Review: The Oracle’s Hatchling (The Oracle #2) by Mell Eight

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The Oracle's HatchlingLing was 18, old enough to be tested no matter his parentage.  Yet the Masters barred his way into the testing chamber when he arrived at the choosing ceremony.  forcing him to steal his way into the Oracle’s chambers.  It wasn’t his fault that his birth killed his mother, but that didn’t stop everyone at the Monastery from reviling him nonetheless. But when Ling is tested, the mark on his back is that of an egg instead of one of the four castes, leaving Ling in a worse position than when he went in.  Mocked and hated and now further separated by his tattoo, Ling obeys the Oracle when she sends him off to find employment and a life in Altnoia.

Once Ling has settled into life in the castle’s kitchen, he accidentally falls into a plot to overthrow King Edan and the Oracle who supports him.  Behind the plot is the son of the man who killed the royal family and  usurped the throne. The twin princes and their dragon killed his father and now Prince Damarion lives alone, angry and plotting in the dungeons below.  But Ling understands the pain behind the mask that  Damarion wears and starts up an unexpected friendship with the vengeful prince.  Neither man is prepared for the relationship that follows.  And where it will lead them only fate and the Oracle knows.

Not quite a continuation of the first story,  The Oracle’s Hatchling, the tale of Ling, the Hatchling of the title, is set after the events that took place in The Oracle’s Flame.  The twin Princes and Dragon now hold the throne of Altnoia but the effects of the treachery by the King’s brother continues to spread throughout the kingdom.  At its center is the son of the man who killed his brother and most of his brother’s family.  Now an orphan, Prince Damarion is the focus of all the rage and hatred the people of Altnoia felt towards his father.  Brooding, sulking, and somewhat petulant, he still remains a sad figure, one who has isolated himself from Prince Edan and the other residents of the castle.

Mell Eight manages to take two young men, different in status but not in the manner in which they both were made outsiders by events outside their control, and make them both realistic and worthy of our compassion.  Ling has suffered the worst, he lost his mother and then any place he might have had in the caste societies that live within the Monastery.  Constantly taunted and belittled, his only hope for something better, goes seriously awry or so the author makes us think.  The descriptions of the relationship between Ling and the Oracle are tender and bittersweet, almost guaranteed to bring forth a tear or two. And the moment in which Ling leaves the Monastery and everything he knows for the outside for the first time is something we can relate to, that first step into an unknown future that requires you to leave home maybe forever.

Damarion is another recognizable character.  And by that he feels like that older teen, twenty something young person, who is angry over the things that have happened in his life, things he had no control over and has acted impulsively to the detriment of all.  Our papers are filled full of these young men.  And Damarion’s anger, and sense of indignant self- righteousness and pain makes him an easy target and tool. Again we can understand his behavior and general outlook. Concentrating on only two characters made Ling and Damarion more fleshed out then the Princes because I felt we got to know these characters better. And how Mell Eight brings those two together seems just right as does the communication that starts the relationship between them.

In The Oracle’s Hatchling, we see the kingdom from the viewpoint of those that serve the most basic necessities of the castle.  The cooks, and household staff which is a nice contrast with those scenes where we are reunited with Dragon and his Princes.  There are some wonderful action scenes.  But my favorite? That has to be when we finally see what is behind that egg on Ling’s back.  That is so magical, so imaginative, that as much as I liked the entire book, that made the story for me because it was so unexpected.

Mell Eight intends to write a story about each caste in the Monastery and maybe one more that contains a surprise.  I really don’t know how she will top the surprise in this one.  I can’t wait.  The first story is obviously the Fire Caste with Dragon.  Ling’s Caste is something of a surprise which takes some explaining (see the author interview later this week). While you don’t necessarily have to read The Oracle stories in order, it certainly helps to understand the events and timelines that occur.  I continue to find the Oracle and her Monastery fascinating.  The Oracle’s Golem is next. What will the Earth Caste bring? I can’t wait to find out what is in store next for this magical series.

The first story was m/m/m, or should that be m/m/dragon?  This one is m/m.  No matter, both are imaginative and wonderful, the descriptions vivid and the action engrossing.  I loved the fantasy and Mell Eight’s world building and think you will too.  Pick them up and start reading.  The third is coming soon.

Cover art by London Burden.  I like the simplicity of the cover and the branding design for the series.

Books in the series include:

The Oracle’s Flame
The Oracle’s Hatchling

Book Details:

ebook, 20,000 words, m/m
Published March 5th 2014 by Less Than Three Press LLC (first published March 4th 2014)
original title The Oracle’s Hatchling
ISBN139781620043257
edition languageEnglish
seriesThe Oracle

Buy Link

Contest Winner Announcements and the Week Ahead in Reviews, Author Spotlights and Contests

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Winners of the Book Tour Contests and Author Spotlights

 

Every Inch of the Way coverFreeFalling_500x750Angel's Hero cover

To The Very Last Inch

 

 

 

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  • Winners of The Professor’s Rule Tours (Every Inch of the Way and To the Very Last Inch) by Heidi Belleau and Amelia C. Gormley. Winners are Sonja and Flutterfli. Congratulations to you both. And my thanks to Heidi Belleau for Amelia C. Gormley for stopping by on their tour and bringing the contest with them.
  • Winners of SE Jakes Free Falling Book Tour Contest are: Kathleen Power,Robbie Bauldree, and Kassandra Appel.  They won  SIGNED copies of SE Jakes’s Hell or High Water series: Catch a Ghost and Long Time Gone.   Congratulations to all three!
  • Winner of Kerry Adrienne’s novel, Beautiful One, is Ashley E. Congratulations to Ashley E and my thanks to everyone who stopped by and left comments.

 

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Now for the Week Ahead: Short and sweet this week!  Mell Eight is a new author for me.  I have already reviewed The Oracle’s Flame, the first in her new series.  This week I start off my reviews with the second story, The Oracle’s Hatchling which will  lead into Mell Eight’s Author Spotlight on Wednesday.  Thursday  I am reviewing When All the World Sleeps by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock.  I really wasn’t sure what I was going to feel about this story and it just amazed me with its intensity, and commanding characters.  Dark and a must read.  Friday is the second in Liz Boreno’s Angel series, Angel’s Truth. And finally, SJ Frost is here to finish out the week by talking about her new vampire series and book, Vampire Prince.

And its April.  Will the snow finally stop and the cherry blossoms start to bloom?  Who knows?  We can only hope….

This Week’s Schedule:

  •  Monday, March 31:        The Oracle’s Hatchling by Mell Eight
  • Tuesday, April 1:             Vampire Prince by SJ Frost
  • Wed., April 2:                   Author Spotlight & Contest: Mell Eight
  • Thursday, April 3:          When All the World Sleeps by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock
  • Friday, April 4:                Angel’s Truth by Liz Boreno
  • Sat., April 5:                    Author Spotlight & Contest: SJ Frost

 

Review: Ball & Chain (Cut & Run #8) by Abigail Roux

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

???????????????????????????????????????Ty Grady and the others in his Sidewinder crew are finally home.  After an emotional welcome at the airport, Ty finds he has returned to a world that moved on without him.  As Ty deals with the emotional fallout from the their last black op mission and his reunion with Zane, Deuce, Ty’s brother arrives with wedding news.   Deuce asks Ty to be his best man.  And the wedding?  It’s on a remote island in Scotland. And someone’s been threatening his future father-in-law.

Clearly help is needed and Ty calls on Kelly Abbott and Nick O’Flaherty, his Sidewinder brothers, for assistance, a team with their own secrets to hide. When Nick O’Flaherty and Kelly Abbott join Ty and Zane at the wedding on a private island in Scotland, the remoteness of the location and poor cellphone reception gives them jitters.  But none of them are prepared when the bodies start falling and the killer or killers identities is someone on this small island, either friend, family or close acquaintance.

With all the families jeopardy, including Ty’s young  niece, Ty and Zane, along with Nick and Kelly, must sort through past cases, old enemies, and unknown alliances before more murders occur, including their own.  Weddings are supposed to be happy occasions but who will survive this one is anyone’s guess.

 

Well, here we are.  The penultimate story in the Cut & Run series.  With Ball & Chain (Cut & Run #8), the bells are starting to ring down the end of this remarkable series and Ty Grady and Zane Garrett is starting on the road to their finale. The penultimate story in any series is a tricky one, but even more so in a series as beloved as this one.  It must start to wind down a multitude of plot threads, but not too many, mind you, because you must save the most for the last story.  The penultimate story must layout clues, guidelines as it were, for all the events to come without losing sight that this story must have its own legs to stand on. Its own storyline and its own resolution.

Does Ball & Chain and its author, Abigail Roux, accomplish this daunting task?  Yes, I think it does. Although I think some readers will be disappointed, others will love it, and the rest are just waiting for that last story and nothing will be able to satisfy them before that story arrives.  What a tough audience this book will face as most readers have been with this couple and series from the first book, Cut & Run, and are quite fanatical about Ty and Zane.

One obstacle that I think this book must surmount are the scenes/storylines readers have written for Ty and Zane in their minds since they finished book 7, Touch & Geaux.  This is the reunion book, the one we have been waiting for since that heart-wrenching exit at the  end of Touch & Geaux.  You know, the one that had  people pulling out their hair in tears while wailing in dismay.  That scene.  I have been waiting for that along with you.  Did it live up to my expectations?  Not on the first reading.  Maybe the second.  Again, how could anything beat the glorious, and totally unrealistic scenario I had created in my head for Ty and Zane?  Cue the swelling music,  passionate glances and mad sex acts that happen immediately upon reuniting!  What Abigail Roux came up with was so much better and in keeping with the characters, Ty and Zane.  It was done with humor, affection for all those returning home and, of course, the love that Ty and Zane held for each other. And I loved it, once I got past the purple prose of my imagination.

I loved the location, that isolated island off the coast of Scotland in the Inner Hebrides.  It’s a perfectly spooky place for dead bodies, startling revelations, and hidden passages, of the building and of the heart.  It took all the main characters out of their comfort zones (if they still have any by now), and forced them to look closely at what each of them has become, and at the relationships that have carried them through so far.  Not a particularly happy time….a sexy one but not a happy one for the most part.  Abigail Roux has these precious characters exposing some hard truths about themselves and what their past actions have done to others they care about.  Plus this last mission has clearly damaged all the men involved, Digger, Owen, Nick and Ty, all are showing symptoms of PTSD or signs of other trauma that is the result of their final secret mission.  The stress is overwhelming them and each is trying to deal with it in their own way.

Ball & Chain is a hard book to review because any detail given can lead to a spoiler.  Still there is a lot on Abigail Roux’s agenda for this story.  There is the reunion we have been waiting for as Ty returns, along with the rest of the Sidewinders, from a mysterious mission.  And the reader is just getting settled into familiar surroundings and the FBI office when we are thrown out of the action and into unfamiliar territory.  At the end of the last book, Ty and Zane have outed themselves to their colleagues and bosses and now we wait for the repercussions to hit.  And they do but only for a short while and then we are  whisked away to Scotland.  That felt too abrupt and left this reader feeling a tad unsatisfied about the lack of resolution to this story element.

The wedding in Scotland brings together not only Ty’s entire family, including Ty’s grandfather and his shovel, but Nick and Kelly and the Director too.  As loyalties are divided, and old secrets revealed, ties between people begin to unravel as past histories and relationships surface. Sometimes, however, I felt that so many plot threads, one piling on top of another, almost overwhelmed the story.  At moments, Ball & Chain almost felt like an extension of the 12 Little Indians movie, with corpses piling up everywhere as it looks bleaker and bleaker for those left on the island.  But in true Abigail Roux form, the plot tightens, the nonessentials are pared away, and we are left with Ty and Zane and their fight for each other and a relationship.

Still Ball & Chain is as much about Nick and Kelly as it is about Ty and Zane. It’s about couple dynamics as well as the other complex relationship issues at play here. Sibling brother to brother, Sidewinder brother to brother, lover to lover, fathers/and father figures to sons….Abigail Roux threw it all into the wedding melting pot with explosive results. And this multitude of players, main players, will raise objections from those readers who want Ty and Zane, and only Ty and Zane. And I get that, I really do.

But think back to Touch & Geaux,the preceding story. What a great mess of a book! Full of emotional land mines, psychological quagmires, and quests for revenge to fill several novels, it brought all the Sidewinders together along with Ty and Zane and other important characters only to leave several major plot threads dangling at the end along with character fates. And remember, this includes a mole in the FBI. With that story, everything got tangled up together, people, histories, and past events returning with traumatic results. Now Abigail Roux only has two books to pull it all together. So in my mind, Ball & Chain, as well as the final story, can’t be only Ty and Zane. Because in order for Ty and Zane to have their future, a number of supporting characters have major roles to play for that to happen.  So it has to be about those characters as well, even if that makes some readers unhappy about the loss of page time for Ty and Zane.

So back to the question did Ball & Chain do its job?  Did it raise the right questions? And did it include all the right people?  Did it set the stage for the final story while giving you the reunion you wanted, the drama you expected, as well as the surprises and angst one expects from Abigail Roux and this series?  For me, the answer is yes, yes it did.

Repercussions from the events in New Orleans are still rippling through the group, the mole is at large, and a major player has just died. OK, i was pretty happy about that one.  Now everyone has returned to the US and the final battles can begin.  I can’t wait.

And Abigail Roux did give me an ending this time that I adored (at least as far at Ty and Zane were concerned).  One that starts to bring everything to a satisfying conclusion. There is a line towards the end that will be one of my favorite ones of the series.  I wonder if you will be able to spot it?

The author has said she won’t go past book 9 for the Cut & Run series, so I expect Ty and Zane to go out with a bang.  Maybe even a flashbang.  Only the author knows for sure.  Roux has made Ty and Zane deal with huge issues and traumas, from alcoholism and torture, lying and commitment, kidnapping and coming out, even claustrophobia and fear of heights. So I expect the final story to feature more of the same, more soul searching and scary events to come.

Maybe even Grandpa with his shovel.

And hopefully a wedding.  That would be lovely.

Until then I will search through the series again for more clues about the Mole and people we expect to pop up in the finale.  I will reread the moment they were pulled apart in Touch & Geaux, and then the moment they came back together in Ball & Chain.  And then I will read the end of this story one more time.

Ty and Zane are about to have their ending.  I will be there with tissues in hand to see how it all ends.  I will probably hate it in sections and I will love it.  That’s the way this series works.  And this couple.  All or nothing.  Bring it on, Abigail Roux!

Cover art by LC Chase continues the wonderful branding that is a mark of this series.  Love it although not as much as the tiger.

Book Details:

Paperback, 306 pages
Published March 17th 2014 by Riptide Publishing (first published March 2nd 2014)
original titleBall & Chain
ISBN139781626491076
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://riptidepublishing.com/titles/ball-chain-cut-run-8
seriesCut & Run #8
charactersTy Grady, Zane Garrett

Books in the Cut & Run series in the order they were written and should be read:

Here are the books in the order they were written and should be read:

  • Ball & Chain (Cut & Run #8) the penultimate story
  • Touch & Geaux (Cut & Run #7)
  • Stars & Stripes (Cut & Run #6)
  • Dine & Dash (Cut & Run, #5.5)
  • Armed & Dangerous , #5 – by Abigail Roux
  • Divide & Conquer #4,*
  • Fish & Chips #3, *
  • Sticks & Stones #2,*
  • Cut & Run #1 – *all of these written by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux

Ty & Zane Are Back in Ball & Chain! Visit with Abigail Roux (Inside Info and Amazing Contest)

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Ball&Chain_TourBanner

Welcome to the Ball & Chain virtual tour! If you’re following along, you’ll be able to win yourself some goodies that might just save your life! I’ve got five Survival Kits in a Sardine Can, perfect for traveling and hiking or taking with you to remote island weddings where people might be dying. And I’ve got five sets of trading cards with original artwork and character work-ups for the less adventurous readers!Ty & Zane Survivial Kit

Contest: Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing to win one of five Survival Kits in a Sardine Can or one of five sets of trading cards with original artwork. Entries close at midnight, Eastern Time, on April 1 , and winners will be announced on April 3rd. Contest is valid worldwide.

 

STRW: Abigail Roux was kind enough to answer some of the questions I have been dying to ask her since I found Ty and Zane in the Cut & Run series and about her latest novel, Ball & Chain (Cut & Run #8). Let’s get started….

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STRW:  I know you (Abigail) always do extensive research on the locations for your stories.  Ball & Chain is set in Scotland.  Where you able to travel there?

Abigail Roux:
I was! I went to the UK and Ireland last summer and spent almost three weeks traveling with two friends. I post about my research travels on a Tumblr I made specifically so people could follow along. You can find it at abitravels.tumblr.com. It follows my adventures, and the adventures of Nelson the om nom, who goes everywhere with me. I like to share those adventures with readers; it makes the process even more hands on.

STRW: • What was your inspiration for setting the story in Scotland?

Abigail:
Originally the book was supposed to be set in the Caribbean. After a little research, though, I realized it would never work for my purposes. So I did a Google search for isolated wedding locations, and the name that caught my eye first was a place called Knoydart. We actually traveled there to scout it out. It wound up not being right for the book either, but I was able to see enough of Scotland, which is absolutely breathtaking, to create an amalgam of the things I needed. So the book takes place on a fake island, but everything about it is as authentic as I could make it.

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STRW: • What was the biggest challenge to writing this penultimate story to the Cut & Run series?

Abigail:
Oh gosh. It’s so stressful. I want these last two books to be worthy, and I want them to be memorable and perfect and I want readers to end the series on a high note. And that’s going to be so very hard to do. It keeps me awake at night. But when I got into this book and started writing, all that slipped away and it was just about the story and the characters again. So the biggest challenge is compartmentalizing it to keep me from freaking out!

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STRW:• So many people have fallen in love with Nick and Kelly; did you find it hard to balance out the readers’ devotion to Ty and Zane with our need to see more of Nick and Kelly when putting them in the same story?  Especially this story that we have been waiting for-the reunion of Ty and Zane?

Abigail Roux:
I didn’t find it hard, no, because Nick always had a huge role in this book. He’s actually the driving force behind a lot of the tension and drama. Adding Kelly to him was no trouble at all because Kelly is an easy character. He doesn’t make waves, basically, because he just rolls with it. I don’t think they take away from Ty and Zane, and they certainly don’t subtract from Ty and Zane’s romance or their tale. I know some readers have been worried about Ty and Zane sharing page time, but at this stage they have to or the books would be all about them hiding under the covers refusing to answer their phone.

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STRW:• Do you think you will be able to let go of Ty and Zane at book 9, or will the series continue?

Abigail Roux:
The series will definitely end at book 9, whether I like it or not. That’s always been the plan, and there’s no reason to change it now. I will miss them terribly, because at this point they’re both a part of me. But I have surprises for readers coming in the Sidewinder Series. No one will have to say goodbye to Ty and Zane until I kill them off!

STRW:• Is there a Ty and Zane wedding to look forward to?

Abigail Roux:
Well, someone does get married in Ball & Chain . . .

STRW: Now that’s just evil…
• Both characters have undergone so much growth over the series.  It has been wrenching to read about at times, joyful at others. Is there one special scene that is your favorite with the men?

Abigail Roux:
My favorite scene between Ty and Zane will always be in Divide & Conquer when they dance in Ty’s living room. It wasn’t planned as we were writing; it was just something Ty did almost without my permission. It made it feel very authentic, even to me, and I love the quiet romance of it.

STRW:• Ty and Zane are definitely an A List couple.  People are mad for them.  Why do you think they have such staying power for readers?

Abigail Roux:
I wish I knew so I could bottle it! I think both men are so flawed, people can relate to them easily, but they also do things most of us don’t’ allow ourselves. Zane is hard on himself and he lets his past and fears dictate his actions, and that’s something a lot of people do and can sympathize with. They root for him to pull past that. Ty is impulsive and fun and frankly kind of crazy, and that’s a luxury a lot of people aren’t allowed in life. Ty and Zane offer us a combination of pieces of ourselves we recognize, and pieces we wish we had. I think people have latched onto them because they see a bit of themselves in one or both characters.

You can contact Abigail Roux at:

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???????????????????????????????????????Ball & Chain (Cut & Run #8): Home from their unexpected deployment, the former members of Marine Force Recon team Sidewinder rejoin their loved ones and try to pick up the pieces of the lives they were forced to leave behind. Ty Grady comes home to Zane Garrett, only to find that everything around him has changed—even the men he went to war with. He barely has time to adjust before his brother, Deuce, asks Ty to be his best man. But that isn’t all Deuce asks Ty to do, and Ty must call for backup to deal with the business issues of Deuce’s future father-in-law.

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Nick O’Flaherty and Kelly Abbott join Ty and Zane at the wedding on an island in Scotland, thinking they’re there to assuage Deuce’s paranoia. But when bodies start dropping and boats start sinking, the four men get more involved with the festivities than they’d ever planned to.

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With the clock ticking and the killer just as stuck on the isolated island as they are, Ty and Zane must navigate a veritable minefield of family, friends, and foes to stop the whole island from being destroyed.

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You can pre-order Ball & Chain from Riptide and get it two days early!

Contest:  Abigail Roux is giving away five Survival Kits in a Sardine Can, perfect for traveling and hiking or taking with youTy & Zane Survivial Kit to remote island weddings where people might be dying. And I’ve got five sets of trading cards with original artwork and character work-ups.Leave a comment to be entered into the drawing. . Entries close at midnight, Eastern Time, on April 1 , and winners will be announced on April 3rd. Contest is valid worldwide.

Review: Artist’s Touch (Guild #1) by Kerry Adrienne

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

artiststouch_coverWallace Harte has a English degree and a passion for writing.  But Wally has a huge writer’s block and inspiration is lacking as are jobs. To make ends meet, he has become a bartender. When a job bartending opens up at a new art exhibition by master painter Kenon Alavi, Wally eagerly accepts and forever changes his life.

Kenon Alavi is an artist highly in demand by starlets and stars, rich and the powerful. As an portrait artist, Kenon commands high prices and attention where he goes and for whatever commission he deigns to accept.  Kenon is also a major player when it comes to romance and sexual conquests.  Hurt and betrayed by a former lover, now Kenon enjoys only the most superficial of relationships and brief sexual encounters of the non involved kind.

When Kenon spots Wally behind the bar at his opening, he intends to add Wally to the list of sexual  conquests he had made, a tag line in a long list of games he has played and nothing more.  But Wally flees from Kenon’s attention despite his obvious attraction to the artist.  Dismayed and a little intrigued, Kenon pursues the young writer, getting far more involved with Wally than he anticipated in the process.

Meanwhile, Wally’s muse has awakened and its focused on Kenon and Wally’s growing love for the man.  What will happen when Kenon finds he is the source and main character in Wally’s romance?

Artist’s Touch was enjoyable romantic story, my first from this author. I found it to be sweet without being too cloying,  and based on a terrific premise of an artist’s guild, G3,  which Adrienne is developing into a series.  There was so much about Artist’s Touch that I liked, from the plot to most of the characters that the positive elements outweighed the few issues I had with the story. So let’s start with those first.

The character of Wallace Harte is a real plus here.  He is a naive young man, recent college graduate, living the life of a poor writer in New York City.  Kerry Adrienne’s descriptions of Wally’s living quarters (almost that size) are wonderful. From the conditions around him, and the tiny space where Wally resides and writes to the old neighbor habitually found sitting on the front steps, it all feels remarkably real.  The six story walkup has a dingy, confined authenticity that makes it easy to visualize Wally at home, trying to write on that small desk and poor lighting.  With his  innocence and naivete, Wally is such an easy character to connect with, and even when his writing (which we get to read) becomes a bit florid, well, than he’s young and its sort of adorable.

Less easy to relate to is the character of Kenon Alavi.  I like a difficult character, and feel it’s certainly not necessary to make all main character’s easy people to connect with or even like.  But for a romance to succeed, than that character must make a realistic journey from jerk to a person capable of love or deserving of it in the mind of a reader.  Especially if there is a large perception in the status between the two men in the relationship.  Poor/rich, innocent/worldly….the reader automatically comes down on the side of the young and poor.  So the other character has to work that much harder if their persona is that of someone not worthy of the other’s person’s attention and trust.

Kenon is unfortunately at the heart of most of my issues with this story.  We flip back and forth between Kenon’s and Wally’s pov.  With Kenon, we hear all about the “game of conquest” he is planning for Wally.  Yet when a friend calls him on his behavior, then he is quick to tears and hurt.  His actions never seem particularly adult (more like delayed adolescence).  Further events are precipitated when he believes the words of someone he despises over friends, which strains the reader’s credulity.  As I stated before, when you have created a self involved and arrogant character than you need to give yourself enough time in the narrative to make his realization of his past actions and redemption plausible.  And that never quite happens here.  Instead there is a rather quick resolution and an equally fast “I love you” to smooth over all the arguments and misunderstandings that had arisen between Wally and Kenon.

Circling this disparate duo is other intriguing characters that are a part of the G3 artists guild.  One is Bos, a mosaic artist and close friend of Kenon (although you never quite understand why).  The other one I throughly enjoyed was the Russian artist, Andrei.  An absolute rogue and a pain in Kenon’s side, his lively and sarcastic nature just cries out for his own story.  And his was a character that, at least, treated the workers and other guild members of G3 far better than Kenon did.  Again, not a good sign when a secondary character is preferable to a main one.

In the end, however, you want Wally to get his HEA, no matter how farfetched it feels, because you have come to care about him and his future.  And he does get it.  The G3 guild that Adrienne has created is a wonder of a vehicle for more stories.  I loved her descriptions of the place and the guild politics that seem to be swirling around the players involved.  I certainly hope to see Andrei again.  Guild-mate Bos too.  So onto Guild story #2.

If you are looking for a quick, sweet romance, Wally and his story is sure to pull you right in.  Pick it up and decide for yourself.

Cover design by Kelly Martin.  What a great cover, that model is gorgeous and absolutely perfect for Kenon as described.

Book Details:

ebook, 147 pages
Published February 26th 2014 by Ellora’s Cave
ISBN 1419947621 (ISBN13: 9781419947629)
edition language English
Buy link: Ellora’s Cave
ARC copy received in return for fair review given.

When All The World Sleeps Tour and Contest

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Hi! We’re Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock, authors of  When All the World Sleeps. We’re touring the web talking about our influences, our crazy ideas, this new book, and even giving you a sneak peek or two! And of course there’s a giveaway involved! Leave a comment to win!

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ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords welcomes Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock today on their When All the World Sleeps tour. Hi.Lisa. Good morning, JA!WhenAllTheWorld_150x300

Thanks so much to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for having us, and to everyone following the tour. Today Lisa interviews J.A.

LH: Hi! I’m Lisa Henry. Today, as part of our When All the World Sleeps blog tour, I’m interviewing my co-author, the very talented and only slightly disturbed J.A. Rock.


J.A.R: Only slightly? How many more sharks do I need to hug to get upgraded to highly?

LH: So, J.A., I’m giving you all the credit for coming up with the idea for When All the World Sleeps. It’s a darker premise than anything we’ve written before, particularly coming on the heels of Mark Cooper versus America. Where did you get the idea from?


J.A.R: In grad school, Barnes & Noble was on the way to campus, so sometimes a demon would take hold of me while I was driving to school and make me swerve into the B&N parking lot. I would hang out reading for hours instead of going to class. One day I found an issue of Scientific American that featured a story about sleepwalkers committing violent crimes. I knew I wanted to do a book about it, and I also thought it might be a good project for us to work on together. But we were still writing The Good Boy, and I had no idea if you were going to want to continue co-writing after TGB. So I sat on the sleepwalker idea for a while!

I also lived in a cabin in the woods at the time. In the south. And I’d killed a ma–uh, mosquito. I killed mosquito. *darts eyes* So the pieces were all there.


LH: Chronologically, we wrote Mark Cooper versus America after When All the World Sleeps. I think Mark Cooper might have been the light-hearted relief we needed after WAtWS. When All the World Sleeps might be my favourite of all our joint works. Do you agree with me, or are we going to have to fight it out?

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J.A.R: No fighting necessary! It’s definitely my favorite. All the other books know it and are plotting to smother WAtWS with a pillow when I’m not looking.

I love that the majority of my solo works are comedies and all of yours are dark and angsty. Yet you’re hilarious, and I am, as you mentioned, slightly disturbed. So I came to you with a really messed up idea, and shortly thereafter you came to me with a funny, angst-free idea. We just don’t want to be pigeonholed, right? Why does that word always sound dirty to me?

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LH: In Daniel, we wrote a character who got into BDSM for what might be the wrong reasons: he needs to be locked up by a Dom because he’s afraid he can’t control himself. There’s nothing safe or sane about what Daniel does. His perceptions of BDSM are more skewed than Bel’s, even though Daniel’s the one with experience. In a lot of romance, BDSM is seen as some kind of healing process, almost like therapy. How important was it to you that we avoided that trope here?

J.A.R: I believe BDSM can be therapeutic—in the same way any kind of love/relationship/intimacy/exploration of self can be therapeutic. For trauma victims, it’s no substitute for actual therapy, but it can help people learn more about themselves and their desires, open up, trust others, and understand the contrast between suffering in real life and getting to choose when and how to “suffer” in the bedroom with a trusted partner.

In Daniel’s case, I think he gets a little of that—but he also totally abuses BDSM. And he’s been so confused and lost for so long that he can’t always tell the difference between the kind of submission that brings him peace, and the kind of “submission” that’s about self-harm.

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LH: Do you think writers have a responsibility to educate readers about BDSM practices simply because of the amount of misinformation out there?

J.A.R: Hmm. This is tricky. On the one hand, the romance genre is very much fantasy-based. You could argue that romance sometimes offers misinformation about vanilla sex, or about relationships in general. But at least with vanilla relationships, we have a wide variety of mainstream portrayals ranging from the realistic to the completely absurd. Plus the majority of the population has firsthand experience. BDSM doesn’t have that. Most portrayals of BDSM in our culture come from the romance and erotica genres. Or from, like, Law & Order: SVU — “The Case of the Sex Dungeon Pervert.” So if these portrayals are ignorant or negative, I think that definitely has some real world repercussions.

BDSM is a massive umbrella term, and the lifestyle works differently for all participants, so it’s hard to define an “accurate” portrayal. However, one rule across the board is that BDSM should always be safe, sane, and consensual–and that’s a rule often broken in romantic fiction! We’ve got all these stories about kinky people who were warped by their abusive pasts, or mind-reader doms who somehow know at first glance that a beautiful vanilla is actually a secret sub. These can be fun fantasies, but ones I sometimes worry eclipse reality–to the detriment of a mainstream understanding and acceptance of BDSM.

In the end, I think I’d go with the ol’ “know the rules before you break them” creed. I like the idea of authors doing their research, and then deciding if/how they want to deviate for the sake of fantasy.

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LH: Who is your favourite character in When All the World Sleeps?

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J.A.R: Daniel’s the kind of character I tend to enjoy writing the most—in severe mental turmoil, self-destructive, sort of submissive, and unsure who he can trust. He’s probably my favorite–though Bel might have been even more rewarding to write, since his journey forces him to shed his misguided ideas. I love seeing characters sacrifice what’s familiar and comfortable in order to try to do the right thing.

LH: You’ve lived in the South. Do you think we got it right?



J.A.R: Oh the poor South! We definitely played into some stereotypes of small minded rural southern towns. But you know, when I was heading off to Alabama, a lot of people joked about how hard I was going to clash with the conservative environment. And I was like, no way can it be that bad. Yet I definitely heard some things in small town Alabama that I wasn’t aware people still said post, you know, 1964 or so.

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But those attitudes are by no means unique to or present everywhere in the South. In WAtWS, the problem isn’t so much WHERE Logan (the town) is, and more WHAT it is, I think. It’s so small and so isolated that its prejudices are really deep-rooted. It’s not a place that lets in a lot of new blood or fresh ideas.

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We definitely got the humidity and mosquitoes right.

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LH: Okay, no spoilers, but what was your favourite part of the book to write?

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J.A.R: I really like the first time Bel helps Daniel through a hallucination. Normally I like writing the dark stuff better than the sweet stuff, but in this book, the tender moments feel earned. They’re not just there because Aw, Love Is Cute. They’re there because Daniel needs them—and we need a periodic break from Daniel’s relentless suffering. But I also really like the finale. You know what I’m talking about. You were there.

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Contest: Thanks for following our tour! To celebrate our release, we’re giving away a great pair of prizes! Up for grabs is an ebook of our last co-release, Mark Cooper versus America, and a $20 gift voucher from Riptide. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a way for us to contact you, be it your email, your Twitter, or a link to your Facebook or Goodreads account. Please put your email in the body of the comment, not just in email section of the comment form, because we won’t be able to see it otherwise! On APRIL 2, we’ll draw a winner from all eligible comments! Be sure to  follow the whole tour, because the more comments you leave the more chances you have to win this awesome prize!

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WhenAllTheWorldSleeps_500x750_0About When All the World Sleeps:

Daniel Whitlock is terrified of going to sleep. And rightly so: he sleepwalks, with no awareness or memory of his actions. Including burning down Kenny Cooper’s house—with Kenny inside it—after Kenny brutally beat him for being gay. Back in the tiny town of Logan after serving his prison sentence, Daniel isolates himself in a cabin in the woods and chains himself to his bed at night.

Like the rest of Logan, local cop Joe Belman doesn’t believe Daniel’s absurd defense. But when Bel saves Daniel from a retaliatory fire, he discovers that Daniel might not be what everyone thinks: killer, liar, tweaker, freak. Bel agrees to control Daniel at night—for the sake of the other townsfolk. Daniel’s fascinating, but Bel’s not going there.

Yet as he’s drawn further into Daniel’s dark world, Bel finds that he likes being in charge. And submitting to Bel gives Daniel the only peace he’s ever known. But Daniel’s demons won’t leave him alone, and he’ll need Bel’s help to slay them once and for all—assuming Bel is willing to risk everything to stand by him.

You can read an excerpt and purchase When All the World Sleeps  here.

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About the Authors

✍Lisa Henry lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.
She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

You can visit Lisa at:

✍J.A. Rock has worked as a dog groomer, knife seller, haunted house zombie, standardized patient, cashier, census taker, state fair quilt hanger, and, for one less-than-magical evening, a server—and would much rather be writing about those jobs than doing them. J.A. lives mostly in West Virginia, and always with a beloved dog, Professor Anne.

You can visit J.A. at:
Website,
JA Rock blog,
Twitter
Facebook.

Author and Book Spotlight: Katey Hawthorne on Superpowers and In Distress, a story from the Missed Connections collection (Giveaway Alert!)

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Author Spotlight: Katey Hawthorne

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Katey Hawthorne is here today at ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords and she has brought a copy of her book In Distress to giveaway to celebrate the release of her latest Superpowered Love story.

Contest: To enter to win a  ebook copy of In Distress, leave a comment along with an email address where you can be reached. Contest ends 4/1.

Welcome, Katey!

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Katey Hawthorne:

So one day, I was scrolling through my tumblr dash and saw a post full of funny sandwich board signs. You know the kind, like outside bars and coffee shops with witty little drawings and sayings on them. And I thought, “Oh man, I love those; I should totally use them in a book sometime.” As you do.

Around the same time, I heard about the Missed Connections collection–based on the Craigslist section of the same name–that Loose Id was planning. The official copy reads like this:

You know that great-looking guy you saw on the outbound train as yours was inbound? The one you can’t stop fantasizing about but haven’t seen since?

Place an ad. Sometimes fate gives you another chance.

As usual, my brain went to superpowers. What kind of ad would someone place in that section for someone with superpowers? Maybe they’re looking for the hot (or in this case, cold) guy who came to their rescue and then disappeared.

Which translated into the first scene of In Distress, as it turns out, my little offering to the Missed Connections collection.

What does it have to do with funny sandwich boards? Eddie, the hero, works in a coffee shop just below his apartment–and it’s a point of pride with him to make sure there’s something clever on the sign each and every morning. Okay, sometimes it’s less clever, more silly. Or more ‘looking for a hot red-headed superhero but trying to be subtle about it’. But he tries, the poor dear.

Funny when different forces align to bring a story to light. Even funnier that in an entire series about people with superpowers, Eddie’s my first would-be damsel in distress. But then, nothing’s what it seems there, either…

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KH_indistress_coverlg_1BLURB: Hopeless romantic Eddie Kim acts out his favorite ‘rescued by the white knight’ fantasies through weekly D&D campaigns, but had almost given up hope of ever getting a real one. Then Callum, a mysterious red-head with freezing superpowers and a memorable kiss, saves him from a house but disappears without a trace. Taking pity on him, Eddie’s friends look to craiglist to relocate his hero.

Unfortunately, the publicity brings down the kind of attention Callum Race been trying to avoid; he’s in town to try and clear his family name, and now the dangerous superpowered organization he needs to thwart know he’s come home again. Still, he can’t help following up with Eddie.

The heat between Callum and Eddie flares instantly, and Eddie insists on helping to undo the damage his romantic notions have done. The problem: that will mean becoming embroiled in a nefarious plot, not to mention a superpowered world Eddie didn’t even know existed a week ago. The ‘bad guys’ will try to trick and use him, and in the meantime he has to convince Cal to trust him enough to be the white knight for once–and for real–instead of the perpetual damsel in distress.

Buy Link:  Loose id LLC

 

Book Details:
Author:Katey Hawthorne
Length:Novel, Loose id, LLC
ISBN:978-1-62300-611-2
Series:Superpowered Love
Cover Artist:P. L. Nunn
Prev Book:Superpowered Love 5: Re-Entry Burn

You can follow Katey at:–

Katey Hawthorne~Superpowered Love
Website
Twitter
Goodreads Author Page
Email kate@kateyhawthorne.com

 

Review: Angel’s Hero (Angel #1) by Liz Borino

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Angel's Hero coverCIA Agent Aaron “Angel” Collins and his Army Captain husband, Jordan Collins. are happy in love and happily married. Then Jordan is shipped off to Afghanistan on a special mission, one that turns deadly.  When Aaron is notified of Jordan’s death by  Jordan’s commanding officers, something just doesn’t feel right.  There is no remains, no concrete proof of Jordan’s death, raising Aaron’s suspicions.   Immediately Aaron sets off to seek out the truth and find out if his husband is still alive.  Major General Troy Hart offers Aaron first his sympathy and then his assistance in Aaron’s investigation.  But does he really believe that Aaron is right or is he merely humoring Aaron?

The truth is Captain Jordan Collins is alive and injured in an Afghanistan prison.  While captive, Jordan learns that he has been betrayed by someone back in the States, someone who just might be high up in his chain of command. When Jordan learns that an order has been issued for his death, he escapes and starts off on a perilous journey back to the States and Aaron.  But who can Jordan trust if  he makes it back home to the man he loves? And is he putting Aaron in danger by returning home?

Angel’s Hero is the first book I have read by Liz Borino.  The first in a series, it introduces us to the main characters, Jordan Collins, an Army Captain of mixed ethnicity (part Korean, part Black), who has become disillusioned with his Army superiors enough to be looking at early out and another career.  His husband, is CIA operative Aaron “Angel” Collins, stationed at CIA Headquarters in Langley, VA.  They met 11 years earlier at meeting of CIA interns and low-level Army officers and clicked even though DADT was still in place.  The time periods fluctuate between years from present time to the past as flashbacks show us how the men meet and fall in love.

The dialog and scenes that play out between the couple are lovely.  I believed in their romance and deep connection and that made the events that followed believably painful and full of anxiety.  What I found less plausible was the conversations Aaron had with his new superior at the CIA and his status as a CIA agent.  His conversations are a constant flow of information about himself, his husband, his husband’s plans upon leaving the military, nothing seems to be held back and this man is not only his new boss but someone who is alarmingly intimate for someone he just met.  Had that been a conversation between two people in any other job it still would have felt too familiar and odd.  But in intelligence officers that are practically strangers?  It never felt convincing and took something away from believing in the author’s world building.

As I said, I liked the characters and the relationship between Aaron and Jordan. That felt easy and loving, just as one would expect from a long established domestic partnership.  But almost immediately, other errors popped up to distract me from the events occurring within the plot. These are blunders that cannot be mistaken for artistic license.  One such example of artistic license would be putting a McDonald’s on a street corner where it doesn’t exist (that occurs here too). It’s entirely possible that a McDonald’s could appear in a new location, so that works even if you are familiar with a neighborhood.

No, I am referring to descriptions or information used as to set a scene that are obviously incorrect.   Here is an excerpt that shows some of the issues found within the story:

July 2013 Bethesda, Maryland.  Aaron inhaled the mixture of pine, leather, cherry blossoms, and the freshness of his husband, Jordan. The cherry blossom scent drifted through the cracked window letting in the July air, and the cruel light streaming through the window implored his eyes to open. Aaron resisted because as soon as he acknowledged the morning, he would have to be responsible. Get up, put on clothes, and take Jordan to the airport where he’d board a plane and disappear for three months. Jordan’s shortest deployment to date, and also the only one Aaron would have no part in.

This paragraph opens the second chapter and two facts jumps out at me immediately as a resident of the Washington DC Metro area.  First is the fact that it is July in the story and the cherry blossoms are blooming.  Now Washington, DC’s (and Bethesda’s) cherry blossoms are world renown.  People all over, especially in China and Japan, plan their vacations to coincide with our Cherry Blossom Festival.  Which happens in April.  Around here everyone breathlessly awaits the NPS announcement that tells the region when to expect the Japanese Cherry trees to start blooming each year.  Some years it is late March, most times it is April.  Never, ever, is it in July.  The second issue is the idea that anyone in this area would open a window in July, letting in the 90 percent humidity and intense heat that July in this region brings.  And unless the scent of pine is from Pinesol, that doesn’t happen at this time of year either.  Both the bloom date of the cherry trees and our temperatures in July are easy to research.  Yet that didn’t happen to the detriment of the story.

For me the best part of the story occurs when Jordan is a prisoner in Afghanistan.  Borino builds up the suspense and precariousness of Jordan’s situation with great descriptions and the addition of Adeela Nadar, a nurse at the prison.  But again, I wondered if a female nurse would have been allowed near male prisoners or any male for that matter.  Over and over, Borino asks the reader to suspend our belief given what we know about the Afghanistan culture and the extreme Islamic beliefs in that region that would allow a woman to work within that environment.  Again it’s a matter of terrific characters versus unrealistic situations.

Other notes made during reading include notations about landing a plane near Bethesda (totally urban, no airport) and finding oneself 10 minutes from home by the street signs.  Or arriving via airplane at an unidentified airport within the Beltway, wounded and without identification and you are not detained? By anyone post 9/11 and Homeland Security?  And that close to Washington, DC, no airports major or local are within 10 minutes of Bethesda, MD.  Unfortunately, all these mistakes pop up at the most inopportune times, yanking this reader out of the story each time such a mistake is mentioned.

The ending is heartbreaking and the emotions it engenders are real.  I liked so much about this story but the errors kept this reader from the total enjoyment that I wanted to feel.  Perhaps if you are not from this area, then the mistakes that occur here won’t bother you or interfere with your reading pleasure as it did mine.

I need to see what happens next as the ending itself is a bit of a cliffhanger.  So on to Angel’s Truth (Angel #2) I go.  If you are new to this series as I am, they should clearly be read in the order they were written.

The Angel series:

Angel’s Hero (Angel #1)
Angel’s Truth (Angel #2)

Cover art by Anthony Walsh.  Lovely cover, and the models work for the characters within.

Book Details:

ebook, 79 pages
Published February 26th 2014 by Lazy Day (first published February 25th 2014)
ISBN 1016125812 (ISBN13: 9781612581248)
edition languageEnglish
seriesAngel #1

A Very Special Book and the Week Ahead in Reviews, Author Spotlights and Contests

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Grand Adventures Anthology

On  Monday, March 31st, Dreamspinner Press is releasing a very special anthology titled Grand Adventures.  All proceeds from the sale of Grand Adventures will go to TJ Klune and Eric Arden, who are starting off on another stage in their adventure together. Eric is being released from the hospital and both men will move into their new house, although under circumstances neither one would have ever imagined.  These men are my heroes.  Their bravery and courage is amazing as is their love for each other.

So many great authors have lent their talents and stories to this anthology. In addition, the cover by Paul Richmond, which is beyond amazing,( that’s Eric and TJ in the rearview mirror) is being offered up in two sizes of prints for a limited time.  I have included the link to that information as well.

Whether you know TJ and Eric personally, or from their hilarious vids, or their books, so many people have been touched by their talent, their outsized warm personalities and their amazing love story.  And they need our help. Donations are still being taken at the Eric Arvin support fund linked on this website but here is another great way to contribute and you get wonderful stories to boot!

On September 1, 2011, TJ Klune wrote, “…it’s not about the ending, it’s about the journey…” in a review of Eric Arvin’s Woke Up in a Strange Place. With those words, two men began a journey of love and invited us to ride along. TJ and Eric have shared so much with us: their wonderful books, their smiles, their humor, their lives, and their inspiring devotion to each other. In December of 2013, their journey took a detour when Eric was taken to the emergency room. He survived the surgery to remove a cavernous hemangioma from his brain stem, but the challenges TJ and Eric face are far from over.

The authors in this anthology donated their talent as a way to support Eric’s continued recovery, to help bring strength to TJ, and to show both of them just how much love surrounds them. Grand Adventures is a diverse range of stories about the journey of love. We’re going on some grand adventures for a great cause. Thank you for joining us.GrandAdventuresPrints_DSPsite

One hundred percent of the income from this volume goes directly to TJ and Eric Buy it here at Dreamspinner Press.

  • Prints of the cover are available until April 30th in 2 sizes, buy linkhere

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Now for this week’s schedule of reviews, author guest blogs and contests:

  • Monday, March 24:            Angel’s Hero by Liz Boreno
  • Tuesday, March 25:           Author Spotlight and Contest with Katey Hawthorne
  • Wed., March 26:                 When All the World Sleeps Book Tour and Contest
  •                                                    with Lisa Henry and JA Rock
  • Thursday, March 27:        Artist’s Touch (Guild #1) by Kerry Adrienne
  • Friday, March 28:              Cut & Run with Abigail Roux on the Ball & Chain Book Tour
  •                                                     and Contest (Ty and Zane are back!)
  • Saturday, March 29:         Ball & Chain by Abigail Roux

Review: Free Falling (Extreme Escapes, Ltd.) by S.E. Jakes

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Sometimes falling in love is the most dangerous thing of all…

FreeFalling_500x750Expert thief Blue first met Mick, a mercenary and a hitter, when the millionaire they were working for sent them out to “retrieve” a priceless statue and ship it out of the country.  Blue was adamant about working solo, Mick was just as adamant that he was coming along as ordered.  The argument only ended after a bet was made and agreed upon.  A bet Blue lost.  But Mick never showed up, leaving Blue hanging  and alone in the hotel room that had been part of the bet.  Blue was angry, humiliated, and more than a little frustrated at the way the evening turned out.  Blue swore that Mick wouldn’t get a second chance.  And then a year later he sees him again.

A year later finds Blue in Bogota.  The job Blue is on should be quick and easy, its also one he has been paid for.  But things start to go wrong almost immediately.  Blue spots Mick in a meeting in a bar, catching not only Mick’s eye but that of the dangerous drug dealer Mick is working with.  It takes finesse and quick thinking by Mick to get Blue away from the criminal and a deadly situation that was getting out of control.  Recovering, Mick and Blue realize that they care for each other.  But their jobs and personalities make going forward impossible.

Then Mick disappears on a job and its up to Blue to save him.  Suddenly nothing is impossible if only he can save Mick first.

Blue and Mick first appeared on my radar during the Hell or High Water series.  SE Jakes gave us tantalizing glimpses of this duo throughout those stories as Blue popped in to visit Prophet only to be followed by Mick still chasing after him.  A few sentences of dialog, a quick scene that telegraphed the deep love and affection these men felt for each other, and then, poof, they were gone.  Blue would jump out the window with Mick close behind him.  And the reader was left wondering who were these crazy men and what was their backstory?

In Free Falling, we finally get some answers, but only some.  Blue is an unrepentant thief.  He enjoys his work and is one of the top “procurement” people in the world.  He is never going to change, a fact that has acted as a bulwark against any lasting relationships except one. But what happened to make Blue this way?  SE Jakes has created an almost heartbreaking answer to that question.  From Blue’s memories and several phone calls he gets while on the run, the reader gathers the pieces to the puzzle that is Blue.  From his dysfunctional family background to his raison d’être, all are clues which help us better understand Blue. It also makes his need for stealing understandable and almost honorable, almost.  Blue is a complicated man, surprisingly full of insecurities and yet still so confident in his abilities and intelligence.  And he meets his match in Mick.

Ah, Mick.  A massive mountain of a man.  A killer, a soldier, full of unwavering loyalties. And yet….still capable of friendship and love.  His complexities are a perfect match for the compulsions and intricacies that is Blue.  I haven’t read all of the Extreme Escapes Ltd. stories, so I don’t know if his backstory is already out there.  But again, SE Jakes gives us enough to cobble together an understanding of this man and the forces that drive him.

These men need a plot as intense, dangerous and wild as they are and they get it in Free Falling, a perfect metaphor for their lives.  Someone is manufacturing a drug that whips a person into a long lasting sexual frenzy, one that compels them to want more and more sex.  It’s the ultimate blackmail tool and perfect for creating sexual slaves.  And EE and Mick are out to stop its manufacture and distribution.

Free Falling is such great high wire fun! The action is fast-paced and explosive.  The sex scenes intense and incendiary.  And the pathos when it comes, well, it’s heartbreaking.  No idling, no slow speed to this narrative,  it’s just revved up and roaring down the road!

So buckle up, grab this story up and prepare for one wild ride.  You are going to love it.

Cover Art by Croco Designs, http://www.crocodesigns.com.  Can that cover get any hotter?  I  don’t think so.  Love it.

Book Details:

ebook, First Edition, 150 pages
Published December 5th 2012 by SEJ (http://sejakes.com)
original title Free Falling
edition language English
Books in the Extreme Escapes Ltd universe are:
  • Hell or High Water Series: Catch a Ghost, Long Time Gone, Daylight Again (coming soon), If I Ever (coming soon)
  • Dirty Deeds Series (EE, Ltd.): Dirty Deeds, Dirty Lies (coming soon), Dirty Love (coming soon)
  • Men of Honor Series: Bound by Honor, Bound by Law, Ties That Bind, Bound by Danger, Bound for Keeps (EE, Ltd.), Bound to Break