Wednesday, August 31, 2016

ARC Review: Boyfriend Material by K.A. Mitchell

Boyfriend Material (Ethan & Wyatt, #2)Blurb:

Physically, it’s easy for Ethan and Wyatt to be together—well, if “easy” means stolen moments when Ethan’s roommate is away, or sneaking away to a hidden nook in the library. Privacy is hard to come by in a dorm, but finding ways to connect is half the fun.


Emotionally, though, that’s a different story. Wyatt isn’t sure if a relationship is something he can make last—years of having to hide his emotions have left him with a shaky sense of self-confidence. And when it’s time to head home for the holidays, their steamy on-campus connection may not translate so well to the real world…




Todd's rating:




First, let me just say that I really loved both Ethan and Wyatt from book 1 and was thrilled to get more of their story.

In the first book, Ethan's eternal positivity was so "glass half-full" that you could feel his hope for what he and Wyatt could have dripping from the pages. It was completely contagious. You have lemons? Great! Ethan's all for making lemonade and I loved him for that.

However, in this continuation, told from Wyatt's point of view, it's just the opposite. Yes, I realize that he's been dealt a fairly shite hand at the table of life, but at a certain point, when the person that you're with has consistently shown you nothing but beauty, loyalty and kindness, you really have to grab it with both hands and hang on.

The entire way through this story, up until the last few pages, the feel of the story was " this is great, but temporary and Ethan is going to dump me, so I shouldn't dare to hope for more ," which felt disheartening and overly emo.

I loved getting more of Ethan and Wyatt, but to be honest, I felt that the focus on Wyatt's hesitation to accept the gift that he'd been given, Ethan's love and boundless optimism, were being squandered here.

The book does end on a hopeful note for their HFN; however, I still felt that their relationship was one built on loose sand, with Wyatt 'wanting' to stay, but not going 'all in' due to his fear of abandonment or betrayal.

Blogtour: Like Heaven On Earth by Jaime Samms







Please say hello to Jaime Samms and 

Like Heaven On Earth 

Dance, Love, Live #3






Blurb:

Cobalt Winslow lost two loves when his ex-boyfriend, Calvin Denvers, infected him with HIV, taking his health and his place as principal danseur in their New York ballet company when Cobalt became too weak. Now dealing with the aftermath as best he can, Cobalt teaches dance in Toronto with the support of his oldest friends, Conrad and Peridot. The one bright spot in his life is Malory Preston, his brother’s driver and a man who is always there when Cobalt needs him. Kind and attentive, Preston embodies everything Calvin lacks, but Cobalt can’t let go of his unhealthy, long-distance relationship with his ex.

Calvin brings a messy and violent end to their affair, but offers a chance for Cobalt to return to New York—as Calvin's understudy—just when he's on the verge of a real and lasting relationship with Preston. Now Cobalt faces a choice between two loves: dancing and Preston. Preston must show Cobalt that he has the power and support to make the life he wants and deserves, no matter what he decides.




Get the book:






They say there are dog people and there are cat people. I’ve never been real clear on what makes a person one over the other. I’ve had cats for 20 years until very recently, so I just assumed I was a cat person.

Then my MIL asked me to dog sit her Bernese Mountain Dog.

Now it’s obviously true that dogs are a lot more work than cats. But the right dog can be a joy and a comfort when life sucks. Some dogs are trained for just that purpose: to ease their person’s anxiety and keep them grounded and feeling safe. After sitting with my MIL’s pup for a couple o weeks, I suddenly had a different perspective on my own pet status.

Maybe I’m not just a cat person.

I’ve only had my pup for about three and a half months now, but he already senses my moods and sticks close when I begin to feel anxious and stressed. When I began writing Cobalt’s story, I’d never owned a dog. I knew that although Cobalt rejected his family’s overbearing presence in his life and stayed away from the friends that cared for him when he quit dance, his personality was such that if I didn’t give him something to care for, he would wither. I couldn’t have that. I needed him to be ready to emerge from his self-imposed exile to a new beginning when Preston stepped into his life.

Blogtour: Sideshow by Amy Stilgenbauer



Please welcome Amy Stilgenbauer with 

Sideshow 




Blurb:

Abby Amaro wants to sing at La Scala Opera House, but she’s a good girl, and in 1957 good girls get married. Still, when she receives her first marriage proposal, she freezes, knowing the way her suitor makes her feel bodes trouble. When he won’t take no for an answer, she flees, joining up with a traveling carnival.

Thanks to a burlesque trapeze artist and the world’s saddest clown, Abby bides her time and fits in until she can rejoin the world she knows. She doesn’t expect a sideshow strongwoman named Suprema, who captures her imagination. As the carnival makes its way across the Midwest, Abby learns much more than she had ever imagined—about herself, about her identity, and, most importantly, about love.



Excerpt:

Abby couldn’t remember falling asleep. She only remembered the dark night and how, outside the window of Della’s trailer, the rolling slopes of Eastern Ohio slowly flattened into the farmland of the western side of the state and faded into darkness. She didn’t say much during the trip, but her mind was spinning, unable to process what she had done.

Once, when she had been a little girl, barely older than Annette was now, her mother had taken her and Natale to visit their aunt in Chicago for a week. It had been a nice visit. They had embarked on the train with a great deal of ceremony, and Za Teresa had spoiled the pair rotten, loading them up with peach-shaped marzipan and pizzelle until they were both sick. She hadn’t left Cleveland for any extended period of time since. Oh, sure, she’d talked and dreamt about it. Nonna often wistfully mentioned taking a trip back to her girlhood home one more time now that the war was over and taking Abby along to look after her, and then, if her opera career took off as she had once hoped, she would be visiting all the great cities. In her scrapbook, clippings of Palais Garnier, La Scala, and The Met were decorated with carefully drawn hearts and hopeful stars and the scrawled word: someday. Still, she had never imagined that when she departed the Coventry neighborhood again, it would be in a burlesque dancer’s trailer.



Get the book:


        




Hi Amy, thank you for being here today and for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

ARC Review: Override by SJD Peterson

From The Blurb:
Don’t judge a book by its cover…. 
At over six feet, with a body honed in the gym, auto worker Donavan Gregory is used to people assuming he’s a dominant top. Unfortunately, they’re wrong, and Donavan’s desire to explore his submissive side goes unfulfilled. 
Smaller and older than Donavan, Doctor Seth Manning might not look like a typical dominant, but when the two men meet at Pride, Donavan realized Seth might be his perfect counterpart. The trouble is, Donavan doesn’t have as much experience with the BDSM world as he’d like. What could an educated, handsome, and confident man like Seth possibly see in someone like him? Seth must convince him that despite the differences on the surface, when it comes to kinky fun and discovery, they’ll fit together just fine.



Karen's rating:




What I was expecting and what I got...not the same thing. Interestingly enough the first line of the blurb for this book is "Don't judge a book by it's cover..." can I just say "How totally appropriate this is." because based on the title and the cover I was expecting something a little darker, edgier, grittier with maybe a little more angst...not what I got. Now am I bothered by this...not really because I still got to read a really good story one that I totally enjoyed.

So now you know what I was expecting let me tell you about what I got. I got a story about two men looking for what most of us look for at some point in our lives...someone we can connect too, feel complete with...you guessed it 'the L word'. Donavan is a big guy. He's tall and hours in the gym and working in a factory have given him a pretty impressive set of muscles...he's totally a dominant...not...and that's his problem people look at him and assume he's a take charge sort of guy. At least that's what most people assume, not so much with Seth.

Seth is older, smaller and more than willing to take charge. He knows what he wants and he usually gets it. One look at Donavan and Seth wants...wants so many things that he thought were beyond even him. Things that he'd buried his hope for long ago, but Donavan's re-ignited that hope and Seth is sure that what he and Donavan could have together would complete them both if he can just make Donavan see himself the way Seth does.

I have to admit stories like this can be so hit or miss for me and as much as I like this author initially I was leery about how this would go. Somewhere around 40% I was pretty sure I needed more story with my sex so for me the first part of the book was maybe 3 stars at best but I was determined to have faith and as I kept reading I found my story. It wasn't the one I was expecting but it turned out to be one that I enjoyed none the less. I realized that I was really invested in these two men. I was totally enjoying them together. There were no huge stumbling blocks, over the top misunderstandings or long drawn out angst-fest. Instead what I found was a sweet story about two men exploring a mutual attraction and discovering a bond that was strong enough to build a life together on. There was still lots of sex and while it was definitely on the rough side at times there was always an underlying sweetness to it because it went from sex with caring to sex with love.

ARC Review: Override (The Underground Club 1) by S.J.D. Peterson


Blurb:
Don’t judge a book by its cover . . .

At over six feet, with a body honed in the gym, auto worker Donavan Gregory is used to people assuming he’s a dominant top. Unfortunately, they’re wrong, and Donavan’s desire to explore his submissive side goes unfulfilled.

Smaller and older than Donavan, Doctor Seth Manning might not look like a typical dominant, but when the two men meet at Pride, Donavan realized Seth might be his perfect counterpart. The trouble is, Donavan doesn’t have as much experience with the BDSM world as he’d like. What could an educated, handsome, and confident man like Seth possibly see in someone like him? Seth must convince him that despite the differences on the surface, when it comes to kinky fun and discovery, they’ll fit together just fine.


Dani's rating:




If you like stories that are high on sweetness and low on angst with an extra dose of naughty, Override is the book for you. I am a fluffaholic; I don't need angst to be happy (just the opposite, in fact). I adored the first two-third of this book, but I got a little restless toward the end.

Donavan craves to submit, but at 6 foot something and over 200 pounds, he doesn't feel like a sub. Then he meets a man at Pride who throws his world out of alignment. Seth is much smaller than Donavan, but he's all Dom. He likes to take charge and be in control, and Donavan melts at Seth's touch.

Override is a VERY sexy book, but it's more rough sex than BDSM. There is a flogging scene and some fun with toys, but nothing about the MCs screamed Dom/sub to me. My favorite steamy scene happened in a BDSM club where Donavan and Seth role play, and it's Seth who submits. That kind of power flipping really works for me.

Donavan's POV filters the majority of the story (we get a few scenes from Seth's perspective), and he's a well-rounded character. Donavan is seven years younger than Seth and works at a factory. He doesn't have a college degree, nor does he make a lot of money.

Seth, on the other hand, is all white collar. He's a doctor who drives a fancy car and spends more on one meal than Seth makes in a day. Donavan feels insecure at times, wondering what Seth sees in him, but Seth makes it very clear that Donavan is a gift he wants to keep.


Spotlight: A Fallen Heart by Cate Ashwood





Please welcome Cate Ashwood and 

A Fallen Heart 

Zero Hour #2



Hello! I’m Cate and I have a brand new book that just dropped yesterday. It’s called A Fallen Heart and it’s the second book in the Zero Hour series.

Thank you to everyone at My Fiction Nook for hosting me today and giving me an outlet to talk a running theme in all my books: food.

Despite the fact that I have about eight hundred allergies, I love food and every single one of my books includes the characters cooking or eating out at least once (usually a lot more than that). For me, food is a part of all the greatest things in life: huge meals on holidays, indulging during celebrations, fancy meals on date nights out, and sweet and savory breakfasts during quiet Sundays at home.

Often deciding where or what my characters are going to eat is just an excuse for me to look at new menus and recipes. In A Fallen Heart, the boys head out to a diner for boozy milkshakes. Trust me when I tell you I did ample research on all kinds of recipes for this one, but the winner for me was the Irish Coffee Milkshake with Whiskey Caramel from Hungry Girl por Vida.

You can check out the recipe and the drool-worthy photos here: http://www.hungrygirlporvida.com/blog/2013/03/15/irish-coffee-milkshake-with-whiskey-caramel/

Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to try it out before I got pregnant, but it is definitely at the top of my list of things to make once baby is here! 




About the book:

Blurb:

After his last disastrous relationship, Joseph Ford has absolutely no interest in getting attached again. Concentrating on working as a trauma nurse and keeping his life as simple as possible are his only goals. Unfortunately, his plans could be derailed by the charming, sexy Nash.

Things are looking up for paramedic Ridley Nash when he transfers to Station 217. He gets along with the crew, likes his partner, and is finally on a team willing to accept him—gay and all. It’s everything he’s always wanted, but when he meets Ford, Nash knows his life is about to get very interesting.

As Ford and Nash find themselves stuck in the middle of a homicide case, things become more complicated. For the last year, the mutilated bodies of teenage boys have been showing up all over downtown. With no leads, the police are getting desperate. One of the victims is found alive, and he’s the best chance the police have to catch the killer—if only they can get him to talk.

Will Nash be able to catch Ford when he falls, or is there too much standing in their way to make it work?



Excerpt:


FORD’S CHEEKS were as pink as the tips of his ears, but the smile he’d permanently worn for the last hour had Nash feeling like more of a hero than he had the last time he’d gotten pulses back during a cardiac arrest. Halfway out of the city, he’d worried taking Ford on a hike was a bad idea, and by the time they were slipping through the gate that marked the beginning of the trail, he’d been sure it was.
But something changed once the city and the noise fell away. The sounds of traffic were replaced by birds and rushing water. It was like a cleanser for the soul. It hadn’t taken long at all for Ford’s sullenness to transform into awe at the beauty of the area.
They crossed Brothers Creek and made their way south toward the Crossover Trail junction. It was downhill and less taxing than the initial climb. He and Ford talked about nothing at all, Nash enjoying his company. He still had trouble believing that three weeks earlier, he hadn’t known Ford existed. He’d developed feelings for him, swiftly and surely.
They passed the junction, and a few minutes beyond was a dense copse of trees, the ground covered in large ferns. Nash grabbed Ford’s hand and tugged him off the trail, navigating between the ferns and up a small hill, far enough into the forest that he could no longer see the trail.
“Are we going to see another giant tree?” Ford asked.

Blogtour: Furs, Fangs And Felines series by M.A. Church

Fur-001 




23631202
Furs, Fangs, And Felines, Book One: 
A snowstorm in the South—on New Year’s Eve—is a perfect recipe for a catastrophe. After two soul-crushing bad breaks, Kirk’s waiting for disaster number three to strike when, naturally, two stray cats arrive on his doorstep during the storm and decide to make themselves at home. Tenderhearted Kirk lets them stay even though there’s something decidedly odd about his overly friendly felines. 
Out of the punishing weather and full of tuna, Dolf and Tal are happy to be snug in Kirk’s house. But then their human goes outside for firewood and suffers a nasty fall that leaves him unconscious. Now the two cats have no choice but to reveal themselves. 
Kirk wakes up to find the two kitties are actually Dolf and Tal. They’re cat shifters—and his destined mates. Being part of a feline threesome is enough for Kirk to grapple with, but soon he learns they come from a clowder that doesn’t believe humans and shifters should mix. Kirk knew those two cats would be trouble. Little does he know the real trouble lies ahead.
audio books 27881262
available in french  
jamais-deux-sans-trois
Toutes griffes dehors, tome 1  
Une tempête de neige dans le sud, le jour du Nouvel An, est la recette parfaite pour une catastrophe. Après deux incidents dévastateurs, Kirk attend qu'un troisième désastre se produise lorsque, tout naturellement, deux chats errants arrivent sur son palier durant la tempête et décident de faire comme chez eux dans sa maison. Kirk et son grand cœur les laissent rester, même s'il y a décidément quelque chose de bizarre avec ces nouveaux félins bien trop amicaux. 
À l'abri du mauvais temps et remplis de thon, Dolf et Tal sont contents d'être blottis dans la maison de Kirk. Mais ensuite, leur humain se rend à l'extérieur à la recherche de bûches pour la cheminée et fait une chute violente qui le laisse inconscient. Les deux chats n'ont plus d'autres choix que de révéler leur identité. 
Kirk se réveille et découvre que les deux chats sont en réalité Dolf et Tal ; deux chats métamorphes qui sont ses partenaires destinés. Faire partie d'un trio félin est déjà suffisamment difficile à encaisser pour Kirk, mais il apprend rapidement qu'ils viennent d'un clan qui ne croit pas que les humains et les métamorphes devraient se mélanger. Kirk a conscience que ces deux chats sont sur le point de faire basculer sa vie. Cependant, il ne sait pas que les vraies difficultés se trouvent devant lui.



available in german 
28198280
Buch 1 in der Serie - Fell, Fangzähne und Feliden 
Ein Schneesturm im Süden – an Silvester – das kann nur in einer Katastrophe enden. Nach zwei schweren Schicksalsschlägen wartet Kirk nun auf den dritten, als plötzlich zwei Katzen in sein Leben platzen und Schutz vor der Kälte suchen. Kirk nimmt die beiden auf, obwohl er es sich eigentlich nicht leisten kann und die Katzen sich sehr auffällig verhalten. Dolf und Tal machen es sich bei Kirk bequem. Als ihr Mensch beim Holzholen schwer stürzt und sich verletzt, haben die beiden keine andere Wahl, sie müssen offenbaren, was sie sind. 
Als Kirk aufwacht, muss er feststellen, dass er keine Katzen, sondern Katzenwandler aufgenommen hat und nicht nur das, er ist ihr Gefährte. Eine Dreierbeziehung, noch dazu mit zwei Katzenwandlern, ist schon schwierig genug, aber bald muss sich Kirk auch noch mit feindseligen Rudelmitgliedern rumärgern, die der Meinung sind, dass sich Wandler nicht mit Menschen einlassen sollten. 
Kirk hatte geahnt, dass die beiden Katzen, Dolf und Tal, Ärger bedeuten würden, aber er hat keine Ahnung, was wirklich noch auf ihn zukommen sollte.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


27153448Fur, Fangs, and Felines: Book Two
A cool morning, a yard full of birds, and a kitty on a mission. What more could a werecat want? Beta Heller Wirth has it all, except a mate—a shifter mate, that is. The last thing he wants is one of those dangerous humans who kill without remorse. Heller knows about that firsthand. So what does the goddess Bast do? She gives Heller exactly what he does not want—a human: business owner Lawson Dupre.
Lawson hasn’t a clue what just happened in his car detail shop. One minute a cute client is about to pass out, and then he perks up and starts flirting. Next thing, he runs out the door like the hounds of hell are after him. Learning that Heller is a werecat doesn’t freak out Lawson. He happens to be one of those rare humans who knows paranormals exists. He even lives with one. Watch the fur fly as Heller and Lawson battle hurt feelings, misguided beliefs, and a power shift in Heller’s clowder.  


preorders 

ItTakesTwotoTangoFS3Can two very different men find the love they need to survive?

Remi Ginn’s an easygoing werecat with a love of snarky T-shirts who would be perfectly happy with a human mate. Is that what the goddess Bast gives him? Of course not. Instead she gifts him with Marshell, a Vetala: a snakelike nonshifter who drinks blood to survive. A man who’s just as toppy as Remi—and even more powerful than the West Falls Clowder’s Alpha and heir apparent.
While Remi decides whether he can handle the fates’ choice, hunters attack Marshell. In an explosion of passion, Remi and Marshell mate and Remi declares Marshell his. Now they have to figure out how to make their relationship work as they dance around each other.

The clowder is in turmoil, and Remi’s acceptance of Marshell rocks the very foundation of the insular group. The consequences will be far-reaching. And if that isn’t problem enough, the situation with the hunters is far from resolved… as the appearance of an Alpha werewolf proves.


excerpt

“So where are we going?”
“Place called Seafood Palace,” Lawson said. “Name might be a little cheesy, but the food’s to die for.”
We were still on the back road that led to the main street when I noticed lights coming up behind us—coming up fast. It could be a cop, except I didn’t see any flashing lights. I didn’t like it.
“Lawson—”
“Yeah, yeah, I see it. Man, they’re flying.” Lawson kept glancing in the rearview mirror. “You buckled up?”
“Yes. You?” I checked just in case as I turned around to look out the back window.
“Always. Damn, Marshell, I don’t like this.” Lawson gripped the steering wheel. “They’re still in my lane. Shit, they’re cutting it close.”
I noticed Lawson moved his truck closer to the shoulder and slow down. I had a bad, bad feeling about this. If this was that fucking werewolf, I was going to rip his throat out if I got my hands on him. My heart rate spiked as I watched the lights getting closer. They now were practically on top of us and didn’t look like they were going around.
“Fucking hell, get ready, Lawson. They’re going to—” The headlights clipped us. Metal screeched, and I grabbed the dash.
We lurched forward with a snap, and I damn near bit my tongue off. My neck screamed, and the seatbelt tightened against me as we fishtailed. Fuck ripping the were’s throat out. I was going to rip his head off. If Lawson got hurt, Heller would likely rip my head off.
“Aw fuck!” Lawson fought the wheel, cussing a blue streak as his hands flew over it. “Shit, shit, shit, they’re coming again, the fuckers. Brace yourself!”
“Son of a bitch!” This was no kid who’d lost control or some drunk out riding around.
Whoever was behind us had used the pit maneuver. Cops often used it to shut down car chases. Had the were been a cop at some point? Maybe he still was? Then I forgot everything as the other vehicle rammed us again. This time Lawson’s truck spun completely around, and the smell of burning rubber hit me like a ton of bricks.
Lights, trees, and smoke from the tires sped past us in a crazy twirling mass. The truck slowed noticeably, then stopped. My gums tingled as my fangs dropped, and my vision dramatically sharpened, which meant my eyes had changed to that eerie blue.
Lawson’s fear soaked the truck, and that pumped my adrenaline even higher. Whoever had scared Lawson so badly was going to die a slow death by my hand. The other vehicle, nothing more than a flash of black, pulled in front of us, blocking our way. I snarled at it.
“You okay?” I yelled at Lawson, keeping an eye on the other vehicle. Lawson’s truck lights shined on the Crown Victoria. Two shadowy figures moved in the cab of the car. Two? That’s odd.
“I’m fine! Shit, Marshell. What are we going to do?”

Monday, August 29, 2016

ARC Review: A Fallen Heart (Zero Hour 2) by Cate Ashwood



Blurb:
After his last disastrous relationship, Joseph Ford has absolutely no interest in getting attached again. Concentrating on working as a trauma nurse and keeping his life as simple as possible are his only goals. Unfortunately, his plans could be derailed by the charming, sexy Nash.

Things are looking up for paramedic Ridley Nash when he transfers to Station 217. He gets along with the crew, likes his partner, and is finally on a team willing to accept him—gay and all. It’s everything he’s always wanted, but when he meets Ford, Nash knows his life is about to get very interesting.

As Ford and Nash find themselves stuck in the middle of a homicide case, things become more complicated. For the last year, the mutilated bodies of teenage boys have been showing up all over downtown. With no leads, the police are getting desperate. One of the victims is found alive, and he’s the best chance the police have to catch the killer—if only they can get him to talk.

Will Nash be able to catch Ford when he falls, or is there too much standing in their way to make it work?




Dani's rating:




I loved the first book in this series, A Forced Silence, and I was so looking forward to Nash and Ford's story.

While I liked the fast-paced plot, the plentiful steamy times, and the camaraderie between this group of friends, I found Ford to be immature and whiny, and I hated the epilogue with my heart and soul.

Nash is a paramedic and Adam's new partner. Nash is hot (but of course), kind, patient, and a warrior in bed. Nash is pretty much perfect. He has to be to put up with Ford.

Ford, Sam's best friend and ER nurse, hasn't been in many relationships. The last one was with a psychotic douche nozzle who treated him like a dirty secret and would barely touch him during sex. Because said ex was emotionally abusive, Ford now believes that all his relationships are doomed to fail.

Nash doesn't hide the fact that he's into Ford, but Ford sends mixed signals. He jumps into bed with Nash, then pulls away. The men get serious, to the point where they don't use protection, but the next minute Ford is all, I can't do this; I'm losing myself in you. Then he throws a big ol' pity party and drinks tequila. Dude, grow the hell up.

The plot of the serial killer who tortures young boys continues. Adam and Nash are first responders to a churchyard where a 13-year-old boy named Joel is holding his already dead friend. Joel is in drug withdrawal and shell-shocked, but he bonds with Ford, who checks up on him even after Joel is no longer his patient.


Book Review: The Mystery of Nevermore by C.S. Poe

From The Blurb:
It’s Christmas, and all antique dealer Sebastian Snow wants is for his business to make money and to save his floundering relationship with closeted CSU detective, Neil Millett. When Snow’s Antique Emporium is broken into and a heart is found under the floorboards, Sebastian can’t let the mystery rest. He soon finds himself caught up in murder investigations that echo the macabre stories of Edgar Allan Poe. To make matters worse, Sebastian’s sleuthing is causing his relationship with Neil to crumble, while at the same time he’s falling hard for the lead detective on the case, Calvin Winter. Sebastian and Calvin must work together to unravel the mystery behind the killings, despite the mounting danger and sexual tension, before Sebastian becomes the next victim. In the end, Sebastian only wants to get out of this mess alive, and live happily ever after with Calvin.




Karen's rating:

 



Before I get into the details of why I actually loved this book so much let's just take a moment to admire the pretty cover because it's a big chunk of the reason why I decided to check this book out. It's not over the top or incredibly colorful it's just quietly subtle and once you read the book you realize it's very appropriate to the story. So overall it's a cover that does it's job and a little extra. See that guy the one right there on that cover that I'm babbling about he's totally Sebastian Snow...seriously I could maybe google around and find someone other pictures but I'm betting they'll still look like that guy on the cover. Ok, I'm done with my little tribute to good covers.

Like others who have reviewed this book I'm going to comment on what we'll call 'The Adrien English' influence. Yes, I noticed fairly early in the book that it was reminiscent of another series that I truly love Josh Lanyon's Adrien English, however, 'The Mystery of Nevermore' was also it's own strongly unique story. I'm not going to bother with a list of what was similar and what was different because I think that's something that each reader needs to decide for themselves. I'll also add here that I tend to read the author's dedication in books to see who maybe influenced or inspired them while they were writing that particular book and I think it removes a lot of doubt as to who C.S. Poe was inspired by...
For Josh, the Master of Mystery.
You gave me the courage to find my voice again.
Now let's discuss why I gave this book 4.5 stars because i kid you not the cover had nothing to do with it. I just really liked the cover but that works well because I really, really liked this story. So much so that I am more than anxious to read what comes next and since this is the first book in a new series by a new to me author there is definitely more to come right?

C.S. Poe is a new to me author and from the looks of things a new to publishing author as well, which really excites me because I'm hoping that it means she has a whole bunch of awesome stories to share with readers like me.

Blogtour: Bear Among The Books by TJ Masters



Please welcome TJ Masters with 

Bear Among The Books 


Hi, everyone!

My latest novel Bear Among the Books is being published by Dreamspinner Press on Friday 2nd September. In the early planning stages of this novel I decided that one of my main characters was going to be an illiterate teenager who had been failed by the adults throughout his troubled young life. When I first mentioned this to people I got a very bemused response from most. After all, why would Jason spend all his time hanging around in a library if he couldn’t read?

For most of my working life I was a primary school teacher with a passionate belief in the effective teaching of reading. I believe that only reading can open up the widest possible range of opportunities for success in learning. I feel that it is a failure of my profession that so many young people manage to leave school lacking the most basic literacy skills and ill equipped to make their way in the modern world.

There are many reasons why children might fail to learn how to read. Unfortunately our education system assumes that our young people will have learned to read before they get to secondary (high) school. Once there, they face a subject curriculum which has no time for the teaching of reading. In the book, Jason is a bright guy who has had a difficult home and school life. This is a young man who is intelligent enough to understand what he is missing and he aches for the knowledge which he sees as hidden in books and lost to him. Like many illiterate adults Jason feels great shame at his predicament and he has developed a whole range of clever coping mechanisms to survive in a world full of words.

It should be a matter of shame to all of us that that recent studies have ranked English teenagers as among the least literate in the developed world (OECD 2015). One more recent study by Sheffield University has found that as many as 17% of UK teenagers are leaving school as functionally illiterate. More specifically they say that one fifth of teens between the ages of 16 and 19 have a reading age of 11 or below!

This may sound depressing but in real life as in the novel, there are people like librarian Ben who are willing and able to make a difference. We just need many more of them.







Blurb:

Forty-eight-year-old Ben Thompson is a librarian, a passionate book lover, and a man who embodies the definition of a bear. He’s also lonely after the loss of his long-term partner. Young ex-gymnast Jason Barnes piques his interest, but Ben quickly realizes there’s more to Jason than his good looks. While Jason visits the library almost every day, he never checks out a book.

With gentle persistence, Ben befriends Jason and learns the nineteen-year-old’s tragic secrets. After years of abuse at his father’s hands, Jason was kicked out of his family home for being gay. And despite his apparent love of books, Jason never learned to read. Ben offers to teach him, and the two men bond over their lessons. Ben can’t deny his attraction to Jason, but he wonders if Jason is too young and too handsome to return his interest. With the help of the close-knit library team and Jason’s growing self-confidence, they move beyond the books and into the bedroom, where their own story is just beginning.


Excerpt:


Daisy joined me behind the front desk. “I’ll take over here. You’d better go and get on with something important, but keep your eye on him, that’s all.” Clearly I was not responding as I was supposed to, and I was now being dismissed. “Thanks, Daisy. Actually I feel like doing something a bit more mundane, so I’ll take the returns trolley and stack some books.”

Indeed this might appear like a mundane task, but it gave me an excuse to tour the stacks and check that all was well. Any time spent among the books was also a welcome distraction from admin jobs. I also liked to greet our regulars when I saw them around the place, and I knew a good many of them by name.

As I rounded the stack into the second bay of the fiction section, there was our young hoodlum Jason, sitting cross-legged on the floor, with an open book in his lap. He didn’t appear to be reading, unless he was a speed reader. He was methodically turning the pages over, one after another. Jason looked up and almost seemed on the verge of tears.

“Hello.” I wasn’t sure how to interact with him yet. “It’s Jason, isn’t it?” I tried not to sound too familiar.

“Yes, that’s right.” He closed the book and started to get up.

“I didn’t mean to disturb you. No need to move on my account.”

“That’s okay. This book is boring anyway.” Jason was now standing there looking down at the cover of the book, as if unsure what he was doing.

“What kind of thing do you like to read?”

Blogtour: Mid-Life Crisis by Rob Rosen


Midlife banner

Title: Midlife Crisis 
Author: Rob Rosen 
Release Date: August 20th 2016 
Genre: Gay fiction, romance, comedy



30992218 BLURB 

Jack is thirty-five and single once again. He is not, as he as quick to point out, going through a midlife crisis. Still, it would be nice to have a partner, and so he sets out on an adventure to find the one-time love of his life, Bing, a man he hasn’t seen in more than fifteen years, a man who has seemingly vanished off the face of the planet. With the help of his family and friends, not to mention the family dog and his high school bully, he goes searching for Bing, only to unearth an ages-old mystery that puts them all in grave danger.

In this hysterically funny tale, the question remains right on up to the surprise ending: can we return to our past in order to better our future?   







  Goodreads

  Buy Links: 
Amazon | B&N




    EXCERPT



“I’m leaving for the summer,” I segued to. Thankfully, I’m a teacher, my summers free―free and unpaid, but still.


“Mexico?” he asked. “Taking my advice to find yourself a Jesus?” I grinned.
“Taking your advice to find a Bing.”
“But you never take my advice.”
I pointed to his drink, which barely held a smidge of red. “And with good reason. Still, you were right; I need to fix the problem, get some closure.”
He shrugged before he chugged. “Buy a zipper if you want closure. Cheaper and easier, I’d imagine.”
I sipped my cocktail and stared out to the condo next door. That was the extent of my rather pricey view. Another cool million and I could’ve seen a few trees and a patch of blue sky.
Since I didn’t have another million or the balls to ask the bank to fork it over, I settled for the view into my neighbor’s bedroom. My neighbor, by the way, was a seventy-year-old nudist. In other words, the extra-strong drinks were mandatory.
“I was happy with Bing,” I told him.
He exhaled noisily before again gulping his drink. “You were seventeen, Jack. Everyone is happy at seventeen. It’s all the testosterone and rampant boners.”
“But what if it wasn’t just that? What if Bing was the one?”

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Book Review: (In)visible By Anyta Sunday

(In)visible
Blurb:

Rune: Invisible
Scott: The only one who sees him . . .


A lonely boy falls in love with his closest and invisible friend.
A story about two boys struggling to be seen in each their own ways - and about friendship and love.




Todd's rating:




Okay, I'm still on a bit of an Anyta Sunday kick, grabbing an older book or two of hers now and again lately. While not quite on the same level as Sunday's "rock," this one was very enjoyable, with tons of feels.

I loved Rune right from the start, although his story was completely heartbreaking, being lonely and feeling isolated due to his invisibility, to the point of seriously contemplating suicide on at least a couple of different occasions.

Heartbreaking as well was Scott's young, innocent life, which gets much better upon meeting the slightly older Rune, only to get much worse when tragedy strikes his dad, which in turn inadvertently leads to a 4 year separation between the boys.

God, the scene where the grieving Scott finds the picnic basket and the rotting fruit. So, so sad and pretty much the last straw for his already-tenuous grip on his innocence. He's never quite the same after that.

Although this story does require some suspension of reality, that didn't present much of a challenge for me, as Sunday's writing always pulls me in and makes me want to believe.

I was a huge fan of the dual POV, seeing Scott's hurt and apprehension to trust Rune again, then seeing how deeply Rune cares for Scott, never wishing to hurt him, under any circumstances. It was all so touching and I loved those elements.

I really enjoyed the slow burn, too, when the boys were reunited at 18 and 20 (?), instead of immediately giving in to the mutual attraction that's always been between them.

However, my very favorite part of the story was the fact that not only was Scott the only person who could see Rune (literally,) Rune in turn was the only person who could truly see Scott. The only one who ever really tried, even, which meant everything to Scott.

Also, there's an invisible puppy, so what's not to love about that??? ;- )

ARC Review: Lord of a Thousand Steps (Love in Laguna 4) by Tara Lain


Blurb:
To architecture student Ian Carney, family means everything. Taken in by his brother, Jim, when his father threw him out at eighteen for being gay, Ian yearns to create his own family with his boyfriend, Rico. But Rico’s in Mexico caring for a sick father, Ian hasn’t had sex in a month and a half, and his gorgeous boss, Braden Lord, CEO of the architectural firm Ian interns for, is looking better and better.

Braden’s life is chaos. Just out of the closet and going through an ugly divorce from his wife of fifteen years who’s trying to take custody of his two children, he desperately resolves not to succumb to a completely inappropriate attraction to Ian—even though his kids adore both the man and his crazy cat.

When Rico proves to be a snake in the grass and Ian exercises his powers of seduction, what starts as a “friends with benefits” fling turns into real life real fast. Can Ian give up his romantic dreams for an “old guy” who didn’t come out until he carried a mountain of baggage? It’ll only take a thousand steps.

Dani's rating:




I read the first book in the Love in Laguna series, Knight of Ocean Avenue, and LOVED it. But I skipped books 2 and 3 because the blurbs didn't grab me. Now I wish I'd read at least book 2, as Jim and Ken, the MCs from Knave of Broken Hearts, are very present in this story. Jim is Ian's older brother, the one who took him in when their wealthy, homophobic father kicked Ian out after Ian told him he was gay.

Ian is only 21 and has been dating Rico for three years. At the beginning of the book, Rico returns to Mexico City to support his ailing father. Ian, an architecture student, pines for Rico, even as he feels drawn to his hot-as-sin boss Braden Lord, who's fifteen years his senior.

When Rico turns out to be a supreme tosser, Ian is shattered, but he realizes he's more upset about losing the IDEA of a perfect relationship than the relationship itself.

I loved Ian. He really just wanted to belong to a family and have the kind of love he saw between Jim and Ken, who were amazing at making Ian feel included.

Braden is going through the divorce from hell. After fifteen years of being trapped in a loveless marriage with a vile, money-hungry woman, he's finally come out of the metaphorical closet and is ready to live his life. He just doesn't want to lose custody of his children: 14-year-old Jo-Jo (short for Joseph) and 5-year-old Mireille.

I am not a fan of kids in stories, but I liked Jo-Jo and Mireille, even if Mireille was a bit too precocious. (I know a lot of bright 5-year-olds, and none of them talk like a 50-year-old proper British dame.) But Mireille falls in love with Anderson Cooper, and then with Ian.


Review: Three Little Words by Allison Cassatta

From The Blurb:
2nd Edition 
Is it better to keep some secrets locked away? 
Matt thought his life was perfect, but he learns there’s no such thing when the man he planned to marry breaks his heart and leaves him holding the pieces. Needing to escape and lick his wounds, Matt heads to New England to spend time on his brother’s lobster boat. A one-night stand proves to him that empty sex does nothing to mend old hurt, and neither does running away. 
So when Matt’s best friend, Luke, a firefighter, is seriously injured, Matt steps up, even if it means facing bigotry and ignorance. Luke has been hiding his feelings from Matt all their lives, and revealing them after so many years won’t make life easier for either of them. But nothing worth having ever comes easily…. 
First Edition published by Amber Quill Press, 2013.



Karen's rating:




I liked it...

Yep, those are my 3 little words I was hoping for something more but 'I liked it' is as good as it got for me on this one.

After spending 3 weeks working out of town Matt returns to the home that he's shared with Brandon the man he loves, shares his life with and hopes to marry one day only to discover is dog, Zeus out in the back yard and a 'Dear John' letter on the dresser...ok, can we just stop here so I can say 'Brandon, really? A Dear John letter? You've been with this man for 5ish years and he goes out of town to work so he can give you all the nice things he thinks you deserve and this is how you end it with him with a pitiful letter written on paper from a legal pad, not even nice stationary and the last thing you tell him in your letter is 'I love you, I'll always love you.' Can I just say 'dude you have got one hell of a way of showing love.

Anyways, at this point I like Matt. I felt really bad for him. He seemed like a really sweet guy and damn, he just did not deserve this. But go Matt, he pulls on his big boy pants and decides to head out to New England do some lobster fishing for his brother, get his head on straight. Ok so now I'm maybe crushing on Matt a little because hey, sweet guy adores his mom, always brownie points for that with me. Puts everything into storage and his best friend Luke (remember this name, it's important) offers to take care of Zeus so that he'll have a yard to play in...did I mention that Zeus is a pit bull that Matt rescued from the animal shelter, yep, Matt's racking up those brownie points like nobodies business with me.  

Every thing is done, taken care of so it's time to hit the road. Easy, peasy right? Well it would have been if Luke hadn't decided to kiss Matt good-bye only Luke was hoping it would turn into a 'hell yeah, I'll stay' because unbeknownst to Matt, Luke's been in love with him for years. Now, is anybody besides me totally on board for this? It's going to be awesome right? Oh, I forgot to mention Luke's a firefighter...yep, I'm hooked sign me up.

Spotlight: Saving Grace by Anita Cox

Today we shine the spotlight on Anita Cox and 

Saving Grace

Shifter Chronicles #1


519H1FVgekLBlurb:

Already struggling with her royal status, Lycan Princess Grace McGovern faces the challenge of accepting a mate. The very sexy Roman LaRossa, is already infatuated with Grace. He’s also her pack’s Beta. As Grace’s was raised in the human world, she is determined to bring Lycan women’s rights up to speed, bringing them equality and protection for the violence they face from the Scottsboro pack’s supernatural puppy mill. Can Grace succeed in her goals or will the Scottsboro pack win by kidnapping her and using her to breed her royal blood into their pack until there’s nothing left of her?

Jagger Merrell, Alpha of the Scottsboro pack, takes great pride in his need to bring an end to the Lycan Clan and will do anything and everything he can to bring it and their too independently minded Princess, Grace McGovern to her knees. Will he finally rule the Kingdom of Lycan and tame this odd Alpha Princess once and for all?
Roman, the Belfast Pack’s Beta, has always loved Grace but will his chauvinist and controlling ways cause her to refuse him as her King?

Can Grace find love with Roman? Can Roman save her from Jagger? Who will win this battle of wills to rule the Kingdom of the Lycan?


Content Notes: M/F, Trans, M/F/H, Menage, F/F, Violence but not for titillation



ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Saturday, August 27, 2016

ARC Review: A Fallen Heart (Zero Hour, #2) by Cate Ashwood


Blurb:
After his last disastrous relationship, Joseph Ford has absolutely no interest in getting attached again. Concentrating on working as a trauma nurse and keeping his life as simple as possible are his only goals. Unfortunately, his plans could be derailed by the charming, sexy Nash.

Things are looking up for paramedic Ridley Nash when he transfers to Station 217. He gets along with the crew, likes his partner, and is finally on a team willing to accept him—gay and all. It’s everything he’s always wanted, but when he meets Ford, Nash knows his life is about to get very interesting.

As Ford and Nash find themselves stuck in the middle of a homicide case, things become more complicated. For the last year, the mutilated bodies of teenage boys have been showing up all over downtown. With no leads, the police are getting desperate. One of the victims is found alive, and he’s the best chance the police have to catch the killer—if only they can get him to talk.

Will Nash be able to catch Ford when he falls, or is there too much standing in their way to make it work?


Jewel's rating:




Oh, how I love this series! A Fallen Heart is every bit as good as A Forced Silence. In fact, I think I might have liked A Fallen Heart just a touch more, though I would have to go back and reread book 1 to know for sure. A Fallen Heart is fast paced and the heat level more than satisfying. I do actually really want to reread A Forced Silence now, but I will probably wait until book 3 is about to release and reread both. I loved them that much, plus I'm sure I'll want a refresher on the plot because -- cliffhanger (with the mystery, not our MC's)!

The murder mystery plot line is continued from A Forced Silence and it does not get resolved here (did I mention the cliffhanger?). It's gruesome and makes my heart hurt so much. Because of that plot line, A Fallen Heart does not work well as a stand alone.

I loved Nash and Ford together from their first kiss. Their chemistry is off the charts hot and they were so amazing together in and out of bed that I couldn't help but love them both.

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