Saturday, February 28, 2015

ARC Review: Infected: Paris by Andrea Speed

Infected: Paris (Infected, #0.5)

In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.
Roan is working a frustrating stalker case, with no shortage of suspects and little solid evidence, when he comes across a startling eyewitness living in his car across the street from the scene. A tiger-strain infected, the only one Roan’s ever met, Paris Lehane is a former Canadian golden boy who suffered a breakdown after becoming infected in college.
While Roan's ex, Diego “Dee” Cole, warns against falling for the infected Paris, a man doomed to die, Roan struggles with his attraction and the knowledge that no happily ever after is possible for them.
But is the knowledge enough to discourage him from following his heart? Roan helps Paris out of homelessness, and maybe a special hospital can help Paris with the infection, but Roan’s got his hands full with this case, and there’s no end in sight. 

Rosa's rating:

When I finished this story I was satisfied and happy and yet disappointed as well.

Is that possible? Well, yeah, I'm writing it so of course it is.

I'm so happy that Andrea Speed made her readers wishes come true by writing the story of how Roan and Paris got together. Any time I spend with Roan is well-spent, especially when he's pissed and sarcastic. In Infected: Paris Roan gets to tell off at least 2 scumbags (one a lowlife jerk and the other a rich, privileged jackass) and it is so satisfying watching him take those two down.

It's while searching for said scumbags (I really like that word--makes me feel like Charles Bronson) that Roan meets self-described "homeless sad sack" Paris. Roan spends the majority of the book questioning why he's so drawn to Paris. Um, lemme think....'Cause he fantastically good looking? 'Cause you share a sense of humor? 'Cause you're both infected with the same virus that makes you shift into different types of cats once a month? 'Cause the virus could kill either of you at any time? 'Cause you like the way his tongue feels in your mouth? Pick one and go with it, dude, they're all good reasons.

This is where my disappointment comes in. I loved spending more time with Paris but I wanted more. I was really hoping this story would be told from his point of view---it's not, it's from Roan's with one chapter from Roan's ex-boyfriend Dee's POV. I wanted to learn something new about Paris and Roan, something we haven't heard before in other books in this series. Nothing too dramatic or shocking, just something more intense, I guess.

Still, it's a well-written story in one of my favorite urban fantasy series with 2 of my favorite characters. Just the fact that it exists and is sitting on my Kindle makes me a happy reader.

ARC Review: Non-Stop Till Tokyo by K.J. Charles

Non-Stop Till Tokyo
From the blurb:
A man with a past is her only hope for the future.

Kerry Ekdahl’s mixed heritage and linguistics skills could have made her a corporate star. Instead, she’s a hostess in a high-end Tokyo bar, catering to businessmen who want conversation, translation and flirtation. Easy money, no stress. Life is good—until she’s framed for the murder of a yakuza boss.

Trapped in rural Japan with the gangsters closing in, Kerry doesn’t stand a chance. Then help arrives in the menacing form of Chanko, a Samoan-American ex-sumo wrestler with a bad attitude, a lot of secrets, and a mission she doesn’t understand.

Kerry doesn’t get involved with dangerous men. Then again, she’s never had one on her side before. And the big, taciturn fighter seems determined to save her life, even if they rub each other the wrong way.

Then her friends are threatened, and Kerry has no choice but to return to Tokyo and face the yakuza. Where she learns, too late, that the muscle man who’s got her back could be poised to stab it.

Heather's rating:

Um, this is awkward.

Everyone else loves this book, and I totally get why. It is fast-paced, action-packed, and different from your run of the mill romances. To boot, the plot is interesting and the story is well written. However, it just wasn't the book for me.

To be fair, I'm not a romantic suspense reader. In fact, I actively avoid them because I just don't enjoy those types of books. However, as a HUGE fan of K.J. Charles and her other works, I had to try this one.

I really think this is a case of "It's not you, it's me."

I'll try to explain what didn't work for me. First of all, I don't love books with large ensemble casts because I get confused as to who is who and why they are there. Those types of books don't appeal to me much. I would much rather read a book with a couple of main players and that is it. In this story, the friends of Kerry played a huge role, and I found myself getting lost a bit in the shuffle.

ARC Review: Jackdaw by K.J. Charles

JackdawFrom the blurb:

If you stop running, you fall.
Jonah Pastern is a magician, a liar, a windwalker, a professional thief…and for six months, he was the love of police constable Ben Spenser’s life. Until his betrayal left Ben jailed, ruined, alone, and looking for revenge.
Ben is determined to make Jonah pay. But he can’t seem to forget what they once shared, and Jonah refuses to let him. Soon Ben is entangled in Jonah’s chaotic existence all over again, and they’re running together—from the police, the justiciary, and some dangerous people with a lethal grudge against them. 
Threatened on all sides by betrayals, secrets, and the laws of the land, can they find a way to live and love before the past catches up with them?

Heather's rating:

Warning: Though this is billed as a standalone, it really is an offshoot of The Magpie Lord series. It works best if you read it after reading Flight of Magpies because, honestly, many plot points of that book are spoiled in Jackdaw. Read with caution if you aren't caught up on your Lord Crane/Stephen hotness!

I'm not a huge fan of established couple stories but I really enjoyed this one. Maybe I'm being a little misleading: Jonah and Ben aren't an established couple, not exactly, but rather a couple that gets back together after a time apart. Jonah was the slippery man that I wanted to strangle in Flight of Magpies, and I was curious to see how he would be redeemed. I shouldn't have had any doubts: K.J. Charles is a magician.

I loved the level of intensity between Ben and Jonah. Their relationship felt so charged, so important. There were sky-high highs and crushing lows, and I was on the roller-coaster with them all the way. I thought that these two men felt like a perfect match, and I was rooting for them hard.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Kindle Weekly Deals~ Week of 2/21/15- 2/27/15

"Power Exchange" by A.J. Rose- M/M, romantic suspense~ Price drop to $0.99!
"Halfway to the Grave" by Jeaniene Frost- Adult, urban fantasy~ Price drop to $1.99!
"Overbite" by Meg Cabot- Adult, paranormal romance~ Price drop to $1.99!
"Cover Me" by L.A. Witt- M/M, romantic suspense~ Price drop to FREE!

ARC Review: Souffles at Sunrise (Just Desserts 2) by M.J. O'Shea and Anna Martin


"Welcome to a new season of Burned, where we find fresh new cooking talent… and a few culinary disasters! Every season we do something a little different, and this time it’s all about the sweet things in life. Get ready in week one as twenty pastry chef hopefuls and dessert connoisseurs compete for the thirteen coveted workspaces in our Burned kitchen. With stakes this big, we ask the one question on everyone’s mind: Do these chefs have what it takes to rise to the top? Or will they get Burned?"

Burned contestants Chase and Kai are attracted from the start and can’t wait to spend more time getting to know each other… until they see the first episode treatment and realize the producers intend to portray them as bitter enemies. At first it’s fun to pretend to bicker—enemies on film, lovers when the cameras stop rolling—but soon it’s hard not to take the faux rivalry seriously. It’s only when their choice is to band together and bake their way to the final or get burned that they find where their real loyalties lie.

Dani's rating:

I was so ready to love this book.


What's not to love, right?

I've been hooked on Bravo's Top Chef since season 1, so I sort of hate to believe this book's rather jaded take on cooking reality shows: It's not the talent but the looks; it's all rigged; contestants are forced to play up an image; and conflicts are encouraged for drama.

Kai, an exotic, self-assured pastry chef originally from Hawaii, and Chase, a blonde farm boy from Wisconsin who owns an artisanal ice cream shop, are competitors, but they soon become lovers.

I loved the competition aspect of this book, the description of the various desserts, the highs and lows.

And I liked both MCs. Kai has a total arrogant, poor-me asshole moment that almost ruins everything, and Chase sure as hell knows how to hold a grudge. But they both felt real to me.

ARC Review: Rules to Live By by Assorted Authors

Rules to Live By
From the blurb:

Four intimate tales of power exchange, discipline, risks taken, and pleasures earned.
A list of rules to live by.
In Cari Z’s House Rules, jealousy leads Jonathan to break the rules his lover has established. He can’t decide which he enjoys more: his punishment, or the reward afterward. Good thing he gets both.
A lesson in humility.
In The Harder They Fall by Heidi Belleau and Lisa Henry, spoiled college boy Tad hires a prostitute, but “Daddy” couldn’t care less about what Tad wants. Instead, he’s going to give his spoiled little boy exactly what he deserves. 
A cage that means freedom.
In Master Key by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox, Marquis offers Navin the key to the most intimate of locks, hoping it will help them to prioritize their relationship. And it does—until work and insecurities threaten to drive them apart again.
A spool of rope and a desire to be bound.
In CTRL Me by Anna Zabo, a night out between friends turns hot and tempting when Gabe deliberately pushes Tom’s submissive buttons. Then Tom discovers rope in Gabe’s glove-box—and not the type for securing luggage.

Heather's rating:

Great collection! I'm being generous with my overall rating because I loved two of the stories SO HARD!

"Master Key" by Anah Crow & Dianne Fox- 2 stars

I couldn't wait for this story to be over.

I'm super bummed because I was REALLY excited for this one. I love, love, love the idea of chastity, and just the idea of an M/M featuring a cock cage was getting me hot and bothered! However, the rest of the story just wasn't for me.

I don't love established couple stories, and I really don't love stories where an established couple basically fights for the entire book. Navin and Marquis argued the entire time. The story was one big, long look into a dysfunctional couple, which just isn't what I like to read about. To top it off, in order for me to buy a BDSM-type story, I need the dom-type character to be, well, dom-y. Navin was sort of wishy washy and I didn't get a dominate vibe from him at all. In fact, he seemed like he was more submissive to me. I just felt like this couple was an awkward fit, and I just wanted both men to find other people. I wasn't feeling the love.

Also, and this is a bit of personal preference, but I also like my man in the cock cage to be the bottom in the bedroom. I have a fantasy about the caged man being banged with the cage on, but that wasn't the case here. The top was the caged one, and he was also the submissive. Taking him out of the cage for sex was sort of a let down. Also, I wanted more teasing/denial, maybe some CBT.

Moving on to the next story!

"House Rules" by Cari Z.- 4.5 stars

LOVED this! I have a major love for domestic discipline stories, so this was just perfection for me. All fans of DD will be delighted by this one, I'm sure. It was a short story, but the love the MCs had for each other came through and their chemistry was strong and off the charts. I honestly don't think it gets much better than a DD spanking scene, so thank you, Cari Z., for reading my kinky little mind!

I just love it when a boy acts out and their man has to remind them who's in charge. So. So. Good.

Book Blast: Palace Dog by R.E. Nelson

Today we welcome R.E. Nelson with 

Palace Dog


In April 1975, as the government in Saigon is falling, Michael Andrews prepares to make his way back to Vietnam to find the love he was forced to leave.

But Michael’s journey begins four years earlier. He joins the Air Force to keep out of the Army and out of Vietnam, but his first assignment is teaching English in Saigon to members of the Vietnamese military in an Army program called Palace Dog.

As an artist, and a man, before his time in Vietnam, Michael found life lonely and unsatisfying. In the midst of war, Michael searches for direction and meaning. He ultimately finds love and hope with Thao, a young Vietnamese art student, only to have their already uncertain future wrenched from them when he is pulled out of the country.

For Michael, his return in 1975 is inevitable and without question, though the outcome he hopes for is anything but assured.


The cyclo had bumped across the bridge, following the curve in the road, then moved quickly down the final straight stretch, past houses and shops, past rows of trees and walls and occasional open spaces, past vendors who lined the street’s edge selling gasoline in glass bottles. Motorcycles, Lambretta mini-buses packed with people, cream-and-blue Renault taxis, pedestrians with baskets and boxes—all crowded the street. Noises, smells, and smoke came from everywhere, and as the driver increased his speed, I smiled, gripping the metal frame tighter and pushing slightly with my feet as the moist wind rushed around me.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Author Of The Month - Jacob Z. Flores - Grand Finale

Welcome, and thanks for joining us today for our GRAND FINALE celebrations for the amazingly talented

Today, in our finale post, we'll be talking about two more of Jacob's books, one of which was just recently published, as well as finally get answers to our questions, and of course give you one more chance to win!!

First up, Moral Authority


Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are prescribed ideals in America of 2050. The Moral Authority, the nation’s newest branch of government, has virtually eliminated crime, poverty, and most social ills, but it also rules the land with a tyrannical fist, championing ignorance and brandishing fear.

Mark Bryan is a gay man whose existence brands him an outlaw; Isaac Montoya is a charming stranger, who entices Mark to defy moral law; and Samuel Pleasant runs the Moral Authority and plans to punish moral offenders and a rebellious uprising—no matter the cost.

Will liberty and justice return for all?


Uncle Sam’s eyes and smile lined the street in almost every direction, berating all who looked upon him into submission.

“Wonderful day today,” another government employee said to Mark as Mark walked by. He nodded in agreement, even though he disagreed. His day was wonderful until Uncle Sam ruined it.

REMEMBER THE MORAL CODE OF CARE. EAT RESPONSIBLY was now posted on the wall of what used to be Dan’s Liquor Store. It was now one of many health food shops where citizens purchased the food needed for their daily allowance.

Uncle Sam was obviously expressing his displeasure at Mark’s desire for a Frappuccino. That didn’t stop a sense of vindication from washing over him as he drew closer to the Starbucks.


Finally, Mark reached the front door of Starbucks. Once inside, he would be out of Uncle Sam’s line of sight. Before going in, however, he took one look back at the posters. Dozens of pairs of Uncle Sam eyeballs stared back, boring into his being and condemning him simply for existing.

Yeah, well, fuck you too, Mark said within the safety of his own thoughts. He then entered Starbucks and slammed the door shut behind him.

Get the book:

And Jacob's brand-new release, Please Remember Me


Successful lawyer Santi Herrera couldn’t be happier with the direction his life is taking. Not only is he on track to becoming a partner in his law firm, but he’s planning his wedding to Hank Burton, a south Texas contractor who has made a name for himself despite his humble beginnings. The introverted, lone wolf Santi and the friendly, outgoing Hank complement each other perfectly. From the moment they laid eyes on each other, they were hooked, and as far as Santi and Hank are concerned, a happily ever after is their destiny.
But fate deals them a devastating new hand.
A construction accident leaves Hank with severe head trauma and brings him precariously close to death. When he finally awakens, Hank doesn’t remember Santi or the love they shared for the past three years. Santi faces the greatest challenge of his life. Can he respark a flame his lover can’t recall? And can he stop the diverging paths that fickle fate charts between them?


When our lips touched, I groaned into his mouth, and the lyrics of the melody exploded around us. I thrust my tongue between Hank’s lips, coaxing his tongue out of his mouth and into mine and tasting the sugary sweetness of the energy drink he had purchased earlier. Our tongues danced as our surging passions crested, threatening to drown us beneath their endless waves.

Hank pulled out of the kiss, panting. I had no breath left to exhale.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

ARC Review: Here for You by Skylar M. Cates


Cole Gannon arrives in the seaside town of Ocean Vista to work as a bartender and finally find a place to belong. Determined to make a home for himself, Cole lives happily with his four colorful roommates, whom he considers brothers. The only problem is Cole's attraction to Ian Stark—a guy all wrong for him. He wishes he didn’t keep running into the sexy lawyer.

Ian knows Cole is attracted to him, but the younger man keeps him at arm’s length. It only makes Ian more determined to be with Cole and learn all his secrets.

When a sudden and devastating tragedy occurs, it shatters Cole's world and throws Cole and Ian together in unexpected ways. In an instant, everything between them changes forever.

Dani's rating:

I greatly enjoy Skylar Cates’ writing. The blend of tender and sexy in her novels really works for me. This book, however, is in a category of its own.

I am uncomfortable with emotions, and I generally avoid angsty books. Tears: who needs them?

But there is no avoiding the feels in this story.

Cole, raised by an alcoholic mother who cared more about her revolving door of boyfriends than her son, has worked hard to build a family in Florida. Cole has been on his own since he was 17, and his roommates are his closest friends.

Following a random, horrific tragedy, Cole turns to Ian, a serious, buttoned-up lawyer and his best friend’s boss, for comfort. Cole feels like he’s betraying his friend if he allows himself to fall for Ian, so he pushes Ian away.

But Ian isn’t willing to give up so easily.

“I’m all hot and cold with you . . . Lots of guys would want to be with you, Ian. All the way.” 
“I don’t want them.” Ian cupped Cole’s face and looked right into his eyes . . . “I want you.”

Ian and Cole have amazing, explosive chemistry and a deep connection, sexual and otherwise. They are opposites on paper, but they are so good together.

They were all over each other, lips locked, chests pressing, their limbs coiled. They sank briefly under the water, still kissing passionately. When they surfaced, they breathed each other’s air.

ARC Review: Love at First Sight & The One Who Saves Me (Home Series) by Cardeno C


The moment naïve, optimistic Jonathan Doyle glimpses a gorgeous blue-eyed stranger from afar, he believes in love at first sight. Unfortunately, he loses sight of the man before they meet and then spends years desperately trying to find him. Just as he is about to give up, Jonathan gets a break and finally encounters David Miller face to face.

Successful, confident David turns Jonathan’s previously lonely life into a fairy tale, giving him more than he ever imagined. But the years spent searching were hard on Jonathan, and he’s terrified his young son and scandalous past will destroy his blossoming relationship. For David and Jonathan to build a future together, they’ll both have to dig deep: David for the courage to share himself in a way he’s never considered and Jonathan for the strength to tell the truth.


At fourteen, Andrew Thompson and Caleb Lakes become best friends. As the years pass, they stand by each other through family trauma, school, and the start of their careers. They share their first sexual experiences, learning and experimenting, and they talk each other through countless dates and breakups.

Decades of trust and loyalty build a deep and abiding friendship, one that surpasses any relationship in their lives. But when the parameters of their unique friendship change, neither man knows how to break out of their established roles to build something new. After all, boyfriends come and go, but best friends are forever.

These books are part of Cardeno C's seven-book Home series. They can be read as standalone novels in no particular order, even though the MCs are connected by friendship, family, and/or location and are mentioned in each other's books to lend a feeling of community and continuity.

My reviews apply to the second edition of these books published in 2015, which include a bonus chapter originally published in Marriage: A Home Series Celebration.

Love at First Sight

Dani's rating:

This is yet another romantic cuppa served warm with extra cream and sugar from Cardeno C.

Jonathan and David are a very sweet couple. David adores and dotes on Jonathan, and Jonathan worships David. David, the go-to sexy realtor for the town's LGBT community, realizes that Jonathan and his young son, Sam, are a package deal, and he wants them both.

I really liked the way Sam was portrayed in this book. He was a cute 2-year-old who was present without being the focal point of the story. The scenes with Jonathan's family were good for a few laughs, although his sister's three boys were over-the-top annoying brats.

The way Jonathan came to be a father was rather horrifying, actually. There was nothing remotely okay about what happened. The baby's mama was a sick, selfish person, and Jonathan needed to work the word "NO" into his vocabulary.

I'm not entirely sure how Jonathan supported himself and his son in New York after he quit his, uh, lucrative position.

Yes, Jonathan has a "scandalous," albeit brief, past, and, yes, David finds out about it before Jonathan can confess, but this is a CC special, people. You know nothing bad's going to happen.

Of course, there was smex and love galore, and the romantic, awwwww-inducing bonus chapter brought the story full circle.

I wouldn't expect anything else from Cardeno C!

Get the book:


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

ARC Review: He Completes Me & Where He Ends and I Begin (Home Series) by Cardeno C


Not even his mother’s funeral can convince self-proclaimed party boy Zach Johnson to tone down his snark or think about settling down. He is who he is, and he refuses to change for anyone. When straight-laced, compassionate Aaron Paulson claims he’s falling for him, Zach is certain Aaron sees him as another project, one more lost soul for the idealistic Aaron to save. But Zach doesn’t need to be fixed and he refuses to be with someone who sees him as broken.

Patience is one of Aaron’s many virtues. He has waited years for a man who can share his heart and complete his life and he insists Zach is the one. Pride, fear, and old hurts wither in the wake of Aaron’s adoring loyalty, and as Zach reevaluates his perceptions of love and family, he finds himself tempted to believe in the impossible: a happily-ever-after.


Aggressive, physical, and brave, Jake Owens is a small town football hero turned big city cop who passes his time with meaningless encounters believing he can’t have who he really wants: Nate Richardson, his best friend since before forever. Thoughtful, quiet, and kind, Nate is a brilliant doctor who has always known who he is and has never been able to shake his crush on loyal, courageous, straight Jake.

After a passionate night together, Nate realizes Jake isn’t as straight as he assumed, but he worries that what they shared was a fluke, a result of too much closeness for too long. For Jake, the question isn’t how they ended up in bed together because he has always known that Nate holds his heart, it’s how he’ll convince Nate that he wants and needs to stay there.

These books are part of Cardeno C's seven-book Home series. They can be read as standalone novels in no particular order, even though the MCs are connected by friendship, family, and/or location and are mentioned in each other's books to lend a feeling of community and continuity.

My reviews apply to the second edition of these books published in 2015, which include a bonus chapter originally published in Marriage: A Home Series Celebration.

He Completes Me

Dani's rating:

We first meet Zach and Aaron in Home Again. They are an established couple by then. This book goes back in time and tells their story as filtered through Zach's first-person POV.

Because most of the stories in this series run parallel to each other, we meet Clark here before he reconnects with Noah. When Clark sees how lovey-dovey Zach and Aaron are, he decides he needs to return home.

But back to Aaron and Zach: Aaron falls in love with Zach the second he sees him, even though Zach initially pushes Aaron away and acts like a spoiled, thoughtless jerk.

Exhibit 1: The night the men meet, Aaron invites Zach to a party, only to have Zach do something impulsive and unforgivable (in my book). Zach never apologizes, and Aaron takes care of him all night.

Exhibit 2: In the months they are apart, Aaron calls Zach every night and tells Zach he loves him at the end of every conversation. Zach never calls Aaron and never says "I love you."

Exhibit 3: Aaron doesn't dare ask Zach to be monogamous, even though it hurts his heart to think of Zach with other men. Zach isn't sleeping with anyone else but never tells Aaron that.

Bottom line: Zach initially acts like a selfish douche, and Aaron is the world's biggest doormat.

Zach's brother Dean and his wife Kimberly are good friends of Aaron's, and by good friends I mean: Aaron cleans their house, cooks their dinners, and watches their three children. Aaron moves to town to take over Kim's ailing veterinary clinic and works with NO PAY for months.

Conclusion: Aaron is like Jesus but with sexual prowess.

Granted, the balance of power shifts once Zach moves to be with Aaron and starts giving back.

I quite enjoyed the second half of the book and also the SEX; dear god, yes, I enjoyed that lots and lots.

There are so many explosively smexy times here: rimming, licking, sucking, fucking, biting. In all places. At all times. Aaron worships at the altar that is Zach's ass.

You would hardly believe Aaron was a virgin! *ahem*

The ending is blindingly happy, especially with the bonus chapter.

It's like a three-layer cake with icing and sugar sprinkles and cotton candy spun on top: SO DAMN FANCIFUL and SWEET, you just can't stop eating it.

Get the book:


Book Blast: The Librarian by Lee Brazil

Today we welcome Lee Brazil with

The Librarian


A rash vow of celibacy puts Valentine Michaels in the path of seduction.

Val is at a crossroads in his life. A college dropout, he's gone as far as he can in his career as a cosmetologist, owning his own style salon. He no longer finds satisfaction in it, though he's put years into proving to his bigoted parents that a college degree and the veneer of straightness aren't the only roads to success. They'd turned their backs on him, and he proved he didn't need them to make it.

His love life is no better than his working life. His relationships always start with a bang and fizzle into boredom, or worse, anger.

Adrian Grey has his own agenda for helping Val: he's been in love with Val since they were freshmen. The intervening years of listening to Val's gossip about his lovers and relationships have taught Adrian just what it was he did wrong all those years ago, and he thinks this time around he now knows exactly how to get—and keep—his man.


Impatiently, Val flipped his powder-blue locks over his shoulder, tapping the little whisk broom against the counter where his supplies were arranged neatly. "Derek, you left me standing around at Paul's for an hour, a place I totally hate by the way, without even a phone call to say you weren't coming, and then I walk past you playing ball in the park with your friends on the way back here. I'm not overreacting!"

Blogtour: The Thief by Patricia Logan

Today we welcome Patricia Logan with

The Thief


Former Marine and bona fide hero, Ranger Corrigan, is one paycheck away from joining his brethren among the ranks of Los Angeles’s homeless Veterans. When he is offered a great paying job in a palatial mansion, Ranger jumps at the chance for a roof over his head and a hot meal in his belly.

Handsome and cultured Landry Metzel lives too well to be the insurance appraiser he claims to be, and Ranger can’t help but want to know why he’s been hired to protect an innocuous man with no enemies. Metzel certainly won’t be sorry to see him go.

As famous masterpieces suddenly begin disappearing from private collections, Ranger begins putting two and two together. When an LAPD detective starts asking questions about murders tied to the thefts, Ranger suddenly wants to learn more about the man he’s hopelessly attracted to.

A wisecracking former Marine, a man with a desperate secret to hide, and a murderous villain come together in a tale of murder, danger, intrigue, and the crime of the century.


“I know it’s silly… please don’t laugh at me but, I just imagine you came in and swept me off my feet, picked me right up and set me on the back of your white horse and made me… well… you made me feel complete Ranger.” Landry chuckled. “Ranger… you complete me… I love you.” Ranger lay there quietly listening, probably stunned by Landry’s revelation. “You don’t have to say anything back to me, baby, but I just wanted you to know… I love you.”

Landry quieted, listening to Ranger’s breathing as something suddenly dawned on him. He frowned.

ARC Review: Blue Eyed Stranger (Trowchester Blues 2)


Billy Wright has a problem: he’s only visible when he’s wearing a mask. That’s fine when he’s performing at country fairs with the rest of his morris dancing troupe. But when he takes the paint off, his life is lonely and empty, and he struggles with crippling depression.

Martin Deng stands out from the crowd. After all, there aren’t that many black Vikings on the living history circuit. But as the founder of a fledgling historical re-enactment society, he’s lonely and harried. His boss doesn’t like his weekend activities, his warriors seem to expect him to run everything single-handedly, and it’s stressful enough being one minority without telling the hard men of his group he’s also gay.

When Billy’s and Martin’s societies are double-booked at a packed county show, they know at once they are kindred spirits, united by a deep feeling of connectedness to their history and culture. But they’re also both hiding in their different ways, and they need each other to be brave enough to take their masks off and still be seen.

Dani's rating:

Alex Beecroft’s writing is poetry: lyrical, evocative, and properly British.

Both the MCs, Martin and Billy, are involved in reenactment societies, Martin in one focused on ninth century Vikings and Billy in one with a focus on morris dancing, a type of choreographed English folk dancing that started in the fifteenth century.

The men eventually create a new music/dance troop, and their passion for their hobby is contagious.

I am a history buff, and British history is my favorite, so I loved the descriptions of costumes, music, battles, and dances. A few years back, I went to a medieval reenactment, complete with full-scale battles, at Caldicot Castle in Wales, and it was BRILLIANT.

Fair warning, however: If you are not interested in history and historical reenactment, the constant descriptions might prove a bit tedious.

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