Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Audio Book Review: Rebel by Rhys Ford

From The Blurb:

9 hours 11 minutes 

The hardest thing a rebel can do isn’t standing up for something — it’s standing up for himself. Life takes delight in stabbing Gus Scott in the back when he least expects it. After years of running from his past, present and the dismal future every social worker predicted for him, Karma delivers the one thing Gus could never—would never—turn his back on; a son from a one-night stand he’d had after a devastating break-up three years ago. 

Returning to San Francisco and to 415 Ink, his family’s tattoo shop, gave him the perfect shelter to battle his personal demons and get himself together… until the firefighter who’d broken him walked back into Gus’s life. 

For Rey Montenegro, tattoo artist Gus Scott was an elusive brass ring, a glittering prize he hadn’t the strength or flexibility to hold onto. Severing his relationship with the mercurial tattoo artist hurt but Gus hadn’t wanted the kind of domestic life Rey craved, leaving Rey with an aching chasm in his soul. 

When Gus’s life and world starts to unravel, Rey helps him pick up the pieces, and Gus wonders if that forever Rey wants is more than just a dream.

Karen's rating:

Nothing new here...I loved the book and loved the audio...

Honestly I'm not really sure what to say here. I loved this book and will honestly admit for me it was pretty much a given that I would...Rhys Ford writes in a way that just calls to me heart and soul. I love the characters that she give us each and every time. From Cole McGinnis to this latest addition of 415 Ink. Ms. Ford has not failed to give me stories and characters that I willingly and wholeheartedly embraced.

So much of what I said in my original review of the book still holds true for me, so I'm going to borrow from that review in regards to the story...
'Rebel' is the beginning of a series that this author has once again filled with characters that I want more of...Gus and Rey are just the tip of the iceberg on this one. Gus has two families the one that he was given and no longer has but still a family that has marked his soul and left him broken and then there's the family that he's created, the family of brothers who have loved him and held him together over the years...there's Bear the oldest and father figure, Luke the peace keeper, Mace who grates on Gus but believes in him the most and will fight for him without hesitation and Ivo the only one who is Gus's brother both by birth and by choice. Along with these characters we've been given glimpses of others who may or may not play a role in future stories and I'm sure will add interest to other stories as the series progresses.

As well as a cast of awesome new characters to discover one of my favorite things about Rhys Ford books is that if you're paying attention you get surprise visits and this story was no exception I mean it's partially set in a tattoo parlor so of course Ichi showed up and I'm pretty sure there was someone there from the Sinners series getting a bit of ink as well...but you'll have to read the story to find out who. 
'Rebel' is so much more than a second chance story. Of course it's about finding love but it's also about learning to forgive yourself and accept that wanting something good in your life and reaching for it can be worth the risk to your heart. It's about starting over and building the life you deserve which maybe isn't the life you thought you wanted. I loved how Rey and Gus worked together there was just something about them as couple that worked and made me a fan of these men and this series. I'm so looking forward to reading the next book in this series whatever comes next I know we'll at least get a peek at how Gus and Rey are doing and yet another awesome story.
 Ok so here's the new part of this audio review or at least I'll try and make it new...you see the narrator for this one is Tristan James and I'm not sure I really have any new vocabulary for this but here goes...

Blogtour: The Best Worst Honeymoon Ever by Andrew Grey

Please say hello to Andrew Grey with 

The Best Worst Honeymoon Ever 

a Dreamspun Desires title 


How can heartbreak turn into happily ever after?

Tommy Gordon is all set for happily ever after—until heartbreak strikes when his husband-to-be leaves him at the altar. In a bid for distraction, his best friend, Grayson Phillips, suggests he takes advantage of the luxury honeymoon anyway! But the last thing Tommy wants is to go alone, so he invites Grayson and his son, Petey, along.

Beautiful Bonaire lends itself to romance, and along with close quarters, relaxing on the water, and a matchmaking kid, Tommy and Grayson soon find themselves closer than ever… and considering more, much to Grayson’s delight. But before they can plan the best best honeymoon ever, dark clouds descend in the form of Tommy’s ex and a sting from paradise that could ruin everything.

Get the book:



“Did you sleep?”
“Yes and no. I might have dozed off, but then Xavier was there to tell me how much he didn’t love me once again, and I kept playing things over and over in my head.” Tommy sat back. “You know….”
“What?” Grayson prompted, knowing he needed to let Tommy talk.
“This whole thing sucks.” Tommy closed his eyes, and Grayson sat back. He didn’t know what to say and figured keeping quiet was the best thing to do. “Will you and Petey come with me?”
Grayson thought about it and reached for his phone. He stared at it, then pulled up a number and made a call. “Jan, it’s Grayson. I’m sorry to bother you on a weekend, but….” He wasn’t sure how to bring this up.
“Aren’t you supposed to be at a wedding?” Jan was an amazing supervisor and one of the best people he’d ever met. They were friends of a sort and had worked together since Jan hired him out of college. Jan had promoted Grayson to a project manager a few years earlier, pleased with his work. “Yes, I was. But one of the grooms was a no-show, and I’m here with Tommy right now. I know it’s short notice, but he’s asked me to go with him on a trip, and I have plenty of vacation time….”
Jan chuckled. In the world of computers, Tommy was sort of a local legend. “You go. You’re between projects right now. Take the time off. You deserve it.” She seemed happy. “So what kind of trip is this?”

Release Blitz: Demon Familiar by Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Bermingham

Title:  Demon Familiar
Series: Wanted #1
Author: Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Bermingham
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Release Date: June 19th 2018
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 96,000 words
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Alternate Reality

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Sometimes when you don’t know what you want, life gives you what you need.

When Neil Markovic witnesses the murder of his mother by Bone Men his world is thrown into turmoil. On the run from the assassins that killed her, his sorcerer father and the police, Neil finds help in the form of a tall half fae alchemist named Malachai. Mal seems more accepting than most of Neil’s demon bloodline, but curiously immune to his charms.

Malachai Valentine, disgraced scion of a noble Leprechaun clan, back in the Old Country, is happy living as an anonymous scrap dealer. Using his talent for alchemy to make fuel and potions, most days he doesn’t even think of his ruinous past. When a scared young man with a fancy car crashes into his life, at first, Mal thinks he can do without the hassle. But as Neil begins to get under his skin, Mal starts to reassess his hopes and ambitions.

Harassed by megalomaniac fae and stalked by sorcerous killers at every turn, Malachai and Neil must fight to be free, and to find what they both truly wanted.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, murder and non-consensual sex.


Neil set the bushel of summer squash into the panel van with the rest of the produce ready to go to market tomorrow morning and jumped down. Mr. Yaetz patted him on the back. “That’s the last one. Good job, Neil. You best head home now. Don’t want to get caught outside the wards after nightfall, ’specially not in that fancy car.”

Neil stifled a wince and forced himself not to look around to see who might have overheard the mention of his ‘fancy car’. Mr. Yaetz didn’t mean anything by it, but the car was a sore point with his co-workers at the small greenhouse and urban farm lot. None of them had their own vehicle, much less a sleek convertible sports car. Explaining that it was his mother’s, not his, hadn’t stopped the digs about his ‘slumming with the common folk’ or brought him any closer to the camaraderie the rest of them shared.

“Thanks, Mr. Yaetz. I’ll see you tomorrow,” Neil told him and turned toward the front lot. He glanced at the horizon automatically, judging how much time he had. About forty-five minutes, maybe an hour. More than enough for the short drive home. He wasn’t likely to come across any shadow beasts here on the outskirts of the city but a pack hunting farther afield was always a possibility. Of course, if he did run across shadow beasts, they would have to catch him first and the Maserati was both fast and agile.

Neil slid behind the wheel and the powerful engine purred to life. With the sun slowly sinking behind him, he swung the car out onto the road and headed for home.

As expected, Neil pulled into the driveway with plenty of daylight left and no encounters with any creatures that came out after dark. Climbing the front steps, his thoughts preoccupied with a shower and dinner, he almost missed the broken seal on his front door. He stopped cold. The warding glyph, usually a subtle shimmering gold, was inert, dull gray and cracked with lines of black. A sick knot cramped in his belly and Neil pressed his thumb down on the latch and pushed the door open but hesitated on the threshold.


Monday, June 18, 2018

ARC Review: Rainbow Place (Rainbow Place #1) by Jay Northcote

Rainbow Place (Rainbow Place #1)
Can Jason find the courage he needs to be the man Seb deserves? 

When Seb Radcliffe relocates to a seaside town in Cornwall, he feels like a fish out of water. He misses queer spaces and the sense of community he enjoyed when he was living in the city, and decides to open an LGBT-friendly cafe–bar. 

Jason Dunn is the builder Seb hires to help renovate the rundown space where the cafe will be housed. Jason is also gay, but unlike Seb, he’s deep in the closet. He’s never had a relationship with another man—only allowing himself the occasional hook up with guys who are prepared to be discreet. 

The attraction between the two men is instant and impossible to ignore. But while Seb is out and proud, Jason is terrified of being exposed. With the grand opening of Rainbow Place approaching, tension is growing among some locals who object to Seb’s plans. When things escalate, Jason is forced to choose whether to hide in the shadows and let Seb down, or to openly support the man he’s fallen so hard for. 

Although this book is part of a series, it has a satisfying happy ending and can be read as a standalone.

Todd's rating:

After becoming disenchanted with the life he'd been leading in fun and vibrant London, not to mention his recent breakup, Sebastian decided it was time to make a change in his predictable, hum-drum life working for other restaurateurs.

So he moved to Cornwall, a place his family used to go for seaside retreats, for a fresh start. But after being there a short time, he realized that he felt that there was something missing in his new, hetero-centric village life.

A sense of queer community.

With that in mind, instead of moving forward with his initial plans to open a run of the mill, generic cafe/bar, he decided to shift the focus, just a smidge. To make the place a friendly, accepting place for LGBT people and their supporters.

And hence Rainbow Place was born.

Seb then hired local builder (and also local closet case) Jason to perform the needed renovations. And, shocker, Jason was hot and their sizzling connection was almost immediate.

They staved off their feelings of lust for a while, but this is a romance, so sooner or later, you knew they would be Romancing the Bone. And yes, those sexy scenes were fairly steamy.

But outside of the bedroom (and the closet), not everyone in the small town was happy with Seb's Big Gay Plans to homo-tize their "normal" (pronounced 'boring') little town. And let's face it, there's always That One Asshole who likes to stir the shit, which was the case here.

After said asshole started up a stink, courtesy of an opinion piece in the local paper, the cafe was vandalized by local homophobes and the race was on to repair the damage in time for the grand opening.

Blogtour: The Girl Who Knew Da Vinci by Belle Ami

The Girl Who Knew Da Vinci Tour Graphic


Belle Ami

Series: Out of Time Series Book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Thriller
Publisher: Tema N Merback
Publication Date: May 31, 2018

What she knows could kill her.

The Girl Who Knew Da Vinci
In the spirit of The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and Shadows of the Stone Benders by K. Patrick Donoghue The Girl Who Knew Da Vinci by Belle Ami unravels an unforgettable mystery. 
Three destinies, one remarkable painting.Will her visions lead her to the truth? 
Art historian Angela Renatus is haunted by dreams of Leonardo da Vinci and a mysterious painting of Giuliano Medici and his mistress Fioretta Gorini. A painting that, as far as the world knows, doesn’t exist. 
Compelled by her visions, Angela is determined to find out the truth. 
When Angela is contacted by art detective, Alex Caine, she’s shocked to learn that he too is seeking the same painting. Alex’s client, a wealthy German financier, is determined to clear the name of his late uncle, Gerard Jaeger, an art historian, who went missing in Florence, during World War II. In letters written before his disappearance, the historian describes his love affair with a beautiful young Italian woman named Sophia Caro, and the discovery of an extraordinary painting by the great master himself—a painting depicting Giuliano and Fioretta. 
Alex and Angela journey to Florence in search of the priceless treasure. Is it a lost da Vinci, potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars, or a wild goose-chase that will only lead to a dead end? But someone else is searching for the illusive painting—Alberto Scordato is a powerful man in the art world and a sociopath who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, even murder. 
Scordato knows something about Angela that even she doesn’t know, something that could threaten both Angela and Alex’s lives, forcing them into the crosshairs of fate.

Purchase Link

Book Tour Schedule

Join the Book Tour from June 5 - 25, 2018.

Join us and visit each tour stop daily! Discover features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and more. To check the latest tour schedule, visit the The Girl Who Knew Da Vinci Book Page at Book Unleashed.
About Belle Ami

Release Blitz: Nights Without Night by Marina Vivancos

Title:  Nights Without Night
Series: Fox Lake Series #2
Author: Marina Vivancos
Publisher:  Self-published
Release Date: 18th June 2018
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 60,000 words
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Childhood Friends, Mental Health

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Isadoro and Iván have known each other since before memories were memories, when they were just the imprint of shape and sound pressed inside your head. They were raised together in La Portera, between the orange trees and water reservoirs, under an endless blue sky. Where they grew up is where Iván’s love for Isadoro grew, too. There, from the earth and the water, organic and helpless.

Iván had grown used to this love. He’d grown used to absence, too. Isadoro left for the military when they were both eighteen and took a piece of Iván with him. It was as inevitable as the baking sun and sandy winds of those lands. Iván didn't know how to fight it.

A thread between them remained. Phone calls, Skype sessions, rests between tours. But it was never quite enough.

After eight years, Isadoro comes back. At his core, he is the same man Iván has always known. But life has transformed them both from the malleable shapes of childhood and into the stiffer skin of adults. The situation is complicated further when they rekindle the ‘benefits’ portion of their friendship. The heat between them has always been undeniable, and now it scorches through them.

In the beginning, all seems well. But there are creatures under calm water. When they breach the surface, both Isadoro and Iván must learn how to help each other, but also to save themselves.

Please note: This story contains themes of affected mental health following the return from military combat. However, the ultimate focus of the story is on hope and recovery.

This story also contains very explicit scenes of a sexual nature.


The summer before Isadoro was finally deployed had run on borrowed time. I hadn’t applied to college but had gotten a summer job in La Portera while I figured out what to do with my life. After work, I would go to the beach with Isadoro, pretending this was any other summer and that adulthood wasn’t looming in September for both of us.

One night, we went down to the beach when it was late and dark. The sea was a pool of ink, the sound of it washing in and out a secret call. On Isadoro’s dare, we’d stripped our clothes and ran into the water, the coolness a relief from the thick summer air.

The half-moon had been a bowl of rice perched on the black. We’d swam around, free in the salt and the waves, pulling each other under in a familiar game. We’d been our child selves, free of the ties that tugged at us beyond the water.

When we tired and let ourselves drift, I remember Isadoro swimming close to me. Remember the moon in his eyes. The way his wet skin had felt against mine. It had almost been a kiss. Almost. But I couldn’t do that to myself. Not again. Not when he was leaving and he wasn’t in love with me back.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

ARC Review: Finn by Angel Martinez

Finn (Endangered Fae #1)From the blurb:

Finn’s been asleep for centuries. He’ll need to catch up fast to survive. 
Diego’s impulse to rescue a naked bridge jumper starts as just that—talk the man down and get him to social services. But there’s something odd about this homeless person, more than just his delusions of being a pooka, and something so vulnerable that Diego’s determined to help him stabilize rather than see him institutionalized or deported. 
Finn went into the Dreaming centuries ago to escape a heartbreak he couldn’t bear. Now that he’s back, he finds the Veil to the Otherworld closed. The fae courts have abandoned him in a poisoned human world where a displaced pooka has little chance of survival. His human rescuer is kind and compassionate—and shockingly familiar. One thing at a time, though. He needs Diego to believe he’s not human first.

Heather's rating:

I love Angel Martinez, and I've read mostly everything she's written, but this book, while pleasant, wasn't my favorite from her.

Finn was a fun read (I'm always down for a hottie fae) with a nicely plotted, fast pace. I've never read a book with a pooka MC before, but I was totally down with the magic and charm of the story.

ARC Review: Refraction by B. A. Tortuga & Jodi Payne

From The Blurb:
Texas artist Tucker Williams arrives in New York City for a gallery showing of his work and finds the city blanketed in snow. He meets free-spirited underwear model Calvin McIntire on the steps of the Midtown library and is captivated by a wild beauty that manages to compete with the demons that occupy his soul and fuel his work with their lust for blood and erotic imagery. 
Unable to deny a new inspiration, Tucker sublets a studio and finds the city’s energy almost as addictive as Calvin. 
Tucker is obsessive, barely holding on to sanity as his art consumes him, and Calvin is dealing with demons of his own, trying desperately to protect his soul in a business where only his appearance has value. They each prove to be the perfect remedy for the other’s personal brand of crazy until, in the midst of stress and exhaustion, they discover that a promise Calvin needs is the one thing Tucker can’t give him, and their heaven turns to purgatory. 
Can both men find a path toward wholeness in Tucker’s beautiful but chaotic Texas home? In order for them—and their passionate relationship—to thrive, they’ll need to adapt, share their psychoses, and find a true balance between New York City and rural Texas.

Karen's rating:

An artist and a model...met at the library one day...and the rest as they say is history...

Tucker Williams is in New York for a showing of his work one find winters day and as he  stands on the steps of the midtown library who should appear but one Calvin McIntire. Tucker and Calvin are drawn to each other and their attraction is strong...yes, that's right this one's a case of love at first sight even though neither man is ready to admit it for a while.

Tucker's held prisoner by the demons who haunt his mind...seeing them when others don't, Tucker brings them to life and excises them from his soul with his artwork.

Calvin spends his days regimenting his life so that he can maintain the physical beauty that the world so desperately wants to see from him.

Tucker's from Texas, Calvin's from New York...long distance romances never end well but when two hearts are determined and each man is willing to work for it and compromise...one never knows what can be done.

Tucker's inspirations come from anywhere and everywhere...a color, a sound, the setting sun, the glow of the moon...whatever catches his artistic bent gives life to his imagination and ignites his creativity.  Calvin never knows where his career will take him and he loves that all the different locations the novelty of seeing so much of the world. But when love calls to them both Tucker and Calvin find their priorities changing.

Audio Book Review: Kill Game by Cordelia Kingsbridge

From The Blurb:

7 hrs and 56 mins 

Homicide detective Levi Abrams is barely holding his life together. He’s reeling from the fallout of a fatal shooting, and his relationship with his boyfriend is crumbling. The last thing he’s prepared for is a serial killer stalking the streets of Las Vegas. Or how he keeps getting thrown into the path of annoyingly charming bounty hunter Dominic Russo. 

Dominic likes his life free of complications. That means no tangling with cops—especially prickly, uptight detectives. But when he stumbles across one of the Seven of Spades’s horrifying crime scenes, he can’t let go, despite Levi’s warnings to stay away. 

The Seven of Spades is ruthless and always two moves ahead. Worst of all, they’ve taken a dangerously personal interest in Levi and Dominic. Forced to trust each other, the two men race to discover the killer’s identity, revealing hidden truths along the way and sparking a bond neither man expected. But that may not be enough to protect them. 

This killer likes to play games, and the deck is not stacked in Levi and Dominic’s favor.

Karen's rating:

Are you looking for a good mystery/thriller with a strong touch of romance? Hang around this may be just what you're looking for...

 I've been seeing so many good...I mean really good reviews and wanting to read this one for quite a while now. Cordelia Kingsbridge is a relatively new author to me. My only previous experience with this author was 'Can't Hide From Me' narrated by Nick J. Russo and I loved that book so when the opportunity to enjoy another book by this author presented itself...well, what else could I say but 'yes please'.

'Kill Game' is the first book in this author's 'Seven of Spades' series and I'm hooked, all in, basically spending my time trying to figure out what I can put off, how little sleep do I need, anything to find a way to add more reading time to my day so I can get to it.

Levi Abrams is a homicide detective who's life is reeling he's dealing from the fallout of a fatal shooting, the end of a 3 year long relationship, perpetually crossing paths with the enigmatic and annoyingly charming bounty hunter Dominic Russo add in a serial killer who seems to be taking a keen interest in playing a cat and mouse game with him and Levi's got more on his plate than most men would even begin to be able to deal with.

Dominic likes his life free and easy...he'll happily skirt around complications like prickly, uptight detectives or at least he'll try until he stumbles onto a crime scene  created by the same killer, a killer who as things progress seems to be developing a vested interest in the well being of a certain homicide detective. Dominic's  a former Army Ranger dealing with his own issues...working as both a bounty hunter and bartender, Dominic's a recovering compulsive gambler living in Las Vegas.As the police continue their hunt for a serial killer it's the events surrounding this very situation that continue to bring the two men together enabling their relationship to develop on a slower but more natural basis...or as naturally as things can get when one is looking for a serial killer anyways.

Along with the beginnings of a series that promises to be exceptional I was fortunate enough to also discover a talented 'new to me' narrator in the person of 'Wyatt Baker'. Needless to say I'm delighted to have the name of yet another narrator whose audio books I can not only enjoy but look forward to.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Audio Book Review: Teaching Ben by Shae Connor

From The Blurb:

Learning to love means a study in patience. 

Fresh out of the military, Ben Cooper is ready for a new start. He’s away from his domineering father, making his own choices… and out of the closet. On his first day of college, he meets David Powell, who’s just the kind of gorgeous man Ben’s dreamed of. Too bad he’s the teaching assistant—which makes him off-limits in Ben’s eyes. 

David is Ben’s age, but his life has taken a different path. He’s close with his family, who helped him deal with personal struggles after he came out. And while he’s staying away from any hint of scandal, Ben’s a kind of temptation he hasn’t faced in years. If only they’d met on more equal footing. 

As the semester progresses and their lives become more entwined, keeping their relationship platonic becomes more difficult. They just have to hold out until the end of the semester…. 

Listening Length: 5 hours and 40 minutes

Karen's rating:

The romance begins when the semester ends...

Ben Miller and David Powell may be the same age but they've lead very different lives... ironically, Ben's spent the past few years in the military as a way to escape his overbearing father and earn his freedom to discover and be the person he wants to be.

David comes from a life of privilege and ultimately excess leading to his ultimate downfall. But thankfully David's grandfather refused to turn him back on him and after some tough love David's turned himself around and now he's back in school with a plan for his life.

Though they've led very different lives Ben and David quickly discover that they share a mutual attraction and respect for each other and a friendship quickly begins. David is the TA in one of Ben’s college classes and while they’re attracted to each other neither man wants to complicate their life with a relationship while they’re student and TA so they’re determined to keep things strictly platonic until the semester is done even though there is no actual rule against them dating or having a more personal relationship. David’s got things in his past that have him wanting to ere on the side of caution and Ben’s just stepping out of the closet, so he simply wants to proceed with caution and he’s not looking to complicate the life of someone that he’s pretty sure he wants to have a life with.

I really enjoyed this one it was sweet and at just under 6 hours of listening time things were kept moving at a good pace without becoming boring or repetitious. There were some interesting secondary characters David’s sister and Ben’s laundry friend who took him underwear shopping…yeah, that was a fun time and if you want to know more you’ll need to check out the story.

Release Blitz: My Anti-Marriage by DJ Jamison

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Length: 40,000 words approx.

My Anti Series
My Anti Valentine (Book #1) - Amazon US | Amazon UK
My Anti Boyfriend (Book #2) - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Can one drunken night in Vegas and a pair of wedding rings lead to a happily ever after?

Love has never been a good bet for Chris, so going on a Vegas wedding trip for his friends is bittersweet. Especially when Ant, the last man to break his trust, is suddenly along for the ride. Which explains why Chris wakes up in his hotel room with the mother of all hangovers. Not so much why Ant is in his bed ... or worse, wearing a matching wedding band.

Ant invited himself on a Vegas trip, gambling on a second chance with the man who got away. He never dreamt he'd be the one with a wedding ring on his finger, but if their predicament gets Chris talking to him again, he'll make the most of it.

Between keeping their secret from friends and trying to figure out what really happened that first crazy night in Vegas, passions ignite. If they can hold on to their fresh start, maybe the Vegas motto doesn't have to hold true: What happens in Vegas doesn't have to stay there.

Author Bio

Release Blitz: The Recruit by Addison Albright

Title:  The Recruit
Author: Addison Albright
Publisher: JMS Books, LLC
Release Date: June 16, 2018
Heat Level: 2 - Fade to Black Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: Novella / 69 pages in PDF / 22,181 words
Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Vampires, HEA, Gay, Bisexual, Contemporary, Bargain, Hope, Blood Mates

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Albert Manlii has walked this earth for more than two thousand years, but survival on his own was never easy. Now he leads a faction of highly organized vampires who carefully guard the secret of their existence. Unlike the old days, potential recruits are carefully selected and presented with an offer.

Phillip Brewer has weeks to live—if he lets his disease run its course. He doesn’t want to die, but given a choice, will his desire to live outweigh his concerns about the vampires’ ethics?
When the new recruit’s missteps are cause for concern, can Albert control the fallout, or will Phillip’s life once again be torn apart?


The man moved to the bench and raised a brow in a welcoming fashion, silently inviting Phillip to join him. Phillip shrugged. He’d planned to sit here anyway, so why not have a conversation with a pleasant man while he did it?

“My name’s Albert.” He held out a hand, and Phillip shook it. The hand felt cooler than Phillip expected for someone walking on a warm day, but not exceptionally so. Perhaps he had a fever himself, and that made the man’s hand seem cooler than normal.

“Phillip.” He didn’t elaborate. There wasn’t anything he could think of to add. Small talk eluded him.

“I’m pleased to meet you, Phillip.” Albert paused, as if gathering his thoughts.

“Likewise.” Phillip kept his reply simple. Oddly enough, something about the gravity of Albert’s demeanor gave him the impression the man had directed him to the bench with a purpose in mind that had nothing to do with idle chit-chat, so he might as well let the man control the conversation. Albert didn’t give off a crazed serial-killer vibe, not that it would matter at this point as long as whatever he chose to do didn’t add pain to Phillip’s death. Not likely he’d try anything like that in broad daylight with people around, anyway.

Albert looked directly into his eyes with a steady gaze. “Phillip, I want to show you something, and I ask that you keep an open mind and hear me out before reacting.”

Phillip sat back. He hadn’t developed any expectations for this conversation, but if he had, this direction wasn’t anything he would have considered.

“I think we can help each other,” Albert continued.

“I’m dying,” Phillip said. He would have thought his appearance made that apparent, but perhaps not. “Whatever you have in mind, I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to make a deal with you.”

“Please, hear me out.” Albert held out an arm. “This seems like an unusual request, I know, but I’d like you to examine my arm. Go ahead and touch it. I want you to assure yourself that it is, indeed, my real arm and not any kind of advanced prosthetic or makeup designed to create a special effect.”

Phillips eyes widened. “Unusual request” was putting it lightly. But what the hell, he might as well add an interesting interlude to his final hours—or minutes, if this man turned out to be a homicidal maniac.

He put both hands on the well-shaped forearm. He felt for a pulse at the wrist and found one. The hairs appeared natural and moved appropriately as Phillip ran his hand across them. Veins were visible where expected. Phillip manipulated the man’s fingers and wrist. The bones on the back of Albert’s hand, and tendons at the inside of his wrist, moved correctly, becoming more or less prominent when the hand flexed. Then he lightly pinched Albert’s skin in various places. It felt perfectly normal, although still slightly cooler than usual.

When Phillip withdrew his hands, Albert lowered his arm. “Are you satisfied that this is indeed my natural arm?”

Friday, June 15, 2018

ARC Review: Edge of Forever by Barbara Elsborg

Edge of ForeverFrom the blurb

When you stand on the edge, you might just find yourself falling.
Teaching Russians how to be cowboys? Levi thinks his father is joking when he tells him that’s what he wants him to do for the next six months. Working in the frozen desolation of southwest Russia he’ll earn enough to buy a new barn for their Montana ranch. But there’s a deeper agenda for sending him to the edge of nowhere. It will stop him sloping off on Saturday nights to gay bars and clubs for threesomes with strangers. 
Pasha finally pushes his father too far and is banished to a remote ranch in the middle of a snowy Russian winter. Stripped of all the trappings of his privileged Moscow lifestyle, he has nothing at his disposal but a suitcase of designer clothes and a whole lot of sass. Pasha hates the countryside, hates physical work, hates the cold and hates cows. But de-prived of money, phone, and access to anyone who might help him, he’s screwed and not in a good way. 
Levi’s counting down the days till he can return to the States and his Saturday night hook-ups. Then Pasha arrives at the ranch wearing eyeliner, retching every time he walks into a barn, and Levi is amused, irritated—and attracted. After a vicious attack on Pasha throws them into close quarters, both men are forced to re-evaluate not just who the other is, but whether they truly want to return to the lives they left behind. 
When you stand on the edge, you just might find yourself falling in love.

Heather's rating:

Russian cowboy, opposites-attract nirvana.

I had forgotten how much I truly love Barbara Elsborg but this book brought it right back. Edge of Forever is all that is good and special about Barbara Elsborg's writing, wrapped up in one glorious package.

If you haven't read this author before, you are in for a treat. Her books are a unique mix of really funny and really angsty, which is an unusual combination. I'll admit, sometimes her books veer too dark for me (and this book should have a *trigger warning* for sexual abuse of minors), but Edge of Forever really was a perfect balance of pain and pleasure.

What Barbara Elsborg does better than almost any other author is her absolutely dead-funny banter. This book is witty, and sarcastic, vulnerable, lovely Pasha was a perfect example of a Barbara Elsborg main character done right. I adored Pasha... like, REALLY loved him, and I loved his chemistry with Levi.

Review Tour: Rainbow Place by Jay Northcote

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Length: 54,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design

Can Jason find the courage he needs to be the man Seb deserves?

When Seb Radcliffe relocates to a seaside town in Cornwall, he feels like a fish out of water. He misses queer spaces and the sense of community he enjoyed when he was living in the city, and decides to open an LGBT-friendly cafe–bar.

Jason Dunn is the builder Seb hires to help renovate the rundown space where the cafe will be housed. Jason is also gay, but unlike Seb, he’s deep in the closet. He’s never had a relationship with another man—only allowing himself the occasional hook up with guys who are prepared to be discreet.

The attraction between the two men is instant and impossible to ignore. But while Seb is out and proud, Jason is terrified of being exposed. With the grand opening of Rainbow Place approaching, tension is growing among some locals who object to Seb’s plans. When things escalate, Jason is forced to choose whether to hide in the shadows and let Seb down, or to openly support the man he’s fallen so hard for.

Although this book is part of a series, it has a satisfying happy ending and can be read as a standalone.

June 15 - My Fiction Nook, The Way She Reads, Gay Book Reviews, OMG Reads
June 18 - Cupcakes and Bookshelves, Two Chicks Obsessed, The Geekery Book Review, Jim's Reading Room
June 20 - Love Unchained Book Review
June 22 - Bonkers About Books, Kimmer's Erotic Book Banter, Wicked Faerie's Tales & Reviews, V's Read 
June 25 - Mikku-chan, Katie's Book Corner
June 27 - MM Good Book Reviews 
July 4 - Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Wicked Reads 
July 6 - Nicole's Book Musings, Xtreme Delusions 
July 9 - Diverse Reader 
July 11 - Drops Of Ink, Book Lovers 4Ever, Making It Happen 
July 13 - Queerly Reads, Mirrigold, Valerie Ullmer, Bayou Book Junkie, Books That Are A Must Read, Lillian Francis

Dani's review:

If you're looking for an angst fest or cotton candy, Rainbow Place is not the book. It's neither super angsty nor light and fluffy. It's somewhere in between: a well-written, balanced story featuring a Cornwall setting and two British MCs in their 30s.

Seb has been out and proud since he was a teenager. After inheriting some money from his grandfather, Seb moves to Cornwall from London to open a café. Initially, he doesn't have a theme in mind, but after discussing the concept with his friends (a lesbian couple), he realizes he misses his former queer social circle and wants to create an LGBT-friendly place, a safe space in an otherwise "old-fashioned" (read: not always accepting) community.

Jason is the contractor doing the renovations on the café. The men feel a spark immediately, and, against his better judgement, Seb begins a relationship with Jason. And therein lies the conflict: Jason is closeted and deeply ashamed of his sexuality (and ashamed of his shame).

Not everyone in town is happy about Seb's plans, and we witness a nasty hate crime. This is when Jason utterly fails Seb. I was so angry with him and not at all sure I could have forgiven him as quickly as Seb did, despite Jason's "big gesture."

Series Review Tour: Shoes and Ties by Jena Wade


Book 1

Book Title: Shoes and Ties (Shoes and Ties #1)

Author: Jena Wade

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Silver Heart Design

Genre/s: gay contemporary romance

Length: 33 000 words


Ashten Brody is a chef fresh out of college. He lands his dream job working as a personal chef to Trent Cole, local luxury hotel owner. As it turns out, Trent is also his dream man.

After working together, the two are unable to deny their attraction. One late night they can’t hold back any longer. Too bad Ashten rushes off soon after.

In the weeks that follow, it appears to Ashten that he has landed his dream man and his dream job. He and Trent appear to be on the path to a serious relationship and life-long happiness. Life seems to be just too perfect…

Buy Links - Available on Kindle Unlimited


Ashten Brody smoothed his hands down the front of his suit one more time. He hadn’t expected Trent Cole’s security guards to frisk him at the door. The man ran a luxury hotel in North Carolina. It wasn’t like he was a celebrity. Though he had the appearance of one.

As flustered as he was now, Ashten was confident that he was the right person to be Trent’s new personal chef. He was not confident, however, that Mr. Cole would hire him. He’d only just finished his degree in culinary arts and hospitality management. He was young and green, but he wanted this job and would do anything to get it. Well, that was a slight exaggeration, but he would wear a bland, conservative suit complete with a tie and jacket if it helped him beat out the competition.

The elevator pinged, and he took a deep breath as he stepped out, still in awe that he had gotten an interview. The main office was located on the top floor of the ten-story hotel—convenient if Trent ever worked late and needed to crash at the office.

Finding the secretary easily, Ashten stood next to her desk and patiently waited for her to finish her phone call. The lobby area was comfortable, with decor that matched the rest of the hotel. Doors lined the walls, and a few windows revealed the insides of conference rooms and small offices. Ashten rested his hands on the mahogany horseshoe desk. It was large enough to fill his old apartment.

“May I help you?” Annette, as her nameplate said, asked as she hung up the phone.

“I have an interview scheduled with Mr. Cole. I’m a bit early. My name is Ashten Brody.” His voice sounded calmer than he felt. It was important to make a good impression on the secretary, though; they were the ones who ran the whole office.

The secretary raised her brow. She opened her mouth to speak, but the elevator at the opposite end of the room dinged, and Mr. Cole stepped onto the floor, a deep scowl etched on his handsome face. Ashten’s breath hitched in his throat. He bit his lip, pain stopping any reaction his cock might have had to the man capturing his attention. The pictures he’d found in his Internet search hadn’t done the man justice. Trent Cole oozed confidence. Ashten’s eyes followed him as he crossed the floor. A touch of afternoon stubble shaded his strong jaw, and his tailored suit outlined his broad shoulders perfectly. The open jacket revealed lean hips, which brought Ashten’s tongue out to wet his lips. Trent walked directly past the desk, not bothering to glance at Ashten or Annette. Everyone in the office moved faster and looked busier now that the boss was in the room.

“Annette, please send in the applicants as they arrive. The sooner I get these interviews over with, the sooner I can get back to real work. Thanks.” Without waiting for a reply, he stepped inside his office, leaving the door wide open.

Ashten’s face heated, and his heart pounded. He rolled his shoulders back to try to get ahold of himself.

“Go right in, dear. Good luck.” Annette gave him an encouraging grin.

Ashten flashed a broad smile. “Thank you, ma’am.” He turned and walked toward the open door.

Book 2

Book Title: Lumber and Law (Shoes and Ties #2)

Author: Jena Wade

Publisher: Self-Published 

Cover Artist: Silver Heart Design

Genre/s: gay contemporary romance

Length: 29 000 words 


A few months after his brother’s accident, Jesse Brody can’t stop thinking about Troy Evans, the police office that helped solve the case. Even though Troy almost had to arrest him, Jesse is sure he has a shot at a date.

The two meet by chance and share a nice dinner at Jesse’s apartment, which ends with Jesse all over Troy’s lap. Though he isn’t out at work, Troy agrees to give a relationship with Jesse a chance.

Buy Links - Available on Kindle Unlimited


Jesse settled onto his usual park bench. The warm sun beat down on his back through his T-shirt as he leaned forward, elbows resting on his knees. Runners and walkers passed him without a glance. The happy chatter of Frisbee games and families sitting on outspread picnic blankets filled the air.

Taking a deep breath, he touched the tablet in his hand, pulling up today’s news. He checked the time and tapped his foot against the concrete of the running path. His reason for being here today and every Sunday for the past six months had yet to show.

Any minute now Troy Evans would jog by, his golden retriever following closely behind him.

Jesse ran his fingers though his hair and glanced around the park. Annoyance prickled at his skin. Until his twin brother, Ashten, had been attacked three months ago, he hadn’t even known Troy’s name. It was just by chance that Detective Evans had been on duty when the police were called to investigate Ashten’s hit-and-run assault. In the week that followed, Jesse and Troy had spoken over the phone and occasionally met at the precinct to discuss the case. Since the woman responsible for hitting Ashten had been arrested, Jesse hadn’t spoken with Troy.

A knot formed in Jesse’s gut as he remembered why he never tried to contact the man again. When he’d found Trent, Ashten’s boyfriend, and Troy together, he’d assumed the worst. Jealousy and anger had spurred violence in him he didn’t know he had. Anger because it appeared as if Trent could replace Ashten so easily, and jealousy because he’d replaced him with the one man Jesse wanted.

Jesse had punched Trent square in the jaw.

Shame filled him at the memory. He’d read the situation completely wrong, and he’d looked like a fool because of it. Had Troy not threatened to arrest him, he might’ve messed up their little sting operation further, and Ashten’s assailant wouldn’t have been arrested that day.

It had only been a few months earlier that Jesse had seen Troy jog by at the park. He’d been mesmerized by the man’s movement. Troy had worn blue basketball shorts and a tank top that stretched nicely across his chiseled chest and abs. Jesse hadn’t hidden his admiration for the man very well. His neck craned until he had to stand in order to continue watching his magnificent form.

The man never noticed him.

Book 3

Book Title: Forever and Always (Shoes and Ties #3)

Author: Jena Wade

Publisher: Self-Published 

Cover Artist: Silver Heart Design

Genre/s: gay contemporary romance

Length: 8 000 words 


Now that they're living in their Happily Ever After, Ashten, Trent, Troy, and Jesse are ready to take the next step.
But what happens when the twins choose the same wedding date? May the best couple win…

Buy Links - Available on Kindle Unlimited

Karen’s rating for the series:  

Series overview…
‘Shoes & Ties’ in general is a short light read about Ashten Brody and his twin brother Jesse Brody. The series consist of 3 novellas. ‘Shoes & Ties’ is the also the title of the first story and it’s about Ashten Brody and Trent Cole. While book #2 Lumber & Law is about Jesse Brody (Ashten’s twin) and Troy Evans. Then in ‘Forever & Always’ the third and final story in this series we find out what happens when twins Ashten and Jesse get their happily ever after and as fate would have it the twins choose the same date for their nuptials. Surprisingly neither twin is happy about this turn of events.

Review Book #1: Shoes & Ties

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Author Of The Month - Isobel Starling - Week Two

Welcome to our 2nd week of celebrations for the amazing 

In today's post, we're featuring the Shatterproof Bond series, plus five little-known things about Isobel. All the way at the bottom is another chance to win one of her books.

First up, As You Wish


One wedding, two best men, one hell of a love story!

Declan Ramsay's brother Oliver was marrying Annabelle Aiken at a fairy tale castle on the banks of Loch Ness in Scotland. The bride and groom decided, so that he didn't feel left out, that Annabelle's gay younger brother could share the best man duties with Declan.

Declan had never met the kid who was to be his joint best man. Sam Aiken was abroad, working as an interpreter and finishing his studies. He wouldn't meet Declan until a few days before the wedding, so the best men communicated and planned their speech by email for more than a year. But on meeting Sam Aiken, Declan is surprised to realize the kid isn't a kid at all, but a tall, blond and athletic young man. Declan is sure he's straight, so he's alarmed by the ferocious attraction he feels for Sam. And as the attraction is reciprocated, the events at Dunloch Castle change everything Declan has ever believed about himself. But, is Samuel Aiken all that he appears to be?


Declan stood, wearing just a white linen shirt that fell to just below his hips.  His flushed, pink cockhead and dangling balls peeked from the hem. He carried black Ghillie Brogue shoes and a coat hanger that held his Highland dress.
“I’m guessing you’ve never worn a kilt an’ Prince Charlie before.  I’ll give ye a hand gettin’ dressed,” he called to Sam in the bathroom.  After a plonk, and then a glugging sound, Sam walked out of the bathroom shamelessly naked.  Declan still could not fathom the flare of desire he felt when he saw Sam nude. Every cell in his body just wanted to envelop the man, covet his body, and take him.  He watched long, lean legs stroll around as Sam collected garments and tossed others in his unruly suitcase. The mess of that suitcase tickled annoyance at the back of Declan’s mind.  However, there were other things to keep Declan occupied. A pert, pale backside teased as Sam bent down to rummage through his rucksack. Declan uttered an involuntary low growl. Sam looked back at him, still bent over, and grinned.  He knew exactly what he was doing. Sam retrieved a white crease-free shirt which was still in its packaging, from his bag. He unwrapped it and gave it a shake. Sure enough, there was no need to iron it.
Sam put the shirt on, feeling the burn of Declan’s lustful gaze.  Sam had never felt so admired, yet self-conscious. He sprayed deodorant under his arms before turning back to catch Declan’s eye.  Now they both stood in crisp white shirts and nothing else. Declan shook his head at the sight of Sam and his own reaction to him.
“Ye know, if I had mah way, we’d never leave this room” He smirked
“You know, if I had my way, you’d be tied to that four-poster bed” Sam countered.  Declan boomed a laugh. His gaze lingered, reading the desire clearly written on Sam’s face, but they had a groom to get to his wedding.  Flirtation would have to wait for a more appropriate time.
“The way I do it is stockings first” Declan informed him as he moved to the hanger holding his highland dress.
“Is that right?”  Sam wagged his brows and smirked, mirroring his new lover while retrieving his dark-navy stockings.  Declan pulled a side chair close to the bed and sat. Sam sat on the blanket box, his feet up on the dark-oak surface.  Declan dragged the stockings over his hard muscled calves up to the knee. The dark color of the wool hose outlined the masculine shape of him.  He watched as Sam did the same, pulling the socks over sculpted feet and up over lean calves. They were putting on socks, for God’s sake… but, Jesus, it was sexy.  Declan bit his lip… sex with this man had left him horny as a rutting bull.
“Next are the flashes” Declan stood and retrieved the flag-like flashes and garters for both men.  He sat on the blanket box at Sam’s feet and pulled Sam’s legs over his bare thighs. Sam leaned back on his hands and allowed Declan to attend to him.  He was getting turned on by the darting heated looks and simplest of gestures. His skin flared with each incidental touch of Declan’s fingers. It was ridiculous.  Sam bit his lip coquettishly and sat wide-eyed, watching in silence as the garter braces were strapped around his socked calves, the navy flashes positioned facing outward and the stocking folded down to cover the brace.  Declan talked nervously the whole time, explaining the reason for each action as if he had to justify the touches.
“Here… let me do yours,” Sam said, moving swiftly to his feet and then dropping onto his knees in front of Declan.  Large playful eyes shot a look up at the older man. Sam took the garters and flashes and did as he’d been directed, marveling at the firm-muscled, calves, strong, thick thighs and the delicious cock that had awoken with the sexual tension between them.
Declan couldn’t control the compulsion.  His hands roamed over Sam’s short blond hair, the men exchanged knowing glances and smiles as the garters were secured and navy flashes positioned.  Declan exhaled a long, defeated breath. He leaned in and took Sam’s lips in a tender kiss, murmuring into his mouth,
“I really canae keep mah hands off you”  
Sam’s hands cupped Declan’s broad, smiling face and he said “The feelings mutual, lover”  
Sam was dragged from the floor and tossed on the bed as if he were light as a feather.  Declan crawled over Sam, and then those strong hands were around Sam’s wrists, restraining him, and the weight of the domineering Scotsman covered his slender frame.  Sam was helpless with desire once more, his cock pulsing and filling in response to the heated rush. His face was kissed, devoured, and his throat nuzzled, bitten, licked.  Gods! Declan’s tongue read Sam’s body and knew what he liked. But…
“Fuck…”  Sam exhaled.  “We don’t have time for this” he reminded.  
Declan paused and breathed his disappointment into the crook of Sam’s shoulder.  He reluctantly moved off Sam’s body and lay panting in shallow huffs of breath for a moment.  Sam was right. Declan rolled off the bed and offered a hand to his lover. He pulled him up and into his arms.  Again Sam submitted to the embrace, his chest crushed tight, and the breath pushed from his lungs. At this rate, they were never leaving the room.  
“Okay… the Ramsay Tartan kilt” Declan said decisively, letting Sam go.  He moved to the hanger on the door and unhooked his kilt. “There are three buckles…”

©Isobel Starling 2018

Get the book:

The second book in the series, Illuminate The Shadows


A Scotsman and an Englishman fall in love…  
After the most amazing week of Declan Ramsay's life, at Dunloch Castle on the banks of Loch Ness, in Scotland. The charming, mysterious Samuel Aiken has turned Declan's life upside down. Declan has experienced a remarkable change. He has come to terms with the fact he is bisexual, and he has fallen head-over-heels in love with his boss’s son Sam.

However, falling for his boss’s son was never going to be an easy path to happiness, mainly because the boss in question is multi-millionaire property tycoon and former MI5 operative, Sir James Aiken.

Sir James is repulsed by his son’s homosexuality, and so discovering that his employee Declan Ramsay- the man he installed to run his luxury property rental empire- is in a relationship with Sam, does not go down well.

The lovers cannot hide from the looming presence of Sir James Aiken for long! Soon enough James makes his move, and Declan finds out what he will have to endure to stay with Sam, and what he will have to give to feel worthy of Sam's love.


Declan strolled out of the living room, a look of determination on his face.  He wanted to punch his brother in the mouth for what he’d said, and had to breathe deeply to harness his bubbling anger.  Sure enough, when he turned to the top of the stairs, Oliver sat half-way down, looking a little queasy. Declan parked his arse on the top step and looked down at his baby brother.
“Ye’ve only been sharing fer a few weeks… he’s a fast worker, that one,” Oliver said with a sarcastic sneer.
“DON’T,” Declan said roughly, barely keeping the anger in check.  He was so very disappointed with his brother. “What the fuck is yer problem?  What does it matter who I love? What I get up te in the privacy of my own home, with my body is, frankly, none a yer damn business.”  He paused to take a couple of calming breaths and simmered with frustration at the look of disinterest on his brother’s face.
“This is important te me.  Sam and I are a couple, and we wanted to share our happiness with you and Belle, just as you shared yours wi’ us.”  Declan glared at Ollie who now wouldn’t even look him in the eye. The silence was palpable, and the more Declan looked at his brother, the more he began to pity him.  After several minutes Oliver couldn’t hold his pinched, scowling expression anymore.
“It wasnea supposed te be like this,” He burst out suddenly, sounding like a whiny brat.  “You were supposed te meet a nice lassie, and we’d have son’s and take them te football, and hiking an’ fishing.  Normal stuff, ye know.”
Declan winced at the outburst.  Normal stuff… bollox te that!  
“Oliver, that’s not me.  That was never me.  Fer a start, you know I’m probably infertile… cos of the treatment,” Oliver looked up at his brother, sheepish.  Declan knew his own mother was still in denial about the fact he would never give her grandchildren.
“And as fer meetin’ a lassie, I’ve tried, a lot.  I tried for so many years te be like the other lads, but I hated the man I became.  I was goin’ through the motions, and it made me so fuckin’ unhappy.” Declan ran his hands over his bearded face and into his hair.  Oliver was silent and taciturn. Declan decided to try another strategy.
“When you wake up in the morning wi’ Belle sleeping beside ye.  How’d ye feel?”
Oliver’s glance darted to meet Declan’s.  “Why?”
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