A Jeri Release Day Review: What’s the Use of Wondering? By Kate McMurray

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This is the second book in the series WMU, a young adult series set at a small college. There is some character cross over from the first but this one can be read as a stand alone easily.

Logan’s life is all about violin. Trying to live up to the dreams of his parents, he spends his life playing and practicing. So he is a bit apprehensive when he gets a new roommate. But Peter isn’t what Logan believes.

I have to say, Peter put up with a lot of bs from Logan. He was so rude at the start- and all because of the giant chip on his shoulder. Peter could have lashed out or flat out ignored Logan, but he continually offered an olive branch to find common ground. Even though the common ground was obvious.

There was some tough love in there as well between the two of them. Encouraging each other to do what they want and be themselves. Living up to the expectations of your parents has to end in order to be truly happy.

Logan and Peter really were a good compliment to each other. While it started out as an opposites attract kind of thing, they really had more in common than they knew. Building a relationship on that commonality was what made this such a sweet read.

I have to say I loved that musical theater continued in this book from the first. Being a theater junkie and proud drama geek, it brought back some amazing memories.

Cover art by Aaron Anderson.  Lovely and eye-catching.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 182 pages
Published July 3rd 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB071K9XC3S
SeriesWMU #2

A Jeri Release Day Review: Return of the Chauffeur’s Son by Tara Lain

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

This was a cute book. It was an homage to Sabrina, the Audrey Hepburn classic with a modern- and gay- spin. Set in the Napa Valley wine country with Luca as an up and coming chef, his childhood best friend and crush James and James’ older brother Dylan. The brothers grew up affluent, sons of a winery owner- while Luca and his father the chauffeur lived over the garage.

I really liked that this book was set in wine country. Having lived there for 10 years, I know how cut throat restaurant and wine business can be- especially when there are awards to be handed out. Tara Lain got that completely right.

All of the characters were interesting in this story.  From the three main characters to all of the parents and the secondary characters. Each held their own without distracting from the story- in fact they really enhanced it.

Like I said, it was a cute story. There was a good balance between the drama of the restaurant side of the story and the sweetness of the romance side. Although I did want to really smack James upside the head more than once. 

If you are looking for something sweet to perhaps cleanse the palate, but still want a good story- this one is for you.

 

Cover Artist: Reese Dante.  Cover is cute and inviting.

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Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 200 pages
Expected publication: June 2nd 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleReturn of the Chauffeur’s Son
ASINB06XBFXFG1
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Jeri Release Day Review: Before You Break (Secrets #1) by K.C. Wells and Parker Williams

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Not a lot of authors can write really good BDSM books. But let me tell you, KC Wells really can. When I see there is a new one out, I know I won’t be disappointed.

Besides BDSM, it was also friends to lovers AND gay for you. You could easily dismiss this as too many tropes in one book. It wasn’t. All three were handled with care and done really well.

Ellis and Wayne are partners in London’s Special Firearms unit. As partners are wont to do, they quickly became close friends. Wayne never hid his sexuality from anyone, he was openly gay in law enforcement and didn’t care. And while Ellis is straight, he never seemed to join in the locker room talk with fellow officers.

But Ellis is spiraling down- both personally and professionally. And Wayne the dominant, thinks he can help. So he offers Ellis a proposition- to take over as Ellis’ dominant to try to get him back on track before he destroys his career and his life.

As I said, KC Wells really can write BDSM well. And this is a perfect example. Because this is D/s with no inherent allusion to a sexual relationship. Showing that a relationship like this does not just mean sex.

Ellis struggles at first to not only accept the proposition, but also to admit that he is a natural submissive. For someone who grew up having to be in control- to give it up, and enjoy it- flips his mind upside down.

Wayne’s control of the entire situation shows how much a Dominant really wants what is best for a submissive. Because even though he wants Ellis as a partner at work and home, he enters this arrangement just trying to help Ellis get a hold of his life.

As the story continues, we watch Ellis become aware of what is wrong with his life- how to let go of a lot of things, and how to accept help, love and discipline from Wayne.

This was a great story which flowed really well. There were a few scenes that I didn’t think one or another character would really participate it, but overall well done.

Cover art by Reese Dante is hot, contemporary and works for the story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 340 pages
Expected publication: May 26th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleBefore You Break
ISBN 1635336988 (ISBN13: 9781635336986)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSecrets #1

A Jeri Release Day Review: Noble Intentions by Andrew Grey

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
noble-intentionsOne thing you can count on with an Andrew Grey book is a good romance. He didn’t disappoint.
Robert is a barrister in England working for the person who didn’t always have a voice. The old man getting evicted, the small shop owner being sued, etc. Raised by his mother, they are very close and see each other often. But then his world is turned upside down when he finds out an uncle he didn’t know about died and being the next male heir, he inherits not only the estate but the title of Earl of Hanford. And the enormous debt left behind.
On a trip to America for business, he signs up with a match maker and is quickly set up on a date with Daniel. A super rich business man who came from nothing and made himself into everything. But no matter how much money he has, he still feels like that kid who went to prep school on scholarship because his mother didn’t have the money. The rich kids at school didn’t let him forget it either.
Robert and Daniel expect very little of their last minute date, but find themselves drawn together. Their chemistry is undeniable. So once they really start talking, they find that they can help each other out. Daniel has the money to help Andrew and Andrew has the title that would make Daniel really feel as if he has made it in life, A business agreement if you will. Until real feelings get involved.
So as they work together to bring the estate back to life, they find themselves falling in love.
I found this to be a sweet, romantic story. I enjoyed hearing about the history involved and how Daniel so quickly thought of different things to bring money in to the estate so that Robert didn’t have to let it go and sell it. I expected Daniel to be the prickly one of the relationship, but really it was Robert. Daniel did everything he could for Robert, out of love and well being but Robert was just seeing it as Daniel trying to simply get a title.
Allowing themselves to love and be loved. Figuring out that they were far better together than separate. A lovely, sweet, romantic story.
Cover art by L.C. Chase works perfectly for the story and characters.
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Book Details:
ebook, 200 pages
Expected publication: December 12th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1635331234 (ISBN13: 9781635331233)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Jeri Release Day Review: The Playmaker by Andrew Grey

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Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

the-playmaker-by-andrew-greyWhen you are out and proud, but forced to live a celibate life, are you really out?

Hunter is a professional football player on the rise. While most of the world and the other players accept that he is gay, they don’t want to hear about it. Being gay is ok, being in a relationship apparently is not. During the off season his manager convinces him to hire a personal assistant to not only get his life together, but to get him where he needs to be. On time. Which is a problem for Hunter

Montgomery is desperate. Living on his sister’s couch, he needs a job so he can get out of her hair. Opportunity falls in his lap when he convinces the employment agency to give him a chance as a personal assistant.

Hunter is shocked to see Monty- a guy- at his door. Monty isn’t shocked at all, because he knows nothing about football and doesn’t realize he should be fan boying over Hunter.

Of course, sparks lead to more which lead to more. But not everyone is happy to see Hunter with another man.

I’ve only recently discovered Andrew Grey and I have yet to be disappointed. I am happy to say that most of his books make me cry and this one didn’t. While there was some tension and a falling out, it wasn’t the heart breaker it normally is. That isn’t a bad thing.

I really enjoyed seeing two men who were already out. No one was struggling with the sexuality. And honestly, it seemed like this would happen in the real world. People being totally fine with a sports star being gay, but freaking out when he is acting on it.

Monty was adorable. He probably wouldn’t like that term. But he swept in and turned Hunter’s life around. Without giving a flip that he was some big shot. They developed a sweet genuine relationship and were perfect together.

There were some great side characters; Monty’s sister and her girlfriend as well as Hunter’s teammates. Their interactions made the story more real and not just couple centric.

Another must read from Andrew Grey.

Cover art by L.C. Chase is perfect.  It captures both characters while being bright and eye-catching.

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Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Expected publication: November 18th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634778642 (ISBN13: 9781634778640)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Jeri Release Day Review: Guyliner by j. leigh bailey

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

guylinerBoth sweet and sad, this YA coming of age story was a delight to read.

Connor is the classic all American boy. Baseball star, straight A student, beautiful girlfriend. All of those gave him the nickname Goldenboy- which he secretly hates. Behind closed doors he is the oldest of 5, his very existence making his parents marry young and his father to give up on his dreams. So he works hard to get a scholarship and leave the small town with little opportunity.

Graham is new in school. Moving there ostensibly for the soccer team, but in reality it was to escape the town where his boyfriend didn’t stick up for him after being gay bashed by his boyfriend’s brothers. After a year of recovery, he is ready to move on.

Graham knows who he is. He is out and proud- wearing tshirts that blatantly express the fact that he is gay and wearing eyeliner to school everyday. When Connor defends Graham- again- against the school bullies, they are accused of fighting by the baseball coach and are given the punishment of cleaning out the equipment shed every Saturday until it is done. While there, they get to know each other and look forward to their Saturdays.

Connor is fighting his attraction to Graham, and Graham won’t be a dirty little secret again.

I loved how Graham stood up for himself and what he was willing to be and do. But he also did it with general empathy toward Connor- a boy scared to not only come out of the closet, but scared to admit to even himself that he is gay. Graham is willing to be just friends with Connor, because something is better than nothing.

I also really enjoyed that Golden boy Connor is from such a blue collar family. Usually the sports star comes from a well to do family with all of the support in the world. But watching him babysit his siblings, share a room with his brothers, cook dinner for his family- all while doing his best in school and baseball are so representative of real life.

Graham was so strong. I fully expect a character like that to be broken- to hide from the world, put up walls, etc. But he didn’t. He was who he was and he wasn’t apologizing for it, even when he was getting bullied.

Connor and Graham together were just so sweet. I love a great YA book that expresses the feelings of the characters so well. There was no falling back on sex to move the story along.

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza.  Love this cover.  It is, in every way, eye-catching!

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Book Details:

ebook, 250 pages
Published October 17th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634777263 (ISBN13: 9781634777261)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Jeri Release Day Review: Lord of a Thousand Steps (Love in Laguna #4) by Tara Lain

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Lord of a Thousand Steps by Tara LainTo architecture student Ian Carney, family means everything. Taken in by his brother, Jim, when his father threw him out at eighteen for being gay, Ian yearns to create his own family with his boyfriend, Rico. But Rico’s in Mexico caring for a sick father, Ian hasn’t had sex in a month and a half, and his gorgeous boss, Braden Lord, CEO of the architectural firm Ian interns for, is looking better and better.

Braden’s life is chaos. Just out of the closet and going through an ugly divorce from his wife of fifteen years who’s trying to take custody of his two children, he desperately resolves not to succumb to a completely inappropriate attraction to Ian—even though his kids adore both the man and his crazy cat.

When Rico proves to be a snake in the grass and Ian exercises his powers of seduction, what starts as a “friends with benefits” fling turns into real life real fast. Can Ian give up his romantic dreams for an “old guy” who didn’t come out until he carried a mountain of baggage? It’ll only take a thousand steps.

I’ve been a big fan of this series since the beginning.  One of the great things is that they are all good stories, not recycled tropes that you’ve seen again and again.

In this installment we get to know Ian, a young architect student who is young, in love, and interning at his dream firm. Until his boyfriend goes to Mexico and doesn’t come back.

Braden is a partner in the firm. Going through an ugly divorce, fighting for custody of his kids, and recently coming out of the closet makes his life crazy. He does not need to be attracted to Ian, the young intern.

So the boss/intern thing has been done to death, but I really like how this was done. Involving the kids and a cat who likes walks and the beach was a fresh perspective.  Being friends while fighting their attraction. And finding out that collaborating on projects brings magic.

Ian craves the life Braden can bring him, but Braden fears losing what is important in his life if he succumbs to Ian.

The tentative love affair they begin is both sweet and hot. The chemistry between the two was obvious and not forced at all.

Definitely add this to your list. You don’t have to read the others, but you’ll be glad you did.

Cover art by Reese Dante is gorgeous and in step with the novel.

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Book Details:

ebook, 220 pages
Expected publication: August 31st 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634776666 (ISBN13: 9781634776660)
Edition LanguageEnglish