Friday, February 1, 2019

Release Day Reviews: Bad Valentine Collection

Bad Valentine is a lighthearted collection of four all-new shorts and novellas by Clare London, Jesi Lea Ryan, Dev Bentham and Jordan Castillo Price. Each story begins with the line, "Nothing good ever came from a valentine."

Love Magic by Jesi Lea Ryan

(Paranormal MM Romance) 

"The day I met Derrick while playing my violin in the park was magical. Unfortunately, magic and love together don’t always mix."

Oliver met Derrick while busking in the park, and they hit it off from the start. At first, Derrick’s “mysterious magician” vibe was intriguing, but after two botched dates, Oliver was ready to call it quits.

Fearing he lost his chance with Oliver, Derrick makes a last-ditch effort to win Oliver’s heart with a romantic Valentine’s date. But when love and magic collide, things tend to go awry. Will these two guys make it through the date unscathed?

3.75 Stars!

Love Magic was a cute story with a paranormal touch. Both Derrick and Oliver were very likable, although unfortunately, the book's length didn't help with really getting to know them. The paranormal part of the story was intriguing and interesting, I just wish we'd get to see more of the romance, as well. Still, it was an enjoyable read!

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

Quill Me Now by Jordan Castillo Price 

(Paranormal MM Romantic) 

What if the words you wrote came true?

Spellcraft isn’t exactly a respectable business, but it does pay the bills. At least, it should. Unfortunately, Dixon Penn failed his Spellcraft initiation. Instead of working in his family’s shop, he’s stuck delivering takeout orders in his uncle’s beat-up Buick.

Winning a Valentine’s Day contest at the largest greeting card company in the tri-state area would be just the thing to get his life back on track—but something at Precious Greetings just doesn’t add up. And despite numerous warnings to quit pestering them about his contest entry, he simply can’t stop himself from coming back again and again.

It doesn’t hurt that the head of security is such a hottie. If Dixon had any common sense, he’d be scared of the big, mysterious, tattooed Russian.

To be fair, no one ever accused him of being too smart….

3.75 Stars 

I have mixed feelings about this story. I loved the story itself and I absolutely adored Dixon. He was sweet, funny and a bit awkward. I loved his ramblings and could listen to him all day. As for Yuri, he wasn’t very well developed, as most of the story is told from Dixon’s POV, but what I saw, I liked.

I loved the mystery and paranormal portion of the story. It was well done, kept me guessing and even had some action. What didn’t work for me was the romance portion. There wasn’t enough, but seeing the note at the end of the story to look for more from Dixon and Yuri in the future made me happy. I hope we get to know them both better in the next installment and see their relationship develop further.

While for me the romance portion was a miss in this Valentine’s read, it was still an enjoyable story and I’m definitely looking forward to more, hopefully in the near future. Recommendable!

*copy provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Hidden Hearts by Clare London
(Contemporary MM Romantic Comedy) 

Accident-prone Ethan has a dating history that reads like a disaster movie script. Strong and silent Kel can’t seem to master the necessary small-talk on a proper date. When they both get signed up anonymously for a Valentines’s night event—"for those with an adventurous spirit but an open diary”—they never imagined they’d be matched. They never imagined the romantic sparks would fly. To be honest, they never imagined they’d survive the week.A catalogue of disasters dogs the footsteps of their blossoming romance, including a coffee date with food allergies as an added extra, an intimate dinner that strays too close for comfort to chopped chillies, and a sensual massage with hot wax candles that threatens to alert the local fire brigade. 

But if they can hold tight to their sweet, surprising, yet single-minded attraction – they might just survive this Valentine’s Day with something very special to look forward to.

4.5 Stars!

Hidden Hearts was such a fun, sexy, feel-good read! I completely adored both Ethan and Kel, who proved that opposites do attract. Ethan is an accident-magnet accountant and Kel is a mechanic who are set up for a Valentine date, they are both lovely and hit it off from the getgo, despite all the disasters that stand in their way. They had fantastic chemistry and I just adored how sweet and protective Kel was with Ethan. I wish the book had been longer, but I was satisfied with what I got. Super recommendable!

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

Temporary Dad by Dev Bentham 
(Contemporary MM Romance)

Nick Compton owns a small but mighty fashion magazine. He already has enough on his plate, between work and, well, work. There’s no room for a kid in his life but when his sister drops her seven-year-old daughter for an extended stay, he has to figure it out. Just before his niece arrives, Nick meets a blazing hot firefighter. They get on like a house a fire and the sex—scorching. Too bad the he disappeared in the morning. Like smoke. Now Nick’s stuck with a kid he doesn’t know how to manage and without the man he’d love to get his hands on again.

Dylan Gil wishes like hell he hadn’t taken his roommates advice and lied about who he was. He’s finally met someone he really likes and can’t stop thinking about. But now he’s too embarrassed to confess that he’s just a second-grade teacher, not a manly firefighter. Good thing that work gets distracting, particularly when one of his brightest students goes to stay with her uncle and all hell breaks loose. Some people shouldn’t be allowed to have kids.

If the term “dad pants” means anything it’s that taking care of children and fashion aren’t compatible. Does that mean these two doomed? Or is this the beginning of forever?

A contemporary gay romantic comedy by Dev Bentham, Temporary Dad features mistaken identity, opposites attracting, a one night stand and some steamy mm romance.

4.5 Stars 

This was the best of the lot in the Bad Valentines stories and definitely my favorite.

I loved both Nick and Dylan and they had chemistry that was out of this world. Not only were they hot together, but I loved the progression of their relationship. It started with a bang, quite literally, but I loved watching them interact with one another, as well as with Nick’s niece, Ruby.

This story was well-written, sweet and steamy. My only complaint was I wanted more of Nick and Dylan! Very enjoyable and definitely recommendable.

*copy provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

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