Saturday, August 31, 2013

Blog Tour: Beneath the Surface by M.A. Stacie

Today we shine the spotlight on M.A. Stacie's new release

Beneath The Surface


From the blurb:

Kyran Reese is a man in control. Driven when it comes to work, focused when it comes to play. From his office to the chalk circle of Metro’s bare-knuckle boxing ring, his only thought is to win. That thirst heightens when Dale Porter enters his life. His brother’s assistant should be off-limits, but her witty comments and sarcastic comebacks have him desperate to get her between the sheets. After receiving an unexpected left hook, Kyran gets exactly what he wants, though he makes the rules very clear.
When Dale agrees to Kyran’s relationship stipulation of no labels, she’s sucked into a whirlwind of lust, money, and underground boxing. The agreement to keep their lust away from the office is discarded when rules are molded to suit their ever-increasing attraction. Dale fights her growing affection, trying to hide it even when the world around them spirals out of control. All too soon she realizes she can’t hide her true feelings any longer.

Kyran begins to wonder if he’s finally met his match, and with his family falling apart before his eyes, he turns to the two things he knows will keep him sane: boxing and Dale. Those crutches can’t last forever, and when Kyran finds it harder to function he is left with a decision he never thought he’d have to make.

Could playing to win mean playing for keeps?

10 things you should know about Kyran Reese:

Friday, August 30, 2013

Kindle Weekly Deals~ Week of 8/24/13- 8/30/13

"Six Ways From Sunday" by Mercy Celeste- M/M, contemporary romance~ Price drop to $0.99!

"In From the Cold" by Mercy Celeste- M/M, contemporary romance- Price drop to $1.99!

"Caleo" by James Crawford- M/M YA, paranormal~ Price drop to FREE!

"The Education of Sebastian" by Jane Harvey-Berrick- Adult, erotic romance~ Price drop to $2.99!

"The Hunter" by J.D. Chase- Adult, erotic romance- Price drop to $0.99!

"Bully" by Penelope Douglas- NA, contemporary romance~ Price drop to $0.99!

"Schooled" by Deena Bright- Adult, contemporary romance~ Price drop to $0.99!

"The Fireman Who Loved Me" by Jennifer Bernard- Adult, chick lit~ Price drop to $0.99!

Get them while they're hot!! Have a great weekend!

Blog Tour: Lesley Young - Sky's End (#skysend @samijolien @lesleyyoungbks)

Today we shine the spotlight on Lesley Young and her debut novel

Sky's End

a Sci-Fi romance available from Soul Mate Publishing


From the blurb:

A secret she must never share. A secret that two warring species are determined to control. A universe's future at stake.
Twenty-year-old Cassiel Winters joins Earth's new space academy in hopes of finding her brother, one of Command's top pilots and her only family, who's been reported MIA. But she quickly realizes she may not be cut out for life in space, where female cadets are outnumbered, competition's fierce, and she's already failed her hand-to-hand combat test once. Even the station's most respected officer, Lt. Damian King, probably can't help Cassiel pass the second time around-so why is he so interested in her progress?
If only one of her freaky deja vu visions would offer an answer instead of mysterious messages like hide. When Cassiel's manipulated into a perilous mission, she encounters a warrior species bred to protect the universe from an even greater threat. And she learns that her secret visions are at the heart of it all. Now Cassiel must fight to control her own destiny and race to save her brother-even if it means pretending to be the pawn of Prime Or'ic, the cold-as-steel Thell'eon leader. Even if it means risking her life, facing hard truths, and making the ultimate sacrifice.

Buy this book: Amazon 

About the author:

Lesley  Young
Journalist Lesley Young never thought she would delve into the world of writing fiction, but when she sat down for the first time to put pen to paper, ideas for what would become her first novel just poured out naturally. Young’s first book, “Sky’s End,” is a multi-genre tale that showcases her unique style of weaving romance, action and wit into one page-burning story. Young was born in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada. She holds an arts degree from the University of Alberta and a journalism degree from the University of Victoria. Young now lives in Loretto, Ontario where she works as a journalist, freelance writer and editor for health, décor and business magazines. Since 2008, Young has written more than 300 articles for print and online media including Profit, Toronto Life, MSN Green, and Elle Canada among others. She is a regular contributor to Reader’s Digest, Best Health, Canadian Living and House and Home Magazine. Young has won three gold honors for feature stories from the National Business Magazine Awards and another top media award from the Canadian Dermatology Association.
 Social Media: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website 

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time, happy reading!

Buylinks are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with this book, author or booksellers listed. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

ARC Review: The Silent Swan by Lex Keating

The Silent Swan
From the blurb:

Once upon a time – better known as “now” - Gabriel Pritz reigns as king of his high school. Easy grades, perfect baseball season, a pretty date for prom—he's coasting into a golden future. Until his parents demand he cook dinner once a week. Caught between kitchen fires and ballpark withdrawal, Gabe is thrown into Tam Swann's orbit. Hostile, friendless, and stubborn, she's exactly the sort of person he'd prefer to avoid.

Tam's sphere of influence expands beyond Gabe's sad domestic skills, rapidly invading everything from his favorite game to parts of his soul he didn't know existed. It's uncomfortable, it's hard work, it's...making him a better man. And that's just what she does to people she doesn't like. The better he gets to know her, the more he has to face the truth: this sharp, heart-breaking outcast is worth fighting for. How many families, fairy tales, and felons will he go through to ride to the rescue of the bravest person he's ever met?

My rating:

If you read any YA novel this year, make it this one. Absolutely amazing. Rarely have I seen such character growth and love and loyalty towards family as in this book.

Gabriel (Gabe) Pritz initially comes across as somewhat of a douche. He's king of the school, captain of the baseball team, planning his prom date. Great family, well off, great life. All of it taken for granted. There is not an ounce of gratitude that came across from this guy when I first started reading. The only thorn in his side is Tam Swann, foster kid, who recently started at his school. She's easily ignored, though, and he pretty much writes her off as difficult and not worth getting to know.

Impressively, the author also gives him a brain and a good set of morals, painting him as a gentleman when it comes to his girlfriend Kerry, always worried that he might go to far, sweating when her parents are near and busy making a good impression. This is a horny teenage boy, but he is also very careful in his affections towards Kerry. I also immediately liked Gabe's easy dynamics with his brothers, both older and younger. It felt natural and, despite the ribbing and mock-fighting, very loving.

When his mother announces to Gabe and his brothers that they will need to pitch in with cooking dinner (each of them once a week), Gabe is outraged. He also sucks at cooking and their early dinners are mostly a huge mess. Then Gabe happens to hear about Tam's excellent cooking skills and offers her a deal - she helps him with the dinner prep and he helps her with her math grade.

From there, the plot slowly unravels as Gabe realizes not all is as it seems and that his view of the world was seriously skewered. He learns that his mother is not as perfect as he thought, and that his father has some great insights that Gabe still needs to learn. I was impressed with the description of the relationship between Gabe's parents, and their handling of their children, demanding respect but doling it out as well.

ARC Review: Beneath the Surface by M.A. Stacie

Beneath the Surface‏ (Reluctance, #1)
From the blurb:

Kyran Reese is a man in control. Driven when it comes to work, focused when it comes to play. From his office to the chalk circle of the bare-knuckle boxing ring, his only thought is to win. That thirst heightens when Dale Porter enters his life. His brother’s assistant should be off limits, but her witty comments and sarcastic comebacks have him desperate to get her between the sheets.

When Dale agrees to Kyran’s relationship stipulation of no labels she’s sucked into a whirlwind of lust, money, and underground boxing. Dale fights her growing affection, trying to hide it when the world around them spirals out of control. All too soon she realizes she can’t hide her true feelings any longer.

Has Kyran finally met his match? Could playing to win mean playing for keeps?

Sandra's Rating:

While the author's voice has matured a bit since her debut novel, this book, much like the previous ones, is still suffering from what may be one of the biggest tropes in erotica romance right now - tortured hero meets woman with magical va-jay-jay to cure him.

Such is the trope in this nicely written but quickly forgotten erotic romance. Our hero, Kyran Reese, likes to be in control, at work and at play. His play time is mostly spent in the boxing ring, where competitors forgo gloves and fight with their bare fists. He likes to win, in the ring and in his job. Unfortunately, he comes across as emotionally immature, rigid and as suffering partially from douchebag syndrome.

He owns an advertising firm with his younger brother, who is portrayed as something of a fuck-up and whom Kyran doesn't really trust. When it comes to women, Kyran is primarily thinking with the appendage between his legs, so when his brother Taylor's new assistant Dale Porter shows up at work and challenges him with witty comeback, Kyran does whatever he can to stop himself from getting her in his bed. Or bend over his desk. Or smashed against his office door. Or - well, you get the point. Of course, we all know that in erotica/romances willpower is the first thing to go the way of the Dodo bird.

The prose goes from good to bad when it comes to the sex scenes, and while Ms. Stacie certainly delivers the heat, there is a discernible lack of emotion that made me want to skip them after the first two. There are only so many ways in which to describe the physical act of inserting tab A into slot B, and without any emotional connection, the sex is just that.

I also didn't buy the relationship, to be honest. The bossman doing his employee - well, we've certainly seen that many times before, and every time I see it in a novel, I have to wonder if these people have never even heard of sexual harassment lawsuits or if they think they're above the law. By pursuing his brother's assistant, an employee of his company, Kyran risks much more than his reputation or his (possibly non-existent) heart - he risks losing his livelihood. It reminded me of the old joke that men apparently only have enough blood supply to support one head at a time.

Of course, the heroine in this book isn't much better, even though she seems to have a bit of backbone and doesn't let people (read: Kyran) walk all over her. Dale Porter a bit of a secret from her new boss' brother, that is then revealed and partly serves as the trigger for the somewhat fabricated conflict. The fact that she's supposedly so hurt by a past lover and friend and portrayed to still be licking her wounds, yet upon first sight falls immediately (in love? in lust?) for the forceful boss also seemed a bit far-fetched. While Dale has sufficient personality to make her a likable heroine, it's not sufficient to carry the entire book.

Taylor himself dips in and out of the plot, and his only function seemed to be to antagonize Kyran and be a whiny whiner who whines throughout most of the book. Oh yeah, there's a reason given, but supposedly these are men in their early thirties or possibly late twenties. Maturity apparently remains a goal they have yet to reach.

What I really liked about this book was the humorous banter between Kyran and Dale, which made me giggle out loud a few times. Unfortunately, outside of that, the dialogue often felt inorganic and somewhat stilted. And the humor wasn't enough to push this book into more than three stars. It was better than okay, but only barely.

For erotica lovers, this probably a good book to spend a couple of hours immersed in a fantasy. For readers like me, who like a bit more meat and not just the boning, it's perhaps not that good a fit.

I received a free ARC from the publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. I must also acknowledge that I know Ms. Stacie from another aspect of my internet presence. This also had no bearing on my opinion of this book.

Available as of 8/29/2013 from 

 Amazon | B&N 

As always, thanks for stopping by. Until next time, happy reading!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cover Reveal: Synchronized Breathing by Tara Ellison

Today, we are excited to reveal the cover for Tara Ellison's debut novel

Synchronized Breathing

From the blurb:

Nothing announces the failure of one’s life quite as loudly as having to move back in with your mother at the ripe old age of thirty-five. Synchronized Breathing, introduces Scarlett Spencer in just this situation: her marriage has recently imploded and she’s headed for Beverly Hills—toddler in tow—to move in with her highly over-sexed mother, CeCe.

Having squandered her twenties having adventures and losing herself in men, Scarlett—out of desperation—leapt into an unsuitable marriage, but the best gift came out of that union—her son, Oliver. After successfully escaping that ‘Lemon Marriage,’ Scarlett struggles to put back together a life that was not very together to begin with. After being a stay-at-home-mother, Scarlett wades back into the Hollywood employment pool with hilarious results.

Balancing motherhood with the unique demands of Hollywood men provides a new twist on the dating dilemma—and living with one’s mother is not without its own set of challenges. With her robust sexual appetites and colorful parade of men, sixty-year-old CeCe has plenty of startling sex tips to share. After tiring of dating jerks, Scarlett goes on a self-imposed ‘man-diet’—which isn’t easy when your mother is perpetually on a manhunt—and in the quiet of a new man-less existence, she discovers what is really important in her life. Scarlett only finds her direction in life—and love—when she stops seeking to fulfill herself through other people (men).

An excerpt:

“Every marriage is work, but the trick is to pick someone you actually want to be married to.” Susan smiled at me.

Susan was my opposite in almost every way. Logical and levelheaded, her pragmatic view of life was so foreign to me that I often thought she was speaking another language.

“I’ll try to remember that for next time,” I said. “If there ever is a next time.”

“You gave it your best shot,” she said. “Personally, I thought you should have bailed right after you found all those nude photos. You’ve been very tolerant, as far as I’m concerned.”

“What photos are you talking about?” Autumn asked. “Why I don’t know about this?”

“You’ve been away on location. Tell her.” Emma nudged me.

“One day, while I was using the computer, I stumbled upon his extensive nude photo collection.”

“Of other women?” Autumn shrieked.

“No . . . that would actually make a certain amount of sense. They were all nude pictures of him, but mostly just of his dick.”

I got up and put another log in the fire, as Autumn scrambled to reclaim her jaw from the floor.

Stunned silence followed, so I pressed on. “His penis obsession was hardly a new thing. After all, it was his most prized possession, but seeing the photos en masse was a bit much. There were hundreds of pictures of his penis—chilling out in the garden, lathering himself in the bath, erect penis checking the mailbox. It was nuts. It was like that traveling Gnome series of photos—but each one featuring his dick in a new pose. Even his winking asshole made some artistic cameos!”

“Jeez . . . how on earth did he manage that?” asked Autumn, instantly intrigued.

“See . . . all that yoga pays off.” Susan’s quip sent Emma into hysterics.

“Hey, I’m not saying the guy isn’t creative! It’s amazing how creative you can be when you have nothing to do all day but play with yourself.” I squeezed myself back on the couch in between Emma and Autumn.

“Wow . . . I had no idea. I guess he’s not the total bore I thought he was after all,” Autumn said with awe.

“I just had less and less respect for him and that’s a very difficult thing to overcome in a marriage, especially with all of our other issues.”

“So, what did you say to him?” Autumn was now almost bouncing out of her seat with excitement.


And here's the cover - what do you think? 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Author Spotlight: Traci L. Slatton (@tracilslatton)

Today we shine the spotlight on Traci L. Slatton

We recently featured Traci's latest book, The Love of my (other) Life, but would like to draw your attention to her other books as well, all of which will soon be available in a bookstore near you.

Fallen (Book 1 of the After trilogy)

As chaos descends on a crippled Earth, survivors are tormented by strange psychic gifts. In this time of apocalyptic despair, love is put to the test. One woman with mysterious healing power guides seven children to safety. Charismatic Arthur offers her a haven. Slowly Emma falls for him. But at the moment of their sweetest love, his devastating secret is revealed, and they are lost to each other. Will Emma stay with him? The first in a romantic trilogy set during the end times.

Cold Night (Book 2 of the After trilogy)

The end of the world brings chaos, madness, and psychic powers. For Emma and Arthur, separated by an ocean, it brings a love that demands everything. Emma's beloved daughter is kidnapped by vengeful raiders, and Emma embarks on a soul-crushing journey to rescue her. When Arthur finds Emma, can she trust him? Against impossible odds, Emma draws near the rogue camp, where she also confronts the deepest choice of her heart....

The Botticelli Affair

Gorgeous, reformed art forger Laila Cambridge misses her father. She’s a grad student in art history and her father disappeared five years ago. She’s blocked writing her dissertation and she’s flat broke. She’s out drinking one night when she meets sexy, mysterious John Bolingbroke, who knows way too much about her. Then he bumps into her as she guides a tour around the Met. He tells her that her father is still alive—but in lethal danger. Bolingbroke claims to be an art collector. Two weeks ago, he saw Robert Cambridge searching for a legendary lost Botticelli painting. Bolingbroke overheard a plot to pursue Robert, take the painting, and kill him. Bolingbroke knows that Laila has connections in the seedy art underworld; he wants Laila to help him find Robert and the painting. Time is short. The group pursuing Robert has unlimited resources. They have a week at most before the group murders her father. From New York, through Paris, Amsterdam, and Rome, Laila pursues her father, the painting, and her own redemption....

Check out Traci's Goodreads page for more of her books.

We asked Traci about her favorite characters from her books, and here's what she had to say:

ARC Review: Shooting Scars by Karina Halle

Shooting Scars (The Artists Trilogy, #2)
From the blurb: 

Sometimes the right choice can be the deadliest.
When Ellie Watt made the ultimate sacrifice for Camden McQueen, she never thought it would be easy. But walking away with her ex-lover, Javier Bernal, in order to ensure Camden’s safety has brought a whole new set of dangers. With Javier’s plans for Ellie growing more secretive by the moment, Ellie must find a way to stay ahead of the game before her past swallows her whole.
Meanwhile, Camden’s new life is short-lived. Fueled by revenge and pursued by authorities, he teams up with an unlikely partner in order to save Ellie. But as Camden toes the line between love and retribution, he realizes that in order to get back the woman he loves, he may have to lose himself in the process. He might just turn into the very man he’s hunting.

Heather's rating:

I think my blood pressure is about 200/120 right now. Is it normal to feel your heart beating in your ears?????

AND this is why I don't usually read romantic suspense. That nauseous, anxiety feeling that you get when you know that something bad is about to happen? Yeah, I had that the entire time I was reading this.

::voice in my head whispering:: You do know that you CHOSE to read this book, right Heather? You chose this pain!!

::whining:: Yes, but Karina Halle's book hurt so GOOD!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tour Stop and Review: My Cowboy Heart by Z.A. Maxfield (@ZAMaxfield #MyCowboyHeart)

Please welcome Z.A. Maxfield and her latest novel

My Cowboy Heart

From the blurb:

A cowboy's heart has room for anything…
J-Bar ranch foreman Malloy pretty much keeps to himself—slinking around the edges of everybody else like an old coyote, doing his job and staying private. That is until Crispin Carrasco shows up.

Lean, muscular, and with a motor mouth that won’t quit, Crispin sparks something in Malloy—something the foreman didn’t know was there. But how does a lone coyote approach the warmth of a fire? And more important, what would happen if that fire burned?
An excerpt:

The first thing I noticed was the kid looked awfully young for twenty-five and he wasn’t dressed for the cold.

You’d think a guy who worked on a ranch in Wyoming would have something warmer to wear in the kind of weather we were having that day than a denim jacket and jeans. He had some kind of homemade sweater on underneath it, and a garish, poorly knit scarf wound about fifty times around his neck but even with all that, he had to be blue cold to the bone.

His aunt Flora had driven him up to the bunkhouse in a beater car and popped the trunk, and then, before anyone said a word, he’d rushed up the porch steps with about five cardboard boxes stacked precariously in his arms. Flora waved and shrugged as if to say, “What can you do?”

“I got a suitcase too and my saddle,” he said without even looking at me. He returned from the next trip with a pilot case and a nicely worn leather saddle. The way he carried it was all cowboy, which surprised me. He was a rangy kid, taller than me, but though I’d started out thinking he was a beanpole, it soon became clear I was mistaken. He’d hefted that heavy saddle like it weighed nothing.

He ran back out and hugged his aunt good-bye just like a little boy, lifting her off the ground in his enthusiasm. She blushed all pretty and gave him a little shove when he seemed to admonish her about something. When she relented, he hugged her again.

He joined me on the porch. We watched Flora get back in her car to drive away. “She says she’ll take care of herself, but I worry since she got sick. She’s angry and depressed and sometimes she doesn’t choose to eat right or she blows off exercise. I know for a fact she thinks she has a stash of cookie dough wrapped in a bag in the freezer that says salmon on the label. I ate it last night and left actual salmon in its place. Call it a public service. She can thank me in ten years if she doesn’t piss around and get herself dead first.”

I might have said something but he’d grabbed my hand and pumped it up and down the whole time he talked. And he talked an awful goddamn lot, just like Mr. Jenkins said he would.

“Crispin Carrasco. If you tell me where I can put my things, I’ll just stash them and you can get started showing me around. I’ve known Mr. Jenkins since I was a kid, so I know the J-Bar. I guess you don’t have much use for extra hands in winter but I promised him I’d get a running start and do whatever needs doing. Anything. Just put me to work.” I finally pulled my hand back. “There’s always work to be done around a ranch, but—”

“Don’t I know it, and it’s not like it stops for a little snow. I like the cold anyway. It makes me feel alive. When I was in Wyoming I had to drag the hoses out and break the ice in the water tanks with an ax every morning to top them off. Then I had to empty the hoses when I was done so they wouldn’t freeze and burst. Isn’t it odd that water expands when it freezes, while everything else contracts?”

“Didn’t you bring anything warmer to wear? You’ll freeze going out to tend the animals like that.”

“Of course I brought something warmer, jefe. The only problem is I met someone on the street yesterday who needed it more.”

“You gave your coat away when the weather is like this?”

“It would hardly be necessary to give it away when the weather isn’t like this, would it?”

That made an odd kind of sense. I started to speak, but stopped myself. Sure as shit, he filled the quiet morning air with words again.

“I’m an active guy and I’ve been told I positively generate heat. I’m going to have to wait until I get paid to get another coat, but I have a hat and about fifty sweaters from my Nina Flora, and this scarf, and—”

“You can’t do work like this without the proper equipment, son.”

“Crispin.” “Crispin?” I nearly choked on the name. “Are you really called Crispin?”

He rolled his eyes. “Crispin Glover was an actor in Back to the Future. My dad had a walk-on role in that movie and that’s where he met my mom. They liked the guy, so when I was born, they named me Crispin.”

“Your dad was an actor?” This kid’s thoughts seemed to gallop along like a herd of wild horses. I could maybe get close enough to catch one every other minute or so.


Sandra's review:

A book about two gay cowboys? Sign me up!!!

When I read the blurb, I expected a GFY romance. It wasn't. It's a very carefully written Out For You book, with a ton of emotions and very likable characters all around.

Malloy (that's his last name, and his first isn't revealed for quite a while) is the steady, quiet and rather lonely foreman of J-Bar Ranch, where he's lived and worked since he was taking in by the owners at age 14. Now in his early thirties, he quietly and steadily loves the ranch, works the land and supports the family who's given him a chance after a bad youth. His backstory comes out in bits and pieces as part of the plot, and the author did a great job showing (not telling) what made this man the way he is. He keeps to himself, partly out of choice, and partly because his deep-seated issues don't allow him to think he truly belongs.

From the start, Malloy's deep love and gratitude for his foster parents/employers shines through in everything he says and does. Even if he refuses to call Randall by his first name, after all these years. There are hints at abandonment issues, that are unfortunately not explored deeply enough by book's end, but that drive a lot of Malloy's actions and reactions.

When the owners (Randall and Emma Jenkins) take a vacation to visit their daughter in Florida, they tell Malloy of having hired a new kid (Crispin Carrasco) who needed a place to stay while he's caring for his elderly aunt.

Crispin is a shock to Malloy's system. Where he's never had any inclination to take his infrequent relationships with women to anything beyond a one-night stand, Crispin, gay, out, talking up a storm and somewhat flamboyant, throws Malloy a curve ball. He's never questioned his sexuality before, but as the story progresses, the author slowly lets Malloy explore this instant attraction and desire, while also dealing with the fact that Crispin in effect works for him.

When Crispin's backstory is revealed, I had tears in my eyes, though I wish the author had further explored the repercussions of that scene and delved a little deeper into the issue raised. And really, does that sort of thing with the sheep actually happen in real life, OMG? (You'll know what I mean when you read it.)

The author's no-nonsense writing style lends itself beautifully to this kind of romance. There's a lot of subtle touches in the writing, considering we see everything from Malloy's POV. Dialogue and narration both give insights into his feelings, how he sees the world and what he fears the most.

What impressed me most is that all the characters including the supporting cast where three-dimensional and realistic. Even Jim and Eddie, the other two ranch hands, with their own issues, were much more than simple caricatures of either homophobic or in the closet men. The reactions of Randall's daughter towards the end was also completely realistic and understandable.

I don't usually comment on the cover image, but in this case I feel the need to applaud the choice. It's nice to see a cover that doesn't depict half-nekkid men to sell the romance.

And while this book had a few sex scenes, it's not something I would consider erotica, despite the explicit language. Each sex scene is driven by the men's emotions and exudes much more than just the act. What I did question was the realism of riding a horse all day and then giving BJs without showering. Maybe these two men didn't care, but I sure did. I'm all for dirty, but not that kind of dirty.

What lost this book its fifth star was the lack of fully exploring the issues in both characters. While they discuss Crispin's trauma, and Malloy even suggests he see someone about it, the author never lets them deal with Malloy's own issues, especially not where those concern the relationship. For such complex characters as the author created, I felt let down. Neither of their issues were the kind that go away overnight or can be cured by the love of a good man. While I liked their HEA, it didn't feel realistic in the full context of this book.

In the end, this was a heart-warming, sweet romance, with a bit of angst and melodrama, but an overall message that family is more than just blood relations, that no man is an island, and that love will find out whether you're looking for it or not.

The book included an excerpt of the next one in this series, in which Jim and Eddie get their story. I can hardly wait.

***I received a free ARC from the publisher via Netgalley. A positive review was not promised in return.***

Buy this book: Amazon | B&N 

About the author:

Z. A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back. Pathologically disorganized, and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends. If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four manages to find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.” Her published books include Crossing Borders, Drawn Together, and the St. Nacho’s and Brothers Grime series from Loose Id, ePistols at Dawn and The Pharaoh’s Concubine from Samhain Publishing, and Notturno, Vigil, Stirring Up Trouble, and All Stirred Up from MLR Press.

Connect with the author: Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Website

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time, happy reading!

Buylinks are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with the author, book or booksellers listed. Materials (excluding the review) in this post provided by Enchantress Of Book Blog Tours. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

ARC Review: The Adorned by John Tristan

The AdornedFrom the blurb:

 My name is Etan, and I am Adorned.

A living piece of art, I exist to please the divine rulers of Kered. With nowhere to turn after my father died, I tried my luck in the capital city. Little did I know how quickly I would be robbed, beaten and forced to sell myself into servitude. But I was lucky enough to gain the attention of Roberd Tallisk, an irascible but intriguing tattoo artist who offered to mark me with enchanted ink for the enjoyment of the nobles. I was given a chance to better my station in life, and I could not refuse.

But the divine rulers want not only the art but the body that bears it. In their company I can rise above the dregs of society and experience a life most only dream of, at the cost of suffering their every desire as a pawn in games of lavish intrigue. Their attention is flattering, but I find I'd rather have Tallisk's.

Caught between factions, I learn that a revolution is brewing, one that could ruin Kered—and Roberd and myself along with it…

Heather's rating:

**4.5 stars**

Wow, was this story gorgeous or what!? The writing here just blew me out of the water. My first book by this author and it certainly won't be my last.

I sometimes have a difficult time getting into fantasy books. I often feel like these worlds are thrust upon me and I feel lost for the majority of the story. That was not the case here. I had no trouble following along, and I quickly became mesmerized by the story. I think that is a good word for it, "mesmerizing." Honestly, this story was completely fascinating and enchanting.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Book Review: Fifteen Shades of Gay (For Pay) by T. Baggins

Fifteen Shades of Gay (For Pay)From the Blurb:

Andrew Reynolds is determined to stay in New York City as long as his sister Marie, a cancer patient, needs him. But despite his good looks and talent, Andrew hasn’t managed to find work as an actor. With his bank account empty and his credit cards maxed, Andrew needs money fast. Gay escorts make a nice living, but there’s one problem—Andrew isn’t gay.
Ever since his early teens, when Andrew’s father shocked everyone by coming out, Andrew has been uncomfortable around gay men. Pretending to be gay will be the role of a lifetime. From male/male dates to erotic toys, spankings and more extreme play, Andrew must satisfy his clients without revealing his usual tastes.
Andrew’s first date with closeted politician Cormac Donovan ends in disaster. Yet with each successive booking, the attraction between them grows. As Andrew struggles with unexpected new feelings, Cormac puts his senatorial career in danger. And what began as a way for Andrew to earn money becomes a one-way ticket to heartbreak—or lasting love.

Heather's rating:

This book totally blew me away. I had very low expectations based on the cover, title, and the fact that I got it for free on Amazon (it is no longer free, by the way). Like basement level low expectations. I was shocked at how good it was.

I've read a number of "gay for pay" books recently. Out of all of them (Hot Head, Dex in Blue, Str8te Boys), this is my favorite. By far. I loved the character development, the depth of emotions that play out in this story, and the pacing.

Friday, August 23, 2013

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"Friend-Zoned" by Belle Aurora- NA, contemporary romance~ Price drop to $0.99!

"Born of Silence" by Sherrilyn Kenyon- Adult, sci-fi romance~ Price drop to $2.99!

"The Do Over" by A.L. Zaun- NA, contemporary romance~ Price drop to $0.99!

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