Saturday, January 19, 2019

Audio Review: The Englor Affair by J.L. Langley

From The Blurb:
In hiding who he was, Payton found himself...and the man he would grow to love. 
After his brother is kidnapped, Prince Payton Townsend masquerades as an Admiral’s assistant in order to track the culprits through the tangled mysteries of the planet Englor. He finds way more than he bargained for in the form of Marine Colonel Simon Hollister. 
Simon is no ordinary soldier. He’s heir to Englor and his life is mapped out for him: throne, bride, and eventually an heir. He never expected a dalliance with Payton to blossom into love, or that the organization that taught him to lead would threaten that love—and their lives. 
Danger and intrigue abound as they learn more about their shared enemy, and about each other. What they learn could help them rise above to an enduring love—or pull them apart.

Karen's rating:




It's been a really, really long time since I've read this series. J.L. Langley was an early days author for me when it comes to m/m and I strongly remember how much I enjoyed these stories.

Sci-fi is another one of those genres that I rarely venture into. So while I'll be the first to admit I'm not expert in the world of sci-fi I am an pretty knowledgeable about what I like and I liked this series...probably even more on audio than I did the e-books.

We first met Prince Payton Townsend in 'My Fair Captain' the first book in this Sci-Regency series, he's the brother of Aiden one of the MCs in that story and in this book we see him traveling to the earth colony of Englor with his brother Aiden's husband, Nate Hawkins. It's on the planet Englor that Payton meets Colonel Simon Hollister and all this would have been simpler if Simon wasn't more than just an ordinary colonel...nope, Simon's the heir to the throne of Englor. But of course life is never simple for the royal family.

This one's got spies, intrigue, espionage, undercover escapades and ultimately a wedding to protect someone's honor...and oh how I loved this but I'm not telling the details about the who's and whys of it because for me this was just all too precious.

Blogtour: Beyond the Shadows by Loree Lough



Beyond the Shadows

by Loree Lough

Genre: Romantic Suspense


Elice Glasser is a widow with three young children to raise. Cabot Murray is an ex-cop who returns home to Freeland, Maryland, to deal with the pain of his own tragic loss: the death of his wife and daughter in a fiery explosion intended for him.


Grieving, their sorrow brings them together, and a friendship develops that leads then to explore the possibility of finding love again. But vengeful enemies and jealous rivals are determined to destroy the peace and happiness that Elice and Cabot have found in each other’s arms. Why are their rivals so intent on keeping Elice and Cabot apart? Loree Lough's latest suspenseful romance is a page-turner!











Excerpt:


“Sounds like a fair price to me.”

The guys on the force had nicknamed him Speedy Gonzales because he’d always moved with lightning speed.

When he reached for his billfold, Elice flinched. Cabot froze. He’d seen that reaction, too, in his street cop days. It told him she’d been abused. He wanted to tell her she’d never have anything to fear from him. At the same time, he wanted to throttle the man who’d put such fear into those beautiful brown eyes. The clock tick-tocked some more while he tried to think of something clever, something soothing to say. His big hands trembled as he thumbed through the bills in his wallet.

“I. . .uh. . .I seem to be a little short…”

“You’re not short,” Annie said. “You’re tall. Very tall.”

He’d been so involved in Elice’s fright that Cabot hadn’t even noticed the little girl enter the workshop. As she stood there, looking up at him with those big blue eyes of hers, he wanted to scoop her up, give her a huge hug, and kiss that Popsicle-red smile of hers. He met Elice’s eyes. She’d composed herself quickly, he acknowledged. If he hadn’t seen it himself, he’d never have guessed that only moments ago, she’d looked for all the world like a terrified child.

“It won’t take but a minute to run home and get my checkbook. My cupboards are as bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s,” he said, chuckling, “and I have to do some grocery shopping anyway. I’ll be passing right by—”

‘“Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to get her poor dog a bone,”‘ Annie said, grinning, as she recited the nursery rhyme. “Do you have a dog?”

Friday, January 18, 2019

Blogtour: The Spirit Key by Parker Williams



Please say hello to Parker Williams and 

The Spirit Key

Lock And Key #1 





Blurb:

When he was eight years old, Scott Fogel died. Paramedics revived him, but he came back changed. Ghosts and spirits tormented Scott for over a decade until, thinking he was going mad, he did the only thing he could.

He ran—leaving behind his best friend, Tim Jennesee.

Scott’s had five normal, ghost-free years in Chicago, when the spirit of Tim’s mother comes to him and begs him to go home because Tim’s in trouble and needs him. He isn’t prepared for what he finds when he goes home—a taller and sexier Tim, but a Tim who hasn’t forgiven Scott for abandoning him… a Tim whose body is no longer his own. The ghost of a serial murderer has attached itself to Tim, and it’s whispering dark and evil things. It wants Tim to kill, and it’s becoming harder for Tim to resist. To free the man who has always meant so much to him, Scott must unravel the mystery of the destiny he shares with Tim.

Excerpt:

SUMMER, 2002
WHAT MEMORY stands out most in your mind from when you were a kid? For many of my friends, it was getting a good grade on a test they were sure they’d fail, making a catch during a football game, or finding out the person they were crushing on liked them back. For others, it was more physical, like their first kiss or having sex for the first time.
For me, the one that topped that list was in the summer of 2002. The memory? Me dying. Well, almost dying. I mean, technically, I was dead for twenty-seven minutes, at least according to the paramedics and doctors.
See, I had gone down to the quarry with my brother and some of his friends. I was eight at the time, and to be invited to go along with the “big kids” was a heady thing.
Okay, fine. My mom told them they had to take me, but they weren’t supposed to let me know.
That’s not the point of the story, however. Still, between us, when your brother tells you that Mom said he had to take you and that you ruined his day by dying? That kind of sticks with you.
Anyway. The whole week had been hotter than hell—upper nineties, heat index topping a hundred, with no breeze at all. What made it worse was the humidity. Everyone complained their clothes stuck to them, and we all would have given anything for a bit of cool air. Those were the days you wanted to do nothing more than stretch out in front of the air conditioner and fantasize about being in the arctic.
Of course, those are also the times that drive Mom mad, like when we’re there, whining about how hot it is, and my brother announces he’s going swimming with his friends, and she tells him to take me along to the quarry with him.
Fine. I’m a little hostile over that memory, but in my defense, I died, so I think I have a right to be a tad grumpy.
Moving on….
There were a few old trees that stretched out over a pit of water. In the seventies, the place had been used to mine rocks that were crushed to use in gardens and the like. When the company that owned it shut down, it left a huge hole in the ground. Over time, it filled with water, which attracted kids from all over, wanting to swim. That was our destination for the day.
By the time we got there, all of our T-shirts had soaked with sweat. I distinctly remember looking at Cole Turner and seeing wisps of dark hair on his chest and wondering to myself what it would look like once he took his shirt off. I wasn’t sure why that thought flitted through my head, but it was gone just as quickly, because I saw Tim Jennesee sitting on a rock, taking off his shoes.
“Tim!”

Blogtour: Rough Terrain (Out of Uniform #7) by Annabeth Albert




Please say hello to Annabeth Albert with 

Rough Terrain 

Out Of Uniform #7 (Final book in the series)




Blurb:

The camping trip from hell may be the first stop on the road to happily-ever-after in Rough Terrain, the final book in Annabeth Albert’s critically acclaimed, fan-favorite Out of Uniform series. 

Navy SEAL Renzo Bianchi has a soft spot for Canaan Finley, and not only because the man makes a mean smoothie. He’s the first guy to get Renzo’s motor revving in a long time. But when he agrees to Canaan’s insane charade—one all-access fake boyfriend, coming right up—he never expects more than a fling.

Creating a hot Italian SEAL boyfriend to save face seemed like a good idea…until his friends called Canaan’s bluff. Now he’s setting off into the woods with the very man who inspired his deception, and Canaan is not the outdoorsy type. The sparks are already flying when a flash flood separates them from their group, leaving Renzo and Canaan very much trapped…very much alone in the wilderness.

Working together to come up with a plan for survival is sexier than either of them expects. But back in the real world, being a couple is bringing its own set of hazards…


Get the book:


    


 Excerpt:

“Canaan. Baby. Everyone will be coupled up. I’m bringing Eric, and everyone else has someone. I don’t want things to be awkward between us.”
God forbid they were awkward. Like breaking up in Prague hadn’t been bad enough, or Damian taking up with Eric, the replacement drummer, mere minutes later, now apparently they had to socialize like adults because the rest of their friend circle demanded it. And quite honestly, Canaan had lost enough the past few years. He wasn’t losing his oldest friends too. “Things will be fine.”
“Of course,” Damian said, a little too quickly and brightly. “But last time we talked, you said you were seeing someone… Just bring them. It’ll be easier. On everyone.”
More like easier on Eric’s jealous ass. And had Canaan said that? He supposed it was possible in some vague make-Damian-happy way that he’d alluded to such a thing.
“I…uh…” The absolute best thing would be to say the truth, which was that he was exactly as single as he’d been boarding that plane in Prague. As single as he’d been in the three years since, flitting from hookup to hookup, nothing sticking. But what came out was “He’s a SEAL. You know, unpredictable hours. Could be deployed anytime. Can’t say for sure if he’ll have leave…”

Book Blitz: Snowed In – Ross and Ashton by J. V. Speyer



Snowed In – Ross and Ashton 

J.V. Speyer 

Publication date: January 5th 2019

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance






Blurb:

Massachusetts State Trooper Ross Huber is giving one last sweep of the roads before heading in for the night. The nor’easter hitting the Boston area is worse than expected by an order of magnitude, and the governor has just issued a travel ban. He finds a wrecked car half buried in a snowbank and rescues its human and canine occupants from carbon monoxide poisoning, but is forced to take shelter with them in a vacant or abandoned house when the roads are blocked. 
When he gets the victims indoors, he thinks the human looks uncomfortably familiar…
Ash Machado has been through a lot in his career as a war correspondent. Sidelined by an injury, he’s returned to Boston to take up a job as a news anchor. After he loses control of his car on an icy road, he wakes up in an unfamiliar home, looking into the face of the guy who broke his heart in college. 
Neither Ross nor Ash are the same guys they were in college, but they’re trapped in the abandoned house with no place to go. Can they get past old hurts long enough to get through the storm, or will the same misunderstandings that drove them apart years ago make this confinement unbearable?




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EXCERPT:

Ash moistened his lips and scratched between his dog’s ears. “More or less, yeah. He definitely likes to be on the receiving end of any affection.” He swallowed hard. He could still taste Ross on his tongue, bad morning breath and all.

He lurched to his feet. “I’m going to see what I can do about excavating some space for Porthos to do his business. He’s going to have to sooner or later, and I don’t want to wreck the joint.” Ash had to get up and do something. He had to get away from Ross or his brain might explode.

“Good point.” Ross grimaced and stood up too. “Can you shovel, with your arm like that? Do you want me to do it?”

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Author Of The Month - Bru Baker - Week Three


Welcome to our third week of celebrations for the amazing 






In today's post, we're going to look at The Buyout and Talk Turkey, and a personal story Bru has chosen to share. There's also another chance to win one of her books.


First up, The Buyout



Blurb:

All Parker Anderson has ever wanted is to take over as CEO of Anderson Industries when his father retires. But when his father is ready to leave the company, he doesn’t plan to pass the reins to Parker. Instead, he plans to sell the company, jeopardizing not only Parker’s job but hundreds of others.

Parker finds an unlikely ally in Mason Pike, the company’s resident IT guru. What starts as a flirtation takes them from coworkers to co-conspirators in a plan to forcibly buy Anderson Industries out from under Parker’s father. While they focus on the buyout, their budding romance has to be put on hold, but that doesn't stop them from flirting and teasing each other to distraction—and once their master plan comes to fruition, nothing and no one can keep them apart.


Excerpt:

Parker’s stomach dropped as he watched his computer freeze, flicker, and then reboot. He held his breath, counting out the seconds the way his friend Greg’s girlfriend, Jill, had taught him. She was a yoga devotee, and even though he still thought any activity that required that much quiet and contemplation was not a sport, he did have to grudgingly agree that her meditation techniques had helped him get a handle on his infamous temper. He’d gone through six assistants in eighteen months before Luke had come to him, and that had been four years earlier.


He credited it both to Jill’s anger management coaching and Luke’s absolute refusal to take him seriously. It helped that Luke had known him since college. It meant he knew when to joke around and when to take Parker seriously. So when Parker threw the door to his office open, panicking as he bellowed for Luke to call the tech department to get someone up there immediately before disappearing back inside without another word, Luke calmly picked up the phone and did just that.


Parker paced his office, casting a glance at his blank computer screen every thirty seconds or so. That was the amount of time it took to pace two figure eights around his office, skirting the couch and the worktable he’d had installed a few years earlier, since his desk was far too expensive and impractical for him to bother actually working on it.


All he had to do was send it to Luke to be printed and collated. Fifty pages of research and strategy that were currently lost in the ether, since he hadn’t backed up the data anywhere else, and he hadn’t had a chance to send it to Luke before the computer crashed.


Crashed. Parker snorted, looking from the computer to the door again, his anger growing as minutes slipped by without the arrival of a computer tech. Anderson Industries had an enormous technical department, larger than most of the others at comparable companies, because Richard Anderson had been a programmer himself before amassing his conglomerate. As a result, he was willing to sink a fair amount of Anderson Industries’ operating budget into technology and the staff to maintain it. They had a stable of top-notch programmers as well, not that Parker had the faintest idea what they did. The tech department fell under Parker’s purview as vice president of operations. It handled maintenance and installation on all the things like computers and phones, and that was all he needed to know. His father oversaw the programming division, since it was part of the corporation’s research and development section. A section Parker desperately wanted to handle. That was the reason he’d thrown himself into the Johnson & Co. buyout; he needed to be able to prove to his father that he hadn’t studied business at Harvard just to be in charge of departments that did things like buy office supplies, pay the electric bills, and fix computers.


Parker growled when he looked at his watch. He had nine minutes to retrieve the report, print it, and be at his father’s office. He spent the first two of them contemplating firing everyone in the tech department, a threat he would to follow through on cheerfully if someone didn’t come through the door in the next thirty seconds to fix his goddamn computer.


Forty seconds later, the door burst open without so much as a knock. A tall dark-haired man practically fell through it, tripping over the threshold and nearly dropping the laptop he carried.

Luke’s head popped in the doorway a second later.


“Mason Pike here to see to your computer,” he said, meeting Parker’s eye with a half smile. “Sir.



Get the book:




Second in today's line-up, Talk Turkey 



Blurb:

Carson is a California transplant settling into life in the Windy City. On his first Christmas away from home, he assures his worried family he’ll be having a real Christmas dinner.
Recent culinary school graduate Tom Stockton earns some extra money giving out cooking advice at the Talk Turkey hotline. Tom’s honeyed voice and sharp sense of humor are attractive to the lonely Carson, and Carson finds reasons to call the hotline again and again. But on Christmas Eve, Carson’s call is less playful and more panicked with the big meal looming. Carson is just looking for advice, but Tom has a surprise in store that might lead to much more.


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2015 Advent Calendar package "Sleigh Ride".


Excerpt:

It couldn't be that difficult. People had been doing it for centuries. Longer, even. Man had probably started roasting turkeys over the fire as soon as someone realized the ugly buggers were edible.


Not that the pristinely wrapped turkeys in front of him bore any resemblance to the sort of turkeys he was used to seeing. These weren’t crispy-skinned and steaming, with drumsticks and wings held aloft with string, ready-to-be-carved turkeys. They were vaguely ovoid-shaped and covered in bright yellow netting that didn’t look the slightest bit appetizing.


Did he need a turkey with a timer in it? How would that even work? Wasn’t that what a meat thermometer was for?

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

ARC Review: Rough Terrain (Out of Uniform 7) by Annabeth Albert

Blurb:
Navy SEAL Renzo Bianchi has a soft spot for Canaan Finley, and not only because the man makes a mean smoothie. He’s the first guy to get Renzo’s motor revving in a long time. But when he agrees to Canaan’s insane charade—one all-access fake boyfriend, coming right up—he never expects more than a fling.

Creating a hot Italian SEAL boyfriend to save face seemed like a good idea…until his friends called Canaan’s bluff. Now he’s setting off into the woods with the very man who inspired his deception, and Canaan is not the outdoorsy type. The sparks are already flying when a flash flood separates them from their group, leaving Renzo and Canaan very much trapped…very much alone in the wilderness.

Working together to come up with a plan for survival is sexier than either of them expects. But back in the real world, being a couple is bringing its own set of hazards…


Dani's rating:

Canaan works at a smoothie shop on a military base, but he has life goals. He's taking care of his grandfather and studying to be a nurse. Canaan used to be the drummer for a band that made it big (or at least bigger) after he left.

But Canaan doesn't regret his decision, nor does he regret ogling the navy SEALs, or one SEAL in particular, who come into the smoothie shop to load up on protein.

Renzo (Rooster to his navy friends) enjoys flirting with Canaan more than he wants to admit. It's not that Renzo isn't out. His colleagues and family know he's bi, but his time in San Diego may be limited and relationships require time, something that's in short supply for a dedicated SEAL.

When Canaan offers trouble, Renzo can't say no, and so begins a relationship built on adventure and kisses. Renzo goes camping with Canaan and Canaan's former band mates (including Canaan's douchey ex), posing as Canaan's boyfriend.

When the men get trapped on a trail during a deluge, their flirting moves to another level. Canaan credits Renzo with saving his life and doesn't want to let Renzo go.


Audio Book Review: Fire and Granite by Andrew Grey

From The Blurb:
Listening length: 6 hours and 40 minutes 
A Carlisle Deputies Novel The heat is growing from the inside, but danger is building on the outside. 
Judge Andrew Phillips runs a tight ship in his courtroom. He’s tough, and when he hands down a sentence, he expects to be obeyed. So when a fugitive named Harper escapes and threatens his life, Andrew isn’t keen on twenty-four/seven protection… especially not from Deputy Clay Brown. They have a past, one that could cause problems in their careers. 
But with Clay assigned to Andrew and the two of them together every minute, there’s nowhere to hide from their attraction—or from the fact that there’s much more than chemistry blooming between them. As the threat intensifies, Clay knows he’ll do anything it takes to protect the people who are taking their places in his heart: Andrew and his young niece and nephew.

Karen's rating:




Two men on the same side of he law...and still that's not enough to quell the animosity between them until one man is put into danger...

Judge Andrew Phillips has it all under control in his courtroom...he knows the law and he's a master at maintaining order in his courtroom. But when a fugitive named Harper escapes and sets about keeping his promise of revenge on the man who sent him to prison. Judge Andrew suddenly finds himself being guarded 24 hours a day, seven days a week by Deputy Clay Brown...his control begins to slip.  As the danger escalates Andrew and Clay both begin to let down their barriers and begin to discover that they each might just be what the other man needs in his life.

I've been a fan of Andrew Grey's for a while now and I have to admit that recently things have been hit and miss for me but with this second installment of his 'Carlisle Deputies' series things are hitting their stride again and as with the first book I've really enjoyed this one.

ARC Review: Criminal Intentions: Where There's Smoke by Cole McCade

From The Blurb:
ABOUT THIS EPISODE 
They say where there's smoke, there's fire—but Malcolm and Seong-Jae have a lot of blood and no body in a case where the only witness to a murder may be the killer himself. Yet as they chase down a victim who may or may not exist in a crime that may or may not have happened, it's the sparks flying between them that threaten to ignite into dangerous flame...and by the time this case is over, their relationship may never be the same. One kiss, one case, one night may change everything... 
...and when Malcolm and Seong-Jae come together, someone's going to get burned. 
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:




If you're not afraid of the dark side...

'Criminal Intentions: Where There's Smoke' is a story that should interest  you...that is...if you've read the first 5 books.

Admittedly you could probably read this book without doing that, but there's a lot of things going on in this series that started before this book and are unresolved and while some of it doesn't come into play here I think from the aspect of some of the relationships anyone reading this without benefit of the previous books isn't going to enjoy or maybe even fully grasp what's going on...so really the gist of it for the best reading experience...'start at the beginning'.

'Where There's Smoke' is every parent's nightmare and because I refuse to spoil any of this book that's all I'm saying...oh, except this nightmare probably isn't quite what your thinking, but if I had to live through something like this as a parent...I would so want Soeng-Jae and Malcolm on the case.

I have devoured every episode of this series so far no matter how dark and at times terrifying the stories have been. I'll be the first to admit if it's a Stephen King or Dean Koontz type of thing I'm out of here. But if we're talking Criminal Minds, How to Get Away With Murder, Law and Order any of that stuff I'm there and Criminal Intentions is just that it's a police procedural/crime drama type show (book series) and while each individual story is without fail dark, intense and more than a little compelling. In this book the overlying story arc has started to bleed out into things a little more intensely and I'm loving this because there are questions so many questions coming to light and the only way they're going to be answered is through the progress of the bigger picture and we're all about the progress, right?

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

ARC Review: Stay by K.M. Neuhold



From the Blurb:

What happens to a couple when one of them discovers a new kink that he’s not sure his partner will be into?

Dear Art,

I’m sure you get messages like this all the time but I feel like I don’t even know who I am anymore. I suppose I should start from the beginning... Three weeks ago, I saw puppy play for the first time and now I can’t stop obsessing about it. Wait, no, that’s not really the beginning...Ten years ago, my best friend who I’d been in love with my entire life told me he loved me too.

For ten years I’ve been living in complete bliss with Lars, the man of my dreams. Don’t get me wrong, we have our fights and disagreements (mostly because I do irritating shit and every once in awhile he reaches the end of his patience), but he is my other half in every way. I didn’t know I could love someone the way I love him.

Then, three weeks ago, I saw puppy play for the first time and now I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s not so different from when I realized I was gay, there was a moment where everything sort of clicked into place and my whole body was like “yes, THAT’S what we’ve been trying to figure out all this time.” At first I thought maybe I should just let it go because it’s not the kind of thing I can imagine my partner being into. But last week I went into a kink shop and ended up walking out with a puppy hood. I stashed it in our guest bedroom closet and haven’t even had the courage to take it out and try it on again, let alone show it to Lars. I don’t know what to do. How do I bring this up to him? And what if he isn’t into it? I feel like I don’t recognize myself anymore and I don’t know where to turn. Please help.

Sincerely,
One Lost Puppy


Ky's rating:





After reading the blurb I was almost certain I'd be uncomfortable for a major part of the book but I wanted to try it anyway, mainly because it was about an established couple. That little detail is what sealed the deal for me and I decided to give this story a try.

I was very surprised to find out that the book was mostly sweet and playful, centering around two people discovering something new about them and exploring it together. Jonah and Lars found a new aspect of their relationship that they hadn't noticed it was there, in the background, all along. So after ten years as partners and a lifetime of being friends they decided to try something new and see how and if it worked for them.

There was a bit of angst at the beginning as Jonah was trying to figure what his new fascination meant for him and his relationship and I was giddy reading about those weeks of him being secretive and distant and Lars suspecting all kinds of things, because I was sure they were going to make it and a misunderstanding like that wasn't enough to damage what they had built.

Blogtour: Hometown Girl After All by Kirsten Fullmer



Hometown Girl After All
Hometown Series Book 2
by Kirsten Fullmer
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Julia lost everything while she was ill. Self-conscious and alone, she’s moved to Smithville, determined to hide away in her rundown Victorian house. Little does she know, she can’t hide anything in a small town, including her interest in the deliveryman. 

Resolved to keep his life simple, Chad has his hands full running his delivery business and supporting his adopted family. So why can’t he get that withdrawn city girl, Julia, off his mind?

Will the eccentric but well-meaning Smithville folk push Julia and Chad to open up, or will the emotional toll drive them both back into seclusion?












Excerpt:


At the diner, Chad stepped behind Julia and pushed open the door for her, his hand warm on her back to lead her through. Bells chimed, announcing their arrival, and Marge glanced up from behind the counter. Her customary greeting froze on her lips as she did a double take, her conversation with a bald man seated in front of her forgotten.
The song on the jukebox ended and all the diners turned in the suddenly silent room to watch Julia and Chad walk to a table.
As Chad pulled out Julia’s red vinyl and chrome chair, the jukebox clicked and clattered, changing records. The first few words of the song P.S. I LoveYou, drifted across the room, as Julia did the butt-lift and scoot maneuver so Chad could scoot up her chair. The other diners slowly returned their attention back to their plates and conversations.
“It’s the Beatles,” Chad commented distractedly, shifting his chair up to the table, his eyes darting nervously between Julia and the other customers.
She nodded, engrossed in digging through her purse for something. Giving up in frustration, completely for- getting what she’d been looking for, she turned to hang her purse on the back of the chair, inadvertently catching the eye of a man and woman at the next table who sat staring, with their forks still hovering in mid-air.
Chad cleared his throat and lifted two menus from behind the salt and peppershakers. “So, what do you want to eat?” he asked, his voice a bit too loud.
Jumping in her seat, Julia’s gaze flew from the staring couple, back to Chad. “I—I’m not sure. What’s good here?”

Release Blitz: Stalker/s by L.J. Hasbrouck





Title: Stalker/s
Author: L.J. Hasbrouck
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: January 14, 2019
Heat Level: 2 - Fade to Black Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 113600
Genre: Horror, horror, new adult, gay, trans, post-apocalyptic, zombies, survival, island

Add to Goodreads





Synopsis


Brian Jameson doesn’t even get a chance to pick a college before a worldwide pandemic breaks out—and his home is Ground Zero. After losing his parents and sister in a whirlwind of devastation, Brian’s war-veteran grandfather takes him under his wing. But when desperate looters attack Brian’s new home, he and his grandfather must flee into a wintery Midwestern wasteland now populated by intelligent infected known as “Stalkers.”

These ghoulish creatures don’t shamble in hordes—they hide in the darkness waiting to strike, teeth bared in ghastly grins. And they laugh while they’re ripping you to shreds. 
But with his grandfather’s training, Brian makes it to the home of his estranged childhood friends, twins Louis and Eva. And Brian gets a chance to experience something else he nearly missed: falling in love. Drawn to the determined—and ruthless—Louis, Brian escapes with him in search of an island paradise away from the relentless snow and infected.

But even if they make it there, it may not be the haven they’re hoping for.



Excerpt


Stalker/s
L.J. Hasbrouck © 2019
All Rights Reserved


12/19, Topeka, Kansas

Jameson Residence

1:06 a.m.

The light from Brian Jameson’s tablet danced across his face in varying degrees of intensity: somber blues, soothing greens, and sometimes the alarming tinge of blood-red. The show’s layered soundscape coursed through his earbuds. Drizzling rain enveloped the muted dialogue of two detectives, their shoes crunching against gravel as they hunted an elusive killer. Somewhere offscreen, a gun exploded. Brian’s pulse pounded so hard it blended with the strengthening downpour.

Jesus, I didn’t expect that.

Brian waited for the scene to change, for stunned gasps, for those dainty footsteps to accelerate into a frantic sprint, but the pair of detectives continued their discussion as if they were taking a stroll through a scenic garden.

Brian paused the video and plucked out his earbuds. Silence. Darkness. A small square of light with an image frozen in time tilted against his knees.

Am I going crazy? I swear I heard a gunshot.

Abrupt knocks shook his bedroom door. Brian’s tablet fell to the bed as he swiveled his legs over the edge, muscles tensed—

“Bri! I heard a buncha loud sounds an’ I’m scared!”

Brian clicked his lamp on and rushed to open the door for his younger sister, stumbling over a still-packed suitcase. After he ushered her in, he shut the door. His racing heart slowed as he gripped her fragile shoulders. We might have heard the same thing. Thunder, or maybe fireworks from the redneck neighbors.

“It’ll be okay, Becks. Tell me what happened.”

Becky’s thin eyebrows knit above glistening pale-blue eyes. “A boom woke me up an’ I ran to Mommy and Daddy’s room, but I heard another boom in there an’—”

“Wait—in their room?”

Monday, January 14, 2019

Audio Review: Devil Take Me Anthology

From The Blurb:
Temptation lurks around every corner in worlds sometimes dark, sometimes lurid. Giving in is both dangerous and satisfying, though never in the ways one expects. While these enticements offer a vast range of benefits and boons, the cost is a soul and the devil expects his due. Sometimes suave and charming or calculating and cruel, these devils have schemes and desires of their own. They can be creatures to run away from… or toward. 
Join the most unique and celebrated authors of LGBT urban fantasy and paranormal fiction for a fast-paced and unpredictable ride, from a city on the other side of reality, to a world suspended in dusk, to a twisted version of the 1960s and 70s. 
Meet devils in top hats and waistcoats, a defrocked motorcycle-riding priest, and a genderfluid antihero—among many more. Full of humor, romance, horror, action, intrigue, and magic, these stories have one common element…. 
They’re one hell of a good time.

Karen's rating:




So in the interest of full disclosure...

Let me just say...I don't like anthologies...I don't like horror stories, paranormal with demons and stuff this is so not my thing.

I took a pass on the book because no, just no. I was positive this would never work for me and then came the audio and I looked again...I say Rhys Ford, Jordan L. Hawk, C.S. Poe, Ginn Hale, T.A. Moore and Jordan Castillo Price and the icing on the cake narrated by Greg Tremblay and still I pondered, I waffled, I procrastinated...I told myself I didn't have the time and I kept looking at those names and my brain kept saying...but, but, but...

and finally I caved and said 'yes please.' and what did I learn after nearly 18 hours...well, I learned that what happens when you make a deal with the devil isn't nearly as interesting as what happens when the devil makes a deal with you, I learned that faith can be bent and reshaped but that doesn't mean it's broken, I learned that sometimes believing in someone else helps you to believe in yourself, that things not being what  you think they are doesn't mean they're not what you need...but most of all I was reminded that one should never say never...as in I never read/listen to stories about things that go bump in the night, that a good story is a good story regardless of the subject and that well in the words of 'George Michaels'...Ya gotta' have faith...

I actually finished listening to this audio book a couple of days ago and was left with the question of how to review this. It's an anthology which means it's a collection of stories by different authors, unlike the last anthology that I read which was a collection of stories about the same characters by the same author much easier to deal with but after much consideration what I've decided on is that I'm going to address this in a general sense.

Blogtour: Perfect Match by AG Meiers



Please say hello to AG Meiers and 

Perfect Match 



Blurb:

Secrets can derail even the most powerful attraction.

Logger Sven Larson has never found a man worth publicly coming out of the closet for. But his family has other plans. As a thirtieth birthday gift, his mother hires the online dating service Perfect Match to find Sven the love of his life. To say Sven isn't thrilled is an understatement, but it's too late to cancel, and Jayden Calver arrives.

Perfect Match's success rate is unsurpassed, but they don't come by it honestly: if a client can't be matched, the agency uses a stand-in to fulfil their guarantee and protect their profit.

Tough luck has left Jayden in debt, and playing Perfect Match's deceptive game is his only option. So he travels — sparkling toenails and all — to a remote camp deep in the mountains to meet Sven Larson and pretend to be his perfect match for a few days.

Sparks fly on first contact. But as the two men get closer, Sven grows more and more suspicious of Jayden, and Jayden struggles with guilt over his deceit. They both want a future together, but first they must find the courage to be honest with themselves and each other.


Get the book:




The mean-spirited romance writer
I get accused a lot of being a pretty mean-spirited romance writer. The very first short story I ever submitted was about a couple dealing with cheating (needless to say, my pitch didn’t go so well, and I learned that cheating is a big no-no in romance). Yeah, so I admit I have a thing for anti-romantic material.  
My debut novel is about a romance scam. Perfect Match is a fake online dating agency. If a customer is hard to match from the database, the team creates fake, matching profiles. Nicolas Carter, the owner, finds young men in financial trouble, buys up their debt and then sends them on Perfect Match assignments with a clear mission: Keep the customer happy and distracted for ten days, and then get kicked out. See, that’s what I’m saying…not really romantic…
Just to make it clear, personally, I think online dating is very brave. I know there are a lot of people that think it’s the opposite, because you can hide behind half-truths and outright lies. But for me it’s courageous. You need admit to yourself that you’re lonely and then put yourself (good and bad) on a silver platter and hope that somebody finds you and realizes how amazing and wonderful you are. Online dating is taking action and to me, that’s brave.

Release Blitz: Pisces Floors Taurus by Anyta Sunday




Please welcome Anyta Sunday with 

Pisces Floors Taurus

Signs Of Love 4.5 



Blurb:

Vacation time – time to try something new…
Spend some more time with Zane and Beckett in this short and steamy follow up to “Pisces Hooks Taurus’” as they deepen their bond.

All proceeds of the first month of sales will go to charity.
This story was previously posted in three installments in the “KU in the Korner” Facebook group.







Get the book:



Excerpt:

Zane crushed Beckett into a smoldering kiss.
Beckett pulled back, chuckling. “Not tonight.
“But what a brilliant way to keep warm.”
“How romantic,” Beckett said, dryly.
Zane saluted him. “Totally right. My first time should be. I’ll continue offering romantic suggestions, Becky, and when the feels overwhelm you, you’re going to peg—”
“Not what you think it means.”
“Piston—”

Sunday, January 13, 2019

ARC Review: The One You Fight For by Roni Loren

The One You Fight For (The Ones Who Got Away, #3)From the blurb:

How hard would you fight for the one you love?

Taryn Landry was there that awful night fourteen years ago when Long Acre changed from the name of a town to the title of a national tragedy. Everyone knows she lost her younger sister. No one knows it was her fault. Since then, psychology professor Taryn has dedicated her life's work to preventing something like that from ever happening again. Falling in love was never part of the plan...

Shaw Miller has spent more than a decade dealing with the fallout of his brother's horrific actions. After losing everything―his chance at Olympic gold, his family, almost his sanity―he's changed his name, his look, and he's finally starting a new life. As long as he keeps a low profile and his identity secret, everything will be okay, right?

When the world and everyone you know defines you by one catastrophic tragedy... How do you find your happy ending?



Heather's rating:





The One You Fight For was my first read by Roni Loren, and whew, what an angst-fest. But in a good way, I think.

First of all, that cover is PERFECT. So often we get a cover that doesn't reflect the characters, and I think this one nailed it. Bonus points for that.

I was a little... no, very nervous about reading a story about a school shooting as that's something that occupies my anxious-mom-brain daily. However, I was also really intrigued.

ARC Review : Deke (Fake Boyfriend #3) by Eden Finley


Deke (Fake Boyfriend #3)
Blurb :
Ollie

Word of advice: don’t come out to random guys in public restrooms. Even if they’re charming and adorably nerdy and offer to help.
My family believe I can’t be happy if I’m not out to the world. I have a bitter ex-boyfriend and an unstable NHL career to show for it. A fake boyfriend seems like an easy and quick solution to get my family off my back, and this guy is volunteering. I take him up on it without asking his name.
I really should’ve asked for his name.

Lennon

Word of advice: learn how to introduce yourself properly.
In my defense, I don’t recognize Ollie Strömberg right away. I cover football, not hockey.
I’m not supposed to see him again, and he’s never supposed to find out I’m a reporter.
That all changes when my editor reassigns me.
It’s a lesson I should’ve learned by now. Nothing’s changed since high school. Jocks still hate nerds. But even worse, athletes hate journalists. Especially ones who know their secret.

*Deke is a full-length MM novel with a HFN/HEA and no cliffhanger*



Christelle's rating :




Another win for me from Eden Finley. Third in her series “Fake Boyfriend”, it can be read as a standalone, but I would suggest to read the whole series if you enjoy romances set up in the sport world, with a low level of angst, but a high amount of banter and steam.

So, this time, we get the story of Ollie, a hockey player, and Clark, aka Lennon, a sport journalist.

Ollie breaths hockey and is unwilling to risk his career by outing himself, apart from within his family. Said family is on his back about his break-up with his long-time boyfriend, so when a guy he has just met agrees to play “new boyfriend” during a family dinner, Ollie jumped on the occasion to get some rest from the familial pressure.

Ollie even finds funny to name his partner in crime “Clark”. Little does he know how close to the truth he is…Yep, you can guess the link between Clark and Lennon, the sport journalist 😉
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