Tag Archives: Dreamspinner Press

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Book Review: Their Dark Reflections, by Amanda Meuwissen

Book Title: Their Dark Reflections

Author: Amanda Meuwissen

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Tiferet Design

Genre: Dark Paranormal M/M Romance

Trope/s: Friends to lovers, vampire/victim, boss/employee,thief with a heart of gold, hidden agenda, kind but vicious vampire

Themes: Self-discovery, finding light in the darkness, embracing one’s darkness, love against all odds

Heat Rating:  4 flames     

Length: 70 096 words/204 pages

It is a standalone book.

Goodreads

Personal assistant Sam Coleman can do it all: housekeeping, groundskeeping, bookkeeping. The catch? It’s a con.

Ed Simon, his newest millionaire boss, doesn’t know Sam Goldman is a Robin Hood for hire who targets rich jerks. Sure, Sam keeps the money for himself, his crew, and his real employers, but at least they only steal from bad people.

Until sweet, fumbling Ed, who doesn’t seem to have a single vice. Too bad the people who hired Sam won’t let him back out. They want Ed’s money, and they’ll hurt Sam and his friends to get it.

For years Ed has kept people at arm’s length, but Sam’s charms wear down his defenses—just as he learns their budding relationship was an act. Sam isn’t who Ed thought he was, but Ed has a dark secret too: he’s a vampire. And someone is framing him for a series of bloody murders.

When the real villains force their hand, Sam and Ed must choose: work together, trust each other, and give in to the feelings growing between them… or let what might have been bleed out like the victims piling at their feet.

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Everyone has a second face. 

Excerpt 

Sam was exhausted, probably because he hadn’t slept well in the past two days, but when he was ready to call it a night and looked around for Ed, he was surprised to find him outside, already in the pool. Sam was usually gone before Ed took his swims.

The tricked-out radio by the patio doors was blasting loud enough to carry outside, playing Blue Oyster Cult and making Sam smile. He didn’t fear the reaper so much himself anymore either.

Ed wasn’t doing any complicated strokes, just floating serenely on his back, arms gently moving to keep him up while he gazed at the stars beginning to glitter above him. He’d left the doors open as if to invite Sam to watch, so it was easy to do so without calling much attention to himself.

Ed didn’t look like a predator while swimming, his trunks clinging to him, chest bare. Sometimes it was hard for Sam to accept that dissonance—this version of Ed compared to the swift, brutal one—but then, wasn’t a lion capable of seeming like a housecat even if it was always dangerous?

“Would you like to join me?” Ed called without turning to look at him. “I have an extra suit upstairs.”

Sam wondered if that made him the lion tamer.

Enjoying the way Ed’s eyes fixed to his mostly bare body when he descended from upstairs in the spare trunks, Sam took his time walking to the edge of the pool, set his clothes on one of the lounge chairs, and stepped off for a simple, smooth drop into the water. He shook the excess from his hair and face when he resurfaced, seeking out Ed at the other end.

“Tell me,” Sam said, lifting up to float lazily on his back, “even without your telescope, how many of those can you name?”

“The stars? Or constellations?” Ed lifted as well, both watching the sky as they orbited each other.

“Does it matter?”

“No. I can name most of them.”

“Then where am I?”

Ed navigated to drift up beside Sam, tracing over invisible lines in the sky. “Gemini. Sort of like two stick figures holdings hands.”

Sam chuckled. “And you?”

“Pisces is there.” Ed dragged his finger the other direction. “See the way the ends connect and then it makes a sort of tilted V?”

“Doesn’t really look like a fish.”

“We had to be more creative back then.”

Blinking as what Ed was implying sunk in, Sam righted himself, not sure if he could ask, “You mean…?”

“I’m not that old.” Ed grinned. He didn’t clarify how old he was, however.

“You know, one of these days, I’m going to get you up on that roof to use your telescope properly.”

Ed scrunched his nose. “I wasn’t lying about not caring for heights.”

“I figured. Any particular reason?”

“I don’t know. Maybe because there weren’t as many tall buildings in my time.”

“Which was…?” Sam tried again, but Ed glanced away.

“Is this our first date?”

“If it was, would you tell me?”

“I said my age wasn’t a first date reveal, so….”

Sam read Ed’s hesitancy and didn’t want to push. “I don’t think this counts.” He smirked when Ed looked at him with a start. “We need to leave the house for a real date.”

“We’ll have to start thinking about our rain check, then.” Ed smiled back at him.

Drifting closer, Sam slid his hands around Ed’s waist to finally connect and pull him in. Even in the heated pool, Ed’s skin felt bracing. “I guess we will,” he said and started to lean forward.

“Sam.” Ed wrapped his arms around Sam’s neck, but his hands fidgeted, and he held back from letting Sam reach his lips. “You’re not only pretending because you think this is the only way to be safe from me, are you?”

“What?”

The idea that Ed still expected treachery surprised him, but then, Sam almost had betrayed him again, scared as he’d been. Ed was the most powerful and deadly creature he’d ever met, but he was still vulnerable, still so human.

“According to you,” Sam said, “I’m putting myself in more danger by being with you. You gave me an out, Eddie, and I chose to stay.”

 

 

About the Author  

Amanda Meuwissen is a bisexual author, with a primary focus on M/M romance, and works in marketing for the software company Outsell. She has a Bachelor of Arts in a personally designed Creative Writing major from St. Olaf College, and is an avid consumer of fiction through film, prose, and video games. As author of the paranormal romance trilogy The Incubus Saga and several other titles through various publishers, Amanda regularly attends local comic conventions for fun and to meet with fans, where she will often be seen in costume as one of her favorite fictional characters. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, John, and their cat, Helga, and can be found at www.amandameuwissen.com.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

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Review:

I generally thought this was pretty sweet. I enjoyed how Ed could go from bumbling cutie to cold killer and how Sam liked that too. I liked the side characters, especially Gerry, who struck me as a little bit of a himbo. And I appreciated how Ed’s vampirism isn’t glossed over. He’s a killer, will always be a killer, and struggles with those same instincts even with his ‘love.’

I did think the plotting a little shallow, with things just happening and then being set aside until convenient again. (This was especially true of the police investigation.) The book also felt overly long and the pacing was inconsistent, tending towards dragging on occasion.

All in all, however, I enjoyed it and would read more of Meuwissen’s work

 

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of three ebooks from the author’s backlist.

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Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

 

 

 

far from home

Book Review of Far From home, by Madeleine Urban

I borrowed a copy of Madeleine Urban‘s Far from Home through Hoopla, and I am so proud of myself for it. Here it is, Sept. 24th, and I’ve already read a book for every letter of the alphabet except X. My Author Alphabet Challenge is coming along so well this year! I usually find myself in the last week of December scrambling to find a book by an author starting with I, X and U. But not this year. It’s URBAN to the rescue.

Description from Goodreads:

A collection of three m/m sci-fi novellas by Madeleine Urban: Enhanced, Close Encounter, and Following the Sun.

Review:

Not bad, but not overwhelmingly wonderful either. While having a theme is nice, I did think the three stories were all a little too similar. Each involved two men in some life-threatening position meeting two other men and forming two perfect couples. I thought Close Encounter the weakest, enjoying Enhanced and Following the Sun better. But all of them were a little on the thin side, everything moving a little too fast and lacking in enough detail. (Part of why I don’t usually read short stories.) But I did enjoy the sci-fi settings and the writing is quite readable. So, again, not bad.

Jacked Cat Jive

Book Review of Jacked Cat Jive (Kai Gracen #3), by Rhys Ford

I borrowed an audio copy of Jacked Cat Jive, by Rhys Ford, through Hoopla.

Description from Goodreads:

Stalker Kai Gracen knew his human upbringing would eventually clash with his elfin heritage, but not so soon. Between Ryder, a pain-in-his-neck Sidhe Lord coaxing him to join San Diego’s Southern Rise Court, and picking up bounties for SoCalGov, he has more than enough to deal with. With his loyalties divided between the humans who raised him and the Sidhe Lord he’s befriended and sworn to protect, Kai finds himself standing at a crossroads. 

When a friend begs Kai to rescue a small group of elfin refugees fleeing the Dusk Court, he’s pulled into a dangerous mission with Ryder through San Diego’s understreets and the wilderness beyond. Things go from bad to downright treacherous when Kerrick, Ryder’s cousin, insists on joining them, staking a claim on Southern Rise and Kai. 

Burdened by his painful past, Kai must stand with Ryder against Kerrick while facing down the very Court he fears and loathes. Dying while on a run is expected for a Stalker, but Kai wonders if embracing his elfin blood also means losing his heart, soul, and humanity along the way. 

Review:

I gave the first two books in this series four stars, but I just can’t this one. While I still thought Kai was a fun character and the banter was there, I felt like the book didn’t accomplish anything. There didn’t seem to be any real plot. Yes, they were going to rescue the children. But mostly they got in a transport vehicle and then reacted to everything that jumped at them. And a lot of things predictably jumped at them. That seemed to be most of the book, Kai fighting one monster after another. There was a random sweet moment with the dying adoptive father, that then didn’t go anywhere. And the book ended where I would have preferred it began. Greg Tremblay did a good job with the narration though.

On a side note, I picked this up while browsing Hoopla looking for something to read. When I saw it, I thought, “I liked the first books. Sure, I’ll listen to that.” It wasn’t until near the end of the book that I remembered the author is being a bit of a prat on social media about Dreamspinner not paying a lot of its authors, translators, artists, etc. I probably wouldn’t have listened to the book if I’d remembered that at the time I borrowed it, or at least not listened to it right now.