Friday, May 31, 2019

Blog Tour: Third Time’s The Charm by K. Evan Coles






Book Title: Third Time’s the Charm (Boston Seasons, Book 1)

Author: K. Evan Coles

Publisher: Pride Publishing/Totally Entwined Group

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance, Erotic Romance

Trope/s: Hurt/Comfort, KidFic, True Love, Meet Cute

Themes: Family/Parenting. Friendship, Child Abandonment

Heat Rating: 4 flames 

Length: 68,000 words

Release Date: May 28, 2019 

This is book number one in a series. It can also stand as its own story.


 




Blurb

Luke Ryan’s life is too chaotic for romance, what with running his business and being the legal guardian to his ten-year-old niece, but he’s hopeful he’ll find the right man.

Trauma surgeon Finn Thomason recently relocated from Chicago to Boston, where his focus on medicine leaves him little space for a personal life. Making a commitment to find a better work-life balance, Finn hopes he’ll also find a relationship.

Caught in an evening rainstorm, Luke shelters under a sidewalk awning…and encounters a handsome stranger. The two strike up a conversation and Finn offers to walk Luke under his oversized umbrella. Charmed, Luke accepts and asks Finn out for coffee in thanks.

Luke and Finn quickly grow close, but, as the summer draws to an end, Luke struggles to keep his connection with Finn while Finn tries to come to terms with caring for a man whose attention is pulled in many directions. Both men are scrambling to get it right, but only time will tell if they’ll learn there is more than enough room in their hearts to go around.



Buy Links








“Hey, Luke, I’m going to Starbucks to buy coffee for everyone. You want?”

Luke Ryan stared at the code on his computer monitors and nodded absently. “Sure.”

“Okay. Grab your stuff and come with me.”

Luke blinked. “What do you need me for?” He turned away from the monitors and faced his best friend and business partner, Simon Martin.

Simon stood and eyed Luke across their shared office. “To help me schlep back the orders.”

“Ugh.” It was nearly two p.m. and Luke’s concentration was flagging. As much as he wanted to keep working, fresh coffee sounded wonderful. The idea of going to fetch it, however, not so much. He stood and picked up his wallet and phone from his desk. “We wouldn’t be having this conversation if you’d let me buy a new coffeemaker.”

“I said I’d buy it, didn’t I?”

Blogtour: Strings Boys by Amy Lane




Please welcome Amy Lane with 

String Boys


Blurb:

Seth Arnold learned at an early age that two things in life could make his soul soar—his violin and Kelly Cruz. In Seth’s uncertain childhood, the kindness of the Cruz family, especially Kelly and his brother, Matty, gave Seth the stability to make his violin sing with the purest sound and opened a world of possibility beyond his home in Sacramento.

Kelly Cruz has loved Seth forever, but he knows Seth’s talents shouldn’t be hidden, not when the world is waiting. Encouraging Seth to follow his music might break Kelly’s heart, but he is determined to see the violin set Seth’s soul free. When their world is devastated by a violent sexual assault and Matty’s prejudices turn him from a brother to an enemy, Seth and Kelly’s future becomes uncertain.

Seth can’t come home and Kelly can’t leave, but they are held together by a love that they clutch with both hands.

Seth and Kelly are young and the world is wide—the only thing they know for certain is they’ll follow their heartstrings to each other’s arms whenever time and fate allow. And pray that one day they can follow that string to forever… before it slices their hearts in two.

Get the book:






The Drafty Cafeteria

By Amy Lane

So I assume most parents have this experience.


Their child develops an interest in, say, an old flute hanging around in a closet, or their friends join choir, or a teacher encourages them to do something, anything, rather than the thing they’re doing at that exact moment which is to drive everyone around them complete and utter batshit.


And somehow, with a few parent permission forms and $10 for a T-shirt, we parents end up in a drafty school cafeteria hearing our perfectly average child performing with his or her peers.


Okay—if I sound bitter it’s because my children mostly have their father’s musical ability. In his words, “My family may be tone deaf, but at least they have no sense of rhythm.”


But that hasn’t stopped the family trip to the school concert—one in the winter, one in the spring—from being a memorable staple. I’ll admit it—after my youngest graduated to middle school, and we no longer had a winter concert to attend, I felt a little sad. Those sorts of moments marked our seasons for much of our lives.


They also make up the backdrop of String Boys, my recent release from Dreamspinner Press.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

ARC Review: Criminal Intentions: Season 1 Episode 12 The Hatter's Game, Part II by Cole McCade

From The Blurb:
ABOUT THIS EPISODE 
Malcolm Khalaji is missing. 
And Seong-Jae Yoon is the only one who can find him. 
But to do so means walking paths he swore he would never tread again. Descending into the blackest hallways of a twisted and sadistic mind. Breaking down every wall he's ever built around himself, to try to predict what Sila will do next. 
Yet not even Seong-Jae can anticipate the outcome of this deadly game.    
One chance. 
One choice. 
Will Seong-Jae sacrifice himself to save Malcolm... 
...or become the monster that Sila knows him to be? 
Part Two of the explosive finale and the climactic ending to Season One! 
ABOUT THE SERIES 
Baltimore homicide detective Malcolm Khalaji has his own way of doing things: quiet, methodical, logical, effective, not always particularly legal. He’s used to working alone—and the last thing he needs is a new partner ten years his junior. 
Especially one like Seong-Jae Yoon. 
Icy. Willful. Detached. Stubborn. Seong-Jae is all that and more, impossible to work with and headstrong enough to get them both killed…if they don’t kill each other first. Foxlike and sullen, Seong-Jae’s disdainful beauty conceals a smoldering and ferocious temper, and as he and Malcolm clash the sparks between them build until neither can tell the difference between loathing and desire. 
But as bodies pile up at their feet a string of strange, seemingly unrelated murders takes a bizarre turn, leading them deeper and deeper into Baltimore’s criminal underworld. Every death carries a dangerous message, another in a trail of breadcrumbs that can only end in blood. 
Malcolm and Seong-Jae must combine their wits against an unseen killer and trace the unsettling murders to their source. Together, they’ll descend the darkest pathways of a twisted mind—and discover just how deep the rabbit hole goes. And if they can’t learn to trust each other? 
Neither will make it out alive.

Karen's rating:




Thankfully this is only the season one finale...and not the series...

Back in July of 2018 this series came across my radar when the blog that I review for was asked if anyone would be interested in reviewing the first episode of a new series entitled 'Criminal Intentions' being someone who enjoys a good crime drama I decided to check it out and I was blown away, hooked, wanted more and thus began my addiction to 'Criminal Intentions'.

And here we are 13 episodes later and I am every bit as invested in this series maybe even more than I was after reading the story that started it all...'The Cardigans'. But that was only the beginning of what for me has become a reading addiction. For the past few months no matter what's going on in my life one of the things that I've consistently looked forward to has been the next episode in this ongoing series.

For me 'Criminal Intentions' stands out in a sea of books for a number of reasons not the least of which is the MCs Malcolm Kalahji and Soeng-Jae Yoon, the cast of secondary characters from Sade & Min Zhe, to their boss Captain Zarate y Salazar, to Mal's ex-wife Gabrielle and on and on right down to Sila, yes, I hate him with a passion but as bad guys go this is one hella' scary dude...so many characters who develop more and more with each episode  and who are integral to this story. Storylines that are truly tangled together in a complex spider's web. The fact that each episode has steadily and consistently not only held my interest but increased it and last but not least I've truly appreciated the author's efforts to keep the story release on track. While this hasn't been a part of my wanting to read this series it has actually been a part of what's kept me reading. I've got more than a few series sitting on my shelves because an author has wandered off to do other things and it's left a big time lapse in my the release of books which has allowed my interest to wander off to other things and hopefully I'll get back to them but in the mean time I've squirreled and many a book has fallen by the wayside.

Audio Book Review: The Little Things by Jay Northcote

From The Blurb:
There are lots of things that brighten Joel’s life. His three-year-old daughter, Evie, is one. His close relationship with her mother, his best friend from university, is another. Joel’s boyfriend, Dan, adds spice to his child-free nights, and Joel is pretty happy with how things are. 
Then one cold and rainy night, everything changes. Joel's life is turned upside down when he becomes a full-time dad to Evie, and his previously carefree relationship with Dan cracks under the strain. 
Meeting Liam, who acts as if getting hurt isn’t a foregone conclusion, shakes Joel to the core. Their attraction is mutual, and Liam makes no secret of how serious he is about Joel. But Joel is wary. He tells himself he’s keeping Liam at a distance for Evie’s sake, when really he’s protecting his own heart. Taking a chance on this new relationship with Liam may seem a small step—a little thing—but is it one Joel can take after losing so much already? 
Length: 7 hours and 30 minutes 
Narrator: Matthew Lloyd Davies

Karen's rating:




It's been almost a year since I read this story for the first time...

and happily on this second time around with the audio version I've enjoyed this story just as much as I did that first time so...I'm going to borrow some from my first review since I'm a solid proponent of the expression 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.'

But before I start about the actual story lets chat about the narrator, Matthew Lloyd Davies. While this is my first time listening to this narrator it is by no means his first audio book...nope, this narrator has just over 150 books in various genres to his credit and I have admit there are now a few more audio books on my wishlist (pronounced Karen's future shopping list). Jay Northcote's books are usually set in England and by usually what I mean is all of the ones that I've read and/or listened to have taken place there.

So having a narrator who has or can do a British accent for me is always a plus because it just adds to the setting and this narrator has a wonderful accent...yes, I'm a sucker for accents and equally as important is the fact that while there was more than Dan, Liam and Joel in this story and I found each persons voice to be readily identifiable I was particularly appreciative of the face that each of these men had their own voice and I had being able to identify who was speaking was not a challenge. From an audio perspective this is definitely a story and a narrator that I would recommend.

Finding the right person is hard at the best of times, but when you've got a kid...it's a whole other level of challenging.

Audio Book Review: Where Death Meets the Devil by L.J. Hayward

From The Blurb:
Listening Time:  10 hrs. 31 min. 
Jack Reardon, former SAS soldier and current Australian Meta-State asset, has seen some messy battles. But “messy” takes on a whole new meaning when he finds himself tied to a chair in a torture shack, his cover blown wide open, all thanks to notorious killer-for-hire Ethan Blade. 
Blade is everything Jack doesn’t believe in: remorseless, detached, lawless. Yet, Jack’s only chance to survive is to strike a bargain with the devil and join forces with Blade. As they trek across a hostile desert, Jack learns that Blade is much more than a dead-eyed killer—and harder to resist than he should be. 
A year later, Jack is home and finally getting his life on track. Then Ethan Blade reappears and throws it all into chaos once more. It’s impossible to trust the assassin, especially when his presence casts doubts on Jack’s loyalty to his country, but Jack cannot ignore what Blade’s return means: the mess that brought them together is far from over, and Ethan might just bring back the piece of Jack’s soul he thought he’d lost forever.

Karen's rating:




I tried...really I tried so freakin' hard but...

before I get to far down this rabbit hole I just need to say...no matter how hard I tried this one bored me. But in fairness to the book I think a solid part of the blame for this rest on my shoulders as well.

Honestly I've seen so many amazing reviews about this book that I'm not sure if any book stood a chance of meeting my expectations...yes, even my absolute #1 go to favorite because every book he writes is amazing author...Greg Iles, for those of you who don't already know this about me...well, I think even he may not have been able to meet the expectations that I had by the time I finally got to this audio book.

This was spies/hired assassins/espionage and I usually enjoy stories along these lines. But this time around the pacing was off and I just found that things were getting drawn out and taking to long to progress. I felt that this was at least due in part to the fact that things jumped back and forth along the time line on a fairly regular basis and for me the whole keeping track of whether events were in the present or the past just got to be a bit tedious and distracting resulting in me being distracted from my overall enjoyment of the story.

As for the characters Jack was ok. I didn't mind him nor did I really like him...he was there and as for the secondary characters they were there and truthfully no one really stuck out in my mind.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

ARC Review: Adam Only by Roe Horvat

Adam Only (Those Other Books #2)
From the Blurb:
On stage, Adam lets his passion drive him. All his secret desires, everything nasty, dirty, and beautiful flows freely through him, for once in harmony. His soul thrives when his body moves, but only on stage. Adam’s passionate nature makes him a great dancer…and a failure at life. He’s a lonely, emotional mess. Going home with a man far out of his reach is the last thing Adam should do. Christoffer represents everything Adam isn’t: strong, independent, educated, and rich. His kind eyes, at odds with his brutish form, make Adam's knees and restraint buckle. 
Once Christoffer sees Adam dancing, he’s lost. The young man is mesmerizing, otherworldly, and unpredictable. Whatever might happen between them, it will be transient, and Christoffer will most likely get hurt. The temptation is too great, however, and the sex explosive. He might as well enjoy every moment he’s given, even if it’s just one day, maybe two. If Christoffer treads carefully, Adam might stay until Monday.



Ky's rating:




"Adam Only" is the second book in the new series by Roe Horvat titled "These Other Books" but it takes place a few years before the first one.

We met Adam and Christoffer as a committed, loving and solid couple and this time we get the "how it all began" part of their story.

The book takes place mainly over a weekend and I usually don't like such a small timeframe in my books, but this time it worked. Maybe it was because we had already seen them together and knew how perfect they were for each other or it was because this author can write anything and make me not want to stop reading until I reach the last page. Either way, this was a story that, just like the first book, can be branded as erotic romance but it also has an actual plot and solid characters.

Adam is a little lost in his life. He loves to dance and he finally has a job doing that, but at the same time he feels lonely and damaged. He's been burned by some bad choices in past lovers and he's afraid to let himself get close to someone again. His attraction to Christoffer in undeniable but their differences are so obvious that he can't help but wait to be cast aside once more.

ARC Review: Adam Only (Those Other Books 2) by Roe Horvat

Blurb:
On stage, Adam lets his passion drive him. All his secret desires, everything nasty, dirty, and beautiful flows freely through him, for once in harmony. His soul thrives when his body moves, but only on stage. Adam’s passionate nature makes him a great dancer…and a failure at life. He’s a lonely, emotional mess. Going home with a man far out of his reach is the last thing Adam should do. Christoffer represents everything Adam isn’t: strong, independent, educated, and rich. His kind eyes, at odds with his brutish form, make Adam's knees and restraint buckle.

Once Christoffer sees Adam dancing, he’s lost. The young man is mesmerizing, otherworldly, and unpredictable. Whatever might happen between them, it will be transient, and Christoffer will most likely get hurt. The temptation is too great, however, and the sex explosive. He might as well enjoy every moment he’s given, even if it’s just one day, maybe two. If Christoffer treads carefully, Adam might stay until Monday.


Dani's rating:


He'd found a treasure. And he was losing his mind.

If you read the first The Other Book then surely you remember Christoffer and Adam, Tyler's friends who occasionally like to play with others. Adam, especially, stole every scene he was in, and this story is all about Adam: Adam the one and only.

If you haven't read The Other Book (and why the hell not?), then read Adam's story first because it comes first.

Adam Only is about how Adam and Christoffer met (at a party), how Adam ran (because he didn't want to be discarded), and how he stayed (because he trusted Christoffer to keep him).

Getting to know Adam—his boundless sexual energy, his streak of exhibitionism, his desire to be kept yet free, bound yet safe—and Christoffer—steady, kind, loyal, a nab who just wants his boy to be happy—makes the connection we first witnessed between them that much more meaningful.


Blogtour: On The Subject Of Griffons by Lindsey Byrd




Please welcome Lindsey Byrd with

On The Subject Of Griffons 



18th Century Fantasy

Most fantasy stories that I’ve read have been set around a medieval setting. As a medievalist, this usually suits my fancy just fine. However, I feel like it misses a lot of chances as well. The technological advances that happened between 1500-1800 add more dimensions to what life could be like in a fantasized setting. It’s one of the reasons why I set this story in an 18th century-like world. Below, is a list of some of the elements I focused on in this story.
Yellow Fever: in 1793 an epidemic swept through the newly won United States. Focused primarily in Philadelphia, this epidemic claimed upwards of 5,000 lives before it finally settled. Quarantines were set up, to try and contain the epidemic leading to many families attempting to evacuate Philadelphia. In Griffons, Kera’s family experiences a similar circumstance once her son falls ill.
Medicine: some of the earliest known, established, medical schools were built in the 16th century. By the time the 18th century rolled around, physicians were apprenticed and trained before going into their practices. Although their work wasn’t necessarily the healthiest way to go about something, bloodletting was still considered a cure for ailments, great strides had been done in the medicinal field. Inoculations, vaccines, and nutrition were finally getting the attention they needed. Griffons shows various scenes with physicians trying to treat the plague and it also goes into detail for some of the known cures/reliefs for ailments that were known to them at the time.
Politics: 18th century political upheavals rocked the world so profoundly we’re still feeling the aftershocks of it over two hundred years later. Between the end of Britain’s colonial rule over the Americas, to the revolution in France: the exchange of powers and the installation of new governments marked a turning point for these countries. The excitement of building something new is something that isn’t often seen in fantasy novels. Instead of focusing on the rise of a monarchy, the political structure of Griffons is the rise of a new republic. An elected official and the new formation of that government. There’s a dark side to the formation of a new government, and Griffons addresses how that dark side can affect a family.
Weapons: One of the most distancing aspects of a medieval fantasy to me is the weapons. Although sword fighting is beautiful to watch, the added element of distance a gun can bring to a conflict is far more relatable to a modern audience. Bows and crossbows can help address this in pre-gun time periods, but I’d argue that the sound of a gun adds more to the distress of a scene. 18th century firearms weren’t known for their accuracy, and so the element of uncertainty helps drive up the tension. Adding this element also offers the opportunity for mistakes: the misuse of firearms, the consequences of using those weapons, etc.

I look forward to sharing this world with you. I hope you enjoy spotting these, and other, 18th century moments as you read.

About the book:


They’ll do anything to save their children’s lives, even if it means working together.
Kera Montgomery is still mourning the sudden death of her husband, Morpheus, when her youngest son falls victim to a mysterious plague. With no medicinal cure, Kera must travel to the Long Lakes, where magical griffons capable of healing any ailment reside.
As an heiress unused to grueling travel, Kera struggles with the immense emotional and physical strain of her journey—one made more complex when she crosses paths with her husband’s former mistress, Aurora. Aurora’s daughter is afflicted with the same plague as Kera’s son, so despite their incendiary history, the two women agree to set aside their differences and travel together.
The road is fraught with dangers, both living and dead. Each night, old battlegrounds reanimate with ghosts who don’t know they’ve died, and murderous wraiths hunt for stray travelers caught out after dark. If Kera, Aurora, and their children are going to survive, they’ll need to confront the past that’s been haunting them since their journey began. And perhaps in the process, discover that old friends may not be as trustworthy as they once thought—and old enemies may become so much more.



Get the book:



About the author:

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Blogtour: Barricades by Dem Had



Please welcome Dem Had with 

Barricades 

a World Of Love novel






Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Blurb:

Born to be enemies. Raised to hate each other.

When introverted Orestis escapes his homophobic parents and abusive home for a night out with friends, he meets artist Emir. The passion between them is instant and explosive but neither society nor their families will accept their love. If they want a romance that lasts beyond one fiery, forbidden night, they’ll have to face the backlash. 
World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.







Get the book:







Barricades Playlist and Theme Song Exclusive

Review Tour: The Color Of Summer by Anna Martin






Length: 71,000 words approx.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Design: Reese Dante



Blurb
Tattoo artist Max Marshall rushes into his hometown of Sweetwater, West Virginia—and is promptly pulled over for speeding. Max’s luck isn’t all bad, though, because he recognizes the deputy, Tyler Reed, Max’s childhood best friend’s older brother.

Reconnecting with Tyler helps Max settle back in, and it also leads to attraction. But when he tries to explore that connection at the grand opening of his tattoo studio—by kissing Tyler—awkwardness ensues. Max wants more, but has he misread Tyler’s signals?

As a single father raising a six-year-old daughter, Tyler doesn’t have much time to date. He’s ignored his attraction to men for years, but he can’t stop thinking about the kiss he shared with Max. If he can handle the complications of dating in a small town and the possible consequences to his career, this romance could blossom with all the colors of summer.









Dani's review:






Oy vey! What happened here? I have 5-starred four of Anna Martin's books. I'm a fan of her writing style and can appreciate what she was going for with this small-town, sleepy, family-focused romance incorporating the "falling for my friend's older brother" trope.

The MCs take turns being half-hearted about the relationship. Initially, Tyler is leery of dating Max. The first time Max kisses him, Tyler tells Max he's not into men. But a couple chapters later, Tyler asks Max out on a date. He has moments of introspection, but for the most part, Tyler's sexual awakening seems to come out of nowhere.

Max is a tattoo artist who moved back to his small home town to be near his mom, who recently had a stroke. Max is fun and charming. He's crushing on Tyler, who's a cop and Max's best friend's older brother. Max is also not big into commitment, but he starts to fall for Tyler and Tyler's 6-year-old daughter Juniper.

Monday, May 27, 2019

ARC Review: Out of the Shade by S.A. McAuley

From The Blurb:

The hardest battle is the fight to be yourself.... 

Jesse Solomona has always tried to be the perfect straight guy--a cocky sports fan capable of drinking more than he did in his fraternity days and an expert at one-night-stands. That he hooks up with just as many men as he does women is a secret Jesse's been hiding for years, fearful of losing his family and tight group of friends. He's a Kensington boy--a group of guys that grew up in the same neighborhood and somehow all ended up back in their hometown. They, and his family, are the only things that still matter in his otherwise soul-sucking life.

Chuck Dunn, a tattooed and pierced sports photographer, has refused to step back into the closet since he was disowned by his family, but he keeps choosing men who can't fully be with him. Finally free from a long-term relationship he should've ended years ago, he quits his high-profile gig in favor of getting back to the art of sports photography--documenting a local boxing club that works with at-risk teenagers. He may not have the same swagger anymore, but he's working to be happy with who he is.

When Chuck joins one of the Kensington boys' community center sports leagues, Jesse's self-imposed rules are systematically demolished. But there's one barrier Jesse can't find the strength to break through--coming out to the other Kensington boys. Chuck knows hooking up with Jesse is a bad idea. Falling for him even worse. But he can't stay away.

Chuck is damaged by his past. Jesse is frightened about his future. But, together, they may just be able to come out of the shade.

Reader Advisory: Out of the Shade is a standalone novel with an HEA that carries the following warnings--alcoholism, mentions of sexual and physical abuse, mentions of drug addiction, mentions of rape, attempted suicide by a minor character, violence, homophobia, closeting


Karen's rating:





There are a lot of reasons why...

I shouldn't have liked this one and I do mean a lot. So let's get on with this and start a list...
first off there's the whole neanderthal caveman mentality, copious amounts of alcohol consumption, there's a group of men that in some ways don't seem to have really made it past their high school or college days...yeah, let's be generous and say college days...so, in truth I could probably go through the first part of this book and by part I mean about 30 probably 40% and pick out all kinds of details that made me crazy, annoyed the hell out of me or at the very least had me using some very unladylike language. So to those who dnf'd before the halfway point, in all honestly I get it I really do and another time I very probably would have done the same.

But right now in this moment for me it turned out it was a case of the right time for the right story and the second half of this book was the right story, for me. It was the story that I was looking to read.

In the first part of this story we meet Jesse Solomona and to be honest the only thing I was definite about during the first part of the story was I did not like Jesse. He was someone with addiction issues...sorry, I don't care what Jesse wants to tell himself. He's an alcoholic add in some definite anger issues...the man was at times abusive towards his friends..seriously I did not like Jesse and if I had done a dnf on this one he would have been the biggest reason.

Then we have Chuck Dunn a tattooed and pierced sports photographer who's walked away from a very successful career and while he doesn't advertise it, he also doesn't hide in the closet.

Book Review: At First Sight #4 Why We Fight by TJ Klune

From The Blurb:
Do you believe in love at first sight? 
Corey Ellis sure doesn’t. Oh, everyone around him seems to have found their happy ending, but he’s far too busy to worry about such things. He’ll have plenty of time for romance after he survives his last summer before graduation. So what if he can’t get his former professor, Jeremy Olsen, out of his head? It’s just hero worship. And that’s the way it should stay. 
Except that this summer, bigender Corey—aka Kori—is interning at Phoenix House, a LGBTQI youth center that recently hired an interim director. And because life is extraordinarily unfair, the director just so happens to be a certain former professor, now current boss. 
Desperate to keep things professional as he and Jeremy grow closer, Corey makes a major mistake: he turns to his friends, Paul Auster and Sanford Stewart, for help. 
But Paul and Sandy have some ideas of their own. 
Set in the summer of 2016, Why We Fight is a celebration of queer life and being true to oneself… no matter the cost.


Karen's rating:




'Why We Fight' is the end of what has been a hilarious, sexy and simply fun filled journey with a collection of what has turned out to be the most interesting and unique group of people one could ever know. They are without a doubt strong, brave, loyal, loving, compassionate and fierce but above all else they are family.

While there was a more serious undertone to this story that was due in part to the MCs,  it also felt reflective of the times...2016 was the beginning of a time of political turmoil for the United States and while this is reflected in the story it doesn't overwhelm things and added a strong sense of realism to things.

As well as being Corey/Kori and Jeremy's story 'Why We Fight' is the final book in TJ Klune's 'At First Sight' series. It's a good-bye of sorts and I have to admit I was prepared for the tears because it's always sad saying good-bye to friends, what I wasn't prepared for was the laughter...no it wasn't the same kind of humor as what we found in Sandy and Darrren's story or Paul and Vince's but still with all of these characters so preseent in the story I really shouldn't have been surprised by some of the hijinx that ensued even though it's not their story but Corey/Kori and Jeremy's there was still a very definite difference to the tone of the story that just seemed right.

ARC Review: Mud & Lace by Jay Northcote

Mud & Lace (Rainbow Place, #4)From the blurb:

When Wicksy falls for drag queen Charlie, they discover that both sexuality and gender can be fluid.

Simon Wicks—Wicksy to his rugby teammates—has only ever been interested in women. But when he sets eyes on Lady Gogo, a drag queen who performs at Rainbow Place, he can’t stop thinking about her. He knows there’s a guy behind the fishnets and make-up, but he’s ready to explore his fantasies, and Lady Gogo is game for making them come true.

Charlie adores performing in drag. It allows him to indulge in his love of cross-dressing while earning some extra cash. Fooling around with a mostly straight guy in secret seems like a fun diversion, and gives him the chance to explore his feminine side. He feels safe wearing the mask of his confident alter ego, because the real Charlie is hidden from view.

When Wicksy sees more of the guy behind the make-up and glitter, his attraction to Charlie persists, and he realises he’s bisexual. In turn, Charlie begins to understand and accept his gender fluidity. As their mutual journey of self-discovery brings them closer, the secrecy becomes increasingly hard to deal with. If they’re going to have a future together, they both need to find the courage to show people who they really are.



Heather's rating:






I love, love, love a sexuality discovery story, and Jay Northcote always gets those so, so right. How does he know what I like and continue to deliver the goods time and again?!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

ARC Review: The Color of Summer by Anna Martin

From The Blurb:
Tattoo artist Max Marshall races into his hometown of Sweetwater, West Virginia—and is promptly pulled over for speeding. Max’s luck isn’t all bad, though, because he recognizes the deputy, Tyler Reed, Max’s childhood best friend’s older brother. 
Reconnecting with Tyler helps Max settle back in, and it also leads to attraction. But when he tries to explore that connection at the grand opening of his tattoo studio—by kissing Tyler—awkwardness ensues. Max wants more, but has he misread Tyler’s signals? 
As a single father raising a six-year-old daughter, Tyler doesn’t have much time to date. He’s ignored his attraction to men for years, but he can’t stop thinking about the kiss he shared with Max. If he can handle the complications of dating in a small town and the possible consequences to his career, this romance could blossom with all the colors of summer.


Karen's rating:




While there were several things about this story that I liked...

what there wasn’t, was a lot or even much that I really loved.  So let's just chat about this for a bit...in fact let's start with Max and Tyler, the MCs of this story. Both of them very likable people.

Max left his hometown of Sweetwater for college and other than to visit his mom moving back was never a plan until his mom has a stroke and Max finds that he needs to change direction with his life.  Max decides it’s time to return home to be closer to his mom during her recovery and takes advantage of the opportunity to open his own tattoo shop.

Tyler left Sweetwater too, but he’s been back for awhile. However, Tyler’s return was prompted by an entirely different set of circumstances.  Six years earlier Max suddenly finds himself a single parent with a daughter to raise and decides what better place to raise a child than the place that held his own happy childhood memories and a loving family to help him. Max readily sets aside the dreams of his youth for the reality of his current life.

ARC Review: Adam Only by Roe Horvat

Adam Only (Those Other Books #2)From the blurb:
On stage, Adam lets his passion drive him. All his secret desires, everything nasty, dirty, and beautiful flows freely through him, for once in harmony. His soul thrives when his body moves, but only on stage. Adam’s passionate nature makes him a great dancer…and a failure at life. He’s a lonely, emotional mess. Going home with a man far out of his reach is the last thing Adam should do. Christoffer represents everything Adam isn’t: strong, independent, educated, and rich. His kind eyes, at odds with his brutish form, make Adam's knees and restraint buckle.

Once Christoffer sees Adam dancing, he’s lost. The young man is mesmerizing, otherworldly, and unpredictable. Whatever might happen between them, it will be transient, and Christoffer will most likely get hurt. The temptation is too great, however, and the sex explosive. He might as well enjoy every moment he’s given, even if it’s just one day, maybe two. If Christoffer treads carefully, Adam might stay until Monday.

Heather's rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ladies and gentlemen, clear your schedule, get somewhere private (TRUST ME), and dig in, because once you start reading Adam Only, you are NOT going to want to do anything else.

I loved, loved, loved this book. I loved it. I read it in public (my bad), but it was pure, erotic poetry. I finished it in less than a day... and I could have read 100 pages more and been happy.

If you enjoyed the style of The Other Book, then you will enjoy this one. I even liked it a little better, to be honest, because this one had a monogamous pairing (well, at least during the context of the story).

Saturday, May 25, 2019

ARC Review: String Boys by Amy Lane

String Boys
Blurb:
Seth Arnold learned at an early age that two things in life could make his soul soar—his violin and Kelly Cruz. In Seth’s uncertain childhood, the kindness of the Cruz family, especially Kelly and his brother, Matty, gave Seth the stability to make his violin sing with the purest sound and opened a world of possibility beyond his home in Sacramento.

Kelly Cruz has loved Seth forever, but he knows Seth’s talents shouldn’t be hidden, not when the world is waiting. Encouraging Seth to follow his music might break Kelly’s heart, but he is determined to see the violin set Seth’s soul free. When their world is devastated by a violent sexual assault and Matty’s prejudices turn him from a brother to an enemy, Seth and Kelly’s future becomes uncertain.

Seth can’t come home and Kelly can’t leave, but they are held together by a love that they clutch with both hands.

Seth and Kelly are young and the world is wide—the only thing they know for certain is they’ll follow their heartstrings to each other’s arms whenever time and fate allow. And pray that one day they can follow that string to forever… before it slices their hearts in two.





Jewel's rating:



The Queen of Angst is back! If you're familiar with Amy Lane, then you know she likes to torture her MC's before she lets them have their HEA. String Boys is angst from beginning to end. Don't worry, though - Amy Lane gives these boys their happy ending.

String Boys is about growing up and figuring out life when so much is stacked against you. It's about family, both blood and found. It's about finding and keeping love against all odds.

Seth Arnold, Matty Cruz, and Matty's younger brother, Kelly, have been inseparable since grade school. Having been picked to learn how to play violins that were donated to the school, the boys were dubbed the school's string boys. While Matty and Kelly did ok, Seth found his soul. Music became Seth's entire life, sheltering him from life's many uncertainties, until he noticed Kelly -- really noticed him. After that, Seth's life was music and Kelly Cruz.

Unlike Seth, Kelly is not an only child. Kelly's household is chaotic in the best of ways. He has parents that love him, an older brother he looks up to, and younger sisters to help care for. He's loved Seth since before he knew he was gay. Where Seth has his music, Kelly has art. The only thing he really wants out of life, however, is his beautiful Seth. Kelly is a nurturer and Seth needs someone to take are of him. Not because he isn't capable, but because he gets so lost in his music, he tends to miss everything else. Everything, except Kelly.

Release Blitz: The Hate You Drink by N.R. Walker


The Hate You Drink
N.R. Walker
Publication date: May 23rd 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance



Blurb:
Erik Keston, son of the Keston Real Estate empire, knows what it takes to be successful. Despite his inherent wealth, he holds his own. He works hard, he’s grounded, he’s brilliant. He’s also secretly in love with his best friend. 
Monroe Wellman lost his parents three years ago and never grieved, never recovered. Inheriting the family company and wealth means nothing, and his spiral of self-destruction is widespread and spectacular. Dubbed Sydney’s bad boy, he spends more days drunk than sober, and the only person who’s stuck by him through it all is his best mate. 
But when Monroe hits rock bottom, Erik gives him an ultimatum, and his entire world comes to a grinding halt. But it’s when the haze is lifted that Monroe can truly see what he’s been searching for was never in the bottom of a bottle. It’s been by his side all along. 
An 80,000-word friends to lovers story about fighting the demons within, and trusting in the love that takes its place. 
“Because when all you drink is hate, that’s what you become.”



EXCERPT:

I didn’t need to see the photographs of the wrecked car or the glass and metal strewn across the gutter. I didn’t need the reminder of how close it had been this time. I closed the newspaper, folded it in half, and slid it across the counter and let out an exhausted sigh. I didn’t want to meet Jeffrey’s disappointed gaze. I knew that look. I’d seen it more times than I could count. Jeffrey Kwon, a distinguished Korean-Australian man with short greying hair and a kind face, had been a close friend of Monroe’s parents as well as their trusted lawyer for thirty years, and Jeffrey assumed the same role for Monroe when his parents died. He was no-nonsense and astute, but he had a heart of gold and everyone knew Monroe would be lost without him. Well, everyone but Monroe.
“Where is he?”
“Still asleep,” I replied. I walked over to the nearest couch and all but fell into it, my head in my hands.
“You haven’t been to bed yet?”

Friday, May 24, 2019

Book Review: NoX by Adrienne Wilder

NoX
Blurb:
A nude man invades Luca Suarez's home and protects him from creatures who cannot exist.
Creatures hunting him.
The stranger can't tell Luca why. He can't even tell Luca his name.
He remembers nothing until the moment he sees Luca.
The only hint Luca has to the stranger's identity is a tattoo on his wrist: N o X


Nox doesn't know who he is, but he's sure of three things, his memory loss is temporary, the monsters chasing Luca are called Anubis, and his Alpha, Koda, sent Nox to protect him. There's just one problem… Koda is Luca's brother who was murdered five years ago.

With each passing hour, Nox fills in the pieces painting an impossible truth. And with each passing hour, both men find themselves unexplainably attracted to each other. Something Luca is willing to embrace because he has nothing left to lose. And one Nox can't let happen because it could get Luca killed.

Nox is a HEA/HFN m/m paranormal, science-fiction romance. But be warned, these are NOT the shifters you are used to reading about.





Jewel's rating:



​This book is exactly what I needed to end my book slump. Unique and engaging, I was kept in its thrall, from beginning to end.

Luca Suarez is a dying man. He's been fighting leukemia since childhood and he knows his days are numbered. In fact, he would welcome death at this point. His brother is dead, taken from him much too soon, and his parents died in an accident a year ago and with them went his will to fight. He's a dead man walking, and he's made his peace with that. At least as much as any 19 year old, who has barely lived, can.

Nox doesn't know who he is, only that he's a monster and has been charged - by Luca's brother, Koda - with protecting Luca at all costs. His memory comes back in bits and pieces, but often lacks context. With Nox's arrival comes a generous helping of danger, mystery, and sex appeal that Luca could not ignore even if he wanted to, and he really doesn't want to.

Seems the feeling is mutual.

Blogtour: Stable Hill by Jodi Payne



Please welcome Jodi Payne with 

Stable Hill 


Hello all! I’m Jodi Payne and I’m here to talk about my new contemporary MMM ménage, Stable Hill!


Stable Hill is my first ménage/triad/thruple/what have you, and I found it pretty challenging. I like to write characters that are real and human, which means they’re flawed, they make mistakes, and they’re far from perfect. When you add a third person into a relationship, all those little issues get amplified, because now you don’t just have he said, he said… you’ve added a third person’s take on things. Agreement is more difficult, compromise is more important, communication is key.


The deeper I got into the book, the more I understood that Stable Hill is about communication. Staying honest with yourself and your family, listening to the people you love, being clear about your feelings, admitting when you’ve screwed up and taking responsibility. Apologizing, Making thing right.


And that, as you know, doesn’t come easily to everyone.


I hope you enjoy Oscar, Jeffrey and Russ’s journey together. It’s not a straight line to love, that’s for sure. The one thing I can promise is they get their HEA.


Thanks for reading!


Jodi



Blurb:

Will three men from very different backgrounds find a home and a future together? 

After losing his husband to cancer, Oscar Kennedy has his hands full with their four girls, the house, his job, and his mother-in-law. When he loses his father too, keeping Stable Hill, the old horse farm where he grew up, becomes impossible. Oscar hires Jeffrey Stokes, a slick-looking real estate broker with a roll-up-his-sleeves work ethic, to get it on the market.

Russell White manages the day-to-day at Stable Hill. Russ had loved Oscar’s dad like a father, and took on even more responsibility when the old man fell ill. He is shocked and saddened by Oscar’s decision to sell.

All three men have a stake in Stable Hill, and it’s not long before they start to invest in one another too. But their complicated relationship doesn’t make having to sell Stable Hill any easier. Will the fragile triad they’re building last when the farm that brought them together is gone?



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