A MelanieM Review:Poke Check (Harrisburg Railers #4) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

One scorching summer in each other’s arms could never be enough.


Stanislav “Stan” Lyamin is happy playing for the Railers. The towering goalie is well-loved, respected, and making a home for himself even though that home only contains him, his cat, and his growing Pokemon trading card collection. Stan prefers it that way.


He’d given his heart to a man in a secret affair, and that man walked away, leaving Stan shattered. Now Erik is back in his life, and he has the same tumultuous effect he had on Stan’s heart as before. This time it’s not just a kissable mouth and sweet blond curls that Erik has brought to Harrisburg, there’s a soon-to-be ex-wife and a precious baby.


Despite the vow Stan made to hate Erik forever, he’s now finding it harder and harder to turn away.


Erik Gunnarsson’s dream had always been to play in the NHL, he just never imagined he’d land a contract with the Railers. Who would have thought that fate would put him on the same team as Stanislav Lyamin; the man whose heart he’d callously broken?


Secrets and lies had defined their summer relationship, and the choice that Erik made to end it all haunts him still. In the middle of a messy divorce and with a baby in tow, Erik finds himself back in Stan’s life. Now all he has to do is be the best dad he can be, prove to the team that he deserves the chance to stay on the roster and try his hardest to get Stan to forgive him.

Is it possible to persuade a man who hates you to give love a second chance?

I’ve been waiting for Stan’s story ever since being introduced to the goalie in the Harrisburg Railers series.  With his staunch Russian soul and broken English, Stan quickly won my heart and those of a multitude of readers.  We wanted his story and his HEA.  Now we have it in  Poke Check (Harrisburg Railers #4) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey. Should have known it would be a heartbreaker.

Turns out Stan has a secret love that went badly and ex shows up as a player brought up from their farm team to join the line. All the heartache and betrayal made fresh daily.  I love that Scott and Locey finally give us a window into this complicated man who misses his family, his mother and sister back in Russia, that he’s been creating a home for in Harrisburg.  Given his pov, we see his relative isolation (courtesy of his language barrier), his love for his team, and the crushing pain Erik’s handling of their affair has dealt him.  It is a visceral hurt for us all, due in part to the authors vivid and emotional descriptions that bring us deeply into Stan’s life.

Erik’s perspective also become’s a necessary part of their story.  We need to see what drove his decision, his interaction with his son, everything in order to connect with the man that hurt Stan.  Twining the two shared men’s stories strengthens our hopes and resolve to see them together.  You can see how clearly Erik needs not only Stan but the rest of the team for support, emotional and otherwise.

I loved watching the team meld together.  Locey is such an excellent sports writer.  Her scenes of the team together visually on ice, lining up as a team, mentally or figuratively, work to bring this novel alive.  So too the characters as breathing hockey players.  I

One element I very much appreciated was the development of the mother’s character.  There is no lop-sided villainess here but an individual not prepared to be a mother.  This is a thoughtful portrayal, realistic and believable.  I enjoy the hockey scenes as much as the romance….almost….lol.

There is a wonderful epilogue and a setup for the next story.  Honestly, this is one of my favorite series, full of complex men, with each relationship far different from the next.  I couldn’t recommend it more.  That includes Poke Check.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell .  Not my favorite cover.  Neither is my idea of the characters.  I mean have you seen Alex Ovechkin, the great 8, or any other of the Russian players?No match, not even close to the all American looking guy on the cover.

Buy Links:  AmazonUniversal Buy Links

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 178 pages
Published February 11th 2018 by Love Lane Books Ltd
ASINB079RJCGJK
SeriesHarrisburg Railers #4

Book #1 – Changing Lines

Book #2 – First Season

Book #3 – Deep Edge

An Alisa Review: Manic Pixie Dream Boy (Underdogs #1) by KA Merikan

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

—. You can’t hide the cracks under the spotlight .—

Dusk. Leader of The Underdogs. Destined for greatness. Lives in the now.
Abe. AKA Lolly. Iridescent. Unicorn.

All Dusk wants out of life is for his band to become world famous. He also wants to have a lot of fun along the way. And to get his rocks off. When he wants something, he goes for it, consequences be damned.

So when he sees a gorgeous pink-haired guy who is the human equivalent of tattooed cotton candy, he can’t help but have a taste. But it’s when Lolly ends up on their tour bus that Dusk knows their meeting was destiny.

Abe is the kind of guy who goes with the flow. He was hitchhiking anyway, so why not spend the week with a hot piece of rocker beefcake, getting smothered by his sexy long hair? And why not play the part of the supportive cutie while he’s at it? It’s not like he’d be sticking around for long anyway.

All plans hit a wall when photos of Abe and Dusk emerge online, suddenly pushing the band into the spotlight. To take advantage of the sudden popularity, the band offers Abe money for staying.

Which means money for being in a fake relationship with Dusk.

Which isn’t even fake.

Or is it?

Dusk and Abe connect immediately end up going full steam ahead, without really talking about it.  Their relationship works well for the band and they are enjoying their time together so what’s wrong? Maybe some actually talking would help.

Abe is totally a ball of energy and he seems to put that energy into everything he does.  He even helps with promotion for the band behind the scenes without telling anyone.

I loved these two characters, Dusk is enthralled with Lolly and just knows it means more while Abe is expressive but reserved with his own emotions.  The non-fake fake relationship causes more confusion than help, it gives Dusk and Lolly the chance to get to know each other but also puts a slight boundary between them that they are scared to cross.  I could feel Dusk’s pain when he was scared for Lolly and then when Lolly pushes him away.  Abe tried to keep a part of himself away from Dusk and ends up deeply hurt when Dusk tries to help their situation.  These two are wonderful for each other and I really enjoyed their story.  I can’t wait to read more in this series.

The cover art by Natasha Snow is wonderful and I loved the picture of Dusk.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 143 pages

Published: September 10, 2017 by K.A. Merikan

Edition Language: English

Series: The Underdogs #1

Annabelle Jay Daddy Issues in Luminosity: Book Five in the Sun Dragon Series (guest post and excerpt)

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Luminosity (The Sun Dragon #5) by Annabelle Jay
Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Stef Masciandaro

Buy Links: Harmony Ink Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Annabelle Jay here today on her tour for Luminosity, the last in The Sun Dragon series.  Welcome, Annabelle.

✒︎

Daddy Issues in Luminosity: Book Five in the Sun Dragon Series

by Annabelle Jay

A lot of young adults have complicated relationships with their parents, especially when one of them has been gone for years. For Luke, a transgender teenager obsessed with astronomy and theories about magical worlds, her complicated relationship gets a whole lot more complicated when she finds out that her absent father is actually an incubus.

Luke’s father attacks at the worst time: during a study session with a girl that Luke has a crush on. Little does Luke know that Egret is half Igreefee, a group of magical people with environmental powers, and that her people have dealt with Incubi like Luke’s father before. After a narrow escape, Egret explains why Luke’s dad is so bent on finding her: Luke is the universe’s last Artist, a person with the ability to draw things into existence. 

As if things couldn’t get any worse, it turns out that incubi want their offspring in order to eat them and gain power. The blood of one’s offspring is the strongest of all, which puts Luke in grave danger. In the scene below, Egret must get her to the infamous Merlin’s house and under his protection without Luke’s father capturing her. However, as Luke is soon to discover, sometimes parental motivations are more complicated than they seem.

***

With a carved wooden stick in one hand and Egret’s bird feathers in the other, I sailed away from the Igreefee camp as suddenly as I’d entered it. Even though I’d only spent a few hours there, the forest dwelling had already begun to feel like home—especially because the Igreefee weren’t afraid to tell me the truth, something my own mother seemed incapable of.

“So… Grace…,” I said to start a conversation after what felt like an hour of silence had passed. “She seems nice.”

You’re a terrible liar. She’s an annoying know-it-all, but you have to admit, she’s hot.

I couldn’t argue with that.

How about you? Egret asked. Did you have a special someone or two back at your old school?

“Never.”

I didn’t mention Lacey; I wasn’t even sure she counted. Lacey had loved me, and she’d told me as much, but the Luke that Lacey loved was not the one I wanted to be. Sure, there had been a few awkward moments between us when dancing at junior prom had led to something more or a spin the bottle game that had gotten out of control, but to me, those didn’t count. I’d felt like an actor in a play, a Romeo kissing his Juliet, but after the curtain closed, I wanted to take off the costume and be myself again.

That’s a shame. Those pretty blue eyes and that long blond hair deserve some appreciation. Wait, you are into girls, aren’t you?

“Quite interested.”

Before she could question me further, a pair of red eyes appeared in the clouds on our right—and then another, and another.

“Incubi are everywhere!” I yelled, as though Egret couldn’t see them with her own eyes. “What should we do?”

Use the staff, she instructed. Just press the engraved circle in the middle and aim.

I found the circle and pressed. A beam of green light flashed like a camera, and then the incubus closest to us flew backward several feet.

Good. We’re only about ten minutes from Merlin’s house, so just keep pressing that button whenever they get close. The sorcerer will have his own protection spell in place.

I did as she commanded. Most of the incubi realized what was going on and retreated, but one incubus in particular kept coming back. Like a wild dog, he bared his white teeth and flew at us, and the staff was the only thing able to hold him back each time. The incubus tried to lunge around the circle of light, and even to swim through its force.

“You don’t think…?”

Your father? Could be, by the way your blood is making him crazy, or perhaps an uncle? I guess I can see the family resemblance. Now hold on!

Egret plunged downward toward a small city on another floating piece of rock and then, by swooping left, adjusted her course to a small pinprick of light on the outskirts.

Almost there.

She strained to move faster and faster, while the incubi threw their bodies down at us like hail by tucking their legs into their torsos. The most persistent incubus somehow got through the light and onto Egret’s wing, and no amount of shaking could release his grip.

Get him off! she yelled, or he’ll stop us from entering Merlin’s house.

I poked the incubus with the staff, then hit him with it. Stubbornly, he clung to a fistful of feathers and pulled, sending us into a barrel roll that turned my stomach. Finally, using the other side of the staff, I aimed directly for his red eyes.

Bingo.

 Blurb

As the epic saga of the Sun Dragon series draws to a close, transgender teenager Luke must face her destiny to decide the fate of her world. Not only is Luke a girl born into the wrong body, she is the universe’s last Artist: a person with the ability to draw things into existence. When she comes face-to-face with an incubus who might be her father, she learns it falls to her—along with allies from the wizard’s Council and the dragon clan leaders—to prevent the incubi from destroying the world. If that isn’t enough, she needs to find a way out of a relationship with her girlfriend that she never intended, go after the Igreefee royal she really wants to be with, and decide if the time is right to transition physically into the girl she’s always been inside.

The journey that began with Allanah’s first Sun Dragon is coming to its thrilling conclusion. The dragons, wizards, sorceresses, and birds you’ve come to know and love will reunite for their biggest battle yet—one that will decide their destiny at last.

About the Author

If there’s one thing author Annabelle Jay believes with all her heart, it’s that there is no such thing as too many dragons in a book. As fantasy writer with few other hobbies—does being bribed to run with her partner or dancing awkwardly in the kitchen count?—she spends every day following her imagination wherever it leads her.

A hippie born in the wrong decade, Annabelle has a peace sign tattoo and a penchant for hugging trees. Occasionally she takes breaks from her novels to play with her pets: Jon Snow, the albino rabbit who is constantly trying to escape; Stevie, the crested gecko that climbs glass with the hairs on its toes; and Luigi, the green tree python that lives at the foot of her bed despite her best efforts to talk her partner out of the idea.

During her day job as a professor of English, Annabelle is often assumed to be a fellow student playing a prank on the class—that is, until she hands out the syllabus. When people stop mistaking her for a recent high school graduate, she will probably be very sad.

Author’s Website: www.annabellejay.com

Twitter: @AnnabelleAuthor

Instagram: @AnnabelleAuthor

Publisher’s book page: https://www.harmonyinkpress.com/books/luminosity-by-annabelle-jay-529-b

Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14191901.Annabelle_Jay

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Annabelle-Jay-376249719245415

RELEASE BLITZ for Break Down (Dublin Rugby #4) by Rebecca Norinne (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Break Down
Series: Dublin Rugby #4
Author: Rebecca Norrine
Genre: M/M Sports Romance
Release Date: February 21, 2018

He knows his place on the pitch, but in life, it’s a whole other game.All his life, Liam Donnelly looked and wondered. Could he? Would he? And then, finally, he did. But when he sampled a taste of that forbidden fruit, his whole world came crashing down, his position with Dublin Rugby right along with it. When the chance to ply his trade in Edinburgh comes along, Liam jumps at the offer, knowing it could be his best opportunity to start fresh and get back to the man he once was. But one look at Chef Lachlan MacLeod — his knowing, whisky-colored eyes, the abrasive scruff dotting his jaw, and the colorful ink lining his forearms —and Liam’s wondering all over again. Can he? Will he? His heart says no, but his body says yes.He’s conquered his own demons; can he help another man do the same?Out and proud Chef Lachlan MacLeod has no problem with who he is, except he has a history of hooking up with bi-curious straight men. He’s vowed never to go down that path again, but when Liam Donnelly shows up in his restaurant, his eyes filled with heat and secret longing, Lachlan can’t help himself. He knows the closeted rugby player is a terrible idea, but the man calls to him in a way no one ever has before. What started as a safe way for Liam to explore his sexuality quickly morphs into something much deeper, and now Lachlan wants more. But can his heart reconcile what his head already knows-that loving the gorgeous, broken athlete might actually mean letting him go?

 

I absolutely adored Liam and Lachlan’s journey. It was sweet, smexy, frustrating and real and I savored each step forward and back that these men took in order to find their HEA. – Books-n-Wine

What do you get when you take a hot rugby star who is sexually confused and add in a sexy, chef who knows what he wants? An excellent read! – Que Sara Sera Book Blog

From start to finished i devoured this read and couldn’t put it down till i had. I was drawn in and captivated with Liam and Lachlan’s story. – Millsy Loves Books

Break Down was everything and more; all of Rebecca Norinne’s words are so beautifully and tastefully written you will not be disappointed with this book. – Scandalous Book Blog

Wow this book! I am having a hard time putting into words how I feel. I absolutely loved this book. This is one of the best M/M romances I have read in a while. – Laid Back Book Bitches

Holy amazing story Batman! This is the first story by this author that I have read. I’m a automatic one clicker for her now. WOW. – The Heathers Blog

This M/M read is beautifully written. The characters being both sexy & rough, yet emotional & vulnerable. – Dani’s Book Review Blog


 


 

Sign up for Rebecca’s newsletter for a chance to win the FULL SERIES >

 

 

No amount of logic or reason could prevent me from stepping between Liam’s thighs and fisting his blond hair between my fingers. No amount of caution or doubt would keep me from tugging his head back. And when he gasped—his mouth parting in surprise—no amount of uncertainty would keep me from crushing my lips to his, from my teeth nipping at the sensual curve of his full, bottom lip. Nothing, and no one, would keep me from devouring the mouth I’d dreamed about for weeks, from licking my way inside, from tangling my tongue with his until he weaved his fingers through my hair and moaned, the sound moving from his chest, through his mouth, and into mine.

 

 

USA TODAY bestselling Rebecca Norinne writes steamy contemporary romance featuring smart and sexy heroines and the men who adore them. When not writing, Rebecca is watching rugby, drinking craft beer, or traveling the globe in search of inspiration for her next story. Find out more at http://www.rebeccanorinne.com

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Review Tour for Poke Check (Harrisburg Railers #4) by RJ Scott & VL Locey (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 50,000 words approx
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Harrisburg Railers Series
 
Book #1 – Changing Lines
Book #2 – First Season
Book #3 – Deep Edge
 
Blurb
 

One scorching summer in each other’s arms could never be enough.


Stanislav “Stan” Lyamin is happy playing for the Railers. The towering goalie is well-loved, respected, and making a home for himself even though that home only contains him, his cat, and his growing Pokemon trading card collection. Stan prefers it that way.


He’d given his heart to a man in a secret affair, and that man walked away, leaving Stan shattered. Now Erik is back in his life, and he has the same tumultuous effect he had on Stan’s heart as before. This time it’s not just a kissable mouth and sweet blond curls that Erik has brought to Harrisburg, there’s a soon-to-be ex-wife and a precious baby.


Despite the vow Stan made to hate Erik forever, he’s now finding it harder and harder to turn away.


Erik Gunnarsson’s dream had always been to play in the NHL, he just never imagined he’d land a contract with the Railers. Who would have thought that fate would put him on the same team as Stanislav Lyamin; the man whose heart he’d callously broken?


Secrets and lies had defined their summer relationship, and the choice that Erik made to end it all haunts him still. In the middle of a messy divorce and with a baby in tow, Erik finds himself back in Stan’s life. Now all he has to do is be the best dad he can be, prove to the team that he deserves the chance to stay on the roster and try his hardest to get Stan to forgive him.


Is it possible to persuade a man who hates you to give love a second chance?




Feb 14 – Gay Media Reviews, Reading In Sarah’s Corner, Xtreme Delusions, Urban Smoothie Read, My Fiction Nook, The Smut-Brarians
Feb 16 – Hearts On Fire Reviews, The Geekery Book Review, Booklove
Feb 21 – We Three Queens, Sarandipity, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Making It Happen, Books After Fifty, MM Good Book Reviews, Jessie G Books
Feb 23 – My Book Filled Life
Feb 26 – Book Lovers 4Ever, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews, Wicked Reads
Feb 28 – Valerie Ullmer, Jim’s Reading Room, Padme’s Library
March 2 – Mirrigold, Bayou Book Junkie

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here.  We highly recommend it.

Excerpt
 

 

Stan


There are many people I would have rather seen standing on the ice of my practice arena than Erik. For example my beloved sister, Galina, my sainted mother, Arina, my cat, Lucy, or my new gay American heartthrob, Zachary Quinto.


Zachary would be wearing only a smile even though it’s cold on the ice.


But no, none of them were standing in front of me wearing a Railers sweater and curls. Those damn golden curls. They’d always tempted me beyond sense. As had his mouth. And the way he would tilt his head when he was trying to understand me out of bed. In bed? There was no language barrier. Our bodies had always been tuned to each other like radio waves to a satellite dish.


Even now, I felt the low hum of his presence in my veins. I had feared this moment would come. From the first time I’d heard his name mentioned as being a new member of the Rush, our AHL feeder team, I’d known he would eventually stand in front of me, tipping his head, with his curls, his eyes and his mouth.


Connor was looking at me as if he expected something from me. Ah yes, words. He wanted me to say something. How did “go fuck a donkey” translate into English?


“We are known to each other.”


I skated to my net, mask perched on my head, and tried to focus. The humming in my blood was unsettling. Closing my eyes, I let the blue ice under my skates talk to me. Opening myself up to the sounds of hockey, the stress of seeing Erik again lessened. I whispered to the pipes as I tapped them. Asked them in Russian if they were going to be my friends during this practice.


“Uh, hey, I know this is a strict breach of protocol and all…but is there a problem between you and Gunner?”


I glanced to the left. Tennant stood there, geared up, his stick casually resting across his shoulders. So Erik now had his American hockey nickname. Why didn’t I have a new American hockey nickname? Pah. I was being petty. It tasted bad on my tongue.


“Gunner is okay person from time back in space.” Was that right? English was hard to speak. It made no sense. How could there be three ways to spell one word? Russian was simple. Strong. Pure. A language of passion and spirit. American was whiney and tied my brain into knots. No, that was not true. American was a wonderful language. It was me who was whiney and unhappy. “Time back. In the back of time. Is bad time to talk. Go away.”

RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.


RJ Scott is the bestselling author of over one hundred romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.


The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

 

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Dr. Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.


When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.

 

Giveaway

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A MelanieM Release Day Review: Lover, Lover ( Dreamcatchers story) by Liv Olteano

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

A Dreamcatchers Tale

Twin souls reunited.

Drew’s always been a fighter: first in martial arts competitions, and now as a dreamcatcher—keeping the people of Seattle safe from spaga attacks that would drain their life force in their sleep. All he has to do to become a full member of Team 32 is complete his first mission.

But the first person he must defend is his ex, Angelo… the only man Drew ever loved, even if he was the one to leave. Drew never got over Angelo, and it seems Angelo might feel the same, despite the heartbreak he suffered at Drew’s hands.

As the chase after a powerful and resourceful caster hits close to home, old feelings resurface. But if Angelo learns of the dreamcatchers, he’ll be a target for the spaga. And how can he trust Drew now that Drew’s keeping bigger secrets than ever?

I’m a fan of Liv Olteano and her Leader Murder series, so I was really looking forward to Lover, Lover, another story in Dreamspinner’s Dreamspun Beyond series.  One of the things I notice it mentions is that its a  Dreamcatchers tale but I can find no mention of previous stories so I can only  assume this is the first of a series.

That might explain several things I noticed about this story.  I have always loved Olteano’s worldbuilding.  She has a wonderful imagination and pulls from so many different mythologies to construct a fascinating and compelling universe to dive into.  In Lover, Lover, she has  started to do the same with her  Teams of Dreamcatcher fighters and their  “boss”.  In this case, the foundation is loosely native american, and the author layers upon that her monsters, her fighters (and all the ramifications that comes with acceptance into the Unit,) and  above all the amazing  arachnid Goddess/Boss/Head of their Region.  All this comes complete with training into the Guild, chants, elaborate settings (think gorgeous weblike interiors)….clearly Olteano has given much thought to their construction.

But I still was left wanting more. It’s still all very vague about the spaga, and the other creatures they are chasing and killing.  Plus there were holes left about the men’s ages etc.  Yes, I needed more information.

So all that attention to world building indicates that Lover, Lover is building up to a series where the other men in the team and story would find their HEA as well, hopefully.

But for me, that left the characterizations of and the romance between Angelo and Drew lacking.  I just don’t think the author had enough pages to do both here.  Neither Angelo or Drew felt very substantial and because of that, I just was never very invested in their  romance.  For me, Lady Arachnid (no not her name) was far more interesting and layered a personality then both of them. From her vivid descriptions to her lively airs, she stood out among them all.

Then there was the ending.  That resolution of the storyline was so rushed that it made your head spin.  No , consider this a case where the world building came to the rescue here because as sweet as the characters were, they just didn’t feel fleshed out, nor was there past history to glomb onto to make you feel you knew them.

Still I’ll look for another story to see if this Dreamcatcher world deepens and what  further adventures await the troop.  If you like sweet paranormal romance with really no angst you might want to check this one out.

Cover art: Aaron Anderson.  I like the cover but it could use more details.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 195 pages
Expected publication: February 20th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
ISBN139781640801660
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Alisa Release Day Review: Teaching Ben by Shae Connor

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Learning to love means a study in patience.

 

Fresh out of the military, Ben Cooper is ready for a new start. He’s away from his domineering father, making his own choices… and out of the closet. On his first day of college, he meets David Powell, who’s just the kind of gorgeous man Ben’s dreamed of. Too bad he’s the teaching assistant—which makes him off-limits in Ben’s eyes.

 

David is Ben’s age, but his life has taken a different path. He’s close with his family, who helped him deal with personal struggles after he came out. And while he’s staying away from any hint of scandal, Ben’s a kind of temptation he hasn’t faced in years. If only they’d met on more equal footing.

 

As the semester progresses and their lives become more entwined, keeping their relationship platonic becomes more difficult. They just have to hold out until the end of the semester….

 

I enjoyed the nice slow burn of this story.  Ben and David are attracted to each other from the start but know that they need to keep their building emotions to themselves until after the semester is over.

 

David made some mistakes in the past and he is continuing to accept that he doesn’t need to be punished for those forever.  Ben is finally away from his father and the military, getting to live his life on his own terms.  They both become an integral part of each other’s lives as their friendship grows.

 

I loved watching David and Ben grow a strong friendship as the semester goes on.  Without even realizing it David gives Ben just what he needs, a family.  David and his sister quickly envelope Ben into their fold and bring him home.  I loved seeing the emotions of these characters and connected with them easily.  I just think this was wonderfully sweet with little bits of conflict thrown in to not make it too sweet.

 

The cover art by Bree Archer is nice and gives  great visual of Ben.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages

Published: February 20, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-412-8

Edition Language: English

Series: Dreamspun Desires

BA Tortuga on HEA, Romances, and her latest collection Road Trip Vol 2 (author interview and tour)

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Road Trip Vol 2 By BA Tortuga
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Release Date: Feb. 16, 2018

Purchase Links:  Dreamspinner Press ebook and Paperback

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host BA Tortuga on tour for her latest collection, Road Trip 2.  Welcome, BA.

 

Hey y’all, it’s BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of the characters that are cracked.

*grins*

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I am a 100% complete total HEA girl. I believe in forever. I trust in it. And dammit, I want it in my romance.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

Lord yes. I love historicals, western romance, shifters, contemporaries, menages – you name it, I’ve read it. I started with the bodice rippers of the 70s and never stopped.

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

Weirdly enough, Stephen King. He tells stories the way I want to tell them. Also, my wife, who is my muse. She touches everything I do.

What’s next for you as an author?

Right now I’m writing on an action/adventure called Spaghetti Western. It’s a m/m romp with a bunch of goofy characters and a huge sense of humor.

Much love, y’all.

BA

Blurb

Road Trip Collection

The course of love is a rough ride, but for ecoterrorist MJ, ridge runner Sonny, physicist Paddy, psychic Neil, genetically enhanced English professor Duncan, and the assassin known as Cowboy, the road to romance is a heart-stopping trip—one full of kidnappings, explosions, secret programs, and supersoldiers. They’re an awful ragged bunch to be considered heroes.

 

Under Pressure

Sonny and MJ’s retirement may be in jeopardy, but at least they’re together on a new boat—with no annoying hostages. Then Cowboy, MJ’s old friend, gets in touch, bringing with him a host of complications, including Professor Duncan, who has ties to the Program. A call for help from Paddy sets them all on a collision course with a deadly specter from the past. As MJ makes his plans, Sonny is shaken by the possibility of losing everything.

 

Walking on the Sun

Sonny is determined to raise hell to hunt for MJ—problem is, will MJ know anyone, or himself, once they catch up to him? Neil and Paddy are healing but reluctantly join the effort, as Cowboy and Duncan help Sonny prepare for a showdown. Sonny might be ragged, but he’s MJ’s hero, and he is not about to give up on the most important thing in his life, even if it kills him. Will everyone survive the last epic battle, or will they go out in a blaze of glory?

 

First Edition of Under Pressure published by TOP SHELF: An imprint of Torquere Press Publishers, March 2009.

First Edition of Walking on the Sun published by TOP SHELF: An imprint of Torquere Press Publishers, September 2010.

About BA Tortuga

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head. Find her on the web at www.batortuga.com

Release Blitz : Love on a Battlefield by Posy Roberts (excerpt and giveaway)

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Love on a Battlefield
Posy Roberts
Publication date: February 20th 2018
Genres: Adult, LGBTQ+, Romance

Not every compass points north.

Andrew Summers is forced to spend his vacations reliving Civil War battles with his father. He hates every minute, until a blue-eyed, red-haired boy behind enemy lines catches his eye.

Shep Wells would much rather travel the world than play at boring war reenactments. He never dreamed a Texan boy would capture his heart.

Real life and years separate them; Andrew is forced onto real battlefields, but for Shep the world is a playground. They’re opposites, but writing letters closes the distance, uncovering their hopes and dreams. When Shep visits Andrew, they get to see if the tug they’ve felt for years is the compass pointing the way home.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

My father started taking me to Civil War reenactments long before I understood the politics of the war and its moral implications. I was introduced to the tradition before I knew what any war was truly about.

It wasn’t until I was sixteen that I was allowed to carry a weapon and shoot it myself. The physicality of battle was exciting. Hand-to-hand combat when munitions were spent was better than football any day.

But there were strict rules my dad implemented that I didn’t enjoy. “If we’re going to do this,” Dad always said, “we’ll be as authentic as possible. We’ll do it right, unlike those people who think this is Summer Stock.”

I wasn’t allowed to socialize with the Yankees at all, so I hung out with the Confederate kids or sat around campfires listening to the adults shoot the shit. If school was in session, I’d bury myself in homework and often ended up helping some of the younger kids with their lessons. The guys my own age . . . Well, we had little in common. Some were intense, a few down-right scary with their racism so proudly displayed.

What I’d learned after hanging out with them for years was that they hated everyone who wasn’t like them.

I wasn’t like them, but I wasn’t about to let them know for fear they’d turn their hate on me.

For the last two years, I’d watched a Union kid who only came to a few of these events, not like most of the reenactors, who made this a way of life. When he showed up, he was the center of attention. Maybe because he was novel, but when he was there, he always drew my eye. It was obvious the other kids looked up to him, fawned all over him, really. I never got close enough to talk to him, to find out what made him so fascinating.

But I saw it from afar. He was strong yet graceful, with a mess of hair in a color I’d never seen outside of jewelry or pipe fittings. His smile was easily earned, and he seemed so . . . carefree. So unlike the overly serious and angry kids who surrounded me.

I’d watch the Union kids in their shorts and T-shirts laughing and having fun. I wanted to be a deserter. I wanted to go see what life was like on their side. It sure as hell looked like a lot more fun than what ended up feeling like a weekend prison sentence in a hot, scratchy suit.

I couldn’t stop myself from turning to him, staring at him. I’d watch him leap into the air to catch a wayward Frisbee or wrestle boys to the ground, then help them up, all with a bright smile on his face.

Last summer, he’d worn a wreath of daisies in his hair, walking around as if it was the most normal thing in the world. My ‘friends’ laughed at him and speculated about his sexuality. I joined the adults then, unwilling to spend any more time with the assholes. It brought me closer to the redhead too, so I made myself blend in with my surroundings and looked to my heart’s content.

I didn’t know his name. I never got the chance to find out, but if he was here this time, I was determined to discover it.

As we arrived Friday afternoon, I scanned the area for his hair but didn’t see him. After setting up camp, I followed my father out of our tent and joined the other men as they scoured maps and walked the battlefield to get a lay of the land. I turned down an invitation to hang out with the Rebel kids and instead listened to an expert on this particular battle drone on and on. Sitting there, sweating in my wool uniform under the scorching heat for hours, I had to get out from under the sun.

“I’m going to go fill up my canteen,” I whispered to my father.

“Stay hydrated.”

I gave him a quick nod, made my way past the tent filled with women and young girls quilting or spinning yarn, and found the metal water pump. I pushed down on the handle, trying to draw up the water, with little luck.

That’s when I saw him. He was in full Union dress, the buttons of his coat making the gold and red highlights in his hair appear metallic. He was unlike anyone else I’d ever seen.

He walked toward me with a wide smile. Sure of himself, but not cocky. More . . . careless. Utterly free.

“Want some help?” he asked. “I heard it’s hard to get this one started.”

I met his blue eyes, brilliant and wild like the sea. I was stunned into silence. He was even hotter up close, and suddenly I was unable to form words. I nodded my assent instead.

He wrapped his fingers around the metal handle and pushed down. It made a grating squeak that echoed, but the lever moved. He helped me push it down several times, hands sliding closer and closer with each pump until our fingers intertwined.

He laughed as water poured from the spout, and he bent down to taste the stream. The smell of iron surrounded us as I filled my canteen.

I watched him wet his hair, making it darker, which made his skin look extra pale. He was gorgeous, and the way the sun hit him right then, he looked like something out of a dream.

Stop being cheesy, I chided. So he’s hot. Don’t turn him into a fricking poem.

I replaced the cork, slung my bottle over my shoulder by the leather thong, smiled at him, and rejoined my father.

As we lined up on the battlefield the next day, I saw that shock of auburn hair straight across from me. Before I could make eye contact, the battle had begun, horses moving, gunfire blasting, and a few men already collapsing to the ground, probably playing out some real-life soldier’s tragic end.

I took out several Union soldiers with my fake munitions before I tripped over a rock. As I regained my footing and stood up, he was right in front of me.

I don’t recall if we gave each other a visual cue or if he said something, but we both decided to take a hit, bodies falling to the ground. We landed face-to-face, limbs sprawled out in opposite directions. My father was near, so I slammed my eyes shut, authenticating my death until I heard his voice move away with the continuing battle building.

When I dared open my eyes again, the Yankee soldier was staring at me, smiling and licking his lips. His jaw was strong, defined, dusted with stubble from who-knew-how-many-days growth, and it drew my attention to his chin and full lips. We lay there studying each other for several minutes, shamelessly staring, before he scooted closer.

 

Author Bio:

Posy Roberts started reading romance when she was young, sneaking peeks at adult books long before she should’ve. Textbooks eventually replaced the novels, and for years she existed without reading for fun. When she finally picked up a romance two decades later, it was like slipping on a soft hoodie . . . that didn’t quite fit like it used to. She wanted something more.
She wanted to read about men falling in love with each other. She wanted to explore beyond the happily ever after and see characters navigate the unpredictability of life. So Posy sat down at her keyboard to write the books she wanted to read.
Her stories have been USA Today’s Happily Ever After Must-Reads and Rainbow Award finalists. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family and friends and doing anything possible to get out of grocery shopping and cooking.

Website / Facebook Page / Facebook Group / Twitter / Amazon / Instagram / Pinterest / Newsletter / BookBub

 

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Christine d’Abo on Ringside Romance’s Finale, Losing It (Ringside Romance #4)  (Riptide Publishing’s Tour and Giveaway)

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Losing It (Ringside Romance #4) by Christine d’Abo
Riptide Publishing
Cover Art: L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Buy It here

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Christine d’Abo here today on tour for Losing It, the last in her Ringside Romances. Welcome, Christine.

✒︎

Hello, my name is Christine d’Abo and I’m so happy to be here today.

All things, no matter how good and loved, must eventually come to an end. When I originally planned to write my Ringside Romance series, it was only going to be three books. But then my lovely Justin came into being and there was no way I could leave this world without giving him his happy ending. So here we are, at the final stop on the journey, with both excitement and a few tears.

Justin’s character was my way of showing myself that every character can be his or her own hero. That we don’t have to be slaves to our circumstances, that given the right motivation and support from those who love us, we can move past our own negativity and become someone more.

Justin thought the person to help him was Grady.

That was because he hadn’t met Finn yet.

By helping Finn find his voice, Justin realizes that there’s more to life, more to himself, than he’d ever realized. I hope you’ll join me for LOSING IT, the final tale in the world of the Ringside Gym, where even the most unlikely of heroes can find his happily ever after.

About Losing It

Finn Miller doesn’t do social. He works his IT job from home as often as he can to avoid people. If it weren’t for his weekly training sessions at Ringside Gym, he might never leave his apartment. And he only does that because of Leo, the gym member he’s in love with. When Finn gets talked into attending a speed dating fund-raiser at the gym, his greatest wish is to have the courage to try to say something—anything—to Leo.

Justin McCormick has spent most of his adult life being used, whether playing a corporate heavy, or acting as guard dog for his ward. So when he leaves Vancouver for a fresh start in Toronto, he doesn’t quite know what to do with himself.

The moment Justin sees Finn at a speed dating event, he knows there’s no way he’ll make it without a little help, so he offers to coach Finn on the art of conversation. What he doesn’t count on is his unexpected attraction to this shy boxer, or his fear that if Finn gets his way, Justin might lose out on his best chance at love.

Available now from Riptide Publishing!

About Ringside Romance

Deep in the heart of Toronto lies Ringside Gym. Once a safe haven for troubled teens, Ringside has gone derelict, a forgotten memory of past days. Until a group of friends set out to do what they can to bring life back to the ring and create a new home for LGBT youths.

But when their lives threaten to pull down their dreams, each man must turn to others to help make it a reality. Winners take all—but there are no losers in love.

Check out the Ringside Romance universe!

About Christine d’Abo

A romance novelist and short story writer, Christine has over thirty publications to her name. She loves to exercise and stops writing just long enough to keep her body in motion too. When she’s not pretending to be a ninja in her basement, she’s most likely spending time with her family and two dogs.

You can visit Christine at her website www.christinedabo.com, and chat with her on Facebook and Twitter. Want to keep up with Christine’s new releases? Sign up for her newsletter and receive a free book!

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Losing It, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 24, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!