An Alisa Release Day Review: As I Am by Melissa Collins

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Chase Hansen. Broke. College drop out. Male stripper.

My life wasn’t at all what I imagined it would be. I should have been finishing up college, interning with a well-respected business, partying with my friends. But instead, I was raising my seventeen year old brother, struggling to make ends meet. Love wasn’t even on my radar. Besides, what did I have to offer? A few crumpled singles pulled from my G-string? Defeated and exhausted, I knew I had zero chance of finding someone to love me just as I am.

Noah Carpenter. Angry. Betrayed. Doctor.

Just when I thought my life was going exactly as it should, everything turned upside down. With my final rotation in medical school complete, I finally achieved my lifelong dream of becoming a doctor. What I never expected was to catch the man of my dreams in our bed with the man of his. Beyond infuriated, I struggled to piece together the remnants of my life. Just when I’d decided to give up on love altogether, I found a man who loved me just as I am.

Oh man, both of these guys and everything they have been through, they totally deserved to find love and that it’s together is even better!  Chase had to make some hard decisions after his parents died and hasn’t really had any support or help.  Noah has given himself over to being a doctor and after his last relationship ended he doesn’t really see the point in trying again.

Chase is at the point where he is just trying to survive and in his own mind he knows that no one would want him if they really knew everything he had going on.  Noah has a great group of friends around him but is quick to think the worst after catching his ex cheating.

I couldn’t help but feel for these guys.  I was easy to relate to Chase because I know what it’s like to feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders even if I couldn’t in other ways and I loved watching Noah just take care of and support him when he needed it, it was just what his fragile heart needs.  I still couldn’t really like his friend Gavin though, even if at times he thought he was helping he didn’t do much and thought about himself first.  Noah is very cynical in his assumptions but I loved that he was willing to apologize and accept when he was wrong and the unconditional support from Chase was just what he needed.  I loved these guys so much and the only reason it’s not 5 stars is that there were just too many points that I felt the characters didn’t fully resolve what they were talking about or doing.

The cover art by Sommer Stein is great and I love the picture of these characters together.

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Book Details:

ebook, 320 pages

Published: April 25, 2018 by Melissa Collins

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Release Day Review: The Librarian’s Rake by Z Allora

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Opposites might attract, but is acting on that attraction wise?

 

Librarian Tristan Cooper can’t steer clear of sexy, motorcycle-riding bad boy Phillip—the man is hot—but Phillip is bound to find quiet, bookish Tristan boring, like all Tristan’s boyfriends. Tristan yearns to explore his wild side, the part of himself he’s only allowed into his fantasies, and maybe rakish Phillip is just what he needs to feel free.

 

Sexperienced hairdresser Phillip is more of a believer in happy endings than happily ever afters. Experience has taught him not to hope for more—until he meets sweet, vulnerable Tristan, who seems genuinely interested in his heart. But Phillip can’t trust enough to see himself as a man Tristan might want for more than a night.

 

With the help of a pair of matchmaking grandfathers, Tristan and Phillip might find the courage to step beyond their comfort zones and discover what has been missing from their lives….

 

I really enjoyed this story.  Phillip definitely does his best to not let emotions get into his sex in order to guard his heart.  Tristan has never really had a great relationship or great sex and hopes that Phillip will help him learn to be more adventurous.  Both of these men just need a little push from those around them to open up to some new things.

 

Phillip has been trying to convince himself that he is happy with everything in his life but Tristan causes him to re-think how he has viewed sex and relationships.  Tristan decides to bide his time when it comes to Phillip, he knows what they have is special he just needs to come to terms with it.  I felt for Phillip and how he hurt himself while trying to protect himself from the pain of rejection.  I can’t say that he is quite the rake that Tristan thought he was.  However, when Phillip decides to admit his feelings he jumps in with both feet.

 

Cover art by Anna Sikorska is great and I love the visual of the two characters together.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 123 pages

Published: October 25, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-63533-886-7

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Release Day Review: Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch (States of Love) by L.A. Merrill

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

 

David Marks is looking for the perfect place to film his new web series and recover from his latest failed relationship. When reclusive writer Michael Sharp opens his Montana ranch to paying guests, David knows he’s found the right place—but he doesn’t expect to find Mr. Right too.

 

Forty years ago Michael Sharp’s father was murdered in front of him. No one believed a six-year-old boy’s testimony against the powerful Carver brothers. For years Michael has lived in self-imposed exile, the only living witness who can bring down the Carver criminal empire. But now the money is running out, and he’s forced to play host to a troupe of temperamental web actors and their energetically attractive director in order to stay alive.

 

The Carvers aren’t about to stand for rebellion. Michael has outlived his usefulness. Now Michael and David have to find a way to end this fight once and for all, finding justice for Michael’s father and meeting David’s funding deadline—all before one or both of them ends up dead.

 

This was a nice story that was able to give me the warm fuzzes at the end.  David has spent his adult life trying to make a career out of film making and other than a few short films made with his best friend Ronni he hasn’t gotten very far.  They finally get the funding for a new miniseries and quickly find Michael’s ranch to stay and shoot at.

 

Michael is way less than welcoming at the beginning but once he learns a bit more about David his icy exterior starts to melt.  Most of David and Michael’s feelings for each other develop off page when they are working together late at night.  We see David’s point of view but he seems readily able to read Michael when needed.  I love how David’s stubbornness to succeed and do what he loves flows over to protecting Michael even when he is fighting against it.  Though I enjoyed this story and it ended well I didn’t feel a deep connection to these characters.  I loved the premise but they just seemed a bit forced together in the end.

 

Cover art by Brooke Albrecht is a great and gives a wonderful visual the characters and the background of the story.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 74 pages

Published: May 31, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781635335699

Edition Language: English

Series: A States of Love Story

An Alisa Release Day Review: Dinner at the Blue Moon Cafe by Rick R. Reed

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

 

A monster moves through the night, hidden by the darkness, taking men, one by one, from Seattle’s gay gathering areas.

 

Amid an atmosphere of crippling fear, Thad Matthews finds his first true love working in an Italian restaurant called the Blue Moon Café. Sam Lupino is everything Thad has ever hoped for in a man: virile, sexy as hell, kind, and… he can cook!

 

As their romance heats up, the questions pile up. Who is the killer preying on Seattle’s gay men? What secrets is Sam’s Sicilian family hiding? And more importantly, why do Sam’s unexplained disappearances always coincide with the full moon?

 

The strength of Thad and Sam’s love will face the ultimate test when horrific revelations come to light beneath the full moon.

 

Thad has been wallowing while he has been on unemployment, with pretty much only his dog for company.  When he decides to treat himself and visits the Blue Moon Café he finds much more than he was expecting.

 

Sam first pushes Thad away despite their connection, but just as Thad begins to look for other options he has to call him while volunteering.  Speaking to each other seems to reawaken Sam’s feelings and they decide that even if it isn’t the right time they can try and make it work.

 

This story is told from Thad’s point of view, so we know what he is thinking and feeling.  For the length of this book we don’t see these characters together very often, I felt that we saw his budding friendship with Jared more than we saw Sam.  We learned a lot of Thad’s thoughts an doubts, but there was a lot of information that was inferred or was easily assumed.  I don’t know when there are big gaps in time and we are only seeing one person a majority of the time it is hard to connect with the story and how their relationship is building in the background.  I liked that they were happy in the end, but wasn’t sure about how they got there or the way Sam rationalized his actions throughout the story.

 

Cover art by Aaron Anderson is wonderful and eye catching.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages

Published: 2nd edition, March 13, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781635332926

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Release Day Review: Rushing Love (States of Love) by Meg Bawden

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

rushing-love-by-meg-bawdenAfter a devastating breakup with the man he thought he’d spend his life with, Flynn Webb takes a vacation to a South Dakota dude ranch. It’s something completely different from anything he’s done before, and it helps that it’s as far away from his ex as possible. Trapped in his own depressive thoughts, Flynn is surprised to meet Grayson Harland. Not only is Grayson a sexy cowboy—one fifteen years younger—but he’s the most charming man Flynn has ever met.

 

Flynn doesn’t have much experience with being seduced, and he has even less with guys like Grayson taking an interest in him—and Grayson is definitely interested. What begins as a fling while visiting iconic South Dakota sights soon develops the potential for much more. But Flynn is afraid that falling in love again so soon—and with a man so much younger—will lead only to another catastrophic heartbreak. Luckily for them both, Grayson isn’t giving up without a fight.

 

This was such a sweet story.  Flynn’s life is thrown completely off balance by his breakup with his partner of nineteen years.  Despite his age he is completely innocent to relationships and dating having been with he same person since high school, but Grayson is determined to show him that despite their age difference they are meant to be together.

 

Flynn decides to take this vacation to get away from his troubles for awhile, when Grayson starts to pursue him he knows he needs to stand his ground and stay away from the younger man.  I loved seeing Flynn’s defenses soften as Grayson helps to take care of him after he is injured.  Even though they have an age difference their personalities fit together perfectly.

 

Cover art by Brooke Albrecht is nice and gives a good view of the setting for the story.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 93 pages

Published: February 22, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781635333169

Edition Language: English

Series: A States of Love Story

An Alisa Release Day Review: Inheritance by Sean Michael

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

 

inheritance-by-sean-michaelCash McCord’s life is pretty much perfect. He owns the family ranch, loves his work, and invites the occasional cowboy into his bed. But everything is turned upside down when his brother Jack and Jack’s wife Val are killed in a car crash, leaving behind six kids.

 

Cash is made guardian of the children, along with Val’s brother, Brad Rafferty—a man who couldn’t be more different from Cash if he tried. A Yankee, Brad is a video-game developer who works twelve-to-fourteen-hour days at his desk. They lock horns as soon as they set eyes on each other. Neither man is happy to have the other around, but neither is willing to give up custody of his nieces and nephews.

 

It’s up to these two polar opposites to keep the kids together and give them a family again. But first they’ll have to keep from killing each other.

 

This was a sweet story of two men, who don’ really know each other, who suddenly become fathers together.  Cash and Brad are completely different, but need to work together to make the kids lives better without their parents.  They both have some things they continue to dig their heels in on, but when their disagreement becomes physical they finally open their eyes and really get a look at each other.

 

Cash and Brad both want what is best for the kids and have to learn to work together.  We get to connect to the characters through their eyes.  I love seeing their love for their nieces and nephews and how much they are willing to give for them.  Their relationship is a big part of what helps them make decisions and move their own and the kids’ lives forward.  It was just what I expected from a sweet Sean Michael book.

 

Cover art by Bree Archer is wonderful connecting us with the characters.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 80 pages

Published: 3rd Edition, February 1, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781634776363

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Release Day Review: His Needs by Kris T. Bethke

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

his-needsWhen State Trooper Travis Kinslow is injured right before Thanksgiving, the only positive is that for once he won’t be working during the holidays. Since he has no family, Travis was absorbed into his best friend, Joe’s, and he considers them as good as his own. Everyone except Joe’s brother Noah. Travis has been in love with the younger man for much of his life, but he’s always kept his distance.

 

As an ER nurse, Noah is a caretaker by nature. When his brother’s best friend is hurt, he’s happy to help Travis while he heals. He’s only ever allowed himself to think of Travis as the next best thing to an older brother, but by the light of the Christmas tree, Noah finally sees Travis’s true feelings. And in that moment, everything changes.

 

When faced with opposition and a Christmas nothing like they imagined, will their hopes for the future be enough to carry them through?

 

I really enjoyed this story.  Travis has loved Noah for over twenty years without the younger man’s knowledge, but the time he’s spending with Noah during his recovery is constantly pushing his restraint.  When Noah catches a glimpse of Travis’ real feelings he is forced to come clean to the man, who surprisingly doesn’t have any objections.  These characters work well together and though their sexual relationship grows fast they have known each other so long it doesn’t feel so rushed.

 

I do have to say that although Travis is considered part of Noah’s family by them, he doesn’t seem to fully consider himself part of the family and doesn’t feel comfortable with some things.  This truly broke my heart reading how much Travis wasn’t comfortable with.  We only see Noah’s thoughts from Travis’ point of view, but that doesn’t make it hard to understand him as Noah is very open and honest about his emotions.  I did think it was a bit strange that all of Noah’s siblings and spouses knew how Travis felt for years, but only Noah and his parents did not.

 

Cover art by AngstyG is beautiful and I love the connection models seem to have.

 

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Book Details:

ebook, 113 pages

Published: December 14, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781634777292

Edition Language: Englis

An Alisa Release Day Review: Seven Minutes by Grace Kilian Delaney

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

seven-minutesCan love be found in seven minutes?

 

Heavy metal singer Stone Manson never acknowledged his attraction to men. But when he meets sexy cross-dresser Devon at a party and spends Seven Minutes in Heaven with him, he can’t deny his reaction. His confusion leads him to mess up—big time—with Devon, but after some soul-searching, Stone decides to do whatever it takes to show Devon he’s worth the risk.

 

Devon’s got a thing for hot, tattooed rock stars—just not the sexually conflicted and closeted ones.

 

Stone’s persistence has Devon warming up to the idea of the singer in his bed, and maybe even in his life, until a threat emerges from Devon’s past. Now it’s Devon’s turn to trust Stone or both their lives could be in jeopardy.

 

Stone has been pretty depressed since his girlfriend left him months ago and he wants to be anywhere other than the party his best friend has dragged him to.  He is attracted to Devon, but only acts on it when they are pushed together.  After the party Stone hurts Devon in his own confusion of his feelings and has to work through them.

 

I liked both of these characters.  Stone is a rock star and is conflicted about what he wants in his life and Devon knows exactly what he wants; to work on classic cars, dress in women’s clothes occasionally and someone to love him no matter what.  I could feel how hurt Devon was when Stone pushed him away, but he is still willing to give Stone a chance when he proves he will be better.  It’s amazing how once Stone puts his mind to something he is willing to take the plunge.

 

Cover art by Reese Dante is wonderful and give us a nice visual of Stone.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | ARe

 

Book Details:

ebook, 55 pages

Published: December 7, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781634778176

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Release Day Review: Why I Love Geeks by T.A. Chase

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

why-i-love-geeks-by-ta-chaseNew York City Homicide Detective Chuck Davidson is a guy’s guy. He likes sports, beer, and classic cars—fancy gadgets, not so much. When yet another high-tech phone goes on the fritz, he knows he needs help, and he meets a man who loves technology as much as he hates it—cute but awkward biochemist Herbert Pommerset.

 

Herb’s never been with a man—not even on a date. He hides behind his research, daydreaming about what it might be like to find someone special. A malfunctioning phone causes his path to cross with a sexy older detective, and Herb wishes he’d spent less time studying science and more learning how to flirt, because he can think of some experiments he’d like to conduct with Chuck. None of his considerable intelligence is helping him express his desires to the other man.

 

Just when it seems they might overcome their differences, Herb’s research puts him in danger. He’s made a discovery that could cost him his life, and Chuck must use his very different talents to rescue the geek he’s coming to love.

 

This was a wonderfully sweet story.  Herb and Chuck are both adorable in their own ways.  Herb has never has a date and has a severe case of verbal diarrhea, that can be a bit intrusive and absolutely hilarious.  Chuck is a bit jaded by his life as a homicide detective, but has never had someone who wanted to stay around once they found out how much his job can take him away.

 

They are both attracted to each other when they initially meet; however they don’t exchange names in their short interaction, but it takes some interference and planning from Chuck’s sister, Jesse, who happens to work with Chuck.  A nice coincidence, don’t you think.  When she gets them face to face again it is impossible to deny their chemistry.  When Chuck’s job brings him to the lab that Herb and Jesse work at he is willing to pull out all the stops to protect them.

 

Herb is so adorably sweet and continues to just hope that Chuck may want him for more than one night.  He needs a bit of grounding and reassurance, but is willing to jump head first into his first (and hopefully only) relationship.  Chuck has a bit of trouble understanding his immediate feelings for Herb, but doesn’t let that stand in the way of making it work.  They are both so different, but still a bit broken and lonely on the inside that they connect perfectly, maybe a little too perfect at times, but that is okay with me.

 

Cover art by Anne Cain is wonderful and gives us a great visuals of the characters..

 

Sales Links

 Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | ARe

 

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages

Published: 2nd Edition, November 18, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781634777926

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Release Day Review: Trust and Control by Remmy Duchene

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

trust-and-control-by-remmy-ducheneWealthy real estate mogul Christophe Lafavre has everything—except any love life to speak of. Though he has a brilliant head for business, when it comes to relationships, he’s often left fumbling in the dark.

 

To put a stop to the whispers about his pitiful social life, Christophe takes a suggestion from a friend and goes to a club on masquerade night. There, he meets an elusive hottie who calls himself Raj, and though Christophe cannot see Raj’s face, there’s definitely a connection. Over the phone and online, Christophe and Raj get to know each other. Their conversation is easy and arousing. It’s hard for Christophe to believe the strength of the feelings he’s developing toward a man who is still essentially a stranger, but he can’t get Raj out of his head. They eventually give in to their physical longing—but still Raj refuses to show his face or divulge his identity.

 

When it comes, the revelation will rock Christophe’s world and redefine more than one relationship in his life.

 

I enjoyed this story.  I will say upfront, if others had the same thoughts I did, this book isn’t as heavy in BDSM as I thought it would be.  To me is just seemed like it was playing in the bedroom, which is fine, just not what I expected.  Christophe has never had a romantic relationship that ended well, heck he hasn’t been with anyone for years just to protect himself.  Jaswant has been Christophe’s best friend forever and has been in love with him for the same amount of time, he fears revealing his feelings will ruin their friendship.

 

Chris is completely confused when he meets Raj at the masquerade night; he is scared of his own reaction to the man.  While he learns a bit more about Raj he continues to think there is something familiar about him, but can’t place his finger on it.  When Chris runs away from Jas they both feel that there may be no way to fix their relationship.

 

I could feel Chris’s confusion and Jas’s heart break at their interactions.  When Jas disappears, just when Chris decides they can work it out, Chris goes to the one place he knows Jas would run to.  Chris pursues Jas, but continues to doubt.  The thing about that that bugged me was that Chris’s doubt’s never seemed to change and he always calls his brother to talk him through it.  I just had a hard time believing that Chris would continue to doubt after everything him and Jas went through.  At the same time Jas can’t believe it’s real either until Chris can finally say those three special words.  Overall though I enjoyed this story.

 

Cover art by Aaron Anderson is perfect and I wouldn’t change anything.

 

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Book Details:

ebook, 162 pages

Published: 2nd Edition, November 14, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN: 9781634779111

Edition Language: English