Growing up in a secondary school in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, there were two things pretty common in the bags of the students (mostly female and some male) that were within my age group of 13-16. One was the stacks of shiny CDs containing the latest blockbuster hits which we turned into some sort of barter system, in that, you have a movie I want to watch? Well I have one for you as well. The second thing we had in our bags were Harlequin Present novels. Sure we had the occasional Harlequin Desire or Blaze (and Silhouette if you wanted something with a bit more volume) but Harlequin Presents was our currency. Damn we had a ton of Harlequin novels. They were short and handy and you could lose yourself in the crazy zaniness of the characters and the plot. And the best part? They were cheap. I mean, I could buy a whole stack of them over the holidays and they wouldn’t put a dent in my savings. Seriously? Look at them:
Every time I see an Harlequin Present cover, I smile and remember happier times. Sure the stories were crazy but that was why I loved them! (Same goes for Kdramas :)). Now imagine my delight when I found out in the later part of December last year that Dreamspinner was releasing a new category under their publication, titled Dreamspun Desires. And this was the cover…
I mean, can you see the connection. The circle. The main character/characters in said circle. The title that promises a very crazy ass ride? It was Harlequin Presents meets M/M romance. And that for me was a double whammy! And when I found out that it was just as cheap ($6.99 for two books!) I hit subscribe faster than you can say Holy smokes it’s Harlequin with two men.
So, after I hit subscribe and told them yeah, take my money every month. I can part with 6.99 for such craziness, I had to wait two weeks for the first set to be released (they released it on January 1st & 15th).
So, whilst everyone was looking forward to the New Year for various reasons, I was as well, although the principal reason for me was the realization that I was going to get Dreamspun’s first story on the very first day of the year.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you: The Millionaire Upstairs by M.J. O’Shea.As I’d expected, this tale was classic Harlequin Presents zaniness. It was contemporary. The love interest was hot and smart and a total jerk and our protagonist loved him. There were outlandish twists and behavior so annoying I wanted to deck Harrison in the face. I wanted Sasha to be like bye Felicia and kick his ass to the curb and I wanted him to at the same time jump Harrison’s hot bones. And I got all that and more.
The book was short. It was light. There was some angst. Plus, just like I’d expected it to do so, it had a Happy Ending.
Sure there wasn’t as much sex as one would have expected there would be and I do know some reviewers complained about that. But come on! This follows the Harlequin Presents format which if you’ve read enough of, you would know is light on the sex. You want something steaming? Read Harlequin Desire or Blaze. Or take a journey to Silhouette-Harlequin’s cousin in print as I’m fairly sure they are both under the business name: Harlequin. Their sex scenes then were also hot (at least as far as my sixteen year old self was concerned. I have no idea if I would consider it hot now. Lol).
On January 15th, the second book of the month came out. And since I had already subscribed for Dreamspun Desires, I had it waiting in my downloads page. Presenting: First comes marriage by Shira Anthony.
This book had everything. There was a contract marriage. There was an ex who just wouldn’t stay away. There was said ex’s catty mother. There was an ‘evil’ stepmother. There were lies. There were deceits. And in-between it all, Jessie’s keeping one very important information from his new husband, Chris. First comes marriage was just as crazy. Just as zany and just what I expected when I signed up for the subscription.
And sure, I was screaming at the characters and wondering what the fuck is wrong with their heads, but nothing says I love this crazy, idiotic category than being so invested that you actually have to scream.
This month will bring Andrew Grey’s Lone Rancher and Eli Easton’s The Stolen Suitor and next month will be Tara Lain’s Taylor Maid and B.A. Tortuga’s Trial by Fire. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to all of them. Plus Charlie Cotchet’s Forgive and Forget, Ariel Tachna’s Unstable Stud, M.J. O’Shea’s Duke in Hiding and Nicki Bennet’s The Cattle Baron’s Bogus Boyfriend.
Like I said, the subscription is just $6.99 a month for two books and if you want, you can just get individual titles at $4.99.
As always, click on the link below to see Dreamspinner’s Dreamspun Desires category and the wonderful stories they have to offer if like me, you like some of your stories just a little bit crazy.