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The Sin Bin #4

The Royal Marine

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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.

192 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 14, 2017

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About the author

Dahlia Donovan

42 books727 followers
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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5 stars
71 (32%)
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87 (40%)
3 stars
49 (22%)
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8 (3%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 32 reviews
Profile Image for Cadiva.
3,225 reviews291 followers
April 14, 2019
My favourite one so far

I loved everything about this one.

The age gap, the mixed cultural heritage of Aki and his bakery, Hamish's teasing work colleagues, the twins at Akash's, and the relationship development.

There's a bit of angst in this one as Hamish's team heads off to dangerous places around the world as part of their security business, but the relationship is solid.

They're seriously sweet together, also funny and sexy and the whole book is just a great read.
Profile Image for namericanwordcat.
2,442 reviews401 followers
February 16, 2018
This is a strange romance where the side details seems to overshadow the romance. I want more falling in love for these heroes who I like a great deal.

The baking is awesome as is the the made and actual families. Except for Scottie who is so over the top awful that it makes my nose wrinkle in distaste every time he is on the the scene.

This is my second book in the series and while I enjoyed it in some ways I am just not getting enough romance and emotionial connection between the heroes to make me really happy.
Profile Image for Kirk.
341 reviews2 followers
October 12, 2017
This book’s blurb was so interesting I had to read it and I also loved the fact it was set in the UK. I was hooked from the first few pages and I just loved the chat and the sarcastic comments between all the friends which just drew me in, it was funny, very refreshing and it just appealed to my British sense of humour. The story’s about Akash, an Anglo-Indian baker who has his own shop in Cardiff, and Hamish, an ex-Royal Marine who now runs his own security company. They meet and start dating, with much hilarious input and torment from their friends and family, but jokes aside, Aki and Hamish were two people I wanted to see succeed as they were both good men and so likeable and really deserved each other. Their getting together wasn’t without trial and tribulation though as there was someone else interested in Akash who kept interfering and also trouble in the form of a certain step-dad and the fact that Hamish was away from home for long periods with his job where he went to countries in conflict with the very real threat that he may not come back. Reading this story was so much fun! But please don’t think I mean it was light or without substance as it most definitely wasn’t, it was a wonderful story of two people falling in love with each other and the dialogue between them and the supporting cast had me smiling all the way through the book and I can’t remember having done that for a while, it really was a total blast. You can read this as a standalone but there are a lot of friends in this story who’ve appeared in the previous books of the Sin Bin series. I’d urge you to try them all as they’re so good.

Review Copy requested and reviewed on behalf of OMG Reads.

181 reviews18 followers
September 25, 2017
I wanted something light and sweet when I picked this one. It didn't disappoint.
Akash is enjoying his night out on town. The only problem is that his friends didn't plan very well and tried to set him up with two different guys.
I had just started the book but I was already grinning. The writing is light and teasing and Akash vacillates between horribly embarrassed at his attraction and being attracted to Hamish. (It even rhymes, heh!) The story is told in alternating third POV but it's interspersed with Akash/Hamish's thoughts. Their monologue is both funny and sarcastic.
Both Akash and Hamish have a whole cadre of friends. They are nosy, meddlesome and above all they are funny. Both are being prodded to date not that either needs a lot convincing.
Their first date ends up being family dinner. I don't know about you, but to me that sounds as recipe for disaster. Even Akash's parents thinks so, and they wanted to met their son's new boyfriend.
The story skips merrily on its way as two men work their way toward relationship. This is a cheerful, charming romp.
Chapter 12 started with text exchange. With running commentary in the background. I was howling with laughter!
The book keeps its upbeat tone even in face of complication arising in their life. The relationship shifts and grows as we get to know characters better. It has a nice, unhurried pace. The “I love you's” come in emotionally charged moment.
It's a lovely upbeat read designed to lift reader's spirits and bring a smile on his face. In my humble opinion, everyone can use something this funny and sweet.

I received copy of this book in exchange for review.
The review is also posted on Gay Book Reviews
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Cat.
379 reviews3 followers
October 14, 2017
A Great Addition to a Fun Series

This was my first read by this author, and it quickly became apparent that I needed to read the first three in the Sin Bin Series. There is quite a bit that is assumed already known by the reader, so I would not classify this as a standalone novel. Thankfully, I was able to read the first three and then go back to this one, at which time I realized I’d stumbled onto a *great* author!

The plot is fairly straightforward, but has so many quirky side situations that you can’t help but giggle throughout the whole thing. Steadily paced, this is a fun journey to coupledom.

For example, Akash’s sister wanted to bring home a man for dinner to introduce him to their parents but didn’t want all the attention on her, so Aki and Hamish’s first date was a family dinner to take the heat off. Talk about awkward beginnings! However, if they can survive that, they can probably survive anything, right?

Hamish and Akash are both immensely likeable characters, which is readily apparent from the first chapter. Hamish has taken his military background and created a successful security company. Akash creates Indian-British fusion creations and owns his beloved bakery.

The peripheral characters are very active throughout this book, and they add so much to the whole, helping the character growth by leaps and bounds. I loved that Aki and Hamish had so many friendly opinions and pushes toward each other.

There are gaps in time due to Hamish’s job, but with them come some of the most hysterical text messages. By the end of the book, I was giddy and so glad to have had the opportunity to fall for these two men.

I’m rating this at four solid stars and recommend reading the entire series. You’re in for a treat!

I voluntarily read an ARC copy of this book for Divine Magazine from the author with hopes for but no obligation to provide a review.

**Same worded review will appear on Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.**
Profile Image for Mari  Cardenas.
2,009 reviews23 followers
November 2, 2017
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. ***
Profile Image for Kathy Wideman.
2,115 reviews25 followers
October 27, 2017
This is the forth book in this series and they are better if they are read in order. I love this is series and this book was no exception. Dahlia is a fantastic author. Akash was set up on two blind dates on the same night. One date was with Hamish the Royal Marine and the other was with Scotty the angry ex-rugby player. Akash and Hamish hit it off right away. Akash is an Indian/British baker. Hamish carries with him the men he has lost in battle and Akash is a sweet, kind, younger man. Hamish and Akash’s friends all have their opinion. Hamish’s friend encourage him to pursue the young baker. Akash’s friends support him in having a relationship with Hamish. But a pushy Scotty and a mystery person vandalizing the bakery stand between them. Hamish will protect Akash with his last breath. Will Scotty get the hint that Akash isn’t interested or will things take a turn for the worst with him? Akash and Hamish face time apart for Hamish’s career. He is no longer an active royal marine but he does work at a security firm. The job actually hasn’t changed all the much for him. He is still putting his life on the line to protect others. I love all the characters in this series and always look forward to new ones in the series. Akash and Hamish are a fantastic couple. The book has me laughing one minute and in tears the next. Akash is such an amazing man. I can’t wait for the next book in this series. Congrats on another fantastic book Dahlia.
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lisa.
2,056 reviews13 followers
November 2, 2017
I loved how this one began with Akash being set up on two dates at the same time with both Scottie and Hamish. It doesn't end well as fists and words fly. What is clear is that Hamish finishes out on top, Scottie is an idiot with anger management problems and Akash can hold his own and doesn't take any messing.

As Hamish and Akash grow closer and explore a relationship, they have to work through Hamish's long absences for work, Scottie's continued interest in Akash and someone's desire to ruin Akash's bakery business.

These were great characters with some old favourites dotted throughout. Whilst there were plenty of serious, thoughtful moments, there were also plenty of laugh out loud moments too. Another great addition to this series and its quirky characters.

***Reviewed for LBM Book Blog***
Profile Image for Kaye.
644 reviews3 followers
October 16, 2017
Wonderful camaraderie.

Such a wonderful series with great men who'll do anything for one another.

When I first read about Akash in the first book as a love interest for Freddie I expected someone very quiet and possibly meek but he is nothing like that at all!  I love how he is sweet yet strong and boy does he know how to defend himself verbally and physically.

Hamish is strong a man of principle and who is reliable and caring.  It's the most obvious trait that they all share.  It's not just for each other or their partner but for those less fortunate than themselves.

Their attraction is mutual given that Akash finds himself on a double blind date not of his own making but OMG how on earth does Scottie expect anyone to accept his advances with his awful attitude and behaviour is beyond me.

5 is on pre-order and it's a shame that it's going to be so short but I expect something explosive given it's Scottie's turn.
Profile Image for MariaLisa deMora.
Author 74 books549 followers
October 15, 2017
After a seemingly slow start that had me wondering where my lovely Dahlia had gone, she kicked the storyline into freakin' high gear and I could hardly put the book down. "That's more like it," I thought to myself as I snuggled into the couch. "There's the Donovan I know, the author whose work I love."

Then she took hold of my heart and cast it up into my throat, making my eyes leak because the love story between the Marine and his Baker is one of the sweetest I've had the pleasure of reading in a long time. Through gut-wrenching thrills and fear, she carried the story forwards, delivering us all at the end, sated and exhausted from the ride.

Dahlia Donovan has an exceptional grasp on what makes a good story. She delivers just enough angst for the outcome to be even sweeter than one expects. And with her skills, one expects a lot. Well done.
1,846 reviews3 followers
November 6, 2017
A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review

Rating 4 stars out of 5

For the full review visit https://wp.me/p220KL-c4X

From that review: " So once again, I've found myself starting a series at book four!  What a surprise! Not!  I give up, it really seems to be just a path I'm meant to take so I'm embracing it because again I'm going to have to go back to the beginning and pick up all the preceding stories.  Why?  Because of the heartwarming success of The Royal Marine (The Sin Bin #4) by Dahlia Donovan."

For all our reviews, author interviews and such, visit us at http://scatteredthoughtsandroguewords...

Profile Image for Nicole.
3,335 reviews42 followers
November 6, 2017
I was drawn to this book because I'm a fan of the M/M genre and Akash is baker. I liked him even more when I learned he has a cat. I loved reading Akash and Hamish finding their HEA. If you're a fan of the M/M genre then I would highly recommend this one. I can honestly say it's one of the best ones I've read. I will definitely be checking out more books by Dahlia Donovan. I loved her writing style and how well she drew me into this book.
Profile Image for Antisocial Recluse.
2,704 reviews
April 3, 2019
4.5 Stars

Another great entry in this wonderful series. The MC’s aren’t rugby players but they are good friends with the men from prior stories and their significant others. Akash and Hamish are the kind of characters I’ve come to expect from the author. They’re adults, there’s an age gap and while the Hamish is quite dominant and protective, never treats Akash as anything but an independent, capable adult. There is a touch of suspense around Akash’s business being targeted and danger for Hamish going on protective details that last for months. The romance is always rather low-key but not pushed to the background either. The narrative feels natural and realistic and I also enjoy the diverse backgrounds and family dynamics the author adds to the mix. I find the style of writing refreshing and anticipate reading more from Dahlia Donovan.
Profile Image for Socially Book Nerd .
511 reviews47 followers
October 15, 2017
this series just keeps getting better, each couple adds to the story an lives of these amazing men in the small sea side town. Now we have Marines along with the Rugby players. A retired marine and a baker. couldn't be more fantastic!
Profile Image for Sassy Southern Book Blog.
3,641 reviews215 followers
November 13, 2017

Akash, of British and Indian descent, blends both ancestries into his baking. His life is full of cinnamon, spice, and everything nice, especially after he meets the man of his dreams on a blind date.

Hamish, a Marine, is serious in all things, leaving no room for anything else. He's suffered loss, those of his men, and it's a heavy weight upon his heart. He has no time, or room, for love. But when one kiss, an impulsive one at that, makes him question his stance on a relationship, it rocks everything he thought he wanted, or didn't, as the case may be.

Sarcasm meets stoic in the forms of a baker and Marine, respectively, and you can't help but be curious as to what deliciousness those ingredients will create.

However, it seems everyone isn't as excited about this growing relationship as they are, as evidenced by life, family, and friends seemingly interfering, but, it's not until an unwanted admirer is uncovered that the true danger is realized.

Who is the admirer focused on? Will Hamish and Akash be able to keep the other safe? Will their family and friends embrace their relationship, their love for on another, and support them? Will Hamish ever find peace with his past? Is a HEA possible for these two?

One-click now and follow along as two people meet unexpectedly and find more than they ever could have hoped for. - By Elizabeth
Profile Image for Maria Vickers.
Author 58 books375 followers
November 14, 2017
The Royal Marine by Dahlia Donovan, while not as much of a roller coaster ride as some of the other books in the Sin Bin series, still takes you on a wild ride and you will not be able to stop turning the pages. It's Hamish's turn to find love and he does so with Akash Robinson. Their romance starts out a little shaky when Akash is set up on a blind date with two different men on the same night, but he winds up only having eyes for Hamish.

Like with other books written by this author, she does play on your emotions and when certain things happen, you will feel shocked, sad, angry, and irritated. In addition, I absolutely love Hamish and Akash together, and it's great seeing characters that we've seen in the previous books so that we can keep up with everyone. I can't wait for the next book in the series. 5 stars
Profile Image for Merissa (Archaeolibrarian).
3,395 reviews90 followers
November 17, 2017
The Royal Marine is the fourth book in The Sin Bin series, and it's time for Hamish's story. He has worked with Earp for a while now, and get set up on a blind date with Akash. Luckily (or unluckily) Akash is set up with Scottie on the same evening. Now we all know that Scottie is having major issues at the moment and, to be fair, acting like a jerk. So it comes as no surprise when Akash chooses to be with Hamish. Scottie is none too pleased about this, and continues to pop up throughout the book, with pleas and demands for Akash to go for a drink with him. During this time, Akash and Hamish are slowly getting to know each other. The spark is there, but it needs to be more than just sex. In between Akash's bakery and Hamish's work overseas, their relationship continues to move forward.

Now, I'm stopping right there, because I could go on. I could tell you about what a first class prize prat Scottie is, and how I think (hope) that I know who his match is. I could tell you how amazingly written the twins are, and how brilliant Akash is with them. I could tell you about the constant wit and banter, in amongst the danger, from Hamish, Earp, and the rest of the team. But seriously? Why would I do that? Why would I HAVE to do that? This is the fourth book in the series, and I would recommend that you read them in order for total enjoyment. So therefore, you know about Dahlia Donovan's writing style, her quick wit and sense of humour that comes across loud and clear in her writing. You know some of the previous characters and like/love the updates on their lives. So really, I don't have to tell you ANYTHING about this book, series, or author!

In case you haven't realised yet, I love Dahlia Donovan's books, her writing style, her characters, her charm. What I don't like is not having a mascara warning, and sobbing into my breakfast as I desperately try to finish The Royal Marine before I start work. Oh my, this book ripped my heart out. Did I get a happy ending? I'll leave that to you to read and find out.

I absolutely recommend this book, and the series, so GO READ IT! Now!

(And, no, I wasn't serious about the mascara warning before someone says it should be written on the cover somewhere!)

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *

Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Profile Image for DC.
757 reviews2 followers
February 1, 2020
One of my favorites in this series thus far, I really enjoyed Akash’s and Hamish’s journey. A lot of humor and a great deal of angst really kept this story flowing. And as always, it’s wonderful to have the cast of the previous stories make their appearance to support one another. It’s also interesting to watch the set-up for the next installment, which will be Scottie’s story. He’s an even bigger jerk in this one than he was in The Caretaker so how will be finally shed his demons?
My only real nit-picky issue has to do with trying to keep time and events consistent across the series. In one of the early chapters of this story, Wyatt, who we met with his husband Aled in The Botanist, states he can’t go on a particular assignment because he is going to France with Aled to visit Aled’s sick mother. Maybe I’m mistaken, but I thought when we were given a bit of Aled’s backstory in The Botanist, we were told Aled’s parents were killed in a plane crash long before he even met Wyatt.
Nevertheless, this has been a really good series so far, starting with After the Scrum, which although not numbered as the start of this series, really is.
Profile Image for Lora.
1,277 reviews17 followers
January 24, 2018
4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Akash & Hamish, a baker and a sexy soldier, stole the book battle this week. They are so far my favorite couple in this series. They wouldn't seem like a great match, but they work so well. I enjoyed it from the beginning until the end!!

The story moved at a quick pace - but not too quick. It had just enough humor to get you through some of the rougher patches. There were times I was crying and times I was sweating. There were moments I wanted to throw my kindle, but only because I so wanted their HEA for them!!!

Hamish's military experience isn't something he's all that comfortable talking about, but this quote from him really made me think about all of those that I have known who have served and wonder what their damage really is:

"No warrior emerges from the shadows without damage in one form or another."

I so can't wait to read Scottie's story. He's such a jerk and I can't wait to see what Gray does to calm his butt down!

*** I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review ***
Profile Image for Becky Baldridge.
3,177 reviews96 followers
November 10, 2017
Akash's friends seem to all agree that he needs a date, but it's apparent that they didn't communicate when he shows up at the Sin Bin to find two blind dates - one with a chip on his shoulder and the other a stoic royal marine. It doesn't take long for the attraction to bloom between Akash and Hamish, but their romance is a slow burn with them taking the time to get to know each other. We also get the added element of suspense with a mysterious fire and Hamish's dangerous job.
Dahlia Donovan is new to me, so I hadn't read the earlier books in this series, but other than so many names being mentioned at the very beginning, I had no problem following the story. There is plenty of interaction with secondary characters, but this one is primarily about Hamish and Akash. I have to say that I was quite impressed with the author's writing style. The book is wonderfully written, the characters are interesting, and the dialogue is witty and often funny.
Profile Image for Ayla.
618 reviews
September 1, 2018
I enjoyed reading Akash and Hamish's love story. This author does a great job of really separating the books in terms of content and storyline, but also showing us all of the characters we meet in the previous books and keeping them connected in that way. This was another greatly paced book where I felt everything was authentic and true to the characters.

Akash and Hamish were both really easy to like characters. I liked getting to know them and the people around them as well. This book definitely had some emotion in it but it was also sweet and easy to read and connect with these characters.

I know I probably sound mad but I am excited about Scottie's book! This author somehow makes me love all of the side characters just as much as the main characters. He was in this story enough, even if he was being a jerk, that I just want to know more about him and get his POV!

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement***
1,054 reviews8 followers
January 14, 2018
There is so much going on here - it may not include murder, but there is definite mayhem. The twins are having trouble with their step-father, Akash is having trouble with the bakery, Hamish and the others are having work troubles and injuries, and Scottie is having trouble behaving himself. Through all of this, Akash and Hamish find a way to get to know one another and figure out if they can be a couple. The characters are fabulous - love the twins! And I love how strong and able to take care of himself Akash is. Excellent installment in the series - can't wait for more.
Profile Image for Suze.
3,432 reviews
April 22, 2021
Another solid tale in the series - not so much the rugby connection this time, though Scottie makes a nuisance of himself.
Akash owns his own bakery in Cardiff. Hamish owns his own security company.
Hamish I found a little overbearing but perhaps comes from the military background.
Very much a character based story, despite a bit of arson in the middle
Profile Image for Book Break  With Lisa.
175 reviews12 followers
November 12, 2017
Review by Kelly...

I had a really hard time getting into this book. It had such a slow beginning that I struggled to continue. It was set in the UK and I had a hard time adjusting to that as well. There was a good story line but it moved to show for me to really get into.
Profile Image for Reanna Hanley.
238 reviews11 followers
January 19, 2018
The Royal Marine Sin Bin #4

I love Hamish and Aki, both strong, capable, and vulnerable in their own way. I enjoyed revisiting the Sin Bin characters as well as meeting new characters. This entire series has been great and I'm looking forward to more!
Profile Image for Elaine.
1,429 reviews15 followers
October 13, 2019
A Wonderful Story

I loved this story, it was well written, and had a great storyline. The characters were wonderful too. I fell in love with the twins. They were wonderful.
Profile Image for Alzhis Nigel.
58 reviews1 follower
April 17, 2020

Dahlia Donovan's Royal Marine is one of the sweetest book I've read. It gives me this "kilig" feels while reading this one.
Profile Image for Kendra T.
2,260 reviews31 followers
October 12, 2020
Akash and Hamish are friends of the rugby crowd. They had such a sweet romance. Poor Akash had some troubles around him, but Hamish was a lovely shoulder to lean on.
41 reviews1 follower
April 19, 2021
3.5 stars

Enjoyable read with likeable main characters. Felt a little distracted by Scott and his upcoming story (up next). Low angst novel.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 32 reviews

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