Tuesday, December 31, 2019

BEST OF 2019

As we do every year, we've rounded up our choices for Best Books read in 2019.

Heather's choices:

Red, White, And Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Heated Rivalry by Rachel Reid

Adam Only by Roe Horvat

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

Sweep Of The Blade by Ilona Andrews

Starlight by Lisa Henry

Flash Rip by Keira Andrews

Heartsong by TJ Klune

How To Love A Duke In Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne

Dani's choices:

Tallowwood by N.R. Walker

Poetry in Motion by Samantha Wayland

Arctic Heat (Frozen Hearts 3) by Annabeth Albert

How to Run with the Wolves (How at the Moon 5) by Eli Easton

Warm Heart (Search and Rescue 1) by Amy Lane

Gideon (Finding Home 3) by Lily Morton

Forever Moore by Riley Hart and Christina Lee

Made for You (Love and Family 2) by Anyta Sunday

Lost in a Moment (Trials of Fear 4) by Nicky James

The Other Book (Those Other Books 1) by Roe Horvat

Todd's choices:

How to Be a Movie Star (How to Be #2) by T.J. Klune

The Hitman's Guide to Making Friends and Finding Love (The Hitman's Guide #1)  by Alice Winters

Red, White And Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Heartsong (Green Creek #3) by T.J. Klune

The Last Text by Alice Winters

Four Ever by Sloane Kennedy

Next to Nothing (The Chosen One 3) by Macy Blake

Final Play (Fake Boyfriend #6) by Eden Finley

Made for You (Love and Family #2) by Anyta Sunday

Coming Up for Air by Amanda Meuwissen

Jewel's choices:

Heartsong by TJ Klune

If We Could Go Back by Cara Dee

Dealing in Death by LJ Hayward

Stranded by Cara Dee

Nox by Adrienne Wilder

A Crown of Iron And Silver by Hailey Turner

Don't Fight the Spark by Kasia Bacon

The Other Book by Roe Horvat

Starlight by Lisa Henry  

Jacked Cat Jive by Rhys Ford

Karen's choices:

Monday, December 30, 2019

ARC Review: Homemade for the Holidays (4 stories)

Homemade for the Holidays
From the blurb:
Choosing the right gift for that special someone can be the most daunting part of the holidays. In a sea of mass-produced items, why buy when you can DIY? The end-of-the-year festivities are the best time for crafts, whether they’re made from yarn, paper, flour, or even code. And with some love and luck, these special presents might inspire a romance that lasts an evening… or a lifetime. Nothing makes the season merry and bright like a gift handmade from the heart, and to bring smiles to the faces of the ones they care about, these guys are willing to get creative.

I've read 4 stories from this collection of shorts. Below are my reviews.

Notes From Home by Dirk Greyson

Ky's rating:

While Johnny is overseas and missing his new boyfriend he mysteriously keeps getting letters from him, delivered every three days. The weird part is that there is no way for mail to reach him where he is and there's no contact with the outside world that doesn't have to do with their mission.

It's a sweet story with a happy ending, some very generous teammates and an excited puppy. The setting is very promising and I'd love to see a full novel about this couple.

Santa's Little Library by Jana Denardo

Ky's rating:

I tend to stay away from holiday stories because they always seem so rushed so I was glad to find one where the MCs were an established couple.

ARC Review: Wren And Oak by Sam Burns


Rowan Harbor has been peaceful for a now unprecedented two months, but everyone knows it’s the calm before the storm. The Summer king is coming for the thorn—a weapon destined to bring his end—and Fletcher has never felt so helpless.

When the disturbing dreams start and his mentor, Oak, is hesitant to discuss them, Fletcher doesn’t know where to turn. He and his boyfriend Conner are in the process of moving in together, and he doesn’t want to add anything else to Conner’s list of concerns.

With a vengeful fae waiting for his chance to raze Rowan Harbor to the ground, Fletcher has to find a way to protect everything he loves and survive the coming storm.

Sandra's review:

And so this amazing series, this trilogy of trilogies, came to an end. I wasn't ready. However, I can read this series again and again, if I so choose, and so can you now.

In this final book, we close the circle on Fletcher's trilogy. As the book opens, Jesse and Sean have returned from Faerieland, and it's been somewhat peaceful in Rowan Harbor for a couple of months. It's an uneasy peace, of course, as the group of friends and comrades in arms know that the Summer King is coming for them to retrieve the Thorn, the sword that Rose, Devon's great-grandmother, stole and hid in Rowan Harbor.

Fletcher has been training with Oak, the Dryad, who have been teaching him all about his powers, his abilities to understand the animals and become one in spirit with the forest. Oak of course know all - they have been the Forest Spirit for a very long time, longer than Rowan Harbor has existed - but they cannot tell Fletcher or anyone else where the Thorn is.

Fletcher is mostly spending his nights at Conner's house, and their relationship is only getting stronger. They're talking about moving in together. And since he's spending so much time with the forest and Oak, he has to turn in his uniforms and quit his job as a deputy. He still doubts himself and his purpose, he cannot see his own worth, and he frets about living off Conner's money in Conner's house. But when he dreams about the showdown with the Summer King and ultimately realizes there is really only one option, he is determined to take that one option, no matter what.

Blogtour: Wren and Oak (Rowan Harbor #9) by Sam Burns

The Eternal Interview Question

Almost every creative who’s ever been interviewed has gotten the same dreaded question:

Where do you get your ideas?

It’s usually asked with a sheepish chuckle, as though the interviewer is sure it’s a silly question, but it still seems like the thing to ask.

And isn’t it? I mean, aren’t the ideas what put the artist in that interview in the first place? If I hadn’t written nine books in a series, I sure wouldn’t be writing posts about where my ideas came from.

The problem is that when a writer gets the question, they go blank. Not because they don’t want to share, or because they don’t know where the ideas came from, but that every story comes from at least a hundred places, and the interviewer doesn’t want—doesn’t have time for—a hundred stories.

Where did my series come from? There’s a plot bunny that came from inverting the trope at the heart of a popular TV series. There’s the mythology of my ancestors, and their tendency to write the same kind of story over and over again—so clearly it was my turn. I made a main character partially inspired by my own difficulty putting down roots, and a town that’s vaguely reminiscent of a few I lived in as a kid. Every plot is based on real life problems I’ve overcome, or seen other people overcome. No, my town has never been besieged by an evil fae king, but I also can’t say the Summer king isn’t based on someone I know. And on a legend. And on thousands of books I’ve read over the years.

Like every idea I’ve ever made into a book, it came from everywhere.

So sure, “where do you get your ideas?” is a valid and reasonable question. But when you ask it, don’t be surprised when your average artist has to stop and think. They’re not confused, they’re just deciding which of their hundred stories to tell today.

About the book:

Rowan Harbor has been peaceful for a now unprecedented two months, but everyone knows it’s the calm before the storm. The Summer king is coming for the thorn—a weapon destined to bring his end—and Fletcher has never felt so helpless.
When the disturbing dreams start and his mentor, Oak, is hesitant to discuss them, Fletcher doesn’t know where to turn. He and his boyfriend Conner are in the process of moving in together, and he doesn’t want to add anything else to Conner’s list of concerns.
With a vengeful fae waiting for his chance to raze Rowan Harbor to the ground, Fletcher has to find a way to protect everything he loves and survive the coming storm.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link 

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Length: 45,000 words 

Cover Design: Melanie Farlow @ Clause and Effect

The Rowan Harbor Cycle Series

Book #1 - Blackbird in the Reeds - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #2 - Wolf and the Holly - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 - Fox and Birch - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 - Hawk In The Rowan - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5 - Stag and the Ashe - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #6 - Adder and Willow - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #6.5 - In Any Light - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #7 - Eagle In The Hawthorn - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #8 - Salmon and the Hazel - Amazon US | Amazon UK

About the author:

Sunday, December 29, 2019

ARC Review: Winter Ball #3, Fall Through Spring by Amy Lane

From The Blurb:
A Winter Ball Novel 
As far as Clay Carpenter is concerned, his abusive relationship with food is the best thing he’s got going. When a good friend starts kicking his ass into gear, Clay is forced to reexamine everything he learned about food and love—and that’s right when he meets troubled graduate student, Dane Hayes. 
Dane Hayes doesn’t do the whole monogamy thing, but the minute he meets Clay Carpenter, he’s doing the friend thing in spades. The snarky, scruffy bastard not only gets Dane's wacky sense of humor, he also accepts the things Dane can’t control—like the bipolar disorder Dane has been trying to manage for the past six years. 
Dane is hoping for more than friendship, and Clay is looking at him with longing that isn't platonic. They’re both positive they’re bad at relationships, but with the help of forbidden desserts and new medication regimens, they prove outstanding at being with each other. But can they turn their friendship into the love neither of them has dared to hope for?

Karen's rating:

You know that friend the one who's just always there when you need them...

I'm sure we've all met or maybe we are that person..the friend...the quiet, steadfast friend who's there when they're needed. No, they're probably not the person who draws a crowd at parties or comes up with the crazy wild ideas for fun. They may not even get noticed much at events but when everyone else has gone home they're the one who's still there helping you clean up even though they were the one who arrived early to help you set things up for the party to begin with, they're the friend who drives you home after you've had one to many when the gang's out on the town, they make sure you get into your home safely. They're not the star of the party or even your knight in shining armor but they're just like you and I...they're someone who's looking for love...this is Clay Carpenter.

Clay's been here since the beginning and I think most of us saw him as Skipper's best friend and we never really gave him a lot of consideration beyond that. He was nice and dependable and really in the history of romance have there ever been two words more solidly connected to the 'kiss of death' when it comes to love than 'nice & dependable' I think not...that is unless your name's 'Dane Hayes'. Dane's done hot, attractive, sexy, exciting, yadda, yadda, yadda...he knows what those words mean or at least he knows what those words mean for him. For Dane they mean 'sh*t's getting real, so it's been nice and I'm outta' here. Dane's bipolar so sometimes his world goes sideways really fast and the only thing he's ever been able to depend on is his family...his parents and his brother Mason. He's accepted this. But Dane's like Clay...they can say what they want but the truth is their hearts want someone to love, someone to call their own.

Book Review: Dirty Mind by Roe Horvat

Dirty MindFrom the Blurb:
Alexander Popescu is a university lecturer in a quiet German town. He’s a respectable man in his thirties who stays fit, has a decent career and travels alone—his only vice is an occasional greasy meal. And beer. And violent computer games. Nobody has to know about the other Alex—the acclaimed porn writer. His ingenious erotic fantasies earn him good money and keep his capricious mind harmlessly entertained. 
When his young friend and protégé Christian transfers to Freiburg for medical school, Alex is overjoyed…and terrified that Christian will find out about Alex’s indecent alter ego. The time they spend together, as lovely as it is, could overturn Alex’s carefully balanced life. Suddenly, the writing is not good enough, his hair seems to be thinning, his careful hookups leave him unfulfilled, and his dreams are haunted by the innocent young man he’s vowed to protect. 
However, Christian is not a boy anymore. He’s a grown man of twenty-one, clever and deadly attractive. And he’s hiding some secrets of his own.

Ky's rating:

Another brilliant story by Roe Horvat!

An age-gap of twelve years and a protector-protectee relationship that goes back about three or four years are the starting points of this story.

Alexander and Christian met while both on vacation and maintained a friendly relationship over the years despite the distance. They exchanged emails and phone calls, they confessed deep secrets and had a true connection with each other. They even took trips from time to time to see each other.

One such trip became the reason that Christian decided to transfer to the university in Alex's city.

They were best friends before despite the distance, so now that they were in the same place they took the opportunity to spend more time together. What Alexander didn't expect though was the he would start seeing Christian in a different light.

ARC Review: The Layover by Roe Horvat

The Layover (The Layover, #1)From the Blurb:
Eight years ago, Ondro Smrek fled Slovakia and the bigotry that drove his first lover to take his own life. The demons proved impossible to outrun, though, and now, desperate for somewhere to belong, Ondro is returning to start over. During a layover in Basel, Switzerland, he meets Jamie, an American living in Scotland who is as brilliant as he is beautiful. 
Jaded Ondro never would have guessed he could fall in love during a brief layover—until now. When he is put in a position to offer Jamie comfort without hope of recompense, Ondro doesn’t hesitate. Soon, he catches a glimpse of the home he longs for. But with their separation looming, confessing his feelings would only lead to pain and humiliation. Life has taught Ondro not to hope, but then, he never believed in love at first sight either....

Ky's rating:

This story takes place in six days. SIX! I'm not a fan of small time frames in stories and I tend to stay away from them but in this book it didn't feel like the relationship was rushed. How did the author do that?

I have loved every story of Roe Horvat I've read (and with this one I think I've read them all so far) but I've waited so long to read The Layover because I thought it had an insta-love theme. Silly me!

Yes, the characters meet and start a relationship pretty fast - we're talking about less than a week - but the circumstances were such - and the writing of course! - that they connected and communicated in a deep level.

A short one-night layover in between flights ended up being the start of a beautiful relationship and the answer to the crossroads of Ondro's life.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Review Tour: Christmas Lights (An Owatonna U Novella) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey

Length: 26,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Owatonna U Series

Book #1 - Ryker - Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

Book #2 - Scott - Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link


Under the Christmas lights strung outside a snowy Minnesota cabin, Ryker and Jacob face a future where nothing will be the same again.

Fortunate timing means that Ryker and Jacob can spend a few days together over Christmas in a cabin on the family farm. What’s better is that Scott and Ben are coming as well, with Hayne and Ethan in tow. Ryker can’t imagine a better way to spend time with the man he loves, and the friends he misses, and somehow he knows that this Christmas will be the best one ever. Hockey on a frozen pond, kisses under Christmas lights, and sharing time with Jacob are the best gifts he could ever receive.

Long distance relationships are brutal, Jacob can attest to that fact. So, when Ryker gets a few days off over the Raptors’ Christmas break, the hard-working Minnesota farmer is beyond thrilled. When they find out that their buddies from Owatonna U. are making the trip as well, the holidays are looking to be just about perfect. Jacob has a question for Ryker burning in his heart, and he isn’t asking for much—just a few fun-filled days with old friends and a yes from the man of his dreams.

Karen's review:

It’s been a while since Jacob and Ryker have seen each other and they’re both looking forward to celebrating Christmas with each other and with their friends from Owatonna U. Jacob and his dad have fixed up the cabin that’s on their farm and it’s ready to house his lover and their friends Scott and Hayne along with Benoit and Ethan for their holiday reunion. 
But it seems that Jacob and Ryker both want the same thing for Christmas…the both want more time with each other and Jacob’s got a plan…it involves one single simple question and he just needs the right answer from Ryker for his plan to be a success.
‘Christmas Lights’ was definitely a shining spot in my Christmas reading. I loved getting to spend time with the men from Owatonna U again. Hayne was up to his eyebrows in paints and Scott was right there enjoying spending time with his friends but never really taking his eyes off of the man he loves. Whether it was a game of hockey on the pond or holiday movies Benoit and Ethan were ready to join in and to my fellow Canadian Benoit, I’d just like to say “Yes, Benoit. ‘Die Hard’ is an epic holiday movie.” 
Sadly, it wasn’t all goodness and light for Jacob. There’s change coming for his family but sometimes in order to get the future we want we need to change the present that we have. Jacob’s responsibilities to his family’s farm remain a constant in his life oftentimes demanding more energy and attention then even he has and taking him away from the warm and loving man who’s finally in his bed again. 

Release Blitz: The Dichotomy Of Angels by N.R. Walker

The Dichotomy of Angels
N.R. Walker
Publication date: December 27th 2019
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Nathaniel and Chasan are no ordinary angels.
Destiny chose them to be twin flames, fated mates. But Nathaniel has avoided Chasan for nearly a thousand years. 
When sent to Earth on a mission to live and work together, Nathaniel comes face-to-face with his destiny. Short-tempered, petulant, and grumpy, he hates the idea of being fated to anyone and has chosen an existence of isolation rather than spending time with the calm, kind, and serene Chasan. 
But now he has no choice. 
One is fire, the other is air; a true dichotomy of angels. Together they will be ignited, or they will be extinguished. This assignment will seal their fate either way. 
* * * 
85,000 words. A sometimes-funny, sometimes-serious story about love, destiny, and other heavenly disasters.


The transfer to a human form was never easy. It felt confined and constricting, like an ill-fitting suit, and Nathaniel always hated the residual squeeze the morphing left in its wake. He shook himself out, rolling his shoulders and fisting his hands a few times until the discomforting buzz subsided.
The room Nathaniel found himself in was typical living quarters for twenty-first century humans. There was a sofa, a dining table, a kitchen, a fluffy white rug, all spacious and grand, and any human would have appreciated the apparent wealth and luxuriousness of it all. But not Nathaniel.
Human niceties weren’t something he much cared for.
He did, however, notice the skyline out the window. He’d seen it in reports and videos enough to recognize it, and it was apparent the apartment was high up and well-positioned because of the view.
“New York,” he grumbled.
Chasan walked to the window, inspecting the nearby buildings and the park across the road, then turned and smiled. “This city never gets old.”
Nathaniel suppressed the urge to roll his eyes. Chasan found beauty in everything. He had for thousands of years, and it had always been a burr in Nathaniel’s boot. Chasan would simply smile and nothing was ever an issue. He took everything in his stride, and everything was cheery and promising. His blessed cup forever runneth over.
Nathaniel was more of a chalice-half-empty kind of angel.
Chasan and he had worked together several times over the eons, not particularly well, Nathaniel could admit. They were too different. Like night and day: Chasan was sunshine and roses; Nathaniel was darkness and thorns. If you thought angels couldn’t have such vast and varied personalities, you’d be mistaken. They most certainly did. And with differing personalities came personality clashes.
And that’s what this was. Between Nathaniel and Chasan. Just a clash of personalities. The tension, the push and pull, that instant irritation Nathaniel felt from being anywhere remotely near Chasan could all be explained by a difference of personalities.
At least that’s what Nathaniel had convinced himself of since their last disastrous encounter. An encounter that might or might not have led Saint Peter to down most of the sacramental wine—actually, half of the heavens had taken a hit that day—so why Saint Peter had insisted they work together again now was as bold as it was stupid.
“Nathaniel?” Archangel Michael said, as though not for the first time.
Nathaniel blinked and focused. “Yes. Apologies.”
“How does the human modification feel?” Michael asked. “There can be a period of adjustment. It’s been a while for you, has it not? Since you’ve taken human form?”

Friday, December 27, 2019

ARC Review: Adore (On My Knees Duet #2) by Ella James

Adore (On My Knees Duet #2)
From the Blurb:

The heartrending conclusion to the On My Knees Duet, a forbidden MM romance by USA Today Bestseller Ella James... 
If you haven't read Worship, find out why readers are calling it the best forbidden romance of the year!

Ky's rating:

"Adore" is the second book in this duet and it concludes the story of Luke and Vance.

Here, there's a lot more contact between the characters, they see each other every day and they live as a couple for a few months. Everything is done in secrecy though and there's no way around it.

The back and forth of Luke's decisions continues and his uncertainty about how he should act with Vance is still present. Vance is more patient with this that I hoped anyone to be. He knows what he wants, he knows that he's hooked in Luke and so he does everything he can to give Luke the time he needs, the discretion he wants and to get as much out of the relationship as he can for as long as Luke will keep their arrangement going. He knows the score and is trying to make the best of it.

ARC Review: Worship (On My Knees Duet #1) by Ella James

Worship (On My Knees Duet, #1)
From the Blurb:
You think you know me.That’s the way I want it.Making you feel like we know each other—like we could go grab a beer sometime—is part of my job. Maybe the most vital part. 
It doesn’t hurt that I’m easy on the eyes, single at 35, and born richer than sin. My aesthetic matters much more than it should, but all the better for my worthy cause. 
And it’s a worthy cause.
I’ve made an art out of making you feel good, and my influence makes you want to be good. Good like me.You think you know me, but you don’t.Everyone has secrets. Mine could cost me everything.So I’m a fortress. No one’s ever even gotten close.Until tonight.
See that man, the tall guy dripping on the bow of my yacht? The one I just pulled from the ocean?He’s the one who’s going to cost me everything.

Ky's rating:

"Worship" is the first book in this duology. I don't understand why the story wasn't told in just one book but that's not for me to decide.

In "Worship", Luke and Vance meet on Luke's boat and they spend a night together against everything that Luke expected. The next day they part ways and they don't have any contact again for months. The connection that was made that single night though was so strong they both kept thinking of the other. They don't contact each other but they find a way to keep up with the other's life through social media.

That goes on for the majority of the book. They are both obsessed with each other but neither is making a move, they just long from afar. There are a few attempts at communication but nothing comes out of them.

And then one of Luke's friends, who's also his assistant, makes a decision that puts them in close proximity.

Even though the first move wasn't made by either of them, it's their decision to stay in close contact for the next few months.

The characters had some contradictory reactions, especially Luke. Many times I thought he behaved like two different people. There was no continuation to his actions. One minute he was dominant, sure of himself, strong and the next minute he was subdued, uncertain, self-conscious. He went back and forth A LOT. He couldn't make up his mind, some of which I can understand considering his upbringing and his position, but there was so much inconsistency to his actions.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Blogtour: Last Place At The Chalet by Sue Brown

Please welcome Sue Brown with 

Last Place In The Chalet

Hello there. 
Happy Festive season to you, whatever you celebrate.
I’m not exactly ready for Christmas (at the time I’m writing this there is a week to go and so far, I’ve bought the pudding), but I have hopes I’ll get it together by Christmas. There’s nothing like a looming deadline and a houseful of guests to focus the mind.
My dog, Faith, is always bewildered by Christmas. First, I tidy and clean the house. There are only two reasons cleaning happens. First when there are human guests coming or I’m going to be leaving her for a few days. Neither happens very often so Faith gives me a suspicious side-eye from her perch on the sofa, until she knows which one it’s going to be. She loves guests. She doesn’t like absent mum. 
I did manage to get the Christmas decorations up before Christmas Eve. Go Sue! Go Sue! I’m sitting here watching my reindeer twinkle at me as I work.
How do you spend Christmas Day? Ours is spent eating, drinking, and watching bad movies. It’s pretty much my ideal day. This year I get to do the cooking but my son, who is a fantastic cook, has promised to help. I hope he does the cooking and I’ll be his help. Sadly London never gets a white Christmas and the weather forecast doesn’t give me any hope.
What’s my news apart from my failure at Christmas preparation?
How did 2019 go for you? It’s not been an easy year for me and it’s harsh at the moment, but I’m always optimistic things will improve.
Now we’re at the end of the year I’m slowly getting books out; Slow Dating the Detective, Last Place in the Chalet, and Alpha Home. 2018 and 2019 were years of writing, but not much finishing. There is nothing more satisfying than writing ‘The End’. Having a lot of half-finished stories is so frustrating. My goal for 2020 is to finish at least five of these stories. I might even get next year’s Christmas story written early again.
2020 is promising to be a year of change for me. It’s nothing I can disclose at the moment but I’m quietly excited. Quietly excited. Isn’t that such a Brit thing to say? I should be talking cheerleading, not sitting in a corner with a latte.  
2020 is going to be GREAT! There, less Brit, more excited author.
I’m going to be cheeky and ask you for a Christmas present this year. I’d be really grateful if you could follow me on Bookbub. I have to reach a certain number of followers before I can do basic things like notify you of a new release. 
For those of you who like a cocktail at Christmas, I attach a suggestion from the chalet’s host, Charlie. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a wonderful New Year.

About the book:

Noel Garrett leaves for his Christmas vacation with an engagement ring in his pocket. But he boards the plane alone and with a broken heart when his boyfriend dumps him in the airport.

His seatmate, Angel Marinelli, takes care of him with gentle determination… whether Noel wants it or not, and Noel doesn't expect to see Angel again. But when an overbooking leaves Angel without a room and Noel is asked to host him, one night turns into the whole vacation and they settle into the chalet and mix with an eclectic group of guests, including the Wise Guys and a pregnant woman.

As they ski and spend every moment together, Noel finds himself falling for Angel, and though his feelings are returned, Noel worries it’s just a rebound romance. It’ll mean taking a leap of faith, but Noel has to make a decision before he hurts Angel, and Christmas is fast approaching.

“It’s so cold.”
Even Noel could hear Angel’s teeth chattering as they scurried around the porch to the hot tub, slipping and sliding on the decking.
“This was your idea,” Noel pointed out, trying hard to keep his own teeth under control. He was dressed like Angel, in swimming trunks and the soft white robe the lodge provided. His balls felt like they were about to climb up inside his body, it was that cold.
“Don’t remind me,” Angel groused.

Cover Reveal: The Persephone Star by Jamie Sullivan

We are delighted to reveal the cover for Jamie Sullivan's upcoming novel

The Persephone Star

About the book:

Release Date - February 10, 2020
200 pages
Cover image by Aisha Akeju and LC Chase

Love looks different from a thousand feet up.

Postmistress Penelope Moser has recently settled with her father in the Wild West town of Fortuna. Shocked by the violence around her and the depressing lives of the town’s women, she throws herself into her job. She’s determined to make the best of it before she has to marry the odious town sheriff.

But when the Persephone Star is spotted in the territory, danger literally hits close to home. Its captain—the famed outlaw Mirage Currier—is fresh out of prison and gunning for revenge on Penelope’s fiancé for locking her up and sentencing her sister to death. Penelope’s pleas to avoid violence are ignored, and a bloody showdown seems inevitable. That is, until Penelope is kidnapped and held hostage on the Star.

Shockingly, Penelope finds intrigue rather than danger in the air. Mirage’s reputation as a hardened criminal doesn’t fit with the Star’s vibrant young captain whose only goal is to save her sister from the gallows. With her sympathies shifting, Penelope must decide whether to remain loyal to her father and the man she promised to marry, or face an uncertain future with an enthralling outlaw.

Pre-order your copy:

And now, drum roll, please...

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

ARC Review: After Vertigo by Amanda Meuwissen

After Vertigo
In a flash, the world changed. A solar flare—later dubbed Vertigo—activated the DNA of more than half the world’s people, granting them special abilities. Brilliant scientist Benjamin Krane might be Powerless, but his inventions are the only thing giving the police a fighting chance against super-powered evil. Ben doesn’t have much of a life beyond work, and when he gets wind of a robbery one evening, he decides to test his newest invention personally….

A thief, rogue, and shameless flirt, Grey Miller—aka the Streak—likes shiny things, but he doesn’t hurt people. When Ben catches him—and proposes they team up against the real bad guys—Grey doesn’t know whether it’s the offer or the man he can’t resist. But one thing’s for sure—they’re an ideal match in more ways than one.

With a psychotic supervillain’s catastrophic plan moving forward and everyone he cares about in danger, now might not be the best time for Ben to give in to Grey’s seduction, no matter how tempting. Grey is a man of secrets, and if Ben wants a future with him, he’ll have to learn to trust Grey—and himself.
Todd's rating:

This mutant powers story was fun, but at times required a *lot* of suspension of disbelief; however, I was thankfully able to not ask too many questions.

Meuwissen's "Coming Up for Air" merman story made my Top 10 of 2019 list, in large part due to the high levels of romance, feels, and action.

I this story, though, I felt that there was mostly just action, without much of the longing and soul-deep connection between the two would-be-heroes.

Yes, both Ben and Grey were extremely likeable MC's, and I enjoyed being on board while all of the fast-paced events played out, but Grey's flirtations toward Ben never made me feel like that they were anything less than inevitable. For an eventual quick and dirty hookup, sure. As forever-and-ever soulmates, ehhh.

The story had several revelations and plot twists along the way, including the true origin of Vertigo, and a bit of betrayal, which kept me entertained and boredom at bay.

But the romantic in me really wanted more pining over one another, which just didn't translate on page for me in this story, so I'd rate it at around 3.5 stars overall.

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.


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