
There was so much action in this book and some angst too! There was also steam between these two MC’s too. I felt these authors did a awesome job with this story and bringing to light what happens with children trafficking that we may not hear a lot about but which really needs to be stopped! I also loved the way these authors wrote these characters between Xavier’s need to help this children who are victims of something terrible to his caring nature. Then there was Chance with so much pain in his past which keeps him from opening up to his need to help and his opening up to caring for these children who have been hurt to caring for Xavier and wanting him in his life. You also meet a lot of different characters in this book.
I have to say the way these authors grabbed me with this story and I could not put this book down until the end! This book honestly blew me out of the water and any doubts I had were gone as soon as I started reading this!

All together I 100% loved this book!
I would recommend this book!

~Kara

ThreeandHalfStars

If you like your M/M books with a lot of romance and love scenes this is not the book for you. The story line was good but there were a lot of details and at times I found myself skimming. I didn’t feel any chemistry between the two main characters either. I was waiting patiently for a spark and for more of a deeper connection between them but it never happened. The “who done it” was obvious to me right off the bat but it just took forever for the story to unfold.

Angie

FiveStarsThis book was excellent and I loved it but that comes as no surprise to me as I love Shira Anthony’s Blue Notes Series. The characters were well thought out and very complex especially Chance. This book had mystery and suspense, it also had references to child sex trafficking. The authors brought this to the forefront and handle it with care. The authors seemed to write really well together and I would definitely like to see more from this collaboration of authors. 

~Lynn

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, 5 Star, Angie, AvidReader, Kara, Lynn, M/M, Review, Sarah

TWO 5 Stars for Redeeming Hope (Home for Hope #1) by Shell Taylor #MM #Romance @dreamspinners

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Title: Redeeming Hope (Home for Hope #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Shell Taylor (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: October 5, 2015 – 205 pgs

Synopsis

Fifteen years ago Elijah Langley’s world came to an abrupt halt with the death of his high school boyfriend. He keeps his past—and his sexual orientation—hidden until he attends a fundraiser for The Center for HOPE, an LGBT youth center, where he meets Adam Lancaster, HOPE’s infuriatingly stubborn and sexy founder.

A survivor of a turbulent childhood, Adam understands better than most the challenges his youth face. He’s drawn to Elijah’s baby blues and devilish smile but refuses to compromise his values and climb back into the closet for anyone—not even the man showering time and money on HOPE. Months of constant flirting wear down Adam’s resolve until he surrenders to his desires, but Elijah can’t shake his demons.

When a youth from the center is brutally assaulted, Elijah must find a way to confront the fears and memories that are starting to ruin his life, so he can stand strong for those he loves.

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Review

FiveStars

To start of the review I want say I really loved this book!
You get your sweet with Elijah and Adam but not too much. I know the Elijah makes mistakes in this book everyone in life does, no one is perfect so when everyone kept giving him attitude about it and at least this is the way I saw it.. Kicking him when he was down it really irritated me. Yes what he did was wrong but he apologized and admitted when he was wrong. At first I was not a fan of what he did but when he owned up to what he did I really felt bad for what he went through and how he really did not have anyone there at the time to support him. So yes that part really drove me nuts but other than that I really loved this book! I think there is just that fine line with a book for me when a MC will forgive too easy or when they don’t forgive the other MC for the longest time, when you can’t help thinking all right already forgive him lol.  So if you can’t tell the author really grabbed me and pulled me into this book were I could not put it down once I started.
I really loved Adam and Elijah together, they just fit so well together. I also really loved how much Elijah was there for Kollin and how much he really cared for him.
So with this book you get your angst and your sweet but not to much, the perfect amount.
So all together I really loved this book except for that one part that drove me nuts lol.
I would definitely recommend this book!
Kara
FiveStarsI absolutely loved this book. It was my first read by this author and I loved everything about it. The writing was amazing and very easy to read and the characters were amazing also. Great character development which made me not want to put the book down. I immediately identified with Adam and Elijah and love the interaction between them. I also loved the whole supporting of LBGT youth and it got very emotional at times, but that is to be expected when dealing with the problems of LBGT youth. The secondary characters were also very well developed. I would recommend this to everyone and can’t wait for the next installment. Hope it comes out soon as the ending of the book kind of leaves you hanging.
~Lynn

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3.5 stars for But for You (A Matter of Time #6) by Mary Calmes #MM #Romance @Dreamspinners

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Title: But for You (A Matter of Time #6)
Author Name & Publisher: Mary Calmes (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: October 12, 2012 — 242 pages

Synopsis

Jory Harcourt is finally living the dream. Being married to US Marshal Sam Kage has changed him—it’s settled the tumult of their past and changed Jory from a guy who bails at the first sign of trouble to a man who stays and weathers the storm. He and Sam have two kids, a house in the burbs, and a badass minivan. Jory’s days of being an epicenter for disaster are over. Domestic life is good.

Which means it’s exactly the right time for a shakeup on the home front. Sam’s ex turns up in an unexpected place. A hit man climbs up their balcony at a family reunion. And maybe both of those things have something to do with a witness who disappeared a year ago. Marital bliss just got a kick in the pants, but Jory won’t let anyone take his family away from him. Before he knew what it felt like to have a home, he would have run. Not anymore. He knows he and Sam need to handle things together, because that’s the only way they’re going to make it.

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

Oh Jory, Jory, Jory.
I have a love/hate interest in this character. I love him cause he’s so weird, but hate him cause everyone loves him. Mostly everyone falls for him in all the series. And I keep thinking that he’d make a great girl. lol
Still, I read the 6th book because Sam is hot and with Jory, it’s hotter. Man, wish I can find a guy like Sam. His intense love for Jory borders on scary, but my romantic heart is like “hot damn.” Haha. This installment in the series involves more kidnapping, Jory, family reuinions, Jory, kids, Jory…
I liked it despite not having much of a plot til the end. Something to read on a rainy day and when I feel like picking up a book about a pretty weird main character with a sexy partner like Sam. Ok….I read this because of Sam. Lucky Jory. If there’s a 7th book, I’m addicted enough to read it. ;P
~Cookie

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3 stars for The Mating of Michael (Sex in Seattle #3) by Eli Easton @dreamspinners #MM #disability #contemporary

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Title: The Mating of Michael (Sex in Seattle #3)
Author Name & Publisher: Eli Easton (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: June 30th, 2014 — 240 pages

Synopsis

Note: This can also be read as a stand-alone title.

Everyone admires Michael Lamont for being a nurse, but his part-time work as a gay sex surrogate not only raises eyebrows, it’s cost him relationships. Michael is small, beautiful, and dedicated to working with people who need him. But what he really wants is a love of his own. He spends most of his spare time reading science fiction, especially books written by his favorite author and long-time crush, the mysteriously reclusive J.C. Guise.

James Gallway’s life is slowly but inexorably sliding downhill. He wrote a best-selling science fiction novel at the tender age of eighteen, while bedridden with complications of polio. But by twenty-eight, he’s lost his inspiration and his will to live. His sales from his J.C. Guise books have been in decline for years. Wheelchair bound, James has isolated himself, convinced he is unlovable. When he is forced to do a book signing and meets Michael Lamont, he can’t believe a guy who looks like Michael could be interested in a man like him.

Michael and James are made for each other. But they must let go of stubbornness to see that life finds a way and love has no limitations.

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Review

ThreeStar

I have some really mixed feelings about this. There were parts I loved and thought were wonderful, and there were parts that made me want to scream in frustration.

If it were not for the things I disliked, this would have been a fantastic romance. I appreciated the way James’ feelings about his disability were handled, and I loved how he and Michael were together. Seeing both of them slowly unfold was terrific.

While it may not have appealed to some, I thought the sex surrogacy aspect was also interesting. It’s not a subject often discussed. This was one time when I felt it made sense that Michael was keeping it a secret, and it made for some good tension.

The sex scenes between Michael and James were terrific. They were really steamy but not too descriptive for my personal taste. They were also intensely loving, which is one of my favorite types. Great combination of sweet and hot, and I thought James’ feelings throughout were woven in very well.

That said, I think some of those things were still handled far less delicately than they should have been. First, Michael stalked James–which is really creepy. He also definitely had a “thing” for people with disabilities, regardless of how much he tried to avoid saying it directly. I found him really condescending toward his clients.

I was really annoyed with the way Michael’s job as a nurse was portrayed. A nurse working in people’s homes generally does not spend 8 hours with a single client on weekdays only, and I have never heard of a high schooler being hired as a nurse’s aide, particularly with absolutely no training. It threw me out of the story because it was so unrealistic.

The whole huge blow-up between Michael and James was really ridiculous, and despite it being entirely Michael’s fault, his “minions” showed up to badger James into taking him back. It really felt like they all had decided they knew better than the disabled person, which is a big, fat no for me. The epilogue was cringe-worthy for a lot of the same reasons.

I’m past the point where I want to give points just for writing about disability. I would love for it to be written about in a way that doesn’t imply only a certain type of person could ever love someone disabled (for example an empathetic sex surrogate). This story gets thumbs up for the middle part being romantic, sweet, and sexy and thumbs down for the rest, so it averages out.
~AmyM

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