Wednesday, February 28, 2018

ARC Review: When Everything Is Blue by Laura Lascarso

Blurb:
When they were kids, Chris Mitcham rescued Theo from the neighborhood bullies and taught him how to “be cool.” Now, years later, Theo’s developed feelings for his best friend that arise at the most inopportune times. Theo hates lying to Chris, but in coming out, he might lose the one person who understands him best, a risk he’s not willing to take.

When a relationship with another young man goes south, Theo is forced to confront his own sexuality along with his growing attraction to Chris and his stunted, tenuous relationship with his father. Will Chris abandon Theo when he learns the truth, or will he stand by him in this tumultuous season of self-discovery?

It’s a good thing his nickname is the Blueprint—it’s time to draft a new set of plans.





Dani's rating:


When Everything Is Blue was slow going for me. I actually started a few days ago and took a break to read another book.

Theo is the first-person narrator of the story, and I really missed Chris' voice. I love how protective Chris was of Theo (Theo loved it too). Theo's sister was annoying as hell, and I have no words for Asshole Dave. Theo's relationship with his mom was truly special, though, which warmed my heart.


Review Tour: Winter Cowboy by RJ Scott




Length: 70,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell


Blurb
Micah Lennox left Whisper Ridge after promising the man he loved that he would never return. But the only way he knows to keep his pregnant sister and nephew safe is to go home. Spending winter in Wyoming opens too many old wounds, but he's on the run from justice which can't be far behind, and this is his last chance at redemption.

After a hostage situation leaves Doctor Daniel Sheridan struggling with PTSD, he returns to Whisper Ridge. Joining his dad in family practice is a balm to soothe his exhausted soul, and somehow, he finds a peace he can live with. That is until he meets Micah in a frozen graveyard, and the years of anger and feelings of betrayal boiling inside him, erupt.

Two broken men fight and scratch for their lives and that of their families, and somehow, in the middle of it all, they find each other.

Is it possible that love can be rekindled and become a forever to believe in?








Feb 28 - Oh My Shelves, Annette Gisby, My Fiction Nook, The Blogger Girls
March 2 - Alpha's Do It Better, Bookaholic and Kindle
March 5 - Urban Smoothie Read, Gay Media Review
March 7 - BFD Book Blog, Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words, MM Good Book Reviews, Nerdy Dirty and Flirty
March 9 - Making It Happen, The Geekery Book Review, Wicked Reads, Slave To The Written Word
March 12 - Sexy Erotic Xciting, Reading In Sarah's Corner, Book Lovers 4Ever, Jim's Reading Room, Wicked Faerie's Tales and Reviews
March 14 - Xtreme Delusions, Drops Of Ink
March 15 - Hearts On Fire Reviews
March 16 - Valerie Ullmer, Mirrigold, Padme's Library, A Book Lover's Dream, Bayou Book Junkie


Karen's review:





I think when I started reading this book I was expecting something more like the author’s Texas series or even her Montana series, and while it was definitely a little closer to her Montana series in terms of both books dealt with the darker side of human nature and there’s a strong sense of family in both series, that’s pretty much where the similarities end as far as the stories are concerned.
I admit I’ve never been to Wyoming but throughout this story there were moments that captured my mind creating a very vivid picture of Whisper Ridge and I truly feel like I could draw a picture of this place…well, at least I could if could draw but the picture is there in my mind of the town, Micah’s home on the Lennox Ranch and Daniel’s haunted house with it’s wild garden Ms Scott brought them all to life for me and as I read this book it all became populated with the characters that were also brought to life for me. I wasn’t left so much with a sense of a specific place as that I feel like if I went to Wyoming I would find places that would bring Whisper Ridge to mind for me because they had that same feeling of openness and beauty that I got from this story.
Now before I really get into babbling about this story I’m going to quickly explain that I had one little niggle and that was the fact that I would have liked for Micah and Daniel to have more face to face time on page but I was also torn because the fact that they didn’t made sense and in a lot of ways I’m not sure the story would have worked as well for me if they had so…niggle but was it a problem…not really, more like me being greedy because I liked these two characters and the way they played off of each other.
While every story has a beginning, a middle and an ending…how the author chooses to give us those parts can often dictate how well a story works for the reader. This story doesn’t really start at the beginning or even the ending…nope, it pretty much starts in the middle and for me that worked just fine because while we’re given a very small glimpse at the past. It’s the present where this story really starts and while that may seem like the middle of the story from a timeline perspective it’s also where the connection between the past and the future is best made because it’s where Micah has to decide that the promises of the past aren’t as important as his family’s safety in the present and their continued well being in the future.
When Micah left Whisper Ridge, 9 years earlier, things weren’t good between him and Daniel, the man he loved…in fact things weren’t good between him and pretty much the whole damned town so leaving and never coming back didn’t seem like to hard of a thing to do. But when Micah’s pregnant sister and his nephew, Laurie need protecting the first place that comes to mind for Micah to take them is Whisper Ridge and for Micah more important than keeping a promise is keeping his family safe, so he heads for the home.
Micah’s only planning on staying long enough to make sure his sister is safe and then he’s leaving heading back to the ranch where he works and has made a life for himself. Coming back into contact with Daniel and the rest of the Sheridan family wasn’t in his plan, finding forgiveness and acceptance for what happened in the past wasn’t even on his radar and reconnecting with Daniel a man who’s fighting his own demons but is still the man he loved was the last thing he expected to have happen.
So many things have changed for both Micah and Daniel and it’s through glimpses of their past both shared and separate that we get to know these men and see where they were and how they’ve come to be where they are in the present. I was totally absorbed by this story. I love a light, fluffy happily ever after story as much as the next person but I’m also a fan of stories that show the strength of human nature and the ability that each person has to rise above whatever comes their way.

Release Blitz: Waking Oisin by Grace Kilian Delaney




Title:  Waking Oisin
Author: Grace Kilian Delaney
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: February 26, 2018
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 62700
Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, contemporary, bisexual, gay, genderqueer, new adult, cross-dresser, college student, lawyer, age-gap, piercings & tattoos, dirty talk, toys, spanking, D/s dynamics, light kink, family drama, pets

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Synopsis




Oisin Harrison blames his fiancée’s distrust for ruining their relationship. He blames his father for pushing him into law school. But more than all that, he blames himself for letting other people’s expectations stop him from going after his dream. But dressing in drag with his best friend is the one thing Oisin refuses to compromise.

As Sin, he meets handsome Trenton Fisher, a man who appreciates Oisin’s cross-dressing. Trent upends his world by doing things to his body no one ever has, making him want more than just one night together. That is, until Oisin discovers his hot hookup works at his father’s law firm and is angling for a promotion.

To complicate things, Trent doesn’t seem to recognize Oisin out of drag. Or does he?

Will Oisin and Trent’s magnetic attraction grow to something deeper, or will it threaten to jeopardize their careers and futures?

Waking Oisin contains characters from Seven Minutes but can be read as a standalone.



Excerpt

Waking Oisin
Grace Killian Delaney © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
Oisin Harrison

As I walked out of my last class of the day, the wretched feeling grew larger in my stomach, and if it weren’t for the cool January air, I might have puked. I’d failed my first project. My second semester at UNLV’s law school was not going well, and I’d be lucky if I made it through the next four months without getting kicked out.

My father had been disappointed with my decision to attend our home state’s college. Being the senior partner and founder of the most prestigious entertainment law firm, with locations in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, he’d had ridiculously high expectations for his youngest son. When he came home from LA on Friday, like he did every weekend, the news of my being on academic probation would be reported to him by one of his many acquaintances (aka babysitters) before I had an opportunity to plead my side, and a butt chewing would ensue.

I trudged back to my apartment where I found my best friend, Devon Thomson, in the parking lot getting out of his car. His makeup and short brown hair were flawless, and the stylish wrap coat he wore stopped just above his knees, leaving his calves exposed. The ease with which he expressed his femininity had always impressed me.

Devon picked up on my body language immediately. “You don’t look too happy.”

“I failed.” My chest tightened. I’d never failed at anything before. I’d survived an undergrad degree in Biological Sciences and graduated summa cum laude, but I had no heart for law. Lately, I had no heart for anything; I was a zombie masquerading among the living.

Devon hugged me. “It’s okay, Os. You’ll do better next time—you always do.”

That’s why I loved my friend. He was always a hundred and ten percent supportive and affectionate. I missed our nights making love to each other as FWB and hanging out with him like we used to before he met his boyfriend. Whenever he talked about his lover, he glowed with happiness. I’d never seen him so happy, so in love, and it made any nostalgic desires I had seem trivial.

He released me and a wicked grin spread across his lips. “I got something that might cheer you up.”

“I know that look, and it means trouble.” I laughed, and it seemed like it’d been an eternity since that sound had come from me. “I’m in.”

He clapped, his suede gloves dampening the sound. “We got invited to a record release party in Los Angeles next weekend, and I was thinking we could dress up like we used to? It’s been too long since we had some fun together.”

My heart swelled. Seemed I wasn’t the only one missing our together time. I should stay and study. Be a good little student. But what Devon offered was too tempting. Screw it. I was going to LA. “Sounds perfect.”

“Yay! I’ve got the best outfit for you. You’re gonna look so hot, you’ll be swatting off guys and girls.”

“I don’t know about that.” Sometimes I thought being bisexual was a blessing, other times a curse. The curse had happened last semester when my fiancée determined my bisexuality was a cover for being gay and that one day I’d leave her for a man. I protested. She left anyway.

“I do,” Devon affirmed, hooking his arm with mine and resting his head on my shoulder as we walked the few steps to my front door

“Who are you? Susie Sunshine?” I envied the confidence he had; it drew people to him. I couldn’t remember the last time I felt safe or confident in my own skin.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Release Blitz: More Than My Words by Ann Lister


Release Blitz 


More Than My Words
Guarding The Gods: Book 3 
by Author Ann Lister

Coming February 28, 2018



HOSTING MTMW 28th RB

EXCLUSIVE TO AMAZON



1-Click Guarding The Gods new release for FREE with KindleUnlimited.


MORE THAN MY WORDS AVAILABLE NOW



Mason Foxworth has spent the last several months recovering from injuries he received doing personal security while on tour during the horrific fire in Germany. He feels useless and alone, and the worst part of it, the physical scarring left behind from the burns has ruined his self-esteem. Who would want him now, when he is so damaged inside and out and has nothing much to contribute? He doesn't have many friends and his co-workers feel it's safer to keep Mason at a desk in the office pushing paperwork, rather than out in the field working security. Mason wants to change that status before he loses the last thread of his sanity, and the main obstacle in his way is a bum leg that’s taking far too long to heal.

Tessler is an enigma in the sci-fi literary world. A young, reclusive author, known for the mystery swirling around him, realizes he's lost any real joy in his life until he suddenly starts to feel the strange emotion pumping through his veins. Barely beyond the age of twenty-five, and he's already made more money than most see in a lifetime, but Tessler feels empty inside. What made him this way must remain the secret it is, or he feels he'll lose the empire he's created. But meeting a man who could possibly bring all his pieces together is challenging his reasons for anonymity, and Tessler suddenly finds himself wanting more from life and for himself.

Mason wants his life back and Tessler is just looking to have a real life. Can two vastly different men find a way to smooth out their hard edges and blend their lives to offer the one ingredient neither has? Personal growth comes in many different shapes and Mason and Tessler have a mountain of it to climb in order to find their HEA, but it's a journey both of them are ready to take.


MTMW TEASER 1.jpg

Add More Than My Words to one or more of your shelves on Goodreads.

M/M Favourite Reads, Guarding The Gods, Erotic Romance, LGBT Series. The possibilities are endless. Have fun and create your own for all your Gay Romance Reads.



more than my words full jacket


GUARDING THE GODS SERIES

Review Tour: Bitten By The Alpha by Annabelle Jacobs





Length: 76,000 words

Cover Design: Natasha Snow

Regent's Park Pack Series

Book #2 - Bitten By Design
Book #3 - Bitten By Desire



Blurb
Gareth’s heart is set on Cam, but Cam’s heart broke a long time ago.
As alpha of the Regent’s Park Pack, Cam’s focus is always centred on its members—his personal life pushed aside after the death of his wife. Now that his pack has merged with the Primrose Hill shifters, he can't afford any distractions.

Gareth’s been in love with his alpha for years, but his position as beta complicates matters. Added to the fact Cam still mourns his late wife, Gareth knows his feelings will never be reciprocated, so he buries them deep.

With the two packs already struggling to unite under one alpha, they get a surprise addition—one who causes more tension within the ranks. Under such strain, long-kept secrets are forced into the open. Gareth and Cam must deal with the aftermath, while also keeping the pack’s best interests at heart.







February 27 - Mikku-chan, Gay Book Reviews, My Fiction Nook, Deseos del anochecer
March 3 - Making It Happen, Love Bites & Silk Ties, Diverse Reader
March 5 - Sexy Erotic Xciting, V's Reads
March 7 - Mirrigold: Mutterings and Musings
March 9 - Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words, Gay Media Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews
March 14 - Valerie Ullmer, Book Lovers 4Ever
March 16 - Sinfully MM Book Reviews, Dog-Eared Daydreams, Bayou Book Junkie, A Book Lover's Dream Book Blog



Dani's review:





I love the world Annabelle Jacobs created in the Regent's Park Pack series and have been waiting for Cam's story since book 1.

Bitten by the Alpha doesn't work as a standalone. This story wraps up a plot thread—related to a rogue alpha and his evil, deceitful ways—that began in book 1. In book 3, that alpha and his accomplice got their comeuppance, but I suspected we hadn’t seen the end of them.

Cam is not happy that some of his newest pack members are still in touch with their former alpha, especially when he finds out the sick bastard wants to talk to him. Cam doesn't feel he's done the best job integrating the P pack into his own, and the last thing he needs is more complications, particularly the unwelcome pull of a potential mate bond.

Gareth has been in love with Cam for ages, but he's kept a tight lock on his emotions. Then jealousy and possessiveness rear their ugly head, and Gareth can't control his feelings any longer.

While I liked both MCs and was eager to see how they came together, I had a few niggles.

Release Blitz: A Matter of Justice by J.C. Long




Title:  A Matter of Justice

Series: Hong Kong Nights, Book Three

Author: J.C. Long

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: February 26, 2018

Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 80600

Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, criminals, gangs, law enforcement, action, reunited, contemporary, enemies to lovers, kidnapping

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Synopsis


The battle between the Dragons of the Eastern District and their bitter rivals, the Twisted Vipers, is reaching a dangerous point. The Anti-Gang Task Force is hard at work trying to bring down the Vipers. Tensions ratchet when Johnny Hwang guns down a prominent inspector on the task force, and Conroy Wong, Wei Tseng’s second-in-command is a witness. Now, to keep him safe long enough to locate a second witness and put Hwang behind bars, Conroy is forced into close quarters with Allen Hong, a man who once fought side by side with the Dragons until he turned his back on them by joining the police, betraying them. As sparks fly between them once more, the two men must put aside their differences and work together, because the Twisted Vipers aren’t going to let Hwang go down without a fight.


Excerpt


A Matter of Justice
J.C. Long © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Prologue

Inspector Richard Yang was not at all surprised when he received word from Johnny Hwang’s people that Johnny wanted to see him. Actually, he wondered what had taken Hwang so long; he’d made the arrests three days ago, and they’d been all over the news and in newspaper headlines.

Hong Kong Police Department Anti-Gang Task Force makes headway with the arrests of three highly influential and well-placed members of the Twisted Viper triad. It was long and wordy, as far as headlines went, but it spared anyone the need to read the damn thing. No one read newspapers nowadays, especially with the Mainland trying to crack down on the press.

Yang debated whether or not he should take Hwang up on the offer, finally deciding that it would be amusing to hear, if nothing else. Just after six in the evening he left the apartment he shared with his wife of forty-one years and made his way to the meeting place Hwang had suggested, a ye shi not that far from Aberdeen.

The night market was just beginning to see a lot of visitors when Yang arrived, but there was still parking space available near the market’s entrance so he didn’t have to walk that far. It wasn’t that he couldn’t; he was a tough old bastard, even at sixty, and got more than his fair share of exercise as a member of HKPD. He wanted to have a quick getaway available for him in case Hwang decided to pull some shit.

He doubted he would, it being a public place and all, but he’d learned in his years on the force to be very careful with criminals, especially the crafty ones. And Johnny Hwang was about as crafty as they came, at least in Hong Kong. Still, the market was a very public place, and if Hwang were to do something, it would cause a lot of complications, so Yang didn’t expect trouble.

Hwang’s message said to meet him near a noodle stall called Mrs. Chu’s Noodles. Considering how many food stalls went up in the night markets, Yang thought it would be a problem, but almost as soon as he entered, he saw a sign over a large noodle stall that read “Mrs. Chu’s.”

Mrs. Chu’s stall was easily twice the size of the other stalls around hers and had about the same advantage in customers. Behind the stall an older woman with slate-gray hair in a hairnet bustled about, tending to her customers, who were seated along three sides of the square that was her stall.

“Mr. Yang.” A young man—thirty-three or -four at the oldest, young by Yang’s standards—in a well-tailored suit approached him, giving him a polite and respectful bow of his head. “If you would come with me, Mr. Hwang is waiting for you.”

Monday, February 26, 2018

Book Review: Forever With You by Londra Laine

Forever With You
Blurb:
Kelly Brooks Montes is only nineteen years old and just starting college in New York City when tragedy strikes, and he becomes a single dad to his toddler brother. Four years later, Kelly and his baby brother, Jaylen, are doing well, though Kelly leads a double life to make ends meet. He’s a high-level administrative assistant by day and a racy go-go boy by night. Between raising his brother, dancing, and trying not to run afoul of his new boss, Kelly doesn't have time for a boyfriend. Even if he did want a man in his life, a past trauma makes him question whether he can ever trust a man with his body or his heart. But then Kelly receives an unexpected but steamy birthday kiss from his boss, a man he was sure hated him, and he begins to wish for things he knows he shouldn't.
Andrew Whitman knew from the moment he held Kelly's hand that the man was special, and it both annoyed and terrified him. Kelly makes him feel a little out of control and Drew is a highly controlled man. He has to be to keep his sexuality a secret from his father, a conservative politician. And he is OK with that. He has a perfectly good, mutually beneficial, life plan with his best friend, Lex. A long time ago, he'd made his peace with the fact that he'd never find a man worth turning his life upside down for. Then he ends up with his capable and gorgeous assistant under him on top of his desk, and his life plans change. Drew can't seem to get out of his own way when it comes to the quiet, sexy, and surprising single dad, but he can't stop himself from falling for Kelly and his sweet baby brother. And just when it seems that Kelly has worked through his past hurts enough to let Drew into his body and his heart, manipulative family and words unspoken threaten to tear them apart. But after getting a taste of a life he never thought he could have, Drew won't let anything tear his fledgling family apart. 

***Please be aware that this book contains a flashback of and several references to sexual assault that may be triggering to some readers.***



Todd's rating:




 Wow. Getting through the first 25% of this book was... rough. To the point of me considering DNF'ing it. Repeatedly.

The way that Drew kept thinking of Kelly honestly made me feel dirty, like I needed to take a hot shower, and the sooner, the better.

Drew just kept pushing and pushing, even when Kelly was obviously on edge, then having these inappropriate thoughts that made me want to toss him into a dumpster and slam the lid.

Plus, the entire story is told in third person point of view, which drove me ape shit.

I mean, it's Kelly's chapter, for example, and I kept hearing, "Kelly thought this" and "Kelly did that", which got insanely old and felt like something to endure from the first to the very last page.

I never felt at ease with the third person tense, much like listening to Suede refer to himself as "Suede" on Project Runway back in the day.

And last on my list of niggles were the "info dumpy" sections, where huge chunks of history were tossed at you like a three-inch thick stack of napkins at the top of a Jack In the Box drive through food order. They were just THERE for you to take in all at once. Gah!

AND YET...

Blogtour: Forsaken by J.R. Gray


BLOG TOUR:

Forsaken by J.R. Gray

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Titus has lived and breathed religion his entire life, tucked away from the rest of the world in a compound in northern Wyoming. He’s destined to be the next leader of the church, deemed so by the Prophet.

God spoke and with His word He created. But God made a mistake. Titus isn’t worthy. He was born sick and it’s solidified when he rescues the most beautiful man he’s ever seen.

Torn between fidelity to his faith or his soul, Titus must reconcile the two parts of himself before he’s discovered hiding among the chosen.


BUY IT NOW:



TEASER EXCERPT:

“Is this okay?” Angel asked.

“Is what okay?” Titus had a hard time getting words out. He had a hard time making his brain function with Angel’s hands on him.

Angel laughed and scooted his body closer so their legs were pressed together. “Me touching you.”

“Yes,” his voice was unsteady.

“What about this?” Angel put his other hand on the side of Titus’ neck.

“Sure.” Titus swallowed past the lump in his throat, and was happy for the way he was sitting, because he was as hard as he’d ever been in his entire life. Harder maybe.

“What about this,” Angel whispered over his lips and then brought them together.

Cover Reveal: Forgiveness (Forbes Mates 4) by Grace R. Duncan



We are delighted to reveal the cover image for 

Grace R. Duncan's

Forgiveness

Forbes Mates #4 
 



Ben's love can help Eric find the forgiveness he needs... if Eric can accept it.


Nine years ago Eric Joyce went wolf when his chosen mate broke the bond, and he hasn’t walked on two legs since. Convinced he lost his friends when he ran out on them, he cut himself off from the pack. But a surprising visitor prods him back down the mountain, and he finds himself welcomed warmly.

Ben Arellano grew up in Texas with a human Catholic mother who didn’t understand a thing about wolves—and didn’t try to learn. He spent his whole life being told his wolf was a demon that needed to be exorcised, surrounded by a wolf pack made up of good ole boys who had no tolerance for his Mexican ancestry or his bisexuality. When he’s given the opportunity to relocate to an accepting pack in Pittsburgh, he jumps at the chance.

When Eric and Ben meet for the first time, neither is ready for it. Where Ben expects rejection, Eric is convinced yet another mate will leave, break the bond, and put him through the same hell all over again. Can they get past their reservations and have a happily mated life?

ForgivenessFS_v1_smaller
Cover Artist: Reese Dante


    Pre-order at Dreamspinner Press:


Expected publication: March 27, 2018




Excerpt:
She smelled funny. Or rather, she didn’t smell like anything he recognized. She looked human, but she didn’t smell human, which confused him. And she walked across the forest floor in her bare feet.

He tilted his head as she approached, trying to figure out the puzzle. She wore simple dark pants, a plain tunic-like top, and had a bow slung over her shoulder with a quiver of arrows on her back. Instinct told him, however, he had nothing to fear from her.

She knelt in front of him, her long dark hair spilling over one shoulder, and reached out to brush her fingers over his head. “My poor lost wolf,” she murmured, tilting her head in a mimic of him, considering him. “I understand your pain, but you are not ready to be wolf all the time. You have more to do in your human form, and you need your pack. My wolves aren’t meant to be alone, not like this. It is time—past time—for you to return to your pack and those who love you.”

Even though the soft touch soothed him, he whined quietly, not liking the words. He’d left for a reason. There was nothing for him back there. He’d turned his back on them. They wouldn’t want him now.

“Oh, Eric, that’s not true,” she said, shaking her head.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

ARC Review: A Duke in the Night by Kelly Bowen

A Duke in the Night (The Devils of Dover, #1)From the blurb:


Duke. Scoundrel. Titan of business. August Faulkner is a man of many talents, not the least of which is enticing women into his bedchamber. He’s known—and reviled—for buying and selling companies, accumulating scads of money, and breaking hearts. It’s a reputation he wears like a badge of honor, and one he intends to keep. 
Clara Hayward, the headmistress of the Haverhall School for Young Ladies, on the other hand, is above reproach. Yet when she’s reunited with August, all she can think of is the way she felt in his arms as they danced a scandalous waltz ten long years ago. Even though her head knows that he is only back in her life to take over her family’s business, her heart can’t help but open to the very duke who could destroy it for good.



Heather's rating:






Lovely, feminist historical romance.

I adored A Duke in the Night, my first by the very talented Kelly Bowen. I thought it was a powerful story with a female MC who carried the book, something we don't see as often as I'd like in romance.

Okay, I'll admit, the book was probably (most certainly) not historical accurate. Clara is a woman who is almost fully independent and gasp sexually confident, something rare in historical romance and even sometimes in contemporary romance. Now, the extent of Clara's autonomy might not actually fit the era, but if you can look past that (and some modern-sounding speech), you'll find a really special, touching story.

I actually don't love romances where the MCs have a history together as I like to get to know the couple from first meeting to love, all within the story, but Kelly Bowen pulled it off (and we get a flashback to take us there). Clara and August are a strong couple (I keep saying that, but these two are just so strong), and their chemistry just grew and grew. I loved seeing them adapt to each other and figuring out how they worked as a couple.

ARC Review: Cam Boy by Quinn Anderson

Cam Boy (Murmur Inc. #3)Blurb:

After years of making minimum wage, college dropout Josh Clemmons may have found his salvation. Murmur Inc., a local adult entertainment company, is hosting auditions for new performers, and Josh has been invited to try out. If he can make it as a porn star, he can kiss his money troubles goodbye. 
Mike Harwood is a loud-and-proud professional adult entertainer. In the past three years, he’s starred in dozens of films, and he’s very good at what he does. But as focused as he’s been on work, he’s neglected everything else, including his love life. He’s so used to faking attraction, he can no longer tell when something real is staring him in the face.

Josh gets the job, but when porn fails to live up to the fantasy, he quits to do cam work instead. But he can’t stop thinking about the one scene he filmed, and the captivating man he filmed it with. Their chemistry is undeniable, but Mike knows better than to mix business with pleasure. Then again, with true love on the line, this unorthodox office romance may need a second take.



My rating:





If you look up the words "naive", "reckless", and "overly confident" in the dictionary, you might find Josh Clemmons' picture there.

If you've read the previous books in this series, you might remember Josh as the guy who works with Pete at the coffee shop. Additionally, you might recall that Pete works for Murmur Inc, a company that makes pornographic movies, but also provides Phone Sex Operators, and apparently, on-camera live action.

Josh, stuck in a dead-end, low-wage job, partly because college just wasn't for him, looks for more excitement and more dough. Thus he's been looking online at Murmur Inc. for open audition calls, and wouldn't you know, his luck is about to change.

Hastily cobbling together a resume, he's so confident that he's perfect for porn and will be chosen to perform that he. Quits. His. Job. before he even has an interview lined up. Overly confident? Reckless? You betcha.

Also naive. So very naive, because he thinks if Pete can be a porn star, so can he. Like, surely, anyone can be in porn, right? Lots of sex and you get paid? Why wouldn't everyone do this, amirite? How hard could it be?

Right.

Josh's dreams of being the next AVN winner are dashed quickly when he realizes after his first scene he's not quite cut out for that kind of career.

Mike Harwood, on the other hand, has been an adult film entertainer for quite some time. Filming both straight and gay movies, he's so used to faking attraction that he's no longer sure what's real and what isn't. I could tell that he was approaching burnout, but he wasn't quite there yet.

Josh and Mike meet on set for Josh's first and last scene, after which Josh crawls back to the coffeeshop and begs for his job back. Which he does, lucky him. Neither can get the encounter out of their mind, but Josh isn't going to make any movies, and Mike is busy filming the next scene. Josh also gets even more lucky when Colette, the owner of Murmur Inc, offers him cam work - something he can do from his rented room, on his own laptop, but still get paid. Josh agrees - jacking off seems simple enough when one hasn't to contort himself, and getting paid to jack off - what more could he want?

The author has done really good research for her books and gives good insights to the industry. What we see on film is hard work for the actors, and there is a constant fear of STDs that is just part of daily life. It's also true that the straight porn is less likely to utilize condoms, and thus the actors undergo frequent tests to ensure they're as safe as can be. When Mike is told that one of his recent co-actors on the M/F set has been tested positive, he is immediately sent for a test, and anyone with whom he performed since then must also be tested. Additionally, until he tests negative, he cannot perform with anyone else.

And so Josh and Mike reconnect. With Mike laying low and waiting the appropriate potential incubation time, he's got time on his hands, right?

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Spotlight: Lander by J. Scott Coatsworth

Lander banner




J. Scott Coatsworth has a new MM Sci Fi book out:

LANDER

The Oberon Cycle: Book Two





LanderBlurb:


Sometimes the world needs saving twice.
In the sequel to the Rainbow-Award-winning Skythane, Xander and Jameson thought they’d fulfilled their destiny when they brought the worlds of Oberon and Titania back together, but their short-lived moment of triumph is over.
Reunification has thrown the world into chaos. A great storm ravaged Xander's kingdom of Gaelan, leaving the winged skythane people struggling to survive. Their old enemy, Obercorp, is biding its time, waiting to strike. And to the north, a dangerous new adversary gathers strength, while an unexpected ally awaits them.
In the midst of it all, Xander’s ex Alix returns, and Xander and Jameson discover that their love for each other may have been drug-induced.
Are they truly destined for each other, or is what they feel concocted? And can they face an even greater challenge when their world needs them most?





About the Oberon Cycle:


Xander is a skythane man whose wings have always been a liability on the lander-dominated half world of Oberon.


Jameson is a lander who has been sent to Oberon to find out why the supply of the psycho-amoratic drug pith has dropped off.


What neither knows is that they have a shared destiny that will change the two of them - and all of Oberon - forever.





Dreamspinner - eBook | Dreamspinner - Paperback



Giveaway


Scott is giving away a $25 Amazon gift certificate and three copies of his queer sci fi eBook "The Stark Divide."







Excerpt



Xander stared at the torrent of water pouring over the cavern entrance. Somewhere out there, Quince and the others were lost in the storm.

“What happened to everyone else?” Jameson shouted, putting his hand on Xander’s shoulder.

“I don’t know. Last I saw them was before the lightning strike.” How had things changed so quickly?

Jameson started toward the exit. “We have to look for them!”

Xander pulled him back.

Jameson’s eyes were wild.

He squeezed Jameson’s hands, trying to reassure him. “Hey, calm down. There’s nothing we can do right now.”

“We already lost Morgan.” Jameson’s eyes pleaded with him. “I can’t lose the rest of them.”

Xander shook his head. “It’s no use. We’ll never find them in this tempest. They’re seasoned veterans. They can take care of themselves. We’ll go looking after the storm passes.” The loss of Morgan weighed on him too, though he was less and less certain that Morgan had been a human boy at all.

Jameson looked doubtful.

Xander felt it too, but there really was nothing they could do. “Hey, it’s gonna be all right.” He pulled Jameson to him, enfolding the two of them with his wings. Jameson was soaked, but Xander didn’t care.

Jameson nodded against his chest. “You’re right. Gods, I know you’re right. I’m sorry. I thought we were done with all this.”

Xander held him out at arm’s length. “Gods, huh? We’re doing the plural thing now?”

Jameson gave him a half smile. “Trying it out? When in Rome….”

“How’s your hearing?”

Book Blitz: Blind Passion by Penny Brandon




Length: 82,000 words approx. 




Blurb
Attraction for Adam was not a handsome face, a striking smile, or beautiful eyes, but a scent that would drive him to distraction or a voice that could make his heart beat faster. When the combination of the two walked into his life in Luke, Adam couldn’t help but want him. But how was he supposed to know if Luke felt the same attraction? He had no prior experience, no past encounters, nothing to help him. Not even his sight.

One look at Adam and Luke wanted him. Sensual, gorgeous, kind, with a strength that Luke was drawn to, Adam was everything Luke desired. Being in Adam’s arms, showing him the pleasure of a man’s body, being touched, held, and desired in return, had Luke wanting more, had him wanting what he knew he couldn’t have.

It didn’t matter to him that Adam was blind, but Adam deserved more than someone like him. Luke was a man with a broken past and falling in love with Adam was a foolish thing to do, especially because Adam would never love him back if he found out what Luke was hiding.










About Penny

Release Blitz: Closets Are For Clothes by Addison Albright






Length: 43,199 words

Publisher: JMS Books




Blurb
Mike’s life is carefully compartmentalized. He’s deep in the closet to his family back in Kansas, but lives life honestly and openly in Austin. He’s unnerved when Wes, his old university crush, turns up at his door in answer to a roommate advertisement, but quickly sees the potential…benefits of the arrangement. Wes has never doubted nor denied his sexuality. With the support of his family he’s an out and proud LGBT activist.


On the scale balancing his self-esteem on one side, and the love of his family on the other, Mike has to decide which weighs more. Is Mike being fair to his parents by not giving them the chance to know his real self? When the delicate balance of his life is disrupted, he decides he’s tired of living a lie. Will Wes understand his concerns, or will their fledgling relationship crumble under the strain of Mike’s uncertainty?









Excerpt

I walked down the narrow aisle with a book jammed under my arm and holding my carry-on bag in front of me as I focused on the labels for the rows. Due to the effect my nerves were having on my stomach, I was beginning to regret the meal I’d eaten during the two-hour layover in Houston.

I found my aisle seat, but it was occupied. Nobody sat in the window seat. This leg of my trip used a smaller plane—Wichita was hardly a bustling hub—and there were only two seats on either side of the aisle.

My shoulders stiffened, waiting for the request. My guess was he had a traveling companion, but they’d booked their flight too late to get two seats together. I’d be willing to trade, but I hoped it would at least be to another aisle seat. I wasn’t claustrophobic at all, but I preferred the freedom an aisle seat provided.

I stopped in front of my row and looked at the man, my eyebrows raised questioningly. He stood and stepped into the aisle. I opened my mouth, but wasn’t entirely sure what to say. He hadn’t moved on. He stood as if waiting to sit back down after letting me in. “I’m sorry.” I held up my boarding pass. “Apparently, there’s some confusion. This is my seat, here.”

“You don’t mind, do you?”

My whole body tensed at his tone. As if he simply assumed I’d switch seats for no obvious reason beyond he preferred mine. Which frankly—dammit—was likely to happen because I was non-confrontational and this wasn’t worth the fight. But it pissed me off that he wasn’t asking, acting like it was a done deal, and he didn’t even try to offer justification. He also had the kind of smile you see on people trying to sell you a load of crap, be it a used car or a dubious political position.

“Is there a problem?” The inquiry came from behind—a male voice with a polite but firm tone.

“No problem,” the man in front of me said. The slick politician smile that had come so naturally to him now seemed strained, or rather, a mild sneer supplemented it. “We were just switching seats.”

“Sir, do you want to switch seats with this gentleman?” the flight attendant asked.

“Gentleman” was a generous term for the jerk, but points for diplomacy. I was sure the answer was obvious. I’d booked an aisle seat because that’s what I preferred. But I imagined that wasn’t the real question. I wasn’t sure if the flight attendant would rather, like me, avoid a confrontation, or if he’d like to see the pushy bastard put in his place. I knew which I’d rather see if I were a random spectator, but I wasn’t.

“I’m willing to switch.” But I refused to say I “wanted” to. It was a cop-out, but it would be miserable enough sitting next to the guy for the next couple hours without adding the possibility of his simmering hostility to the mix.

I hefted my carry-on bag into the overhead bin and sidled across to the window seat. I sat with my book in my lap and stared out the window at the tarmac, hoping it was clear I wasn’t interested in making small-talk and wished to be left alone.

The man parked himself back in the seat that should have been mine, and the flight attendant made his way toward the back of the plane.

“Jesus H. Christ. We had it under control,” the man muttered.

Apparently, being left in peace was too much to wish for. As my dad liked to say, you could wish in one hand and—

“Don’t know why that faggot felt he needed to stick his nose in our business.”

Friday, February 23, 2018

ARC Review: When Everything Is Blue by Laura Lascarso

When Everything Is Blue
Blurb:
When they were kids, Chris Mitcham rescued Theo from the neighborhood bullies and taught him how to “be cool.” Now, years later, Theo’s developed feelings for his best friend that arise at the most inopportune times. Theo hates lying to Chris, but in coming out, he might lose the one person who understands him best, a risk he’s not willing to take.

When a relationship with another young man goes south, Theo is forced to confront his own sexuality along with his growing attraction to Chris and his stunted, tenuous relationship with his father. Will Chris abandon Theo when he learns the truth, or will he stand by him in this tumultuous season of self-discovery?

In this quirky coming-of-age romance, Theo’s path to manhood is fraught with awkward firsts and a few haters, but also the unexpected comfort of a friend turned lover.


Todd's rating:




I enjoyed this story quite a bit. It was cute, sweet and more than a little touching.

Theo
was just turning 16, with Chris a year older, and they'd been best friends since Chris rescued Theo from bullies in the 6th grade.

I loved their friendship dynamic, how open and caring it could be, with even the smallest, most inconsequential of things.

But Theo had been in love with Chris for over a year, and Chris had a tendency to be buried under a pile of girls at any given time, leaving Theo with the realization that he had to do whatever it took to move past those feelings for his straight best friend. Basically, pretty typical fare for YA stories.

What wasn't typical, and honestly shocked me a bit was that there were actual on-page sex scenes between the young characters.

This began with "Asshole Dave", an obnoxious, new skater guy at school who loved nothing more than to tease and torment Theo. Theo thought that Asshole Dave didn't like him, but yeah, he was definitely wrong on that count.

After Asshole Dave finally cleared the air and let Theo know that he liked him "in that way," they began a string of casual hookups with one another, which, *shock*, didn't set well with Chris, who had come to suspect what might have been going on.

Now, the reason I keep calling the guy Asshole Dave, always will, was because he outed Theo in the most godawful, public way humanly possible. Theo had come to think of them as friends, in addition to them being casual lovers, only to be bitterly betrayed in a drunken moment.

And, although Chris was in no way happy about the situation, he fully had Theo's back, same as always. I loved those parts of the book.

The main drama in the story comes from dealing with the fallout over Theo's very public outing, aka "What’s in Wooten’s Mouth?", and Theo's non-relationship with his (also asshole) distant father.

Spotlight: Chase Taylor Hackett


Today we shine the spotlight on 

Chase Taylor Hackett


So far, Chase has delighted us with two books, both in the same series. He's also provided some interesting tidbits about his working partner (Watson) and why there's no sex in his books.

Where Do I Start (Why You? #1)

The ex best thing . . .

Fletcher Andrews never believed in promises. Or monogamy. Or love. When you’re tall and gorgeous, New York City is one big all-you-can-eat buffet of hot young actors, models, and baristas. Even when living happily with Roger, his sweet, sexy violinist boyfriend, Fletch can’t resist an occasional taste. Too bad you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s thrown you out for cheating with half the cast of Disney on Ice.

Two years and a chance meeting later, Fletch desperately wants Roger back. Roger’s new boyfriend, Jeff, will do anything to stop that from happening. But Fletch has a plan to make amends. And with a little help from friends, colleagues—even Roger’s Scottish terrier, Haggis—they might find that the love you don’t believe in can sweep you right off your feet . . .



Review samples:




Get the book:





Tommy
Before I was even thinking of writing a book, I had these guys in my head, and they started talking. From the beginning everybody was eager to tell me his side of the story. It was clear to me that, if I wanted to turn this stuff into a novel, it would have to have two first-person narrators, trading off. Whether I liked it or not.
And then came Tommy, and this is when things started to get seriously weird.
You know that scene in the movies where there’s a séance and everybody sits around in a circle holding hands until the medium starts speaking in a new voice? Or that Twilight Zone episode where the ventriloquist’s dummy takes over the act?
This was exactly like that.
I had planned that the Tommy, the best friend, would narrate a chapter. I typed the chapter number and I hit return. I typed Tommy and I hit return. That was the end of my contribution.
Cue: Twilight Zone music.
He started by complaining about some pet peeves of his, then he made a few bitchy observations on events thus far. He wandered off the subject and he brought himself back. He was totally out of control, or in control, I’m not sure which.
I knew that at one point Tommy would meet his best friend Roger’s new boyfriend. I started to write it, and I was about halfway through when Tommy launched into this big long story about Roger’s old boyfriend back in college—about whom I knew not a thing. Tommy knew the guy’s name, where he was from, what had gone wrong—all news to me. I just kept typing as fast as I could. I’m telling you, it was spooky.
At one point Tommy got to the end of a chapter, and he started down the steps into the subway—which he compared to Orpheus descending into the Underworld.
I looked at the words on the screen, and I thought “What the—?” I mean, seriously, how did Orpheus get into my book???!!!
But I didn’t dare cut it.
One of these days I have let to Tommy write his own book. [yes, please!!!!]


A sample of Tommy’s work, from Where Do I Start:
Roger and I were standing on line at the Starbucks across the street from work on Sixth Ave., the same as every other weekday morning.
Like so many things in New York, the morning ritual at Starbucks was, for me, a love/hate thing.
I hated it because the place was tiny and mad crowded, and everyone was so effing rude.
I also loved this little trip through what was otherwise Starbucks-hell because of—drum roll, if you please—the barista boy! I was seriously crushing on the new kid behind the coffee counter. I didn’t know anything about him, not his name, nada. As in nada damn thing. For all I knew, he was straight, but I didn’t think so. What I did know was that he had wavy dark brown hair and bright blue eyes. And really, who needs to know more than that, I ask you?
“Hey look!” I said when I saw the menu. “They have those awesome pumpkin-spice things again! I love pumpkin.”
“You know there’s no actual pumpkin in there, just nutmeg,” Roger said. “And it’s probably artificial anyway.”
Man, he was in a mood. It’s not as though we had stayed at the Met Gala until the wee smalls, because we hadn’t.
“I totally don’t care” was my devastating retort. Of course I had a pretty good idea what was bothering him.
“Some gala last night, huh?” I prompted, giving him a chance to vent—not that Roger was exactly the venting type.
“It was all right,” he said.
“Yeah. At least until he-who-must-not-be-named showed up.” I watched for his response. He looked down at his phone. I wasn’t sure how he was taking seeing his ex, not to mention seeing his ex with somebody else. All I knew was that two minutes after seeing his ex, we were walking down Broadway to the Columbus Circle subway station so fast, it’s a miracle no one was killed.
The line inched forward, and I tried again.
“He looked amazing in that white tux though, didn’t you think?” Roger made a noise, but God only knows what it meant. “Of course Fletch would look hot in a burka, so we have to hate him.”
“Why was he even there?” Roger said, annoyed.
We took another a step forward and were even with the marble loaf. Almost to the cashier.
“I’ll get my own today.” Normally Roger bought because he was an atty. making piles and piles of the cold hard, and I was a measly admin. asst., and didn’t.
“O-kay,” he said slowly with a quizzical look.
Fine, he could look quizzical all he wanted. I had this idea—all right, I’d stolen it from somebody’s Facebook page—but it was genius, and I wanted to try it. I was just sure this trick would finally get my barista’s attention.
All right, so I’m an optimist. My mother says I’m cockeyed, but I don’t think she means it like it sounds.
“Grande pumpkin-spice extra-foam cappuccino, please,” I said. “Extra extra foam.”
“Name?” asked Miss Maybelline.
Are you ready for it?
“My darling,” I said.
“My darling?” She looked up at me. Each of her freakishly long fingernails had a little teeny-tiny jack-o-lantern on it.
“That’s right. Just put ‘my darling’ on there.” I waggled an index finger at the cardboard cup in her hand.
She looked at me, then at the hot barista, figured out that this little message wasn’t aimed at her, and she actually started scribbling on the cup. But only after making an oh-so-subtle face and rolling her eyes up into the violet eye shadow. I hope your face sticks that way someday, you great effing muppet, I thought. I smiled at her sweetly and paid.
“Love your nails,” I lied.
“Thanks,” she said and gave me my change. I bet she could gut a bear with those things. I crabbed sideways through the bodies over to Roger.
“I guess he was there with Darwin Stewart Harrison,” I said, answering his last question.
“What?”
“Why Fletch was at the party. He was there with Darwin Stewart Harrison.”
“Oh, yeah. That guy must be like fifty.”
“He’s also rich.”
“And he’s fat. And all those rings on those fat fingers?”
“You’re not jealous.”
“Of course not, not at this point. I’m just—it’s just that—I never thought of Fletch doing that. I mean really, a sugar daddy?”
“Grande café latte skinny for—Roger,” yelled the cutest barista in all of Manhattan.
Ohmygod, I was next. Would he say it? Would he laugh? Would he say how incredibly hot I looked today in this green silk sweater that really set off my eyes?
Probably not.
But just to hear him refer to me as “my darling,” that would be worth it.
And maybe it would distract Roger from his whole Fletch funk.
“Grande pumpkin-spice cappuccino for—for my darling,” said my sloe-eyed beauty. From clear across the shop he was looking right at me. How’d he know it was me? He could maybe smile a little.
I pushed my way through the sea of shoulders.
“Thanks,” I said. I reached for the cup, but he was still holding it, not letting go—which meant ohmygodohmygodohmygod our fingers touched. He looked at me blankly. Those eyes. Pitter-pat, pitter-pat. Be still, mi corazón.
“Nice try,” he said. With that he let go of the cup and went right back to work.
Well, da-yam. What did that mean? Nice try, keep trying? Or nice try, douchebag? Did that mean he liked it, that he thought it was funny? Or was that like straight-boy talk for go fuck yourself?




The second book, And The Next Thing You Know... 


Not the one you’re waiting for . . .

Jeffrey Bornic is getting over his ex. Really. So what if the rising-star attorney is angrily sleeping his way through most of Manhattan’s male population? When the time is right, the perfect partner will show up. And Jeffrey knows exactly what he’ll be like: an ambitious, polished professional who’ll make the ideal other half of a fabulous power couple.

Theo McPherson is definitely not that guy. He’s a short, fiery red-head who works in the arts and wears sneakers held together with duct tape. If it weren’t for the fact that Theo is his best friend’s little (literally) brother, Jeff would be crossing the street to avoid him. Theo, meanwhile, has nothing but contempt for guys in suits, and seems to have deliberately set out to make Jeff’s life miserable, all while grinning at him in that exasperating way that he has.

At least it’s hard for Jeff to keep moping over his ex when he’s butting heads with Theo—and suddenly wondering if the last guy he’d ever fall for might be exactly that . . .


Review Samples:




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Excerpt from And the Next Thing You Know…
A passage I’m particularly proud of. Jeff and Theo have been invited sailing—and Dave, one of the hosts, clearly has plans for Theo. Jeff doesn’t even know why this pisses him off, but it does, and he takes Dave aside.

“Did you invite us out on the orgy cruise or something? Because if I’d known that’s what you had in mind, I’d have said no.”
“Hey, it’s potluck. I thought you’d brought a dish to pass.” Dave looked back toward the stern. “And Theo is definitely a dish!”
“Shut the fuck up.”
“What?”
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