A Free Dreamer Review: Time Turns (Out of Time #4) by C.B. Lewis

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

As a consultant analyst for the most technologically advanced firms in the country, Danny Ferguson knows he’s seen a lot of crazy stuff, but nothing comes close to his newest position at the Temporal Research Institute, the world’s foremost time travel organisation.

The corrupted piece of code Ferguson found on the TRI’s closed network is a serious concern for Lysander O’Donohue, the director of the TRI. Unable to trust his own people—any one of whom might be the source—he’s forced to put all his trust in Danny to solve the mystery of the corrupt code and find the identity of the enemy within.

But when an unexpected temporal gate opens, a straightforward code analysis becomes something a lot more complicated.

I read and really enjoyed part three of the series, so I was eager to get my hands on the next book. And Time Turns certainly didn’t disappoint.

While this is part four of an ongoing series, I think it works perfectly fine as a stand-alone. The protagonists from part three get barely any on-page scenes and the important events are summed up early on. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t read part three, though, because it’s just as good as this one, albeit quite different.

Coding isn’t necessarily something I’m crazy about. The few times I’ve been exposed to it, I found rather boring. But this book actually made it seem really fascinating. The way Danny works with it is like a new form of art. You don’t need to understand it to appreciate its beauty. And the author didn’t delve too deeply into the theory, so it never got boring or confusing.

I was utterly captivated from the very beginning and I used every free second to continue reading. Neither of the protagonists actually did any time-traveling and there wasn’t actually all that much action. But somehow there was this suspense that just made it extremely hard to put down the book. This is the kind of book that should come with a special warning: “Do not read if you don’t want to be late.” Seriously, I was almost late for work more than once.

Lysander is a really interesting guy. He’s a very private person and has some unexpected secrets. And Danny is just plain adorable. Sure, he’s cocky and overconfident, but also extremely loyal and hard-working.

I absolutely loved the relationship dynamic. Danny was so mindful of Lysander. And Lysander never took advantage. The progress felt natural and the sex scenes, while few and far between, were really hot.

As for the mystery part, the revelation of the bad guy was completely unexpected to me. I don’t read a lot of mystery, though, so maybe an avid crime/mystery reader could have deduced who the culprit is sooner.

Overall, “Time Turns” was a brilliant book and my first 5-star-book of the year. And it’s made me even more eager to read the rest of the series.

The cover by Natasha Snow fits with the rest of the series and the story, but it’s a little nondescript. I’m not a fan of covers where the models make up the largest part of the design.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book details:

ebook, 400 pages

Published September 16th 2019 by NineStar Press

Out of Time Series

Time Waits

Time Lost

Time Taken

Time Turns

Out of Time

A Free Dreamer Review: Hathornatum (Pleletus #1) by Taylin Clavelli

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Have you ever wondered if that little voice inside you is actually, your voice?

Egypt captivates Benjamin. As an adult, he immerses himself in his chosen profession, as an archaeologist in the ancient city of Abydos. For Ben, the hieroglyphs, and paintings unlock dreams of a time long lost.

The dig Ben works on is financed by Ashari Hathonatum. For many years, the man has been looking for the one who completes him. He initially saw his heart’s match from a distance. But that was a long time ago and from an alternate universe. When Ashari encounters Ben, he wonders if he is the reincarnation of the man he saw, through another’s eyes, all those years ago. Will the secrets Ashari hides about his heritage stop their love blooming, or will others from his dimension, determined to keep Ashari from his heart’s match, rule the day?

Hathonatum is quite a wild story. There’s reincarnation, aliens, fantasy and ancient Egypt all rolled into one. While I like a wild story every now and then, I have to admit this one was a little too wild for me.

The book started off strong. I was immediately captivated and fascinated. The archaeology parts were really interesting. I’m not a huge history nerd, but mix in a bit of Fantasy and I’m all for it. And then there was the mystery surrounding Ashari.

But once that mystery started clearing up, it just got weirder and weirder. I don’t want to give away too much, bet let’s just say there were a lot of unexpected revelations.

I didn’t quite buy the romance between Ashari and Ben. I just didn’t feel it, for some reason. And of course Ben, a grown man, was a virgin who’s never even had a crush on anybody before. So not a trope I enjoy.

The sex scenes were pretty good, though. I liked that they switched. That’s a trope I do enjoy very much.

The ending was the last straw for me. I wasn’t happy with how everything turned out and it essentially made me dislike all the characters. At least it’s not a horrible cliffhanger. The storyline is pretty much finished and it’s obvious who the MCs of book 2 will be. I won’t be reading that one, though.

Overall, this book was just a bit too much for me. If weirdness doesn’t put you off, give it a try. Maybe it’s just me.

The cover looks a bit weird, too. The guy (I’m guessing it’s Ashari) looks a bit like Jesus. But I guess the weirdness fits the book and at least there’s no half-naked men on it. So yay for uniqueness.

Sales Links:  MLR Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published January 18th 2020 by MLR Press
ISBN13 9781641222914
Edition Language English
Series Peletus #1

Join Us for the Blog Tour for Hathornatum (Pleletus #1) by Taylin Clavelli (excerpt and giveaway)

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Hathonatum

Author: Taylin Clavelli

Publisher: MLR Press

Genre/sScience Fiction, Contemporary M/M, Interracial (Alien/Human), Inter-dimensional, Reincarnation. Multi-Verse, Historical elements.

Heat Rating: 3 – 4 flames

Length:  89 000 words         

The story can be read as a standalone. It is the first book in the Pelethus Series. The next book involves different main characters that are connected to those in Hathonatum. 

Buy Links – Coming Soon

Publisher: MLR Press  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Hathonatum is a love story that spans time, dimension, universe and death.

Blurb 

Have you ever wondered if that little voice inside you is actually your voice?

Egypt captivates Benjamin. As an adult, he immerses himself in his chosen profession, as an archaeologist in the ancient city of Abydos. For Ben, the hieroglyphs, and paintings unlock dreams of a time long lost. 

The dig Ben works on is financed by Ashari Hathonatum. For many years, the man has been looking for the one who completes him. He initially saw his heart’s match from a distance. But that was a long time ago and from an alternate universe. When Ashari encounters Ben, he wonders if he is the reincarnation of the man he saw, through another’s eyes, all those years ago. Will the secrets Ashari hides about his heritage stop their love blooming, or will others from his dimension, determined to keep Ashari from his heart’s match, rule the day?

**The story is written with British spelling/grammar. **

Excerpt 

Though Ben loved the thought of studying Seti, he was part of a small crew concentrating on Narmer (3180-3120 BC), whose tomb was located to the west of the dig, almost as far away from Seti as a tomb could get. Not much was known about the first pharaoh of the combined kingdoms, and Ben wanted to help discover something new. He wanted to shed light on a life that no one knew about—a new phenomenon to capture the imagination.

Ben had been on-site for a little over a week when he saw an intriguing man talking to Terry, his dig leader. Judging by his skin, Ben suspected the man to be local, but it was difficult to tell. Other than his face, the only other exposed part of him was his hands. The rest of him was covered with clothing designed to keep out the worst of the sand—layered, lightweight, loose, and black.

When the man locked gazes with him, Ben found himself staring into a vibrant blue sea of lapis lazuli, framed with black lashes and dark eyebrows. It wasn’t until a fellow worker walked between them that the connection was broken. When Ben sought to re-establish contact, the other had his back to him. Ben returned to his work, clearing out a trench of sand. The heat and excitement over what his group might find overshadowed any musings concerning the stranger. 

At the end of the day, Ben was so tired he clambered onto the city-bound truck with as much grace as a stumbling mummy. 

That night, while lounging on his bed, images of dark blue assaulted him. The event was rare for him, considering Egypt was his prime…prime everything.

Every day, the journey to the ruins was like being transported back in time. Ben could close his eyes and almost feel like he was there, in ancient Egypt. Often, he imagined he could see a partial image of the hustle and bustle of the ancient civilization continuing around him. At other times, he was in the quiet solitude of a temple. The images were odd, considering ancient Abydos was a graveyard.

From the drop-off point the next day, Ben made his way to tombs B17 and B18—the tombs attributed to Narmer. He worked there all morning with his small, square trowel and brush, slowly moving away the sands of eons. 

As lunchtime approached, he relocated to the edge of the main dig and took his break. From there, he would imagine life in ancient Egypt.

Daydreaming, he chose to walk back to his station. 

Suddenly, an alarm sounded. It was the warning for a sandstorm. It was similar to what his grandparents had described as the air raid warning from the war. 

There was a flurry of activity while people efficiently covered artefacts and other areas of importance. Ben glanced around, noticing the storm was a lot closer than he’d originally thought. It had come out of nowhere. What crept toward the dig seemed like a moving wall of cloud, dense enough to shield the view and engulf anything below it. If it wasn’t for the cottonlike plumes of wheat colours, Ben could have believed a curtain of rain was heading his way. The screen of rapid shadow was making quick progress toward the dig, swallowing all in its path. Briefly, Ben went rigid, unable to move. When the sound of hissing reached his consciousness, and sand stung his feet and face, he dashed toward shelter. He was running a losing race. 

Abruptly, he was grabbed and pulled to the floor behind a shallow wall. In a spell of activity as sleek as the sandstorm, a mask was put over his face, and his body along with that of his saviour rolled together. Over and over, they turned. Coming to a halt, and dizzy, Ben found himself cocooned, head to toe in a thick blanket. From the outside, the two of them probably resembled a fat, discarded mummy. 

As Ben regained his senses, he could feel a wall to his back and secure arms around him. The only thing between them was his messenger bag containing the bottles of water he was required to keep on him to prevent dehydration in the desert sun. 

Panting, he opened his eyes to a familiar sea of lazuli.

About the Author 

 

I am proud to be British and proud to be an author of gay romance stories from varying genres. I write under the pseudonym Taylin Clavelli, not because I don’t want my real name out there, but because I think my real name is unmemorable for an author. The name came about from a night of Skype and a lot of wine.

My first published work – a comedy called Boys Toys and Carpet Fitters – came out in 2012. It was part of a Dreamspinners anthology called Don’t Do This At Home. Since then, I have produced a further two novels and five short stories, not including Hathonatum. 

As well as being married for close to thirty years, and have a grown-up family, who I adore – I work part-time at a Manor Hotel, where I am also the resident historian. I am a book reviewer, too for a well-known site.

Not being a spring chicken anymore, I have a few hobbies that over the years have come, gone and resurfaced again. I am an experienced horse rider, and 2nd Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. I help my husband with DIY projects, upcycle as much as possible and love my garden. As for those simple things that make me stop in my tracks. The dawn chorus, baking bread, lasagne, and the scene where Shadowfax makes his screen entrance.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win: 

 A choice of paperback + swag from Dakota Skies, Secret Of The Manor or 5 shorts from Taylin – 3 winners

A choice of 1 ecopy from Dakota Skies, Secret Of The Manor or 5 shorts from Taylin – 5 winners

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

Check Out the Release Blitz with Excerpt for Ted of the d’Urbervilles by Rob Rosen

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Ted of the d’Urbervilles

Author: Rob Rosen

Publisher: JMS Books

Release Date: January 18, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance, Comedy/Humour, Erotic Romance, Dark Comedy, Gay/Straight romance

Themes: e.g. Personal growth, poor to rich

Heat Rating: 4 flames   

Length:  63 600 / 195 pages

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  JMS Books  |  GooglePlay

Love is Love—though who they will find it with remains a mystery until the very end!

Blurb

Ted is an orphan, a young gay man living on the streets following the death of both his parents. Hope seems futile, though hope is exactly what he finds when a surprising email informs him that an unknown wealthy relative has died, that a reading of a will is soon to occur clear across the country. Ted will inherit something, but what that something is remains to be seen. 

Benny is a young, homeless drug addict, straight except for when cash is involved. Benny has never had a reason to be hopeful about anything until a chance encounter with Ted. 

Both men are soon traveling together from state to state, making ends meet however they can, rushing to the reading of the will that may or may not change both their lives forever. An unexpected friendship quickly forms, and then just as unexpectedly blossoms into something more as their adventure ultimately leads them to their fates. 

At turns darkly funny and tragic, deeply erotic and poignant, Ted of the d’Urbervilles uniquely shines a light on the phrase Love is Love—though who they will find it with remains a mystery until the very end. 

 Excerpt 

I found myself in a tangle of trains. Not passenger trains, but the kind that carries stuff. Coal, lumber, crates. No train cars. Nothing I could hop into so much as on. I wasn’t counting on this. I thought I’d slide open a door and bum a ride. But a ride to where? Even if I could hop on, where would I wind up? I clearly hadn’t given it enough thought. To be fair, my head was full of Chuck at the time, a peg missing its hole. It was, as analogies went, a fine one.

I needed to travel east. East I could figure out. East was away from the Rockies. But all the trains were parked. Which way were they headed once they left? And what if I hopped on and the train never stopped until its destination? What if we started east and then headed south?

I sat on the track. My salvation was somewhere in front of me. Eeny, meeny, miny, which one would the mo choose?

“Where you headed?”

I jumped. I fell backward. I stared up, shielding my face with my hand. A guy stood there staring down at me. He was on the dirty side, young, like me, gaunt, shorter by a foot. I’d seen men like this around San Francisco. I avoided men like this. You wound up homeless for a lot of reasons. You also stayed homeless for a lot of reasons. This guy either started or wound up that way because of drugs. His hand twitched. His right eye did the same. Manic would’ve been a good word for it. Or a bad one.

“Just looking,” I said as I righted my butt back on the tracks. “I like trains.”

I turned away from him. I hoped he’d take the hint. Sadly, he sat down next to me instead.

“You can’t hop them,” he said. “They check. They’re watching you right now even.” He pointed up to a lamppost. I could see the camera. It didn’t matter; there was nothing to hop into. And even if I could make it on top of a car, it would be crazy dangerous. And windy. And cold. Not an adventure so much as an ordeal. “Benny,” he said, holding out a hand. He had long nails. Dirty nails. His current state had always been a possible future for me. I seemed to always be running from it. But in which direction, away or towards?

I didn’t shake his hand. I nodded his way instead. “Ted.”

He put his hand by his side. He frowned. I felt bad. I was homeless. He was homeless. It wasn’t a bond so much as a prison sentence we shared. “Where you headed?” he repeated.

“New York.”

“That’s where I started.”

My heart pulsed. If he started from there, he knew which way to head. I pointed in front of me. “Which one goes that way?”

His grin returned. His teeth were in need of a brushing. He looked like a scrawny, shorter, pimplier Justin Bieber—if Justin Bieber hadn’t showered in a week or had a haircut or shave in ten. I felt bad for Benny. I felt scared of Benny. Were people scared of me when they saw me? I was judging a book by its cover, but covers are a pretty good indication of what’s inside. I sensed Benny was rotting from the inside out, that all he had left was a tattered cover. I didn’t want to be a part of Benny’s story, but our plotlines had intersected just the same.

In any case, he shrugged. “Been in Denver a month. My train has long come and gone.” Again, he pointed. “That one goes east.”

“How do you know?”

The shrug hadn’t moved. “That terminal is a dead end. Trains enter that way and go back the way they came. That train came from the east. Do you have any drugs on you?”

It was an unsettling segue. Benny was unsettling. You could turn a bend and wind up like Benny. Benny had no hope. You could see it in his eyes. That is to say, you couldn’t see it. “I don’t do drugs.”

“Smart.”

“You shouldn’t do drugs.”

He rested his head on his knee. “Yep.”

“It’s not that easy though, right?”

He turned his face my way. He’d been cute once. You could see it if you tried. How many people still tried? “Nope. Any money for drugs? I could trade you.”

I knew what he had to trade. I had the same thing to trade. “I have less than six dollars on me.”

He sighed. He turned his face back to the starting position. “Figures.” We sat there in silence. The trains didn’t budge. Maybe this was a graveyard of sorts. Maybe trains came here to die. Maybe Benny came here to die. Me, I had other plans.

About the Author 

Multi-award-winning and best-selling author/editor/anthologist Rob Rosen is the author of Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, Divas Las Vegas, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, Queerwolf, Vamp, Queens of the Apocalypse, Creature Comfort, Fate, Midlife Crisis, Fierce, And God Belched,  Mary, Queen of Scotch, and Ted of the d’Urbervilles. His short stories have appeared in more than 200 anthologies. You can find 20 of them in his erotic romance anthology Good & Hot. He is also the editor of Lust in Time: Erotic Romance Through the Ages, Men of the Manor, Best Gay Erotica 2015 and Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Please visit him at 

Blog/Website  |  Facebook

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

A MelanieM Review: The Hunt for Red Fluffy (Brimstone #6) by Angel Martinez

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Someone abandons a pedigree hellcat right where Shax can conveniently claim her and sets off a cataclysmic domino line of events. It’s time for the other shoe to drop since the Brimstone has a shadow cabal after them—partly due to Shax’s own, er, interesting decisions and partly due to the presence of Agent Julian Parallax onboard.

As ship security officer, Ness has a lot on his mind—a dangerous new pet, even more dangerous criminals tracking the Brimstone, and yet another unexpected rescued guest. The last thing he needs is a distraction and Julian, who confuses and confounds him more every moment, is exactly the distraction he doesn’t need. Between Shax’s reckless gambits and Julian’s disregard for his own safety, how is Ness supposed to keep anyone safe?

The Brimstone and her intrepid crew do all they can to stay one step ahead, but this time the hunters are closing in

Let’s see.  You have giant demon cats, singing millipedes, lost octopi space beings, a drag queen IA, and a freaking spaceship being pursued through the galaxy while a devil prince, a fallen angel, and a intergalactic operative try to figure out their love life?  Yep Angel Martinez and her insanely wonderful Brimstone gang are at it again in The Hunt for Red Fluffy (Brimstone #6) by Angel Martinez .

Am I thrilled?  Why hell yes!

I can not get enough of this series and just plain out there group of characters.  From pink hedgehogs with their futuristic iPads, cowboys and their horses, imps, the aforementioned millipedes, Nephilims, and more demons, cargos of floating cows, squishy frogs, and so much more, each story more indescribably imaginative and mind bogglingly delightful.  Now its demon courser cats.  Of course it is.

Cuz we haven’t had those yet.

And junior lost octopi in space.  I mean.  0.0  Jaw droppingly wonderful how drawn into it/them I was and its plight. And wavy arms.

Plus as all the fast action pursuit is going on, there is hot sex, and relationship dynamics to figure out between Shax, Julian, and Ness.  This is something that has been brewing over the course of the series and the author brings it nicely to fruition here.  Although there is so much more to go with this triad and Julian.  Especially with Julian’s career.  For the heart of these stories remains the characters, their relationships with each other, and the found family aboard  the Brimstone.  That’s the true heart here.  The one that pulls at me time and again.

I adore this author and this is one series I never hope to see of finale for.  May the Brimstone sail on and on and on.

One of my most highly recommended series and definitely this story!

Cover art is perfection!

Sales Links:  Mischief Corner Books | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Published September 12th 2019 by Mischief Corner Books, LLC
ASIN B07XJL5DSH
Series Brimstone #6
Brimstone Series
The Brimstone Journals: Collection One

An Alisa Audio Review:All the Way to Shore (Stories from the Shore #1) by CJane Elliott and Tim McKiernan (Narrator)

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

 

What happens when a cruise ship romance crashes on the rocky shores of reality?

 

Poor-little-rich-boy Jonathan Vallen is the heir to Vallen Industries, but is more interested in music and gardens. He clashes with new CEO Marco Pellegrini, a self-made man and rising star in business, who is brought in to salvage the company. Jonathan gladly leaves Vallen and moves to Cape Cod. When they meet again on an LGBTQ Caribbean cruise, Marco doesn’t recognize Jonathan, who has spent a year transforming from an ugly duckling into a very sexy swan. After Marco shows interest and sparks fly, Jonathan reluctantly assumes a false identity, egged on by his cousin Anthony. None of them expect a shipboard fling to deepen into true love.

 

Back on land, the romance crashes when Marco discovers his perfect man is not only a lie but the son of his boss, Frederick Vallen. Jonathan resolves to win Marco back, but Frederick takes vengeful action. Jonathan and Marco must battle their own fears as well as Frederick’s challenge to get to the future that awaits them on the horizon.

 

Okay, I am not a huge fan of the blurb (I don’t like when it makes fun of one of the characters) especially since Jonathan was the character I connected most with.  It was great that he was given the opportunity to break free of his father’s company when Marco came, though I’ll admit I did not like Marco what so ever in the beginning.

 

Marco seemed a bit two-faced to me, switching his opinion from one to the other about the company and people.  And I’m not sure what I felt about how different he was away from work (yes that person was perfect for Jonathan) but something rubbed met he wrong way.  Jonathan is adorable and I hated that he felt so inferior because of this father and late brother.  I have to give Jonathan credit for how far he came in the year living away from the company and how Marco made him feel that he could embrace his life fully.  I did think that Jonathan and Marco’s “courting” gifts were adorable.

 

This is my first book narrated by Tim McKiernan and he did a nice job.  I was mostly able to keep track of the story through the voices he used, though the lisp come characters had for their thoughts didn’t agree with me.

 

I liked the cover art and that it had their pendant, which became very important to them.

 

Sales Links: Audible | Amazon 

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 5 hrs 55 min
Published: April 19, 2018
Edition Language: English

Series: Stories from the Shore #1

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Rescuing Kyle (Special Forces: Operation Alpha #1) by Lynn Michaels

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Kyle is a motocross racer traveling across Europe when he meets up with his cousin Warren, an Army Ranger, in Germany. Which is how he meets Warren’s colleague, a CIA agent named Steve. Warren and Kyle grew up together, acting more like brothers than cousins due to some family rift not really explained. Being of Chippewa heritage, much is made of the fact they look so much alike that people can’t tell them apart. When mercenaries kidnap Kyle instead of Warren, the race is on to rescue him before it’s too late.

Even though Steve feels his job makes a relationship impossible, he sure dives into one pretty fast. After their first night together, Kyle leaves for his next race but they keep in touch, have phone sex. Even when they meet back up, there are sentences like: “they managed to see each other a few times during the week.” So really the story is telling you without showing you what happens between the sex, which doesn’t encourage the reader to be emotionally connected to the characters, their lives, nor their relationship. I didn’t feel the chemistry even though I’m told it’s there. The sex scenes, though explicit, didn’t feel that hot to me, but I appreciated the sense of fun and laughter at times. Yep, you are allowed to be stupid and have fun during sex. Yet, as soon as he is out of the hospital, of course there is sex, which I’m not sure is necessary. Then later in the story is this quote: “He used it [lube] liberally, trying to get the stretching done fast. Even though that was normally fun foreplay for them, he wanted to get to the best part, the most intimate part.” No. That is not the most intimate part of sex. So as an erotic romance, this didn’t work for me.

It also didn’t work for me as an action adventure. When Kyle is not at the ticket booth at the festival, Steve freaks out and I’m not sure why. He could have gone to use the toilet! Why is the immediate response panic? After the fact that Kyle and Warren look like twins is mentioned to the reader numerous times, the only one who thinks about that when Kyle is taken is Steve, who has to point it out to the rest of the highly trained, elite, special forces team. Spy novels are referenced several times and it seems there wasn’t too much research done into what a CIA agent’s job might be like, even for Steve before he became one. Steve is supposed to be trained at gathering intelligence, but doesn’t know how to search the dark web. That is ridiculous. In fact, because it is mentioned so much in books, I tried it. It’s not the navigating that is difficult; it is paying for things without getting caught that is difficult. Then there is the complete lack of professionalism when Kyle is taken and Warren falls apart and ceases to function.

I have to say, this wasn’t my cup of tea. There wasn’t much depth here, so all the characters fell flat for me. There are about eighteen characters in this story, but the reader only gets to know three of them: Kyle, Steve, and maybe Warren. This is not helped by the fact that one character is half of the time called Chase, and half of the time called Jackson. In fact the author seems to know this since in chapter 17, the reader is told that Oz is Kyle’s manager, again, but I actually found it helpful. Most of the characters are interchangeable military men with nicknames. When Steve and Kyle make changes to their lives in order be together, all new characters get thrown into the last five percent of the book. Or are they from another book and I missed something? Some guy named Jeff lectured to Kyle at the end and it really annoyed me, but it felt like a poke at people who think they know how dangerous these men’s jobs are, but honestly have no idea. I think the point here is that Kyle knows more than most since he “lived it” for two days in an attempt for the author to show that they will have their HEA and can make it for the long haul.

The cover by Kris Jacen shows the motocross part of the book, but don’t communicate the terrorist and military action elements.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:Kindle Edition, 212 pages
Published January 14th 2020
ASINB08376R7JD
Series Special Forces: Operation Alpha #1

Release Festivities for Powder and Pavlova (Southern Lights #1) by Jay Hogan

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Title: Powder & Pavlova

Series: Southern Lights, Book 1

Author: Jay Hogan

Genre: MM Romance

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/powderandpavlova

Synopsis:

ETHAN SHARPE is living every young Kiwi’s dream—seeing the world for a couple of years while deciding what to do with his life. Then he gets a call.

Two days later he’s back in New Zealand. Six months later his mother is dead, his fifteen-year-old brother is going off the rails and the café he’s inherited is failing. His life is a hot mess and the last thing he needs is another complication—like the man who just walked into his café,

a much older…

sinfully hot…

EPIC complication.

TANNER CARPENTER’s time in Queenstown has an expiration date. He has a new branch of his business to get up and running, exorcise a few personal demons while he’s at it, and then head back to Auckland to get on with his life. He isn’t looking for a relationship especially with someone fifteen years his junior, but Ethan is gorgeous, troubled and in need of a friend. Tanner could be that for Ethan, right? He could brighten Ethan’s day for a while, help him out, maybe even offer some… stress relief, no strings attached.

It was a good plan, until it wasn’t.

Excerpt I:

Safe from those heather grey eyes, Ethan collapsed against the door and tried to calm his thundering heart. What. The. Ever-loving. Fuck. He checked his forehead for the tell-tale loser sign he was sure he’d find carved there. Nope, just a shit-ton of nervous perspiration.

“Mister hot and heavy is in again, I take it?” Lucy smiled from the other side of the stainless prep bench, her hands white with flour.

“I have no idea who you’re talking about.” Ethan wiped his hands on his jeans and rearranged the order forms stacked on the desk.

She snorted in disgust. “You can’t lie for shit Ethan, I don’t know why you bother.”

“You’re being ridiculous,” Ethan scoffed. “The guy’s gotta be close to forty.” Just how I like them… apparently.

She looked up from measuring the dry goods. “Well, he’s damn hot.”

“I hadn’t noticed.” He collated the pencils according to colour.

“Liar.”

He threw the last of the pencils in the caddy and fell back against the door. “That obvious, huh?”

Lucy’s grin split her face. “Like a whore in a convent.”

He snorted. “There’s an image I didn’t need.”

Lucy reached for the huge sieve and worked her way through a second mound of flour. “So, what are you doing in here?”

“Hiding?”

“Well, get back out there, mister. He’ll be gone in a minute. You wouldn’t want to miss a final perv.”

Ethan pushed off the wall. “I wasn’t perving. I merely took his order.”

Lucy’s gaze dipped south of Ethan’s belt. “Yeah, right. Tell it to your friend.”

Ethan blushed furiously and crossed his legs.

“And I’ll bet coffee’s not the only order you’d like to take from him,” she added with a wink.

A host of delightfully filthy images raced through Ethan’s head and he groaned.

“And there it is.” Lucy smiled knowingly.

“Oh. My. God. What is it with you lot?” Ethan grumbled, mortified at how badly he’d been caught out. He tugged his shirt a mite lower and flipped her off. “You’re lucky I love you, bitch.”

“You’re lucky I let you, arsehole.”

He pushed open the door and ambled back into the café. Nothing to see here folks. The effort at nonchalance was ruined the second he laid eyes on mister tall, dark and fucking combustible, when he caught his foot in the stool he’d vacated earlier and tripped. Arms wind milling, he stumbled almost to his knees at the man’s feet. Really Ethan? Really? Yeah, not one of his better Kodak moments.

He glanced up in time to see the guy bite back a laugh, but refused to linger on that whole teeth on lip action. If there was a prize for most humiliating crush on an ‘almost’ silver fox, he’d win it hands down.

 

 

Excerpt II:

 

The man nodded in approval. “Someone give that man a balloon. Though I gotta say, the mere thought of a meeting sends rats running up my arse. Bad enough having to talk with every Tom, Dick, and Harry who comes in here for a coffee and expects I’m interested in anything they have to say. Whatever happened to keeping your opinions to yourself?”

Which was rich coming from a guy who had an opinion on almost everything, few of them good, and none of them kept to himself as far as Tanner had seen.

He snorted. “I’ll take that as a hint.”

Adrian handed a coffee each to the two men ahead in the queue. “I’ll let you know if you’re heading that direction.”

Tanner laughed. “I believe it.”

“The usual?”

“Thanks.” He glanced behind Adrian to the closed kitchen door. “Ethan in?”

Adrian’s smirk was hard to miss.

“He’s out back, kneading his balls.”

Tanner nearly swallowed his tongue, a fact not missed by Adrian who sent him another smirk. Bastard.

“His brioche balls.” The barista crafted a heart into the foam of a fresh latte. “Whatever did you think I meant? Hey, Ethan⎯”

“No, it’s… ugh.” He fired Adrian a glare.

The man shrugged. “Oops.” He passed a latte to the man in front and caught Tanner’s eye. “I’ll hold your order for a bit.” Then he winked.

“Do I have a choice?”

“See, you are getting the hang of things around here.”

Tanner could do nothing but laugh.

“You hollered, oh cranky one…” Ethan pushed through the swing door, took one look at Tanner and stopped dead in his tracks. A cute as shit blush spread over a pair of dimpled cheeks.

Ah, fuck. Dimples as well.

About Jay:

I am a New Zealand author writing in m/m romance, and romantic suspense. I have traveled extensively and lived in the US, Canada, France, Australia and South Korea. In a past life I have been an Intensive Care Nurse, Counselor, and a Nursing Lecturer.

I’m a cat aficionado especially of Maine Coons, and an avid dog lover (but don’t tell the cat). I love to cook, pretty damn good, love to sing, pretty damn average, and as for loving full-time writing, absolutely… depending of course on the day, the word count, the deadline, how obliging my characters are, the ambient temperature in the Western Sahara, whether Jupiter is rising, the size of the ozone hole over New Zealand and how much coffee I’ve had.

Welcome to my world.

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A MelanieM Review: Consorts of the Red King by Eden Winters

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

In deepest space the ruthless Federation lays waste to one rebel colony after another, leaving comrades-in-arms Van Orskey and Tayn Kassik without family, without a home, and without hope.

With nothing left but each other, they run contraband and smuggle fugitives from the safety of their ship, the Cormorant—with the occasional clandestine mission for the rival Coalition thrown in. Their heists have not gone unnoticed, though even the bounty on their heads doesn’t prevent them from being a thorn in the enemy’s side at every opportunity.

Pissing them off? Big mistake.

From the day of his birth Prince Jorvik of Akiak learned duty, wisdom, and honor from his father, leaving him ill-equipped to withstand betrayal by his Federation-puppet uncle. He has no love for the greedy off-worlders who plunder his world’s natural resources and enslave his people. To defeat his foe, he needs the cunning, fearlessness, and touch of treachery only outlaws can offer.

Two off-world mercenaries make unlikely partners in Jorvik’s quest for vengeance, but the more he learns of them, the more common ground he discovers. In each other’s arms they find passion, heat, and maybe, a reason for living—until their common enemy threatens to tear them apart.

To survive, they must take on the corrupt Federation.

And win.

I am such a fan of both science fiction and this author so I really enjoyed the  Consorts of the Red King by Eden Winters.  A fast paced novel of political intrigue, intergalactic piracy and interplanetary takeovers, this novel also comes complete with hot sex, even hotter men, aliens, and an intriguing concept of a triad.  All in one story.

The beginning is startling, with an event the reader is not exactly prepared for (and not one I am willing to give away).   But it sets off the series of emotional maneuverings and dynamics to follow between long time partners Van Orskey and Tayn Kassik.  As with all of Winters books, her universe building and back histories are complex and often are revealed in stages.  Here we gradually learn about Van and Tayn, their past, about the ship they inhabit, and the organization they now work for.

It’s a convoluted structure that all starts to unravel for the pair from the first desperate job they take.  Consorts of the Red King is one of those stories that any details mentioned end up being spoilery so none given here.  In fact, the opposite, I wished for more.  Although I could clearly see the world of the Red King, I wanted more of it because from the elements revealed, they enticed mental pictures that craved more definition.

There is a roaring climax here to satisfy anyone.  Powerful, emotional, and yes, so worthwhile.  Loved it.  The perspective of the story is told through the eyes of the three men/beings you see pictured on the cover.  Yes, it works.  It’s needed to pull them together emotionally as a triad, and for you as a reader to accept them as such.

The author states that it took her four years to write this story and it shows it in  the details.  It’s a wonderful, well written, rousing tale.

My only quibble is that ending.  It feels as though you aren’t exactly done.  That you read that last sentence, and expect to turn the page and continue on.   It even sort of states that their journey isn’t complete (I can’t tell you why).  But at the end, the story feels that way too.

According to the author, it might be some time before we see any sequel, so we, and these characters will be waiting on the ending  they deserve.  Until then its a HFN.

If you love Eden Winter and scify, don’t hesitate to pick up Consorts of the Red King! Hot men, fast paced action and love among the stars! Oh my!

Cover art works perfectly for the story.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 364 pages
Published October 26th 2019 by Rocky Ridge Books
ASINB07Y7NKFB3

A MelanieM Review: Fade In (Tales of Bryant #3) by V.L. Locey

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Rating: 4,5  stars out of 5

Will Devon and Caiden discover that their new love is a wrap after the filming ends?

Weddings, champagne, and slow dancing. It’s a lethal combination and one that has led film student Devon Maxwell into one awkward predicament. Brought in at the last minute to help his friends Isamu and Brian during their Bryant Park wedding, Devon was not prepared for Caiden Dell to sweep into his life. The spark of attraction between him and the hip film executive was instantaneous. That spark led them right into Caiden’s big bed for a night of pleasure that Devon will never be able to duplicate no matter how many takes life gives him.

To make things even more complicated, Caiden offers the recently vacated job of office intern to him. He’d be a fool to turn down an offer to work at Budgie in the Dell, the hottest LGBT film production company in the Big Apple. Looks as if Devon’s hopes of working in film are about to come true. He’s ready for days filled with tiring shoots, long hours, and irate actors. He just never dreamed his nights would overflow with passion, laughter, and whispers shared with a gorgeous, older lover.

V.L. Locey’s series,  Tales of Bryant,  is one of those that I wish could have concurrent stories running together.  The author has managed to create such a splendid group of complex, layered characters, each so different from each other, then based their lovers also in opposite “worlds” before bringing the two together, hooked by a delicious confectionary of a bakery near Bryant Park.

Two are poor film students, the others older, richer, although not always wiser in love.    Here I am missing the magical chemistry of Brian Gilles and Isamu Taylor who I followed through two stories (Tales of Bryant, Nine Small Sips).  Their relationship, past histories, and love were something I couldn’t get enough of, and only get glimpses of here.  Yes, I want more of them.

But Devon Maxwell and Caiden Dell are a lovely new couple to obsess over in Fade In, the next installment in Tales of Bryant.  Both characters are people we have met previously in Brian and Isamu’s stories and now we see them after that couple’s wedding.

Although Fade In is a novella, Locey makes it feel like a full length novel.  Her characters are well developed, their intense attraction and love for each other realistic and heartfelt. As was their pain and doubts.  I was with them every bit of their faltering way here and loved it.  As with the others, my only issue is the length because I wanted more at the end.

That romantic resolution needed more of a follow up for me, a better peek into their future.  Where Brian and Isamu got a second story, the next doesn’t belong to Devon and Caiden but another familiar character so I felt a bit let down.  I wanted a continuation here for them as well.

Perhaps that’s down the line.  I certainly hope so.

This is a wonderful series.  Layered, vivid, full of life, rich with location and characters.  One I highly recommend.

Cover Art: Meredith Russell is wonderful.  Love it.

Book Details:
Author: V.L. Locey
Series: TALES OF BRYANT, Book 3
Tag: Age Gap
ASIN: B08429CR84
ISBN: 9781393414315
Length: 34,000 words approx.
 
 
Tales Of Bryant Series 



Book #1 – Tales of Bryant – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link
Book #2 – Nine Small Sips – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link