Sunday, March 31, 2019

Audio Review: Trick Roller by Cordelia Kingsbridge

From The Blurb:
Listening Time: 8 hrs., 39 min. 
It’s the height of summer in Las Vegas. Everyone believes the serial killer Seven of Spades is dead—except Levi Abrams and Dominic Russo—and it’s back to business as usual. For Levi, that means investigating a suspicious overdose at the Mirage that looks like the work of a high-class call girl, while Dominic pursues a tough internship with a local private investigator. The one bright spot for both of them is their blossoming relationship. 
But things aren’t so simple. Soon Levi is sucked into a dangerous web of secrets and lies, even as his obsession with the Seven of Spades intensifies. Dominic knows that Levi isn’t crazy. He knows the Seven of Spades is still out there, and he’ll do anything to prove it. But Dominic has his own demons to battle, and he may be fighting a losing war. 
One thing is certain: the Seven of Spades holds all the cards. It won’t be long before they show their hand.

Karen's rating:




I'm a little late to the party with this series but that's a situation of my own making. I'm not sure really why but I got a notion in my head that I wanted to listen to this series on audio. So I held out...and held out...finally 'Kill Game'  was released on audio and I pounced on it like a hungry cougar...a really long in the tooth cougar...but that's another story for another day.

Anyways, I loved listening to 'Kill Game' as an audio book. For me there's just something about hearing a mystery book on audio that makes it all the more enjoyable. In general I've discovered that if it's a mystery and I liked the e-book, if it's on audio chances are I'm going to love it...I'm going to say that's a me thing, but who knows maybe there are others who feel the same.

So here I am listening to book #2 in Cordelia Kingsbridge's 'Seven of Spades' series and you know what...I mean aside from the fact that I loved it, this is an exercise in determination because damned if I don't want to got read every freakin' review out there but I've been refraining because sadly I've also learned that everyone has a different idea of what constitutes a spoiler so I've been restricting myself to checking out ratings only and then I move on but once I get done here I'm going to go read my friends reviews for this one and see what they're thoughts are because a lot of my friends read this one quite a while ago and if their ratings are anything to go but...which they usually are they loved it just as much or more than I have and I'm curious to find out why.

Release Blitz: Fracture by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott




Title: Fracture
Series: Unbreakable Bonds Series #6
Author: Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott
Publisher: Drake and Elliott LLC
Release Date: March 29, 2019
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 71,000
Genre: Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Add to Goodreads









Synopsis


After three years, Snow and Jude’s relationship is still passionate and strong. They’re getting ready for a romantic vacation at home when Jude receives a horrifying call no one wants to receive. His youngest brother was found barely clinging to life. While Jude’s family is rallying around Jordan, Jude is determined to find out what happened to him.

Snow and Jude follow the clues, investigating a side of Jordan’s life none of them knew about…and is far darker than any would have believed possible. They get pulled deeper into the seedy side of life, while echoes from a past Snow thought he walked away from return to offer an unexpected insight into the cause of Jordan’s injuries.
But someone else has noticed their involvement and is furious, putting them both in danger. The risk is high but so is Jude’s determination to find the truth—though the knowledge could very well fracture his heart.

Trigger Warning: This book has a scene that some might find triggering, but the triggers are also spoilers to the plot, so they can be found at the front of the book.








Excerpt

Snow rushed through the emergency room with Jude. His heart was pounding so hard it was like he could feel it in his throat, threatening to choke off his airway. A sinister nagging voice in the back of his head kept repeating, <em>Three years, three years, three years</em>.

Roughly three years ago, he’d run into this same hospital to find one of his best friends on the floor, his entire world falling apart because his wife had been killed in what had appeared to be a car accident. And he hadn’t been there to operate on her. To save her life.

Melissa Ward had been light and laughter and happiness. She’d brought joy to all who knew her.

And Rowe Ward had been devastated to lose her. They all had been.

They’d nearly lost Rowe to his grief.

Release Blitz: This Is Not A Love Story by Suki Fleet




Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Length: 96,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Aaron Anderson




Blurb
When fifteen-year-old Romeo's mother leaves one day and doesn't return, he finds himself homeless and trying to survive on the streets. Mute and terrified, his silence makes him vulnerable, and one night he is beaten by a gang of other kids, only to be rescued by a boy who pledges to take care of him.

Julian is barely two years older than Romeo. After running away from an increasingly violent homelife, he makes some difficult choices and ends up selling himself on the street to survive. Taking care of Romeo changes him, gives him a purpose in life, gives him hope, and though he tries to be strong and keep his troubles with drugs behind him, living as they do is slowly destroying him, and he begins to doubt he can be strong enough.
This is the story of their struggle to find a way off the streets and stay together at all costs. But when events threaten to tear them apart, Romeo knows he must find the strength within himself to help Julian (and not let their love story turn into a tragedy).



About Suki

Saturday, March 30, 2019

ARC Review: Family Camp (Daddy Dearest 1) by Eli Easton

Blurb:
When Geo signs up for Family Camp, he envisions nature hikes, s’mores, and a chance to win over his recalcitrant new foster kids, Jayden and Lucy. He’s tried to become a dad for so long, and he hopes the three of them can be the family he’s always wanted. What he doesn’t anticipate is the prickly and gorgeous camp counselor who constantly comes to his rescue.

Travis spends a week every year at Camp Evermore, the camp his adoptive parents own. As a pro baseball player, his presence guarantees a full campground and excited campers. He has one rule: never, ever mess around with anyone at camp. His profession demands he stay in the closet. But one sweet and funny new dad is about to test all his resolve.

Sparks fly for Geo and Travis, and not because of the nightly campfire. Having been a foster kid himself, Travis is drawn to Geo’s sincerity and big heart and to his kids. The four of them just fit. But will this be a summer romance? Or can they find a way to be a family long after Family Camp is over?



Dani's rating:


When Eli Easton, one of my FAVE M/M authors EVER, announced she was writing a series about gay dads, I was ... skeptical.

Because. KIDS.

Disclaimer: I have kids.

And since I got 'em in real life, I don't really want them in my books.

But lo and behold, I freakin' loved the hell out of this story. It's CUTE. It's FUNNY. It's SEXY. It's HAPPY. It's all the FEELS.

Geo I loved from the get-go. He's trying so hard to be a good dad to his new foster kids: Lucy, who is tiny for her age and barely talks, seeking comfort in her imaginary world, and Jayden, an angsty adolescent, trying so hard to be cool and fit in, he's all awkward angles and posturing

Travis, on the other hands, was Mr. Judgy McJudgy Pants the second he met Geo. A foster kid himself, Travis immediately assumes that Geo won't do right by the kids.

Of course, he's wrong. SO, SO wrong.


ARC Review: Family Camp by Eli Easton

Family Camp (Daddy Dearest, #1)From the blurb


When Geo signs up for Family Camp, he envisions nature hikes, s’mores, and a chance to win over his recalcitrant new foster kids, Jayden and Lucy. He’s tried to become a dad for so long, and he hopes the three of them can be the family he’s always wanted. What he doesn’t anticipate is the prickly and gorgeous camp counselor who constantly comes to his rescue.

Travis spends a week every year at Camp Evermore, the camp his adoptive parents own. As a pro baseball player, his presence guarantees a full campground and excited campers. He has one rule: never, ever mess around with anyone at camp. His profession demands he stay in the closet. But one sweet and funny new dad is about to test all his resolve.

Sparks fly for Geo and Travis, and not because of the nightly campfire. Having been a foster kid himself, Travis is drawn to Geo’s sincerity and big heart and to his kids. The four of them just fit. But will this be a summer romance? Or can they find a way to be a family long after Family Camp is over?


Heather's rating:





I adored Family Camp by one of my favorite authors, Eli Easton, so much. I was in a bit of a book funk and I needed a winner and Eli Easton gave that to me on a silver platter.

It just so happens that I'm going to a family camp with my clan in a few weeks for spring break, so the timing on this book was perfection. Though I'm hoping my camp doesn't have as much "wake up at 7 am and do calisthenics..."

This story is classic Eli Easton, and it gave me all the right feels. Family Camp is a light book, though there are aspects that are more serious, but it's a very sweet, uplifting book overall (ya know, for when reality feels like a dumpster fire). I adored, ADORED Geo's sense of humor. He injected each scene with adorable, witty aplomb, and I wanted to kiss his face and be his best friend. His interactions with his foster children melted my heart, but it was his sense of humor that won me over. I'm a sucker for a goofball.

ARC Review: Family Camp by Eli Easton

From The Blurb:
When Geo signs up for Family Camp, he envisions nature hikes, s’mores, and a chance to win over his recalcitrant new foster kids, Jayden and Lucy. He’s tried to become a dad for so long, and he hopes the three of them can be the family he’s always wanted. What he doesn’t anticipate is the prickly and gorgeous camp counselor who constantly comes to his rescue. 
Travis spends a week every year at Camp Evermore, the camp his adoptive parents own. As a pro baseball player, his presence guarantees a full campground and excited campers. He has one rule: never, ever mess around with anyone at camp. His profession demands he stay in the closet. But one sweet and funny new dad is about to test all his resolve. 
Sparks fly for Geo and Travis, and not because of the nightly campfire. Having been a foster kid himself, Travis is drawn to Geo’s sincerity and big heart and to his kids. The four of them just fit. But will this be a summer romance? Or can they find a way to be a family long after Family Camp is over?

Karen's rating:




It's a little early to start the summer reading but...

Some things should just not be left to the last minute and a new Eli Easton story is definitely on that list.

I enjoy this authors books anytime, but I think I was just really in the mood for a story like this when I read it because this one just left me feeling all warm and mushy and pretty much like a melted puddle of summer lovin' goo.

I'm not even sure where to begin with what I loved, so I'm just going to have a ramble and hope that I nail most, if not all of it. That would be good, right?

I absolutely loved the MCs both Geo the sweet , nerdy but sexy school teacher and Travis the very sexy and successful and did I mention just he's sweet and nice...like really nice and a successful baseball player? Yeah, they're both simply adorable and together they are scorching hot...like who needs a campfire hot.

I loved that both men came from nice homes with loving parents and in Travis's case...siblings...so many siblings!!! I can relate...youngest of 7 here.

Review Tour: Family Camp by Eli Easton





Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited. 

Length: 219 pages

Cover Design: Reese Dante



Blurb
When Geo signs up for Family Camp, he envisions nature hikes, s’mores, and a chance to win over his recalcitrant new foster kids, Jayden and Lucy. He’s tried to become a dad for so long, and he hopes the three of them can be the family he’s always wanted. What he doesn’t anticipate is the prickly and gorgeous camp counselor who constantly comes to his rescue.

Travis spends a week every year at Camp Evermore, the camp his adoptive parents own. As a pro baseball player, his presence guarantees a full campground and excited campers. He has one rule: never, ever mess around with anyone at camp. His profession demands he stay in the closet. But one sweet and funny new dad is about to test all his resolve.

Sparks fly for Geo and Travis, and not because of the nightly campfire. Having been a foster kid himself, Travis is drawn to Geo’s sincerity and big heart and to his kids. The four of them just fit. But will this be a summer romance? Or can they find a way to be a family long after Family Camp is over?



About the Daddy Dearest series


The Daddy Dearest series will consist of stand-alone contemporary novels focusing on single gay dads who find hot romance. Expect laughs, sweet and sexy slow-burn romance, and lots of family feels!




Excerpt


Sixth inning. Geo was ready for the game to be over. It was fucking hot on the ball field, all open and exposed, the sun baking down. And he was also not sure how much more Travis-watching he could take—him with his silky burgundy gym shorts and a sweaty Camp Evermore green shirt stretched over those muscles. His long legs were tanned and well-defined from hours at the gym.

Those thighs could fucking crack walnuts. Dude.

Damn, but that was one fine-looking man. Geo knew he should lay off, though. Travis had made himself clear.

Only he hadn’t. At all. One minute, Travis seemed into him him. He sought out Geo’s company, like the way he kept coming by the cabin at night. And the next minute, he’d put distance between them, ignoring Geo or closing himself off behind a granite-like expression and those eye-hiding shades. And Travis had laid a clear line in the sand. Not at camp. Not gonna happen.

Yup. That was fine. Sure, Geo hadn’t been mutually attracted to a guy that hot in ages. Or ever, really. But Geo hadn’t come to camp to fool around. He had other priorities.

It did make him wonder though. Bridget had said Travis wasn’t out. A quick Google search last night had confirmed that. In fact, Geo had been shocked to discover there’d never been an out baseball player in the major leagues. Like, in the history of American baseball. Which was tragic. No wonder Travis was in the closet. It had to suck monkey balls living like that. Especially with all the women who threw themselves at him constantly. There were a dozen women on the sidelines right now that looked ready to have his babies. That had to be weird for a gay guy. Didn’t it?

Friday, March 29, 2019

Blogtour: Better Be Sure by Andy Gallo




Please welcome Andy Gallo with 

Better Be Sure 




On Forks and Life
Thank you, Sandra, for hosting me today.
Back in 1946, Actor Jimmy Stewart lent his star power to a little movie called It's A Wonderful Life. Stewart’s George Bailey dreams of leaving his small town and doing big things. Unfortunately, he allows himself to be roped into doing what others want and he stays home to run the family savings and loan. He gets married and has a beautiful family, but is never quite content. He is always looking for an out. A way to follow his 'dream.' When a string of events leaves him on the edge of suicide, he is shown all the good he's done staying put. That his dreams of doing big things already happened one small gift of help at a time.
Yogi Berra once said, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it."  We've all done this. We need to make a decision on the direction of our lives and we choose one way over another.  We 'take' the fork in the road. Sometimes we choose wisely, other times we choose poorly.
Choosing poorly has led to the death or near death of many relationships. More, one bad choice can snowball into so much more. That is one of the themes I wove into the book.  In Better Be Sure, the main characters look back and wonder if they choose the right fork. How one decision that didn’t seem like it would matter that much, ends up having outside repercussions.
So, when you come to a fork in the road, yes you need to take it, but you’d Better Be Sure it’s a wise choice, not a poor one.

-AQG



Better Be SureBlurb:

When the stakes are this high, you better be sure you can win.
Jackson Murphy lost his parents to a boating accident, but they’re never far from his thoughts. He attends the same university as his parents, joined the same fraternity as his dad, and even lives in his father’s old room, along with his adopted brother Marcus. Life brightens when he meets the man of his dreams.
Edward Knowles trades full-time college for working during the day and community college at night when his father’s factory closes. He intends to stay deep in the closet to keep his job in heating and cooling. But Jack pushes all his buttons.
Jack’s college rival challenges him to bring a date to the upcoming dance. He goads Jack into accepting even though failure means he and Marcus will lose their room and Jack must leave the fraternity. 
Jack is falling hard for Ed, but Ed will never agree to go the dance. Ed—not knowing the stakes of the wager—has also made it clear that Jack taking another man will end their romance.
With pressure from friends and enemies alike, will Jack hold on to his legacy… or his heart?








Dreamspinner | Amazon | Amazon NZ | Amazon UK 
Amazon CAN | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iTunes




Giveaway


Andy is giving away a $25 Dreamspinner gift certificate, two audio codes, and 3 $5 Amazon gift cards with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win.






We're also giving away an eBook copy of (Un)Masked and one copy of Leo Loves Aries, by Anyta Sunday. Comment on the post below or a chance to win.






Excerpt


Jack’s phone buzzed, and he swatted the sound away. Too early in the damn morning. Another buzz. He drowsily pulled himself from sleep. Across the room, Marcus mumbled in his sleep.
Jack checked his phone, body surging to life at Ed’s name on the screen.

Ed: Morning!
Ed: Oh, crap, it’s probably still too early for you.

Jack couldn’t type back quick enough. Ed writing to him this early in the morning, that had to mean something, surely.

Jack: Nah, I’m totally awake. Why?
Ed: Just finished a job. Am close to Harrison….

Jack was already scrambling out of bed, messaging one-handed while he emptied his drawers for a clean shirt.

Jack: Send me your location. I’m in desperate need of caffeine. Bet you could use some too.

Ed sent a grinning dog and his location. Eighteen minutes later, Jack walked into the local Starbucks. He scanned the almost empty store and caught Ed’s broad shoulders at the counter.

Jack strode over and clapped the guy on the shoulder, giving it a lingering squeeze. “I have an eerie sense of déjà vu.”

Ed’s warm shoulder shook as he chuckled. “I haven’t mowed you down yet.”

“No, no, that you haven’t.” Their gazes snagged, and Ed definitely swallowed. Probably too early—in the day and their friendship—to tease.

Jack rocked back on his heels, dug his wallet out of his pocket, and ordered.

When they both had their drinks, they sank into armchairs in the corner of the room.

Ed’s gaze kept dipping to his chest, and Jack’s lips tipped up behind his mocha. “How was your morning job?”

“I was extremely motivated to get the job done quickly.”

Jack’s grin widened, and an ill-timed sip ended up rolling down his chin. He swiped it off. “Do you often have jobs close to Harrison?”

“Not as much as I’d like.” Ed rubbed his palm over the arm of the chair.

“I mean, a lot of the time I have to drive out farther.”

“Well, any time you’re nearby….” He raised his cup.

Ed glanced at his chest again. “I like the look.”

Jack followed the sweep of Ed’s hand and—fuck. His shirt was inside out. “Right. Of course.”

Ed leaned forward in his seat, amusement lighting his eyes as he took in the rest of him. Shivers skittered through Jack, and he held his breath. “I totally woke you, didn’t I?”

“Busted.”

The deep laugh Ed gave made it all worth it. “So you’re a high-ranking anchor in your fraternity?”

Release Blitz: Jude by Garrett Leigh







Length: 60,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design



Lucky Series



Blurb
Isha has spent the last year watching his BFF get his happily-ever-after. He’s proud of Dom, but…it hurts to see him so free while Isha’s love life is still on lockdown. Only Isha’s ex-wife knows the secret that he’s kept caged for so long—that he’s queer too, and he’s lonely.

Jude’s too chained to his work to notice what he’s missing by being terminally single, but a new face in the village soon catches his attention. City boy Isha is gorgeous, and when he starts to haunt Jude’s reptile shop as well as the hook-up app on his phone, he's a welcome distraction from Jude’s business problems.

For a control freak like Isha, letting Jude under his skin is an existential meltdown, but Jude’s not in the market to be anyone’s queer crisis, not when he’s facing troubles of his own. Unlocking their lives could push both men apart forever, but it might be a risk worth taking if sharing is the key to their happy future.


About the author:

Cover Reveal: Home Improvement - A Love Story by Tara Lain



We are delighted to reveal the cover for Tara Lain's upcoming novel 

Home Improvement - A Love Story 




About the book:

Romance on Aisle Sixteen—opposites attract amid the hammers and screws of the home improvement store.

Gabe Mason became a father at seventeen, and his daughter, Ellie, is the most important thing in his life. But being the parent the courts demand means Gabe has given up most of his dreams—education, making furniture, a gay social life—to be a model dad with a steady, reliable job in a home improvement store. Life’s predictable until Jerry, a shy, eccentric guy in a hat and sunglasses, begs Gabe to oversee the renovation of his run-down mansion.
Gabe loves the house and the work, and Jerry's pretty lovable too, but when Gabe discovers Jerry’s secret identity, he fears their passion could overturn both their lives forever.



Pre-order the book:





And now, drumroll, please...

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Author Of The Month - Nicky James - Grand Finale



Welcome to our Grand Finale celebrations for the amazing 





In our final post, we'll look at two more of Nicky's books and ask her a bunch of questions. There's also one more chance to win one of her books.



First up, Until The End Of Time



Blurb:

Being a gay man in 1827, was not only frowned upon in England, but punishable by death. 
Magistrate Simon Stockley would know. He’d convicted men in his courtroom and sentenced them himself. Every time, it left a vile taste in his mouth because Simon was no different than the men whose lives he claimed. Overcompensating for his secret, fearing discovery, Simon walked the straight and narrow with everything he did.

Being overly cautious with life was second nature to him. The consequences of being discovered were among his worst fears. Sadly, this was his life and he accepted it. 
Until one cold day in October when James Hansen was led into his courtroom. Blinded by the fire in James’ eyes and the energy seething from his core, Simon’s entire life was thrown upside down. One cursory glance at the criminal and nothing would ever be the same again. 
Problem.

James’ crimes were severe and his punishment was death. However, there was something about him that Simon couldn’t put his finger on. Despite all sensibility, Simon couldn’t let him go. Maybe some things were worth the risk. Maybe rules were meant to be broken. Secrets were wonderful… until someone found out the truth.


Excerpt:

For all my life, I would never forget the day I first looked into that man’s eyes. It was like staring upon heaven itself on a clear summer day, and I would swear to you on my parents’ graves, the angels sang to me just then.
The air sucked out of my lungs, and for a short period of time, I may not have breathed at all. It explained the overcoming sensation of lightheadedness I experienced. Simultaneously, my senses seemed to amplify yet die off altogether. The only way I could explain it was, it was as though we were the only two beings in all the universe at that moment.
Like watching a stage play at the theatre, my vision darkened around me, leaving him the only illuminated person in my sights. His anger, a blaze of blue flames burning in his eyes, directed itself entirely at me. His hair was the color of straw, bleached out and lightened by the sun. It fell in his face in an unruly manner, reflecting his disposition to a tee.
Fixed on the man being brought into my courtroom, unable to tear my gaze from his face, I memorized every part of him. The way his lips pulled back against his teeth as he sneered. His curved cheekbones and jawline, firm and manly against his honey-colored skin. His eyebrows, a distinctly darker shade of blond than his hair, turned down at a sharp angle, making his face stern. In all his anger, he was the embodiment of perfection.
It may have only been a fraction of a second that I’d slipped up, but my stumble was there nonetheless, and I berated myself while I fought to regain my composure. Without my knowledge or my permission, my throat went dry while I gaped at the stranger being half-dragged through the courtroom.
I clamped my jaw with a firmness that threatened teeth cracking and turned my gaze to the surface of the bench in front of me. My ears rang as my thoughts swam. All the order and planning of the proceedings shifted inside my brain, and I momentarily forgot myself.
My tea, sitting cold beside me, became my sole focus as I tried to realign my thoughts. I retrieved and sipped at it regardless of its temperature, giving myself more time for self-analysis and reproach.
“Your honor,” Snapping me from my thoughts, I raised my head back to the man who had been brought forth, “I beg you to hear my plea before you make a decision. Please, I simply…”
Without so much as a word from me, the man fell silent. His outburst reminded me where I was and what I was doing. Years ago, I perfected the appropriate look of authority which could silence an entire room without my ever having to speak. I used that look, and Mr. Hansen seemed to realize his mistake.
Four witnesses left him without a plea to be had. His crime was a closed case, and my job was only to administer his sentence. No time would be wasted on discussions.
As I was about to proceed, the air in the room changed once again, becoming charged with static electricity that seemed to light a spark under Mr. Hansen. He decided he had nothing to lose in arguing with me.
“Is this what you call justice?” He pulled against the constables and spat his fury at the bench. “A group of people can come together and rally against any man, saying anything they wish and it is taken as truth in the courts? Look at me, you judgmental arse. Look at me!”
I didn’t even realize my gaze had fallen back to my papers, only I wasn’t seeing them. The truth was, I was trying to wipe away the hurt and pain being directed at me through the man’s eyes. A look, which I of all people understood.
“Nobody ever wishes to hear my side because I have already been deemed guilty. What of George? Where is his justice? You people turn a blind eye to your own. Since when did murder mean so little?”
Our own?
His words clouded my mind, and I knew if I didn’t stop his ramblings soon I would be seen as incompetent and incapable of commanding order.
I raised my hand for silence, and in response, the constables at his sides wrenched his arms back, bringing a halt to his next argument.
Burying my own trepidation, I encouraged myself to meet his gaze once again. He was unable to hide his own, and I could see him trembling as he realized my next words marked his finality.
“In the year of our Lord, Fifteen Hundred and Thirty-Three, the Act of Buggery was signed by his majesty, King Henry VIII. This act declares that any unnatural sexual activity is a crime against God and will be punished accordingly.”
The words tasted vile in my mouth, and I swallowed down their hypocrisy as I continued. “Four witnesses have given statements claiming to have observed the direct act of sodomy between one, James William Hansen and one, George Charles Berkley who is since deceased. According to the written act, proof of penetrative sex is required for a full conviction. Having been interrogated separately, all four witnesses’ recounts of the event match undoubtedly and are, therefore, considered under the definition of proof.
“Mr. James Hansen, the court has reviewed your charges and find your pleas inadmissible. In the name of King William IV, I hereby declare you to be guilty of the Act of Buggery and sentence you to hang by your neck until you are dead. Your punishment shall be carried out on the twenty-third day of October in the year of our Lord, Eighteen-Hundred and Twenty-Seven. May the Lord have mercy on your soul.”



Get the book:



Second in our line-up, Trusting Tanner


Blurb:

Maybe tomorrow it will be better…

Zander Baker has spent years forcing a smile onto his face to make the world believe he is a happy man. In reality, it’s a façade for the battered person he truly is. Living a life imprisoned in an abusive relationship, Zander doesn’t know how to break free. Ordinary enjoyments are not within his reach. Not only has he lost all his friends, but over the last seven years, he’s lost himself as well.

Tanner Mathews has recently returned to the city and needs to start life all over again. New job, new friends and a new relationship are top of his list. When he meets his niece’s new preschool teacher he is drawn in by his good looks and shy personality. Sadly, Zander is involved with someone else. Settling for friendship, Tanner soon realizes there is a lot more to Zander than what he shows the world. As their friendship struggles to grow, and details about Zander’s life come to the surface, Tanner finds himself unexpectedly falling in love. His heart aches for Zander and all he wants to do is help the man break free.

Can Tanner help Zander reclaim his life?
Will his feelings for his friend interfere with his intentions?
What happens if it all goes wrong?
Will love conquer all in the end?

*TRIGGER WARNING* Domestic abuse

Excerpt:

I watched him go at an accelerated pace, head down with a deep frown on his face. He looked downright miserable, and I felt like a grade A twat for saying what I did. I seriously didn’t know how to keep my mouth shut. Zander had enough bullshit without having me adding to it. I was being a terrible friend. Again. It bugged me to no end that he couldn’t see what that guy was doing to him. However, it bugged me even more that I seemed to have a constant need to point it out.
As the car pulled away with a squeal of tires, I let out a frustrated grumble from deep inside; one laced with all the suppressed anger I’d been building up for the last few months.
“Fuck I hate that douchebag,” I said to Angie who stood quietly at the closet doors, trying to be invisible. Sneaking a glance at Anna, I was glad to see she was oblivious to my temper and foul mouth as she continued with her puzzle. “What is Z doing with him?”
“I told you, I think he’s afraid to leave. He thinks he’s trapped.”
“That’s ridiculous. He needs to kick Paul to the curb is what he needs to do and move on with his life. Z’s such a great guy, and Paul treats him like shit. He deserves so much better than that.”
“He doesn’t know how to get out, Tanner. He’s afraid Paul won’t let him leave, that he’ll come after him. You’ve seen what the man’s capable of.”
“Then he needs to go to the police.”
“He won’t.”
“Why?” I threaded fingers through my hair in frustration. “You’ve seen the bruises and marks. He has every reason to report him. I just don’t get it. If he filed a restraining order, Paul couldn’t go near him, at least not without getting his ass arrested.”
“He knows. It’s more than that, Tanner.” Angie paused and pursed her lips.
“What then? What is it? Somebody please explain this to me because I’m seriously confused, and I don’t know how much more I can take.”
“I think he’s also afraid of being alone. He’s afraid of what’s on the other side after he walks away. You know how he grew up. All he wants is to be loved, and he thinks Paul is the best he can do.”
“Come on. That’s bullshit. Even being alone would be better than him.” I tossed my arm in the direction the vehicle had driven. “Besides he wouldn’t be alone. I’d be there to—” I clamped my mouth shut before I could say more, but Angie’s face softened as she watched me with sympathy. Glancing back out the window, I tried to ignore the fact that I was being studied like a term paper. After a long pause, Angie came up beside me and put her hand on my arm.
“Tell him, Tanner. Why are you holding back?”

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

ARC Review: Criminal Intentions: S1, E9: A Single Bright Candle's Flame by Cole McCade

From The Blurb:

ABOUT THIS EPISODE
Detective Malcolm Khalaji is at a loss. 
For the second time in his life, he wasn't there when his lover needed him. And with Seong-Jae Yoon on leave pending an internal investigation, Malcolm doesn't know what to do with a shattered partner and boyfriend who's retreated from him into a dark and broken place. It's Gabrielle all over again...yet this time, Malcolm is determined to do this right. This time he's determined to be there no matter what Seong-Jae needs, even if it means taking time off from the pressures of their job to hold Seong-Jae through every moment of trauma, of guilt, of self-recrimination. 
Until a frantic phone call from Seong-Jae's parents destroys any hope of peace. 
Because Seong-Jae's younger sister is missing—and there's only one place she would go. 
Yet even if the desperate search breaks Seong-Jae's numbness, it's the warmth of family that brings him back from a black and dangerous edge—and shows Malcolm a side to Seong-Jae he never could have imagined. But not even these idyllic moments of calm are safe, as the twisted machinations surrounding them continue. If each player in this game is a chess piece, then none other than Edmund Bishop is a pawn, sacrificed to save his queen. Yet is Lillienne Wellington really the one pulling the strings? 
Or is someone else trying to eliminate Bishop for their own dire ends? 
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:




'A Single Bright Candle's Flame' is the 9th episode in season 1 of Cole McCade's series 'Criminal Intentions' and so far this series has not failed to deliver. As Malcolm Khalaji and Soeng-Jae Yoon have gone from new police partners to friends and ultimately lovers solving crimes and fitting themselves into each other's lives it's been one hella' good roller coaster ride of emotions. Along with the self contained crime drama that each story delivers there have been hints and clues to an overlying story line that has kept up a steady pace and so far promises to be explosive in it's conclusion...whenever that might be because so far I'm not seeing an end in sight.

Thankfully here in the 9th story we get a bit of a break allowing the reader to catch their breath a bit and I have to confess that while I thought the last book was the most relationship focused book to date...well, all I can say now is "Oops, my bad...because this one puts it to shame." however, don't think that just because there's not a crime to be solved you're entirely off the hook here because you're not. There's still so much to be learned from this one and enjoyed...holy hell so much to be enjoyed and savored.

As Soeng-Jae works his way through the events from the last story, Mal is right there determined to be and give Yoon what he needs...he's not going to screw up this time...it's not going to be a repeat of Gabrielle not if he can help it. But Mal's also unsure what to do other than just being there which he'll happily do but he's missing the Soeng-Jae that he fell in love with and isn't sure what it'll take to get him back. Turns out that Mal's problem is going to be solved by a panicked phone call from his parents when his younger sister has runaway or more accurately she's running to something...her brother.

Audio Book Review: Far From Home by Lorelie Brown

From The Blurb:
Listening Time: 5 hrs., 43 min. 
My name is Rachel. I’m straight . . . I think. I also have a mountain of student loans and a smart mouth. I wasn’t serious when I told Pari Sadashiv I’d marry her. It was only party banter! Except Pari needs a green card, and she’s willing to give me a breather from drowning in debt.  
My off-the-cuff idea might not be so terrible. We get along as friends. She’s really romantically cautious, which I find heartbreaking. She deserves someone to laugh with. She’s kind. And calm. And gorgeous. A couple of years with her actually sounds pretty good. If some of Pari’s kindness and calmness rubs off on me, that’d be a bonus, because I’m a mess -- anorexia is not a pretty word -- and my little ways of keeping control of myself, of the world, aren’t working anymore. 
And, if I slip up, Pari will see my cracks. Then I’ll crack. Which means I gotta get out, quick, before I fall in love with my wife.

Karen's rating:




Well that was...different...interesting and...a big step outside of my comfort zone, which is something that I think does a mind, body and soul good from time to time.

So what was so different about this story for me, you might ask yourself...well there are two things...
1. It's narrated by a woman.
2. It's a f/f story of which I've only ever read one other.

f/f stories as a rule just aren't my thing which is the biggest reason why I haven't listened to many...ok, any female narrators. I tend to listen to audiobooks from the m/m genre and for me listening to a woman do the voices for an audio book that's predominantly m/m doesn't work any more than listening to a man do a f/f story would...so this is totally on me...personal preference and nothing else...no good or bad involved here.

And now here I sit having listened to an audio book that for a few reasons caught my attention...

The first one being the narrator...seriously, this was the FIRST TIME EVER!!! that I listened to the full audio sample on the first try with a female narrator...so good on you, Jill Smith... I was impressed and my attention was captured.

The next reason being the story...it sounded sweet and pretend girlfriend/boyfriend is  one of those tropes that I like and in this case it was more like pretend spouses giving it the potential for some really cute and humorous moments to balance out the more serious issue which was Rachel's struggles with anorexia.

ARC Review: Blindsided by Eden Finley

Blindsided (Fake Boyfriend #4)
From the Blurb:

Miller:
When Talon left to play pro ball six years ago, the hole in my chest confused me. I focused my heartache into making my own NFL dreams come true, and by the time I was drafted, the longing I had for my best friend was buried deep.Now he wants everything to be like it was in college, but we can't have threesomes and be reckless like we once were. The media storm would be enough to break both our careers.That's not my biggest concern though. The torch I had for him burns brighter after so long apart, and there's nothing I can do about it. Marcus Talon is straight.I need to stay away from him.
Talon:
Years ago, Miller and I made a pact that we'd win a Super Bowl together. When I'm offered a position on his team in Chicago, I don't hesitate. I move across the country to chase a dream that's a decade old.Only, now that I'm here, he's avoiding me every chance he gets. If he was anyone else, I'd cut my losses.But this is Shane Miller--the guy who makes everything better just by existing in my universe. The guy I'd do anything for. The guy who's more to me than a brother, a friend, or even a teammate.I'm not going to let him get away.


Ky's rating:





Blindsided is both a sports romance and a friends to lovers story, two of my most favorite tropes!

Talon and Miller met at college and immediately became best friends. They shared some wild times but all that ended when their pro careers began.

Even though they were inseparable at college, after that they lost touch and became just acquaintances for a few years since they played for different teams and weren't in the same side of the continent very often.

Then Talon gets offered a position in the same team as Miller and he sees an opportunity to rebuild their friendship.

What follows is Talon's effort to get close to Miller again and Miller's insistence to keep distance between them. What Talon doesn't know, though, is that Miller harbors feelings for him. But Talon is straight so nothing can come of that...

An injury forces Miller to miss their first season as teammates after six years and move back home to recover. The physical distance may be growing between them once more but at the same time the two of them are closer than ever.

Talon starts realizing his feelings for Miller and once that happens he's all in and doesn't hold anything back.

Blogtour: Dirty Laundry by Heidi Cullinan



Please welcome Heidi Cullinan with

Dirty Laundry 

a Tucker Springs novel 




Blurb:

Sometimes you have to get dirty to come clean.

When muscle-bound Denver Rogers effortlessly dispatches the frat boys harassing grad student Adam Ellery at the Tucker Springs laundromat, Adam’s thank-you turns into impromptu sex over the laundry table. The problem comes when they exchange numbers. What if Adam wants to meet again and discovers Denver is a high school dropout with a learning disability who works as a bouncer at a local gay bar? Or what if Denver calls Adam only to learn while he might be brilliant in the lab, outside of it he has crippling social anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder?

Either way, neither of them can shake the memory of their laundromat encounter. Despite their fears of what the other might think, they can only remember how good the other one feels. The more they get together, the kinkier things become. They’re both a little bent, but in just the right ways.

Maybe the secret to staying together isn’t to keep things clean and proper. Maybe it’s best to keep their laundry just a little bit dirty.


Reissuing March 29, 2019 by Dreamspinner Press. Title is revised with some significance and expanded from original release.

Excerpt:

Adam stood in a gas station restroom across from Lights Out, staring into a cracked and faded mirror, coaching himself out loud. “You can do this,” he repeated for what had to be the tenth time. “You can do this, Adam. You can do this.”
He didn’t believe it any more than he had the last nine times he’d said it to himself.
Stop by, Denver had said. Stop by Lights Out, like it was no big deal. It wasn’t a big deal to most people. However, Adam wasn’t most people, a point driven home by the fact that he was nearly hyperventilating over the dirtiness of the restroom and how he’d be wiping off his phone with a Wet Wipe before putting it back in his pocket.
He should have set things up better. He should have said he’d stop by another night, though the same problems would exist whenever he went. At least then he could have thought up a plan. He could have figured out how to get all the Bug Boys but Brad to come to the bar with him. He could have worked up more courage so he wouldn’t be swimming in a sea of Xanax.
He could have grown wings and flew.
I can do this, he told himself, trying to stop the spiral of self-loathing before it got out of control. All I have to do is go into the bar. Walk through the door, say hi to Denver, and see what happens. It’s not hard. People do it all the time, and they’re just fine. I’ll be fine too.
He’d be fine. Everything would be fine.
So long as no one slipped anything into his soda.
So long as he didn’t lose his cab money and have to walk home.
So long as he didn’t get jumped by hooligans in the alley.
In the mirror, Adam’s countenance went pale. He shut his eyes, drew a deep breath, and whispered to his reflection, “I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.”
He had on his usual club shirt, its familiar fabric like armor to Adam, but it made him nervous too. He’d been vain and gone without glasses, but now he obsessed about his contacts, whether he’d washed them enough, whether they had rolled back into his eyelids, whether they had defied factory tests and glued themselves permanently to his cornea.
The contacts, he knew now, had been a horrible mistake. He hadn’t counted on being this nervous when he’d put them in.
He should have waited to go out with the Bug Boys. Safety in the swarm, that was the joke, or it had been. That group, for him, had been fractured since Brad. The lab, the friendships, everything. He wasn’t ever sure if it was real or his imagination, if the others truly didn’t talk to him as much now or if that was simply how it seemed. Maybe they’d all been part of a fantasy of inclusion. Or maybe he was making his life a melodrama for no reason.
Feelings aren’t facts.He had this taped to the top of his bathroom mirror, over his kitchen sink, and a few other places now that he lived alone.
It was true, though, that he didn’t have anyone to go with him to Lights Out. The Bug Boys always went to bars closer to campus. If Adam asked them to go to Lights Out, they’d ask why. Which theoretically shouldn’t be bad, because they didn’t care that he was gay. In reality it would be, because they wouldn’t understand about Denver.
Adam wasn’t sure he understood about Denver.
Taking a deep breath, he tugged at his shirt, blinked to ensure the proper placement and lubrication of his contacts, and left the bathroom, using a Wet Wipe to turn the doorknob. It was a little hard-core OCD even for him, but he was determined not to let his disorder get a single foothold tonight. While things had been lonely since he’d left Crispin House, they’d been downright miserable since his encounter with Cowboy. All he could think about was how good it had felt. Not just the sex, but the way Denver seemed to be able to shut off his monkey mind like nothing else. He wanted that again. He wanted that so badly he ached.
You’re using him, his conscience whispered, and not for the first time.
Adam still wasn’t sure whether or not his conscience was right. Was he using Denver, or trying to? Did it matter if he did, if Denver consented? Really, it wasn’t like they had some kind of deep and abiding connection. They’d fucked in a goddamned laundromat. They hadn’t exchanged vows.
Adam still had butterflies when he got in line to enter the bar, but thanks to his drugs, he’d evened out. He could do this. He could totally do this. He was independent now, no more Brad. He lived on his own, and he’d never thought he could do that. He’d done his own laundry, which had gone a bit south, but then decidedly north.
This was about sex, pure and simple. He wasn’t trying to find a new Brad. He was angling for more hot sex. The new, independent Adam.
Or something.


Get the book:


    



What’s next for Heidi’s characters in Tucker Springs



Thanks so much for having me today! I’m here to celebrate the re-release of Dirty Laundry at Dreamspinner Press and talk about what’s next for me in the series.


Right now the books coming out in the Tucker Springs series are reissues, but soon there will be new books coming out in the universe, and my plan is to write two more.
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