Monday, October 30, 2017

Series Review: The Sin Bin by Dahlia Donovan

Series Review: The Sin Bin by Dahlia Donovan
When life kicks a wanderer in the bollocks, all he can do is fight for his life.

Bad boy BC Brooks screwed up his lifelong dream of being captain of the English national rugby team. Lost and confused, he hides from his failures until an unexpected inheritance forces him to make a change.

Graham Hodson lives for travel, adventure, and one-night stands. Wanderlust rules his life. He never expects a brief encounter with a stranger to haunt his dreams and follow him across the world.

One diagnosis shakes both men to their core.

One journey through the depths of recovery brings two perpetual bachelors into the unknown territory of love.

The Wanderer is book one in Dahlia Donovan's international bestselling gay romance series, The Sin Bin. Each one features hot rugby players and the men who steal their hearts.
"The Wanderer hits some hard truths of how cruel life can really be, but on the flip side of that, it shows that love is such a beautiful and patient thing that seriously will come out of nowhere, knock you flat on your arse and make you a better person than you ever thought you could be." —Lil Maso for PNR Book Lover Reviews

Buy The Wanderer
Publisher | Digital Outlets

4.5 Stars

I wasn't so sure about this book when I first started reading it. The first scene, The Prologue, takes place at Graham's twin brother, Rupert's, wedding. In the first couple of pages the author mentions/references like about 5 or 6 people, and I was ready to close the book. It was confusing, but once we get past the first couple of chapters we begin to not only learn who some of these people are, but the focus of the story turns towards the main characters. I looked at Goodreads and even though this is the first book in the series, it looks like this is a spinoff of another series.

When his uncle passes away, BC, a retired rugby player, inherits not only his evil little dog, Zeus, a 5 pound Yorkie, but the family inn, as well. Graham is a traveling writer. He travels around the world having adventures and writing about them. The two hook-up at Rupert's wedding, thinking they'll never see one another again, but when Graham shows up at BC's inn, sparks fly again.

I absolutely loved this book. I loved both Graham and BC from the first time they met, and as the story moves forward I fell more and more in love with them. I especially loved BC, I loved that he instinctively knew what Graham needed. He knew when to hover and when to leave him be. When to make him laugh and when to be serious, and seriousness wasn't a big part of this story. It's loaded with laugh out loud moments of teasing, name calling and slap stick like comedy. This story deals with a very serious illness, but the author handled it realistically, yet with a humor that kept you from sobbing your eyes out.

The story is well-written and although a little slow-paced in places, it was an extremely enjoyable read filled with laughter, love and a little steamy sex, as well. This is my first book by this author, but if this is any indication of what her writing style is like, I'll be checking out her backlist of MM books, and I'm definitely looking forward to more in the future! Highly recommended!!

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

Blurb: Who cares for the caretaker when his burden grows too heavy to bear?

Freddie Whittle devotes his life to his cancer patients, cheese, and his overprotective fathers. His big move to Cardiff is tainted by bigot neighbors and a dismal social life. He wants something more but doesn't know what until he runs headlong into a Scottish-Maori mountain of a man.

Taine Afoa retires from international rugby feeling restless. He left his career behind and relocates for a change of pace. The last thing he expects is to become infatuated with someone who seems far too young and innocent for him. No matter how hard he tries, it's impossible to get Freddie out of his mind.

Can Freddie handle the intensity of Taine's naughty sexual desires?

And when the strong alpha male tangles with the playful nurse, will this May-December romance end before it even begins? 

The Caretaker is book two in Dahlia Donovan's international bestselling gay romance series, The Sin Bin. Each one features hot rugby players and the men who steal their hearts.

Buy The Caretaker
Publisher | Digital Outlets

4 Stars!

Freddie is a nurse who works with cancer patients, he's sweet and caring. Taine is an ex-rugby player, who's been feeling restless since he retired. He's strong and dominant. He didn't expect to fall for someone younger than him, but he can't help but be attracted to Freddie.

I loved Freddie, he was a delight. I liked Taine, but really, there's only so much angst due to an age gap that I can handle without wanting to scream. Freddie was mature enough to know what he wanted and as he told Taine, a man his age wouldn't work for him in his line of work. He needed someone that could understand what he went through with his patients, not a selfish twenty-something. They had great chemistry, though, and although I was blindsided by the BDSM lite and would've liked to be warned about it before reading, well, I can admit Freddie and Taine were really hot together. I loved that even if Taine could be a tad intense, they actually had fun together.

I loved Taine's friends, they were a great support system for both of them. I liked Freddie's fathers, but his dad made me want to punch someone (preferably him) when he started with the age thing again. Thankfully, both Freddie's tad and his aunt were a whole lot more levelheaded.

Overall, the book was really good. Fun and enjoyable, sweet and hot and intense, just remember that there are some BDSM elements in it, in case you're not into it. Very recommendable!

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


When mistaken identity leads a young botanist into trouble, Navy SEALs come to the rescue.

Aled Demers prefers plants over people. He survives an attack in Anguilla alive but emotionally and physically scarred. Back home in Cardiff, he struggles with PTSD and his unraveling life.

Wyatt "Earp" Hardy lives for his SEAL brothers. Retiring from military service brings new challenges for him to face. The last thing he expects is for his next mission to involve falling for the much younger botanist.

If the botanist has the strength to heal, can Wyatt find the courage to love?

The short story The Botanist is book three in Dahlia Donovan's international bestselling gay romance series, The Sin Bin. Each one features hot rugby players and the men who steal their hearts.

"With no editing or grammatical errors to disrupt my reading flow, this was one helluva story that packs a mighty punch for being short. And that, right there, is the only problem I have with it! I NEEDED MORE!!!! I seriously wasn't ready for this book to be over. I loved every single word." ~Merissa, The Romance Reviews

Buy The Botanist

4 Stars

Wyatt and his fellow Navy Seals come upon a vessel that is docked where it shouldn’t be, and discover Aled, a Botanist student, who has been attacked by a drug cartel. The Seals come onboard and save Aled and return him to safety, but Wyatt can’t stop thinking about the frightened young man, so he seeks him out to assure himself that he’s healing well. But Aled isn’t handling things well at all.

Can I have a Wyatt?! He was such a doll. The patience and persistence he showed throughout the story was amazing. I loved that he was willing to take things as slow and careful as Aled needed and I absolutely loved him. I really liked Aled too and my heart broke for him, so I guess I can’t steal his man. *sigh*

Anyway, this was well-written and really sweet read. Fast paced and easy to read, perfect for a lazy afternoon lounging around. I love the back and forth banter between Wyatt and his fellow Seals as well and Wyatt and Aled. They were funny and had me chuckling throughout.

While I loved the story, I really wish the author had given us more consecutive page time with Aled and Wyatt. The story jumps time a lot, a month here, six months there, and it was harder for me to connect with Wyatt and Aled as a couple and not just a couple of friends. Still, an enjoyable read I’d recommend.

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


Who keeps the Royal Marine's heart safe when he's running headlong into danger?

Akash Robinson fuses his Indian and British heritage into his baked creations. His life is all things sugar and spice, especially when a blind date leads him to the older military man of his dreams. Family, friends, and an unwanted admirer all threaten both his sanity and his budding romance.

Hamish Ross carries the names of his lost soldiers on his back. He takes his work seriously with no time for love. All it takes is one impulsive kiss to lead him into uncharted romantic waters.  

When a sarcastic baker mixes with a stoic alpha marine, who will come out on top when the flour settles?

The Royal Marine is book four in Dahlia Donovan's international bestselling gay romance series, The Sin Bin. Each one features hot rugby players and the men who steal their hearts.

Buy The Royal Marine

4.5 Stars!!!

While all books in The Sin Bin series can be read as standalones, I think the series is better appreciated as a whole and truly, you'll be missing out if you don't read it all.

Akash Robinson is set up on two blind dates on the same night and while one is disastrous, the other has the potential to be the real thing. Hamish Ross thinks he has no time for love, but one kiss changes his mind for good. However, there are things that might put a damper on their budding romance.

Akash was adorable. I loved how good he was to his employees, even if hiring them put him at risk, because of the twins' stepfather. Much as I liked him, though, I was a bit fed up at how he treated Scott later in the book. Yes, I'm aware Scott was a jerk to him, but instead of trying to help him when they realized Scott needed the support, Akash just kept pushing him away, even when he was just offering his own help when Akash needed it. I really liked Hamish, I felt so bad for what he had to go through due to his work. He was so loyal and protective, perfect for Akash. The chemistry between Akash and Hamish was electric and they were really hot together, complimenting each other in the best of ways.

As before, I just adore how great the rest of The Sin Bin guys are and how they all rally to help when they are needed. Akash's family, minus his older sister, were awesome and I loved them to bits.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book. It was angsty, sweet, fun, hot and passionate. I'm really enjoying every installment and getting to meet this group of great men. I'm hoping we'll be getting Scott's story soon, I have a feeling it might be angstier, but he has so much potential. Highly recommendable!

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


Dahlia Donovan wrote her first romance series after a crazy dream about shifters and damsels in distress.  She prefers irreverent humour and unconventional characters.  An autistic and occasional hermit, her life wouldn’t be complete without her husband and her massive collection of books and video games.   

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