Tuesday, July 25, 2017

ARC Review: Textual Relations by Cate Ashwood

Textual RelationsBlurb:
Evolutionary psychology professor Henry Hathaway is ready to spend his birthday the same way he does every year: a good teeth cleaning followed by lunch with his brother. But when he receives a wrong-number text confirming the details of a date, he does what any considerate person would—he goes to meet them and explain why they've been stood up. 

Asher Wescott hadn't expected his blind date to go well, because when do they ever? Henry shows up instead, and things are suddenly looking up. Socially awkward and attached to his routines, Henry is nevertheless one of the most charming and kind men Asher has met in a long time. 

Too bad he's not Henry's type. 

An accidental date, an impulsive kiss, and a few conflicted feelings later, can Asher get Henry to see the world—and him—in a different light?

Todd's rating:


"And the award for most clueless man on the planet (apparently) goes to... [drum-roll] Henry Hathaway!"

While evolutionary psychology professor Henry was sort of adorably clueless, unfortunately, he mostly just came across as boring to me.

If someone asked me to come up with one fairly-interesting thing about Henry, I'd be hard-pressed to come up with that answer -- apart from his penchant for finding himself on dates, with no knowledge that he's actually *on a date*.

The premise immediately hooked me, but even with Asher continued pulling Henry off the beaten path, it really felt like nothing much really happens during the story, other than Henry realizing that he's bisexual. I just needed *some* type of external conflict that never appeared.

Things got slightly more interesting once Asher finally introduced Henry to his closest friends, helping the couple solidify their relationship and feelings, but it still felt a bit too much like smooth sailing.

Blogtour: Runner by Parker Williams

Please welcome Parker Williams with his new book



Matt Bowers’s life ended at sixteen, when a vicious betrayal by someone who he should have been able to trust left him a shell of himself, fighting OCD and PTSD, living in constant fear and always running. When he buys a remote tract of land, he thinks he’s found the perfect place to hide from the world and attempt to establish some peace. For ten years he believes he’s found a measure of comfort, until the day a stranger begins to run on Matt’s road.

He returns every day, an unwelcome intrusion into Matt’s carefully structured life. Matt appeals to the local sheriff, who cannot help him since the jogger is doing nothing wrong. Gradually, after tentatively breaking the ice, Matt begins to accept the man’s presence—

But when the runner doesn’t show up one day, it throws Matt’s world into chaos and he must make the hardest decision of his life.


There were 376 steps from one end of my property to the other. Not that I’d walked them, mind you, but I counted them as the man who jogged past every day, rain or shine, made his way down the road. I’d begun to accept his presence in my world, but it didn’t start out that way. At first I found him to be a terrifying intrusion. I hated people anywhere near my house. I’d moved to the outskirts of my hometown of Fall Harbor, Maine, for just that reason. After what happened, I needed to be alone. And now this guy seemed intent on destroying my peace.
My place wasn’t on the beaten path. Hell, if truth be told, you had to actively come out this way to nd it, because it took almost thirty minutes by car to reach the town square twenty miles away. I valued my privacy, and I paid a great deal to ensure I kept it.
Then he came along.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Book Review: Complementary Colors by Adrienne Wilder

Complementary Colors
My sister Julia manipulated my life into a prison to keep me silent about our dirty family secret. Her greed made me a slave and circumstance left me with no way to escape.

Trapped, the only way I could silence the nightmares driving me to insanity was to wrap them in color, hold them with shadow, and stitch them to negative space with line.

But no matter how bright the pigments, no one could see my confession.

Except for Roy Callahan.

I thought he was just another nameless one-night stand in a long line of many. But I was wrong. Roy could see past the fa├žade of my life and through the veil color over the canvas. He could see what the world couldn’t.

And with him I’d find the courage to tell the truth about the boy.

The boy who kissed me.  The boy who loved me.  The boy whose name I couldn’t remember.

Jewel's rating:

What to say about this book! Complimentary Colors is utterly heartbreaking and amazingly breathtaking. I'm wrung out from reading it, but found the destination so worth the journey.

Is Complimentary Colors a romance? I'm not sure. There are romantic elements and the ending is happy (thank FSM), so maybe it is. But even more, Complimentary Colors is a technicolor tour of the demons haunting Paris Duvoe and his journey of clawing his way out of hell. The story is told entirely from his POV and I almost feel like I have lived a little in his hell. And my heart broke into so many pieces I wasn't sure it would recover.

Paris is an artist. On the surface he comes off as a bit eccentric if you don't know him. Paris, though -- he's a mess. Mental illness, trauma, evil sister, and a life that was never his own. Under the control of his sociopath older sister, Paris struggles with life and, often, he wished for it to end just so he could finally be free. But he paints. It's the only way to keep the monster at bay. He's not allowed to speak of his hell, so he paints it. Everyone always tells him his paintings are beautiful, but they're not. Not really. They tell a violent and tragic story in the negative space. No one sees. No one but Roy Callahan.

Blogtour: Cutie And The Beast by EJ Russell

Please welcome E.J. Russell with

Cutie And The Beast

Fae Out Of Water #1

Welcome to the Fae Out of Water blog tour, phase one--Cutie and the Beast! I’m so looking forward to introducing you all to the Kendrick brothers and their guys, starting this month with Alun and David. As you follow along on the tours—phase two, The Druid Next Door, in August, and phase three, Bad Boy’s Bard, in September—please leave a comment and your contact information for a chance at a $50 Riptide gift card. The drawing will take place after the last Bad Boy’s Bard blog stop. Thank you so much for stopping by!


Temp worker David Evans has been dreaming of Dr. Alun Kendrick ever since that one transcription job for him, because holy cats, that voice. Swoon. So when his agency offers him a position as Dr. Kendrick’s temporary office manager, David neglects to mention that he’s been permanently banished from offices. Because, forgiveness? Way easier than permission.

Alun Kendrick, former Queen’s Champion of Faerie’s Seelie Court, takes his job as a psychologist for Portland’s supernatural population extremely seriously. Secrecy is paramount: no non-supe can know of their existence. So when a gods-bedamned human shows up to replace his office manager, he intends to send the man packing. It shouldn’t be difficult—in the two hundred years since he was cursed, no human has ever failed to run screaming from his hideous face.

But cheeky David isn’t intimidated, and despite himself, Alun is drawn to David in a way that can only spell disaster: when fae consort with humans, it never ends well. And if the human has secrets of his own? The disaster might be greater than either of them could ever imagine.

Get the book:

About the Fae Out Of Water series:

Once upon a time, there were three brothers, nobles of the Seelie Court of Faerie, who set out to seek their fortunes. The eldest—

Scratch that. Rrrrrewind.

Nowadays, when tales are told in 140 character bursts on tiny LED screens, rather than spun out by the glow of a midnight campfire, even Faerie’s elite have to get with the program.

The Kendrick brothers have traded longbow for briefcase, battle steed for Harley, and enchanted harp for electric guitar. But while they’re finding their feet in the modern world, instead of finding their fortunes, they stumble straight into love.


Check out the Fae Out of Water series!

Resting Curmudgeon Face

Recently, my Curmudgeonly Husband was at the grocery store and stopped at the deli. He asked the young woman behind the counter, "Why don't you have chicken gizzards?"

He says her eyes got wide and she stammered, "I don't know. I'll ask the manager," then continued to stare at him as if she thought he was about to go off on a gizzard-induced tirade—and apparently she wasn't the only store employee he terrorized that day. He'd rendered a man in the meat department speechless as well.

That’s right. Chalk up two more hapless victims of Resting Curmudgeon Face.

Frequently, when CH comes marching into my office, I ask, "Why are you frowning?"

"I'm not frowning," he says, with a deepening scowl.

He's no longer aware of how intimidating he looks—and it doesn't help that his sense of humor trends toward the sarcastic and his communication style can be a tad—shall we say—gruff?

His attitude—and others' reaction to him—inspired this scene in Cutie and the Beast between Alun and David.

(We’re in Alun’s POV, and he speaks first.)
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