A Lila Audiobook Review: Ante Up by Kim Fielding and Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Love is a high-stakes game.

A century and a half ago, Ante Novak died on a Croatian battlefield—and rose three days later as a vampire. Now he haunts Las Vegas, stealing blood and money from drunken gamblers and staying on the fringe of the powerful vampire organization known as the Shadows. His existence feels empty and meaningless until he meets beautiful Peter Gehrardi, who can influence others with his thoughts.

An attraction flares instantly, bringing a semblance of life to Ante’s dead heart. But the Shadows want Peter too, and they’re willing to kill to get him. As Ante and Peter flee, they learn more about themselves and each other, and they discover that the world is a stranger place than either of them imagined. With enemies at their heels and old mistakes coming back to exact a price, how can Ante and Peter find sanctuary?

Ante Up is a different type of paranormal story. When the majority of the characters are vampires, not all the traditional troupes are followed. I enjoyed those differences and Ante’s Croatian background. The number of details worked well for the story and added to its depth.

The author did a nice job making Ante unique. He’s not the traditionally rich, alpha vampire with a legion at his feet. He’s a down the mill hustler whose only worry is where to be at sunrise. He’s comfortable living in the fridges and doesn’t believe in causing harm to survive. Most of the men he feeds from are as lonely as he is, and their times together are beneficial for both of them.

Enters Peter to change Ante’s organized life. With his quick charm and good looks, he brings out Ante’s curiosity. He’s not sure about his heritage or his powers but he tries to keep both under wraps. Just like Ante, he’s not the traditional hero, but it works for them.

The more time they spend together, the more they discover about themselves and other paranormals. The descriptions, settings, and new characters are interesting and only added to the plot.

The meeting and battle at the end felt a bit rushed. After so many details, it was unexpected to have such a simple resolution. Overall, it’s a good story if you are looking for more than sparkling vampires.

The narration by Andrew McFerrin worked well with the story. The characters came to life and he showed Ante’s slight accent.

The Cover by Aaron Anderson follows the Dreamspun Beyond style and has a depiction of Ante.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | Amazon | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

Length:  5 hours 52 minutes

Published: January 12, 2018 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B078YC6477
Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review: Jingle Bears (The Bears of Falcon’s Ridge, #2.5) by Susan E. Scott

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

Connor and Falcon have been together for a year and a half and are about to spend their second Christmas together. The way things have been going for the last few months has Falcon wondering if he should refer to it as their second Christmas or their last. With the mood that Connor has been in lately, Falcon isn’t sure that Connor even wants to be with him anymore.

Connor knows that he’s been acting like an ass, but he’s hurt with Falcon and can’t seem to get past it. On top of that, he’s been sick for a couple of weeks and doesn’t seem to be getting better, so now he’s worried that something serious may be wrong. And to add insult to injury—he’s gaining weight!

Both men are miserable and it’s only a few weeks until Christmas. Will they be able to work out their problems and have a merry holiday or will it take a Christmas miracle to get them back on track?

This was a cute story.  Connor and Falcon have been going through a rough patch and Falcon is starting to fear that if he goes through with a marriage proposal at Christmas that Connor wouldn’t accept.  Connor has been so confused with how he has been acting and feeling.

I loved Falcon’s worry and love for Connor no matter how he was acting and then their big surprise of Nick was great.  Both of them willingly accept their situation and son in their lives.  I loved seeing their connection with each other.  I haven’t read anything else in this series but it didn’t take away from the story.

Cover art by E Keith is cute and works well with the theme of the story.

Sales Links: Painted Hearts Publishing | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 60 pages

Published: December 6, 2017 by Painted Hearts Publishing

Edition Language: English

Series: The Bears of Falcon Ridge #3

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KA Mitchell on Characters, Writing and her story Bad Boyfriend (Bad in Baltimore #2) (author guest post)

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Bad Boyfriend (Bad in Baltimore #2) by K.A. Mitchell
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art:Kanaxa

Buy Links: Google Books | Dreamspinner Press | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have KA Mitchell here today talking about Bad Boyfriends.  Welcome, KA!

✒︎

Hi again!

Thank you so much for having me back to talk about writing. I love answering interview questions (the only thing that’s more fun is when someone interviews my characters!).

I know I answered a ton of them last time, so I’m just going to answer a few here.

  • Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

I don’t have a favorite, honest. There are always books and characters who are easier to revisit, but I believe firmly in loving the one you’re with. My favorite is almost always the book I’m working on now with the next one I plan to work on a close second. It’s kind of like having a wife and a mistress. You love the story you committed to, but sometimes you’ve been together so long you start looking at something sexy on the horizon. But I always go back to my commitment. Until after edits do us part.

My readers, on the other hand, often email or talk to me about favorites (Thank you, readers!) and Bad Boyfriend is definitely a favorite of readers. Readers like to tell me that Peter is irredeemable scum and that they love Eli and Quinn. I’m thrilled that their story has stayed with readers for the past few years, and I’m excited to share them with new readers.

  • If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

I announced my career intention as authoress at the ripe old age of six. (I was very into gendered suffixes at the time.) I didn’t really know what they did except made books. As I got older, the career never lost appeal. I always envisioned myself typing away in some cozy mountain cabin with a view of the lake. (I don’t know what lake, but it’s really picturesque.) In reality though, I love writing everywhere. I love when the words come so fast and good I have to write them down: at the beach, in line at Walt Disney World, in a meeting, at four a.m., and even in cardiac ICU (my dad was in surgery but the characters were talking). The best possible place to write may be that cabin (I don’t know, I’m still waiting to get there), but right now it’s wherever the words are flowing.

 

  • With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To widen our knowledge?  Why do you write?

I write to be read. By me and hopefully by readers. I write stories I want to read. I’ve always made up stories. I can’t imagine life without them. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have imaginary friends and some alternate reality going on in my head. (If that makes me a little—or a lot—crazy, I’m fine with that.) I need to have a bedtime story to tell myself, it’s usually a scene I’m working on, or I can’t fall asleep. Why I write is because I love it. But sometimes, there’s a character who absolutely grabs me and will not stop until I tell his story. That can be an exciting ride and lead to sleepless nights, even without a looming deadline. I find myself jerking awake in bed and when I grab pen and paper in the middle of the night my wife says, “Tell the boys to be quiet. It’s bedtime.”

Tl;dr. I write because being in a story is the best thing ever. 

Bad Boyfriend

A Bad in Baltimore Story

Bad in Baltimore: Book Two

Causing trouble has never been more fun.

Eli Wright doesn’t follow anyone’s rules. When he was seventeen, his parents threw him out of the house for being gay. He’s been making his own way for the past five years and he’s not about to change himself for anyone’s expectations. For now, romance can wait. There are plenty of hot guys to keep him entertained until he finds someone special.

Quinn Maloney kept the peace and his closeted boyfriend’s secrets for ten years. One morning he got a hell of a wake-up along with his coffee. Not only did the boyfriend cheat on him, but he’s marrying the girl he knocked up. Inviting Quinn to the baby’s baptism is the last straw. Quinn’s had enough of gritting his teeth to play nice. His former boyfriend is in for a rude awakening, because Quinn’s not going to sit quietly on the sidelines. In fact, he has the perfect scheme, and he just needs to convince the much younger, eyeliner-wearing guy who winks at him in a bar to help him out.

Eli’s deception is a little too good, and soon he has everyone believing they’re madly in love. In fact, he’s almost got Quinn believing it himself….

K.A. Mitchell

About the Author

K.A. Mitchell discovered the magic of writing at an early age when she learned that a carefully crayoned note of apology sent to the kitchen in a toy truck would earn her a reprieve from banishment to her room. Her career as a spin-control artist was cut short when her family moved to a two-story house and her trucks would not roll safely down the stairs. Around the same time, she decided that Ken and G.I. Joe made a much cuter couple than Ken and Barbie and was perplexed when invitations to play Barbie dropped off. She never stopped making stuff up, though, and was thrilled to find out that people would pay her to do it. Although the men in her stories usually carry more emotional baggage than even LAX can lose in a year, she guarantees they always find their sexy way to a happy ending.

K.A. loves to hear from her readers. You can email her at ka@kamitchell.com. She is often found talking about her imaginary friends on Twitter @ka_mitchell.

Email: ka@kamitchell.com

Twitter: @ka_mitchell

Website: http://www.kamitchell.com

Blog: authorkamitchell.wordpress.com

Tumblr: kamitchellplotbunnyfarm

Aimee Nicole Walker on the Inspiration, and Fun Facts on Second Wind (Guest post,Excerpt, and Giveaway)

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Second Wind Tour Banner

SECOND WIND

AIMEE NICOLE WALKER

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 02.14.18

Second Wind Cover

COVER DESIGN: JAY AHEER/ Simply Defined Art

COVER PHOTOGRAPHER: WANDER AGUIAR

BUY LINK: http://mybook.to/SecondWind

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Aimee Nicole Walker here today on tour for her story Second Wind. Welcome, Aimee.

♦︎

Hello everyone. I want to thank Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for having me here to chat about my brand-new book, Second Wind. I’m going to talk about the inspiration for the story, give you a fun fact about the book, and share a teaser or excerpt.

About Second Wind:

The idea for Second Wind came to me while I was on vacation with my husband in eastern Tennessee. We hadn’t updated our GPS since the previous year, and the directions to the restaurant we chose for dinner took us to the back of a new high school where their outdoor athletic fields were located. So, my husband was angry as hell, but I was enthralled by the football field and the majestic mountain view for a backdrop. My creative brain fired up immediately, and I clearly saw a football game playing out. I heard the crowd cheering as the king of the gridiron scores a touchdown, the marching band playing their fight song, but what stood out in my imagination the most was the silhouette of another boy on the sideline taking pictures for the school paper and yearbook. I immediately knew three things: the king of the gridiron and the photographer were in love, nobody knew it, and their love story would take me on a journey I’d never forget.

In Second Wind, I try to honor the men and women all around the world who didn’t have an easy coming out experience or one at an early age. I tell the story of a man who tried to repress his true self to play by society’s rules and the journey he takes once he decided that living half of a life is not really living at all. I also try to show that members of the LGBTQ+ community don’t just come out one time; they have to come out each time they meet someone new. And most importantly, it’s never too late to find your happily ever after.

Fun fact about Second Wind:

I try to put little tidbits of myself in each book. I think the best way to make characters feel relatable is to give them very human habits, hopes, fears, likes, and even dislikes. In Second Wind, I put so much of me on those pages, but here is one Aimee trait for each main character.

Rush: I gave him my childhood bad habit at the penny candy counter at our ice cream parlor. Where I grew up, our ice cream parlor was called The Big Dipper. I can vividly recall the delicious way that place smelled, and it makes me so nostalgic for my childhood. I gave the guys a Scoops, and they too had a big candy counter. When I got my allowance for doing odd jobs around the house, I would walk to The Big Dipper and try to stretch that money as far as I could. I wanted bang for my buck even as a kid. I didn’t want to blow it all one one or two things. So this is how I did it. Of course, I bought an ice cream cone with two scoops. My flavor of choice back then was bubble gum, which I thankfully outgrew when I discovered rocky road. I would start in on my cone while I browsed the penny candy selection. Now, some of the candy obviously cost more than a penny. You weren’t getting a box of lemon heads for a penny, but I think they were five or ten cents. Anyway, I’d tell the poor lady behind the counter that I wanted ten of these, five of those, and ten of these other things. Then I’d ask her how much money I had left. She would count it up, give me a total for what I had left to spend, and we’d repeat until I was out of money. I eventually became more shrewd and learned to count my own money. I gave Rush this habit.

Lincoln: Growing up, Tyson chicken patties and Kraft macaroni and cheese were luxuries my single mom couldn’t afford often. They were such a special treat when I had them. To this day, I love those two things. I don’t eat them often because my tastes have advanced, but its still one of my favorite comfort foods. In Lincoln’s case, his mother detested processed chicken products and fake cheese made from a neon orange powder. He would get his fix when he went to Rush’s house.

I hope you enjoyed this behind the scene look at the making of Second Wind. That sounds a touch stuffy, doesn’t it. I hope you liked this peek into my brain. Better? Thank you so much for hanging out with me, and thanks again to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for allowing me to talk about a project that I’m so passionate about.

 

BLURB

Second wind: a new strength or energy to continue something that is an effort. After an amicable divorce, Lincoln Huxley is ready to embrace the sexuality he repressed for more than two decades. Rush Holden is no longer willing to settle for closeted men or those who don’t share his dreams of marriage and fatherhood. A chance encounter on a lakeside pier is the second wind they both need. Or will it just be a painful reminder of all they had lost?

Second chance: an opportunity to try something again that failed one time. Rush and Lincoln have shared a lot of firsts—friendship, young love, and heartbreak. Cruel reality forced the two men to choose paths that took their lives in different directions. Twenty-six years later, they get a second chance to fall in love with each all over again. Can it really be that simple, or will the same issues ruin their happiness a second time?

Happily ever after: to live happily for the rest of one’s life. Rush and Lincoln know that love and life can’t be defined by words alone. Patience, commitment, and the determination to do whatever it takes will be the only way the two men achieve their happily ever after.

Second Wind is a funny, sexy, and endearing standalone romance novel about love, loss, and rediscovery. It contains sexually explicit material and is intended for adults 18 and older.

Second Wind Teaser 2

Second Wind Teaser 3

EXCERPT

I suddenly felt an invisible pull to go to the pier and ride the damn thing. No, Rush wouldn’t be with me in person, but the memory of him would be. I walked the short distance and bought tickets for the Centennial Wheel. The pier was packed with families and friends just looking to have a good time and enjoy the beautiful June weather before the serious humidity hit later in the month.

I felt a little silly as I approached the long line by myself, but I passed the time by texting Phee and checking my email. The line had suddenly stopped advancing, and I wondered if the ride broke down or something. Then I heard the chatter about newlyweds posing for photos with the grand Ferris wheel in the background.

“Look how handsome the grooms look,” someone said.

“It so good that people don’t have to hide any longer,” another person added.

I stepped out of line to see for myself, and my heart thudded to a stop in my chest before it raced with recognition. It wasn’t the grooms that held me spellbound; it was the photographer. I’d know that stance anywhere because I sure as hell had seen it enough times growing up. The camera he held in his hand was a lot different and more expensive than the ones he used to own, but the way he stood and cradled it like a rare treasure was all the same. Rush! But how was this possible? My mind had to be playing tricks on me. This moment was nothing but a fantasy brought on by all the trips down memory lane I’d made the past twenty-four hours. I would wake up to find that I fell asleep in the hotel room instead of walking to the pier.

There was no way in hell that Rush, my Rush, was a few hundred feet away from me. It had to be someone who resembled him. The photographer turned around and smiled at something his assistant said to him. I started walking toward him without stopping to think if I should. For the first time in more than twenty-six years, my world felt right. My Rush.

It felt like I’d caught my second wind.

Aimee Logo

I am a wife and mother to three kids, three dogs, and a cat. When I’m not dreaming up stories, I like to lose myself in a good book, cook or bake. I’m a girly tomboy who paints her fingernails while watching sports and yelling at the referees. I will always choose the book over the movie. I believe in happily-ever- after. Love inspires everything that I do. Music keeps me sane.

FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/aimeenicole.walker?fref=nf

AMAZON – http://amzn.to/2C6LWfs

TWITTER – https://twitter.com/AimeeNWalker?lang=en

BLOG – http://aimeenicolewalker.blogspot.com/

NEWSLETTER: http://bit.ly/2GwKeX7

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Release Blitz – Pretty In Pink (Housemates #6) by Jay Northcote (excerpt and giveaway)

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Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
Length: 58,000 words approx.
 
Housemates Series
 
Book #1 – Helping Hand
Book #2 – Like A Lover 
 
Blurb
 

Ryan isn’t looking for a relationship with a guy–and Johnny isn’t looking for a relationship at all.

Ryan’s always been attracted to tall, leggy blondes–normally of the female variety. When Johnny catches his eye at a party, Ryan’s interest is piqued even though he’s never been with a guy before. The attraction is mutual, and the amazing night that follows opens Ryan’s eyes to his bisexuality.

Experience has taught Johnny that love hurts. Staying single is safer, and there’s no need for complicated relationships when hooking up is easy. When he moves in next door to Ryan, they’re both interested in picking up where they left off, and it seems like an ideal arrangement: convenient, mutually satisfying, and with no strings attached.

Despite their best intentions to keep things casual, they develop an emotional connection alongside the physical one. Both begin to want more from the relationship but are afraid to admit it. If they’re going to work things out, they need to start being honest–first with themselves, and then with each other.

Although this book is part of the Housemates series, it has new main characters, a satisfying happy ending, and can be read as a standalone.

Excerpt

Ryan was a few drinks down and feeling pretty buzzed when he first caught sight of blond hair through the crowd of partygoers.

He nearly hadn’t bothered coming out tonight. He had his third year project to write up, and should have been working on that, not partying with his next door neighbours. But the rest of Ryan’s housemates had talked him into it and he could do with letting off some steam, so he hadn’t put up much of a fight. One night couldn’t make too much difference, right?

The blonde arrived late and headed straight into the throng of dancers in the living room, bottle in hand. Tall and leggy in black skinny jeans with shit-kicking boots, Ryan’s interest was piqued immediately and a spike of arousal made his cock wake up. Tall and blonde was completely Ryan’s type, but when this blond slid a leather jacket off slender shoulders and tossed it on the back of the sofa, his washboard-flat chest made it clear he was a guy—so not Ryan’s type after all.

Despite the gut punch of disappointment at that revelation, Ryan found his interest persisted. The guy drew Ryan’s attention like a magnet lining up iron filings, and no matter how hard he tried, Ryan couldn’t stop watching him.

Spurred on by alcohol and reckless impulsivity, Ryan made a conscious decision not to question his attraction and just roll with it. He gradually edged his way into the group where the blond was dancing, and when he finally managed to make eye contact, the guy gave him a knowing smile that reflected Ryan’s interest right back at him. It curled around Ryan’s balls like the gentle, insistent squeeze of a hand.

Game on.

University was supposed to be all about new experiences, and Ryan only had a few months left before he graduated. He’d never hooked up with a guy before, and it had always been on his sexual bucket list, but not a high priority. As a young teen he’d sometimes admired androgynous male models on the pages of magazines that his mum used to buy and felt a confusing interest in them… but he’d never seen a guy in real life he’d wanted to fuck enough to actually do something about it.

Until tonight.


Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available

www.jaynorthcote.com
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Jayís books

 

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


 


 

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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.

 

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