Covenant in Blood (Partnership in Blood Book 2) by Ariel Tachna

Dream spinner Presents:



Book Two in a Four Book Series. The wizards and the vampires have forged an alliance based on blood and magic, hoping to turn the tide of the war against the dark wizards. A few wizard-vampire bonds are as successful as Alain Magnier’s and Orlando St. Clair’s, but some are much less so, leading to arguments, resentment, and outright fights between the allies despite their mutual goals. Following his best friend Alain’s example, Thierry Dumont determinedly forms a partnership with vampire Sebastien Noyer, despite the wizard’s discomfort with being so close to a vampire a man so soon after his wife’s death. But they find that desperation may be the key to forming a covenant that works: Thierry and Sebastien are almost immediately devoted to one another’s safety. With new strength behind it, the Alliance’s leaders move to announce its existence to the whole world, hoping to rally support against the dark wizards who threaten to destroy life as they know it. Struggling to find its way in the expanding war, the Alliance discovers that despite its advantages, the partnerships are affecting the balance of magical power in the world, which may be an even bigger threat than the war itself.

Morgan’s Review

In this, the second book, we start to see where all those new relationships forged in book one are headed. There are so many, it’s sometimes hard to keep track. And they come in all flavors: m/m, m/f, f/f.

Orlando and Alain are growing closer day to day. Orlando is still a bit stand-offish, so scarred that it’s hard for him to let Alain in. Alain is becoming impatient and hurt by this seeming “rejection” and it briefly separates them. On the one hand, I too was feeling that Orlando was being ridiculous, but as Orlando points out, he was tortured for years and has been holding on to these feelings for years and the TEN days that he and Alain have been together, no matter the magic, can’t undo the damage that quickly.

Jude, the traditionalist is matched with Adele, the strong woman. It’s a clash of the centuries with him acting like a caveman and Adele showing him what a modern woman can do.

Thierry and Sebastian.   This is Sebastian coveting Thierry and Thierry feeling guilty over wanting someone so recently after his wife has died – and a man to boot.

Caroline and Mirielle are learning how to be a couple, with Caroline’s confidence blossoming under Mirielle’s care.

David the conservative is matched with Angelique the madam.  “Nuff said.

Raymond and Jean are two stubborn mules matched head to head.

The conflict part of the story also moves forward a little. We learn that there is magic to be gained from these vampire/warlock pairings and that when vampires feed while having sex that magic is restored faster than just from feeding alone.

Mostly, however, this very, very, very, very long book was about character development. It was a bit trying and confusing.  Luckily, for the most part, if you focus on the characters you most want to follow, you can still make sense of the storyline.  For example, I read in one review, “If there is a pairing you are uncomfortable with(i.e. m/f or f/f) , just skim their part!” I believe that’s mostly true. Very little would be lost if you ignored one couple, but the sex between couples is mostly Alain and Orlando. This is still mostly their story.

I think that a good editing would narrow this book down and we wouldn’t lose the interesting elements of the story.  With a little less detail (and perhaps a few less couples) the story would be cleaner and have a more immediate and strong impact.

As it stands, it’s kind of like Dickens.  You read through a lot to get a good story, but … you read through A LOT.

So, if you have a lot of patience and time, I recommend continuing on with this super creative series.

I’d give book two a 4 of 5 hearts, with points subtracted for length.






Alliance in Blood (Partnership in Blood Book 1) by Ariel Tachna

Dreamspinner Presents:



“Partnership in Blood Volume One”

Can a desperate wizard and a bitter, disillusioned vampire find a way to build the partnership that could save their world?

In a world rocked by magical war, vampires are seen by many as less than human, as the stereotypical creatures of the night who prey on others. But as the war intensifies, the wizards know they need an advantage to turn the tide in their favor: the strength and edge the vampires can give them in the battle against the dark wizards who seek to destroy life as they know it.

In a dangerous move and show of good will, the wizards ask the leader of the vampires to meet with them, so that they might plead their cause. One desperate man, Alain Magnier, and one bitter, disillusioned vampire, Orlando St. Clair, meet in Paris, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance of their decision: Will the vampires join the cause and form a partnership with the wizards to win the war?

Morgan’s Review

There is a war being waged by renegade wizards. The good wizards seek an alliance with the vampires who have had an animosity towards the wizards for years. In order to broker a peace agreement, the emissary for the wizards, Alain, agrees to have his blood sampled by the emissary from the vampires, Orlando, as an olive branch and also as a means to prove his sincerity and honesty. Instead of merely proving these, which it does, it also gives Orlando a burst of magic that is both erotic, and provides safety from the sun!

The bond between them is so strong that the couple quickly goes from allies to lovers. However, this is no simple case of “insta-love/lust”. Yes, they are both immediately and exaggeratedly attracted to each other, but Orlando has a long history of mistrust. His “maker” raped him and abused him in other ways, repeatedly, over years. Only by killing him did Orlando get free, though he is still crippled by the emotional scars left behind. Alain is a true and gentle soul who seeks only to make Orlando feel whole again, both for the sake of the alliance and for their budding relationship.

Meanwhile, the other wizards and vampires must find their own “pairing”. It is determined that this bond between Orlando and Alain can also be found with others (though not necessarily the deep, sexual bonding). They test one another and several couples emerge.

Once the couples are joined they begin their work to spread this knowledge among vampires and wizards and begin to build their part of the resistance.


This is the first of four books. It is a unique take on the “mate” that we see in a lot of paranormal books in that (at least at first blush) not every “mate” is a sexual partner. (That remains to be seen in further books.)

Orlando and Alain share a deep and instant, but very imperfect bond and it is clear that their struggle to overcome Orlando’s past will play an important role in the coming books.

The other couples look like they, too, will play important roles in upcoming story lines and some of the pairings are m/f and f/f.

The overall feel of this book is very dark and as some have said, “gothic”. The language is more formal and stilted, perhaps because it takes place in Europe, though it is in modern times.

These are long books. The world building is significant and lengthy. There is a fair amount of the “love story” but that is at least equaled by the “other”. IE The other couples, the war, the world building, etcetera.

I really like Alain. He’s just generous and giving and so sincere. It’s obvious how much he cares for Orlando already, though it’s only been days. The other couples are intriguing as well. Orlando is a bit much. He is moody and guarded and scarred. Something like a old, vampire, emo teenager. I am hoping we see him open up as the story evolves, and that we see him returning the adoration fed him by Alain. Right now it feels very lopsided.

Overall, this is a great start to a fascinating series with a very complex, dark and yet romantic world.

I give it 4 of 5 hearts



Speechless and The Gig by Kim Fielding

Dreampsinner Presents













Travis Miller has a machining job, a cat named Elwood, and a pathetic love life. The one bright spot in his existence is the handsome guitar player he sometimes passes on his way home from work. But when he finally gathers the courage to speak to the man, Travis learns that former novelist Drew Clifton suffers from aphasia: Drew can understand everything Travis says, but he is unable to speak or write.

The two lonely men form a friendship that soon blossoms into romance. But communication is only one of their challenges-there’s also Travis’s inexperience with love and his precarious financial situation. If words are the bridge between two people, what will keep them together?

The Gig

An accident in Drew Clifton’s past left the former novelist with aphasia, unable to communicate through either speech or writing. Through sheer strength of will, he built a quiet but lonely life for himself. But now he’s fallen in love with Travis Miller.

Travis has his own issues—a permanent eye injury and unemployment. But he’s determined to help Drew find ways to engage and succeed again in the wider world, and a guitar-playing gig at a local coffeehouse seems like a good start.

Dylan Warner and Chris Nock happen to be in the audience that evening, and they have a few niggling problems of their own. Perhaps a chance meeting will provide solutions that might benefit all of them.

Morgan’s Review

Wow! Just Wow!

First, Kim Fielding is an absolutely amazing writer. Both of these are short books, but they are so packed with emotion and powerful feels.

In Speechless we meet Travis, a one-eyed-gay-machinist who is scraping by, but very lonely. He walks home every day and sees a man playing guitar on his porch and becomes obsessed. He works up the nerve to finally talk to him, only to find out that Drew suffers from aphasia after a car accident. Drew can neither speak nor write but can listen and respond normally.

Despite the odds, Drew and Travis form a fast friendship. Drew listens and gestures while Travis chatters away. They soon realize they have a lot in common and in fact are quite attracted to one another.

Things are going great, they are slowly building a relationship, when disaster strikes and Travis is forced to either move to Omaha or lose his hard-won job. Travis, feeling like he can’t be a man if he isn’t working, elects to move, leaving both men broken hearted.

Fortunately, Drew’s sister intervenes and helps Travis to set his priorities straight and Travis moves back home to Drew.

In The Gig, we pick up the story where Speechless leaves off, only this time the focus is on Drew’s music. He’s performing for the first time in public and Travis is supporting him from in the audience.

As luck would have it, some nearby lovers overhear Travis’ lament at joblessness and offer him a job!

Though it took two books, we get our glorious HEA.


Though I have pretty much summarized the story lines for you I cannot begin to describe how amazingly touching these books are with just those phrases.

The deep, deep loneliness, the sense of hopelessness followed by the aching happiness that we see when the two are re-united is just amazing.

I found the aphasia fascinating (and so sad – Drew was a writer) and the fact that Travis just dealt with it like it was nothing was also amazing. I enjoyed learning about Drew’s coping mechanisms and the way his brain found to work out ways to communicate when others were taken.

You’ll be in tears when the lovers part and again when they reunite and it is so beautifully written you’ll want to ride that roller coaster again and again.

I can’t recommend these books high enough and give them 6 of 5 hearts!



Trusting Love by Mari Evans

From Dreamspinner:22745446

Laurie Stallon isn’t like other high schoolers. After suffering years of abuse at his father’s hands, he now lives in a foster care facility and finds solace volunteering at the local animal shelter. Laurie’s had to grow up fast, and even though his eighteenth birthday is still weeks away, he’s more adult than most adults he knows. When he meets Dr. Sam Davies, the new shelter veterinarian, the attraction is instant. They become friends at work, but Laurie knows Sam will never go for someone like him. No matter how Laurie tries to prove his maturity to Sam, Sam continues to reject him as too young.

Needing a distraction, Laurie goes out dancing for his birthday and finds his life in danger yet again. When Sam is called to the hospital, he realizes Laurie needs someone to care for him. Sam takes him home, and they slowly build a relationship. But more than their age difference works against them. Facing the disapproval of friends and the scars from Laurie’s past, they’ll need to put all their trust in love for a chance at a future together.

Kimi’s thoughts:

This book was one of those that you had to look deeper into the thoughts and actions of the characters or miss a lot of the subtext. On the surface, Laurie is at turns annoying, whiny, and a bit of brat. Sam is 27 to Laurie’s 18, and boy, does he feel it when this idea of Laurie surfaces. he gets annoyed, angry, and confuses his role as lover and protector with that of…ooops…an almost parental figure.  These are just that though, surface impressions quickly absorbed if you simply read the text and move on. Taking the time to mull over the scenes, I actually got a different picture.

Laurie is living in a shelter of sorts. He’s not had great personal experience with parental figures and once free of his own, has more or less stood on his own two feet. He works, pays his bills, buys his own clothes, does all the things that he thinks marks a responsible adult. He’s also caring, loving his friends and the animal he helps care for with an open sincerity. What he doesn’t have is a true understanding of how life actually works. He thinks he does, and his overprotective personal cheerleader friends aren’t much help in that regard as they are also young and wearing somewhat rose tinted glasses.

Laurie is unprepared for what he finds when he does take those first steps out into the real world of adults. The dangers one can face clubbing, the give and take of a healthy adult relationship, and even facing the truth of how one’s friends unintentionally obstruct your life are all lessons he ends up learning in short order. Up until meeting Sam and becoming involved with him, he’d managed to cover his insecurities and naivety with his quick wits and a show of snark. That is a shield that can only cover so much though, and Sam can see right through it. Sadly, Laurie’s own ego and his friends’ sense of overprotectiveness can’t either and they feed into each other.

I really felt for Sam when Laurie’s friends do their mental dance of vindication and sweep Laurie back to themselves and feed Laurie’s anger with their whispers. Sam and Laurie deserved better than that; Sam is no predator and Laurie deserves better than to be coddled as a victim and hoarded as the friend they don’t want to share. Ultimately, Sam has to face the precise nature of the mental trigger he tripped in Laurie to cause the reaction that started their big fight. Laurie has to face the fact that only he himself knows what he wants and needs and that his friends are not in his and Sam’s relationship and in fact are making well intentioned paving stones for his personal road to relationship hell. He has to face the fact that being an adult is not just about reaching a magic number of years or going through the motions of paying bills and what not, but about width and breadth of life experience in the wider world. It’s about not hiding and owning up to personal mistakes and seeing things from the other side. It’s about truly understanding trust and giving it.

It makes for a sweet romance filled with snark that’s also a tell of two men coming of age. Laurie, who takes his unsheltered first steps out into the real world and Sam who steps into the world of long term romantic relationships.  It’s not a perfect read, but this is the author’s debut novel and it is quite an enjoyable one, even if I did at times want to give Laurie and his friends a good shake. The fact that it got me that engaged in the story is a win as is the HEA.

Rating: 4




Brokedown Hearts (Foster Siblings #3) by Cameron Dane


From Loose-ID:

Ex-con David Joyner returns home knowing he must atone for his past sins. Working at an animal shelter, David keeps his head down, desperate to prove to a hostile town he’s a new man. The one time David looks up, he spots fellow motel dweller Ben, and is terrified by his attraction to the man. David doesn’t want to feel anything. He can only damage what he loves.

On a forced vacation, PI Ben Evans accepts a job to tail a recently released prisoner. What begins as an easy gig turns complicated when Ben, a controlled man, can’t deny the pang of empathy he feels for his subject, David. Ben can’t suppress his gut-deep sexual desires whenever he’s near David either.

Repeatedly crossing paths, David and Ben do their best to fight their growing attraction. When passion explodes, and secrets are revealed, both men have to conquer inner demons in order to accept the others love.

Someone has turned the tables on David, though, stalking him and leaving threatening notes. Will anyone believe David if he tells? And when David’s stalker raises the stakes, can Ben find the man who has become his world in time to save their love?

Morgan’s Review

David (who we met in A Fostered Love) was the stalker who tormented Christian and almost killed himself. He ends up going to prison and this story picks up after his release where he was also hospitalized and is still being treated by psychiatrists.

Ben is Brayden’s ex from Something New. Brayden, asked by Jonah, asks Ben to tail David and make sure he is doing ok and not hurting himself or others. Ben ends up being attracted to David and this is where I had to stop.

David is fragile. He is messed up. He still panics at the slightest bit of sexual attraction and/or attention. In fact, just thinking about kissing Ben causes him to call his psychiatrist in a blind panic.

When Ben does finally kiss him, David, showing a lot of growth, tells him, NO, I am not ready for this. So what does Ben do? He kisses him anyway, despite his obvious terror and tells him he needs it.

This is where I had to stop. David says “Please. You shouldn’t do this.” “It’s not right.” “You need to leave.”
Ben replies. “ Don’t fuck with me David. There will always be consequences.”

Now. I know from reading other reviews and talking to people who have read the book, that it is explained and might even be “what David needs”. But to me it sounds and feels like rape.

I am just not comfortable with this in a romantic novel.

So, I had to stop.

I love Cameron Dane. I have enjoyed many of her novels and all the Foster Siblings books before this. This just hit me in a bad place and I couldn’t/didn’t want to proceed.

No Rating: DNF


Kimi’s thoughts:

This was a difficult read  because not only did we have a guy who’d been imprisoned for stalking  a previous character in an earlier book in the series, and it was one that was easily likeable, but then as we get to know the broken man David truly is and how dysfunctional his family are, along comes some dub con scenes where he is the target.

I’m glad I stuck with it, though, as it turns out that Ben seems to understand something about David that we didn’t, and David, well, David is okay with it. It’s not perhaps the most ideal of relationship models, but these two men fit together to make one whole that gives them their idea of a happily ever after. It’s a dynamic that actually saves David’s life as we discover that the help David is receiving to aid in his rehab is being used as a cover by someone who does NOT have his best interests at heart and actually uses his fear of attachment against him.

David’s work with shelter animals touched my heartstrings too, especially the whole thing with the abandoned kitten.  I’m a huge sucker for the whole kind to animals thing,  and Dane did well to use this, it really helped me see David as a troubled man who has goodness in him

Kimi’s rating: 3.5

The Only Guy Audiobook by Skylar M Cates Narrated by Matt Baca

only guy











Dreamspinner Presents:


Aaron Weiss knows how to escape. Years ago, he ran from a romantic disappointment and impulsively joined the Army. Now, he’s forced to take a medical discharge and readjusting to life at home proves a challenge.

Jesse Ross knows how to hide. He realizes he’s an oddball, and that he’s an outsider within his own family. He also knows his secret love since childhood, Aaron, only wants his good-looking, favored older brother. Yet Jesse could never completely abandon his intense feelings for Aaron. Over the years, Jesse was a faithful pen pal to him. Still, he’s shocked to his core to find Aaron on his doorstep.

As long-buried secrets and past hurts take center stage, the two are overwhelmingly drawn to each other. But it’s their future that may force them to risk everything.

Morgan’s Review

Aaron fell in love with Jesse’s brother when they were kids. When he didn’t return the sentiment Aaron fled, but has harbored the crush for all these years.

Meanwhile Jesse has had a crush on Aaron ever since he knew what it was to want another person.

While Aaron was in the military he and Jesse formed a strong friendship through the mail but still, Aaron harbors nothing more than a vague feeling of companionship for Jesse and a burning hot adoration for his brother.

One day, after Aaron is sent home from the military for a bad heart, he goes to visit Jesse and is surprised at the man Jesse has become.

Jesse, a loner from the beginning, has only become more of a recluse over time, doesn’t know what to do with his childhood crush. On the one hand he thinks he’s just as gorgeous as ever, but doesn’t know how to like someone who can “like” his huge jerk of a brother.

Finally – FINALLY – Aaron manages to see Jesse for the amazing man he is and to see the other crush he’s harbored all these years was nothing more than a mirage.

It looks like the couple is really going to make it work when Aaron’s medical troubles drive him to the hospital again. Aaron doesn’t want Jesse to be burdened with anyone less than perfect so he pushes Jesse away. Fortunately Jesse fights for Aaron, and after a brief, but tense period apart, Aaron pulls his head out and the two re-unite… forever.


In this book, Aaron (Dean’s friend) is nothing like you’d expect an ex-military man to be. In fact, Jesse is the hard-ass of the relationship.

I really enjoyed watching Jesse deal with his social anxiety and the support he got from Aaron. I also really liked that Jesse was NEVER a wimp. He put up a good fight and Aaron really had to work hard to convince him what they have is real.

The secondary characters, ie brother, parents, friends; were all very well thought out and really added to the realistic feel of the story. The sub-plot with Jesse’s family was fascinating. I could really feel his pain at being “the red-headed-step-child” of the family.

I enjoyed this book when I read it and Matt Baca did an excellent job with the audio. He did a nice vaguely Brooklyn accent when needed and it was clear who was speaking.

I give both the book and the audiobook 4.5 hearts, I really enjoyed them!