Saturday, March 31, 2018

Book Review: Dantes Unglued by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

From The Blurb:
When private investigator, Shane Stephens, is hired by the mayor of Cincinnati to track down the hacker who has been threatening him, Shane is sure this is the opportunity to launch the Merleau Detection Agency into the big time. He even convinces Rowe Ward of Ward Security to loan him one of his best IT specialists, Quinn Lake. 
Shane, a man who prefers casual intimacy, is surprised by his attraction to the moody computer geek, but when Quinn suggests they have fun for the month he’s on loan, Shane happily agrees. Both men are expecting nothing more than a good time. 
But the investigation takes an unexpected turn and they quickly discover they are facing more than a hacker out to ruin the mayor’s re-election chances. And as they spend more time together, they realize their relationship may be a lot more than just a good time. 
With only weeks until the election, Shane and Quinn race to gather the proof they need while dodging bullets and possibly…falling in love.

Karen's rating:




So, I've procrastinated more than a little bit on this one. It's been well over a month since I went on a buddy read adventure with my awesome buddy read friends, Simone, Josy, and Christelle...yep, the usual suspects and while I can only speak for myself, I know I was really, really excited to read this one...because... Quinn!!! Quinn is the awesome adorable oober geek at Ward Security and he's been around for a while. We've gotten a peek at him here and there in previous stories and I have a soft spot for geeks so naturally I was vary, vary happy to see him get a story of his own and I have to admit I was kind of hoping it would be with one of the men who worked as security for Ward Security... because you know adorable geek and big hunky security guard? What's not to love...but that's not quite what we got, however we did get adorable geek and hunky security guard...just not one of Ward's. So I can deal, I'm all grown up and stuff...that and the fact that our lovely Spymama, Simone posted copies of the authors inspiration for Quinn and can I just say for me they nailed it. I mean let's face it how the author envisions a character isn't always the same as what the reader is imagining but in this case the author's inspiration for Quinn and actually for Shane as well were both perfect.

Shane works for a private investigations firm and we were given a brief glimpse of him in a previous book when Hollis was let go from the local police force and accepted a position working with Shane at the Merleau Detection Agency and if this is all getting a bit confusing for you I strongly recommend reading this series from the beginning or better yet go back and start with the first book in the authors' series 'Unbreakable Bonds' because that's were a lot the background for this series really begins. So I'm going to jump back into this story and leave the background research up to you the reader.

When Shane accepts a case working for the mayor of Cincinnati he quickly figures out two things one he needs a computer expert and two things are not as he's been led to believe them to be. After meeting with Rowan Ward the owner of Ward Securities and one of the main characters from 'Unbreakable Bonds' he has himself a computer specialist...a very, sexy, cute, hot, adorable, geeky and oh my god why is he noticing this computer specialist named Quinn.

Quinn on the other hand takes one look at Shane and knows he's screwed 'Shane is pure trouble' for Quinn. He pushes all of Quinn's hot buttons and while resistance may be futile neither man is going to give in without a fight.

Release Blitz: Don't Look at Me by J.P. Grider



Don’t Look at Me 

J.P. Grider

Publication date: March 29th 2018 

Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense




Blurb:


Haven:
A diligent hand carved this hole in my face.
It stole my confidence, my identity, and ended my short-lived career as a broadcast journalist. 
I am now unemployed. Alone. Ugly. 
And expected to get over it and move on. 
Go on living life as usual—as if the world doesn’t judge the grotesquely unattractive. 
Quest:
It’s been three years since I was kicked out of the Army for nearly killing the opposition’s militia commander with my bare hands.
I am now unemployed. Alone. Angry. 
And expected to forget the nightmares that hold me hostage and move on.
Go on living life as usual—as if the world doesn’t judge a dishonorably discharged ex-soldier. 
Don’t Look at Me is a modern-day Beauty and the Beast tale—reversed and twisted. Because even the ugly need a good story, and even the beautiful are ugly deep down.



EXCERPT:

(I know all too well that transitions are difficult)

When I moved to Jersey from California, I had no idea that days would go by where I wouldn’t think of the incident that led to my being other-than-honorably discharged. For me, the events of that night have been branded into my brain—the consistent nightmares the hot iron that won’t let the scars heal. But since finding out about Haven’s attack, I find myself thinking about her more and more—why was she walking alone in the middle of the night? What was going through her mind when she was so viciously attacked? What is going through her mind now? Was she raped? It isn’t part of the slasher’s modus operandi to sexually assault his attackers, but he also doesn’t carve out whole sections of skin in the faces of his victims. According to reports I’ve read over and over online since learning of Haven’s attack, his approach is to leave two parallel slash marks down the right side of his victims’ cheek. From what I could see in the dark, the heft of Haven’s lacerations are on the left side of her face. It doesn’t make sense. The Stratford Slasher has only attacked each of his victims once, but if Haven’s wounds weren’t inflicted by this same man, could the one that did hurt her return to finish the job? I wish she’d take me up on my offer to help me in the store. Then I could keep an eye on her and make sure that doesn’t happen. But she barely stays on the phone with me for two minutes when I call her to ask. And the only time she’s ever called me was to thank me for the supplies she very much needed during the storm two weeks ago. I know she has a lot to work through since her attack, but I wish she’d let me help her to get through this transition from on-air personality to whatever she needs to do next. Because I know all too well that transitions are difficult. Especially when that transition requires living an entirely different life than before.

With Haven at the forefront of my mind, I can’t help but blurt out a question during one of our group sessions. “How can I help a friend who doesn’t seem to want my help?”

Release Blitz: Rended Hearts by Riza Curtis





Length: 35,000 words approx.


Blurb
After a life on the run, witch Gabriel just wants to enjoy having a home. He’s perfectly happy pottering around his garden and using magic to quietly help people. Then the Alpha of the local wolf pack is attacked by a member of the local coven, and everything changes. There’s no love lost between the witch and the wolves, but Gabriel saves the life of the Alpha in an attempt to keep the peace.

Simon finds his mate in the witch that saves his life, but the coven is coming for Gabriel, and they don’t care who gets in their way...










Excerpt

“That’s better.” Simon couldn’t help his own smile after seeing Gabriel’s joy. His face was flushed pink from laughing, and he looked radiant in the soft light of the clinic.

“What is?”

Simon took a chance and moved closer. Gabriel’s eyes widened as he startled, but he didn’t seem alarmed. “Seeing you smile.”

Gabriel flushed a deeper red, a hint of confusion displayed on his face.

Simon took another step closer so that he was face-to-face with a flustered Gabriel. He brought his hand up to gently touch the side of the Gabriel’s face. His skin was softer than Simon had thought possible.

“Are you—” Gabriel broke off the sentence and moved back. Simon dropped his hand immediately. He didn’t want to make Gabriel uncomfortable.

Gabriel glanced at Simon and took a hesitant breath. Simon tried to look reassuring.

“Forgive me if I’m wrong, but you’re flirting with me? Why?”

Friday, March 30, 2018

Book Review: Noah Can't Even by Simon James Green

Noah Can't Even
Blurb:
Painfully geeky Noah Grimes thinks his best chance at social normalcy is to strike up a romance with Sophie. But his delusional plans are hopelessly derailed when his best (and only) friend Harry kisses him at a party. That's when things go from bad to utter chaos.








Todd's rating:




This story was freaking hilarious.

And "Noah Can't Even"? I'm not sure I've ever come across a more aptly named book in my life.

Noah was a skinny, socially-inept nerd and, in his misguided quest for popularity and acceptance, he repeatedly made one insanely bad choice after another, which turned his life into a huge web of complicated lies, placing an ever-tightening noose around his own neck and, yep, by the end, Noah "can't even" with any of it.

However, if you're looking for a touching romance, which develops over time and focuses on the MC's spending loads of time together... this is most decidedly *NOT* that story. At least not this first book in the series.

Instead, the story is more like the misadventures of 15 y.o. Noah Grimes, as he rather desperately attempts to find out who he is and where his attractions actually lie.

But Noah's nothing if not a bit clueless, like how maybe he should've guessed he wasn't quite straight when the school mean girl threw herself at him sexually and he couldn't escape her fast enough.
“I’m hot for you, Noah!” she purred, like a bad porn actress.

“Oh, God!” he screamed, panicked by how fast things were happening and trying to fling her off him. It was no use. She was stuck like a deranged, sex-mad limpet. “Look, if you’re hot, maybe you should cool down?” he said. “I could run you a cold bath? Or maybe hose you down in the garden? Have you got a hose?”
And the story is chock full of funny moments like that one, which had me laughing like an idiot pretty much the entire time.

ARC Review: Oskar Blows a Gasket by Claire Davis and Al Stewart

Blurb:
Oskar Braithwaite is bold, brash and gorgeous. Just ask him.

Armed with designer backpack full of make-up and retro music galore, Oskar sets off for college. And, with attitude even spikier than his heels, nothing is going to hold him back. Except maybe one thing…his past is shouting louder than the 80s songs he adores and it won't be ignored. Behind the effervescence are secrets, lies and sadness. Try as he might, not even Oskar can hide forever, and one day it isn't only pop icon Simon Le Bon who's going to catch up.

Who is writing letters? And why is a spy secretly following?

Enter Bear, with dancing eyes and secrets of his own. Bear's kindness sparkles brighter than Lycra leggings, and everyone knows Oskar loves shiny things. Like every prophecy, their fates seem inevitably linked. As the walls of Oskar's defence crumble, Bear shows his hidden strength, but will it be enough to save them?


Dani's rating:


Oskar is shameless and mean. He rocks high heels, rainbow hair, and makeup, and is obsessed with the 80s. He makes Bear take the bad mattress. He's showy and confident, and tells Bear (really Gareth) that he's Simon Le Bon's love child.

But Oskar with a "k" is a cover; Oscar with a "c" is a scared, insecure boy from the "hood" who's lost everything.

Oskar meets Gareth in the middle of a panic attack. Gareth helps him, calms him, and eventually becomes Oskar's everything, but it's not easy because Oskar has built up a thick shell, a persona. It works to keep people out.


New Release: Oskar Blows A Gasket by Claire Davis and Al Stewart




Please say hello to Claire Davis and Al Stewart with their latest release 

Oskar Blows A Gasket 

available now!




Blurb:

Oskar Braithwaite is bold, brash and gorgeous. Just ask him.

Armed with designer backpack full of make-up and retro music galore, Oskar sets off for college. And, with attitude even spikier than his heels, nothing is going to hold him back. Except maybe one thing…his past is shouting louder than the 80s songs he adores and it won't be ignored. Behind the effervescence are secrets, lies and sadness. Try as he might, not even Oskar can hide forever, and one day it isn't only pop icon Simon Le Bon who's going to catch up.

Who is writing letters? And why is a spy secretly following?

Enter Bear, with dancing eyes and secrets of his own. Bear's kindness sparkles brighter than Lycra leggings, and everyone knows Oskar loves shiny things. Like every prophecy, their fates seem inevitably linked. As the walls of Oskar's defence crumble, Bear shows his hidden strength, but will it be enough to save them?

Find out in this far-out, zany tale of fame, first love and retro DJs.


Get the book:


  




About the authors:

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Audio Book Review: Parting Shot by Mary Calmes

From The Blurb:
Life has never been easy for Duncan Stiel. His childhood was the stuff of nightmares, and his day job as an undercover police officer forces him to hide his true self and occasionally lands him in the hospital. So when he finally meets the perfect man, it comes as no surprise that everything falls apart around him. What Duncan doesn't expect is that the hardest hurdle to get over before he can make a life with Aaron Sutter is the one inside himself. 
Everyone thinks Aaron has it all - looks, money, fame, and success beyond measure. Everyone, that is, except Aaron. At the end of the day, the cameras stop flashing, friends go back to their own lives, company business is handled, and Aaron is always alone. The moment he meets Duncan Stiel, Aaron knows he'll do anything to hold onto the larger-than-life detective. But when he realizes money won't buy him the ultimate happiness, Aaron needs to find the strength to give Duncan something much more important - his heart.

Karen's rating:




Good-bye Sam and Jory. Hello Aaron and Duncan...

'Parting Shot' is the final book in Mary Calmes's series 'A Matter of Time' and while the previous books have all focused on the relationship between Sam and Jory in this one we are given a closer look at Duncan Stiel and Aaron Sutter...one of Jory's ex's.

We've met both of these characters in previous books in this series and I have to admit when I first read this book I wasn't sure how well this was going to work out for me. While Duncan was a little bit intriguing and I was ok with finding out more about  him, I was in all honesty not a fan of Aaron Sutter. This was not a character that I wanted to be bothered with but as always Ms Calmes knew better and she drew me into a story about that got me involved and showed me a different side of Mr Sutter and gave him the perfect match in Duncan Stiel. Someone who could go toe to toe with him and not be intimidated by his wealth and for Duncan Aaron was bold enough to step into his world and face danger with him and have his back...these two men worked much better as a pairing than I had anticipated wrapping up this series with a story that was every bit as interesting and enjoyable as anything that has gone before in the series.

Blogtour: The Rescuer by Eric Huffbind


BLOG TOUR


Book Title: The Rescuer (2nd Edition)

Author: Eric Huffbind

Publisher: Self Published

Cover Artist: Jennifer Craig

Genre/s: Contemporary Gay Male Romance.

Length: 59,000 words/212 paperback pages



 Blurb

Christopher’s striking green eyes and handsome good looks didn't buy him happiness, but he learned to survive off of them to maintain his expensive lifestyle. Now, after he has nearly destroyed himself, he's in the fight for his life...

A Contemporary Gay Male Romance - Newly Released 2nd Edition

When Christopher Parker checks himself into the Watermeadow Rehabilitation Center, he was frightened for his future and what was to become of him. Haunted from his past, he knows that he has to take this step in his recovery or face his likely death as the alternative. He never expected to find his social worker, Jason Calhoun, incredibly attractive. Christopher dreams of finding a man to love and who will treat him with decency. Although Jason does fit the bill, he knows that this relationship is strictly professional. Completely out of reach for a failure like himself.

Jason, who is a hopeless romantic, is in the endless pursuit of Prince Charming. Always unlucky in love but finds solace in the care of his patients. He loves being needed and having patients that depend on him. Jason comes to realize that the guys he dates always need to be rescued, much like his patients. A strategy that he's learning is a poor choice.

Jason discovers that Christopher has become tangled up with a famed billionaire. As a billionaire, he can afford anything he wants, which seems to include even the ability to buy true love. Suddenly, he fears that everything he has worked so hard for, both romance and career, is being threatened by his new nemesis.

If you enjoy stories that pull you in and have you caring about the characters and what happens to them, then this is the book for you. It promises to have you laughing, crying, and smiling!


Buy Links









    



Excerpt


Feeling a set of lips gently pressing on his forehead, Christopher woke up to someone kissing him. He found a strange man gazing down on him; his eyes weren’t quite in focus yet.

“How are you feeling?” asked the stranger.

Christopher suddenly sprang up from the bed recognizing in a split second whose voice it was. “Sam! What the fuck are you doing here?” Eyes now focusing at one-hundred percent.

“I was just checking in on you. I wanted to know how you were feeling? Can’t a friend pay a visit?”

It was Samuel Barron or “Sam” as his cohorts called him. He was a powerful CEO of one of the nation’s top five-hundred corporations, namely Viatone. They were makers of pharmaceuticals. In the years Christopher had known Sam, Viatone had grown to a five-hundred-billion-dollar company.

Sam was a bit more than just a CEO of a huge corporation. At one time, he was one of the nation’s most eligible bachelors—a gorgeous hunk of a man to feast your eyes upon, despite his advancing years. His looks held up like a fine bottle of wine. Women all over the country would swoon over every magazine photo, television news spot, and social media post. And it wasn’t just the women. Every gay man’s dick would jump into action each time they saw an image of this man; Christopher had been among that crowd.

Mr. Barron exuded pure charisma everywhere he went and in everything he touched. He'd been one of the nation’s most eligible bachelors. However, that status changed five years ago, when he married Patsy Rossmiller.

“You're no friend!” Christopher shouted back in his most snide and angry voice. “And you're not welcome here, you motherfucking son-of-a-bitch! Get the fuck out of my room! Better yet, get the hell out of my life!” He made no attempt to hide his feelings. Clearly, he was overwhelmed with upset; downright hostile and belligerent.

“Sweetheart, I've been worried sick about you,” Sam said.

Release Blitz: You're My Everything by Lily G. Blunt


RELEASE BLITZ




Title: You're My Everything
Author: Lily G. Blunt
Cover Design: Jay Aheer at Simply Defined Art
Genres: contemporary, gay romance, short story anthology
Length: 52 000 words/172 pages
Release Date: March 29, 2018
Add on Goodreads



 
YOU’RE MY EVERYTHING

A Collection of Contemporary Gay Romance Stories from Lily G Blunt.

Six love stories.

Some sweet, some steamy, and one or two will bring a tear to the eye.

 
Happy Anniversary, Jasper

Over the Rainbow

Opposites Attract

You Can’t Stop Loving Someone Just Like That

Service with a Smile

Without You


The stories in this anthology have been published before.

They have undergone several rounds of edits and the updated versions are published here.


Happy Anniversary, Jasper

As Nathan waits for Jasper in a restaurant to celebrate their tenth anniversary, he recollects their past and some of the passionate moments he has experienced with the love of his life.

A heartbreaking yet erotic tale of love, romance and destiny.

Over the Rainbow

Dorian has been cast as Dorothy in his school's production of The Wizard of Oz.

Like his character, Dorian is about to discover whether dreams really do come true.

Opposites Attract

Chris and Andreas are opposites in character. Both fear the other wants to move on.

Can being stranded on a mountainside resolve the doubt that is threatening to tear them apart?

You Can’t Stop Loving Someone Just Like That

Despite being besotted for years with Jack, Corey finds himself falling in love with Pierre, a foreign exchange student, who is staying at his home over the summer vacation. Up to this point, Jack has shown no sign that he was gay or that he wanted Corey as anything other than a friend. It is only when he sees Corey and Pierre together that Jack wishes he had acted sooner.

Service with a Smile

Terry visits a men’s designer boutique, and Ash gives him service with a smile…

Without You

Jasper is struggling to move on with his life without Nathan by his side. If only he could touch his lover one more time...








Excerpt from


OPPOSITES ATTRACT

I dried myself down with one of the fluffy white hotel towels. Andreas, who was now sporting a pair of shorts, sat on the balcony with his feet perched on a chair, a book in his lap. I loved him dearly, but he seemed to have his nose in a book twenty-four seven these days. Every time I came home from work or back from my sports club, he’d be there reading. Either that or engrossed in his decoupage craft, or whatever his latest hobby was.

After dressing in my cycling gear, I packed up my rucksack with the provisions I needed for the day and went to join him on the balcony.

“Mmm... looks like it’s going to be another warm day.” I looked out across the hotel pool and gardens to the mountainside beyond. The sky was clear and blue. Wispy clouds drifted around the snow-covered peaks in the distance. Lush green grass and woods filled the lower slopes near the resort. Cable cars, looking like dots in the distance, moved slowly upwards to near the summit. Summer season in an Alpine resort was my idea of heaven: physical activity, plenty of fresh air, and hot sex when I returned to the hotel in the evening. Pity Andreas didn’t share my passion for sports and the outdoors—apart from the sex, that is.

Andreas glanced up from his book. “You should have a nice day for exploring.” He returned his gaze to the page, seemingly oblivious to the scenic view in front of us. “Rain is forecast later this evening, but you should miss that.”

A cool breeze blew around the damp hair at the base of my skull. “That’s good. Can you put some sunscreen on the back of my neck, hun? It’s stinging a little today.”

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Audio Book Review: Red Fish, Dead Fish by Amy Lane

From The Blurb:
They must work together to stop a psychopath—and save each other. 
Two months ago Jackson Rivers got shot while trying to save Ellery Cramer’s life. Not only is Jackson still suffering from his wounds, the triggerman remains at large—and the body count is mounting. 
Jackson and Ellery have been trying to track down Tim Owens since Jackson got out of the hospital, but Owens’s time as a member of the department makes the DA reluctant to turn over any stones. When Owens starts going after people Jackson knows, Ellery’s instincts hit red alert. Hurt in a scuffle with drug-dealing squatters and trying damned hard not to grieve for a childhood spent in hell, Jackson is weak and vulnerable when Owens strikes. 
Jackson gets away, but the fallout from the encounter might kill him. It’s not doing Ellery any favors either. When a police detective is abducted—and Jackson and Ellery hold the key to finding her—Ellery finds out exactly what he’s made of. He’s not the corporate shark who believes in winning at all costs; he’s the frightened lover trying to keep the man he cares for from self-destructing in his own valor. 
Listening Length: 11 hrs and 48 mins

Karen's rating:




What can I say...when it works, it works...

I considered trying to write a whole new review for this book but honestly I couldn't think of anything to say that was truly different or better than my original review for 'Red Fish, Dead Fish' other than to say that once again Greg Tremblay did a totally fabulous job of narrating this book giving Jackson and Ellery even more depth and character and making me love this couple even more.

'Red Fish, Dead Fish' is the second book in Amy Lane's 'Fish Out of Water' series and like the first one I was gobsmacked. I loved this book. It was more complex, grittier and the sexy times...well they were sexy and sadly Jackson did not come out of things unscathed.

There's a serial killer on the loose and he's got a specific target in mind...and it's Jackson. He's going after anyone he can who's connected to him, but Jackson's surrounded by a strong group of people who care...people like Jade. She's more than his best friend's sister, she's his friend and she loves him like family, his neighbor and friend, Mike. Lucy Satan or more affectionately known as Ellery's mother and my idol...when I grow up I wanna' be just like her. But most importantly he's got Ellery and Ellery's a shark in the courtroom but out of it he's a man in love willing to use every trick he has at his disposal to save Jackson not just from Owen but from himself...
"That's sweet you think your cat loves anybody as much as he loves you. No. Because once you're out of my life, he's coming after me. Think about it, Jackson. Me, all alone in the house, you not there to protect me--I'd be naked."

Transparent. And effective.
Ellery is awesome. He's got his priorities and he understands that this is not just war...against Owen but it a battle for love...his love for Jackson and in his eyes all's fair in both.

Blogtour: Leaning Into the Look by Lane Hayes


Leaning Into The Look Tour Banner


LEANING INTO THE LOOK
LEANING INTO STORIES BOOK 6
LANE HAYES
M/M ROMANCE
RELEASE DATE: 03.23.18




COVER ARTIST: REESE DANTE





Leaning Into The Look Graphic



BLURB


Leaning Into The Look Cover
Grant Kostas made a career based on his looks before joining his family’s real estate firm. He may not love his job but he’s better at sales than he thought. And when he’s poised to bring in the biggest account of the company’s history, even his father is impressed. Unfortunately, the extra attention highlights Grant’s personal life. His parents accept that he’s gay. They just wish he’d meet a nice Greek man.

Miles Harrison is a fabulous red head going through a rough patch. Between getting dumped by his long-term boyfriend and finding a new place to live in the city, he’s nearing his wits end. He’s not sure why he thought rooming with his boss’s friend was a good idea. Miles has had a crush on Grant for years. However, he knows attractive people aren’t always pretty on the inside. As the two men grapple with external problems, they form an unexpected bond of friendship and trust that feels like the real thing. The only way to know for certain is to let go of fear and lean into the look.




LeaningIntoTheLook-teaser-adventure-900x675




EXCERPT

“You and I are opposites. You like quiet and order, and I thrive on chaos. I want everything you have and more. The boisterous family with the ancient traditions and food for days. I can’t even watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding without getting jealous. And that’s your real life.”

“Times ten,” I agreed with a half laugh.

Miles chuckled. “Humans are a mystery. Why are we never happy with what we have?”

I lowered my hand to his waist and hooked my fingers through his belt loop. “We don’t see well. We don’t know when to speak and when to listen. We don’t understand the nuances in taste and touch. Take your pick.”

“Mmm. Personally, I think we rely too heavily on looks. Physical appearances and perceived appearances. It takes patience and effort to really see the person under skin and bones. The scars and insecurities. To sift through their baggage while they do the same to you and cross your fingers, hoping like mad that you pass the test. It’s so…hard.”

“I’ve heard if you find the right partner it’s worth it,” I said softly.

Miles sighed and leaned heavily against my side. We fell silent for a moment, letting the squawk of seagulls and the medley of tourists’ voices mix with the occasional bark of a sea lion. We were part of a crowd and yet separate enough to hear our own thoughts.

“Thank you for today,” he said after awhile.

“I didn’t do anything special.”

“Sure you did. You took me on a date.”

“It wasn’t a real date. I can do better,” I assured him with a wry grin.

“No complaints here. Oh, except you made me walk three miles and—”

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

ARC Review: Room for Recovery by DJ Jamison

From The Blurb:
Beau James isn't out, but he's not fooling anyone. When he's cornered by two bullies, he's rescued by none other than the broody Wade Ritter, who he's crushed on from afar. Despite their family connection, Wade has resisted all of Beau's attempts at friendship -- until now. His protective streak gives Beau an opportunity to get past Wade's prickly exterior. 
Wade considers Beau to be a quasi-cousin. He's been careful to keep Beau in that box because he is too tempting to a gay boy determined to remain in the closet after his coming out went all wrong. But when Wade sees bullies harassing Beau, he offers to help. Little does he know this small crack in the walls around his heart is the opening Beau needs to move in and change Wade's life. 
After years off the rails, Wade realizes there's room for recovery. If he can face hard truths about his sexuality and love himself, he might be able to love Beau too.

Karen's rating:




'Room For Recovery' is the fourth book in D.J . Jamison's series 'Hearts and Health' and we've actually met both of the characters in this pairing previously.

Beau James is the nephew of Xavier James from book 2, Bedside Manner and book 3 Urgent Care and  we were introduced briefly to Wade Ritter in book 3 as well. Wade was the troubled young son of Trent's friend and part of the family that Trent helped move to Ashe at the end of 'Urgent Care' and for more on that...you guessed it read the book...hey, it's a good one. It's my favorite.

I have to admit at the time that I requested this one for review I hadn't read the first 3 books yet and in a way I'm glad because I would have definitely had a much stronger sense of who these two characters were and I probably wouldn't have requested this book...why? you might wonder well, it's simple...they're young adults...not my cuppa'. But since I hadn't read those books I didn't realize how young Beau and Wade were...high school, folks...senior year but still not an age group that I tend to read about much. Surprisingly though I really enjoyed this one.

Was there drama and angst? Well, hell yeah!!! It's high school and really you show me a teenager who isn't a walking definition of drama and angst? It's how they survive and when you have a large group of them...well, let the games begin.

Book Review: Lupine Road by Cal Matthews

Lupine Road
Blurb:
A wolf on the run

Cyrus Del Basque has been running his whole life. Born to a pack of fugitive werewolves, he travels the country with his family, trying to stay one step ahead of the hunters who pursue them. With only each other to rely on, his family roams from town to town, never stopping long enough for Cyrus to make friends, let alone have a relationship. 

But living under constant threat has taken its toll, and when Cyrus’s grandfather falls ill, his desperate family takes refuge in the most unlikely of places—a drive-in movie theater outside of tiny Modesty Creek, Montana. 

A man looking forward
Nathan Anderson is comfortable in his world. Proud owner of the Throwback Theater, Nate’s life revolves around movies, books, and World of Warcraft raids with his long-distance best friend. He’s spent the last few years healing from a car accident that left him in a wheelchair, and though he has lingering mental and physical scars, Nate is happy and content in the life he has built.

But Modesty Creek is small, and the dating options slim. So when the strange family blows into town, Nate is immediately drawn to the quiet, intense oldest son. And when sparks fly, Nate—ever the romantic—can’t help but start imagining the future they might have together. 

Two world colliding 

But Cyrus knows he can’t risk putting Nate and his family in danger. How could he even begin to explain? He knows that, at best, they can only have a few days together. But even as Nate and Cyrus are drawn closer together, Cyrus knows that at any moment, hunters could arrive to tear them all apart… and burn down the world that Nate has created.



Todd's rating:




Wow, I kinda loved this story.

I fully expected to read this story and it be all teeth and claws and snarling and fur. And it kinda was. But it mostly... wasn't.

The story actually reminded me less of a paranormal suspense and more of a fleeing fugitive plot line, as there was a minimum of shifting and talking about being wolves, but a premium of pages devoted to family, staying safe, and staying together.

And then, yeah, fuck that. All hell broke loose and bring on the teeth and claws and snarling and fur full force.

And. It. Was. AWESOME.

The scene where the "big bads" finally caught up with the family was so frickin' good. It wasn't rushed, didn't feel abbreviated, and left none of the emotion-evoking details passed over.

It was suspenseful and had me on the edge of my goddamn seat FOR-EV-AH, as the same events are told twice; once from Cyrus' wolfy, would-be savior point of view and again from Nate's handicapable, wheelchair-bound human captive point of view.

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


Please welcome Grace R. Duncan with 

Forgiveness 

Forbes Mates #4 

Available now!




Blurb

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?


Buy links 

Dreamspinner Press e-book | Paperback 




I, like many authors, love to pick out our dream cast or, at least, the actors that are our character inspirations for the main characters. I probably go a little overboard in picking out pictures and building the background for them. But it’s a lot of fun to help me get to know the characters and to get into their heads better.

When it comes to the Forbes Mates, one of the more fun parts of picking out character inspirations is that I also get to find their wolves too.

So, let’s meet Eric and Ben.  

1. Karl UrbanEric Joyce (he never gave me a middle name, bad boy!)

Character inspiration: young Karl Urban

27 years old, Virgo

Born, grew up, and has never left Western Pennsylvania—at least, not yet. 😉

When he’s actually in human form (not the most common thing lately), he’s a leatherworker in the pack’s shop.

His favorite movie is Star Wars, he listens to classic rock (give him a break, he was in wolf form for nine years!), and he’s terrible in the kitchen. He’s so terrible, he can burn water. Ben does not allow him anywhere near a stove.
No photo credit given

Eric is very devout and even before his meeting with Diana that brings him down from the mountain, he had a firm belief in the gods. He agrees with Chad that it’s hard for him to not believe when the evidence is right in front of him.

Just like the rest of my wolves, Eric’s fur mostly matches his hair. He has very dark brown hair, almost black, with a few light streaks here and there. When I stumbled across the wolf in the picture, I actually squealed a little because he was so accurate to the wolf in my head.

Photo credit: Don Gossett

2 - Diego BonetaJesus Benjamin “Ben” Arellano

Character inspiration: Diego Boneta

24 years old, Cancer

Ben doesn’t have a favorite movie, per se, but loves pretty much anything sci-fi. He likes Spanish music, especially Carlos Santana and Ricky Martin (who helped him feel better about himself when Ricky came out as gay).

Ben is a first generation American, the first of his family to be born north of the border. Both his parents—Alicia and Alejandro—were born and raised in Durango, Mexico, later coming to Dallas, Texas to have and raise their children. (Funny aside: I ended up naming both mothers a form of Alice, completely by accident!)

Ben is an accountant, though his mamá wanted him to be a doctor. Ben, however, is not the best of friends with the sight of blood, so he convinced her managing money was just as good.

Unlike Eric, Ben can and does cook quite a bit. His mamá refused to let her children depend on others for food and spent time teaching both Ben and his sister Christina. As such, he was able to share some of his favorite dishes—including chile rellanos—with Tanner, Finley, and the others.

Photo credit: dream-wallpaper.comDespite the fact that wolves with light-brown fur are much more common than black wolves, I actually struggled to find a picture (except for the one above with the two of them) that really reflected the picture I had in my head of Ben’s wolf. Eventually, I settled on this one which was closer but still not entirely accurate. Still, he’s got pretty eyes, and I still get the feel of Ben from him.




I really appreciate the blog space today! Hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into the boys.



Author bio:

Monday, March 26, 2018

Book Review: Hearts and Health by DJ Jamison

From The Blurb:
Three full-length novels in a m/m romance series have been boxed up for one price! Sexy nurses with trust issues, overconfident doctors coping with reality checks, and hard-working students come together to find their hearts and health in small-town Kansas. 
HEART TROUBLE – BOOK 1 
Fresh off his latest heartbreak, nurse Ben Griggs is wary when one of his patients shows an interest in him — especially when that patient showed up in the ER after a motorcycle accident. Ben isn’t the kind of guy who can hold the interest of an adrenaline junkie like Gage Evans for long. If he can’t find a way to trust Gage with his heart, they may be destined to have a fling that goes nowhere. 
BEDSIDE MANNER – BOOK 2 
Dr. Paul Johnston can’t get a set of dark, somber eyes out of his head, and the timing couldn’t be worse. Zane Kavanaugh came through the ER, a victim of a hate-fueled assault, and Paul can’t forget him. But under review after a complaint, he also can’t afford to fall for a patient. Paul is afraid to start a relationship, and Zane can only handle so much more rejection. Paul may have to make a choice: His career or the first man to capture his heart. 
URGENT CARE – BOOK 3 
Dr. Trent Cavendish made a huge mistake when he walked away from the love of his life at age 18. When his best friend suddenly dies 12 years later, it rattles Trent into seeing how empty his life has become. He returns to his hometown, hoping to make amends to the man he left behind. Instead of the sweet but tame guy he remembers, Trent runs into a smoking-hot Xavier James dressed in bits of lace and silk at a gay nightclub. His plan to earn Xavier’s forgiveness immediately shifts to lust, and love’s not far behind. 
Each of these books was previously published individually as part of the Hearts and Health series.

Karen's rating:




This one's a 3 for 1 deal...

"Hearts and Health" Vol. 1 is a compilation of the first 3 books in this series. So I'm going to basically break this review down into 4 parts first I'm going to talk about the series in general and then I'll do a brief review of each of the books.

The series...overall I've enjoyed this series and while I think you could probably read the stories as standalones and not become lost, I would definitely recommend reading the stories from the beginning and in order. Each book has a different couple as the MCs and in subsequent stories they become secondary characters which for me makes the overall reading experience more enjoyable as the reader is given the connections between the characters as and when they are made helping to create an overall more complete picture.

The stories in 'Heart and Health' are each set within the medical community of the fictional town of Ashe, Kansas and this series appears to be a spin-off from the author's original series 'Ashe Sentinel Connections' since 'Heart Trouble' is the first book for this series and the 6th book of 'Ashe Sentinel Connections' I'm going to guess that I've made a safe assumption with this. Now that I've given you a little bit of background about the series from a very general perspective...let's move on the the individual stories.

Book 1 - Heart Trouble
Karen's rating:  3.5 stars
ER nurse Ben Griggs has basically sworn off of men. He's had his heart broken one time too many. But when Gage Evans enters the emergency room where he works after a motorcycle accident Ben's life is thrown into chaos when Gage sets his sights on the sexy, sweet nurse and try and he might Ben can't seem to fully deny that he's attracted to the man that he believes to be an adrenaline junkie.

I liked Gage and Ben as a couple they were cute together and as individual's they seemed like genuinely nice people. While their relationship seemed to be more tangled up by assumptions and miscommunications than anything else getting to know this pair as their lives collided and they went on a series of unusual dates was sweet and enjoyable. For me the connection between Ben and Gage was there but not as strong as I would have liked it to be.  Ben and Gage's relationship was a bit of one step forward and two steps back because of misunderstandings and miscommunications and the individual insecurities and self-doubt that both men had but while it might have been a bit much for some I found that this all stopped short of that over the top mark for me and I enjoyed this first book a little more than average as well we get to meet a number of secondary characters who show up in subsequent books like Zane and Paul who are the central figures in...

Audio Book Review: Broken Bonds by Lex Valentine

From The Blurb:
2 hrs and 38 mins 
The one thing Haven Noel wants for his Christmas birthday is for his master, Kellen, to love him. But the wonderful Christmas Eve Haven plans for his master goes awry and instead of receiving his master's love, Haven ends up on the street without his collar. Heartbroken, Haven heads to the club where he and Kellen originally met, only to find it closed. 
With a blizzard descending and nowhere to go, Haven curls up on the club doorstep, courting death. Hopeless and shattered, on the verge of losing consciousness, he makes a wish for Kellen to find happiness some day. Two angels with a vested interest in Haven and Kellen's happiness hear his wish and conspire with Kellen's family to save Haven's life, bring love back to Kellen's heart and give them both the best kinky Christmas ever.

Karen's rating:





Well that was unusually fun and entertaining...

What do you get when you retell the Dickens classic 'A Christmas Carol' using a DOM named Keller (in the role of Ebeneezer Scrooge) a sweet and loving sub named Haven Noel (I kid you not because seriously I can make this sh*t up, as Tiny Tim? I'm not really sure on this one) and the angels Kristoff (who was Keller's sub on the mortal plane) and Kristoff's twin brother who died at birth as the angel Rafe (Raphael) and sprinkle it all with a light coating of BDSM, well, you get Lex Valentine's 'Broken Bonds' of course.

At 2 hours and 48 minutes this is a short and entertaining story to listen to. While it's a bit on the dark side for a Christmas story if you're familiar with the Dickens classic than you'll agree that story is a bit on the dark side to begin with.  I quite enjoyed this one and if you're a looking for a classic Christmas story with an usual twist than this one's worth checking out.

Blogtour: Ouroboros by Genevieve Iseult Eldredge



Ouroboros 
Genevieve Iseult Eldredge
(Circuit Fae #2)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: March 27th 2018
Genres: LGBTQ+, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult



Blurb:

Syl’s a princess of the fair Fae.
Her girlfriend Rouen is a princess of the dark Fae.

Mortal enemies. Girlfriends.

Relationship status: It’s Complicated

All introverted geek girl Syl Skye wants is to get close to her girlfriend. But when you can kill with a simple touch, a normal date night’s not really in the cards. As it happens, Syl is also a sleeper-princess of the fair Fae. Last year after a freak accident, her power Awakened, granting her white flame to purify the darkness.

Rouen Rivoche is that darkness—a dark Fae princess whose power to bewitch mortals is as terrifying as the violet lightning she controls. Rouen is Syl’s total opposite. Her mortal enemy.

She’s also Syl’s beloved girlfriend.

And even though they joined forces to defeat the evil Circuit Fae who harnessed the killing magic in technology to take over the school…that was so last year.

Now, Syl’s touch could mean Rouen’s death. Her increasing power is spiraling out of control, threatening to burn down everything she and Rouen have built together.

Their lives, their love, their very world...





From the author:


The research for CIRCUIT FAE took the better part of a year. I was signed by Monster House Books to write the series at the end of 2016, but we decided I’d take a “stealth” year to research and write before releasing anything. It was important to me that I pay homage to the traditional Fae while also putting a new spin on the themes and tropes.

As a third-generation daughter of Irish immigrants, I threw myself into the Irish tradition of the Fae. I was lucky to come to the writing with a good basis in knowledge from my own Glamma. In addition, I did online and library research, and I read extensively in the fairy genre. Books like Thomas the Rhymer and Bull’s War for the Oaks, and poems like Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market” were extremely helpful. I also looked back at a lot of the tabletop RPGs I’d played in my younger years—Shadowrun, D&D, etc.

All that became the basis for Syl and Rouen’s world of Fair Faerie and Dark Faerie. I wanted to keep the idea of a war between the Fae. Traditionally, the “good” Fae, the Seelie, have always been at war with the “bad” Fae, the Unseelie. But I also wanted a new twist where “dark” Fae didn’t mean “dark-skinned” and “fair Fae” didn’t mean “fair-skinned.” I wanted everyone to feel like they could be part of the CIRCUIT FAE world. So I took on a more poetic interpretation of “dark” and “fair” where it was one’s thoughts and deeds that made them good or evil, and skin tone was irrelevant in that regard. It felt like a logical, necessary leap, and I did a lot of sensitivity reading to make that happen.

In addition, the introduction of the Moribund as a type of “organic” black magic that manifested itself in circuitry took me to a lot of artwork, especially H.R. Giger’s. I really loved the dark organic look and feel of a lot of his art for Aliens, and that became the visual basis for the ovo in OUROBOROS.


Author Bio:

Sunday, March 25, 2018

ARC Review: Guns n' Boys: Gilded Agony (Guns n' Boys, #7) by K.A. Merikan

Guns n' Boys: Gilded Agony (Guns n' Boys, #7)
Blurb:
“We are two halves of the same rotten apple.”

Deep in the Amazonian jungle, there is a mansion with a rose garden and a hen house where juicy tomatoes are the perfect shade of red, and marble countertops glisten. Inside, where even the shadows don’t reach, something is rotting, and the perfect facade can only hold the stench for so long.

Domenico promised his husband that he would keep him safe, keep him away from the bloodshed and the brutal world of cartel violence. But when a guest arrives to help retrieve a stolen transport of guns, something sinister sneaks into his home, something more dangerous than his enemies. Or has it been there all along, and he just hasn’t noticed?

Seth’s life is what others dream of. Endless leisure time filled with cocktails, a kitchen stocked with anything he wishes for, and a private pool in the sunshine. What’s missing is the man he shares it with, the man he fell in love with. If being cut off from the mafia business was what he wanted, then why is it so painfully lonely in paradise?

Desperate to be the supportive husband Domenico needs, Seth buries his rage, his violent urges, and the anger that simmers inside of him. But he can only hide in plain sight for so long, and when a guest invites him to play with fire, one misstep, one wrong move, could burn their safe haven to the ground.


POSSIBLE SPOILERS: 
Themes: mafia, cartel, assassin, organized crime, family ties, domestic violence, inequality, betrayal, revenge

Genre: Dark, twisted M/M romance / crime thriller

Length: ~92,000 words (Book 7 in the series)

WARNING: Adult content. If you are easily offended, this book is not for you. ‘Guns n’ Boys’ is a gritty story of extreme violence, offensive language, abuse, and morally ambiguous protagonists as well as scorching hot, explicit love scenes. Behind the morbid facade, there is a splash of inappropriate dark humor, and a love story that will crawl under your skin.




Jewel's rating:



​Even a gilded cage is still a cage...​

​​​​Guns n' Boys: Gilded Agony is the seventh book in one of my all-time favorite series. If you love stories with morally ambiguous characters and plot-lines, along with blood and violence, then this series is for you​!​ Go read it​!​

​“We’re two halves of the same rotten apple.”


There is a lot of angst in this one! ​And it's my favorite food-group type, too -- relationship angst. I eat that stuff up like a favorite desert! ​Dom and Seth aren't in sync for most of the book and ​though ​it broke my heart to see them at odds​, I loved every moment​. Never fear, though, they do end up in a good place.

​Guns n' Boys: Gilded Agony picks up 2 years after​​ ​Guns n' Boys: Bloodbath left off. Dom is "Toro" and Seth is his sheltered husband. Seth is bored and craves more freedom than he has. He doesn't speak the language and can go no where ​unescorted and he feels caged. ​Bored​ isn't a good look on Seth, who needs to be social and needs to feel included. But after the events of ​ ​ ​Guns n' Boys: Bloodbath he needed a break from the violence and stress, so here we are​ - with a bored Seth who is prone to getting in over his head. ​

​"There is no me without you." ​

Release Blitz - Guns 'n Boys: Gilded Agony (Book #7) - KA Merikan




Length: 92,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Natasha Snow
Guns n' Boys Series




Blurb
“We are two halves of the same rotten apple.”

Deep in the Amazonian jungle, there is a mansion with a rose garden and a hen house where juicy tomatoes are the perfect shade of red, and marble countertops glisten.

Inside, where even the shadows don’t reach, something is rotting, and the perfect facade can only hold the stench for so long.

Domenico promised his husband that he would keep him safe, keep him away from the bloodshed and the brutal world of cartel violence. But when a guest arrives to help retrieve a stolen transport of guns, something sinister sneaks into his home, something more dangerous than his enemies. Or has it been there all along, and he just hasn’t noticed?

Seth’s life is what others dream of. Endless leisure time filled with cocktails, a kitchen stocked with anything he wishes for, and a private pool in the sunshine. What’s missing is the man he shares it with, the man he fell in love with. If being cut off from the mafia business was what he wanted, then why is it so painfully lonely in paradise?

Desperate to be the supportive husband Domenico needs, Seth buries his rage, his violent urges, and the anger that simmers inside of him. But he can only hide in plain sight for so long, and when a guest invites him to play with fire, one misstep, one wrong move, could burn their safe haven to the ground.

POSSIBLE SPOILERSThemes: mafia, cartel, assassin, organized crime, family ties, domestic violence, inequality, betrayal, revenge.

WARNING: Adult content. If you are easily offended, this book is not for you.







Excerpt

Domenico could get drunk on the taste of the shivering body underneath him. Men had given into him before, but none like Seth. None were a challenge to be conquered again and again. Seth’s reflection in the water had its eyes closed, lips open, but noticing them only reminded Domenico of Diego’s audacity to so much as look at Seth in a vulgar manner. He had no right. No one else had that right.
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