Monday, December 11, 2017

ARC Review: Out For the Holidays: An Out Novella by Cara Dee

Out For the Holidays: An Out Novella
Blurb:
I’m not saying Henry jinxed us when he chose to send out two hundred holiday cards stating we were going to have a blissful Christmas at home…

Before we knew it, our peace and quiet went out the window, and we were headed to Mexico for a photo shoot my agent had neglected to tell me about. Of course, we had to deal with the man who didn’t want us to be together, and then we ended up back in LA, and we had to figure out what was going on with my brother, and, and… Okay, deep breaths. FYI, Philadelphia is nowhere near our home in northern Washington. Additionally, I wonder how Viagra really works, and what’s it gonna take to get a proposal around here?

Honestly. I’m not saying Henry jinxed us, but I’m writing the damn card next year.

Warning: This story contains more sugar than the cookies you leave for Santa, and it's chock-full of greetings and updates from other characters written by Cara, titles including Noah, Home, Path of Destruction, Uncomplicated Choices, and more.

(A 40k words long Christmas-themed sequel to Out. Not a standalone.)




Jewel's rating:




​​Note: Out For the Holidays is not a stand alone story. If you have not read Out, you'll want to read that one, first.

I've read a lot of Christmas stories, lately, and to tell you the truth I'm kind of wanting to see the back end of this holiday. I was mildly concerned that because of Christmas burnout, I wouldn't enjoy the last Christmas story in my line-up (this one). I should not have been concerned. Out For the Holidays is a wonderful holiday story!

Like Out, Out For the Holidays is told entirely from Zach's POV. And just like Out, I loved being inside his head.

I can't get enough of these guys! Zach and Henry are just so damn special. I love their chemistry, their dedication to one another, their banter, their scorching hot smexytimes...just, all of it.

Book Review: Healing by Stevie Woods

From The Blurb:
With Audin's life in danger, Tener is willing to take the ultimate risk. 
Two men, who were once best friends until they parted following a blazing row, meet up again bychance years later. Both men have experienced much during their years apart and life has tempered them. 
Even though Tener is now a healer rather than the doctor he ought to have become, and Audin is an engineer working for an authoritarian government department, they discover they still have much in common. When Tener discovers Audin's position has placed him at risk, they find themselves working together in the fight against a corrupt and increasingly dangerous government. 
This title is a re-release.

Karen's rating:




Audin and Tener haven't seen each other since college and their last encounter really didn't end well...they parted ways less than amicably. Neither man thought they would ever see each other again.

So needless to say when Audin walks into Tener's office looking for a healer both men are more than a little surprised. Audin quickly realizes that this is an opportunity that he never thought he'd have...a chance to make things right and maybe even have Tener back in his life again. Audin's not alone in how he feels and both men soon agree that they want to fix things, they care about each other and neither is willing to pass up a chance to be back in the other's life.

While their reunion was purely happenstance it's also very fortuitous for a government resistance group that Tener belongs too and that Audin sympathizes with.

Review Tour: Love Happens Anyway by R.J. Scott



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Length: 42,500 words approx.



Blurb
Hiring a boyfriend for Christmas; what could possibly go wrong?

Derek is facing yet another Christmas where his life feels out of control. He has a new career that doesn’t feel like his, and parents who would just love to see him settled down. All he needs is a temporary buffer for the parties he has to attend, and for his parents to leave him alone. Enter, Luke.

Luke is twenty-thousand dollars short for the renovations on Halligans; his family’s bar in New York’s Financial District. A favor for a buddy has him agreeing to play the part of boyfriend to a guy with more money than sense.

But when the spirit of Christmas works its magic on the two men, and they begin to fall for each other, Derek runs scared, and Luke needs space.

It doesn’t matter what obstacles you throw in the way of love, or how much you run in the other direction, because, when you’re least expecting it, whether you want it or not, love happens anyway.






Karen's review:






This cover totally matches the story on this one; both were adorably cute and just so much fun to read.
Derek feels like his life is spinning out of control. He’s feeling like the job he has is neither the job he was supposed to get or the one he wanted, he’s at odds with his parents and feels like they’re constantly trying to marry him off. If he could just catch a break, put a little distance between him and the rest of the world.
Derek finds his buffer in the form of Luke…a former fireman who’s in need of twenty thousand dollars to finish paying or the renovations to on Halligans, his family’s bar in NY’s Financial District. So, when Luke’s friend asks him for a favor…a favor that will bring in Luke’s much needed money. Luke finds himself reluctantly agreeing to be Derek’s pretend boyfriend for the holidays…4 dates that’s all he needs to get through and then he’ll have the money he needs…what could possibly go wrong with just 4 dates?
What neither Derek or Luke is prepared for is that things would go right…so much righter than either man is prepared for as they find that not only is there a definite attraction between them but as they get to know each other they’re also finding that they like each other.
I admit I was fairly certain that I was going to enjoy this one before I even opened the book…the author is R.J. Scott, and for me that pretty well makes it a done deal. For me Luke was the perfect person for Derek. He saw past Derek’s exterior with his pretense of confidence in an effort to cover his insecurities. Luke saw a talented man that he knew he could both like and respect. For Derek, Luke was his dream man come to life.
One of the things about this story that really captured my attention was the relationship dynamics between Derek and his parents. So often in stories the relationship between adult children and their parents are portrayed as either being good or not good but for Derek and his parents that’s not the case. Derek loves his parents and they love him and are supportive of him, but Derek doesn’t see it this way and that’s largely due to a communication issue or more accurately a case of miscommunication. Which for Derek is a more common event in his life than it needs to be because of the defensive barrier he’s built around himself.
Luke’s efforts to get past Derek and his fa├žade of confidence has a trickle-down effect on Derek’s life allowing him to re-evaluate his interactions not just with Luke but a lot of the other people in his life…colleagues, friends and his parents.
For me the fake-boyfriend to boyfriend premise of this story was well done. It was sweet, and not only did we get to see the relationship develop between these two, but we got to find out a bit more about each of them, their past, their present and what they wanted for their future.

‘Love Happens Anyway’ is an enchanting holiday story and while a lot of the issues stem from miscommunication it’s not intentional or surrounded by any over the top angst or drama and the icing on the Christmas cake for me in all of this was the ending…I loved the ending. It was sweet and filled with the joy of the holidays…definitely recommended for anyone wanting a sweet holiday story filled with fun, cheer and two sexy men who make the holiday just that much brighter.

** A free copy of this book was provided by Signal Boost Promotions as part of the review tour in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. **




December 6 - Xtreme Delusions, Valerie Ullmer, The Way She Reads, Gay Media Reviews
December 8 - Lelyana's Book Blog
December 11 - Hearts On Fire Reviews, Millsy Loves Books, My Fiction Nook
December 13 - Mirrigold:Mutterings and Musings, Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words, BFD Book Blog, Nicole's Book Musings, MM Good Book Reviews
December 15 - Jim's Reading Room, Making It Happen, Padme's Library, Sexy Erotic Xciting, Wicked Faerie's Tales and Reviews
December 20 - Dog-Eared Daydreams, Book Lovers 4Ever, Au Boudoir Ecarlate, Wicked Reads
December 22 - A Book Lover's Dream, Bayou Book Junkie




Excerpt


I knew Marcus was six-two, just a little taller than me. I knew he had blue eyes, and dark hair with red tones in certain light. He had a brother, but they didn’t see each other much, being that his brother was in the Navy. His parents were retired in Florida, but they’d had Marcus and his brother Adam late in life. Marcus was twenty-nine, same as me with only a few months separating our birthdays, and he was a firefighter. Oh, and he was a good, kind man who was thoughtful all the time and treated me like a prince.

“That’s such a shame. Anyway, how are Marcus’ kittens?” Mom asked. I pulled myself back to what she was saying. It was never good to not pay full attention to anything Mom said, otherwise you’d end up agreeing to all kinds of things she’d throw at you when your defenses are down. I loved her dearly but she was sneaky like that.

Which is how I got myself into this mess with Marcus in the first place.

“They’re fine.”

“Did he find good homes for them?”

Blogtour: An Unlocked Mind by KC Wells and Parker Williams



Title: An Unlocked Mind
Series: Secrets Book #2
Author: K.C. Wells and Parker Williams
Genre: M/M Romance Light BDSM
Release Date: December 11, 2017 


Rob Daniels is determined to prove to himself that his brother Alex got it wrong. Alex believes he found love through BDSM; Rob is certain that’s not possible. He even makes several visits to a London club to prove his point. But when he attends the grand opening of Secrets, Rob gets a shock, one that has him fleeing, vowing never to return—until he does… and runs into the brick wall that is Dom Vic Prentiss. As first meetings go, theirs is a disaster. 
The more time he spends around Rob, the more convinced Vic becomes of two things—one, something is eating away at Rob, and two, he’s looking for something. Every instinct tells Vic to help him, but trying to unlock the secrets hidden in Rob’s mind requires a key. All Vic has to do is find it. Because maybe then he’ll get to see the real Rob, the man who’s scared to let go….


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