Friday, May 25, 2018

ARC Review: Shades by Jaime Reese

Killian Marks is a third-generation hitman. After hunting monsters for over twenty years, he lives under no illusions of happily ever afters and fairy tales. Until he meets a man who threatens to disarm him, by giving him hope for a future and showing him there’s more to life than just death.

For Nick, living in shadows is second nature. He’s all too familiar with the dark side of humanity and knows how delicate life can be. Each new day is a gift, even though it means doing it alone. But he’ll risk his survival for the one man who awakens something deep within and leaves him yearning for more.

Nick wants to solve the mystery behind the dark, brooding man, while Killian craves the life and light emanating from Nick. They soon discover they have more in common than either could have anticipated. With both their lives and hearts at stake, they must confront the ghost from Nick’s past intent on tying up a loose end. Only then will they truly find peace, and discover the shades of life in between.

Dani's rating:

I survived. Barely.

Shades is an edge-of-your-seat kind of book that, despite the suspense and violence, never loses sight of the romance.

(It's also Jaime Reese's first standalone novel, and I hope not her last! I read an ARC of this book, and it was publication ready; no editing errors in sight.)

This is a story about a hitman with a conscience who sets his own rules and the one man who makes him want more.

When Nick, who works as a server at an Italian restaurant, asks Killian his name, Killian tells Nick to call him Ian. It's a half-truth, but, as Nick points out to Ian: You unknowingly revealed your biggest truth.

And the truth is Ian is tired of killing, tired of lying, tired of living half a life.

But Nick has something he's hiding too, something that could put Ian, and their relationship, at risk.

The first half of the book is slower paced but by no means boring. The men get to know one another and form an immediate connection. Despite the age difference (thirteen years), they have much in common: neither lived an ordinary life, and both are willing to sacrifice everything to keep what they found.

This is what life is about. Living, not survival. Connections. Not just breathing and getting through each day.

Blogtour: Rogue In The Making by TJ Nichols

Please welcome TJ Nichols with 

Rogue In The Making 

Studies In Demonology #2 


The blood sacrifices have brought rain to Demonside, but across the void, the Warlock College of Vinland is still storing and gathering magic, heedless of the warnings of the international magical community. The underground is full of warlocks who disagree with the college, but do they care about wizards and demons or only about snatching power?

With a foot in each world, Angus is no longer sure whom he can trust. The demons don’t trust humans, and even though he is learning more magic, he will never be one of them. He is human and only tolerated. Some demons would be happy to slit his throat. It’s only because his demon is powerful in his own right that Angus is alive.
Saka only has a year to prove that Angus’s people can change and that the magic taken will be rebalanced, but the demons want action. His affection for Angus is clouding his judgment and weakening his position in the tribe. Time is running out, and he must make a choice.

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What happens after the apocalypse?
The Young Adult fiction of my teenage years was all about surviving a nuclear war (I’m dating myself, I know). I glommed it all up (I read a lot, usually sci fi or fantasy as a way to be elsewhere). No matter how bad it was—and some of the stories were pretty grim—people survived. And something about the survival theme of the post-apocalyptic stories really resonated.
While survival was the theme of those books, as an adult I started to wonder what happens after merely surviving? At some point the world has to be put back together. Someone has to start governing, and society has to rebuilt.
In the Studies in Demonology series there are hints about previous demon-human war. I don’t go into detail, only that it was bad and afterward magic use had to be regulated to stop it from happening again…so in stepped the Warlock College, a place to oversee the teaching of warlocks (those who used magic drawn from demons).
The Warlock College was supposed to make sure that magic was never abused again and that there wasn’t a second war between humans and demons.

Blogtour: Watch Me Fall by Riley Parks

Title: Watch Me Fall
Author: Riley Parks
Series: Start Something #1
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing
Release Date: March 27th 2018
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance


Having it all is hard work, and Elijah Tucker has no problem 24/7-ing to keep himself on top. But life has a sense of humor and a big-ass mirror that reminds Eli where he came from, and shows him what he’s really made of when he meets Gideon Valsecchi.

Gideon Valsecchi has one life goal – get out of the shithole where he lives on the South Side of Chicago. To say life has been unkind is a joke he can’t even laugh at; to say he’s going to have to claw his way out is a reality that nearly crushes him every day. But...he has a secret weapon, and he’s learning how to hone his skills. Yet, hope is a feeling he won’t indulge in until he gets to know Elijah Tucker, who shows Gideon there is an out, and it can include love.

Buy Links: 

Find Watch Me Fall on Goodreads


Though it was a Monday night, the city was alive with energy. It blew his mind how Chicago could feel like a whole different city depending on the neighborhood. Prior to completing real estate school, when he and his life were still a mess, Eli had thought he wanted to escape it all, leave the Windy City behind indefinitely. Selling apartments on the North Side had made him feel as though he had. While he was only a few miles from where he’d grown up, he felt like he was worlds away, and he couldn’t say he disliked the distance.
It was strange after years of fucking around with men on the North Side, it was a South Side guy who intrigued him the most. Eli was sure there was something to it, some weighty psychological theory as to why. As much as he despised his shrink’s psychobabble, he was sort of interested in getting her take on what drew him to Gideon in particular. Maybe it was no more than a crush, or maybe it was something more profound. Elijah couldn’t remember the last time someone had given him butterflies. Mostly, men gave him heartburn, but not Gideon; he had been different from the start.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Author Of The Month - Quinn Anderson - Grand Finale

Welcome to our Grand Finale celebrations for the amazing 

In our final post, we're going to take a look at All Of The Above and The Other Five Percent, as well as a sneak peek at Quinn's upcoming release The Long Way Around, which has an expected publication in August 2018. We also have our author interview and one more chance to win one of Quinn's books from her backlist!

First up, All Of The Above 


Brendon isn’t in a rut, per se—he just always seems to be in-between things. Jobs. Degrees. Boyfriends. He never finishes what he starts. The perfect path is out there somewhere, and if he can just figure out what it is, he’s certain everything else will fall into place.

The last thing he expects is to meet his soul mate in the pages of a magazine quiz. “Who Is Your Perfect Man?” by Matthew Kingston seems like a road map to his future husband: the author himself. Brendon may not have his life figured out, but if Matt is as romantic as his quiz, Brendon can check “true love” off his to-do list.

When Brendon fakes a meet-cute between them, Matt proves to be as wonderful as he hoped. The more Brendon gets to know him, the harder he falls. But Brendon has a confession to make: how can he explain to Matt that he arranged their “fated” meeting? Brendon can’t tell if he’s found his soul mate, heartache, or all of the above.


Before Matt could get more than a few steps away, Brendon blurted out, “Doyouwannagetcoffeesometime?”
Matt halted and turned back. “What?”
Brendon took a deep breath before trying again. “Do you want to get coffee sometime? With me?”
Matt’s mouth turned down. “Really?”
“Well, yeah.” Brendon shuffled his feet. “If you want to.”
There was a beat of tense silence. Then Matt took a step back toward him. “I would like that.”
It was Brendon’s turn to ask, “Really?”
“Yeah, of course.”
Brendon hesitated. “Not to look a gift horse in the mouth or anything, but you don’t seem so sure.”
“No, I would love to. I just . . .”
Brendon waited. When an answer wasn’t forthcoming, he prompted. “You what?”
Matt was looking down at his shoes—brown leather dress shoes, Brendon noted, shined to perfection—but at that, he glanced up, and a smile slid across his lips slow as honey. “I was surprised, is all. I didn’t expect the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen to want to get coffee with me.”
Brendon’s heart skipped as if it were playing hopscotch on his sternum. It seemed he’d been wrong about Matt all along. He wasn’t shy, and he was sexy as hell. Brendon was beginning to suspect he was in way over his head.
It’s always the quiet ones.
While he was still struggling to think of something to say, Matt sauntered back over.
“Here.” Matt pulled out his phone and handed it to Brendon. “Put your number in.”
Brendon was almost afraid to take the phone. He’d probably drop it. What was up with him all of a sudden? He was usually an ice king around guys. He prided himself on the whole cool-mystique thing he had going on. But with a look, Matt could rob him of basic motor functions. It was disconcerting but also thrilling.
When he’d finished entering his full name—so Matt could add him on Facebook if he wanted—and his number, he paused. There was a moment when they both looked at each other, a question lingering in the air. Matt grinned. That was all the encouragement Brendon needed. He hit the Call button and pulled out his own phone. He held them next to each other while Matt’s dialed, and a second later, his screen lit up.
Matt took his phone back, still grinning. “I was giving you an out, you know. I wouldn’t have called you until after I left in case the number was fake. We could have both saved face.”
“No face to save here.” Brendon batted his eyelashes. “Now you can’t escape me.”
“Oh no, whatever will I do.”

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Second in today's line-up, The Other Five Percent 


Logan Vanderveer has a joke he’s been telling since college: he’s ninety-five percent straight. He did some experimenting in school, but none of the men he fooled around with inspired him to abandon “the plan”: meet a nice girl, get married, and settle down, just like his parents always said.

None of them except Ellis Floyd, who aroused desires and feelings that scared Logan. So much so that he abandoned their burgeoning relationship just as it might have become something. But four years later, Ellis is back, and Logan finds himself questioning his sexuality in a big way.

Ellis doesn’t fit into Logan’s plan. He’s happy being a starving artist, whereas Logan has sold his soul to corporate America. Ellis is ripped jeans, and Logan is tailored suits. And, most notably, Ellis is out. But seeing him again is dredging up memories—like how it feels to kiss Ellis, and that time they almost went all the way. With chemistry like theirs, Logan isn’t sure he can—or should—keep ignoring the other five percent.


If asked later, Logan would swear up and down that he had not, in fact, jumped out of his skin. He also hadn’t whirled around with all the grace of an unhinged ballerina. And he certainly, certainly had not made a shrill squeaking noise that’d made all the dogs within a five-mile radius sniff the air.
“Ellis,” he yelped when he’d regained control of his vocal chords. “Uh . . . uh.”
“So you do recognize me.” A wry smile slid onto Ellis’s face. “I wasn’t sure.”
For a bewildering moment, Logan honestly considered just getting into his car and driving off. His watch was ticking in his head, and his desire to avoid this particular conversation hadn’t lessened. It was only the thought of hot coffee spraying across his leather seats that checked him. And Ellis’s eyes, admittedly; they were beautiful from a distance but downright captivating up close . . .
Logan tore his gaze away and swallowed. Uh oh.
Ellis gave him a quizzical look. “You okay?”
“Um, yeah,” Logan answered with all the majesty of a cow giving birth. Seriously, man, get it together. Is this your first time talking to another person? He tried again. “Sorry, I ran off like that. I didn’t see you.”
“Really?” Ellis’s smile sharpened. “You sure left in a hurry for someone who didn’t see me.”
Well, fuck. It seemed Ellis still wasn’t the sort to mince words.
“Uh, sorry, man. I just realized I’m late for work.” It wasn’t a total lie, but his voice took on the high-pitched, whiny quality it got when he was being dishonest. “I gotta get going.”
He reached for his door handle slowly, as if a sudden movement might make Ellis strike.
He hesitated, however, when Ellis’s expression turned mournful. “Dude, seriously? It’s been four years since we’ve seen each other. You can’t spare a minute for an old friend?”
Logan’s heart did a strange lurching somersault in his chest. His sisters’ voices rang in his ears: “Logan Allen Vanderveer, where are your manners? You’re acting like the guy is going to bite you.”
Well, if memory serves, he very well might.
That thought threatened to give him another flashback. He jerked himself back to the present. Maybe he should lay off the caffeine after all.
“Right, sorry.” He gave himself a mental shake. “How have you been since I last saw you? That was what, sophomore year? Where are you working these days?”
Logan’s eyes slid down to assess Ellis’s garb. A paint-splattered black shirt—not stylistically splattered either. Accidentally splattered. Logan could tell the difference—ripped jeans, and red high-top sneakers. If this was how Ellis dressed on a Monday morning, he probably hadn’t gone the corporate route like Logan had. Logan had to admit, though: it was a good look for him. Especially now that he’d gotten all . . . muscle-y. Muscular. Whatever.
Ellis caught his eye, which was lingering somewhere around the sliver of underwear visible just above his jeans, and raised an eyebrow challengingly. “Did you just give me a once-over?”

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And, coming soon, The Long Way Around


A wrong turn could lead to Mr. Right.

Sam Cooper is the definition of an introvert: shy, bookish, and the sort to think a wild Friday night involves ordering takeout. He enjoys his quiet life, but after a bad breakup, he’s been yearning for a change of scenery. Luckily, his best friend and former college roommate has the solution.

Wesley Reed—a jokester and expert Sam-handler—proposes an epic road trip to a wedding across the country. They’re both between jobs and boyfriends. Why not hit the open road and make some memories?
Stuck in close quarters for the first time since their dorm days, they’re both surprised at the heat that springs up between them. As best friends, they’ve shared so much over the years, so why does sharing a hotel room—and occasionally a bed—make them want more? Chemistry this smoldering is hard to ignore, but there are road blocks to their romance. Wesley’s keeping a secret, and Sam can’t rely on Wesley to drag him out of his comfort zone forever. If they’re not careful, their relationship may take the ultimate wrong turn.

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Author Interview with Quinn Anderson 

1. What inspires you? What gets you writing?

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

ARC Review: Junkyard Hearts by Garrett Leigh

From The Blurb:
Tired of the London rat race and the heartbreak that comes with it, photographer Jas Manning returns to Porthkennack, the Cornish seaside town where he spent every childhood summer on his father’s farm. Resigned to year-round rain, wind, and homemade jam, he’s sorely unprepared for the impact that artsy carpenter Kim Penrose has on his heart. 
Kim’s free-loving reputation precedes him, and he’s as generous with his inked-up body as he is with his time. The sex is hot, the easy friendship even better, and Jas’s time with him building his family’s new farmhouse canteen is everything Jas was missing in his empty city life. 
But Kim’s carefree existence isn’t as simple as it appears. He’s worked hard to vanquish his demons and build his dreams, but the devil on his shoulder is ruthless, and when it comes to call, their happy bubble bursts like it was never there at all. The canteen opening looms, but Kim is gone in more ways than one, and it’s down to Jas to shore up Kim’s soul and convince him that he deserves his place in Jas’s heart.

Karen's rating:

"They say there's someone for everyone in Porthkennack"...

‘Junkyard Hearts’ is the 7th book in the multi-authored series, ‘Porthkanneck’ and the second one by Garrett Leigh that I have read and loved. While my readings in this series have been very hit and miss I have to say the fact that each story is able to be read as a standalone is one of the things that I really love about this series.

‘Junkyard Hearts’ is about two men finding a second chance, starting over and in the end receiving faith, hope and love as they learn to forgive not just others but themselves.

Jasper (Jas) Manning has left the London rat race in an effort to regroup after having his heart broken by the man that he believed he’d be spending forever with. His life takes an unexpected turn for the better when he meets Kim Penrose at a local craft fair.

Kim and Jas are drawn to each other instantly…no, it’s not love at first sight…but the lust is strong…need I say more?  However, both Kim and Jas come with their own personal set of luggage.

‘Junkyard Hearts’ is about starting over, second chances, finding love, acceptance and hope and while there may be angst no one knows how to do it right like this author. I was all in on this one. It was emotionally gripping and tugged at my heart from start to finish but the icing on the cake with this one is how beautifully written Jas and Kim’s story was touching and I loved how well paced it was. Things moved along steadily and from the very start I was engaged and my attention was held firmly in the story’s grip.

While ‘Junkyard Hearts’ is a standalone story those who have read ‘House of Cards’ will recognize a few of the secondary characters from that story, especially Brix and Callum (House of Cards MCs) and the story where we first met Kim.

Individually these men were both a bit broken and dealing with issues. Jas is fresh out of a bad relationship and has spend most of his time buried in his photography or swimming around in the bottom of a bottle. Ironically, Kim has spent the past couple of years fighting his way out of that bottle and dealing with a sense of self esteem that’s sorely lacking.

Review Tour: Whisper by Garrett Leigh

Cover Design: Black Jazz Design

Length: 260 pages

Skins Series
Dream (Book #1) - Universal Buy Link

Standalone second book in the Skins series.

Lonely physiotherapist Harry Foster has the world at his feet. A full client list, a six figure Instagram following, and a publishing deal for a book he doesn’t have time to write until his agent offers him a break—a retreat to the wild south west coast.
Cornish horseman Joe Carter is lonely too. Rescuing horses and managing Whisper Farm takes up most of his days, and by night he plays chicken with the farm’s perilous bank accounts.

At his sister’s unwelcome suggestion, he rents his only bedroom to a bloke from the city, and when Harry arrives, he’s everything Joe isn’t—calm, patient, and gorgeous enough to be exactly the kind of distraction Joe doesn’t need.

Harry doesn’t have time for distractions either—even shirtless farmers riding bareback past his bedroom window—but his moody host proves impossible to ignore.
On paper, they have nothing in common, but Joe is beautiful…glorious, and when an accident puts his life in Harry’s healing hands, the whisper of true love is inevitable. If the trouble that put the farm on its knees in the first place doesn’t get in the way.

Jewel's review:

Garrett Leigh knows how to do a slow burn, emotional romance! Whisper hit all the right notes for me. It's full of feels and two MC's that, while not quite broken, are still in need of mending. I loved the angst, I loved the emotion, and I loved the story.

Book Blitz: Strayed by KristaLyn Vetovich

STRAYED by KristaLyn A. Vetovich,YA/NA Fantasy

Author: KristaLyn Vetovich
Publisher: Glass House Press
Genre: YA/NA Fantasy

In the struggle between good and evil, humans don’t stand a chance—not on their own.
Which is why, for every living soul, there is a Firn: a spirit assigned to guide and defend humans from demonic spirits like the Aropfain. But earning a place in the fight is a process that requires several lifetimes—of service, experience, and sacrifice.

Having just returned from her most recent life as an Ancient Roman martyr, Anaya is only one step away from achieving that goal. And if she succeeds, she might become the Firn with the most important mission: guiding the human that will either save—or end—the world.

But when she’s paired with the notoriously difficult Jordin, her chances of success suddenly start to slip. Because Jordin isn’t like other souls. He’s strong, volatile—and a prime target for the Aropfain. And he almost immediately falls for an Aropfain ploy that could not only jeopardize his chances of becoming a Firn, but also endanger the entire world.

As his partner, Anaya is the only one who can save him. But will she succeed? Or will she fail—and take the world down with her?


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

ARC Review: SHADES by Jaime Reese

Killian Marks is a third-generation hitman. After hunting monsters for over twenty years, he lives under no illusions of happily ever afters and fairy tales. Until he meets a man who threatens to disarm him, by giving him hope for a future and showing him there’s more to life than just death.

For Nick, living in shadows is second nature. He’s all too familiar with the dark side of humanity and knows how delicate life can be. Each new day is a gift, even though it means doing it alone. But he’ll risk his survival for the one man who awakens something deep within and leaves him yearning for more.

Nick wants to solve the mystery behind the dark, brooding man, while Killian craves the life and light emanating from Nick. They soon discover they have more in common than either could have anticipated. With both their lives and hearts at stake, they must confront the ghost from Nick’s past intent on tying up a loose end. Only then will they truly find peace, and discover the shades of life in between.

Jewel's rating:

When Jaime Reese showed me the picture she was going to use for the cover of this book, my reaction was "he looks...dangerous." And he does, doesn't he? He looks intense and like he's seen and done stuff that you and I can only imagine. The cover definitely fits the character, Killian Marks, but don't let that intense stare fool you. Killian has layers. He's not as cold-hearted as even he believes. Killian Marks wasn't at all what I expected and I loved him. He could be ruthless, yes, but he had plenty of limits and a tangible moral standard.

Nick, a waiter who has been waiting on "Ian" for months, now, has secrets of his own, too. Nick's seen the darker sides of life and has still managed not be all that cynical. Nick just wants to live his life in peace, but there's danger in relaxing his guard, and he's reluctant to bring anyone else into his troubles.

Neither MC was just what they showed the world. Killian, though a third generation hitman, had a lot of his mother in him, and Nick, well, there was much more to him than what met the eye at first. He's a good man that ended up in a bad situation and he's trying to live his life the best he can manage.

Shades is about all the shades of gray that we encounter in life. No one is just what they do for a living and in everything there are shades of morality. Shades of good. Shades of bad. It's about balance, and it's about learning that you can find happiness even if you think you don't deserve it.

Blogtour: Wash Out by L.A. Witt

Please welcome L.A. Witt with 

Wash Out 

Anchor Point #7 


Casey Olson has always known he was destined to be a Navy SEAL, and the best day of his life was when he was accepted into training. The worst day was when a snapping bone ended his dream.

After three combat tours in five years, Logan Carter left the Marines and self-destructed. Now he’s sober and, thanks to a forgiving ex with friends in high places, has a promising job as a civilian contractor. All he has to do is stay on the rails and out of a bottle, even when his demons won’t leave him alone.

Logan likes his job, and he really likes the gorgeous man at the next desk. Casey tries not to check Logan out, but who is he kidding? From the start, despite their best efforts, neither man can resist the other. Sizzling chemistry leads to sex so hot they can both almost forget why they’re stuck in this office to begin with.

It would be perfect, except Logan can’t stop reliving wars he’ll never forget and Casey can’t stop grieving the SEAL he’ll never be. And they’ll never have a future together until they can make peace with their pasts.


As soon as the click of Casey’s walking cast was gone, I let go of my breath. The air rushed out so fast, I shot a look at Sarah, cringing in case she’d noticed. She was on the phone, though. When the hell had she gotten on the phone? Had I been that distracted by Casey?
Oh yeah. I had been.
Fuck. I’d come into the office today in the same funk that had kept me up half the night, but damn if he hadn’t cut through the heavy wet blanket on my brain. I hadn’t been checking him out like I had yesterday, but after less than a minute of conversation, he’d gotten me to joke. How the . . .?
And now that he was out of the office, I was mentally looking him up and down. My libido was pretty MIA right now—usually was after a night like that—but the thought of his body, his smile, his eyes? Oh yeah, that teased a few nerve endings to life. Not enough to get me hard or make me want to rub one out right here in the office, but enough to make it clear I’d be jerking off to him in the near future.
C’mon, idiot. Focus. On the work. Not the dude.
Okay, focusing on him was a hell of a lot more fun than wallowing in everything that had kept me up all night, but it was still an exercise in frustration. Clint was right that I needed to keep my head in the game. Dating someone in my office was asking for trouble. Hell, fantasizing about him was asking for trouble. That part wasn’t going to go away anytime soon, but—

Release Blitz: Hard Love by Shana Vanterpool

Hard Love 
Shana Vanterpool 
(Guns and Ink #2)
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: May 22nd 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance


When two people in pain collide, there is something intoxicating about drowning in the chaos of hard love. 
Brando Hawkins is a detective with the Denver Police Department. The world should be his to take. He’s a dedicated officer with a promising career. But Brando’s got secrets. Dark, ruthless secrets. At twenty-six, he’s burned-out, and the sight of another body, one more unhappy ending, might just do him in. 
Catherine Abbott is a woman who wars with her demons and guards her heart. Immersed in a world where people ink their lives on their skin, Catherine trusts only that which she can see. And, as a rape survivor, she finds comfort in control. 
But Brando’s demons start to tangle with hers. They’re dangerous, like hers. But they’re beautiful too. 
A spray of bullets brings them together, and the pain of their pasts collide with the lure of their futures. Cat wants to mend his heart and his wounds, but Brando’s secrets lay tucked away in a vault so tightly sealed, she can’t get through. 
Everything around them is covered in the confusion of love and the burn of revenge, but no one ever said love was easy.
Hard Love is the next standalone installment in the Guns and Ink series by Shana Vanterpool, a world of tattoos, love, and redemption from Swoon Romance.


Life had a way of expunging your expectations.

But it also had a way of rebuilding them.

I met a hero the day I walked into Klayton’s tattoo shop, broken and terrified. My heart was tattered, and my mental state was a plain of rubble in my skull. He wasn’t your typical hero. But atypical was exactly what I needed. I needed strength to combat my weaknesses. I needed love to fight my terror. And I needed someone to look at me like I was whole, when I feared I never would be again.

I sometimes wished we could have a do-over. That I could walk into his tattoo shop smiling, clean, and glowing. But that would only erase the brutal, beautiful truth of us. I didn’t walk into his tattoo shop smiling, I wasn’t clean, and I was severely damaged.
But Klayton loved me anyway. Even when I was empty, even when I was broken.

Even when I was mad.

Author Bio:

Monday, May 21, 2018

ARC Review: Fourteen Summers by Quinn Anderson

Fourteen Summers
Identical twins Aiden and Max Kingsman have been a matched set their whole lives. When they were children, Aiden was happy to follow his extroverted brother’s lead, but now that they’re in college, being “my brother, Aiden” is starting to get old. He’s itching to discover who he is outside of his “twin” identity.

Oliver’s goals for the summer are simple: survive his invasive family, keep his divorced parents from killing each other, and stay in shape for rowing season. He’s thrilled when he runs into his old friends, the Kingsman twins, especially Aiden, the object of a childhood crush. Aiden is all grown-up, but some things have stayed the same: his messy curls, his stability, and how breathless he makes Oliver. Oliver’s crush comes back full force, and the feeling is mutual. Summer just got a whole lot hotter.

Fun-loving Max takes one thing seriously: his role as “big brother.” When Aiden drifts away, Max can’t understand how his own twin could choose a boy over him. Summer won’t last forever, and with friendship, family, and happily ever after on the line, they’ll have to navigate their changing relationships before it’s too late.

Todd's rating:

This book wasn't quite what I was expecting, but I enjoyed it, nonetheless.

The story was told from three points of view, Aiden's, Max's and Oliver's, because this book truly belonged to all three.

I loved how, even from a very early age, Oliver was always a part of the Kingsman family. With his parents fighting non-stop, Oliver had always wanted to be a Kingsman, needed the familial stability, but those hopes were quickly dashed when his parents divorced and he had to move away.

Fast forward 14 years and Oliver was unexpectedly reunited with Max and his childhood crush, Aiden, and they resumed their easy friendship as if no time at all had passed.

Except that both Oliver and Aiden had both come out as gay, which added a new, interesting twist to their 3-way friendship.

Where before the boys had shared pretty much everything between them equally, the attraction between Oliver and Aiden made sharing *everything* with Max difficult. Well, impossible really.

Which Max resented, a LOT, since he and his identical twin had previously grown up as a team of two, after Oliver moved away.

Although the problem of each twin growing up and finding their own way as individuals had existed long before Oliver's return, he was definitely the match that lit the powder keg of emotions and angst that the twins needed to resolve.

I felt terrible for each of the three boys, as they each had their own set of issues to overcome. Oliver incorrectly saw himself as being the problem causing strife between Aiden and Max, so at one point, he decided to remove himself from the equation and go back to NYC.

But the thought of Oliver not being a part of their lives (again) lit a fire under the feuding twins to make a genuine effort to at least begin working through their mountain of problems.

I'll be honest, with the lack of previous romantic experience that Aiden and Max had, at times the story felt very YA, instead of NA. In spite of the fact that the twins were 20 years old, they read as a good deal younger.

However, when the steamier bits between Aiden and Oliver happened, those were full-on adult. And pretty damn hot.

But their first time, with NO LUBE, GAH! Really??? Why not just stick to sloppy blowjobs until having everything that was *needed* for that event to be more enjoyable?

Spit only goes so far, trust me on that.

The epilogue, from 3 years down the road, was a bit sappy sweet, but I didn't mind that so much this time.

Overall, I'd rate this one at a bit over 4 stars.

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley for a fair, unbiased review.

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Review Tour - Last Defense - RJ Scott & VL Locey

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 52,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Harrisburg Railers Series

Book #1 - Changing Lines - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 - First Season - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 - Deep Edge - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 - Poke Check - Amazon US | Amazon UK


Two men afraid to feel, have to make choices that could end up breaking down their defenses and leading them back to love.

Every time Max Van Hellren steps on the ice he knows it could be his last time. At thirty he’s past his hockey prime but he’s also hiding a life-threatening injury that private doctors warn could kill him. This is his last season, and there’s a chance he could lift the Stanley Cup after fourteen years in the NHL. He just needs to stay safe and healthy; difficult when he’s known for his heavy hitting and with a propensity for dropping the gloves and putting his body in the way of pucks to keep his team safe.

A one night stand with a sexy man was just what he needed, dangerous and hot, but what if it turned into more? Would he actually have to share the secrets he so desperately tries to hide?

Ben Worthington had it all. A fulfilling job running the CrossRoads Shelter, his loving aunts, and a husband that understood his devotion to animals. Then, the love of his life left him, succumbing so quickly to an unexpected sickness that Ben never had time to say goodbye. The violent loss scarred him.

Unable to move past his fears, he moves from lonely encounter to lonely encounter, slaking a desperate need that is eating away at him, but never making a connection that could lead him back into love. One night with Max makes him want more, but will giving into the temptation open the door to feelings he can’t contain?

Can these two broken men ever find a way to be together?


“Nice dog.” I paused just this side of the players’ entrance at the deep voice coming from behind me. There was something about that man’s voice…the timbre of the bass or the way he spoke. Not sure what it was, but the last time he’d spoken to me my body had had the same kind of reaction. A spear of latent heat low in my belly followed by a shiv of icy dread.

“Thanks.” I wanted to stare at the door. Or run. I couldn’t do either of those, though, so I turned to face the bearded man. Christ, but he was fierce-looking. Like a Viking, with piercing eyes and an aura that screamed berserker. He was bigger than me. Taller by at least four inches and probably sixty pounds. He was wearing a suit, as Stan and Erik had been, but his looked incredibly fine on his burly frame. Dark blue with a silver tie and a white shirt. His biceps strained the material trying to contain them.

“His name is Bucky.” There now, I had spoken to the man who made my heart leap around inside my chest like a frog on a highway.

“Like Captain America’s sidekick?” He looked down at my worn T-shirt with Cap’s shield on it.

“Exactly like that.”

He took another step, which put him into my little personal space bubble, his gaze and mine locked. I wet my lips and jerked my chin up a bit. I wasn’t going to let some hockey player intimidate me.

“Cute dog. Hot owner.” He gave me a long, slow look, petted Bucky, and stepped around the dull-witted man trying to digest the fact Mr. Fear had said he was hot. “Are you coming in, or are you teaching your dog to open doors mentally?”

“I’m here to see Layton Foxx.”

“Yeah? Well, I’m here to participate in morning skate.”

“I know who you are. Max van Hellren. You played for Washington four years ago.”

He tugged the door open and settled a kind of bored look on me. “Yeah, that was me. You like Washington?”
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