Saturday, April 20, 2019

ARC Review: Unbroken by Brooklyn Ray

From The Blurb:
Despite the rumors about Port Lewis, Michael Gates doesn’t expect the house he rents with his sister on Foxglove Lane to be haunted. An eerie meeting with Victor Lewellyn, the resident witch-turned-demon who is bound to the property by dark magic, changes his mind. 
Michael isn’t looking to start a relationship with anyone, let alone someone like Victor, but the intense attraction between them can’t be ignored. As he dives into the world of magical drug rings, demons, witches, and necromancers, Michael also grapples with the complicated past he left behind in Arizona. 
A relationship might not be what he wants, but it sparks something in him he didn’t realize he needs—the chance to heal.

Karen's rating:




It's not always the demons we run from that catch us...

Before I get into my thoughts on the story let's just take a moment to admire that cover.  I've loved the covers for these books each one is unique in image but the style both conveys the over all feeling of the stories and connects them to each other. Also before reading any of these books I would strongly advise reading the warnings at the beginning of each book.

Even though the characters in the first two books were more connected my original viewpoint that these books should be read in order has not changed, however, with this story it's more of an enhancement than a requirement. There's no denying that I've found each story to be on the darker side but 'Unbroken' for me felt like the darkest of them so far.

When Michael's demons chase him to Port Lewis the last thing that he expects to happen is for the demon that haunts his new home to not only help him do battle against them...but to help him win his battle with the past. So far Michael's life choices have been less than stellar and more than one of them has ended badly for him. I found Michael to be a character whose outward confidence concealed an insecure person with definite self esteem issues. There was also a very likable aspect to this character.

I think for me the part of this story that was both the hardest and the best was Michael's history of abuse and how it was addressed. Michael's struggles with his past weren't swept under the rug when Victor came into his life...in fact Victor's arrival into his life was more like the  catalyst that pushed Michael to begin examining what happened in his past and how it was affecting his behavior in the present as well as finding closure for himself. There was no defined beginning or ending of this for Michael just like real life this was an ongoing process for him and something that added realism and depth to his character.

ARC Review: Enrai by Jet Lupin

Blurb:

Phil has a problem.

It’s not his job or the fact that his maybe boyfriend, Shige, is a vampire. He’s a sensitive-- an ability he’s had since he was small that lets him peek into people’s minds— and it’s gotten out of control. He can’t turn it on and off like he used to. He needs help, and he has to fly to the other side of the world to get it. The catch? Shige’s the only one who can take him there, but things with him haven’t been great. Their relationship is in tatters, and he doesn’t know how to fix it or if it’s even up to him. This is so not what he needs right now.

But Phil’s not the only one with issues. Shige’s got a territory to maintain and a mystery to solve all while worrying about Phil. He takes all this in stride, but when things take a turn for the worst, can he get them both home in one piece?




Sandra's review:





This is the second book in the Blood Sealed series and cannot be read as a standalone. It builds on the events from the first book, as Shige and Phil are flying to Japan so Phil can get help with the mind-reading thing that he still hasn't under control. This also gives Shige an opportunity to check up on his territory there and ensure that people still see him as the leader. The relationship between Shige and Phil is still strained, and Shige is acutely aware of how he messed up. Neither man is willing to actually talk about the events of the first book, or come clean about the secrets that are keeping them apart.

What kept me from fully engaging with the story is that the author tells more so than shows - we are merely told about things, but we don't really get to see them. The world-building is somewhat lacking, and while descriptions of Shige's beautiful compound are plentiful, they're merely a backdrop. It's like looking at a movie without the sound on. We don't really find out anything substantial about Shige's past. We're confronted with a man who thinks he has rights to Shige and sees Phil as a rival, going so far as mistreating and ultimately attacking him. The reason for this didn't make a whole lot of sense to me and sounded like something Shige could have cut off at the beginning instead of letting it fester for so long.

Friday, April 19, 2019

ARC Review: Don't Fight the Spark (Soldiers and Mercenaries #1) by Kasia Bacon

Don't Fight the Spark (Soldiers & Mercenaries #1)
Blurb:
As the Light Festival draws near, the Něssyrians craft paper lanterns, awaiting the most important holiday of the year.

The Lyliňg Fighting House, too, prepares for celebration—by laying fresh sand onto the arena and setting up a match against their top pit fighter, the unrivalled Yüuzuki Ōren.

His last match. One he can’t win. 

With the odds more than stacked against him, the gorgeous Barbarian is as good as dead. Unless his lover, healer Ĥaiatto Ẽkana, proves himself every bit as determined as he is clever and finds a way to protect the man he'd stop at nothing to save.



Todd's rating:




Yay, another new story from The Order universe!

I had no idea this story was even coming out until, lo and behold, it showed up in my Inbox, after which a small 'squee' (or three) may have been heard. "Allegedly."

Kasia's stories never fail to pull me in, with her well-crafted wordsmithery and intriguing characters.

In this new 85'ish page novella, the story was all about hidden love and lengths to which one might go to keep it from ending, when faced with your partner's impending mortal peril.

You see, healer and magic wielder Haiatto had been secretly partnered with pit fighter Yuu for the past three years, mending his broken warrior on a regular basis, as his fights became progressively more brutal.

Yuu was a crowd favorite, but since he'd gone undefeated for several years, gambling profits for the owners of the Lyling Fighting House had gone down, causing them to pit Yuu against several fighters at once to keep the crowd entertained.

But during the upcoming Light Festival, there was a scheduled closed fight with Yuu facing even more simultaneous opponents, some armed, which was basically a death sentence, a fact that both Yuu and Haiatto both realized.

So as Yuu healed from his last fight, Haiatto began to scheme as to how he might save his beloved from certain death.

As always, the world building in this story was superb, incorporating yet another layer of complexity to the already-vibrant Order universe, this time by adding some actual magic.

Release Blitz: Starting From Zero by Lane Hayes




Title: Starting From Zero
Series: Starting From Series, Book 1
Author: Lane Hayes
Publisher: Lane Hayes
Release Date: April 15
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 68000
Genre: Romance, Rock star, May/December romance, Bisexual, LA, Humor, New beginning

Add to Goodreads





Synopsis


Justin Cuevas is going through a rough patch. A broken relationship, a scandal, and the demise of his band have shaken the aspiring rock star’s confidence. Working two jobs and sleeping on his friend’s sofa isn’t ideal, but Justin isn’t ready to give up yet. With a little luck, he’s hoping to re-launch his music career in LA with his new band, Zero. The key is to stay focused, and not get distracted by his past…or the sexy songwriter he can’t get out of his head.


Gray Robertson has written dozens of hits and worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. But he’s never met anyone like Justin. The younger man is fiery, passionate, and smart. A powerful voice for a new generation. Other than an unforgettable one-night stand and a passion for music, the two men have nothing in common. Or do they? Justin knows the out-of-the-blue challenge to write a quintessential love song is a huge opportunity. And it’s the ultimate test for someone who’s doesn’t believe in happily ever after. When sparks fly, Justin and Gray realize they have a shot something special if they start from zero together. Maybe even love.



Excerpt

Justin turned to me with a fiery expression and gestured toward the glittering lights below. “Everyone here wants more than what they have. And I guess I’m the same. I don’t need recognition and I sure as fuck don’t want love, but I wouldn’t say no to a few bucks,” he commented with a laugh. “What about you?”

I did a double take. I was two steps behind, struggling to keep up, and if possible, memorize every word he’d said. I hadn’t been around anyone so raw or so honest in a long time. He made rules and broke them with at whim, letting me in and then shutting me out. He had a way of revealing himself that made me feel as though he was holding a mirror to me, daring me to acknowledge my broken pieces too. He was either slightly insane or incredibly gifted. I suspected it was the latter. The cadence of his speech lured me in...and made me want more. I’d tell him anything he wanted to know, just to be near him and this intense spark of...newness, creativity, and wonder.

“What about me?” I asked in a low raspy voice.

“What do you want to accomplish before you leave the planet?”

“I want to write the perfect song,” I replied unthinking.

“There’s no such thing.”

“Maybe, maybe not. But it would be nice to leave something that felt special.”

Justin held my gaze then inclined his head in agreement. “Yeah. I want that too.”

We stared at each other. Whispers of conversation floated from the far corners of the rooftop deck. We weren’t alone, but we might as well be. I couldn’t remember ever feeling so intimately connected to someone I’d never really touched. It was puzzling and enchanting at the same time.

He shivered when the breeze kicked up. I took it as a sign from above and pulled him against me. I had to feel him. I studied the sexy indentation in his bottom lip before giving into impulse and resting my hands on his hip. Justin gave me a funny look but he didn’t push me away.

“You shouldn’t be anonymous. You have too much to share. Too much to say,” I said.

“What are you doing?”

“I...I’m not sure. Is this okay?”

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Author Of The Month - BA Tortuga - Week Three



Welcome to our third week of celebrations for the amazing







In our third post, we'll look at the Border Crossing series, plus a personal story the author has chosen to share. There's also a chance to win one of her books!



First up, Bombs and Guacamole

Blurb:

ER doctor Dusty Lowry grew up in a conservative rural Texas family that has never quite forgiven him for staying in New Mexico after his stint in the Army. Paramedic Nate Miller, Dusty’s best friend since their early Army days, has a hippie momma, a tiny apartment, and is in lust with his buddy. When their other Army friend, Kyle, gets married, they start thinking about settling down. In fact, they both know what they want: each other. Too bad they’ve never shared that goofy little fact.

A trip to visit Dusty’s family in Texas changes everything, and Dusty and Nate aren’t sure where to go from there. Good thing they’re smart guys, and between a series of bombings that target first responders, their friend Kyle’s wife getting pregnant, and more than one bowl of guacamole, they begin to figure out how to have a relationship.
But as the bombings get closer to home, Nate and Dusty must navigate love and commitment before they lose their chance.

Excerpt:


A rooster crowed somewhere nearby, which meant it was time to get up. It also meant there was either another illegal cockfighting operation springing up in downtown Las Cruces, or that Dusty was home in East Texas. He knew it was inhumane, but right now he was really hoping for gallos duking it out.
He cracked an eye open—faded quilt wrapped around him and a box just across the way labeled “Momma’s Afghans.”
East Texas it was. At least he was warm and comfy, his back pressed up against something really hot and solid. Something that was breathing on the back of his neck. Now he knew his people had some dogs big enough to spoon with, but they didn’t have gorillas or anything this big, so that meant Nate was there. Snuggling.
Dusty closed his eyes, so tempted to just stay there, but that wasn’t fair. Nate would no doubt be mortified if he woke up all close and personal with Dusty’s ass. The guy really did need to find a nice girl and settle down if he needed physical touch this much, though. Right?
He took a deep breath before easing out of Nate’s range, slipping out of the bed to head for the bathroom. Dusty was used to sleeping two, maybe three hours. Nate required at least six.
After he peed, he padded down to the kitchen, smelling coffee and some kind of baked goods. That alone would be worth the price of him coming home for the big party. His mom’s cooking made him happy, deep down.
There she stood in front of the stove too, pulling on oven mitts.
“Am I just in time, and do you need me to make bacon?”
“Dustin.” She smiled at him over her shoulder. “Hi, baby boy. I need to get these out, and then you can start frying bacon.”
“It’s better for you if you bake it, Momma. Less fat.”
“Bah.” She pulled out the muffins, her robe the same old chintz that she always wore, familiar as a Norman Rockwell painting. “I like it fried. That way I can reuse the grease.”
He chuckled. “Yeah. I thought y’all were gonna go on a cruise.”
“Oh, your daddy chickened out.” She straightened before turning to face him, her blue eyes proving where he’d gotten his. “He was worried about the flu, or his cows, or blah-blah. You know him.”
“I do.” Like the back of his hand.
“So, who came with you? Austin said you were bringing an Army friend.”
He was not gonna roll his eyes. Not, notty-not. He knew the “when are you bringing us a girl” would start before he even had breakfast. “I did. I’m not dating, just working, and Nate needed to get out of town for a few days. He works too hard.”
“Is he a doctor too? I thought he was an EMT or something.”
“He’s a paramedic. Damned good one.”
She stared at him, hands on her hips. “Don’t cuss at me.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Dusty sighed. “Sorry, Momma. I’m so tired, and I don’t want to have to defend my choices right now.”
Her gaze softened, sympathy in her eyes. “Is that what you feel like we need? We just worry about you.”
“So why does every conversation come back to who I’m dating?”
“Grandbabies,” she said without a pause. “For mothers, it’s always about grandbabies. I would be an exceptional granny.”
“Talk to Austin. He’s at the right age.”
“You’re a cruel son.” She came to him and put a hand on his arm, though, belying the words. “I love you no matter what, Son. I can’t help but hope.”


Get the book:




Book 2 in the series, Ammo and Enchiladas, coming in June 2019



Blurb:

After a night at the movies in Albuquerque, NM, Brantley’s best friend, Matt, is shot right in front him during a robbery. Stunned and devastated, Brant tries to help Matt’s husband, Travis, deal with the funeral details even as he struggles with his own grief and Travis’s blame. When Travis’s best friend arrives, Brant is both annoyed and grateful, because he is so darn tired and can use the help.

Lex Espana is ashamed to admit he hasn’t seen his childhood best friend since Travis’s wedding. He’s even more amazed that he barely remembers Brant from that wedding, because he’s sure interested now. While it’s weird to fall for someone at a funeral, his feelings for Brant are real and make him long for a life he didn’t realize he was missing.

Neither Lex nor Brant knows how to be part of an us, though, and they both have a lot to work through before they can settle in. To become a real couple, Brant and Lex will have to dig deep to get past the roadblocks in their relationship.

Excerpt:

Brantley sat staring at his hands. His fingernails were filthy.
He’d cleaned his hands up, but he’d missed his nails. You’d think after all the years of scrubbing he’d never miss his nails.
“Can I get you anything, sir? Coffee? Anything?” The cop’s voice was sympathetic, soft, like he was fixin’ to shatter into a thousand pieces, which he reckoned he was.
Brant stared up at the detective, his vision swimming. “I…. Coffee? Please?”
“You got it. We got a K-cup thing. Coffee has been better around here.” The detective moved away, and Brant wasn’t sure he could remember how to breathe.
Matty. What the actual fuck? It had happened so fucking fast. The guy hadn’t even given Matt a chance to give over his wallet, his keys, anything, before the motherfucker shot. The asshole panicked and ran then, or Brant had a feeling he would be dead too. Christ, how was he gonna tell Travis?
Had someone already told Travis? He closed his eyes, nausea rising up. His nails had Matt’s blood under them.
As soon as the asshole had taken off, he’d been there, trying to do triage, but the shot had gone right into Matty’s temple. It was over before it had begun.
He hiccupped, and the cop handed him a paper cup.
“We’ll be getting you home soon. We appreciate your patience.”
“What else do you need from me?”

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Blog Tour: Galen’s Redemption (Links in the Chain #2) by Parker Williams





Galen’s Redemption 

(Links in the Chain #2)

Author: Parker Williams



Good day, Fiction Nookers! Thank you to Sandra at My Fiction Nook for once again allowing me to visit. I was asked what my inspiration was for the series, and what else is in store for the characters. So, let’s get to that, shall we?

Like a lot of my stories, it started out as a dream. In Lincoln’s Park, a young man in need of help walks into a diner and changes both his and the owner’s life forever. In that story Noel, one of the main characters, asks Robert, the owner of the homeless shelter, what he wants out of life. Robert tells him he gave up on wanting anything, because there was no way he could have it all.

Which leads us to book two where Robert is about ready to lose everything. He’s out of money, out of options, and sees no way to dig himself out of the morass he’s mired in. Noel gave him a check that he’d received from Lincoln’s father for a quarter million dollars. That would go a long way toward helping the residents, but… Robert knows that the money isn’t without strings. He fully realizes that one day someone is going to come and demand it back. That person is Lincoln’s brother, Galen.

Now, at the end of book one, Noel makes note that Galen seemed uncomfortable when his father offered Noel the money, but Noel couldn’t figure out why. In this book, the answer is given, and it will lead Galen on a quest for redemption that he’s not sure he deserves.

There were only supposed to be two books in the series, but another idea that I had demanded attention, and I started writing about a man whose husband was dying of cancer. The story was supposed to be a standalone book but, out of the blue, the main character, Tom, decides that he's related to Robert from the shelter. Well, that changed everything, including a part of Galen’s Redemption where Galen meets Tom and his husband, Brian Chen. So I had to write to Dreamspinner and ask permission to make it a trilogy. Fortunately they said yes.

If you get book two, in the back of the book you’ll find the first chapter of book three. Now, books one and two were written in third person. Book three is in first. Why? Because to me, Tom’s story was a lot more personal and needed to be told from his viewpoint. Who will be the new love in Tom’s life? Well, I’m not going to say anything more than if you read book two, you might see him there.

That will end the Links in the Chain series, and allow me to move on to new things. But this was the first time I’ve written a series where all the books were done back to back to back because these boys wanted everyone to meet them. I hope you’ll read them and enjoy them!

Parker

About the book:


A Links in the Chain Story


A rich man is about to set foot into an unknown world, while a Good Samaritan fears he’ll have to close the charity he’s spent his life building. Poised to lose it all, they might find what they need most in each other.

Son of a wealthy importer, Galen Merriweather lives to broker deals, and he’s damn good at it. But it’s getting harder to ignore the kind of man his father is—a man who would pay Galen’s brother’s lover to leave… a man who’d demand Galen retrieve a quarter-million-dollar check from a struggling homeless shelter.

Robert Kotke knows the money is too good to be true, but it’s a godsend that could help so many people. Still, he hands it over when Galen shows up. But he isn’t done with Galen yet, and he’s going to challenge everything Galen ever believed.

Galen will face an impossible decision: the redemption he’s come to realize he wants, or the life he’d always dreamed of.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Genre/s: Contemporary MM Romance

Trope/s: Hurt/comfort, learning to love

Themes: Forgiveness for oneself and for others

Heat Rating: 3 flames 

Length: 92 660 words

Release Date: April 16, 2019

Buy Links






Excerpt

LATE JUNE 2018

THE PEOPLE milling around at the coffeepot scattered when Galen Merriweather stormed into Primal Imports and headed for his office. He’d gone to see his brother, Lincoln, at Park View, the diner he owned, to tell him about the betrayal of Noel Simmons, Lincoln’s lover. When his father had offered Noel a quarter of a million dollars to walk away so Lincoln would be forced to come back to the family business, Galen had been incensed. Their old man had pulled some shady crap over the years, but this was a new low, even for him.

His personal assistant, Olivia, greeted him with a warm smile when he stepped through the door. “Good afternoon, Mr. Merriweather.”

Galen sneered at her and stomped into his office, slamming the door as he did. He dropped into the stylish leather chair that sat behind the imposingly large oak desk, wondering why the hell he’d bothered to talk to Lincoln at all. His feelings about Galen had been made perfectly clear when he chose that… person over his own family.

Plus, what was up with their father? His private investigator had somehow acquired pictures of Lincoln from a BDSM club he’d frequented at some point in his storied past. They showed Lincoln and some of the submissives he’d played with at the clubs. It turned Galen’s stomach to see. Not that he had a problem with BDSM. The problem was how his father had gone about it. The guys in the pictures were innocent, but anyone could clearly see who they were. Galen had to wonder if the PI had stolen the pictures or had worked out a deal with a club owner.

Either way, the whole thing stunk, and Galen hated the thought that he’d done nothing but sit there as his father rode roughshod over Noel. He had to admit, the way Noel had played his father was masterful, and there wasn’t a doubt in Galen’s mind that when he found out, his father’s retribution would be swift.

Galen didn’t like Noel, but he had to respect the ginormous set of balls he obviously had.

Still, what the fuck was up with his father? He’d seen the man pull some awful shit, but this? It went way beyond the pale, even for him. Galen’s ire rose as he thought about how any hope of Lincoln coming back to Primal had now been dashed, and all because their father was a total asshole.

When his phone rang, Galen took a moment to compose himself, then answered it without checking to see who it was.

Big mistake.

“Primal Imports, this is Galen. How can I help you?”

Blogtour: Kyle's Reveal by Royal Blue



Please say hello to Royal Blue and 

Kyle's Reveal 



Hey! I’m Blue Saffire writing as Royal Blue. I’m probably best known for my Brothers Black Series, under my Blue Saffire pen name. However, I’m coming to you with my debut novel as Royal Blue, and I’m so freaking excited about it! If you know me then it’s the same pen game just a different lane. I’m still bringing that Alpha goodness with all of the feels and plenty of heat. I’ve got you on all fronts.

This book took me on an emotional rollercoaster that I loved. Kyle is a professional basketball player, struggling with past abuse, raising his nephew, and dodging a manipulative ex. Andy is a schoolteacher, self-conscious after a botched surgery. But together, two scarred souls can find love and healing.

Here’s a little taste! Have a peek. I promise you’ll want more.



Blurb:

Some scars are on the body, while others exist only on the heart. But together, two scarred souls can find healing, love, and family.

Professional basketball player Kyle Tyson is suffocating beneath the weight of his responsibilities and his past. Childhood abuse left its mark, as did Kyle’s guilt over his sister’s death. Now, he’s trying to raise his young nephew, pursue his career, and dodge a narcissistic and manipulative ex who wants to out Kyle before he’s ready.

Schoolteacher Andy Connor found a shield in food as a boy, but that shield nearly took his life. He now bears the marks of a botched skin-tightening surgery following the dramatic weight loss that saved his life. Unfortunately, Andy’s scars have left him insecure about his body, causing him to find a shield in his shyness. Andy can scarcely believe someone like Kyle could be interested in him. But as they get to know each other, Andy starts to see himself through new eyes. Now if he can just help Kyle learn to love himself as much as Andy is growing to love him.


Excerpt:

“Mason, do you want to tell me what happened?” I say gently.
I asked the principal to allow me to have a chat with Mason, before his guardian arrived, given that the boy had shut down and wouldn’t speak to anyone.
I care about all of my students, but this little boy has taken up a special place in my heart. He has been through so much in a short lifetime. He did well in the beginning. I’ve talked to Beth Ann, his teacher from last year. I remember him being a bright, outgoing student from the after-school program, but after the death of his mother he started to pull into himself, which is totally understandable. He’s five and has had such great loss. My heart bleeds for him.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” he pouts.
“Your uncle will be here soon. It would be helpful if I understood so I can explain things to him from your side.”
He turns his dark brown eyes up to me. His expression is almost pleading. He nods. I wait him out. Mason speaks so carefully for a small child, intent on selecting all the right words.
“Sean pushed me on the playground. My… my mommy wouldn’t like if I got in trouble for fighting. I need to be good. If I am, then maybe heaven will let her come back,” he explains, hope blooming in his voice.
It’s like someone just punched me through the heart. What do I say to that? I’d give anything to make this better for this sweet child, but I can’t help him with his ultimate wish. In my moment of silence, trying to find the right words, he continues instead.
“I tried to be the bigger man, like Uncle Beau taught me. But Sean pushed me again and started calling me names.” He shrugs his small shoulders. “So I put the brakes to him like Uncle Kyle would do.”
I bite my lip to keep from laughing. This is not the time to let my professionalism slip. Mason indeed put the brakes to Sean Novak. That little kid is a troublemaker and deserved the beatdown Mason gave him.
I’ve been trying to get Sean’s parents up here to the school for months. It’s funny how they appeared once their son became the victim. I don’t doubt that Mason’s uncle being Kyle Tyson had something to do with their sudden interest.
A loud groan sounds, pulling my attention. I lift my eyes to see the Kyle Tyson standing in the doorway of my classroom. I hadn’t thought about the chance of Kyle coming here, to my little classroom. I thought I’d have Mason back to the front office by the time of his arrival.
I’ve seen the man in passing a few times. Even at this distance his presence seems all-consuming. That deep, rich brown skin and those dark brown eyes are something to admire. The way his brows and lashes frame the windows to his soul displays something else entirely.
I feel like I’m being invited into a secret. Something dark and mysterious that only a precious few are able to get a glimpse of. I lower my eyes to his lips and have to keep myself from licking my own.
I’m five nine, but I’ve always been a sucker for taller men. Kyle has to be six five, maybe even six seven. His body reads every bit of the story of an athlete. Even the slight gaps to his stance send my pulse racing.
I shake my head clear. Kyle Tyson is like Jason Momoa—I’ll always have fantasies of him, but I’ll never have a shot.
Kyle moves into the room, squatting beside his nephew’s desk. His cologne is the second thing to engulf me, after his overwhelming presence. I watch silently, as Mason jumps into his uncle’s arms.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to mess things up,” Mason sobs into Kyle’s neck.
“You didn’t mess anything up. I’m proud of you for trying to be the bigger man. You did what you needed to defend yourself in the end,” Kyle says softly.
“She’s not going to come back. I was a bad boy,” Mason whimpers.
Kyle’s dark eyes lift to meet mine, his thick brows knit. I can feel my eyes soften. Clearly he didn’t hear the beginning of our conversation. I place a soothing hand on Mason’s small back, as he sobs on his uncle.
I’ll explain, I mouth, not wanting to repeat the conversation in front of Mason. I think it’s something Kyle should have time to digest.
“Hey, buddy, I want to talk to Mr. Connor,” Kyle says. “Emma’s out in the hallway. Why don’t you go and say hi?”

Release Blitz: New Girl by A. Fae




Title: New Girl
Series: Collegiate Curves Series
Author: A. Fae
Publisher: A. Fae
Release Date: 4/15/19
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Female/Female
Length: 23k
Genre: Romance, New Adult, college, f/f, curvy girls. HFN, roommates

Add to Goodreads






Synopsis


Meg is excited to start her junior year at a new college in a small town. She’s heard plenty from other people about the Sweet Spot, a local bookstore and café, and quickly learns the Spot is indeed the “it Spot” in her new home away from home. Everything about her move seems promising save for being stuck in the transitional dorms until she can find a room to rent.

Lys is a senior art student, who spends most of her day working in the student art studio on campus. But when she’s free, she can be found hanging at the Spot or at her place in the small apartment complex, The Palms, home to many other Spot patrons and employees. As luck would have it, she is in need of a roommate and when she receives a promising phone call, she thinks she might have found the one.

The Sweet Spot is not only the “it Spot” for townies and college students alike, but it also happens to be the place where the lesbians (and gays) come to hang out a couple of times of the week. On one such night, when the sounds of karaoke fill the air, Meg and Lys have a chance meeting that goes beyond steamy fairly quickly. But little do they know their next encounter has already been made; set up by the two of them before either knew who the other was.

Will Meg find her home away from campus? Can Lys find the perfect roommate among the women in town, one who promises no partying or overnight guests? The first in the five-book Collegiate Curves novella series by A. Fae, New Girl answers these questions and more while telling the story of two women who start hot and heavy as strangers and end as much more than either ever bargained for.

Excerpt

I casually lifted my aviator glasses from over my eyes, using them as a headband to push back my long, stringy hair that, despite my oftentimes-heroic efforts each morning to straighten or curl it, was in desperate need of a trim and highlight. I hadn’t come to do more than check out the place, but I felt an interesting energy or vibe within the four walls of Sweet Spot—and quite a few sexy coeds to boot—so I figured I’d stick around for a bit.

I’m from a big city, and the laid-back feel of the town of Lakeshore was a refreshing change. I’d been anxious to transfer here since I was a senior in high school because their journalism program at the small, private liberal arts college was widely known to be one of the best in the country.

The only child to a single mother, my mother insisted I start with the community college close to home before moving over a thousand miles away. Now that I’m here. I’m not sure I’ll ever leave. I might even pursue my master’s when I complete my undergraduate degree.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

ARC Review: Escaping Camp Roosevelt by Bryan T. Clark

Escaping Camp Roosevelt
Blurb:
“He’s a bad boy—cocky and damaged. So, why can’t I stop thinking about him?" 

Broken Dreams 
Sociable and unselfish, eighteen-year-old Tucker Graves loves two things—his darling little sister and the thrill of playing baseball. He never dreamed that he’d be homeless, but after a series of misfortunes, his life is nothing like he could have possibly imagined. Shocked and shattered, Tucker, his mother, and his baby sister now must brave the dangers of a dilapidated homeless encampment called Camp Roosevelt. 

A Wounded Heart 
Homeless since the age of fourteen, Dancer has mastered the tricks of living on the streets as a sex worker. The quiet, reclusive, and calculating ways of this twenty-year-old, green-eyed Adonis help him to survive. He hides his emotional scars from the world by interacting only with his clients, whose occasional bizarre requests he reluctantly fulfills. Dancer’s past has taught him to trust no one. 

A Second Chance 
When Tucker and Dancer come face to face on a stormy night, having been thrown together under the same roof, Tucker brings out a feeling in Dancer that he didn’t know still existed in him—desire. Neither man can deny the attraction he feels for the other. But some scars run deep, causing both Tucker and Dancer to question whether falling in love is even possible, especially when survival is on the line.

Todd's rating:




What with the homelessness, prostitution, and drug abuse, this book felt very much like a New Adult story from Garrett Leigh -- except not quite.

We first met 18 y.o. Tucker, brand new to living on the streets, as his mother's meth habit took what little they'd ever had from them, forcing them to seek refuge in a tent city in a suburb of Chicago.

20 y.o. Dancer, however, had been living on the streets since running away from parental sexual abuse at age 14, earning his living by having sex with men for money, while hardening his heart against everyone and everything.

Dancer came across as a bit of a cold-hearted bitch, but I immediately liked both Dancer and Tucker, even if they didn't seem to care for one another very much upon their first interactions.

In addition to keeping himself and his addict mother alive, Tucker's main objective was to keep his 6 y.o. sister, Mattie, safe, which had been mostly his job since she'd been born.

Blogtour and Release Day Review: Under His Protection by LaQuette



Please welcome LaQuette with 

Under His Protection 

a Dreamspun Desires title



 Love Is Real, Even When It’s Fake

Hello, I’m LaQuette, and I’m so happy to be here at My Fiction Nook.  Thanks so much to Sandra for allowing me to drop by.
As a reader of romance, there are several tropes I enjoy. Enemies to lovers and forced proximity romances are always a hoot for me.  But by far, one of my favorite romance tropes to read about is the Fake boyfriend.  
Therefore, you cannot imagine my delight when I began the preparation work for my latest release, Under His Protection, and I realized for a good chunk of the book Elijah and Camden would have to pretend to be lovers when they couldn’t stand each other.
Why do I love the fake boyfriend trope so much?  It’s an opportunity for the readers to see how absolutely perfect the protagonists are for one another, even when they can't see it themselves.  It also makes for amazing chemistry, tension, and that amazing “ahh” factor that happens when a couple gets their happily ever after at the end of the book.  
Look below to see just how amazing Camden and Elijah are for one another.




Excerpt

“I think it’s time we call it a night. Camden’s had a pretty hectic couple of days, and I’m sure he could use some rest.”
“Same sleeping arrangements as always, or you want Viv and me to take your room and share the upstairs with the ’rents?”
Camden waited for Elijah’s answer to Emmanuel’s question. As far as Camden could recall, there were only two bedrooms in this house. The master and the guest room Elijah had placed Camden in earlier. What other sleeping arrangements could Emmanuel be speaking of?
“Nah, you and Viv can keep the room in the basement. Camden and I are in my master. Pops and Mama can take the guest room down the hall once I’ve made it up.”
Camden swallowed his building anxiety. The quick hand job in his basement gym was one thing, but spending a night in the same bed as Elijah was a temptation Camden didn’t think wise. They hadn’t processed what had happened between them yet. Being locked in the same bed couldn’t help their situation.
Elijah stood up, hugged his father and brother, and gave his mother and sister-in-law each a peck on the cheek before he turned his gaze to Camden and extended a hand for Camden to take.
Camden watched his hand for probably what seemed longer than necessary to the rest of the room. Not that he didn’t understand the reason Elijah was doing it. No, he understood, but it still somehow seemed so out of character for the way the big man communicated with Camden.
“Camden, you coming?”
Camden blinked a few more times, clearing the fuzz from his head and finally stepping into his role as smitten lover. “I’m sorry,” he offered. “I guess I’m more tired than I realized.”
He gave one hand to Elijah and used the other to wave good night to Elijah’s family. He kept his mouth shut and his face free of the panic growing inside until he stepped into Elijah’s room.
Camden looked around the spacious room, hoping to find some sort of sofa for him to sleep on. Although the room was spacious, it wasn’t a suite built with separate rooms. There was a large king-sized bed in the middle of the room, two doors—one of which Camden assumed was a bathroom, and the other a closet—and a dresser and chest against two connecting walls.
“So, I guess I’m sleeping on the floor, then?”

Blog Tour: Strokes on a Canvas by H. Lewis-Foster





Book Title: Strokes on a Canvas

Author: H. Lewis-Foster

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Cover Artist: Cherith Vaughan

Genre/s: Historical M/M Romance

Heat Rating: 3-4 flames 

Trope/s: Friends to lovers

Themes: Overcoming the past

Length: 29,060 words/114 pages

It is a standalone book.



Love and art escaping the past in 1920s London


Blurb
London, 1924. Evan Calver is enjoying a quiet pint, when he notices a man smiling at him across the bar. While the Rose and Crown isn’t that kind of pub, Evan thinks his luck might be in, and he narrowly escapes humiliation when he realises the man is smiling at a friend. Eavesdropping on their conversation, Evan discovers the man is named Milo Halstead and served as an army captain during the war.

When they meet again by chance in the British Museum, artist Milo asks Evan if he would sit for a portrait. Evan is amazed that an upper-class artist wants to paint the son of a miner, and he’s just as surprised when their acquaintance blossoms into friendship. When he discovers that Milo is a man like himself, he hopes that friendship might become more. But as Evan and Milo grow ever closer, can they escape the fears of the past to find their future happiness?


Buy Links







Excerpt

On the opposite side of the cabinet, a man was gazing intently at the Athenian amphora. Evan doubted he was having the same thoughts as himself as he scrutinized the naked athletes, but he seemed transfixed by its sporting design. The dark-haired man was wearing a brown pinstripe suit, the kind seen in newspaper photographs of famous actors and royalty, which Evan could never hope to afford. The stranger looked born to wear his stylish attire, his confident posture showing the suit’s fine cut to full advantage. Then he raised his eyes, and Evan saw the man was not a total stranger. His hair was smooth with Brilliantine, and he wasn’t wearing his gold-rimmed glasses, but he was unmistakably Captain Milo Halstead.

Evan was about to make a hasty exit when he realized the former soldier was smiling at him through the glass. He may have looked smarter than he had last night, but his smile was still as warm and kind as a Nightingale Nurse’s. Evan didn’t imagine the captain remembered him, but he smiled back, thinking it would be impolite not to, then turned to walk away. To his surprise, Evan’s action was mirrored on the other side of the cabinet as Captain Halstead moved in the same direction. He was still looking at Evan, still smiling, and as they both reached the end of the cabinet, Evan wondered what would happen next. Would words be exchanged? And what would those words be? If Milo remembered him from last night and he wasn’t the genial man he seemed, they might hint at blackmail or violence.

Evan was tempted to put his head down and make a run for it, but he didn’t want to attract the attention of the museum guards. He took a breath and stepped forward, only to find Milo standing in his way.

“Excuse me. Could I get past?”

Monday, April 15, 2019

ARC Review: How (Not) to Ask a Boy to Prom by S.J. Goslee

How Not to Ask a Boy to Prom
Blurb:
Nolan Grant is sixteen, gay, and (definitely) still a virgin. He's never had a boyfriend, or even been kissed. It's not like Penn Valley is brimming with prospects. And when his big sister stages an elaborate “prom-posal” so Nolan can ask out his not-so-secret crush, Nolan freezes. He's saved from further embarrassment by bad boy Bern, who, for his own reasons, offers to fake-date Nolan. 

Nolan thinks it's the perfect way to get Daphne off his back and spend the rest of the year drawing narwhals, tending to plants, and avoiding whatever died under his bed a few weeks ago. What he doesn't think about is Bern's ex-girlfriend, who seriously wants to kill him.




Todd's rating:




Funny, frustrating story was funnily frustrating.

This book had a lot of humor, but read almost like some sort of "stream of consciousness" story, where the MC, Nolan (aka "Grant") just stumbled aimlessly through his days, with the reader playing witness to his odd, awkward, artistic nerdiness.

And while a lot of the situations had me smiling, I also found myself thinking, "OMG, *where* is this story going, and *when* is it going to gain some focus and actually *get* there?"

The frustration for me arose mainly from neither MC actually showing their emotional poker hand, not divulging any actual feelings -- even to themselves (or the reader) -- until the very last few freaking chapters.

Honestly, there were very few clues as to whether previously-straight Bern was still attempting to get back with his ex-girlfriend, Gia, and only using Nolan's prom-posal as a vehicle to make her jealous.

And Nolan kept waffling between having attractions for both Bern and Si, taking an extremely long time before even letting himself ponder his true feelings.

Review Tour: Tales of Bryant by V.L. Locey





Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Cover Design: Sloan J Designs

Length: 35,000 words approx.




Blurb
Four Seasons. Two Men. One Love.

For struggling film student Isamu Taylor, life's refrain is about to change from boring documentary about a passionless delivery boy to a blazing and wildly erotic love story.After spending weeks admiring handsome but older Manhattan executive Brian Gilles while delivering brioche to him in Bryant Park, the man of his lusty dreams has just expressed a desire to get to know Isamu better. A night on the town is just the beginning of a whirlwind romance that will span not only four seasons but countless years.

Amid the beauty and charm of Bryant Park, New York City, two men are about to discover that love knows no age or economic boundaries. This is a collection of four short stories starring these two amazing men, their one sublime love, and the park where it all started.

Karen's review:






Apparently, I missed out on the first part of this story when it was published in the charity anthology ‘Love For All Seasons’ last year..my bad. The story was titled ‘Brioche for Two’ but not to fear Ms Locey in her wisdom has included that story here in ‘Tales of Bryant’.

Along with the characters and how the author presented this story I loved how entangled ‘Bryant Park’ was with Isamu and Brian’s relationship. It was there and yet it felt like such a subtle. but strong thing connecting so much of what happens in these stories.

It’s in ‘Brioche for Two’ that we first meet Isamu Taylor the struggling film student and hard-working barista who’s had more than one fantasy about sexy, successful playboy and businessman Brian Gilles who calls to order coffee and brioche delivered to his table across the street in Bryant Park on a regular basis. For as confident and successful as he is when it comes to approaching Isamu that confidence seems to go into hiding.

I have to admit when it comes to age difference and an imbalance of power in the relationship dynamics I’m not as fast to leave the room as I use to be but I can still slip out the door with the best of them but sometimes for whatever reason a pairing or something about them will catch my eye and when I slip out of the room it’s with a copy of the book in my hands or more accurately loaded on to my e-reader and that’s what happened here.

There was something about Isamu and Brian that caught my eye and tugged at me to read…’Just read a bit more,’ my inner voice whispered ‘you know you want to.’ and what can I say I did want to, so I held out my grabby little hands and said ‘Yes, please. I would like to read this.’ and here we are…in Bryant Park watching as two men…one a film student and the other a successful ‘CTO’ do that dance that happens when two people first notice each other and while they may not be sure how…one or usually both of them know somewhere in their heart that if they’re patient and they take the time to work on it things will work, they will fit with each other in a way that others didn’t. It will be a thing of beauty.

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