Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

FIRST AND FIRST by Santino Hassell

FIRST AND FIRST by Santino Hassell

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Publisher
FIRST AND FIRST by Santino HassellFirst and First by Santino Hassell
Series: Five Buroughs #3
Published by Dreamspinner Press Genres: Contemporary, Erotic, Gay
Reviewed by Cheryl

Nearing forty, Caleb Stone has never been comfortable with his sexuality. Coming out later in life met with his father’s disapproval and curtailed any youthful adventures for the uptight scion of a wealthy New York family. Rather than risk the potential of awkward failure, he hides his desires behind a prickly, controlled facade. All that changes at a New Year’s Eve party where Caleb, still smarting from his ex’s new relationship, finds himself alone in a crowd of couples.

 

Enter Oliver “Oli” Buckley. Disowned by his own wealthy family at eighteen for his sexual adventures, Oli had to make his own way in life and is unapologetically independent. Shameless and daring, he is Caleb’s opposite, and a kiss at midnight leads to an explosive tryst neither can forget — even if Caleb’s memory is a bit hazy. Libertine Oli is happy to facilitate Caleb’s hedonistic escapades, but he’s nobody’s Prince Charming and doesn’t believe in monogamy.

 

As they delve further into a sexual relationship, the two become friends, business partners, and Caleb finally comes into his own. Caleb knows what he wants, but will his newfound courage push him to discover Oli’s true desires?

 

First and First is a fantastic addition to the Five Boroughs series. The second installment, Sunset Park, may still be my favorite, but First and First is a close second. After meeting Caleb in Sunset Park, I was a little apprehensive of him as a leading man, but he and Oli are delightful. Prickly but deep, Caleb is just waiting for someone wild and blunt as Oli. Told exclusively through Caleb’s point of view, I enjoyed watching him develop his confidence and act upon it. I also appreciate the bits of Oli’s personality that peeked through even when Caleb wasn’t fully catching onto what Oli was showing him. I don’t always prefer a limited perspective, but here it was presented in such a subtle and intriguing way that I didn’t mind not reading Oli’s POV. I wouldn’t say no to a short story from his POV, though.

 

Intensely erotic, First and First blazes off the pages. Caleb and Oli’s relationship evolves through multiple scorching sex scenes. While kinky and debauched, those scenes work together to push the story forward with a purpose. Caleb is so buttoned down that he needs wild experiences in order to come to terms with his true desires. Oli, the hedonist, needs to find the person who will accept and fight for him. I also enjoyed the modern feel of their relationship and the story’s backdrop. It wasn’t simply a standard, normative tale. Caleb and Oli were finding love in a world where people hookup but aren’t necessarily exclusive or renting U-Hauls after a few weeks. It’s refreshing to read a contemporary romance populated with characters that act as people of today. The secondary characters help make the Five Boroughs world more vivid and alive. I lived for the storyline featuring Raymond and David. I can’t get enough of them, even though I know they already have their own book. There were also quite a few other characters I would love to have Santino explore further. Charles deserves his happy ending at some point! Honestly though, I just want to read more of this world and the series, no matter who the characters are.

 

First and First could be easily read as a standalone, but I would suggest reading the previous books first. Readers will get a much fuller, richer story if they explore the earlier installments. Since I loved the previous book even more, let me assure you, you will thank me after reading it. Santino Hassell knows how to provide a thoroughly modern, utterly wicked, completely delightful read. I can’t Joyfully Recommend First and First enough!

SIRE by Kate Pavelle

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Publisher
SIRE by Kate PavelleSire by Kate Pavelle
Series: Steele City #4
Published by Dreamspinner Press Genres: Contemporary, MM

Three Rivers Academy will be a fresh start for Robbie Kowalski who leaves behind the hated nickname Lummox because his old school couldn’t see past his large, clumsy size.  The son of a carpenter, Robbie’s obtained a partial scholarship with excellent grades and impressive science projects so that he can attend the affluent high school.

 

Coming from a family of lawyers and high achievers Brent Kenson is well aware of what’s expected of him.  Unfortunately for him, Brent would rather spend every waking hour at his uncle’s ranch, Blue Heron Acres, where they raise and train valuable show horses.

 

A teacher pairs the two teens for an assignment and the boys begin to connect as friends.  Robbie accepted his sexuality years ago, though it’s something Brent’s having a harder time grappling with.  Curiosity has them taking that first step of kissing on a visit to the ranch.  As the days pass their friendship deepens, but it’s too soon for Brent to share secrets that are tearing him apart.  Rob will need all the help he can get to catch Brent before he falls too far and makes a decision no one can live with.

 

Sire takes an excellent look at teenage issues where angst and drama go hand in hand with joy and harmony.  On the cusp of manhood, sexuality and family expectations weigh heavily for Brent and Rob.  A tough, taut plotline leads the main characters on a rough personal journey.  Emotionally intense Sire doesn’t pull any punches, yet in the end manages to shine.  This standalone story is a welcome addition to the series.

THE PLUMBER by Serena Yates

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Publisher
THE PLUMBER by Serena YatesThe Plumber by Serena Yates
Series: Workplace Encounters #9
Published by Dreamspinner Press Genres: Contemporary, MM

Privilege and wealth meant little to Steve Hayes, who left the restrictive ties his family held to become a social worker. His career choice infuriated his parents who then turned their back on him. It saddened Steve greatly that his younger siblings chose money over acknowledging their brother, especially as he was the only one who showed them love and affection.   Nowadays he’s too busy as the home manager for the Safe Home for Girls and Boys to worry about the past.

 

Becoming a plumber wasn’t the career choice Will Kovar’s parents wanted for their son. It caused some problems between them though eventually they thawed and accepted his decision.  Years of hard work and long hours made Will’s business Total Plumbing Solutions a success.  The downside is his lack of social life.  There aren’t enough hours in the day.

 

An emergency call from a children’s home has unexpected results when Will meets Steve for the first time.  The two lonely workaholics feel a connection and make an attempt to see where things can go.  As attraction evolves into something stronger negative rumors about the Home puts Steve’s future in jeopardy.  Worse, it may be that Will is involved.

 

Good intention and wicked dealings arise for The PlumberWorkplace Encounters offers a sweet and hot romance in the ninth story of the popular series.  Decent, honorable main characters work their lives away until love enters the picture.  A feel good, generous romance The Plumber features a heartwarming love story.  The expected villain is unmasked and the plotline is wrapped up at the very end.  Steve and Will are the heart and soul of The Plumber.

WHISKERS OF A CHANCE by Tempeste O’Riley

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Publisher
WHISKERS OF A CHANCE by Tempeste O’RileyWhiskers of a Chance by Tempeste O’Riley
Published by Dreamspinner Press Genres: MM, Paranormal

The Glacier Rim Tribe of lynx shifters is run by an autocratic Alpha whose ruthless, arrogant leadership style has driven his own grown children away.  Keith Skyler, his widowed sister Taylor, and her son moved to a house on the opposite end of Seattle using the distance to their jobs as the reason.

 

Butting heads with his father over everyday issues was enough to convince Keith to move to the other side of town.  If his father ever suspected that Keith had no intention of mating a woman things would’ve gotten really bad.  Supposedly there’s no such thing as a gay lynx or the gift of a true mate.  With those thoughts in the back of his mind the Alpha heir couldn’t understand the meaning of the delectable scent in the air as he brought furniture into their new home.

 

IT expert Jason Grant watched the sexy eye candy move in next door.  He uses the excuse of bringing over a casserole to welcome his new neighbor.  It’s too much to hope that the new guy is gay, but apparently the heavens were listening when Jason introduces himself.  Surprisingly Keith is more than interested because the goddess Bast has granted the lynx his wildest wish.  Jason is about to have his world turned upside down.

 

Author Tempeste O’Riley breathes fresh life into the tried and true storyline Whiskers of a Chance.  Likeable characters keep readers engaged in their sensual and lively romance.  Exacting secondary characters also play important parts and strengthen the tale.  A thoroughly entertaining love story – Whiskers of a Chance gives Keith and Jason the chance of a lifetime.  An excellent adventure.

THE PRINCE’S CONSORT by Antonia Aquilante

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Publisher
THE PRINCE’S CONSORT by Antonia AquilanteThe Prince's Consort by Antonia Aquilante
Series: A Tale of Tournai #1
Published by Dreamspinner Press Genres: Fantasy, MM

The weight of a kingdom is a heavy burden for an honorable ruler.  Inheriting his crown at a young age, Prince Phillip Alexander Stefan Mael had relied on the wisdom of his uncle, Duke Umber for guidance in governing the Principality of Tournai as he matured.  Recently Phillip has begun to diplomatically wrest the reins of power now that he’s ready to make decisions on his own for the good of his people.

 

As Amory Arnau grew up he realized his best chance of having a good day involved avoiding his sire as much as possible.  Nothing Amory did was ever good enough or right in his father’s eyes.  The Arnau family has the distinction of being the sanctioned glassblowers for the royal family of Tournai.  Amory spends his days at college, sports, and secretly helping design in the family glassblowing factory.  Free time is spent with his childhood friend Tristan.

 

When Amory is caught kissing Tristan in the garden there are heavy and unexpected repercussions.  The very next day Amory is instructed to accompany his father on a visit to the palace.  Amory can’t believe what he’s hearing when his father offers him up to the prince for a night.  The tables are turned however after Prince Phillip insists on keeping the young man indefinitely.  Amory’s world is about to become more than he ever imagined possible.

 

Author Antonia Aquilante weaves a lush, quietly sensual adventure for readers in The Prince’s Consort.  Mysteries and danger challenge Prince Phillip and Amory at every turn in the exciting character driven plotline.  The excellent use of emotional ties and incredible chemistry aid in making The Prince’s Consort a truly enjoyable story. At every turn the lovers triumph over their adversaries with courage, honesty, and heart. Their love is exactly what makes The Princes Consort a Happily Ever After.

MY PRINCE by Anna Martin

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HEALED HEARTS by Logan Meredith

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DEMON OF MINE by Rayna Vause

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BAYOU FAIRY TALE by Lex Chase

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BOWERBIRDS by Ada Maria Soto

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MAKE ME SOAR by K. C. Wells

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TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER by Caitlin Ricci

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RUIN PORN by S.A. McAuley & S.J.D. Peterson

RUIN PORN by S.A. McAuley & S.J.D. Peterson

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THE LIGHTENING-STRUCK HEART by TJ Klune

THE LIGHTENING-STRUCK HEART by TJ Klune

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TIGERS ON THE RUN by Sean Kennedy

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SONS OF THE COUNTRYSIDE by Jenni Michaels

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OBSIDIAN SUN by Jon Keys

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FAMILY AND REFLECTION by Anne Barwell

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OUT OF THE PAST by Sean Michael

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FAMILY JEWELS by M. J. O’Shea

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