Sunday, May 19, 2019

ARC Review: String Boys by Amy Lane

String Boys
Seth Arnold learned at an early age that two things in life could make his soul soar—his violin and Kelly Cruz. In Seth’s uncertain childhood, the kindness of the Cruz family, especially Kelly and his brother, Matty, gave Seth the stability to make his violin sing with the purest sound and opened a world of possibility beyond his home in Sacramento. 

Kelly Cruz has loved Seth forever, but he knows Seth’s talents shouldn’t be hidden, not when the world is waiting. Encouraging Seth to follow his music might break Kelly’s heart, but he is determined to see the violin set Seth’s soul free. When their world is devastated by a violent sexual assault and Matty’s prejudices turn him from a brother to an enemy, Seth and Kelly’s future becomes uncertain. 

Seth can’t come home and Kelly can’t leave, but they are held together by a love that they clutch with both hands. 

Seth and Kelly are young and the world is wide—the only thing they know for certain is they’ll follow their heartstrings to each other’s arms whenever time and fate allow. And pray that one day they can follow that string to forever… before it slices their hearts in two.

Todd's rating:

Gah! Separations. This story haz them. In spades.

As the book began, I adored seeing Seth and Matty as fourth graders, and third grader Kelly tagging along with the two best friends.

It was all very sweet and my little YA heart was just waiting for Seth to see that he was totally as head over heels for Kelly as Kelly was for him.

That finally happened some years later, after one fateful nap during a bus ride home, and I may or may not have done a little jig in my seat as I read that passage.

But shortly after, the Goddess of Angst made her first of many, MANY appearances in the story, and that bitch stayed on the scene for close to a decade, just to make sure that nobody got their happy on too deeply. : (

What began as an educational opportunity for Seth, turned into a path to escape and safety, but that meant that Kelly would have to say goodbye to his beloved Seth.

And with that opportunity came the first separation. Then another, then another, and another. Sweet baby Jesus, I was about to scream, because other than The Big Misunderstanding (blessedly avoided here), the thing I loathe most is prolonged separations.

ARC Review: Burden by K.C. Wells


They never knew what hit them.

A hooker with a heart, falling for a Vice cop? This is no Hollywood movie, and if they want a happily ever after, it's not going to be easy.

Detective Randy Michaels is back with Vice, working to help NYC crack down on its prostitution problem. When he suspects Jesse Bryant of soliciting, Randy is torn between duty and his knowledge of what put Jesse on the streets. Jesse is clearly struggling, and he isn’t the only one. Recent events have forced Randy to question his sexuality, and a shocking encounter with Jesse plunges him into a crisis of conscience.

Jesse didn’t think his life could get any worse. His family cut all support, his education is on hold, and he’s surviving the only way he knows—selling himself on the streets. Of all the people who could have offered him a helping hand, why did it have to be Randy?

Two men carrying their own personal burdens: How long will it take them to realize that what they really need is each other?

Sandra's review:

This is the 2nd book in the Love, Unexpected series, and could be read as a standalone novel, though I believe it would have worked better for me if I had read the first book, Debt, as it touches many times on the events from that book.

Jesse Bryant is, after losing parental support and having to put college on hold, basically living on the streets, hooking to support himself but struggling to make ends meet. His friends Nico and Mitch are moving north to start their new life together after the trial against the sex trafficker is over, and while Jesse is happy for them, he doesn't want to be a burden so he doesn't tell them about his current profession.

Randy Michaels is after the trial against the owner of the illegal sex club back working Vice, tasked with keeping prostitutes off the streets. But ever since he worked in the sex club, undercover to take that sex-trafficking organization down, he's been sort of questioning his sexuality, especially since he's figured out he has feelings for Jesse.

Jesse on the other hand has no idea that Randy is having these questions - he only knows that Randy is totally straight, and that his crush on the older man, a Vice cop to boot, is useless and will not be fruitful. He's also ashamed of having to earn money the way he does, and he sure as hell doesn't want Randy to know. So he lies. The two men start to spend more and more time together, which only exacerbates Jesse's crush on Randy, and Randy's confusion about his feelings for Jesse.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Release Blitz: Surprise Groom by DJ Jamison

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Length: 89,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design

Can two men fake their way to marital bliss?

Caleb Taylor is shocked to learn his family could lose Bliss Island Resort — their home and livelihood — unless he makes use of a clause to marry the child of investor Louis Chastain. Sofia Chastain is more like a sister than a love interest, and Caleb isn’t ready to sign over his future. But Sofia has a brother, and Caleb has a plan ...

Julien Chastain was disowned at fifteen and has made a life as a go-go dancer in Miami, but he lives paycheck to paycheck. When his childhood friend proposes an outlandish marriage contract, he thinks he’s crazy. But it’s a chance at a future that’s tough to pass up.

Caleb and Julien must present themselves as an authentic couple for the legal loophole to work, but the lines between “fake” and “real” keep shifting as they navigate intimacy, public scrutiny, and sabotage.

Love isn't part of the plan, but plans change. If they can outsmart Julien's father and prove their love is worth more than a transaction, they just might find a true happily-ever-after.


“Should we kiss?” Caleb asked.

Julien gave him an arch look. “My answer to that question is always yes.”

Caleb chuckled awkwardly. “For the selfie, I meant.”

“Mm-hmm.” Julien managed to make skeptical sound sexy.

“Okay, shut up and put your lips on mine,” Caleb said.

“Oh, baby. Your dirty talk is off the charts.”

Caleb laughed. “Stop, I’m trying—”

Julien caught his mouth mid-word, shifting toward him as their lips clung. The feeling it evoked caught Caleb off-guard. They’d been joking around like friends, but the kiss didn’t feel friendly. It wasn’t erotic. No tongues plunging deep. But it was sweet. He had no idea kissing another man could feel that way.

In contrast to his soft lips, Julien’s hard chest pressed against Caleb’s shoulder. His right arm was behind Caleb, fingers brushing his neck, and his left hand slid down to just over Caleb’s upper chest. Their position was a little awkward, Caleb’s neck craned to the left, and he had his right arm outstretched for the selfie.

Release Blitz: Not Gonna Lie by S. M. James

Not Gonna Lie 

by S.M. James

Everyone has their secrets.
Last year Digi walked out on Webcon, on his fans, and on Gram.
Now he’s back determined to give what they had a real shot, but Gram is more prickly than ever, not willing to risk his heart again.
Despite trying to stay out of the spotlight, the anonymous Public Service Announcements draw Digi back in. As the secrets of the internet’s top celebrities are leaked to the world, it’s only a matter of time before Digi and Gram are next.
To get through it, they have to set their rivalry aside.
Will Digi handle the pressure of the bright lights long enough to find who is tearing their world apart? Or will the threat of full exposure be too much for him to handle?

Publisher: May Books

Cover Artist: Story Styling Cover Designs

Release Date: May 16, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Enemies to lovers

Themes: Online bullying culture, eating disorder, anxiety 

Heat Rating: 1 flame

Length: 85 000 words/ 400 pages

Not Gonna Lie is a standalone story within the #lovehim series. 

There’s also the novella prequel (To Be Continued, book 6).

It will show you where it all began for Gram and Digi.

Buy Links - Available on Kindle Unlimited

At this year’s Webcon, nothing will stay secret for long.


Gram tosses his cell phone onto the bed between us. Playing along, I grab his phone and check the screen, and the selfie we took last night stares back at me. I smile, we both look relaxed and totally comfortable, even though my hand on his thigh had me buzzed in that exact moment.

I set my mug down and toss the phone back to Gram before rolling onto my side. “Reminds me of when we used to vlog together.”

He stares at the photo for a minute. “Yeah. It does. Did you see the comments?”


“Turns out, people are still insanely curious about where you’ve been for the last year.”

“Eh. Why?”

“Because you disappeared, Digi. You were one of the biggest vloggers and then you were gone. All those comments are asking about you. So … let’s collab.”

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