Dreamspun Desires

The Stolen Suitor by Eli Easton

the-stolen-suitorRating: 3.75 stars
Publication day:
 February 1, 2016
270 pages  
Dreamspinner Press

His future was set until a thief stole his heart.

All of Clyde’s Corner, Montana, knows local dandy Chris Ramsey will marry Trix Stubben, young widow and heir to the richest ranch in the area. But one woman isn’t too keen on the idea. Mabe Crassen wants to get her hands on that ranch, so she sets her older son to court Trix, and her younger son, Jeremy, to distract Chris and lure him astray.

Jeremy Crassen thinks his mother’s scheme is crazy. But he wants desperately to go off to college, which Mabe will agree to—if he seduces Chris. How will shy, virginal, secretly gay Jeremy attract Chris, who seems determined to do the right thing and marry Trix? Jeremy can’t compete with a rich female widow. Or can he?

My View: The Stolen Suitor is part of the Dreamspun Desires series, and delivers a good mix of traditional western tropes. It can be considered an insta-lust to insta-love, but it works as part of the series.

The story is well written and filled with supporting characters. It flows smoothly, but the six points of view were a little excessive.  Since two of the POVs were from female characters pronoun confusion wasn’t an issue.

I like the story, but don’t love it. Jeremy and Chris were right together, but it was more of a relationship of opportunity between the only single gay guys around. From all of the characters, I think Eric was the more appealing and interesting one.

Overall, an easy and entertaining read with three love stories for the price of one.

What I liked the most: For me, Eric, Jeremy’s brother stole the story.

I wanted more/less: Perhaps less POVs.

Who should read it: Fans of traditional western romances.

The Millionaire Upstairs by M.J. O’Shea

Rate: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication day: January 1, 2016
Length:  198 pages
Publisher: Dreamspun Desires (Dreamspinners Press)

The Millionaire UpstairsHe might be hard to work for, but he’s impossible to resist.

Sasha Sobieski has the perfect job working at legendary American fashion house Harrison Kingsley—or at least he used to. He just never thought he’d have to work for Harrison Kingsley himself. Harrison is exacting, difficult, cold, and hands-down the sexiest man Sasha has ever seen.

After years at the top, Harrison Kingsley knows what he wants, when he wants it, and exactly how he’d like it to be delivered to him. What he wants most right now? His new assistant. Sasha is mouthy, opinionated, and he drives Harrison mad. Problem is, Harrison can never tell if it’s with anger… or desire.

My View: This is the first volume in the new Dreamspun Desires house line by Dreamspinner Press. According to their website, “These are contemporary category romance novels, complete with your favorite heartwarming heroes, cracktastic clichés, and terrific tropes. It’s all about the feel-good loving that will leave you grinning.”

As a writer, I thought about submitting a story for this new line, but the writing guidelines felt too restrictive for my style. And, in my opinion, these guidelines are the reason I didn’t enjoy this story more. Yes, the author delivered exactly what they needed, but in the end, it read as forced.

I loved Harrison after reading less than a paragraph from his POV. He was my favorite character archetype — surly, millionaire, reclusive, with a heart of gold. He had great qualities, but he didn’t have enough time for a real redemption. In a handful of pages, he tried to justify his actions with a childhood story that seemed too little too late and unnecessary. His personality should have been enough of a reason behind his words.

Sasha was adorable and sassy. A perfect combination for Harrison but their time together was not as interesting as their courting and time apart. He was a great friend and Mateo, Padma, and Jo complemented his story well.

The settings, the job descriptions, and some of the secondary characters were great. Overall, it was a good story with a nineties’ feel.

What I liked the most: More of Harrison’s snarkiness.

I wanted more of: Penn’s and Sasha’s relationship.

Who should read it: Perfect for those who grew up reading Harlequin category romances.