Tuesday, July 16, 2019

ARC Review: Warm Heart (Search and Rescue 1) by Amy Lane

Survive the adventure. Live to love.

Following a family emergency, snowboarder Tevyn Moore and financier Mallory Armstrong leave Donner Pass in a blizzard… and barely survive the helicopter crash that follows. Stranded with few supplies and no shelter, Tevyn and Mallory—and their injured pilot—are forced to rely on each other.

The mountain leaves no room for evasion, and Tevyn and Mal must confront the feelings that have been brewing between them for the past five years. Mallory has seen Tevyn through injury and victory. Can Tevyn see that Mallory's love is real?

Mallory’s job is risk assessment. Tevyn's job is full-on risk. But to stay alive, Mallory needs to take some gambles and Tevyn needs to have faith in someone besides himself. Can the bond they discover on the mountain see them to rescue and beyond?

Dani's rating:

When I met Amy Lane a few years back, I told her that one of her recent books had shattered my heart into a thousand pieces. She looked at me and said, "That book wasn't Dani approved." So you see, I am allowed to read only Amy Lane Lite, Amy's lighter stories without the full-on pain and angst.

Which is not to say Warm Heart is all kittens and rainbows, because it's not. This book is about surviving: surviving in a blizzard on a mountain top, surviving the death of a loved one, surviving long enough to get your wounded friend to safety, surviving for five years while the love of your life goes through hook-ups like socks.

Tevyn is an Olympic snowboarder. Mallory is his financial adviser. Mallory rarely misses one of Tevyn's competitions. He claims he's just doing his job, but he clearly goes above and beyond for his favorite client. Mal likes to watch Tevyn fly.

Tevyn—a decade Mal's junior, free-spirited, charming, impulsive—knows he can count on Mal; he's just waiting for Mal to catch up.

Mal kissed him softly ... "If there's breath in my body, I'll stay."

Tevyn nodded. "If there's breath in my body, I'll always fly down the mountain for you."

One night Mal gives in and dances with Tevyn. The timing isn't great though, because Mal arrives bearing sad news: Tevyn's grandmother, the woman who raised him, is dying. Tevyn and Mal, along with their pilot and friend Damien, take off in a helicopter during a blizzard, and the unthinkable happens.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Review Tour: Shake The Stars by V.L. Locey

Length: 100,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Sloan J Designs

Publisher: Gone Writing Publishing

Spending time in the Poconos with his family was the last thing Dane Forrester wanted to do over the summer. He had dreams of spending his last break touring Europe and gathering story ideas for his upcoming creative writing classes before heading to college. Maybe even finding that elusive first love in a small café in Paris, or along the Rhine, or even in a sultry villa in Italy. But no, he was stuck at the Silver Fir Lodge with his family where his dreams of romance and passion would wither and die a slow painful death, or so he imagined.

When all seemed lost, the budding wordsmith is saved—in more than one sense—by Khalid Novak, a lifeguard at the lodge’s pool. Khalid is two years older, a bit more sophisticated, and the most incredibly alluring thing Dane has ever seen. The two young men find themselves joyously wound in a searing romance that teaches Dane that love can be wildly intense yet fleeting so one should revel in it when the discovery is made.

Can this summer romance survive the chill of autumn as well as the winds of time?

Karen's review:

Sometimes it’s not a matter of right or wrong, it’s simply a matter of perception…
‘Shake the Stars’ is a story that starts out as a story about coming of age, coming out, first love. It’s a story that highlights defining moments in a person’s life. 
Dane Forrester is 18 he’s about to take that first step into the world that leads to adulthood…college; but before he can do that Dane wants to spend his last summer touring Europe. He’s gay and he’s kept himself so far in the closet in his efforts to be the good son that his devoutly Catholic parents want that it’s going to take a rescue team with a really long leadline to help him find his way out. Dane’s also a budding young author with a paralyzing fear of water whose dreams of discovering himself as he wanders around Europe are about to become what he’s very sure will be his nightmare summer with his family at Silver Fir Lodge. 
Khalid Novak, is a 20 year old, who works as a lifeguard at Silver Fir Lodge, and while he’s seems far more comfortable with who he is, neither Khalid nor Dane are truly prepared for the intense feelings that they stir in each other.
‘Shake the Stars’ covers a time span of just over 10 years and while I’m not usually a fan of big time gaps in stories…let me just say there is one here; and while we’re not given a lot of details pertaining to what happened during this time, we are given enough to get the general idea of what events that transpire during this time gap and this is more than sufficient for me since there’s secondary character who appears during this time that I was less than impressed with him. I very much liked both Dane and Khalid and while I admit to feeling tremendous amounts of frustration with them both, in equal measure, I was more than happy for the author to keep the focus of the story on them and if doing that meant having a time gap in the story…than in this case as far as I was concerned the author definitely made a good choice.
While the first half of the story for me was good if not at times a little slow, it was also the part of the story that contained the both Dane and Khalid’s background and the story of how they met without it the last half of the story would not have been nearly as impactful. I’m not a huge fan of YA or NA stories, but I am an absolute sucker for second chance stories and that’s what this leading into. It may have started as a New Adult story but the second half of this book was very solidly a second chance story and a really well done one.
While the first part was ok, and I had no problems getting through it; when I got to the last half of the story I could not put it down. Khalid and Dane worked as a couple in a lot of ways but I honestly cannot deny the underlying frustration with them that I still have mainly because even though the story is essentially told from Dane’s perspective we are still able to see things from Khalid’s point of view as well and objectively speaking it really came down to the perspective and the reader is very much left to determine 
Dane and Khalid’s story actually reminded me of the lyrics from a song from the 80s by Dave Mason that says…

Cover Reveal: Fish On A Bicycle by Amy Lane

We are delighted to reveal the cover for Amy Lane's upcoming novel

Fish On A Bicycle 

Fish Out Of Water #5 

About the book:

Release Date: October 15, 2019
Category: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 327
Cover Artist: Reese Dante


Jackson Rivers has always bucked the rules—and bucking the rules of recovery is no exception. Now that he and Ellery are starting their own law firm, there’s no reason he can’t rush into trouble and take the same risks as always, right?
Maybe not. Their first case is a doozy, involving porn stars, drug empires, and daddy issues, and their client, Henry Worrall, wants to be an active participant in his own defense. As Henry and Jackson fight the bad guys and each other to find out who dumped the porn star in the trash can, Jackson must reexamine his assumptions that four months of rest and a few good conversations have made him all better inside.

Jackson keeps crashing his bicycle of self-care and a successful relationship, and Ellery wonders what’s going to give out first—Jackson’s health or Ellery’s patience. Jackson’s body hasn’t forgiven him for past crimes. Can Ellery forgive him for his current sins? And can they keep Henry from going to jail for sleeping with the wrong guy at the wrong time?
Being a fish out of water is tough—but if you give a fish a bicycle, how’s he going to swim?

Pre-order the book:

And now, drumroll, please...

Sunday, July 14, 2019

ARC Review : Music of the Knight by Mel Bossa

Blurb :

Easily pleased, Micah enjoys a career in non-profit work and gets through his days one lame joke at a time. Then his friend Lou introduces him to her musical family and the Knights pull Micah into their world of resilience and sorrow. Soon, Micah understands that in the face of grief, optimism isn't always enough.
Lei was once revered for his tremendous talent. But one day the music died, and the scars under his leather bracelets are a reminder of what he lost. These days, he's nothing but a phantom. Shut away from the world, Lei tunes instruments in the Knights' music store.

Then charismatic Micah enters his life, charming his family and slowly coaxing his way into Lei's heart with steadfast devotion. With Micah at his side, it may yet be possible for Lei to reclaim the spotlight he'd thought permanently abandoned.

Christelle's rating:

I’m not an expert of Mel Bossa’s work but every time I pick a book from her, I always get a sense of “atmosphere” from her writing and stories that calls to me.

The blurb says a lot and at the same time, not that much. The further I went in, the further I was positively touched with the sensitivity and hope instilled while it deals with a hurt that I haven’t yet been able to fully digest on my own. A very personal thanks to this author for going on this road the way she did.

Micah is the embodiment of a carer. He drags people to the light of life with him by literally listening to them. No wonder, when his friend Lou Knight introduces him to her musical family, he immediately fits in but most importantly, ignites a spark into Lei Knight, the most musically gifted but also the most elusive and sadest of them all, and for a tragic reason.

Bit by bit, Micah, totally drawn to Lei, discovered the reasons of the sorrow overwhelming Lei and pulls him out of his despair.

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