Happy Easter, Eostre to All That Celebrate. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

Happy Easter, Eostre to All That Celebrate

Happy Easter to everyone that is celebrating today.  For me it brings memories of Easter eggs, the smell of vinegar and Paas Dye kits.  How I loved dying Easter eggs.  The vibrant colors, the wax crayons, the surprise as they came out of the dye baths…those shaky little wire contraptions that came with the kits so flimsy when used that soon gave way to spoons !  Oh my!

Although associated with Christianity today, Easter eggs predate that religion going back to pagan rituals and the coming of Spring.  Eggs being of course a sign of fertility and renewal.  Some scholars believe that the pagan customs were adopted by priests and other Christian heads of that religion to help convert the population.  Whether true or not, the brightly coloring of the eggs started in the past in Medieval Europe and Asia.

I still see those kits in the store but people have clued me into egg spinners, natural leaf prints (so cool), tie dyed eggs (hey, man), Cool Whip eggs (need to investigate that one), plus so many more options plus the whole natural dyes that involve onion skins!

Leaf Print Eggs

 

Cool Whip Eggs

 

Tie dyed eggs!

Is it too late for an adult to get into the action without kids? lol.  These make me want to grab for several cartons of eggs and have at it.  Plastic eggs or the thought of them just don’t do it for me.

Anyway, it’s short, colorful and sweet this week.  Happy Easter to all who are celebrating.  Happy Egg Coloring and Egg Finding!  Happy Eostre and Happy Spring!

Greek Easter eggs dyed with onion skins

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, April 21:

  • BLOG TOUR Thirst For You by Jaclyn Quinn
  • Release Blitz How to Heal by Susan Hawke
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, April 22:

  • Review Tour – Wrong Way Home – K.A. Merikan
  • Review Tour – Ruby Moone – Finding Finlay (MC Securities #2)
  • Release Blitz – The Gathering Storm by Tricia Owens
  • An Alisa Review : Finding Finlay (MC Securities #2) by Ruby Moone
  • A VVivacious Review: Don’t Fight the Spark by Kasia Bacon
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Wrong Way Home by K.A. Merikan
  • A MelanieM Review: Descendant by Mychael Black

Tuesday, April 23:

  • Release Blitz Crossing The Touchline – Jay Hogan
  • Release Blitz – Avery Cockburn – Play Hard
  • BLITZ Destructive Forces by Harry F. Rey
  • An Alisa Review: For the Love of a Unicorn (Legendary Shifters #1) by Catherine Lievens
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Innocence & Carnality by J. Alan Veerkamp
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Burden (Love, Unexpected #2) by KC Wells
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review:The Doctor’s Secret (Copper Point Medical #1) by Heidi Cullinan

Wednesday, April 24:

  • Release Blitz  for Montana Sky (Montana #6) – RJ Scott
  • Release Blitz for Love Is A Walk In The Park by V.L. Locey & Stephanie Locey
  • TOUR Mucklucked” by James Brock
  • BLITZ Where Song Replaces Silence by Layla Dorine
  • An Alisa Review:How Not to Break (Lovestrong #3) by Susan Hawke
  • A MelanieM Review: Upside Down by NR Walker
  • A Lila Review: Love, Again by H.D. Nels

Thursday, April 25:

  • Release Blitz for Rebecca Cohen’s Anthony, Earl of Crofton
  • Release Blitz – Jay Northcote – Mud & Lace
  • Review Tour – Avery Cockburn – Play Hard
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen and TJ Clark (Narrator)
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Royal Rescue by A. Alex Logan
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review :Play Hard by Avery Cockburn

Friday, April 26:

  • Review Tour – Grace Kilian Delaney – Living On A Dare
  • Review Tour – Alex Jane – Devil Next Door (Criminal Delights: Obsession
  • Release Blitz Don’t Fight the Spark by Kasia Bacon
  • An Alisa Review: Living on a Dare (Shore Thing #1) by Grace Kilian Delaney
  • A Lucy Review: Family Camp (Daddy Dearest #1) by Eli Easton
  • An Ashlez Review : Devil Next Door (Criminal Delights: Obsession) by Alex Jane

Saturday, April 27:

  • A MelanieM Review: Game Changer (Game Changers #1) by Rachel Reid

Check Out the Release Blitz for How to Heal (Lovestrong #4) by Susan Hawke (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

How to Heal RDB Banner

How to Heal

LOVESTRONG Series, Book 4

Susan Hawke

M/M Romance

Release Date: 04.14.19

HealEbookCover

Blurb

Take one former bully, unable to forgive himself for the sins of his past…

Clark Danvers is a wild twenty-one year old who’s trying to prove he’s an adult. With a two-year degree in hand, he manages the family car dealership and seemingly parties by night. Given the amount of times he’s been pulled over for speeding by Deputy Rick Matthews, public opinion seems to be right. But what people don’t see are the scars he carries both inside and out. Scars from a past he can’t run away from and will never be able to atone for, no matter how many times he beats himself over it.

Add one no-nonsense cop who longs to be a Daddy for the right boy…

Jericho “Rick” Matthews never expects the bratty kid who gets on his last nerve to pull at his heartstrings. When he finds Clark battered and fighting for his life in a motel room, Rick’s Daddy mode is instantly engaged. Before he can think of anything else, he must first comfort this hurting boy.

To equal a pair of men who might just be what the other needs.

The two men who thought they couldn’t stand each other are drawn together after a date gone wrong. While Rick tenderly cares for Clark, he decides what this brat needs is a Daddy… someone to help him break free from the past and embrace the promise of many happy tomorrows.

This is the fifth book in the LOVESTRONG series about finding love and being yourself in a small town. Intended only for 18+ readers, this is an mm romance full of all the sweet feels you’d want from an S. Hawke book.

Note: Possible trigger warning for mentions of self-harm and a scene involving a man who’s consented to having himself tied up. What he didn’t agree to was being left that way for an entire weekend. This highly emotional scene is the catalyst to evoke “Daddy’s” protective mode in a tale filled with themes of hurt and comfort and the struggle of overcoming a difficult past.

getbook.at/HowToHeal

Heal-5

Heal-4-2

Heal-3-2

Excerpt

Jared helped me get Clark rolled over. I knelt and held Clark’s filthy body against my chest while Jared carefully cut the ropes around his wrists. “Do you know the kid, Rick? This seems like it might be personal for you.”

Without thinking about it, I pushed to my feet and took a seat at the head of the bed—right on top of what looked like a puddle of dried puke—and let Clark’s body loll against my shoulder. I held him carefully upright as I brushed the hair back from his face. “Hazards of life in a small town. You get to know everybody. Let’s just say that this guy here has had more than one run-in with me over the years. But no matter how much he’s irritated me, I never would’ve wanted to see him like this.”

I wanted to sob at the sight of the welts and bruises where the ropes had held his hands together. I wanted to lean him forward and get a better look at the infected areas on his back. Had somebody whipped him? Obviously, someone had done a number on him. The person I held was a mere husk of the healthy young man I’d seen Friday night with Marcus.

Marcus.

I looked up as Jared came around the corner from the bathroom. When did he step out of the room? Dammit, I needed to keep my head on straight. Focus, Matthews. Do the job. “Hey, that camera on the dresser might be the key to this one. With any luck, it recorded whatever went down in here. Don’t touch it though, we’ll need take a shit-ton of photos of the scene first.” I shook my head as he walked forward with something white in his hand. “Sorry, what am I thinking? You’ve obviously been well trained. You’ve done everything right so far.”

Maybe I finally had a link that would tie that jerk Marcus to Shaw’s case. Not that any of that was important in this moment. No, right now the only thing that mattered was getting Clark the help he needed. Fuck. I needed to keep my head straight. I glanced back at Jared when he began to speak.

“No worries. And I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that even a rookie like me knows you’re probably contaminating the scene by sitting on that bed. But fuck it. I think he needs you more than we need a clean scene. I also don’t think it’s going to hurt anything if we wipe the crust from his eyes so he can try to open them. Here, you wanna do the honors?” He passed me the warm, damp washcloth he’d been holding. Ah, so that’s what he’d been doing in the bathroom.

“Thanks, that’s good thinking. He’s our number one priority at the moment.” I thanked Jared for his consideration, but focused on the task at hand. Clark made anguished whimpers in his throat as I carefully cleaned the dried crusties from his eyelashes. After I pulled the washcloth away, he blinked a couple times then gazed blankly at me as if it was too much work to focus.

I carefully dabbed at the dried blood on his lips with a clean area of the cloth. “Don’t worry, kid. We’ve got you. Can you talk to me, Clark? I need to know who did this to you. We need to find him; can you give me a name?” Holding this weak, damaged boy in my arms was bringing all my protective instincts to the surface. I just wanted to make all his hurts go away.

If he were my boy…

I quickly tried to push that train of thought away. Clark Danvers was the last person I would choose to Daddy. He was rude, defiant, and sassy on his best day. Clark was not exactly the most submissive type, either. I set the washcloth aside after a moment and simply held him. I needed him to know that he wasn’t alone and that somebody cared.

Shit. Maybe he did need me.

When he started to whimper, I made a shushing noise as I brushed his hair back. His lips parted as the faintest sound came out. “Waaaa.”

Jared immediately turned back toward the bathroom. “Shit, he’s asking for water. Aren’t we a couple of dumb-asses? He hasn’t had a thing to drink in days and we’re busy cleaning his face.”

Susan Hawke Logo

As an avid reader and big romance fan myself, I love sharing the stories of the different people who live in my imagination. My stories are filled with humor, a few tears, and the underlying message to not give up hope, even in the darkest of times, because life can change on a dime when you least expect it. This theme comes from a lifetime of lessons learned on my own hard journey through the pains of poverty, the loss of more loved ones than I’d care to count, and the struggles of living through chronic illnesses. Life can be hard, but it can also be good! Through it all I’ve found that love, laughter, and family can make all the difference, and that’s what I try to bring to every tale I tell.

I’m a happily married mom with one snarky teenage boy, and three grown “kids of my heart.” I’m more widely known for my mpreg writings as Susi Hawke; this new name is a departure from that. Whether written by Susan or Susi, the books are filled with that all-important love, laughter, and family I mentioned; the only difference is that this name has no male pregnancy. I look forward to sharing my stories with you, and to bringing more romance and laughter into this world that needs it so very badly.

Amazon Author: https://amzn.to/2Hdgwvl

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSusanHawke/

GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Vibrant Promotions Logo

Looking for Your Next Contemporary Romance? Check out the Blog Tour for Thirst For You (A Beyond the Cove Novel) by Jaclyn Quinn (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

Thirst For You Tour Banner

THIRST FOR YOU

A BEYOND THE COVE NOVEL

JACLYN QUINN

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 04.10.19

Thirst for you cover

COVER DESIGN: CATE ASHWOOD

BLURB

“What happens when thirst becomes an obsession that can’t be quenched?

Forty-year-old Zachariah Taylor prides himself on being the overprotective older brother of seven. He owns a successful bar, Zach’s Bar and Grill, in the quiet town of Riverside Falls and loves the life he’s built for himself. But as his siblings move on and find their forever partners in life, he’s starting to feel less and less needed—not to mention old. Suddenly, he’s finding it even harder to ignore the younger man who has pursued him for years, but the twelve years separating them is something Zach can’t seem to overlook.

Twenty-eight-year-old Drew Belford has been in love with the stubborn Zach Taylor for seven years. Sure, he was a kid when they’d first met, but what Zach is determined to ignore is the man Drew has become. Drew, however, is just as strong-minded and refuses to let Zach use their age difference as an excuse to disregard the attraction burning between them. He doesn’t need an overprotective older brother—he needs Zach.

When Drew begins to get unsettling messages from an unknown person, Zach feels helpless in a way he’s never felt before. How can he protect Drew from someone he can’t find? The thought of anyone hurting Drew unleashes years’ worth of pent-up desire Zach has had for the younger man. Is his thirst for Drew enough to protect him from the danger lurking in the shadows, or will the threat of the unknown be enough to dowse the spark of love between them—and silence Drew forever?

Warning – This book contains acts of violence which some readers may find disturbing.

getbook.at/ThirstForYou

Promo-Image-#3

Promo-Image-#4

EXCERPT

Hearing the snickers around the room, Zach stood up and headed to the front door. As he walked out onto the steps, he asked, “So…what’s up? Something happen at the bar?”

Drew’s eyes narrowed for a second in confusion before growing wide. “Oh! The shipment didn’t come today. I didn’t know if you wanted to give Joe a call or if I should.” He ran his pink tongue across his plump, bottom lip, the skin glistening in its wake. Zach was grateful for the fact that only his face could be seen by Drew as he pressed the heel of his hand down on his erection. The kid was too damn sexy for his own good. Okay, so kid was pushing it. Drew was twenty-eight; the same age as Eli. The problem was…Drew was the same damn age as Eli. Zach was twelve years older, for fuck’s sake. But he couldn’t deny how gorgeous the guy was with his dark, short hair that was always perfectly styled, his bourbon-colored eyes, and those lickable, plump lips that were meant for—

“Hello? Earth to LumberZach.”

“How many times do I have to tell you to stop calling me that?” Zach growled.

“You know I’ll never listen. You should probably punish me.” Drew wiggled his eyebrows, and Zach could hear people in the background laugh.

Zach covered his face then ran his hand down through his beard. “Do you really have to say that shit where people can hear you?”

“No, I don’t. Your place or mine?” Drew winked, and the laughter next to him got louder. When Zach hung his head back in frustration, Drew said, “Relax. It’s just Grant and Lisa.” He shifted the camera to his right. “See?” Drew’s older brother Grant and his girlfriend Lisa waved, each with mocking grins on their faces.

“Your brother’s a pain in my ass,” Zach said to Grant as his friend continued laughing. Hell, it was Grant’s fault Drew worked at the bar to begin with. He’d only hired Drew as a favor to Grant, but in all fairness, that wasn’t why Zach kept the younger man on. Besides the fact that Drew was a hard worker and loved by the customers, Zach knew there was another—nope, don’t even go there. There’s no other reason you keep Drew around.

“You know,” Drew said, bringing Zach’s attention back to the phone screen, “you could be a pain in my ass. A delicious pain in my—”

“I’ll call Joe,” Zach replied quickly then disconnected the phone. “Jesus Christ.” Too bad he couldn’t get the guy to shut up by putting those alluring, full lips to good use.
Jaclyn Quinn Logo

I have been an artist from a very young age. From drawing cartoon characters and evolving into portraits, making jewelry, photography, and now writing. I have an amazing support system in my family and friends and couldn’t be more grateful.

I live in central New Jersey, love summers at the Jersey Shore, rock music, wine, sexy men, and laughing a lot with my amazing friends and family. Sunday dinners at my parents’ house are crazy, hysterical and you can count on a movie quote…or ten…being thrown out. Insults between siblings is how we show our love for each other!

When I’m not creating, you can find me reading books from my favorite authors. I’m a hopeless romantic, starving for passionate characters and always craving that happy ending, whether in reading or in writing my own books.

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

GOODREADS

GIVEAWAY

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c86a9670145/ Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Vibrant Promotions Logo

A MelanieM Review: Heated Rivalry (Game Changers #2) by Rachel Reid

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Nothing interferes with Shane Hollander’s game—definitely not the sexy rival he loves to hate.

Pro hockey star Shane Hollander isn’t just crazy talented, he’s got a spotless reputation. Hockey is his life. Now that he’s captain of the Montreal Voyageurs, he won’t let anything jeopardize that, especially the sexy Russian whose hard body keeps him awake at night.

Boston Bears captain Ilya Rozanov is everything Shane’s not. The self-proclaimed king of the ice, he’s as cocky as he is talented. No one can beat him—except Shane. They’ve made a career on their legendary rivalry, but when the skates come off, the heat between them is undeniable. When Ilya realizes he wants more than a few secret hookups, he knows he must walk away. The risk is too great.

As their attraction intensifies, they struggle to keep their relationship out of the public eye. If the truth comes out, it could ruin them both. But when their need for each other rivals their ambition on the ice, secrecy is no longer an option…

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

As a fan of both hockey and hockey fiction, I’m always on the lookout for more contemporary romances with hockey and gay hockey players at the center of the action.  So I was delighted to come across this new release from Carina Press.  It represents both a new author and a new series for me.  And since I ended up loving both the story and this couple, it will send me running to pickup the first story in the series.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure at first how I felt about the format the author uses in Heated Rivalry (Game Changers #2) by Rachel Reid.  Told from both points of view of the main characters, we start the novel when they are teenagers vying for status and an award.  It is their first meeting and the beginning of their personal hockey competition and interaction.  From then on the story starts jumping forward as they meet in different cities in various time intervals, the competition and heated rivalry flaring hotter and hotter. Each time frame advancing both the personal competition between them as the best hockey players currently coming up in the game, and something more.  A physical closeted relationship that’s still somewhat impersonal….until it starts to be something more.

As I said I started out unsure about this flash forward framework because it didn’t allow the reader to see any development of a relationship between the men.  Until I realized that was the point.  There wasn’t one.  Only the one we saw on ice.  But midway, those jumps in time slowed and a relationship between the men started to develop beyond the competition and mere physicalilty they had allowed themselves.  And we as readers relished it all the more for the lack of intimacy that had gone before.

Due to this format, we need the 2 pov narrative to fill us in on the men, their background and the drama that is happening around them and to them in some cases.    These characters are well developed and if they seem a tad familiar to those that follow hockey there is a reason for it.  If you read the Afterword by the author, you will know that Reid was a fan of the HBO hockey series about  Penguins/Capitals rivalry, specially the one between “good boy” Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and  “bad boy” Russian Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals. As a Caps fan, I can tell you it’s a hard fast competition that continues today between “The Kid” and “Ovi” .  And it sparked the inspiration for this romance and story.

The slow to develop emotional intimacy is what we crave here because what they already have is an intense physical one.  So the payoff for the men at the end is a realistic one.    It’s not a HEA but an authentic HFN which I thoroughly appreciated.  It’s what they had worked for, were still working for, and, cleared eyed as to how the NHL is run, homophobia included, make plans that we as readers not only get behind but quietly cheer for.  And hope to see this couple pop up in future stories.

I really enjoyed this tale.  The author has a feel for hockey action on the rink, a well developed storyline, great characters and a ending I believed in.  Love it.  And now to go back and check on the first book in the series.

This is definitely a standalone novel as far as I can tell.  One that I recommend, especially if you are a fan of hockey and hockey romances like me.

Cover art by Carina Press.  Ok not a fan of this cover.  Could be for any romance, nothing really distinguishes it as a hockey novel.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 310 pages
Published March 25th 2019 by Carina Press
Original Title Heated Rivalry
ASINB07H5K8SFW
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Game Changers :

Game Changer

Heated Rivalry

Check Out the Release Blitz and Giveaway for Devil Next Door (Criminal Delights: Obsession) by Alex Jane

Standard

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 40,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Blurb
 

All Remy Harker wants is a fresh start.


Well, maybe that’s what he tells himself as he rolls up to his nice new house, in the nice little neighborhood, in a town where nobody knows his name.
He’s surrounded by friendly neighbors and a white picket fence. The ugly pink carpet might drive him to insanity, and he can’t stop wondering where the old lady who lived there before him died—but it’s nice.
And if he puts his mind to it, he can be anything—or anyone—he wants to be. He can be nice too.
At least, he thinks he can until he lays eyes on his next-door neighbor.


Luke Boucher is nice.
And quiet.
And perfect.


It doesn’t take long for Remy to insinuate himself into Luke’s life. A camera here, a break-in there.
– It’s not really stalking if you love someone, is it? –


But when Remy’s plan to make a good impression goes to hell, he ends up over his head in more ways than one. Then things aren’t quite so nice anymore.
– It’s not really murder if you love someone, is it? –


Loving your neighbor isn’t so easy when you’re the devil next door.


*****


This book is part of CRIMINAL DELIGHTS. Each novel can be read as a standalone and contains a dark M/M romance.


Warning: These books are for adult readers who enjoy stories where lines between right and wrong get blurry. High heat, twisted and tantalizing, these are not for the fainthearted.


Trigger warnings/enticements – http://alexjane.info/love-but-darker/

Criminal Delights Collection info – http://criminaldelights.com/

After spending far too long creating stories in her head, Alex finally plucked up the courage to write them down and realized it was quite fun seeing them on the page after all.


Free from aspirations of literary greatness, Alex simply hopes to entertain by spinning a good yarn of love and life, wrapped up with a happy ending. Although, if her characters have to go through Hell to get there, she’s a-okay with that.


With only a dysfunctional taste in music and a one-eyed dog to otherwise fill her days, Alex writes and walks on the South Coast of England—even when her heart and spellcheck are in New York.


Website
Facebook
Facebook Page
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Amazon
Smashwords
Payhip

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

A MelanieM Review: This Is Not A Love Story by Suki Fleet

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

 

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. A runaway from an abusive home, he has had to make some difficult choices and sells himself on the street to survive. Taking care of Romeo changes him, gives him a purpose in life, gives him hope, and he tries to be strong and keep his troubles with drugs behind him. But 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, it is Romeo who must find the strength within himself to help Julian (and not let their love story turn into a Shakespearean tragedy)

There’s a lot that can be said about This Is Not A Love Story by Suki Fleet.  It’s a hurt/comfort story without a lot of comfort going on.  Reading the majority of this novel feels like poking at an open wound.  It’s that’s raw and incredibly painful. Not a story I could read without taking needed emotional “timeout” breaks.  Honestly, parts of this are so agonizing, I wondered if I wanted to continue.

So why the 5 stars?  Why read it at all?

Because it’s extraordinarily well written, with an eye towards making the reader feel almost at a cellular level what Suki Fleet’s  homeless teenagers are going through on a daily basis as anonymous, non people of the streets.  The humiliation, the deprivation, the starvation, and pain.  The exploitation and danger that exists for them and just the edge of survival each one walks is brought vividly and horrifically to life in the persons of Romeo and Julian, and others we meet.

Hope?  That doesn’t occur until late in the story.  Until then it’s sheer determination and love for each other that carries each young man through the darkest of times, and yes, they get plenty dark and gritty.

Told through the mind and heart of Romeo, an artistic mute who’s never without his drawing pad or Julian, his protector and the person he loves, we see the cost of that protection on Julian, on them both.  The way being homeless is eating away at them, the despair, their ragged physical state and the things they are willing to do to survive.  Each character is someone so vulnerable, so achingly young and discarded that the more you read, the more gut wrenching  the impact.

Not surprisingly the story contains elements of thoughts of suicide, drug use, rape, self harm, and abduction.  If any of these are triggers of yours, please take note.

After all that, the novel ends on a note of hope and happiness.  It’s truly needed after the darkness the characters and the readers have endured for most of the story.  It wasn’t quite enough to lift the heaviness of heart I felt after reading the book but held so much positivity for the future that I could leave it at that, hoping that the worse was finally behind them

I’m not sure this story is for everyone but for those that love a great contemporary novel with amazing characters and unforgettable plot ….and a journey that’s dark, gritty and full of pain.  This is a story for you.

Cover art with the dim backdrop of London and not so bright characters grimly hints at the tone of the story.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 453 pages
Published March 27th 2019 (first published March 22nd 2014)
Original Title This Is Not a Love Story
ASINB07Q47FFWM
SeriesLove Story Universe
CharactersRomeo Danilov, Julian Lavelle

An Ali Review: The Holeshot (Book #1) by Lynn Michaels

Standard
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

In the world of Supercross, taking the holeshot means one racer leaps ahead of the crowd and into first, leaving the rest of the pack behind. If Supercross racer Davey McAllister knows anything, it’s how to take the holeshot. When the hot rising start mechanic, Tyler Whitmore, shows up in his bed, Davey does just that. But, dating a competitor’s mechanic threatens to blow his ride if anyone finds out. With the fear of losing his sponsors, he has to keep his love life completely under cover, but Davey is in deep and wants to tell the world how much he loves Tyler.

Tyler Whitmore wants to be out of the closet, but dating the competition is a death sentence for his career. Overprotective of Davey’s reputation and his own dreams, Tyler refuses to commit to his lover and is afraid of falling hard. Will they ever be able to find their way through the Premiere racing league pitfalls and acknowledge their love?

I was excited to see a book about motorcross.  It is something that I have not seen before in a romance story. Unfortunately I did not click with this story. It starts with one mc finding the other passed out in his bed. They’ve never met before but Davey immediately asks if Travis wants to have sex, he says “yes” and they do and are immediately smitten with each other.  The entire thing felt so unrealistic to me.  I also did not like the fact that there was no build up to their relationship. They are instantly together.  Things progress into insta-love and that is a trope that never works for. The meet up, the tension, and the working towards that first kiss etc is my favorite part of a story. Even if a story starts with a casual hook up I still want to feel chemistry between the MC’s.  None of those things happened in this.
As I read on I did not become more committed to these guy’s story. There was a lot of drama and I felt like I was reading about two teenagers, not two grown men with very responsible careers. They both got on my nerves and I did not feel any real connection between them.
 I really wanted to like this but it just was not the book for me. I did not care for the plot or the writing style.
Cover Art:  The cover was done by Jay Aheer and I think it is well done. It fits the story very well.
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 318 pages
Published August 12th 2015 by Rubicon Fiction
Original TitleThe Holeshot
ASINB013MDR5KO
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHoleshot #1

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Best Behaviour by Matthew Metzger

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Jim does everything in his power to not have to ask his sister Sarah for help, but when it’s not enough, he ends up staying at her house until he can get back on his feet. Sarah’s husband is a reverend and his flavor of religion can’t coexist with Jim being bisexual, but it’s Sarah’s (and their mother’s) lack of support that hurts Jim emotionally. At 26, Jim has made some mistakes and at the beginning of this book still seems like he is “cutting off his nose to spite his face.” The fact that Sarah helps him at all and allows him to stay at her house, even when it may cause problems with her husband is not really given a whole lot of credit here, in my opinion. It’s definitely time for Jim to grow up. At first, his affair with the piano teacher that tutors Sarah’s children doesn’t encourage hope that is going to happen–hot and sexy though it is!

This has more heart than I expected right away, but what starts out as sexy fun ends up as a relationship. What starts out as an erotic romance, ends up to be a heartwarming and heartbreaking story of family. Fran is completely Jim’s type and has family issues of his own. Jim has finally met someone who could be good for him, but this is just good timing. I like the fact that what really motivates Jim to step up and sort himself out is his niece, not his boyfriend. Don’t get me wrong because I love Fran’s character and his place in the book is vital. I just don’t like storylines where one person “saves” the other. Fran provides support that allows Jim to more easily navigate his issues, but they are his issues to navigate.

It’s good to see a representation of the spectrum in this book. Be aware this story uses British English and vernacular, but it very easy to read and follow. I loved seeing character development in a story that has very erotic scenes as a natual part of his life and who he is. I loved that it is emotionally accessible. I am glad the author shows what can happen when a person changes their actions with someone; it changes their reactions too. Breaking cycles is difficult and it’s work. I would definitely read something by this author again.

The cover art is by Erin Dameron-Hill. I’m of two minds about the cover. It’s shows the tension and has the piano to represent Fran, but instead of showing that life is messy, it looks a bit like a horror novel. However, it’s not boring and neither is this book.

Sales Links: Pride Publishing |   Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo

Book Details:

ebook, 222 pages
Published February 12th 2019 by Pride Publishing
ISBN139781786517050
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Ali Review: Hunter (Roam #2) by Dez Schwartz

Standard
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Dr. Grady Hunter has a vampire infestation on his hands in the town of Shady Pines but he’s been deserted by those best suited to help. After enlisting Chris Reed, a techno-mage, they find the vampires might only be the tip of a deadly iceberg.

Returning home from his dream travels, Ethan Roam is eager to experiment with his newly discovered powers. But Ethan isn’t the only familiar arrival in Grady’s life. As more reminders of his dark past crop up daily, Grady and Ethan are swept up in a mystery of cosmic proportions.

Grady must fight to keep an ever-evolving Ethan on his side while being challenged by the ghosts of his past.

This was an interesting urban fantasy type story.  I did not notice this was the second book in the series when I requested to review it and I think that negatively affected my enjoyment.  There was a lot going on and a lot of characters and I was struggling to follow along.  It was not that it was badly written it was just that I had not read the first book.  Completely on me, not the author.
That being said I did enjoy this.  The author has created some interesting and unique characters and I enjoyed their various relationships with each other.  It’s action packed and entertaining from the very first page.  I liked Ethan and Grady together and I enjoyed their romance.  The side characters all added to the story and I felt they enhanced the overall story.
I would recommend this to people who enjoy paranormal romances.  I do not recommend that this be read as a standalone though. You’ll be able to follow along as I did but I think you’ll miss some of the emotional connections.
Cover:  The cover was done by Natasha Snow and I love it.  I think the colors are really eye catching and the cover fits the overall vibe of the story really well.
Book Details;
ebook, 188 pages
Published April 8th 2019 by NineStar Press (first published April 14th 2017)
ASINB07PXQYNRJ
Edition LanguageEnglish

Need Something New To Read? Chek Out the New Release Blitz for Starting From Zero((Starting From #1) by Lane Hayes (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

Title: Starting From Zero

Series: Starting From Series, Book 1

Author: Lane Hayes

Publisher: Lane Hayes

Release Date: April 15

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 68000

Genre: Romance, Rock star, May/December romance, Bisexual, LA, Humor, New beginning

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Justin Cuevas is going through a rough patch. A broken relationship, a scandal, and the demise of his band have shaken the aspiring rock star’s confidence. Working two jobs and sleeping on his friend’s sofa isn’t ideal, but Justin isn’t ready to give up yet. With a little luck, he’s hoping to re-launch his music career in LA with his new band, Zero. The key is to stay focused, and not get distracted by his past…or the sexy songwriter he can’t get out of his head.

Gray Robertson has written dozens of hits and worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. But he’s never met anyone like Justin. The younger man is fiery, passionate, and smart. A powerful voice for a new generation. Other than an unforgettable one-night stand and a passion for music, the two men have nothing in common. Or do they? Justin knows the out-of-the-blue challenge to write a quintessential love song is a huge opportunity. And it’s the ultimate test for someone who’s doesn’t believe in happily ever after. When sparks fly, Justin and Gray realize they have a shot something special if they start from zero together. Maybe even love.

Excerpt

Justin turned to me with a fiery expression and gestured toward the glittering lights below. “Everyone here wants more than what they have. And I guess I’m the same. I don’t need recognition and I sure as fuck don’t want love, but I wouldn’t say no to a few bucks,” he commented with a laugh. “What about you?”

I did a double take. I was two steps behind, struggling to keep up, and if possible, memorize every word he’d said. I hadn’t been around anyone so raw or so honest in a long time. He made rules and broke them with at whim, letting me in and then shutting me out. He had a way of revealing himself that made me feel as though he was holding a mirror to me, daring me to acknowledge my broken pieces too. He was either slightly insane or incredibly gifted. I suspected it was the latter. The cadence of his speech lured me in…and made me want more. I’d tell him anything he wanted to know, just to be near him and this intense spark of…newness, creativity, and wonder.

“What about me?” I asked in a low raspy voice.

“What do you want to accomplish before you leave the planet?”

“I want to write the perfect song,” I replied unthinking.

“There’s no such thing.”

“Maybe, maybe not. But it would be nice to leave something that felt special.”

Justin held my gaze then inclined his head in agreement. “Yeah. I want that too.”

We stared at each other. Whispers of conversation floated from the far corners of the rooftop deck. We weren’t alone, but we might as well be. I couldn’t remember ever feeling so intimately connected to someone I’d never really touched. It was puzzling and enchanting at the same time.

He shivered when the breeze kicked up. I took it as a sign from above and pulled him against me. I had to feel him. I studied the sexy indentation in his bottom lip before giving into impulse and resting my hands on his hip. Justin gave me a funny look but he didn’t push me away.

“You shouldn’t be anonymous. You have too much to share. Too much to say,” I said.

“What are you doing?”

“I…I’m not sure. Is this okay?”

“Yeah. It’s good.” Justin nodded and snaked his arms around my waist.

We were still for a while. He was so close I could feel his breath on my lips. The lingering quiet was deceptive. A casual observer might have mistaken us for old lovers engaged in a tender moment. Or maybe they’d guess we were tentative strangers anxious to make the right moves. Not too fast, not too slow. Neither was correct. There was no quiet here. An electric current sizzled and hissed between us. Intense sexual awareness and something more. Something fiery and passionate. He was wild and rough with jagged edges and a sharp mind. Instinctively, I knew I should proceed with caution because walking away wasn’t an option.

“I want to kiss you,” I whispered, inching closer so our noses brushed.

Justin gave me a crooked smile and tugged at my belt loop. “Then do it.”

I tilted my chin slightly and pressed my lips to his. He was deceptively tender at first. He closed his eyes and hummed into the connection. When I licked at the corner of his mouth, he let me in without hesitation. I couldn’t get enough. He tasted like gin and nicotine with a hint of peppermint. All the things I apparently couldn’t do without.

I pulled him closer, cupping the back of his neck to kiss him harder and deeper. Our tongues twisted in a growing frenzy until everything and everyone around us dissolved into white noise. Justin lulled me into complacency and let me think I was in control. I pushed him back slightly and wrapped my fingers around his neck to keep him in place when he leaned forward to nip my bottom lip. He grinned like a madman and then lowered his eyelashes in a show of faux subservience. I didn’t trust him to stay still or obey for a second. Justin was wild and headstrong. He wasn’t going to do anything that wasn’t either his idea or a bad idea.

I should have known then that I’d met my match.

Purchase at Amazon

Meet the Author

Lane Hayes is finally doing what she loves best. Writing! An avid reader from an early age, Lane has always been drawn to romance novels. She truly believes there is nothing more inspiring than a well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Lane discovered the M/M genre a fews ago and was instantly hooked. She is the bestselling author of the Better Than, Right and Wrong, A Kind of Stories and Leaning Into Series and the Out in College series. Lane’s novels placed first in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards. She loves travel, chocolate, and wine (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an empty nest.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Bookbub

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Button 2