Wednesday, October 23, 2019

ARC Review : Conspiracy Theory (Hamarsson & Dempsey #1) by Elle Keaton

Blurb

Years of grueling police work have left Niall Hamarsson jaded and disillusioned with life…although it’s likely he’s been that way all along. The last straw lands when the DA refuses to try a case Niall worked for years to bring to justice. Within hours he finds himself heading to the only place he’s ever been able to call home—a place he knows he doesn’t belong.

Mat Dempsey returned to Piedras Island after his father’s death. These days he’s Island County’s sheriff. He’s happy enough, even if moving home from San Francisco effectively forced him back into the closet. Mat’s well-ordered universe collapses when a local’s body is discovered floating in the cold waters of Hidden Harbor’s marina. All hell breaks loose in the community, and accusations fly…all coinciding with Niall Hamarsson’s return.

Niall and Mat have a history, and it’s not one Mat’s proud of. He owes Niall an apology, even if it means getting down on his knees. However, Mat’s first priority is investigating the murder before his community tears itself apart and he may have to ask the aloof Niall Hamarsson for help.

Push apart, pull together, yes or no... The chemistry crackles between them but will the two men be able to put aside their pasts and embrace a future?

Christelle's rating:





A good page-turner for me as I always enjoy a good MM romance with a suspense subplot. Beware: this is an “on-going” series and this first part sets the ground…and what a solid ground for further enjoyment !!!

Niall Hamarsson is a loner. With his past childhood slowly revealed, it’s no surprise. His detective work, even thought quite successful, has left him jaded and on a spur of a moment, he decides to take a break and go back to the island he spent part of his childhood with his now-gone grandparents. But no rest for the wicked…A murder and a series of incidents on the island, an encounter with Matt, the current sheriff…Niall has a lot on his plate and he can’t ignore his baggage. As for Matt, the murder and reappearance of Niall shatters the sense of security he covets but hasn’t yet reached.

The pace is quite good with the slow but steady and captivating discovery of who Niall is, the characters are well drawn with 2 guys not spared by life and all the surrounding “small-community” cast, the plot interesting and, if I have to make an educated guess, far from being over and the angst is delicious.

Blogtour: Minuet by A.M. Leibowitz


Minuet

by 

A.M. Leibowitz

Notes From Boston #4


Categories: queer, MMF, romance



MinuetBlurb:

When it comes to love, Mack Whitman prefers to limit it to writing songs and poetry.
Aromantic, he’s content to have quality friendships and people who sometimes also share his bed. He’s never considered himself the jealous type. But when he sees everyone in his life, from his best friends to his occasional partners, moving toward more settled lives, it leaves him frustrated, disappointed, and worried he’ll be left behind.
Amelia Roberts doesn’t care about the genders of her partners as long as she follows her one rule: Don’t ever fall in love. It’s worked out well for her, since that’s a line she knows she’ll never cross with Mack. He’s as happy as she is to keep things as they are. The only trouble with her philosophy is that she didn’t count on meeting the one person who might change her mind.
Jomari O’Brien’s supportive family made it smooth for him to transition several years ago. Since then, he’s been in and out of love, and other people’s beds, plenty of times, and he has no regrets. Each one is a small part of a larger symphony. Becoming involved with two people at once is a more complicated harmony, but it’s one he’s willing to learn as long as they are.
Their individual melodies become discordant as they struggle to make them fit together. But if all three can learn to play with each other instead of against, they may yet hit all the right notes.






About the Series:

When Trevor, Nate, Jamie, and Mack moved in together, they had no idea how it would change their lives. Four roommates. Four stories about living and loving in the City on a Hill.



Publisher | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | iBooks | Barnes and Noble 
Kobo | Smashwords | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads









MEME2 - Minuet


They paid for the groceries and headed for Mack’s van. Once they’d loaded it up, Mack went to start the van, but Trevor put a hand on his arm.

“Wait.”

“What?”

“I’m not letting you go home without talking about what the hell that was back there. You were really pissed off when you came to see me. You’re calm now, but if you go back home, you’re gonna get right back into that mess all over again.”

He was right, and Mack knew it. He turned over the engine. “Look, it’s freezing out here. I’ll drive you back, and I’ll explain on the way.”

“Fair enough.”

Mack waited until they were out on the road to say, “It’s fucking weird, having both of them together. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before, but not like this. I don’t know. It felt like they were doing this bonding thing, and I wasn’t part of that.”

“I get it,” Trevor said.

“Do you? Because your family looks different.”

“What is it you wanted? To have Amelia to yourself? You’ve said she’s not your girlfriend. So why does it matter?”

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

ARC Review: Flame and Ash (Witchbane #3) by Morgan Brice

From The Blurb:
The third novel in the Witchbane series. 
One hundred years ago, a sheriff’s posse killed dark warlock Rhyfel Gremory, but his witch-disciples escaped, and their magic made them nearly immortal. To keep their power, each year one of the witch-disciples kills a descendant of one of the men in the posse, a twelve-year cycle that has cost dozens of lives, including that of Seth Tanner’s brother, Jesse 
Seth rescued Evan Malone from one of the witches, and they’ve fallen in love despite the danger and chaos, going on the road to complete the quest and bring an end to the ritual murders. Their relationship is new, their emotions are raw, and the danger is real. It’s a challenge to find their way as a couple while they’re on the road together in the close quarters of Seth’s RV, training in magic and combat skills to fight off a supernatural killer. 
In pursuit of the next witch-disciple, Seth and Evan team up with older hunters Milo and Toby as their quest to stop a century-long killing spree takes them to a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. They’re ahead of the sacrifice cycle, with plans to stop the murders and kill the dark witch. Only this time, the hunters become the hunted when the witch knows they’re coming to get him, and has deadly plans of his own. When their lives are on the line, will love be enough? 
Flame and Ash contains sexually explicit content intended for adults 18 and over.


Karen's rating:





There's work, there's vacations, there are working vacations and then there's...travels with Seth and Evan. It's unlike any working vacation you could ever imagine. 

Before I get into anything in terms of specifics let me just say if you haven't read  the previous stories in this series and by read I mean read or listened to the audio, I strongly recommend doing this to get the full background on Seth and Evan. Also this series connects to the authors "Badlands" series and to some of her stories that are written under the authors name of Gail Z. Martin. However, when it comes to reading these stories or even the 'Badlands' stories it's definitely an individual choice. While I've read the 'Badlands' series, I haven't read any of the other stories that are connected to this series and so far I haven't found it to be a problem.

Seth and Evan met back in the first book when Seth rescued Evan from one of the dark witch Rhyfel Gremory's disciples (for more on this just read the blurb). Since then these two have discovered that they have a few things in common the most important being that they're attracted to each other and they both want to see Gremory's disciples defeated to ensure not just their safety but that of the descendants of the deputies who originally destroyed Gremory.

I've been enjoying this series on audio but when the opportunity for this story was presented I decided that I didn't want to wait for the audio...not that I won't get it when it's available because rest assured...I will. But I was just to curious to see what was in store for Seth and Evan as they travel to North Carolina seeking to once again do battle with one of Gremory's disciples and save yet another descendant of the original posse and this time they've got help...not just the intended victim and his boyfriend but the boys are meeting up with Milo and Toby, Seth's mentors in the demon hunting world.

Blogtour: Roots Of Evil by K.C. Wells



Please welcome K.C. Wells with 

Roots Of Evil 

Merrychurch Mysteries #2



Blurb:

Many consider Naomi Teedle the village witch. Most people avoid her except when they have need of her herbs and potions. She lives alone on the outskirts of Merrychurch, and that’s fine by everyone—old Mrs. Teedle is not the most pleasant of people. But when she is found murdered, her mouth bulging with her own herbs and roots, suddenly no one has a bad word to say about her.

Jonathon de Mountford is adjusting to life up at the manor house, but it’s not a solitary life: pub landlord Mike Tattersall sees to that. Jonathon is both horrified to learn of the recent murder and confused by the sudden reversal of public opinion. Surely someone in the village had reason to want her dead?

He and Mike decide it’s time for them to step in and “help” the local police with their investigation. Only problem is, their sleuthing uncovers more than one suspect—and the list is getting longer…

Exclusive Excerpt:

Wednesday, November 8
“Jonathon.”
No response.
Mike tried again, only this time he nudged the sleeping Jonathon’s thigh with his own. “Jonathon!”
“Hmm?” Brown eyes gradually focused on him, blinking. When that familiar smile blossomed, Mike’s stomach did a flip-flop. Jonathon first thing in the morning was always a gorgeous sight. Then Jonathon grinned as he slid a warm hand over Mike’s fuzzy belly, moving lower….
Mike grabbed him firmly by the wrist. “Much as I love the way you’re going—”
“Oh good, me too.” Jonathon let out a sleepy chuckle.
“That was not why I woke you up.” Mike gestured toward the bedside table on Jonathon’s side. “Your phone was buzzing. You’ve missed a call.”
“Good. Too bloody early to be calling me anyway.” Jonathon shifted closer, until his lips were inches from Mike’s nipple—then he froze. “Wait a minute. No one I know would be calling me at this hour.” He raised his head and squinted at the window. “It’s only just dawn.”
Mike let out a patient sigh. “You’re usually awake before dawn. Which is why I woke you up. I figured it had to be important.”
With a huff, Jonathon rolled over, grabbed his phone, and peered at the screen. His face fell. “Oh God. Well, that’s killed my mood.”
“Who called?”
Jonathon sat up in bed and tapped the keys on his phone. “My father.”
Mike could understand that reaction. One withering glance from Thomas de Mountford had been enough to shrivel Mike’s nuts to the size of raisins.
He waited while Jonathon listened to a voicemail message, his facial expression not improving. If anything, it appeared to worsen. After a few minutes, Jonathon tossed his phone onto the bed and sank back against the pillows.
“He’s coming to see me,” Jonathon said in a subdued voice.
“When?”
“This weekend. And he’s staying the night.” A few minutes was all it had taken to change Jonathon’s mood from playful to downright miserable.
“Any clues as to the reason for this sudden visit?”

Blogtour: Neon Saturday Night by Julia McBryant


Neon Saturday Night
by
Julia McBryant



Neon Saturday Night - Julia McBryantBlurb:


Audie and Calhoun continue their long-distance relationship through college. They sneak off to Myrtle Beach. Audie drives to Charleston when Calhoun gets the flu.
They meet for a fake fishing trip on the Outer Banks. But Audie needs to belong, and because of his traumatic past, he feels like he has little to offer in a committed relationship. While he and Calhoun have fun together, they also have a difficult time negotiating Audie's need to give as much as he takes and build an authentic relationship together.
Calhoun says his job is to learn to be loved. But Audie wants to be more than a fun top and a tragic boyfriend.





Series Blurb:
The Southern Seduction series chronicles the interconnected lives of a group of well-off, high society young adults in Savannah, Georgia, most of whom have known each other since kindergarten. Their complicated relationships (and unconventional sexcapades) form the meat of the series, along with a careful attention to chronology, character, and prose. More than romantic erotica, the Southern Seduction series details a fully realized world of drama, theme, and most of all, memorable characters.

Amazon | Goodreads | BookBub



Excerpt


“You know what it means to be hurt,” Jax says finally. “I don’t know what hurt you, not really. Same’s I talked around it and didn’t tell you all of it, not the whole truth or the real part of it. But you know. You saw it right away and so did I. Henry and Calhoun don’t know what that means. That’s why they can try to put us back together and maybe it’ll work and maybe it won’t.”

“I’m afraid of sharks,” Audie says suddenly. He can’t hold it suddenly, can’t stop it. “But I’m really just afraid of the ocean and I swore I’d never get in it again.”

Jax cocks his head at him. “Someone did something to you.”

Audie tells him about his father and the pontoon boat in the Charleston harbor, about being eleven years and told to swim, just swim to his daddy and they could go home, about the four hours of sheer terror, the thirst and his father’s laughter. ‘

“You’d get in, if you made that go away,” Jax says.

“I can’t.”

“You can. And you need to tell Calhoun this story.”

“I’m not telling Calhoun this. I never should have told you.” Audie casts again. He tosses an empty back up above the high tide line.

“Henry taught me I owe him the truth.”

“I told him the truth. I have a shark phobia.”

“You didn’t tell him shit and we both know it, Currell. Same’s I told Henry I slept around. I told him something. I never told him why. Never told anyone why.”

“Why’d you do it?”

Jax looks over the horizon and squints into the sun. “I was fucking lonely, Audie, the hell do you think?” He straightens up. “How deep will you go?”

“My knees.”

“Go out to your thighs. I’ll go with you.”

“No.”

“I’m not your father and you’re not eleven. Do you trust me enough to tell me that fucking story?”

Audie hesitates. “Yes.”

“Did I trust you enough to tell you why I slept around?”

Audie stares at the vast expanse of water and wonders at its secrets. “Yes.”

“Then trust me enough not to get your ass eaten. I’ll go ahead of you so you know there’s nothing there.”

Audie begins shaking. But he looks at Jax and realizes that he’s right, for some goddamn reason he does trust him. Jax takes his hand. It’s not sexual; it’s not the way you hold the hand of a lover. More the way you’d lead a blind man, or the way Audie imagines a preacher leading someone down into a river. But Jax holds Audie’s hard firmly and takes him into the water, one step at a time. Audie looks down anxiously, watches his feet. Jax suddenly laughs and points. “See the teensy ray?” he asks, the water at their knees. “Like a little pancake.” And it is, small and gray. They keep going until they stand up to their waists when the waves come in. “You’re safe,” Jax says. “Look how clear the water is.”

Audie stops. Turns. He can see in every direction. He looks. There are no sharks. None that he can see. He knows there are sharks, knows it in his bones: this is Nag’s Head, the Carolina coast, sharks up and down it, black-tips and makos, duskies and sand tigers. But the sharks are far away, and the chances of them hurting him so small. He stands and dives. Stands. Dives again. Suddenly he’s swimming, swimming strong, the way he learned as a boy in the Low Country, in the creeks and estuaries of the Cooper River. Jax swims next to him. Audie flips, backflips. He rides the waves and swims under them, a part of this vast, mysterious thing, just one more creature in this strange universe governed by the pull of the moon. A world of undrinkable water, of whalesong, of menace and beauty, crashing whitecaps and glass-calm. Jax doesn’t leave him alone. They finally swim back to shore.

“You aren’t eleven anymore,” he says quietly.

“I’m not,” Audie says.

“And you never have to be again.”

They share a towel.

“Your trunks are wet,” Calhoun says, when Audie comes into the living room.

“Do you want to go swimming?” Audie asks.

“But —”

Monday, October 21, 2019

ARC Review: Hat Trick (Fake Boyfriend #5) by Eden Finley


Blurb:
Soren: 
You know what’s not fun? Going on a Fiji vacation with four other couples. Especially when recently single. 
What’s even worse is when a past hook-up arrives unannounced. 
Not only do we have a history, but he’s ten years younger and a famous rock star. Most importantly, he’s my friend’s little brother. 
Being trapped on an island with Jet Jackson is going to be sweet torture because all I want is another chance. 
I just don’t think he’s going to give it to me. 

Jet: 
You know what’s not fun? Escaping one guy who broke my heart only to run into another. 
Being on the road for three years has left me exhausted. The last thing I want is for Caleb ‘Soren’ Sorensen to try for round two. 
I can’t fight my draw to him. I’ve never been able to. 
I’m suddenly back to being the naïve kid who stupidly lusted after a hockey player. 
All I can think is if I let Soren get close, I’ll walk away from this vacation with a double broken heart.

Hat Trick is a full-length M/M romance with a guaranteed HEA. This is the final book in the Fake Boyfriend series and as such is not recommended to be read as a standalone. All main characters of the series feature heavily.




Todd's rating:




Wow, wow, WOW! This story fully earned its place alongside the rest of the books in this amazing series.

And everything that happened during the group's vacation in Fiji, taking Jet and Soren from a place of awkward interactions and hurt feelings to so much more? Gah!
It gave us our defining moment. It was the first time I’d heard Jet’s song the way it was supposed to be heard, the first time I saw how much we had truly affected each other’s lives, and the whole place means so much to me and to us.
I loved not only Jet and Soren, but also how this story covered every single major event (good, bad, and ugly) in their relationship, from their first tentative hookup to their "hashtag real Disney love" HEA.

The guys had a *lot* to overcome along the way, so some parts of the story felt pretty heavy and angst-laden.

ARC Review : First Impressions (Auckland Med #1) by Jay Hogan

Blurb :

Michael:
Two years ago I made a mistake, a big one and then I threw in a couple more just for good measure. I screwed up my life big time but I made it through. I was lucky.
Then I was given the opportunity for a fresh start. Two years in Auckland, NZ, ‘The City of Sails’. Away from the LA gossip, a chance to breathe, to get my life back together.
I grabbed it and packed my new set of golden rules with me.

I don’t do relationships.
I don’t do commitment.
I don’t do white picket fences.

And I especially don’t do arrogant, holier-than-thou, smoking hot K9 officers who walk into my ER and rock my world.

Josh:

The only thing I know for certain about Dr. Michael Oliver is the guy is an arrogant, untrustworthy player, and I’d barely survived the last one of those in my life. Once was more than enough.
The man might be gorgeous but my eleven-year-old daughter takes number one priority and I won’t risk her being hurt, again. I’m a solo dad, a K9 cop and a son to pain in the arse, bigoted parents.

I don’t have time for games.
I don’t have time for taking chances.
I don’t have time for more complications in my life.

And I sure as hell don’t have time for the infuriating Dr. Michael Oliver, however damn sexy he is.


Christelle' rating :





Auckland Med is an MM romance series with standalone stories. I can attest to that as I read book#2 first, LOL. As book#2 was a hit for me, I decided to give it a go with this one and once again, another hit with this kind of enemy-to-lover, opposite attract MM hot and sexy romance.

Josh is a single dad of an 11-year-old girl, has bigoted parents but a great bond with his sister and is a K9 police officer. He has a great sense of responsibility and wants a serious loving relationship.

Michael is very different : he’s a great and committed trauma doctor but can struggle with the stress attached to his job. He doesn’t do relationship and keeps his lovers at a safe distance.

When they meet, Josh doesn’t give a lot of credit to Michael : granted, he first sees him with the hand of a twink in his pants in a night-club. As for Michael, no way he’s ready to deal with Josh’s irritability, but he’s having a lot of fun rattling Josh. But maybe it’s Michael’s foundations that are going to be shaken.

Blogtour: From Brussels, With Love by Emy Calirel


Please welcome Emy Calirel with 

From Brussels, With Love

a World Of Love novel


Blurb:

Dispirited after a recent breakup, Irish project manager Trevor is guilted into a trip to Brussels with his best friend. A chance meeting with cute and funny tour guide Jerome turns into a weekend of sex and friendship. Forgetting his phone at Jerome’s apartment shifts their fling into a long-distance relationship held together by postcards, texts, and stolen weekends.

But distance isn’t the only thing keeping them apart—Trevor is a workaholic who values his success, while artistic Jerome is carefree but insecure.

Starting a life together means facing major challenges, but the loving words they’ve shared build a bridge across the sea—one that might let them meet in the middle.



Get the book:



HOW TO WOO AN IRISHMAN


There’s two scenes in From Brussels, With Love in which Jerome cooks forTrevor. To celebrate the release of the book, I’ll share with you both of these very easy and common recipes.


EXCERPT


“Hey, Maman, I need your help,” Jerome said as soon as his mother picked up the phone. “Can you talk me through the risotto recipe?”
“The risotto recipe,” Brigitte said knowingly. “You’re trying to impress someone?”
Jerome tied the apron around his waist before answering. “Just trying to make a nice dinner for someone.”
“Start by getting the Tupperware of pot-au-feu sauce I left in your freezer, and defrost it in the microwave. Man or woman?”
“Man.” Jerome followed her instructions. “But don’t get any ideas. This is not a thing and won’t become a thing.”
“Why not?”
“He was only here for the weekend. We had a good time, but he’s leaving tomorrow morning, and then that’s it.”
“Why are you making him Ingrid’s recipe, then?”
Jerome put the microwave on and leaned back against his kitchen counter. “Because he’s a fancy guy, lots of money, and I like him. I want to impress him enough so that he’ll remember me.”


RECIPE


The risotto recipe Jerome’s asking about is very simple, but it looks (and tastes!) fancy when it’s done. Here’s how to impress an Irishman. Or a lover, friend, family member, enemy…


First of all, you do not EVER throw away what’s left of your pot-au-feu (French beef stew, done a lot in winter). Ever. You can do a lot of things with the broth leftover and it freezes great.
In addition to 1 liter (about 34 ounces) of the sieved broth, you’ll need 2 shallots, 200g (about 7 ounces) of arborio, a bit of butter, and some parmesan cheese.
Melt the butter in a pot and brown the thinly sliced shallots to it. Add the rice and stir until the grains become translucent. Add one ladle of the warm broth and stir. Keep your heat on low and add another ladle every time the rice absorbs the previous one. It takes a while (about 15/20mn) but it’s not more complicated than that!


Plate, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, pour a glass of red wine, and enjoy! 


EXCERPT


“It smells amazing,” Trevor said when he came back out ten minutes later.
Jerome stood in front of his old beat-up stove, cooking their breakfast. “I usually just eat tartines with honey in the morning, but I wanted to be fancier today.”
“I only had french toast once before.” Trevor leaned over Jerome’s shoulder to smell the food. “I loved it.”
Jerome flipped the toast in the pan. “If you had it in a big fancy hotel, mine won’t compare.”
“No. It’ll be better.”
Trevor reached for a piece of the already-cooked toast stacked on a plate.
Jerome whacked his hand away with the spatula.
“Flattery will get you nowhere. And no eating before it’s ready. I’m almost done.”


RECIPE

Sunday, October 20, 2019

ARC Review: A Faerie Story by Barbara Elsborg

A Faerie Story
Blurb:
Once upon a time, the fate of three men was decided in a world where it was forever Christmas. 

A faerie forced to flee his homeland Kaegan lives in fear of his vicious twin brother. Tormented and abused, his only option is to escape to the one place he knows he’ll be safe: Inverkillen, a haven of magic, eternal Christmas where he has the chance to live the life he craves. But leaving Faerieland means taking a huge risk. 

A man searching for a second chance Aiden’s world is broken. Life is a dark and wretched place—until a chance encounter with Kaegan gives him hope for a brighter future. But fate has never been Aiden’s friend. No sooner has Kaegan come into his life, than he’s gone. Aiden is resigned to loneliness, but after he makes a startling discovery, he takes a decision that could be the biggest gamble of his life. 
An anguished soul ready to end it all Pascal is afraid to love. He’s determined not to risk his heart when he knows everything can be snatched away in a single moment. A fateful meeting leads to a night of enchantment and passion, leaving Pascal hungry to know more about the mysterious Kaegan. But when morning comes, Kaegan is gone, leaving Pascal to follow the one clue he has to the beautiful stranger’s whereabouts. 

Three men in search of a second chance, deep in a snowy wilderness. Will Christmas cast its magic to give them the greatest gift of all: their Happy Ever After?


Todd's rating:




Wow, this story had a bit of everything and the kitchen sink going on.

In addition to the really great world building, the book had tons of great characters, including the three MC's.

First, we learned about Aiden and his awful childhood, raised by an abusive, cruel mother who never wanted him. In the very first chapter, when hearing about what his "best Christmas ever" consisted of, GAH, that shit broke my heart in two right down the middle.

Then we were introduced to Kaegan, a powerful seventh son of a seventh son of a seventh son, which gave him extraordinary faerie powers, earning him hatred and torture from his evil, twin brother.

And lastly we met Pascal, who'd suffered a childhood trauma from which he'd never fully recovered, leaving him guarded, fearful, and with no regard for the value of his own life.

Yet, in spite of all that, the three men completed one another in a way none of them had ever known before.

ARC Review: Heartsong (Green Creek, #3) by T.J. Klune

Heartsong (Green Creek, #3)
Blurb:
All Robbie Fontaine ever wanted was a place to belong. After the death of his mother, he bounces around from pack to pack, forming temporary bonds to keep from turning feral. It’s enough—until he receives a summons from the wolf stronghold in Caswell, Maine.

Life as the trusted second to Michelle Hughes—the Alpha of all—and the cherished friend of a gentle old witch teaches Robbie what it means to be pack, to have a home.

But when a mission from Michelle sends Robbie into the field, he finds himself questioning where he belongs and everything he’s been told. Whispers of traitorous wolves and wild magic abound—but who are the traitors and who the betrayed?

More than anything, Robbie hungers for answers, because one of those alleged traitors is Kelly Bennett—the wolf who may be his mate.

The truth has a way of coming out. And when it does, everything will shatter.




Jewel's rating:



"I'm going to love you," I whispered to him. "I'm going to love you, and I'm never going to let you go."
Wow, that was ...unexpected and kind of amazing. Have you ever wished you could experience something again for the very first time? What would you wish for? A story? To fall in love? To find the family you didn't even know was lost? Heartsong is all of this and more.

Heartsong is Robbie's story, through and through. It's the story of what it means to be lost and found again. What it means to be pack, to be a family. It's about loss and facing life with a factured soul. And, of course, it's about finding home again. I loved loved loved it. Every word, every moment.

I kind of feel like I just got off an out of control merry-go-round (thanks, TJ!). Heartsong was intense. The story is told from Robbie's POV and being inside his head was like trying to touch a dream. It was a little bit surreal, but that is Robbie's story to tell.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

ARC Review: Fish on a Bicycle, Fish Out of Water #5 by Amy Lane

From The Blurb:
Jackson Rivers has always bucked the rules—and bucking the rules of recovery is no exception. Now that he and Ellery are starting their own law firm, there’s no reason he can’t rush into trouble and take the same risks as always, right? 
Maybe not. Their first case is a doozy, involving porn stars, drug empires, and daddy issues, and their client, Henry Worrall, wants to be an active participant in his own defense. As Henry and Jackson fight the bad guys and each other to find out who dumped the porn star in the trash can, Jackson must reexamine his assumptions that four months of rest and a few good conversations have made him all better inside. 
Jackson keeps crashing his bicycle of self-care and a successful relationship, and Ellery wonders what’s going to give out first—Jackson’s health or Ellery’s patience. Jackson’s body hasn’t forgiven him for past crimes. Can Ellery forgive him for his current sins? And can they keep Henry from going to jail for sleeping with the wrong guy at the wrong time? 
Being a fish out of water is tough—but if you give a fish a bicycle, how’s he going to swim?

Karen's rating:




I can't say that this is the best story in the series...but...I can say without reservation that for me, this is the best story to date and believe me when I say that's not an easy statement to make because I absolutely love this series. I have loved every word of every book.

Is this the best series ever written...I don't know and I really think that's a very subjective decision to be made but for me this series is absolutely delightful and I have read and/or listened to the audio books several times and I admit it, I wasn't even finished with this book before I started wondering how soon the audio book will be available.

If you read the last book than you know Jackson and Ellery were both left pretty battered and bruised at the end of things and to top it all off. The law firm that Ellery was with has cut him loose and without hesitation Jackson and Jade let them know how they felt about it when they resigned with a touch of class that only Jackson and Jade could manage.

There's a lot going on in this story with the new office and proving Henry's innocence and keeping their relationship on track and keeping Jackson in one piece because this man needs a village just to do that.

ARC Review : The First Step (Coastal Carolina #1) by Shira Anthony

Blurb :

The first step is the hardest. After a scandal, New York political reporter Reed Barfield is lying low at the North Carolina coast, writing a story about the seafood industry. But it’s the harbor pilots on the Cape Fear River who capture his interest—men who jump across ten feet of open ocean to grab a rope ladder and guide huge container ships into port. Men like sexy but prickly Justin Vance.
After surviving an abusive childhood and a tour in the Navy, Justin isn’t fazed by his dangerous job—it’s certainly easier to face than Reed’s annoying questions. Justin isn’t out at work, and he doesn’t need Reed digging into his personal life or his past.

But Reed’s no stranger to using his considerable charm to get what he wants, and as he wears Justin down, they realize they have a lot in common—and that they like spending time together. Moving beyond that, though, will mean Justin confessing his sexuality and learning to trust Reed with his secrets—if Reed even decides to stay. Both men want a future together, but can they find the courage to take the first step?

Christelle's rating:




My first from this author: I quite enjoyed the writing. Likeable characters, nice slow burn romance with a very interesting background.

Justin is a river pilot, meaning he guides ships into our out the port of a North Carolina. Reed, a New York reporter sent in North Carolina on a temporary assignment, is intrigued by this activity and get the approval to write a piece about this activity and tags along with Justin. This is not love at first sight, quite the contrary: Justin is a bit annoyed by the attention, both are wary about relationships and anyway, Reed is down there only for a bit. However, Reed is persistent to learn more about Justin, they discover a shared passion for boat sealing and bit by bit, they let their guard down, while a hurricane is coming along the coast.

Release Blitz: Starting From Scratch by Lane Hayes




Title: Starting From Scratch
Series: Starting From, #2
Author: Lane Hayes
Publisher: Lane Hayes
Release Date: October 17, 2019
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 80k
Genre: Romance, Bisexual, Enemies to Lovers, Rock 'N Roll, Hurt/Comfort, Opposites Attract

Add to Goodreads


Synopsis


Charlie Rourke is an ultra fabulous human whirlwind on a mission to launch the next biggest band in the world. However, he might have taken on more than he could handle when he signed on to manage Zero. Promoting a rock band and finding gigs shouldn’t be hard. They’re a talented group with a ton of star power. If Charlie can find the right record label, he’s sure he can help them get to the next level. The only problem is the skater boy slash bassist with a quirky sense of humor. He’s annoying and silly, and he’s exactly Charlie’s type. Except he’s straight.
Ky Baldwin isn’t afraid to switch things up. He loves a challenge as much as anyone, but Charlie doesn’t make things easy. Zero’s manager is a force of nature with a razor sharp tongue, a quick wit, and a no-nonsense attitude. Ky can’t stop thinking about him. Winning over Charlie becomes Ky’s pet project. But when the ice between them thaws, neither is prepared for the intensity of going from enemies to lovers. They’ll have to decide if they’re willing to start from scratch and take a chance on the unexpected.


Excerpt

“I know that was random, but it’s not a bad idea if you think about it. Want something to drink?” Charlie asked as he moved toward the kitchen.

I grabbed his wrist before he got anywhere. “Hang on. What are you doing?”

He cocked his head curiously but didn’t pull away. “I’m being practical. If you read any further about Virgos you probably found out we’re known for being sensible. And polite. So, I’m politely asking if you’d like a beverage while sensibly suggesting that I help out with your skating lessons.”

“Okay. First up…I don’t want a fuckin’ snack and second, it’s not a skating lesson. We’re skateboarding,” I said, glowering at him.

“I’ve heard it said both ways. Skating, skateboarding. I looked it up in Urban Dictionary too, so I’m pretty sure I’m right.”

“No. There’s something in your tone that makes it all wrong. Like you’re purposely trying to sabotage this.”

Charlie opened his mouth in a perfect O. “Gasp! I wouldn’t do that!”

“Cut the crap. You’re doing it now. You don’t want to learn, and you don’t want Oliver to either. It’s a control thing. But you can’t control what you don’t fuckin’ get. So take a seat and let me teach him without you freaking out or—why are you looking at me like that?”

“Like what?”

Friday, October 18, 2019

ARC Review : Ground Zero (Zero Hour #1) by Aimee Nicole Walker


Blurb

Heat, humidity, and homicide are things veteran detective Sawyer Key expects to encounter on his first day with the Savannah Police Department, but the hostile reception from his new partner catches him by surprise. Sawyer isn’t a stranger to heartache and recognizes that Royce Locke is a wounded man who’s reeling from a devastating loss. Relentless and patient in all things, Sawyer is determined to make the new partnership work.
Savannah, Georgia is known for her quirky people, oak trees draped in Spanish moss, and antebellum architecture. Beneath the Southern charm and hospitality, festering hatred and violence is soaring with the summer temperatures. Locke and Key find themselves at the epicenter when their first case involves the death of a former shock jock who appears to be the victim of vigilante justice.

Opposites in nearly every way, the two detectives set aside their differences to take back their city and restore law and order. From this reluctant truce, an intense attraction grows that will either tighten or shatter their tenuous bond. Falling for his partner spells inevitable disaster, but Sawyer’s always been a sucker for wounded things. Sawyer could be the key to the life Royce has always wanted, if he’s brave enough to trust him. The fuse is lit, the clock is running, and the zero hour is upon them. Tick tock.

Ground Zero is the first book in the Zero Hour series, which follows Locke and Key’s investigations and evolving relationship. Ground Zero has a happy-for-now ending with no cliffhanger. It contains mature language and sexual content intended for adults 18 and older.

Christelle's rating :




Sometimes, I can’t explain why I enjoyed a book, but the most important is that I read for escapism and this one did the trick.

Zero Hour is a new series (no idea how many books) about a sexy MM romance involving 2 detectives from the Savannah Police Department falling for each other. They are both different in characters and in background, but the chemistry is there.

Locke is a guy with “attitude”, likes to flirt and giving the impression he doesn’t care, but he has just lost his work partner whom he considered a close friend and he’s deeply wounded by that and hostile at the idea of having a new partner. Sawyer Key, a nurturer and a patient man, lost his husband a couple of years ago but is ready to move and this new assignment can be what he needs.

Review Tour: Guarding His Heart by Beth Laycock





Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Length: 38,000 words




Blurb
He'd risk his life to find his brother. But he never expected to risk his heart as well.

Three months since his brother, Jake, went MIA, Lane Matthews is tired of waiting for answers. With a little help, he arranges a posting to Jeddah for his first overseas deployment—the perfect opportunity to find his brother.

Life in a foreign land isn't quite like he imagined and neither are his duties. But when he meets his housemate, Tristan, while it may be memorable, it's not one of Lane's finest moments.

Tristan threatens to throw him way off course, and falling for the hot straight soldier is definitely not in his plans. But as tensions rise and the truth about Jake is revealed, will Lane's heart follow orders or will all be lost like grains of sand swept away in a desert?




Karen's review:





Three months after his family is notified that his brother Jake is MIA Lane Matthews decides to change his enlistment from the army reserves to a full time active enlistment and with some help he manages to ensure that his first overseas posting is to Jeddah, the posting that his brother was at when he disappeared. 
I can truly believe that it’s the not knowing that’s the worst for any family in this situation and I didn’t find it hard to imagine Lane doing what he did to try and find his brother. When Lane gets to Jeddah his sole purpose is to try and find his brother or at least find information about what happened to him and where he might be. Entering into a relationship isn’t even on his radar and when he first sets eyes on Tristan it’s lust on first sight…seriously it’s maybe 24 hours between ‘hello’ and ‘wham, bam, thank you ma’am …I mean man…see lust at first sight but as the days pass Lane and Tristan get to know each other building on their initial attraction as the relationship quickly slides from lust to friendship to lovers.

Review Tour: Coast To Coast by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey




Length: 57,412 words 

Cover Design: Meredith Russell



Blurb
When opposites attract, it’s not just the team that’s in for a shake-up.

When a stipulation in his father’s will throws Mark back into a family that disowned him, he has only two things on his mind; buying his way out of contractual obligations and running in the opposite direction as fast as he can. When neither option pans out, he finds he is now a one third owner of the struggling Arizona Raptors hockey team, and that is just about the worst thing he could have happened to him. Not only does he hate hockey, but the Raptors are a bottom-of-the-league team, rife with jealousies and anger in a locker room that only knows self-pity. How is he supposed to help turn things around when the only way to start fixing things is to form an alliance with the estranged siblings he’d run from fifteen years earlier?

Then there’s Rowen Carmichael, a stubborn, opinionated, irritating man with superiority issues and questionable taste in music. Butting heads with Rowen, who he’d never even wanted to hire in the first place, is one thing, but there is no way in hell that he will allow the growing attraction to the new coach become anything more. Until with everything on the line, he has to make decisions that will change his life forever.

After years of collegiate coaching, Rowen is given an offer that he simply can’t refuse, although perhaps he should. When he’s presented with the chance to take one of the worst teams in the league and mold them into a future cup contender, the challenge is just too alluring to pass up. He leaves his beloved Ontario behind and moves west to the arid city of Tucson where he is faced with a broken team, shoddy management, and players overflowing with resentment and bigotry.

Never in his twenty years of hockey has he ever seen such a raging dumpster fire of an organization. Yet there’s something about this team and this city that compels him to roll up his sleeves and start dismantling. He has his eye on a new associate coach that’s bound to makes waves, and several key players who should be sent packing. Now all he has to do is convince the new owners of the team that his choices are for the best. If only Mark Westman-Reid, one of three siblings who now own the Raptors, wasn’t so damned rock-headed, so damned snooty, and so damned appealing his job might be a bit easier.






Christelle's review:





A new series from a duo of authors I usually enjoy ? A sport romance featuring a Hockey team ? Including age gap and opposite-attract each other ? Sounds good to me, hehehe.

After the sexy romances with minimum angst RJ Scott and VL Locey imagined with the “Harrisburg Railers”, time to switch to another hockey team with a different dynamics: The Arizona Raptors are in shambles : new owners, new staff, money issues, lack of team spirits and a sulfurous reputation.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Author Of The Month - Keira Andrews - Week Three


Welcome to our third week of celebrations for the amazing




In today's post, we'll look at Kidnapped By The Pirate and Semper Fi, two historical novels, as well as a personal story Keira has chosen to share. There's also another chance to win one of her books.


First up, Kidnapped By The Pirate


Blurb:

Will a virgin captive surrender to this pirate’s sinful touch?

Nathaniel Bainbridge is used to hiding, whether it’s concealing his struggles with reading or his forbidden desire for men. Under the thumb of his controlling father, the governor of Primrose Isle, he’s sailing to the fledging colony, where he’ll surrender to a respectable marriage for his family’s financial gain. Then pirates strike and he’s kidnapped for ransom by the Sea Hawk, a legendary villain of the New World.

Bitter and jaded, Hawk harbors futile dreams of leaving the sea for a quiet life, but men like him don’t deserve peace. He has a score to settle with Nathaniel’s father—the very man whose treachery forced him into piracy—and he’s sure Nathaniel is just as contemptible.

Yet as days pass in close quarters, Nathaniel’s feisty spirit and alluring innocence beguile and bewitch. Although Hawk knows he must keep his distance, the desire to teach Nathaniel the pleasure men can share grows uncontrollable. It’s not as though Hawk would ever feel anything for him besides lust…

Nathaniel realizes the fearsome Sea Hawk’s reputation is largely invented, and he sees the lonely man beneath the myth, willingly surrendering to his captor body and soul. As a pirate’s prisoner, he is finally free to be his true self. The crew has been promised the ransom Nathaniel will bring, yet as danger mounts and the time nears to give him up, Hawk’s biggest battle could be with his own heart.

Excerpt:

Heavy footfalls sounded in the corridor, brazen and commanding. Spines snapping straight, the pirates stepped aside as a man filled the doorway, shoulders almost brushing the frame. He was tall enough to duck slightly as he entered, and his sharp gaze swept the cabin, which had never seemed quite so small.
He wore black from head to gold-tipped toes—open-collared shirt, trousers tucked into knee-high boots, and a long leather coat that flared out behind him. A pistol was tucked into his wide belt, and a cutlass winked from his hip. Gold gleamed on the belt buckle, matching the small square earring in his left ear, rings on his fingers, and the tips of those black boots.
The ends of a red sash dangled over his hip, the only splash of color aside from the gold. He had to be twice Nathaniel’s age, his face weather-worn, a scar jagging across his left temple. His dark hair was cut fairly close to his head, a surprise since Nathaniel had expected all pirates to have long, unruly hair like the animals they were.
His trimmed beard shadowed his strong jaw. In the low light, the color of his narrowed eyes was impossible to ascertain, but Nathaniel imagined they must be as black as the pirate’s soul.
He might have been the very devil himself.
Nathaniel’s palm sweated around the handle of the dagger, and he hated the tremors in his outstretched arm. His throat was painfully dry, and he croaked, “We—we don’t have anything of value. No gold or jewels worth your effort.”
Susanna added, “Even my wedding ring is plated.”
Tully, one of the Proud William’s young crew, had entered the cabin. The man—the pirate captain, undoubtedly—glanced to him. Tully nodded. “’Tis true. Only clothin’ and trinkets in their trunks.” He sniffed dismissively, tossing his reddish hair. “Nothin’ hidden anywhere in here we could find since we left London.”
Nathaniel had thought better of the crew, but saw now how naïve he’d been. It must have been Tully who had informed the pirates that Susanna was with child. “What a coward you are, Tully.”
He snorted. “As soon as I got a good look at the flag, I knew we were done for. Everyone knows the Sea Hawk will gut you from stem to stern once you’re in his talons. I ain’t dying for cargo I don’t give a fuck about and a captain who treats us like garbage.”
“Your destination is Primrose Isle?” The pirate—this Sea Hawk—demanded, his tone low and calm.
“Yes,” Nathaniel answered. “It’s a new colony.”
Tully nodded. “Her husband’s there. We’re to drop them off with their father. The old man’s the guvnor or some such thing.”
At this, the Sea Hawk seemed to jolt, but a moment later the ripple had vanished and he was still again, fearsome and dispassionate. Nathaniel thought he must have imagined the hiccup.
Yet a gleam entered the captain’s devilish eyes, and dread slithered through Nathaniel. The Sea Hawk loomed nearer and demanded, in the same deliberate but undeniable manner, “Your name, boy.”
Heart hammering, all he could manage was, “Uh…”
“This one’s called Bainbridge,” Tully offered.
“Bainbridge,” the captain repeated, barely a whisper now. “As in Walter Bainbridge?”
Fingers going numb around the dagger, Nathaniel nodded. He’d have bruises where Susanna clung to him, her sharp exhalations ghosting over the nape of his neck. There was no sense denying it. “Our father.”
“You’re the son Walter Bainbridge killed his wife to achieve?” The captain’s focus sent chills down Nathaniel’s spine.
He couldn’t hide his wince, and had to nod. His mother had never even held him before the rest of her lifeblood drained away. Susanna had been but six, spying through the keyhole, and she’d confessed it all after Nathaniel’s endless badgering when he was a lad.
Strange how he could experience the aching, hollow absence of a touch he’d never had, even after eighteen years.
The captain’s eyes glinted. Good God, the man was enormous. Nathaniel was tall enough, five feet and seven inches or so, but this monster towered well over six feet. It was all Nathaniel could do to hold his ground and not stagger back against Susanna. The tip of his blade quivered mere inches from the villain’s black heart.
The Sea Hawk gazed down at them as though they were prey he was most eager to consume. “Your father is a liar. Corrupt. An evildoer in silk stockings and a curled wig.”
Nathaniel swallowed hard, hand shaking. Could he lunge and push the dagger into this vile man’s heart? Not that he had much love for his father, but who was a pirate to talk of evildoers?
The Sea Hawk’s eyes glowed with hatred. “Your father cheated me. He was tasked with justice, with fairness. Instead he conspired to steal from me. He branded me a pirate when I was a privateer.”
“Aren’t they the same thing?” Nathaniel blurted. As the Sea Hawk’s nostrils flared, Susanna dug her nails into Nathaniel’s shoulder.
“No, they fucking are not,” the pirate gritted out. “Privateers are licensed. Legal. Privateers follow rules. Laws. Just as your father was supposed to as a judge in the Court of Admiralty in Jamaica. Your father tried to strip me and my men of everything we’d worked and suffered for. We escaped him, but in the years that have followed, he has never paid the price.”
Dread consumed Nathaniel. His father’s greed and avarice would once again bring suffering. If not for Walter’s mounting debts, Nathaniel and Susanna would still be safe at home, waiting until she had her babe before making the journey. Hollington wouldn’t have had to be sold at all, and now they faced God knew what at the mercy of pirates.
Oh Lord. Please spare Susanna and her child!
Bile rose in his throat at the thought of any harm coming to his sister, terror clammy on his skin. Sweat slipped down Nathaniel’s spine. “I…” He racked his brain for something—anything—to say, some means of escape. His dagger shook, and he licked his dry lips. “I’m sorry.” He had to fix this.
A slow, ghastly smile curled the devil’s lips. “You will be.”


Get the book:




Second in today's line-up, Semper Fi


Blurb:

The war is over. The battle for love has just begun.

As Marines, Cal and Jim depended on each other to survive bloodshed and despair in the Pacific. Relieved to put the horrors of war behind him, Jim went home to his apple orchard and a quiet life with his wife and children. Knowing Jim could never return his forbidden feelings, Cal hoped time and an ocean between them would dull the yearning for his best friend.

But when Jim’s wife dies, Cal returns to help. He doesn’t know a thing about apple farming—or children—but he’s determined to be there for Jim, even as the painful torch he carries blazes back to life. Jim is grateful for his friend’s support as he struggles with buried emotions and dark wartime memories. Then Jim begins to see Cal in a new light, and their relationship deepens in ways neither expected. Can they build a life together as a family and find happiness in a world that would condemn them?

Excerpt:
1942
“I’m beginning to think they’re out of boats.”
Jim kept his gaze forward and whispered, “What?”
As they marched on in close order drill in the gray afternoon, backs ramrod straight, legs striding in unison to the DI’s cadence, Cal didn’t turn his head either. “The only reason they could possibly have for marching us around this much is that we’re walking to Japan.”
Lips twitching, Jim fought a smile. “Right through the ocean, huh?”
“Yep. This rain is just a warm-up for the real thing.”
“Plaatooon, halt!” Tyrell bellowed. 
The men staggered to a stop, rifles clattering together. Jim blinked the rain out of his eyes and waited to find out why Tyrell had stopped them. It could be safely assumed that the recruits had done something wrong. As always. 
From the corner of his eye, he could see Tyrell slowly stride down the column of men, eyes sharp like a predator stalking its prey. Jim prayed he would pass Cal by just this once and pick on one of the other recruits. Not that Jim wished them any harm, but he hadn’t gotten to know them. Everyone knew that once their six weeks of training was through, their platoon would be scattered throughout the Corps. No sense in getting attached.
But it was different with Cal. As much as Jim wanted the time to go quickly so he could officially be a Marine—and not stuck in this purgatory—he dreaded the day he would no longer have Cal at his side to raise a sardonic eyebrow or give him a hand, strong and sure, when he struggled at the top of the climbing wall during PT.
“Forrrward march!” 
As they set out again, it happened so quickly that Jim wasn’t sure if Tyrell tripped him or if Cal had unluckily stumbled. Jim could only catch the edge of Cal’s rain poncho for a moment before Cal sprawled forward in the mud, crashing into the man in front of him, who staggered but remained upright. 
“Plaatooon, halt!” 
Shouldering his rifle, Jim sank to his knees beside Cal, who sputtered, wiping mud from his face as he glared up at Tyrell looming over them. 
Tyrell narrowed his gaze on Jim. “Recruit! On your feet!”
The words were out before Jim could stop them. “He could be hurt, sir.” 
Jim had grasped Cal’s shoulder, but Cal shook him off. “I’m fine.” He hissed under his breath as he moved to his feet, “Get up!” 
Clambering up as well, Jim stood at attention once more, eyes on the helmet of the man in front of him. They all waited with bated breath for Tyrell’s next move. The freezing rain pelted down, and all else was silent. Jim tensed from head to toe, wondering if Cal was hurt. Cal seemed to be standing fine beside him.
Finally Tyrell spoke. Instead of his usual red-faced roar, he addressed Cal with an eerie calm. “This is what happens when you don’t stay in step, recruit.”
“Yes, sir.” Cal’s voice was flat.
“You’re filthy, recruit.” 
“Yes, sir.” 
“Get out of that disgusting uniform.” 
Cal hesitated. “Sir?” 
With a swift intake of air, Tyrell unleashed at full volume. “Did I stutter? You’re a disgrace to this platoon! You’re not fit to wear that uniform, so get it off! On the double! Down to your skivvies!”
From the corner of his eye, Jim watched as Cal stripped, awkwardly shifting his rifle from arm to arm since he couldn’t dare put it down in the mud. He hopped on one foot as he struggled to yank his trousers off over his boots. Jim clenched his fists, pressing his arms to his sides. 
Once Cal stood at attention again, Tyrell inspected him. He barked, “Pick up those revolting pieces of clothing. You think I’m gonna carry them back to the barracks for you?”
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