Friday, August 18, 2017

Blogtour: Controlled Burn by Erin McLellan

Please welcome Erin McLellan with 

Controlled Burn 

Hello! I’m Erin, and welcome to the blog tour for my m/m college romance, Controlled Burn! I can’t wait for you to meet Joel and Paulie, and hope you enjoy their romance as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Follow along as I stop off at several blogs throughout the week, and don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a $25 Riptide Publishing gift card!


At eighteen, Joel Smith’s life fell to pieces. His boyfriend died in a car crash while reading a sext from him, the local newspaper outed them both in the aftermath, and his parents got a divorce. Joel did everything possible to outrun his past: he moved to Oklahoma for college, legally changed his name, and started over. 
Since then, he hasn’t let anyone get close—not his classmates, not his roommate, and definitely not his hookups. The strategy has served him well for over three years. Why would he change it now?

But Joel doesn’t plan on the articles about his boyfriend’s death being used as a case study in one of his classes. And he doesn’t plan on Paulie McPherson, who is sweet and giving and fun. In Paulie, he finds a home for the first time in years.

But love isn’t simple, and lies have a tendency to get in the way. Joel must figure out if he’ll allow his grief to rule him, or if his connection with Paulie is worth letting all of his walls come tumbling down.

Get the book:

About the author:

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Author Of The Month - Mary Calmes - Week Three

Welcome to our third week of celebrations for the fabulous

In today's post, we'll look at the Change Of Heart series, and a personal story Mary has chosen to share. There's also another chance to win one of her books!

First up, Change Of Heart


As a young gay man—and a werepanther—all Jin Rayne yearns for is a normal life. Having fled his past, he wants nothing more than to start over, but Jin’s old life doesn’t want to let him go. When his travels bring him to a new city, he crosses paths with the leader of the local were-tribe.

Logan Church is a shock and an enigma, and Jin fears that Logan is both the mate he fears and the love of his life. Jin doesn't want to go back to the old ways, and mating would irrevocably tie him to them. But Jin is the mate Logan needs at his side to help him lead his tribe, and he won't give Jin up so easily. It will take time and trust for Jin to discover the joy in belonging to Logan and how to love without restraint.


Once we were driving away, I warned Logan that we had a lot to talk about when we got home, so I hoped he had no other plans.
“Talk about what?” he complained. “We talked last night.”
He had no idea about anything. Ours would be a very tricky blending of lifestyles and priorities, and there was his new tribe and everything else to consider. It was going to be a mess.
“I love you,” I sighed, unable to keep the smile from my face, leaning back and looking at him through heavy-lidded eyes. “I really do.”
“I know,” he grunted, very pleased with himself. “You can’t live without me. I’m like cheese.”
It took a second to process his comment. “I’m sorry, cheese?”
“Sure. Air’s overrated. Try living without cheese.”

The man was insane, which, it turned out, was just perfect for me.

Get the book:

Second in the series, Trusted Bond


Jin Rayne is having trouble adjusting to the new life he’s supposed to love. Instead of adapting to being the mate of tribe leader Logan Church, Jin can't get past the fact that his lover was straight before they met. He's discovered the joy in belonging to Logan but fears his new life could disappear at a moment’s notice, despite Logan's insistence that they are forever, end of story.

Jin wants to trust Logan, but that desire will be put to the test both by a rival tribe leader and by a startling revelation about Jin's existence. At stake is Jin's life and his place in the tribe. If he's going to survive to see Logan again, he'll have to release his fear and freely accept the bond, for only then can he truly trust.

Get the book:

In third place, Honored Vow:


Jin Rayne is still growing into his frightening new powers as a nekhene cat and his place as reah of Logan Church’s tribe when he learns that a sepat, an honor challenge, has been called. Logan, who has never wanted to do anything but lead his small-town tribe, must travel around the world to Mongolia and fight to become the most powerful leader in the werepanther world.

Logan won’t be the only one making the journey. As his mate, Jin must fight with him to honor his commitment to Logan, his culture, and his tribe. But the trial is long, involving a prolonged separation between the two men, and Logan’s humanity is at stake. In order to make it through the nightmarish sepat, Jin and Logan must accept their fates, trust each other, and honor the vows between them no matter the cost.

Get the book:

Fourth in the series, Crucible Of Fate


In the secret city of Sobek, Domin Thorne is making his way as the newly chosen semel-aten, the leader of the werepanther world. He aspires to make sweeping changes—he’s set goals for himself and the people he chose to bring with him, modeling his reign after that of his friend, Logan Church. But Domin may have set too lofty a goal: his normal leadership style isn’t working.

While juggling a homesick Crane, a moody Mikhail, a bullwhip-wielding Taj, servants with murderous intentions, a visiting ex, and a mate on a dangerous goodwill mission, Domin has to figure out his new role alone. He also must determine how to deal with a conspiracy, all the while falling hard for a man who, for the first time in Domin’s life, reciprocates that love. Whether Domin is ready or not, Fate has stepped in to teach him a lesson: internal threats are just as dangerous as external ones.

Get the book:

And the final book of the series, Forging The Future


Jin Church is back where he started, alone, wandering, and uncertain of his path. It’s not by choice but by circumstance, as he remembers he’s a werepanther… but not much else. He knows one thing for sure—he needs to find the beautiful blond man who haunts his dreams.

Logan Church is trapped in a living hell. His mate is missing, his tribe is falling apart, and he’s estranged from the son he loves with all his heart. His world is unraveling without his mate by his side, and he has no one to blame but himself.

If Jin can regain his memory and Logan can overcome the threats to his leadership, then perhaps they can resume their lives. The question is: Is that what they want? Back to the same house, the same tribe, the same troubles? They can choose from various roads leading to their future… or they can forge their own path.


A sharp inhale. “I love you, Jin, and not because you’re mine or because you’re my reah, but because you have my heart. Always.”
“Yes,” I murmured, lifting to kiss the corner of his mouth and suck his bottom lip between mine before taking another delicate nibble. “And I will have you and claim what has always been and will always be mine.”

“As will I,” he promised darkly, and a flush of heat ran through me.

Get the book:

Mary's personal story

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

ARC Review: Tops Down Bottoms Up by Jay Northcote


Built from the bottom up: one perfect gentleman. 

Rowan is stuck at a folk festival helping out a mate, and it really isn’t his scene. The yoga and singing workshops are bad enough, but morris dancing is the final straw. Bearded men with beer guts prancing around wearing bells—who wants to watch that?

All Rowan’s preconceptions are shattered when he meets Seth—a morris dancer, and the stuff Rowan’s fantasies are made of. Seth persuades Rowan to come to a dancing workshop, and Rowan’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to know Seth better. The attraction is mutual, and a lesson filled with innuendo and flirting leads to an incredible night together.

When Rowan arrives home, he’s gutted to find that Seth has given him the wrong phone number. Assuming Seth did it on purpose, Rowan resolves to forget about him. But fate—and friends—conspire to get them back together. Will they manage to stay in step this time around?

Dani's rating:

Sexy & Fun!

~~One hot burly morris dancer included~~

Rowan thinks all morris dancers are sweaty fat dudes who make a lot of noise. Seth proves him wrong. Seth may be loud, but he carries a big stick.

When Seth talks Rowan into coming to a morris dancing workshop, Rowan is reluctant, but he really wants to polish Seth's stick so he goes along with it.

A small (but potentially catastrophic) misunderstanding ensues, but that's AFTER a midnight swim and hot & dirty sexual encounter in Seth's camper van.

ARC Review: Controlled Burn by Erin McLellan

At eighteen, Joel Smith’s life fell to pieces. His boyfriend died in a car crash while reading a sext from him, the local newspaper outed them both in the aftermath, and his parents got a divorce. Joel did everything possible to outrun his past: he moved to Oklahoma for college, legally changed his name, and started over.

Since then, he hasn’t let anyone get close—not his classmates, not his roommate, and definitely not his hookups. The strategy has served him well for over three years. Why would he change it now?

But Joel doesn’t plan on the articles about his boyfriend’s death being used as a case study in one of his classes. And he doesn’t plan on Paulie McPherson, who is sweet and giving and fun. In Paulie, he finds a home for the first time in years.

But love isn’t simple, and lies have a tendency to get in the way. Joel must figure out if he’ll allow his grief to rule him, or if his connection with Paulie is worth letting all of his walls come tumbling down.

Jewel's rating:

​You can't outrun yourself..​

Controlled Burn​ is about learning that holding onto the past so tightly makes the present and the future meaningless. And it's about guilt. So much guilt.

When Controlled Burn first popped up on my radar, I was drawn to it. The cover and the blurb just called to me. I saw so much potential in the story that I had to read it. And it was good for a debut novel. I do think that this author has seriously good potential, so I will be keeping an eye out for her future books.

Controlled Burn tells the story of two college students who have never really had relationships and who are both damaged by events of their pasts, as they figure out who they want to be to each other and with each other. It's a long road, especially for Joel, who shuts down or deflects anytime conversation wanders into the past.

​J​oel did his best to run from his past, but at the same time, he held onto it so tightly, it was like Joel of today was just going through the motions. ​​I never really understood why Joel worked so hard to keep his past concealed. Why he held onto his guilt with both hands.

Blogtour: Thunder & Lightning by Patricia Logan

Oh, the stereotypes…

When people ask me what I would change about my first book, Leather Nights, the list is really long. I wrote the book in 26 days and it’s one of my longest books. I think I averaged five thousand words a day. I knew what I wanted to say. I had a detailed outline and I wrote from it almost to the letter. Unfortunately, if I had it to do all over again, Leather Nights would be a very different book.

Leather Nights was written in 2009 when only three states in the US allowed gay marriage. Going into that year, there were only two but when Iowa became the third state to vote to allow same sex marriage, that’s where I decided to send Jake Maxfield and his husband Cade Littlebear to get married. Jake even joked in the book about it, saying something about Cade’s decision to get married there having something to do with corn or some such. There weren’t a whole lot of choices for gay couples back then.

The biggest thing I’d change in any of my books, if I were to write them all over again, is the sheer quantity of sex scenes in them. I think there are seven in Leather Nights, my first book. The only reason I know that is because when I turned the book into an audio book, I had to listen to it. I hadn’t opened it for five years at the time and hearing all that sex proved to me that a little goes a long way. Once I heard all of that, I was determined to change that in future books. It was way over the top.

When I wrote the Death and Destruction series I was determined to change a lot of the preconceptions some people have about the south. Now granted, I don’t live there, but I have visited Texas, Florida, and Georgia. I sent Jarrett and Thayne to West Virginia, where Jarrett hails from. Sure, there are some ignorant folks in the series but there really aren’t many bigots. Most folks they meet in Jarrett’s home state are good, honest, hard-working folks, working their butts off to make a better life for their families. Of course, the boys aren’t openly gay in West Virginia. Maybe things would be different if they were. We have more than our fair share of bigots in California too.

As an author, I’ve changed a lot of things about the way I write. I research more. I study up on cultural issues more. I’ve always tried to be sensitive to individuals but in older books every once in a while, my characters may say or do something that I wouldn’t allow today. I don’t have any excuses. I’m human. I’m still learning. I’ve come a long way in my writing in the last eight years. I hope it’s gotten better and I know it’s made me a better person.

Patti xo

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK  | KOBO | Smashwords
Length: 107k words
Cover Design: AJ Corza @ Seeing Static


Jarrett Evans and Thayne Wolfe have been partnered in the ATF for nearly two years and their love and commitment to each other has grown over time. Now faced with one final challenge, the boys are headed to Arizona to help Thayne’s mom, stumbling headfirst into a brand new case. When a man is shot on Dot’s sister’s ranch, their informal investigation leads to the Native American reservation bordering the property.
Juggling tricky tribal politics isn’t something Jarrett and Thayne are accustomed to but, as with most things in their lives, nothing is ever uncomplicated. When a surprise sighting shakes Thayne to his very foundation, they call out for help and their colleagues ride to the rescue along with a little help from the FBI. The mystery on the reservation only deepens when they start putting two and two together. Questionable cigarettes at the Ahtunowhiho Trading Post may be the least of their worries.
From the mean streets of Los Angeles to the vast deserts of Arizona, Thayne and Jarrett once again brave the minefields of bad guys, bigshots, and a vicious betrayal that kicks them in the ass. But one thing is certain. Thru thunder and lightning, Jarrett and Thayne are never alone. They’ll fight for each other down to the last man standing, even if it costs them their very lives.

Author Bio

Release Blitz: Open Net (Cayuga Cougars #2) by VL Locey

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | KOBO |  Barnes & Noble | iTunes 
Length: 54,000 words approx

Cayuga Cougars Series

Snap Shot (Book #1) 

August Miles has the world on a string professionally.

Augie, as his friends and teammates call the unassuming young goaltender, is on the fast track to the pros. The starting goalie for the Cayuga Cougars, he has a year or two in Cayuga to hone his skills and all his career dreams will have come true. Pity his personal life isn’t riding the same high. He’s the only one among his group of friends without that special someone to call his own.
Until he meets Salvatore Castenada at a lakeside party. The attraction is white-hot and more than a little wonderfully overwhelming for the romantically inexperienced goalie. August quickly discovers that Sal is everything he’s dreamed of in a man: mature, settled, sinfully handsome, and filled with gentle humor. Sal is also HIV positive.

Will Sal’s revelation about his status end this budding relationship before it can even begin? Or will the two men be able to handle the challenges life—and a championship run for the Cougars—throws at them?

Author Bio

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

ARC Review: Permanent Ink by Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn

From The Blurb:
At twenty-three, Poe Montgomery is going nowhere. He still lives in his father’s basement and spends most of his time tagging with his friends. When an arrest lands him in debt, Poe accepts the front desk job at Permanent Ink, the tattoo shop owned by his father’s best friend, Jericho McAslan. Jericho is nearly twice Poe’s age, but with his ink and prematurely graying hair, he quickly takes the starring role in Poe’s hottest fantasies. 
Jericho is known for his ability to transform poorly designed tattoos into works of art, but he was once as aimless and misdirected as Poe. Wanting to pay it forward the way someone once did for him, Jericho makes Poe his apprentice and is determined to keep things strictly professional. Easier said than done when Poe makes his interest—and his daddy kink—abundantly clear. 
Jericho can’t resist Poe or their intense chemistry for long. But between the age gap, tension with Poe’s father, and Poe’s best friend calling him a sellout, they’ll need to ensure they’re both on the same page before they can rewrite their rocky start into something permanent.

Karen's review: daddy kink...still not my thing, but...

A good story is a good story is a good story, and this one was for me a step above good. When I can read something that contains a topic that, I have to be honest, is one I tend to avoid, and I really enjoy the story anyways and not be bothered by that particular aspect...well, for me it says a lot about what an amazing job the authors did with this book.

Ok, so confession time. I took a short break here and went poking around at some other reviews because I have to admit as much as I enjoyed this story I was surprised by the fact that the 'daddy kink' didn't really bother me, and I think I found my explanation in reviews written by fellow reviewers whom I respect and definitely consider to be more knowledgeable about this topic, and according to those reviews the 'daddy kink' in this story is 'mild' and/or not representative of 'true daddy kink'. This makes sense to me so I'm good with that, and since I wasn't really looking for 'daddy kink' it in no way changes how much I enjoyed the story.

The age gap here is 17 years, and even though I've essentially gotten past my whole age gap issue, I have to admit this is a big gap in my eyes, but things worked. It was a combination of the blind optimism of youth that was exhibited by Poe's belief that age is just a number, and don't misunderstand in many ways it is, and in all honesty, thank heavens for the optimism that we have in our youth. It's what frequently gives us the faith and courage to step beyond the boundaries that we set for ourselves as we get older. We got to see Poe do a lot of growing up in this story. He learned from his mistakes, and as he did he also redefined who he was and what he wanted from life. He went from being a son who Landon loved but was at his wits end as to what the do with him, to being a son Landon could be proud of and a man that Jericho could truly love and be partners with.

ARC Review: Dear Mona Lisa... by Claire Davis and Al Stewart

Tom, shy office clerk by day and drawer of foxes by night wakes up one Monday knowing the most extraordinary week of his life is about to begin. In five days time a lifelong ‘secret’ will be made gloriously public—but will it mean losing the person he loves most?

Getting married…

It seems like only yesterday Tom changed nappies and sang nursery rhymes to a laughing baby. He relishes the demands of being a daddy; especially teaching his little girl to draw and paint as she grows up. But the years tick by and times change. Long-buried secrets must come to the surface which may test even the strongest ties.

Tom and Lawrence…

He writes a list of all the things he has to do before the weekend and sticks it in the middle of his wall. The names and goals hang like threads of a spider’s web, inevitably leading to the centre, and all to the same place.

Dear Mona Lisa…

How to explain?
Each morning he notes the colours of dawn, listens to the birds and waits for the perfect moment. In one hand rests the balance of life and a terrible responsibility, in the other a wedding ring. Difficult days and the past loom, but his friends rally round and one by one the words come to life.
Everyone waits as Tom finds the strength to open up and set free the secrets of his heart in a celebration of family, friendship and love. A quirky story of modern life, set within the breathtaking landscape of Bradford.

Jewel's rating:

Dear Mona Lisa... Was. Brilliant. In every way. It was a bit heavy, while still feeling whimsical, and I loved it. It's a story of letting go of the past so you can embrace the future. It's about coming out. It's about finally living life out loud. It's about finding home.

Tom is an artist who draws whimsical animals doing fun things. Foxes, bunnies, birds. He uses his art to communicate his deepest wishes and he brings his art to life. Tom also makes lists. And he's got one very important list to get through before his wedding day. And it should be easy. It should be. But some things take time to work up the courage to do.

ARC Review: Becoming Kerry by Lynn Kelling

From The Blurb:
Kerry Sanderson’s life is falling apart. He’s crushing himself to fit into the boxes others have put him in: dutiful son, good boyfriend, real man. But even the small rebellions he’s fought for himself—moving into a sketchy part of town and becoming an exotic dancer—aren’t giving him the freedom he needs. Ewyn Garrity, a security guard at the gay club where Kerry dances, has found himself in protecting others. Everyone thinks he’s straight, but Ewyn doesn’t fit into simple boxes, either. When he meets Kerry, he makes a not completely innocent offer of company after work. 
Ewyn and Kerry hit it off, each finding something he desperately needs in the other. But when Kerry is forced to confront the pain and self-doubt that keep him crushed in his boxes, he’s afraid that no one, not even Ewyn, will be able to love who he is when he finally, truly becomes Kerry. 
Novel (M/M, M/Genderqueer - See publisher's page for content labels.)

Karen's rating:

It's not quite the court of dissenting opinions here but...

I'm afraid I didn't quite make it to the 'oh-my-god-this-book-is-amazing' club either. First off, I want to talk about why even though this book didn't really work for me, I still think it's an awesome book and worthy of being read.

'Becoming Kerry' is surprisingly...well, surprising to me anyways, my first read by this author. I do actually have several of her other books and look forward to checking out more of her stories; after all one book is really only the beginning of the journey when discovering a new author.

First and foremost, there is a really good story here, and that story carries a powerful and worthwhile message; one that we all need to hear. To me 'Becoming Kerry' is about love and acceptance. It's about loving someone not in spite of who they are but because of who they are.

Blogtour: Three Player Game by Jaime Samms

Please say hello to Jaime Samms and 

Three Player Game 

Bluewater Bay #20


Vince’s life has improved immeasurably since he moved to Bluewater Bay two years ago. He’s gone from working for a man he hated, to helping found a company he believes in. And he and his boyfriend, Pete, have built a delicate balance of power between them that keeps them both grounded and thriving.
Almost, anyway.

Pete’s job on the set of Wolf’s Landing is demanding. He needs lots of downtime off set, and that’s where Vince’s firm but gentle control isn’t always enough. And for Vince, Pete’s constant high-energy needs are turning out to be more than he can handle alone.

It’s no surprise to either of them, then, that sparks fly when Vince’s coworker Lee enters the picture. Outwardly, Lee is tough and confident, but when a bad back confines him to Pete and Vince’s spare room, the cracks start to show and his desire for connection begins to peek through.

Pete and Vince both like what they see under Lee’s prickly outside, but now the three men must learn that love isn’t about beating the game—it’s about balance, trust, and letting each other in.

Get the book:

About Bluewater Bay:

Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.

Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by eleven award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. Witt, L.B. Gregg, Z.A. Maxfield,  Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz, Anne Tenino, Amy Lane, SE Jakes, G.B. Gordon, Jaime Samms and Ally Blue. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.

Check out Bluewater Bay!

Making it All Fit

When I wrote Cookie Crumbles, I introduced a character, Lee Bradshaw, who was a bit of a dick. He gave Blaire a hard time and was harsh with Vince when Vince made the mistake of trying to spy on Blaire for Blaire’s father, Oscar.

Vince was inexperienced in office politics, and Lee had seen it all—and then some—before. He had no use for the wet-behind-the-ears kid invading his turf. Then Oscar cut them all loose when Blaire failed to conform. Not for the first time in his life, Lee found himself adrift, with no one to have his back.

I wanted Lee to find someone he could count on. Someone to keep him. But Lee is complicated. He needs to be in charge, and yet, he needs a firm hand, rules, someone who can make him stay when he wants to run, speak when he wants to clam up, and to keep him calm when his fears make him anxious and snappy.

Book Blast: Year One Collection by TC Orton

Year One Book Blast Banner




RELEASE DATE: 12.28.16



Year One Collection
The complete first year works of T.C. Orton, who debuted as an author in January 2016.
There are two worlds to follow within these pages...
The first is a world of the paranormal, of Vampires lurking down London alleyways, of Werewolves forming packs outside a college campus, and of Warlocks attending a magical academy in which they learn to harness their powers.
Each of these stories, and characters, co-exist within the same universe. The Omega Moon Universe.
The second world you’ll come across is much like our own, where the only magic you’ll see is that of extraordinary stamina in the bedroom. 
The Climax Saga is a series of short stories revolving around a college escort named Luke, and a British transfer student named William – who goes by Billy. Their tale is an unconventional one.

Included with this collection -

Seeing Red: Scorched (Vampire/Dark/Romance)

Omega Moon (Mpreg/Murder-Mystery/Shifter)

Warlock Academy: Tomes 1&2 (Dark/Fantasy)

College Climax: Confidential Edition (Climax Saga Book 1) (Contemporary Romance)

Christmas Climax (Climax Saga Book 2) (Contemporary Romance)


Seeing Red Final Cover


“You don’t have to.” Nicolai seemed to notice my hesitation.

“I want to,” I replied as I began to shift my body down the sheets, my face dropping closer to Nicolai’s to plant another kiss on his lips before my mouth moved to his neck.

I used my tongue to leave a trail of saliva from the tip of his earlobe, down between his pecs and over his hard abs until I was knelt at the foot of the bed with my mouth hovering around the waistline of his jeans as my entire body began to shake with nerves. I wanted this; I really wanted this, but what if I was no good? At least if we were doing everything then I could rely on Nicolai to lead the way, but this required some talent on my part.

Monday, August 14, 2017

ARC Review: Illegal Contact (The Barons, #1) by Santino Hassell

Illegal Contact (The Barons, #1)
The rules of the game don’t apply off the field in this first Barons novel.

New York Barons tight end Gavin Brawley is suspended from the team and on house arrest after a video of him brawling goes viral. Gavin already has a reputation as a jerk with a temper on and off the field—which doesn’t help him once he finds himself on the wrong side of the law. And while he’s been successful professionally, he’s never been lucky when it comes to love.

Noah Monroe is a recent college grad looking for a job—any job—to pay off his mounting student debt. Working as Gavin’s personal assistant/babysitter seems like easy money. But Noah isn’t prepared for the electrifying tension between him and the football player. He’s not sure if he’d rather argue with Gavin or tackle him to the floor. But both men know the score, and neither is sure what will happen once Gavin's timeout is over…

Jewel's rating:

Illegal Contact illustrates exactly why I love Santino Hassell's writing. He writes with a realism and grittiness that never feels trite. And, it would seem, that no matter what genre he is trying out, when I sit down to read his words, I lose time. Gladly.

I'm not a sports fan. At all. I don't watch football, hockey, or any other sport. And much like Noah, I find football payers to be overpaid gladiators. But I get that, for some, football is as close to religion as they get. It's more than a love or a hobby or a competition. I don't watch sports, but I do enjoy a good sports romance. Even overpaid gladiators deserve happy endings and, well, when it comes down to it, we all love what we love, be it football or Star Trek or whatever else.

I loved Illegal Contact. Loved. Both Gavin and Noah felt real and flawed and so well drawn. And their cautious beginning all the way to their HEA just drew me in. It very easily could have bored me, considering that the setting is pretty much just Gavin's mansion, but it didn't bore me at all. I found the characters - primary and secondary, alike - to be interesting and the story compelling. And the last quarter, or so, just killed me ded. Just f'ing wow. The passion. The feelz, people!

ARC Review: My Dark Knight (Kings of Hell MC, #2) by K.A. Merikan

My Dark Knight  (Kings of Hell MC, #2)
Love or hate. Life or death. No inbetween. No compromise. No rules in love and war.
Knight. Party monster. Handsome Savage. Doesn’t do monogamy. 
Elliot. Obsessive. Intense. Uncompromising.

Newly single, Knight is done with relationships. All he's interested in is bringing down The Count, an Internet personality who is tarnishing his family name. An opportunity to crush him comes when the audacious clown shows up at the Kings of Hell MC clubhouse to film for his YouTube channel. But when Knight meets Elliot, the man behind The Count, he no longer knows what to do with him.

Knight has never seen a more pathetic creature than Elliot. He’s also never met anyone who needed him more. Skinny, messed up, and a bucket of trouble as thick as tar, everything Elliot does seems to be a wordless death wish. No matter how much Knight hates Elliot’s alter ego, under the makeup and theatrics hides a fragile young guy with a passion for history, and Knight can’t help but catch Elliot every time he falls.

Elliot has bad taste in men. Always hopelessly attracted to violent brutes, his favorite is a long dead serial killer. But he gets more than he’s bargained for when he seizes an opportunity to meet the man of his dreams. The ghost is manipulative and dangerous, offering Elliot all he’s always wanted, for a price he can’t possibly pay.

Elliot is faced with an impossible choice between two men.
One alive, one dead.One carnal and honest, one drizzling sweet, poisoned promises into his ear.One unwilling to commit, the other promising an eternity together.And Elliot doesn’t settle for half-measures. He craves a love that is all or nothing, passion that will consume him, and desire to burn him alive.
Elliot is ready to either get that, or die trying.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS:Themes: enemies to lovers, protector, cruelty, motorcycle club, alternative lifestyles, demons, tattoos, impossible choices, deception, crime, self-discovery, healing, black magic, gothic, commitment, ghosts, possession

Genre: Dark, paranormal romance
Erotic content: Scorching hot, emotional, explicit scenes

Length: ~145,000 words (Book 2 in the series, can be read as a standalone, but it’s recommended to read book 1 first)

WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, offensive language, and morally ambiguous characters.

Jewel's rating:

Well, these ladies have finally done it. They managed to write a story that pushed my boundaries far enough to actually make me uncomfortable. Don't get me wrong, it's the same quality of story with morally ambiguous characters that fans of this duo, including myself, know and love, but Elliot's obsession with and adoration of a serial killer, especially when he thought that William Fane actually engaged in cannibalism, just made me cringe. So color me impressed because those that know me, know that my boundaries are few.

However, it took me the longest time to actually connect with Elliot, for that reason and a couple others. It did happen eventually, but damn he didn't make it easy. He really wasn't very bright and his self esteem was nonexistent. The boy clearly had a death wish. He'd get a thought in his head and just act on it, and the more dangerous the idea was, the faster he'd run towards it. And if he was feeling sorry for himself, he was even more careless, if that's even possible. He's seriously lucky he has managed to live as long as he has.

Elliot was also a staunch believer that Fane was actually a victim. Yep, he actually believed that this monster, who had tortured and killed at least 30 young men was a victim who was just looking for love. I just can't even... It strains credulity, the kind of faith that Elliot had in Fane, for the longest time. Now, I do realize that there are people out there that get caught up in the mystique of serial killers, but count that among the things that I do not and probably never will get.

Spotlight: Lessons In Loving Thy Murderous Neighbour by Charlie Cochrane

Please welcome Charlie Cochrane with 

Lessons In Loving Thy Murderous Neighbour 

Cambridge Fellows Mysteries


Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith like nothing more than being given a mystery to solve. But what happens when you have to defend your greatest enemy on a charge of murder?


Cambridge 1922 
“Owens? Owens?” Orlando Coppersmith’s voice sounded louder, and clearer, from his chair in the Senior Common Room at St Bride’s than it had ever sounded before. And with good cause.
“Steady on, old man. We’re in enough of a state of shock without you making sufficient noise to wake the dead.” Jonty Stewart smiled at his friend’s uncharacteristic outburst. Although friendship would hardly be the most accurate way to describe their relationship. Even the description “lovers, companions, colleagues and partners in solving crime” didn’t quite cover the depth of the bond they’d build up in nigh on twenty years. If their hair bore the odd silver thread, their ardour hadn’t cooled.
“Wake the dead or, harder still, wake some of the dons,” Dr. Panesar agreed, mischievously.
“Good point, Dr. P.” Jonty sniggered. “Some of them give the impression they’ve been asleep since 1913.”
A quick glance around the oak panelled room supported his assertion. St. Bride’s may have been one of the most forward looking of the Cambridge colleges, embracing the fact the year was 1922 rather than pretending it was still 1622, but some aspects of the university, including crusty old dons, seemed to be an immutable fixture.

“In which case,” Orlando pointed out, “we’d have ten years of history to explain to them, much of it unpleasant, let alone this latest scandal. St. Bride’s men being asked to defend Owens. What is the world coming to?”

Get the book:

When characters stop talking to their author

When I announced that Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour was up for pre-order, I made the semi-flippant remark, “I'm delighted to announce that Jonty and Orlando have started to talk to their official biographer (me) once more, having been annoyingly silent these past couple of years.” I was immediately asked “Why did they go quiet on you?” Why indeed.

Partly it’s because the Cochranes have had a bit of a dose of “life giving us lemons” over the past three years, so creative thinking time has been at a premium, but that’s not the entire story. I’ve produced three other books in that time (a new Lindenshaw mystery and the two Porthkennack romances) so why didn’t that include a new adventure for the Cambridge boys?

A frivolous answer might be that Orlando had taken offence that I was dallying with my other sleuths, Robin and Adam from the Lindenshaw books. I can quite imagine Orlando taking umbrage that he had to share my time, and – all joking aside – it has felt at times that I only had ears for these other characters. No longer could I hear Jonty Stewart’s distinctive tones wittering in my brain saying, “Did I ever tell you about the time we…”

So, what changed?
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