Against the Grain (THIRDS book 5) by Charlie Cochet

Dreamspinner Presents


As the fiercest Defense Agent at the THIRDS, Destructive Delta’s Ash Keeler is foul-mouthed and foul-tempered. But his hard-lined approach always yields results, evident by his recent infiltration of the Coalition. Thanks to Ash’s skills and the help of his team, they finally put an end to the murdering extremist group for good, though not before Ash takes a bullet to save teammate Cael Maddock. As a result, Ash’s secrets start to surface, and he can no longer ignore what’s in his heart.

Cael Maddock is no stranger to heartache. As a Recon Agent for Destructive Delta, he has successfully maneuvered through the urban jungle that is New York City, picking up his own scars along the way. Yet nothing he’s ever faced has been more of a challenge than the heart of Ash Keeler, his supposedly straight teammate. Being in love isn’t the only danger he and Ash face as wounds reopen and new secrets emerge, forcing them to question old loyalties.

(Thank you to Karrie Jax for this beautiful fan art!)













Taking a slightly different turn, this book is about Ash and Cael (yay!) centrally and Dex and Sloane only peripherally. We get to learn a lot more of the back story about Ash and why he acts like he does as well as some of Cael’s (sad) romantic history.
Though the two have already admitted they love one another, Ash continues to balk at the intimacy he so clearly craves. Poor (sappy) Cael puts up with it over and over because he just loves Ash so much.

There is a little drama with Austen and the team’s boss and some strange Therian drug making the rounds and somehow Shultzon is involved (of course!).

Most of this was fairly low angst and low drama, relationship building and watching Ash work through his personal demons.


I love this series and find it hilarious! Charlie has a gift of creating this alternate world you totally want to live in and then giving us fully formed three dimensional characters with flaws and eccentricities who are lovable at the same time you want to strangle them!

I don’t think this was the strongest book in the series – possibly because both Ash and Cael made me crazy. I never quite understood Ash’s motivation for avoiding intimacy. He seemed to flip flop from admitting his interest in men from an early age – then having that bad experience – then finding Cael – so the “gay” part shouldn’t have been the issue – but allowing himself to act on it should have been. But he seemed relatively fine acting on it in private just not public and since when does Ash care what the public thinks of him? I didn’t get it… I might have missed a nuance, but it bugged me that I couldn’t figure it out.

Cael – who I love – I definitely wanted to strangle and then tell him to get a back bone. I would have at least shoved Ash out the door once if not a hundred times until he could prove that he wasn’t a dick! But Cael just kept accepting it and it made me frustrated!

I loved the back stories – especially the baby stories! I also can’t wait until we get to see more about Calvin and Hobbs’ love affair – Woot!

The other great part of this book was seeing the fully developed relationship between Sloane and Dex. It’s so NICE to see them happy for a change.

Overall I still loved this book very, very much and was psyched to read it but I didn’t love Cael and Ash as much as I love Dex and Sloane.

4.5 of 5 hearts



Breaking (Book two of the Fall or Break series) by Barbara Elsborg

Samhain Publishing Presents

This book is slated to be released July 28, 2015


Archer Hart is on the move before the man he’s just killed is found. When a bullet whizzes past his ear, he realizes hunter is now hunted. So much for his retirement plans. Someone wants him dead and all he can do is keep running.

Downed by a hit and run driver, barrister Conrad Black is certain the ‘accident’ was deliberate but he has no proof or support. In recovery, struggling to work out of partial paralysis, he has plenty of time to wonder who regrets not striking him harder. At this point, running anywhere is a distant dream.

The confidence, determination and stamina of two alphas males will mean little if neither is willing to bend—seize the love offered—and work together to understand why they’re suddenly both marked men. Not easy for either when Archer has broken the law in the worst possible way and Conrad is the law.


Wow! Another amazing, gripping, very HOT and tender love story from Barbara Elsborg.

We met Conrad in book one, he was Malachi’s ex, the controlling, self-centered, almost kinda evil guy, who redeems himself at the end. He’s been struck down by a hit and run driver and was paralyzed from the accident – briefly. While he’s on the mend, he takes himself to a beach cottage and searches for the person he’s convinced tried to make the hit and run look like an accident.

On a walk one day he sees a surfer nearly drown and risks his own life to save him. That man is Archer, a murder-for hire who is trying to get out of the business. Archer also has someone after him – and he needs time to figure out who that is.

Together, these broken men – both uber alpha – struggle against their powerlessness, their attraction to one another and their pasts.

Of course – neither trusts the other – one being on the side of the law and the other being on the side of the highest bidder.

As the story unfolds it becomes clear that the men might have more of a connection than just the beach rescue.

(I’m not going into that more here – you’ll just have to read it to find out!)


As with book one, I thought this was an amazing story with really richly developed characters who organically grew and changed over the course of the story until they became the men who could accept the deep and abiding love that finally finds them.

I grew a bit tired at the secondary plot – it was certainly important – but I wanted to skim parts of the “intrigue” and “action” scenes.

I absolutely loved how Conrad turned from villain to good guy. It felt very real and authentic and not at all forced.

The final scenes were a little confusing to me – I wasn’t sure what Archer’s motivations were in keeping Conrad in the dark for so long – but… in the end it all worked out really beautifully and the epilogue was both hot and terribly sweet!

I highly recommend this book and this series.

4.75 of 5 hearts



The Choosing (Princes of Nilan’dane 1) Violet Joicey-Cowen 

Publisher: Siren BookStrand 

BLURB: Thinking his duty and heart lead in different directions, what will Prince Korin of Nilan’dane decide to do? A letter arrives from Korin’s father, summoning him home for the Choosing after a year’s freedom in the desert, and Korin must face the fact that he is deeply in love with his best friend, the captain of his guard, Ansen. Ansen has known for years that he loves Korin but never spoke of his feelings because he knew the duty Korin must perform, marrying and producing an heir for the kingdom. He never dared hope Korin would not only return those feelings, but actually be able to choose him. Their brief happiness is ripped apart through the machinations of the twisted brother of one of Korin’s other suitors, and they must fight to hold on to the hope that they will see each other, and the baby Korin was carrying, again. 

REVIEW: I will admit that I was not a fan of the medieval type fantasy world and didn’t give this book a second glance when it was first published. It was suggested by a friend that I give it a try. I decided that I would take the time to read this because this particular author has written other books that I’ve enjoyed. That combined with an Mpreg in the storyline really helped pique my interest. I am so glad that I made the decision to read it because I truly enjoyed this book.

Prince Korin is summoned by his father , the King return home to Nilan’dane after spending the year in the desert. It was time for him and his brothers to choose makes that they can live with so that they can produce heirs. It was in the desert that Korin and his guard and childhood best friend Ansen realize their feelings for each other went beyond friendship but They felt they couldn’t be together because of the prince’s obligation to the kingdom. Korin realizes at the last minute that he and Ansen could in fact be together and Korin chooses his best friend and the man he loves, Ansen to be his consort. 
Korin becomes pregnant and just when he and Ansen are about to become a family and live their lives, the prince is kidnapped and held captive by the brother of a rejected suitor. I must say that this story was a delightful surprise. As usual this author puts her clean writing style on display for us. She is able to, and quite successfully I might add, to write multiple characters with multiple points of views and do it as such a way as to not confuse the reader. She transitions perfectly from one character to the next. This is made easier by alerting the reader at the beginning of each chapter exactly which character we are reading about. The author brilliantly created a cast of characters that held my attention from the first word on the first page to the last. I would definitely recommend this book and I am excited to see how these wonderful characters play out.


: ❤️❤️❤️❤️



Siren BookStrand

Shield of Winter (Psy-Changeling #13) by Nalini Singh

Jove Presents


Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch—if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life.

For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake…

Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to stifle her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she’ll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption. But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness…


Yet again – I had a craving to re-visit some of my favorite m/f authors and Nalini Singh and her Psy-Changeling series is one of my all time favorites!

This is definitely one of those books where if you haven’t been reading along you will be totally lost. It is NOT a standalone. No matter what it might say anywhere else.

In this, the long awaited book, Vasic, the troubled and suicidal Arrow works with Kaleb as well as Judd to secure the re-introduction of the EPsy – the empaths – back into their powers. It is determined that the EPsy are what the NetMind has needed all this time to combat the illness.

What is left unknown is how these EPsy will take breaking Silence and just what is it they need to do and how can they be protected when those protecting them suffer just being in their presence.

Ivy is a strong EPsy whose Silence has been fractured for years. She assumes when Vasic comes to collect her that she is at last to be killed for her “faults”. From the moment they meet the two share a connection.

Then – for many pages – we work out who must do what and why for the NetMind to become fixed. Vasic and Ivy struggle with their feelings for one another – neither having any kind of experience in love/sex/relationships at all.

In the end thre is a race against time and more crushing blows to the NetMind, some reconnections with previous characters and a climactic finish setting us up for the grand finale – Shards of Hope – Aden’s story.


I have to admit I was disappointed in this book.

It took a lot of slugging through to reach the end.

I liked Vasic way more before he had his own book and Ivy was pretty MEH the entire time.

In previous books in the series the love was at least half the important part and I feel in these last few books, Kaleb, Vasic, Aden – more time is devoted to the greater story arc than the individual love stories.

As a fan I was glad to re-visit with Nalini’s Psy-Changeling Universe and I am excited to finally read the last story in this arc – but I am also kinda ready for it to be over.

Overall, the writing is good, I think it needed tighter editing, and maybe a more focused story line that equalized the love/romance part with the story progression.

3.5 of 5 hearts



Unexpected by Amelia Mann

Daily Dose Short Story

Dreampsinner Presents


Fifty-one-year-old Jonathan Allen is watching his friends sign domestic partnerships left and right, and for the first time considers how lonely his future might become. His last boyfriend was a parasite, hurting him in so many ways, and he’s beginning to believe living alone with his cat is a better option than chasing shadows.

When Jonathan starts working for Tricorp, a multinational construction company dealing with conservative religious countries in the Middle East and Asia, he connects with CEO Blake Carter on all levels. But the company is antigay and forces its employees to sign a reticence clause, which puts the company on the LGBT-blacklist, and Jonathan back into the closet. He knows fantasizing about Blake is a pointless endeavor. But life throws them a curveball when Jonathan’s ex and a man from Blake’s past come together to destroy both their lives.


This was a frenetic explosion of a short story! We burst in the scene when Jon’s presentation to a group of very conservative businessmen is interrupted by a display of pictures showing him having sex with his boyfriend.

His boss, Blake, is quickly corralled into the mess by a member of the board with a vendetta against Blake.

In no time at all, both Jon and Blake are being escorted by security out of the building, threatened by Jon’s ex-boyfriend, the father of one of Blake’s ex and facing unemployment to boot.

Luckily, they have each other and it turns out they’ve both been harboring feelings for one another for some time.


This would be a great novel – it was way too much for a short story. There was too much drama covered in too few pages with a conclusion that (though very happy) felt way too rushed to feel natural or authentic.

I also didn’t bond with either MC as well as I wanted.  Jon was an unreliable hero who never redeemed himself for having a relationship with someone as evil as his ex.  Blake seemed all over the place, flighty, insecure, then bossy and commanding.  I didn’t get a feel for him as a person very well.  Beyond the sexual, I didn’t see their attraction in the other.  The relationship, though born in crisis, moved way too fast to feel comfortable and therefore the HEA didn’t feel organic either.

I think this has potential, but it didn’t quite make it as a great short story.

2.75 of 5 hearts



Submission Guidelines by T. Neilson

Dreamspinner Presents


Cole Doren is starting over. He’s moved, started working as a food writer again, and is crushing hard on his new neighbor, Daniel Mazurek, who is a genuinely nice guy and as hot as a supernova.

Too bad for Cole, Daniel’s not what he seems.

And too bad for Daniel, the cute boy-next-door’s DNA says he’s one of America’s most wanted, and it’s Daniel’s job to confirm that and bring him down. Digging through Cole’s past, Daniel finds out about Cole’s BDSM videos and while it should set off warning bells, it only leaves Daniel damn hot for Cole. Getting closer to his subject is easy, but starting a relationship built on trust is a lot harder when everything Daniel’s ever told Cole has been a lie.


Daniel is a bounty hunter trying to capture somebody named Ro. He thinks he’s found his guy in Cole. But when Cole shows up, drunk, clumsy, and cute – he has to re-think his data.

Cole reviews food for a living. But he also has a past that gives him some interesting hobbies.

The first part of the story is figuring out if Cole is guilty; the second is the couple finding their feet in a relationship; the third is them solving the mystery of “Ro”.

I loved the interactions between Cole and Daniel in the beginning and thought the mystery was a little unbelievable but gripping. I didn’t care for the BDSM part of the story or how it didn’t seem to fit the rest of the plot line. To me it seemed stuck in there for added “heat value” but didn’t necessarily fit well with the characters and how they interacted.

Overall this story has some great potential and I would look for more from this author in the future.

3 of 5 hearts



Day and Knight-Dirk Greyson

Dreamspinner Press

BLURB: As former NSA, Dayton (Day) Ingram has national security chops and now works as a technical analyst for Scorpion. He longs for fieldwork, and scuttling an attack gives him his chance. He’s smart, multilingual, and a technological wizard. But his opportunity comes with a hitch—a partner, Knighton (Knight), who is a real mystery. Despite countless hours of research, Day can find nothing on the agent, including his first name! 

Former Marine Knight crawled into a bottle after losing his family. After drying out, he’s offered one last chance: along with Day, stop a terrorist threat from the Yucatan. To get there without drawing suspicion, Day and Knight board a gay cruise, where the deeply closeted Day and equally closeted Knight must pose as a couple. Tensions run high as Knight communicates very little and Day bristles at Knight’s heavy-handed need for control. 

But after drinking too much, Day and Knight wake up in bed. Together. As they near their destination, they must learn to trust and rely on each other to infiltrate the terrorist camp and neutralize the plot aimed at the US’s technological infrastructure, if they hope to have a life after the mission. One that might include each other.

REVIEW: I went into this book expecting to love it. Reading the blurb, I was really excited to get started on it.  This is why I was so heartbroken at being disappointed by it. The actual writing wasn’t bad at all, the editing was fantastic. It was the technical aspect and tone of the book in certain parts that I just didn’t ‘gel’ with. The first think that I found odd was the story’s et up. You ah e s guy who’s under attack by these thugs. Day moves in to help the poor fellow out but reaches into his pocket for his phone to dial 911 only to realize it’s dead. Okay, now here is where it gets a bit odd. He’s standing there contemplating the why and how that is. In the meantime, what’s going on with the thugs attacking the kid? Did they stop what they were doing while he was pondering his phone’s battery life? i found that very odd and it threw the rest of the story off for me. Then there’s the technical aspect. Costa Maya, Quintana Roo, was made to sound like it was this isolated or remote area when that is not the case. Curious at to where it is, I ended up Googling the region and was surprised when I found a small, but touristy region. So in looking at this, I asked myself if it was the type of place where the locals or any government entity would not notice a building or base, if you will, set up and run by a group of individuals not native to the area, and no one is going to question it?  That, more than anything, confused me. Also, I felt that their characters were a bit cold; I couldn’t  seem to connect with any of them.  Like I’ve stated earlier, the writing itself wasn’t bad, it was just the poor research and lack of character depth that did the book in for me. 
RATING: ❤️❤️❤️